The Millington Star has compiled the top 10 most viewed stories throughout 2016 from www.millington-news.com. From Facebook to the actual paper, this 10 stories generated the most interest and impact from the year that was.
1. CASSY’S COURAGE
They came in droves.
The groups who loved, supported and felt the impact of Cassandra “Cassy” Leigh Colunga made their way to her memorial service to celebrate her life.
Members of her home church Crosspointe Baptist helped fill the sanctuary Friday night. Some of the well-wishers wore Lucy Elementary shirts to express their love for Cassy. Others were classmates who started their first day of high school on Monday, the day Cassy passed away.
Others were community leaders, some came from the St. Jude family to say goodbye to Cassy. But the most influential group was Cassy’s large family. From across the country they came to Millington to support her parents Luis and Laura Colunga and Joanna and Adam Blankenship.
The service was under the guidance of Crosspointe Pastor Cody Page. It was a few years ago Page was introduced to Cassy. The bright face sixth-grader was in his Youth Bible Study Class.
2. SHOP MILLINGTON
The pales of dirt forming next door to Chili’s has been the talk of Millington for days.
What are they building? What is coming? What is Millington going to get?
The answer to those question has been in the works for years. On July 12 inside Chili’s the men and women who worked on the project proudly declared the coming of The Shops of Millington Farms.
“It’s been long and coming,” said Gil Ryan of Ryan Commercial Properties. “It feels excellent. I’m very proud to a part of this project and be able to deliver to Millington and the surrounding area. I’m just very appreciative of all that’s been done.
“It takes a village to raise a family,” he added. “And it takes a large village to make this a reality. I’m very appreciative of everybody’s effort.”
Millington Mayor Terry Jones conducted the ceremony celebrating the official groundbreaking of The Shops at Millington Farms. The groundbreaking was hosted by the City of Millington and the Millington Area Chamber of Commerce. Existing Millington business contributed to the celebration with Dunkin Donuts and Chick Fil A providing breakfast. Lowe’s delivered the hard hats and shovels for the groundbreaking of The Shops of Millington Farms – a new 125,000 square foot retail shopping development.
Jones introduced some of the key contributors to the project becoming a reality with Chairman of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners Terry Roland and fellow Commissioner Reginald Milton. Also taking to the microphone were Charles Gulotta, president of Millington’s Industrial Development Board, Nelson Williams, Community Bank president for First Citizens National Bank and Ryan.
The ceremonial groundbreaking took place at The Shops of Millington Farms’ future address 8570 Highway 51 North.
Before the year was done, Aspen Dental and Buffalo Wild Wings opened in the new shopping mecca of Millington.
3. PRO CROSS
The regular monthly meeting of the Millington Area Chamber of Commerce in February almost resembled a Memphis Tiger tailgate party with the sea of blue gathering in the ballroom of the VFW Post 7175 this afternoon.
The reason for the large crowd and all the Tiger gear worn by Millington leaders, educators, businessmen and dignitaries was native son Alan Cross. The Millington Chamber wanted to recognized Cross for his success after graduating from Millington Central High School in 2011.
Cross became a Tiger Football standout after walking onto the program under then Head Coach Larry Porter. Cross’ star grew under the guidance of Head Coach Justin Fuente and his staff.
The Millington product and 2011 Star Athlete of the Year blossomed into the best tight end in Memphis history. Meanwhile the Tigers won 10 games in 2014 and reached two bowl games winning the Miami Bowl. In the Spring, Cross was signed by the Tampa Bay Bucs. He made the roster and has scored a touchdown this season. MCHS retired Cross’ No. 43 during the high school football regular season.
4. TRUMP’S STOP
Back on February 27, Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump made a visit to Flag City. With their “Make America Great Again” signs in hands, buttons with the name Trump and patriotic colors, thousands cheered in the Millington Regional Jetport Hanger as the man of the hour arrived.
As the sun was setting in the Millington sky Saturday evening, Donald Trump, accompanied by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stepped off Trump’s private plane to walk toward the podium.
Trump won the Electoral College in November defeating Hilary Clinton to become the 45th President of the United States of America.
5. BIG BUCKS
Ellen welcomes Powerball Winners John and Lisa Robinson from Munford on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016 on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” The couple opened up about winning $528 million from history’s largest lottery jackpot of $1.58 billion. They admit that people have been treating them differently since they won and reveal that one of the first things they did with the money is pay off their daughter’s tuition! Plus, Ellen gifts them with a giant wallet with four Powerball tickets.
6. RYAN’S CLOSING
It has already happened to other Ryan’s Buffet locations across the United States in February.
And apparently Sunday March 6, it was the location at 8165 Highway 51 North in Millington’s turn to have a closure notice on the door.
After a Saturday night of booming business and a nearly full parking lot, several Ryan’s Buffet employees and customers were greeted by locked doors Sunday. As of Monday morning a sign read, “This location is closed for asset inventory on Sunday, March 6, 2016-Tuesday March 8, 2016.”
7. GRADUATION GIFT
Some would say the face of Sara Carrisoza stands out in a crowd — even among her peers in the Class of 2016.
But the noticeable blonde who was a part of the Millington Central High School Yearbook staff, member of the Beta Club, Pep Club, SGA and FCA almost missed tonight’s graduation. The 106 Commencement of MCHS was scheduled to take place on the turf of Mooney Boswell Football Stadium field at 7 p.m.
Carrisoza, like most of her classmates, planned to be there since the beginning of the 2015-16 school year. Then Carrisoza was struck by illness jeopardizing not only her attendance but her life.
Despite being in a wheelchair and under the consistent care of classmates, Carrisoza was glad to under the Millington sky on the football field.
“It feels really great to be here considering last night I had a seizure,” Carrisoza said. “I feel like God has worked in a lot of different ways. Especially when the Class of 2016 prayed for me at rehearsal today. I think that’s why I’m here tonight celebrating with them.”
8. WINNERS ARE…
Mayor Terry Jones was re-elected, four aldermen won second terms, and two school board members were defeated in the Nov. 8 Millington city elections.
Jones received 1,964 votes, or 53.4 percent of the 3,680 cast. Position 6 Alderman Chris Ford, who is also the city’s vice mayor, got 1,705 votes, or 46.3 percent.
Winning a third term, the mayor said he is “humbled and honored” by the “faith and confidence” that the residents have shown in him to continue to “serve and lead” for the next four years.
“I look forward to the continued growth of our school system, our business base and the recreational opportunities for our community,” he noted. “I want to continue the progress and growth that we have seen recently to make Millington a better community to raise our children, to work, to play and to worship.”
In last week’s other results:
Aldermen Hank Hawkins, Frankie Dakin, Larry Dagen and Thomas McGhee were re-elected, while Bethany Huffman was defeated.
Huffman received 1,681 votes, or 49.5 percent of the 3,399 cast for Position 1, and Missy Boyd Ervin got 1,713, or 50.4 percent.
Hawkins received 1,711 votes, or 50.2 percent of the 3,409 cast for Position 2, and Al Bell got 1,691, or 49.6 percent.
Dakin received 2,413 votes, or 71.5 percent of the 3,377 cast for Position 3, and Roger Taney Henderson got 959, or 28.4 percent.
Dagen received 2,322 votes, or 67.3 percent of the 3,448 cast for Position 4, and Sherrie Hopper got 1,123, or 32.6 percent.
McGhee received 2,195 votes, or 64.6 percent of the 3,400 cast for Position 5, and Donald Holsinger got 1,197, or 35.2 percent.
Former alderman Don Lowry received 1,946 votes, or 57.9 percent of the 3,360 cast for the open Position 6 seat, and Jon Crisp got 1,410, or 41.9 percent.
Position 7 Alderman Mike Caruthers, who was unopposed for a third term, received 2,944 votes, or 98.8 percent of the 2,979 cast.
Days after the election, an issue arose for winners Hawkins and Ervin. With them being employees of Millington Municipal Schools, both Hawkins and Ervin resigned from their elected positions in December.
9. ON BOARD
Three new Millington School Board members elected on Nov. 8 were sworn in during December and the fourth on Monday night shortly before the board’s monthly meeting.
With Mayor Terry Jones administering the Oath of Office, Roger Christopher, Mark Coulter, Chris Denson and Ronnie Mackin vowed to support the U.S. and Tennessee Constitutions and statutes, and to “faithfully execute” the office to which they have been elected.
In the city’s three contested school board races, Christopher, Coulter and Mackin defeated Position 1 member Gregory Ritter, Rosie Crawford and Position 5 member Louise Kennon, respectively. Denson was unopposed for the open Position 7 seat.
Dr. David Roper, superintendent of Millington Municipal Schools, welcomed the new members “on behalf” of the school system administration.
“We look forward to working with you as we go from week to week and month to month now in our third year of operation of the school district,” he said. “We’re very confident that, working together, we can move forward and have everything accrue to the benefit of our students, which is what this is all about in the long run.”
10. IN A FLASH
In the Sprint, Millington Central High School endured a flash floods sending some students racing to their vehicles to end the school day. MCHS administration made sure students reached their cars safely with no one being hurt. Reports said no buildings were damaged in the floods. During the day, there was nearly 3 inches of rain in 30 minutes in Millington leading to the flood.
The issue led to the city approving street improvement plans along Wilkinsville to prevent future flash floods.