From News Director Tim Alsobrooks
Assistant News Director Cassie Walsh
Kennedy Arrested for Theft and Auto Burglary
Paris, Tenn.- According to a report from the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, Deputy David Andrews arrested Jason C. Kennedy, age 39 of 300 Morris Road of Puryear, on Wednesday for theft over $500 and burglary of an automobile. Kennedy was placed on $10,000 bond.
11th Annual Red Legs Poker Run and Auction is Jan. 1st
Paris, Tenn.- The 11th Annual New Year’s Day Ride of the Red Legs Poker Run and Auction will be Sunday, January 1st. The event is sponsored by T-Bones Tavern and the Unforgotten MC. There will be a $100 pay out and it costs $10 per hand.
All bikes, cars and trucks are welcome on the poker run. Sign-ups are from 10:30am to 11am at T-Bones Tavern, which is located at 3485 Hwy 641 South in Paris, and all bikes, car and trucks involve in the poker run will go out at noon.
Stops along the poker run are T Bones Tavern, Castaways Bar, Unforgotten MC Clubhouse, American Legion in Big Sandy, 3 Oaks Lounge in Springville and Back to T Bones Tavern.
There will also be a silent auction at the event and quality auction items and cooked goods are still needed. Food will also be served following the ride. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Adopt-A-Vet Program.
Donations may also be mailed to C/O Bank of Camden, PO Box 99, Big Sandy, TN 38221. For more information, you can contact T Bones Tavern at 731-407-7370 or call at 731-336-7813.
Paris Man Arrested for Accessory After the Fact
Paris, Tenn.- According to a report from the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, Lt. Lance Perry arrested Kevin A. Jackson, age 36 of 828 Lois Street of Paris on Wednesday for accessory after the fact. Jackson was placed on $5,000 bond.
Police Searching for 2 Burglary and Assault Suspects
Paris, Tenn.- According to a report from the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, Deputy Chad Lowery responded to a call about an aggravated burglary, aggravated assault and theft of $500 or less at a home on Highway 79 North on Friday.
When Deputy Lowery arrived at the scene he spoke to the victim who stated that two young males in their 20’s woke him up after they pried the dead bolt off his trailer door. When the victim opened the door, he told the suspects that he called 911 and police units were on their way. The two suspects forcibly entered the victim’s home and during the scuffle, the victim suffered a wound to his hand after being stabbed by a screwdriver that one of the suspects had.
The victim stated that the suspects grabbed his Government cell phone and fled the scene. The victim told police that he heard one of the suspects say “Come on Mike.” Police also recovered a toboggan one of the suspects was wearing at the scene. Dispatch was able to ping the phone near Creek Bridge off 218 near the Rescue Squad, but police were unable to recover the phone. Police are still looking for the suspects in this case.
Keep Henry County Beautiful to Recycle Christmas Trees
Paris, Tenn.- Keep Paris Henry County Beautiful and the Henry County Litter Program will be recycling Christmas Trees into Mulch from Tuesday, December 27th through Thursday, January 5th.
Trees, without decorations, should be brought to 575 Cedar Street in Paris. Mulch availability will be based on volume. There is no cost to recycling your Christmas tree.
Police Arrest Paris Man for Multiple Possession Offences
Paris, Tenn.- According to a report from the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, Sgt. Wayne Fuqua arrested Bryan M. Clayton, age 28 of 1206 Lincoln Street of Paris, on Wednesday for possession with intent and possession of drug paraphernalia. Clayton was placed on $25,000 bond.
Lady Lakers are the Champions of Christmas Tourney
Pictured are members of the Calloway High School Basketball team with a representative of The Murray Bank at The Murray Bank Hardwood Classic held at Jeffrey Gymnasium (from left: Allie Fritts, Madison Schroeder, Megan Greer, Bob Hargrove, President and CEO at The Murray Bank, Jacie Spann, and Alicia Hornbuckle).
Murray, KY- Through the generosity of The Murray Bank, the Lady Lakers were able to host their annual Christmas Tournament over the weekend of December 17th . The event has become an annual tournament at CCHS, and the Lady Lakers were able to win the Championship this year. Calloway High School is appreciative of the support given by The Murray Bank on this project as well as many other projects throughout the Calloway County School System.
County Unemployment Numbers Drop in Region
Paris, Tenn.- County Unemployment rates for November were released by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development on Thursday and the rate decreased in 81 counties, increased in 10, and remained the same in 4 counties.
Henry County’s unemployment rate for November was 5.6%, down from 5.8% in October and also down from last November’s rate of 6.2%. Numbers show that of Henry County’s estimated workforce of 14,020 about 780 people were searching for a job in November.
Carroll County’s unemployment rate dropped from 6.5% in October to 6.1% in November. The number is also a decrease from November of 2015 when it was at 7.6%. 750 people were looking for work in November in Carroll County.
Benton County’s rate for November was 6.2%, down from 6.8% in October and down from 7.3% last November. Houston County’s November unemployment rate dropped from 6.7% in October to 6.3% in November. That is also a decreased from Houston County’s rate last November which was 7.9%. Stewart County also saw a decrease in their unemployment rate from 6.6% in October to 6.0% in November. Weakley County’s decreased from 6.0% to 5.6%.
The unemployment rate is less than 5.0% in 35 counties, greater than 5 but less than 10% in 60 counties.
HCMC Has Plan to Combat Nursing Shortages
CNO Cynthia Whitaker goes over a plan to help recruit, retain nurses. (Tim Alsobrooks photo)
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Medical Center Board of Trustees met on Thursday night and heard an update on Nursing at HCMC from Chief Nursing Officer Cynthia Whitaker.
She informed the board that even though Nursing is one of the fastest-growing occupations in the United States and the demand is increasing for nurses the actual RN population is shrinking. By 2022, there will be a need for 3.24M nurses nationwide, a 20.2% increase in RNS, with the need for an additional 1.13M nurses by 2022.
Whitaker told trustees that nurses are aging, with HCMC having an approximate 61-65% Medicare rate. Nationwide the percentage of RNs over the age of 55 have increased from 33% in 2000 to 50% in 2015.
Whitaker discussed other issues seen as a nursing shortage looms including the supply of nurses, and turnover of staff and nurses. She reported to the board accumulated turnover rates of 11.9% occurred from July to November of this year alone at HCMC.
Whitaker said, “before we can ever recruit new Nurses, we must create an environment that Nurses want to work in.” She then went over things the medical center plans to do including: pay restructuring, adding employment options, re-implementing the Nursing Supervisor Role, add a scheduler/bed controller, implementing an LPN float, developing nursing leaders.
Whitaker concluded her presentation saying HCMC is about 6.5 Full Time Equivalents short of the actual need for nurses. She said the number is high due to overtime among other things. She said, “to sum it all up, we are short on Nurses, however we do have a plan to address the shortages on both a short and long term basis.”
State Reaches Agreement to Extend TennCare Waivers
Paris, Tenn.- During his administrative comments at Thursday night’s HCMC Board of Trustee’s meeting, CEO and Hospital Administrator Tom Gee informed the board that the State of Tennessee reached an agreement to be able to extend the TennCare waiver for another term and allow hospitals to receive DSH payments and reuse matching funds for the next year. CMS does want to eliminate these funds after 2019.
Gee said the State has pushed for commercial insurers who serve the State employee insurance programs to move more of their business in the episodes of care program currently being implemented into the TennCare program. Blue Cross has already announced plans to move their business into the S network next year and Cigna Health is also expected to move some of their business in that direction as well.
Gee said concerns with the new administration’s plans to end the Affordable Care Act as early as January and wait up to three years before implementing a replacement, are being met with widespread alarm in the healthcare industry. Gee said no healthcare group of any kind supports this approach and hopes instead the administration does a repeal and replace immediately, as to not leave those currently insured without insurance.
Board Hears Physician Recruitment Details
Paris, Tenn.- In regards to Physician recruitment, Gee said the medical center continues to lay the groundwork for taking over Paris Pediatrics and beginning to move services into the Kelley Clinic building after Dr. Gulish retires at the end of January. Dr. Waters plans on joining the practice in February and eventually Dr. Cutwright will move into the facility as well.
Gee said due to Dr. Wieck’s health issues, they have suspended his practice until further notice. Dr. Crigler and Dr. Locus will take any patients that wish to remain in the system until it can be determined if Dr. Wieck can return. Gee said the medical center has also met with another OB physician who might be able to move to Paris if they need to hire another in the next few months. Gee also reported to the Board of Trustees that the two new psychiatric providers will start January 3rd.
HCMC Celebrating Two Retirements Dec. 29th
Paris, Tenn.- The Hospital will celebrate two retirements at the end of the month. Dr. Joe Mobley will retire December 29th and a community reception will be held at Kentucky Lake Urology offices a Cornerstone from 2-4pm. CEO and Administrator Tom Gee said Dr. Mobley has been a loyal an dedicated physician for many years and established what has become a very robust urology service at HCMC. He has served as Chief of Staff and has been very helpful to guiding our Medical Staff in a number of ways over the years.
Kathy Veazey is also retiring December 29th as the director of staff development and infection control. She has also served the hospital with distinction and loyalty over many years. Veazey served as Director of Nursing and as a staff nurse as well. Gee said she has been great infection control nurse and helped HCMC become one of the top hospitals in the state to achieve mandatory staff flu vaccination.
Woman Arrested After Trying to Pass Fake $50 Bill
Paris, Tenn.- Paris Police have charged Melinda Maupin, age 51, of 1401 Mineral Wells Avenue with criminal simulation and possession of drug paraphernalia. The charges stem from an incident where Maupin attempted to pass a counterfeit $50 at Walmart. The report said Maupin left the store in a Red Mazada Miata after the clerk told her it was a fake $50. Cpt. John Brewer stopped the vehicle and the $50 and two glass pipes used to smoke meth were found upon search.
A report at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office stated a CD player and assorted tools were stolen from a truck that was broken down at the time and parked at Carpet World in Puryear. The value of items stolen is over $500 and there are no suspects at this time.
Arrests from overnight include Charles D. Williams, age 32, of 114 Willow Oaks for simple possession of schedule 6 and violation of a sentence; Bryan Clayton, age 28, of Lincoln Street, for possession of schedule two with intent.
Murray State Named Military Friendly School for 2017
For the seventh year in a row, Victory Media has included Murray State University on the Military Friendly Schools list. The 2017 designation honors the top colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that exhibit leading practices to ensure the success of post-military students on campus.
“We’re pleased to once again be recognized this year for our veterans services,” said Murray State President Bob Davies. “These men and women have proudly served our country while defending our freedoms, and Murray State will continue to provide the necessary support and resources to help these individuals fulfill their educational goals.”
Providing service members and their families with transparent, data-driven ratings on post-military education, Victory Media considers the Military Friendly rankings to play a significant role in advancing best practices for supporting student veterans across the country. The ratings are based on several factors, including student retention, job placement and loan repayment rates for all students and, specifically, student veterans. The 2017 results were independently evaluated by EY, a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services, per the weightings and methodology established by Victory Media.
“This award makes me proud of the long-standing service of Murray State University, from preparing officers in our ROTC program to later supporting them after they complete their service to our country,” said Dr. Brian Van Horn, Murray State associate provost for regional academic outreach.
The veterans affairs office at Murray State is primarily responsible for the administration of veteran’s educational benefits programs. The office provides resources and information to students and serves as a liaison between student veterans and dependents and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Alison Marshall, associate director of the Murray State University Transfer Center, referenced one of Murray State's strengths being the step-by-step process that service members receive, which includes admissions counseling and other on-campus support services that help ease the transition from military to civilian life.
Chris Jeter, assistant registrar of veterans/military service in the office of veterans affairs, also stressed the importance of personalized services and explained what kind of work the office does to help student veterans in their shift to academia.
“We have partnered with the VA Health Administration to provide faculty and staff training as one example. This training includes military culture and customs familiarization as well as an overview of the current adjustment struggles and medical challenges that our veterans face as they move through their transition. So, although the student veterans may not see this side of what we do, we are working hard ‘behind the scenes’ to enhance their Murray State experience,” said Jeter.
Other benefits to post-military students include the Operation Graduation scholarship, a veteran student organization, personalized advising, career planning and placement, flexible scheduling, counseling, tutoring and more.
“In many ways, it is the small things we do that our student veterans seem most appreciative of,” said Jeter. “For example, we provide priority registration to student veterans. We also provide a free red, white, and blue graduation cord as a simple way to recognize them during commencement.”
For information on Murray State University’s programs for veterans, contact the veterans affairs office at 270-809-3754 or email@example.com.
UTM Online Programs Rise in National Rankings
Martin, Tenn.- The University of Tennessee at Martin’s online master’s-level programs have again proven their value in several recent rankings.
The online Master of Business Administration program is included in three listings from OnlineMBAReport.com. The program is ranked 10th in the South, 22nd among public schools and 27th nationally in the 2016 lists. This is an increase from the website’s 2015 rankings, which put the UT Martin program in 15th, 33rd and 39th, respectively. UT Martin is the highest-ranked Tennessee institution in all three categories.
According to the online ranking page, the UT Martin program placed in the top 14 percent of southern schools considered, the top 15 percent of public schools considered and the top eight percent of schools included nationally.
Criteria considered for these rankings included academic reputation, tuition value, program enrollment, admissions selectivity, and program quality and rigor. UT Martin’s online MBA is a 33-credit-hour program that can be completed entirely online in 20 months.
The UT Martin MBA program is independently accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
UT Martin’s online master’s degree in agriculture and natural resources was also recognized as a great value by BestMastersDegrees.com. The university is ranked ninth in the website’s list of the most affordable master’s degrees for 2016-17. This degree program offers concentrations in agribusiness and risk management, natural resources systems management and systems science in agriculture.
UT Martin is the highest-ranked Tennessee institution in this listing as well.
For more information on UT Martin’s online degree offerings, contact UT Martin Online at 731-881-7021 or visit utm.edu/onlinestudies.
Gas Board Approves Payments on Main Line Extensions Work
Paris, Tenn.- The Board of Directors for the Paris Henry County Public Utility District met this week and approved payments of $77K for main line extension project work by Revell Construction. General Manager Tae Eaton said Revell always does great work and cleans up the area after the extensions are in. Payments were also approved for James Plus and Associates for professional engineering services the main extension project in the amount of $6365 and for the Hwy. 641 N. relocation project in the amount of $4547.
The board approved to renew their worker’s compensation insurance with Berkley assigned Risk Services in the amount of $14,547.
Eaton reported financials to the board at the meeting this week as the district remains in the red because of the warm weather we had in October and November. Eaton said year to date the district is $785K in the red, compared to being in the red $637K in the red last year and $719K two years ago. December has experienced many cold days, but Eaton said the long term forecast shows warmer weather coming back to the area. Eaton says he still thinks the district will be ok at the end of winter.
Currently seven service lines are on backlog per customers and should only take a week or so to complete when the weather cooperates. Eaton said that 14 new applications for gas lines have been received from the extension on Rabbit Creek Road.
City of Paris Announces Christmas, New Year's Closings
Paris, Tenn.- The City of Paris has announced closings for the Christmas and New Year’s Holidays. Paris City Hall will be closing at Noon on Friday December 23rd and be closed Monday December 26th as well. For New Year’s City Hall will be closed on Monday January 2nd.
The Public Works Department will be closing at Noon Friday the 23rd and Monday December 26th for Christmas, with Monday and Tuesday trash pick up on Tuesday December 27th. Be sure and have trash out by 7am. The Public Works Department will also be closed Monday January 2nd for New Years.
The Landfill will close at Noon Friday December 23rd and be closed Christmas Eve and Monday December 26th for Christmas and on Monday January 2nd for New Years.
The Animal Shelter will close at Noon Friday December 23rd, be closed on Christmas Eve and Monday December 26th for Christmas and Monday January 2nd for New Years.
The Civic Center will be closing Christmas Eve at 2pm and all day Christmas Day and will re-open Monday the 26th and be closing at 3pm December 31st, closed all day January 1st and reopen January 2nd.
TDOT Halts Road Construction for Christmas and New Years
Nashville- Road construction won’t delay travelers during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. The Tennessee Department of Transportation is once again halting all lane closure activity on interstates and state highways in anticipation of higher traffic volumes across the state.
No temporary lane closures will be allowed for construction on Tennessee roadways beginning at 6:00 a.m. Friday, December 23, 2016 until 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, January 3, 2017.
“We expect over two million drivers to travel Tennessee roadways during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “Keeping traffic moving and motorists arriving to their destinations safely is always our goal. Please wear your seatbelt, reduce your speed, avoid distractions, and never drink and drive.”
Except for a few long-term closures which must remain in place for safety, all construction related closures will be suspended during the holiday period. Workers may still be on-site in some construction zones. Drivers should obey all posted speed limits, particularly in construction areas. Slower speeds are necessary in work zones due to the temporary layout of the roadway and will be enforced. Drivers convicted of speeding through work zones where workers are present face a fine of $250 to $500, plus court fees and possible increased insurance premiums.
AAA predicts holiday travel will increase 3.1% in Tennessee this year, with over 2.2 million motorists expected to travel by automobile in the volunteer state between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. According to AAA, 103.1 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more, with a record 93.6 million expected to drive to their holiday destinations.
From your desktop or mobile device, get the latest construction activity and live streaming SmartWay traffic cameras at www.TNSmartWay.com/Traffic. Travelers can also dial 511 from any land-line or cellular phone for travel information, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TN511 for statewide travel.
As always, drivers are reminded to use all motorist information tools wisely and Know Before You Go! by checking travel conditions before leaving for your destination. Drivers should never tweet, text or talk on a cell phone while behind the wheel.
Theft Investigated at Puryear Home
Puryear, Tenn.- Dep. James Higgins of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office investigated a theft from a home on Smith Street in Puryear. The residents were gone for a few days and the report said their daughter and her friend stayed at the home and when they left took several items. Items missing include a treadmill, weed trimmer and accessories, a propone tank, Kuerig Coffee Maker, and many more items, valued at around $2K total. Investigation is continuing into the incident.
In another report at the Paris Police Department, Paris Police arrested Joanne Grayson, age 47, of 1015 Steele Street, on warrants out of Mississippi for Failure to Appear and DUI in the last couple of days.
BPU Employees Give to Weekend Backpack Program
Paris, Tenn.- Employees from the Paris Board of Public Utilities came together and collected food items for the Weekend Backpack Program which benefits both the Henry County School System and Paris Special School District. The program sends snacks home with students on weekends and holidays to make sure they have some food away from school.
Cole Edwards, Director of Electric Operations at BPU, said “employees raised over $1000 to purchase the food that will be split between the two school systems, we really enjoy giving back to our community and helping the kids like this is one of our favorite things to do.”
USDA Declares 46 TN Counties Disasters From Drought
Nashville- The United States Department of Agriculture has named 46 of Tennessee’s 95 counties as disaster areas following months of dry weather that has caused farmers to lose crops and money. Most of the counties are in Middle and East Tennessee as West Tennessee has seen a little more rain over the late summer and fall. Any farmers or ranchers who lost money in the drought can apply for low interest emergency loans from the USDA Farm Service Agency. Any farmers in counties that have been listed as disaster areas should contact their FSA for more information.
Large Crowd at Eiffel Tower Lighting Ceremony
Paris, Tenn.- Several local officials, chamber members, and citizens were on hand Tuesday evening for the official ceremony to light up the Eiffel Tower, braving the chilly weather. The lighting project has been an ongoing project of the Paris Henry County Chamber of Commerce for the past several months. The lights are being paid for through a collaborative effort from the City of Paris, Board of Public Utilities, Henry County Tourism Authority, Chamber of Commerce, and multiple individual and corporate donors, who were recognized at the ceremony Tuesday evening by Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell. (Tim Alsobrooks photos)
The lights are LED and can produce an unlimited number of colors and color options that can be changed to celebrate any holidays, special occasions, or specific needs. The lights will be controlled remotely and will even change or move to music if desired. The Madrigals also performed for the crowd.
Keep Henry County Beautiful to Recycle Christmas Trees
Paris, Tenn.- Keep Paris Henry County Beautiful and the Henry County Litter Program will be recycling Christmas Trees into Mulch from December 26th to January 5th. Trees, without decorations, should be brought to 575 Cedar Street in Paris. Mulch availability will be based on volume. There is no cost to recycling your Christmas tree.
Library Closings for Christmas, New Years
Paris, Tenn.- The W.G. Rhea Library will be closed for the Christmas holiday Friday December 23rd thru Tuesday December 27th for Christmas and December 30th thru January 1st for New Years.
TN State Parks to Offer Free Hikes New Year's Eve, Day
Paris, Tenn.- Tennessee State Parks will sponsor free, guided hikes at 55 parks beginning New Year’s Eve and going throughout New Year’s Day including two hikes at Paris Landing State Park. The newly constructed trail is an easy to moderate 3.2 mile hike and Paris Landing State Park is offering two times for the hike, 7am and 9am. You should wear appropriate clothes and closed toed shoes for the hike.
“Our First Day Hikes are our most popular guided event statewide,” said Dep. Commissioner for Parks and Conservation Brock Hill. “It’s a great way to start your New Year’s Resolutions off right and see the wonder of our state during that time.”
For more information, including detailed regional listings, visit tnstateparks.com/about/special-events/first-day-hike.
W.G. Rhea Library Tree Wins People's Choice
Paris, Tenn.- Kathy Ray, Executive Director of the Downtown Paris Association, announced the W.G. Rhea LIbrary won the People's Choice award at this year's Festival of Trees. Ray thanked Ed and Vickey Roberts for providing the venue for Festival of Trees and the many volunteers who helped.
PSSD Makes Leadership Changes
Paris, Tenn.- Mike Brown, Director of Schools for Paris Special School District announces the following changes:
Sandra Paschall – Principal at W. G. Rhea Elementary School
Lynda Searcy – Assistant Principal at W. G. Rhea Elementary School
Scott Owens will focus on Coordinated School Health and Chronic Absenteeism.
Sherry Wagner – PreK and Special Education Director. The reassignment of responsibilities will become effective January 3, 2017.
On becoming the new principal at Rhea Elementary, Sandra Paschall commented, “I am super excited about the opportunity to serve and lead the amazing faculty, staff, students and families at Rhea.”
These changes will be re-revaluated at the end of the school year.
In making the announcement, Brown said, “It is my belief that these changes will be positive for the students and staff of the PSSD. I am confident it is the best decision for this moment and I look forward to seeing the results that I anticipate will occur.”
BPU Moves Ahead With Year 4-5 Water Rate Increases for Water Plant Project
BPU board members discuss water rate increases. (Tim Alsobrooks photo)
Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Board of Public Utilities met in regular session on Tuesday morning and approved a motion to submit a request to the Paris City Commission for approval of water rate increases for 2018 and 2019, part of the five year plan to help finance the new Water Treatment Plant.
General Manager of BPU Terry Wimberley informed the board that back when they approved a three year water rate increase, of which we are currently in year two of, he informed them that increases in year four and five would be likely and the estimate then matched the increased needed today.
The average customer will see increases of $3.25 over the two year period for 5K gallons of usage. The rate will increase $2.25 on July 1 2018 and then another $1 on July 1, 2019.
Wimberley said this completes any rate increase for the $10M investment for the Water Plant and overall the increase on customers will equal out to $9.22 on the average usage. He said they are seeking these increases now to get the process moving where the BPU can obtain funding from the State Revolving Fund, which is already set aside for the BPU. Wimberley said Phase 1 construction on the Water Plant is currently going on and it should be finished this summer, then plans are to move directly into Phase 2 and the funding needs to be secured for it.
Board member Ralph Anderson said for keep the increase on customers under $10 for the overall investment in a new Water Treatment plant shows the BPU has been frugal. Board member Terry Fuller said “we are ensuring our children and grandchildren are protected and have a good system for years and years to come.”
The water rate increases will be on January’s City Commission agenda for first reading.
In other business on Tuesday afternoon, the BPU board approved several trucks as surplus and Wimberley informed the board they would be put on govdeals.com to be sold. He said govdeals.com has allowed BPU to have more potential bidders and systems all over the country are using trucks that we have used and we are getting an increase in our salvage value.
Wimberley reported to board members that the recent dry weather caused no negative trends in water levels in wells. He said he did some research just see how the system handled the dry weather. The aquafer that serves our area is abundant with water and had no issues.
911 Board Seeks Grants For Possible Radio Comm. Infrastructure Improvements
911 board members discuss Radio Communication Improvements. (Tim Alsobrooks photos)
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County E-911 Board met on Monday afternoon and Director Mark Archer discussed problems with current radio communication around the county and the need for a better system to help with several dead spots and all agencies ability to communicate with each other. Archer said he wants to talk with agencies around the county and look at a new radio system that functions better and has less dead spots than the current systems different agencies use.
Archer said IT Director Chad Howard has done some legwork and the district would use existing towers to put new radio communication infrastructure on them. The City and County have met with Archer and future Community Development Block Grants could be available in 2018 and 2019 to help with this infrastructure.
Board member Ron Watkins said the radio broadcast narrow band spectrum has affected areas in the county and there are many dead spots. It is hurting EMS, Fire, Sheriff’s Office in hearing all the communication. Watkins said we can purchase repeaters and other equipment to help with these issues. Watkins said other possible funding thru Fire Fighters Associations and FEMA could help with the system’s cost as well.
Archer thinks the repeaters and infrastructure would be somewhere in the $600-700K range. Archer asked the 911 board to commit funds to help secure possible grants and funding in the future. He asked the board to approve putting aside $250K for infrastructure improvements contingent on the district receiving the City and County’s CDBG grant in the next few years. Archer said we would need two CDBG grants in back to back years to make this happen.
Hwy. 218 Bypass Creates Renamed Roads In County
911 Director Mark Archer talks about Road Name Changes from the 218 Bypass Completion. (Alsobrooks photo)
Paris, Tenn.- Archer also went over Road Name Changes in the New 218 Bypass area. IT Director Chad Howard showed the board a digital map of the road changes between Hwy 641 and Hwy 69 where the new 218 Bypass has been completed.
Ironbanks Road has been cut into two sections with the bypass and Archer said we decided to make a new road and we want the citizens to determine the name of the new road. He said he has sent letters to residents in the area to name the road. Several residents insisted the road be named after former State Representative Frank Lashley, who’s family owned a farm in the area. Archer said the road only has three houses on it but has several farms. The board decided to go with Lashley Road as the name of the other half of Ironbanks Road.
There are other roads affected by the Bypass as well that will have to be renamed, Archer said he will continue to work with residents in the areas to find names for other roads created or divided into two roads by the bypass.
County Receives Extra $30K from State 911 Funds
Paris, Tenn.- Archer explained to the board that excess funding has been received by the State 911 Board and Henry County received over $30K in extra funds. Archer also asked the board to increase the budget line item for equipment purchased, non-capitalized, to keep depreciation down and purchase a few items. This will help keep the net income in the black into the future. Archer said he plans on purchasing cards and card readers to enter the equipment room instead of just having keys and that cost will be around $7-8K.
Some of the money will also be used to enhance the projector system in the board room at the ECD building that would cost around $10K or so. Archer said several others who use the facility would benefit from this new projector system.
Audit Complete and No Major Issues for 911
Paris, Tenn.- The board also learned that the 2015-16 Audit has been completed and there were no major issues or findings for the district. Archer said it was a very good, but there was a finding on segregation of duties, but due to the size of the staff, it is an issue that will keep popping up. Board Chairman John Etheridge said that is not a major deal, and with the size of the staff it is just the way it is. Other than that the audit was great.
Archer discussed installation of Equipment for and a new computer array in the Dispatch Office at Paris City hall. The computers were moved around to allow dispatchers to have an easier view of all the phones, applications, the school systems, weather radar, and more. Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo said things have been working great with the new layout and dispatchers seem to be able to have more access to view different screens easier.
Archer told the board all dispatchers have completed their training hours and received certificates for the hours put in. The board also sponsored a Dispatcher and Emergency Responder Luncheon that was well attended.
County Comm. Has Quick December Meeting
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Commission met in regular December session on Monday night as well and quickly went thru their agenda. The only business handled by the Commission was a resolution to approve a change in the PILOT agreement with McCartney Produce increasing the amount from $7.5M to $9.5M. The City of Paris did the same thing at their meeting earlier this month as CEO of the Alliance David Hamilton said the project is bigger than originally anticipated but a few more jobs will also be added.
The Commission also set meeting dates for January and February to be the 3rd Tuesday of the month due to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and President’s Day following on the 3rd Monday in both of those months.
Inman Middle School Food Drive Collects over 5400 Food Itmes
Paris, Tenn.- Inman Middle School students held a December food drive and managed to collect over 5400 food items for the Henry County Food Bank. Inman Principal Jason Scarbrough said, "our students really love to do this, they ask about it every year and they enjoy giving back to the community in December." Assistant Principal Chris Hudgins said, "it is amazing the amount of food collected by our students during this drive which only lasted about 12 days."
The Paris Police Department will be throwing the students a Pizza Party on Monday for their efforts on the Food Drive. Ptl. Amber Roaten and Ptl. Dereck Greenhill along with Chief Chuck Elizondo were on hand Monday morning to assist with loading items. The Paris Public Works Department also assisted and brought a trailer to haul the items to the Food Bank. Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell also was on hand Monday morning. (Tim Alsobrooks photos)
Four Cited for Drug Paraphernalia Possession
Paris, Tenn.- Cpl. Jim Sanders of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office cited four people into court for drug charges after being at a home on Smith Street in Puryear on an unrelated call over the weekend.
The report stated that Cpl. Sanders observed a glass bong in plain view with residue in the bowl when he arrived at the residence and spoke with one of the residents who stated that her and her husband smoked marijuana when they were in Nevada. Cpl. Sanders asked why the pipe was out in the open, but the resident couldn’t give an answer. She then proceeded to show officers multiple pieces of drug paraphernalia including bongs, pipes, grinders, and containers used to smoke or store marijuana. Lt. Clyde Sulcer asked two more residents about possession of drug paraphernalia and they were able to retrieve two more containers.
Cited in the incident for unlawful drug paraphernalia possession were Kasey C. Broaddus, 27, Rick L. Broaddus, 56, Krista L. Ashby, 36, and Brandy M. Romano, 35, of all 221 Smith Street in Puryear.
PPD Respond to Wreck and Arrest Man on Multiple Charges
Paris, Tenn.- According to a report from the Paris Police Department, Ptl. Steven Dean Jr. arrested Anthony Wayne Miles, age 50 of 2560 Mays Bridge Road of Paris, on Saturday for driving under the influence, driving on a revoked license, violation of implied consent, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, and simple possession of a schedule VI substance.
Ptl. Dean and Lt.. Josh Frey responded to a wreck off Fairgrounds Road in Paris on Saturday night. When Ptl Dean arrived at the scene he spoke to Miles who smelled of alcohol. Ptl. Dean then asked Miles if he had been drinking and Miles initially denied he had been drinking, but then Miles admitted to police that he had been drinking earlier that night.
Ptl Dean asked Miles to perform field sobriety tests, which he failed. During the tests, Miles dropped a plastic baggie on the ground and Lt. Frey found that the bag contained approximately 2 grams of marijuana. Miles was placed on $1,500 bond.
PHCAC Presents "A Christmas Story" at the Parisian Dec. 20th
Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Henry County Arts Council will be presenting Family Movie Night at the Parisian Theatre, where they will show “A Christmas Story” on Tuesday, December 20th at 1:30pm and 7pm. Tickets costs $10 per person and tickets are available at the door. For more information about the movie, you can call the Paris Henry County Arts Council at 642-3955.
Paris Woman Arrested for 2nd DUI After Wreck on Saturday
Paris, Tenn.- According to a report from the Paris Police Department, Sgt. Josh Frey arrested Shalene L. Humphreys, age 39 of 1415 North Market Street of Paris, on Saturday for driving under the influence and violation of implied consent.
Sgt. Frey responded to a call on Saturday night about a vehicle that had driven off the roadway into a ditch off Jane Street. When Sgt. Frey arrived at the scene he saw the driver of the vehicle was still in the driver’s seat and she was trying to get the car out of the ditch, but she was unable to do it because one tire was off the ground. When Sgt. Frey made contact with the driver identified as Humphreys her speech was slurred and Humphreys stated to police that she had been drinking earlier that night. Humphreys then refused to give a blood sample to police.
Sgt. Frey then placed Humphreys under arrest for violation of implied consent and her second DUI. Humphreys was placed on $5,000 bond.
BPU is Working to Restore Power to Areas Affected by the Storm
Henry County, Tenn.- All available BPU personnel have been dispatched to a portion of their outages. Currently they have 10 outages affecting approximately 233 people.
BPU will also be working to fix 3 broken poles that will be addressed tonight. BPU outages include areas in the Paris Landing area, New Boston Rd, Atlantic Ave, Reynoldsburg Rd, Bethesda Rd and Logan Rd. The heavy rains and strong winds can make it difficult to locate the cause of outages, so BPU is asking all customers to please be patience as they work to restore the electricity.
Cottage Grove Man Arrested for Two Counts of Forgery
Paris, Tenn.- According to reports from the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, Deputy David Andrews arrested Cody A. Dowdy, age 24 of 2619 HWY 140 North of Cottage Grove, on Friday for two counts of forgery and theft over $500.
Henry County Sheriff’s Department Investigator David Doyle took a complaint from the victim who stated that Dowdy wrote two checks to himself valued at $1,000 from the victim’s checking account. The victim told police that he didn’t give Dowdy the checks and the victim said he did not write either check, stating that both checks were forged.
Investigator Doyle issued warrants for Dowdy’s arrest for two counts of forgery. After warrants were issued for Dowdy’s arrest, Deputy David Andrews arrested Dowdy for two counts of forgery. Dowdy was placed on $7,500 bond.
A Christmas Carol- A Christmas Tradition at KPAC Dec. 22nd
Paris, Tenn.- A Christmas Carol - A Christmas Tradition is set for Thursday, December 22nd at 7:30pm at the Krider Performing Arts Center. Now in its fifth year, Jason Woods from Jacksonville, Florida will bring his acclaimed solo stage performance of Charles Dickens’ enduring classic A Christmas Carol to Paris.
Every detail comes to vibrant life in this 90-minute show that you don’t want to miss. This performance is suitable for adults and children ages 8 and up.
'Tis the Christmas Season at BPU's Christmas Open House
Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Board of Public Utilities will host their Christmas Open House on Thursday December 22nd from 8am to 2pm at their office located on Washington Street in downtown Paris. There will be Christmas Cider and snacks and everyone is invited to stop by BPU's Christmas Open House.
Paris Man Arrested After Routine Headlight Stop
Paris, Tenn.- According to a report from the Paris Police Department, Ptl. Tyrail Jackson arrested Dustin Wayne Carnley, age 32 of 514 Pitt Street of Paris, on Thursday for driving on a suspended license.
Ptl. Jackson was patrolling Washington Street when he observed a vehicle driving down the road with a headlight out. Ptl. Jackson conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle where he found that the driver of the vehicle identified as Carnley was driving on a revoked license. Carnley was placed on $750 bond.
Patriots and Lady Pats
Victorious over the Bulldogs
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Lady Patriots defeated the Milan Lady Bulldogs at home Friday night winning 54 to 33. Natiya Jumper led the Lady Patriots with14 points and Emily Gilstrap had 13 points. The Lady Patriots are 8-3 on the season and 2-0 in district play.
The Henry County Patriots defeated the Milan Bulldogs at home on Friday winning 66 to 45. James King led the Patriots with 11 points. The Patriots are now 6-4 on the season and 1-1 in district play.
Santa and Festival of Trees Coming to an End
(Cassie Walsh photo)
Paris, Tenn.- Don't forget this weekend is the last weekend to come by and see the Festival of Trees in which is located at old Murray-McKenzie Building at 110 W. Washington St in downtown Paris.
The Festival of Trees will be open Saturday from 10am to 2pm and on Sunday from 1pm to 4pm. There is a $1 donation asked to view Festival of Trees which runs until Sunday, December 18th.
This weekend will also be the last weekend to come by Santa’s Gingerbread House in Downtown Paris and have kids visit with Santa and let him know what they want for Christmas this year before he goes home to the North Pole. Kids can visit and take pictures with Santa on Saturday from 10am to 2pm and Sunday from 2pm to 4pm.
200 Kids Participated in the Cops & Kids Christmas Shopping Trip
Paris, Tenn.- In a press release from Chief Elizondo of the Paris Police Department, the Fraternal Order of Police wanted to say thanks to all of those who donated their time or money to support the Cops and Kids Christmas Shopping Trip.
Over 200 children from Henry County participated in this year’s event. So thank you to all who support and volunteer for the Cops and Kids Christmas Shopping Trip, which gives kids all across Henry County the chance to enjoy a little Christmas shopping and it makes a difference in the lives of those kids who get to see the true Christmas spirit.
9th Annual Shiver on the River Set for New Year's Day
Buchanan, Tenn.- The 9th Annual Shiver on the River Chillin for the Children event is set for New Year’s Day at 1:30pm at Paris Landing State Park Marina’s boat ramp. A $25 donation includes a plunge, or wading into the Lake, a souvenir shirt, and lunch at Paris Landing State Park. This is a fundraiser for the R.E.A.L. Hope Youth Center.
Trophies are awarded for the individual and group that raises the most sponsorship money, and for the most outrageous costume.
Non-participant t-shirts will be available for a $25 donation. For more information about Shiver on the River call 731-333-1320 or visit www.shiverontheriver.com.
News from past weeks here.