From News Director Tim Alsobrooks, Assistant and Weekend News Director Alex AuBuchon
Cottage Grove School Graduates Two Seniors
First Graduation at the School in 45 Years
Left to right Robbie Hodges 1951 graduate of CGS. Katherine Jimenez and Manuel Jimenez 2014 graduates. School founder Mark Atkins. (David Jackson photos)
Cottage Grove, Tenn.- For the first time in 45 years, Cottage Grove School graduated a couple of seniors Thursday night. The school was reopened as a Christian Academy in 2004 after the elementary school closed when Harrelson School was built.
County To Hire Temp for Trustee's Office
Person Would do Reception Type Work Until Election
Paris, Tenn.- Henry County Mayor Brent Greer said the county would hire a temporary person to fill the vacant spot left by the resignation of First Deputy Leisa Hayes Wimberley effective May 30th.
Mayor Greer said, "we will go with a temporary person to do reception type work, and 2nd deputy Katina Valentine will take over day to day duties that Leisa was handling until the August Election."|
Henry County voters will choose between Randi Allen French, who won the democratic primary in May and independent candidate Cindy Hart Hopkins in August.
Greer said the winner of the election can go thru the hiring process for the temporary position. He added, "for that temp position we will either use a hiring agency or see if any local colleges have an intern that might fight in the position."
HCMC Approves 14-15 Budget
Includes Pay Increases and 4% Revenue Growth
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Medical Center Board of Trustees met Thursday evening to discuss several items, including the adoption of an operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
The board approved what HCMC Chief Financial Officer Lisa Casteel described as a largely neutral budget for next fiscal year. Key features include a pay increase for most HCMC employees and a 4% increase in revenue thanks to planned expansion to the hospital's operating facilities.
HCMC Administrator Tom Gee said the pay increase was especially necessary, as the hospital was beginning to fall behind competitors in several key areas with respect to salary.
Next fiscal year's budget also includes approximately $200,000 in interest payments on HCMC's $22,000,000 in outstanding loans, which will mature in 2016.
The board also reviewed April financials, which were largely as expected. Service volumes for HCMC were largely below budget -- hospital occupancy was 6% below budget for the month, while the Healthcare Center was 13% below occupancy budget.
However, according to Casteel, HCMC budgeted for a steeper loss in April than they actually experienced, and are "currently in a very good position financially".
Among other items discussed at Thursday's meeting, HCMC Administrator Tom Gee commented that the hospital would be receiving a one-time "essential access fund" from the federal government, paid to Tennessee, as Tennessee is the only state in the country without a disproportionate care component to its Medicaid program. Gee is unsure at this time exactly how much the hospital will receive, but will know by the end of the fiscal year.
Gee also discussed a potential telemedicine partnership between HCMC and St. Thomas in Nashville, particularly related to their neurology services. Patients are routinely transferred from HCMC to St. Thomas for neurological care, and such a partnership would allow for better continuity of care.
The HCMC EMS board also met Thursday night; board members approved an operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year, and also approved the replacement of an aging ambulance.
EMS Director Twila Rose expressed concern over a few ambulances in the EMS fleet, and the board agreed to replace one model year 1999 ambulance with over 300,000 miles in the very near future. HCMC will attempt to sell the vehicle.
Wimberley To Resign From Trustee's Office
Paris, Tenn.- First Deputy at the Henry County Trustee's Office, Leisa Hayes Wimberley, turned in her resignation this past Monday, and it will be effective May 30th.
In a short phone conversation with WMUF/WLZK News Director Tim Alsobrooks, Wimberely confirmed that she had turned in a resignation. She said, "there is no ill will and I love my job and working for people."
Wimberely later sent an email with this response:
"I've been offered employment in a position that will be a good fit for me. It has been a privilege to serve Henry County from the Trustee's Office. I have grown in many ways from my time here and appreciate the opportunities given to me. I wish the Henry County Trustee's Office and its employees nothing but the best going forward."
WMUF/WLZK News called the trustee's office Thursday and someone in the office directed us to the County Mayor's office. County Mayor Brent Greer was in a meeting and hadn't returned a phone call.
Wimberley has been basically serving in the trustee role since Henry County trustee David Stone was arrested twice in an eight day span back in late January and early February. She lost the democratic primary to Randi Allen French by a 145 vote margin earlier in May. French and independent candidate Cindy Hart Hopkins will face off in the August County General Election for the office.
We will continue to update this breaking story as it develops and hope to have a response from the county mayor's office as to which direction the county will go in the office until the election sometime Friday.
Cindy Hart Hopkins Meet and Greet Sees Large Crowd
Folks enjoy some burgers and hot dogs listen to live music. (Mechelle Robbins photos)
Paris, Tenn.- Supporters of Cindy Hart Hopkins came in large numbers Thursday night to the Enoch building as she held a campaign rally. Hopkins will be running for HC Trustee in the August Election against Randi Allen French, who won the democratic primary May.
Event goers were treated to burgers and hot dogs and Danny Conger and Commonwealth performed.
HC BOE Approves Budget
$662K Could be Used from Fund Balance to Balance Budget
Board members Tom Beasely, Rod Frey, and Jim McCampbel (foreground) listen as director of schools Sam Miles (background) discusses the budget.
Paris, Tenn.- At a lengthy session Thursday night, the Henry County Board of Education approved a budget for the upcoming fiscal year, approved the use of personal communication devices and electronics by students for education purposes, and approved the differentiated pay plan.
Director of schools Sam Miles and system budget director Judy Kee went over some of the high points of the budget and told board members it could take $662K from fund balance to balance the 2014-15 budget.
Kee said that last year the system received $274K in increased BEP funds, but this upcoming year they were only going to get $29K in increased BEP funds. Kee also said they are not going to get a $242K Technology Grant that the got this past year in the upcoming budget either.
In expenditures Miles told the board they were going to decrease medical insurance by over $123K because cost hadn’t increased quite as much as they had anticipated this past year.
Miles said this was a good budget and it does dip into the fund balance. He reminded the board they took fund balance last year to balance the budget as well. While Kee said they don’t expect to use the full $662K, she wanted to let board members know it was a possibility if revenues drop too much. Miles said overall the fund balance for the system is still healthy enough to use some to help balance and if they used the full $662K it would drop the end of the year fund balance next year below $2M for the first time since he has been director.
Miles said obviously the trend of using fund balance can’t always continue, but for now, he was comfortable with using it. Board members passed the budget on first reading.
Board Allows Use of Smart Phones for Education
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Board of Education also approved the 2nd reading of three board policies, one which will allow the use of personal communication devices. Assistant Director Dr. Brian Norton said, “we’ve altered this policy greatly, to allow the use of personal communication devices, such as smart phones by our students and by opening this door, we also will expect our teachers to show student the proper use of the devices.”
Students will be monitored on using their devices and they can only be used for educational time only. The policy also states students can’t capture photos of classmates or teachers or use those photos without that person’s consent. Norton reminded the board that social media has disadvantages, but also has advantages when it comes to learning.
The board also approved a policy on 2nd reading regarding internet use of third party email addresses. Norton said the policy basically state’s, “with the use of new devices and technology, we are changing are policy to allow third party emails within the system’s internet.” Norton said many applications and education tools on the internet will require students to have email addresses, and currently the system doesn’t allow those to be accessed on the network, so it will be changed to allow it in the future.
Board Approves Differentiated Pay Plan
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Board of Education also approved the differentiated pay plan for the upcoming fiscal year. Miles said as many board members already know the state is requiring pay increases to not only be based on years of experience and degree.
The board decided to use additional roles and responsibilities to the differentiated pay plan. Miles said things such as department chairs, team leaders, etc receive pay supplements and will continue to do so.
Some changes were also made on the degrees as Master Plus 30 and Advanced Degrees were added to Bachelor’s and Master degrees the system recognizes as pay step raises now. Miles said a committee will be made up and any teacher who wants to go after Master Plus 30 and Advanced degrees will need to get prior approval from the committee to get the pay increase from them.
HCBOE Hears Update on Shared Leadership Model
Amy Veazy discusses the shared leadership model while board attorney Rob Whitfield (foreground) listens. (Tim Alsobrooks)
Paris, Tenn.- The board heard an update from Amy Veazy, principal at Lakewood, and Renea Wade, supervisor of curriculum at PreK-8th, on the shared leadership model that Henry County has been a pilot program for this year.
Veazy said Henry County was one of 6 in the state to participate in the program as the state is trying to build a template in building leadership in the schools. Veazy, Dr. Wade, Sandra Paschall, and Dr. Felicia Bates were on the committee and presented the board information on P.A.T.S., or Professional Administrators and Teachers Shared-Learning model.
Veazy said, “we are empowering teachers as leaders so we knew we were perfect to pilot this program for the state.” Veazy added, “some of our best practices that show how we grow leaders in our system is common planning time in elementary schools and leadership training.”
The board approved several field trip requests that will be held over the summer including sending the Lakewood Middle School Speech team to Overland Park, Kansas for the National tournament. Lakewood Middle school student and speech team member Natalie Clark then gave a speech about happiness that she had come up with in a competition format earlier this year.
Lakewood Middle School Speech Team member Natalie Clark gives a speech at the board meeting Thursday night. (Alsobrooks photo)
HCBOE Approves Memorandum W/ HCEA
Paris, Tenn.- More from the HC BOE meeting on Thursday saw the board approve a one year memorandum of understanding between the local Henry County Education Association and the board of education. The memorandum of understanding increases the base salary for teachers to $36,200 and leveled the increase between step raises to 1.35%.
Miles also explained that just last week, the state department of education had sent a letter saying TCAP scores wouldn’t be computed and available for the end of the year report cards for students in elementary schools. Just last year, the state required TCAP to be included in the end of the year grade for students.
In grades 9-12, TCAP counts 25% while in elementary school it counts 15%. Miles said there was no issue with high school because those were in, but due to some issues with computing at the state, the TCAP results will not be ready for grades K-8 by the end of the year. Miles went on to say it was a debacle and he had issue with the education commissioner not personally calling districts and letting them know. Miles said the system would be applying for a waiver to go ahead and release report cards when students get out of school next week without the TCAP scores included this year.
Vicki Hoover Meet and Greet Well Attended Tues. Night
Several supports of Vicki hoover meet and talk while enjoying live entertainment and BBQ on Tuesday night. (Photo Submitted by Hoover Campaign.)
Paris, Tenn.- A meet and greet for Vicki Hodge Hoover was held Tuesday night and a large crowd came out to show their support for her. Hoover is a candidate in the August Election for Circuit Court Judge and will run against incumbent Donald Parrish.
Many different acts performed great music and everyone had great BBQ and trimmings at the event.
Former HCHS Patriot and UT Vol Marsalis Teague stopped by during the meet and greet for Vicki Hoover. (Hoover Campaign Photo)
Cottage Grove School Graduation Set for Thursday Night
Paris, Tenn.- Cottage Grove School will graduate its first senior class in 45 years tonight in a special ceremony set for 6:30pm. Cottage Grove High School closed down in the spring of 1969 as students transferred to Henry County High School. Cottage Grove then ran as a K-8th grade school until Harrelson School was built in 2004.
Cottage Grove School reopened as a Christian Academy and this year commemorates its ten year anniversary. Graduating tonight will be Manuel and Katherine Jiminez. Everyone in the community and county is invited to celebrate the milestone. Refreshments will be served after the ceremony.
Warrants Issued on Finch for Evading Arrest
Paris, Tenn.- Cpl. Jeramye Whitaker of the Paris Police Department has issued warrants for Jerry Finch, 25, of Atlantic Avenue for evading arrest after Finch exited a vehicle
Cpl. Whitaker was trying to execute a traffic stop on. The report at the Paris
Police Department said that Cpl. Whitaker stopped the vehicle after it failed to signal and Finch jumped out of the passenger side and ran off after looking at the patrol car.
Paris Police search the area for some time, but Finch, who had left his ID and cell phone in the vehicle when he ran, could not be found.
Deputies with the Henry County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the theft of a 2006 Toyota Corolla from the Point Pleasant Church parking lot. The report said the owner of the car left his keys in the console and the doors unlocked while at church. The value of the vehicle is $8K and police have no suspects.
Road Construction Won't Delay Memorial Day Travelers
TDOT Suspends All Lane Closure Activity for Holiday Weekend
Nashville- Road construction won’t slow motorists down as they travel Tennessee’s highways this Memorial Day weekend. The Tennessee Department of Transportation will suspend all construction-related lane closures on interstates and state routes beginning at 12:00 noon on Friday, May 23 through 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 27. This will provide maximum roadway capacity for motorists expected to travel in the state this Memorial Day weekend.
“More than half a million people are expected to hit the roads in Tennessee this Memorial Day weekend,” TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said. “Suspending construction-related lane closures during this busy time will lessen congestion and delays on our major highways.”
Motorists may still encounter some lane closures or restrictions while traveling through long term construction projects. Drivers should be aware that reduced speed limits will be in effect in work zones. Drivers convicted of speeding through work zones where workers are present face a fine of up to $500, plus court fees and possible increased insurance premiums.
“Memorial Day marks the unofficial kick-off to the summer season, and unfortunately, it can be a tragic time on the roadways,” added Governor’s Highway Safety Office Director Kendell Poole. “Law enforcement agencies throughout the state will be out in force looking for speeding, distracted, and impaired drivers.”
AAA estimates 36.1 million people will travel more than 50 miles this Memorial Day holiday, reflecting a slight nationwide increase from 2013. Of this number, AAA predicts more than eight out of ten travelers will travel by car. In Tennessee, AAA projects 687,434 will travel by automobile and 54,248 by air.
Updated travel and construction information can be found on the TDOT SmartWay website at www.tn.gov/tdot/tdotsmartway or you may call 5-1-1. You can also receive traffic alerts via TDOT’s multiple Twitter feeds, including statewide traffic tweets @TN511 or any of TDOT’s other Twitter pages. Smartphone users can download the TDOT SmartWay mobile app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store for Android to access TDOT’s SmartWay cameras, messages displayed on overhead Dynamic Message Signs, and information on incidents on interstates and state routes.
As always, drivers are reminded to use all motorist information tools wisely and Know Before You Go! by checking travel conditions before leaving for their destination. Drivers should never tweet, text or talk on a cell phone while behind the wheel.
Patriot Pride FB Camp to Be Held June 9-11
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County High School Patriot Pride Football Camp will be held June 9-11 for grades 1st thru 8th. Times of the camp will be 9am to 11am.
Registration will be at Patriot Stadium and cost is $50 before June 1st and $60 on and after June 1st. Players will be divided into age groups based on upcoming school year.
There will be speed and agility tests and the kids will be able to meet current Patriot Football players. Each participant in the camp will receive a T-shirt and coach’s will give comments and recommendations to help make them better football players.
Topics discussed during the camp will include basic football fundamentals, position coaching, health and nutrition, and keeping your body in football shape.
Participants should wear tennis shoes and bring cleats if possible. Water will be provided throughout camp. For more information email coach James Counce at firstname.lastname@example.org or Coach John Harrison at email@example.com.
Dana Relay for Life Team to Hold Huge Yard Sale Fri-Sat.
Paris, Tenn.- Henry County Relay for Life is set for Friday night June 13th at the Henry County Fairgrounds and events continue prior to the event.
This weekend, Friday and Saturday at 7am, the Dana Corporation’s Relay for Life Team has planned a Huge Yard Sale. It will be at the VFW on Highway 79 across from Lakeway Plaza Shopping Center. There will be refreshments for sale and all money raised benefits Henry County Relay For Life.
Citizens can donate unwanted clothes and other items for the yard sale and they will be picked up for you. Call Martha 333-0195 or Marsha at 336-6207 to have your items picked up.
Quinn Chapel AME To Have Pancake Breakfast Saturday
Paris, Tenn.- Quinn Chapel AME Church will host the 62nd Annual All-You-Can-Eat Pancake Breakfast Saturday May 24th from 7am until its all sold out.
The menu will be pancakes, sausage or bacon, orange juice or milk and you can dine in, carry out, or have it delivered. The event is sponsored by the Men’s Club of Quinn Chapel AME Church. Price is $6 for adults and $3 for kids 13 and younger. Call 642-8445 for delivery.
David Carl Wins $1000 in Be Local Scavenger Hunt
Pictured Left to Right are Mary Beth Puckett, My Favorite Things and member of the Be Local Committee, Macquanita Johnson, fiancee of the winner, David Carl, winner of the scavenger hunt, Carlton Gerrell, chair of the Be Local Committee, Andrea Lamb, Chamber President, and Jennifer Morris, city development director and Be Local Committee member. (Chamber photo)
Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Henry County Chamber of Commerce’s Be Local Committee awarded David S. Carl of Paris the $1000 for winning the first ever Be Local Scavenger Hunt.
Carl and his fiancée Macquanita Johnson played the scavenger hunt together making over 20 of the stops. Executive Director of the Paris Henry County Chamber of Commerce Jennifer Wheatley said Carl’s form was drawn from over 50 who entered correct entries in the scavenger hunt.
Carl, who lives in Paris and works at Fresh Market, said it was a fun thing to do and also helped him learn about some of the items a few of the retail stores had that he didn’t realize they had before the scavenger hunt.
Carlton Gerrell, city commissioner and chairman of the Be Local Committee, said “we’re pleased with the results of the scavenger hunt, being our first one and we learned a lot of good things about what we can do even better next time.” Gerrell said the next big push for Be Local shopping will be shopping local for back to school and continuing education to the public on the importance of shopping local.
Paris Police Participating in Law Enforcement Initiative Next Two Weekends
Chief Chuck Elizonda and Cpl. Jeramye Whitaker stand by this car, which was involved in a fatal accident at an earlier time in Paris. The car serves as a reminder during the click it or ticket campaign. (photo by Sgt. Ricky Watson)
Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Police Department will be participating in an initiative to strengthen and support traffic enforcement nationwide. The Governor’s Highway Safety Office, Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police, and Tennessee Sheriff’s Association have joined forced to promote the campaign.
The program targets occupant safety in vehicles, impaired driving, and speeding. The Paris Police Department will have increased patrol and traffic stops from now until June 1st. This includes Memorial Day weekend and Henry County High School Graduation weekend.
6th Annual Hope and Opportunity Golf Tourney is June 7th
Paris, Tenn.- The 6th Annual Hope and Opportunity Golf Tournament will be held on Saturday June 7th at the Tennessean Golf Course in Springville. Player registration is $60 per player for teams of four and includes cart, all green fees, and lunch. Check-in will begin at 7am with the shotgun start at 8am.
The lowest scoring team will receive $1000 and proceeds will benefit the R.E.A.L Hope Youth Center. For more information call the Tennessean Golf Club at 642-7271.
HCBOE to Hold Informational Hearing Thursday at 4:30
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Board of Education will hold a public hearing at 4:30pm on Thursday at the board offices at Grove Tower. The purpose will be to discuss the design, planning, and implementation of four federal programs under the Elementary Secondary Education Act, or No Child Left Behind. The hearing is open to all personnel, parents, and interested persons. The Henry County Board of Education May monthly meeting will be held at 5pm Thursday as well.
Remidner: HCSO, PLVFD Teaming up To Provide Smoke Alarms
Buchanan, Tenn.- The Henry County Sheriff’s Office and Paris Landing Volunteer Fire Department have teamed up to offer free smoke alarms to citizens in the Paris Landing area. The smoke alarms have a ten year lithium battery. They must be installed by fire fighters or police officers in homes they are given to. Any citizen in the area interested in a free smoke alarm call the Investigator David Doyle at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at 642-1672 or Lt. Woody Case of the Paris Landing Fire Department at 644-9360.
PSSD Board Makes Assistant Principal a Full Time Position
Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Special School District Board of Education met on Tuesday night and approved a recommendation from Superintendent Mike Brown to make all assistant principal positions full time positions, but allow the superintendent to determine whether or not a full time or part time position is needed for each school.
Brown said that the board created the assistant principal position years ago and by making those positions full time by board resolution, it will give him flexibility to add help for principals in the coming years. He told board members that with all the common core, data mining, and other work principals are getting bogged down and do need some help. The role of the assistant principal keeps changing, and Brown said eventually he would like to see full time assistant principals at each school in the district.
Brown said due to budget constraints, the system may not be able to go full time for a few years at all positions, but by passing his recommended resolution to make all assistant principal position full time, it allows him the ability to slowly reach that goal. He said once they get to full time, they plan on funding that position full time from then on.
Currently there is one and a half assistant principal positions at Inman and part time assistant principal positions at Rhea and Paris Elementary. Brown said the need first is to get full time positions at Rhea and PES and when budget allows, that will be the direction he goes.
PSSD Board Deletes Sentence From Make Up Day Policy
Removes Wording About Not Going After Memorial Day
Paris, Tenn.- The PSSD board also deleted a sentence from their policy regarding school make up days which stated “5 days would be added at the end of the year not to go past Memorial Day.” Discussions about this have come up the last couple of months as some board members feel that they box themselves in by saying they won’t go pass Memorial Day for the School Year.
The Policy says the first three days missed will not be made up, then the board reserves the right to make “middle of the year” adjustments in case of extreme weather conditions. Board members agreed that altering spring break and using holidays for makeup days would only be done in rare extreme situations.
Brown explained that you give yourself more leeway if you take out wording about not going past Memorial Day. The board voted 4-2 in favor of deleting the sentence from the policy with Amy Cathey and John Steele opposing it.
City Commission Discusses Property Tax Increase
Proposed 8 Cent Hike Could Be on the Way
Department Heads listen as members of the city commission, City Manager Carl Holder, and Finance Director Kim Foster Discuss Budget Issues Monday Night. (Tim Alsobrooks photo)
Paris, Tenn.- The Paris City Commission held a budget hearing session on Monday evening and discussed the possibility of a property tax increase and eventually agreed on an possible 8 cent hike for the next fiscal year which starts July 1st.
Although Finance Director Kim Foster said that sales were up between 1 and 1 and half percent from last year, City Manager Carl Holder explained that a couple of tough years have impacted budgets and after some suggested cuts including funding for tennis courts and reducing the library’s funding from the city to equal that of the county, the city would still need about $130K to balance the budget. He went over some possible ways the city would generate more revenue including charging MS-4 fees in either sanitation or electric bills and a suggested increase of 10% on annual memberships to the Civic Center.
Commissioners then discussed taxes and the idea of increasing the local option sales tax which now sits at 2.25% in Henry County. The state allows counties to charge up to 2.75% on local options sales tax and several counties around Henry County already are doing that. But a local options sales tax, must go before the voters in a referendum, something Henry Countians narrowly voted against a few years ago.
Commissioner Terry Fuller suggested that last time the sales tax increase was defeated could have been in part because they didn’t sell the need for it. Fuller said, “I think we all prefer a local sales tax increase over a property tax increase because everybody pays sales taxes, including people from out of county who come to shop.”
Discussions then slowly drifted to a property tax increase, something the city hasn’t done in a couple of decades. Commissioner Carlton Gerrell said, “I know our battle cry has been that we haven’t raised property taxes and its not a popular stand, but in order to pay for roads, services, and such, it is sometimes necessary to do so.”
Foster and Holder told commissioners that a penny increase on property tax would bring about $17K in additional revenue. Holder said four cents would balance the budget, but commissioners were concerned about making sure there was some wiggle room in case revenues dip again in the next few years.
Four to six cents was talked about, then an eight cent property tax increase was discussed. Nothing official was done Monday night, and more discussion about a property tax increase and how high to increase it will continue the next few weeks. The city will pass the budget on first reading likely at the June City Commission meeting, then pass on 2nd reading before June 30th.
Commissioners learned that the erosion of the wholesale beer tax continued to occur, with the revenues from that dipping 23% this year. Foster explained the budgeted a decrease in that next year of 14%.
The proposed budget did include hiring a part time person to work with “nuisance ordinances” centered around the MS-4 permit concern stormwater drainage which the city has been mandated to get in line with. The budget also includes a 1.4% Cost of Living Adjustment for city employees. Holder said “our department heads did a great job of slimming their budgets of things they probably really needed, and after going without any raise last year, I think we need to do something for them this coming fiscal year.”
PSSD BOE To Hold Informational Session Tues. Night
Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Special School District Board of Education will hold an informational sessions at 5pm tonight at their board offices on Highway 641 South, prior to May’s regular PSSD board meeting.
The purpose of the meeting will be to share information regarding planning federal programs such as Title I, II, III, and IV. Information on Coordinated School Health will also be shared at the session. Parents and teachers are invited. The regular May board meeting will be held at 6pm tonight, instead of normal 6:30 due to the Top Ten Banquet which starts at 7pm.
Inman Students Recognized at TIP Ceremony
Nashville, Tenn.- Several 7th grade students at Inman Middle School were recently recognized for their outstanding participation in the Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP). Kester Nucum was recognized for Grand Recognition Status for his scores on the ACT test. Kester Nucum, Caroline Gurton, Robert Kenworthy, Delia McDevitt, and Luke Weatherly all qualified for State Recognition. Cittlali Onate, and Justin Coleman also performed very well on the assessment. These students were selected to participate in the Duke TIP based upon their performance on the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program, making them eligible to participate in ACT testing in the 7th grade.
The students had opportunity to receive recognition with approximately 700 students across the state of Tennessee. The ceremony was hosted at Belmont University’s Curb Center on May 5, 2014.
Cindy Hart Hopkins to Hold Meet and Greet Thursday
Paris, Tenn.- Independent candidate for Henry County Trustee, Cindy Hart Hopkins, will have a meet the candidate event on Thursday May 22nd at the Henry County Fairgrounds Enoch Building. The event will be held from 5-8pm and there will be free hamburgers and hot dogs and Danny Conger and Commonwealth will perform music. Hopkins will face Randi Allen French in the August County General Election, after French won the democratic primary in May against Leisa Hayes Wimberley.
County Commission Approves Non Profit Donations
Commissioners look over their agendas at Monday Night's Meeting (Tim Alsobrooks photo)
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Commission handled all the business on their agenda Monday night, most of it being very standard.
The county commission approved the first reading of the Non Profit Organization resolution for the Fiscal Year 2014-15. The commission must approve this twice before the new budget is passed and by doing so now, it allows the commissioners and budget committee to look more in depth at the budget and reduce or add donations to non profits before the budget is passed.
The total contributions in the resolution from the Non Profits for the upcoming fiscal year are $100,775, the same amount as the previous year. The monies include over $31K spread out among the county’s volunteer fire departments, $10K to the Paris Henry County Heritage Center, $3500 to the Carl Perkins Center, and $5K to Lee School Association just to name a few.
The county commission also approved a request from the Highway Department to add the following roads to the county road system: Indian Creek Drive, Broken Arrow Drive, Arrowhead Drive, Turquoise Trail, and Catcus Cove. All these roads are in the Arrowhead Subdivision.
Commission To Request Surveys for Future Quit-Claims
Paris, Tenn.- The commission also agreed to Quit-claim an undeveloped portion of Moon Subdivision adjoining Patrick Drive. After approving the quit claim, County Mayor Brent Greer wanted to know the commissioner’s thoughts on requiring a survey from citizens interested in acquiring a quit claim for a piece of land.
County Attorney Rob Whitfield said, “it would benefit the commission and help me be able to draw up a legal document as to what you are actually giving up.”
Commissioners agreed it was a good idea as did Road Supervisor Ray Norwood. A resolution asking the highway department to have citizens seeking a quit claim to have a survey of land turned in with the request will be brought up in the next month or two. The county commission will still get final decision as whether or not to quit claim property.
The commission also approved the following nominations to serve on the Committee on Aging: Helen White, Mary Ann Melton, Commissioners James Travis, Paul Neal, and Greg Carter, Betty Akers, Ruth Laird, Kay Andrews, Willete Ray, and John Spencer. Harry Cowan was nominated to the Civil Service Board and Valerie Carter to the Henry County Library Board.
Fisher Lawrence Wins 2nd Place in Kids Writer's Contest
Story to be on WLJT TV Station
Photo submitted by Tony Lawrence
Martin, Tenn.- Fisher Lawrence, 2nd grade Rhea student in Mrs. Lynda Searcy and Karen Peale's class, wrote a short story for the WLJT/PBS kids writers contest and was chosen 2nd place in the west TN. He read on camera his story "AN EXCITING VACATION" for the PBS station at WLJT in Martin and will have his story on their website for a year. His story will also be show through out the year on WLJT TV station. His story should be on their website in the next month or so.
Paris Tri Club Competes in Knoxville, Memphis
(from left) Fisher Lawrence, Hunter Lawrence, Emma Hill, Audrey Hill, and Gunner Jones show off their medals in UT:K's Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center (Photo provided by Tony Lawrence).
Knoxville, Tenn.- Five students from the Paris Tri Club competed at an event at the University of Tennessee - Knoxville this past weekend.
Fisher and Hunter Lawrence, Emma and Audrey Hill, and Gunner Jones all participated in the competition.
Emma, Hunter and Gunner each swam 250 yards, biked 4 miles, and ran 1.25 miles.
Fisher and Audrey swam 150 yards, biked 2 miles, and ran 0.6 miles.
Audrey Hill finished in first place in the girls' age 7-8 division, and Hunter Lawrence finished second in the boys' age 10-11 division.
Also, Cole Davis (not pictured) competed in the recent Memphis in May Triathlon in Tunica, Miss. He swam 400 yards, biked 1 mile and ran 3 miles.
Cole was one of 600 participants in the triathlon, and came in 3rd place in his age division.
The Paris Parks and Recreation Department will host a TOWER TRI Triathlon on June 7th at Eiffel Tower Park.
Paris Patriots Win MAYB Memphis Tournament
The Paris Patriots 8th grade travel basketball team took 1st place in the MAYB Memphis Summer Basketball Tournament (Photo provided by Holly Meyer).
Memphis- The Paris Patriots, an 8th grade travel basketball team coached by Ricco Cook, competed Saturday and Sunday in the MAYB Memphis Summer Basketball Tournament.
The team swept their division, winning four straight games, and were crowned the 8th grade boys' division champions.
The team consists of eighth graders Evann Boley, Ty Cook, Donovan Diggs, James King, Robbie Markum, Caleb McCutcheon, Caleb McWherter-Gill, Tyrese Mebane, Lukas Reynolds, Jemykal Smith, and Devin Wildridge.
Walk For All Cancers Raises over $1K
Ribbons being made prior to Saturday's Walk for All Cancers (Casey Brown Photo)
Paris, Tenn.- Over 40 people participated in the first annual Walk for All Cancers this past Saturday, a good turnout considering all the different things going on throughout the area. Casey Brown, liason for the Caring Hearts Fund at the Cancer Care Center said over $1K was raised at the event.
Local Law Enforcement Has Busy Weekend
Paris, Tenn.- A report at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office stated Cpl. Forrest Kemp and Deputy Haley Ramos executed an arrest warrant at 110 McDaniel Lane for Jacob Scott. When officers arrived on scene, Scott was in the kitchen, he then acted like he was going to run toward the front door, Cpl. Kemp grabbed his shirt, which tore and them Scott ran out the front door.
Deputy Ramos and Cpl. Kemp gave chase in the surrounding neighbor but briefly lost track of Scott. Cpl. Kemp later went back inside the home and found Scott hiding in a closet. Scott was charged with resisting arrest, criminal impersonation and placed on $10K bond.
Another report at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office stated Deputy Stacey Bostwick responded to 400 Foust Road in Mansfield after two 911 calls had came in about Curtis Ray Nunning, of the address, shooting a gun. Witness advised Deputy Bostwick when he arrived that Nunning had seen him coming and hid the gun. Bostwick found the gun, a 9MM, in a pile of leaves.
Nutting continued to be very loud and made threats to officers and he was arrested and when placed into the patrol car, he attempted to kick out the windows. Nutting was placed in restraints and taken to the jail, were he continued to be combative and was finally placed in a restraint chair at the jail. Nutting was charged with unlawful carrying of a weapon and disorderly conduct.
A truck parked at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s land in Springville was broken into over the weekend while two people were out on the lake fishing. The report said the passenger side window was busted out and a purse with cash and debit cards were stolen from behind the front seat. Police have no suspects
Cpl. Jeramye Whitaker of the Paris Police Department arrested two people for drug charges over the weekend. Jesse W. Northington, age 30, and Ashley N. Northington, age 18, both of 155 Morris Road in Puryear were charged with simple possession of schedule two. Jesse was also charged with simple possession of schedule three and four drug.
Javan Winders Qualifies for State Championship
Henry County Patriot Competes in TSSAA Section 3 Championship
Brentwood, Tenn.- Javan Winders, sophomore with the Henry County High School Track Team, participated Friday in the TSSAA Section 3 Championship and qualified for the upcoming state tournament in the 1600 meter race.
According to team coach Lance Winders, Javan was passed with less than 100m to go, but managed to reclaim 4th place just before the finish line in order to qualify for the state meet.
The top four finishers in each event advance to the state tournament.
Javan's 1600 meter time of 4:24 beat his previous personal best by two seconds.
Winders also ran in the 3200 meter race, in which he finished 7th overall with a time of 10:00.
His 4th place finish in the 1600 meter run puts him in the state championship, which will be held Friday, May 30th at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. Among the 16 finalists competing in the race, Javan is the only sophomore.
Metro Crime Unit Officers Make Drug Arrest
Paris, Tenn.- According to a press release issued by the Metro Crime Unit, on Friday night at approximately 11:55 PM, officers with the Metro Crime Unit, Paris Police Department, and Henry County Sheriff's Department executed a search warrant at a residence on Porter Street in Paris.
Earlier that day, Deputy Hayley Ramos of the HCSO was at the residence serving a subpoena and detected a strong odor of marijuana at the home.
At the time the search warrant was executed, Tremaine Tidwell was at the residence.
With the help of HCSO K-9 officer Terry Williams and K-9 unit Droid, officers recovered approximately 5 grams of marijuana, 2 Adderall pills, and one hydrocodone pill from the living room area of the home.
Tidwell was arrested and charged with possession of schedule II, schedule III, and schedule VI substances.
Items Stolen From Burned Whitlock Rd. Home
Paris, Tenn.- Thousands of dollars' worth of appliances and other items were stolen recently from a fire-damaged home on Whitlock Road, according to Henry County Sheriff's Office reports.
The theft was reported Sunday -- the complainant's house on Whitlock Rd. burned in mid-February and the family has been living in a Paris apartment ever since. They were last at the residence in late April; they boarded the front door and tried to secure the residence as best they could, given the fire damage.
Upon returning to the home Sunday, they found the front door open and tire tracks leading around the house to a basement door. Several items were discovered missing from the home, including window air conditioning units, a water heater, gas heater, refrigerator, trash compactor, and several other items totaling well over $6500 in value.
The Henry County Sheriff's Office is currently investigating the theft and has no suspects at this time.
Juvenile Cited in Hotel Drug Incident
Paris, Tenn.- Paris Police Department officers were dispatched to the Super 8 motel in Paris Saturday night due to complaints of possible drug activity in one of the rooms, according to PPD reports.
Ptl. Ryan Allan French spoke with an employer who said she could smell marijuana smoke in one of the ground floor rooms.
While French knocked on the door, Sgt. Josh Frey and Ptl. Jamie James saw a young man flee through the back door of the room and run towards Pennsylvania St.
French apprehended the suspect in a back yard; the suspect, who French identified as under 18, said he ran as he had been smoking marijuana and did not want to get in trouble.
Officers did not find any drugs in the hotel room.
The juvenile suspect was issued a citation for resisting stop, halt and frisk policy and will appear in juvenile court on June 5.
Paris Woman Victim of Vacuum Cleaner Fraud
Paris, Tenn.- A woman in Paris was recently defrauded of nearly $2,000 after purchasing a vacuum cleaner from a traveling salesman, according to Henry County Sheriff's Office reports.
The complainant reported Sunday that she had purchased a Kirby vacuum cleaner from a salesman based in Dickson, Tenn. last November. The purchase was financed through a separate financing institution.
In late February, the salesman arrived again for a home visit. At this time, the complainant offered to pay off her loan, and wrote the man a check for nearly $2,000. According to the complainant, the salesman wrote "Paid in Full" on her contract and said he would take care of the rest.
The complainant told the HCSO that the finance company is still making monthly deductions from her account. The company said they never received any payment from the salesperson or his representative firm.
Upon contacting the salesperson's employer,the complainant was told he had, in fact, been fired several months ago.
The Henry County Sheriff's Department is currently investigating the incident further.
Huge Crowds Gather for 35th Annual Puryear Day Celebration
"Cassie's Cafe" won the Mayor's Choice award for best parade entry as well as Best Float in the Puryear Day Parade (Alex AuBuchon photo).
Puryear, Tenn.- Despite overcast skies and the threat of inclement weather, downtown Puryear was filled with huge crowds Saturday for the 35th annual Puryear Day celebration, presented by the Puryear Lions Club.
Attractions included several free concerts including a performance by the Great River Road Band, a cake auction, inflatables and a mechanical bull, and the main attraction: a parade winding down Chestnut and Main Streets.
This year's Puryear Day Parade featured 46 entries, ranging from church and civic organizations to politicians, law enforcement and rescue officers, as well as Puryear citizens.
Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew led the parade in a vintage 1957 Ford Fairlane patrol car owned by Puryear Mayor David Varner.
This 1957 Ford Fairlane patrol car, owned by Puryear Mayor David Varner and driven by Sheriff Monte Belew, led the way in this year's Puryear Day Parade (Alex AuBuchon photo).
The parade Grand Marshal this year was Tom Frommel, who has lived in the Puryear area for 6 years and was honored to participate.
Puryear Day Queen Sydney Luna and First Maid Alece Passman also participated in the parade.
This year's Mayor's Trophy for best parade entry went to Cassie's Cafe, a float modeled after a 1950's diner. The float also won Best Float.
Full results from the Puryear Day Parade are as follows:
1st: Cassie's Cafe
2nd: Puryear Baptist Church
3rd: Spring Fling
Cars / Trucks:
1st: Fishing for Crowns
2nd: Donald Parish
3rd: Ford Model A
1st: "Mean Green Still Working Machine"
2nd: Hansel McAdams
1st: Harrelson Hawks
2nd: Boy Scouts
3rd: Cub Scouts
1st: Horse Drawn Hearse (Andrew Paschall)
2nd: Horse Drawn Wagon (Andrew Paschall)
Henry County Clerk Donna Craig tries her hand at a mechanical bull, courtesy of Lee's Bucking of Paris, at the 35th annual Puryear Day celebration (Alex AuBuchon photo).
Helping Hand Receives Generous Estate Donation
Paris, Tenn.- The Board of Directors of the Henry County Helping Hand recently announced that the charity received a bequest of over $400,000 from the estate of Mr. Kirkham "Kirk" P. Ford.
Ford passed away May 12, and after his estate was probated, Helping Hand received $435,729.01.
Ford was an Ohio native and World War II Army veteran who retired to Henry County along with his wife Jean Gardis Ford in 1973. He worked much of his life with the B.F. Goodrich Chemical Company, and was a member of the Mensa organization.
The Board of Directors met in late April to authorize distribution of funds from the estate. Money from the Ford Estate will be kept separate from the funds raised each fall through the Helping Hand Radio Auction.
According to Helping Hand President Fred McLean, "We did not want to diminish Mr. Ford's generous gift by co-mingling it with regular Helping Hand Radio Auction monies. Also, we did not want to do anything to jeopardize the continued success of the auction."
The board voted to distribute the Ford bequest via application process, allowing applicans to apply for special projects that could make a long term impact on Henry County residents. Applications for large capital improvements and/or equipment purchases will receive preference for a portion of the funds.
"The Board is going to require applicants to report how the use the money applied for," McLean said. "If you ask for funding and don't use the money for the requested purpose, this could affect the Board's decision on future applications of Helping Hand Radio Auction monies."
Applications are being mailed to all groups and organizations that received funding from this year's radio auction. Additional applications may be picked up at the offices of McLean and McLean, 206 W. Washington St., Paris. All applications must be returned by June 23 to Helping Hand, Inc., P.O. Box 22, Paris, or to the offices of McLean and McLean.
Vicki Hoover Campaign Rally Set for Tuesday May 20th
Paris, Tenn.- Vicki Hodge Hoover, candidate for Circuit Court Judge in the August Election, will hold a meet and greet on Tuesday May 20th from 5:30pm-8pm at the Henry County Fairgrounds Events Center. There will be free whole hog BBQ and the trimmings, a silent auction, and live entertainment. Everyone is invited.
National Public Works Week Slated for This Week
Paris, Tenn.- National Public Works Week is May 19th thru 25th and the city of Paris joins in with the celebration to honor the tens of thousands of individuals throughout the country who provide and maintain infrastructure services known as public works throughout the country. The city of Paris specifically acknowledges their staff at the Paris Public Works Department.
Paris City Commission to Hold Budget Hearing Monday
Paris, Tenn.- The Paris City Commission will hold a public meeting in the city hall meeting room Monday May 19th at 6pm to conduct a review of the proposed budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year. The public is welcomed to attend.
HC Highway Department Opens Whitlock Road
Red Top Hill Road Still Closed
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Highway Department has opened Whitlock Road as of Thursday. Red Top Hill Road is still closed until further notice. Red Top Hill Road is closed four tenths of a mile east of Blood River Road for bridge repair.
Farmers Market Permits Available Now at UT Extension Office
Paris, Tenn.- Permits for the 2014 Henry County Farmer’s Market are now available at the Henry County UT Extension Office at 1120 Tyson Avenue in Paris. Office hours are from 8-12 and 1pm to 4:30pm. The permit is $35 and checks should be made out to the Henry County Fair.
Hours for the Farmer’s Market this spring and summer will be Tuesdays and Fridays 3pm until sell out. There will be some special market days in downtown Paris and additional locations with dates and time announced later dependent on participation. For more information call the Extension office at 642-2941.
Medical Reserve Corps Training Thursday, May 22
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Emergency Management Agency and the Tennessee Department of Health have an upcoming training program for those interested in entering the Medical Reserve Corps.
If you've ever wondered what you could do to help your community, or have considered volunteering but weren't sure where to donate your time and skills, the Medical Reserve Corps may be a perfect fit.
The MRC is a national network of medical and non-medical volunteers committed to improving the public health, emergency response, and resiliency of their communities. Both medical and non-medical professionals are needed to help train, educate, mentor, and to respond to public health efforts and emergencies.
In the event of a disaster, MRC volunteers may be called upon to serve alongside public health and emergency service professionals. Volunteers are trained to provide assistance with the mass distribution of antibiotics or vaccines, assist with non-medical emergencies such as mass sheltering operations and / or participate in emergency preparedness exercises in local communities.
If you would like to become a volunteer for the West Tennessee Medical Reserve Corps, make plans to attend the Henry County MRC training Thursday, May 22 at 6 PM and register online at tnmrc.org.
The training will be held at the Henry County EMA office located at 204 N. Brewer Street in Paris.
For additional information, contact Lori Barker at 731-886-1552 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cottage Grove School To Hold First Graduation in 45 Years
Cottage Grove, Tenn.- Cottage Grove School will graduate its first senior class in 45 years later this month.
The high school closed in the spring of 1969, with students transferring to Henry County High School – Cottage Grove School then became a K-8 facility until that, too, closed in the spring of 2004.
But in Fall 2004 the school reopened as a private, classical Christian academy. Beginning wtih a small nucleus of students and continuing to expand each year, Cottage Grove School now serves students in kindergarten through 12th grade. It offers a small, family-type setting with one-on-one activities for all ages.
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the new school, and on Thursday, May 22, they will graduate two students – Manuel and Katherine Jimenez – the first graduates since the closing of the high school in 1969.
A graduation celebration will be held at the school at 6:30 Thursday, May 22 to commemorate the school’s ten year anniversary as well as Manuel’s and Katherine’s graduation.
Students of the Cottage Grove School will participate in their annual recitation, reciting scripture, poetry and foreign languages and demonstrating skills they’ve acquired over the school year.
Also, a slide show celebrating the school’s ten years of service to the families of the Cottage Grove community will be shown.
School Headmaster Jacqueline Jackson would like to invite everyone to come celebrate this community milestone. Said Jackson,
"My staff and I are so excited to celebrate the first senior graduation at Cottage Grove School in 45 years. This is such an important occasion for our school and our community. Please join us for the recitation, the anniversary, and the graduation."
Refreshments will be served at the conclusion of the evening’s ceremonies.
News from past weeks here.