HEADLINES

A Local Elementary School Adds a New Pre-K Class

With the preschool waiting list growing and extra state funds the Jackson Madison County School system decided to add a pre-k class to Andrew Jackson. JMCSS added more than 4 pre-k classes across the district to serve an additional 100 pre school students. But Andrew Jackson was the only school who added its first pre-k class. Mary Myers, Leader of Early Foundations, said Andrew Jackson was a great choice. "Andrew Jackson , is just a wonderful place because we had such a need in the intercity for more pre-k classes” Pre- k is a big step for young children but leader of early foundation, Mary Myers says it’s a great introduction to school. “Introduces them to big school. And that’s one of the

TDOT makes Labor Day weekend travel less stressful

People all over the country are hitting the road to start their Labor Day holiday travel. Danielle Mcknight-Zellner and her family drive over nine hours every single year for labor day weekend. “So this is a tradition of ours we go down every Labor Day weekend for a family reunion.” says Mcknight-Zellner. According to AAA, Labor Day weekend is one of the most traveled weekends of the entire summer. And they project a lot more people than last year plan to drive to their destination. The Tennessee Department of Transportation is doing their part to help. Starting tomorrow at noon TDOT will be halting all lane closures on state highways and interstates to make holiday travel just a little less

RIFA's biggest food drive of the year is here

“People always ask us what's your biggest fundraiser and this is it by a long shot,” says Lindsay Dawkins. Trinity Christian and the University School of Jackson’s annual food drive is the answer to that question. In the past eight years the two schools have raised more than 383 thousand pounds of food. And now that they are in their 9th year, they are ready to reach this years goal. “Yesterday me and 2 other seniors went door to door asking for donations then we also purchased some,” say students McKenna Smith and Anika Mahajan. This year USJ and Trinity have a goal to bring in at least 90 thousand pounds of food to RIFA. The food drive provides 10 percent of the meals here at RIFA and it c

Strides are made at the city's second budget meeting

Members of the city of Jackson's budget committee left this mornings meeting with confidence as they look into the future of the city. “I just feel really good about where were moving as a city,” says Paul Taylor. During the committee's second meeting they discussed timelines for some bonds, they approved a recommendation for a municipal adviser, and they had some discussions and policies and recommendations for the mayor and council in the coming months. But most importantly, the committee approved what they have been working on for the past five weeks, a capitol budget for fiscal year 2020. “We're trying to just establish a new baseline for the city based on capital needs, on the way were

Local County Fair Opens for the 164th Year.

The oldest running fair in the American South sits right here in West Tennessee. The Gibson County Fair has been opening its gates since the 1860’s. The fair is known for its good food, competition, and also its volunteers. Andy Zarecor, member of the fair board says, “And to see volunteers working. Volunteerism is a kind of a dying art in our community.” Volunteers come in all age groups and one says this is the best part of the year. "Its always been a highlight of the fall. To come to the gibson county fair", says volunteer, Mary Kaye Campbell. Now some people that come to the fair are ready to get on this ferris wheel but some are just ready for their competition. One competitor Haleigh

Made in Tennessee: Piggyback Smokers

Just last week a business in West Tennessee celebrated its fourth anniversary. “I'm very thankful for all of it, I look back and i never dreamed or imagined it'd be the size that it is,” says owner Thomas Conatser. Piggyback smokers started in August of 2015. And since then, they have continued to grow every day. Piggyback Smokers sells all over the country. These two behind me are headed to Alabama and this one is headed North to Connecticut… but they're not done growing just yet. They are celebrating their fourth anniversary by opening up another facility. With that, Piggyback hopes to double their production of hundreds of smokers a year. Owner of Piggyback Smokers, Thomas Conatser says t

First lady Lee continues her initiative, Tennessee Serves

The senior center in the city of Bolivar got a surprise today from the first lady of Tennessee Maria Lee. “Wonderful, wonderful because we couldn’t believe it,” says Faye Brooks. Lee is continuing her initiative known as Tennessee Serves where she visits communities of counties all throughout Tennessee, especially distressed counties. And every month her initiative has a different theme. For the month of August Lee is focusing on serving senior citizens. “I hope they just recognize they have purpose,” says Lee. Lee spent the entire morning getting to know seniors in Hardeman County. First lady lee isn’t just here to serve food, she is here to serve the entire community. After today she hopes

KIWANIS CLUB HOLDS FIRST RESPONDER LUNCH

The Jackson Kiwanis Club was chartered in Jackson, Tennessee in 1955. They club focuses on helping children and the communities they live in. Today the Kiwanis Club held their annual first responders lunch. Kevin Andrews, program director says, “small way of giving them a little recognition for the hard work they do and the dedication they provide." Every year first responders are recognized from departments across the city and county. Those awarded are chosen by the peers they work with. There were six first responders awarded today and some were very surprised. “I am extremely surprised. I had no idea coming into today that i was going to get it”, says Officer Josh Keller. Officer Josh Kel

MADE IN TENNESSEE: ASIA GARDEN

In 1985 Asia Garden began to enter the stomachs of many people in the Jackson community. “When we’ve been here as long as we’ve been. You kinda become a small part of a lot of different peoples lives." After 35 years of business the restaurant still thrives Eddie Yeh the current owner of Asia Garden took over the business after his parents retired 12 years ago. Yeh says the continued business is his biggest accomplishment “I think what i am most proud of is still being here after all these years. 35 years in the resturant business is hard to do, especially here in Jackson. You know we've got a lot of choices to choose from" says Yeh. Asia garden specializes in Chinese and Japanese cuisine. T

New helipad offers Trenton residents more efficient healthcare

Air Evac now has a place to land in the city of Trenton. After a hospital and the emergency room closed in Trenton in 2013, community members started to think of ways they could get healthcare to rural west Tennessee. Bob Wilson, CEO of AVC Incorporated says, “As health care gets farther and farther away we need a way to get people farther and farther away faster.” Along with a ribbon cutting of the new helipad, Air Evac also gave the citizens of Trenton a free year subscription to use. It will allow residents to be transported to hospitals in Jackson or Memphis if needed. Trenton city Mayor Ricky Jackson says the helipad has been in the works for about a year and is looking forward to a hea

Local business ready to open while gas stations see consequences for selling to minors

First on the agenda at this morning's beer board meeting was to consider a request for the business known as Cody's on Heritage Square. Paula Kim Rundles recently took over ownership and went through a series of questions from the board before getting her license for selling storing and serving beer approved. “Make sure they follow the laws and regulations we have in place," says Councilman Johnny Dodd. After events like a shooting last year, Cody's says they plan to not only change their look but also the way things were being done. “We're trying to have a better standing with the community,” says Tim Seratt. Four gas stations in Jackson also had to come across the board. The Jackson Police

Country music artist Darryl Worley continues to give back to his community

Country music artist Darryl Worley travels all over the world but always comes back to his roots in his hometown of Savannah, Tennessee. “Honestly it’s the people in that place that ground you and make you want to be there,” says Worley. And its not just coming back to Savannah that he looks forward to, its giving back to his community. Almost 20 years ago Worley turned a dream into reality with the Darryl Worley Foundation and now the foundation has given more than a million dollars to those in need. Worley says it leaves him speechless. “It’s a massive blessing i don’t know how to put it into words. I think we're all the same it warms our heart to the point i could just cry,” says Worley.

Congressman David Kustoff at Roundtable Discussion

Congressman David Kustoff joined industry leaders in Jackson and Madison County to discuss the economy in Tennessee. “So the feedback that I get from roundtables like the one we had this morning it helps me not only to vote it helps me draft legislation”, say Kustoff. The current unemployment rate is at a 50-year low and over one million jobs have been added to the economy. Kustoff says, “the challenge to attract new employees qualified employees who can do the jobs of those who are retiring. That is true for West Tennessee and the Nation.” Although the lack of skilled workers is high the Jackson chamber continues to work with businesses… the school system… and local colleges to train young

Merriweather releases a proposal for JMCSS

Proposal for unity in the community… that’s the title of an email Jackson Madison County school system board member Morris Merriweather sent out last Friday. The proposal includes many different aspects, in hopes to satisfy community members all throughout the city of Jackson. “We have a division among the board, we have division in the community, somewhere along the line we have got to bring it together so i got to thinking what can we do to make sure the total community can be happy with whats going on in public education,” says Merriweather. In the proposal, Merriweather recommends that the new pope school be build on Ashport Road, that the city donates Oman Arena , and that Madison and J

Made in Tennessee: Moore Studio

“He would use flash powder… he would go *pusch* like that." Mitch Carter the third generation owner of Moore Studio in Jackson, Tennessee remembers the old way to take photos. Moore studio has been in the Jackson community since 1903 when Robert and Betty Moore moved here from North Carolina. Carter started his career at Moore Studio when he was 18 and after 60 years he still loves to get behind the camera. Mitch Carter says, "It’s just fun to be a photographer. Just to wake up every day and know that you are going to get to do these." Moore Studio has taken photos for schools… county and city officials… and the local Miss Tennessee Pageant. And over time the studio has expanded. “The whole

Faces Not Forgotten

More than 100 kids paint the walls inside the Hub Club, all of them victims of gun violence throughout the nation. “I'm the mother of Rodney and Valonte Smith who were mistakenly murdered at the same time December 17, 1993 in Washington DC the nations capital,” says Shanda Smith. Faces Not Forgotten is a showcase of art that aims to provide awareness and education of the families impacted by violence in hopes to try and create safer communities. “This brings things to realization where people can see it and it will jog your heart and mindset and let you know what is really going on," says Pastor Benton. Each quilt includes 8 faces, to represent the number of kids under 20 years old that are

Weakley Co Schools make progress in fighting absenteeism

The halls of Greenfield school are buzzing with students moving about to their next class. But while these students are here today to get their education, there are some who could very well not show up tomorrow. Chronic absenteeism has been a problem in Weakley county schools for the past few years and teachers, like Tori Liggett, say it can have a negative snowball effect on student’s educational achievement. “Over time that gap just gets wider and wider and they miss so much they can’t catch up and often they are retained.” For the past couple years, roughly ten percent of Weakley county students were chronic absentees, meaning they missed 10% of the school year. High schooler chronic abse

Humboldt farmers market

“We have hungarian wax, infernal hot bananas..." says farmer Randy Long. Farmer Randy Long comes out to the Humboldt farmers market multiple times a week to get rid of the crops he grows on his farm. But before there was a Humboldt farmers market, Long was selling his products from his house in Atwood. Long has only been coming for a couple weeks, but says he already sees the benefit of attending a farmers market instead. "A lot of people don’t know how to get there they have the farmers market set up everybody can come out there and you got several more convenient vendors there and there's more to choose from,” says Long. Humboldt chamber director Amanda Love saw the need for a farmers mark

JMCSS board discussion the location for new Pope school

Jackson Madison County Superintendent Ray Washington along with school board members all agree that there has to be a new Pope School. "I want to get this in place and taken care of without any more impediments we need to do it,” says Washington. What the discussion at last nights school board meeting was about was where to build it: Ashport Road or Passmore Lane. The school system brought in architects to compare both pieces of land. After evaluation, they said Passmore Lane was a better location but the school system needs another piece of assurance. “With these surveys and the soil tests well do well confirm these properties are available to be built upon without environmental hazards.”

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