From News Director Tim Alsobrooks, Assistant and Weekend News Director Alex AuBuchon
BPU Board Recognizes Jacob Hunt for Lineman Rodeo Finish
Paris, Tenn.- The board of directors for the Paris Board of Public Utilities met Tuesday afternoon and recognized journeyman lineman Jacob Hunt for competing in a recent lineman rodeo in Indiana and winning 1st place overall. General Manager of BPU John Etheridge said Jacob has been working as a journey lineman with BPU for 6 years and he has competed in several of these lineman competitions in the past.
Etheridge said the competitions involve safety, processes, time, and procedure that lineman handle during work conditions. Hunt spent his own money to travel to the lineman rodeo in Indiana because he likes to compete and after completion of the four events he won 1st place overall. Hunt had also competed in the TVPPA Lineman Rodeo this year.
Sales Down in All Departments Thru First Four Months of Fiscal Year
Paris, Tenn.- Etheridge discussed financials and told board members that sales were down in the electric department year to date due mostly to a moderate summer, and until this week, a relatively warm fall so far. He said the positive net income for the electric department was at 63K and it means that customers are spending less money from their pocket. He told the board that he doubted the electric department would be in as good of a shape financially at the end of this current fiscal year as they were at the end of the last fiscal year, but they were still in good shape overall.
Director of water and wastewater operations Terry Wimberly echoed Etheridge’s statements on sales being down for the water and wastewater departments as well. He said water sales are down 13½% this year compared to the same four months to start the fiscal year last year. Water showed a negative net income this month, mostly in part due to a three payday month.
Wimberly said that water consumption has decreased over the last ten year period and this past October was the lowest consumption in several years. He said some dry weather for a lengthy time it may help increase consumption, but the loss of some industries in the area have also aided in the decreased consumption of water.
In the wastewater department, sales were also down, just not as drastically as in the water department. Wimberly said for the same four month period last year sales were down just over 9%. The sewer cap during certain months of the year helps in this area.
BPU Trying to Find Fix for Water Pressure Issues On Hwy. 79
Paris, Tenn.- Wimberly also told board members later in the meeting that he is working on some ideas and plans to fix issues customers are facing on highway 79 with the new water lines. He said the BPU picked up about 30 new customers from South Paris water thru the city’s annexation in the area.
Wimberly pointed out that those customers were used to being on a booster pump station with South Paris and now they are on the main lines on highway 79 and are having issues with water pressure being less than what they were used to. He said the BPU is meeting the minimum standard water pressure requirements, but those customers have voiced concern wanting more pressure because it’s what they have been used to.
The BPU board approved bids for substation materials to the low bidder, Substation Products, Inc, who bid a lattice type structure for the new North Paris substation that will be constructed. They also approved reinstating the BPU’s pension plan, which is a housekeeping measure the IRS requires every five years even though there were no changes to the plan.
Etheridge said the new software conversions were nearing completion but they’ve had a few issues to work out before going live. He said once they go live in the next few days and weeks, the Kiosk out on the side of the BPU building will become operational in 10 days from the go live date.
Board of Trustees Recognizes Beverly Neighbors for Her Years of Service
HCMC Board of Trustees chairman Phil Wichlan presents Beverly Neighbors
with a plague and thanked her for 10 years of service on the board. (Tim Alsobrooks photo)
At the beginning of a lengthy Henry County Medical Center Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday night, the board recognized Beverly Neighbors for her ten years of service to the board. Neighbors attended her last board meeting as a board member Tuesday night after beginning her stint on the board of trustees in 2003.
Neighbors made history in 2003, becoming the first woman to ever serve on the HCMC board of trustees. Chairman of the board, Phil Wichlan presented her with a plague and thanked her for her years of service. Hospital Administrator and CEO Tom Gee also handed Neighbors a large wall clock as a gift for her service.
Neighbors told her fellow board members it has been an honor to serve on the board of trustees. She said our community is very blessed to have a very special and unique hospital and medical community and how hard everyone works to better serve the community.
The board welcomed Troy Buttery as the newest board member to take the seat that Neighbors will leave on the board.
The board listens as Neighbors speaks about her time on the board.
Hospitals Urged to Meet with Legislators About Expanding Medicaid
Paris, Tenn.- During his administrative comments, Gee told the board of trustees that the Tennessee Hospital Association is making a push to have hospitals meet with their legislators about the need to expand the Medicaid population by January. Tennessee did not expand the Medicaid rolls along with choosing not to participate in operating their own healthcare marketplace.
Gee said failure to expand the Medicaid population would result in economic harm to rural hospitals like HCMC and he urged board members to talk with our representatives about the need to expand it.
Gee also said sign up for the healthcare exchange is still underway but due to the federal website issues it has been slow. He noted the event held at the fairgrounds earlier this month was poorly attended.
The board learned there had been a significant increase in volume for cardiology testing services at the imaging center as they have recently expanded coverage to five days a week. Gee said the medical center also negotiated a change in the imaging contract to allow the cardiologist to read and interpret their nuclear medicine studies. On a related topic, the board approved capital equipment purchases later in the meeting which included some construction and a new nuclear medicine camera and upgrades to their current nuclear medicine camera.
Gee informed the board that he and some other staff attended training on Lean Leadership at the THA last week. It was another of an ongoing series of educational sessions to being allowing the medical center to introduce these concepts and techniques into the organization. The session was on strategic planning and how to communicate the vision and goals of the organization down to the lowest levels of the organization.
New Chief Nursing Officer Named, Rose Hired as EMS Director
Paris, Tenn.- The board of trustees were informed on some staff changes. James Caldwell, RN, has been selected as the new Chief Nursing Officer for HCMC. Caldwell comes from Baptist Memorial Hospital in Jonesboro, Arkansas. He is set to begin duties on December 9th. Gee told board members that Caldwell had served as CNO in Union City and has family in the Paris area.
Ed Ledden, of Human Resources, told the board that Twila Rose has been selected as the director of EMS. Ledden said Rose was one of three applicants for the position and she has been serving as interim director the last several months and served as assistant director before that. Ledden said Rose was the best candidate for the job.
Updated News: Delk was arrested around 8pm on Hardy Street in Paris and placed back into custody.
Paris, Tenn.- Warrants for escape have been drawn on Charles J. Delk, age 34, after he walked away from work detail at the Henry County Correctional Facility on Monday.
Delk, who had been serving time in Henry County for felony vandalism, had completed his sentence at the Henry County Jail and was only at the jail awaiting pick up from Kentucky to answer a charge there for possession of anhydrous ammonia.
Delk had been a trustee since May, while serving the latter part of his two year sentence at the Henry County jail. He was on work detail on the grounds of the sheriff’s department and was awaiting transport to Kentucky when he was discovered missing from his work assignment.
Although his time was complete on Monday with Henry County, he still had outstanding charges in Kentucky and was being held by this agency for pickup and now has warrants for escape from Henry County.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Charles J. Delk should contact the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at 642-1672 or the Hot Line at 642-0929.
Henry County's Scarlet McSwain Signs with Lady Vols Softball
Scarlet McSwain signs here National Letter of intent to play softball for the Lady Vols. (photo submitted by Heaven McSwain)
Knoxville, Tenn.- Henry County’s Scarlet McSwain recently signed with the University of Tennessee, in Knoxville, to play for the nationally ranked and recognized Lady Vols softball team.
McSwain is part of a high ranking recruiting class coming to Knoxville for co-coaches of the Lady Vols softball team Ralph and Karen Weekly. McSwain is currently ranked number 43 on studentsports.com’s list of hot 100 seniors in high school softball.
McSwain garnered 2013 all-state and all-district honors after batting .661 with five homers, 37 RBIs and 30 stolen bases for Henry County High School. She earned the 2012 District 10-AAA Top Offensive Player award after batting .589 with one homer, 38 RBIs and 46 stolen bases.
As a freshman, she hit .521 with one homer, 26 RBIs and 41 stolen bases. McSwain's Tennessee Fury club team finished third at 2013 ASA Nationals and third in the Colorado Fireworks tournament.
The Lady Vols are poised once again to compete for a NCAA championship on the softball diamond next spring after falling just short in 2013 as the National Runner up.
North Pole Family Fun Day 10-2 This Friday in Downtown Paris
Paris, Tenn.- The Annual North Pole Family Fun Day is set to commence in downtown Paris this Friday beginning at 10am when Santa, Rudolph, and some Elves will arrive on one of the Paris Fire Department’s Fire Trucks.
Santa will take his place in his house on the courthouse lawn and throughout the North Pole Family Fun Day from 10-2 on Friday and Saturdays and Sundays thru part of December, youngsters can visit with Santa and have their pictures taken by Project Graduation.
Santa’s arrival is just part of the fun during the North Pole Family Fun Day which includes stories, live animals, crafts and more from 10-2, all part of the Downtown Unwrapped series of events this holiday season in Paris.
The 4H honors club will have four free craft booths open, the Polar Express will be read by Mrs. Wilson’s high school speech students at Vicky Muzzal’s Tax Service every half hour on Friday and all youngsters will receive a free train whistle.
There will be a trackless train for adults and children, games on the courthouse lawn, and a petting zoo with pony rides. Kids can also enjoy free face painting inside Commercial Bank and Trust in downtown from 10am until Noon.
In addition to all these events, the downtown merchants will be open so shoppers can start taking care of everyone on their gift list this Christmas.
For a complete schedule of events during Downtown Unwrapped, go to visitdowntowparis.com.
Arts Council and Youth For the Arts Announce Scholarship Winners
Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Henry County Arts Council and Youth for the Arts recently announced the fall semester scholarship winners. The winners were E.W. Grove Library Art Program, R.E.A.L. Hope Art Workshop, and Autumn Price. All winners received funds to help continue to the presentation or practice of arts in the community.
The Arts Council also remind you to visit Burger King in Paris’s before the end of November and see the November Artists of the month as their work is hanging in the restaurant. This month the art work of Jessica Hernandez, Ginna Pinson, and Guillermina Medina will be featured.
46th Annual Community Christmas Concert Will Be Dec. 8th at 3pm
Paris, Tenn.- The 46th Annual Community Christmas Concert will be held on Sunday December 8th at 3pm at First United Methodist Church. The cherished event is free to the public and will include performers from many of the local churches and will feature a singing, hand bell choir, live orchestra, and actors will perform the classic nativity story. For more information on the concert call the Arts Council at 642-3955 or visit phcarts.com.
Possible Winter Weather Causes Postponement of Monday Basketball Games
Paris, Tenn.- Due to impending winter weather that is forecast for our area this evening, officials at Lakewood, Harrelson and E.W. Grove have decided to postpone their respective basketball games tonight. Continue to listen to our radio stations, check our website at wmufradio.com, and our Facebook page for cancellations and closings today and tomorrow morning. Weather forecasts are calling for a mix of rain, sleet, snow, and freezing rain to turn mostly to frozen precipitation tonight and then back to rain by mid morning on Tuesday.
Inman Students Donate over 10K Food Items to HC Food Bank
This is one of two trailers filled with food items that were collected by all homerooms at Inman Middle School. Paris Public Works Department trailers and trucks were used to haul the food. (Alex AuBuchon photo).
Paris, Tenn.- Inman Middle School concluded a three-week food drive today, donating 10,788 items to the Henry County Food Bank.
All students from 6th to 8th grade participated in the food drive, and according to educational assistant Charlotte Robertson, every homeroom in the school donated at least 100 items, with some totaling in the thousands.
Robertson sponsors the Inman Informers, a group of primarily 6th and 7th grade students that meets in the mornings before homeroom and puts together PowerPoint presentations and bulletin boards to keep the Inman student body informed on upcoming events.
The Informers partnered with Inman’s Beta Club and the Watchdogs to sponsor the food drive.
Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo was on hand with a few Paris Police Department officers and Paris City Works vehicles to help load and transport the massive food donation to the Henry County Food Bank.
Elizondo also said the Police Department was partnering with the Food Bank to sponsor a pizza party for a homeroom class in each grade level at Inman with the highest total of donations.
Pam Harrington, coordinator at the Henry County Food Bank, said “words cannot express how overwhelming this is”. Harrington was amazed that so many students cared so deeply about helping others in their community, and willingly donated their time to that cause. Harrington also said that this is the largest community project she has ever been involved in.
For more information about the Food Bank or to find out ways you can help, contact Ms. Harrington at 731-234-9642.
The Inman Informers spearheaded the food drive along with help from the Paris Police
Department and The Henry County Food Bank (Alex AuBuchon photo).
Volunteers and students help to load food this morning at Inman (Alex AuBuchon photo).
Weekend Thefts Under Investigation by HCSO and PPD
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Sheriff’s Office and Paris Police Department both continue to investigate thefts that occurred around Paris and Henry County over the weekend.
The sheriff’s office responded to Old Paris Murray where over $2500 worth of items were stolen from a residence. The mobile home was broken into and items missing include a Remington 30 oz. 6, Ruger .22, a revolver, flat screen TV, game camera, DVDs, a Wii game system, and more. Deputies have no suspects and are continuing to investigate.
Sheriff’s deputies are also still investigating a theft from a home on Apache Drive in Springville where a revolver, digital camera, and deep freeze were stolen. Total value of all items reported missing was over $900.
The Paris Police Department is investigating a theft of wiring out of a garage on Fairgrounds Road. The report stated that the wiring was torn out from outlets and other places in the garage. The theft of the wiring and damage is estimated over $2K.
Paris Police are also still investigating some vandalism that occurred over the weekend where three buildings were spray painted with graffiti on the sides of them. Costs to remove the graffiti is estimated at $250.
Some arrests over the weekend include Danny P. Cowan, age 21, of 181 Yates Street for possession of schedule 6 with intent, and Robert G. Williamson, age 53 of Chicago with possession of schedule two with intent and possession of drug paraphernalia. Williamson’s bond was placed at $10K.
Lance Winders Wins Saturday Race, Moves to Third in Tour
Hilham, Tenn.- Henry County High School track and cross-country coach Lance Winders headed to Hilham, Tennessee on Saturday to compete in the Bigfoot Scramble 5 mile race at Standing Rock State Park.
Winders placed first overall in the race, with a time of 29 minutes and 11 seconds, averaging under 6 minutes per mile.
With the race win, Winders moves to third place in the 50 to 59 division of this year’s Tennessee State Parks Running Tour.
The Tour will head to Paris Landing on December 21st for an 8 mile race across the Highway 79 bridge and through the Paris Landing area. For more information, contact race director Mike Bell at 731-441-1468.
Benefit for Kenneth King Scheduled for Friday, December 6
Flyer submitted by Becky Craig
Camden, Tenn.- A benefit has been scheduled in the memory of Kenneth King at the Birdsong Community Center in Camden, Tenn., on Saturday, December 6th.
King's family will be serving white beans and cornbread from 5 until 8 PM at the Birdsong Community Center, with a silent auction and karaoke to follow.
Advance tickets to the benefit are available at the Benton County Courthouse, Benton County Clerk's office, or at Birdsong Marina. Tickets can also be purchased by calling (731) 418-0544 or (731) 441-6949. If you'd like to donate an item to their silent auction, call either of those numbers.
Carry-out orders from the benefit will also be available.
The benefit is a fundraiser attempting to help the King family with expenses following Mr. King's sudden and unexpected death.
Paris Police Department Investigating Thefts
Paris, Tenn.- Paris Police Department officers are currently searching for a stolen pickup truck.
PPD reports indicate that officers responded to a home on Harding Road Thursday night after the complainants noticed a set of tail lights leaving their home, then realized it was their 2000 Dodge Dakota pickup truck.
The complainants advised officers that the truck had been left unlocked with the keys inside.
The truck is a maroon four-door Dodge Dakota with peeling clearcoat and a dent in the middle of the tailgate.
Officers do have the license plate number of the truck and are actively investigating; the vehicle has also been entered into the NCIC database.
Officers also responded to complaints of theft at a home on Fairgrounds Road recently. The complainant there advised officers that someone had stolen all of the wiring out of the home's detached garage.
Responding officers observed that all the wiring to the lights and outlets in the garage appeared to have been cut out. Property loss and damages were estimated to total $2000.
The Paris Police Department does have a suspect in this case and is currently investigating.
Paris Winery Gets Approval from Murray Zoning Committee
Murray, Ky.- Paris Winery owner Roger Ciarrocchi's goal of opening a second location for his business came a little closer recently as the Murray Board of Zoning Committee approved operation at the intersection of S. 12th and Poplar Streets.
That location currently houses a Domino's Pizza building, which Ciarrocchi hopes to convert into a second store for wine tasting and sales of Paris Winery's products.
Ciarrocchi hopes that the second location will be open early next year. For more information on Paris Winery, visit their website at www.pariswinery.com.
Patriots Roll Past Ridgeway, Advance to TSSAA Semifinals
Chase Henderson breaks away on his first of six touchdown runs, a Henry County High School single game record (Tim Pharr photo).
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Patriots won handily last night over Memphis Ridgeway in a rematch of their fourth game of the regular season, by a final score of 42 to 21.
Patriot running back Chase Henderson was electric, setting a Henry County High School single-game record with six rushing touchdowns on the night.
Henderson gained 268 yards on 23 carries, an average of over 11 yards per carry. He scored 36 of the Patriots’ 42 points on the night; the other 6 came from extra points and field goals by Patriot kicker Bryan Rammel.
#56 Griffin Wood upends a Memphis Ridgeway runner with help from a host of Patriot defenders (Tim Pharr photo).
Henry County’s defense played an extremely impressive game as well, forcing turnovers through fumble recoveries, interceptions and through turnovers on downs. Shontel Thompson, Cody Hunter and Malcolm Benau all earned interceptions for Henry County’s defensive backfield.
Linebacker Dennis Tharpe, Jr. sacks Memphis Ridgeway's quarterback (Tim Pharr photo).
Henry County’s win puts them in the TSSAA Semifinals. They will travel to Clarksville next Friday to face Clarksville Northeast in a rematch of their October 25th regular season game. Henry County won that contest 32 to 28.
Kickoff is set for 7 PM and the Papa John’s Pre-game Show will start at 6:30 on WLZK 94.1 FM – you can also tune in to the game online at WMUFradio.com.
A replay of last night’s Memphis-Ridgeway broadcast is available here and also on the iTunes store.
The Big Red faithful had plenty to cheer about on a cold Friday night at Patriot Stadium (Tim Pharr photo).
Tevin Lumpkin Found Guilty of Murder, Sentenced to Life in Prison
Paris, Tenn.- After two days of jury deliberations, a Henry County jury declared Tevin Dominique Lumpkin guilty of first degree murder at approximately 1:40 PM Friday in relation to the shooting death of Eric LaSalle Kinley, 41 of Paris, at a nightclub in August last year.
Circuit Judge Donald E. Parish sentenced Lumpkin to imprisonment for the remainder of his natural life. He was promptly taken into custody by Sheriff Monte Belew and Henry County Sheriff's Office deputies.
HCHS Marching Patriots Selling Fruit, Sally Lane's Candy
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County High School marching band is currently running two fundraisers.
Marching Patriot members are currently selling fruit such as pineapples, oranges, red and green apples, and mixed boxes.
Band members are also selling pink and green mints and white chocolate popcorn from Sally Lane's Candy.
Sales will run through December 3rd for the fruit and December 4th for the candy, with expected delivery starting December 13th.
Proceeds will go towards the marching band's spring trip to Disney World.
Inman Dead Verb Funeral Monday at KPAC
Paris, Tenn.- The eighth grade class at Inman Middle School will hold their third-annual Dead Verb Funeral on Monday, November 25th at KPAC.
Two separate groups of students from Kelly McEntire’s and Brent Harris’s English and Language Arts classes will hold funeral services for dead and dying verbs (such as am, is, are, was, and were) and vow to choose more exciting and vivid language in their future writing.
Each “deceased” verb has been adopted and personified by a number of students. In addition, students will portray preachers, choir members, and eulogists during the services.
The Dead Verb Funeral will be held Monday, November 25th at KPAC beginning at 10:50 AM – approximately 160 students will participate and everyone’s invited to attend.
News from past weeks here.