The year 2012 began with new hallways for Millington Central High School students to navigate. The school opened the new additions of the library, cafeteria and science labs.
The groundbreaking on that new building started in May 2010. Principal Mark Neal gave The Star a tour of the new area that would welcome back students from their holiday break. The new addition made it possible to get around the entire school without stepping foot outside.
In political news, residents of Millington entered the year knowing they would have a presidential and mayoral election. But with outgoing Mayor Richard Hodges retiring on Jan. 13, locals awaited the vote of the Millington Board of Aldermen on who would fill the seat until a new mayor was elected.
The days leading up to the Board’s vote, two candidates emerged in former alderperson Linda Carter and local businessman Jim Music. At the day of the vote in the chambers of City Hall, longtime Mayor George Harvell was nominated.
The Board voted for Carter over Music and Harvell making her the interim mayor and first female to hold the post in city history.
Nationally President Barack Obama announced troops were coming home from major military action in Iraq. Millington was the location for several troops returning home including the 230th Triple E.
In sports, Tipton-Rosemark Academy senior JT Moody becomes the first player in school history to tally 1,000 career points during a game against St. George’s. Moody is now playing at Christian Brothers University. He was later joined in the season by classmate Julanne McCommon in the school’s 1,000-point club.
January concluded with The Millington Star announcing its Woman and Man of the Year Awards. The Woman of the Year was the Millington Crisis Center’s Lois Wilber. She was recognized by the readers for her tireless efforts in helping the area’s needy year around.
The Man of the Year was Randy Hart from Homer Skelton Ford. Hart became the face of the business reaching out to sponsor major events throughout the year.
The readers voted Lt. Rita Stanback Officer of the Year and Lt. Allen Coulter Firefighter of the Year.
P.A.M.S., a organization formed by parents concerned for the future of Millington children and their schools, announced a meeting to come in February. P.A.M.S. started its mission to inform and educate the Millington public about Unified School System vs. Municipal Schools.
In school news in Tipton County, Brighton junior McCallie Ruffin helped organize a game to benefit the disease she’s battling. Brighton raised money for research against diabetes.
A local book the Images of America Millington by Rita Hiltenbrand Hall was release displaying the history of the town through photos.
Before the first meeting for the public on municipal schools, Mayor Carter announced it was feasible for Millington to have its on school district. At the time of her statement, the four schools located within the city limits were E.A. Harrold and Millington Elementary schools, Millington Middle School and Millington Central High School.
In business news, the popular Memphis eatery El Mezcal opens on Highway 51 near the Hampton Inn. Owner Cesilio Torres said the location of the Mexican restaurant was to draw more attention to the area just north of Crosspointe Baptist Church and with the new Veterans Parkway intersection coming soon.
Close by, an ordinance was passed that would re-zone property adjacent to Lowe’s.
Winterfest was held at MCHS with Megan Long winning the honor. And 2010 MCHS graduate Frankie Dakin took a break from his classes at Rhodes College to pull a petition to run for alderman.
At the time Dakin announced he was running for one of Millington’s alderman spots, he was 19. The youngest candidate in the field pledged to hit the streets, use social media and his love for his hometown to make himself the best man for the job.
Millington senior running back Roland Genesy was ready to prove he was the man for the job at UT-Martin. He inked a national letter of intent on National Signing Day after a senior season of leading the Trojans to the District 14-3A title, a 9-2 record and more than 1,500 yards rushing.
The duo who helped clear the way for him all season of Jamal Collier and Brian Carmichael also signed letters of intent to play college football. Both linemen were heading to Delta State University.
In Brighton, the community was excited for the Division I signing of wide receiver Ricky Foster. The record-breaking receiver was heading to Tennessee State University.
P.A.M.S. holds its meeting with nearly 300 residents showing up in the MCHS Auditorium. Around that time the Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen unanimously passed an ordinance on first reading that would authorize the creation of a municipal school district and submit the question to the city’s voters in a special referendum.
On the mat, Millington wrestlers Alan Vazquez, Luke Walker and Devante Robinson shine at Regionals and reach the State Tournament.
New Millington Area Chamber of Commerce President Charles Gulotta was welcomed at the monthly luncheon at Old Timers. Also a special guest that day was new Millington Star owner Clay Foster of Journal Publishing based out of Tupelo, Miss.
Some residents didn’t welcome a proposed change to the city’s charter. Alderman candidate Dakin and supporters rallied outside of City Hall to stop the changes on the charter effecting the seat of mayor and the age requirements to run for a position.
Coming into March, the talk of the town was still the proposed charter changes.
Up in Tipton County, basketball was making headlines with the Brighton Cardinals and Munford Lady Cougars advancing deep into the Regional Tournaments. Both teams had their seasons come to an end in the Arlington Gymnasium courtesy of the Bartlett schools in thrillers.
Meanwhile in Millington, the Board unanimously passed an ordinance on second reading that would authorize the creation of a municipal school district and submit the question to the city’s voters in a special referendum.
Northaven holds a schoolwide Read Across America event that feature several guest including Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell.
MCHS inducts newest members of the National Honor Society and a MCHS alum was having success on the college level yet again. Jasmine Newsome and the UT-Martin Lady Skyhawks earned their second trip to the Women’s NCAA Tournament after winning the Ohio Valley Conference championship. Newsome was also named the OVC Player of the Year.
The MCHS National Arts Honor Society hosted its’ second annual Art Show and Auction. The event is the largest fundraiser for the club.
Back to political news, names started to emerge on who will be the next mayor of Millington. Dr. Ken Uselton announced he was going to run for mayor after 15 years of serving as the minister of First United Methodist Church.
Baseball season was underway and two of the nation’s top pitchers dualed in Covington when Mountain Home Bomber ace Trey Killian took on Tipton-Rosemark Academy No. 1 David Owen. Both pitchers lived up to the hype with Killian’s Bombers outlasting the Rebels. Owen was impressive enough all season to earn a Division I scholarship to Arkansas State University.
The fourth month of the year began with another candidate for mayor gracing the pages of The Star. Community activist and grant writer Debra Sigee announced she was running. Described as a longshot candidate Sigee brought a proven resume’ of community involvement and leadership to the table.
Dakin was still making his presence felt by hosting a voter registration drive at MCHS. He was trying to get younger voters aware of the importance of the upcoming election from a local and national standpoint.
The deadline to pull a petiton for mayor and alderman came in April with 18 names on the ballot. Running for mayor were Uselton, Sigee and former Mayor Terry Jones. The aldermen candidates were Bethany Huffman vs. Rhonda O’Dell Position 1, Albert Bell vs. Hank Hawkins Position 2, Davis vs. Don Lowry Position 3, Jim Brown vs. Larry Dagen vs. Charles Reed Position 4, Thomas McGhee vs. Brett Morgan Position 5, Chris Ford vs. Oscar Brown Position 6 and Mike Caruthers vs. Jason Dupree Position 7.
The facility formerly known as Memphis Motorsports Park was under new leadership and name as the Memphis International Raceway. MIR made its first big splash with the return of the Super Chevy Show.
The Star started a promotion called Spot the Star with Betty Thomas becoming the first winner. Thomas took home a gift card for gas.
Back at City Hall, the Board approved a contract for a $45,000 Community Development Block Grant for lighting in the Old Town District.
Taste of Millington was held and Confidential Care for Woman announce plans to hold a charitiable event called Dancing with the Stars Millington.
The Millington Farmers’ Market opens up for another season. Year three kicked off with a big celebration and promotion of the Millington Art Council.
With Spring in full bloom, other outdoor festivials were held like Grovestock at the Holly Grove C.P. Church in Brighton. The annual event pays tribute to the late Kendall Marie Kercher.
Also taking place outside was the first Citywide Cleanup in Millington. More than 115 non-City Beautiful Commission members took place in cleaning up areas across the city. Among those volunteers were Sigee, Dakin and Brown.
In softball action, the defending State champions TRA Lady Rebels were on a mission to prove the previous year wasn’t a fluke. Behind stars like Mady Kate Gantt and Roxanna Kimes, the Lady Rebels earn their first Division II-A regular-season title after beating rival USJ.
Back in the classroom, area schools were preparing for graduations. MCHS announced its Top 10 which was all girls. The Salutatorian of that group was Kelsey Perry. She was profiled with her twin brother Bronson. Bronson was an ace pitcher for the Trojans.
The charter was back in the news when the Board adopted a resolution that approved a new Private Act Charter for the city.
The Star sits down with Terry Jones to profile him in the mayoral race. Jones said friends and supporters urged him to run again and finish some of the things he started in office back in 2005.
That week The Star also profiled the MCHS Valedictorian Sara Baltensperger. Also a twin, Baltensperger talked about how her other half, Amy, helped her achieve success in sports and athletics.
Board passed an ordinance on final reading that will increase the city’s sales tax if approved in a referendum. The sales tax was needed to help fund a municipal school district.
Over one weekend, Brighton, Munford and MCHS students graduated. With some of those graduates having uncertain futures, the schools were in a similar boat. The Board passed an ordinance on second reading that would amend the Municipal Code to authorize a school district and school board for the city.
In sports, area teams and athletes were trying to reach the annual Spring Fling in Murfreesboro. Teams heading to Middle Tennessee were TRA Baseball and Softball, and Munford Softball. The Asemota sisters made tennis history at Millington advancing to State as a doubles team. At Munford, Taylor Patterson had to beat her teammate Madison Willis to reach State for the second straight season. On the track, athletes like Millington’s George Odum, Brighton’s Malcolm Terry and Munford’s Sidtavious Mennis and Cedric Williams reached State.
Terry and Odum brought back multiple medals. The Lady Cougars won a game at State, a first in Munford Softball history.
Back home, the Millington Board passed an ordinance on second reading that would annex the Lucy community into the city limits. Word around town was that Lucy was needed to help form a municipal school district in Millington.
USA Stadium continues its tradition of showcasing top amateur baseball talent with the State Farm Shelby County All-Star Baseball Game. The game pitted Private School Stars vs. Public School Stars. And led by four TRA Rebels, the Private School team won the game 6-2.
The Millington Star announced 2012 Female Athlete of the Year winner Julanne McCommon. The three-sport standout was the first winner from TRA in the award’s history. McCommon inked a letter of intent to play basketball and softball at Dyersburg State.
The following week Ricky Foster of Brighton was named the Male Athlete of the Year. Foster shined in football and basketball helping both programs reach new heights.
News broke of Millingotn Police Chief Ray Douglas resigning on June 5. The following day history was made in the city when Lt. Stanback was named chief by Mayor Carter.
“I knew that I was known in the community,” Stanback said. “But I didn’t konw I had so many people behind me, backing me.” The 15-year veteran was the first black and female MPD chief.
Another departure was looming in Millington. Known as “Mr. Jack” longtime Public Works Director Jack Huffman was stepping down from his post after 41 years.
“The employees are really who made me look good. We’ve got some of the best employees. Most of them are local women and men. They’ve been dedicated to their hometown.”
The Hometown Newspaper hosted a mayoral debate at the Millington Civic Center between Jones, Sigee and Uselton. Star Editor Thomas Sellers Jr. moderated the event asking questions submitted by readers to the trio.