Weather Update:

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been issued for all of West Tennessee until 9:00 PM this evening. Main threats this evening damaging winds and large hail with any storm that becomes strong to severe this afternoon.  A Severe Thunderstorm Watch means conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms in and close to the watch area. Persons in these areas should be on the lookout for threatening weather conditions and listen for later statements and possible warnings. Severe thunderstorms can and occasionally do produce tornadoes. Stay tuned to WBBJ-TV Online and On-Air for the latest


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A sheriff’s deputy in West Tennessee has been charged with raping a teenage girl over a 20-month period.

The Shelby County district attorney’s office says 43-year-old Brian O. Beck was being held on $90,000 bond Thursday after his indictment on charges of rape by force or coercion and sexual battery by an authority figure.

Investigators said the sexual activity began around May 1, 2016, when the victim was 14, and continued until around Jan. 1. Beck was not on duty when the alleged incidents occurred.

Beck, of Germantown, joined the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office in 2004. He has been relieved of duty without pay, pending the investigation. Online court records do not show if he has a lawyer who can comment on the charges.

The people in this gallery were booked into the Madison County Jail between 7 a.m. on 6/20/18 and 7 a.m. on 6/21/18.

Their inclusion only indicates they were booked into the jail and does not indicate guilt.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Much of the rye whiskey aging in hundreds of barrels at Catoctin Creek Distillery in Virginia could end up being consumed in Europe, a market the 9-year-old distilling company has cultivated at considerable cost.

But an escalating trade dispute has the distillery’s co-founder and general manager, Scott Harris, worried those European sales could evaporate as tariffs drive up the price of his whiskey in markets where consumers have plenty of spirits to choose from.

“If Europe dried up, then we’re sitting on inventory we didn’t need,” Harris said by phone. “And that’s a really tough position to be in.”

What American whiskey makers have dreaded is becoming reality. The European Union will start taxing a range of U.S. imports on Friday, including Harley-Davidson bikes, cranberries, peanut butter, playing cards and whiskey. The union is responding to President Donald Trump’s decision to slap tariffs on European steel and aluminum.

American distilleries large and small have watched warily as the threat of tariffs from Europe ratcheted up in recent weeks. And while larger, corporate-owned facilities tend to do the most business overseas, small and mid-sized companies could be especially vulnerable, since they lack the ability to stockpile reserves and take other protective steps.

Foreign markets have become lucrative for American whiskey makers. Export revenues for bourbon, Tennessee whiskey and rye whiskey products topped $1 billion in 2017, continuing a strong trend in recent years, according to the Distilled Spirits Council.

Four of the five top growth markets by dollar value for American distilled spirits were in Europe — the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Spain. Total U.S. spirits exported to the EU in 2017 were valued at $789 million, the distilled spirits trade group said.

American whiskey has also been targeted by other countries targeted by the Trump administration, including China, Canada and Mexico.

In a recent letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, the distilled spirits group said: “The imposition of tariffs on these products by our major trading partners threatens to seriously impede the export progress that has benefited our sector and created jobs across the country.”

European markets — led by Germany, Italy and the UK — represent about 25 percent of Catoctin Creek’s overall business, Harris said. The distiller, which makes rye, gin and other spirits, has invested close to $100,000 in recent years to build its European business, he said. It developed special bottles and labels, built distribution networks and promoted its products.

“We’re continuing on right now, hoping that it will blow over,” Harris said. “But I am not a big fan of these trade tariffs. I think they are ill-thought through. I’ve had certain people say, ‘Well, this would be our patriotic duty to take it on the chin so that we can normalize the playing field out there.’ But I come from a free-trade background. Let us compete freely, fairly in these markets and our products … will do well.”

Some of his inventory could be sold in the U.S. if European sales decline, Harris said. But expanding market share in the ultracompetitive U.S. market is tough for a small distiller.

Industry giant Brown-Forman Corp., whose brands include Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and Woodford Reserve, tried to hedge against tariff-related price increases by stockpiling inventories overseas. About one-fourth of its revenues are generated in Europe.

Beam Suntory, whose brands include Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark, has “contingency plans in place,” company spokeswoman Emily York said without offering specifics. She said “no one wins in a trade war,” and the company urged the U.S. and EU to reach a solution.

But small and mid-sized distilleries often don’t have the luxury to stockpile supplies.

“That’s just not an option. We don’t have that kind of capital,” said Amir Peay, owner of the Lexington, Kentucky-based James E. Pepper Distillery, whose signature bourbon and rye brand is James E. Pepper 1776.

Peay had projected the European share of his business — now about 10 percent of overall sales — would more than double by next year. His distillery spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past year expanding its European presence. Now, the tariffs come as “a punch to the gut,” he said.

Meanwhile, at the distillery he founded with his wife, Becky, in Purcellville, Virginia, Harris is bracing for a drawn-out trade battle.

He worries his overseas distributors might drop his spirits if the dispute drags on, and consumers will quench their thirst elsewhere. Already, rye whiskeys are coming out of Ireland and Scotland, he said, and with a bit of internet digging, “I could probably come up with a German distiller who’s making a corn spirit that could, for all practical purposes, be very similar to bourbon.”

The industry is known for its patience, since whiskey takes years to mature. Harris wants to take the long view. But he sees little reason for optimism on the trade front.

“I think we’re digging in deeper with China, we’re digging in deeper with Europe,” he said. “Unless something miraculous happens, I don’t have a lot of hope right now.”

Ms. Lera M. “Red” Glover age 93 of Chattanooga, Tennessee formerly of Paris, passed away on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at Life Care of Red Bank in Chattanooga. Her funeral service will be Friday at 2:30 P.M. at McEvoy Funeral Home with Bro. John Dale to officiate. Burial will follow in Walker Cemetery. Visitation is scheduled on Friday, after 1:00 P.M. until time of service.

Lera “Red” Glover was born on May 30, 1925 in Henry County, Tennessee to the late Jim McWherter and the late Lexie Wescoat McWherter. She is survived by her son: Jerry D. (Susan) Robertson of Signal Mountain, Tennessee. Besides her parents, “Red” is also preceded by husbands: Clarence Robertson (preceded in 1983) and Charles H. Glover, Sr. (preceded in 2001), two sisters: Lillian Wood and Edith Lindsey and one brother: Treman McWherter.

Ms. Glover was a member of Cottage Grove Church of Christ. She worked at Holley Carburetor formerly of Paris for 37 1/2 years. She was a good mother and a feisty lady.

The family requests that memorials be made to: Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, 322 Eighth Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10001.

Services for Douglas Brent Baker, 55, will be held Saturday, June 23, 2018 at 11:00 am at Brummitt-McKenzie Funeral Home with Brother Jason Jackson officiating.  Interment will follow at Pleasant Green (Camp Ground) Cemetery.  The family will receive friends on Friday, June 22, 2018 from 5:00 pm until 8:00 pm and Saturday, June 23, 2018 from 9:00 am until service time.  Mr. Baker, a Forklift Operator for Republic Builders, died Tuesday, June 19, 2018 at Jackson Madison County General Hospital in Jackson.  He was born on October 11, 1962 in Milan, TN to James Harlon and Carolyn Marshall Baker. He was a member of Union Academy Baptist Church.  He was preceded in death by his parents.

Survivors include his son Dallas Baker of McKenzie, a brother Greg (Peggy) Baker of Bruceton, his nieces and nephew Brooke Baker, Jacob Baker, and Autumn Baker, his former spouse April Brutto of Waverly.

Pallbearers who will serving are Dallas Baker, Greg Baker, Jacob Baker, David Forrest, Keith Webb, and Jeff Marshall.

Brummitt-McKenzie Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.  For more information please call (731) 352-4848 or visit

Weather Update:

We’ll spend most of the morning with some off and on showers especially the eastern half of West Tennessee. There will be a bit of a lull in the persistent showers by late morning. There may be some filtered sunshine through parts of the afternoon. This will be the window where the atmosphere may recover and become unstable ahead of the cold front. A line or complex of storms is expected to redevelop by late afternoon, then move east across the area through the early evening hours. Some of the storms may be strong to severe, but it will ultimately depend on how much sunshine happens this morning. I’ll take a look at the latest data coming up on midday at 11:30 AM on ABC 7.

Storm Team Meteorologist
Moe Shamell

JACKSON, Tenn. — The Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant opened Wednesday night with preliminary competition.

It was a full house as contestants took the stage for the first round of competition. The pageant features 37 beautiful ladies ready to take home the crown.

“It’s exciting to see all of these girls and the hard work they put in and to hear about their platforms,” Miss Tennessee supporter Lori Collins said.

Contestants will compete in swimsuit, talent and evening wear.

“I’m looking forward to my daughter’s talent,” Kathy Compton said. “She’s going to do the Cyr wheel, which has never been done on the Miss Tennessee stage before.”

While there may be a lot of proud moms in the crowd, fathers of the contestants are thrilled to see their daughters on the Miss Tennessee stage too.

“I’m very excited and nervous because you know everybody wants to win, and you want to see your daughter win,” Ron Gallant said.

“Just so proud of her to see her on the big stage,” Mark Dickson said. “It’s always been her dream, and we’re getting to see her live her dream.”

Many supporters say all the girls are winners.

“I just think so much of all these young women. They are all the total package,” Compton said.

Contestants compete through Friday with finalists vying for the crown Saturday evening.

The first round of preliminary winners are Talent winner Miss Dixie PAC Lauren Dickson and Swimsuit winner Miss Chattanooga Christine Williamson.

J-Petal Owner Qi Sun from China says he opened the franchise after successfully opening Number One Chinese Food in North Jackson.


“I actually think it’s really cool because they mix up the stuff and it’s good Japanese and it’s different,” said 11-year-old customer Kaysey Stasel.

They make fruit-filled Japanese crepes, Thai rolled ice cream and even non-alcoholic mojitos inside a light-bulb.

“It’s probably my favorite place I’ve ever been in to and I’ve lived in Jackson my whole life and it’s my favorite place,” said 11-year-old customer Miriam Schott.

J-Petal on Stonebrook Place in Jackson already had a line to the door in their first few weeks of opening.

Customers are raving about the different flavors.

“I ordered Mango-A-Go-Go and it’s really fresh and taste a lot of mango,” said 12-year old customer Mariana Valdiva.

“I ordered the cookie monster one and I put gummy bears and it was so amazing! It was like really, really good,” smiled Stasel.


JACKSON, Tenn. — The lights, the cameras, ready for all the action of Miss Tennessee 2018.

“I’m so excited to get the prelims started and just to see where the rest of the week’s going to go,” said Miss University of Tennessee Martin Morgan Martin.

Organizers say they have been planning the sights and sounds of the show since October.

“Every number is a different color scheme, so it’s a color scheme that kind of fits the costuming and the music,” said Jimmy Exum, president and producer of the Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant.

Exum says this year the music will incorporate a tribute to James Bond.

“What I do is I try to look at our audience and have a piece of music for each age group,” Exum said.

He says Miss Tennessee is the only state competition that includes a live orchestra.

“Because there’s nothing like live music,” Exum said.

The 37 contestants also made an appearance at the weekly Jackson Rotary Club luncheon Wednesday, getting the opportunity to introduce themselves and mingle with members of the community.

“I love the outdoors. I am a duck hunter, a turkey hunter, a skeet shooter,” Martin said.

The ladies shared how they’ve prepared.

“Lots of practice, lots of tilapia and green beans,” said Miss Tennessee Soybean Festival Katie Hodges.

And they shared their excitement for the upcoming competitions.

“And the earrings, oh my gosh, you’re going to die,” Hodges said.

Miss Tennessee 2017 Caty Davis says this weekend is bitter sweet for her, having visited 150 schools over the past year.

“But of course my favorite part is the children,” Davis said. “Encouraging to them respect their teachers, respect their education, their dreams, the people around them, and, of course, themselves.”

Spoiler alert. Exum also says the finale is sure to be a crowd pleaser, with a performance from the Macedonia Baptist Church Choir. Wednesday’s competition started at 8:00 at the Carl Perkins Civic Center.

Tickets for all nights are available at the box office.

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