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

Several Arrests Made By Law Enforcement

Paris, Tenn.-Three females, including two juveniles, were arrested by Paris Police for disorderly conduct after Patrolman Jordan Klutts observed them fighting in the middle of Pine Street. With back-up from county sheriff’s deputies, the three were finally separated and told officers that the fight started when one of the females yelled at another passing in a car and the second girl got out of the car to hit the first one.

Arrested was Brittany Brackins, age 20, 386 Jackson Dr. Two juveniles were cited into juvenile court.

Henry County Sheriff’s Deputy Cpl. Bryan Hall arrested a Paris woman for simple possession of two types of drugs as well as traffic violations after he observed her almost cause a wreck at the East Wood St. and Fairgrounds Rd. intersection.

One he stopped her, he determined she was driving with an expired license, no insurance, and had several different types of pills in a pill bottle. Arrested was Juliana Patton, age 35 of 319 Thompson St.

Paris Patrolman Jeramye Whitaker arrested a Paris man for simple possession after he observed him run a stop sign on N. Poplar St.

Whitaker noticed the driver kept putting his hands in his pockets and found no weapons after patting him down. The driver denied him permission to search his person and his vehicle.

Whitaker called for assistance from Patrolman Jamie James and his K-9 Herrum. Herrum alerted to the vehicle and marijuana was found in the driver's pants pockets.

Arrested was Gary Byars, 32, 505 Vaughn St., Paris.

Patrolman Whitaker also arrested Scottie Joe Goodman, age 33 of 422 N. Brewer after he saw him driving and knew his license had been revoked. He also found pills on Goodman and arrested him for simple possession.

Catalytic Converters Stolen

Paris, Tenn.-Five catalytic converters were stolen off of five Dodge pickup trucks parked at Peppers' Automotive at 2420 E. Wood St. The converters cost $500 apiece.

Artists' Showcase Begins Sunday

Paris, Tenn.-The 27th annual Artists' Showcase will begin at the Paris-Henry Co. Heritage Center with a reception at 2 p.m. Sunday. The showcase is sponsored by the Paris-Henry County Arts Council.

The showcase will be held until April 26 and winners will be announced at the reception. The new executive director Michael Murphy and assistant Joy Ledden Stubblefield will be introduced to the public (an article on the new personnel was published on our site Thursday and can still be viewed below).


Chamber Plans Golf Outing April 13th

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Henry County Chamber of Commerce will have its annual membership golf tournament on Friday April 13th at the Tennessean Golf Course. It’s a four person scramble with a 11am lunch prepared by the chamber’s executive chef Gayle Griffith. The shot gun start will be at 12:30pm.

The price for the golf tournament is $250 for a team of four for chamber members and $300 for a four person team of non chamber members. The price includes golf fees, cart, and lunch.

There will be team prices paid out, 1st place 600, 2nd place 300, 10th place 200, and 20th place 200. Individual prizes include longest drive and closet to the pin. Also Joe Mahan Ford, Peppers, and Premier Nissan will sponsor a hole in one vehicle giveaway. For more information or to register your team call 642-3431.


County Unemployment Numbers Released

Nashville- The Department of Labor and Workforce Development released the February 2012 County Unemployment rates on Thursday afternoon and the rate has decreased in all counties in the listening area.

County saw its February 2012 rate come in at 11.0%, down .8% from the January 2012 rate. The rate is also down 2.2% from February of 2011. This equates to just over fifteen hundred people of the estimated labor force of just under 13,700 being out of work in February.

Carroll County showed that 1,520 people were looking for a job in February. That means 10.9% of the estimated labor force of 13,950 were unemployed. That number is down from 11.6% in January and down over February of 2011 2.5% from 13.4.

Benton County’s estimated labor force is 7160 and of that 760 were looking for a job in February of this year. That equates to an unemployment rate of 10.7%. That is down .2% from the 10.9 in January. Benton County’s unemployment rate has dropped over 4% from February of 2011.

The release of numbers show the unemployment rate has decreased in 75 of Tennessee’s 95 counties, increased in 10 and stayed the same in 10 counties from January to February of this year. 47 of Tennessee’s counties had an unemployment rate of greater than 5% but less than 10%. 48 counties had a rate greater than 10% and less than 20%.

The lowest unemployment rate in the state was 5.6% in Williamson County and the state’s highest unemployment rate came in at 17.6% in Scott County.


Paris Woman killed in ATV accident Wednesday night

Paris, Tenn.- A 42 year old woman was killed in an ATV accident Wednesday night around 9pm, according to a fatality report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol Office in Jackson.

Trooper David Rorer worked the accident which occurred at 1780 Mays Bridge Road, four miles east of Paris. The report stated that Dalton L. Patterson, Jr., of Springville was driving Polaris Sportsman 500 ATV on Mays Bridge Road Wednesday night and a passenger on the vehicle, Cheri H. Tanner, of Paris.

The report said that the ATV was going south on Mays Bridge Road and ran off the east side of the roadway and hit a ditch and overturned. Tanner died due to injuries suffered in the accident. The driver of the ATV, Patterson was not injured.

Murphy Named Arts Council Director; Stubblefield Is Assistant

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris-Henry Co. Arts Council has hired Michael Murphy of McKenzie to be its new executive director, replacing long-time director Mary Lodge.

Joy Ledden Stubblefield was hired as assistant director to replace Travis McLeese, who resigned earlier to accept a position at Bethel University (see article elsewhere on our website).

A Nashville native, Murphy lives in McKenzie with his wife, Samantha, who is an 8th grade math teacher at Henry Elementary. Murphy is presently finishing his bachelor's degree at Bethel University in McKenzie, where he was involved in the Renaissance Theater program.

Murphy is already familiar to the area, having performed in Renaissance productions. He also has performed at Arts ‘Round the Square and was an acting instructor in workshops at the Lee Academy for the Arts. While still in Nashville, he was also involved in local community theater.

While attending Bethel, Murphy also was a child and youth minister at the First Cumberland United Methodist Church in McKenzie.

He will begin serving as director next week and plans to attend the Sunday reception at the Heritage Center for the upcoming art showcase sponsored by the arts council.

Murphy was one of about a dozen persons who applied for the position. Lodge resigned from the job earlier due to lingering health issues following surgery.

"I am honored to have been given this opportunity and I look forward to following in the footsteps of such great people who have served the arts council in the past," Murphy said last night. "I can't wait to for my wife and I to become a part of this wonderful community and share in its love for the arts."

Wirgau Passes Key Piece of Governor Haslam’s Economic Agenda

Legislation Expands the Scope of FastTrack Grants Program; Will Help Drive Economic Development in Distressed Areas of Tennessee

Nashville, Tenn.—The House of Representatives today unanimously passed a key piece of Governor Bill Haslam’s economic agenda that would help economically distressed parts of Tennessee.

House Bill 2344, successfully guided through the legislative process by Representative Tim Wirgau (R—Buchanan), was approved today by a 96-0 vote following a back and forth debate on the bill.

The bill repurposes the FastTrack economic development program, which would provide grants and loans to local governments or to their economic development organizations, to be used to facilitate pro-job growth activities. In passing the bill, it is the intent of the General Assembly that these economic development funds will only be used in exceptional circumstances when the funds will make a significant economic impact on the affected community.

“This bill helps Tennessee job creators, especially in those areas that have been hardest hit during the recession,” stated Wirgau. “By maintaining strong transparency requirements and oversight of this program, Tennesseans can have confidence we are expanding the mission of a program that has provided real job and economic growth results. Tennesseans want more career opportunities and I believe this program will help our business leaders and entrepreneurs deliver just that.”

Rep. Wirgau was given the task of running the bill through the House by Majority Leader Gerald McCormick (R—Chattanooga). Following the passage of the legislation, he stated, “I congratulate Representative Wirgau for the fine work he did with this bill. These grants will be provided to businesses that will have a significant economic impact on an area and that, ultimately, means more jobs for Tennesseans.”

For additional information about HB 2344, click here<http://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/BillInfo/Default.aspx?BillNumber=HB2344>. The legislation moves to the Senate for action.

Tickets Available Smart steps Program

Paris, Tenn.– The Henry County Medical Center's will be hosting “Smart Steps to Healthy Women – A Walking Program for Women.” on Thursday, April 12.

The event will take place at the hospital's Classrooms 2 & 3. Doors open at 5 p.m. with a roundtable discussion on the benefits of walking and starting a walking program from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Following the discussion will be a group walk from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., rain or shine. A healthy snack will be served and door prizes awarded. Plus, all women who attend the event will have the opportunity to sign up for the Healthy Henry County Walking Program and receive a free pedometer.

The Roundtable Panel will feature the following speakers and topics:
• Stephanie Winders, Henry County Coordinated School Health - The Benefits of Being Physically Active
• Danny Crossett, Personal Trainer at Gold’s Gym - How to Start a Walking Program, Proper Walking Attire, Picking Out the Right Shoes
• Bethel University- Chris Glover, ATC, LAT, Outreach Coordinator & HCHS Athletic Trainer, and Mark Weaver, AT, LAT - Pre/Post Stretching Exercises & Selecting the Best Food for Fuel

All women who attend are encouraged to wear tennis shoes and comfortable walking clothes to the event.

The event is free to all women, but you must have a ticket in order to attend because there is limited seating. Tickets are available at Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, My Favorite Things, HCMC Pink Petal Gift Shop, and Jack Jones.

Civil War Film To Be Shown

Dover, Tenn.-The Fort Donelson National Battlefield park is hosting the showing of a locally-produced film about local Civil War teenager Nannie Haskins. The film will be shown at 6 pm on Thursday, March 29th at the Stewart County Visitor Center.


The film was produced by Dr. Ellen Kanervo and Sarah Kanervo. They will talk about Nannie's life in Clarksville, Tennessee. Refreshments will be served. There are no fees.

For more information, please contact the Fort Donelson NB visitor center at 931-232-5706 x 104.

Paris man charged with 20 counts of kidnapping after incident on County school bus

Stephen Anthony Decker

Paris, Tenn.- A press conference was held Wednesday afternoon at the Henry County Sheriff’s office where details on the incident involving a man threatening to blow up a school bus Wednesday morning were released.

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said that a 911 call came in at 6:52am Wednesday morning from the bus driver on bus number 0940 of an unruly adult on the bus. The bus driver had stopped at 4080 Guthrie Road to pick up students who were on their way to Harrelson School. Sheriff Belew said that at that address, the bus usually picks up five students and while there a white male, later identified as Stephen Anthony Decker, age 26 of 534 Washington Street motioned for the bus driver to hold on just a minute.

The bus driver later told authorities he thought the adult, who was an uncle to two of the five kids at the stop, was wanting to tell the driver something that maybe another kid was on his/her way.

Decker then entered the bus and said 'he had a gun and this bus wasn’t going anywhere'. Moments later, Decker sat down in one of the bus seats, yelled profanity and threatened to blow the bus up with a bomb.

Deputies arrived quickly, as Deputy Blake Jenkins was the first on the scene. Within about 10 minutes or so of the call, Decker was in custody. Decker was found to have no weapons or bombs, and no one was hurt in the incident. 19 children and the bus driver were on the bus at the time of the incident. Sheriff Belew commended the bus driver and the students for handling the situation well.

Director of Henry County School Sam Miles, reiterated those words of the sheriff and said Harrelson’s Principal Beverly Friddy, Student Resource Officer Bruce Alexander, counselors and himself met with students who were on that bus this morning. All parents of those students were notified of the situation and that all students were ok and at school. Miles said he also talked with the bus driver, who wished to remain anonymous, and that he was going to run his Wednesday afternoon route and was fine.

Decker was charged with 8 counts of aggravated kidnapping and 12 counts of especially aggravated kidnapping. He was sent to Henry County Medical Center for mental evaluations. More charges could be pending.


McLeese Takes Job With Bethel

McLeese and fiance Jessica Montoya. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-Travis McLeese has resigned as the Assistant Director of the Paris Henry County Arts Council. McLeese has been with the Arts Council forthree years. In 2006 as a board member,he started the Youth for the Arts Organization. While at the Arts Council he assisted the day to day operations and managed projects with former Executive Director Mary Lodge.

“I have been blessed by the opportunity that Mary and the Arts Council gave me," McLeese said. She was an outstanding person to work with and taught me many things on both a professional and personal level. I hope to take those skills along with my degree and be able to make a greater impact on peoples lives.”

His resignation comes in preparation for the announcement of the new Executive Director and Assistant Director. The Board of Directors expects to announce the two new staff members shortly.

“I have been working with the Arts Council for last six months to make this a smooth transition,” McLeese said.

“With my new position with the Renaissance Program I will be on the road recruiting students, overseeing Marketing and Promotional material, doing workshops and attending several shows. It is a dream job! I will bejoining a great staff that is committed to developing students who arepassionate about arts. Who wouldn’t want to work for a program that offers performing arts students the same as athletes?”

McLeese will graduate Bethel University this May with a degree in Business Administration. For the past four years he has been a Renaissance Theatre Scholarship recipient. He is a former Henry County High School Thespian and Madrigal.

“My fiancé Jessica and I are in the process of buying a house in Paris, we can’t wait start the next chapter of our lives here," he said.


Parks Department Honored By IRS

Tony Lawrence, back, accepts a plaque of appreciation from: from left, top row: Ruth Elaine Graff, Tony, Beverly Rammel, Bernice Pritchard, Diane Sundstrom, Wanda Holder. Seated, Mary Towery, Carole Walsh and Donna Bell. Walsh is the coordinator for the local VITA program. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


Paris, Tenn.-It's not often that correspondence from the Internal Revenue Service is a good thing, but it certainly was Tuesday for Director Tony Lawrence of the Paris Parks Department. The volunteers at the local VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program presented Lawrence with a plaque from the IRS, commending it for its public service by providing the program with a free spot to locate each year.

Lawrence thanked the volunteers, not only for the plaque, but for their service to the public. "I don't think most people realize just how much effort all of you ladies put into this. It's a wonderful program and everyone should thank you." In recent years, VITA has been located each tax season at the Atkins-Porter Recreation Center, where volunteers help the public by filling out their tax forms for free.

The VITA program has been a local fixture for 31 years and previously was located at the local library.

Opry Mills set to reopen Thursday at 10am

Nashville- Thousands of eager shoppers are expected to join in on the celebration Thursday morning at 10am when Opry Mills reopens its doors. Opry Mills is the largest outlet, value retail, dining and entertainment destination in the Volunteer State and has been basically closed since the historic flooding of May 2010.

There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony and a series of fashion, lifestyle, musical, and family-friendly events planned throughout early May. Opry Mills is coming back strong with an impressive list of stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues and will enhance the local economy with job creation and increased tourism.

Some of the newest retail offerings as the doors open Thursday include Coach Factory Store, Coach Men’s Factory, the LEGO store, Micheal Kors, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Bahama Outlet, Vera Bradley, and others. Dining options at Opry Mills include the Aquarium Restaurant, Dave and Busters, Johnny Rockets, Rainforest Café and Romano’s Macaroni Grill.

Opry Mills will be open with special hours of 12-6 on Easter Sunday, have a grand reopening super sale weekend April 13-15th where customers can take advantage of deep discounts, and have a Grand reopening finale May 4th thru 6th with many events planned. For more information on the grand reopening including a list of new and returning retailers visit oprymills.com.

Wedding Bells--And A New Baby--For Couple At HCMC

Austin and Kristina Walters and little Addison. (HCMC photo).

Paris, Tenn.-Being a part of new beginnings is something that is treasured at the Henry County Medical Center Women’s Center. The Women’s Center is a busy, happy place and nobody knows that better than the nurses and new moms. Recently, the women's center was part of a different “new beginning” for a new mom and dad.

Kristina Frazier and Austin Walters, both of Paris, had planned to have their wedding day on March 22. But, before they could get to the aisle, baby Addison decided to arrive before the ceremony could begin.

Walters and Frazier decided to have their wedding ceremony at the hospital before the baby was born. So they were married in room 2123 on Thursday, March 22, at 11 a.m. by Walters’ step-dad, Tommie Dicus. The eight pound, five-ounce, 20 ½” baby girl was born at 3 p.m. to her newly married parents.

“Our baby was a little early and we had planned all along to get married before she was born,” Walters said. “So we were glad we could have our wedding here at HCMC.”

Having your baby at HCMC Women’s Center is a special joy, but getting married here is not your everyday occurrence.

If you would like to learn more about HCMC Women’s Center and its Bright Beginnings Program, join us for our first ever Bright Beginnings Baby Bash Baby Fair on Saturday, April 21 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the HCMC Classrooms 2 & 3. Many vendors will be on hand to provide great information, plus there will be a  tour of the Women’s Center. Refreshments will be served and you can sign up for great door prizes and get a great goodie bag to take home.

For more information on our Baby Bash or our Women’s Center, go to our website at www.hcmc-tn.org or call us at 731-644-3463.

Tennessee Tourism launches new blog

Nashville- The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development announces the launch of its developed blog, Tennessee Trip Tales, presenting readers with a fresh take on the inside scoop of Tennessee’s latest news, attractions and events.

The site will feature daily blogs written by professional travel writers who will cover a variety of topics to educate visitors about the state’s sites, events, and activities. The bloggers, representing East, West, and Middle Tennessee, will document authentic Tennessee experiences, including a trip through Cades Cove, prehistoric play in Memphis, and a trail tour.

Each Tennessee Trip Tales writer brings a myriad of Tennessee perspectives, from adventure to outdoors, from family fun, boys days out, or to girlfriend getaways. Bloggers will provide recommendations, reviews, tips, photos, video, and give exposure to Tennessee destinations and, in turn, increase tourist visitation.

The Tennessee Department of Tourist development worked with Tennessee-based digital agency, Designsensory, for the technical development of the Tennessee TripTales blog site. To see the blog, visit tnvacation.com/triptales.

Unemployment benefits set to expire in April

Nashville- A press release from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development stated that the department is making preparations to suspend unemployment benefits for claimants in the Extended Benefits (EB) program. More than ten thousand claimants who are in the last 20 of 99 weeks available, will be receiving their last benefit payment the week of April 12th.

The EB program is triggered on and off by the health of Tennessee’s unemployment rate. The trigger rate is based on a look-back provision of three years. To remain triggered on, the state’s current rate must be higher than 120% of the average rate three years ago. The state’s current rate recently dropped to 8.0%, dipping below the threshold to continue the program.

Approximately ten thousand claimants will receive notifications of the program expiration in the coming days. These claimants will not be eligible for additional benefits again until they earn qualifying wages.

In December of 2010, the U.S. department of labor informed Tennessee it was in danger of triggering off the Extended Benefits program unless Tennessee’s General Assembly passed legislation to extend the provision from two years to three years. The General Assembly passed legislation, and Governor Haslam signed into law this three year provision to allow Tennessee to remain triggered on to EB until the unemployment rate improved enough to trigger off the program.

In February of this year, federal legislation was enacted that changed the structure of the remaining federal benefits. It reduces the number of benefit weeks available from a maximum of 99 to 73 weeks in September 2012 and places of unemployment rate triggers on the total weeks available. All federal unemployment benefits are set to expire at the end of 2012.

Patriots baseball team whips Springfield, plays Calloway Co. today

Springfield, Tenn.- The Henry County Patriot Baseball team won a district game on the road Monday evening, defeating Springfield 10-2. The Patriots will be on the road again Tuesday at Calloway County, Kentucky. The JV squad will play at 4:30pm, the varsity team will play at 6:30pm. Head up and support the team if you can.

Fish Fry Headquarters set to open Saturday at 10am

It's all about the fish: a photo shoot with last year's WBFF hostess princess court. (Lisa Green photo).

Paris, Tenn.- The grand opening of the headquarters of the World's Biggest Fish Fry is set for this Saturday March 31rst at 10am. The headquarters are once again located next to Paint Plus on Wood Street in Paris. There will be a Chamber ribbon cutting at the event and the dedication of the souvenir booklet. The grand marshal for this year’s grand parade will also be announced.

2012 marks the 59th celebration of the Worlds Biggest Fish Fry. Events will run from Saturday April 21rst thru Sunday April 29th at and around the Henry County Fairgrounds. For more information on upcoming events, visit worldsbiggestfishfy.com.

GOP To Meet Thursday

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County GOP rescheduled its meeting for this Thursday evening. There will be no speaker, but instead an open discussion of fish fry plans. Chair Anita Berry said the organization would like to line up volunteers for the fish tent and parade float.

The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. at Tom's Restaurant.

Tickets On Sale For Hoofbeats

Paris, Tenn.-A dinner and auction for Hoofbeats for Hope will be held from 5-8 p.m. Saturday, April 14, in the Commercial Building at the Henry County Fairgrounds. Ribeye Steak dinner and great auction items!

Tickets are $15 each. There are some tickets at Foundation Bank (see Judy Kelsey) or at the Co-op (Vicki Aiosa) at Hoof Beats.
also at Jack Jones (see Vicky Hunt) or Security Bank (see Laurie Russell).

Bethel Renaissance To Present "Carousel" This Weekend

Huntingdon, Tenn. – The Dixie Carter Performing Arts Center is announcing a new addition to the 2012 performance schedule with the Bethel University’s Renaissance Theatre production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s CAROUSEL.

Performances will be on Friday, March 30,  at 7 p.m. and Saturday, March 31,  at 2 p.m. at The Dixie Carter Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $15 per person and available at The Dixie Box Office at731-986-2100 or visit www.DixiePAC.net.
Photo Showcase in final days; artist showcase starts Sunday

Paris, Tenn.The 20th annual Photo Showcase is still on display thru Wednesday at the Paris Henry County Heritage Center. Admission is free and you can see a wide variety of photos on display.

Starting on Sunday April 1st, the 27th annual Artist Showcase will be on display at the Heritage Center. Dr. and Mrs. Blake Chandler sponsor the Artists Showcase and entries are due on Saturday March 31st at the Heritage Center. The Artist Showcase will be on display from Sunday thru April 26th during the Heritage Center’s regular business hours.

HCMC Events Scheduled for Today

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Medical Center will have a free diabetes workshop Tuesday from 1:30pm to 4:30 pm. This is a free fun interactive learning experience offering the opportunity to work with diabetes educator Kim Smith, RN. You must register for the workshop by calling the find line at 644-3463 or visiting their website at hcmc-tn.org. The workshop will be held in classrooms two and three at the medical center.

Also on Tuesday the Medical Center will have a free Cardiac Rehab Nutrition Class from 2-4pm in cafeteria at the medical center. The class is limited to 24 participants, with Cardiac Rehab patients having top priority to attend. A free nutrition book will be provided to take home and you will learn what to eat for a healthier heart. For more information call 644-8558 to register.

Library to Begin Third Computer Class This Week

Paris, Tenn.- The W.G. Rhea Public Library will hold the third computer class for beginners Tuesday thru Thursday at the library from 10am until noon each day. Call Shelton at the library at 642-1702 to register. Please make plans to attend each day of the class in its entirety.

More arrests made from Friday's drug sweep

Metro Crime Unit officials look over items confiscated from Renicia Williams. From left, Board of Parole officer Joe Frey, Paris Police Detective Ricky Watson, and Deputy Rodney Littleton. Photo courtesy of Damon Lowe.

Paris, Tenn.- A press release at the Henry County Sheriff’s office this morning stated several additional arrests were made as a result of the March 23 apprehension effort. Officers were at these listed addresses attempting to serve arrest warrants on alleged drug offenders and did locate additional drugs or contraband.

Renicia L. Williams, of 826 Curtis Street was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to sell or deliver and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. Offices were at Williams residence in an attempt to serve an arrest warrant on an individual that frequents the residence. While there, officers located approximately two ounces of cocaine and digital scales and around 38 hundred dollars from drug proceeds.

Also at that residence officers arrested Eric G. Moore, of Memphis. More was present with Williams and was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to sell and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

Arrested were Aaron D. Teague, of 715 Curtis Street for possession of marijuana on Sparks Street and was charged with simple possession of marijuana.

Carol R. Thompson, age 1202 Lone Oak Road, was found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia at 314 Routon Street and was duly charged.

Renicia Williams


Other drug arrests; thefts reported over the weekend

Paris, Tenn.- Other arrests from the weekend include Deborah Perry Jackson, age 47 of 295 Macedonia Road for delivery of Schedule two drug and Justin D. Sammons, age 23 of highway 77 for simple possession of schedule six drug and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Andrea M. Reeves, age 27 of 190 Sherry Lane was arrested at her residence when officers arrived to serve a search warrant on someone. They could smell and odor of marijuana and noticed smoking paraphernalia on the table in plain site. She was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

Thefts reported over the weekend include a gas can with about five dollars worth of gas in it, stolen from Old McKenzie Highway and fifty dollars in change being stolen that was in a bank bag inside of a truck on Buck Branch Road. Police have no suspects in either incident.

Warrants For Arrest Issued For Paris Man

Paris, Tenn.-Four warrants for arrest have been issued against a Paris man for two separate incidents that occurred over the span of two days.

Paris Police were first called to a report of a hit and run involving a driver hitting a BPU pole on Norman St. and leaving the scene. Based upon witness descriptions, Patrolman Amber Roaten found the vehicle parked behind the house at 222 Routon with fluid leaking, front end damage and the airbags deployed.

The owner of the car said her father was supposed to be fixing the tire on the car, but she didn’t want to press charges. Paris Police issued a warrant for Andre Easley, age 47, 401 Lee St., on a charge of felony theft.

In the second incident, police were called to 715 Hardy St. about a fight in progress. According to the report, Easley entered the residence and started choking a female and when another person tried to pull him off of her, Easley bit him on the right eye and then ran into the woods.

The victim went to the ER for his wound and Paris Police issued warrants against Easley for aggravated burglary, domestic assault and simple assault.

Andre Easley

Audit Findings Issued Against Benton County

Paris, Tenn.-Now that the controversy involving the Benton County Library has been settled, it appears that the Benton County government will have more problems on its hands. The state of Tennessee has released the audit report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011. The audit resulted in ten findings and recommendations. Among the findings: requisitions and purchase orders were not issued in some instances; expenditures exceeded appropriations, the general ledger payroll deduction accounts were not reconciled with payroll reports and payments in the general fund, the Benton County Sports complex collections were not disbursed properly.

Additionally, the state division of property assessments noted deficiencies in the maintenance of various records by the county property assessor. Other deficiences were found in the office of county clerk, General Sessions courts clerk, and the clerk and master and register.

The state found that Benton County does not have a central system of accounting, budgeting, and purchasing and that such a system should be implemented.

Police Make Arrests In Dog Bite

Paris, Tenn.-An Irvine Street couple were arrested after their dog allegedly bit a young child for issuing false statements to officers about the incident.

Chris and Pam Townes, both of 523 Irvine St., were arrested and charged with making false statements. Pam Townes also was charged with allowing a dog to run loose.

The incident began when a mother and child were walking on the sidewalk in front of the Townes' home and a brindle pit bull bit the child. When questioned, the Townes allegedly first said that one of their puppies got out and jumped on the child, but then said a female dog had got loose from the back yard.

When the animal control employee arrived, Chris Townes brought a tan pit bull into the truck, but Officer Jordan Klutts said it did not look like a brindle. Klutts then went to the ER to check on the victim and got a call saying the animal control employee had the wrong dog.

When Klutts arrived back at the house, he arrested Chris Townes for making a false statement and finally found Pam Townes at a Brown Street home, where she had taken the dog. Bonds were set on the couple for $3,500 each.

Ag Department Makes Arrests in Switchgrass Arson

Tellico Plains, Tenn – The TDA Agricultural Crime Unit has arrested two men who have confessed to setting fire to 1,430 bales of switchgrass worth approximately $45,000. Eighteen-year-old Damon O’Neil Shaw and 27-year-old Brian McJunkin, both of Tellico Plains, are charged with three counts each of setting fire to personal property or land, a class E felony.

“Because of the significant investment this property represents for the state and area farmers, we made this investigation a top priority,” State Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson said. “I want to commend our Agricultural Crime Unit investigators for their quick response and hard work in breaking this case.”

Their first court hearing is scheduled for March 26. It appears that the property owners were not specifically targeted, but the victim of a random crime. The suspects told investigators they started the fires because they were bored and looking for some excitement.

Paris In The Spring: Pretty As A Picture

Paris, Tenn.-Framed by flowering trees, an American flag and a 'city of Paris' sign, the Henry County Courthouse truly is pretty as a picture. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Huge Crowds Show For "On The Go"

Paris, Tenn.-A couple of heavy rain storms did not deter huge crowds from attending Saturday’s “On The Go” festival in downtown Paris. More than 30 churches from the local area banded together for the festival, which featured a variety of entertainment, from music, craft booths, food, action sports activities and games for all ages. The event was sponsored by the Paris-Henry County Ministerial Alliance, Western District Baptist Association and the Keith Cook On the Go Ministries Team. The event was free. Top photo by Corey Cain shows the crowd that packed Poplar Street around the courtsquare. In bottom photo by Shannon McFarlin, Deputy Bruce Alexander scans some of the activities earlier in the day.

Meth Lab, Drug Sweep Arrests Keep Officers Busy


            Randall Dunlap                                                            Kevin Jackson

Paris, Tenn.-It was a long night Friday and early Saturday morning for local law enforcement officers, with deputies from the Henry County Sheriff’s Department and Metro Crime Unit locating a meth lab at 173 Whispering Pines and then convening with other law enforcement agencies for an early morning drug sweep across the county.

Three men were arrested at the meth lab and the drug sweep yielded charges filed against 28 offenders on 50 cases. Ten vehicles also were seized during the sweep.

Arrested at the meth lab were: Randall Carter, age 39, at whose home the raid occurred; Kevin Jackson, age 32, 828 Lois St., Paris; and Dewey Huggins, age 30 of Greenfield, Tenn.

All three are being held on $50,000 bond. Officers were assisted by Deputy Lance Perry and his K-9 Casey.

Beginning at 5:30 a.m. Saturday, the drug sweep was conducted by officers with the Metro Crime Unit, Henry County Sheriff’s department, Paris Police, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Puryear Police, Henry Police, and the Tennessee Board of Parole and Probation.

The suspected drug offenders are accused of selling or delivering various drugs to an undercover operative. The drugs consist of marijuana, cocaine, meth and prescription pills.

Arrests and/or warrants have been issued in the drug sweep for:

Dawn Burt, sale of schedule III drugs; Kenneth Clark, sale of schedule III; Victoria Colgate, sale and delivery of schedule II; Eric Brandon Davis, sale and delivery of schedule II and his vehicle was seized; Steven Davis, sale and delivery of schedule IV and his vehicle was seized; Terry Duncan, sale of counterfeit controlled substance; Jerry Dunlap, three counts, sale of schedule II; Annette Gray, sale of schedule IV and III.

Cheryl Holder, sale and delivery of schedule II, two counts, and her vehicle was seized; Deborah Jackson, delivery of schedule II; Kevin Jones, sale and delivery of schedule III and his vehicle was seized; Brenda Kendall, sale of schedule III, two counts; Christopher Lee Kinley, sale and delivery of schedule II, six counts.

Christopher Curtis Love, sale and delivery of schedule II, four counts and his vehicle was seized; DAnna McMackins, delivery of schedule IV and her vehicle was seized; Meshica Nored, sale and delivery of schedule II; David O'Donnell, sale and delivery of schedule II; Joe Olive Jr., sale and delivery of schedule II, three counts; Deshare Ray Patton, sale and delivery of schedule VI; Oleta Jean Pierce, sale and delivery of schedule III; Joe D. Ray, sale and delivery of schedule III, two counts; Andrea Marie Reeves, delivery of schedule VI and her vehicle was seized.

Debora Sue Robertson, sale of counterfeit controlled substance and sale of schedule II, two counts; Sommer Lee Snyder, delivery of schedule II and III and her vehicle was seized; Antonio Somerville, delivery of schedule IV and sale of legend drug; John Hamlin Wallace, delivery of schedule II, two counts and his vehicle was seized; Joel Williamson, delivery of schedule II and his vehicle was seized and Charles Dustin Williams, sale and delivery of schedule II.


         Christopher Curtis Love                       Cheryl Holder                              John Wallace Hamlin


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