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WMUF/WLZK News                                                                          

From News Director Tim Alsobrooks, Assistant and Weekend News Director Shannon McFarlin

Trailer Stolen Last Year Spotted in Puryear

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Sheriff’s Deputies are investigating an incident in which a trailer stolen last year from Calloway County was reportedly found
in a front yard in Puryear. According to the police report, they were
notified by the trailer’s owner that he spotted a black utility
trailer he had reported stolen on December 21, 2011, in a front yard
on Hwy. 140.

Deputies stopped at the home where the resident said he had purchased
the trailer from a local auto shop and gave deputies a bill of sale
showing he had purchased it on January 9, 2011.

The case is still under investigation.

LBL Prairie, Campground Areas Open


Golden Pond, Ky.-The Golden Pond Visitor Center at Land Between The Lakes (LBL) National Recreation Area will be closed today and the Administrative Office will be closed Christmas Day. Both will also be closed New Year’s Day, Tuesday, January 1, 2013.

However, both the Elk & Bison Prairie, Wranglers Campground, and
Turkey Bay OHV Area & Trails will remain open during the holidays. Be
sure to call (270-924-2000) or visit www.lbl.org and click on Alerts
& Notices to check for any trail closures due to excessive wet weather
conditions before you make plans, however.

Paris Fountain: Pretty Day or Night

Paris, Tenn.-Downtown Paris is all decorated for the holidays, but one of the prettiest sights is the Paris fountain, which is pretty both day and night, thanks for the parks department decorations. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

Missing Woman Found Safe and Sound

Paris, Tenn.-An 87-year-old woman with early stages of Alzheimer’s who had been missing for several hours on Friday was located safe and sound in
Jackson.

Paris Police were alerted to the situation by the woman’s husband who
reported that his wife left their residence around 10 a.m. to get her
hair done and that he had called the beauty school and was informed
she had never arrived there.

Paris Police issued a BOLO (Be on the lookout) alert and entered the
information into the NCIC computer. Around 4 p.m., the woman called
her husband from a McDonald’s in Jackson. Her family went to Jackson
to pick her up.

Assault Arrest Made

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Police were called to 1010 Reynolds St. on Saturday night on a report of an assault. When Patrolman Mitchell Gallimore arrived at the
scene, he had contact with two women who said they were leaving an
apartment when Demetrius Porter walked up to them, asking where
someone was. When they didn’t respond, he punched one of the women in
the jaw.

Gallimore located Porter, age 20 of 1105 E. Blythe St., Paris, at
Harrison Meadows Apartments and arrested him for domestic assault.

While at Harrison Meadows, Gallimore made contact with Antwon White,
age 21 of Sharon, Tenn. Dispatch informed him that White had been
banned from Harrison Meadows earlier. White was cited for criminal
trespass.

Counterfeit Bills Passed

Paris, Tenn.-On Saturday, Paris Police were alerted by Wal-Mart that someone had passed a fake $100 bill. Wal-Mart gave officers a surveillance photo of the suspect, along with a photo of the suspect's car and police were able to trace the photo to a 64-year-old man in Hazel, Ky.

While officers were at Wal-Mart, they were informed that another fake
bill had been passed there but that they had no information about the
person who passed that bill yet.

Holiday Trash Pickups

Paris, Tenn.-All public offices will be closed Christmas Day, including the public works department They will reopen Wednesday December 26th and will
pick up trash for Tuesday on Wednesday.

The Public Works will also be closed New Year’s Day and all Monday and
Tuesday trash will be picked up Monday December 31st.

Joy to the World: Christmas Decorations Abound

Paris, Tenn.-There certainly is no shortage of Christmas decorations around Henry County, including these decorations at the Paris-Henry County Heritage Center. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Keep Your Doors Locked: Vehicle Thefts Reported

Paris, Tenn.-It would be wise for everyone to remember to keep their cars and house doors locked, especially this time of year when you’re storing
presents in your cars and homes.

Paris Police were called to the Tyson Park Apartments complex on
Manley Street on reports of items being stolen from cars in the
parking lots. In all of the cases, the vehicles were unlocked when
they were burglarized.

In the first report, the victim reported a large number of items
stolen from two of his vehicles. Someone stole tools, clothing,
including a leather jacket and leather boots, a portable generator and
sander. The items totalled $1,100.

In the other incident, items stolen from another car included a CD
player, driver’s license and gas card.

Home Care Employee Investigated

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Sheriff’s deputies were called to a home on Meadows Rd. in Henry on a report that an employee of Volunteer Home Care Service had stolen drugs and money from the person from whom they were
supposed to be caring.

The victim said the employee had been caring for her for five months
and during that time, several medications and money had turned up
missing, even when she hid her purse from her.

She said she notified Volunteer Home Care Service about the incident.
Deputies also called Volunteer Home Care and the supervisor there said
she plans to do a drug test on the employee before possible action is
taken.

Holiday Closings


Paris, Tenn.-Remember that the WG Rhea Public Library will be closed for the
Christmas holiday December 24 through December 26. They will also be
closed on Tuesday Jan. 1 for New Year’s Day.

Also, there are several offices that are closed both today and
Tuesday, Christmas Day and those are the Henry County Courthouse and
annex, the county health department, Paris Housing Authority, county
office on aging, county recycling center, West Tennessee Career
Center, Henry City Hall and the Paris-Henry County Chamber of
Commerce.

Puryear City Hall will be closed from Monday through Wednesday.

The Henry County Extension Service will be closed all this week and
the Heritage Center is closed until Jan. 2.

Schools in Henry County will remain closed through January 2.

The Paris Civic Center will close at 5 p.m. Monday and stay closed through Tuesday.

All public offices will be closed Christmas Day.

Santa is in Paris One Last Weekend Before Big Trip

Big Man in Red Calls WMUF/WLZK For Exclusive Interview

Rudolph welcomed everyone Saturday morning to Santa's house. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-Santa Claus will be in Paris one last weekend before he makes his big trip around the world on Monday night.

Santa, Rudolph and his elves will be in Santa’s house on the
courthouse lawn in downtown Paris on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2
p.m. and Sunday afternoon Dec. 23 from 2 until 4 pm.

This will be your last chance to tell Santa what you would like for
Christmas this year. Our own Tim Alsobrooks had an exclusive interview
with Santa on Friday morning during the Tim in the AM show. Santa has
close ties with the staff at WMUF and he made an a very, very, very
long-distance call to the radio station. He said he’d heard how good
the little boys and girls of Henry County have been this year.
Everyone at the station was just glad that Santa didn’t call collect.

Annie Moses Band Lifts Everyone's Spirits

Paris, Tenn.-One look at these photos tells you everything you need to know about Thursday night's performance by the Annie Moses Band at First Baptist Church. A large crowd was on hand for the performance, which people around town are still talking about as a perfect spirit-lifting event for the Christmas season. (Traci Spephard photos).

 

$1000 Holiday Christmas Bucks Giveaway Winner

Melody Tucker is the 2012 winner of the $1000 Holiday Christmas Bucks Giveaway from WMUF/WLZK/WRQR/WHDM Radio.  Melody registered at Abbronzatura Tanning located in the Kroger Shopping Center. 

She is able to spend $1000 in Holiday Christmas Bucks at any of our participating sponsors.  We would like to thank all of our fine sponsors this year for the Holiday Christmas Buck giveaway and encourage everyone to visit them. 

Sears, Merison’s, Moon Jewelers, The Toggery, Fantastic Sam’s,

My Favorite Things, Furniture Exchange, Abbronzatura Tanning,

Eagle Buildings (Paris), Joe Mahan Ford, The Revolving Door,

Impressions (McKenzie), S & R Feedstore, Street Dynamics,

Plaid Rabbit (Murray, KY), Butler & Harber Shoes/The Upstairs         

First Day of Winter Feels More Like Christmas

Paris, Tenn.-Just in time for Christmas, the first official day of winter today brought with it much colder, winter-like temperatures. Holiday decorations, like these at the Henry County Courthouse, have been ready for the temperature change all month. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

 

Breaking News:

Henry County Bookkeeper Took Nearly $30K in Public Funds

Paris, Tenn. - A bookkeeper for the Henry County General Sessions Court Clerk improperly took almost $30,000 in court funds for personal use over a five year period, according to a press release issued by the state comptroller's office.

An audit by the comptroller’s division of local government revealed the missing funds and auditors were alerted to the potential problem after General Sessions Court Clerk Mike Wilson reported some funds that were received in his office by mail were not recorded by the bookkeeper.

That prompted a wider look at the practices dating from January 1, 2007 through August 22nd 2011. Auditors concluded the bookkeeper pocketed cash paid to the office in court fines, costs, and fees, then substituted checks received from other transactions that had no been recorded to reconcile the offices records.

The bookkeeper, who was identified as Deanna Treece, was fired and the auditors' findings have been shared with the local district attorney’s office. Auditors said the bookkeeper had been allowed to manage all aspects of those fee collections, from the receipt of funds to the deposit and recording of them, which was a contributing factor that allowed the misappropriation of money to continue for such a long time.

The comptroller’s report states good accounting practices call for multiple employees to share money-handling responsibilities to reduce the opportunities for one individual to steal funds.

The audit also found that the offices of the county register and sheriff also had similar problems with failure to adequately separate money-handling responsibilities, although no missing funds were accounted for in those offices.

Among other recommendations, auditors also suggested that Henry County centralize its accounting, budgeting and purchasing operations, and set up its own audit committee to review the financial reporting process, internal controls, the audit function and other best practices in financial management.

Court Clerk Mike Wilson issued a public statement that can be read in full below. The full report also is available on the comptroller’s website; in the Wilson's response issued with the report, it says that after deputies and the clerk met with auditors a plan was implemented regarding additional internal controls and segregation of duties within the office. Wilson’s written response also stated all co-workers and himself are saddened by the situation and he takes the event very seriously.

Wilson said the office will work with law officials and prosecutors to recover the funds taken during this act of theft and deceit and by cooperating with any efforts sought to prosecute these acts and recovery of monies that were taken.

 

Full Statement of Court Clerk Mike Wilson:

"As previously reported, information brought to light on August 19, 2011, indicated that there may have been inappropriate activity by a staff member employed by the Henry County General Sessions Court Clerk’s Office of theft and altering of official court accounting and bookkeeping records. These acts appeared to extend over a number of years.

After a brief internal analysis was performed by me, I notified an agent with the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury’s office of the suspicious activities.

Based upon initial findings from the agent’s investigation, the employee was placed on preventive suspension in order to conduct a more in-depth review into transactions dating back several years.

As a result of additional findings the employee, Deanna Treece was then terminated. Auditors have since conducted a thorough investigation covering January 1, 2007 through August 19, 2011.

After nearly fifteen months of investigation by the Comptroller’s Office, the full findings revealed that approximately $29,000 in cash taken. The inappropriate activities include the taking of cash, failure to issue proper receipts for transactions, failure to deposit checks timely, and manipulation of accounting records.

The case has now been turned over to the District Attorney’s Office for consideration of criminal prosecution.

The employee began working for the county in 1999 as a deputy court clerk.

No other employees have been found to be involved in these allegations.

Auditors recommended additional internal controls be incorporated into the established internal controls as a way to further deter malfeasance of this nature. Those recommendations and others were implemented promptly.

I had taken office less than a year before this scheme was discovered and although it covered an extensive period of time, I am thankful it was found and stopped. This is a black eye on the face of those serving the public. I have aseasoned staff and I am appreciative of how well they have cooperated in this investigation. I am also appreciative of the efforts by the Comptroller’s Office, Division of County Audit.

According to the District Attorney’s Office, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) has begun an investigation based on the results of the audit and could be completed for presentation to the next term of the Grand Jury in March 2013.

My office and I are committed to cooperating fully with all of the involved agencies until full resolution is reached."

Paris Man Arrested on Drug Charges

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Police arrested Claude Teague, age 53 of 310
Jones Bend Extended on drug charges in Johnson Park. Patrolman Jeramye
Whitaker saw a white Cadillac with a man sitting inside at the park
and when questioned, Teague said he ran out of gas and was waiting for
someone to bring him more.

Whitaker said he noticed slurred speech and Teague said he had been
prescribed muscle relaxers and had consumed a few beers earlier in the
day. When Whitaker asked Teague to exit the vehicle, he saw a small
metal pipe on the driver’s seat. Teague told Whitaker, “I’m going to
go ahead and give you this” and handed him the pipe.

Whitaker said the pipe had a burned brillo pad inside and tested
positive for cocaine. Teague was arrested for unlawful possession of
drug paraphernalia.

Erratic Driving Produces Two Arrests


Paris, Tenn.-Paris Patrolman Jeramye Whitaker observed a Jeep SUV driving on the wrong side of the road and failing to stop at a signal on Lois
Street. When he stopped the car and spoke with the driver, dispatch
determined that the driver was driving on a license that had been
revoked in 2000 and that he had been arrested five prior times for
driving on a revoked license.

Whitaker arrested John Webb, age 35 of 824 Lois Street.

In a separate incident, Paris Police arrested a Buchanan man on drug charges after a patrolman observed him driving his pickup truck erratically on Memorial Drive. Patrolman Amber Roaten saw the truck almost go into a ditch and then swerve all the way into another lane.

After stopping the truck, the driver told her that the erratic driving was the result of him playing with his CD player. A check with dispatch revealed he was driving on a suspended license for failure to pay child support and when he exited the vehicle, he gave consent to search.

During the search, Roaten found a cellophane wrapper with a half a hydrocodone tablet in it and he told her he did not have his prescription with him.

Roaten arrested Dustin Kreitz, age 23 of 125 Buchanan Rd. for driving on a suspended license and simple possession.

State's Unemployment Rate Drops below National Rate

Rate is Lowest Since October 2008

Paris, Tenn.- The state of Tennessee’s unemployment rate for November came in at 7.6 percent, which for the first time in awhile, was lower than the national rate, which was 7.7 percent. November’s rate of 7.6 is down from the 8.2 percent rate the Volunteer State had in October, and the lowest is over four years dating back to October 2008.

Some statistics worth noting in the report include that total nonfarm employment increased 3600 jobs from October to November with increases in trade/transportation/utilities and also increases in manufacturing. Over the last year total nonfarm employment increased over 25,000 jobs.  

Looking for Great Gift Idea: Invest in Your Child's College Education

State to kick in $50 match until Dec. 31st

Paris, Tenn.- Parents and grandparents who want to find a meaningful gift that makes financial sense should look at the TN Stars College Savings 529 Program. It offers an easy way for a family to save for a loved one’s future college expenses. TN Stars already offers a very low investment fees and now has made it more affordable to open an account.

Tennesseans who open accounts with at least $50 will receive a one time match of $50 from the state. In addition, Tennesseans who already have another college savings account will each receive $100 when they roll over their entire account balance to the TN Program.

The program is administered by the Tennessee Department of Treasury and offers competitive fees and appealing tax advantages. Benefits of TN Stars include: low fees, 14 investment options, federal tax-free earnings if money is used for higher education expenses, family and friends can open accounts on behalf of children. For more information on the TN Stars program visit tnstars.com.

For more information on the TN Stars Program and how to start saving for your children’s college future, visit tnstars.com and follow appropriate links.

 

Public Works Dept. Sets Trash Pickup Schedule for Christmas

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Public Works Department will pick up Mondays trash on Monday December 24th and they ask citizens to have trash out by 7am. The public works department will be closed on Christmas Day and reopen Wednesday December 26th and will pick up trash for Tuesday on Wednesday of next week.

The Public Works will also be closed New Year’s Day and all Monday and Tuesday trash will be picked up Monday December 31st. The landfill and animal shelter will also be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

WG Rhea Library Closing for Christmas, New Year's

Paris, Tenn.- The WG Rhea Public Library will be closed for the Christmas holiday December 24th thru December 26th. They will also be closed on Tuesday Jan. 1st for New Year’s Day.

Henry County Welcomes Dyer County for Basketball Action Friday

Paris, Tenn.- Henry County welcomes Dyer County to Gamlin Gym Friday evening for high school basketball action in their last game until after Christmas. The ladies will tip at 6pm with men’s actions to follow. If you can’t make it out to the game, listen to our broadcast on WLZK 94.1FM starting at 5:30pm or online at wmufradio.com.

Metro Crime Unit Nets 6 in 'Pot Bust' on McFadden Street

Paris, Tenn.- The Metro Crime Unit executed a search warrant on Wednesday at 1315 McFadden Street and netted six arrests with charges of simple possession of schedule six drug and possession of drug paraphernalia. Arrested at the scene was Tommy M. Dabbs, age 28, of the address, Tommie Blackmon, age 37, of Memphis, Isreal R. Olive, 37, of the address, Paul D. Olive, 37, of the address, Bobby Ward, 38, of 340 Tanglewood Lane, and Shelle B. Nance, 27, of Murray. All six were charged with marijuana possession and drug paraphernalia possession.

Other arrests from recently include John C. Webb, age 35, of 824 Lois St. for driving on revoked license 6th offence and Candi M. Porter, age 47 of 504 N. Brewer for theft.

Baby It's Windy Outside, Really Windy

Paris, Tenn.- Our area remains under a wind advisory until 6pm tonight and it could be extended as very strong winds associated with a cold front our blowing thru the area. Winds today will be sustained at 25 to 39 mph, with gust reaching 55 mph at times. The winds will die down some this evening, but wind gusts up to 35mph are possible tonight and most of the day Friday.

It’s like that limbs and debris could cover roads and make driving tricky. Also Christmas Decorations could be blown about that are outside if they have not been battened down. Temperatures are also dropping, with lows in the 20s the next few nights.

 

Tickets Still Available for Annie Moses Christmas Show Tonight

Paris, Tenn.-Tickets for two Annie Moses Band performances - scheduled for Thursday, December 20 at the Krider Performing Arts Center - are still on sale. Some 70 tickets are still left.

All youth choir, adult choir and orchestra members will not need tickets. However, family members of those participants and all others attending will need tickets. Those wanting to purchase tickets ($5 each) may go to the following websites.

To order tickets for the 5:30 p.m. show, go to www.itickets.com/events/282304/Paris_TN/Christmas_with_the_Annie_Moses_Band.html. To order tickets for the 8 p.m. performance, go to www.itickets.com/events/282305.html.

Chamber, USDA To Offer Small Business Basics in January

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Henry County Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with the USDA, will once again offer Small Business Basics, six classes designed to serve as a guide to small business development and entrepreneurship. The classes will be open to anyone interested in small businesses including startup businesses and existing businesses.

The sessions will be held at the chamber from 6-8:30pm Tuesday nights January 22 through February 26. All materials needed for the classes will be provided. The cost is $50 to attend, but will be refunded if you have no absences. Class sessions include Writing a Business Plan, Your New Best Friend an Accountant and an Attorney, So How do you get the money, Human Resources, Marketing, and graduation.

Jennifer Hayden, of Hamilton Ryker and Kevin Buie and K and B Supplies for Success, will serve as co-chairs and facilitators for the sessions. Hayden said, “Last year’s classes were a tremendous success, we had 35 graduates, equally divided between those wishing to start up a small business and those who already run a small business.”

Applications for the Small Business Basics can be obtained at the chamber’s website, paristnchamber.com. For more information call the chamber at 642-3431.

'All is Well' Christmas Cantata This Weekend at Bethlehem Baptist

Paris, Tenn.- Bethlehem Baptist Church in Henry invites everyone to their “All is Well” Christmas Cantata this weekend. They will have Christmas Songs and theatrical performances celebrating the birth of Jesus. Times are Saturday December 22nd at 7pm and Sunday December 23rd at 11am.

Paris Police Department Looking for Suspect in Theft

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Police continue to investigate a theft from a local business in which a man ran out with an Xbox. The report stated that the manager of Rent-A-Center on Mineral Wells Avenue in Paris, told police a white male had come into the store asking about the daily deal. After making small talk, the man went to the restroom and was in there a long time. The man finally came out and said he was going to get his girlfriend and come back into to make a purchase.

The manager noticed a bulge in his hoodie and when he got outside the store, he ran and jumped into a Gold Sentra and the vehicle took off. It was found later that two Xbox game systems were missing from the store, both valued at over $600.

A report at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office stated that Sgt. Jamie Myrick along with other officers executed a search warrant at 105 N. Lake Street Tuesday. No one was home but in the search burn marijuana cigarettes were found. Contact was later made with the resident, Filberto Hernandez and he was cited for simple possession of schedule six drug.

Cpl. Lance Perry of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office made three arrest after a traffic stop. The driver of the vehicle, Joshua Leaver, age 22 of 270 Payton Drive was found to have a suspended driver’s license. The passenger, Zakk Arnold, was found to be in violation of probation. Also during a search of the vehicle, plastic baggies containing marijuana were found. Leaver was additionally charged with simple possession of schedule six and the owner of the vehicle, Ashley Nash, of 71 Leonard Lane was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

Chamber Coffee Attracts Crowd

Paris, Tenn.-Commercial Bank and Trust President Clint Davis, left, welcomes Paris City Finance Director Kim Foster and Paris Parks and Recreation Director Tony Lawrence to Tuesday's Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce coffee at Commercial Bank. Bottom photo shows (left to right) Vern Steedley, Glenn Lee, Bob Cathey and Johnny Emmons talking things over. A large group of Chamber members attended the coffee. Bank Employee Kathy Jones provided musical accompaniment at the organ, while some bank employees sang. (Chamber photo).

 

HCMC Walking Club: Making Health a Priority All Year Long

Pictured are (left to right): Karen Hardin, Carol Peck, Pat Palmer, Ellen Wynn and Elizabeth Taylor. Not pictured are Kay Houston and Arlene Abbott. There are others who participate from time to time; these are the Wednesday noon regulars. (HCMC photo).

Paris, Tenn – Healthy Henry County and the Mayors’ Health Challenge have been one way that the Henry County Health Council, Henry County Medical Center, and the local community have worked to improve the health status of our residents one person, one family at a time. During the first two years of the program, HCMC offered weekly Walk with the Professional sessions where a professional spoke on various health topics each Wednesday during Healthy Henry County.

Several of the participants of the weekly walking program suggested that it would be wonderful to offer a program not just during Healthy Henry County, but during the whole year to encourage commitment to exercise, specifically walking. So, in April 2012, HCMC launched the Healthy Henry County Walking Club for anyone interested in walking weekly as a group every Wednesday at 12 Noon. Participants meet in the front lobby of the hospital and either walk inside or outside for at least 30 minutes or a couple of miles. The trails inside and outside have been calculated and laid out thanks to Community Education Nurse Angie Dotson.

To encourage participation, HCMC provided a book of do’s and don’ts regarding walking as well as a free pedometer and prizes for accomplishing mileage landmarks. Each participant keeps up with his/her steps or mileage each week and turns it in on the Wednesday walk, receiving prizes when meeting goals. To date, all those still participating in the program have reached their total goal, but continue to keep walking.

“We’ve had as many as 40 participants walk to as few as 5,” according to Tory Daughrity, Director of Marketing and Public Relations. “Participants can join at any time, so just because you didn’t start with the group, doesn’t mean you can’t pick up where the group is. They are a pleasure to be with and I enjoy walking with them when my schedule allows.”

Healthy Henry County 2013 will kick off January 12 at 9 a.m. at the Krider Performing Arts Center/Paris Civic Center. Everyone who wants to participate in this year’s activities must attend the Kick Off and a free pre-screening. There will be many opportunities to earn points again for the prizes, including classes, the Healthcare Expo and 5K Run on February 2, the Day of Dance in February, a Kids Zone event on February 23, as well as the Walking Club each Wednesday. We will add speakers to each session during the Healthy Henry County program. The finale with post screening, free 5K run, and the 1 mile for the school children participating in the cumulative half marathon will be on April 6.

“We encourage all the community to participate in Healthy Henry County and to join our walking club to earn points for the huge prizes we will give away on April 6,” Daughrity said.

Gas Board Hears Updates on Financials, Insurance Premimums

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Henry County Public Utility District board of directors met on Tuesday and learned from general manager Tae Eaton that the district finished November $68K in the red and year to date was $616K in the red. Eaton said on the bright side, the district is about $27K better than they were this time last year. He reminded the board that they usually lose money about 7 months out of the year and unless they have another very mild winter like last year, they should be fine.

Eaton told the board later in the meeting that temperatures for January are forecasted to be normal to below normal. Also natural gas prices are hovering slightly below $4, which has allowed the district to increase their storage at good prices.

The board heard from Alan Cary of Cary Insurance regarding premiums and options on the company’s insurance. Cary explained that there would be a slight increase of 5.6% on the health insurance with Blue Cross Blue Shield. He also informed the board that Baptist Hospitals of Union City, Huntingdon, and Memphis were no longer in the network, so employees who had used them wouldn’t get the network savings. He said that wasn’t a big deal in Paris and Henry County however because of the great hospital here.

The board approved to go ahead with the same health insurance with the 5.6% increase and also go with a dental insurance that includes a orthodontic option for employees kids under the age of 18. Eaton said some employees had requested that this past year.

The board approved paying just over $69,500 on finishing up the main extension project. Eaton reported that they have already added 17 service line extensions because of this main line extensions and had six more on hold.

 

Metro Crime Unit Makes Drug Arrests

Paris, Tenn.- The Metro Crime, Paris Police Department, and Henry County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at 840 Riggins Street in Paris. Officers received information of marijuana being stored at the residence. They located marijuana bagged for resale along with digital scales. Charged in the incident was Jessica Barnette of 840 Riggins Street with possession of marijuana with intent to sell and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

The bond was set at $2500 and she appeared in general sessions court today. Drug dog Herrum assisted in the search.

In another report at the sheriff’s office, 7 small electric motors and some copper wiring was stolen from a truck on Henderson Drive. The motors and wiring was in a milk crate in the front seat of the truck. The victim did give deputies the names of who stole the items and he did want to press charges because they have done this stuff before.

Deputies for the Hungry Accepting Deer Donations This Weekend

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Sheriff’s Office and Deputies for the Hungry Program have processed over 80 deer so far as they are taking donations from area hunters and they will give away deer meat to the community in January. Hunters can donate their deer this Saturday and Sunday from 8-5. Just dress the deer as soon as its harvested and drop it off in the side parking lot of the sheriff’s office. There are signs to follow to the point to drop off the deer.

In January, all the deer meat processed will be given to the community on a first come first serve basis. Call the sheriff’s office for more information at 642-1672.

Inman Students Break Record With Food Donations

Inman students with a portion of the donated food items. (Josh Frey photos).

Paris, Tenn.-Monday was the day for transporting all of the 10,300 food items donated by Inman School students, staff and families to the Henry County Food Bank and it was quite an arduous task.

Inman School partnered with the Paris Police Department on the holiday food drive for the county's neediest citizens and the Inman students really out-did themselves this year, breaking the record for items collected.

The police department transported the items to the food bank and Police Chief Chuck Elizondo said it took two trips, with a truck and 16-foot trailer to carry all the food to the food bank, which is located in the Central Administration building on Jones Bend Rd.

Top collecting homerooms include: Ms. Swain's 8th grade, Mr. Brush's 7th grade, and Ms. Wilson's 6th grade, and Mr. Hudgins's home room received honorable mention. Top donating students included: Angelina Culley, Gracie Clayton, Parker Piskos, Camron Stubblefield, Lauren Olson, Sema'j Hankins, Kaylee Marr, Hannah Dunning, Jacob Bush, Jaryn Flood, Hannah Gwaltney, Travis Northington, Austin Lidsey, Scott Gerrell, Jabari Patton, and Dallas Norman. IMS would also like to thank Ms. Charlotte Robertson, Jade Strong, Shelby Gream, Hunter Goodman, Emily Hudgins, Nylah Stephenson, and Stuart Archer for their extra effort on this project.

The Inman faculty and staff also said how proud they were of the students' efforts.

Inman Principal Jason Scarbrough, left, Police Chief Chuck Elizondo and Food Bank Official Carlton Gerrell thanked students during the assembly Monday.

Injured Owl, Eagle Continue Their Rehab at Paris Landing

Buchanan, Tenn.-Paris Landing State Park employee Rebecca Davenport cradles an injured barred owl in top photo, while working with Sonny the Bald Eagle in bottom photo. Both injured birds are being rehabilitated by the state park's raptor rehabilitation program, under the direction of Jack Foddrill. Many more eagles have been evident in the Paris Landing area lately, with several sightings, especially around the marina area. (Jack Foddrill photos).

 

County Commission Mulls School Safety

Paris, Tenn.- To say the events of last Friday are still weighing heavy on this nation’s hearts and minds is a huge understatement, and it was most evident Monday night at the regular December meeting of the Henry County Commission.

The agenda was a light one, but nearly 40 minutes of discussion came about school safety issues, gun laws, prayer, and more. It all started after commissioner Dan Paschall had requested in the commissioner’s forum that the county commission send a resolution to members of the legislature in Nashville and Washington to ban assault weapons, violent video games, and begin a publicity campaign to bring discipline back into our homes and schools.

Nearly every commissioner then spoke relating to the resolution, commissioner David Webb said he thinks a resolution should be properly worded and brought before the legislative committee and brought back to the full commission later to send to the state and federal government.

Commissioner Wes Bradley echoed the concerns that Paschall’s statement were intended for, but asked what can we do now. Commissioner Bradley said we need to have full time School Resource Officers in every school in the county and city with patrol cars parked out front to hopefully at least deter the thoughts of what happened in Connecticut. Bradley went on to state that we as a county commission need to make sure we can find ways to fund an SRO in every school.

Mayor Brent Greer said that Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew and him have discussed the issue and the sheriff has taken proactive steps in setting up meetings with school officials after the first of the year to discuss safety issues. Mayor Greer also told commissioners he would make sure they get copies of the schools safety protocols and such.

Many more commissioners spoke up including Commissioner James Travis and Paul Neal saying we need more prayer in our homes and back in schools, also commissioner Paul Mathenia said he didn’t want to see any type of gun ban, because that won’t stop people from committing violent acts. He said perhaps more money spent on examining mental health would help more.

After much discussion, the commission amended commissioners’ Paschall’s motion to send it for discussion to the legislative committee. Once there they can adopt the motion, reword or, or decided to let it fail.

Mayor Brent Greer said we are already behind on this issue, so the rush to get something past will not solve what happened. Its likely this issue will come back to the commission in a month or two.

Commission Approves Mitigation Plan, Surplus Property

Paris, Tenn.- Once they got the regular agenda on Monday night, the commission passed all items pretty quickly including a resolution updating the county’s hazard mitigation plan. This is mandated by TEMA and FEMA as a plan for the county to follow in case of issues with disasters, whether related or not.

The commission also approved several items as surplus from the Henry County Sheriff’s Office. They will now sell these or offer them for use for other entities with in the county.

The commission also approved a recommendation of the nominating committee to appoint Valerie Carter to the Regional Library Board for a term ending in June of 2014.

Paris Police Make Drug Arrests

Paris, Tenn.- Paris Police were busy over the weekend and made arrests involving drugs on separate occasions. Cpl. Jeramye Whitaker stopped a 2000 Silver Saturn on Green Acres drive for a seatbelt violation and noticed several torn baggies in the cup holder. During an investigation, many pills and $89 in cash believed to be drug proceeds were confiscated. Cpl. Whitaker charged Micheal A. Mayfield, 20, of 1075 Hwy. 77, for simple possession of schedule three and simple possession of schedule six with intent.

Sgt. Micheal Ramos of the Paris Police Department had received a tip of marijuana being smoked at Magnolia Apartments. Sgt. Ramos went to the door and talked with Micheal L. Jewell, age 52, of 303 Magnolia St., about whether he had marijuana. Sgt. Ramos could smell it immediately and could see it in plain view on the table. Jewell was charged with simple possession of schedule 6, possession of drug paraphernalia, and was found to be in violation of probation.

Another arrests from the weekend include Gabrielle Nicole Cowan, of Bradford, for simple possession of schedule six drug.

Airborne Winter Exhibition Brings in the Crowds

Paris, Tenn.-The old Grove gym was packed for the Winter Exhibition for Airborne Gymnastics Sunday afternoon. Airborne has grown to include some 200 students and the exhibition was an opportunity for the students to show what they've learned. Top photo shows one of the routines, while bottom shows some of the students: left to right, back row: Laura Waddey and Taylor Beth Waddey; front row Allie Beglio, Abbey Watkins and Emily Nanney. (Mike Waddey photos).

Auto Supplier to Bring Jobs to Region

Murray, Ky.-German Automotive Supplier iwis (written in lower case) will locate its first U.S.-based manufacturing operation in Murray next year.

According to The Murray State News, the new company will move into the former 119,000 square foot Webasto plant that shut down in 2008. The building is located north of Murray.

Opening the new plant is expected to bring 75 new jobs to the region. Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear made the announcement in Murray and said iwis has pledged a $12.5 investment to the Murray location.

Erwin Man Arrested for DUI, Drugs

Paris, Tenn.-Michael Bennett, age 51 of Erwin, Tenn., was arrested for DUI and drug charges after he was observed driving erratically by Patrolman Jeramye Whitaker.

Whitaker was called to North Market Street on Friday on a report of a reckless driver and as he followed Bennett, he observed him drive on the center line several times.

When he pulled over, Whitaker's report indicated he could smell alcohol from Bennett's vehicle. An open container of Bud Ice was in the cup holder and another open container was on the floor.

Bennett failed field sobriety tests and as officers searched the car for more open containers, they found a small bag of marijuana, two pipes and a grinder.

Bennett was charged with DUI, simple possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Girls, Boys Split at Eiffel Tower Shootout

Paris, Tenn.-In games at Saturday's Eiffel Tower Shootout, the Henry Co. Patriot girls basketball team won their game, but the boys lost.

The boys score: Patriots 49; Crockett Co. 53. Top scorer was Bo Donaldson with 12.

The girls score: Patriots 42; Waverly Co. 19. Top scorer was Savannah Rose with 9.

Parade, Gingerbread Contest Winners Announced

KPAC won the award for Best Use of Theme. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

Paris, Tenn.-Parade and gingerbread contest winners from Saturday's Christmas Festival have been announced.

Parade winners are:


Best Decorated Float was “A Place Called Home”
Most Christmas Spirit - Trinity United Methodist Church;
Best Decorated Golf Cart or Small Tractor – Pam Martin;
The Clark Griswold Award was given to the Board of Public Utilities,
to the surprise of no one, with their brightly lit trucks.

Best Use of Theme was awarded to KPAC.

 

Winners of the Gingerbread Contest were:


Local Landmark – Brianna Norwood;
Family Project – Angela Sullivan and Abigail Black;
Child age 6 -9 – Fisher Lawrence; and
Traditional to Hunter Lawrence

In announcing the winners, Downtown Paris Association President Kathy Ray said, "But the real winner was the DPA, with two successful events on Saturday, the parade and the Christmas Festival."

Ed Prater, owner of Prater's Taters, entertained with his balloon animals. (McFarlin photo).

 

Christmas Parade, Festival, Draw Crowds to Downtown Paris

Two very well lit BPU trucks were a big hit at the parade. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

Paris, Tenn.-Downtown Paris was alive with people Saturday afternoon and evening for the Christmas Festival and parade. There already were crowds
downtown for the festival, but once it was time for the parade to
begin, the court square was lined with people cheering on the wide
variety of floats, most of which were illuminated, golf carts and
antique cars.

With the Henry County Marching Patriots band playing seasonal music,
the biggest hit of the parade were the Grand Marshals--members of the
212th Engineering Co. of the Tennnessee National Guard. The
guardsmen--and women--are set to be mobilized to Fort Bliss, Texas, in
February and from there they will deploy to Kuwait and Afghanistan to
help with Operation Enduring Freedom. They were greeted with a huge
round of applause throughout the parade route.

New this year were trucks from the BPU, all light up for the season,
which were a big hit with the crowd. And, just like at the Macy's
Thanksgiving Day parade, Santa Claus brought up the rear of the
parade--only for our parade, he rode on the front of a Paris fire truck.

It was a festive atmosphere all afternoon in Paris, Santa, Rudolph and
his elves presided over the Christmas festival. Downtown shops were
open all day and young and old had plenty to do, with trackless train
rides, face-painting, ornament-making and other activities ongoing.
Additionally, children could listen to Christmas stories being read at
Jack’s Java, while the Paris Fire Department were making s’mores on
the courthouse lawn, a local Christmas tradition.

Parade winners, as well as winners of the gingerbread house contest, will be reported later.

Among those watching the parade were Paris Mayor Sam Tharpe, City Councilman Gayle Griffith and Sheriff Monte Belew, with his new dog, Sy. (McFarlin photo).

Young and old enjoyed the trackless train rides around downtown.

 

Flags at Half-Staff for Shooting Victims

Paris, Tenn.-President Barack Obama ordered all U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff until sunset on Dec. 18 as a mark of respect for the victims of shooting in Newtown, Conn. Some flags locally are being flown half-mast today, including the flags at Paris Elementary School, top photo, and Paris City Hall, bottom. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

 

Paris Police, Inman Students Join for Holiday Food Drive

Inman School Collects 10,300 items

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Police Department and Inman Middle School have joined together to hold a Holiday Food Drive for the Henry County Food Bank. The Police Department will transport the collected food to the food bank on Monday, December 17 at 1 p.m.

Inman Middle School’s homerooms competed with one another as the food drive progressed. 10,300 food items were donated by students, their families, and the Inman staff which is a school record.

Winning homerooms include: Ms. Swaim’s 8th grade, Mr. Brush’s 7th grade, and Ms. Wilson’s 6th grade, and Mr. Hudgins’s home room received honorable mention. Top donating students included: Angelina Culley, Gracie Clayton, Parker Piskos, Camron Stubblefield, Lauren Olson, Sema’j Hankins, Kaylee Marr, Hannah Dunning, Jacob Bush, Jaryn Flood, Hannah Gwaltney, Travis Northington, Austin Lidsey, Scott Gerrell, Jabari Patton, and Dallas Norman. IMS would also like to thank Ms. Charlotte Robertson, Jade Strong, Shelby Gream, Hunter Goodman, Emily Hudgins, Nylah Stephenson, and Stuart Archer for their extra effort on this project.

IMS students enjoyed the competition but more than anything loved to give back to their community. The Faculty and staff are very proud of the students.

Boys, Girls Split in Basketball

Rossview, Tenn.-The Henry County Patriots boys and girls teams split in games Friday night against Rossview, with the boys winning their game and the girls losing.

The girls' score was Patriots, 34; Rossview, 64, with Shelby Beloate the top scorer with 13 points. The boys' score was Patriots, 59; Rossview, 56, with Desmond Harris top scorer with 16 points.

News from past weeks here.

 
 

 

 

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