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WMUF/WLZK News                                                               

From News Director Tim Alsobrooks, Assistant and Weekend News Director Alex AuBuchon

Reminder: Patriots Will Play McCracken Co. in Friday Night Jamboree

Dickson, Tenn.- The Patriots football team will compete this coming Friday night in the Edward Jones Football Challenge at Patriot Stadium. There will be four scrimmages involving area teams. At 6pm, Martin Westview will play Stewart County; the Patriots will play at 7pm against McCracken County. McCracken County will also play at 8pm against Milan and the nightcap will Dresden vs. Murray at 9pm.

HC BOE Gives Miles Thumbs Up on Evaluation

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County board of education met Thursday night and chairman of the board Tom Beasley discussed the Director's evaluation. Beasley read over the nine categories that Director of Schools for Henry County Sam Miles is evaluated on and Miles scored exceptional on all categories. Beasley thanked Miles for his continued service and dedication to the system

Miles gave the board an update on the storm safe retrofitting projects at Harrelson and Henry. Miles Said the summer has been a whirlwind but thanks to maintenance supervisor John Akers they got almost everything done before school started.

Akers said indoor hardware should be shipped and installed next week. Akers said the tornado holdback doors have to still be checked by state fire marshal but they hope to finish completely soon.

Miles Gives Accountability Updates to BOE

Paris, Tenn.- Miles also gave updates on accountability for the system as a whole. He said standards based curriculum is becoming more difficult for our instructors. We want to let our teachers know they are doing a great job and we are supporting them and our students in learning.

Miles said we have great teaching going on in all areas. He said there was a state downturn and some skewed data was given. But our teachers and students still made gains with Henry County doing better than the state average in certain subjects like History. The system had proficiency gains in all areas besides a slight dip in English III. Miles said the state refers to the standards as Tennessee Standards and no longer refer to Common Core. He said writing assessments will be part of the standards. Miles closed the discussion by reminding the board standards are in a flux of change right now and we just have to learn with them.

Board Approves Budget Transfers From Fund Balance

New Band Lockers, Sodding at Football Fields Unexpected Needs

Paris, Tenn.- The board approved budget transfers from fund balance of around $90K to help pay for some unforeseen costs that have came up this summer. Miles said when maintenance was moving lockers in the band room they fell apart. Miles said the lockers are probably 40 years old and termites have taken a toll on them.

Another big unexpected cost that arose the summer was the need for new sodding on the football field and practice field at the high school. With these transfers from unappropriated fund balance, the system is prepared to use around $700K from fund balance this year. Miles said hopefully they will not need to use that much and can return some money to fund balance at the end of the year. Miles did say it’s likely we are going to need help from the county when it comes to funding our budget next fiscal year.

Assistant director Brian Norton told the board Thursday night, the change to Synergy as the system's student management policy had went very well. He said he has never been with such a great team effort all summer long and into the start of school. The system keeps attendance and is tied in with the state. Miles said this determines our funding each year so having the student management system work well is very important.

The board also approved new drink and food contracts with Coca Cola and Knotts food for drinks and snacks in vending machines throughout the system.

HCSS Awarded $450K in Grants for Extracurricular Activities

Paris, Tenn.- More from Thursdays Henry County Board of Education saw federal projects director Dr. Susan Burton inform board members the system was awarded two extended learning program grants totaling $450K.

Kids Corner was awarded $300K for this school year and it will fund before and after school extended learning programs in elementary schools in grades K-7. Kid’s Corner is scheduled to being no later than September 2nd. The grant will run on a three year cycle and funding varies from year to year based on unused lottery winnings.

The other grant was for $150K and will fund before and after school extended learning programs for grades 9-12 and should begin no later than October 1st. This grant is funded thru the U.S. Department of Education and runs on a three year cycle.

Groundbreaking for Access Improvements at Springville Pumphouse Held Thursday

Representatives on hand have the ceremonial dirt toss. (Tim Alsobrooks photos)

Springville, Tenn.- Representatives from the Tennessee Valley Authority, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, and local officials were on hand at the Springville Pump House Thursday afternoon for the press conference and groundbreaking ceremony for the public access improvements at the ramp and pier area.

Many TVA representatives spoke on the project which will include improvements to the ramp and parking area a new courtesy pier that will improve boat and fisherman access. The new pier will be handicap accessible and able to accommodate several fishermen at the same time as it currently does.

Mike McWherter, son of former Tennessee Governor Ned McWherter, and current member of the TVA board of directors, said the “Springville area and West Sandy Watershed has a huge importance to people of the region. I am proud to see TVA and TWRA continue to work together and manage our great region and natural resources for future generations and that management of the resources continues to have a huge economic benefit on the region.”

Mike McWherter, TVA Board of Directors, speaks on the importance of the project. (Alsobrooks photo)

Henry County Mayor Brent Greer spoke at the press conference and started out welcoming everyone to Henry County, a world by the water. Mayor Greer said tourism is such a huge part of Henry County’s economy as in 2013 the county saw tourism expenditures of around $54M. He added, “when I see a project like this, it is so great because of the impact it has showcasing our natural resources and improving tourism even more.”

Henry County Mayor Brent Greer talks about tourism and the lake at the press conference. (Alsobrooks photo)

In addition to the courtesy pier and ramp improvements, there will be work done to improve the dewatering area near the Springville pumphouse which allows the TWRA to manage wildlife during the winter months. The Access Pier and Ramp Improvements should be completed by early October, weather permitting.

3D Drawing of the Access Improvements at the Springville Pumphouse Pier. (Alsobrooks photo)

Parts of TN Declared Disaster Areas from June Severe Weather

Henry, Houston, Carroll Counties Included

Nashville- Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced President Obama has declared 18 counties as federal disaster areas as a result of severe weather on June 5-10. State and local governments and electrical utilities spent nearly $10 million in response to and recovery from the wind damage and flash-flooding impacts.


“This federal aid will help our communities in rebuilding and recovery,” Haslam said.  “State and local teams worked quickly to survey damage in more than 35 counties to determine the impact of these storms, and we are grateful for this assistance.”

Anderson, Bledsoe, Carroll, Decatur, Henry, Hickman, Houston, Lawrence, Lewis, Madison, Marion, Maury, McNairy, Moore, Perry, Roane, Sequatchie, and Tipton counties will have access to federal assistance that provides reimbursement for 75 percent of eligible costs. A presidential disaster declaration also includes FEMA’s hazard mitigation grant program on a statewide basis.

Three fatalities were attributed to the severe weather and flooding. Two deaths occurred in Lawrence County and another in Hickman County.

The National Weather Service confirmed two tornado touchdowns were part of the storm system. The first tornado, an EF-1 with wind speeds in excess of 80 m.p.h., left a 12-mile debris path across Lake and Obion Counties on June 7.  The other confirmed tornado, rated an EF-0, touched down in Kingston, Tenn.  More than 28,000 customers were left without power due to wide-spread damage from downed trees and broken power lines.

The disaster declaration provides FEMA’s Public Assistance to the declared counties for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and rebuilding and repairing roads, bridges, water control facilities, buildings, utilities and recreational facilities.

Additional information about state and federal assistance for affected counties will be released as details become available.

Bone and Joint Specialists Announces Merger

Dr. Blake Chandler

Paris, Tenn.- Dr. Blake Chandler recently announced the upcoming merger of Bone and Joint Specialists (BJS) of Paris and Union City with West Tennessee Bone and Joint Clinic (WTBJC) of Jackson, Tennessee. Chandler is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon and founder of BJS.

“This merger offers a unique opportunity for my patients and my practice,” Chandler said. “Both will benefit greatly through increased access to technology and resources,” said the physician, who has been practicing in West Tennessee since 2000.  “The transition will be gradual and patients, as well as referring physicians will not experience any significant change in service or care.”

With similar organizational cultures and commitments to excellent patient care, the groups share a long-standing history of mutual respect for one another.

Recent changes in health care led to conversations about the benefits of merging practices and becoming one.  The new organization will combine more than 14 specialists and providers in 10 locations throughout West Tennessee. 

Aside from improved technology, Chandler emphasized that little about his practice will be different. “I’ll continue to see patients in our same office locations in Paris and Union City, and our same, skilled staff will remain in place, including nurse practitioner Clay Nolen.” In addition, Chandler will continue to operate at Henry County Medical Center and the Surgery Center in Paris, as well as Union City Surgery Center in Union City. He and his staff will continue to provide their “signature hometown care.”

“Both practices are very successful historically but the opportunities for growth are simply greater now as one physician group,” said Donna Klutts, CEO of West Tennessee Bone and Joint Clinic. “Dr. Chandler and his staff offer their patients personalized care of the highest caliber.  This merger is a natural fit as our physicians and associates all share a similar mission- to provide the highest quality care to our patients with a dedicated focus on outstanding service and convenience.  We look forward to this new venture and continued growth in West Tennessee.”  

Dr. Chandler is a Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon who has served his home county of Henry and Northwest Tennessee since 2000. He specializes in a comprehensive range of medical and surgical orthopedic services including: minimal incision joint replacement; knee, shoulder and hip surgery; hand surgery/carpal tunnel; arthroscopic surgery (including rotator cuff repair) and work-related injuries.

Dr. Chandler received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and his Medical Degree from East Tennessee State University’s James H. Quillen College of Medicine in Johnson City, Tennessee. Chandler completed his General Surgery Internship at the University of Tennessee in Memphis and his Orthopaedic Surgery Residency at Campbell Clinic, Memphis.

He is affiliated with the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, the American Academy or Orthopaedic Surgeons, and the Tennessee Medical Association.

For questions or an appointment, his office may be reached at (731) 644-0474 or (866) 470 – BONE (2663).

Clarksville Man Arrested on Aggravated Assault Warrants

Paris, Tenn.- A report at the Paris Police Department stated that Cpl. Jeramye Whitaker responded to the Harrison Lane apartments where a wanted subject was inside the home.

Cpl. Whitaker made contact with one residence, Sabrina Hobbs, age 20 of 502 Harrison and asked if Rodriquez Arnold was there. Hobbs told Cpl. Whitaker he was not there but after getting permission to search, he found Arnold in the back. Rodriquez Arnold, of Clarksville was arrested on warrants and charged with aggravated assault and failure to appear. Hobbs was charged with false report.

Another report at the Paris Police said Ptl. Jamie James responded to Lankford Road apartments where someone reported the smell of marijuana. Dean Smith, age 53 of the apartment, opened the door and Ptl. James immediately smelled marijuana. Smith let Ptl. James inside and he saw a grinder and marijuana residue on the coffee table. Smith was cited into court for drug paraphernalia.

UT Martin Selling T-Shirts to Commermorate Rodeo Champs

Martin, Tenn. – A t-shirt commemorating the University of Tennessee at Martin men’s national rodeo team championship is now on sale in the main Skyhawk Athletics suite located in the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center.

           

The navy short-sleeved t-shirt is available for $15 for pickup or $20 if the item has to be shipped. Sizes range from small to 2XL but any children’s sizes or larger than 2XL can be specially ordered. Cash, checks, money orders and credit cards are all acceptable forms of payment. The shirt will also be available in the University Bookstore next week.

           

To place your order, call the UT Martin rodeo office at (731) 881-7426.

 

City Commission Discusses Sales Tax Referendum at Special Called Meeting

Commissioner Terry Fuller (background) discusses educating the public on the need for a sales tax referendum. (Tim Alsobrooks photos)

Paris, Tenn.- At a special called meeting of the Paris City Commission Wednesday night, commissioners discussed several long term projects, but one that might spark interest with citizens the most is the possibility of a sales tax referendum.

The commission, fresh off an 8 cent property tax hike in July, have discussed the idea of putting a referendum before the voters to increase the local option sales tax for Paris and Henry County which currently sets at 2.25%.

City manager Carl Holder said the city is facing a revenue crunch and a local option sales tax referendum is the only viable option to help raise revenue since property taxes have already been increased. Holder suggested that if the city does go with sales tax and it passes, then they could roll back the property taxes 8 cents to negate the property tax increase.

City attorney Fred McLean advised that if the county decides to go ahead with a sales tax referendum and it fails, the city could hold another election for a city of Paris only sales tax referendum.

Commissioner Terry Fuller, a big proponent of the sale tax referendum, said “we have to educate the public on the need for the sales tax referendum, but I feel we need to get the process started because I’m afraid the county will drag their feet.”

Mayor Sam Tharpe added, “the public needs to know if the sale tax referendum passed, the property tax can come off.”

With the next election this November, Holder said it’s doubtful they could get the referendum on the ballot. Instead of waiting two more years for the next round of elections, Holder said the city could call for a special election sometime next year.

Commission Agrees to Proceed on Transfer Station

City Building Inspector Mike Brown talks about the plans for a new Transfer Station.

Paris, Tenn.- One item commissioners voted to proceed on Wednesday night at the special called meeting was to move forwards with a new transfer station at the landfill. City Finance Director Kim Foster went over the Solid Waste Fund’s revenues and expenditures and said it remains financially healthy and they could reduce cost in the long run by owning and operating their own transfer station.

The city currently contracts it out for some of the waste to be transported to another transfer station. Holder suggested that with the healthy balance, he feels comfortable in using $250K from the fund balance in Solid Waste to go towards building a new transfer station. The remaining $250K or so could be added to a bond.

Renovations to City Hall Discussed; Addition to Current Building Likely Route

Holder discusses possible renovations to city hall at the Special Called Meeting Wed.

Paris, Tenn.- More from the special called city commission meeting on Wednesday night saw commissioners discuss the renovations of Paris City Hall.

City manager Carl Holder started discussions off by saying, “it is my feeling we have to began the process of looking at a direction to go with city hall and financially it’s more beneficial to extend the life of our current building.”

After looking at several options over the last few months ranging from immediate cosmetic and ADA compliancy issues, to upgrading energy efficiency issues, to building on the existing structure, to a complete new structure; Holder suggested to commissioners on Wednesday night they go with option three.

Option three includes everything cosmetic and ADA compliancy in addition to enclosing the courtyard area between the front of city hall and the Paris Fire Department.

By doing option three, it would create an additional 2200 square feet with new commissioners’ chambers and relocating some offices inside city hall. Holder said this would commit the city to staying with this structure for much longer, but he didn’t feel that was an issue. The estimated cost for adding the new addition and making other repairs inside the current building is just short of $3M.

Holder said this buys us another possible 40 years of utilization and makes some much needed upgrades.

Commissioners didn’t fully approve the plans, because staff discussed moving around some offices but it wasn’t clear on the drawings. Finance Director Kim Foster and Building Inspector Mike Brown, both discussed how the need to get an easier way for the public to find the offices they need, like the police department, the layout should be changed some.

Commissioners said to go ahead and proceed but to finalize exactly what they want the layout to look like and have Henson Construction, the company that submitted the engineering plans, redo some drawings to layout the plans in detail. They will likely look at plans again at the September Commission meeting.

Holder Updates Commission on City Manager Search Process

Paris, Tenn.- City Manager Carl Holder updated the commission on the city manager replacement schedule. He has prepared an advertisement to place in TML newsletters and other places to advertise for the position as the training of Assistant City Manger Kim Foster continues. Holder asked commissioners to view the ad and get back with him in a couple of days so he could go ahead and get it placed.

Holder said at the September meeting, he would present a 6 month evaluation of Foster and the commission can decide on the method for evaluation of applicants. Once applications are received, they would use most of early to mid October to look over resumes and have commissioners submit names they are interested in interviewing.

Holder said they would set up interviews after the November 4th election and if several new commissioners come in after the election he said they could decide to delay the process if need be.

In early December, Holder said the commission should be set to make some decision and have at least one optional candidate. Over the next 4-6 weeks they could negotiate salary, starting date, and conduct proper background checks. Holder said they could have the new city manager on the job or selection in place for sure by early February to allow two to three months of him still being there for overlap. Holder plans to retire on May 1st.  

 

Tutor TN Gives Henry County Students Free Tutoring Online

Students Can Access 2-9pm Sun Thru Thurs.

Paris, Tenn.- Secretary of State Tre Hargett held a teleconference Wednesday morning to introduce the tutorTn online tutor service that Henry County will participate in this year as a pilot project.

Directors of Schools for Henry County and the Paris Special School District Sam Miles and Mike Brown along with WG Rhea Library Director Connie

McSwain were part of the teleconference as well.

The program, tutorTN, was piloted very successful in Knox County last year and Secretary Hargett said they wanted to try a more rural county this year so Henry County fit as a great choice.

The program allows students to have access to an online tutor by entering their library card number after accessing the website tutor.com. The program will be available Sunday thru Thursday from 2pm to 9pm for any Henry County student with a library card from Kindergarten thru College. Once logged in, students will select their grade levels and subjects, then type in questions or upload problems to share with their tutors.

Tutors will work with the students in online classrooms where they can text, use interactive whiteboards and browse web resources or share documents. The sessions can be shared by students via email and each one is automatically saved for future review.

Certified teachers and subject matter experts will serve as tutors and all have to pass a great deal of training and back ground checks before they are allowed to tutor on the website.

McSwain said the WG Rhea Public Library’s main vision is to serve everyone in Henry County and they have sent paperwork to every student in Henry County and the PSSD for parents to fill out for their student to get a library card. She said it’s a big undertaking this year, but after this year, the groundwork will be laid to be able to get library cards to kindergartners coming in year after year.

Both directors Miles and Brown said during the teleconference that this pilot program is a great asset for students and teachers in Henry County this year to be able to provide extra help for students. Brown said, “access to tutors can sometimes be the deciding factors between passing and failing for some students, and with tutorTN it will make it easier for students to reach tutors right after school when they may need it most.”

Tutor.com is the largest online tutoring service in the country and is funded by the Tennessee State Library and Archives and will be available to everyone with a WG Rhea Library card thru the end of the school year, or May 31st 2015.

Secretary Hargett said after this year is over they will evaluate the program and hopefully be able to offer it again next year.

TVA, TWRA Pooling Resources for Access Improvments

Springville, Tenn.- TVA and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will hold a ground breaking ceremony Thursday at 2pm at the Springville Pump House. Henry County Mayor Brent Greer said this was great news for the area as the TWRA and TVA are pooling resources to improve access to the Kentucky Reservoir at the Springville Pump House Public Access Area.

 

Plans include a greatly improved fishing and boating access pier and parking area and pathways that are ADA compliant. TVA representatives will also provide an update on the West Sandy dewatering unit, which helps with flood control in the area while providing additional farmland and waterfowl habitat.

Glow Run for Ronald McDonald House Charities is Saturday

Buchanan, Tenn.- Ronald McDonald House Charities will host a Glow at Night and Gourmet Food Truck Invasion races at Paris Landing State Park on Saturday August 16th.  The 5k run and 2 mile race will start at 7pm, following the 1 mile fun run for kids ages 5 thru 12 at 6:30pm.  The Kids’ race and 2 mile walk will be $10 to enter and the 5k race will be $15 in advance, $20 day of to enter.

Proceeds will benefit the Ronald McDonald Houses in Memphis and Nashville, TN.   For more information please contact Dede Meeks, dede@mcworth.net, 731-642-4506 or 731-514-1933. 

Car Crashes Thru Ann And Dave's Restaurant Tuesday

 

Paris, Tenn.- Diners at Ann and Dave's got a bit of a shake up Tuesday afternoon as a car drove thru the front of the building. No one was injured and repairs began Tuesday and the restaurant will be open Wednesday as a temporary wall was put up until a permanent fix can be finished. (Linley White photos)


Henry Passes $6 Water and Sewer Rate Increase

Mayor, Alderman Graham Work with State Board to Reduce Increase

Henry, Tenn.- Lots of discussion surrounded a couple of items that have been on the agenda for three months and the police officer traffic cameras at Tuesday night’s Henry Mayor and Board of Alderman meeting.

During the public comments portion of the meeting a couple of citizens talked about the budget and water and sewer rates along with the traffic cameras that officers were using to catch speeders in Henry.

The board moved thru the agenda and reached the 1st reading of the Water and Sewer Rate Ordinance and FY 2015 budget ordinance. These were discussed beginning in June, then again in July and at the special called meeting in July, the board voted to not pass the ordinances.

Since then, Alderman Roger Graham and Mayor Joe Qualls have worked with the State’s Water and Wastewater Financing Board and managed to trim down the water and sewer rate increase from a 30% increase to a $6 across the board increase.  The ordinance also includes a $75 connection fee for water or sewer.

Mayor Qualls explained this was agreed to as a temporary concession from the Water and Wastewater Financing Board and they would look at this in a few months and could still require the town of Henry to look at this and raise it more in later in the year. Mayor Qualls said the regulatory board has really bent over backwards to try to help us out.

Alderman Faye Lowery said she and the town appreciates Alderman Graham and Mayor Qualls for working with the regulatory board to get the rate increase down from the original amount planned.

Alderman Lowery Questions Budget Line Items

Henry, Tenn.- During the discussion of the budget ordinance Alderman Lowery began to question several things and her argument went back to city vehicles staying in town and adding police officers to the Henry Police Department.

She said that she has had more complaints about keeping vehicles in town and not letting employees drive them home.

Lowery then focused her attention on the new traffic cameras the city has implemented. She questioned the amount of money in the budget for projected revenue and where money to pay additional officers would come from.

Police Chief David Andrews said the city plans to hire two or three part to officers to help run operate the traffic cameras in Henry. The company the city has contracted with for the traffic cameras, Blue Line Solutions, will reimburse the city for the officers’ part time salaries.

Lowery continued to question the need for new officers and not making Henry a “speed trap” because it was deter businesses from relocating here and keep people from driving and stopping in Henry.

Mayor Qualls said if people drive thru Henry and don’t speed, there won’t be issues. He added, the traffic camera is for safety to slow people down, not a speed trap. He said we don’t want to take away a tool to help our officers keep the town safe.

Chief Andrews said in the last two weeks of July, after a 7 day warning period, with the traffic cameras they issued over 400 citations in Henry. When a citizen asked about leeway, Chief Andrews said, once it registers a vehicle going 7mph over the speed limit, it takes a pictures and mails the driver a ticket.

The board finally passed the budget ordinance on first reading, it included no property tax increase.

Cottage Grove Council Has Quick Aug. Meeting

Cottage Grove, Tenn.- It was a short night for the August meeting of the Cottage Grove Legislative Council. The council read and approved the financial reports and heard updates on the information kiosk before adjourning.

Road Board Discusses Paving Machine Purchase

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Road Board met on Monday night and discussed the possibility of purchasing a paving machine for the department to use. Road Supervisor Ray Norwood said that another county had brought one over to display and employees thought it was something they could definitely use to work on patching some of the many potholes that have plagued county roads.

Norwood said the ballpark cost figure is around $75K. The patching machine can be mounted on a truck and has a 300 gallon tank to hold the liquid used in paving. He said the purchase of this machine would eliminate the need for cold mixing to patch roads, which costs the county about $20K per year. Norwood said if they did go ahead and purchase the paving machine, just in money saved from cold mixing, it would pay for itself in a few years.

Discussion continued with Highway Department employee Stacy Nored on hand talking about the paving machine as well. It was a two man operation and can patch thin layers or deep potholes with no issues.

Norwood said that the road board could rent a machine if they didn’t want to spend the money right now or in the near future. The board finally agreed to contact two or three companies that manufacture and sell paving machines and get some specs from area counties who are using them. They will get bids and discuss this more at September’s board meeting.

In his Supervisor’s report, Norwood told commissioners they were making headway on paving, patching, bush hogging, and more, but by no means were they caught up from the rainy spring. He said they will continue to work until the winter to get caught up and ahead for next spring.

County Attorney Tells Road Board To Get Policy In Line for Quit Claims

Paris, Tenn.- Road Board chairman Bobby Milam told board members Monday night at their monthly meeting that county attorney Rob Whitfield had sent them a letter and some recommendations concerning the issue dealing with obtaining surveys for quit claims.

This has been discussed several times the last few months and Whitfield had suggested a survey be obtained to make sure the county, highway department, and person wanting the quit claim all have the same documentation and what they are giving away or receiving.

The road board felt there were several times when no legal documentation and surveys were needed, where business could be done by all parties with handshakes and agreements.

In his letter to the road board, Whitfield said the county commission didn’t pass a specific ordinance regarding quit claims and he was ok with the road board requiring surveys on a case by case basis, instead of requiring surveys for every quit claim. The county attorney did however advise the road board to clear up their procedure on how they handle quit claims and gave them some recommendations.

Road Board Hears Citizens Concerns

Paris, Tenn.- The board also heard from a couple of concerned citizens on Monday night. Bob Stagner told board members the Y intersection at Whitney Branch was very dangerous and he though leveling it off and creating one road there would help with the problem. Stagner said you can’t see oncoming traffic because of the hill and way the fork is set up.

Highway Commissioner Marty Allison agreed saying, “It’s very dangerous no matter whether you are coming or going, and doing away with the fork could fix

the problem.”

Road Supervisor Ray Norwood said it might be awhile before they can get to it, but they would look at the area and try to make it safer at the fork on Whitney Branch.

Kenneth Holland, of Reynoldsburg Road, was on hand Monday night telling road board members about the state bridge in the area continuing to cause flooding in his fields and the road.

Norwood said that is money from a federal grant coming thru the county from the state and the county mayor’s office, might be a better place to handle the issues than we are. Norwood said the county is currently talking with the state about federal grant issues and this is likely to come up with some of the problems that have arose after the state aid bridge was built on Reynoldsburg Road.

Holland did request the highway department to cut the weeds and level off the large sand pile and Norwood said they would take care of that.

HCMC Care Van to Be at PL Community Center Tuesday

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Medical Center Care Van will offer health screenings at Paris Landing Community Center, located at 15616, Suite A, Highway 79, on Tuesday August 12th from 8:30 to 10:30am.

The screening will take place inside the Community Center. They will offer free finger stick blood sugars and blood pressure checks. Finger stick total cholesterol tests will be offered for $3 and full lipid panel tests will be offered for $10 each. Results will be available at the time of screening. Fasting for 8 hours is required for accurate result.

Two Cited with Simple Possession

Paris, Tenn.- Cpl. Jeramye Whitaker of the Paris Police Department cited two young males, one a juvenile, for drugs after stopping the car they were in for a traffic violation over the weekend. A dispatch check revealed the driver, Shavanta Kendall, age 18, of North Market Street, was driving on suspended driver’s license.

A search of his person found a small amount of marijuana in his shoe. Cpl. Whitaker issued citations for Kendall for simple possession of schedule 6 and driving on a suspended license. A juvenile passenger was also cited for simple possession.

Preschool Screenings for HCSS Begins Tuesday

Paris, Tenn.- Beginning Tuesday, the preschool program of the Henry County School System will conduct screenings for the 2014-15 school year. Preschoolers will be screened to detect difficulties in speech, language, hearing, vision, motor and cognitive skills.

Parents of children ages 3, 4, and 5 living in the Henry County School district are asked to call their child’s school to schedule an appointment. In you live in the Harrelson School district call 247-3152, for Henry call 243-7114, and for Lakewood call 644-1600. Screenings are provided free of charge. School starts for all students in the Henry County School System on Tuesday.

Replays of UT Martin's Rodeo Championship To Air This Week

Martin, Tenn.- Fans of the University of Tennessee Martin rodeo team can catch the replay of the 2014 National College Finals Rodeo this week on ESPNU.

Replays of the 2014 finals where UT Martin brought home the National Championship will air Friday August 15th at 6 and 7pm, Saturday August 16th at 3 and 4am, and Sunday August 17th at 3 and 4am and 9:30 and 10:30pm.

Considered the Rose Bowl of College Rodeo, the 66th annual CNFR took place in June at the Casper Events Center in Casper, Wyoming. The UT Martin Men’s team, coached by John Luthi, become the first team east of the Mississippi River to claim a national rodeo championship.


PPD Investigates Robbery at Marathon Station Saturday

 

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Police Department has one man in custody and is seeking a second after an armed robbery at the Marathon station on N. Market St. Saturday night, according to PPD reports.

 

Sgt. Ean Reed of the Paris Police Department responded to the 911 call; upon arriving at the location, employees told him that two men entered the store, both with covered faces and one brandishing a semiautomatic pistol, and demanded all the cash from a register.

One employee opened the register; the unarmed robber emptied it and both men fled on foot.

 

The robbers were described as short and slender black males with short hair. The man with the gun wore all black clothing and had a black bandana over his face. The other suspect wore all black with a white t-shirt covering his face.

 

The two men made off with over $800 from the store.

 

A K-9 unit was brought in to track the suspects, but was unsuccessful.

 

PPD investigators report that one man is in custody and the investigation is ongoing. No information has yet been released on the identity of the detainee, if an arrest has been made, or what charges are pending.

 

We will provide more information as it becomes available.

 

Marijuana, Firearms Recovered from Cottage Grove Home

 

Cottage Grove, Tenn.- Over an ounce of marijuana as well as several firearms and drug paraphernalia were recovered from a Cottage Grove home in a joint operation by the Metro Crime Unit and Henry County Sheriff’s Office, according to reports.

 

The two agencies executed a search warrant Saturday and recovered 32 grams of marijuana as well as two digital scales and packaging material.

 

Officers also recovered a stolen Ruger rifle and confiscated three additional firearms from the home as evidence.

 

The homeowner, Betty Jean Ricketts, age 44, was not present at the time of the search; family members reportedly told officers that she was in Texas.

 

Warrants have been issued for Ricketts’ arrest on charges of possession of a Schedule VI substance with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, theft, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Motorcyclist Arrested for DUI, Reckless Driving

 

Paris, Tenn.- A Paris man was arrested Friday for DUI and reckless driving while on a motorcycle, according to Henry County Sheriff’s Office reports.

 

Deputy Bostwick of the HCSO observed a man on a black motorcycle speed through the intersection of Tyson and E. Wood Streets at 58mph, while the intersection was heavily congested with traffic.

 

Bostwick stopped the man and, upon identifying him as Richard Melton, age 29 of Brookfield Road in Paris, immediately noticed a strong smell of alcohol.

 

Melton confessed to drinking a few beers, and also told Bostwick that he did not have a motorcycle license.

 

Melton failed a series of field sobriety tests, and was placed under arrest for DUI, reckless driving, and a driver’s license violation.

 

Melton also refused a mandatory blood draw and was charged with violation of Tennessee’s implied consent law.

HCMC Recognizes Employees for Extraordinary Performance

Left: Rhonda Carnell, director of HCMC's Women's Center, was named Manager of the Quarter during a July HCMC meeting.

Right: Tonia Atkinson of HCHC Food and Nutrition was named Partner of the Month for August.

(Photos provided by HCMC).

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Medical Center recently presented a variety of awards to staff members who have gone above and beyond expectations, according to a series of press releases.

 

Rhonda Carnell, RN, MSN, Director of the Women’s Center at Henry County Medical Center, was recognized as the Manager of the Quarter during July’s Department Manager Meeting.

 

“Rhonda has been the lead person on the Team STEPPS program as well as an instructor,” said Thomas Gee, HCMC CEO.  “She is also a member of the LEAN Leadership team and part of the instruction team.  Recently, her department was recognized by the Tennessee Hospital Association for HCMC’s reduction in early elective deliveries and her unit has seen improved customer service and quality scores during the last quarter.”

 

Carnell is originally from Huntingdon, TN, but now resides in Paris.  She has a degree in Chemistry from Christian Brothers University and her BSN from UT Health Sciences Center in Memphis.  She received her MSN from Union University.  Carnell is a seasoned OB nurse, working at St. Francis Hospital in Memphis, TN prior to working at HCMC in the Women’s Center.  She became director of the unit in 2011.

 

HCMC also named Tonia Atkinson of HCHC Food and Nutrition the Partner of the Month of August in the Stars of Excellence Program. Five others were named Star Partners in the program.

Tonia Atkinson received two nominations for a job well done.  During the first of July, Lawanna Johnson was on vacation and was in charge of the department.  Another partner was also on sick leave at that time, which meant Atkinson was over more than just her own job duties, but those of these two partners who were out.  She did a wonderful job of completing these additional tasks. 

Also during this time, one of the cooks had an accident and wasn’t able to work.  Atkinson rearranged the schedule to make sure all jobs were covered and stepped up to cover where needed as well as ensure that all residents and patients were taken care of for all their food and nutrition needs.

Her second nomination involved her work with a patient who wasn’t eating and the staff was concerned about his nutritional status and keeping his weight within normal limits.  The nurse asked the patient what he would eat and once Atkinson found out he substituted his meal with what he wanted, soup beans and cornbread.  Since, HCHC did not have the beans; she went to the store and purchased them out of her own pocket.  

HCMC also awards Star partners each month. The Star Partners for August are Brenda McKinney, HCHC Nursing; Erin Threet and Zach Jones, Radiology; Janice Witherspoon, Accounting; and Jeanie Rogers, HCMC Home Health & Hospice.  

They were nominated for the following: 

  • McKinney was nominated by a daughter of a resident for taking special care of the family, including the father prior to passing and the mother currently.  McKinney has stepped up and gone well above her job requirements including giving up her break time to help talk with the mother, help to paint the mother’s nails, giving her books to read, as well as asking her to make paper flowers for the patients in the nursing home. She recently donated her own time to take the mother to church and to the 50th wedding anniversary reception following the service when the daughter was unable to do so. 
  • Both Erin Threet and Zach Jones were very willing to help in the ED while they were very busy.  They offered to help in any way possible, volunteering to clean rooms after patients were discharged as well as rounding on the patients to see if they had any needs.  Their willingness to help in the ED to provide excellent care to the patients definitely deserves recognition.
  • In October 2011, HCMC signed an agreement to upgrade the internet service.  In late 2013, it was finally completed.  During the 16-18 month “install” timeframe, HCMC was billed incorrectly by AT&T.  From June 2013 until July 2014, Witherspoon has sent numerous emails, been on conference calls, compiled data and “stayed on top” of this issue with the goal of HCMC receiving funds due to us because of incorrect billing.  She contacted AT& T at least every couple of weeks to ask about status.  Her actions and diligence in this matter paid off with HCMC receiving a $24,242.31 credit from AT&T in July 2014.
  • Rogers was nominated by the patient for being so encouraging during her recovery and for always being on time and never rushing her after arriving.  She was very kind and able to answer any questions regarding her progress or question regarding pain, fever, blood pressure, etc. 

 

To nominate a Henry County Medical Center partner for the Stars of Excellence program, send a note of appreciation to Tom Gee or utilize the Dear Tom or WOW cards located in the Partners in Your Care bags given upon inpatient admission to HCMC. Those forms are also available on the HCMC website.

THP Encourages Back to School Safety

Nashville- The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) is urging motorists to utilize extra caution in school zones, around school buses and in neighborhoods during the 2014-15 school year.

State Troopers will work to raise school safety awareness and target traffic violators, specifically those who speed in school zones, drive distracted and disregard stopped school buses that are loading and unloading children.

“There will be more young pedestrians on the roadways as the academic year begins,” Colonel Tracy Trott said. “State troopers and local law enforcement need everyone’s help in providing each child with safe passage to school and back home again. Please make safety a priority around school zones and buses in Tennessee.”

State Troopers issued 6,924 citations in school zones during the 2013-2014 school year. That’s an increase from the 4,993 citations issued in 2012-13. Last year’s citations included 839 speeding violations and one citation for passing a stopped school bus.
Since 2011, there has been a 6% decline in the number of crashes occurring in school zones between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and the hours of 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Tennessee. However, there was a 6.9% increase in the number of school bus-involved crashes between those same hours.

In Tennessee, there have been 54 pedestrians killed on state roadways in 2014, six more than at this point last year.

The speed limit in school zones is 15 miles per hour and the fine for speeding in a school zone is up to $500. It is also against the law to pass a school bus when it is stopped and loading or unloading passengers. The driver can be fined no less than $250 and up to $1,000.

Toyota of Murray Donates to HCHS Athletics

Joey Cooper (L) and Jeff Taylor (R) of Toyota of Murray present Quarterback Club president John Davidson with a $500 check (Photo provided by Toyota of Murray).

Paris, Tenn.- Toyota of Murray held a fundraiser in July to raise money for the Henry County Quarterback Club and Henry County General Athletic Fund, and recently presented both organizations with $500 checks.

Jeff Taylor and Joey Cooper of Toyota of Murray contributed a donation to HCHS athletics for every Henry County resident that test-drove a new Toyota during during their fundraising weekend.

The Henry County Quarterback Club is a private booster organization supporting the HCHS football team, and the General Athletic Fund is a school fund that supports all HCHS athletics.

David Stone Submits Resignation

County Commission to Appoint French to Fill Unexpired Term

Paris, Tenn.- Henry County Trustee David Stone officially submitted his resignation effective Thursday, according to a media release from County Mayor Brent Greer's office.

According to the release, the Henry County Commission will address the remainder of his term at their August 18 meeting. Mayor Greer hopes that Randi Allen French, the Trustee-elect who defeated Cindi Hart Hopkins in the August general election Thursday evening, will be cleared by the election commission by that date.

Assuming she is cleared for the office, the County Commission is expected to appoint French to fill the remainder of Stone's term until she officially takes office on September 1.

City Commission To Hold Special Called Meeting Aug. 13th

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris City Commission has called a special meeting on Wednesday August 13th to discuss several items. The agenda for this special called meeting includes Review Long Term financial projections, the transfer station plan, city hall proposals for renovations or building a new structure, bond sizing, and local option sales tax referendum. The public is invited to attend.


News from past weeks here.

 
     
     
 

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