Last Saturday the 6th Annual Rockabilly Highway Revival took over the streets of Downtown Selmer. Residents enjoyed meeting up with their local political candidates, as well as shopping at all of the booths which offered food, crafts and more. Several bands including the two Headliners Harry Fontana, and The Eskimo Brothers took the stage throughout the day.
The McNairy Co. Republican Party held their Reagan Day Dinner at the Crazy K Ranch in Michie last Monday night. Dozens of elected officials, candidates and other local dignitaries were in attendance at the event including Congressman Marsha Blackburn who was the keynote speaker. Blackburn told the IA in an interview at the event that she was honored to represent the voters of McNairy County and grateful for the opportunity to serve them. She said that she hoped to be able to meet many more county voters during the election cycle, and shake their hands to ask for their vote.
Families enjoy a little fun in the sun, and some time in the water as the Selmer City Pool is now open and ready for families to enjoy.
The Town of Bethel Springs has endured troubling times of late.
In addition to the continuing recovery efforts from the 2013 tornado which battered the small town, residents are dealing with an expensive sewer project which suffers from mountains of unpaid residential bills which has now caused paying customer’s bills to skyrocket.
The reduction of traffic due to the bypass caused many of the businesses to leave Bethel. Rental properties sit vacant due to the high water rates, Main Street in downtown is in disrepair, and overall property values continue to sink.
The combined effects of all of these factors have been strangling the town for years.
Looking at the town in the beginning of 2014, it appeared that hope, like the town itself, was beginning to fade away.
However, anyone who knows the people of Bethel Springs, should know they are not the type of people who will go down without a fight.
Recently, citizens concerned with the state of the town, have come to its defense. Not content to sit back and watch the town they love die, several investors have stepped up and begun fighting for the very survival of Bethel Springs.
In just a short period of time (the last 6-8 months), the town has begun a Business and Cultural Renaissance that has a lot of people talking.
Spurred on by local investors, local government reinvestment in the town’s infrastructure, and the desire of its citizens once again see their town thrive.
The town’s mayor and long-time resident Kay Cox credited Gary Bizzell Sr. and Lew Perrigo with beginning the town’s recent revival.
At the time, the only retail store in operation in the town was the Dollar General on the Highway 45 bypass. The two men opened what were then the town’s only restaurant and convenience stores just months apart.
Cox said that after the two men opened their businesses in the town, others began to take notice.
The Adamsville Junior/Senior High School Cardinal Marching Band have turned a lot of heads winning state titles on an almost annual basis.
This year, the Cardinal Band has turned so many heads they were invited by Congressman Marsha Blackburn to perform in the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington D.C.
On May 26, the AJSHS Band after many long hours of fund raising and hard work finally got to perform in the Memorial Day Parade.
Selmer Utility Division workers replace water valves along Court Avenue in Selmer. The division said that the valves would not shut off last Thursday. No water customers lost service according to SUD Director Richard Ashe. “We had a couple of water valves that would not cut off completely and we are updating--putting in new ones where we don’t have that issue (any) more,” Ashe said.
Adamsville and McNairy Central high schools held their respective graduation ceremonies last Thursday and Friday. At the weekend events, 266 local students received their diplomas and began the next stage of their lives. The Independent Appeal would like to congratulate all of this year’s graduates. See our Graduation Special Section inside for complete coverage of these events.
Two people were injured in a three-car crash on May 20 at the North Y in Selmer. Gordon A. Yopp, 72 and Cathryn Yopp, 94, both of Selmer were transported by Emergency Medical Services ambulance to McNairy Regional Hospital. Patricia Diane Anthony, 30, of West Cherry Apartments in Selmer, was cited for driving while under the influence, possession of a schedule IV drug, illegal possession of a legend (prescription) drug, vehicular assault and driving on a revoked license. According to a report by Sgt. Ted Roberts of the Selmer Police Department, who responded to the accident, a witness told him that Anthony, in a blue 2006 Oldsmobile Intrigue was traveling west bound approaching the intersection of West Court Avenue and Peach Street. A silver 2005 Volvo XC7 driven by Gordon was stopped at the traffic light in the same lane as the Oldsmobile. Cathryn was a passenger in this vehicle. Martha R. Edwards, 90, of Selmer, was driving a red 1991 Chevrolet S10 pickup truck southeast from Peach Street to West Court, as she had the green light. Anthony was suspected of being under the influence of narcotics and did not stop at the red light. The Oldsmobile rear-ended the Volvo forcing it into the S10. The Oldsmobile continued forward, coming to rest at Hickory Street. There was no indication, according to the report, that Anthony ever braked and a witness stated she was speeding as well. MRH has told the Independent Appeal in the past that it is against their policy to divulge the condition of patients.
Dozens of veterans, family members, friends and supporters of the military from the McNairy County area came out on Memorial Day morning to remember our fallen troops and the sacrifice each of them have made to preserve our freedom. Commander John Anderson of Post 162 (Selmer) American Legion opened the ceremony. Anderson introduced the keynote speaker and Operation Enduring Freedom veteran, Col. John Rhodes of the U.S. Army Guard from Corinth, Miss. During the ceremony, the American Legion Auxiliary led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance just before McNairy County Girl Scout Jewell Cooper placed a wreath at the war memorial on the courthouse steps. Cooper was escorted by Selmer Boy Scouts Matthew Williams and Wesley Moore.
Ramer held its Spring Festival last Saturday at the Ramer Ball Park. There was an antique tractor pull, an antique tractor show, face painting, a rock climbing wall, a bounce house, food and drinks. The tractor pull was sponsored by the Dixie Iron Tractor Club. Several local candidates were on hand to talk to voters. Ronnie Brooks and Larry Smith who are running for Mayor, Sheriff Guy Buck, Judge Van McMahan and Terry Wood, who are running for General Sessions Judge, Sammy Hill and Harvey Neal Smith, who are running for Road Commissioner, and Jarrell Stanfield, who is running for reelection to the school board, were all there. Ramer Mayor George Armstrong, City Commissioner Kendall Summers, Ramer Ruritan Club President Wayne Elam and others were on hand to oversee the event.
The Eastview Board of Aldermen accepted Redmon Asphalt’s $14,000 bid to repave the tennis courts at its May 20 meeting.
The Adamsville Lady Cardinals were able to win the Region 8A Championship against Trinity Christian, but fell short against McKenzie in sub-state.
Trinity Christian 4
Parker Davis got the call in the circle for the Lady Cardinals when they faced off against the Lady Lions in the Region 8A championship game.
It is a long way from Ramer Elementary School to Oakland, calif.
For county native and former Ramer Elementary Student, Rob Henry, the journey has taken nearly 20 years crossing through home football fields in Mississippi, Florida and Indiana.
The Former Purdue quarterback is a native of Guys, who, following an outstanding high school career in Florida, made his way to play quarterback at the storied Division I football program.
Following his college career, Henry said that he was contacted by several NFL teams. Ironically the Raiders contacted him last, just a few days before the draft began.
During the draft, Henry watched as teams made their draft selections but he went undrafted through the final rounds.
“About 30 minutes following the draft (the Raiders) called me up and that was it,” Henry said in a interview from Los Angelas International Airport on route to Oakland. “It was a dream come true. Now I am out here and ready to go to mini-camp.”
(Left) Dwana Pusser daughter of legendary Walking Tall Sheriff Buford Pusser and Adamsville Mayor David Leckner congratulate the national police officer of the year Madison County Tennessee elected Constable Frankie Lax of Jackson, Tenn. (Right) along with local officer of the year McNairy County deputy sheriff Keenan Lamberth at the 26th Annual Sheriff Buford Pusser festival in Adamsville.
The 26th Annual Buford Pusser Festival was held last week. The four-day event filled the Adamsville Park and featured live entertainment, food, a full midway and daily events. On Saturday, the last day of the event, residents flocked to the event despite heavy morning rain. All events went ahead as scheduled except for The Buford Pusser Car Show scheduled for last Saturday which has been rescheduled for this Saturday at the old Garan parking lot behind Jack’s in Adamsville. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and there is a $25 entry fee. Everyone will receive a plaque with either gold, silver or bronze level and the first 100 entries receive a t-shirt. Best of Show and Sponsor Choice trophies are also available. The Joe Rickman Band with Lloyd, Brenda and Andy Watkins will play from 11 a.m.-1pm. Party Jumper for the kids. Delicious hamburgers by the Shiloh Area Street Rod Club. For more information, call 731-697-9149.
Last Friday, the Selmer Jaycees with President Jason Garrett and several other members hosted the Mother/Son dance in preparation for the upcoming Mother’s Day Holiday. Dozens of young men came out with their mothers to celebrate the event and enjoyed games, dancing, snacks and door prizes.
New McNairy Central High coach Chad Hodge in a rousing and emotional speech to the Gridiron Association last Thursday, in Selmer, vowed to turn the MCHS football program around.
Director of Schools John Prince called Hodge the obvious choice and Hodge showed why in his remarks to the enthusiastic crowd that packed the MCHS commons.
“This is a good crowd to see in the commons and we just hope that you keep this up through the season. We’ve got us a winning coach,” said MCHS Principal Mickey Murphy.
Hodge was chosen from a pool of 20 applicants, Murphy said. Of the 20, five were interviewed. After Hodge was interviewed, the four people on the committee agreed they had found the new coach.
Hodge said the thing he likes to bring out in kids is to do things they do not know they can.
Teams coached by Hodge have not missed the second round of the playoffs since 2005.
“If you want to turn a program around, you’d better start shutting people down,” Hodge said, emphasizing defense.
Hodge vowed to beat MCHS archrival Adamsville High School.
“That’s going to start happening here. It’s going to start this year. It’s just going to repeat itself so many times, they won’t even want to play us anymore,” Hodge predicted.
“These kids are going to have my passion—my excitement. It’s just boiling right now. I can feel it. Other people are telling me they can feel it. It’s going to be so awesome,” Hodge said.
Hodge also vowed to defeat district rival Lexington and told its coach so.
“You might as well get ready because I’m going to shut you down,” Hodge recounted.
Hodge said if his new team was healthy and did what he told them to do, they would go to the second round or beyond in the state playoffs.
“I want to win every game. I don’t care who we play. If the Tennessee Titans roll into McNairy and want to play us. Let’s suit up and let’s do it, Let’s do it now because I tell you what our boys are going to smack you in the mouth and we’re going to score on you, too. We’re going to have fun doing it,” Hodge said.
One change Hodge predicted was that the Bobcats will finish games this year. The goal for the team will be to hold opponents to single digits while scoring 30 or 40 points, Hodge said.
Hodge is not only a football coach but an accomplished academic instructor.
“I’m excited to work with the faculty here, the coaching staff, the community. I believe in education,” Hodge said.
Hodge also believes that education should build character.
“You’re not only learning academics, but how to mold yourself into an adult and learn how to deal with other people...and how to make hard decisions,” Hodge said.
“These kids who come to my classroom— they’re going to be working and learning,” Hodge said.
Hodge said there was no down time in his classroom. Students will be learning constantly and enjoying it.
“I am going to hold these boys to a higher standard,” Hodge said about his players.
“It’s obvious what is going on here now and it’s only going to get bigger,” Hodge said.
Hodge predicted the crowd at the next Gridiron meeting would be even larger.
“Every meeting we have, I want to see more people,” Hodge said.
Hodge said he wants people who do not even live in McNairy County to come to the meetings.
One of Hodge’s goals is to raise the funds for a new field house.
“We do need a new field house and it’s coming...and I’m going to need your help to do it,” Hodge said.
Hodge predicted that some of the money will be raised by winning playoff games.
Hodge told the crowd that they will want to watch practice.
Larron King’s family poses for a picture at the dedication of the Larron King Highway near Selmer last Monday. The Larron King Highway is located near the intersection of Highway 45 and Rose Creek Road. County Mayor Ronnie Brooks called this a very special day and long overdue. Also present were Selmer Mayor John Smith, Sheriff Guy Buck, General Sessions Judge Van McMahan, Circuit Court Clerk Byron Maxedon, Road Commissioner Harvey Neal Smith, school board member and candidate for County Mayor Larry Smith, Road Commissioner candidate Sammy Hill, former County Mayor and Executive Director of the Southwest Human Resources Agency, Mike Smith, King’s family and friends. King died in May 2012 due to injuries sustained in an auto accident a month earlier. King is well known throughout much of West Tennessee for the years of work he and his family members have contributed to the Memphis Ronald McDonald House through Lauren King Ministries.
The Adamsville Lady Cardinals are District 15A champions. The Lady Cards were able to defeat Riverside on the road, before winning the district title against the Trinity Christian Lions at home.
The Lady Cardinals made the trip to Parsons, Tenn. to take on the Riverside Lady Panthers in the second round of the District 15A tournament.
Adamsville got off to a good start
What began as a pursuit of three suspects in Mississippi ended with an arrest by the McNairy County Sheriff’s Department following four-hour manhunt along the state-line area in Guys last Wednesday.
Lionel Staton, Aaron Hicks and Allison Jourdan were captured during the search with Jourdan and Hicks facing charges of felony credit card fraud in Mississippi and Stanton facing charges of hindering the prosecution said Detective Sgt. Frederick Serio with the Corinth Police Department.
According the Sheriff Guy Buck, the Corinth, Miss. Police were pursuing the three suspects as they fled across the border
The Buford Pusser Festival will be held in Adamsville from May 11 to May 17, again during National Police Week.
The first event is the Buford Pusser Beauty Pageant, which will be held at 2 p.m. on May 11 at the Adamsville Community Center.
May 14 is the Gospel Night Celebrations, hosted by Atoyia Barnes at the Adamsville City Park Pavillion.
As of last Monday the schedule was still being put together by Buford Pusser’s daughter Dwana Pusser Garrison for the May 15 Gospel Night Celebrations, according to Buford Pusser Home and Museum Curator Julia Stevens.
McNairy Central will introduce their new football coach on Thursday at the Gridiron Association meeting at 5:30 p.m. in the MCHS Commons. An excited group of Bobcats fans will be on hand to welcome new coach Chad Hodge to the Blue Nation.
McNairy County Director of Schools John Prince said there 20 high quality coaches that applied for the position. There were five finalists interviewed last Monday and the decision was announced last Tuesday.
Hodge, was most recently the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for the Dresden Lions. He hails from Bruceton where he played under coach Rod Sturdivant. Hodge has 13 years of experience coaching football, and his tenure includes stops at Henry County High School and Dresden. While at Henry County, Hodge served as assistant head coach under Joe Gaddis, one of the premier head coaches in Tennessee. Coach Hodge’s overall record as a coordinator is 90-27, while winning 18 of 27 playoff games.
Coach Hodge was an assistant at Dresden under his brother Keith Hodge, who left Dresden after this past season to become head coach at Murray High in Kentucky.
The new head coach is ready to go to work for the Bobcats and begin getting ready for the 2014 season.
“Chad displays the passion, work ethic and drive that we want for the football program at McNairy Central,” commented Prince. “He has coached at two programs that were in low spots when he got there and helped them become shining spots in West Tennessee football.”
Charlie Dampeer was told last month that his contract was not going to be renewed for next year. The Bobcats were 3-7 last season and 5-15 in Dampeer’s two seasons as coach of the Bobcats.
“We wish Coach Dampeer the best in his next endeavor,” said Prince. “We felt the football program at McNairy Central needed a new sense of urgency and that tone has to be set by the head coach.”
The Bobcats new coach will have to reverse a program that has posted five straight losing seasons. McNairy last had a winning season in 2008.
It appears that McNairy County dodged a bullet early this week as a strong series of storms moved through McNairy County beginning last Sunday night and extending into Tuesday.
As of press time the storms had spawned more than 106 tornados and claimed more than 28 lives in several states.
The storms began west of the Mississippi River on Sunday as 30 tornados struck in several western states claiming more 16 lives. As the storms moved into Mississippi and Alabama on Monday, another round of 58 tornados brought destruction to those states including a mile-wide tornado which struck the commercial district of Tupelo, Miss. near the city’s mall. The shopping area, popular with McNairy County shoppers, on Tupelo’s northern edge sustained severe damage. Several popular restaurants, stores and hotels were completely destroyed in the storm.