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Lance, Tim
News & Weather


WMUF/WLZK News                                                               

From News Director Tim Alsobrooks 

Assistant News Director Barron Robinson


Man Charged With Domestic Assault

Paris, Tenn.- A man found to be in the United States illegally was charged with domestic assault by Dep. David Andrews according to a report at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office. Dep. Andrews responded to the scene and found the defendant very intoxicated. During investigation it was found that Gerard Geasley, age 57, with listed address of 500 Gum Springs Road, was in the country illegally with no identification, no passport, and no work visa. Geasley appeared to have come to the U.S. in 2008 and was supposed to stay two months. He was charged with domestic assault an after investigation into the incident.

Duathalon At Eiffel Tower Park June 25th

Paris, Tenn.- The Race Like there is No Tomorrow Duathlon will be held at Eiffel Tower Park on Saturday June 25th. Registration begins at 8am with the race starting at 9am. For more information call 642-0600.

Walnut Grove Baptist Church To Kickoff Vacation Bible School

Paris, Tenn.- Walnut Grove Baptist Church will hold their Vacation Bible School June 25th thru 30th. They will have a kickoff and registration on June 25th from 3-7pm at Paris Landing State Park swimming pool. VBS will be 6-9pm June 26-29 and family night is June 30th at 6pm. It is for all children ages 3 and older. The church is located at 700 Walnut Grove Road and for more information call 931-232-6996.

Sons Of AmVets and AmVets Post 45 Hosting Hog Roast

Paris, Tenn.- The Sons of Amvets and AmVets Post 45 will host a Hog Roast Sunday June 26th from Noon to 4pm. Plates are $9 and to go boxes are available. Beverages will be available and there will be karaoke by Bill “Cowboy” Dunkin and Arlene. To order a whole Boston Butt to go the price is $30 and must be done in advance. Call 642-8690 for more information. The AmVets Post 45 is located at 14365 Hwy. 79 N.

Bethel University Holding Annual Junior PA Program

Paris, Tenn.- Bethel University’s Physician Assistant Program will hold its annual Junior Physician Assistant Day on Saturday June 25th from 10am to 1pm at the Bethel PA Program Building across from Henry County Medical Center.

Children will have the opportunity to explore ambulances and fire trucks, learn about 911, and get their photos made with Doc McStuffins. They can also take part in a teddy bear clinic and each child will receive a stethoscope and other takeaways.

Tickets for the Junior Physician Assistant Day are only $10 at the door and proceeds benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. There is a maximum charge of only $20 for a family, so if you have more than two kids, you still will just pay $20.

For more information about Junior PA Day call 775-378-7236.

Paris Henry County Chamber To Hold 66th Annual Banquet

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Henry County Chamber of Commerce will hold its 66th Annual Membership Banquet on Friday June 24th at 6pm and this year’s theme is “There’s No Place I’d Rather Be.” The banquet will be held at the Event Center at the Henry County Fairgrounds.

The Chamber’s Business of the Year and Person of the Year awards will be presented along with the installation of officers. Gary McEntire, Paris Landing State Park, will receive his red jacket as he becomes the new Chamber president.

Current Chamber president Tony Lawrence, Paris Parks and Recreation, will deliver his remarks on the past year and said, “we will also debut the new community video that includes our dance sequence shot at Eiffel Tower Park.”

Tickets are $25 each or a table of six for $140. Call the Chamber at 642-3431 to purchase tickets.

Henry Fire Department Extinguish Motor Vehicle Fire

(photo credit HVFD)

Paris, Tenn.- According to a report from the Henry Volunteer Fire Department, the HVFD were toned out to a working motor vehicle fire in the area of Hwy 79 South just North of Tosh Farms. HVFD worked to contain the fire which was caused by a driver throwing a cigarette out the window igniting the straw in the rear of his truck. During this time the fire had also ignited the surrounding grass and brush. After roughly an hour on the scene the fire was extinguished and the highway reopened. The HVFD thanked Paris Fire Department, Forestry, Henry County Sheriffs Office, City of Henry Police Department, and Henry County EMS for responding in the event of needed aid. No injuries were reported and the vehicle was a total loss.

PHCPUD To Finish FY in Black Despite 3rd Warmest Winter

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Henry County Public Utility District board of commisioners met this week and General Manager Tae Eaton said the District will finish the fiscal year in the black after seeing May come in with net loss of $115K. He said year end we are still $269K in the black and in June we have a refund due that will bump us up.

Eaton said many systems in the state and region will not be as lucky as PHCPUD and will finish the fiscal year in the red. Eaton said this past winter was the 3rd warmest winter on record as far as heating degree days and it took great work from our employees keeping costs down for us to meet these goals and stay in the black.

Eaton informed the board that 10 service lines are currently on backlog and requests have slowed down tremendously this year. Year to date they have put in 69 new service lines which is good but not as much as the last couple of years. Eaton said they will look at the areas they discussed during the budget process as to where the district can possibly expand the main line extensions.

Eaton also informed board members they plan on putting a three sided enclosure around the equipment at the Cottage Grove Metering Station. Eaton said the weather is rusting out some of the equipment and this is just something that is needed. ANR pipeline owns the area and the district has to get official permission from them to put up the enclosure, but Eaton said it won’t be an issue. ANR as a shed enclosure on their equipment to protect it from weather.

Gas Board Approves New Computers, Software for Office

Paris, Tenn.- In action the board approved replacing all the front desk computers and software. Eaton said the computers were 7 years old or older and it was time to update the software anyway so they decided to get new hardware as well.

The board approved the purchase of mobile optical methane gas leak detector with GPS Interface for the cost of $22,721. Eaton said these use lasers to detect leaks and is 4 times quicker than walking the gas system as they do now. Eaton said they will likely buy a Gator UTV type vehicle to mount have and mount the mobile detector on to ride around the rural areas to check for gas leaks. Eaton said the return on investment would be two years or less just in time alone.

Tennessee Ranks in Top 5 as Retirement Destination

Nashville- Tennessee has been named No. 4 in a recent analysis of the 10 Best States for Retirement 2016 by Kiplinger.com, a Washington, D.C.-based publisher of business forecasts and personal finance advice. The report rated all 50 states based on quantifiable factors that are important to retirees.

Affordability, especially in terms of lower taxes on retirees and lower health care costs, was a key factor in the research. The economic health of the state, as well as the overall health of the population, was also taken into account. States with prosperous populations of residents age 65 were also important in the comprehensive analysis. 

Tennessee is one of only four states in the country with a formal retiree recruitment program and continues to gain momentum as a retirement destination for baby boomers. Part of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, the Retire Tennessee program inspired more than 8,000 inquiries from potential retirees in 2015. Retire Tennessee communities become part of the program based on quality of life factors for retirees, such as cost-of-living, lively downtowns, real estate values and availability, and culture.

“To be named as one of the top five retirement destinations in the country is an accolade of which we can be proud as we continue to build awareness,” said Commissioner Kevin Triplett, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. “We continue to tell the story of our low cost of living, no state income tax, low property taxes, four mild seasons, incredible quality of living and breathtaking scenic beauty through the Retire Tennessee program and people are noticing. Many of the top destinations for retiring in our state are in more rural counties providing a relaxing environment filled with natural attractions and outdoor amenities and those relocating here bring a great value to these communities through their knowledge and energy and help stimulate the economy in the process.”

Ramay Winchester, director of Tourism Initiatives, has managed the Retire Tennessee program since its inception 10 years ago. 

“The number of inquiries to Tennessee from advertising and expos are at an all-time high,” said Winchester.  “Attendance at Ideal Living Resort & Retirement Expos has set new records which is why we are increasing our presence, participating in seven shows this year. These expos are our main lead generators for the Retire Tennessee program.”

Carefully chosen expo locations in New York, New Jersey, Illinois and greater Washington, D.C. allow the Retire Tennessee program to market to retirees who wish to relocate after retirement. RPI Media, the host of the Ideal Living Resort & Retirement Expos, recently ran a National Change of Address report providing relocation data from December 2012 through March 2016. Of resort show attendees and/or Ideal Living magazine subscribers, 732 households have relocated to Tennessee with 293 of those relocating to certified Retire Tennessee communities. 

The Kiplinger.com report provided the Top 10 list with destinations of wide diversity of climates and lifestyles, and narrowed their recommendations even further by highlighting cities within each ranking state. 

Chattanooga-Hamilton County, one of the state’s 19 Retire Tennessee communities, was featured with mentions of the thriving art and music scene along with outdoor recreation opportunities including biking along the Tennessee River or whitewater rafting. 

The cost-of-living is 2 percent below the U.S. average and the fiscal soundness of Tennessee shows the state should have no issues in maintaining its tax-friendly status.

Other states rounding out the top 10 were Idaho, Arizona, Florida, Washington, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Utah, and South Dakota.

For more information from the Kiplinger.com report, visit http://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/retirement/T006-S001-best-states-for-retirement-2016/index.html

For more information on the Retire Tennessee program, visit www.retiretennessee.org

Brown Informs PSSD Board of Possible Loss of GAP Insurance

Paris, Tenn.- During his report at Tuesday night’s Paris Special School District Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Mike Brown voiced concerned on an issue as the Tennessee State Health Insurance Committee considers sweeping changes to contracts with school districts concerning its contract with the State Health Plan. Brown said the Committee is considering no longer allowing districts to have supplemental or GAP insurance coverage with their state health plan. He said the committee is going to vote on whether to remove supplemental insurance form education and local government agencies across the state on Thursday at 11am in Nashville.

The State run Health plan currently has a $177.5M reserve from 2015, but Brown reiterated to the board not allowing the GAP coverage would fall directly on the back of teachers. He said the move would impact the PSSD budget in January to the tune of a possible quarter of a million dollars annually.

Brown said he has met with State Rep. Tim Wirgau who has worked with him on the issue and then Brown called out Governor Haslam asking him and the Insurance Committee to give school systems at least a one year reprieve on the GAP overage before doing away with it if they choose to do so. Brown said,” the governor has touted the fact of giving teacher raises, but doing away with the supplemental insurance coverage basically wipes out the raises, as teachers will have to use their raise to pay healthcare cost they thought would be covered with the GAP insurance.”

Brown continued citing frustrations with other systems are high as this vote is coming just a week before the new fiscal year is set to begin July 1st. He said it will greatly impact many system’s budgets for years to come. Brown said, “it’s like the insurance committee has forgotten that teachers and education workers are their customers and if they decide to not allow this supplemental coverage it will be a financial burden to individuals and systems alike.”

Palestine Methodist Church VBS June 22-25

Paris, Tenn.- Palestine United Methodist Church will hold Vacation Bible School June 22nd thru 25th from 6pm to 8:15pm on the 22nd thru 24th and from 2:30pm to 5pm on the 25th. A luau party will start at 5pm on the 25th.

All ages are welcome and they will provide free transportation. For more information visit www.cokeburybs/palestinesurfshack

PSSD Board Moves Ahead With Inman Multi-Purpose Facility

Maintenance Supervisor Richie Chilcutt describes estimates for the facility to board members. (Tim Alsobrooks photos)

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Special School District Board of Education met in regular session on Tuesday evening and Maintenance Supervisor Richie Chilcutt gave board members an estimate for a sports practice multi-purpose complex for Inman Middle School.

Inman Athletic Director Bob Markum made a presentation to the board at May’s meeting about the need for a practice facility that can be used by several different sports as so many students are competing in different sports now at Inman and they’re still using the same practice area they have for the last 20 years.

Chilcutt said the steel building could be 80 by 120 with 16 foot high side walls and 4 inch slab, four 10 by 10 doors, four 3 by 7 doors, a 8 foot plywood liner to cut down on sound of baseball and softball practices in the batting cages and a weight room that is 30 by 40. The estimated price is $220K for the building with the mechanical HVAC, electrical, site work, interior finishes and equipment raising the total price of the building and all it needs to be finished to $495,800.

Chilcutt said the budget is probably shooting high and the actual work may come in even cheaper than that. The multi-purpose complex would be built on the field next to the building at Inman.

Superintendent Mike Brown said the system has a couple of options to pay for this facility using fund balance or if the Safe Grant comes thru on the Rhea Construction Project that would lower that cost and then use some of that money to pay for the facility.

Brown said they would have more concrete numbers in place as they present the budgets in July. They will accept bids in July and go from there with funding.

Rhea Construction Project Moving Along

Paris, Tenn.- Cary Henson of Henson Construction gave an update on the Rhea Construction project. He said the site has changed quite a bit and some obstacles have come up like running into utilities and such but overall things are going well. Henson said there will be some contingency money used on running more sewer lines under the new construction portion of the building.

Henson said we should have all the drives in place and ready to go by the start of school in early August. The plan is to pave during the 2nd week of July and the project remains on schedule.

PSSD Welcomes Back Dr. Norma Gerrell

Paris, Tenn.- During his Superintendent’s report, Brown made it official that the PSSD is bringing back Dr. Norma Gerrell to serve as its Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction. She previously served in this role in the past. Dr. Gerrell is returning as Dr. Leah Watkins leaves the position to become the new Director of Schools for Roane County.

In action on Tuesday night, the board approved budget amendments for the current budget and approved a continuation budget to operate on past July 1st. Superintendent Mike Brown said they will have budget proposals in July and formally approve the budget in August.

The board approved extending a grant with Battelle for Kids for one year. The system gets access to professional development either free or at extremely reduced prices along with other materials. There is no cost to the system for the grant and Brown said it has been a great partnership the last couple of years.

The PSSD board approved a change in board policy that requires pre-employment drug screenings, criminal history background checks, and fingerprinting of applicants for all new employees of the district beginning July 1, 2016. The system already required the criminal history and fingerprinting but are now adding pre-employment drug screenings to the requirements for employees.

Man Apprehended After Stealing Purse From Vehicle

Paris, Tenn.- A report at the Paris Police Department stated a black male wearing a white hat, with navy or black jersey, and black shorts was seen in the North Poplar Street area being suspicious and carrying a woman’s purse. Sgt. Michael Ramos arrived and a witness said the man walked into a wooded area behind Pot of Gold Pawn Shop but he had dumped the purse. Sgt. Ramos found an ID in the purse and made contact with the owner who informed Sgt. Ramos the purse was in her vehicle.

Later in the day, Ptl. Jordan Klutts saw a male matching the description on College St. Oneal Williams, age 42, of 707 Hardy St, was arrested for burglary and drug paraphernalia possession after a search of his person was done.

Paris Police have charged Bradley D. Scott, age 44, of 822 Lois St., with filing a false report, after he accused another man of stealing his bike. The report said he let a man stay the night and the next day he found the bike gone. Ptl. Amber Roaten later say the alleged bike thief on the bike and questioned him and he stated Scott said he could ride the bike. A witness backed up his story and Scott again lied to officers and was charged with filing a false report.

A report at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office stated that a Venture Boat valued at $2K was stolen from a home on Pleasant Grove Road. The boat was kept in a locked detached garage, but the lock was cut and removed and the boat was stolen. Deputies have no suspects.

Farm Raised Meat New Item at Tuesday's Farmer's Market

Paris, Tenn.- The Downtown Paris Farmer’s Market will open at 3pm Tuesday as the City of Paris, Henry County Fair Association, and Downtown Paris Association cooperate to once again bring it downtown this summer. The Farmer’s Market will be at the corner of Ruff Street and North Market Street. The corner parking lot will be available for Farmer’s Market Vendors only on Tuesdays and Fridays but the adjacent city lot to the west will be available for customers.

The market will operate at 3pm Tuesdays and Fridays for 8 weeks or so and go each day until produce sells out. 19 vendors are currently signed up to participate in this year’s farmer’s market and new Tuesday will be a vendor selling farm raised beef, pork, and chicken in frozen packs.

If you would like to participate in the Farmer’s Market as a vendor call the DPA office at 731-653-7274.

Jackson Drive Closed for Culvert Replacement Wed.

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Highway Department will close Jackson Drive at 911 house #905 on Wednesday June 22nd for culvert replacement. Meadowbrook Drive, Henderson Drive, and Twin Oaks Lane will be accessible from India Road. All other side roads will be accessible from Guthrie Road. The road will be back open early Wednesday evening.

County Commission Receives Budget; Will Reconvene June 30th to Pass it

Commissioners look over the proposed budget Monday. (Tim Alsobrooks photos)

Paris, Tenn. - The Henry County Commission met in regular session for June on Monday evening and received the proposed 2016-17 budget as approved by the budget committee last week. The budget committee sat thru departmental hearings and approved the budget last Monday night that included no property tax increase on Henry County citizens and a 2 and a half percent Cost of Living Adjustment of County Employees. The current tax rate is $2.06 per $100 of assessed property.

Some of the highlights of the proposed budget include $131K in new money for capital projects. Some of those projects include over $13K for improvements at the airport, $4K in improvements to the clock tower at the Henry County Courthouse, $15K for new pews in the juvenile courtroom, $10K for patrol cars for the sheriff’s office and $5K for a drone to be used for searches, $5K for a new handicap entrance at Westin Hall, and $32,500 for a recycling grant.

Mayor Greer said he was very comfortable with this budget and urged commissioners to ask him or budget director Pat Hollingsworth any questions they may have concerning the budget. At the end of the meeting, the commission went into recess and will reconvene June 30th and pass the budget. This will mark the 2nd straight year a budget will have been approved before July 1st.

$94K Approved in Non-Profit Contributions on 1st Reading

Paris, Tenn.- $94,085 was approved in the upcoming budget to go for non-profit donations the county gives each year. The bulk of that goes to the Volunteer Fire Departments that serve the county residents and the next biggest chunk this year was $10K going to the Paris Henry County Heritage Center. Overall the $94K is down some from recent years when totals were over $101K in contributions to non-profits. It will be approved again on 2nd reading June 30th.

Also Monday night, County Attorney Rob Whitfield told the commission that they are continuing to work to finalize the sales from the delinquent property tax sale held in April. He said when all is said and done it could put about a half million dollars in the county general fund.

County Commission Raises Litigation Taxes $19

Paris, Tenn.- Commissioners approved a resolution on Monday night to increase the litigation taxes for General Session Court in Henry County from $6 to $25, an increase of $19. County Mayor Brent Greer said that Henry County hasn’t increased this fee since its inception in 1988 and the state allows a maximum of $27 to be charged in litigation taxes.

The County Commission also approved resolutions for the model debt policy, and a resolution that shows all departments have complied with the State Comptroller’s Office and turned in written Internal Controls policies for their departments.

A resolution to permit the juvenile judge to appoint a judicial assistant to serve in secretarial duties was also approved by commissioners Monday night. The stipend for the judicial assistant is $200 per month.

Arrests Made in Connection With Vehicle Burglaries

Paris, Tenn.- Inv. Adam Jenkins of the Henry County Sheriff's Office issued a press release Monday afternoon stating that two arrests have been made in conjunction with the recent string of thefts involving unlocked vehicles.

Phillip L. Nelson, age 18 and Benjamin K. Fields, age 19, both from the lake area, have been charged with theft of property and are currently in jail on $25K bond.

Warrants were issued last week and Fields was arrested late last week and Nelson was picked up in a traffic stop Saturday. Both men admitting to targeting unlocked vehicles for their thefts.

Both men are scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court Tuesday.

Paris Elks And Boy Scouts Retire American Flags

Paris, Tenn.- Boy Scout Troop 28, First United Methodist Church, and Paris Elks Lodge 816 retired American Flags this past Saturday at the Elks Lodge. The only way to retire an American Flag is to burn it which can only be done by the Military or the Boy Scouts.

Cub Scouts, Webelos Scout and Boy Scouts present from Pack 28, were:  Avery Jackson, Jayson DeLuca, Jameson Hancock with their leaders Taylor Thomas and Landon Wilson were on hand.

Boy Scouts from Troop 28 were Lee Hayes, with leaders Kathy Steele, Daphine Jackson and Tony Jackson. 

The Ceremony was conducted by: Elks’ Exalted Ruler, Robby Miller and Acting Chaplin Bill Reed, the impressionable Ceremony concluded with a hot dog meal served by the Lodge to the young scouts and their leaders.

Tosh Farms Truck Misjudges Turn, Leaves Pigs in a Ditch

(photo by Belle DeBall)

Cottage Grove, Tenn.- Henry County Sheriff's Deputies and other agencies responded to Hwy. 69N in Cottage Grove Monday morning as a Tosh Farm truck went into a ditch appearing to misjudge a turn. The truck was carrying a load of pigs. No one was hurt in the incident.

Discharged Gun Leads to Assault Charges

Paris, Tenn.- A man was charged with aggravated assault and reckless endangerment by Dep. David Andrews of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office after firing a shot towards his neighbor. A report at the sheriff’s office stated units were called to the home of Gary S. Hicks, age 61, of 6340 Hwy. 641 N., where shots were fired.

The report said Hicks said his neighbor had come into this home and stole money from his wallet when he went into the bedroom. Hicks then got his gun and followed the neighbor outside and discharged one round at the ground at his feet. The neighbor denied stealing anything and Hicks was charged as noted. He was placed on $7500 bond.

Intoxicated Woman Charged With Drug Possession at Jail

Paris, Tenn.- Paris Police units were dispatched to Pockets on Mineral Wells Avenue on a woman who was unsteady on her feet. Ptl. Zachariah Carper was the first on scene and noticed the woman, later identified as Sarah Grace Cole, age 25, of 1004 Grove St. Apt., was very unsteady and smelled of alcohol. Ptl. Carper led her out to her vehicle and did a search and found a Styrofoam cup with alcoholic beverage in it in the cup holder of the center console only with five unopened cans in a six pack in the passenger side floor board.

Ptl. Carper charged Cole for public intoxication and transported her to the jail. When getting her out of the patrol unit, he noticed several pills in the seat of the patrol unit. Cole was also charged with simple possession of schedule two and simple possession of schedule four. Cole was placed on $1,250 bond.

In a separate report, Cpl. Forrest Kemp of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office issued warrants for evading arrest on Justin Tharpe, age 24, of 426 Harrison Street after he fled from an arrest attempt. Cpl. Kemp had gone to the state probation office to serve an active warrant on Tharpe and he ran off. Deputies searched the area but couldn’t find him at the time and continue to look for Tharpe.

Thieves Strike Parked Semi-Truck in Puryear

Puryear, Tenn.- Over $7500 worth of items were stolen from a parked semi-truck in Puryear over the weekend, according to a report at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office. Cpl. Forrest Kemp responded to Spanky’s parking lot and found that someone had cut the tie down straps and stolen tires and rims from two Hummer SUVs, along with A/C condensers, hand shovels, home A/C evaporators, and more. There are currently no suspects.

Cpl. Eric Long of the Paris Police Department charged man with unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia during a routine traffic stop this weekend. Walter Lee Evans was pulled over for expired tags and during search of the car a crack pipe and burnt metal were found.

Job Fair To Be Held In Camden

Paris, Tenn.- Goodwill Career Solutions will host a job fair at the U.S. Army National Guard Armory, 190 Armory Ave. in Camden, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Wednesday, June 22, for at least six employers seeking to fill more than 40 positions in Camden, Paris and Huntingdon.

Employers include Manpower, Jones Plastic & Engineering, Volunteer Home Care, Senior Community Service Program, Cox Oil and Indoor Air Solutions. Openings include machine operator, certified nursing assistant, licensed practical nurse, press operator, production, forklift, janitor, receptionist, cook, warehouse and other positions. Rates of pay reach $13.

Representatives from these companies will be on-site and interviews are possible, so job-seekers should dress for success. Job candidates are encouraged to bring a resume, photo ID and their Social Security card or birth certificate.

Firefighters Battled Fire On Routon Street

Paris, Tenn.- According to a report for the Paris Fire Department, the PFD responded to a house on fire at 206 Routon Street. On arrival firefighters found heavy fire in the front portion of the home. Firefighters made an exterior attack from both sides and the front of the structure. Firefighters pulled 2 1.5” lines and 1 2” line.

When ladder truck showed up, firefighters positioned the hose stream on the room area of the home. Once the fire was knocked down, firefighters made entry on the home and began salvage and overhaul. When the fire was completely out, firefighters cleared the scene.

New Tennessee State Insurance Backed By Governer Haslam

Paris, Tenn.- Newly approved captive insurance legislation further modernizes and enhances Tennessee’s reputation as the go-to domicile in the captive insurance industry. 

Approved by the General Assembly earlier this year, the 2016 legislation represents the third update to the Revised Tennessee Captive Insurance Act of 2011, which first allowed the captive insurance industry to flourish in Tennessee. Since that legislation’s passage, Tennessee now has 133 captive insurance companies and 321 cell companies for a total of 454 risk-bearing entities (RBEs). In 2011, there were two.

The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI)’s Captive Insurance Section is responsible for regulating the state’s captive insurance industry. A captive insurance company represents an option for many corporations and groups that want to take financial control and manage risks by underwriting their own insurance rather than paying premiums to third-party insurers

“The captive insurance industry operates in a competitive, fast-moving environment that demands competitors keep pace or be left behind,” said Captive Insurance Section Director Michael Corbett. “Tennessee must be nimble and forward-looking if we are going to surpass the goals we’ve established and continue our unprecedented growth. I’m grateful for the foresight that Governor Bill Haslam and Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak have shown by supporting these changes in the legislation.”

MSU Accounting Department Recognized In Top 40 Worldwide

Paris, Tenn.- Murray State University’s Department of Accounting through the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business was recently recognized as one of the top accounting departments by the Social Science Research Network. The department ranks 34th among the top 400 accounting departments worldwide according to the network, in terms of total number of downloads.

Posting abstracts and papers on SSRN is one way that faculty members at Murray State and other universities disseminate research findings. SSRN facilitates research not just in the United States but in universities throughout the world, including those in developing countries where funds are often not available to pay for library subscriptions to journals and research databases. SSRN, along with Google Scholar, have helped advance research on an international level.

Murray State accounting department faculty members have posted numerous abstracts and papers on SSRN. One of the papers, “A Multinational Analysis of Corruption and Economic Activity,” was written by Murray State professors Leigh Johnson and Murphy Smith and co-authored by two non-Murray State professors, the late Lawrence C. Smith, Jr. and William Gruben.

In their study, the authors analyze the relationship between corruption and economic activity, using data obtained from the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Transparency International (TI). Transparency International publishes annually a ranking of countries according to the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). Examples of corruption activities include bribery, corporate fraud, cartels, and corruption in supply chains and transnational transactions. 

Blueberry Smoothies Handed Out At Farmers Market

(photo by Barron Robinson)

Paris, Tenn.- The heat didn’t falter the crowd that came out to enjoy a free blueberry smoothie and giveaways thanks to a grant from the UT Extension Office. The Downtown Farmer’s Market opens at 3pm Friday afternoons at the corner of Ruff and Market Street. Vendors will be on hand and several vegetables and fruits will be for sale such as tomatoes, blueberries, squash, potatoes, green beans, local honey and canola, and more.

Freed Hardeman Offering Masters Degree In Instructional Tech.

Paris, Tenn.- Freed-Hardeman University will offer a Master of Education in instructional technology beginning summer 2017. The online, 31-credit hour program may be taken as a full-time or part-time student.

Full-time students can expect to finish the program in 14 months, according to Dr. Monte Tatom. Tatom, FHU associate professor of education, is directing the program. A special feature of the program is that students may substitute prior learning experience for as many as five of the courses in the instructional technology core, enabling them to finish even more quickly.

The program is designed for teachers, educational leaders, technology coaches and technology directors in school systems. It will follow the standards of the International Society of Technology in Education. “Master’s level candidates will use the skills learned to solve real problems in the workplace,” Tatom said.

Tennesseans Hourly Income Wages Increases

Paris, Tenn.- Statistics released by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD) show the average hourly wage earned by Tennesseans in May increased from the same time period in 2015.  The finding is part of the TDLWD Labor Market Information Unit’s recent annual occupational wage and employment survey. 
“We are pleased to report that the average wage for all occupations in Tennessee increased $0.30 per hour from $19.55 to $19.85 hourly,” Commissioner Burns Phillips said. The increase in the state’s average hourly wage represents a yearly income of $41,296.  The latest wage and employment estimates show average hourly wages ranging from $9.60 in food preparation and serving occupations to $44.85 in legal occupations.

Tennessee’s largest occupational group consists of office and administrative support with over 460,000 employees who make an average hourly wage of $16.10.  Sales and related occupations have the next highest percentage of total employment in Tennessee with 278,610 positions and an annual mean wage of $34,406, or $16.55 per hour.  The state's transportation and material moving occupations had 272,860 in total employment and hourly wages averaging $15.40.
Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations are two of the fastest growing occupations in Tennessee and statistics show the fields have over 180,000 workers who earn an average hourly wage of $31.75. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics worked with the TDLWD Labor Market Information Unit to produce these wage statistics.

Two Charged With 7 Counts of Vandalism

Paris,Tenn.- Inv. Greg Underwood of the Paris Police Department has charged two young men with 7 counts of vandalism after receiving numerous calls of vandalism on Volunteer and Memorial Drive the night of June 14th.

Jacob Hollingsworth, age 20 of 80 Campbell Lane, was charged with 7 counts of vandalism, 4-felony charges and 3-misdemeanor and placed on $5K bond; Alex Kessler, age 18 of Big Sandy, was charged with 7 counts of vandalism and placed on $5K bond.

Inv. Underwood reviewed video from security systems in the area and determined the time of events of vandalism to be around 3:30am. He also found that Cpl. Eric Long had stopped two suspicious suspects and identified them as Kessler and Hollingsworth. Inv. Underwood, with that information and video evidence from four different locations, positively identified Kessler and Hollingsworth as the vandals. They were responsible for spray painting signs and vehicles causing several thousand dollars in damages.

Other arrests from Thursday include Benjamin Kyle Fields, age 19, of 875 Old Paris Murray Road, for simple possession of schedule 6, evading arrest, public intoxication. He was placed on $2,250 bond; Lindsey E. Adams, age 25, of 2340 Hwy. 641 N., for aggravated burglary.

More Charges Brought Against Stepp by Paris Police

Paris, Tenn.- A man arrested on child abuse and neglect charges earlier this week now has more charges on him according to an arrest sheet at the Henry County Sheriff's Office. David Stepp, 27, of Hwy. 641 S. was charged with possession of schedule 6 and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia after the initial search of his home with Paris Police and DCS. He was also charged with child abuse and neglect and that story is elsewhere on our website.

May Unemployment Rate Drops to 4.1%

Nashville- Tennessee Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips announced Thursday the Tennessee preliminary unemployment rate for May was 4.1 percent, two-tenths of a percentage point decrease from the April revised rate of 4.3 percent. The U.S. preliminary rate for May was 4.7 percent, down three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month.

Over the past year, Tennessee's unemployment rate decreased from 5.8 percent to 4.1 percent while the national rate declined from 5.5 percent to 4.7 percent. Total nonfarm employment decreased 13,400 jobs from April to May. The largest decreases occurred in government, leisure/hospitality, & professional/business services.

Over the year, nonfarm employment increased 60,900 jobs. The largest increases occurred in education/health services, trade/transportation/utilities, & manufacturing. County unemployment rates will be released next week.

Bethel's Jr. PA Day Will Be June 25th

Paris, Tenn.- Bethel University’s Physician Assistant Program will hold its annual Junior Physician Assistant Day on Saturday June 25th from 10am to 1pm at the Bethel PA Program Building across from Henry County Medical Center.

Children will have the opportunity to explore ambulances and fire trucks, learn about 911, and get their photos made with Doc McStuffins. They can also take part in a teddy bear clinic and each child will receive a stethoscope and other takeaways.

Tickets for the Junior Physician Assistant Day are only $10 at the door and proceeds benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. There is a maximum charge of only $20 for a family, so if you have more than two kids, you still will just pay $20.

For more information about Junior PA Day call 775-378-7236.

Son of AmVets to Hold Hog Roast June 26th

Buchanan, Tenn.- The Sons of Amvets and AmVets Post 45 will host a Hog Roast Sunday June 26th from Noon to 4pm. Plates are $9 and to go boxes are available. Beverages will be available and there will be karaoke by Bill “Cowboy” Dunkin and Arlene. To order a whole Boston Butt to go the price is $30 and must be done in advance. Call 642-8690 for more information. The AmVets Post 45 is located at 14365 Hwy. 79 N.


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