From News Director Tim Alsobrooks, Assistant and Weekend News Director Alex AuBuchon
Young Man Injured in Tuesday Wreck in Critical Condition
Paris, Tenn.- A young Paris man injured in a wreck on New Year’s Eve remains in critical, but stable condition this morning at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville. Jesse Cramer, age 19, was injured when his vehicle wrecked on highway 79 in Stewart County on Tuesday.
Paris Police Work Domestic Assault Incidents New Year's Day
Paris, Tenn.- Sgt. Micheal Ramos of the Paris Police Department charged Gary L. Tharpe, age 43 of 146 Warren Street with aggravated domestic assault in an incident where he and his girlfriend had gotten into an argument and Tharpe assaulted the woman.
In another reports, Kimberly Canon, age 52, of 402 West Wood Street was charged with aggravated assault and police are searching for Shemona M. Teague, 37, of 514 Wynn Street to possibly charge her with domestic assault where she ripped the phone off the wall and hit a man in the face and mouth, according to Paris Police reports.
Snowy Start to 2014 in Paris on Thursday
Snow covered the ground quickly
outside of the WMUF/WLZK studios
this morning. (Tim Alsobrooks photo)
Paris, Tenn.- Henry Countians are seeing the first snow of 2014, on just the year's 2nd day. Temperatures fell quickly as the front moved thru and rain changed to snow. Forecasts calls for snow to taper off by mid morning, but tempatures will fall into the teens tonight. After a warm up into the 40s Saturday and Sunday, snow is back in the forecast Sunday night and bitterly cold air will move in Monday and Tuesday of next week with highs not even making it to 20 degrees and lows in the single digits.
City Commission to Meet Thursday Night
Paris, Tenn.- The Paris City Commission will meet in regular session Thursday at 6pm at the city hall courtroom for its first meeting of 2014. Items on the agenda include discussion on proposed street lighting improvements, 218 bypass developments, and the Back Alley Paris Project Proposals. After the meeting a press conference and media release about the Back Alley Projects will be conducted. The meeting is open to the public.
Bloodmobile at FUMC Noon to 6pm Thursday
Paris, Tenn.- The Lifeline Bloodmobile will be at the First United Methodist Church Thursday from Noon until 6pm. All eligible donors are encouraged to give blood to help patients here in Henry County and all over West Tennessee. Be sure and bring photo ID with you when giving blood and remember, Lifeline Bloodmobile will be at the FUMC the first Thursday of every month.
Shiver on the River Raises Nearly $4000 for RHYC
40 participants braved the chilly waters at this year's Shiver on the River, while hundreds more gathered to take in the spectacle (Alex AuBuchon photo).
Paris, Tenn.- The REAL Hope Youth Center held their 5th annual Shiver on the River – Chillin’ for the Children Event Wednesday afternoon at Paris Landing, raising nearly $4000.
40 participants were brave enough to take the plunge into Kentucky Lake this year, and hundreds more gathered at the marina to watch the event unfold.
R.E.A.L Hope Youth Center board president Steve Gallimore briefly addressed the crowd at the boat ramp before the brave participants took their plunge, welcoming everyone to the year 2014 and describing the Shiver on the River event as the premiere inaugural event in all of northwest Tennessee.
Afterward, everyone who registered was treated to a buffet meal courtesy of the Paris Landing State Park Inn.
Each year, Shiver on the River awards trophies to the three groups and three individuals who raise the most money for the REAL Hope Youth Center, an after-school enrichment program for children in first through sixth grades.
Those awards are as follows:
3rd: Paris! Magazine
2nd: Alpha and Omega Counseling
1st: The Bobbers
3rd: Carlton Gerrell
2nd: Dennis Inman
1st: Dawn Hurney
All told, this year’s Shiver on the River event raised $3850 for the R.E.A.L Hope Youth Center, up $500 from last year’s total.
The Bobbers, Donna Craig and Jamie Miles along with their children Paige Craig, Dallas Craig, Piper Miles and Emery Miles, won top group contributor as well as Most Outrageous Outfit for the second year in a row (Alex AuBuchon photo).
Crime Reports for New Year's Holiday
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Sheriff's Office and Paris Police Department had their hands full this New Year's holiday, with several arrests as well as reports of thefts and burglaries, and even an assault on a correctional officer.
A New Concord, Ky. man was arrested on drug charges recently after a local hotel manager requested a trespass order against him, according to Henry County Sheriff’s Office reports.
The manager of Quality Inn requested a trespass order against Troy Iverson, age 49 of New Concord, after he had stayed two nights at the hotel. He allegedly brought several guests in and out of the hotel, damaged his room, and left behind drug paraphernalia with drug residue in the room. The manager wanted a trespass order to prevent Iverson from staying at his hotel again.
Officers found Iverson at Rockwood Inn in Paris; while the officers were serving Iverson his trespass order, he granted them consent to search his room. They recovered an undisclosed amount of freebase cocaine and drug paraphernalia. Iverson was arrested for possession of a schedule II substance.
Four rifles were stolen recently from a Puryear man, according to Henry County Sheriff's Office reports. The man was informed by Weakley County investigators that they were in possession of three of his rifles; he was unaware that any of his guns were missing.
Upon checking his collection, the complainant noticed that a fourth gun, a 44 Winchester lever action rifle with a wood stock and blued barrel, had yet to be recovered. Both the Henry County and Weakley County Sheriff's Offices are currently investigating this incident.
Employees at Dairy Delight in Paris reported a burglary suspected to have occurred on New Year's Eve, according to Paris Police Department reports. The back door of the business was forced open and both cash registers were left ajar, with an undisclosed amount of money missing. Security footage was not available at the time of the report.
A Paris man recently reported to the Paris Police Department that his daughter has allegedly been forging checks on his account using his wife's name. The report indicated that several checks have been forged, totaling over $70,000 in value. Paris Police Department investigators are looking into the forgeries.
A correctional officer was assaulted recently at the Henry County Correctional Facility. Jeffrey Lee, age 24 of Paris, was arrested and booked into the facility on disorderly conduct charges; according to reports, officers had asked Lee to take a shower. After Lee had been in the shower for approximately 10 minutes, Corporal Brian Bennett told the man to finish up, at which point he allegedly became extremely combative and spit in Cpl. Bennett's face. Bennett was forced to use a chemical spray to subdue the man.
BPU Approves New Transformer, Bucket Truck Purchase
BPU General Manager John Etheridge (L) receives a plaque commemorating 75 years of partnership between the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Paris Board of Public Utilities (Alex AuBuchon photo).
Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Board of Public Utilities met in regular session Tuesday in their final board meeting of the calendar year. Items on the agenda included a review of last month’s financial reports and purchases of both a new bucket truck and a transformer for a future substation.
Financial reports for November were largely as expected, according to BPU general manager John Etheridge. Both the water and wastewater departments were profitable last month, with BPU earning over $12500 in water profits and nearly $8500 in wastewater profits.
The utility lost money on electricity last month, which was expected – financial reports show a $200,000 loss for the month of November in the electrical department. The financial loss, according to Etheridge, was primarily due to 8 million kilowatt hours of electricity purchased in November that were sold in December and therefore not reflected in November’s financials.
Electricity sales are down somewhat over this time last year, but the BPU is still in the black year-to-date and is projected to remain profitable this fiscal year.
In other business at Tuesday’s BPU meeting, the board approved purchase of a transformer to be placed in a new substation to be built in north Paris.
The board approved a bid from HV Sales for a transformer manufactured by SPX/Waukesha – the transformer has a sticker price of just under $300,000 and is estimated to cost around $6 million over a thirty-year period of operation. SPX/Waukesha will deliver the transformer next summer and the north Paris substation is estimated to be completed next fall.
The board also approved a purchase of a new bucket truck from two separate suppliers, as an effort to keep costs down. BPU approved a bid from Tri-State International of Murray, Ky. to purchase an International truck for just over $80,000, and approved a separate bid for a digger/derrick from Terex Utilities in White House, Tenn. for just under $105,000. The total amount paid for the cab and chassis is just over $185,000.
Despite a decrease in rates fom this time last year, BPU general manager John Etheridge noted at Tuesday's meeting that several customers have complained about unusually high bills, which he pinned to increasing residential consumption.
Electricity consumption is up 4 million kWh this month compared to December 2012, according to Etheridge, despite relatively static industrial and commercial consumption. The difference, he said, is largely related to residential heating and cooling costs in extreme heat and cold, and he encouraged customers to contact BPU officials for tips on how to manage their power consumption.
Representatives from the Tennessee Valley Authority were on hand at Tuesday’s meeting to honor 75 years of partnership between the TVA and the Paris Board of Public Utilities – BPU general manager John Etheridge was presented a plaque honoring the two utilities’ partnership in hopes of 75 more years of cooperation.
Refuge Waterfowl Tour Set for January 11
New Johnsonville, Tenn.- The Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge will once again host the annual Bald Eagle/Waterfowl automobile tour on Saturday, January 11th, with expanded hours this year from noon to 5pm.
The refuge will offer a free event for the public to view waterfowl and wildlife at Duck River Bottoms, just south of New Johnsonville. The alternate date in the event of inclement weather will be Saturday, January 25th from noon to 5pm.
The event opens up most of the bottoms to viewing which are normally closed to the public in the winter so as to limit disturbance to the visiting waterfowl. The Blue Goose Boulevard interpretive wildlife drive will be open to offer a two mile self guided tour and there will be guided bus tours with refuge staff as well. The bus tours will start and end at the main event parking lot off Refuge Lane at 12:30pm and 3pm.
In addition to viewing the migratory waterfowl, eventgoers will see white tailed deer, wild turkey, many species of hawk, great blue herons, and many other species of wildlife that frequent the area.
Refuge staff will be on hand during the Waterfowl tour to hand out maps and answer questions. There will be a heated tent opened up with several brochures and information about the refuge and wildlife in the area. The Friends of the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge will also offer complimentary hot apple cider and cookies.
For more information on the tour, call the Paris Headquarters of the Tennessee Wildlife Refuge at 642-2091.
Sheriff's Office Investigates Thefts, Break-ins
Paris, Tenn.- Several items were stolen recently from a mobile home on the property of Earl’s Boat World, according to Henry County Sheriff’s Office reports.
Responding officers found the door of the mobile home pried open and badly bent. Complainants indicate a 32” Vizio flatscreen TV and a combination safe were stolen from the residence.
Sheriff’s Office investigators are looking into the theft and have no suspects at this time.
Investigators are also looking into a burglary on Robinson Drive in Paris. The complainant there first noticed some items missing a week ago, but believed they had just been misplaced. When he refilled his medicine supply and noticed that several medications were missing, however, he knew he had been robbed.
The complainant reported to investigators that whoever broke in likely poisoned his Labrador retriever, as the dog reportedly lost several pounds in the past few days and could hardly stand.
Several prescription medications were stolen from the home, as well as some assorted tools, two computer monitors, several video games, and over $300 cash.
The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the theft and possible poisoning and has no suspects at this time.
A Paris man was the victim of credit fraud recently, as he reported to the Paris Police Department that several fraudulent charges had been made on his checking account this month.
Five transactions were made to a Western Union in Colorado early this month, totalling well over $2000.
The complainant is unsure how anyone could have gotten his account information, and has already replaced his debit card.
The Paris Police Department is currently investigating the incident.
Lady Patriots Swept in Lady Tiger Classic
Murray, Ky. - The Henry County High School Lady Patriots basketball team competed Thursday through Saturday in the Murray Bank Lady Tiger Classic at Murray High School along with seven other teams.
The Lady Patriots lost their opening game Thursday to Paducah-Tilghman 76 to 56, with Shamiah Williams and Addi Cate leading scoring for Henry County with 13 and 11 points respectively.
The girls lost their two preliminary games on Friday as well; first a 75 to 58 point loss to University Heights High School in Hopkinsville, Ky. in which Celie Hudson put up 22 points, then a 70 to 46 defeat against Dresden High School, with Shamiah Williams and Natiya Jumper each adding seven points.
The Lady Patriots lost the 7th place game of the tournament as well on Saturday -- a two-point 41 to 39 loss to Todd County, Ky., in which Bria Woodruff led scoring with 9 points.
Murray High School won the championship for the fourth year in a row with a come-from-behind 68 to 67 victory over University Heights High School.
Federal Unemployment Benefits to Expire Saturday
Over one million Americans, including 18,000 Tennesseans and hundreds in Henry County, will lose their unemployment benefits Saturday after the U.S. Congress allows them to expire.
Since the recession in late 2008, jobless Americans who have been actively seeking employment have been eligible for emergency unemployment compensation, which can last as long as 73 weeks during periods of high unemployment.
Now that the federal emergency aid is no longer available, jobless Tennesseans will have to rely solely on the state-funded Tennessee Unemployment Compensation program, which has a strict maximum of 26 weeks.
Tennessee Labor Commissioner Burns Phillips made especially clear that the expiration of federal emergency compensation would not affect the state-sponsored Tennessee unemployment program in any way, and that those state benefits will continue to be paid out regularly.
For more information on the switch and how it will specifically affect Tennesseans, visit the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development website here.
Paris Police Department Investigates Stolen Wallet
Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Police Department is currently investigating a possible theft at Burke’s Outlet in Paris after a Puryear woman left her purse in her cart and it was returned to her without her wallet inside.
According to witness reports, a woman behind her in line saw the purse in the cart and brought it outside to see if it belonged to her friend before bringing it back inside to return.
The purse was missing a wallet, which reportedly contained over $500 cash, several debit and credit cards, a driver’s license and social security card, among other items.
The Paris Police Department is currently investigating and no charges have been filed at this point.
The Henry County Sheriff’s Department is still investigating a bizarre case after a reckless driving call and wreck led to a missing person recently.
A man was recently reported to dispatch on Highway 69 South driving extremely erratically, swerving from ditch to ditch in a white Ford pickup truck.
Ricky Wade of the Sheriff’s Department went searching for the vehicle when a citizen reported a crash on Bethesda Road that matched the description of the vehicle.
Wade arrived on scene and found that the truck had hit a tree and was backed into a ditch. He went to check on the welfare of the driver, but no one was in the truck.
Dispatch ran the truck’s Dickson County plates and found an address in Kingston Springs; the Dickson County Sheriff’s Department checked the address and found no one home.
Officers in Henry County searched the area and weren’t able to find the driver, but did recover a Ruger .22 pistol on the ground near the driver door of the truck.
The vehicle was towed and placed on hold in impound.
November County Unemployment Data Released
Nashville- The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development has released unemployment data for all counties in Tennessee, and reports are promising for Henry County and the surrounding areas.
Unemployment figures decreased in 93 Tennessee counties from October to November, increasing in one and remaining stagnant in one.
Unemployment for Henry County in November was estimated at 10% of the workforce, down one whole percentage point from October’s 11% estimate and only one tenth of one percent up from this time last year.
In Carroll County, unemployment dropped eight tenths of a percent from October to November, down to 11%. However, Carroll County still has the dubious distinction of the 8th highest unemployment rate in the state.
Benton County also saw an eight tenth of a percent drop in unemployment, from 10.7 to 9.9 percent.
Weakley County’s unemployment fell eight tenths of a percent as well, down to 10.6 percent.
Houston County saw a 9 tenth percent drop in unemployment, putting them at 8.4% in November, the lowest in the region.
Stewart County saw the largest monthly drop in unemployment in the region, 1.1%, putting them at 8.5% unemployed in November.
Each of these totals, however (with the exception of Houston County) is at least slightly above the state average of 8.4% unemployment in November 2013, which is itself well above the national average of 7.0% unemployed.
Williamson County in Tennessee boasted the lowest unemployment figures in the report, with only 5% unemployed.
Sheriff's Department Investigates Several Thefts
Paris, Tenn.- A theft on Christmas Eve soured one Henry County resident’s celebration after a gift was stolen from under the Christmas tree, according to Henry County Sheriff’s Office reports.
Items stolen from the Jim Merrell Road home include the wrapped present from under the Christmas tree as well as a pan of lasagna from the fridge, a coffee maker, a cell phone, and a 14” western saddle with breast plate from outside the home.
Sheriff’s Office investigators do have a suspect in this case and are currently looking into the theft.
The Sheriff’s Department is also investigating another instance of theft after a man allegedly purchased dozens of items on his parents’ credit and then never paid.
The complainant told investigators he had sold this individual a 1995 Chevy Blazer several months ago with the understanding his parents would pay for it; after he failed to receive payment, he attempted to recover the vehicle and was told that it couldn’t be located.
This same individual has allegedly purchased several other items without payment, including an older model Sea-Doo with a trailer, a half-ton floor jack, portable air compressors, and several assorted tools, totalling nearly $3400 in value.
The Henry County Sheriff’s Department is currently investigating this incident.
Henry County in 2013: Biggest News Stories of the Year
Paris, Tenn.- 2013 has been an extremely eventful year for the Henry County community; in this article, we'll take a look at some of the biggest stories in the area this year.
2013 was bookended by fires at two iconic downtown Paris buildings, starting with the old Market 414 Antiques building going up in flames January 9th and burning to the ground on a windy night in downtown Paris. Firefighters were on the scene for hours trying to prevent flames from spreading to other buildings.
Just a couple weeks ago, the former Lewis and Williams building on Poplar Street caught fire and was badly damaged. The building was currently occupied by ReTale History and firefighters continue to investigate a cause.
Also in January, due to public reaction to the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting in December of 2012, School Resource Officers took their places in all schools in the Henry County and Paris Special School districts. The school systems, city and county government, Paris Police Department, and Henry County Sheriff’s Office worked together to provide a service that eased many parents minds heading into the 2nd half of the school year. Those resource officers remain in all schools.
An incident in Puryear held Henry Countians in rapt attention when a puppy mill was found and Cheryl Kidd was arrested and then failed to show up for trial in July. The puppy mill was found with 27 dogs neglected in mid January.
Another high-profile trial garnered a lot of attention this year as 21 year old Tevin Lumpkin of Milan faced first-degree murder charges in the 2012 shooting death of Eric Kinley at the former Fahrenheit 101 nightclub. The trial was filled with drama, with a relative of Lumpkin's, Sharmaine Algee, arrested for coercing witnesses and Lumpkin having to be tased in order to be transported back to the Henry County Correctional Facility.
Lumpkin was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.
The entire community banded together this year to help try to bring the new West Tennessee 4-H Camp to Hazelwood. There were several meetings planned and a huge community listening session that occurred this past summer but it was to no avail as the committee ended up selecting a farm site in Henderson County to be the next Regional 4-H camp site. Plans are still ongoing to determine the future of Camp Hazelwood.
Late April every year is of course the World’s Biggest Fish Fry in Paris, and in 2013 it was the 60th annual event with many big happenings planned. Spirits were high and hard work by the Jaycees once again made the event a great one, but storms and very heavy rainfall took its toll all during Fish Fry week. Storms caused damage around the county and heavy rains washed out roads and flooded many areas which caused numbers for the Fish Fry to suffer, despite the hard work put in by everyone involved.
The city of Cottage Grove started a curbside recycling program in the spring 2013. Residents have fully embraced the program -- Mayor Mike Waddey announced to the Legislative Council at their December meeting that Cottage Grove had the most recycled material per capita in the state at the end of the year.
A huge crowd also showed up to be part of a movie that was filmed in downtown Paris in late June. The court square was packed with citizens on a Friday night in late June for a scene in the film “The Dooms Chapel Horror,” which should be released in 2014.
Henry County in 2013: Year of the Champions
Paris, Tenn.- Looking back on 2013, Henry County boasted teams and individuals who achieved an incredible degree of athletic success, including a wide variety of championships.
The Henry County Patriots football team rode a perfect season and some icy weather into Cookeville on Friday, December 6th. After a hard battle, they defeated Knoxville West 28-27 to win the TSSAA Class 5A championship. It was the Patriot’s second state title in three years after winning in 2011.
The Inman Bulldogs won the Tennessee Middle Schools Athletic Association State Championship just a few weeks before, defeating Lester Middle School in Memphis by a final of 36-0.
Some Henry County teams also brought home state championship honors in summer 2013 as well. Henry County’s 12U softball team and the Henry County 8 year old Cal Ripken All Stars both brought home a state championship on the diamond this summer.
Henry County is also home to some champions in individual athletics. In early August, Katie Crabtree competed with the Paris Downtown Boxing Gym and brought home the World Championship Belt in the novice 13-14 year old categories for boxing. Crabtree won by knockout in the 2nd round of her bout.
In October, Henry County’s Titus Winders ran by the rest of the competition in the Cross Country State championships to finish first as the Tennessee Middle School Cross Country State Champion. He finished 1st out of 259 runners in the state championship meet held in Knoxville in October. Titus finished the two mile race in 11 minutes.
Three Arrested for Drugs on S. Market
Paris, Tenn.- Paris Police executed a search warrant at 505 South Market Street Monday and found several bags of marijuana, cocaine, drug paraphernalia, and cash and ended up making three arrests.
Arrested were Aramis Parche Winding, age 27, of 505 S. Market, Andrea G. Winding, age 47 of the address, and Alandrew Ladell Winding, age 27, of the address. All three subjects were charged with possession of schedule two with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver, possession of schedule 6 with intent to sell manufacture, or deliver, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Over $2K was seized from the residence and marijuana was found both inside the home and outside in a gallon bucket near a tree in the yard. About 3.5 pounds of marijuana was seized as well.
Paris Police Investigate Thefts
Paris, Tenn.- A report at the Paris Police Department stated that over $4K worth of items were stolen from a home on Jenkins Street. A green tube was stolen from the closet and inside it were items like a digital camera, several DVDs, 4 iPod touches, two laptops, and several toys. Police have no suspect in the theft at this time.
Another report at the Paris Police Department stated that some earrings and cash were stolen from Memorial Drive home recently. They did give a police a possible suspect.
Gas Board Sees Improvement in Sales, Pays Bills at Meeting
Paris, Tenn.- The board of directors for the Paris Henry County Public Utility District met last week and General Manager Tae Eaton told board members that sales for November were up some, but the district still finished at a loss of $55K for November and over $480K year to date.
Eaton said he was still confident that by the end of the fiscal year in June of 2014, the district will be out of the red, and in the black. He said for December they had used as much gas in the first half of the month already as they did the entire month in December 2012. He said it appears a colder winter is predicted and would mean sales would increase in the coming months.
In business the Gas board approved a payment to Revell Construction in the amount of $11,851 for the 5% retainage and certificate of substantial completion for work on the main line extensions.
Other payments approved by the board were $483 for the Gas Line Extension Project to James Plus and Associates; $1645 to James Plus and Associates for the TDOT project relocation of Gas Utilities on highway 641.
That payment will be reimbursed to the district from the state and its work done to relocate utilities as the state continues with their widening of 641 North.
Another payment of $5409 to James Plus was approved and this was for the state route 218 bypass project. Eaton told board members that the city and county will reimburse the district for this money used in the relocation of gas lines for this project.
The board approved some engineering work to be completed by Stantec Engineering in the amount of $16,563. Board members also approved the hiring of a welder position as one employee is leaving and others in the company are moving up, creating this position.
The gas board voted to sell the 1973 Chevy Grain Truck on govdeals.com. They recently purchased a new dump truck that will replace this one, so Eaton suggested they declare it surplus and sell it.
Eaton reported that gas service lines are continuing to come in left and right and told the board that our vision of adding customers by extending the main lines is coming to fruition.
Eaton also said TOSHA came and did a full inspection in November and two minor violations were noted. They said the district had a gas can on the back of the truck with no gas cap on it and there was no guard on one of the grinders. Eaton said both of these issues have been rectified and they sent a letter to TOSHA.
Healthy Thyme Owner Charged with Filing False Report
Paris, Tenn.- A press release from the Paris Police Department issued at noon Monday reveals that a false report was filed in November with the incident involving a robbery and arson at Healthy Thyme in Paris by the store’s owner Joe Williams.
The press release states that the Paris Police Department responded to a 911 call on November 20th at 6:14pm to a report of robbery and arson at Healthy Thyme on East Wood Street in Paris.
During the follow up investigation into the case, certain inconsistencies were noted. During a later interview with owner, Joe D. Williams, age 32, of Paris, by the TBI and Paris Police, information proved that Williams lied during the initial report.
An arrest warrant was obtained for the arrest of Williams for filing a false report. Williams turned himself into the Henry County Sheriff’s Office Friday afternoon December 20th and he was released on bond.
Drug Arrests Made Over the Weekend
Paris, Tenn.- Deputy Ricky Wade of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office was on routine patrol when he noticed a white ford truck with the headlight out so he administered a traffic stop. During search of the vehicle, he found a syringe loaded with a red liquid that tested positive for methamphetamine. Deputy Wade arrested the driver, Jeremy Joe Page, age 37 of 410 Whitlock road in Puryear for simple possession of schedule two drug and possession of drug paraphernalia. Page was placed on $1K bond.
In a separate incident, Crystal L. Roberts, age 30, of 1004 Pearl Street was arrested over the weekend and charged with possession of schedule two with intent and possession of drug paraphernalia. Roberts was placed on $10K bond.
BPU's New Software Worked Well During Outages
Paris, Tenn.- BPU lineman worked around the clock Saturday and Sunday and had everyone’s power restored by around 5:30pm Sunday afternoon, according to BPU General Manager John Etheridge. There was another small outage that occurred Sunday night around 10pm that was handled rather quickly.
Etheridge said our crews were on call and worked about 23 straight hours to get power restored to our customers. We have some new faces on the line, but all did an excellent job for their first true test of storm damage. Etheridge also said the new software that BPU has worked well on its first big test, since completely go live with it less than a month ago.
Shiver on the River Planned for 1pm New Year's Day
R.E.A.L. Hope Youth Center to benefit from event
Paris, Tenn.- The 5th annual Shiver on the River, Chillin for the Children, event will be held at Paris Landing State Park Marina boat ramp at 1pm on New Year’s Day, Wednesday January 1st.
The annual event is a local take on the Polar Bear Plunge where individuals and groups all run and take quick dip in Kentucky Lake, all to benefit a good cause.
Money raised this year will once again benefit the R.E.A.L. Hope Youth Center. Trophies will be awarded to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places for individual and group contributions and most outrageous outfit as well. Last year shiver on the river raised over $3300 for the R.E.A.L. Hope Youth Center.
For more information visit the website, shiverontheriver.com or call 333-1320 or 712-540-8764.
Henry County Hit Hard By Severe Weather
BPU Scrambles to Restore Power to Customers
The sign at West Wood Wines and Liquors was badly damaged by severe weather Saturday night (Alex AuBuchon photo).
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County area suffered some massive damage due to straight-line winds associated with the severe weather system that moved through the area Saturday night.
Several buildings were reported damaged, including B&G Equipment on Hwy. 54 which, according to reports at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, had part of its roof blown off.
Other reports indicate a carport blown into the road on Old Paris Murray Road and a trailer badly damaged on Jackson Drive.
By far the most widespread incidents were trees and utility lines downed, often in roadways. Paris Board of Public Utilities General Manager John Etheridge estimated between 20 and 25 utility poles were broken Saturday night, and the Sheriff’s Office received dozens of complaints involving trees and power lines.
In one instance on Henry Midway Road, a tree was blown down by the storm, knocking down several utility lines before the entire mess landed atop a vehicle. Fortunately, no one was injured.
Henry County has suffered from widespread power outages since Saturday night. Etheridge estimated that, at one time, between 6 and 7 thousand BPU customers were without power.
Utility crews have worked around the clock since 8 PM Saturday night to repair lines and replace poles, and as of 2:30 PM Sunday, less than 500 BPU customers remain without power.
Etheridge estimates that all customers will have their electricity restored by Sunday evening.
Search Warrant Leads to Drug Arrest Friday
Paris, Tenn.- Corporal Jeramye Whitaker and other Paris Police Department units exercised a search warrant at 1004 Pearl Street late Friday evening that resulted in a drug arrest, according to PPD reports.
Whitaker and other units detained two individuals in the home -- one of the residents, Crystal Roberts, age 30, said there was crack cocaine and scales in a briefcase in the hall closet of the residence.
Officers recovered 7.4 grams of crack cocaine in multiple bags as well as a set of scales with cocaine residue on them.
Whitaker and the other officers also seized $160 cash from the home's nightstand and another $200 cash from Roberts's purse, believing the money to be proceeds from drug sales.
Roberts claimed ownership of both the cocaine and scales. She was placed under arrest for possession of a schedule II substance with intent to distribute, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
National Guard Troops Receive Warm Homecoming Saturday
The 212th Engineering Company assembles into formation after returning to the Paris National Guard Armory Saturday night (Alex AuBuchon photo).
Paris, Tenn.- Hundreds of friends and family of the more than 150 members of the 212th Engineering Company based in Paris gathered at the National Guard Armory to welcome the troops home.
Three units from the Henry County Sheriff’s Office met the 212th Engineering Company at the Volunteer Training Facility in Smyrna, Tenn. and escorted the soldiers all the way back to the Paris National Guard Armory.They were joined by vehicles from several local rescue and law enforcement agencies including the Paris Fire Department and Rescue Squad before arriving at the Paris National Guard Armory in a large convoy.
Hundreds of family members and friends were on hand to welcome their loved ones home Saturday night (Alex AuBuchon photo).
The unit’s Family Readiness Group – largely comprised of military wives – organized an impressive homecoming for the 212th soldiers. According to member Sara Kollman, students at Henry County and Benton County elementary schools were invited to make signs welcoming the soldiers home; those signs were displayed throughout the armory.
Debbie Coats of Camden said the Family Readiness Group coordinated with the Benton County Chamber of Commerce to encourage all businesses on Hwy 641 to illuminate signs and place acknowledgements on their marquees.
Tennessee Valley Community Church members were on hand serving cookies and hot chocolate.
Also, Abbott's Print Shop donated several printed banners welcoming the troops home as well as individualized signs thanking each member of the 212th Engineering Company for their service. Those signs were displayed outside the armory.
Festivities were briefly interrupted as the Henry County area was placed under a tornado warning and the armory momentarily lost power while severe weather swept through the region. Those in attendance were encouraged to take shelter in hallways until the worst had passed.
Once the 212th Company had arrived at approximately 7:45 PM, they assembled in formation in the armory and the sergeant in charge delivered a short speech touting the merits of the company and their operation in Kuwait. She also commended the support from friends and family, saying they received loads of care packages and correspondence during their deployment. The company was then dismissed and reunited with their loved ones.
The National Guard’s 212th Engineering Company, with members from Paris and Camden, began their deployment in February 2013 and provided construction operations for coalition forces in Kuwait.
Children at Henry County and Benton County elementary schools made signs welcoming the unit home; those signs were displayed throughout the armory Saturday (Alex AuBuchon photo).
Attendance Up at 2013 Over the River 8 Mile Race
Shayne Fawcett (R) and Lance Winders (L) finish first and second overall in this year's Over the River race (Alex AuBuchon photo).
Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Landing State Park held their 6th annual Over the River 8 mile road race Saturday morning, on an unseasonably warm but wet and windy day.
150 runners registered to compete in this year’s race, according to Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jennifer Wheatley, up slightly from last year’s total of 147.
The race started in 2007 with only 47 entrants, and has since grown to become the 4th largest race in the Tennessee State Parks Running Tour.
The Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce was the primary sponsor for the race, with additional help from the Bone & Joint Specialists as well as the Friends of Paris Landing State Park.
General Manager of the state park Gary McEntire said both the Tennessee Department of Transportation and Henry County Sheriff’s Department had graciously volunteered to provide traffic control for the race route, which included reducing traffic on the Ned McWherter Bridge to one eastbound lane. The Paris Landing Fire Department was also on hand with a fire engine that led the beginning of the 8 mile race.
The overall winner of the Over the River race for the second year in a row was Shayne Fawcett, age 46 of Bolivar. Fawcett also placed first overall this year at the Chickasaw Chase 10 mile run in Henderson in November.
Placing right behind Fawcett was Henry County High School track and cross-country coach Lance Winders. The race was Winders’ sixth this year in the Tennessee State Parks Running Tour, and his second-place overall finish will likely move him into 3rd place in this year’s Grand Masters grand prix standings.
The top female finisher this year was Robyn Winkler, age 29 of McKenzie, running in her fifth Over the River race and aiming to participate in ten Running Tour events this year. Winkler is currently in first place in the women’s open grand prix standings for this year’s Running Tour.
For more information on the Tennessee State Parks Running Tour, visit the Tennessee Running Tour website.
Polar Express a Big Hit at W.G. Rhea Library
The Polar Express train pulls out of the W.G. Rhea Library parking lot en route to a downtown tour (Alex AuBuchon photo).
Paris, Tenn.- The W.G. Rhea Public Library held a screening of The Polar Express Friday night complete with crafts, games, snacks and -- yes -- a train.
Children, who had to register well ahead of time due to high interest, were treated to a nighttime train ride through downtown Paris with stops at the historic Paris Train Depot and Lee Academy for the Arts.
Participants also had free reign of the W.G. Rhea Library, with craft stations for decorating christmas cookies and writing letters to Santa as well as several games such as snowball fights with plush snowballs and a ring toss featuring a large inflatable reindeer.
W.G. Rhea Library's Youth Director Kayla Nation said the library was somewhat overwhelmed by interest in registration -- after 60 children on the registry and overflow lists, they had to close registration due to fire code concerns.
Due to the high interest and success of Friday night's event, the library plans to make the Polar Express evening a yearly holiday tradition.
Children participate in a friendly snowball fight during Friday's Polar Express screening
(Alex AuBuchon photo).
News from past weeks here.