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(Friday, February 27th )

Vehicle Fire at Cash Express in McKenzie

Car fire - Highland Drive - Extension into passenger compartment and undercarriage—firefighter Austin Bennett (McK FD Photo)

McKenzie, Tenn - Patrons of Cash Express in McKenzie notified the McKenzie Fire department on Wednesday in regards to a smoking vehicle in front of the business.

Car fire - Highland Drive - Using the spreader to open the dash, looking for hidden fire—(L - Firefighter Tim Marr) (McK FD Photo)

Upon arrival, the fire was located in the engine compartment with extension into the passenger compartment. The fire was quickly extinguished using a 1.75” attack line.  

Rep. Holt: Republicans & Democrats join forces to outlaw traffic cameras 

   Rep. Andy Holt                Sen. Lee Harris

(Photos courtesy of Andy Holt)

NASHVILLE, February 26, 2015-- Newly elected Senator Lee Harris (D-Memphis) and I would seem like total polar opposites politically. He's from the big city of Memphis; I'm from a small town in rural Tennessee; He's a Democrat, I'm a Republican; He's black, I'm white; He's in the Senate, I'm in the House. Unfortunately, many would draw a seemingly logical conclusion that we don't like each other-- that we would seek to oppose and discredit one another. Given the national political environment, it is an easy assumption to make.

However, nothing could be further from the truth. Actually, in the few short weeks I have spent with Senator Harris, I have grown to love and respect him. He is brave, bold, responsible, and exactly what the people of Memphis need in a Democratic State Senator. 

While Senator Harris and I may not find common ground on many policy issues, we are linking arms on a huge issue for many Tennesseans; outlawing traffic cameras in the Volunteer State.

The presence of traffic cameras in the Great State of Tennessee is a festering wound to the free and sovereign people of this state. We've heard the fallacious arguments in favor of traffic cameras time and time again.

They generate revenue for the city: Since when did your constitutional rights have a price-tag? Did I mention that the vast majority of revenue is sent to out-of-state companies running the cameras, which has resulted in millions of dollars leaving Tennessee's economy?

They reduce accidents: The only studies and data that show this outcome are funded by the cities and companies making millions of dollars off of the cameras, making such studies and data inherently biased. In fact, non-bias, independent studies show that traffic cameras actually increase accidents.

The list goes on, and each argument is just as easy to defeat.

The truth is simple. The vast majority of Tennesseans oppose having the right to face their accuser usurped by out-of-state companies. Also, many law enforcement agents I have spoken with have privately told me they oppose cameras because it creates anger, distrust and angst among the citizens they serve, which they feel puts them at greater risk. It is unfortunate that these law enforcement agents must remain silent due to fear of losing their job should they rock the boat. 

As a Memphis city councilman, Sen. Harris voted against traffic cameras multiple times. Now, as a newly elected member of the Tennessee General Assembly, Sen. Harris was the first Senate co-sponsor of the "Tennessee Freedom From Traffic Cameras Act". Sen. Harris will undoubtedly be attacked by his city officials, but his resolve to stand for Tennesseans will never be forgotten by me.

Democrats and Republicans can work together for the greater good of Tennessee, and I pray we see more of this. 

To the people of Rocky Top, please join the fight by calling Sen. Harris to thank him for his stand. Also, please be sure to call members of both the Senate and House Transportation committees and tell them this simple message: "Please pass the Tennessee Freedom From Traffic Cameras Act. My rights are not for sale." 

TDIC Warns of Price Gouging After Winter Storm

Nashville- The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) is cautioning consumers to be alert to potential price gouging following February’s deadly winter ice storms that swept across Tennessee. 

Tennessee’s price gouging laws make it unlawful for individuals and businesses to charge unreasonable prices for essential goods and services including gasoline, food, ice, fuel, generators, lodging, storage space, and other necessities in direct response to a disaster regardless of whether that emergency occurred in Tennessee or elsewhere.

The price gouging law also makes it unlawful to charge a price that is grossly in excess of the price charged prior to the emergency. This price gouging act is triggered when a disaster is declared by the state or by the federal government. The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency declared a State of Emergency at 9 p.m., CST, on Monday, Feb. 16, 2015.

 Penalties for violations of the act are up to $1,000 per violation. Additionally, the Tennessee Attorney General in conjunction with TDCI’s Division of Consumer Affairs can request that a court issue injunctions and order civil penalties of up to $1,000 for each violation. The state can also seek refunds for consumers.

 “During times of crisis, most Tennesseans and Tennessee businesses work together t help their neighbors and their communities,” said TDCI Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak. “Unfortunately, there may be some who seek to take advantage of others during this disaster. We urge consumers to make informed choices when buying goods and services during a disaster and report suspected price gouging.” 

In addition to home repair services and building supplies, some may need gasoline and emergency supplies and services. These goods and services are also subject to the price-gouging laws. Problems that sometimes arise after a natural disaster include price gouging (in which a business unreasonably raises rates on essential goods and services during a state of emergency or in response to a disaster), as well as fraud or misrepresentations in the areas of home repair and debris removal.

 For example, a fraudulent operator may take upfront monies promising to do a home repair or to remove debris and vanish without completing the work.  Consumers may also get shoddy repairs from unlicensed contractors, or they do not receive the goods and services at the promised price. Here are some tips for consumers to remember in the aftermath February’s winter storms:Avoid high pressure sales tactics urging you to act quickly before signing a contact.

Take time to make a good decision.Do not pay money upfront. Wait until the job is finished.Ask questions and get references from people you trust before hiring someone to do work for you.Get the whole deal in writing. If a contractor promises you something, get it in writing.Keep a record of your property damage and any repairs made to your property. Take photos during the repair work and afterward. You should also take photos of any repair work you believe was not done correctly.

If you have a problem with a business, you can file a complaint or call toll-free 1-800-342-8385. Consumer Affairs has a price gouging online complaint form at

State Fire Marshal’s Office Urges Homeowners To Practice Good Kitchen Safety This Winter

NASHVILLE – As Tennesseans spend even more time indoors during February’s winter weather emergency, the State Fire Marshal’s Office reminds residents to take extra care while inside, especially in the kitchen.

Cooking is currently the leading cause of home fires and fire deaths in Tennessee. From 2009-2013, 9,595 residential cooking fires were reported in the state, resulting in 33 deaths, 118 injuries and $41.7 million in property damage. Unattended equipment was a contributing factor in 9.21 percent of cooking fires. Abandoned/discarded materials, which may be related to unattended equipment, was a factor in 19.15 percent of Tennessee cooking fires.

Fire departments and burn centers alike can attest to the devastation that can stem from unattended cooking. Often when fire departments are called to a cooking-related fire, the residents inform them that they only left the kitchen for a few minutes. Sadly, that’s all it takes to turn a routine activity into a tragedy.

The best way to avoid the devastation that stovetop fires can cause is to prevent them from happening in the first place.

• Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a “kid-free zone” of 3 feet around the stove.

• Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.

• If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.

• If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly. Remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.

• Always stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling, and broiling. If you must leave the room, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.

• If a small fire starts in a pan on the stove: Put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding a lid or cookie sheet on top of the pan. Turn off the burner. Don’t remove the lid until the fire is out and the pan is completely cool.
• Never pour water on a grease fire.

• If possible, avoid discharging a fire extinguisher onto a pan fire, as it can spray or shoot burning grease around the kitchen, spreading the fire and causing burns.

• Do not try to carry the pan away from the stove. Trying to carry a pot or pan full of burning oil can slosh and splash the hot grease, as well as feed more oxygen to the already burning fire.

• If the fire does not go out, get everyone out of the home, closing doors behind you to contain the fire. Call the fire department from outside using a cell phone or a neighbor’s phone.

(Thursday, February 26th )

Carroll County Humane Society in Need of Items

McKenzie, Tenn - Carroll County Humane Society are in need of a few things... First, peanut butter. Yes that sounds trivial, but peanut butter is a great way to give meds to dogs and they also LOVE peanut butter slathered inside their kong toys to keep them busy when they wake up from their afternoon nap.

Second, they are running low on dog treats and have 2 special requests for them. The large bags of Ol'Roy "Dinner Rounds" are perfect just as a small treat before bedtime at night and for rewarding good behavior during "school." However, a few of the dogs complain at such a paltry snack and prefer the large Milkbone biscuits. So, bags of "Dinner Rounds" and Milkbone large biscuits sure would make the pooches happier.

Third, Rousey - the special needs puppy with the problematic cerebellum - loves stuffed animals when she is sleeping in her pack-n-play or out on her yoga mats during toddle time. Any stuffed animals needs to be able to be thrown in the washing machine. If you are cleaning out closets, please send any washable stuffed animals Rousey's way!

Any of these items can be dropped off at our shelter building at 21822 Hwy 22 in McKenzie between 8:00-1:30 M-F or 10:00-3:00 on Saturdays. Thanks in advance!

71 in a 55 mph zone leads to Carroll County Jail

Huntingdon, Tenn - Officer Brian Bennett of the Huntindon Police Department observed a vehicle traveling on Veterans Drive at a high rate of speed, and upon confirmation of a radar check, it was determined that the vehicle was traveling 71 miles per hour in a 55 miles per hour zone. After conducting a traffic stop and making contact with the driver, Taylor McCarty of Angle Cove in Huntingdon, Officer Bennett could smell alcohol coming from the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle did admit to drinking beer earlier, and gave permission for Bennett to search the vehicle. Officer Bennett located several items of alcohol at which time he placed Mr. McCarty under arrest for underage consumption and transported him tot eh Carroll County Jail for a cite and a 8 hour hold.

Cell Phone Alerts for Area Residents

Huntingdon, Tenn - A press release from Lt. Walter Smother of The Huntingdon Department of Public Safety is pleased to announce that they now have the capability of sending mass text messages to the cell phones of persons that wish to receive them.

These messages will go out in the event of severe weather conditions in the area, any evacuations if needed, missing children or missing elderly alerts, road conditions including flooded roads, planned electrical outages and many other potential uses.  Not only can the community benefit from this service, but the Department could potentially benefit if, as stated earlier, there is a missing child or person, they could have hundreds of eyes on the watch for them instead of just a few officers.

In order to receive these messages on your cell phone just text the town zip code, 38344, in the message area of a text message and send the message to 888777. Or you can go the website that is hosting our mass text messaging platform and sign up. The website address is .

Nixle has informed Smothers that if a cell phone subscriber has no text messaging plan, or a limited plan with their carrier, then standard text message rates may apply. 

The Huntingdon Department of Public Safety is dedicated to providing the best in community protection, awareness and information sharing.We thank Nixle for sharing their technology with us and look forward to expanding our efforts to provide more public safety measures.


(Wednesday, February 25th)

**Once again, Carroll County Schools will be CLOSED Wednesday February 25 due to winter weather conditions that remain in the area.

Tuesday Afternoon Accident involves McKenzie Police Cruiser

McKenzie Police Cruiser collides with Semi (MFD Photo)

McKenzie, Tenn - On Tuesday afternoon a semi  and a mckenzie police cruiser collided at the intersection of Stonewall and Magnolia avenue.

While the semi tractor and trailer was attempting to make the right turn onto Stonewall, an officer, which is unknown at the time pulled along the right side of the trailer, which caused the trailer to crash into the police cruiser. The officer was taken to McKenzie Hospital with what was deemed as non life threatening injuries.

Bethel Academic Theatre presents "Noises Off" by Michael Frayn

Bethel Academic Theater Cast (L-R) Matthew Gainey, Dr. John Caterina, Ryan McCrory, Lauren Lay, Jacob Estes, Kaitlin Ladd, Mallory Sellers, Vincent Pupo, Kristin Klonowski (Photo Courtesy of Kristen Klonowski)

McKenzie, Tenn - Bethel University Theater will be presenting Noises Off .This British comedy is "A spectacularly funny, peerless backstage farce," according to the New York Times.  "Noises Off" will be presented Thursday, February 26th through Saturday, February 28th at 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 1st at 2:00 p.m. in the Dickey Fine Arts Building on McKenzie Bethel campus.  General admission is $7 and is free to Faculty, Staff and Students with I.D. 

Theft at Walmart Reveals Warrant from Decatur County

Huntingdon, Tenn - Officer Brian Bennett of the Huntingdon Police Department responded to a call from Walmart in regards to shoplifting. Upon arrival and speaking with loss prevention, it was stated that Jason Jeffrey Moody of Parsons TN did steal two light bulbs with a value of $37. 18.

When loss prevention asked Mr. Moody to retrieve the merchandise, Moody laid the items on the table. Officer Bennett, with the assistance of dispatch checked for any warrants on Mr. Moody that revealed there was a warrant out of Decatur County. Mr. Moody was placed under arrest for theft under $500.

State Fire Marshall: Candle Fires Are Preventable

 NASHVILLE – Decorative and fragranced candles are popular décor in many homes, especially during the winter months. However, candles have caused significant loss of life, injury and property damage when used improperly.

On the heels of this winter’s dangerous ice storm, the State Fire Marshal’s Office reminds Tennesseans to always use candles with care. “From 2009 to 2013, Tennessee fire departments responded to 464 home structure fires that were started by candles,” said Julie Mix McPeak, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance. “These fires caused nine deaths, 28 injuries and $10.38 million in direct property damage, all of which could have been prevented with just a few cautionary steps.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), roughly one-third of home candle fires started in the bedroom. More than half of all candle fires start when things that can burn are too close to the candle. Young children and older adults have the highest death risk from candle fires.  

The State Fire Marshal’s Office offers the following tips to keep Tennesseans safe from candle fires:


Consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look, smell, and feel like real candles.          

When using candles, place them in sturdy, safe candleholders that will not burn or tip over.          

Protect candle flames with glass chimneys or containers.          

Keep candles at least 12 inches from anything that can burn.          

Never leave a burning candle unattended.         

Avoid using candles in bedrooms and sleeping areas. Extinguish candles when you leave a room or the home or go to bed.          

Keep children and pets away from burning candles. Never leave a child unattended in a room with a candle.          

Never use a candle where medical oxygen is being used. The two can combine to create a large, unexpected fire. Medical oxygen can cause materials to ignite more easily and burn at a faster rate than normal. It can make an existing fire burn faster and hotter.         

Always use a flashlight—not a candle—for emergency lighting.        

Use only battery-powered lights in tents, trailers, motor homes and boats.         

Lit candles should not be placed in windows, where blinds and curtains can close over them, causing a fire.



(Tuesday, February 24th)

**Once again, Carroll County Schools will be CLOSED Tuesday February 24 due to winter weather conditions that remain in the area.

TN State Rep. Andy Holt Visits McKenzie Fire Department

Left to right: Firefighter Tyler Verner, Chief Brian Tucker, Rep. Andy Holt, Asst. Chief Roger Christian, Firefighter Dennis Adkins. (McKenzie FD Photo)


McKenzie, Tenn - The McKenzie Fire and Rescue were glad to have a visit from State Rep. Andy Holt. Holt informed the fire department that he is really excited to announce my latest piece of legislation (HB1246): "The Tennessee Volunteer Firefighter Protection Act".

Currently, if a volunteer firefighter is hurt on a call, there is virtually no worker's compensation to help them get through until they heal. It is believed that the Volunteer State needs to support and protect her volunteers.

This bill will do just that by adding a new layer of financial protection. State Rep. Andy Holt met with the firefighters in McKenzie, and they say they love the idea.


Anonymous Caller Reports Reckless Driver-Driver Arrested

Huntingdon, Tenn - According to a report from the Carroll County Sheriff’s department Deputy Mulligan was dispatched to Hwy 79 in reference to a reckless driver. The anonymous caller stated that they were following a four door white ford pickup truck that was swerving all over the road and traveling 10 miles per hour between McKenzie and Trezevant.

While traveling on Hwy 79 in Atwood Mulligan did observe a vehicle matching the callers description parked on the side of the road. Upon approaching the vehicle, Mulligan noticed that the driver Jorge Martinez of Hwy 190 in McKenzie was asleep with an open container of beer between his legs.

According to the report, the vehicle was in Park, engine off with the keys in the ignition. Upon waking the driver it was observed that his eyes were bloodshot, his speech slurred and a strong smell of alcohol coming from the vehicle.

Deputy Mulligan performed several field sobriety tests on Mr. Martinez who performed them poorly. After the tests, Mr. Martinez stated that he had consumed three or four beers, and then changed his answer to five or six beers earlier in the evening according to the report. Mr. Martinez was arrested for Driving Under the Influence 1st offense. Martinez did provide a blood alcohol sample and was transported to the Carroll County Jail.

Vehicle Verses Utility Pole in Huntingdon

Huntingdon, Tenn - Deputies of the Carroll County Sheriffs department were dispatched to Humbles Church Road in Huntingdon in regards to a vehicle verses a utility pole. Upon arrival deputies found a vehicle but not the driver.

According to the report, the driver had already been taken to the emergency room. Deputy Dennis Adkins went to the ER and spoke with Sarah Ann Robertson of Hwy 77 in Huntingdon who was the operator of the 2002 red ford escort.

A computer check of her license revealed that her licenses were suspended for failure to pay child support in May of 2014. Deputy Adkins cited Ms Robertson into General Sessions Court for driving on suspended 1st offense.


McKenzie School Board Meets March 3rd

McKenzie, Tenn - The McKenzie Special School District Board of Education will be meeting on Tuesday, March 3rd for the regular monthly meeting. Item on the agenda are as follows:

*Consider for approval budget amendments to the McKenzie Special School District funds.

*Consider for approval the 2015-2016 School Calendar for the McKenzie Special School District.

*Adopt a resolution to establish the 2015 property tax rate at the tax neutral rate as determined by the State Board of Equalization.

 This is an open to the public meeting and all welcome to attend to find out what is happening within your child or grandchild’s school system. The meeting will be held at 114 Bell Avenue in McKenzie and start at 5:30 pm.


(Monday, February 23rd )

Bethel University McKenzie Campus Closed Monday

McKenzie, Tenn - Due to inclement weather, Bethel University College of Arts and Sciences & Health Sciences on the McKenzie Campus will be closed on Monday, Feb. 23. The cafeteria will operate on the brunch schedule: 11am -1 pm  & 4:00 pm -5:30 pm.

Carroll county schools are CLOSED Monday February 23rd due to winter weather conditions


A New Orleans Evening Celebrated Saturday in McKenzie

McKenzie Mayor Jill Holland and Angela Hughley prepare for an evening of good food and great times Saturday night. (Angela Hughley photo)

McKenzie, Tenn - Saturday evening the City of McKenzie and Act II held their fundraiser for the Park Theater entitled A New Orleans Evening, formerly known as Mardi Gras Fete Fat Tuesday. With the weather conditions causing it to be impossible to hold the event Tuesday, it was worth the wait for the taste of foods of New Orleans, as well as music and great times.

Brenda Berryman and Jennifer Waldrup take time out for a quick photo during the fundraiser event. (Angela Hughley photo)

(L-R) Ann Barksdale, Kristen Mason, Shay Barksdale, Jennifer Waldrup, Shane Barksdale enjoying the great food at the event. (Angela Hughley photo)


All in attendance had a great time and if you were unable to make it to this year’s event, don’t worry, plans are in the making for next year’s Fat Tuesday festivities.

Others enjoying A New Orleans Evening (Angela Hughley photo)

The City of McKenzie as well as Act II would like to thank all those who came out to the event and hope to see you at the next fundraiser for the Park Theater Restoration Project.


UT Martin Extended Campus Offers ACT Prep Course

Martin, Tenn – The University of Tennessee at Martin Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies will offer an ACT Preparation course from 8 am – noon on Saturdays Feb. 28 – April 11, on the UT Martin main campus. There will be no class on April 4.

Students will participate in an intensive ACT preparation course taught by Ron Ramage, UT Martin adjunct instructor and teacher at Obion County High School.

Students will learn to complete test problems based on question frequency, difficulty, substantive knowledge, curriculum and alternative test-taking strategies. Participants will also learn how to maximize their scores and develop time management skills.

Students will begin the course by taking an official off-record ACT test. After receiving feedback, instructors will guide student through the exam based on their areas of need. At the end of the program, students will take another off record exam.

Once participants receive their post-test data, instructors will meet one on one to provide personalized study plans in preparation for the real exam.

The registration fee is $225 and includes two textbooks, two official ACT tests and a diagnostic report. Students may bring and ACT-approved calculator, if desired. For more information about the course or to register, visit or call the Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies at 731 881 7082.

Cold Weather Creates Record TVA Power Delivery Day

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Arctic temperatures that averaged in single digits across much of the Tennessee Valley on Thursday, Feb. 19, resulted in record electricity demand of 694 gigawatt-hours for the 24-hour period.

That’s the most energy ever required over a one-day period during February in Tennessee Valley Authority history and the third most overall for a 24-hour period. The all-time one-day record occurred last winter when demand reached 703 gigawatt-hours on Jan. 7, 2014.

With rising temperatures on Friday afternoon and over the weekend, energy demand is expected to decline but remain above normal levels. While the need to conserve power has diminished, consumers should still consider following the simple tips found on TVA’s EnergyRight website to save on their own electric bills, including:

  • Lowering your thermostat a degree or two.
  • Opening blinds on the south side of your home during sunny days, but closing them during cloudy periods and at night.
  • If not using your fireplace, ensuring that your fireplace flue is closed.

Weather forecasts are also calling for potential precipitation, including ice, over sections of TVA’s service territory. Ice weighs down power lines and trees, creating conditions for localized power outages. For your safety, always treat a downed power line as if it is energized and immediately contact 9-1-1 and your local power company.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.

Carroll Lake Ballots Available at McKenzie City Hall

McKenzie, Tenn - TWRA met in Nashville earlier this month concerning Carroll Lake. At the McKenzie Town Council meeting Mayor Jill Holland stated that interest is very high on repairing the lake, but more citizens input is needed. She explained and handed out ballots on the suggestions of what to do with the lake.

Items on the ballot was,

#1  Fix the lake back like it was,

#2  Do nothing,

#3  1/3 Fishing lake; 2/3 Wildlife viewing area

#4  Replace Sluice gate only,

#5  Replace Sluice gate with lake bottom excavation.

Mayor Holland urged citizens to come by city hall and fill out a ballot and return them to city hall by March 1, 2015. No names are required on these ballots; Holland explained that as long as you have a connection with the lake, you are able to cast your vote.

She stated, “most everyone has been either by Carroll Lake or been baptized, had family reunions and such there. So this is not just for those living in McKenzie and Carroll County, it is for everyone”.

Holland went on to say that when the TWRA met in McKenzie concerning Carroll Lake that it was estimated there were between 230-250 people present, and at the Huntingdon meeting approximately 20 – 25 people who were mostly from McKenzie.


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