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Year in Review II July-December

July 2012

In the second half of the year, the local elections started to heat up. The Millington Star was in the middle of profiles for the alderman candidates.

With 15 people in the running for seven positions, local organization Jones-Phillips Civic Club hosted an Alderman Face-Off Debate at the Bethlehem MB Church in the Edmund Orgill community.

Meanwhile resident James Kerr was preparing to be honored by Memphis Bowlers’ Hall of Fame for his years of dedicated service behind the scenes of Memphis bowling.

On July 2, Helen Baddour Deneka was presented a proclamation for her 65 years of service at Baptist Hospital by Interim Mayor Linda Carter and the Board.

Millington and surrounding communities celebrated the Nation’s 236th birthday at Navy Lake with the Annual Freedom Celebration. Food and fireworks were a part of the festivities on July 3.

But a sign of bad things to come to the community started with the Millington Crisis Center reporting record lows in donations.

There were bright spots throughout the second half of the year like the Pink Heals Engine coming through town. One Saturday in June the big pink fire truck stopped outside of Millington Pro Auto for the widow of T.F. Millington to add her signature. Joe Ann Millington signed the truck to honor her husband’s memory and all those touched by the disease of cancer.

In the middle of July a plane that originated from the Millington Regional Jetport crashing in Fayette County. Rickie Charles Vaughn, 51, of Arlington passed away in the single-engine plane crash.

A buzz was created through the news and Facebook about a lawsuit filed to stop the annexation of Lucy by the city of Millington. It was thought the lawsuit would put in jeopardy Flag City’s future to form a municipal school district. The suit was filed by Lucy resident Claiborne Ferguson.

The Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted unanimously to intervene as a defendant in a lawsuit opposing the Aug. 2 municipal schools referenda.

Through the Tennessee Municipal League, attorney Ed McKinney defended Millington in the lawsuit field to stop the annexation of Lucy.

August 2012

The Tennessee tradition of Sales Tax Holiday weekend took place Aug. 3-5 giving shoppers a chance to save on back-to-school items in retail stores.

While residents were out shopping in Millington, they could spot construction work at the corner of Wilkinsville and Highway 51 at the old Perkins. Crews were working on the redesign of the building to create the Applebee’s look.

On Aug. 2 the election was held with all the Aldermen positions being filled by Bethany Huffman, Hank Hawkins, Frankie Dakin, Larry Dagen, Thomas McGhee, Chris Ford and Mike Caruthers. But a runoff would be needed to settle the position of mayor. Debra Sigee earned 17.25 percent of the vote in the three-person race. Dr. Ken Uselton was the leader that night with 43.26 percent of the vote. But he needed a majority to be elected mayor outright. With Terry Jones finishing the night with 39.21 percent of the vote, a runoff would be between Uselton and Jones.

The Millington Board of Mayor and Alderman adopted a resolution to file a lawsuit contesting the narrow defeat of a referendum to increase the local sales tax rate by half a cent.

In the city elections, Millington did pass the referendum for its own municipal school district by 64.42 percent.

The Board approved a contract authorizing professional services to conduct a planning study for the Veterans Parkway corridor.

Before Applebee’s could open, just down the street Chick Fil A was the talk of the town and nation. After comments from former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee spearheaded the “Chick Fil A Appreciation Day,” several thousands stood in long lines to eat at the restaurant. The comments from Huckabee created an imaginary line between supporting of gay marriage.

The Board passed an ordinance on first reading that would repeal the ordinance designed to annex the Lucy community into the city.

Millington Elementary started the school year with a lockdown while the Millington Police and Shelby County Sheriff’s departments executed a manhunt. All children were safe as parents had to wait a few hours to pick them up from a safe location off the campus.

The Star profiled Thomas McGhee’s historical win for Position 5 Alderman. McGhee became the first black elected official in Millington with his victory over Brett Morgan.

When Uselton stepped down from the pulpit of First United Methodist Church back in June, the church soon welcomed his replacement Rev. Ed White on June 24. FUMC members profiled their new minister in The Star pages featuring his wife Sylvia and three children.

The Millington Fire Department had a new arrival as well with a new crash truck at Station 3 at the Jetport.

August also means the return of football. Jamborees took place in the middle of the month in anticipation of the kickoff of the 2012 season.

Back at City Hall, the Board passed an ordinance on second reading that would repeal the ordinance designed to annex the Lucy community into the city.

And with the youngest Alderman in the city’s history preparing to take his seat at Position 3 in January, The Star profiled the victory of Dakin over incumbent Don Lowry.

But all the annexation and election talks quieted when news came from a Millington Football practice on Aug. 21 of the death of Dana Payne.

The sophomore wide receiver was tackled on a play and started having breathing problems. Before he was transported to a Memphis hospital, the 15-year-old Northaven youth passed away.

Payne’s passing made news nationally and his teammates had to start the season with heavy hearts at Kirby. With No. 87s on their helmets and in their hearts, the Trojans dominated the Cougars for a 31-6 win.

And just a few days later, the Trojan players and coaches laid Payne to rest after a service Aug. 28 at the Millington First Baptist Church.

Payne was remembered as a child who loved football and that brought joy to those he touched.

Applebee’s opens in late August and the Board passed an ordinance on final reading that repealed the ordinance designed to annex the Lucy community into the city.

 September 2012

The ninth month of the year marked the return of The Millington Star back to the cyber world with

For several months The Star had a presence on the Internet behind the work of Brittaney Spahr and Felicia Watkins on Facebook with Hometown Newspaper. But the new website gave The Star a chance to feature the weekly edition and post breaking news.

Goat Days 2012 took place at USA Stadium featuring a circus for the first time in the event’s history.

One of the breaking news stories on the was the murder on Sea Weed. A mother was arrested in the death of her daughter in the Millington trailer park.

News also came down that in the Nov. 6 election, Lucy residents would be able to vote on whether they want to be annexed into the city of Millington.

And in a two-day affair, the Munford Cougars finally ended their 10-year drought in the M&M Bowl beating Millington 29-28. The touchdown and two-point conversion catches of Derek Pierce gave the Cougars a reason to party on that Saturday night.

The Munford Lady Cougar Volleyball program also had a reason to celebrate that week with the return of Phil Gable. The father of sophomore standout Cecily Gable, was home on a visit after being deployed for months on the USS George H. Bush.

Millington Central High School and the MCHS Class of 2010 honored the late Rex Waits by dedicating the End Zone Grill. Waits was a football star for the Trojans in the 1950s and was founding father of the pre-game tailgate party for Boosters, MCHS staff and supporters. And his family carries on that tradition and others like feeding the players after the game.

For years Banky’s Donuts fed hungry residents treats. But owners Christine and Dennis Bankert were forced to close their doors and say goodbye to the community they love businesswise. The 8253 Highway 51 location served donuts and cakes for 8 years before the economic crunch was too much to bare.

The MCHS Band Booster forecasted tough financial times when news came they had to close their concession stand after a complaint from a nearby resident.

There was some good news on the business front with the opening of Another Plate on Navy Road. The 6353 location near Millington Elementary was opened by Elio and Angie Aguila featuring original Italian dishes.

In sports the Trojan Football team suffered another Tipton County one-point loss. The Brighton Cardinals traveled down to Flag City to pull off a 28-27 win courtesy of an Artez Harris touchdown catch. The win sparked a major winning streak for Will Wolfe’s Cardinals leading to the playoffs.

October 2012

October began with the news of Millington Telephone and Millington Cable companies being sold to Ritter Communications.

With the Nov. 6 election approaching, Kerrville residents publicly expressed concerns about the possibility that their area could be annexed into the city of Millington.

Up the road, the Cougars and Cardinals faced off on the football field in the Christian Brown Benefit Bowl. Brighton used 507 passing yards from senior Brady Stewart to win 56-33. But the major event of the night was the return of Brown who suffered injuries while overseas. The Tipton County native was given a hero’s welcome home and honored prior to kickoff of the game.

The Munford Lady Cougar Volleyball team earned another District 13-3A title and was eyeing a six straight Sub-State appearance.

Breaking news: The referendum authorizing a sales tax in Millington to fund schools had passed.

For weeks big news coming from Confidential Care for Women was the speech to be given by former Penn. Senator Rick Santorum at the annual dinner. Santorum praised the efforts of the organization during his speech at the Millington First Baptist Church.

MCHS had to delay homecoming with a heavy downpour in the area. But that didn’t stop the debut of freshman quarterback Eldon Tyms. The youthful signal caller threw a TD pass in the win over Trezevant.

The Trojans were paid a visit a few days later by the Taylor Haugen Foundation. The organization was founded in Florida after the death of Haugen, a sophomore receiver, after being tackled in a game. The death of Payne reminded Kathy and Brian of their son’s tragedy. With their foundation and EvoShield, they reached out to  Trojan Football by donating 150 EvoShield under gear for every player in the Millington program.

Mayor Carter told Lucy residents that the city did not need to annex their community to create a municipal school district.

A solid volleyball season for the Millington Lady Trojans came to an early end against Arlington in districts. But in Tipton County, the Lady Cougars and Brighton Lady Cardinals reached Regionals. Munford beat Brighton in the District 13-3A Tournament championship game in Dyer County.

On Oct. 16, a day before early voting started, Uselton and Jones were brought together by The Millington Star for a Mayoral Debate in the Millington Civic Center. Star Editor Thomas Sellers Jr. moderated the hour-long format outlining topics from city development with Veterans Parkway to the candidates vision for the city.

When Homecoming was finally held at MCHS, senior Erin Clark was crowned queen.

Before the holiday season kicked off, the Crisis Center and Millington Food Pantry reached out to the public once again to overcome record lows in donations. The VFW was the first in line to help by donating $200 to the Food Pantry.

Munford Volleyball reached Sectionals once again but suffered a defeat in the road and missed out on State.

Despite a 5-5 regular season, the Trojan Football team would have a shot at reaching State by making the playoffs as a No. 7 seed. They would face the No. 2 seeded Brighton Cardinals in the first round. The Cougars were also playoff bound taking on No. 1 seed and undefeated Jackson North Side.

The city mourned the lost of Marine and barber Clarence Joseph “Frenchy” Levesque.

And because the Shelby County Chancery Court had ruled that Millington’s sales tax referendum passed in August, the city’s residents were ineligible to vote on the county sales tax increase.

The Farmer’s Market closes out season three on Oct. 27 with a festival. And The Munford Lady Cougar Soccer program makes history by winning the District 13-3A title. It was the first in the four-year program’s history.

In other soccer news, Lady Trojan senior Katlyn Dupree breaks the single-season scoring record for Millington when she nailed her 28th goal. She is the all-time leading scorer for any player in school history with nearly 100 goals.

 November 2012

The Nov. 6 elections are held and Barack Obama is reelected president of the United States. And with a four-year gap in between, Jones is voted back into the office of mayor of Millington. Lucy approves and Kerrville rejects annexation plan.

In sports, Millington avenged the early season loss to Brighton in the playoffs winning 35-14 to advance. The Trojans were defeated the next week in an overtime thriller at Germantown 24-23.

And because the Shelby County sales tax referendum was defeated, Millington’s local half-cent sales tax increase would be implemented on Dec. 1.

As November progressed, residents would see the forming of Veterans Parkway. What started years ago through paper work and with heavy construction since 2010 opened to the public in November. The major road intersected Highway 51, Navy Road and Church Street in Millington.

As the final phases were being worked on closing down portions, major traffic jams occurred for a week. But once the phases were completed, traffic started to flow and the future of the Millington business community got a lot brighter. A major celebration was held at the Industrial Development Board after Veterans Day to celebrate the opening of Veterans Parkway.

Another change on the roads of Millington was the MPD’s Speed Van. The vehicle got a makeover with decals to indicate it’s purpose on the roads. Chief Rita Stanback made the announcement to emphasise that the Speed Van is to increase awareness to be safe on the roads of Millington.

National Signing Day marked bright futures for local athletes like

Millington’s Tiara Caldwell, Tipton-Rosemark Academy Mady Kate Gantt, and Munford’s Sami Jo Schulz and Jonathan Stark.

Back at City Hall, the newly elected Board conducted interviews for the City Manager position. The final four candidates had the same time limit and questions which were asked by the future aldermen.

And in business news, JD’s Wings 2 Go opens on Election Day. News of the wing eatery started to spread throughout Millington by month’s end. And in Tipton County another sign of growth along Highway 51 was the arrival of Dairy Queen. The business opened on Dec. 10.

 December 2012

December began with some heat, literally. There was an apparent arson at St. William Church. The office area of the church was in flames needing the MFD and Shelby County to control it. The suspect in the fire was Johnny Rivera.

But in more festive news, both Munford and Millington held their Christmas Parades on Dec. 1. As area children prepared to celebrate the holiday season, a major decision regarding their future with schools was made by U.S. District Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays.

Mayor Carter announced in the last Board Meeting of the year, that Judge Mays’ ruling did not declare municipal schools unconstitutional.

At the MPD, the staff hearts were heavy as their colleague Karen Craig was diagnosed with breast cancer in November. The department started fundraising efforts throughout December to help Craig pay on medical bills.

Speaking of donations, Woodstock Middle’s G.L.O.W. participated in “Holiday Mail for Heroes” sending several boxes to troops overseas.

Closer to home in Munford, the approaching final day for longtime assistant principal Steve McCullough neared. The veteran educator reflected on his nearly 40 years of working in the Tipton County School system and for his alma mater Munford High School.

As the year nears an end, locals saw signs of Christmas spirit like the upside-down tree at Pop’s Bar N’ Grill. But sadly the owner Pops passed away in December. He was honored by dozens and dozens for his loving spirit and giving heart.

The final signing of the year came courtesy of Munford’s Alex Selby to Mississippi College. She was the first goalie in the Lady Cougar program’s history. And she will take on the position in college while pursuing a degree in biochemistry.

And the surrounding communities heard the cries of the Crisis Center and Food Pantry. Donations started rolling in for the Toy Drive and Pantry from Kiwanis, VFW and Navy Base.year in review back IIYear in Review II

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