From News Director Tim Alsobrooks, Assistant and Weekend News Director Alex AuBuchon
Girl Scouts Give Back
Pictured are members of the Henry County Girl Scout Service Unit presenting the Wills family with a gift basket. Jane Ivaleen Wills was the first baby girl born in Henry County, at HCMC, during National Girl Scout week. From left to right: Paul Wills, Sarah Wills, Jane Ivaleen Wills, Emily Hendrix, Anna Daigle, Stella Hart, and Julia Hendrix. (HCMC photo)
Paris, Tenn.- Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. During National Girl Scout week for the past 20 years, the Henry County Girl Scout Service Unit has come up with a unique way to help honor that pledge.
Starting five years ago the local Girl Scouts Service Unit came up with a unique idea to give the first baby girl born from Henry County, at Henry County Medical Center, a gift basket. This basket would feature items the new parents could use, and also some Girl Scout cookies to help pass the time in the hospital room.
“We want to show support to the first baby girl born in Henry County during our special week,” said Anna Daigle, one of the Girl Scouts who presented the basket. “We hope that she will grow up to become a Girl Scout one day, just like us.”
The first baby girl born at HCMC during this week, Jane Ivaleen Wills, not only holds a special place with the Girl Scouts, but also holds a special place with some here at the hospital. The father, Paul Wills, works in the Surgery Department at HCMC, and the grandmother, Donna Sinclair, is a nurse practitioner in the Hospitalist program. When he and his wife, Sarah, learned they would be receiving a special gift basket from the Girl Scouts, they were both honored.
Presenting the basket were Daigle, Stella Hart, Emily Hendrix, and Julia Hendrix, all members of the Girl Scouts. When asked what advice they would give the newest baby, they all replied with different answers but with the same theme, to make good choices, live a good life, and be a happy girl.
Girl Scout Week is celebrated each March to commemorate the Girl Scout birthday, which is on March 12. This year, Girl Scout Week started with Girl Scout Sunday on March 9 and ended with Girl Scout Sabbath on March 15.
The Girl Scouts of Henry County ended the week of festivities with an international event. Each Girl Scout troop picked a country and decorated a booth, then showcased it on a night where other troops came to visit their booth.
In Girl Scouts, girls discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls together.
Through a myriad of enriching experiences, such as extraordinary field trips, sports skill-building clinics, community service projects, cultural exchanges, and environmental stewardships, girls grow courageous and strong. Girl Scouting helps girls develop their full individual potential; relate to others with increasing understanding, skill, and respect; develop values to guide their actions and provide the foundation for sound decision-making; and contribute to the improvement of society through their abilities, leadership skills, and cooperation with others.
Whitfield In As Next School Board Attorney
Rob Whitfield was hired by the school board Thursday night. (Alex AuBuchon photo)
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Board of Education met in regular session Thursday evening; among items on the agenda were lease agreement discussions with Verizon Wireless, updates on a technology overhaul at elementary schools, renewal of the board’s contract with Service Solutions, and much more.
Newly appointed county attorney Rob Whitfield was on hand at Thursday’s meeting to speak with board members en route to becoming the latest school board attorney. Historically, the school board has worked with the county attorney in order to simplify collaboration between the two entities. The board voted unanimously to appoint Whitfield, who will be put to work immediately reviewing a lease agreement with Verizon Wireless.
The lease agreement has been in discussion for some time, and will allow for a cell tower to be placed near the football stadium at Henry County High School.
According to Director Sam Miles, Verizon is waiting on confirmation from the board to move forward with the project, which they expect to provide once Whitfield, Miles and the board review the latest iteration of the agreement.
Proposed terms of the agreement include that the school board does not lease to any entity other than Verizon, and that Verizon does not differentiate from their proposed flagpole design for the tower.
The board also discussed a differentiated pay plan that they are required by state law to implement for certified staff. Miles was clear that a performance-based pay scale would not be implemented at this time due to disagreements about fairness; instead, pay will be differentiated based on years of experience, extra duties and responsibilities, and the number and relevance of advanced degrees held.
School Board Learns of New Technology Upgrades
Rod Frey, HCBOE member looks at the new chromebook (AuBuchon photo)
Denton Jordan spoke at length at Thursday’s meeting describing several networking and technology upgrades at Henry County elementary schools accomplished via PARCC funding.
According to Jordan, the board received just over $240,000; almost half of that money went into a state-of-the-art fiber optic network at Henry Elementary School. In addition, a network upgrade is scheduled for Lakewood and four new switches were added to the network at Henry County High School.
In addition, the school system purchased over 200 Chromebook laptops for Henry, Harrelson, and Lakewood schools for student use, as PARCC and Common Core standards will require much more online student testing than in the past.
HCBOE Approves Custodial Service Bids: Hears Maintenance Reports
The board also unanimously approved the renewal of their contract with Service Solutions, for approximately $555,000. This is the fifth and final year of Service Solutions’ contract, and next year the board will take bids for custodial and maintenance services.
John Akers reported to the board that the recent ice storm caused significant damage to the gutter systems at Harrelson and Lakewood schools as well as the maintenance shop. Akers had not received a quote for repairs at Thursday night’s meeting, but believes they may be costly.
Brian Norton reported that a proposed school calendar for next year would be distributed to the various school principals this week and will be brought to the board for approval at April’s meeting.
The Henry County Board of Education will meet next Monday night, March 17th, in conjunction with the Henry County Commission in order to meet with the architect and construction firm behind the upcoming Harrelson and Henry project.
The meeting will begin at 7 PM at the Henry County Courthouse, and representatives are expected to be on hand at 6:30.
Pats Bats Wake Up, Whip Murray 9-2 on the Diamond
Paris, Tenn.- The Patriot baseball team defeated Murray High 9-2 on the diamond Thursday night. Henry County trailed 2-0 after the first inning the chipped away with a run in the first and another in the second. The Patriots scored 4 runs in the fourth and 3 more runs in the 5th. The Patriots are on the road at Riverside Friday night, then again Monday at Northwest. The next home game will be Tuesday March 18th at 6:30pm against Northwest.
Planning Commission Approves Minor Subdivion Plat
Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Municipal Regional Planning Commission met Thursday night and approved a minor subdivision plat for H & W Investments on Industrial Park Road.
The plan called for the division of 4.13 acres on the northeast portion of the property adjacent to West Tennessee Credit Bureau. The planning commission approved the minor subdivision plat as all necessary requirements were met.
Yarbrough Pleads Guilty; State Dismisses Murder Charge
Paris, Tenn.- In Henry County Circuit Court Thursday afternoon, Jiles Yarbrough, one of three defendants in the 2012 shooting death of Eric Kinley, pled guilty to aggravated assault.
Yarbrough has been in custody since August 2012 on charges of first degree murder and aggravated assault. According to assistant attorney general Beth Hall, the state chose to dismiss their first degree murder charge in exchange for Yarbrough’s plea as they could not prove Yarbrough was in possession of a firearm on the night of the shooting, and do not believe Yarbrough was aware that Tevin Lumpkin, sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder in November 2013, had a weapon or intended to use it.
Yarbrough pled guilty to his role in the assault on Eric Kinley that led to his murder. By pleading guilty, Yarbrough waived his right to appeal any portion of the court’s decision.
Circuit Court Judge Donald Parish accepted Yarbrough’s guilty plea after ensuring he was acting of his own free will and understood the consequences, and sentenced him to 12 years in prison.
Yarbrough is also serving time for a related offense in Carroll County and the two terms are to be served non-consecutively, raising his effective sentence to 21 years in prison.
After his sentencing, Yarbrough was given the opportunity to speak with family members of Eric Kinley, who were present at the hearing. He apologized for his actions, saying “I’m sorry all this happened and I pray that you forgive me for this.”
Stone Case Continued To May 8th
Paris, Tenn.- Henry County Trustee David Stone appeared in a special session of General Sessions Court at 10am Thursday morning at the Henry County Courthouse Annex Courtroom for a status check hearing. He has been serving voluntary rehab since February.
Judge Thomas Moore of Weakley County was called in to adjudicate the hearing and after well over an hour of deliberations with both attorneys, Circuit Court Clerk Mike Wilson announced on behalf of Judge Moore the case will be continued until May 8th at 10am.
Stone’s attorney, Anthony Clark, didn’t provide a reason for the continuation but said it was not uncommon for a case to be continued to a later date. Clark noted his client has completed rehab and is currently in the aftercare portion of his treatment.
Stone is facing a felony charge of civil rights intimidation along with lesser charges of harassment and violation of probation. No court expectations, such as probation, were placed on Stone at this time.
Local Farmer Donates $2500 to Hoof Beats of Hope
Part of Monsanto's Amercia's Farmers Grow Communities
Pictured above left to right is Monsanto Representative Jessie Little, Jan Foy, director of Hoof Beats of Hope, and Ann Wilson, Volunteer Coordinator (Osbron Barr PR Firm Photo)
Puryear, Tenn.- Lane Green, a local farmer in Henry County, has directed a donation of $2500 to Hoof Beats of Hope, Henry County’s Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program, thru Monasanto’s America’s Farmers Grow Communities program.
The money will be used to start an Equine Assisted Learning Program, by purchasing supplies for students and preparing the classroom for use.
Jan Foy, executive director of Hoofbeats of Hope, said “This is a great program and it just makes you feel warm and fuzzy all over to receive a donation like this. We are farmers too and we appreciate Monsanto and everything they do for us. Now we will be able to finish the inside of our new building so we can start our classroom program.”
America’s Farmers Grow Communities works directly with farmers to support nonprofit organizations like Hoof Beats of Hope. The program offers farmers a chance to win $2500 which is then donated to the farmer’s nonprofit of choice.
The program launched in 2010 and has since donated over $16M to more than 6500 nonprofit organizations across the country.
Library to Host Geocaching Class Thurs. Evening
Paris, Tenn.- The W.G. Rhea Public Library will have a geocaching class Thursday at 6pm and everyone ages 9 and older is invited to participate.
Geocaching is a family friendly internet based outdoor adventure game that uses GPS-enabled devices, such as smart phones, to find containers hidden all over the world. Following the class, there will be an optional cache run so you can practice what you’ve learned.
Springville Fire Chili Supper Rescheduled
Springville, Tenn.- The Springville Community Fire Department has rescheduled their chili supper for Saturday March 29th. It was originally scheduled for this Saturday March 15th, but has been postponed. Tickets already purchased will be honored and anyone that needs a refund can call Al at 593-3900.
Springville Utility District Board Meeting is Thurs. Evening
Springville, Tenn.- The Springville Utility District Board meeting will be held at 5pm Thursday at Lowell Wilson’s Shop/kitchen located at 1228 Old Springville Road. The public is invited to attend.
Quail Forever Banquet Set for Saturday
Paris, Tenn.- A newly formed chapter of Quail Forever plans its first banquet this Saturday March 15th at the Paris Convention Center. There will be a catered dinner, along with live and silent auction items and presentations by a Quail Forever biologists is on the agenda.
Everyone is invited to attend and bring back bobwhites to the area. The Bobwhite quail once roamed rural areas and its unique whistle is well known to many but a variety of factors contributed to the demise over the years but this group of concerned conservationists, sportsmen, and wildlife enthusiasts are banding together to bring bobwhites back to their rightful place on the landscape.
Tickets for Saturday night’s QF Banquet are $45 for a single and $15 for kids age 17 and under. For additional information call Clint Ellis at 693-9146 or Steve McCadams at 642-0360.
Patriots Host Murray On the Diamond Thursday at 5pm
Game to be Broadcast on 94.1FM
Paris, Tenn.- Henry County Patriot baseball will be in action Thursday at home against Murray High. First pitch is set for 5pm at the High School baseball field. If you can’t make it over to the game to cheer the Big Red on this evening, we will broadcast Thursday night’s baseball game on WLZK 94.1FM starting with the pregame show at 4:30pm.
Reminder: Outrun the Law 5K is Saturday
Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Lion’s Club’s Out Run the Law 5K will be held Saturday March 15th starting at 8am at Henry County High School. Race Day registration is $20 and will be open from 6:30am to 7:45am. There will be special awards to top Male and Femal Overall and Masters along with medals to top three finishers in each age division. There will also be awards given to any runners that can ‘outrun’ Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew, who will run the race.
Maplewood Baptist Hosts Messiah In the Passover
Lighting of the candles was the first step in the feast of Passover.
Paris, Tenn.- A cold March night didn't deter a good crowd from coming to Maplewood Baptist Church Wednesday night for a presentation of how Jesus fulfilled the feast of Passover.
Kirill Polonskiy, a missionary with Chosen People Ministries, went thru the night of Passover and read scripture about the event that ties Jewish and Christian thoughts and beliefs. He took volunteers from the crowd to taste some of the food and be a part of the presentation. (Photos by Tim Alsobrooks)
Volunteers came to assit with the events of Passover, here the bitterness of some of the food represents the bitterness in our bodies before Jesus enters our soul.
Andrea Lamb Elected Vice President of Commercial Bank
Paris, Tenn.- The Commercial Bank and Trust Company Board of Directors met February 24, 2014 and elected Andrea Lamb of Paris Vice President.
Clint Davis, Community President of the bank in Paris said, "It is our pleasure to announce the promotion of Andrea Lamb to Vice President. She has been instrumental in the success of the Paris offices."
Andrea joined the bank part time on June 18, 1990 as a Co Op student at the high school. Since that time she has worked in deposit operations, loan documentation, note teller, new accounts, as installment loan clerk, as switchboard operator, utility clerk, and loan filing clerk. In 2001 she was promoted to Loan Officer and in 2008 to Mineral Wells Branch Manager.
Andrea continued her education after high school by attending bank schools and workshops. She graduated from Bethel College with honors on May 4, 2003, The Southeastern School of Consumer Credit in 2007, the TBA Branch Management School in 2011, and the Southeastern School of Banking in 2012.
Paris and Henry County have recognized her abilities through the Jaycees and the Chamber of Commerce. She has held many positions of leadership in the Jaycees including serving as the 2013 World's Biggest Fish Fry General Manager. In 2011 she was named Jaycee of the Year. She is currently serving as Paris Henry County Chamber of Commerce President and has headed up many expos and chamber events over the years. She has distinguished herself as a well-respected Commercial Bank employee.
Commercial Bank and Trust Company has 10 locations in West TN. Andrea serves as the Branch Manager and a Loan Officer at the Mineral Wells Avenue Branch in Paris.
K-9 School Dogs Help with Drug Sweep of HCHS
K9 Striker and Handler Sgt. Ricky Wade search vehicles at the HCHS parking lot.
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Sheriff’s Office utilized several police dogs that are in town this week for K9 School, during a drug sweep of Henry County High School on Wednesday morning that resulted in the arrest of two students. The Sheriff’s Office is hosting a K9 school for police dogs and Sheriff Monte Belew said dogs from all over the Southeast are in town and were used in drug sweep at HCHS Wednesday. Classrooms were checked along with the parking lot and vehicles.
Two students were charged with simple possession of marijuana and one of the students, Evan Todd, age 18 was also charged with underage alcohol possession. The other student has not been booked in the jail yet and the name was not released.
Drug, Attempted Robbery Arrests Made By Paris Police
Paris, Tenn.- Ptl. Derrek Colley of the Paris Police Department stopped a SUV that ran a stop sign and ended up charging the driver, Flyod Slaughter, Jr., age 57, of 1017 Cowan Street with drug charges. The report said Slaughter could not produce a driver’s license and a check thru dispatch revealed it was revoked due to DUI. The vehicle was seized and during search Ptl. Colley found bottles with pills. Slaughter was charged with driving on a revoked license, simple possession of schedule three and four drugs.
Sgt. Ricky Watson of the Paris Police Department charged Theresa A. Woodruff, age 53, of 307 Lee Street with attempted aggravated robbery and Linda S. Prokop, age 23, of 405 Hudson Street with accessory after the fact after Woodruff walked into the Paris BPU office demanding money be put in a bag.
The report said the BPU teller pushed an alarm button when Woodruff handed her the bag to put money in. Woodruff asked if that was an alarm, then fled the office to a car driven by Prokop outside. The two were later recognized by Ptl. Eric Long and were arrested.
Puryear Approves Two New Volunteer Fire Fighters
Puryear, Tenn.- The Puryear Mayor and Board of Alderman met on Tuesday night and approved two applications for the Puryear Volunteer Fire Department, Jessica Alexander and James Cole. Mayor David Varner presented the fire department with to big flashlights that was donated to the department from David Paschall, of Batteries Plus in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
The board also discussed getting residents in Puryear free smoke detectors with the ten year lithium battery. City recorder Verla Smith said they plan on starting with the elderly and home with large families first and work on getting everyone who wants a free smoke detector one as the spring and summer goes along.
Dugout Dinner Set for Thursday's Baseball Game
Chili Dinner Ticket Holders Get Free Admission, Food
Paris, Tenn.- The Baseball Booster club will have the Dugout Dinner for anyone who had a chili supper ticket at Thursday night’s baseball game against Murray. The chili supper was cancelled because of winter weather and anyone who has a ticket will get free admission to Thursday night’s baseball game plus a free cheeseburger, chips, and drink.
Highway Dept. To Close Whitlock Paris Rd. Thursday
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Highway Department will close Whitlock Paris Road on Thursday at 7am for culvert replacement. The road will be closed 1.5 miles north of highway 69A and should be opened back up for evening traffic.
Webb in Stable Condition At Vanderbilt After 30 Foot Fall
Mansfield, Tenn.- Darren Webb, of Mansfield, was injured Tuesday afternoon, when he fell about 30 feet from a tree while helping a family member trim limbs. Webb, who is an assistant fire chief at the Mansfield Fire Department, was lifeflighted from the scene after the fall to Vanderbilt. Henry County EMS and Deputy Stacy Bostwick responded to the scene, according to Sheriff Monte Belew. As of Tuesday evening around 9pm Webb was listed in stable condition.
Henry Fire Department To Offer Free Smoke Detectors
Residents Can Get Smoke Detectors with 10 Year Battery
Henry, Tenn.- The Henry Mayor and Board of Alderman met on Tuesday night and Henry Fire Chief Keith Qualls told the board about a program that is available to citizens in the fire district that the Henry Fire Department serves.
Qualls said the department is working on a project with the state of Tennessee and Paris Fire Department to provide smoke detectors with a ten year lithium battery to residents free of charge. Qualls said the state of Tennessee is making a big push on cutting down the number of fire deaths that have continued to occur and decided to offer these smoke detectors for free. The only stipulation is they must be installed thru state guidelines by a member of the fire department.
Qualls asked the board to put notes on water bills to let residents know of this opportunity. He was also going to put up sign up sheets at Joe’s Grocery and Henry Trading Post.
Qualls said once he gets a number of how many smoke detectors are needed for residents he will get back with the state and get them to Henry. He hopes to start installing them later this spring on afternoons and Saturdays.
Homes can get as many smoke detectors as needed and guideline are based on square footage of the house, but require there to be at least one smoke detector in the kitchen and one in or near every bedroom.
Residents of Henry who are interested in getting the free smoke detectors with a ten year battery life can call Henry City Hall during regular business hours at 243-4091. Residents will need to give their name, address, and phone number. Chief Qualls will be in contact with residents to set up a time to come install the smoke detectors later this spring once they arrive from the state.
Henry Board Seeks to Fill Vacant Alderman Spot
Henry, Tenn.- In other business Tuesday night the Henry Board formally accepted the resignation of adlerman Rex Buford. Buford moved out of the Henry city limits and attended his last meeting in February. The board will now appoint someone to fill the vacant seat until the November election. Any interested citizen of Henry who would like to serve on the board of alderman can get a letter expressing their interest to Henry City Hall between now and early April. The board will appoint the person to the seat at the April board meeting.
Cottage Grove Legislative Council Holds March Meeting
Cottage Grove, Tenn.- At Tuesday night's Cottage Grove Legislative Council meeting the Cottage Grove Recycling Committee were introduced to the council and thanked for their service. The Recycling Committee is made up of Lance Wood, Katherine Jimenez, and Nick Smetak and they reported that they are working on an acitivity involving the recycling program for late spring or early summer.
The financial report for February was approved by the council. It included revenues of over $8900 and expenses of $1329. The budget committee was also formed Tuesday night consisting of Mayor Mike Waddey, Sue Call, Carolyn Kaminski, and Melinda Thatcher.
Patriot Peddlers and Pickers to Hold Yard Sale March 22
Paris, Tenn.- Henry County High School’s Patriot Peddlers and Pickers will hold a Yard Sale and Flea Market at the HCHS parking lot on Saturday March 22nd from 8am to 1pm. Rain date will be Saturday April 5th.
McLeese Named as Hoover's Campaign Manager
Paris, Tenn.- Vicki Hodge Hoover has named Travis McLeese Campaign Manager for the campaign to elect Vicki Hodge Hoover Circuit Court Judge in the 24th Judicial District.
McLeese graduated from Bethel University with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration. Since High School he has been involved with numerous local non-profits and community development projects. In 2008 he received the Governor’s Star Award for community service. That same year he received the Loyal Patriot Award, the most distinguished award that a Henry Countian can receive.
“I am excited to dig in and get to work for the folks in our District,” commented McLeese. “I know that when elected, Vicki will make a difference and improve the Judicial System in our District.”
In 2012 he served as the campaign manager to re-elect State Representative Tim Wirgau. He recently took the position of Director of Operations for the Bethel University Renaissance Program, a job which he will continue.
“Bringing Travis to the Hoover Team is a major step in the right direction,” added Hoover. “I have been so impressed with his knowledge of the political process as well as his ability to communicate with the folks in our District. He is creative and skillful which makes him a tremendous asset to our team. I look forward to working with him.”
To contact Travis regarding the campaign, you can email him at email@example.com.
Maplewood Baptist Church To Host Messiah in the Passover Wed. Night at 7pm
Paris, Tenn.- Messiah in the Passover, a vivid and exciting demonstration showing how Jesus fulfilled the ancient feast of Passover, will be held on Wednesday, March 12 at 7:00pm at Maplewood Baptist Church.
Messiah in the Passover will be conducted by Kirill Polonskiy, a missionary with Chosen People Ministries. Chosen People Ministries is an over one hundred-year-old mission that was founded in 1894 by Leopold Cohn, a Hungarian rabbi who came to believe that Jesus is the Messiah promised in the Hebrew Scriptures. From humble beginnings in Brooklyn, New York, Chosen People Ministries has grown into a worldwide ministry to "the Jew first and to the Gentile."
Messiah in the Passover begins with the traditional Passover Seder table - complete with all the articles of this important Jewish celebration. The speaker will explain the symbolic meanings of the various items of the Passover feast and highlight their relationship to the Last Supper that Messiah celebrated with the disciples, giving special emphasis on the redemptive significance of the crucifixion.
Messiah in the Passover gives the Christian community insight into Jewish traditions so that the Jewish roots of Christianity can be better understood. This program also helps the Jewish and Christian communities understand their common heritage.
This demonstration is open to the public, and Maplewood Baptist Church would like to invite the community to attend. The church is located at 8700 Highway 218 Bypass. For more information please call 731-642-2022.
A love offering will be received.
Road Board Recommends Speed Limit Signs for Resort Areas
Sheriff Discusses Need for Slow Moving Vehicle Signs
Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew speaks to the Road Board Monday night about the need for speed limit and slow moving vehicle signs in some Resort areas. (Tim Alsobrooks photo)
Paris, Tenn.- At Monday night’s Henry County Road board meeting, Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew asked the board to approve putting up some speed limit signs and slow moving vehicle signs in some resort areas of Henry County to curb issues with ATV traffic.
Sheriff Belew told the road board and then spoke again later Monday night to the budget committee, about the growing number of wrecks that have occurred during spring and summer months with ATVs, golf carts, and other all terrain vehicles being driven in resort areas. Belew said we in no way want to deter the socializing, tourism, and activities our resorts bring, but we want folks to be safe.
Sheriff Belew asked the road board to consider allowing the sheriff’s office to post speed limit signs of 35mph along with slow moving vehicle traffic signs in the Buchan Resort, Antioch Harbor, and Country Junction areas of the county. By doing this it would allow ATV type vehicles like side by sides, golf carts, and gators to be driven on the highway as long as that particular ATV is registered with a county clerk’s office, that type of vehicle has basic vehicle necessities such as a windshield, seat belts, lights, and the driver is age 16 or older with a valid class D driver’s license.
The road board made a motion recommend to the county commission to post speed limit signs of 35mph and slow moving vehicle signs in areas where the Sheriff’s Department deemed necessary around resorts.
Later Monday night, the sheriff went in front of the Budget committee meeting and requested some budget transfers in the amount of $18K to purchase an ATV side by side type vehicle to use to patrol those areas in. The money came from the Drug Control Fund’s balance and it was approved by the budget committee. Sheriff Belew said they plan on buying the ATV type vehicle locally, then putting stripes on it to use as a patrol type vehicle in the resorts.
Road Board Purchases Excavator, Holds Off On Trailer
Also on Monday night the Road Board voted to approve to purchase an Excavator with a 24 inch and 48 inch bucket from Coleman Tractor in Paris. The board discussed this in full detail at February’s board meeting, and Coleman Tractor had the lowest bid of $85,599. The board elected to not trade in their backhoe and trailer. Supervisor Ray Norwood suggested selling those items elsewhere to try to recoup more money. Coleman Tractor had offered around $14K on the trade in.
The board also agreed to get specs for a trailer to haul the excavator on and have Norwood bring those back to April’s board meeting to bid out then.
Norwood informed the board that the company the Highway Department had contracted with to spray weeds had come to the county on Monday and sprayed their first round. They will continue to monitor how this weed maintenance plan works over the summer and fall.
Budget Commitee Approves Transfer of Safe Space Payment
Money to Come from Fund Balance; No Capital Outlay Note Needed
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Budget Committee met on Monday night and approved changes in the budget for the general fund from the election commission, sheriff’s department, EMA, Health Department, and Airport.
The biggest transfer however was in the form of over $234K which came from unappropriated fund balance to the school for the county’s portion of the 12½ % local match of the FEMA and TEMA grants to retrofit Harrelson and Henry with tornado safe spaces.
County Mayor Brent Greer informed the budget committee work will start on these projects as soon as school is out in May, and the county’s fund balance is healthy enough now to use money out of it to pay for the local match portion of the grant, rather than take out a capital outlay note for it. The money is being transferred to the School fund to be put in capital projects.
Budget Commitee OKs Several Budget Transfers
Paris, Tenn.- The budget committee approved more transfers Monday night during the meeting. Money transferred in the Election Commission is a 100% state funded grant over $1500 to purchase a computer, printer, and software for the upcoming elections in 2014.
In the sheriff’s department, money was moved around to help pay overtime for law enforcement present in a murder trial held a couple of months ago and another set for later this month. There was no new money asked for by the sheriff’s department.
Also another line item transfer for the Sheriff’s Department was for the sales of E-cigarettes in the correctional facility. The budget committee approved the increase of $10K in the revenue account. The sheriff’s department will use the money gained between now and June 30th for new equipment in the excerise facility. After June 30th, continued revenue from the sales of E-cigarettes will go into the General Fund.
The budget committee approved increased the revenue account in the Health Department Budget by over $27K. Mayor Greer said this was Henry County’s portion of the statewide tobacco settlement and it will benefit the Health Council, who will determine a project to combat smoking in the county.
Money was moved around in the Airport budget for repairs on the small tractor that is used to tow aircrafts on the runway. Also Airport Manager Don Davenport reduced the revenue account by just under $2500 as he returned some state grant money that was needed in the airport improvement grant the county received a few months back.
Other transfers made approved by budget committee members Monday nigh included accepting grant money in the Solid Waste Department, a total of $12,200 and several line item changes in the General Purpose School Fund.
County Audit Committee Holds Organizational Meeting
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Audit Committee held its first organizational meeting Monday night. The Audit Committee was recently formed this year, based on recommendations from CTAS and Auditors. The committee will be tasked with meeting every year when the Audit comes out to study the findings and determine courses of actions to take to correct the findings in the future.
Monday night, the Audit Committee voted to start a new account to help reconcile various checks that are getting lost between the bank and trustee office.
County Mayor Brent Greer said at the end of 2012 the Trustee’s office decided to not reconcile various funds and a balance was left which county budget director Pat Hollingsworth stated had some “junk” in it she can’t find because it started the year with an unrecognized balance. Hollingsworth said by starting a new account, it will form a stopping point for some of these transactions from months back and allow continuing to work with CTAS to figure out some of the
Money is not missing from anywhere, its just where the Trustee’s office had zeroed out the balance once a bill was paid, put the reconciled check from the bank was not reported.
The audit committee is made up of County Commissioner Kenneth Humphries, chairman of the budget committee, Citizen members on the budget committee Steve Greer and Melanie Dodd, and chairman of the road board and Henry County Board of Education Bobby Milam and Tom Beasley respectively. Mayor Greer gave each member the audit and told them to look it over. He said they will meet again before June 30th and have plans of action in places to correct the small findings that were reported by auditors.
New Software Updates Nearly Complete for Juvenile Court
Bulk of Funding Coming from the State for Upgrades
Paris, Tenn.- A project that has been ongoing at the Henry County Juvenile Court offices is nearly complete which involves new software that offers much more ability to manage the juvenile court and clerk’s data and day to day duties.
Circuit Court Clerk Mike Wilson said he and Judge Snyder are extremely proud of the new software, and they were able to put the software in with the bulk of the funding coming from the state of Tennessee. The software also has the latest in financial compliance and bookkeeping which is an added bonus.
HC Soil Conservation District to Have Trees For Sale This Week
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Soil Conservation District will have trees for sale at the USDA Farm Service Center at 408 N. Market Street in Pairs this week. They have a large variety of ornamental, shade and fruit trees, shrubs, Knockout roses, blueberries and grape vines will be available. Sizes and prices will vary. Additional information is available at www.henrycountyscd.org.
Paris Police Investigate Local Business Fraud Accusation
Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Police Department is currently investigating accusations of debit card fraud at Tin Roof Tobacco in Paris, according to police reports.
The complainant, who has been a customer at Tin Roof for quite some time, said he recently noticed several fraudulent charges on his bank statement. Upon closer examination, the complainant realized his debit card had been charged twice for every purchase he made at Tin Roof Tobacco, from June 2013 to February 24th of this year.
The Paris Police Department is currently investigating and no charges have been filed at this time.
Henry County Sheriff's Office Investigating Several Thefts
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Sheriff’s Office has been busy investigating several recent thefts.
A golf cart was stolen from a home in Springville on Saturday. The complainant advised officers that his cart had been chained to a boat at his residence; the chain appeared to have been cut with bolt cutters. The golf cart is a green 1997 EZ-GO with some damage near the front right tire. The cart is valued at $1500.
A Puryear home was broken into recently, with several items stolen. The complainant reported Saturday that he returned home to find his garage door forced open and several items missing, including a small safe, a Kawasaki 4-wheeler, two 12 gauge shotguns and a Savage rifle. Total value of the missing items is over $4500.
Another home was burglarized Friday on Edgar Cemetery Road in Paris. The homeowner had been away for several days and returned to find the back door of the house pried open and several items missing, including a collection of knives and a collection of belt buckles.
Finally, a pair of 12” subwoofers, an amplifier and speaker enclosure were stolen from a vehicle on Cardinal Cove in Paris on Thursday. A neighbor stated he saw a man, approximately six feet tall and weighing 200 pounds, drive up in a grey SUV and approach the vehicle, but was unsure if he removed anything.
The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating each of these thefts and has no suspects in any case at this time.
Hundreds of Pancakes Served at Saturday's Show Hope Event
Cottage Grove Mayor Mike Waddey's seven children organized, promoted, and operated Saturday's fundraiser (Alex AuBuchon photo).
Paris, Tenn.- Cottage Grove Mayor Mike Waddey and his family held a pancake supper fundraiser for Show Hope Saturday night at the Western District Baptist Association.
The event was extremely well-attended and also featured a bake sale and silent auction featuring items donated from both individuals and local businesses.
Waddey said he and his wife Robin originally envisioned the event as a service learning project for their seven children, who he says put in the vast majority of the work organizing, promoting, and operating the fundraiser.
Show Hope is a charity organization founded by Christian singer-songwriter and Paducah native Steven Curtis Chapman that works to connect orphaned children with potential adoptive parents by offering monetary grants to help with the high costs of adoption.
Waddey said he initially became involved with the organization as he himself was adopted, and was very familiar with the high costs associated with the adoption process.
Several members of the Paris community volunteered to help out with the event, including Sheriff Monte Belew and Chief Deputy Randy Gean of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office.
In addition to funds raised through the pancake supper and silent auction, individuals also had the opportunity to donate directly to Show Hope via a website link.
As of publication time, the Waddeys didn’t have an exact fundraising total, but it seems likely that they will surpass their $1,000 goal.
Due to the community interest and the success of the pancake supper, the Waddey family is considering making it an annual event.
Saturday evening's Pancake Supper packed the Western District Baptist Association for two and a half hours (Alex AuBuchon photo).
BPU to Flush Hydrants Week of March 10th
Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Board of Public Utilities will be flushing fire hydrants from Monday, March 10th to Friday, March 14th. The BPU had planned to flush hydrants this past week, but inclement weather and cold temperatures forced them to postpone.
As a result of the flushing, Paris residents may notice air in their water lines or a discoloration of water. Make sure to check for water discoloration before doing laundry, and if any of these problems occur, just run water through a faucet for a few minutes. The water should return to normal in a short amount of time.
If you encounter continuing problems with your water, contact BPU Director of Water and Wastewater Operations, Terry Wimberley at 642-1322 ext. 149.
Runway for a Cure Fights Cancer With Clothes
Honorary event co-chairs Barbara Roberts and Debrah Stoope show off the latest fashions from Boutique MariMac (Alex AuBuchon photo).
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Relay for Life organization held their annual Runway for a Cure fashion show and silent auction Friday night at the Krider Performing Arts Center.
Dozens of models of all ages, some of whom were cancer survivors themselves, showed off spring and summer looks from a variety of local boutiques, including Boutique MariMac, J’Adore, Jewelz and Strutt ‘n Stuff, Off the Square,
Sunshine Boutique, and prom and pageant dresses from Queens of Paris.
Hors d'oeuvres and a silent auction were also available in the Krider Performing Arts Center lobby.
Henry County Medical Center Director of Imaging Billie McKee emceed the event alongside Physician Liaison and Marketing Coordinator Leah Rogers.
Runway for a Cure also featured two honorary Relay for Life co-chairs, both with long histories battling cancer in Henry County.
Barbara Roberts was named honorary co-chair due to her work with the Ed Roberts Cancer Survivor Dinner in honor of her late husband Ed Roberts, who lost his battle with leukaemia, and for her own courageous battle with breast cancer.
Also an honorary co-chair of Runway for a Cure was Debra Stoope, who was instrumental in establishing Henry County’s Relay for Life organization alongside Rosie Martin Baker and Gary Powley.
Organizers were unsure of the exact amount of funds this year’s Runway for a Cure raised for Relay for Life, but the event has historically brought in over $1,000.
Queens of Paris showed off several prom and pageant gowns at this year's Runway for a Cure (Alex AuBuchon photo).
Daniel Powell Holds Meet the Candidate Fundraiser
Paris, Tenn.- Daniel Powell, one of the Democratic candidates in this year’s election for Henry County Circuit Court Clerk, held a Meet the Candidate dinner and fundraising event last night at the Greystone ballroom in Paris.
The event was well-attended by community members including Henry County Democratic Party chairman Wes Bradley, who delivered an invocation before dinner.
Bradley did not comment on Powell’s candidacy so as to remain impartial, but did say that there are some fantastic candidates on the Democratic ticket for the Circuit Court Clerk office this year.
Powell is a Cottage Grove native and currently a correctional officer with the Henry County Sheriff’s Office. He will contend with Lisa Wade and incumbent Circuit Court Clerk Mike Wilson in the May 6th county primary election.
Commission Plans Process to Hire Next City Manager
Foster Is A Candidate for the Job
Mayor Sam Tharpe listens while City Manager Carl Holder discusses ideas on his retirement and hiring of a new city manager. (Tim Alsobrooks photo)
Paris, Tenn.- Paris Mayor Sam Tharpe opened up Thursday night’s Paris City Commission meeting with discussion about the steps the commission needs to begin taking to have someone ready to take over as Paris City Manager when current city manager Carl Holder retires next year.
Holder officially announced he would be retiring July 1, 2015, but his actual last day he is planning to work is May 1, 2015, and use accrued vacation time for the rest of the time.
Holder spoke to the commission and informed them he felt that current Finance Director Kim Foster would be a great fit as the next city manager of Paris, and its time to start getting her trained in all aspects of city government.
Each commissioner than briefly spoke on the process and Terry Fuller stated he didn’t want the city to up end in a mess again and not have someone ready to take over as city manager. Fuller said,” I firmly believe we should hire and growth from within, so I think we should give Mr. Holder the latitude to be involved with the process of helping find the right city manager before he retires.” Fuller added, “Carl Holder is one of the best city manager’s in the state of Tennessee, and it would be a crime if we didn’t utilize his knowledge in this process.”
Holder told commissioners Foster was very eager to learn all aspects of the job and having her as an assistant city manager would be the way to get in trained on all aspects of city government.
Commissioners requested Holder come back at April’s meeting with a job description for an assistant city manager and a city manager to let them mull it over. Also commissioners wanted a timeline to follow, of how the training would go and the process of looking at hiring outside and what steps to follow in that situation.
Foster spoke and told the commission, “I understand and respect the commissions’ decisions to take this process slow and look at all possible issues. At the same time, I feel this is a tremendous opportunity for me and I am very interested. I’ve been fortunate to have a mentor like Carl, and it allowed me to be better at my job, more quickly. I would like to serve as assistant city manager and learn about more areas of government that I normally don’t get involved with and to be considered as a possible hire when the city manager position comes up.”
Retail Sales Set Records for December
Finance director Kim Foster discusses the retail sales in December while
Willete Ray, administrative assitant and city attorney Fred McLean listen. (Alsobrooks photo)
Paris, Tenn.- During the business portion of the Paris City Commission meeting, Foster informed the commission that the city finished 2013 on a high note with the largest retail sales number in history for Paris. She said we were almost 2% ahead of December 2012 and over $6M more in sales than November 2013.
Foster said overall, the city finished the year about 2% behind 2012, but made up considerable ground in the last quarter where they finished 1.35% ahead of fourth quarter sales in 2012.
The commission and Foster agreed that the chamber’s Shop Local campaign seemed to give citizens the mindset to try to keep Christmas shopping in Paris and Henry County and that may have lead to the big jump in sales. Foster said forecast for Tennessee for the remainder of 2014 show slight economic growth and she said hopefully Paris falls in line with that prediction.
City Election Will Be November 4th
Three Seats Up For Grabs
Paris, Tenn.-Commissioners voted to go ahead and set the city’s election along with the November 4th, general election. City Attorney Fred McLean advised that they have to officially get on the ballot by passing a resolution that they will hold their elections in November. He reminded commissioners they changed the date a few years back in order to have a bigger turnout on election because it coincided with the general election and to save the city money on election costs.
This November three seats will be up for grabs on the Paris City Commission, those currently belonging to Sam Tharpe, Pete Lackey, and Carlton Gerrell. The first day to pick up qualifying papers for the November Election is May 23, the last day to turn those papers back in is August 21st at noon.
News from past weeks here.