McNairy County News Current Headlines

From the June 3, 2010 edition

Collision with car injures bicycle rider
bicyclePhoto by Tom Evans
Emergency workers respond to the scene of an accident on Wednesday where a child on a bicycle was struck by a car at the interesection of Oak St. and Poplar Ave.

EMS, first responders and the Selmer Police were called to the scene of an accident on Wednesday afternoon when a child riding a bicycle was struck by a car at the intersection of Oak Street and Poplar Avenue in Selmer.

The child was transported to the hospital. The extent of his injuries, were unknown at press time.

Buford Pusser festival
lawmanPhoto by Tom Evans
This year’s winner of the National Lawman of the Year award was John Cary Bittick, Sheriff of Monroe County Georgia. He is in his 25th year as sheriff. Sheriff Bittick’s father and grandfather were both former sheriffs. His grandfather served 30 years as sheriff and his father served 22 years. He started his law enforcement career in 1983 and has steadily made improvements to his department. “This is a great honor and I’m happy to be here today,” said Sheriff Bittick. “Buford Pusser was a true lawman and someone we all admired.” From left to right: Adamsville Police Chief Bill McCall, Sheriff Bittick, Dwana Pusser Garrison, and McNairy County Sheriff Ricky Roten.

It was a fun time throughout the week last week as the 22nd Annual Buford Pusser Festival was held in Adamsville. Music, carnival rides, a beauty pageant, wrestling, a 5-K race, antique car show, parade, and great food were some of the things enjoyed by those in attendance.
There was also the announcement of the National Lawman of the Year, Local Lawman of the Year and other awards and presentations made.
A special thanks to all those who attended and all those responsible for making the festival a huge success.

local_lawmanPhoto by Tom Evans
The Local Law Enforcement Officer of the Year was Don Purvis of Henderson. Officer Purvis and his partner Officer Cagle were dispatched to a robbery last December in Henderson and Officer Cagle was killed during a shootout with the robbers. “Officer Cagle saved my life that night,” said Officer Purvis. “He’s the reason I’m here today.” Members of Officer Cagle’s family were on hand for the ceremony along with family members of a Spring Hill police officer who was killed while on duty.
deweyPhoto by Tom Evans
On Saturday afternoon the new “Home of Daddy-O-Dewey Phillips, Rock-N-Roll Pioneer, Tell Em Phillips Sent Ya” signs were unveiled in a ceremony at the pavilion. Dewey Phillips’ sister, his son Jerry Phillips, grandson and Jerry Phillips son of Sun Studio’s Sam Phillips were all on hand for the unveiling. The signs have already been erected at four locations coming into the Adamsville City Limits.
killingsworthPhoto by Tom Evans
During the Clay Wagoner Memorial Bluegrass Show on Saturday afternoon State Rep. Vance Dennis made a presentation to Lt. David Killingsworth of the Tennessee Highway Patrol for his 30 years of outstanding service and also for his work in playing and keeping Bluegrass music alive.
“It’s a privilege to honor a man of Lt. Killingsworth’s character and dedication,” said Rep. Dennis.
bill_wagoner_awardPhoto by Tom Evans
Bill Wagoner, longtime publisher and owner of the Community Shopper, was honored with a Hometown Hero Award by Dwana Pusser Garrison. “You have meant so much to me and my family and I appreciate all you’ve done to preserve history over the past 30 or so years,” said Dwana. Wagoner, who is also a talented musician and the founder of the Clay Wagoner Memorial Bluegrass Show, spoke briefly on Buford Pusser and his time as sheriff.

Come on in, the water’s fine!

poolPhoto by Tom Evans
Selmer Pool is open for the summer
The Selmer City Pool recently opened for the summer. The pool will be open Tuesday – Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 – 5 p.m. They are closed on Monday.
The cost is $5 for swimming or $3 for general admission.
For more info on pool parties for special occasions or other questions call Elizabeth at 610-6063.

Savage pleads guilty to 2nd degree murder
Photo Submitted
Sharrie Denise Savage.

Sharrie Denise Savage, age 52, was arrested last May and charged with the murder of her elderly neighbor, JoEtta McClain, who had been stabbed multiple times.
Last Thursday, Savage pled guilty to second-degree murder and one count of tampering with evidence in a negotiated plea deal with the District Attorney’s Office.
Savage, who was being held on a $1 million bond, had been charged with felony murder, aggravated burglary and tampering with evidence. Her trial was scheduled to begin on June 8.
Prosecutors believe the plea deal was the best resolution, given the evidence in the case. They believe that Savage robbed McClain, leading to the felony murder charge, but proving it in court might have been difficult.
Savage was sentenced to 15 years at 100 percent on her plea of second-degree murder. She will also have to serve a consecutive 6-year sentence on the tampering with evidence charge at 35 percent. She could become eligible for parole in around 17 years or at age 69, but could serve as many as 19 to 20 years.
Savage has a long history of trouble with the law, having been booked into the McNairy County Jail at least 35 times.

Old Purdy Trade Day
The May tornado hit parts of Purdy hard, but the citizens’ spirit is still strong.
They are rebuilding and this Friday and Saturday, June 4th and 5th, the town of Purdy will have their annual “Old Purdy Trade Day” at the new Purdy Community Center under construction on Gann Road.
Everyone is invited to come out and enjoy the fun. They will have music on both Friday and Saturday and a cakewalk on Friday night at 7 p.m.
You can enjoy hamburgers, hot dogs and on Saturday they will have bar-b-que by Stanley Chambers. Bring items you want to sell or trade--set up is free. Come and bring your lawn chairs and help them raise money to finish their community center.
For more info, call 645-3777 or 934-4833.
Early History of Purdy
Purdy is located 3.5 miles northeast of Selmer. The town was named for John Purdy, a government surveyor, who laid out the town lots.
Purdy was located along a stage road that ran from Nashville to Mississippi. A courthouse was built in 1831 and Purdy was the county seat until 1890.
In 1855, citizens of Purdy failed to support $100,000 in subscriptions needed for the Mobile & Ohio Railroad to built a line through the town. The railroad eventually went through neighboring Selmer, the county seat was moved there, and the town of Purdy slowly began to decline.
In 1863, Purdy was burned by Fielding Hurst, a Purdy citizen and Union officer. He burned the entire town except for his house, the Hurst Mansion. The mansion was later purchased by the Dodd family and remains one of the oldest buildings in McNairy County.
Hurst was appointed as a judge following the war and many of the educated Confederate sympathizers that lived in the Purdy area moved away, which further led to the decline of the town.
Today, Purdy is a quiet rural community showing little signs of a once thriving area that was home to the biggest town and most happening place in McNairy County. This weekend’s “Old Purdy Trade Days” will seek to revive some of that lost excitement.

McNairy County Alliance recognized

Economic and community development partnership wins Southern Growth Policies Board Innovator Award.
McNairy County Alliance recently participated in an economic and community development initiative that has been awarded a 2010 Innovator Award from the Southern Growth Policies Board, a public policy think tank based in North Carolina.
The award-winning initiative, managed by the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence and Tennessee’s Three-Star Program, helps communities apply the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, a proven tool used by international corporations like FedEx and Caterpillar Financial Services. Using the Baldrige Criteria, communities engage in an in-depth assessment process that identifies strengths and opportunities for improvement. The communities then use what they’ve learned to strengthen strategic plans and bolster economic development initiatives.
McNairy County is among the communities that have completed an assessment, benefitting from the partnership’s initiative. In the process, McNairy County Alliance earned a Level One Award, presented by the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence.
“I know there could not be a more deserving honoree, and I congratulate Three-Star and TNCPE for a job well done,” Tennessee Commissioner of Economic and Community Development Matt Kisber said. “We at the state value this partnership immensely, and their demonstrated commitment to excellence bodes very well for the long-term economic health of Tennessee.”
The Southern Growth Innovator Awards are presented annually to one organization in each of Southern Growth’s 13 member states in recognition of initiatives that are improving economic opportunities and quality of life in the region. The 2010 Innovator Awards were chosen from creative initiatives in the region that aim to help communities recover from the recession.

McWherter vists McNairy County
mcwherterPhoto submitted
Mike McWherter (left center) visits with Wayne Elam (right) and Steve Browder (right center).

Mike McWherter, candidate for Governor recently attended a BBQ fundraiser in Ramer at Wayne Elam’s Country Store.
There was a large crowd on hand to listen to Mike McWherter discuss the issues in the Governor’s race. Mike McWherter is a small business owner from Jackson and the son of former Governor Ned Ray McWherter. Mike plans to focus on jobs and education.
If elected Governor, Mike will work to ensure Tennesseans have access to affordable, quality health care.
He will follow the examples of his father, former Governor Ned McWherter, and Governor Phil Bredesen by standing up for working families and applying his common-sense business experience to State Government.
Mike currently resides in Jackson with his wife, Mary Jane, and their children, Walker and Bess.