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From News Director Cheryl Allen

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TBI Severs Ties With 24th Judicial District at DA's Request

Nashville- Until further notice, and at the request of District Attorney General Matthew Stowe, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has discontinued its investigation into the Holly Bobo case and severed ties with the 24th Judicial District.

“We certainly regret these unprecedented circumstances playing out in the media,” said TBI Director Mark Gwyn. “But in a meeting last week, which included 30th District Attorney General Amy Weirich, 28th District Attorney and President of the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference Garry Brown, and Wally Kirby, Executive Director of the Conference, Stowe made allegations of misconduct by TBI and other law enforcement agencies, both local and federal.

He also repeatedly stated he wanted our Agency to suspend all activities in his district, after which Weirich removed her office’s resources from the Holly Bobo case. Stowe may characterize this as a misunderstanding, but his requests were clear and I wasn’t the only one who heard it.”

Since Holly Bobo’s disappearance in 2011, TBI Special Agents have devoted thousands of hours of casework and forensic analysis. The investigative records and the results from a vast majority of the evidence submitted in the Bobo case have already been turned over to the District Attorney General’s office for his further investigation, review, and prosecution. The results of pending forensic analysis in the case will be provided in a timely manner. As of this date and until further notice, TBI personnel will no longer offer comment or information about the Bobo case or any other case originating in the 24th Judicial District.

“For years, we pursued the Bobo case with the utmost diligence and dedication for the sake of Holly’s family and friends,” said Gwyn. “We are proud of our investigative efforts and remain hopeful that justice will eventually be served.”

As a result of Stowe’s request, TBI Agents will no longer investigate new cases in the 24th District. Local law enforcement agencies will be responsible for investigating the incidents in their jurisdictions, and will also be responsible for securing and funding forensic analysis for all future cases.

In a letter to Stowe today, Director Gwyn proposed a meeting, to be facilitated by the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference, to discuss TBI’s role in the 24th Judicial District.

“We have proudly served the 24th Judicial District – and its residents – for decades,” said Gwyn. “We hope Stowe will help us resolve these issues quickly, so we can get back to the important work of pursuing our core values of truth, bravery, and integrity in his district as the state’s lead law enforcement agency.”

Stowe Issues Press Release Refuting Media Claims

Huntingdon, Tenn.- District Attorney General for the 24th Judicial District Matt Stowe issued a press released strongly refuting the media's claim that he initiated the suspension of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's support with all ongoing and future cases in the 24th Judicial District.

The press release said Stowe fully expects the TBI to continue to work in cooperative partnership with law enforcement agencies across the district in all facets of criminal investigation as requested by individual agencies.Stowe reiterated those expectations in communication with the TBI on December 16th, following a private meeting with TBI Director Mark Gwyn and others on December 12th when professional differences were expressed.

In response, Director Gwyn formally commuicated his to suspend TBI involvement in any cases in the 24th Judicial District until a time in which all parties can meet with the Attorney General and to discuss and resolve matters at hand.Stowe intends on ensuring his district receives all of the investigative support they are entitled to as taxpayers and will do so thru the proper channels, not the media.

The press release concluded with the statement that in the meantime, DA Stowe will continue to focus his attention in pursing justice in all the criminal cases within the district including the Holly Bobo case.

Update: Stowe Denies Telling TBI to Halt Services: TBI Making No Comment

Paris, Tenn.- The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has been silent on the claims that 24th Judicial District Attorney General Matt Stowe had told them the 24th Judicial District didn't need their assistance. An email from TBI Media spokesman Josh DeVine said the TBI is neither confirming or denying the reports of TBI services being halted in the 24th Judicial District.

There was a meeting on Tuesday with representatives and local law enforcement agencies within the district, but we are referring inquiries as to these issues to the District Attorney General.

Debra Stoope, from the DA's office in Huntingdon, said that DA Stowe said that he did not ask the TBI to halt its services to the district and he is working to clear up any misunderstandings that have come from this issue.

Slashed Tires Reported in Hillcourt Circle in Huntingdon

Huntingdon, Tenn - Officer Richard Crossno of the Huntingdon Police department responded to a call on Hillcourt Circle in Huntingdon in regards to vandalism. Upon arrival officers spoke with the victim who stated that someone had slashed three of her tires on her vehicle that was parked in front of her home.

At first she was unaware of why her tires were flat then the owner of the tire store showed her three approximately 1 inch punctures in her tires. This vandalism is currently under investigation.

Fraudulent Use of a Debit Card

Huntingdon, Tenn - A case of fraudulent use of a debit card was reported to the Huntingdon Police Department. The victim reported that there was 4 different charges made to her account without her permission. All the charges were for $12.97 to Vistaprint. The company has been contacted about the matter, and has launched its own investigation into the matter. According to the report, there are no suspects at this time.

DA Stowe Tells TBI the 24th District Doesn't Need its Assistance

Paris, Tenn.- Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew told WMUF/WLZK Wednesday morning he hopes the issues with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and District Attorney Matt Stowe are resolved quickly to better serve the 24th Judicial District.This comes after multiple agencies and news outlets in the area have reported that Stowe told the TBI the 24th Judicial District no longer needed its services.

Sheriff Belew said agencies of the 24th Judicial District, which includes Henry, Carroll, Benton, Decatur, and Hardin Counties, met with the TBI Tuesday afternoon where they were informed that DA Stowe had told the TBI that there services were not needed in the 24th District, effective immediately.

Sheriff Belew said this morning, “DA Stowe has since issued an apology letter, stating that it had been a misunderstanding and he didn’t want to block the TBI from assisting with cases in the 24th Judicial District.

The TBI’s Crime Lab has been a partner with Henry County in recent cases to help bring justice to some cases already, and if the stalemate does persist, law enforcement agencies wouldn’t have access to the crime lab, forensics, and many other of TBI’s sources and would cost local agencies more money. The TBI Crime lab is funded thru taxpayer dollars.

We will have more on this story as it develops this morning.

Matthew Holt Nominated for Grammy

Holt, far right with members of The Martin’s. (Bethel U photo)

McKenzie, Tenn - Along with playing the piano for Gaither Voice Band’s Hymn Project, Matthew Holt also has albums that are nominated for Best Gospel Album. Matthew Holt, Executive Director of Bethel University’s Renaissance has worked this past year on two projects that are nominated for a Grammy in the Music Industry.

Matthew Holt has been working arranging and writing music for a while and is co-owner of HabeHolt Music which is a publishing company that is successful in recording over 100 songs that have been released, along with many that are number one songs by major artists.

Grant Makes Way for Improvements at 1000 Acre Lake in Huntingdon

(L-R) TDEC Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill; Huntingdon Mayor Dale Kelley; and TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau (Photo Credit:TDEC)

Nashville, Tenn - The Carroll County Watershed Authority was presented with a $250,000 Local Park and Recreation Program Fund grant for Carroll County One Thousand Acre Recreation Lake on Dec. 11 in Nashville.

This grant will be used to construct an RV park with pad parking, an ADA accessible bath house, ADA parking for bathhouse and a gravel loop, trash receptacles, and picnic tables. The One Thousand Acre Recreation Lake is located off of Hwy 70 just outside of Huntingdon. Also the City of McKenzie received $250,000.00 to build their new splash pad for children beside the train depot building.

Healing Service at First Methodist Church on Dec 21


McKenzie, Tenn - On December 21st at 7pm the McKenzie First United Methodist Church will be hosting a Healing Service for those in need. Christmas isn’t merry for everyone, and they invite you to join them on December 21 for this very special contemplative worship service aimed at offering healing and hope to those who are hurting.

Counterfeit Bills Passed in McKenzie Continues

McKenzie, Tenn - Once again, counterfeit $20 bills are being passed again in the McKenzie area. According to a report from the McKenzie Police department an individual attempted to pass a counterfeit $20 bill to a clerk at the Little General. The clerk spotted that the bill was counterfeit, and an investigation into this matter is still ongoing. The police department urges those to be alert when accepting transactions, and to notify the police department if suspicion arises.

Wheelchair Ramp Stolen From Property


McKenzie, Tenn - A homeowner on Woodrow Avenue in McKenzie reported to the McKenzie Police Department that someone had stolen a wheelchair ramp from their property. At the time of the report, no suspects have been named and an investigation is ongoing with the McKenzie Police Department.

Mailbox Vandalism Reported in Buena Vista Area


Huntingdon, Tenn - According to a report from the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department, a homeowner on Ellis Road in Buena Vista reported that her mailbox had been damaged. The victim’s sister reported that she heard a noise and looked out the window to find that Joshua Brent Russom of 138 Grandberry Street in McKenzie caused damage and destruction to the mailbox. The witness stated that she seen Mr. Russom in his vehicle beside the mailbox and then left the scene in the vehicle. The amount of damage done was placed at $40.

Candlelight Service at First Baptist Church in McKenzie


McKenzie, Tenn - On December 21st a Candlelight Service will be held at First Baptist Church @ 6:00 p.m. located on Stonewall street in McKenzie. Everyone is invited to attend, and they hope to see you there for this wonderful blessed event.

Mr. Al Wainscott Receives Veterans Proclamation at Council Meeting

McKenzie, Tenn - Thursday evening, Mayor Jill Holland and the McKenzie town council met for their December meeting with several items on the agenda. At the beginning of the meeting Mayor Holland presented Mr. Al Wainscott a very special Veterans Commendation Proclamation for his years of service in the military and the heroic acts, and even being captured 3 times.

Mayor Jill Holland reads Veterans Proclamation to Mr. Al Wainscott (L)

Mayor Holland explained that 2 others were recommended for this tribute that was sent to State Representative Steven Finchers office. Still to this day, Mr. Wainscott is very active in the VFW Post 4939 in McKenzie. Several other members of the VFW were in attendance with Mr. Wainscott for this very tribute.

Council member Gene Hale Elected Vice Mayor of McKenzie

McKenzie, Tenn - Next on the agenda was the discussion and approval for election of a Vice Mayor. Mayor Holland explained to the board that the duties of Vice Mayor were that someone was to be readily to perform duties of the mayor in her absence. She explained that the now Vice Mayor Gene Hale expressed interest in the job for another term, and would like to continue his service, and the council agreed.

Council Members Assigned Liaison Positions in McKenzie

McKenzie, Tenn - Mayor Holland explained to the board that assigning council members as liaisons to departments was in order. Holland stated that once someone is appointed they stay there for years, and feels that it should be done as a rotation. The rotation of each council member as liaisons would help each member know the different areas of the city departments and not just familiar with theirs.

Mayor Holland assigned the first rotation of the board liaisons as, Gene Hale, Streets and Public Works, Cassie Allen, Parks and Recreation, David Hochreiter Fire Department, Jessie Townes, General Government, Kevin Gallimore Water and Waste Water, and Charles Pruneau Police Department.  Each council person will give an overview of their said department at the monthly meetings, an d become more acquainted with how each department is essential to the City of McKenzie.

Board Hears from SRF Loan Process for Sewer Upgrades

McKenzie, Tenn - Discussion and approval for water rates was discussed by members of the SRF Loan ( State Revolving Financial)  from Nashville were present at Thursday evening’s meeting. Felicia Freeman, Sharon Moody and Jim Hillburn came to McKenzie Thursday and discussed the program stating that a 20% match from the state would be done when McKenzie receives grants, and also provide a low interest loan. It was stated that as long as McKenzie is working toward the finalization project to replace some of the sewer system.

Freeman explained that repayments of these grants allows them to fund other municipalities, and is a continuing ball rolling.

Every two years McKenzie receives grants for construction on the sewer system to help with improvements. The timeline to complete the sewer project is scheduled for February 2016.

Warm Welcome From Customers on a Chilly Morning

(Cheryl Allen photo)

McKenzie, Tenn - This morning, Boyd’s Merisons and Street Dynamics opened their doors at 8 am for the first time in McKenzie with a good crowd on hand anticipating the new merchants in the McKenzie area while welcoming them at the same time.

Store manager of Boyd’s Richard Webb of Atwood, stated that he was glad that the store was finally opening and has great hopes of success in McKenzie. He stated that the variety as well as Merisons and Street Dynamics will bring all different walks of life into the store for all their shopping needs.

Boyds  has everything from household items, tools, animal food, to Eagle buildings, and coming soon, appliances. Street Dynamics has a variety, anything  you would dream of for your car, truck, SUV or boat from tires to detailing. Merisons, has beautiful displays of living room furniture, bedroom furniture, and anything to help design your home.

Boyd's cashier Howard Spires, hands change to the first customer of opening day Mr. George Rogers of McKenzie. (Cheryl Allen photo)

The first customer of the day was Mr. George Rogers of McKenzie, and he stated that he was glad that a new store come to the McKenzie, giving a different variety of shopping advantages.  

 

Everything for your car, truck, SUV and more is available at Street Dynamics inside Boyd's in McKenzie. (Cheryl Allen photo)

Need new living room, dining room, or bedroom furniture? Check out Merison's inside Boyd's in McKenzie. (Cheryl Allen photo)

Boyd's has all your household, and other needs for around the home, with appliances coming soon. (Cheryl Allen photo)

Store hours for Boyd’s,  Merison’s and Street Dynamics is Monday thru Saturday 8am to 8 pm and Sunday 12-6. Stop by and welcome the newest retailer to McKenzie, they are located at the old rural king building located on Highland Drive / Hwy 79 South in McKenzie.

Blood Drive in Huntingdon Friday December 12

Huntingdon, Tenn - Established in 1947, LIFELINE Blood Services is proud to serve the people of West Tennessee as their independent, non-profit, community blood center. Governed by a local board of directors, LIFELINE is committed to providing a safe blood supply in the quantity and at the time needed by the patient.

Friday, Lifeline blood services will be at the Baptist Memorial hospital in Huntingdon from 1-5pm and are in need of A Negative and B Negative blood. You never know if you yourself will be needing blood or a family member or friend, and you can save time by filling out the needed forms online at lifelinebloodserv.org so be sure to go donate blood to this wonderful cause.

Boyd's Open Thursday at 8am

McKenzie, Tenn - Today is a big day for the City of McKenzie with the full swing of the Christmas shopping underway. Boyd’s retail store will be opening beginning at 8am Thursday, and they are located inside the old rural king building on Highland Drive / Hwy 79 south. So come on by and welcome them to McKenzie and remember to shop locally.

Boyds hours of operation are Monday - Saturday 8am - 8pm and Sunday 12 noon til 6 pm.

Juvenile Charged in Area Fires

Jackson, Tenn - According to WBBJTV, a Carroll County juvenile has been charged in connection to the arsons that have taken place over the past few months. With the person being charged for is a juvenile, no name has been released for media use. The juvenile has been charged with arson in Hollow Rock at the Whistle Stop Café on September 3rd, a residential fire on September 15th, as well as the fire on October 20th at the Vale Fire Department. Investigators from the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance are the ones who made the announcement earlier this week stating that the suspect has been charged with arson in the three incidences.

 

                   Area Happenings

Ho! Ho! the mistletoe!

Dec. 21: Candlelight Service @ First Baptist Church @ 6:00 p.m.

Dec. 24: Christmas Eve Service—First Methodist Church @ 11:00 P.M.

 

            McKenzie High School News

 

Thurs, Dec 18    Final Exams – 3rd and 4th Blocks

                         *            Little Rebels in Theatre @ 7:00 P.M.

 

Fri, Dec 19         Final Exams – 1st and 2nd Blocks

                         *            ½ Day of School – Dismiss @ 11:05

 

Dec 22 thru Jan 5 – Christmas Break for students

 

              UPCOMING REBEL SPORTS:

 

Dec 27, 29, 30   basketball tournament @ Gibson County High School

 

 

 

Past News click HERE

 

 

 

   
         
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