From News Director Tim Alsobrooks, Assistant and Weekend News Director Alex AuBuchon
HCSO, Henry Police Arrest Two for Aggravated Stalking
Jason Raspberry (L) and Angela Fourman (R) were arrested for aggravated stalking recently after making nearly two dozen death threats toward a Henry man (Photos provided by HCSO).
Paris, Tenn.- Officers with both the Henry County Sheriff's Office and Henry Police Department arrested two Paris individuals for aggravated stalking recently, according to reports.
Officer Gertch of the Henry Police Department was contacted by a man who said there were two people coming to his Henry residence to shoot him.
Over the course of an hour, the complainant received 22 calls from Jason Raspberry, age 39 of Highway 69S in Paris and Angela Fourman, age 39 of Walnut Street making various threats on his life, including that they would "blow [his] head off and bury [him] where no one will find [him]." During one of these calls, Officer Gertch spoke to Raspberry and identified himself as a police officer; Raspberry said he would kill him also.
Both the Henry County Sheriff's Office and Paris Police Department issued BOLO alerts for Raspberry and Fourman; they were found in a vehicle behind Huddle House and arrested.
Both were charged with aggravated stalking and Raspberry was also charged with simple possession of a schedule VI substance.
Officers are currently searching Raspberry's phone for additional evidence.
Paris Police Investigate Multiple Thefts at Same Residence
Paris, Tenn.- Officers with the Paris Police Department are currently investigating multiple thefts from a home on Chickasaw Road, according to reports.
The complainant initially contacted the PPD Friday, June 25 after a push mower, gas cans, and various tools were stolen from his carport.
The very next day, he called officers saying "They got me again". A shed in the home's backyard was broken into, with the latch and lock pried off, and a 4500 watt McCollough generator valued at $700 was stolen. The complainant had written his name on the generator in permanent marker.
The Paris Police Department is currently investigating and has no suspects at this time.
Paris Man Arrested on Felony Drug Charges
Paris, Tenn.- According to a recent press release, officers with the Metro Crime Unit, Paris Police Department, Henry County Sheriff's Department and Tennessee Highway Patrol arrested a Paris man on felony drug and evading arrest charges.
While on patrol, Metro Crime Unit officers observed Charles Dustin Williams, a.k.a "Paul Wall" in a vehicle at a Paris hotel. Officers had active warrants on Williams and attempted to make contact with the man in order to arrest him.
As officers approached, Williams ran through the parking lot and began evading arrest. Officers chased Williams on foot and eventually apprehended the man.
During the pursuit, officers observed Williams drop a plastic bag containing a felony amount of methamphetamine. After he was placed under arrest, officers located another bag on Williams' person, also containing a felony amount of methamphetamine along with a digital scale, believed to be used to weigh narcotics for resale.
Williams was transported to the Henry County Correctional Facility without incident and is being held under $125,000 bond.
Huge Turnout for DPA Ice Cream Social
The Comer Farms adult ice cream eating contest drew a huge crowd Saturday (Alex AuBuchon photo).
Paris, Tenn.- Warm weather and sunny skies Saturday afternoon provided the perfect environment for the Downtown Paris Association’s Ice Cream Social and Antique Car Show.
Over a thousand eventgoers packed the Paris Court Square along with 18 booths dispensing all-you-can-eat ice cream and 74 entries in the antique car show and competition.
Car entries ranged from 1940’s trucks to ‘70s and ‘80s muscle cars and everything in between.
This 1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster coupe named "Sweet Pea" and owned by Bob Milam of Buchanan, Tenn. won the People's Choice Award of the antique car show (Alex AuBuchon photo).
Other activities at the Ice Cream Social included a kids’ and an adults’ ice cream eating contest sponsored by Comer Farms, in which participants tried to eat a half-gallon of ice cream as quickly as possible.
WMUF / WLZK / WRQR also sponsored a frozen T-shirt contest for both kids and adults where participants raced to thaw out a rolled-up and frozen solid T-shirt and put it on. Cash prizes, as well as the unfrozen T-shirts, were awarded to the top three finishers in each contest.
Countless gallons of homemade ice cream were dispensed by the booths at the Ice Cream Social – booth sponsors included the Henry County Medical Center, Paris – Henry County Arts Council, REAL Hope Youth Center, Paris Police Department, and several others.
There were also inflatables for the kids, a DARE mascot and 911 Fox mascot roaming around, and tons of other activities to keep everyone occupied throughout the three-hour event.
Winners of the various contests held at Saturday's Ice Cream Social and Antique Car Show are as follows:
Best In Show
City of Paris booth -- "Frozen"
Best Ice Cream
R.E.A.L. Hope Youth Center -- homemade watermelon sorbet
Best Booth Theme
Henry County Medical Center -- Monkeyin' Around with banana ice cream
People's Choice Antique Car
1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster Coupe, "Sweet Pea", owned by Bob Milam of Buchanan, Tenn.
Runner-up: 1962 Chevrolet pickup owned by Eddie Wilson
Youth Ice Cream Eating Contest
Adult Ice Cream Eating Contest
Youth Frozen T-Shirt Contest
1st: William Bailey
2nd: John McConnell
3rd: Will Walker
Adult Frozen T-Shirt Contest
1st: Angel Schnepper
2nd: Samantha Daciolas
3rd: Meagan Hart
R.E.A.L. Hope Youth Center's homemade watermelon sorbet was voted Best Ice Cream at Saturday's Ice Cream Social (Alex AuBuchon photo).
Dr. T.D. Stubblefield Holds Book Signing at Jack’s Java
Dr. Thomas D. Stubblefield signs a copy of his book, Sacred Seed and Daily Bread, at Saturday's event (Alex AuBuchon photo).
Paris, Tenn.- Native Henry Countian and renowned pastor Dr. Thomas D. Stubblefield held a book signing for the release of Sacred Seed, Living Bread Saturday at Jack’s Java in Paris.
Turnout for the two-hour signing event was impressive; Stubblefield joked that he was getting writer’s cramp after signing so many copies.
Sacred Seed, Living Bread is Stubblefield’s first book, and is a collection of articles relating passages in scripture to everyday life events and personal challenges. Stubblefield said that he has heard several readers of the book use it as a daily devotional, and some pastors use articles in the book as jumping-off points for their own sermons.
He said that his second book, another reflection on scripture, is already in the works and should be finished by the end of the year.
Stubblefield was born and raised in Henry County and attended Central High School for three years; when schools consolidated in 1969, he was elected president of the inaugural graduating class of Henry County High School. He received a Doctorate of Ministry from Trinity Evangelical Theological Seminary and has served as Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church in Chesterfield, Mo. for 14 years.
During his brief stay in Paris, Stubblefield was invited by Pastor Kenneth Humphreys to deliver guest sermons at Cedar Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Cottage Grove, Tenn.
Copies of Sacred Seed, Living Bread are available for purchase through Amazon or Mira Digital Publishing.
Henry County Sheriff's Department Visits Rotary Kids’ Day
The kids at Rotary's Bring your Child to Rotary Day were shown how to use a wide variety of police equipment (Photo provided by Linley White).
Paris, Tenn.- Sheriff Monte Belew and several HCSO deputies visited the Rotary Club earlier this week for their “Bring Your Child to Rotary” day.
After a short presentation on law enforcement by Sheriff Belew, the club headed outside to the Lee School lawn where the kids and adults enjoyed a canine demonstration, shooting simulation, and equipment orientation as well as a hamburger lunch.
The Paris Rotary Club meets each Thursday at noon at Lee School.
Massive Fire Destroys Home on S. Porter St.
Firefighters use a ladder engine to combat the blaze at 110 S. Porter St. (Mechelle Robbins photo).
Paris, Tenn.- Over a dozen firefighters with the Paris Fire Department responded to a massive house fire on Porter Street Friday afternoon.
Dispatch received the fire call at 12:47 PM Friday; units responded within minutes to billowing smoke and heavy fire engulfing the residence at 110 South Porter Street. The smoke was so thick that workers at the W.G. Rhea Public Library five blocks away noticed the smell.
In total, 14 firefighters with four engines, a ladder truck, and two support vehicles were called upon to contain the blaze, along with members of the Paris Police Department, Henry County EMS, Board of Public Utilities and Paris Natural Gas.
PFD Captain Barry Farmer praised everyone involved, saying that it was truly a group effort to extinguish the fire.
Firefighters managed to contain the blaze to the property at 110 South Porter Street; no neighboring homes were affected, but the $16,000 house was declared a total loss.
The scene was cleared at 4:55 PM. Investigators have yet to determine a cause of ignition.
Grim State Unemployment Figures for June
Nashville- We reported last week that Tennessee’s unemployment rate rose slightly from May to June, breaking a long downward trend even as the national unemployment average continued to fall.
On Thursday, the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development released a detailed breakdown of June unemployment figures, showing a rise in unemployment in all 95 Tennessee counties, with some of the highest in the state surrounding Henry County.
Henry County’s unemployment rate jumped significantly from May to June, rising from 7.8% to 8.9% unemployed.
Weakley County now has the fourth highest unemployment rate in Tennessee, after a 2.6% jump from 9.1% in May to 11.7% in June.
Benton County saw a 1.4% increase as well, from 8.4% to 9.8%.
Carroll County’s unemployment rate shot up 1.3%, from 9% to 10.3%.
Stewart County’s rate also rose a percentage point from 8.1% to 9.1%.
The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development did note that, while the state and national unemployment averages are seasonally adjusted, county rates are not. This means that influences from weather, school openings and closings, holidays and other recurring seasonal events are not eliminated from the data.
The lowest unemployment rates in Tennessee were Lincoln County at 5.2% and the Nashville metropolitan area of Williamson, Davidson, Cheatham, Rutherford, Sumner and Robertson counties, all between 5.4% and 6.1% unemployed.
Busy Polls for Henry County Early Voting
Nashville- According to a report from Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett, the first four days of early voting in Henry County have seen a considerably higher turnout than the last midterm election in 2010.
1,176 Henry Countians took to the polls in the first four days of early voting this year, compared to only 482 at this point four years ago, an increase of more than double.
Early voting will continue through Saturday, August 2nd. Voters can cast their ballots at the Henry County Election Commission in the Courthouse Annex on Washington Street from 8:30 to 4:30 Monday through Friday and from 9 to noon on Saturday.
The election commission is also offering extended hours next Thursday, July 31st – polls will be open from 8 AM to 7 PM.
The State Primary / County General election will be held on Thursday, August 7th.
HCMC Posts Profit in 2014 Fiscal Year, Welcomes Staff
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Medical Center Board of Trustees met Thursday evening, discussing several items including Tennessee Medicaid expansion efforts, new physicians soon to begin practices, 2014 financial reports and much more.
According to hospital administrator Tom Gee, HCMC will soon add two new physicians. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Mark T. Cutright is already setting up an office and aims to start his practice August 1st, taking full advantage of the upcoming operating theater expansion. Also, OB/GYN Dr. Rudianne Toussaint has signed a letter of intent to join Dr. Crigler's practice and hopes to start in November.
Gee also updated the board on the current status of a campaign to encourage Tennessee governor Bill Haslam to expand Medicaid in the state. Expansion would provide insurance for approximately 8,000 residents in the HCMC service area, and is supported by 53% of Tennesseans and 58% of West Tennesseans. HCMC belongs to a coalition of business and healthcare organizations including the AARP, multiple chambers of commerce, the American Cancer Society and American Heart Association, and all major insurance providers, hoping to expand Medicaid in Tennessee.
HCMC Chief Financial Officer Lisa Casteel shared some very good financial news with the board Thursday. For the fiscal year ending 2014, the hospital posted a total profit margin of 2%, breaking a long losing trend and finishing a full percentage point above their 2014 goal. HCMC also showed excellent marks in quality and customer service, cutting last year's mortality rate by more than half and scoring extremely highly on their resident and family survey.
The board also approved a variety of capital requests for July, including a dearly-needed ambulance for the EMS department. According to EMS Director Twila Rose, the EMS fleet has multiple ambulances in service with well over 300,000 miles on them. She joked during the concurrent EMS board meeting that she had come fully prepared to beg for an ambulance, but was extremely thankful the board approved the capital request beforehand.
The ambulance will cost just over $130,000 and will be one of the larger box vehicles, not the Mercedes Sprinter vehicles that HCMC has purchased in the past. Rose said the Mercedes vans are perfect for patient transport to Jackson and Nashville, but are a bit too small for responding to 911 calls.
The board also approved a $150,000 upgrade to the hospital's internet system, with new switches, cabling, and blade infrastructure.
Also approved were the construction fees for the new operating room. The board has received proposals from several contractors and hopes to have a visualization for surgeons to review in mid-August.
The HCMC Board of Trustees will meet again on Thursday, August 28 at 5:30 PM.
Man Nearly Escapes from Henry County Correctional Facility
Lonnie Singleton, age 47 of Old Union Loop in Paris, attempted to escape from the Henry County Correctional Facility during booking Wednesday night (Booking photos provided by HCSO).
Paris, Tenn.- A Paris man being booked into the Henry County Correctional Facility nearly escaped Wednesday night, according to a press release from the Henry County Sheriff’s Office.
Lonnie Singleton, age 47 of Old Union Loop in Paris was being booked into the jail at 11:36 PM Wednesday night after being arrested for burglary and theft of property exceeding $1,000. He was making a phone call to attempt to meet his $50,000 bond when the doors opened for another officer to enter the facility.
Singleton dropped the phone and ran through the open doors, evading officers and making his way to the jail’s fenced-in sally port.
He ignored several commands to stop from the pursuing officers, who eventually used a taser to subdue the man and take him back to the booking area.
Singleton has also been charged with felony escape and is currently being held without bond. This is the 4th time Singleton has been arrested in the month of July.
HCSO Investigates State Line Bar Burglary
Cottage Grove, Tenn.- Officers with the Henry County Sheriff’s Department are currently investigating a robbery at State Line Bar, according to reports.
The complainant, who owns the bar, stated that sometime Tuesday night, someone broke in to the bar through an air vent in the attic and then entered through the attic door.
Three money bags were taken, with $400 total in cash and change. The burglar or burglars also stole over $100 in various grocery items from the kitchen, as well as over $200 worth of various alcoholic beverages.
The complainant did provide investigators with three suspects, one of whom is a former employee of the bar. No arrests have been made at this time.
Paris Police Investigate Pistol Theft
Paris, Tenn.- Paris Police investigators are looking into the theft of a pistol and accessories from a home on Peachtree Road in Paris, according to reports.
The complainant had recently received the Kahr Arms pistol as a gift from his father. He had placed the gun and accessories, still in the box, on his mantel awaiting proper storage.
Sometime in the past week, the gun along with two magazines, a trigger lock and keys were stolen from the home. The firearm is valued at approximately $600.
The complainant was able to provide officers with the serial number for the weapon, which has been entered into the NCIC database.
The Paris Police Department is currently investigating and has no suspects at this time.
Gas Board Approves Purcahse of 3rd NGV Truck
Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Henry County Public Utility District Board of Directors met and approved the purchase of the district’s third Natural Gas Vehicle, a Ford F150 truck, from Golden Circle Ford in Jackson.
General Manager Tae Eaton told board members they really hadn’t planned to get another truck this year and was waiting until 2015. But he said Ford informed the company that they have changed the design for the F-150s for 2015 and will not be offering that truck in Natural Gas Powered Vehicles in 2015.
Eaton said they decided to go ahead and spend some money and purchase the truck since there wouldn’t be any to purchase in 2015. Eaton said Golden Circle Ford was awarded the state contract price on these vehicles and board approved spending just over $27K for the purchase.
The board approved paying James Plus and Associations $13,028 for work on main line extensions. They also approved accepting low bids for a July 25th bid opening for main extension projects. Eaton said he hated to wait another month until the next board meeting and just had the board approve allowing him to accept the lowest bidder when bids are opened up July 25th.
The Gas Board approved letting the District participate and purchase in the upcoming Jr. Livestock sale held at the Henry County Fair, something they do every year.
Eaton said the annual audit was complete and it was a clean audit with not findings. He told board members they would have full copies in the next few weeks.
Financials showed a loss of $107K for June. Eaton said this is common in the summertime and they would show negative until colder weather hits again this winter.
Shady Grove Cemetery Assoc. Meeting is Saturday
Paris, Tenn.- The annual Shady Grove Cemetery Association Meeting will be held Saturday July 26th at 10am at the cemetery located on Shady Grove Road. All persons with family or friends buried there are encouraged to attend the meeting. If you are unable to attend the meeting, you may send donations for the upkeep of the cemetery to The Shady Grove Cemetery Association c/o Carolyn Nored, 975 Jim Merrel Road, Paris, TN 38242.
HC Youth Football, Cheerleader Signups July 26th, Aug. 2nd
Paris, Tenn.- Henry County Youth Football signups will be held at the Paris Civic Center Saturday August 2nd from 10am to Noon. Youth cheerleader signups will be held at the Paris Civic Center from 10am to Noon the following Saturdays: July 26th and August 2nd.
Man Arrested for Aggravated Assault After Firing Shots
Paris, Tenn.- A press release from the Henry County Sheriff’s Office stated that a 911 call came in Tuesday afternoon about an individual being shot at. Officers responded to 8218 Highway 79 South to locate Jason Raspberry fleeing from the address.
Raspberry informed officers that he and his girlfriend arrived at the home and there was a confrontation between Raspberry and Matthew Fourman, the son of Raspberry’s girlfriend.
During the argument, the press release states Fourman came out of the home with a large rifle and was coming at Raspberry. Three shots were fired as Raspberry was running away, none of them hit anyone and noone was injured during the altercation.
Officers talked with all parties and Fourman denied shooting a gun. Officers searched the area where it was believed the weapon was fired but could not located anything due to the amount of grass in the yard.
TWRA officer Scott Mansfield was contacted and he brought his K9 Cane to the scene. Cane is trained to find items or articles that contain gunpowder or items fired from a weapon. Cane did locate shell casing in the high grass. Evidence was collected and officers then searched the home and found a weapon inside that was capable of firing that round.
Matthew Fourman was arrested and transported to the Henry County Sheriff’s Office. Fourman was charged with aggravated assault and had bond set at $10K. He is set to appear in General Sessions Court July 29th.
Sheriff Monte Belew said he appreciated Officer Mansfield, his partner Cane, and the TWRA for allowing them to respond to the scene. The sheriff said that they were a detrimental part of the case and with their help the arrest was made.
The Henry Police Department and Tennessee Highway Patrol also assisted in the case.
Nearly 300 Early Vote Tuesday
Paris, Tenn.- 293 voters came to the Henry County Election Commission Office to Vote on Tuesday. That brings the total during Early Voting so far up to 1,176. Early voting continues weekdays 8:30-4:30 and Saturdays 9am to Noon.
Henry County Schools Start August 12th
Paris, Tenn.- Henry County Schools will be starting on August 12th and school supply lists are available at area stores. Students at Grove and the High School will not have lists, teachers will inform students what all they need.
Grove and Henry County High School will post Homeroom lists on the front entrances August 5th. Class schedules will be available the first day of school.
Grove Open House will be Tuesday August 5th at 6pm. Henry County High School will have 10th Grade Open House Monday August 11th from 3-5pm.
August 8th from 8am to Noon will be new registration at all schools for students who are new to the system, as in moving in from another area. Current students and students coming to Grove from Inman do not have to come to registration.
BPU Board Approves Building New Water Treatment Plant
Plant to Use Newer Technologies, Processes
Paris, Tenn.- At Tuesday’s Board of Public Utilities board of directors meeting, the board decided to move ahead with a recommendation from Water and Wastewater supervisor Terry Wimberley and build a new Water Treatment Plant to replace the current 60 year old structure.
The project can be done in two phases. Phase one, which would be done in late 2015, or early 2016, would cost of $3.1M. Phase two could occur three to six years later and would cost about $6M.
Wimberley started off his discussion by commending employees at the Water Treatment Plant, who over the years, have maintained the plant and kept everything in good shape for it to continue to operate.
The BPU board approved a seismic study last fall that showed there were some issues structurally with the plant, especially in the event of an earthquake. The plant serves water to 700K and major failure from structural damage would have a big impact on the community.
Board discussions the last few months have centered around three options with the plant: retrofit the current structure and keep the same process, build a new plant with the same process, or build a new plant with a smaller footprint and new technologies and processes that haven’t been used by BPU before, but had been in place for over 40 years.
The third option was the least expensive and, not only allows the construction to be handled in two phases, but also will show lower operating costs once its complete because less chemicals will need to be used in the process.
Wimberley told the board it would require a rate increase starting July 1 of 2015, but he couldn’t zero in on how much the rate increase would need to be until it was determined what kind of funding options the BPU could manage to get. He said they are continuing to look at funding sources such as the state revolving loan fund and the Community Development Block Grant to help with the construction of the new Water Treatment Plant.
Board members questioned the plan of decreasing the capacity. The current plant is big enough to handle 6M gallons of water per day and the new one is estimated at 4M gallons of water per day. Wimberley said the daily average is 2M and they have allowed room for expanding if needed in the future.
Wimberley said that during the driest summer of 07-08, the highest usage at the plant was 2.8M gallons per day. He said they didn’t want to build 6M gallon capacity at the new plant and waste money by never really needing that much. But with the opportunity for expansion, if a big industry came to Paris that need lots of water, for example, the plans allow for that expansion of the plant in the future.
BPU Board Hires General Contractor for Elec. Warehouse
Paris, Tenn.- More from Tuesday’s BPU Board meeting saw the board approve hiring S & G Stephens Construction to be the General Contractor for work at the electric warehouse.
Director of Electric Operations Cole Edwards explained to the board that they didn’t have any bids on general contractors at the beginning and when they bid it back out; costs were higher than anticipated to the tune of $65K. Edwards said this is the last decision needed on contracts for the electric warehouse.
Edwards said there had been some issues with the first bids and we’ve had lots of discussion and aren’t exactly happy with this, but its something we have to have. The board approved hiring the company to be the general contractor.
Edwards told board members things should start moving along a little faster with the electric warehouse construction as materials are scheduled to be in this week and next week.
North Paris Substation Moving Along Well
Paris, Tenn.- The board also learned that the work on the North Paris Substation is going along well as foundation work has begun this week and slabs have been poured for the transformers. Transformers are set to come in the next few days. The plans are to have the North Paris Substation built and energized by late November or December.
The BPU board approved write-offs in the amount of $34K for the last quarter. The amount was higher than the last several quarters. It included fewer customers, but higher bills due to the cold weather in March and April and part of early May. BPU General Manager John Etheridge said when BPU implements pay as you go electricity later this fall, it should help curb the writeoffs some.
Dr. Thomas Stubblefield to Hold Book Signing Saturday
Paris, Tenn.- Native Henry Countian Dr. Thomas D. Stubblefield will have a book signing from 11am to 1pm Saturday July 26th at Jack’s Java on the court square in Paris.
Dr. Stubblefield will sign his book Sacred Seed and Living Bread, which is a collection of his God Stories and experiences. Dr. Stubblefield was born and raised in Buchanan and attended Central High School through the 11th grade and was president of the first graduating senior class at Henry County High School in 1970.
He has been married to his devoted wife, Judy Gordon Stubblefield, from McKenzie, for over 35 years. They have four children and six grandchildren.
TWRA Hunter Education Course Starts Thursday
Paris, Tenn.- The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will hold a Hunter Education Course July 24, 25, 28, and 29th at Spring Hill Baptist Church. For more information call Steve Brewer at 615-308-5775 and go to tnwildlife.org to sign up for the course.
Biggs Request For Medical Furlough Denied by Judge Parish
Paris, Tenn.- A press release from Henry County Circuit Court Clerk Mike Wilson stated that Circuit Court Judge Donald Parish presided over a rare Monday evening session of court Monday at 7pm. Judge Parish heard a request from Guy Biggs to be released from Henry County Jail due to a serious medical condition.
Judge Parish denied the requested medical furlough after hearing the evidence and then order the sheriff’s office to transport Biggs to the Tennessee Department of Corrections for safe keeping and medical attention.
Court adjourned at 7:45pm Monday night. Guy Biggs is charged with criminal attempt to commit first degree murder and filing a false police report.
Bethel Sends 10 to Bass Fishing National Championship
McKenzie, Tenn.- Ten anglers from Bethel University’s bass fishing club will be competing in the College Bass Fishing National Championship July 31st thru August 2nd in Young Harris, Georgia.
The anglers qualified to compete in the National Championship by doing well in the regional and wild card events held earlier this Spring and Summer. The anglers will compete as two man teams: Zach Parker and Matt Roberts, Hunter Loudon and Matthew Palmer, Brandon Koon and Blake Welch, Dalton Wilson and Randall Morris and Cody Ross and Dewey Swims. Good luck to these Bethel Anglers in the upcoming Collegiate Bass Fishing National Championship.
Early Voting, Absentee Ballots Going Strong So Far
Paris, Tenn.- Early voting numbers so far in Henry County have been pretty good as the first three days of early voting has passed. Citizens can early vote each weekday from 8:30am to 4:30pm and Saturdays from 9am to Noon at the Election Commission Office on Washington Street inside the courthouse annex. Be sure and carry a photo ID with you when you go to vote.
August is a big ballot, with both county general and state primary. You can visit the election commission website at www.henrycountytn.org and look over the ballot before you go and vote.
If you are interested in voting via the Absentee Ballot they must be picked up by no later than July 31st and mailed before August 7th. There are several reasons that allow citizens to vote via the Absentee Ballott including being over 60 years of age, being outside of the county during early voting and Election Day, being enrolled as a full time student, being hospitalized, ill, or physically disabled, having a Commercial Driver’s License, among others.
For more information or to see if you qualify for an absentee ballot call the Henry County Election Commission Office at 642-0411.
Friday is Deadline to Enter HC Fair BBQ Cookoff
Paris, Tenn.- The 4th Annual Henry County Fair BBQ Cookoff is set for August 1-2 at the Henry County Fairgrounds. The deadline to register your cooking team is this Friday July 25th. The grand champion team will win $1000 and the Reserve Champion will take home $500 plus there will be cash payouts for Top 3 placings in each category with trophies.
The Henry County Fair BBQ Cookoff is a Tennessee BBQ Association state qualifying event. Categories include chicken, ribs, shoulder, brisket, chef’s choice, and dessert. For more information call Donna Milam at 336-1966 and entry forms are available at tbabbq.org.
During the Henry County Fair BBQ Cookoff, the public is invited to come and meet the cookers. They being cooking at 5pm Friday night August 1st and continue until 11am Saturday August 2nd. On Saturday, the public will be able to purchase items from BBQ vendors that will be on hand at the fairgrounds.
Traffic Issues Abound for Steak 'n Shake Opening Day
Officers with both the Paris Police Department and Henry County Sheriff's Office stepped in to regulate traffic at Steak n' Shake Monday after conditions became unsafe for motorists (Alex AuBuchon photo).
Paris, Tenn.- Steak 'n Shake's grand opening Monday may have been a little too popular, as roadway issues on Mineral Wells Avenue during the lunchtime hours prompted officers from both the Henry County Sheriff's Office and Paris Police Department to come regulate the flow of traffic.
Motorists had backed up the right-hand southbound lane of Mineral Wells Avenue for over a quarter of a mile attempting to access the Steak 'n Shake parking lot before authorities intervened.
Compounding traffic issues during the lunchtime rush was a semi truck that had broken down in the center lane of Mineral Wells Avenue near the Jim Adams Drive intersection.
A semi truck broken down in the center lane of Mineral Wells Avenue further complicated traffic issues Monday afternoon (Alex AuBuchon photo).
Great Weather, Crowd for Chamber's Annual Water Run
A row of dealers and gurus assisted six players during the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce's Water Fun Run. Volunteers included John Wambles, the Peddler; Tony Wheatley, Lowe's; Jim Perry, Crappie USA; Jennifer Wheatley, Chamber Executive Director; Kevin Buie, K and B Supplies; Andrew Wheatley, Land Between the Lakes; Michael Puckett, PML; and Tony Lawrence, Paris Parks and Recreation. The event requires over 50 volunteers at multiple stations on Kentucky Lake. (Chamber Photo)
Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Henry County Chamber of Commerce's Annual Water Run was another smashing success on Saturday as hundreds of players competed for a chance to win $1K.
This year's theme was Cheeseburger in Paris-dise and several volunteers helped to make sure it was another big draw to area resorts who were sponsors as players made their way to them for stamps.
Troy Younger won first place with four kings and Ace high for $1K. Pam Marvin took 2nd place and $500 with four twos and a Jack High, and 3rd place went to Darrel Sherrill with a full house kings over queens, he won $100.
Chamber President Chip Anderson welcomes everyone to the
Chamber's Annual Water Run on Saturday. (Chamber Photo)
Thefts Reported in County and City
Paris, Tenn.- A report at the sheriff’s office stated that a home on Gooch Road had a dirt bike stolen along with a bottle of vodka out of the freezer. Police have no suspects.
Paris Police are also investigating a couple of thefts from the weekend. A wallet was stolen from a car in the Tyson Park Apartment complex. The report said several men were around and one of the juveniles did give Police a suspect as to who took the wallet.
Another report at the Paris Police Department stated that a riding lawn mower was stolen from Wynn Street. Police have no suspects in this theft.
Arrests from the weekend include Donald Terry Sanders, 52, Vale Road, for aggravated sexual battey; Sanders was placed on $200K bond; Theodore Kenworthy, 36, Springville, for contempt; Kenworthy was held on $10K bond.
Cross Country HS and MS Practice July 28th
Paris, Tenn.- The first day of cross country practice for Henry County high school and middle school students will be Monday July 28th at 8am at McNeil Park. For information about trying out for the team contact Coach Lance Winders by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TN NWR Still Seeks Volunteers
Paris, Tenn.- The Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge and Visitors Center opened to huge crowds this weekend and the center is still seeking volunteers to come and meet and greet visitors. The hours for the Refuge and visitors center is Monday thru Saturday 8am to 4pm. They are asking for volunteers to work four hour shifts from 8am to Noon and Noon to 4pm. If you would like to volunteer to meet and greet visitors to the Refuge and Visitors Center contact Joan Stevens at the Refuge.
Casting for A Cure Huge Success at McKenzie City Park
McKenzie, Tenn.- Both the weather and the fish cooperated this time around for the 14th Annual Steve McCadams “Casting For A Cure” Kids Fishing Rodeo held last Saturday at McKenzie City Park lake. Initially scheduled for early June at Carroll Lake, the event fell victim to flooding conditions that ultimately destroyed the lake but not the spirits of the hosts and future fishermen.
"Thanks to help from the City of McKenzie we were able to reschedule and the little lake helped return big smiles to small faces as we battled fish and cancer at the same time,” said host Steve McCadams. “I was worried about rain and several other factors when we had to change dates and locations but everything worked out great.”
“Mayor Jill Holland and the McKenzie Parks and Recreation staff really stepped up and helped us on relatively short notice. I had the lake stocked with catfish a few days prior and they were really on the prowl and biting. The kids caught quite a few,” said McCadams.
Plans are already underway for next year’s event, which will tentatively return on the first Saturday in June at McKenzie City Park.
The facilities were great for the kids, parents and visitors. And, thanks to a few volunteers, along with the help of Michael Clark of Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and Lizz Gonzalez manning the concession stand on behalf of Relay for Life, we raised awareness and dollars for the American Cancer Society.
All kids received door prizes thanks to folks who donors who support the event each year. Special plaques and bicycles were awarded to the youngster catching the most and biggest fish in four separate age brackets.
Anna Summers of McKenzie caught the big fish in the 5 and under age group and Farrah Gaut of Mansfield caught the most. Taylor Waddell of McKenzie really had a great day of fishing as he caught the most and the biggest in the 6-9 age bracket. His big channel catfish tipped the scales at just over 5 pounds and was the biggest one taken at the rodeo this year!
McKenzie’s Colton Higdon had the big fish in the 10-12 age group and Tristin Hood, also of McKenzie, had the most fish. In the 13-15 age group it was Bryston Diggs of McKenzie who landed the biggest and most fish.
“It took some doing but we were able to rebound from the unfortunate situation last month at Carroll Lake thanks to the help of Mayor Holland, McKenzie City Park staff, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, several volunteers and some hungry fish,” continued McCadams.
“It takes a lot of work behind the scenes to make this happen and I appreciate the support and patience of the kids and parents this year when we had to reschedule. And, it appears the concessions and donors combined will allow us to benefit ACS to the tune of over $3,800 this year!”
Camden Man Arrested in Connection to Sunday Homicide
Eddie Lee Laws, 52 of Camden, Tenn., was arrested Sunday in connection with a homicide that occurred in Camden Sunday morning (Booking photo provided by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation).
Camden, Tenn.- A Camden man was arrested Sunday in connection with the shooting death of a 47 year old Camden resident Sunday morning, according to a press release from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
TBI special agents began investigating the homicide alongside the Camden Police Department at the request of District Attorney General Hansel McCadams. Authorities found the victim on Rowsey Street in Camden Sunday morning.
Eddie Lee Laws, age 52 of Camden, was arrested on suspicion that he may have been involved with the shooting, and was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon, as he is a convicted felon.
Investigators noted that the possibility exists for additional charges to be filed against Laws. His relationship to the victim and the circumstances of the incident are all under investigation by both the Camden Police Department and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
The identity of the 47 year old shooting victim has been withheld pending the notification of his next of kin.
Laws is currently being held without bond and awaits his first court appearance.
We will provide more details as this story develops.
Paris Steak ‘n Shake to Open Monday
Henry County Mayor Brent Greer enjoys a hand-spun milkshake during Steak n' Shake's VIP event Saturday (Alex AuBuchon photo).
Paris, Tenn.- After a long wait, the Paris Steak n’ Shake restaurant will open its doors to the public Monday morning at 10 AM.
Several lucky individuals got an early look at the new eatery throughout the day on Saturday, as Steak ‘n Shake held a VIP event and training session with a limited menu. The service and food both received rave reviews from Saturday’s patrons.
On Monday, the full lunch and dinner menu will be available from 10 AM to 11 PM, with a wide variety of burgers, sandwiches, salads, hand-dipped milkshakes and much more.
Starting Tuesday, Steak ‘n Shake will be open at 5 AM serving a breakfast menu from 5 to 11 AM; items include all-you-can-eat pancakes, breakfast skillets, biscuit sandwiches, as well as other breakfast fare.
After Tuesday, Steak ‘n Shake will be open from 5 AM to 11 PM daily.
Ice Cream Social, Antique Car Show Set for Saturday
Paris, Tenn.- The Downtown Paris Association’s 5th annual Ice Cream Social and Antique Car Show will fill the court square of Downtown Paris on Saturday, July 26 from 3 to 6 PM.
Wristbands for all-you-can-eat ice cream as well as other attractions such as inflatables and fun contests are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. These wristbands can be purchased from the Downtown Paris Association, all booth partners, or at the event.
Eighteen booths have been confirmed to serve up homemade ice cream with more anticipated to join throughout the week. Teams include the R.E.A.L Hope Youth Center, Paris – Henry County Arts Council, the Paris Police Department, Caring Hearts Fund, and several more.
The Antique Car Show is similarly decked out, with vehicles registered from four states according to event chairperson Vicky Muzzall.
Cars can still register for the event for a minimum donation of $10, which includes an event wristband. Eventgoers can cast votes for their favorite cars; the car with the most votes at the end of the day will win a “People’s Choice Award”.
For more information on the event or to register a car or an ice cream booth, call the Downtown Paris Association at 653-7274.
DUI Arrest After Hwy 69N Accident
Paris, Tenn.- A Dickson woman was recently arrested for driving under the influence after a two-vehicle accident at the intersection of Highway 69N and West Wood Street, according to Paris Police Department reports.
Officers responding to the accident noticed that Marnie Lampley, age 46 of Dickson, had very bloodshot eyes and was unsteady on her feet while talking to her, and the other driver involved told officers that Lampley had thrown a beer can out of her car immediately after the accident occurred.
Lampley failed several field sobriety tests and was promptly arrested and charged with driving under the influence. She is being held on $600 bond and will appear in General Sessions Court on Tuesday, July 22.
Refuge Visitor Center Opens to Huge Turnout
Refuge Manager Barron Crawford cuts a ribbon to conclude Saturday's opening ceremonies, joined by several local dignitaries and U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials (Alex AuBuchon photo).
Springville, Tenn.- Despite overcast skies and cool temperatures Saturday, a large crowd made their way to Springville for a first look at the brand new Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters and Visitor Center.
Refuge Manager Barron Crawford welcomed top officials from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as well as several local dignitaries to speak during the opening ceremonies.
Refuge Supervisor Rick Ingram of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was extremely optimistic about the potential economic impact of the facility, sharing research suggesting that every dollar spent on similar facilities usually translates to 4 or 5 dollars in tourism revenue.
Both Paris Mayor Sam Tharpe and Henry County Mayor Brent Greer spoke at the ceremony, both praising the new center as a huge asset for regional tourism as well as education both for local students and schools throughout the region.
Dozens of visitors of all ages marvel at the exhibits in the brand-new Visitor Center (Alex AuBuchon photo).
Henry County School System Director of Schools Sam Miles and PSSD Supervisor of Instruction Leah Watkins spoke as well; both were very excited about the potential educational opportunities the Visitor Center affords, as a destination for school field trips and for other organizations to take advantage of.
In fact, Joan Stevens of the refuge has already scheduled a workshop next week for 40 teachers from both the HCSS and PSSD as well as McKenzie and Union City schools, to let teachers know everything the new facility and specifically the John T. Taylor Environmental Education Wing has to offer. Also, the W.G. Rhea Kids’ Club will be visiting next week on the center’s first field trip.
Visitors for the grand opening Saturday had plenty of activities to take advantage of, including archery, a pellet gun shooting gallery, bluebird house building, turtle races, and several live bird demonstrations including a bald eagle.
Organizations such as the Camden Garden Club, multiple Boy Scout troops, Fort Donelson National Battlefield, Paris Landing and Reelfoot State Parks, and the National Wild Turkey Federation were all on hand to join in the celebration, and Boy Scout Troop 28 served a barbecue lunch.
The Headquarters and Visitor Center will officially open to the public on Monday, June 21 and will be open Monday through Saturday from 8 AM to 4 PM. The facility is located just off Oak Grove Road in Springville.
Among the attractions at the Visitor Center's back lawn Saturday was a bird display featuring a bald eagle (Alex AuBuchon photo).
Early Voting Opens to Strong Turnout
Paris, Tenn.- Early voting for the 2014 State Primary and County General Elections began Friday, and the Henry County Election Commission has already seen an impressive turnout.
According to Election Commissioner Darrin Thompson, 397 Henry Countians took to the polls Friday, along with another 67 absentee and nursing home ballots cast, bringing the grand total so far to 464 votes.
Early voting will run through Saturday, August 2nd at the Henry County Election Commission office in the Courthouse Annex on Washington Street. The polls will be open from 8:30 to 4:30 Monday through Friday and from 9 to noon on Saturday.
Keep in mind – voters must have a valid form of photo identification in order to cast their ballot.
Preliminary Report Shows Rise in Tennessee Unemployment
Nashville- The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development announced Thursday that the state’s unemployment rate rose two tenths of a percent last month, to 6.6%.
In a preliminary report, the department noted that Tennessee unemployment has declined fairly significantly in the past year, from 8.4% in July 2013 to 6.6% last month.
However, they also noted that the national average continued to fall from May to June; the United States average unemployment rate fell two tenths of a percent to 6.1% in June.
A more detailed unemployment report featuring a breakdown of each Tennessee county will be released Thursday, July 31st.
News from past weeks here.