Recent Community Posts

Man's (and children's) best friends helping out PSSD

8/24/2018 (Permalink)

The Paris Special School District board welcomed two new furry friends to the district Tuesday night.

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew, along with School Resource Officers Sgt. Michelle Brewer and Sgt. Eddie Crosser, came to the board’s meeting to introduce the board to a pair of new therapy dogs, Jack and Buster.

Brewer’s dog Jack is the therapy dog at Rhea Elementary School. 

Crosser’s dog Buster is the therapy dog at Paris Elementary School.

“We hope the dogs are beneficial to the schools and I hope they’re very beneficial to the kids, to the guidance counselors and overall to help the kids build a good relationship with the school resource officers,” said Belew.

Belew said that Jack and Buster started working as therapy dogs at the schools at the beginning of this school year.

Belew also stated both Jack and Buster were rescue dogs and Sheriff’s Sgt. Ricky Wade, a master trainer, had been training them during the summer to serve as therapy dogs.

Wade has a wealth of experience working with police dogs.

Crosser and Brewer both said that not only have Jack and Buster had a positive effect on the students, but they have also had a positive effect on the staff as well.

Brewer said Jack has already started having a very positive effect on the kids.

“We had a kindergarten kid that had a meltdown and had to be sent to intervention and when he got in there he was pretty upset and inconsolable so they called me to come down with Jack to the intervention room,” said Brewer.

“The little boy was just really emotional… I just took Jack off the leash and he went right over there to the boy and he just lit up and loved on Jack and he was fine the rest of the day.”

Brewer said another instance happened Monday when a little boy crawled under a table, so Jack went under the table and comforted the boy.

“I’ve seen it work twice and I’ve seen it do its job. The kids love it… it’s worth every little bit of hassle,” said Brewer.

“Buster has been great therapy for the kids and the staff to have him up here,” said Crosser.  “He was a little shy at first … but he just loves kids. I think it’s a good program.”

Both Crosser and Brewer said that Jack and Buster love going to school, but they definitely are tired at the end of the day. 

In other business during Tuesday’s meeting, PSSD director of schools Norma Gerrell told the board the district and each school received a Level 5 in Tennessee Value-added Assessment System scores on a five-level rating.

In that rating system, 1 is considered as being significantly below expectations and  5 is considered as being significantly above expectation.

“It’s something to be extremely proud of,” Gerrell said of the district’s score.

What is the meaning of Memorial Day?

5/18/2018 (Permalink)

What is the meaning of Memorial Day, and how is this different from Veterans Day? This U.S. federal holiday is celebrated on the last Monday of May to honor the men and women who have died while serving in the military.

The custom of honoring ancestors by cleaning cemeteries and decorating graves is an ancient and worldwide tradition, but the specific origin of Memorial Day, or Decoration Day as it was first known, are unclear.

In early rural America, this duty was usually performed in late summer and was an occasion for family reunions and picnics. After the Civil War, America’s need for a secular, patriotic ceremony to honor its military dead became prominent, as monuments to fallen soldiers were erected and dedicated, and ceremonies centering on the decoration of soldiers’ graves were held in towns and cities throughout the nation.

After World War I, the day expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars.

No less than 25 places have been named in connection with the origin of Memorial Day, and states observed the holiday on different dates. In 1971, Memorial Day became a national holiday by an act of Congress; it is now celebrated on the last Monday in May.

Many people confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle.

While those who died are also remembered, Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL who served—in wartime or peacetime—and whether they died or survived. Veterans Day is always observed officially on November 11, regardless of the day of the week on which it falls. 

A Letter to Moms

5/13/2018 (Permalink)

I love that we set aside a whole day to honor and celebrate the women who raised us. My mom was an amazing mother who dedicated her life to her two daughters. She was selfless yet strong- and the most beautiful woman I know. Mother’s Day holds a special place in my own heart because of the little ones who made me a mom. I love waking up to their little feet creeping down the stairs in the morning, little kisses on the cheeks, and their imaginative stories and play. These are the moments that remind me motherhood is a gift, and fostering these little people’s growth is my favorite job of all. 

To honor, here is a letter from another mom, Joanna Gaines, who inspires many females and mothers to celebrate the season we are in. I could not put it in any better words than what she beautifully expresses here. 

"You are enough.
I think at times all moms get this insecure feeling of “I’m not doing enough.”  As a working mom, it’s the hardest when my kids grab onto me as I’m walking out the door and say, “Mommy please stay home!” I don’t want to ignore that, so I always explain to them that being with them is my favorite thing in the world. I explain that I have to work just like they have to go to school. I also let them know what I’m doing at work that day—whether it’s filming the show or going into the office—and what time I’ll be home. Taking a  few seconds to let them in on this other huge part of my life has really helped them understand that mom and dad have a big job to do.

I have had to find creative ways to connect with the kids during the day now that I work, to let them know I am always thinking of them. I’ll send them a little note in their lunchbox or surprise them and pick them up early from school for a fun date.

When I was staying home these same feelings of “not doing enough” would find their way into my mind. In that season I spent a lot of time focusing on balance. Nap time was when I got things done. Whether it was folding laundry, prepping dinner, writing my blog or doing design work—that was my time. It was important I kept myself creatively fed during those years, so I never let myself be filled with feelings of discontent. I hope if you’re in this season now you’ll take the time to allow yourself a few minutes a day to do what you love, too. I found it was the thing that kept me balanced and energized.

Taking the time.
The young stage my kids are in is the sweetest. Chip and I are their favorite people and they still stop what they’re doing to greet us at the door when we get home. I really want to savor this season for as long as I can. When I get home from work I try and leave my phone in the car and make that intentional effort to play and connect face to face with them. Even when I’m tired at the end of a long day, it’s fuel to see the look in their eyes when I ask them to cook with me or go play outside. As a mom, sometimes I have to change my mindset and remind myself what’s important. I only have so many hours a day to spend with these sweet, little people. And they won’t be little forever. So I get up and keep moving.

The littlest things.
The details have always mattered to me, especially when it comes to my kids. Whether I’m making cereal for breakfast or a big, fancy dinner, I want them to know that celebrating them in small ways in everyday life is a big deal to me. When Chip and I are traveling a lot, the first thing I want to do when I get home is cook. I want my kids to have the security that when momma’s home, there will be a good meal. At my birthday breakfast a couple weeks ago, Chip had the kids go around the table to say what they love most about Mom, and each one of their answers was that I cook for them. I’ve been cooking since they were born, and I’ve never heard them say anything like that. The fact that they notice and feel provided for in the kitchen was a sweet moment for me.

Motherhood can be difficult. It’s not an instant gratification thing all the time. When your kiddos are just babies and you’re changing diapers or listening to whining constantly, it can feel overwhelming. But I want to encourage you, because one day you’ll be sitting around a table for your birthday breakfast and you’ll realize that their little hearts are thankful for you. And they do notice things like mom’s homemade meals.

I hope you feel so loved and celebrated this Mother’s Day. And no matter what season you find yourself in, just know that you are doing enough, and you are loved and appreciated. Take a few moments today to look around and appreciate your children and the stage they’re in. I know for me, the thought of them growing up and moving off makes me want to burst into tears! So this Mother’s Day I plan to milk it for all it’s worth, and squeeze them just a little longer."

Graduation Gift Ideas to Help Them Take On the World

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

With graduations right around the corner, here are some ideas for your grad to help them out in the world. 

Grads need (but often can't yet afford) help with their #adulting. So buy them high-quality items that serve everyday needs, from a chic organic-cotton tote to noise-canceling headphones for working in a cubicle.

Or for the dorm-room dweller who’s short on space (and time), a small coffee machine has a tiny footprint and brews a great cup in a minute.

Salad containers are always a smart choice. A lesson they probably didn’t learn in school: Dressing a to-go salad at home means some pretty soggy leaves at lunchtime. 

Quilts are excellent gifts that make a bed instantly feel like home.

Place a cherished family photo into a pretty frame for a timeless gift that your grad will hold onto for years to come.

If your recent grad is moving into his or her first apartment, plates and dishes will come in handy. 

Your student will soon be cooking meals for his- or herself on a daily basis, so make sure they have the tools for success -- like essential pots, pans and skillets. We recommend nonstick pieces for easy care.

And every grown-up needs a robe to lounge around in on lazy mornings. Monogram it as an additional thoughtful option!

Oh the places you will go! Good luck 2018 Graduates! 

10 Ways to Help the World on Earth Day

4/19/2018 (Permalink)

This Earth Day, be part of a movement. On April 22, 2018, more than 1 billion people in 192 countries are expected to join together to protect our common home.  People will clean up their communities, talk to local leaders about their environmental concerns and spend time with their families outdoors. Here are 10 ways you can help.

1. Learn more about climate change.

2. Advocate for our Earth and its people.

3. Plant a tree in your community.

4.  Support farmers and their families.

5. Pray.

6. Attend a farmers’ market.

7. Support ethical trade.

8. Be the change.

9. Fundraise.

10. Connect on social media and share.

And with Earth Day just around the corner, the internet and Pinterest is all a-flutter with Earth Day activities for kids.  The ideas range from recycling arts and crafts to outdoor gardening to fun kid-friendly recipes.  Here are 25 ideas to celebrate Earth Day with your kids.



4/19/2018 (Permalink)

National Small Business Week 2018 kicks off today with an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. where national award winners including the naming of this year's national Small Business Person of the Year will be recognized and awarded for their achievements.

This is an annual event hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration to recognize the nation's top small businesses, entrepreneurs, small business advocates and champions. Every day they're working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America's global competitiveness.

SBA Administrator Linda McMahon will personally present all the awards at a ceremony April 29-30 in Washington, D.C.and then will travel to events in Florida, South Carolina and North Carolina.

To honor, celebrate, and support all of our small businesses check out our local Downtown Paris Association page for information on how you can Shop/Eat/Live local in our own community. You can also visit their facebook page for interesting reviews and information about our businesses downtown. 

The Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce is also very active in supporting our local small businesses, often holding functions with the Director and other members of the community. Check out their page for a calendar of events that you won't want to miss. 

It's Fish Fry time again!

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

It's Fish Fry time again in Henry County! The whole festival revolves around the “Fish Tent” where by last account over 12,500 pounds of catfish is served with all the trimmings. In addition to all you can eat catfish you will find parades, carnival, rodeos, catfish races, dances, arts and crafts to name a few. Events actually begin early in February with beauty pageants leading up to the week long celebration. Visitors come from across the country to enjoy the festivities.

Since 1961 and thanks to the Paris-Henry County Jaycees the festival has grown unbelievably from 1,600 pounds of catfish cooked to over 5 tons of catfish and a two hour grand parade, which we will be participating in. Henry County pulls out all the stops for The World's Biggest Fish Fry. Locallly, it's considered an honored holiday! 

This year the Fish Fry will be held from April 21- April 28. The Jaycees and the community invite everyone to visit Paris and Henry County the last full week of April for a week of fun and southern hospitality!

For more information on the Fish Fry, you can check out the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce webpage.

When I-Rish Upon A Shamrock

3/14/2018 (Permalink)

Our territory of 8 counties is full of unique and unforgettable experiences and people. Tucked away in Erin, TN, you will find a beautifully green cultural celebration. Every year, to celebrate Irish tradition and St. Patrick's Day, Erin, TN, shows off their green!

In 1963, O.S. Luton and Beverly Price conceived of the idea of a celebration of Erin’s Irish history and traditions. They petitioned the Chamber of Commerce, other local leaders, and interested citizens to help in this endeavor. The focus of this annual event was to be the welfare, progress and promotion of the town and county. The local population went in the venture rather slowly. They liked the idea, but some felt it may be a bit too big for such a small body of citizens. However, the “Wearing of the Green” was a successful event that year and has continued each year to grow in interest and attendance. From the Grand Parade, Leprechauns and banquets to carnival rides, pageants and arts & craft booths, there is something for everyone. Relive the spirit of St. Patrick at one of the top ten celebrations in the United States!

Check out this link for information on Irish Day Events!


4/4/2017 (Permalink)



The World’s Biggest Fish Fry is a premier event for Paris – Henry County and West Tennessee. The last full week of April annually attracts people locally as well as nationally. Visitors come from across the country to enjoy the festivities.

The whole festival revolves around the “Fish Tent” where by last account over 12,500 pounds of catfish is served with all the trimmings. In addition to all you can eat catfish you will find parades, carnival, rodeos, catfish races, dances, arts and crafts to name a few. Events actually begin early in February with beauty pageants leading up to the week long celebration.

The “Fish Fry” as everyone calls it around here evolved from “Mule Day”, which originated in 1938 with the Paris Post Intelligencer as the first sponsor. Farmers came to town on the first Monday in April to trade their mules and other farm products, do their shopping and enjoy the fellowship of their friends. Early in the 1950’s the Chamber of Commerce took over “Mule Day” complete with a parade and beauty queens. When the tractor began to replace the mules the Chamber of Commerce contemplated another event to replace “Mule Day”.

In 1953, the Chamber of Commerce held the first “Fish Fry”. The event was not as successful as hoped. The fish were not from Kentucky Lake and just didn’t live up to the palates of the fish eating public. The parade was short and the event was held on the high school football field for one day and night.

In 1961 the Paris-Henry County Jaycees (Junior Chamber of Commerce) took over the “Fish Fry” from the Chamber of Commerce.

Since 1961 and thanks to the Paris-Henry County Jaycees the festival has grown unbelievably from 1,600 pounds of catfish cooked to over 5 tons of catfish and a two hour grand parade.

The venue of the festival has moved from the court square, then to what was once known as the hitch lot just blocks from the court square, then back to a parking lot downtown and finally to a building at the Henry County Fairgrounds in the early 1980’s. In the early days the fish cooking was done outdoors and eaten on picnic tables under big tents, hence the term “Fish Tent”. It is now known as the Robert E. “Bobby” Cox Memorial Fish Tent.

The Jaycees continue to do a fantastic job organizing the event but also depend on many community volunteers to pull it off each year. The Paris-Henry County Jaycees are still growing the event and offering new and different things resulting in increased attendance, more catfish cooked and served.

The Jaycees and the community invite everyone to visit Paris and Henry County the last full week of April for a week of fun and southern hospitality!