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WMUF/WLZK News                                                               

From News Director Tim Alsobrooks 

Assistant News Director Barron Robinson


Henry County 10 Year Old Stars Won District; Move On To State

From left to right Back Row: Seth Green, Carson Tucker, Brice Donaldson, Hayden Hixson, Carter Hedges, Truitt Webb. Front Row: Jeremy Thornton, Ryan Bradley, Jesse Klutts, Javion Boyd, Ben Puckett, Jayce Kendall. Not pictured are Head Coach: Brian Webb, Assistants are Michael Puckett and Jess Hedges

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County 10-year-old All Stars won the district tournament Thursday night in Camden with its win over Huntingdon. The team will play in the state tournament next week in Union City.

Reward Offered For Oak Grove Church Vandal

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is offering up to a $1,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of the suspect(s) who vandalized Oak Grove Baptist Church on Jones Mill Crossland Rd.

Extensive vandalism was done to the church. The HCSO Criminal Investigative Division is actively pursuing leads in connection with this case. Anyone with information on this can call the Henry County Sheriff’s Office or call the HCSO crime tips hotline at 642-0929 or call Sheriff Monte Belew directly at 336-4699.

Henry Dollar General Store Celebrates Grand Opening Sat.

Goodletsville, Tenn.- Dollar General will celebrate the opening of its new location at 9819 Highway 79 S in Henry on Saturday, July 2 at 8 a.m. with free prizes and special deals.  Dollar General will offer Henry residents a convenient new place to shop for everyday essentials at low prices.

Additionally, the first 50 adult shoppers at the store will receive a $10 Dollar General gift card and the first 200 shoppers will receive a Dollar General tote bag, among other giveaways.

“Dollar General is committed to delivering a pleasant shopping experience that includes a convenient location, a wide assortment of merchandise and great prices on quality products,” said Dan Nieser, Dollar General’s senior vice president of real estate and store development.  “We hope our Henry customers will enjoy shopping at Dollar General’s new location.”

Dollar General stores offer convenience and value to customers by providing a focused selection of national name brands and private brands of food, housewares, seasonal items, cleaning supplies, basic apparel and health/beauty products. The store’s fresh layout is designed to make shopping simple for customers.  Seasonal products are displayed in the center of the store, departments are easily recognizable with visible signage and coolers are conveniently located at the front of the store.

Traditional Dollar General stores employ approximately six to 10 people, depending on the need.  Anyone interested in joining the Dollar General team may visit the Career section at www.dollargeneral.com.

Dollar General gives its customers more than everyday low prices on basic merchandise.  Dollar General is deeply involved in the communities it serves and is an ardent supporter of literacy and education. At the cash register of every Dollar General store, customers interested in learning how to read, speak English or get their General Education Diploma (GED) can pick up a brochure with a postage-paid reply card that can be mailed in for a referral to a local organization that offers free literacy services. Since its inception in 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $120 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping nearly more than 7.1 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy or continued education. For more information about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and its grant programs, visit www.dgliteracy.com.

Paris Landing Has Host of Activities for 4th of July Weekend

Buchanan, Tenn.- Paris Landing State Park is prepping for a busy Fourth of July weekend and there are several activities and events visitors can take part in. This Friday and every Friday night from 6-8pm, the birds of prey will be at the hotel lobby for view. People can come and takes pictures of the animals including selfies with the smaller creatures like the screech owl.

During the day on Friday July 1st, there will be origami mammals at 10am where you can make mammals out of paper at the park office. At 1pm there will be games such as ring toss, horse shoes, corn hole, washer toss, and more in the campground area.

Saturday July 2nd, visit the campground and lower bath house area for smores at 7pm. Seating is limited so bring your own lawn chair and bottled water to drink. There is a small 50 cent fee per person for the smores.

Events on Sunday July 3rd include making your own plant aquarium using native plants at 9am at the program area by the state park office. At 1pm, stop by the campground to play old time games from the past.

Monday July 4th, the Birds of Prey program will be at 1pm and a flag craft will be at 2pm where you will learn the history of the American Flag and make one out of Popsicle sticks. There will be live music at 5pm Monday July 4th and the day wraps up with a great fireworks show put on by the Paris Henry County Jaycees will culminate at dark.

Summer Squash with Pasta at Friday's Farmer's Market

Paris, Tenn.- Remember the Downtown Farmer’s Market opens at 3pm Friday afternoon 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. Also from 3-4pm today come by the Farmer’s Market and enjoy a free summer squash with pasta dish and giveaways thanks to a grant from the UT Extension Office. So far this summer 20 different vendors have signed up to be part of the Downtown Farmer’s Market which continues to grow.

Songwriters Night at Jacks Friday at 8pm

Paris, Tenn.- The Nashville Songwriter's Association International will host a Songwriter's Night at Jack's Pool Room in Paris Friday July 1st. Sign ups start at 7pm with singing at 8pm. All songwriters are encouraged to come and perform their original songs.

No Construction Delays for July 4th Travelers

Nashville- Road construction won’t slow motorists across Tennessee over the July 4th holiday. The Tennessee Department of Transportation will suspend all construction-related lane closures on interstates and state routes beginning at midnight on Thursday, June 30th  through 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 5th  to provide maximum roadway capacity for holiday travelers.

“Tennessee’s interstates and state routes will be especially busy during the July 4th holiday,” TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said. “We will be suspending lane closures for this holiday travel period to help travelers reach their destinations safely and without unnecessary delays.”

Motorists will still encounter some long term lane closures on construction projects.  While lane closure activity will be stopped, workers may be on site in construction zones and reduced speed limits in work zones will still be in effect.  Drivers convicted of speeding through work zones where workers are present face a fine of $250 to $500, plus court fees and possible increased insurance premiums.

AAA projects nearly 43 million Americans will travel this Independence Day weekend, the highest July 4th travel volume on record, and a half million more travelers than last year. Over 36 million of them will drive. AAA estimates more than 831,000 Tennesseans will travel during the holiday, with over 744,000 driving.

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

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

Paris Police Dept. Holds Promotion Ceremony

From L to R Officers Receiving Promotions Thurs.: Amanda Forrest, Greg Underwood, Jeramye Whitaker, Eric Long, Tony Hutcherson, Michael Ramos, Ean Reed, and Tony Elkins. Josh Frey wasn't able to attend the ceremony but also received a promotion. (Tim Alsobrooks photos)

Paris, Tenn.- A supervisory police officer promotion ceremony was held for members of the Paris Police Department at the Henry County Fairgrounds on Thursday evening, putting more structure in the department and making it even better than it is already, according to Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo.

Chief Elizondo started the ceremony saying our officers are prepared because we hire the best, give them the best training, and best equipment possible. He said this ceremony is a dream and vision he had to bring more stability and rank to the department.

Mayor Carlton Gerrell and City Manager Kim Foster also spoke briefly and said the City of Paris Police Department is top of the line and this type of ceremony is great for those getting the promotions and gives the younger officers something to work for.

The promotions ceremony moved the following Sergeants up to rank of Lieutenant. Tony Elkins, 29 years with the PPD, Ean Reed, 16 years with the PPD, Michael Ramos, 20 years with the PPD, Josh Frey, 17 years with the PPD.

The following corporals with the Paris Police Department were moved to the rank of Sergeant at Thursday’s ceremony: Tony Hutcherson, 29 years of service with the PPD, Eric Long, 21 years with PPD, Jeramye Whitaker, 11 years with the PPD, Greg Underwood, 22 years with the PPD.

Ptl. Amanda Forrest was also recognized and moved up to 2nd class patrolman at Thursday night’s ceremony. Chief Elizondo said to his knowledge she is the first woman to receive a promotion within the Paris Police Department.

Families of the officers were on hand at the ceremony on Thursday night. Chief Elizondo thanked all the officers for their continued hard work. He said, “we live in a world where our job is tougher than it has ever been, and I’m glad we have the officers we have on the Paris Police Department.”

County Commission Approves Tax Rate, Budget

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Commission reconvened their June meeting on Thursday evening and passed the budget and tax rate. The budget includes a two and half percent cost of living adjustment for all county employees and doesn’t increase property taxes on Henry County residents. The property tax rate will remain the same at $2.06 per $100 of assessed property. It’s the 2nd year in a row the County Commission has managed to approve a budget before the new fiscal year actually begins on July 1st. The Commission also approved the non profit contributions on 2nd and final reading as well Thursday. The total is just over $94K with the majority going to the Volunteer Fire Departments.

Rotary Club Welcomes New President

Incoming Rotary President Darrin Thompson presents outgoing president Dan Jackson with a gavel. (Linley White photo)

Paris, Tenn.- At Thursday’s Paris Rotary Club meeting, past President Dan Jackson handed over the reigns to current president Darrin Thompson. Jackson was presented a gavel and other items for his time of service. The club also recognized Carl Holder and Mark Archer and gave them Paul Harris Fellow awards. Members Walt Peterson and Cory Glover were also recognized.

Man Arrested for Misuse of 911

Paris, Tenn.- A report at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office stated deputies were dispatched to a Poplar Grove residence where a neighbor was causing problems. A no trespass was served on the neighbor Thomas L. Burgess, age 51, 1850 Poplar Grove Road. Burgess became irate with officers and called 911 later to file a restraining order on his neighbor. He was warned not to call 911 again and after doing it twice more, deputies went back and arrested Burgess for misuse of 911.

A report at the Paris Police Department stated that Ptl. Jamie James responded to Tyson Park Apartments in reference to a suspicious male. Ptl. Tyrail Jackson found the male, identified as Christopher Lee Bell, age 26 of 2215 Puryear Crossland Road. It was determined that he had warrants on violation of probation. Bell was arrested and placed on $5K bond.

Chief Elizondo: Fireworks Prohibited In City Limits of Paris

Paris, Tenn.- Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo reminds citizens that fireworks are prohibited in the City of Paris as stated in the Paris Municipal Code. The ordinance states the manufacture, distribution, sale, storage, possession, use, or discharge, of any fireworks is expressly prohibited within the corporate limits of the City of Paris. Violators will be cited and fireworks will be seized.

Wine in Groceries Stores one of 82 New Laws that Start Friday

Nashville- This Friday July 1st not only signifies the start of a new month on the calendar and the new fiscal year for many government entities, both at the local and state level, it is also a day where many new state laws are set to come into effect. The state legislature during their last session passed 82 new laws that will begin on Friday.

One of the most talked about new laws that affects many citizens is that starting Friday retail food stores can sell wine in their stores. The state’s Alcoholic Beverage Commission can issue a license to sell wine to retail food stores in counties and municipalities where a referendum has passed where a majority of voters have voted yes to allowing grocery stores to sell wine and where the locality has a full time sheriff’s department or police department. Both of those scenarios are the case and here in Henry County citizens will be able to purchase wine in retail food stores beginning Friday.

The law does prohibit stores from selling wine between the hours of 11pm Saturday to 8am Monday of each week, between 11pm and 8am each weeknight, and on the following holidays Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

Another law that begins Friday creates a regulatory framework for fantasy sports. Public Chapter 978, as the bill is known, states there remains a need to protect Tennesseans from potential risks involved in fantasy sports contests and to prevent unauthorized spread of gambling. The law lays out terms of fantasy sports and says it shall be a violation for any person to offer fantasy sports contests through an online digital platform without being licensed as a fantasy sports operator with the secretary of state. The law is 12 pages long and can be found on the internet in its entirety.

A law on slow drivers goes into effect Friday as well. Public chapter 982 restricts slow drivers from continuously driving in the far left lane on highways where there is three lanes of traffic and it impedes the normal flow of traffic.

Some other laws include making it easier for veterans to obtain handgun carry permits, creating an online voter registration system in Tennessee, and many more.

HCMC Wins Aster Awards For Excellence in Medical Marketing

Paris, Tenn.- Henry County Medical Center’s Marketing and Public Relations Department has been awarded two Gold Awards and one Bronze Award from the Aster Awards, recognizing them for excellence in medical marketing.  HCMC received the Gold Awards for the Tennessee Highlands OB/GYN logo/letterhead design as well as the #tuneintuesday Social Media campaign. Additionally, the Bronze Award was received for the Physician Referral Marketing Campaign for Vestibular Rehabilitation.

The Aster Awards, one of the largest national competitions of its kind, is hosted by Marketing Healthcare Today Magazine and Creative Images, Inc. This elite program recognized outstanding healthcare professionals for excellence in their advertising/marketing efforts for the calendar year 2015.

The 2016 Aster Awards received nearly 3,000 entries from across the United States as well as several foreign countries. All entries are judged by industry experts and are scored on multiple criteria with a possibility of 100 total points. Participant’s entries competed against similar-sized organizations in their specific groups and categories.

Awards were issued for entries that received top marks from judges placing them in the top 16% of the nation for advertising excellence. Judging criteria included creativity, layout and design, functionality, message effectiveness, production quality and overall appeal.

“Each year the quality of work submitted increases. The creativity of this year’s participating healthcare marketing professionals went above and beyond the standards that were set by previous years. The 2016 Aster Awards program contained some of the best and most creative advertising in the world,” said Melinda Lucas, Aster Awards Program Coordinator.

All winners are posted on the Aster Awards website (www.AsterAwards.com), as well as published in Marketing Healthcare Today, a national healthcare marketing magazine.  Below denotes the distribution of awards:

  • Best of Show – Only 1 issued in 2016
  • Judges Choice – Score of 100% (only 6 issued in 2016 – top 1%)
  • Gold Awards – Score of 95 to 99 (top 5% in the nation)
  • Silver Awards – Score of 90 to 94 (top 12% in the nation)
  • Bronze Awards – Score of 85 to 89 (top 16% in the nation)

“I am very proud of the work we do at Henry County Medical Center,” said Tory Daughrity, Director of Marketing and Public Relations.  “Henry County Medical Center is a wonderful healthcare facility and being able to showcase the efforts of all our partners and services through our marketing efforts and to be recognized for those efforts is very rewarding.”

41st Annual Cottage Grove Freedom Festival Set for Monday

Paris, Tenn.- The 41st Annual Cottage Grove Freedom Festival will be held Monday July 4th and there is plenty of activities for people of all ages to take part of. At 9am Monday morning, the motorcycle run registration and parade registration and line up begins.

The Grand Marshalls for this year’s Freedom Festival Parade are Freddy Wade and Homer Maddox, both are former Cottage Grove Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chiefs. Engine One will also be in the parade in memory of Bill Pullen, who also served as a former Fire Chief. The Henry County Sheriff’s Office Color Guard will present the colors at the parade which begins at 10am.

Other activities at the Freedom Festival include a turkey and trap shoot, game booths, concessions, hay rides, cake walk, dunk booths, bounce castles, and water slide. There are free games and the Country Store opens at 11am. An auction will be held from Noon to 2pm, Archery Shoot, from 1-2pm, and acoustic bands and bingo from 2-4pm. Live Music and Dancing featuring T.R. Crooks will be from 6-9pm, and at 8:45pm you can win a shotgun via a drawing held. There is also a 50/50 drawing with a minimum win of $50.

The Freedom Festival wraps up at 9pm with a spectacular fireworks show. Everyone is invited and for more information on this year’s events call 782-3657 or 642-8270. 

City to Pick Up Brush One Week Per Month Starting July 1

Paris, Tenn.- Beginning in July, the City of Paris Street Department will pick up brush one week out of each month. Please call 641-1485 to have your name added to the monthly pick up list. Your name and address must be on the list in order to have brush picked up. This service is provided to the citizens of Paris to assist them with clean-up of small jobs, it is not intended to supplement commercial contractors who are compensated for yard work. If you employ a commercial contractor to assist with yard work they are also responsible for removal of debris.

City of Paris Announces 4th of July Closings

Paris, Tenn.- The City of Paris has announced its closings for the Fourth of July holiday which is this coming Monday. City Hall, the Landfill, Animal Shelter and Paris Civic Center will all be closed on Monday and reopen for business on Tuesday. The Paris Public Works Department will be closed Monday. Monday's sanitation routes will be run on Tuesday July 5th.

Birds Creek Baptist To Have Patriotic Music This Sunday

Paris, Tenn.- Birds Creek Baptist Church, located at 2245 Whitlock Road, invites everyone to hear Frank and Judy Smith from First Baptist Church as they perform a mini patriotic concert this Sunday July 3rd. The worship hour begins at 10am.

HC All Stars Start District Play 2-0

Camden, Tenn.- The Henry County 10 year old all star team began playing in the district tournament Tuesday evening and won both games. The team defeated Benton County 15-0 and then beat McKenzie 11-1. Henry County plays Huntingdon Wednesday night at 8pm. Jeremy Thornton is on the mound in the photo. (Jess Hedges photo)

Three Arrested for Drug Charges After Traffic Stop

Paris, Tenn.- Ptl. Derrek Colley of the Paris Police Department pulled over a red truck for expired tags and ended up arresting three people for drug charges Tuesday evening. The report at the Paris Police Department stated Ptl. Colley received consent to search and one of the passengers stepped out and as he began to pat her down a baggie with white substance, believed to be methamphetamine, fell to the ground. The woman, told Ptl. Colley as he placed her in the patrol car she had lied to her about her name and her real name was Latosha Lorraine Dees, age 38 of 805 Joy St. Dees was charged with simple possession of schedule two, possession of drug paraphernalia, and criminal impersonation for lying about who she was.

Ptl. Colley continued searching and found spoons and syringes with meth residue and neither the driver, Adam Franklin Kennedy, age 37, of 300 Morris Road in Puryear, or another passenger Jessica Leann Moore, age 34, Fort Myers, Florida admitted to the items being theirs and were charged with two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.

In other incidents, Dep. James Higgins of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office responded to a Dunlap Street theft where a motorcycle valued at $7500 appeared to have been stolen. There is currently no suspects in the theft.

A home on Hwy. 79N reported two PlayStation game systems and 7 games missing and after the victim went to the local Game Stop store, he informed deputies that he believes his roommate may have sold the games to the store. Investigation is continuing.

Dep. David Andrews charged Christie L. Bostwick, age 42, of 1820 Herrondale East with theft over 5K and placed her on $2500 bond.  

Tues. July 5th Last Day to Register to Vote in Aug. Election

Paris, Tenn.- The last day to register to vote in the upcoming August 4th State Primary and County General Election is next Tuesday July 5th. You can register to vote by going to the Henry County Election Commission Office inside the Courthouse Annex on Washington Street during their regular business hours.

Henry Countians will be voting for the following on the August ballot: in the Republic Primary U.S. House of Representatives 8th District, the seat currently belongs to Stephen Fincher but he is not seeking re-election. There is no local person seeking the seat. John Stevens is seeking re-election in the TN House of Representatives 24th Judicial District in August. He is running unopposed in the primary.

Incumbent Tim Wirgau will have an opponent in the Republican primary for his seat in the 75th District House of Representative race. James “Jim” Poe will challenge Wirgau for the seat. In the democratic primary, Daniel Powell, from Henry County is running unopposed in the 75th District House of Representatives. He would face the winner of Wirgau and Poe in November for the seat.

For the County General Elections there are contested races for Property Tax assessor as Incumbent Charles Van Dyke faces a challenge from Catherine Herrera; for Road Supervisor it’s Richie Chilcutt on the Republic side and Brian Solowey on the Independent ticket. Current Road Supervisor Ray Norwood is not seeking re-election and will retire after three decades on the job.

There are also contested races for two spots on the Henry County Board of Education in District 1 incumbent Rod Frey faces a challenge from Scarlett Orr and in District 3 incumbent Tom Beasley will be challenged by James Hart.

There are other races that have no contests and voters will have to decide whether or not to retain judges on the August ballot as well. Early voting for the August 4th primary will run from July 15th to July 30th at the Election Commission office.

KPAC Young Artists To Present Dinosaurs Before Dark

Paris, Tenn.- The Krider Performing Arts Center young artists will present Dinosaurs Before Dark, from the Magic Tree House Collection Series on Friday and Saturday this week. The Friday night show at KPAC is at 7pm and Saturday’s matinee is at 3pm. Reserved seating is $10, General admission adult is $8 and children or student seating is $5.

Tuesday Downtown Cruise In Cancelled

Paris, Tenn.- Tuesday evening's Cruise In scheduled to begin at 5:30pm has been cancelled due to heavy rains from the thunderstorms that have come thru the area Tuesday afternoon.

Bid for Clearwell Accepted as Water Plant Project Moves Forward

Asst. Director of BPU Terry Wimberley describes the clearwell Tues. (Tim Alsobrooks photo)

Paris, Tenn.- The board of directors for the Paris Board of Public Utilities met on Tuesday morning and approved the lone bid for a new clearwell to replace the current one as the progression of the new water plant continues. Director of Water and Waste Water and Assistant General Manager Terry Wimberley said the current clearwell holds 600K gallons and has been leaking and had lots of money spent on it for repairs the last several years. Wimberley said the clearwell is a big driver as to why we went ahead with deciding to build a new water treatment plant.

The plans with the new water plant is to have two clearwells, both at 350K gallons, and this is in the first phase of the project. Wimberley said the BPU did get approved for $525K in the County’s Community Development Block Grant money which would pay for most of the first clearwell, minus about $100K of it. He said reasoning for only 1 bid on the clearwell could be the stringent foundation requirements could have caused some of these tank builders to shy away.

The clearwell is being built to withstand earthquakes and liquefaction of the soil during seismic events. Wimberley said as a precautionary measure, this structure is being built to keep standing should we have a large quake. The board approved the bid.

The BPU board approved submittal of an application for the State Revolving Loan Fund for $500K for the design portion of phase two of the water treatment plant project during the next upcoming fiscal year which starts July 1. Wimberley said the design will include the building, lab, dispatch area, 2nd clearwell, piping, and more. The rate structure is already in place and the BPU board sent this item to the City Commission for their approval when they meet in July.

Budgets Approved for Elec., Water, Wastewater By BPU Board

Board members look over the budgets. (Alsobrooks photo)

Paris, Tenn.- Budgets for all three departments were approved Tuesday morning as well by the BPU board. In the Electric Department, Wimberley reported that expenses were projected down but sales were expected to be flat as well. He said $200K has been put in the budget for contract tree trimming to clean up limbs and trees from power lines as storms have caused outages this spring and summer and they have to attack it even more.

In the Water Department, the budget reflects the 2nd year of a series of 3 rate increases and depreciation increases as work orders close out on phase 1 of the water plant construction. The phase 2 design and purchase of a vacuum trailer for the water department is in the budget as well.

The Wastewater Department shows flat sales but an increase in revenue thanks to the first of three straight years of rate increases. The budget also shows $5.1M in system improvements including $3M to the Johnson Park basin.

BPU Board Says Goodbye to Jeff Thompson

Jeff Thompson thanks the BPU for letting him come to work. (Alsobrooks photo)

Paris, Tenn.- The board said goodbye to Jeff Thompson, Director of Metering and Engineering, who will be leaving BPU July 1st to take a job with Weakley County. The board thanked him for his service and he was very appreciative to John Etheridge and the board for letting him come and said with the young guys the BPU is in very good hands. The duties of the position will be delegated to other current employees.

Legendary Lady Vols Coach Pat Summitt Dies at age 64

Knoxville- A living legend in the Volunteer state and pioneer for women's college basketball, Patricia Sue Head Summitt, died early Tuesday morning in Knoxville. She led the Lady Vols to 8 National Championships, 18 final fours, 16 SEC regular season titles, and 16 SEC tournament titles.

Reminder: Farmer's Market Opens at 3pm Tuesday Downtown

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.

June Cruise In Set for Tuesday in Downtown Paris

Paris, Tenn.- June’s monthly cruise in will be held Tuesday evening at 5:30pm. The event is sponsored by the Downtown Paris Association and all classic cars are welcome and prizes will be given away every 15 minutes for those who bring their classic cars out. The Old Spirits will provide musical entertainment and Perry’s BBQ will sell food and drinks. Cruise-Ins are the 4th Tuesday of each month thru October.

Jim Poe to Host Meet and Greet Thursday

Paris, Tenn.- Jim Poe, candidate for the 75th District Tennessee House of Representatives, will host a meet and greet at the Henry County Fairgrounds from 5-8pm this Thursday. There will be free bbq and the trimmings, hamburgers, hotdogs, and live entertainment. Everyone is invited.

911 Board Approves FY 2017 Budget

(Tim Alsobrooks photos)

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County E 911 Board met Monday afternoon and the budget for the 2016-17 Fiscal Year was presented and approved at Monday night’s meeting. Archer said the total income projected for 911 is $471,491 for this coming fiscal year. He said healthcare cost have jumped around 9% and insurance on the building went up slightly, while insurance on vehicles went down. Archer said he will always work to try to trim the budget and make sure we shave things where not needed.

State law mandates that County 911 systems must operate in the black each year and Board Chairman John Etheridge said this budget will help add some more cash which will help in case of major purchases are needed. Raises for the director and assistant are included in the 911 budget.

Data Collected from Fire Hydrants in County

Paris, Tenn.- Assistant and IT director Chad Howard told board members that all data outside the city of Paris on fire hydrants have been collected and placed into a software system to allow dispatchers to see which hydrants are close to fires and which ones are in services. This will help fire fighters see which hydrants can be hooked to that are in service and will help facilitate a fire scene.

911 Board Attorney Chip McLean said that after researching the laws it was found that local boards are not allow to have board member officially attend a meeting via telephone, skype, or other electronic means. He said that board member can participate in the meeting, but they can’t vote on anything and are not counted as being present for a meeting.

Archer Informs 911 Board of Bills that Passed the Legislature

Paris, Tenn.- 911 Director Mark Archer said some 911 bills that passed in the legislature and one dealt with the collection of 911 surcharges by the collection of revenue. It shifts the responsibility of 911 revenue collections from telecommunications service providers to the Dept. of Revenue. It provides that service providers shall remit 911 surcharge revenue to the Dept. of Revenue on a monthly basis in the manner provided by the Retailer’s Sales Tax Act and subjects service providers to the audit and appeal procedures set forth in that Act.

The bill decreases the fee dealers are authorized to retain from 911 surcharge revenue from 3 to 2%, but allows the DOR to retain a 1.125% admin fee for collecting 911 surcharge.

Other bills passed this year included removal of board members for anyone who doesn’t attend at least 50% of the regularly scheduled meetings for the county 911 board will be removed and replaced. Another law that passed requires a multiline telephone system capable of contacting 911 to configure the phone system to allow a person initiating  911 to have access to 911 without having to dial an additional digit, prefix, or code.

The 911 board approved a resolution for Bettye Carter who served on the board for 14 years. Board Chairman John Etheridge said we wanted to go on the record to express our gratitude for her service to the 911 board.

Henry to Hold Meeting Thursday at 6pm

Henry, Tenn.- Henry, Tenn.- The Henry Mayor and Board of Alderman will hold a special called meeting at 6pm Thursday at Henry City Hall. Items on the agenda include a resolution to approve internal controls policy as mandated by the Comptroller's Office, approve the FY 2016 Audit Contract, and approval to purchase a police vehicle. The meeting is open to the public.

HCTA Approves Funding For Several Events

HCTA board discusses items on the agenda Mon. morning. (Barron Robinson photo)

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Tourism Authority Board met Monday morning at the Chamber to go over upcoming events throughout Henry County. The Board approved going through the Highway Department for bids to buy posts, nuts and bolts for the signs that are being provided by the Federal Government for the Trail of Tears that goes through Henry County. County Historian David Webb informed the board that they will continue to work with the Highway Department to get a lower bid. The initial bid came in at $7K, but they feel like a lower bid is possible thru the Highway Department.

The Boss Hoss Motorcycle Rally that is being held September 15th – 17th asked for $39.5K with the board approving $20K. The Narcotic Drug Dog Conference asked for $5K and the board approved the $5K, stating that it was such a great event that we had a retiree move to the area after visiting.

Two Rivers Bass Club asked for $2K which was approved for July 30th and Strike King Writers Conference set for October 8th asked for $6.5K that the board approved, stating that this year they are allowing the Tourism Board to video Anglers which will help bring value to our area.

The American Crappie Tour which is a new Angler driven two day fishing tournament set for May 19th – 20th of 2017 asked for $14K with the board approving the full amount. This tournament will be a series in which there will be a boat given away to the winner of each of the 5 part series set across the U.S.

The HCTA also held much discussion Monday morning concerning the issue of Asian Carp. CEO of the Henry County Alliance David Hamilton said we need more research and realize that these fish are a true threat to our ecosystem in our lake. The board agreed to begin more research with a taskforce to be pulled together to hopefully start to solving this issue.

It was also noted that the Lineman Rodeo that was held at Paris Landing was a huge success, and also that the Bass Team Series and the Kayak Bass Fishing Tournaments will be returning.

Possible Arson on Hay Rolls Investigated

Puryear, Tenn.- Cpl. Wayne Fuqua of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office responded to three rolls of hay on fire on Loop Road in Puryear over the weekend. After investigating, a witness and the Puryear fire department informed Cpl. Fuqua and the owner of the hay, it appeared the fire was set to be burning in the shape of a smiley face. Investigation is continuing but it appears the fire was set on purpose.

Deputies Investigate Thefts Around the County

Paris, Tenn.- A mobile home on Guthrie Road was broken into while the homeowner was in jail and several items were stolen according to a report at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office. A four ton A/C unit was stolen along with a washer and dryer, hot water heater, baby bed, regular bed, dishes, clothes, and other items. There is a possible suspect.

Deputies are also investigating other thefts around the county including three A/C units stolen from Vaughn Road and stolen medications from a lock box in the bedroom on Swor Road.

LBL Hosting Cool Critters Day At Woodlands Nature Center

Paris, Tenn.- Land Between the Lakes will host Cool Critters Day Get an up-close look at live tropical birds, check out reptiles from around the world, touch a tarantula, and visit with domestic petting zoo animals during Cool Critters Day at Woodlands Nature Station. The event lasts from 10am-4pm, Saturday, July 16, 2016.

“If your children like animals, they’ll love Cool Critters Day,” says Nature Station naturalist, Aviva Yasgur. “This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about a variety of interesting, exotic critters and see them up-close.”

Visitors will enjoy a variety of live animal programs and exhibits. Staff also feature kids’ games, a puppet show, crafts, visits from Smokey Bear, and other animal-inspired activities throughout the day.

For the first time at Cool Critters Day, the Nature Station hosts Molly’s Ark Mobile Petting Zoo. Children may learn about and pet a goat, bunny, and other barnyard animals.

Additional guests include live reptiles and amphibians from Murray State’s Herpetological Society and Austin Peay’s Biology Department, aquatic animals from Murray State’s Hancock Biological Station, and more.

Admission is $5 per person; ages 4 and under are free. All programs included with admission. On-site food vendors offer lunch and beverages. 

Reminder For Quilt Show Being Held At Heritage Center

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Henry County Heritage Center is hosting a quilt show thru July 2nd. There is a large variety of handmade quilts from Paris and surrounding areas on display. Admission is free and the exhibit will be during the Heritage Center’s regular hours Tuesday thru Friday 10am to 4pm and Saturday 10am to 2pm. The quilt show is sponsored by Henry County Monument Works and Security Bank and Trust Company.

Annual Junior PA Day Held At Bethel

(photos Barron Robinson)

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

Children were given the opportunity to explore the life alert helicopter, a PFD firetruck, PPD police vehicles, and get their photos made with Doc McStuffins, also taking part in a teddy bear clinic.

Tennessee Names Best Local Products Of 2016

Paris, Tenn.- Paris, Tenn.- Six Tennessee food makers claimed winning titles at the 2016 Pick Tennessee Products trade show held in Nashville during the recent Tennessee Grocers & Convenience Store Association’s Food Expo. The products, all produced in Tennessee and part of the Pick Tennessee Products program, were judged on originality, taste and packaging.

Javaneh Hemmat’s “Hummus Chick” won first place, dubbed the “Pick of Tennessee.” Hummus Chick is a Nashville based company built around freshly made varieties of hummus packaged for retail and wholesale markets. “Food made with love tastes better when it’s shared with others,” Hemmat said. Her hummus has also been honored as a past nominee for the Martha Stewart American Made Awards.

Willa’s Shortbread, owned and operated by Eric Rion in Madison, won second place and Lynchburg Cake and Candy Company, owned by Billy and Nancy Thomas in Lynchburg, won third place.

Honorable mentions include: Susan Binkley’s Out of the Blue Granola from Monteagle; Matt Rogers’ infused honey products, RogersMade, from Chattanooga; and Maryann Byrd’s Southern Belle Biscuit Company in Nashville.

Chamber Banquet Introduced 2016 Person Of The Year

(photos Barron Robinson)

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce Membership Banquet had a packed house at the fairgrounds Saturday night. With the "There's no place I'd rather be" luau theme everyone was dressed for the occasion. Starting off with the Master of Ceremonies by Mark Johnson 2015 person of the year and also the mc for the night, and Invocation by Mayor Carlton Gerrell, followed by the luau themed hog dinner.

After the dinner a community video, the "flash mob" that was filmed at Eiffel Tower park was shared by Mark Johnson.thanked Kevin buie and DJ Landon for setting up the lights, video and sound.  The 2015 business of the year Jeff Mahan introduced the 2016 business of the year Allegro john fuqua the president of allegro, Thomas Harrison accepted the award for allegro, speaking very highly of the company that still has some of the original workers still there. With a short film of the companies history.    The 2015 person of the year Mark Johnson introduced the 2016 person of the year 2006 city worker of the year for Paris retired from the Paris police department Jerry Pearson. thanked his brothers in blue and the chamber of commerce for this award.   The 2015 Conservationist of the year Emory Bradley introduced the 2016 Conservationist of the year 4000 acre family farm here in Henry county Norwood farms.  

Tony Lawrence started wrapping up the event with the outgoing President of the Chamber of Commerce remarks.   The incoming Presidents remarks were wrapped up with Gary McEntire. A Committee Chairs Recognition was told by Mark Johnson and Tony Lawrence.

To end the Chamber banquet the closing remarks were told by the recent president Mark Johnson.

Henry County Introduces Safety Exchange Zone

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Office would like to let the citizens of Henry County know about a new “Safe Exchange Zone” located at the sheriff’s office at 210 Forrest Heights.  There is a sign and marked parking spots to highlight the area which is under 24 hour video surveillance.  We hope the public will utilize this safe exchange zone for any internet exchanges, child custody exchanges or any meeting with other persons in which you feel the need for a safe environment

Air Evac Teams Up With Lifeline Blood Services

Jackson, Tenn.- Air Evac Lifeteam is excited to announce that its bases in Dyersburg, Jackson, Martin, Paris, Savannah and Waverly are carrying blood and blood products supplied by Lifeline Blood Services in Jackson, Tenn. Kent Martin, senior program director for Air Evac Lifeteam, said red blood cells and liquid plasma are now available to the medical crews for patients who may be suffering from severe blood loss and require aggressive fluid resuscitation in the course of their care.

“We use blood and blood products in the care of patients who require the next step in the fluid resuscitation process as we transport them to a higher level of care,” Martin said. “Liquid plasma is a great asset to have available, as it assists in clotting for patients experiencing severe blood loss as well as being helpful in the management of a certain subset of specific medical conditions. The concurrent use of red cells and plasma is becoming the preferred treatment for patients experiencing severe blood loss due to traumatic injury.”

Martin said he is grateful to Lifeline Blood Services for partnering with Air Evac in providing access to the blood products, and for sharing their guidance and expertise on the proper storage and management of the products at the individual bases throughout west Tennessee.

“Air Evac Lifeteam made a great investment in order to provide the blood and blood products to our patients,” he said. “This is one more example of Air Evac’s dedication to providing the highest level of care to our patients.”

Air Evac Lifeteam, headquartered in O’Fallon, Mo., is the largest independently owned and operated air medical service provider in the United States, with more than 125 air medical bases across 15 states, including 11 bases in Tennessee. Air Evac is the preeminent provider of helicopter emergency medical services to communities in need of rapid medical transport to advanced emergency health care.

Flight crews, consisting of a pilot, flight nurse and flight paramedic, are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to the scene of an emergency, or provide transportation between medical facilities. For more information, please visit www.lifeteam.net, or like us on Facebook.

Mayfield Man Arrested for Drugs in Puryear

Puryear, Tenn.- A report at the Henry County Sheriff's Office stated that dispatch received a call from the Kentucky State Police advising to be on the lookout for a 1999 GMC Truck with Logan Ellegood, of Mayfield driving it. Ellegood had made threats to his girlfriend and suicidal threats and KSP said he could be armed and have drugs.

Dep. Stacey Bostwick located the vehicle matching the description at the Dollar General in Puryear and found Ellegood hiding in the floorboard. A strong odor of pot was coming from the vehicle and green plant material could be seen all over the truck in plan view. A search revealed baggies and other drug paraphernalia. Ellegood was arrested for possession of marijuana with intent and drug paraphernalia possession. He was placed on $7500 bond.

In a separate incident, Steven T. Miller, 36, of 103 N. Highland Dr., was charged with escape felony, criminal simulation, and violation of a sentence. Deputies went to pick him up at his rehab center and he was gone. When later contacted, Miller informed deputies that a Judge had issued a letter stating he was done with his rehab, but that was not the case. He was later apprehended.

Warrants for Theft Issued on Stolen Gun

Paris, Tenn.- Ptl. Jordan Klutts of the Henry County Sheriff's Office has issued a warrant on Darren Sturdivant, age 51, of 905 Riggins St., for theft after he has refused to return a gun someone let him borrow. The report at the Paris Police Deparment stated Plt. Klutts took the report where the gun owner loaned Sturdivant the gun and said he was supposed to bring it back the next day. Repeated calls to Sturdivant from the victim have just led to threats from Sturdivant. The value of the gun is $300.

HCMC Board of Trustees Approves Budgets

CEO Tom Gee explains the difficulties with the budget process. (Tim Alsobrooks photos)

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Medical Center Board of Trustees approved fiscal year budgets for the hospital and all departments at their June meeting on Thursday night. Chief Financial Officer Lisa Casteel made presentations on the budgets and gave an outline of what they hope to accomplish.

CEO and Administrator Tom Gee said we’ve been dealing with cuts from Sequestration, cuts from Affordable Care Act, and increases in inflation, supply costs and its just not easy to go forward with this combination and see financial growth. Casteel said this budget is going to be one we will have to work at to get it to become a reality and Gee said help from legislators like passing Insure Tennessee, wage rate, and Government payor indexes could help us reach a balanced budget.

Casteel told board members the plan is to market Geriatric Psychiatry Services this coming fiscal year since the new Lake Haven Unit is ready. The budget also prepares for growth in imaging, EMS, and Surgical Services. Other points of interest in this budget include projected growth in physician practices, and collections improvements with denials and payment after insurance.

The overall budget has an average pay increase of 2% for employees that will begin in October; involves some recruiting incentives to gain more doctors this year, has employment of anesthesia services, which will save HCMC big dollars, and actually eliminates 10 positions at HCMC. Casteel said some of those positions are just being taken off the board and some will be actual positions that will be eliminated and that they will be working through.

Casteel said the budget realizes some savings in supplies with supply chain management and pharmacy programs being implemented this new budget year. The budget has a reduced capital spending plan and shows investments and FMV Life Insurance Projected at 2% Earnings.

Gee reported that of the 20 hospitals in West Tennessee, not counting Memphis 5 of them have closed in the last two to three years and several more are operating at a loss. The latest numbers in 2014 showed HCMC as #3 in profit margins at $2.4M behind Jackson Madison County and Jackson Regional. Gee said it worries him that in the next few years if these trends continue we could see upwards of half of the 20 hospitals close down.

Plans to Phase in Expansion of Medicaid Possible

Paris, Tenn.- During his administrative comments on Thursday evening, CEO Tom Gee said he recently attended a meeting with Hospital Alliance of Tennessee Staff to meet with Rep. Cameron Sexton, co-chairman, of Speaker Harwell’s committee to improve Insure Tennessee and expand the Medicaid population in Tennessee.

Rep. Sexton introduced a plan to phase in expansion of the Medicaid population and they would be recommending to only cover the behavioral health population next year and then expand to other groups after that. Gee told the board that would cover about 50K of the 280K that are currently eligible for Medicaid expansion. Gee questioned whether the Federal Government would cover such an expansion under the current match of 60/40.

Gee said the committee will be asking the hospitals to cover the 40% state match with the hospital assessment and it was discouraging as the hospital won’t get support. Gee reminded the board the majority of rural hospitals in West Tennessee, including HCMC are losing money at an increasing rate.

Gee said the open house at Lake Haven was well attended and the gero-psych unit is ready for use and staff from the fourth floor will be moved on the first unit while we do some paint and flooring improvements. Both units should be open later in the summer.

HCMC is nearly ready to open Durable Medical Equipment Service office on Eastwood Street. All they need is final licensure inspection of the facility and issuance of the license as they have already passed Joint Commission and CMS inspections.

Dr. Norton Receives Good Ratings from Board Evaluation

Board Chairman Jim McCampbell goes over some numbers from the TSBA board evaluation forms at Thursday's meeting. (Tim Alsobrooks photo)

Paris, Tenn.- At Thursday’s Henry County Board of Education meeting, Board Chairman Jim McCampbell went over the Director’s Evaluation for Dr. Brian Norton who has served in that position since July 1st of 2015.

McCampbell said each board member has filled out an evaluation form for Dr. Norton. He gave some numbers and averages on scores from the board members which were all good. Dr. Norton either met expectations or is in progressing of meeting expectations on all criteria asked by the form from the Tennessee School Boards Association.

McCampbell said “that with just a little less than a year on the job, Dr. Norton told us there would be a learning curve on a few things but he would work through them and I believe he has. It is obvious Dr. Norton wants every teacher, employee, and student in our system to succeed and grow. His enthusiasm for his job is contagious and he continues to do a great job everyday.”

Board member Rod Frey said, “we’ve made so many improvements in his first year and his leadership has helped us do that. He has done a great job.”

Dr. Norton thanked the board for their vote of confidence and said he will continue to learn and get better in all areas and said we have a great board that is so willing to do whatever it takes to make our teachers and students succeed.

Board Sees Presentation on Professional Learning

Board member Rod Frey and Board Attorney Rob Whitfield look on as Daniel Armstrong presents the Professional Learning program overview. (Alsobrooks photo)

Paris, Tenn.- The board heard from Dr. Norton and Daniel Armstrong, director of Professional Learning, on Professional Learning and Teacher Induction Programs. Dr. Norton said we have to continue to provide support and resources to our teachers so they will won’t to stay and continue to teach in what can be a daunting environment with all the changes lately.

Armstrong said he has divided the framework into 6 categories that tackle all the issues that should allow us to help all new teachers in the district to be successful. He said there will be new teacher induction to improve teacher retention and improve quality of education in new teachers'a classrooms. Armstrong said teachers coming fresh from college don’t have any experience dealing with conflicts and this hopefully will help them better prepare. Armstrong told board members New Teacher Orientation will be held in late July.

In addition to the orientation, they will have embedded training once a month to work on things that are occurring with new teachers. The third category and the one Armstrong said might be most important is mentoring, which an established educator will be assigned to a new teacher as a mentor to help with all the issues in and out of the classrooms.

The other categories include walk-throughs, designed to help new teachers better understand and reflect upon practices; demonstration classrooms, where the quality instruction is seen in real time. This is when teachers see real world solutions to student problems. The final category that will be in the Professional Learning Community will be the Professional Growth Planning. Armstrong said this plan is aimed to help young, new teachers gain knowledge and experience and not be overwhelmed their first few months and even years on the job.

HCBOE Approves New Math Curriculum Resources

Paris, Tenn.- Dr. Norton told board members that teachers made some gains in math last year and it is time for the system to help get them the resources for students to continue to do that so he presented the Eureka Math Curriculum. He said this will align the teachers with what they need to get our students to think and have “productive struggle” in a more intense curriculum. He said this is an all-inclusive type of package. The board approved purchasing the resources thru Eureka to align grades 3-12 with this type of math curriculum.

Baseball Coach, Band Leader Still Sought at HCHS

Paris, Tenn.- In his Director’s Report, Dr. Norton told the board the Baseball Head Coach position at Henry County High School is still open after some interviews have been done and the position declined by a couple candidates. They will continue to search for a coach thru the summer. The head baseball coach must have a teaching degree.

There is also a band and art position still open at the HCHS at this time. Dr. Norton said finding someone for the band position has been a daunting task and around 30 candidates have been interviewed for the position and they could have a person for the job as early as Thursday evening.

Dr. Norton informed board members the district is being considered for a College Access Counseling grant in which the system would serve as a pilot and will help students tremendously. He said they should now the status of the grant in the next couple of months.

Paris City Commission Approves Tax Rate on 2nd Reading

(photo by Barron Robinson)

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris City Commission held a special called meeting on Thursday and approved the tax rate and budget on 2nd and final reading. The tax rate remains the same at 63 cents per $100 of assessed property meaning Paris residents will not be seeing a property tax rate increase this year. Discussion by commissioners at this month’s regular commission meeting did lean towards the thoughts that a tax increase was needed to help the city move forward. Commissioner Gayle Griffith voted no on both the tax rate and budget, saying the city needed the extra revenue.

The budget was passed as well on 2nd reading with total expenditures proposed in the General Fund of $11.651M and total Revenues of $11.770M both up from Fiscal Year 2016. Combined with other proposed numbers in solid waste, drug fund, and cemetery funds, the city’s total budget for the upcoming fiscal year is $17.235M.

The Commission also approved a rezoning request for property on Tyson Avenue at the meeting Thursday. The owners of the property have requested it to be rezoned from R-2-M to B-1 and the planning commission recommended it be approved as well. It was noted that the residential properties would not be rezoned, but only specific parcels would be.


News from past weeks here.


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ReMax Realty

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