McNairy County News Current Headlines

From the August 12, 2010 edition

No Cars for Kids settlement

City rejects Cars for Kids settlement offer
The Selmer Mayor and Board of Aldermen met on Tuesday night for their monthly meeting.
After the opening prayer, Pledge of Allegiance, approval of the July minutes and department reports, the Cars for Kids settlement offer was discussed. “This is a mediation settlement for all victims and it must be voted on tonight in an open meeting. You either vote to accept it or reject it,” said City Attorney Terry Abernathy.
Mayor David Robinson asked if anyone would like to say anything before the vote. Jeff Sisk, whose wife was severely injured in the accident, came forward to address the Board with a prepared statement.
“I can’t erase the image of what happened to Shelia on June 16, 2006,” said Sisk, as he told about how his wife’s life was changed that day. “She’s had 18 surgeries. She had to learn to walk, talk and eat again. They only gave her a 5% chance to live. It’s changed our lives forever. Selmer has the chance to admit their responsibility in this and I hope justice is done.”
Lewis Cobb, an attorney for some of the victims, told the Board that he hoped they could find common ground and move on.
Steve Howell, attorney for Jeff and Shelia Sisk, and Amy Driskell, whose husband died in the accident, told the Board that each one wants to get on with their lives. He said Shelia Sisk had incurred over $400,000 in medical bills and Amy Driskell had over $175,000 in medical bills and had lost her husband as a result of this tragedy.
City Attorney Terry Abernathy then told the Board that they simply vote either yes or no to accept the settlement offer. On a roll call vote, the Board voted 3 to 2 not to accept the settlement offer of $600,000, which will most likely keep this case in court for some time.
Voting no were Edward Smith, John Finlayson, and Lloyd Tennyson. Voting yes to accept the settlement were Paul Simpson and John Smith.
Citizens address Board
Dr. Shawn Pitts addressed the Board in regards to securing $1,100 to establish a Civil War Marker for the town. The marker would be placed near the railroad tracks and would help draw tourists to the area, as the stop would be placed in brochures and added to the Tennessee Civil War Trails website. After some discussion the Board voted 3 to 2 to fund the marker and the $200 per year maintenance fee. Voting yes were, John Smith, John Finlayson, and Lloyd Tennyson. Voting no were Paul Simpson and Edward Smith.
Luke DeLaVergne of the Carl Perkins Center thanked the Board for all they do to help support the organization. The Carl Perkins Center in McNairy County helped 158 children and gave emergency assistance to 135 families last year. DeLaVergne also told the Board that the new Farmers Market should be complete by this week. It is located at the corner of Front Street and Warren Avenue.
Mable King came in front of the Board with a request to re-name a section of Falcon Street in honor of Professor William E. Ledbetter a long-time educator in McNairy County. After some discussion, and a suggestion by Mayor Robinson that it could ceremonially re-named without changing 911 addresses, Paul Simpson made a motion to re-name a section of Falcon Street to William E. Ledbetter Drive. The motion was seconded by Edward Smith and passed unanimously.
Old Business
The second reading of an Ordinance adopting a Compliance Manual regarding Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed by a unanimous vote.
New Business
C.L. Overman, representing Morgan Keegan, addressed the Board in regards to refinancing their existing debts. He noted the City could save around $400,000 by using his company. The Board voted to table the request until the next meeting.
The Board approved the first reading of an Ordinance to amend the text of the Selmer Municipal Zoning Ordinance and an Ordinance modifying multi-family requirements in the Central Business District, which would allow people to live over their businesses.
Paul Simpson next made a motion to amend a resolution concerning the photo-enforced fines for speeding and running the red light at the intersection. Simpson made a motion to drop the fines to $50. The motion was seconded by John Smith and passed by a 4-1 vote. Lloyd Tennyson voted no.
Bruce Manley addressed the Board and suggested the speed limit on Mulberry was too low at 30 mph and was designed for a two-lane road built years ago. The Board stated that they were checking with TDOT to see what could be done to raise the speed limit in that area. After some discussion on the radar machine the meeting came to a close.
Beer Board Meets
The Beer Board met immediately following the regular meeting. A permit was awarded to the new owner of the Citgo Station after Chief Burks notified the Board the owner met all the requirements. The vote was 4 to 1 with John Smith voting no.

New Sheriff in Town

41-ElectionPhoto by Tom Evans
Guy Buck (center), knowing he has a substantial lead with only a couple of boxes still uncounted, manages a smile last Thursday night.
Voter turnout is low!
Last Thursday’s election saw only about one third of McNairy County’s registered voters go to the polls. There were 6,088 people who voted. The number was almost 2,000 less than in the 2006 election.
With the offices of Trustee (Stanley Mitchell), Road Superintendent (Harvey Neal Smith), County Court Clerk (Ronnie Price), Circuit Court Clerk(Ronnie Brooks), and Resister of Deeds (Brian Dickey) being uncontested, many voters decided not to take the time to vote. Temperatures hovering around 100 degrees also didn’t help bring the voters out.
Ronnie Price was the top vote-getter in the election collecting 5,371 votes.
The big news of the election was the election of a new sheriff. Republican Guy Buck, age 43, defeated incumbent Sheriff Ricky Roten, a Democrat, by a total of 636 votes. Roten was named to the position in January of 2006 and later won a 4-year term that August. Buck carried every box in the county except Adamsville and Guys. Roten won Adamsville by 54 votes and he won Guys by 18 votes. Buck got strong support in Finger, Rose Creek, Michie and Selmer, as he pulled off the upset.
“I want to thank all the voters that looked at my qualifications and then went to the polls and cast their votes for me,” said Sheriff-elect Buck. “I want to make the McNairy County Sheriff’s Department a department everyone can be proud of and one that will be a model for other communities. It’s an honor to be chosen as your sheriff and I’m ready for the challenges that a job like this brings.”
Buck says he wants to examine the budget and find ways to cut costs and get more deputies out in the county. He plans to meet with the current officers to see how many are interested in working under his administration.
In the race for the County Mayor’s office, incumbent Mayor Jai Templeton won over challenger Brooks Ross by a total of 3,447 votes.
Three contested school board races were also on the ballot with incumbent Jean Jones defeating Dr. Martha Glover in the 6th District by 184 votes, a race that many felt would be much closer. In the 3rd District race, incumbent Tony Chapman defeated challenger Ann Ward by 108 votes. One of the closest races of the election and one that surprised many was the 5th District race for school board, where challenger Jarrell Stanfield defeated long-time incumbent Johnny Blakely by 46 votes.
In the race for County Commissioner, Kevin Lipford was elected in 3rd District and will join Troy Moore and Carol Ann Woods. Joe Robert Henry, the incumbent in that district was defeated by 27 votes by Troy Moore for the third seat.
In the 5th District, Brenda Cauley, Stevie Clark and Stan Wheeler were all re-elected, holding off challenger Matt Ernst. Billy Brown will be the new commissioner in the 6th District joining incumbents Wilburn Gene Ashe, and Neal Burks. Brown will fill the seat vacated by Anthony Knight who resigned a couple of months ago.
Steve Browder and Fred Carroll won the two vacant positions in the 2nd District. They will join incumbent Jeff Lipford. Commissioners in the 1st and 7th District had no challengers and were all re-elected.
Constables elected were; 1st District – Dustin Brown, 2nd District – Jerry Carroll, 3rd District – Dennis Miller, 4th District – Pee Wee Sowell, 5th District – Billy Jackson, 6th District – Bradley Huckabee and Perry Price, and 7th District – Michael Smith.

Flash Flood in Adamsville

41-news-FloodingPhoto by Tom Evans
Residents in Adamsville got their Monday off to a soggy start this week when around 4 inches of rain soaked the city in just under two hours, causing many areas to flood. The rains began around 6 a.m. and by the time students and teachers were heading to school many roads were under water. Areas near Adamsville Elementary were under water along with areas on Hwy 22, Barker Street and on Walnut Street near the Garan building. City worker had to bring out pumps to remove water from the building.

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Counterfeit $100 bills circulating
Business owners and others should be on the lookout for counterfeit $100 bills.
Marilyn Cagle, owner of Marilyn’s Market on Hwy 45 between Bethel and Finger, said she got one at her business last Saturday.
“The pen you use to detect counterfeit bills doesn’t work on these,” she said. The bills are printed over $5 bills and the pens think they’re real.”
She said after examining the bill more closely later in the day when she got ready to close up that she saw that the back of the bill was printed upside down.
Business owners and those holding yard sales should be careful when accepting large bills and examine them closely.

Dollar General plans to sell beer

Dollar General Stores plan to seek license to sell beer at three of their stores in McNairy County sometime in the future. The company wants to sell beer at their stores in Eastview, Bethel Springs, and Adamsville. Dollar General began selling beer at a few locations about two years ago on a trial basis. A timetable to apply for a beer license for the three locations in McNairy County has not been announced. Dollar General also has stores in McNairy County in Selmer, Michie and Milledgeville. Dollar General, based in Goodlettsville, TN has over 8,800 stores in 35 states and over 79,000 employees.

Fire at the Saw Meal Restaurant
41-news-Saw Meal FirePhoto by Tom Evans
The Adamsville Fire Department responded to a fire in the kitchen area of the Saw Meal Restaurant early Monday morning at around 7:30 a.m. The fire was quickly extinguished and damage was minimal.

Last meeting for 4 commissioners
The McNairy County Commission met on Monday night for their August meeting. There were 19 of the 20 Commissioners present.
After the opening prayer, led by Joe Robert Henry, and the Pledge of Allegiance, the minutes of the previous meeting were approved.
Cindy Kennedy, Director of McNairy County Solid Waste, gave an update on the debris removal from the May 2nd tornado, noting that 836 tons of C& D (construction & demolition) debris had been picked up and 8,334 tons of vegetation debris, which included limbs, trees, stumps, etc. had been picked up.
Road Superintendent Harvey Neal Smith told the Commission that in the county the third pass to remove the debris was completed on July 31st. The cost was a little under $250,000, which was lower that expected, and that a bill will be turned over to FEMA for the County to be reimbursed.
Mayor Jai Templeton informed the Commission of a Long Term Disaster Relief Committee that had been formed.
“We have some people that have formed a committee to help people that have been involved in disasters like the tornado,” said Mayor Templeton. “If any of you know of a need please let us know and we’ll try to help.”
Mayor Templeton then recognized the Commissioners that either decided not to seek re-election or were defeated in last Thursday’s election. The Mayor presented plaques for service to Larry Browning, Ronald Henry, Joe Robert Henry, Anthony Knight, and O.H. Freeland. Freeland was not present. Knight had resigned from his position a few months ago.
“We appreciate your service to the County and it’s been a pleasure to work and serve with you,” said Mayor Templeton.
Committee Reports
Jeff Lipford, Chairman of the Solid Waste Committee, informed the Commission that a new compactor that was approved at an earlier meeting, had been purchased for $102,500. It is now being used at the landfill and is really making a difference. Troy, Chairman of the Beer Board, reported that the Beer Board met and approved a permit for Linda Sue Miller to sell beer at Linda’s Place on Moose Lodge Road. “She met all the requirements and her permit has been approved,” said Moore. Jim Rickman, Chairman of the Budget Committee reported that McNairy County’s Soil Technician David Sparks was approved for a salary of $12,000. State and Federal matches made the salary $36,000, which saved the County money. Rickman proposed using that savings to give $6,500 to the Tennessee River Basin Authority. The motion passed unanimously. Larry Browning, Chairman of the Personnel Committee, told the Commission that the Personnel Policy had been updated. The motion to accept was unanimous. There was some discussion on a new policy aimed at requiring County employees receive their paychecks by direct deposit. Mayor Templeton stated that from a management standpoint it would be easier and if they did it they would have to do all or none. Employees are paid on the 25th of each month. After the discussion the motion was approved by a vote of 14 to 5.
Old Business
In Old Business, Maurice Hamm was appointed to the Airport Authority and Jeff Lipford (2nd District) and Linda Clayton (1st District) were appointed to the Library Board.
New Business
A resolution to apply for a Litter Grant was approved. Notaries of Public that were approved were; Garron Carlin, Amy Goodman, John Finlayson, Vonda Mathenia, and Andrea Littlejohn. With no further business the meeting was adjourned.