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News & Weather

WMUF/WLZK News                                                               

From News Director Tim Alsobrooks

Assistant News Director Cassie Walsh


Holly Jolly Christmas Parade Set for 5pm Saturday

Paris, Ten.- The 10th Annual Holly Jolly Christmas Parade is set for this Saturday December 10th in downtown Paris. The parade will start at 5pm, immediately following the Downtown Christmas Festival which runs from 3-5pm Saturday.

The Downtown Paris Association sponsors both events and Ray and Noragene Harding have been named as DPA Ambassadors for the Parade. DPA Director Kathy Ray said, “they both work so much with DPA and Ray is the leader of our Heritage Day tours in June during Downtown Paris Week.”

Ray grew up in Paris and the couple retired back in town in 1998. He has served on the Heritage Center Board and was instrumental in the re-birth of Lee School as an Academy for the Arts.

Paris Elementary School will be the spotlight school for the Holly Jolly Electric Christmas Parade on Saturday. Last week the Grand Marshalls of the parade were named: News Channel 5 in Nashville’s General Manager Lyn Veazy Platinga, who is originally from Henry County, and Meteorologist Lelan Statom. Statom will conduct a Winter Weather Window around 3:45pm on Saturday at White and Associates Insurance that includes predictions on Snowfall, school closings, and predictions for Santa.

The route for this year’s parade will be slightly different from previous years, beginning at First United Methodist Church and proceeding north down Poplar Street. Trophies for Most Christmas Spirit, Best Religious Theme, Best Decorated Vehicle, Best Decorated Float, Best Marching/Walking Unit, Best Decorated Golf Cart, and the Clark Griswold Award for most lit entry. Trophies will be awarded at the Grandstand on the East Side of the courthouse lawn as the parade passes.

Paris Landing Christmas Movie Night is Dec. 10th

Buchanan, Tenn.- Paris Landing State Park will be presenting a free Family Christmas Movie Night on Saturday, December 10th from 5pm to 7pm at the Paris Landing Inn, which is located at 400 Lodge Road in Buchanan.

Bring your family and enjoy a relaxing evening watching the wonderful Christmas classic, National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, which Paris Landing State Park will provide. Refreshments will be an extra charge. All ages are welcome to attend the Family Christmas Movie Night at Paris Landing State Park.

Christmas With the Madrigals is Saturday, Dec. 10th

Paris, Tenn.- Christmas with the Madrigals will be on Saturday, December 10th at 7pm at KPAC. General Admission is $8 at the door. For advance tickets, you can ask any Henry County High School Madrigal or you can get your tickets by calling 731-363-1079 or 731-363-3677.You can also purchase tickets at Boutique Mari Mac and Merle Norman.

So, come by and enjoy a special performance by the Madrigals on December 10th.

Planning Commission Approves Animal Doctor Minor Site Plan

Planning Commission looks at map of property on Memorial Drive. (Tim Alsobrooks photo)

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Regional Municipal Planning Commission met on Thursday night and approved a minor site plan for Michael and Melissa Boley on Memorial Drive for a grooming and boarding facility to be built next to the Animal Doctor Veterinary Clinic. The proposed structure includes an 800 sq. ft. covered area on the rear of the existing structure. Indoor renovations are currently in process.

Community Development Director Jennifer Morris informed the Planning Commission that the proposed addition is less than 1K sq. ft. therefore it is a minor site plan. Drainage is exempt from consideration as the Ordinance allows less than 10% increase of proposed improvement vs. existing before drainage features are required. The existing parking is adequate for both commercial structures located in the area. A dumpster pad and screening has also been noted on the plan.

Planners also approved a grading site plan for Charlie Douglas on Mineral Wells Avenue. The plan submitted is for grading and drainage on Mineral Wells to the south of Commercial Bank branch. The plan doesn’t show the intended area of disturbance that is said to be less than one acre and the plan does show a retaining wall on both sides of the property.

Community Development Director Jennifer Morris said Douglas has been informed that the City will require additional notations on the plan that show erosion control measures and estimated area of disturbance. Grading improvements are the only proposed changes to the property at this time. MS4 measures are not required other than the Erosion Control Plan.

The plan shows ingress/egress on Jim Adams Drive and that must be addressed since the driveway crosses property owned by the City of Paris that was acquired through a Parks Grant that does not allow any type of conveyance or easement for that property. There is nothing planned for the property at this time. Morris said if the property is involved with the Parks Grant, then no ingress can be granted on Jim Adams. At this time however, just the grading site plan was approved.

A site plan for the Henry County Board of Education Bus Garage on McAdoo Street was approved by the planning commission Thursday night contingent on MS4 requirements being met. The preliminary site plan shows the existing garage complex to be the site and the proposed garage will be to the west of Barton Field. The size is 15,495 sq. ft. on the building and an additional 22 parking spaces are proposed in the existing area with another 12 spaces in front of the proposed garage. Setbacks and the siting of the building are adequate and within Zoning Ordinance requirements. MS4 and Drainage issues are under review.

Grove Asst. Princ. Mason One of 20 in First Ever GASL Class

Nashville- Tim Mason, the assistant principal at E.W. Grove School, has participated in a highly selective cohort of fellow assistant principals from around the state in a program called GASL. He will graduate from the GASL program in December with a celebration at the Governor’s mansion.

The Governor’s Academy for School Leadership is a unique partnership between the Tennessee Governor's Office, Department of Education, Vanderbilt University's Peabody College, and local school districts. It consists of a cohort of 20-25 assistant principals from across Tennessee who participate in a one-year leadership development experience aimed at increasing school leadership capacity and supporting individual growth toward becoming a highly effective building principal. The program is anchored in practice-based mentorship, in-depth feedback cycles, and tailored training sessions. The mission of the program is to prepare a cohort of transformational school leaders who will improve school effectiveness/performance and unlock educational opportunities for all students. - See more at: https://www.tn.gov/education/topic/governors-leadership-fellows-program#sthash.KZrod5v5.dpuf

 “Principals are responsible for hiring and retaining great teachers, being the instructional leaders of their schools, creating positive learning environments and managing complex operations within their buildings. Successful organizations have great leaders at the top, and one of the most important things we can do to transform our schools is to have each one led by a great principal. Tennessee has many great principals already, and we want even more.”                    --Governor Haslam

What is the Governor's Academy for School Leadership?

The Governor’s Academy for School Leadership is a unique partnership between the Tennessee Governor's Office, Department of Education, Vanderbilt University's Peabody College, and local school districts. The program consists of a cohort of 20-25 assistant principals from across Tennessee who will participate in a one-year leadership development experience aimed at increasing school leadership capacity and supporting individual growth toward becoming a highly effective building principal. The program is anchored in practice-based mentorship, in-depth feedback cycles, and tailored training sessions.

- See more at: https://www.tn.gov/education/article/governors-leadership-fellows-program-faq#sthash.7phU1kwO.dpuf

What is the mission of the Governor's Academy for School Leadership?

The mission of the Governor’s Academy for School Leadership is to prepare a cohort of transformational school leaders who will improve school effectiveness/performance and unlock educational opportunities for all students.

- See more at: https://www.tn.gov/education/article/governors-leadership-fellows-program-faq#sthash.7phU1kwO.dpuf

How are Governor's Academy for School Leadership fellows selected?

Fellows are chosen through a highly selective and rigorous nomination and application process. Directors of schools must nominate fellows to be considered. A committee will select and invite qualified nominees to complete an application and participate in an interview. Fellows will be selected from qualified applicants across Tennessee to reflect the three major geographic regions in the state.

- See more at: https://www.tn.gov/education/article/governors-leadership-fellows-program-faq#sthash.7phU1kwO.dpuf

What are benefits of participating in the GASL program as a fellow?

  • Specifically designed training to support competency as a transformational school leader
  • Program funding provided by the state of Tennessee
  • Certificate of program completion from Vanderbilt University
  • Prestige of being selected as a Governor’s Academy for School Leadership fellow
  • Ongoing mentorship and coaching by a highly effective support team including the home principal, mentor principal and a regional coach
  • Weekly internship experience in mentor principal’s school
  • Job-embedded professional growth directly aligned to the TILS and TEAM Administrator Rubric
  • Licensure advancement option
  • Stipend to assist with travel costs and materials
  • Connection with a network of highly effective school leaders across Tennessee

- See more at: https://www.tn.gov/education/article/governors-leadership-fellows-program-faq#sthash.7phU1kwO.dpuf

Murray State Fall Commencement Set for Sat. Dec. 10th

(MSU Photo)

Murray, Ky.- Murray State University’s December 2016 Commencement ceremony will be held on Saturday, Dec. 10, in the CFSB Center and recognize the achievements of 1,195 graduates. Varying from previous years, the event is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. The Paducah Tilghman High School NJROTC Color Guard will carry out the Presentation of Colors to start the ceremony. 
The Mace Bearer is Dr. Daniel Wann, Murray State’s Distinguished Professor and a faculty member in the department of psychology through the College of Humanities and Fine Arts.

Outstanding Seniors Kimberly Taylor and Dakota Moore will lead the candidates for degrees and will also give the valedictions. Taylor will receive a Bachelor of Science in Accounting with a Finance option. Moore will receive a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Science with a Horticulture option. They are both recipients of the Honors Medallion and are graduating summa cum laude. 
Faculty Marshals assisting with the ceremony are Professors Susana Bloomdahl,

Heath Keller, Michael Kemp, Robert Lyons, Matt Shultz and Gill Welsch.
The faculty will be led in by the recipients of The Regents Teaching Awards for Excellence: Dr. Heath Keller, Jeffrey Wylie, Dr. Jana Hackathorn, Dr. Danielle Nielsen and Dr. Christopher Mecklin.

They will be joined by Presidential Research Fellows Dr. James Duane Bolin and Dr. Bommanna Loganathan, Distinguished Researcher Dr. Howard Whiteman, University Distinguished Mentor Dr. David Pizzo, University Emerging Scholars Dr. Randall Bunker and Dr. Joshua Ridley, Faculty Advisor of the Year Dr. Michelle Santiago and the recipient of the Faculty Distinguished Service award, Dr. Dina Byers.

Murray State President Dr. Robert Davies will preside over the ceremony with a welcome message as well as a Residential College Investiture. Davies, along with Acting Provost Dr. Renae Duncan, will administer the Awarding of Degrees.Dr. Jerry Sue Thornton will deliver the Commencement Address and will receive an honorary doctorate from the University. Thornton earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Murray State and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. Thornton is the CEO of DreamCatcher Educational Consulting Service, where she coaches and provides professional development for new college and university presidents. She began serving as president of Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland in 1992, retired in 2013 and was presented by the Board of Trustees with the title of president emeritus.

CFSB Center doors open at 8:00 a.m., and attendees are encouraged to arrive early. A limited area of overflow seating will be available outside of the main arena, where guests can view a live video stream of the ceremony in its entirety.
General guest parking is available in the Stewart Stadium parking lot, east of the CFSB Center, off of U.S. Highway 641. Shuttle buses are available to transport guests from the parking lot to the front doors of the CFSB Center beginning at 7:30 a.m. Buses are also available until 1:30 p.m. to return guests to the parking lot.

Guests with accessibility needs may use the parking lot located off of Gilbert Graves Drive as a drop-off zone. An accessible parking tag or special permission will be required to park in the lot. Guests with limited mobility may also be dropped off at this location.

The top two rows of chair seating in the arena are reserved for guests with limited mobility and allow for two additional guests to sit with them. Special seating areas will also be located on each side of the arena. Ushers will be available for assistance.

Special requests regarding accessibility needs can be directed to the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Access at 270-809-3155 or the CFSB Center at 270-809-5577 or TDD 270-809-3361.

For those who are unable to attend, the event will be streamed live at murraystate.edu/streaming. Commencement moments can be shared on social media with #RacerGraduation. More information about the event can be found at murraystate.edu/commencement

Foster, French Attend LGLP at UT's Naifeh Center


Knoxville- Paris City Manager Kim Foster and Henry County Trustee Randi French were two of twenty local government officials from around the state who recently attended the Local Government Leadership Program (LGLP) hosted by the University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service’s Naifeh Center for Effective Leadership.

The city and county officials who attended the two and a half day program in Knoxville were invited by the UT County Technical Assistance Service and the UT Municipal Technical Advisory Service, sister agencies to the Naifeh Center. The officials attended sessions on ways to build an ethical culture applying Lean practices in the public sector and change in the political landscape.

LGLP began in 1991 with the goal of cultivating a visionary core of proactive government leaders. LGLLP is designed to provide these leaders with the vision, knowledge, and tools, they need to guide their cities and counties into the future.

The program offers local government leaders an opportunity to explore ideas and strategies with each other, with LGLP alumni, and with UT faculty members. In addition, speakers and trainers from outside government share insight and experiences.

Big Sandy American Legion to Host 2nd Annual Santa Adopt a Vet on Saturday

Big Sandy, Tenn.- American Legion Post 228 in Big Sandy will hold their 2nd Annual Santa for Adopt a Vet event benefiting Unforgotten MC’s Adopt-a-Vet program which helps local vets in need.

The event is set for this Saturday December 10th from 2-6pm at the post located at 70 Front St. in Big Sandy. There will be games, auction, drawings for prizes, and food for sale. Auction items and baked goods are appreciated. Come support the American Legion as they support our Veterans. For more information call 731-593-5737.

"Over the River" Race Set for Sat. at 11am

Buchanan, Tenn.- Paris Landing State Park will once again be featured in the State Parks Running Tour, with the 8 mile “Over the River” race planned for 11am this Saturday December 10th. Special awards will be given to the top overall male and female at the race. For more information or to help work the race, call the Paris Henry County Chamber of Commerce at 642-3431. For additional information on the race and to register visit www.tennesseerunningtour.com.

HCHD Ornament Contest Winners Announced

Pictured with their ornaments in front of the tree at HCHD are L to R: 1st Place Winner Amelia Northam, 3rd Place Winner Izzy Heidlauf, and 2nd Place Winner Ethan Ray. (Tim Alsobrooks photos)

Paris, Tenn.- Three 4th graders were recognized for their homemade Christmas Ornaments out recycled materials on Wednesday afternoon from Keep Paris and Henry County Beautiful at the Henry County Highway Department.

Patricia Byars, of the Highway Department, said 33 entries from 4th and 5th graders in the Henry County School Systems and Paris Special School District were received in the contest.

1st Place winner was Amelia Northam, 4th grader at Paris Elementary. Her ‘caroling snowman,’ was made up of several recyclable materials such as bread ties, string, and more. She won a $100 Walmart Gift Card.

2nd Place winner was Ethan Ray, 4th grader at Lakewood. His ‘Christmas Bell’ was made with a soup can and washer with ribbon, then decorated with garland. Ethan won a $75 Walmart gift card.

3rd Place winner was Izzy Heidlauf, 4th grader at Lakewood. Her ornament was a snowflake made of old keys. She won a $50 Walmart Gift card.

Each winner also received a goody bag from Keep Paris and Henry County Beautiful.

Downtown Christmas Sketch Crawl 3-4pm Saturday

Paris, Tenn.- The Downtown Paris Christmas Sketch Crawl will be held during the Downtown Christmas Festival this coming Saturday December 10th from 3-4pm and it’s open to anyone who enjoys drawing.

Ann Stapp will once again lead the Sketch Crawl and artists and doodlers are welcome to join in and sketch whatever you see going on around downtown. Stapp said, “we begin on the north side of the court house at the front steps and sketch whatever turns our fancy that’s within our vision, after 15 minutes we move to the next side.” People can participate the whole hour or part of the hour, whatever they wish.

With the artists’ permission, Stapp photographs the sketches for the DPA and post it on the Facebook page and website. Stapp encourages participants to bring pen or pencil and paper and a folding chair. For more information on the Christmas Sketch Crawl call 336-2963.

Fundrasier Planned for 10 Month Old Baby James Bruce Sat. in Erin

Erin, Tenn.- A fundraiser for The Children’s Organ Transplant Association, or COTA, to assist baby James Bruce and family with expenses is set for Saturday December 10th at Houston County High School in Erin.

James was born in February with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, HLHS, a rare and severe congenital heart defect that affects approximately 1 in 4500 babies per year in the United States. He was born in Boston’s Children’s Hospital and underwent surgery two days after his birth, then another surgery in late June. In September, Doctors at Boston recommended a life-saving heart transplant for James and he is currently in Boston on the Northeast Transplant List.

The family has partnered with COTA with a goal to raise $50K to assist James with a lifetime of transplant related expenses. Saturday’s event starts at 3pm and includes a BBQ Dinner for $10 per plate, a concert event with acts such as Tina Brown Band and others for $10 as well. There is also a drawing for a Henry Golden Boy .22 Lever-Action Rifle, a silent auction with several items, a bake sale, pictures with Santa available for purchase, a Cornhole Tournament, games and events for youngsters, and much more.

For more information on the fundraiser and ways to donate visit www.cotaforTeamJamesB.com and like the James’ Journey page on Facebook.

Warrants Issued on Dolberry for Attempt to Commit First Degree Murder

Paris, Tenn.- Lt. Michael Ramos of the Paris Police Department has issued warrants for Gerald E. Dolberrry, age 29, of 615 Mandalay Road, for attempt to commit first degree murder after Dolberry appeared to have fired a shot that barely missed a man’s leg in a confrontation Monday night on Washington Street.

The report at the Paris Police Department said units arrived at the residence on East Washington after the shots were fired and the complainant explained Dolberry and his daughter were arguing over the phone and he told the girl he was coming there with a gun to take care of the problem. The complainant met Dolberry at the front door when he saw him coming and Dolberry aimed a gun at the complainant’s chest.

The complainant pushed Dolberry down the front steps as he was adjusting his aim. Dolberry aimed again and fired a shot off that whizzed by the complainant leg. Dolberry then left in a Black, newer model, Nissan with tinted windows and Missouri tags.  

Police found the shell casing on the ground after it had appeared to ricochet off the house. Lt. Ramos and Sgt. Jeramye Whitaker searched the area but couldn’t find Dolberry at the time. Paris Police issued a warning to all officers and the Henry County Sheriff’s Office that Dolberry has stated he is not coming back to jail and he could be armed and dangerous. Anyone with tips on Dolberry’s location should contact Paris Police at 642-2424.  

Paris Police Continue to Investigate Pharmacy Break-In

Paris, Tenn.- Paris Police continue to investigate a theft where $32K worth of prescription medication was stolen from Paris Pharmacy on Mineral Wells Avenue earlier this week. The report stated that Ptl. Dereck Greenhill responded to the store after employees found cabinets open, trash strewn about, the alarm torn off the wall wires hanging from the ceiling, and several items missing.

The report said the safe was moved and then a saw was used to gain access to it where the $32K worth of medication was stolen. Also stolen was a computer tower valued at $1K, and cash from the safe in the amount of $684. Surveillance video shows a white male, about 6 feet tall, with slender build, run towards the back of the pharmacy on Sunday morning. Then a minivan left the scene.

TVA Seeks Input on Coal Ash Storage at Cumberland City Plant

Knoxville, Tenn.- The Tennessee Valley Authority is seeking public input on plans to change the way coal ash and other coal combustion residuals are stored at the Cumberland Fossil Plant in Stewart County.

TVA is considering options for a new dry storage landfill to receive future CCR produced at the plant as well as options for closing the bottom ash and main ash ponds on site. TVA is also evaluating the potential impacts of building a dewatering facility to remove moisture from the bottom ash stream. These projects support TVA’s goal to eliminate wet handling of CCR storage across the system while meeting state and federal requirements including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s CCR Rule.

TVA will hold an open house for the public on Monday December 12 from 4:30-7:30pm, to gather input on the scope of a proposed environmental impact statement for the CCR Management project at Cumberland. The meeting will be held at the Freedom Points Events Center at Liberty Park in Clarksville. The public comment period will remain open thru January 6, 2017.

The EIS will look at potential environmental and socio-economic impacts of various alternatives for the future handling and storage of CCR at Cumberland. A portion of the EIS will be governed by the results of a previous study in 2016 by TVA that analyzed methods closing CCR impoundments at TVA fossil plants and identified specific screening and evaluation factors to help frame its assessment of closures at any of its facilities.

Documents and comment forms can be found at www.tva.gov/nepa.

Lady Patriots Win; Pats Fall by a Bucket at Kenwood

Clarksville, Tenn.- Henry County split a pair of games at Kenwood in District 10-AAA basketball action Tuesday night. The Lady Patriots defeated Kenwood 61-44. Natiya Jumper led the way with 14 points for Henry County. The Lady Patriots are 6-1 on the season and 1-0 in District play.

The Pats lost by a bucket to the Knights 46-44 Tuesday night. James King had 13 points and Cameron May finished with 11 points for the Pats. The Patriots are 3-3 on the season and are 0-1 in District play. Both teams will be back in District action on Friday at home against West Creek, then on the road in non-district play on Saturday at Martin Westview.

Bethel Fall Commencement To Be Held Saturday

Dr. Logan Hampton

McKenzie, Tenn.- Bethel University’s Fall 2016 Commencement will be held this Saturday December 10th at the Rosemary and Harry Crisp II Arena, located in the Vera Low Center for Student Enrichment at 101 Wildcat Lane.

Dr. Logan Hampton, President of Lane College, will be the commencement speaker. He was named the 10th President of Lane College by the Lane College Board of Trustees on June 12, 2014. Dr. Hampton has a doctorate in higher education from the University of Arkansas Little Rock, a master’s degree in student personnel services from Northwestern State University in Louisiana, a bachelor’s degree in biology from Arkansas Tech. Dr. Hampton is a graduate of the Harvard Institute of Management and Leadership in Education.

There will be a service for both undergraduate and graduate degree candidates. The ceremony begins at 10am and guest seating will begin at 9am. For more information call 731-352-4090.

UTM Removed from Accreditation Probationary Status

Martin, Tenn.- The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has officially removed the University of Tennessee at Martin from probationary status. The announcement came during the final day of the 2016 SACSCOC Annual Meeting held Dec. 3-6 in Atlanta, Ga.

UT Martin received notice of the commission’s decision to place the university on a 12-month academic probation in December 2015. The decision was based on the university’s “failure to comply” with five of the 92 accreditation standards. The university remained fully accredited by the commission throughout the probation period, and program-specific accreditations also remained in place and continue.

“While I must congratulate UT Martin on successfully addressing the matters raised by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, I never for a moment doubted that success would be the outcome,” said Dr. Joe DiPietro, University of Tennessee president. “The UT Martin faculty, staff, students and administration, under the exceptional leadership of Interim Chancellor Bob Smith, committed themselves tirelessly with a Herculean effort and an incredible sense of teamwork to ensure all concerns were resolved, and their hard work has paid off with the return of their full accreditation status. No doubt, I am very proud of their accomplishment."

Since the commission’s decision, UT Martin faculty members, administrators and support staff have made significant changes in the campus atmosphere and documentation surrounding assessment and student outcomes. A long-term plan is in place to ensure the issue does not recur.

A SACSCOC team made a site visit to the UT Martin main campus Oct. 4-6, which included a series of meetings and the team’s follow-up report to the commission. The visiting team made no recommendations for further action.

“I’m grateful to our UT Martin faculty and staff for their hard work and persistence in successfully addressing this critical challenge,” said Dr. Bob Smith, who guided the university through the yearlong process leading to SACSCOC’s decision. “Our students, alumni and friends showed tremendous confidence in us during the past year, and I’m especially pleased that they are rewarded for standing behind their university.”

Dr. Keith Carver was elected the university’s 10th chancellor in October by the UT Board of Trustees and will begin his duties Jan. 3. He said the accreditation news offers the university a positive foundation for the year ahead.

“This news reflects the great work of the UT Martin team over the past year. This was a tremendous effort by the entire campus community,” said Carver. “I’m excited by the momentum this has created, and I look forward to our continued work to educate the region’s best and brightest students.”

UT Martin is a primary campus in the University of Tennessee System and offers 17 undergraduate degrees with more than 100 specialized concentrations and five graduate degrees with 17 specialized concentrations.  

Festival of Trees Opens Up With Chamber Coffee Tues. Morning

Past Chamber President and recently retired BPU GM John Etheridge with BPU's tree. (David Jackson photos)

Paris, Tenn.- The annual Festival of Trees opened up Tuesday morning by hosting the Chamber Coffee. The Festival of Trees is in a new location this, downtown on the court square at 110 West Washington Street, the former Murray, McKenzie Jewelry Store.

Winners were announced Tuesday morning as the Paris Henry County Arts Council was dubbed as the Most Original Tree. Best Decorated Tree went to the following: 1st Friends of the TN National Wildlife Refuge; 2nd Board of Public Utilities; 3rd Commercial Bank and Trust Company. The public can vote for the people’s choice tree during Festival of Trees and that winner will be announced on December 18th.

Festival of Trees is open Tuesdays thru Fridays 11am to 5pm, Saturdays 10am to 2pm, and Sundays 1-4pm. There is a $1 donation asked to view Festival of Trees which runs until December 18th.

Friends of TN Wildlife Refuge Tree

Arts Council Tree

Comm. Bank Tree

Traffic Stop Leads to Multiple Arrest for Drug Possession

Paris, Tenn.- Lt. Ricky Watson and other members of the Paris Police Department made multiple arrests after a traffic stop Monday. The press release said Lt. Watson stopped a black Malibu on Washington Street after a violation of the light law. The driver, Taboris Jermaine Clemons, couldn’t provide any form of identification. Clemons gave false information to officers as they were investigating the Malibu. The car had a temporary tag from Georgia on it and when dispatch ran the VIN, the vehicle came back stolen from Indiana.

Officers located two loaded weapons in the car and arrested Clemons for theft of property at that time. Officers couldn’t find any information on the suspect as he told officers his name was Joshua Kindale and he lived in Brooklyn, New York, but was staying in a local motel and there was proof of his identification at the motel.

Lt. Michael Ramos went to the motel and located Joseph Loog, 39, of Paris and was granted consent to search the room. While searching the room, officers located Michael Trent, age 25, hiding in the bathroom. Trent had active warrants for violation of probation and failure to appear out of Henry County. Two females Amber Benham and Jessica Cavera, were also located in the motel room. Officers searched the room and found a half ounce of what appeared to be crystal methamphetamine, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia.

All occupants of the motel room were arrested as no one wanted to claim ownership of the items that were located. All were charged with possession of schedule two with intent, possession of schedule six with intent, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Various bonds were set on the subjects. Clemons, whose true identity was only found after the Paris Police Department dispatch ran a criminal history, was from Georgia. Clemons was placed on $50K bond. Joseph Loog was placed on $10K bond, Micheal Trent $15K, Amber Benham $7500 and Jessica Cavera $7500. All suspects were set to appear in court Tuesday.

Andrews, Young Named Officers of the Year For HCSO

Chief Dep. Damon Lowe presents Dep. David Andrews with Officer of the Year. (HCSO photo)

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Sheriff's Office held their Christmas Party and end of the year award ceremony Monday night. Sgt. Thomas Young was named Officer of the Year for Corretions and Dep. David Andrews was named Officer of the year in the Patrol Division.

Sgt. Bruce Alexander was named as School Resource Officer of the Year and lifesaving awards went to Sgt. Rob Camper, Dep. Stacey Bostwick, Cpl. Blake Jenkins, Lowell Boyd, Brent Coffman, and Sgt. Eddie Forrest.

Merit awards went to Teana Hale, John Krezenski, David Doyle, and John McElroy won Admin of the Year. Sgt. Michelle Brewer was awarded the above and beyond award.

Gerrell To Serve As Paris Mayor Another Two Year Term

Carlton Gerrell is sworn in to serve as Mayor. (Tim Alsobrooks photos)

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris City Commission met Monday night and Carlton Gerrell was re-elected by the commission to continue to serve as Mayor of Paris for another two years. Commissioner Gayle Griffith was nominated for Vice Mayor. This is a process that is done every two years after a commission election as was held this year November 8th.

Prior to the election of mayor, the commission was infomred of the certified results of the November Election where Terry Fuller, Jackie Jones, and Gayle Griffith were all re-elected to seats on the City Commission. The three were then sworn in by Finance Director Traci Pillow.

Terry Fuller, Jackie Jones, Gayle Griffith all sworn in after winning re-election bids in November. (Alsobrooks photo)

Comm. Jones Gives Update on Main Street Program

Comm. Jones gives a presentation on Main St. Program (Alsobrooks)

Paris, Tenn.- Commissioner Jackie Jones made a presentation on the Main Street Program after the City was designated with it this past summer. Commissioner Jones said, she has been to a day-long training in Gallatin and learned a lot about the Main Street Program. Commissioner Jones said this is not a merchant’s association, but they will greatly benefit from improvements to the town. It’s a networking of people who want the best for their downtown.

Commissioner Jones said the program was started about 35 years ago as some saw issues where consumers where heading to malls and leaving the downtown retail and business sector and they knew that would be a problem. She said, “the program starts with you finding out what is good about your town, look at the economic vitality, promote your downtown, and have organization of how to make things work together.”

Commissioner Jones said the DPA does a great job for promoting downtown Paris. She talked about many projects other cities have done with their grants and help thru the Main Street Program. Commissioner Jones said we can shape communities by chance or by choice.

City Sees Uptick in Retail Sales

Paris, Tenn.- Finance Director Traci Pillow gave the financial update saying the City had an increase of over 1.5% in retail sales for September compared to last year and for year to date totals, the City is ahead by 2.76%. Pillow said General Fund revenues were over expenditures by $48,934 in October but fiscal year to date revenues are behind by over $134K.

The City had large expenses of over $75K for roofing over the Fire Department, just over $9K for engineering fees for the traffic signal at Volunteer and Jim Adams, and $9750 to top trees from the street right of way.

Pillow said so far $123,738 had been received in property tax collections with December and February being the months that the majority is collected.

Solid Waste revenues were ahead of expenditures by over $47K in October and ahead year to date by over $111K. Two part-time hires were made in October by the City: a seasonal Parks and Recreation employee hired for the basketball program and one codes enforcement officer to replace the one who quit. Five business licenses were also issued in October, one a classification change, the four new ones were Blue Frog Massage Studio, C J Clothers, Paris Upholstery, and Security Maintenance.

The Commission passed a revision to the Zoning Ordinance with regard to the Table of Uses Monday night after a public hearing in November for the rezoning request from the Animal Doctor on Memorial Drive. After the discussion, it was agreed that Veterinary Clinics should have restrictions when adjacent to a residential area. The revision prohibits vet clinics from housing farm animals on the premises when the vet clinic is adjacent to residential areas.

City Seeks Grant for Restrooms at Downtown Plaza

Paris, Tenn.- City Manager Kim Foster went over the status of various projects at the end of Monday’s City Commission meeting including the application for a Tourism Enhancement grant through Economic Community Development for funds to construct public restrooms in the downtown plaza. The grant is a $50K maximum grant with a 70/30 match. The City’s portion is estimated to be $15K or less. The application was submitted at the end of November and announcements to recipients are expected in January. Foster said the restroom would go where landscaping currently is in the Fountain Park downtown between the Pavilion and the Post Office side of Park.

Foster said three structures were demolished in November, two of which were done with City Resources. Two more demolitions are currently pending.

Chief Elizondo is currently in the process of getting bids for relocation of a security door for the Paris Police Department to minimize citizens having to walk all over City Hall to get to the records office from the front entrance of City Hall.  There will be minimal adjustments to the security system and minimal modifications to the current building. The plan is to have a more user friendly entrance for the PPD by Spring.

Foster reported that bids for construction of the Signalization at Jim Adams and Volunteer were opened last Friday and winning bids must now be approved by the State, which can take up to 30 days. A pre-construction meeting will be held after bids are approved and actual construction could start mid to late January.

Commissioners approved a request to make changes to McCartney Produce PILOT agreement raising the amount from $7.5M to 9.5M in capital investments. CEO of the Henry County Alliance David Hamilton said this is what the original PILOT was for and McCartney didn't think at first they'd do the building for trucks, but after they decided the capital amount max changed. Hamilton said it would also create two more jobs.

City Moves Regular Meeting to 5pm

Paris, Tenn.- In other action Monday night, Commissioners voted to change the regular meeting for City Commission meetings from 6pm to 5pm on the first Thursday of the month. City Manager Kim Foster informed the commission that their would have to be two readings of this ordinance. The City Commission then set a special called meeting at 5pm for January's meeting, in which they will approve the ordinance on 2nd reading. Several other government agencies have done this over the past couple of years as well.

Commissioner Terry Fuller was appointed to continue to serve on the BPU Board by the Mayor and approved by the commission and the commission also passed a request to write-off delinquent property tax in the amount of $9,752.76.

Commissioners voted to approve the policies and procedures for administration of the HOME grant that the City was awarded earlier this fall. The guidelines lay out the purpose, laws, and eligibility of the program. City Manager Kim Foster said,

A resolution to update the Americans with Disabilities Act Grievance Procedure was approved by the Commission on Monday night as well. City Manager Kim Foster said the City approved the procedure back in 1993, but looking thru it she thought it should be brought up to date with a few changes as far as when and who to submit a complaint to. She said the Federal Government is really putting some teeth into being compliant with ADA and one of thing that must be done before the end of the year is a Grievance Policy must be adopted. Foster said the regulations the City will be facing in the next few years will be quite lengthy and complicated and likely more costly for the City to upgrade.

A policy giving Paris Police Department members constitutional policing principles that protect citizens from racial profiling was approved by Commissioners Monday night. The purpose of the policy is to send a clear direction to officers that racial profiling is never permitted.

Parks Dept. Working on McNeil Restrooms This Winter

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Parks and Recreation Board met on Monday evening and Parks Director Tony Lawrence informed the board that the biggest project they plan to tackle this winter is the McNeil Restroom construction which started last week. Lawrence said, “Peanut installed the sewer line and wet weather has hindered us a bit, but we hope to work as much as possible this winter and have it ready to go by Spring when Tball, baseball, and softball start up. Lawrence said the fields are basically done except for putting up the fencing.

Lawrence told the board the Parks Department had gift given to them from the Chamber and Henry County Alliance in regards to the lighting of the Eiffel Tower. Lawrence said there are four different sets of lights that light up the tower and several different colors and combinations. He said we will put some policies in place to deal with how and when the lighting of the tower will take place. Several different businesses have donated to help pay for the cost to install the lighting infrastructure. An official ceremony will be held on December 20th at 5:30pm.

Youth Basketball started this past Saturday and about 460-470 kids are signed up, which Lawrence said is down just a little from last year, but still pretty full. The season continues for a couple weeks then takes a break at Christmas then starts up again in January.

Lawrence said bid specs will be taken for two projects after the first of the year. One will be for resurfacing the tennis courts. It is a project with a projected cost of $20K with the Parks Department and School system splitting the cost. Lawrence said they will take bids in January and do the work in early March, which should only take a couple weeks. The other project is redoing the basketball surface at Ogburn Park. The plan is to take the current 3 courts and make two really nice ones with a tennis court type substance as the surface. Lawrence said this is a much more expense project that will take longer and they will likely try to start working on it in April or May.

The Parks Board also learned the Parks Department has a float in the upcoming Holly Jolly Christmas parade, and the Paris Splash and Dash is being moved from July to August. Lawrence said they plan on having the Paris Swim team get involved in the Splash and Dash since it will help prepare them for their season.

225 Children Invited to FOP Cops and Kids Shopping

Paris, Tenn.- The Fraternal Order of Police Tennessee Kentucky Lake Lodge 17 chapter took 225 underprivileged children shopping on Saturday at Walmart in Paris for the annual Cops and Kids Christmas Shopping Trip.

The trip began at Henry County High School at 6am and children were teamed with a shopping guide and bused to Walmart for their shopping spree. Each child was allowed to spend $75 on Christmas presents and when they returned to HCHS girls received a stuffed animal and boys received matchbox cars along with snacks and other goodies.

F.O.P. President and Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo said, “thank you to all Paris and Henry County for support and donations, your generosity made it possible for over 200 children to have a better Christmas.”

Assisting with the Cops and Kids Shopping Trip effort were members from the Paris Police Department, Henry County Sheriff's Office, the HCHS DECA Class, HCHS Criminal Justice Class, the Knights of Columbus, and HCHS Guidance Counselors.

Election of Mayor Tops Paris City Comm. Agenda Monday Night

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris City Commission meets in regular session for December Monday night at 6pm at the City Hall Courtroom. Items on the agenda include Election of Mayor and Vice Mayor, a presentation on the Main Street Program by Commissioner Jackie Jones, and a resolution to change the regular meeting time for the City Commission from 6pm to 5pm on the first Thursday of the month. The meeting is open to the public.

Thefts Reported in County, City

Paris, Tenn.- Sgt. Wayne Fuqua of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office responded to a couple of thefts over the weekend. One report stated two firearms were stolen from a home on VanDyke Road. Another report stated that some prescription medication was stolen from a home on Guthrie Road. There are no suspects in either theft and investigation is continuing.

Ptl. Jeff Smith of the Paris Police responded to Knight’s Inn for theft. According to the report at the Paris Police Department, the victim said someone entered the room and stole a bag that contained medication, $600 in cash, and credit cards. There was no forced entry according to the victim and police continue to investigate.

Updyke Signs with Vol State to Play Baseball

Paris, Tenn.- Henry County High School senior Hunter Updyke signed to play baseball with Vol State on Friday in a ceremony at HCHS. Updyke has played baseball his entire high school career for the Patriots and this spring will be the team's #1 starter and also play shortstop. Updyke also spent this past summer playing in numerous tournaments and travel leagues across the southeast. (Tommy Updyke photo)

DARE Graduation Held Friday for County 5th Graders

Paris, Tenn.- 179 5th grade students from Henry, Harrelson, and Lakewood were recongized last week from graduating from the Drug Abuse Resistance Education, or DARE program. All students received a certification for graduation at a ceremony held Friday morning at the Little Theatre at Henry County High School.

Sgt. Bruce Alexander of the Henry County Sheriff's Office is the DARE officer. In the picture he is with the county-wide essay contest winner McKenzie Petronico. (Capt. Adam Jenkins photo)

Sheriff's Dept. Make Another Arrest in Cattle Ring Bust

Puryear, Tenn.- New arrests have been made by the Henry County Sheriff's Department in connection with the cattle ring bust which occurred last week.

According to a report from the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, Cpl. Forrest Kemp arrested Jason C. Kennedy, age 39 of 300 Morris Road of Puryear, on Friday for theft over $10,000.

Kennedy was arrested in connection with the cattle ring that the Henry County Sheriff's Department busted on Thursday. Jason Kennedy, of Morris Road, was placed on $125,000 bond and he is due in court Tuesday, December 6th. This is a Class C felony.

On Thursday morning the Henry County Sheriff’s Office held a press conference about Travis Hale, age 23 of 960 Rose Lane of Puryear, who was charged with 21 counts of animal cruelty and theft of property over $10K on what Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew called the “largest cattle ring ever in Henry County.”

The Kentucky State Police and Puryear Police also assisted the Henry County Sheriff's Department's investigation into this cattle ring.

Police say the investigation is still ongoing and they are continuing to look for any more suspects in connection with this cattle ring.

Tis' the Season for the Festival of Trees on December 6th

Paris, Tenn.- The Festival of Trees begins Tuesday, December 6th and this year the Festival of Trees will be held at the former Murray, McKenzie Jewelry store, which is located at 110 West Washington Street in downtown Paris. 

The festival runs Tuesday, December 6th through Sunday, December 18th and you can visit the Festival of Trees, Tuesday through Friday, 11am to 5pm, Saturdays 10am to 2pm and Sundays 1pm to 4pm.

Awards for the Festival of Trees will be presented on the last day of the festival on Sunday, December 18th; awards include "Most Original", "People's Choice" and first, second, and third place winners will be awarded for the "Best Decorated”.

A dollar donation is requested from each visitor. If you would like to volunteer at this event, please contact Kathy Ray at 731-653-7274.

Police Investigate Multiple Burglaries at a Travis St. Home

Paris, Tenn.- According to reports from the Paris Police Department, Lt. Tony Elkins investigated two aggravated burglaries at a home on Travis Street in Paris that occurred over the weekend.

On Friday Lt. Elkins responded to a call about a break in at a home on Travis Street. When Elkins arrived he saw that the living room had been ransacked and a television and projector were stolen.

On Saturday Lt. Elkins responded to the same home which was broken into again. The house was ransacked, but nothing else appeared to be missing. This investigation is ongoing and police have no suspects in the case.

Classically Christmas at the 49th Annual Christmas Concert

49th Annual Christmas Concert (Cassie Walsh pics)

Paris, Tenn.- The community came out in large numbers at they enjoyed the 49th Annual Community Christmas Concert that was held at First Baptist Church on Sunday. Paris piano teacher Peggy Williams directed the concert which was titled, Christmas Praise.

Attendees got to enjoy scripture along with music which included Christmas classics such as The First Noel, O Come All Ye Faithful and so many more Christmas songs. The event was hosted by the Paris Henry County Arts Council and contributors included Walmart and Knott's Fine Foods.

Paris Man Arrested on Multiple Possession Charges

Paris, Tenn.- According to a report from the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, Deputy Stacy Bostwick arrested Charles Dustin Williams, age 32 of 114 Willow Oaks Drive of Paris, on Thursday for possession of a schedule II controlled substance with intent, simple possession of a schedule VI substance and simple possession of a schedule IV substance. Williams was placed on $10,000 bond.

Chicago Man Arrested for Sexual Battery

Paris, Tenn.- According to a report from the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, Paris Police Ptl. Derrek Colley arrested Michael Andrew Cooper Sr., age 53 of 3001 Green Bay Road of Chicago, on Saturday for sexual battery. Cooper Sr. was placed on $1,500 bond.

Good Music and Arts at Lee Academy's Christmas Bazaar

Listening to live music at the Christmas Bazaar (Cassie Walsh pics)

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Henry County Arts Council and Lee Academy for the Arts hosted their Christmas Bazaar on Saturday December 3rd at Lee Academy.  Lts of people showed up and enjoyed live music as well as finding that perfect Christmas handmade gift that were also available for purchase.

Ornament decorating at Lee's Christmas Bazaar (Cassie Walsh pics)

In the morning kids and adults alike enjoyed cookie decorating and there was also ornament making event for children. Mrs. Claus also made an appearance at the bazaar.

Big Sandy Woman Arrested for 3rd DUI

Paris, Tenn.- According to a report from the Paris Police Department, Paris Police Lt. Michael Ramos arrested Paula D. Hudson, age 53 of 4965 Point Mason Road of Big Sandy, on Thursday for driving under the influence.

Lt. Ramos responded to a call from a business about a driver who was slumped over the wheel of a pickup in the parking lot. When Ramos arrived, the complainant pointed out the vehicle to him and Lt. Ramos saw that the vehicle was running and in gear with the driver slumped over the wheel. Lt. Ramos was able to reach through the window and put the vehicle in park before he woke up the driver identified as Hudson.

Lt. Ramos could smell alcohol on Hudson’s breath and he asked Hudson to perform field sobriety test, which she failed. Lt. Ramos arrested Hudson for driving under the influence third offense. Hudson was placed on $12,500 bond.

Pats and Lady Pats Defeat McKenzie

McKenzie, Tenn.- The Henry County Lady Patriots defeated the McKenzie Lady Rebels in McKenzie on Friday night 43-34. Natiya Jumper led the Lady Pats with 16 points to victory against the Lady Rebels.

The Henry County Patriots defeated the McKenzie Rebels 39-36. Ty Cook led the Patriots with 8 points in the victory over the Rebels. The Lady Patriots are 5-1 on the season and the Patriots are 3-2 on the season.

The Patriots and Lady Patriots will face the Kenwood Knights in Kenwood on Tuesday, December 6th.You can listen to the game on WLZK 94.1FM starting with the pregame show at 5:30pm. The Lady Pats tip at 6pm, with men’s action to follow. You can also listen online at wmufradio.com.

Coloring Contest to Celebrate 10th Holly Jolly Christmas Parade

Paris, Tenn.- The Downtown Paris Association and K & B Supplies for success invites students to take part in the coloring contest to celebrate the 10th annual Holly Jolly Electric Christmas Parade which will roll thru downtown Paris December 10th. Coloring sheets are available at K & B Supplies, the Toggery, Jack’s Java, the DPA Facebook page, and the DPA website, visitdowntownparis.com.

Brenda Evans of K & B said, “the winner in each age group will receive a huge basket of fun art supplies from our store including colored markers, crayons, drawing pads, construction paper, paints, modeling clay, and more. There will also be candy and other Christmas goodies in the basket, making the retail value about $75.”

The contest is divided into two age groups with at coloring page for K-2 and a different page for grades 3-5. Coloring sheets should be returned to the locations that had the sheets before 4pm on Saturday December 10th, the day of the Downtown Christmas Festival and Holly Jolly Electric Christmas Parade. Winners will be contacted by DPA the following week.

Henry County High School art students created and submitted a number of coloring sheets and Brianna Belew’s sketches were chosen for both age groups. Many of the coloring sheets will be posted on the windows of K & B and other businesses downtown. For more information call Brenda Evans at 731-540-1222 or the DPA office at 731-653-7274.

West TN Cornhole Tourny is Saturday, December 10th

Paris, Tenn.- The West Tennessee’s Cream of the Crop Cornhole Tournament will be held on Saturday, December 10th at the Henry County Fairgrounds beginning at 11am.

Two-person team entries cost $100 and a minimum of $1000 will be awarded to the winner. The prize money will based off of entries in the tournament, but the minimum prize is $1,000. You can sign up today at www.westtncornhole.com or at the West Tennessee Cornhole Facebook page.

Sponsors of the event will get your company name on cornhole boards, radio or print advertisement, or free team entry for events and meal tickets.


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