McNairy County News Current Headlines

From the July 22, 2010 edition

Selmer man dies after meth lab explosion

Photo Submitted
Jeffery Shane Stewart
Jeffery Shane Stewart, age 43 and a 1985 graduate of MCHS, died at the McNairy County Regional Hospital Monday from injuries he received in a methamphetamine lab explosion in Jackson on Sunday.
Madison County authorities said Stewart was injured at the Northside Motel at 3837 North Highland around noon Sunday when an explosion occurred in apartment 24, that he had been renting since July 2nd.
Stewart was transported to a home in McNairy County near Finger and later to the McNairy County Regional Hospital Monday morning.
Madison County Sheriff David Woolfork stated that two Jackson women, Kimberly Stricklin, age 38, and Robin Grooms, age 30, have been charged with accessory after the fact, manufacturing methamphetamine, and tampering with evidence. Officers said Stricklin and Grooms removed items from the room where the explosion occurred, transported Stewart to a home and then transported him to the McNairy Regional Hospital were he later died.
Stewart’s body has been sent to the forensic center in Memphis to determine the cause of death. He had previously been arrested in Shelby, Madison, and McNairy counties for various charges; including possession of cocaine, manufacturing meth, possession of controlled substances, possession of drug paraphernalia, domestic assault and possession.

Selmer Fire Dept. douses illegal burn
firePhoto by Alan Murray
Selmer firemen put out a fire on Sewell Road last Friday morning.

Illegal burning may result in hefty fine from EPA

The owners of a garage building at 230 Sewell Road in Selmer could be facing a fine of up to $25,000 after illegally burning the building last Friday morning.
According to Selmer Fire Chief Anthony Carr, the owners asked for permission to burn the building.
“I advised them that before the building could be burned that first they would have to remove all the shingles and siding because they contained petroleum products and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would not allow buildings with those products still attached to be burned,” said Chief Carr. “A short time later the owners went ahead and set the building on fire.”
Members of the EPA just happened to be in Selmer at the time and went to the fire, where they got the owners’ names and advised them that they would be getting a citation in the mail.
Chief Carr advises that before attempting any type of burning to first check with his office and make sure it’s legal and to have a burn permit or you could be facing a hefty fine.

Jesus Cares opens new office
jesus_caresPhoto Submitted
City and county officials, along with members of the Jesus Cares organization, were on-hand for Monday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Organization always looking for volunteers
Jesus Cares held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday to officially open their new office building on Court Avenue in Selmer. The organization recently purchased the former Selmer Pool Hall building and has been in the process of remodeling it for the past several weeks.
Jesus Cares is a ministry that is supported by 41 churches in the county, and numerous people who are willing to help their fellow man when they need a hand up.
Jesus Cares helps clients with food, clothing, medical care, rent, utilities and other needs, but there are certain guidelines that must be followed and met. The organization’s purpose is to help people that are going through tough times and may be down on their luck. The people they help though must also make efforts to help themselves.
“We are always looking for volunteers to help us,” said Jim Gray, one of the Jesus Cares founders. “This entire organization is run by volunteers and we always need more. If anyone would like to help us out they can call us at 645-4388. Some of the requirements for volunteers are; we ask that they pray for this ministry and the people we will be serving, be committed when you say you will work and be on time, be polite with clients, dress appropriately, and keep client information confidential.”
Gray was excited about the new office location and what it could mean to the organization.
“We’ll have a lot more room to interview clients who need help,” said Gray. “We’re going to have an area in the back where we can go through items that are donated and get them ready to go to the Jesus Cares Thrift Store across the street. Items that can’t be sold in the thrift store will go to third world countries that are desperately in need of clothing. Jesus Cares gave out over $85,000 in assistance to McNairy County people in need last year and we’re going to go over $100,000 this year.”
The Jesus Cares Thrift Store brings in around $700 per week, but that’s not anywhere close to being enough to help all those needing help. If you have items that you would like to donate to the thrift store, would like to make a monetary donation, or would just like to volunteer some of your time Jesus Cares would appreciate anything you could do.
If you can’t do any of those, why not just PRAY for this outstanding ministry. They are working hard to make a difference in the lives of people who need a hand-up, not a hand-out.
Call the Jesus Cares office at 645-4388. Jim Gray, Jimmy Whittington, or any of the Jesus Cares volunteers will be glad to explain how you can help others.

You can vote early!

votingPhoto by Tom Evans
Tammy Dillon takes advantage of Early Voting.
Want to avoid the lines at the polls in a couple of weeks?
Early voting for the August 5th election began last Friday morning, with a good turnout in the first couple of hours.
Early voting will continue through Saturday, July 31st.
You can vote at the McNairy County Election Office in the basement of the Courthouse from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until noon.
At the end of the day on Tuesday, 594 had taken advantage of voting early.
Those wishing to vote absentee ballot must call the McNairy County Election Commission Office at 645-6432 and request that a ballot be mailed to them. They must also state their reason for needing to vote absentee. The ballot must be requested at least seven days prior to the election.
Once they receive their ballot it must be returned to the Election Commission Office before election day.

Taking care of our history

archivesPhoto by Tom Evans
From left to right: Dorothy Smith, Nancy Kennedy and Helen King.

By BILL WAGONER, County Historian & Records Committee Member
Thanks are in order to Nancy Kennedy, Dorothy Smith, and Helen King. Thanks to these three ladies the records of McNairy County, and the historical paper trail that records represent, are alive and well in the basement of the Courthouse. Through their efforts these valuable records are no longer scattered in a litter box of un-kept, un-filed, area of a dank and dark room.
The records are no longer unattended and ignored as they were prior to Kennedy’s entry as the keeper of the county’s “history on paper.”
We should all give these ladies our thanks and approval for their efforts, most of all, Kennedy should be rewarded and funds earmarked for this valuable asset in county affairs.
The truth is, the County Commission should take this matter in hand, and show proper financial support for this cause. This is a valuable service for McNairy County.
Thanks to Kennedy and her co-workers our records are no longer unattended and looted on a daily basis. She and her staff need more support.
The records in the archive office, date back to 1855 - 56. You can find county and chancery court records, minutes of county meetings, land records, marriage records, and school records dating back to 1921. The room also contains 50 years of newspapers.
“When I started archiving and organizing this stuff back in 1995 it was a real mess,” said Kennedy. “It’s taken a long time to get it like it is now and there’s still a lot that needs to be done. We really need more space.”
The archive room is one of the most popular places for tourists to visit in the county.
“We have people from all over the United States visit us,” said Kennedy. “They come looking for old marriage records, land records and tax records.”
The archive room also has several books on county history for sale and they have CDs that contain various records for sale.
Anyone needing more information about the services they offer can call them at 645-7095.
Hopefully the members of the County Commission can find a way to fund this important and historical service provided by Nancy Kennedy, Dorothy Smith, and Helen King. History must be preserved for future generations!

Adamsville City Meeting
Land donated for school; Citizen wants liquor store on referendum
The Adamsville City Commission met on Monday night for their July meeting.
In the Financial Report, Terry Thrasher told the Commission that revenues were down some but they had tried to keep expenditures down to match them.
Danny Daniels, head of the Building and Enforcement Codes, answered a question from Commissioner Garrison about new homes built in Adamsville since 2000. Daniels told the Commission that 100 homes and 30 manufactured homes had been built in the past ten years.
A lengthy discussion then got underway about tax rates, raising taxes and how to bring in more revenue. Commissioner Garrison noted that if the City was going after a new school, downtown parking and other things that they were going to need more money. She suggested going up a little at a time instead of all at once. Commissioner Matt Wood stated that the economy is tight and he felt the City didn’t need to burden the citizens with any type of tax increase.
In Old Business, the Commission approved the 2nd reading of the Business Tax Ordinance and the 2nd reading of the 2010 – 2011 Budget.
In New Business, Bill Griggs of Griggs & Maloney Engineers addressed the Commission stating that his firm had helped the City receive a Safe Sidewalks to Schools Grant in the amount of $250,000. The money would be used to build sidewalks from Main Street to the Adamsville Elementary School and then on to the Buford Pusser Museum and the Park. Griggs also suggested that the City get a 10-year plan ready in hopes of getting more grants and hire an engineer and stick with them.
Commissioner Mark Massey asked Griggs his thoughts on the Garan building. Griggs stated that he felt the City should try to find an industry to go in the building and bring jobs to Adamsville instead of turning it into a community center if at all possible.
Mayor David Leckner informed the Commission that the City had been in discussions with at least two industries that were interested in Adamsville.
The Commission approved opening a new bank CDBG bank account. The first reading of a new Slum Clearance Ordinance was passed. Danny Daniels noted that the City now has around 40 properties that need cleaning up. Property owners are sent letters and given time to clean them up. They are then turned over to the Planning Commission and later their names are published in the newspaper noting that action will be taken.
A motion to enact a Meter Amortization of $1 per gas meter and $1 per water meter was tabled until it could be put in writing that the money could be placed in the general fund. The Meter Amortization would bring in an estimated $64,000 per year and would come from all those using City services not just those living in the City.
Commissioner Garrison addressed the problem of erosion in the Adamsville Cemetery and what could be done to stop it.
The Commission recognized Luke DeLavergne of the Carl Perkins Child Abuse Center and thanked him for the work he does in the county. He also thanked the Commission for their support and gave a printout of how the money they receive is spent.
Citizens Give Input
Mayor Leckner informed the Commission that land had been donated for a new school and possibly a new park.
He asked if anyone in the audience had anything to bring before the Commission. Mrs. Altha Lane wanted to know about the weather sirens and Mayor Leckner assured her they were working on the problem.
Chris Plunk told the Commission that he would like to see a liquor store in Adamsville because of the added tax revenue it could bring in. “Are you leading the charge to get this put on a referendum,” asked Mayor Leckner. “Yes,” said Plunk. “There’s people in this county driving to Savannah and Jackson every day and buying liquor and giving them tax money. I’d like to see them spend it here in Adamsville and all the money go to building schools. There’s nobody holding a gun to a person’s head and making them buy liquor. If they want it then they’re going to get it. Why not take advantage of that and use the money for our schools.”
According to Plunk, even though McNairy County is a “dry” county, Adamsville is a sovereign city and the decision could be placed on a referendum to be voted on by the citizens.
In other action Jim Edwards asked the Commission if a water line was going to be run down Sycamore Drive. The Commission gave Paul Wallace Plunk the authority to run the 4-inch line approximately .8 of a mile in length at a cost of around $14,000, since there would be enough customers to make it feasible.
With no further business the meeting was adjourned.

Body recovered at Pickwick Lake 

The body of a missing boater was recovered by the Hardin County Fire Department’s Dive Team at approximately 2 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.
According to initial reports, the department was dispatched towards the Bruton Branch area of Pickwick Lake earlier Tuesday after a boat was found at around 10 a.m. that morning.
The name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of family.

Hardin County Grand Jury returns 78 indictments 

The July term of the Hardin County Grand Jury met on Monday and returned 78 indictments. Out of the 78 there were 42 for drug related offenses.
Other indictments included two for murder, burglary, rape of a child, DUI, theft, and various other offenses.
Visit for a complete list of those arrested and their charges.