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YEAR IN REVIEW: Look back at January-June 2015

Year in Review graphic 2015 header1. The congregations of Millington’s First United Methodist Church and St. James CME Church came together Jan. 19 on the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday to celebrate his legacy.
The theme of the 2015 celebration by the churches was “We Are the World.” The fifth annual event was held at St. James with Rev. A.L. Robertson Jr. hosting and speaking. First United Pastor Ed White also took a turn at the podium to speak on the legacy of Dr. King.
The devotion part of the service included a welcome by Sylvia Jerry, greetings from Millington Mayor Terry Jones and St. James presiding Elder Willie Grandberry. The occasion was given by Charlotte Hatcher and recitation by Minister Charlotte Hatcher. Then the children of St. James wearing black and white under the direction of Marilyn Harris performed a liturgical dance to “We Are the World.”
The reflections of the day were given by a member of First United with the message of God loving all of us, so we should love everyone.

2. In one of the best offensive performances in Millington Central High School history, Trojan senior guard Julian Daughtry went off for 43 points tonight against the Arlington Tigers.
But the outburst of points wasn’t enough to help the Trojans beat Arlington. The Tigers outlasted Millington 70-66.
Daughtry was hot the entire night in the William Osteen Gymnasium scoring in a variety of ways. He hit floaters and drove to the rim. He hit mid-range jumpers and stop-and-pop shots. Then the senior guard heated up from behind the arch hitting several three-pointers.
Daughtry’s performance ranks behind Trojan Elvin Taylor who set the Millington single game record against Tipton-Rosemark Academy with 47 points. In the Lady Trojans’ record book is Jasmine Newsome with 44 points against Briarcrest.

SIDE NOTE: The only school Logan Stewart has known in his life is Tipton-Rosemark Academy.
The Atoka native enrolled at the school in 2002 as a Kindergartner. By the time 2011 rolled around, the talk on the campus was about the incoming freshman who was going to be a stud in at least two sports.
“I did hear some of those things,” Stewart acknowledged. “My buddies would joke around saying some stuff like that. But I tried to just play my game. I didn’t let any pressure effect me.”
In some eyes, Stewart exceeded the hype becoming an All-State player in football in 2014 and All-Region selection in baseball. In between those sports, Stewart saw some time as a multi-purpose forward in basketball.
All that time spent in Rebel uniforms, team success and individual awards helped Stewart earn the title of 2015 Millington Star Male Athlete of the Year.
“It’s definitely an honor to be recognized with such a high award,” he said.
Stewart joins former Rebel teammate Conner Alexander and Lady Rebel Julanne McCommon as winners of the award from TRA.
The 2014-15 capped off Stewart’s tenure at TRA with many academic honors as well. While playing three sports at the institution, Stewart was a member of the Beta Club, National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Science Club, Fine Arts Department and Student Council.
But the son of Chad and Amanda Stewart made a name for himself across the Shelby-Metro area in athletics.
SIDE NOTE: In the 10 years The Millington Star Female Athlete of the Year Award has been given out, the Munford Lady Cougars have compiled an Who’s Who List of winners.
The first was Whitney Malone in 2007. Then standouts like Cali Overbeck and Crystal Williams added their names. Fast forward to 2013 and 2014, Sami Jo Schulz and Jodie Duncan were awarded the prize.
Now the latest Munford Lady Cougar to win the award is volleyball and softball All-District standout Maddison Welch.
“It feels great because I know it’s a great accomplishment,” Welch said of her 2015 Female Athlete of the Year Award. “I know a lot of people who could have gotten it, but I’m glad I did.
“It feels great to follow in their footsteps because I know they’re both (Sami and Jodie) great ball players. For them to get and me to get it, it is a great accomplishment.”
Welch makes it three Lady Cougars in a row to win the award. During the tenure of Schulz, Duncan and Welch, Munford volleyball and softball reached Sub-State each year in both sports.
Welch was a part of four volleyball Sectional squads playing along side players like Cecily Gable and Lily Turner. Springtime brought success for her as well reaching the Class 3A State Softball Tournament three years in a row, coming up one game short her senior season.
“We all came together as a team in the end,” Welch recalled of the softball season. “We didn’t quite pull it off in softball but we knew what we had to do. And we did the best we could.”

3. For the second time within the past year, the Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen has voted unanimously to employ former resident Ed Haley as the next city manager.
On a motion offered by Alderman Mike Caruthers and seconded by Alderman Hank Hawkins, board members took the action Monday night after concluding a brief public interview with Haley during a special called meeting.
Under the new City Charter, the board’s vote also waived the requirement that the city manager establish a residence in Millington within 90 days of appointment and maintain it for the duration of employment. Haley lives on Armour Road, which is in the city’s Reserve Annexation Area.
Mayor Terry Jones, City Attorney Charles Perkins and Interim City Manager Chris Dorsey are authorized to negotiate the details of a contract with Haley.
A former Millington alderman and member of the Municipal Airport Authority, Haley was the Millington Jaycees’ Person of the Year in 1968, ‘69 and ‘71. He also received the Millington Area Chamber of Commerce’s Person of the Year Award in 1971.
While serving in the Tennessee General Assembly for eight years as a state representative, Haley was named Legislator of the Year in 1994, ‘96 and ‘98.
A member of the Tennessee City Managers Association since 2003, he is currently employed as Arlington’s town superintendent.

4. A Winter Storm Warning was issued for Shelby County with sleet and freezing rain expected to move into the area one February morning.
In the early hours of Feb. 16 ice could be heard hitting roof tops across Shelby and Tipton counties. The National Weather Service said prior to the wintery mix, Shelby County could get one to three inches of sleet followed by periods of freezing rain.
“Our salt and sand trucks crews are ready.  Brine solution has already been put on the roads in preparation for the ice,” said Tom Needham, director of Shelby County Public Works.
Despite the preparations, roads were still treacherous for most Presidents Day commute in the Shelby County area.  An icy glaze covers streets, especially on bridges and overpasses. Both east and west bound sections of Highway 385 near I-240 have been shut down.
“Motorists should use extreme caution if they have to travel this morning,” Dale Lane said, director of the Shelby County Office of Preparedness. “Public works crews continue to put salt and cinders on roads throughout the county.  Sleet is predicted for the area through mid-morning.”
SIDE NOTE: First it was freezing rain and sleet, then hours of snowfall covered the Mid-South March 4 into the next morning.
Residents of Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee woke up to winter scene more fitting for a Northern city. Several inches of the wintry mix covered Shelby and Tipton counties in Tennessee.
With the winter weather came school closing Thursday and Friday for Millington Municipal Schools, Shelby County Schools and Tipton County Schools. By Friday there was some melting on roads under the sunlight.
The latest update Friday morning from the Shelby County Office of Preparedness stated there was a wind child advisory for Shelby County.   Drivers should use caution on roadways, especially on bridges and overpasses, frozen slush on roadways created black ice on the streets.  Memphis Police and Shelby County Sheriff’s Deputies reported no significant issues overnight.  There were 26 people that spent the evening at the city of Memphis warming center at the Orange Mound Community Center and no significant power outages overnight .

5. When a program is under construction, some of the building blocks may go unnoticed.
In 2012 and 2013, the Munford Cougars were under .500 and even larger players like Brytain Peddy still flew under the radar for college scouts. But enter JR Kirby to lead the Munford Cougar Football program.
Along with his staff, Kirby challenged all the players, especially the seniors to become winners. Those senior accepted the challenged and four players reaped the benefits on National Signing Day. The biggest one that day was of course Peddy inking a letter of intent to play for The University of Memphis.
“Brytain Peddy is 6’5, 310 pounds,” Kirby noted. “I’ve talked to every coach who wanted to know about him. They wanted to know why he was under the radar. I think the main thing he did was mature mentally toward these last few months.
“He would tell you he wasn’t where he needed to be mentally,” he added. “Physically he was there and we just added to it as far as the weight room. Mentally it finally clicked with him midway through the season on how good he could be and how dominate of a player he could be. And it was shown about Dyer County Week 4 and on.”
The Cougars rolled off win after win finishing second in District 13-3A and reaching the Class 5A playoffs. The collegiate spotlight was back on Munford Football. Bethel came for three players, Xavier Throckmorton, Trae Doty and McKenzie Russell.
Meanwhile Peddy helping to pave the way for record-breaking running back David Simon garnered him All-Star attention.
“He showed that (dominance) in the Liberty Bowl All-Star Game too,” Kirby noted. “He showed, ‘This guy can play,’ and He got some guys’ attention that he could play at the next level. He’s got every tool. He just has to go do it. We’re very excited for him to have this opportunity. A Division I signee, they don’t come around all the time.”

6. Chairman of the Millington Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Pam Kendrick announced the appointment today of Dianne Baker as the interim executive director of the Chamber effective immediately.
“The future of the Chamber and continued growth is vital to our success and the success of Millington. I speak for the executive board when I say, Dianne has our best interest in the forefront and will lead the chamber on an interim basis,” stated Pam Kendrick. Kendrick went on to say, “Dianne will work with the Board of Directors to insure the involvement in the community continues to grow.”
Baker’s presence in the community is unprecedented; she is engaged with the Millington Planning Commission and a board member for the Millington Area Chamber of Commerce. Through Dianne’s leadership as the Chair of the Millington Area Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber was able to increase membership, boast involvement in the community and give back to the Millington Education Foundation. Dianne’s vision and attention to detail with community involvement is the leadership the Millington Area Chamber of Commerce is seeking.

7. Mollie Malito heard her named called back-to-back Friday night in the William Osteen Gymnasium. The first time announcer Kadasha Allen mention Malito was to introduce the senior as part of the 2015 Millington Central High School Winterfest Court. Moments later Allen announced Malito as the 2015 Winterfest Queen to be crowned by last year’s winner Asha Burks.
“I feel so excited,” Malito said. “I didn’t know people liked me so much to pick me.”
Malito was one of four seniors on the court along with MacKenzie Ingram with escort Robert Urhman and Angel Davis with escort Harry Davis. The fourth senior Jadaisha Ransom wasn’t able to attend because of illness. Juniors on the court were Hannah Cooper (Chris Cooper), Glenda Garner (Tyrell Garner) and Jhane’ Taylor (John Taylor). The sophomores on the court were Kasey Gallo (Don Gallo) and Ceykia Christopher (Lanell Ragland) and freshman Dymond Green (Darrel Green) completed the 2015 MCHS Winterfest Court. Malito said hearing her name means she will be a part of MCHS folklore forever.
“It makes me feel special to be connected with the school,” she said. “I’m so happy to be here.”

8. Millington Central High School Senior and College/Career Counselor Georgette Farmer sent out invitations to 12 MCHS seniors Friday afternoon to her specially-made red carpet. The reason for the setup and call to the main lobby of the building was to celebrate the Class of 2015 Top 12. All the students summoned to the photo shoot have a 4.0 grade point average or better. Several camera and camera phones snapped pictures of Valedictorian Ashley Cavaliere and Salutatorian Jason Jiang.  Also attending Farmer’s celebration were 3-12 Selina King, Holly Smith, Elizabeth Kelley, Ashlie Bowles, Ashley Harris, Jenna Blouin, Joshua Taylor, Sarah Max, Carl Gordy and Brian Monteleone.

9. There has been a steady landing of good news at the Millington Regional Jetport lately.
Employees, officials and members of the city of Millington are anticipating the opening of the Flight Training school near the main terminal on April 1.
But those affiliated with the Millington Regional Jetport and Millington Airport Authority have spent the past few days celebrating Executive Director Roy Remington’s winning the 2015 Airport Manager of the Year presented by the Tennessee Division of Aeronautics.
Remington picked up the award March 19 in Nashville during the Tennessee Airport Conference.
“I was blown away, just incredible,” Remington said. “It was a surprise. I didn’t find out until the award ceremony.”
Remington is a 2001 graduate of Bolton High School and later earned his degree from St. Louis University. The Shelby County native joined the Millington Airport Authority in July 2013.
SIDE NOTE: The Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen has unanimously accepted a grant from the Delta Regional Authority to fund infrastructure improvements at the Regional Jetport.
Board members took the action during their March 9 regular monthly meeting on a motion offered by Alderman Mike Caruthers and seconded by Alderman Thomas McGhee.
The Delta Regional Authority was created by an act of Congress to stimulate development in 252 counties within eight states by “fostering partnerships” that will have a positive impact on the Delta Region’s economy.
Millington applied for a $250,000 DRA grant and has been awarded $247,530 to fund improvements to Funafuti Street at the Regional Jetport.
Crew Training International, a $40 million Germantown-based company, wants to establish a flight training academy in Hangar N-7 at the Jetport. The company is also interested in constructing three residential facilities or “dormitories” on property that the Millington Industrial Development Board currently owns.

10. Memphis International Raceway (MIR) broke ground this afternoon to commemorate the start of the construction of its new 3/10-mile dirt track.
“This is a day that a lot of fans in the Mid-South have been waiting for,” MIR’s VP and GM Pam Kendrick said. “We’re finally starting construction on this new, state-of-the-art facility. If the weather holds and building goes along as planned, we’ll be racing before the summer is over. This will be a fan friendly, racer friendly, versatile facility.”
MIR has already announced that once the track is operational, will host weekly 305 & 360 Winged Sprint Cars, Super Late Models, Crate Late Models, Street Stocks, Open Wheel Modifieds, and the 600cc Mini Sprints.
IRG Sports + Entertainment President and CEO Jason Rittenberry said that when completed, the dirt track will be one of the most entertaining, versatile outdoor facilities in the Mid-South.

11. This year’s Memphis In May Triathlon Weekend returned to Edmund Orgill Park in Millington May 15-17.
The event was expected to draw nearly 1,500 local, regional and national athletes and fitness enthusiasts, the 2015 competition will include an Amateur Challenge with a $5,000 prize purse and a new division open only to Active Duty Military and Reserves for male and female age group, masters, relays, wheelchair and para-athlete categories.
“We are thrilled to return to Millington after five years in Tunica,” said Pam Routh, MIM Triathlon race director. “The Triathlon cannot happen without great community support. The City of Millington, Millington Chamber of Commerce, the Millington Police Department and the Millington Naval Air Station Moral, Welfare and Recreation Department have extended a huge welcome mat to us.”

12. The Tipton-Rosemark Academy Fine Arts Department is taking on a challenge this April.
Over the years, Lalania Vaughn’s program traditionally taken on a stage production. This year is no different, but there is a major twist. The TRA Fine Arts Department will present the world premiere musical “An Evening with the Characters of Pride and Prejudice.”
“The writers won’t be able to come,” Vaughn noted. “They’ll watch it on video. We want them to be proud because we are the first ones to tackle this show. It’s still a very big privilege and we want to do it justice.”
“An Evening with the Characters of Pride and Prejudice” will be on the stage of the TRA Performing Arts Center the week of April 13-19. This version of the Jane Austen novel was created through music and lyrics by Lindsay Warren Baker and Amanda Jacobs.
The 34-member cast of TRA will be the first ones to bring the production to life. Vaughn and Assistant Director Todd Goode created this unique opportunity for the students last year e-mailing the writers.

13. Millington Central High School conducted it’s 105th Commencement exercises last Thursday night. Many factors made the Class of 2015’s night special with two standing out. This year’s seniors were the first to graduate under a Millington sky on the Mooney Boswell Football Field since 1987. In addition the Class of 2015 was the first for Millington Municipal Schools. MCHS Principal Clint Durley officially released the Class of 2015 shortly after 8 p.m. The previous hour filled the sky with cheers, music by the Millington Band and vocals from the Millington Choir. The packed grand stands also heard the words of Millington Senior Class President McKenzie Morrow. The MCHS Hall of Famer reminded her peers of it’s four-year journey through many highs and lows of losing two classmates. The salutatorian address was given by Jason Jiang. He kept his speech short focusing on congratulating the Class of 2015 for surviving so many changes and being the first MMS class to graduate. Valedictorian Ashley Cavaliere echoed those sentiments and gave thanks to God for a clear and cool evening to walk across the stage. In front of dignitaries like State Rep. Ron Lollar, Millington Mayor Terry Jones, the Board of Aldermen and members of the Millington Municipal School Board, each graduate received his or her diploma from the administrators and MMS Superintendent Dr. David Roper.

14.. The Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen passed the FY 2016 Budget Ordinance on final reading this week with a $1.1 million decrease in the school system’s funding request.
Board members took the action Monday night during a special called meeting on a motion offered by Alderman Thomas McGhee and seconded by Alderman Larry Dagen.
The motion was passed by a 4-3 vote, with Aldermen Mike Caruthers, Frankie Dakin and Hank Hawkins dissenting.
Shortly before that vote, the board rejected separate amendments to the ordinance that were proposed by Caruthers and Hawkins.
Explaining his proposal, Caruthers said the “issue” was how to fully fund the municipal school system as well as the Capital Improvement Program loan for the city. He said Finance Director John Trusty told him that the $4.5 million loan will result in approximately a $300,000 debt service requirement.
Caruthers noted that the school system requested $1.6 million for the 2016 fiscal year, with $300,000 of that coming from prior-year funding.
Under Section 14 of the current Budget Ordinance, 50 percent of the revenue from the traffic cameras is put into an account to support construction of a new library. Based on the current budget, Caruthers said, 2 percent of that anticipated revenue would be $62,500, which would be deducted from the $300,000.
He recalled that, before the municipal school system was established, the feasibility studies conducted by Southern Educational Strategies showed that it would need $1.3 million as well as the revenue from the half-cent city sales tax increase.
Caruthers said Trusty told him that the sales tax will generate $1,415,000 next year. So, he proposed that $115,000 – the amount above $1.3 million – be applied to debt service.
He also proposed a 10-cent increase in the property tax rate, which would generate $165,200. That would provide extra money if the revenue from either the traffic cameras or the sales tax is lower than anticipated.
SIDE NOTE: Last night (June 23) at Millington City Hall, the Millington School Members voted 6 to 1 to seek legal means to obtain funds for the Millington Municipal School system.
Earlier this month, a city budget was announced from the Millington Board of Aldermen that cut into the request made by MMS.
“We voted to authorize our legal counsel to pursue whatever means necessary to get the School System what we believe is the money that is due from the half-cent sales tax,” School Board Chairman Don Holsinger said, “and use whatever means necessary that could include litigation.”
This not a lawsuit at the moment. The six members to vote yes to pursue the matter were C.J. Haley, Chuck Hurt Jr., Cody Childress, Holsinger, Greg Ritter and Louise Kennon. The no vote came from member Larry Jackson.

15.  Fresh off another no-hitter in the franchise, the reigning World Series champions San Francisco Giants drafted local ace David Owen.
Owen, a 2012 graduate of Tipton-Rosemark Academy, was selected in the 19th round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Giants. San Francisco was celebrating on Citi Field last night in New York when rookie Chris Heston no-hit the Mets with 11 strikeouts.
The Giants are hoping Owen will be the next in line to perform that feat. San Francisco has a history of drafting Memphis area players like Matt Cain of Houston High who tossed a perfect game back in 2012.
During 2012, Owen established himself as an ace for the TRA Rebels under Head Coach Brad Smith. Owen was a part of the 2009 State runner-up team, but was a major arm in getting the Rebels to the 2012 State Tournament. After earning the 2012 Star Pitcher of the Year Award, Owen moved onto Arkansas State in Jonesboro.
In three seasons with the Red Wolves, Owen moved up in the rotation. His sophomore season he had 76 strikeouts. This past season the 21-year-old Millington product totaled 73 Ks.

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