HUMBOLDT, Tenn —  Local law enforcement hosted a city-wide community meeting in Humboldt, Monday night, drawing a crowd filled with concerned residents. From crime prevention and gang violence to building strong relationships with the community, Humboldt residents touched on all of it. Police officers took time to listen to their concerns as well offer suggestions to combat the problems.

“We’ve had a bad year,” Chief Rob Ellis said. “I’m going to be honest with you we had a bad year.”

A packed house as Humboldt residents heard from those who protect and serve their city.

“I think we definitely heard the voice of the community and our officers need to be a little more community oriented in their police tactics,” Chief Ellis said.

Concerns varied from the city’s crime rate, community policing, to gang activity in neighborhoods.

“The recent violent activities that have been taking place in Humboldt that was my main concern,” resident, Crystal Panky said.

Residents want to know how police officers are actively working to make the city a safer place.

“I just didn’t want us to come here and have a community discussion,” Panky said. “I wanted us to really get to some concrete things and make some plans.”

Citizens also stressed the importance of supporting the police when something happens in their neighborhood.

“As a community we have concerns, but we also have to be as a community involved to help the police and then our city can grow and get back to the luster that it once was,” Clifford Morris said.

Chief Ellis said listening to what Humboldt residents have to say and planning a course of action is the most effective way to make change.

“We just need to get out there and serve and protect best that we can and put our best foot forward on a daily basis and listen to the community and try to accommodate them,” Chief Ellis said.

Another concern for many residents was the number of officers employed. Chief Ellis said by the end of the year there will be 28 officers serving the community, the most the department has ever had.

Chief Ellis says there will be another community meeting planned at the beginning of the new year.

JACKSON, Tenn.-Jackson State Community College brought international heritage to their campus, Monday night.

The Paul Brock Band visited the campus to perform. They are a four-piece Irish band and visited as a part of the Jackson State International Education Program.

Every semester the students pay $10 for the international program and the school brings international programs to the students that can’t study abroad.

“Never say that you’re never gonna leave West Tennessee. You never know when some of these international experiences will open up new doors and new opportunities,” said Mary Wadley, associate professor at JSCC.

Wadley also said this is the fifth year that the school has sent students to study abroad.


JACKSON, Tenn. — The top plays from week 10 are as followed:

#5: Bolivar’s Trey Lowe connects with Josh Sturgis for a Tiger touchdown. Bolivar would take down Westview 47-20.

#4: Dyersburg’s Christopher Russell returns the opening kick off all the way for six! Dyersburg knocked off Chester County 48-6.

#3: Henry County’s Lukas Reynolds extends for the end zone helping his Patriots defeat Clarksville NE 26-13.

#2: Haywood’s Xavier Walker makes several Liberty Tech defenders fall with several juke moves. Haywood would go on to beat the Crusaders 48-3.

#1: Dyersburg’s Kevin Spencer focuses in and catches a pass that bounces off a Eagles defender helmet to walk in for the score.

MADISON COUNTY, Tenn. — Man is left dead after early morning house fire Monday.

“At ten after six this morning my dogs were barking, so when I checked to see what they were barking at, I looked out the front window, and I noticed a big, orange glow from up the street,” said Debbie Barnett who lives nearby.

Barnet describes what she saw on her street of Hopper Barker Road, when she discovered her neighbor’s home on fire and immediately called 9-1-1.

“Well all I could think of is, was Joe in there? Was Joe in there? That’s all I could think of,” Barnett said.

“They pulled lines and made a pretty quick knock down, started their interior search, primary search, and in doing so, found a victim who unfortunately had perished,” said Chief Eric Turner of the Madison County Fire Department.

The fire department says the victim was 72-year-old Joe Collins, and tell us he was a retired Jackson firefighter. Neighbors say he had been living in that home for over 30 years.

“He’s just a sweet gentleman. He loved animals, and we just saw him a week ago, and talked to him at church,” said Barnett. “He’s just a real nice fella; couldn’t be anyone any nicer.”

Investigators say the cause of the house fire appears to be electrical.

“…but it was a while before the firemen could get in. There was just no way for them to get in. It was just a big ball of fire,” Barnett said.

Investigators say the exact cause of Collins’ death has yet to be determined. Investigators confirmed the home was equipped with working smoke alarms.

MEDINA, Tenn. — Students at South Gibson High School on Monday heard from someone who lived through one of the most horrific events of the 20th century.

School officials say students have been researching the Holocaust.

Dr. Clark Blatteis was 7 years old when he found himself on a ship with his family in hopes of escaping Germany.

“When things happen that in fact cause the oppression and the persecution of one group, that they should go against that,” Dr. Blatteis said of what he hopes people will take from his story.

Dr. Blatteis says he is fortunate that he and his family were able to leave Germany alive. He urges people to stand up for discrimination, even if they are not the immediate victims.

TRENTON, Tenn. — October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and many elected officials and faith-based groups are organizing events and activities to raise awareness.

The Wo/Men’s Resource and Rape Assistance Program held a presentation in Trenton in an effort to reach out to survivors and victims of abuse.

Trenton elected officials including City Mayor Ricky Jackson, Humboldt Mayor Marvin Sikes and Milan Mayor B.W. Beasley signed a proclamation for recognition of the important work communities do preventing domestic violence.

WRAP Advocate Lartyania Merriweather hosted the event. WRAP serves 19 counties, with their headquarters being in Jackson.

“We are here for them, and we are here to offer them hope. There’s always hope. It’s never the end, but there’s always hope,” Merriweather said.

WRAP invited the Rev. Barbara Fitzhugh to share her story of domestic abuse.

She said on Sept. 15, 2016, her daughter Camille was taking her two eldest children to school when her husband came up to her car and shot her 10 times. She told him she was leaving him on Sept. 10. Barbara was in the car behind her with her two youngest children. She said Camille’s husband fled the scene and then shot and killed himself.

Camille was 26-years-old and left behind four children.

“My daughter was not a victim,” Fitzhugh said. “She decided not to be his victim anymore. She cut ties, she walked out of the relationship and she refused to allow fear to dominate her life.”

Fizthugh sang a soulful song in memory of her daughter and hopes her story will encourage others to be strong.

“It will empower another person who is being abused to say no, enough is enough, and walk away from the situation,” Fitzhugh said.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, visit WRAP’s website to learn more.

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HUMBOLDT, Tenn. — Humboldt police have charged a man after a shooting Tuesday.

Jaycent Cox

Humboldt police said a man was driving near South 17th Avenue when his vehicle was shot at multiple times by a person in another vehicle. The victim’s car was hit several times, police said in a news release Monday.

Jaycent Montrell Cox, 22, was determined to be a person of interest in the shooting, and he was later arrested without incident, according to police.

Cox is charged with attempted first-degree murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony.

He is currently held at the Gibson County Correctional Complex on $250,000 bond.

The people in this gallery were booked into the Madison County Jail between 7 a.m. on 10/20/17 and 7 a.m. on 10/23/17.

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

Weather Update – 10:30 p.m. Monday

After yesterday’s cold front, there’s a lot of sunshine spilling back into the Mid-South! We’ll have a mix of clear skies and clouds through Wednesday but the main point will be the cold weather in the forecast. We’re expecting frost to form Wednesday morning with temperatures expected to return to the 30s!


Tonight will remain breezy at times with westerly winds at 5 to 15 miles per hour. Skies will be mainly clear to partly cloudy with temperatures dropping to the lower and middle 40s by Tuesday morning. Windy conditions and some cloud cover should keep frost from forming tonight.

Another day of sun and clouds is forecast for Tuesday with highs near 60°F. Keep in mind, our average high for October 24th is 71°F, so this will be much cooler than normal for this time of the year. We’re not completely out of the woods from the light rain and drizzle. Some may return tomorrow afternoon with winds expected to blow to maximum sustained speeds of 10 to 20 miles per hour with gusts up to 30 miles per hour during the day.

Temperatures will be starting out in the middle to upper 30s on Wednesday morning with a potential for frost early in the morning. Prepare your plants now before the cold air comes in! Tune in to WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News for the latest forecast and stay in touch with Storm Team Weather online for more updates!

Tom Meiners
Storm Team 7 Chief Meteorologist, CBM
Twitter – @WBBJ7TomMeiners
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