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Year in Review 2015: July-December

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 In Ames, Iowa, the Millington School of Dance made headlines winning a National title, platinum and high gold awards at the 2015 BravO! National Dance & Talent Competition July 9-12.

In Ames, Iowa, the Millington School of Dance made headlines winning a National title, platinum and high gold awards at the 2015 BravO! National Dance & Talent Competition July 9-12.

Brighton players celebrate their big rivalry win over Munford.

Brighton players celebrate their big rivalry win over Munford.

1. Capt. David J. Bryson, a native of Tullahoma, Tenn., took command of Naval Support Activity (NSA) Mid-South, in Millington, Tenn., during a change of command ceremony on July 10.
Capt. Douglas H. Walker, a native of Tulsa, Okla., relinquished command to Bryson during a traditional Navy ceremony. Walker served as commanding officer since July, 2013.
While Millington was not his first choice when he selected new military orders two years ago, Walker said he is grateful that he had the opportunity to serve in such a supportive and patriotic town.
“With no runways and no piers, Millington just wasn’t high on my list back then,” Walker said during the ceremony.  “But obviously the detailers right here on base knew something I didn’t! I never realized how important my work here could be.”
“Team Mid-South is incredible,” said Walker.  “This team has really done some great things. We made a difference.”
He added that he was very proud of the strong partnerships that the City of Millington had formed with the base that strengthened the capabilities of the installation.
“People acting as a team can equal more than the sum of the individuals,” he said.
During the ceremony, Walker was presented with a key to city by Millington Mayor Terry Jones.
Walker also received a Legion of Merit for his performance as the commanding officer of NSA Mid-South.
The guest speaker and presiding officer for the ceremony was Rear Adm. David Steindl, commander, Navy Personnel Command.
2. The city of Millington was on the national stage earlier this month in the Stephens Auditorium.
Behind the leadership of Bing Osterman, Lindsay Ringer and Mandy Hedstron, the Millington School of Dance racked up several Platinum and High Gold awards July 9-12 at the 2015 BravO! National Dance & Talent Competition.
The highlight of the Millington School of Dance’s stay in Ames, Iowa was winning the Spirit Award among all the teams represented from across the United States.
“The award we’re most proud of is the Spirit Award they give out at the Grand Nationals,” Osterman said. “They give it out to one studio and the trophy is as big as the trophies they give out to the Grand National champions. The competition feels it’s just as important as dance ability.”
The girls from Millington were voted the best example of sportsmanship and character at the event.
“Our kids are taught to encourage each other at all times,” Osterman said. “We also encourage others in the competition. Whenever a group gets off stage, we there telling them, ‘Great job.’ We always tell teams about to go on stage, ‘Good luck.’
“We have a team chant that we do to rally the kids before we dance,” she continued. “And during award ceremonies, we clap and cheer for every award winner on stage, not just ours. These award ceremonies can be two-hours long and they’re still up there clapping.”
The MSOD members applaud their peers and teammates during the award ceremony. The trio of Rachel Hightower, Emily Saigeon and Katie Vandervort received super second overall for in its age group and level.
MSOD also had production number featuring every member in the ensemble ages 8 to 18. It won first overall platinum and the girls were asked to come back on the last day to compete in the grand national championship.
The success in Iowa was rewarding for the choreographers and students at Millington School of Dance which opened in 2007.
3. On Monday (July 13) Police Chief Frank Tennant received information from Shelby County Sheriff’s Office investigators regarding an investigation into Rick Friar who has served as a volunteer reservist for this department.
SCSO investigators provided specific details regarding the course of their investigation and Millington Police Department has fully cooperated and will continue to provide any necessary support for their on-going investigation.
On July 12, the Sheriff’s Office received credible information that Rickie Friar, 66, of North Bay Drive in Millington was involved in the sexual exploitation of children.
Based on the information received, the Special Victims Unit began an investigation which resulted in an arrest warrant to be issued for Friar charging him with Especially Aggravated Sexual Exploitation of a Minor and Solicitation, Sexual Exploitation of a Minor.
Both counts are Class B Felonies which carry a sentence of 8-30 years in prison if convicted. Friar was arrested in Russellville, Ark., sometime around 8 p.m. last night by the Arkansas State Police. He will be extradited back to Shelby County as soon as possible.
It should be noted that Rickie Friar is an unpaid volunteer reserve with the Millington Police Department. Their department is cooperating fully with the investigation which is ongoing. Additional charges are possible.
4. Journal West 10 Media awarded its first athlete of the year awards to a young man and lady who were exceptional competitors within the company’s coverage areas.
Bethany Berger of Tipton-Rosemark Academy took the women’s award. The men’s award will be announced in next week’s paper.
Berger, also the recipient of the Commercial Appeal’s Best of the Preps Private School Female Athlete of the Year award, was All-Metro in volleyball, basketball, and softball her senior season at Tipton-Rosemark Academy. She will attend The University of Memphis in the fall to pursue a career in nursing.
Upon receiving a plaque for her accomplishment, she expressed gratitude for the opportunity to be recognized.
“I feel blessed, honestly, because there’s a lot of talented athletes in this area,” she said. “So to be even nominated for these awards is amazing, much less winning them.”
But her career trajectories, which surprised both her and her opponents year after year, in all three sports show that she is the right choice for the inaugural Journal West 10 Media Female Athlete of the Year award. She transferred to TRA between her freshman and sophomore years and said she had little problem fitting in because of hospitality of the school.
“Rosemark was really welcoming,” she said. “The whole atmosphere of Rosemark is family-like and welcoming.”
She came from a much larger school, Nixa High School, in Missouri where she said she worked diligently on the little things that later allowed her to blossom into a star at TRA.
“At a bigger school it’s a lot of waiting your turn, developing your skills until you get to junior and senior year when you actually play varsity,” she said. “So (being at a bigger school) actually allowed me time to work on fundamentals for every sport. And then when I came straight here, it was actually a really good thing that I had spent so much time on fundamentals because I had to jump right in here sophomore year on the varsity level.”

5. Since last Friday night, all the talk and headlines in Munford were about the return of the M&M Bowl trophy to Cougar Town.
And names like Jacob Ross, Anthony Boley, Wilson Lowry, Michael Pugh and Dakota Hope dominated most of the post game discussions from Tipton County to Flag City.
Although the Munford skill position players contributed to the 41-18 victory over the Millington Trojans in the 2015 M&M Bowl, Cougar quarterback Ross said the real heroes of the night were the five young men on the offensive line: Josh Enger, Jesse Maley, Tyler Cody, Christian Brooks and Aaron Sykes.
“Our linemen were amazing tonight,” he said. “They got on their re-keys and their blocks. I just ran the offense and our backs made them (the Trojans) pay.
“Our defense stopped them when they needed to,” Ross added. “They got us the ball where we wanted. It all just worked out for us tonight.”
The game plan of Head Coach JR Kirby led to the 23-point victory and the Cougars first win in the series since 2012.
Kirby’s first M&M Bowl was last season with the Trojans taking the contest 41-13.
“Last year we were coming down the hill hoping to win,” he recalled. “We didn’t play very well — turned over the ball four times. Eldon and the rest of them just lit us up. We could never recover. It was a great learning experience from that. I think it got us better the rest of that season.
“This year when we took the field, we expected to win,” Kirby added. “We put the work in, our kids played hard and I guess it’s a good day to be a Cougar.”
SIDE NOTE: The Tennessee Titans Game of the Week lived up to the hype Oct. 23.
The seesaw fourth quarter saw the host Brighton Cardinals on top when the final buzzer sounded. Brighton’s 24-20 victory gave the Munford Cougars their first defeat of the 2015 season.
It appeared the Cougars were on their way toward 9-0 building a 13-3 halftime lead.
Munford’s Anthony Boley put the Cougars ahead 6-0 with an early score. Brighton cut the deficit in half when Nolan Combs hit a field goal.
After a Cardinal turnover, the Cougars drove the ball 45 yards capping it off with a Wilson Lowry 1-yard score. JR Kirby’s bunch was ahead by 10 at the break.
Brighton (8-1) finally crossed the goal line in the third quarter when Malik Jackson tossed a touchdown pass to Malik Mathews to make the score 13-10.
Munford (8-1) closed out the third quarter when an answer from the legs of quarterback Jacob Ross. The senior broke loose for a big run to reach the end zone. The Cougars were ahead 20-10 entering the fourth quarter.
Then it was time for both teams to jump ahead the turnover seesaw. Early in the fourth quarter Munford’s Garrett Baugh raced over to pick off a Brighton pass giving the Cougars the ball on 37-yard line.
Moments later Munford gave the ball right back to Brighton with a fumble. The Cougars didn’t panic with Marcus Webb intercepting the ball for Munford.
That set the table for the biggest turnover of the night. On a deep ball thrown by the Cougars, Brighton’s Deavius Terry extended his arms and gathered in the over thrown pass. Terry raced up field behind blockers before being tackled at the 10-yard line.
With 8 minutes and 3 seconds remaining, Jackson threw his second touchdown of the game hitting slot receiver Austin Kelley for the 7-yard score to make the tally 20-17.
The Cardinal defense forced a Munford punt with 5 minutes and 43 seconds left in the game. Brighton Head Coach Robin Jacobs employed his offense to run the ball with the drive starting 61 yards away from the end zone.
The duo of Mathews and Zach Camp followed the orders of the Brighton coaching staff running the ball for four first downs. With less than 2 minutes remaining, Mathews had the honors of taking the ball into the end zone from 3 yards out to give Brighton the 24-20 lead.

6. The Millington School Board has voted to accept a $1,853,095 bid from a construction company to renovate the Annex building at Millington Central High School.
Board members took the action during an Aug. 6 special called meeting on a motion offered by Cody Childress and seconded by Louise Kennon. The motion was passed by six affirmative votes, with C. J. Haley absent.
The bid, submitted by Barnes & Brower Inc. of Memphis, was the lowest of four received.
Dr. David Roper, superintendent of Millington Municipal Schools, said eight “alternatives” were included in the bids. But two of them – LED fixtures and re-lamping existing fixtures – are “mutually exclusive.”
“You do one or the other of those or neither one,” he acknowledged. “You would never do both.”
Roper said it is in the school system’s “best interest” to have all the alternatives in this project except the re-lamping of existing fixtures. Because LED fixtures will be installed throughout the building, he believes that will result in “long-term energy savings.”
Roper noted that the renovation will include new flooring, two coats of paint, acoustic panels for the Band Room, full interior signage and special shades for the windows.

7.  While the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation conducts its investigation, the City of Millington has begun a thorough examination of the practices of the Millington Police Department.
“I have the greatest respect for those who serve in law enforcement,” Millington City Manager Ed Haley said. “It is a tough job. I am grateful for those who have served this community, but make no mistake, no one is immune.
“Where problems are found, the City of Millington will take swift and decisive action to correct,” he added. “Today Millington’s Police Chief resigned. “The Mayor and Board of Aldermen will be asked to replace the Chief at a special called meeting of the Board on Thursday, Sept. 3 at 6 p.m. in accordance with the City’s charter. One veteran member of the Millington Police Department was terminated today for dereliction of duties. Others may follow.
“Today’s actions are the result of an examination of one area of the department. Each area of the department is being examined,” Haley continued. “ If other short comings are found, they will be dealt with accordingly. As the TBI investigation of missing funds from the evidence room at the Millington Police Department continues, more changes within the department are expected.
“On Aug. 20, money was discovered missing from the evidence room at the Millington Police Department,” he concluded. “The City contacted all appropriate authorities, is fully cooperating and a TBI investigation is underway. Because this is an ongoing investigation, the City of Millington has no comment except that a check in the full amount due was hand delivered to the family of Jimmy Wayne Smith on Aug. 31.”
SIDE NOTE: Millington Police Chief Frank Tennant resigned (Sept. 1) Tuesday morning and two other officers will be released from their duties, after nearly $10,000 came up missing earlier this year from the property room at the Millington Police Department.
The Millington Board of Alderman held a closed-door executive session with their attorney Monday night and voted to fire the three officers. Tennant resigned Tuesday morning. News of the missing money was reported last month from Nashville when the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation opened an investigation.

8. One of the iconic names in Millington history was Clarence Roland.
The late businessman made a name for himself with Roland’s Amoco, Roland’s Pool Supply and Roland’s Tire & Auto Repair. The man from humble beginnings worked hard to supply his neighbors with quality products and raise his two sons Terry and Eric with a work ethic that would keep the family business going strong today.
On June 15, Roland’s Tire & Auto Repair celebrated 50 years of operation on the corner of 4998 Navy Road. Clarence’s sons Eric and Terry were on hand along side their mother Carole greeting new and familiar customers.
The staff including manager Daryl Stroud were sporting commemorative shirts reading ‘Roland’s Tire Store 50th Anniversary — June 15, 1965.’
“Dad started business here in 1965,” Eric said. “He said the secret to his longevity, ‘You treat everybody the way you wanted to be treated.’  He has seen people come and go in this business. But if  you give everybody a good deal in the long run they will keep coming back to you. And year after year, we’ve had people that keep coming back to us. We’ve had customers who have been with us for 20 to 30 years.”
Those customers have walked through the doors of Roland’s Tire and Auto for more than just tires. The shop attends to brakes, alignments, engine work and more. Eric said patrons also frequent the location just to say hello to old friends.
SIDE NOTE: Two locations under two different names, the long running C’s Jewelry and Music has created countless memories through Millington and Shelby County.
Started by Sam and Lucille Needham in June 1965, the business is now operated at 8596 Highway 51 North by their daughters Betty Dye and Susan Lassiter. The lessons taught by their parents has helped the girls run the business for several years. On June 11, C’s Jewelry celebrated its 50th years of business and throughout October Dye and Lassiter have conducted customer-appreciation deals.
“Treating people fairly and of course good prices, good service,” Dye said was C’s Jewelry purpose passed down from her father. “All our work ethics come from Dad.
“Our customers have kept us open over the years,” she continued. “Our customers are like family to us. We know their background and get to know them.”
Customers have had the chance to learn about the C’s Jewelry owners and the business’ beginnings 50 years ago.
Sam and Lucille started Mr. C’s Jewelry naming the business from a chain of Chinese restaurant in California. It was the last past Sam served in the Navy after a 20-year career.

9. The third time was the charm for the Millington Lady Trojans against the Covington Lady Chargers.
And Millington’s victory came just in time to claim the 2015 District 15-2A Volleyball Tournament title in Jackson. The Lady Trojans swept the Lady Chargers in three sets win the championship Oct. 8.
During the regular season, Covington beat Millington in the first match up. The rematch was a five-set thriller going the way of the Lady Chargers.
Last night, Millington Head Coach Jenna Harper sent a group of determined Lady Trojans to the Jackson North Side court focused on reaching the goal of earning a banner for the William Osteen Gymnasium wall.
Lady Trojans to make the All-Tournament team were Addison Coulter, Ally Hall and Autumn Taylor. The tournament MVP was Millington senior Ashley Freeze.
Freeze was also named to the regular season All-District team along with teammates Paige hall and Coulter. Harper was named Coach of the Year.
Millington’s championship earned it the right to host the Region 8-2A Tournament in the William Osteen Gymnasium. The Lady Trojans beat Douglass in Regionals to earn a spot in Sectionals for the first time in school history.

10. On Oct. 2, Millington Central High School held it’s annual Homecoming festivities on Mooney Bosewell Field. While the Trojans were blowing out the Kingsbury Falcons on the field of play, at halftime the Homecoming Court took over. Mark Healy read aloud the 2015 winner was Destinie Green. The senior was crowned by last year’s winner Ashlee Bone. Green, escorted by her father Darrel, said winning was a blessing.
“It feels great, so exciting,” she said. “I’m just shocked. This was my first year on the court and I won. This is a great feeling. I’m just blessed.”
Green, the daughter of Darrel Green and Castellia Curry, is the member of the MCHS Cheerleaders and has ran track each year in school.
She plans to attend Middle Tennessee State University and major in Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement. She wants to become a police officer and eventually a detective.
Before she moves onto college and her career, Green said winning has inspired to be an more active MCHS student.
“Winning starts off my senior year differently,” she concluded. “Last year I wished I could have done more. I’m proud to add my name to the list of winners and now I want to do more as a Trojan.”
Other members of the 2015 MCHS Homecoming Court were seniors maids Sara Carrisoza (escort Cary Carrisoza), Ally Hall (escort Derrick Hall), and Serena Davila (escort Cody Moore), junior maids Kasey Gallo (escort Don Gallo), Kirsten Mayse (escort Jason Mayse) and Morgan Williams (escort Leon Williams, sophomore maids Velandria Branch (escort Stanley Branch) and Emily Paige Hall (escort Essary Hall) and freshman maid Vanessa Sciluffo (escort Nick Sciluffo).
11. Since the rebirth of the Millington Area Education Foundation in early 2014, the members have been forming traditions that are designed to benefit Millington Municipal Schools.
One annual event is the Trivia Night in January raising money for the schools. Another event is the Millington Area Education Foundation Banquet in April. While other fund raisers are gaining recognition, MAEF President Cary Vaughn was honored last Tuesday to conduct the organization’s latest tradition which shines a spotlight on the hard work.
Last fall, the Education Foundation made the trip up to Millington Central High School for a ceremony awarding $11,493.95 in grants to the four Millington Municipal Schools. On Oct. 27, members of MCHS, Millington Elementary School and E.A. Harrold Elementary joined personnel at Millington Middle School for the 2015 MAEF Grant Ceremony.
“This is always a privilege,” Vaughn said. “The (Millington School) Board, City and Education Foundation coming together to give back this money to the students for their aspirations is what it is all about.”
This year the MAEF was able to give back $14,558.11 to the four schools for projects and programs like hands on science classrooms, reading programs, robotics, document the year and even create a Tennessee Wildlife Habitat.
Vaughn announced to the dignitaries gathered in the Millington Middle School Library that 27 grants were awarded. MCHS received $1,450 and the Middle School was awarded $6,542.60.
Harrold took back $4,564.88 and Millington Elementary School received $2,000.63.

12. The campus of Munford High School celebrated National Signing Day with a pair of aces inking letters of intent to play at Division I institutions.
Earlier in the day, Munford Lady Cougar standout pitcher Sam Scott signed to attend UT-Martin. And later in the afternoon, it was Munford Cougar Joe Fulcher’s turn to take over the MHS Library with his signing ceremony to Vanderbilt.
Scott paved her way toward a scholarship with the Lady Skyhawks by starting to play softball at the age of 9 in the Atoka Dixie Youth league.
Before joining Head Coach Glenn Goulder’s Lady Cougars, Scott built a solid resume’ winning three USSAA World Series, two Arkansas state championships in travel ball and the 14-under Gold Nationals.
Since becoming a Lady Cougar, Scott has helped Munford reach three Sub-States and two Class 3A State Tournaments. She was named All-District 13-3A each season and has multiple All-Tournament awards. She was named District 13-3A Tournament MVP as a sophomore.
Fulcher has been racking up the awards as well. The Munford native started playing baseball at the age of 4 and developed his game with backyard sessions with his father Micah.
Fulcher then joined the Batter’s Box out of Collierville to develop his pitching. Munford Head Coach Jake Garbuzinski named Fulcher his No. 1 starter last season and his junior season was one for the record books.
Fulcher recorded a 16-strikeout game against Millington and tossed a no hitter in the opening game of the District 13-3A Tournament. The Cougars went on to earn a spot in Regionals.
This past summer Fulcher traveled to Oklahoma with Team Tennessee to play in the Sunbelt Jr. Classic.  The Sunbelt Jr. Classic is a tournament held in McAlester Okla., every year and pits some of the top junior high school players across the country, from eight states and Canada.
Now Fulcher will become part of the 2014 National Championship program at Vandy. The Commodores also reached the NCAA College World Series championship series this past season.
13. On Nov. 24, Millington Central High School retired the jersey of alumni Jamsine Newsome. The ceremony will be held between the girls’ and boys’ game in the William Osteen Gymnasium. Newsome was a Millington Lady Trojan standout from 2006-10 reaching the Sub-State round each season. She helped guide the Lady Trojans to the 2008 Class 3A State Championship game.
In Newsome’s senior season, she was a Miss Tennessee Basketball finalist. Before leaving the MCHS campus she became the school’s all-time leading scorer tallying more than 2,000 points. She also had more than 500 assists in her high school career.
SIDE NOTE: On Nov. 24, Millington Central High School retireD the jersey of alumni Tony Dumas.
The ceremony will be held between the girls’ and boys’ game in the William Osteen Gymnasium.
Dumas is arguably the best player to ever wear a Millington Trojan Basketball uniform. His athleticism and quickness made him a threat on both offense and defense.
After high school, he electrified fans at the University of Missouri-Kansas City from 1990-94. Dumas made an immediate impact as a freshman averaging 16.5 points a game. He went on to average 22 points a game in his career with the Roos.
In 1994, Dumas was selected by the Dallas Mavericks as the 19th pick in the first round of the NBA Draft. During his four years in the NBA, Dumas produced multiple 20-plus point performances, including a career-high 39 points against the Phoenix Suns.

14. The administration of Millington Central High School announced the members of the 2015 Hall of Fame Class. Entering the MCHS Athletic Hall of Fame this year were Tony Dumas, Steve Hendricks, Jack Turner, The Boatwright Family and the 2007-08 Millington Lady Trojans Basketball team.
The third class was inducted into the Hall of Fame Nov. 24 during a Millington Trojans Basketball game.

15. The 2015 Holiday Season got a huge kickoff in Munford on Thanksgiving when the  Munford High School Marching Band “Munford Proud” performed at the 89th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City under the direction of Band Director Barry Trobaugh.

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