Archive: Spring 2011

Archive: Spring 2011

Archive: Spring 2011

Utley concert draws crowd despite rain

This year’s first Concert on the Porch at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center had to be moved indoors due to rain. But that didn’t dampen the spirits of over 100 fans who crowded into the Center to hear hometown boy, Mickey Utley, perform Sunday, May 22, 2001. Utley, along with band members Sammy Flagg (left) and Justin Hinson (right), talked with the audience, told stories and sang some of their favorite songs including Mickey’s newest release “I’m Feelin’ You” and his chart climbing hit “Cry Like Memphis.”

Woodmen of the World donate flags to Heritage Center

Brownsville’s Woodmen of the World Lodge 28 held their monthly meeting Wednesday, May 18, 2011, at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center. The Lodge has donated an American and Tennessee State flag to be displayed at the Center. Vice Mayor Carolyn Flagg was on hand to accept the donation from Lodge President Jerry Myers. Pictured are Lodge members (from left) John and Margaret Wigington, Patty Coburn, Vice Mayor Flagg, Myers, Lucinda Chilcutt, Clayton Richardson and W.O.W. Area Manager Anthony Stallings.

Haywood County budget makers mull building numbers
May 24, 2011

The 2011/2012 Haywood County government budget process has officially started. The county’s budget committee has begun the tedious process of looking at hundreds if not thousands of items in the various county government budgets.

Haywood High Scholarships total nearly $2 million
May 24, 2011

The total count and amount from last weekend’s Haywood High School graduation? The school graduated 196 students and sent them on their way with $1,910,154 in money for higher education.
Seniors raked in $701,354 in scholarships awarded by colleges and universities. Local contributors sponsored $104,800 in scholarships and the lottery provided seniors with $1,104,000.

Haywood County Library to be visited by Secretary of State
May 23, 2011

Members of the Library Board say they are expecting a visit from Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett Wednesday.
The secretary sent an e-mail stating that he’ll drop by the library at 9:45 a.m. to “make a presentation.”

Library Board Chairman Mark Dyer said he assumes Hargett will be delivering a check for $21,866. The money is for a grant recently awarded the library to update technology. Dyer said the library would use the money to update computers used by the public to access the Internet.

Haywood Megasite Authority names Franklin Smith chairman
May 23, 2011

The committee that will oversee the Haywood County Megasite has elected Haywood County Mayor Franklin Smith chairman. Smith was unanimously elected at the Haywood County Megasite Authority meeting Monday. It was the first meeting for the group that was created by the state legislature to help manage the industrial project.

The Haywood County Megasite is a more than 3,000-acre tract located near the Haywood/Fayette/Tipton County line on I-40. The Interstate’s Exit 42 is closely identified with the location. Most of the property is located in Haywood County.
Tennessee owns the property and will develop it into what leaders hope will attract a major employer for rural West Tennessee. Tennessee has recently successfully developed two megasites. The Volkswagen plant is under construction on an industrial tract near Chattanooga and Hemlock Semiconductor is in operation on another near Clarksville.

Smith said Monday that he believes the state’s building commission will quickly release money approved by the legislature. The cash, approved last year but has been withheld because of governmental red tape, will fund the process of planning and building infrastructure for the megasite.

Brownsville Mayor Jo Matherne and attorney Tommy Hooper are also on the megasite authority.

Haywood County Library to be visited by Secretary of State
May 23, 2011

Members of the Library Board say they are expecting a visit from Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett Wednesday.
The secretary sent an e-mail stating that he’ll drop by the library at 9:45 a.m. to “make a presentation.”

Library Board Chairman Mark Dyer said he assumes Hargett will be delivering a check for $21,866. The money is for a grant recently awarded the library to update technology. Dyer said the library would use the money to update computers used by the public to access the Internet.

Cookbook features recipes of Tennessee celebrities
Author to sign copies at Exit 56 Blues Fest

What do Elvis, Trace Adkins, Dolly Parton, author Sam Pickering, Pres. Andrew Jackson, and The Chattanooga Choo Choo have in common? They all have favorite recipes in Country Goodness: Recipes of Tennessee Celebrities.

You can take a lighthearted peek into the personal recipe files of celebrities from all across the state Saturday, May 28, during the Exit 56 Blues Fest, at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville, Tenn.

Cookbook Author Pamela Whinnery will be on hand and available to talk about and sign copies of her cookbook beginning at 10 a.m.

Over 300 recipes from local and national personalities, highly visible Tennesseans, are featured. In addition, there are brief notes with each recipe about the contributor.

She recalls when sending his recipe, Jordanaires bass singer Ray Walker of Memphis, who sang for years with Elvis Presley, brought a smile to her face. His statement about the recipe he sent: “I could eat this corn chowder every day. We’ve been married a little over 55 years and Marilyn and the corn chowder gets better all the time.”

Whinnery uses her books to help communities. Fifty percent of any copies that are sold are given to charities or non-profit organizations.

In addition to being interesting to read, Whinnery also believes the cookbook is a great way to publicize and promote Tennessee tourism and the wonderful people who were born, lived, or have ties to Tennessee.

“Country Goodness Recipes of Tennessee Celebrities” is available now at the Delta Heritage Center for $19.95. For more information about Whinnery and the Exit 56 Blues Fest, including a complete schedule of events,

The West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center is a tourist information center and three regional museums located off of Interstate 40 at Exit 56, behind McDonald’s, in Brownsville, Tenn. Admission is free and hours are Monday – Saturday 9-5, and Sunday 1-5. Contact the Center at 731-779-9000.


• 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 3 eggs, beaten
• 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 unbaked (8-inch) pie shell

Combine the butter and sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the butter melts, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat and whisk a small amount of the hot mixture into the eggs; whisk the eggs into the hot mixture. Whisk in the vinegar, vanilla, and salt. Spoon into pie shell and bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

Sarah Ophelia Colley, Centerville (Grinder Switch Train Station), known professionally as Minnie Pearl, was an American country comedienne who appeared at the Grand Ole Opry for more than 50 years and on the television show Hee Haw 22 years. Her catch phrase was “How-w-w-DEE-E-E-E! I’m jes’ so proud to be here!” delivered in a loud holler

Budget committee considering tornado safe place for Haywood County Schools
May 19, 2011

The Haywood County Commission’s Budget Committee met with Cary Henson of Envirosafe Solutions in Jackson to discuss the potential for building tornado safe spaces to accommodate children and faculty at Haywood County Schools. There is a tornado safe space at the new Haywood County Justice Complex, and the increasing frequency of violent weather has prompted commissioners to consider the safety of school buildings.

Henson explained that tornado safe areas can be independently constructed buildings or retrofitted interiors of existing structures. They are designed to withstand 250 mile per hour winds without damage and there may be grants available to defray costs. Commissioners requested that Henson review the current renovation plan at Haywood High, and look at other schools to make proposals to the budget committee.

Budget makers talking about renovations to the Haywood County Courthouse
May 19, 2011

With the move of many county officials from the Courthouse to the new Haywood County Justice Complex, leaders are considering a move of the Haywood County Property Assessor’s office from currently leased offices on the west side of the square back into the courthouse.

The Assessor’s office requires more space than it previously occupied in the courthouse. Preliminary plans, based on yesterday’s meeting, are for renovations and expansions in the courthouse so that the Assessor’s office would include the area now occupied by the County Mayor. The County Mayor and his assistants’ offices would move to the upstairs and occupy the area formerly used as the General Sessions Courtroom.

The Circuit Courtroom would be reconfigured to accommodate County Commission meetings.

Henson Construction Services has estimated preliminary costs for all three phases are projected to be in the area of $883,000.

The leased offices currently occupied by the assessor cost taxpayers between $16,000 and $18,000 annually

Numbers being crunched for 2011/2012 Haywood County budget

County budget director Larry Livingston presented Budget Committee members with preliminary requests by various county departments for the upcoming 2011 – 2012 fiscal year that begins July 1. The Budget Committee members took away from yesterday’s meeting lots of paperwork to review before returning next week for called meetings on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Livingston noted that preliminary requests would produce a county general budget of approximately $10,684,000.

Haywood County Megasite Authority to meet in Jackson
May 17, 2011

Mayor Franklin Smith told county commissioners this week that the West Tennessee Megasite Authority would meet for the first time in Jackson on Monday, May 23rd.

Governor Haslam had planned to convene the Authority earlier in the month but changed his plans because off the flooding disasters blighting several communities in West Tennessee. In connection with the upcoming Authority meeting next Monday, Deputy Governor Claude Ramsey will tour the Haywood County Megasite with County Mayor Smith and Brownsville Mayor Jo Matherne.

Governor Ramsey, from Hamilton County, was integrally involved with the megasite authority that landed the Volkswagen plant in the Chattanooga area.

Marlon Kings makes sports appointments for Haywood County Schools
May 19, 2011

Schools may be about to wrap up the current session, but Director of Haywood County Schools Marlon King is already focusing on next year. King made upper management appointments earlier this week. Wednesday he announced changes to the athletic programs.

“In an effort to provide our athletic program with additional support and hands-on leadership, I have appointed two Athletic Directors, Mr. Jim Frazier and Mr. Ray Jones,” King said.

Jim Frazier will continue in his role as a school administrator and Ray Jones as a teacher and have additional responsibilities in the school’s athletic programs.

The school’s athletic responsibilities will be split between Frazier and Jones.

Frazier will be responsible for football, baseball, soccer, softball and tennis. Jones will be in charge of basketball, track, cross-country, volleyball and golf.

Fire razes Highway 19 home in Haywood County

Justice Complex security benefits sheriff’s department
May 19, 2011

Thursday was the first “appearance day” to be held at the new Haywood County Justice Complex. Typically the sheriff’s department is responsible for transporting between 30 and 40 county jail inmates to the county courthouse for appearance day. Previously that meant loading the prisoners up at the old Highway 70 East county jail and transporting them downtown to the courthouse.

Sheriff Bond said for Thursday’s session inmates were simply escorted from the complex’s jail through secure hallways to the court. Thirty-five prisoners were in court Thursday.

Blues Fest revived in Brownsville

BROWNSVILLE, TN (May 17, 2011) – Brownsville will once again celebrate its blues heritage during the Exit 56 Blues Fest Saturday, May 28, at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center. Festivities will include an arts and crafts show, quilt exhibit, book signing, cruise-in and live music. The day long event will run from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m.

Artisans will showcase their wares from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Items for sale will include sunglasses, handmade ribbons and bows, aprons, boutique dresses, flower arrangements, jewelry, handbags, wood products, quilts and more.

Heirloom and more modern quilts will be on display inside the Center as part of the “Heritage Quilts of West Tennessee” special exhibit sponsored by Pat’s Fabrics of Brownsville. Also on exhibit will be the winning art projects of the Haywood County School children for the recent Cinco de Mayo Celebration.

Author Pamela Whinnery will be present from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., to sign copies of her latest cookbook “Country Goodness Recipes of Tennessee Celebrities.” The recipe collection includes recipes from Elvis, Trace Adkins, President Andrew Jackson and more.

Beginning at 5 p.m., local and area artist will perform from the porch of the Sleepy John Estes home, located on the grounds of the Center. Memphismusicians Graham Perry and Kevin Kilgore, members of the group Tucson Simpson will perform at 5 p.m. Brownsville’s own Clifton Smith will take the stage at 6:30; and Union City Blues band Blind Red Rooster will perform at 7 p.m.

Car and motorcycle enthusiasts are invited to cruise-in for any or all of the festivities.

Festival admission and concerts are free and everyone is invited to attend and enjoy a day celebrating the Brownsville blues. The West Tennessee DeltaHeritage Center is located off of Interstate 40 at Exit 56, behind McDonald’s. For more information, contact the Center at 731-779-9000 or visit  .

Blind Red Rooster will perform live at the Exit 56 Blues Fest
Saturday, May 28, beginning at 7 p.m.
Members of the group from Northwest Tennessee are
Smokin’ Joe Watts, Rick Casey, Coby Watts and Rob Kingrey.

Neal appointed Haywood County Farm Super.
May 17, 2011

Haywood County Director of Solid Waste Management Clinton Neal added to his workload Monday evening when the Commission appointed him as County Farm Superintendent on the recommendation of Mayor Franklin Smith. Neal has been serving as interim superintendent. His pay has been $800 monthly, but under the new appointment he’ll receive $1,000 per month. Mayor Smith noted that this salary is approximately a third of the compensation when full time workers held the job.

Mayor Smith lauded Neal for his performance at the County Farm as interim Superintendent. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation had cited the County for violations relating to the operation of the Farm, and Neal was instrumental in rectifying problems, cleaning up the Farm, and enabling the County to get a “clean bill of health” from state officials. Current operation of the farm, located on Hwy. 70 East surrounding the old County Jail building, includes the growing, cutting, and sale of hay in addition to raising cattle, growing a sizable garden, and cutting firewood.

Haywood County Board of Equalization appointed
May 17, 2011

Commissioners confirmed the appointment of Rick Bowden, Susan Scott Wilson, George Williams, Maltimore Bond and Tara Joyner to the Board of Equalization for a term of two years.

The Board hears and rules on appeals by property owners of appraised values of real estate, values used by the County Property Assessor in establishing ad valorem property taxes. State law provides an appeal process from the local tax assessor to the local Board of Equalization, then to the State Board of Equalization, and finally to state Courts if property owners deem appraisals and assessments to be unfair.

Haywood County Megasite Authority to meet in Jackson
May 17, 2011

Mayor Franklin Smith told county commissioners that the West Tennessee Megasite Authority would meet for the first time in Jackson on Monday, May 23rd.

Governor Haslam had planned to convene the Authority earlier in the month but changed his plans because off the flooding disasters blighting several communities in West Tennessee. In connection with the upcoming Authority meeting next Monday, Deputy Governor Claude Ramsey will tour the Haywood County Megasite with County Mayor Smith and Brownsville Mayor Jo Matherne.

Governor Ramsey, from Hamilton County, was integrally involved with the megasite authority that landed the Volkswagen plant in the Chattanooga area.

Haywood schools get $2 million interest free
May 17, 2011

Haywood County Commissioners approved a $1 million interest free loan Monday. The loan is in addition to an existing Energy Efficient Schools Initiative Grant to upgrade and replace heating and air conditioning units at Haywood High School.

Annual loan payments are expected to be $100,000.

According to Mayor Franklin Smith, the funds are part of an overall $4, 445,000 high school improvement initiative previously approved by the Commission and are not in addition to that sum.

Approval of the loan means that $2 million of the total expenditure will be interest free.

Haywood County Leadership class graduates
May 13, 2011

Thursday night the Haywood County Leadership 2011 class graduated. The event was marked by a dinner at the County Club. Members of the class include:

Kevin Anderson
Kelly Brown
Joey Conner
Constance Cherry
Tara Joyner
Hayden Hooper
Jody Lea
Lewis Pearson
Elizabeth Pepper-Kiestler
Veronica Poke
Jeffery Richmond
Terrance Swift
Allen Williams

Haywood County jail inmates have new home
May 10, 2011

The Haywood County Jail is closed. Monday, 113 prisoners were transferred from the Highway 70 East facility to the new justice center lock-up located at East Main and the Bypass in Brownsville.

The transfer means the 1970’s built facility is empty and the new justice complex is fully operational.

Sheriff Melvin Bond said deputies moved all of the inmates Monday morning — completing the mission about noon.

Brownsville suspends downtown parking rules
May 11, 2011

Brownsville aldermen and the mayor heard Tuesday that police are no longer enforcing the two-hour parking restriction downtown. Police Chief Chris Lea said downtown business managers and property owners agree with the police department’s new policy.

Moving the courts from the courthouse to the justice complex has freed dozens of parking spots previously occupied by courthouse worker and patrons of the courts.

Mayor Jo Matherne said downtown parking would be monitored to assure the new policy doesn’t cause problems for merchants.

Haywood schools presented award
May 11, 2011

Tennessee School Board Association Southwest District Director David Baker presented the TSBA’s prestigious Board of Distinction Award to the Haywood County Board of Education Tuesday night. This distinction, which was announced in April, recognizes outstanding performance by the school board.

Made up of five members, the Haywood County Board of Education includes Allen Currie, Harold Garrett, Pearlie Hess, Robbie Jarrett-King and Daniel Thornton.

Colhoun Trust poised to make Haywood senior scholarship awards
May 11, 2011

Haywood County Schools Chief Financial Officer Vincent Harvell told the school board this week that the Catherine Truss Colhoun Trust has a cash balance of $233,452. Dozens of students have received scholarships from the trust. Harvell said $10,000 in scholarships would be awarded this year at graduation.

Haywood County Receives Technology Grant for Library
Haywood County is one of more than 70 communities across Tennessee that will receive grants to upgrade technology at rural libraries.

These grants, which total more than $1.2 million, are the product of a partnership between the Office of the Secretary of State, the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development in a quest to strengthen rural communities by developing libraries.

The county will receive $21,866, which will be used at the Elma Ross Public Library.

“Libraries in rural areas play an especially important role in connecting citizens with the resources and opportunities that are oftentimes isolated to urban areas,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “These grants will go a long way toward providing vital access to computers and the Internet, which is particularly helpful in some of the areas that were hit the hardest by the recession.”

Grants may be used to cover costs for computer equipment, new training, educational opportunities, Internet access and other enhancements approved by the USDA.

“These grants will help people access information on employment opportunities, job training, small business development and education here in Haywood County,” said state Sen. Dolores Gresham. “This will help level the playing field in the job market and eliminate the need for some people to drive to big cities to get Internet access.”

“When people have trouble getting Internet connections or cannot afford a home computer, our public library fills a void,” said state Rep. Jimmy Naifeh. “Our community is extremely grateful for the help of the Office of the Secretary of State, ECD and USDA Rural Development.”

City of Brownsville Board of Zoning Appeals
Notice of Public Hearing

Pursuant to the City of Brownsville’s Zoning Regulations, the City does hereby give public notice of a hearing to be held by the Brownsville Board of Zoning Appeals at 5:00 PM on Thursday the 12th day of May, 2011.

The Board of Zoning Appeals will be hearing two requests:

  1. A request from Veranda Family Restaurant (326 West Main Street) to either grandfather their business identification sign or to grant a variance allowing the sign to flash.
  2. A request from the City of Brownsville to grant a variance reducing the required parking at 1415 East Main Street (site of Farmers Insurance).

All interested persons wishing to voice support or opposition to these requests are encouraged to attend.

Posted May 5, 2011:
Brownsville City Hall
Haywood County-Brownsville website
Haywood County Courthouse
Haywood County Justice Center
Elma Ross Public Library

Mickey Utley to perform “On the Porch”

BROWNSVILLE, TN (April 25, 2011): After two months performing on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship “Voyager of the Sea,” Brownsville’s own Mickey Utley will return to his hometown Sunday, May 22, to perform on the porch of the Sleepy John Estes home at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center. The concert is free to the public and will begin at 3:30 p.m.

Utley is set to release a new single this summer titled “I’m Feelin’ You.” His last single “Cry like Memphis” is getting worldwide play and has made it on to the Music Row Charts.

“I’m looking forward to coming back home to play,” says Utley of his upcoming concert. “There’s nothing like coming home to perform where it all started.”

Called a soul-billy rocker, Utley says playing music is second nature to him. He also spends time writing and perfecting his rock-n-roll infused country sound.

The May 22 concert is part of the 2011 Summer Concert Series “Concert on the Porch.” Utley CDs will be available for sale and he will also be signing autographs and posing for photos immediately following the concert.

To learn more about Mickey Utley, visit

The West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center is a tourism information center with three regional museums located at Exit 56, behind McDonald’s, in Brownsville, Tenn. The “Concert on the Porch” series is presented once a month May through September and features performances by local and area artists. To learn more about the Center and for a complete schedule of concerts, visit the website at

Hopson to sign new book at Delta Heritage Center

The West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center will host authors and book signing for I Do…Every Day, Words of Wisdom for Newlyweds and Not so Newlyweds, Saturday May 14, from 2 – 4 p.m.

I Do…Every Day, Words of Wisdom for Newlyweds and Not so Newlyweds, is the newest book of devotions from Haywood County native Dr. Cynthia Bond Hopson. This time she has teamed up with her husband, Roger, and they’re on a mission to help newlyweds and couples revitalize marriage as the treasure God intended.

In the 31 reflections released May 1 from Abingdon Press, the Hopsons offer straight talk, ask tough questions that may cause a little blushing (don’t worry, nothing X-rated), and tell stories that will touch readers where they live, inspiring them to be equal partners, friends and lovers. It is for anyone who has ever said “I do,” “I will,” or “I messed up” and even those who are getting ready to walk down the aisle.

This is Hopson’s fifth book and it joins her popular titles, Wiggle Tales, a collection of her columns from the Brownsville States Graphic, an account of media coverage of voter registration in Haywood County, Times of Challenge and Controversy, and her two books of devotions for women, Bad Hair Days, Rainy Days and Mondays, and Too Many Irons in the Fire and They’re All Smoking!

Hopson is the daughter of Mrs. Alvis M. Bond of Stanton and the late John A. Bond Jr., Emma and Carey Bowles. She is assistant general secretary for the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s Black College Fund. This is her first writing venture with her husband, a United Methodist minister who serves as executive assistant to the Nashville Area bishop. They live in Lebanon, Tenn.

The West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center is a tourist information center and three regional museums located at Interstate 40 and Exit 56, behind McDonald’s, in Brownsville, Tenn. For more information, call 731-779-9000, or visit website:

Brownsville attorney to serve on Haywood Megasite Committee
April 28, 2011

Tommy Hooper will serve on the Haywood County Megasite Committee. Speaker of the Senate Ron Ramsey and Speaker of the House Beth Harwell appointed Hooper to the committee this week.

Hooper received a letter Thursday asking that he participate.

A megasite meeting planned for Thursday afternoon with Governor Bill Haslam was cancelled because of severe weather earlier in the week.

Funding for the first phase of infrastructure for the megasite, though approved by the legislature, has been held up by other government red tape. Hooper said Thursday that freeing the cash may be one of the committee’s most immediate tasks.

Haywood County Mayor Franklin Smith and Brownsville Mayor Jo Matherne also serve on the committee.

Brownsville group tours Hernando
Community Editor
Published: Thursday, April 21, 2011 1:06 AM CDT

This story republished by permission of the Desoto Times

HERNANDO— Brownsville city officials took in the sights and sounds of Hernando, the historic DeSoto County seat, during a tour of landmarks, museums and residential areas.

City Planning Director Bob Barber acted as host, giving officials with the West Tennessee city a glimpse of “what good planning can do in a community.”

“DeSoto County has a long, long history of planning,” Barber told city officials as they gathered inside the small theatre inside the DeSoto County Museum. “It really came to bear in 1996 when the City of Hernando set up a planning commission.”

Barber said Brownsville, which has a population of 10,500 and a total area population of 19,000, can learn from Hernando’s past failures and successes.
Brownsville, located 25 miles west of Jackson, was founded nearly 10 years before Hernando in 1824. The town has one of the oldest synagogues in Tennessee and was home to rock star Tina Turner during her teenage years.

Barber led Hernando city officials on a similar tour of Franklin, Tenn. in 2005 in an effort to see what that Tennessee city had done to ensure quality growth.

Much of Franklin’s growth was centered around its historic battlefield and picturesque town.

“Step one was to preserve the historic core of our community which is the historic town square,” Barber said.

Barber said Main Street Association official Beverly Ming came to Hernando more than a decade ago and told officials that Hernando was “the best kept secret in Mississippi.”

Barber said city officials went about the process of involving the town’s leaders in crafting its future and preserving its past.

“A town ought to be a partner in designing its future,” Barber said. “A town understands its past.”

Barber said Brownsville officials shouldn’t be discouraged if their town is not growing as fast as they would like.

“The town was literally stagnant,” Barber recalled. “We began to implement goals slowly over time and we began to change the dynamic.”

More often than not, that meant implementing zoning laws and changing the aesthetic appeal of the town by eliminating large unsightly signs and maintaining the historic characters of store facades when possible.

Brownsville officials said they liked what they heard.

“We all came away with the overwhelming sense that if you stick to your course you can get it done,” Brownsville Mayor Jo Matherne said. “I know that Hernando grew up very rapidly in the 70s, 80s and 90s and Brownsville has been in a slow decline over the past several years. Our revenues are dwindling while your revenues are increasing. We hope to reverse that trend.”

Haywood County Board of Education earns TSBA Board of Distinction honor

The Haywood Board of Education is being honored by the Tennessee School Boards Association (TSBA) for its efforts to effectively govern public schools for more than 3,100 students.

TSBA will present its prestigious Board of Distinction Award, which recognizes outstanding performance by the entire school board, at a public board meeting to highlight the accomplishments of Haywood County’s elected education leaders. The award will be presented by David Baker at the Haywood County Board of Education meeting in May.

Made up of five members, the Haywood County Board of Education includes Allen Currie, Harold Garrett, Pearlie Hess, Robbie Jarrett-King and Daniel Thornton.

“The Tennessee School Boards Association believes it is important to recognize individual school board member accomplishments, but it is also important to recognize outstanding performance by school boards as corporate units,” TSBA Executive Director Tammy Grissom said. “TSBA’s Board of Distinction Program is designed to recognize those school boards that meet the highest levels of achievement in the areas of planning, policy, promotion and board development. We are extremely proud of the Haywood County Board of Education for its demonstrated commitment to effectively serving today’s students and taxpayers while planning for the future.”

To qualify, boards must complete meet specific standards in the four areas of emphasis within a two-year period. Specific requirements for the award include conducting a superintendent evaluation, developing a five-year plan, participating in a board retreat, conducting an annual review of all board policies, being represented at the TSBA Delegate Assembly, adopting the TSBA Code of Ethics and participating in a board self-evaluation.

“Haywood County is blessed to have such a wonderful group of public servants on the Haywood County School Board. Although each member is an individual, they come together to do what is right for the children of Haywood County. I am proud to work with this Board of Distinction,” said Superintendent of Schools Marlon King.

Recipients of the award are presented with a plaque to display in their central office. Designation as a Board of Distinction is given for two years, after which the board may submit another entry for continued Board of Distinction status.

The Tennessee School Boards Association, a statewide, nonprofit organization, is a federation of all the state’s local school boards. It serves as an advocate for the interests of Tennessee’s nearly one million public school students and 136 school districts.

Haywood School’s Marlon King receives award at University of Mississippi

Haywood County Schools Superintendent Marlon King was honored at the University of Mississippi as the 2011 Outstanding Doctoral Student in Elementary Education. The Dean of Education, Dr. David Rock, presented the award the King.

Among the deans and honorees of all university departments, King was one of 10 high-achieving scholars from the School of Education.
In November 2009, King was among 13 students inducted into the University of Mississippi Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, an international honor society.

Mr. King’s GPA is 3.8.

Haywood Schools could get an extra million at 0%
April 13, 2011

Haywood Schools may be eligible for a $2 million zero percent loan — double the amount they’d hoped for.

Last fall the county commission and the school board struck a deal to complete a multi-million dollar renovation at Haywood High. The school system applied for a $1 million no interest loan from the state and county commissioners promised to fund the balance of the expense.

Last night Director of Schools Marlon King told school board members the state has now said Haywood Schools might be able to borrow $2 million and re-pay without interest. School board members gave King permission to present the opportunity to the county commission. Under King’s proposal, schools would repay $1 million of the loan and county government the balance. The county commission had planned to issue bonds for their share. County commissioners voted to fund the first two years of payments with money they borrowed to build the justice complex.

The work on the school is scheduled to start this summer and be completed in the summer of 2012.

Brownsville approved $500,000 to extend utilities at Exit 56
April 13, 2011

Having previously annexed property on the south side of Interstate 40 at Exit 56, city fathers took steps yesterday to provide essential services to that area.

Mayor Jo Matherne explained that Miller Contractors had submitted the low bid to provide utilities across I – 40. The approved Miller bid of $464,183.77 will result in the commencement of construction to provide water and sewer lines to the south side of the interstate. Total costs of the project with engineering and architectural fees will likely exceed a half million dollars. Mayor Matherne noted that funding for the long planned project is already available via budget allocations in previous years and will not result in a budget shortfall in 2011.

Brownsville downtown renovations to start in May
April 13, 2011

Mayor Jo Matherne announced the impending commencement of a court square beautification that has been years in the making. The landscaping, walkway, and parking improvements are to begin by May 9 and are to be completed within 90 days of the start date. The improvements are made possible by a $750,000 grant.

The Mayor requested the patience of Brownsville motorists during implementation of the project, as there will be some detours around Court Square while the work is being done. (Meeting for downtown merchants and property owners April 19, 5:30, Delta Rom)
Brownsville Police will coordinate with the contractors to minimize inconvenience until the project is completed.

Brownsville leaders approve event requests
April 13, 2011

As Mayor Jo Matherne noted, spring weather in Brownsville brought with it a number of requests to hold outdoor activities in the city during the upcoming weeks, all of which were approved by the City Board yesterday.

The first was a request for a permit to have a block party for Haywood High graduating seniors on May 21 on Jackson Avenue between Jefferson and Main Streets. Golden Circle Insurance and Rawls Funeral home are sponsoring the event for graduates with hot dogs, soft drinks, and popcorn to accompany the celebration.

The Brownsville Business Association also sought and obtained a permit to host a Cinqo de Mayo Heritage Celebration on the south side of the square in the parking area from 6 to 9 p.m. on May 5th. The event will include music, food, and an art contest in celebration of this traditional Latino holiday.

Third on the permit list was the Lafayette Church of Christ and its plans to host a week long tent revival from May 22 through May 27 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at 1238 Thornton Road near Cole’s Body Shop.

The fourth event approved was a planned march by children from the Scot Street “Community Center and the Exchange Club Carl Perkins Center on Tuesday, April 26 from 4 to 5 p.m. Sponsored by the Carl Perkins Center, the march will promote peace and positive values for children and families.

Finally, the City Board approved a request by the Nola Walker Bond Scholarship Committee to host a picnic and Barbeque at the old Kroger parking lot on East Main on Saturday, April 30, from 9 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon.

Brownsville celebrates diversity with Cinco de Mayo

You’re invited to join your friends and neighbors Thursday evening, May 5, for Brownsville’s first Cinco de Mayo Heritage Celebration. This is an opportunity for all ages, races and nationalities to come together in a family-friendly atmosphere to celebrate the unique diversity of our community.

The night’s event will take place on the south side of the court square from 6-9 p.m., and will include live music, food, games and art contests.

Heading the line-up for the evening’s entertainment is Jupiter Stone. This band features Josh and Steven Stewart of Brownsville and two other regional band members. Jupiter Stone has performed throughout West Tennessee. Also in the line-up is the local group Hannah & Company; and includes Hannah Bains, Andy Cooper and Joe Mallette. This year’s Haywood’s Got Talent winner will also be invited to perform at the event.

The community is invited to participate in several art contests. The first is a competition among local school children. All students in the Haywood County School system, and including Haywood County students who are homeschooled, are invited to submit artwork no larger than 9”x12”. Students will be judged in appropriate age and grade categories. This contest is free and open to any Haywood County student.

All ages are invited to test their Pinata making skills in the Pinata Contest. All the piñatas will be donated to the Brownsville – Haywood County Parks and Recreation department for use in their summer programs. An entry fee of $10 is required.

The community is also invited to enter a Tile Painting Contest. Entry fee is $10 and includes a 4”x4” tile. Tiles entered in this contest will be donated to the Carl Perkins Center and will be separated into multiple groups and auctioned off during the annual Dinner and Auction next year. (Please see the ad, located elsewhere in the publication.)

It will be a fun night and a great opportunity to come together on the historic court square. The event is sponsored by the Brownsville Business Association and these local businesses: All That’s Victoria, Las Palmas Mexican Restaurant, Ketchum Carpet, Moore Insurance Agency, Brownsville Bells Funeral Home, Lea and Simmons Funeral Home, The Computer Patch, Williams Insurance Agency, Lock Stock & Barrel, Frank and Vicky Fawcett, Haywood Harbinger, Outlaw Design, Veranda Restaurant, Backyard Barbecue, Hatcher Autoplex, DC Construction, First South Bank and Richards-Cummins Real Estate.

For more information about Brownsville’s Cinco de Mayo Heritage Celebration, contact Vickie Cooper at 731-772-4477.

Jupiter Stone will be the featured entertainment at Brownsville’s Cinco de Mayo Heritage
Celebration May 5. The event will also include an art contest, games and food.

Tour Historic Brownsville Homes and Churches May 1

Visit some of Brownsville’s historic homes and churches during the Spring Tour of Homes Sunday, May 1. Seven locations will be open from 2-5 p.m., for self-guided tours. Special treats include refreshments at First United Methodist Church and a Flower Festival at Christ Episcopal Church.

The tour stops include:

Brownsville First United Methodist Church (117 East Franklin Street)
The present brick sanctuary was constructed in 1899. Built in the Gothic Revival style, it has Richardsonian influences, such as the blond brick outlining of the exterior arches. It features a vaulted cross-shaped sanctuary and magnificent stained glass windows. The tour will also feature the recently completed state-of-the-art multipurpose building. Refreshments will be available.

Hutchison-Elcan-Lynn Home (124 Church Street)
Listed on the National Register of Historical Places, the Lynn family is known for dressing in period clothing to greet their guests. This Greek Revival home with Italianate influences was built in 1867. Among its distinctive features are the plaster ceiling designs in the hall and parlor, which are said to be patterned after those at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, and a spiral staircase.

Christ Episcopal Church (140 Washington Ave.)
This excellent example of Gothic Revival style was built in 1854 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The original tin ceiling was installed in 1892 and the center medallion area once held a large candle chandelier. A Flower Festival will be presented in the side yard.

Temple Adas Israel (Intersection of Washington and College)
Located directly across the street from Christ Episcopal and also listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the temple was dedicated in 1882 and is the oldest temple in continuous service in the State of Tennessee. At one time it was the largest synagogue between Memphis and Nashville. Each stained glass window has significance and the excellent acoustics in the building makes it a favorite place for concerts and recitals.

Bond-Meux-Livingston Home (611 Main Street)
Robert Bond built this home for his wife, who admired the style of the Grove Park Inn in Ashville, North Carolina. It was built circa 1912, and features massive stone columns, a side porte-cochere and a shed dormer with five transom-topped windows. The home has a grand center staircase and large spacious rooms with 12 foot ceilings.

Bomar-Martin-Richards Home (250 N. Grand Ave.)
Built in 1927, this home was originally a two bedroom, one bath English Cottage. Additional rooms were added in the 50s and 2000. The home features a hand-hewed stone fireplace and an eclectic style of decorating.

Banks Home (924 Creekwood Street)
Completed in 2006, this plantation-style home was modeled after the 2002 Southern Living Dream Home. Inside and out, this classical house reflects Southern architecture with its plantation shutters, French doors, copper accents and a formal entrance marked by a pediment and columns. Inside the high ceilings and careful placement of windows and doors create a spacious effect. Deep-set porches adorn the front and back of the home.

Cost of the tour is $20 for adults and $5 for students. Advance tickets can be purchased at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center, located on I-40 at Exit 56, behind McDonald’s, and will include a map. Tickets will also be available May 1, at each tour location.

The Spring Tour of Homes is presented by Hope for Haywood and Habitat for Humanity of Haywood County. All proceeds will benefit local families who suffered loss from the May 2010 flood and to assist Habitat for Humanity in building homes for those who live in sub-standard housing.

For more information, contact Tom Orr, 731-225-1728, or Sandra Silverstein, 731-780-1354.

Brownsville, TN – Haywood Park Community Hospital is once again seeking to honor one of its nurses through its annual Patient Choice Awardprogram. This award recognizes the level of quality care, comfort and compassion offered by nurses each day. Continuing the tradition of the last few years, the hospital is asking for input from the community, and one nurse chosen from the nominations will receive the Patient Choice Award at Haywood Park Community Hospital during Nurses’ Week, May 6-12.

Haywood Park Community Hospital asks former patients and family members to be involved in spotlighting an exceptional nurse because patients are the ones directly impacted by outstanding care.

“We are asking patients and their family members to provide us with the nominations because they see the little things that matter so much on a very personal level,” says Steve Collins, Chief Nursing Officer for Haywood Park Community Hospital. “They know who goes the extra mile to make sure a patient experience exceeds expectations – and after all, it is the Patient Choice Award.”

If you or a family member have come to Haywood Park Community Hospital for inpatient, outpatient or emergency care in the last year and you have a nurse you’d like to thank for going the extra mile, don’t miss this chance. Nominations for the 2011 Patient Choice Award will be accepted until Friday April 29. Nominations can be made online at the hospital’s website at  <>  .

Or, nominations can be e-mailed, mailed or faxed (as long as it arrives by April 29). E-mail nominations to,  mail to: Glenda Wilson, Marketing Director, Haywood Park Community Hospital, 2545 N. Washington Ave., Brownsville, TN 38012, or fax to: 731-772-9428.

Outlaw-Clark Elected to TAM Board of Directors

Seventeen West Tennessee museum professionals joined others from across the state for the Tennessee Association of Museums (TAM) annual conference. This year’s event was held in Johnson City, Tenn., March 23-25.

During the annual business meeting, Sonia Outlaw-Clark, director of the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center, was elected to a two year term on the TAM Board of Directors as an At Large Representative for West Tennessee.

Other West Tennessee representatives elected to serve on the board were Deborah Shaw Laman, Casey Jones Museum, Jackson, and Jacob Shock, Museum of Biblical History, Collierville.

The purpose of TAM is to encourage and improve the practices of museums in the state, to stimulate public interest and promote the exchange of ideas among museums and museum professionals while preserving Tennessee’s cultural, historical and scientific heritage. To learn more about TAM, visit

Seventeen West Tennessee museum professionals traveled to Johnson City, Tenn., March 23-25, to attend the Tennessee Association of Museums annual conference. Pictured are: (seated, from left) Nancy Bassett, Collierville, Dian McGuire, Lexington, Barbara Andrews, Memphis, and Norma Steele, Paris; (standing, from left) Tracy Lauritzen Wright, Memphis, Don Bassett, Collierville, Wanda Conger, Parsons, Bill Hickerson, Humboldt, Branson Townsend, Parsons, Renee Moss, Adamsville, Bill Cloar, Dyersburg, Joyce Riddell, Lexington, Danny Walden, Dyersburg, Suzy Herron, Paris, Polly Brasher, Union City, Jestein Lamey, Memphis, and Sonia Outlaw-Clark, Brownsville.

Brownville sign ordinance under review
March 25, 2011

The Planning Commission discussed concerns about the signage along Brownsville’s main corridors.

Blinking signs are not allowed under the current ordinance, but there are few limitations on the size and location of commercial signage in Brownsville. City Building Inspector Jerry McClinton is in the process of compiling a study of sign ordinances in 15 communities in areas around Brownsville for comparison and reevaluation purposes.

The Commission will take the information from the study and make recommendations to the aldermen and the mayor concerning possible changes to the current ordinance.

Brownsville downtown renovation could start soon
March 25, 2011

Mayor Jo Matherne says the Tennessee Department of Transportation has notified her that the low bid for the downtown redevelopment project in Brownsville has been received.

The bid process clears the way for implementation of the plan to improve landscaping and parking around court square.

Brownsville planner Tom Skehan advises strategy
March 25, 2011

Community Principal Planner Tom Skehan of The Tennessee Dept. of Economic and Community Development met with the Brownsville Planning Commission and advised members to devote part of their monthly meeting time to strategic land use planning for the City of Brownsville. Skehan suggested taking demographic information and trends along with existing land use patterns to formulate a strategic plan for the future development of Brownsville.

Questions such as where to locate the central business district, where to locate educational facilities, and residential growth need to be incorporated into future planning.

Brownsville preservation project meeting set
March 25, 2011

City Director of Planning Sharon Hayes noted that the First meeting of the local Steering Committee for the State Downtown Preservation Project would occur on April 6th.

Brownsville was one of only 12 communities chosen statewide by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to provide assistance in the historic preservation and economic development of small towns through this project, which is soon to get underway.

Called meeting of the Brownsville City Board
March 25, 2011

There will be a called City Board Meeting this Tuesday, March 29, at 5:30 P.M. for the purpose of the second public reading of the proposed expansion of the Urban Growth Boundary for Brownsville.

Brownsville On the Move Ready for Next Meeting
March 25, 2011

The Brownsville on the Move planning process, a partnership with the City of Brownsville and the University of Memphis Planning Department will host its next meeting on Saturday, April 2nd from 10 am to 12 pm at the First South Bank Community Center, located on West Main Street.

Over the past two months project members have been soliciting feedback from town residents to learn more about what makes Brownsville great and what needs to happen to make it better. The visioning exercise is part of a six month community-wide input process which will lead to a community-based plan for the future development and growth of Brownsville based on the values identified by residents in surveys, interviews and input meetings.
“We know we’ve got a good thing here, it’s just building on our strengths and letting people know about it,” said Mayor Jo Matherne.

Brownsville community members of all ages are invited to come to the next input meeting to hear what residents have been saying so far and learn where we go from here. To learn more about the Brownsville on the Move visit

Personnel hired for Haywood County Criminal Justice complex.
March 22, 2011

In addition to two of the present maintenance men currently working at the courthouse who will perform duties at the Haywood County Criminal Justice Complex, Mayor Franklin Smith sought and obtained Commission approval for the hiring of David Sullivan and Raymond Starks to work at the new facility. As for security personnel, Sheriff Melvin Bond has hired Clarence Delk to fill the position of courtroom bailiff previously approved by the commission; and there will be four part time employees at the metal detector entrance working the equivalent of one full time, five-day position over the course of each week.

Haywood County Criminal Justice Complex under budget
March 22, 2011

Mayor Smith presented a cost summary prepared by Henson Construction Services referencing budgeted costs as well as current and projected expenditures on the new Justice Complex. The Henson figures contrasted the $11,370,100 budget for the construction of the facility with the projected final cost of $10,570,147, indicating the final tally to be about $800,000 under budget. Those figures do not include land and building acquisition costs. Coupled with other contingent budgeted items that did not materialize, the total amount under budget will exceed $1 million according to Mayor Smith.

There will be an open house on Friday, April 1, from 3 to 6 p.m.

Poole appointed to Haywood County Beer Board
March 22, 2011

To replace retiring member Nelson Cunningham, the Commission voted to appoint Cherrie Poole to the Beer Board. In response to an inquiry by Commissioner Robert Green, Mayor Smith stated that as far as he knew there were no time limitations on appointments, which prompted the suggestion that the beer board should have term limits with staggered rotation. On a humorous note, Commissioner Robert Earl Thornton opined that “staggered” is not a term appropriate for discussion about members of the Beer Board.

Next Haywood County Commission meeting is in May
March 22, 2011

There is no regularly scheduled County Commission Meeting for April, and the body adjourned the March meeting subject to call in April should the need arise.

City decides not to add on to Delta Heritage
March 16, 2011

The Mayor and Board of Aldermen voted unanimously to accept to recommendation of the Advisory Board of the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center to scrap plans begun in 2006 for a 5,200 square foot addition to the Center.

The original plan called for construction of an auditorium / conference room suitable for seating 100 to 150 people.

More than four years ago Brownsville sought and was awarded a Transportation Enhancement Grant of over a half-million dollars, but a recent projected construction budget puts the cost of the project at $1.2 million, over twice the original estimate. In light of the new extremely high costs for the addition, the City Board decided to return the grant money and scrap the proposed auditorium.

Aldermen accept utility rate increase
March 16, 2011

Due to increasing charges for electrical power from TVA, the Mayor and Board of Aldermen approved a requested base rate increase of approximately 5 1/2 %. Brownsville Utility Department Director Regie Castellaw noted the local rates per kilowatt-hour are among the lowest in the state and would remain competitive even after the necessary increase.

Public Hearing for Urban Growth Boundary
March 16, 2011

Continuing a theme from previous meetings, Mayor Jo Matherne presented for public comment the proposed revisions to the Urban Growth Boundary Plan for Brownsville.

Areas encompassed by the revised plan include lands stretching southward all the way to the Hatchie River and eastward almost to Interstate 40 along Highway 70 towards Jackson.

The next City Board Meeting will be a called meeting on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, at 5:30 P.M., at which time there will be a second hearing and vote on the Urban Growth Boundary Plan.

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