JACKSON, Tenn. — As longtime WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News anchor Keli McAlister finished her final days at the station, her co-workers took a moment to share their goodbyes and best wishes with her.

JACKSON, Tenn — Meet six puppies looking for a forever home. They are 10-week-old mix puppies! The mom is only about 40 lbs. Their  names are Thurston, Gilligan, Skipper, Professor (Hinkley), Ginger and Maryann. Watch to learn more about adopting. 

JACKSON, Tenn — The owners of Saucy Jake’s Food Truck stopped by the studio to share grilling tips.

The food truck is located on 586 Vann Drive in Jackson.

Watch to learn more on how you can improve your skills at the grill!

JACKSON, Tenn.-Here are the results from night three’s preliminary round of Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant.

Friday evening, the winner in the swimsuit competition was Miss Lexington, Katy Davis and in the talent competition,
Miss Chattanooga, Sarah Harris was the winner.

Stay with WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News into the weekend for continued coverage of this year’s pageant. The final competition begins Saturday  night at 7:45 p.m. at the Carl Perkins Civic Center, where the new Miss Tennessee will be crowned.

JACKSON, Tenn — As the Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant entered the third night and final night of preliminary competitions, WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News took a look behind the scenes of what it takes to put the show together.

The old saying must be true,  team work really does make the dream work. There is an entire crew that helps the 36 Miss Tennessee contestants prepare each night.

Pageant contestants entered the civic center a hour before show time, but what many in the audience don’t get to see is the work that goes into getting the ladies on stage.

“Backstage is a little different we have a little fun, but these girls are here to win a crown,” backstage chairman, Nichole Lawrence said.

Lawrence has been a crucial part of the Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant for the past 14 years.

“We’ve got 36 beautiful girls, we’ve got to steam dresses, we’ve got to pin earrings, dresses, whatever we need to do to make sure these girls look their best when they go out on stage.”

Lawrence said with a crew of about 12 to 15 people they’re able to get the ladies prepped and ready to go each night.

Lawrence said the steaming takes the longest time, “because there’s so many beautiful gowns and we just want to make sure that their all perfect.”

The pageant is something the crew looks forward to every summer. “I just keep coming back and helping every year just because I believe in this program and I believe in what it does in empowering young women,” said Lawrence.

Three nights of prelims and one year later means it is the last day of current Miss Tennessee, Grace Burgess’s reign.

“Grace has been an absolute jewel,” Lawrence said.

The outgoing Miss Tennessee will place a tiara on her successor, Saturday night at the end of the pageant. Lawrence said Burgess has been a great representative for the state.

“She really gets in gets with the children and understands what it means to fulfill this job and do it well.”

The final night of competition begins Saturday night at 7:45 at the Carl Perkins Civic Center in downtown Jackson. The 36 ladies will be narrowed down to 15 at the beginning of the show.

The winner of the Miss Tennessee pageant will advance to the Miss America Scholarship Pageant, which will take place September 10 in Atlantic City.

Weather Update:


GIBSON COUNTY, Tenn.-A Gibson County lawyer is disbarred nearly two years after she was convicted of tampering with evidence.

Edythe Christie was suspended from practicing law in September 2015. One month later, she was ordered to serve 150 days in jail.

Christie was found guilty that summer, during her son’s murder trial. John Christie later accepted a plea deal on a charge of reckless homicide, in the overdose death of his wife, Brittany.

MILAN, Tenn.-Members of a special program for students, and their mentors were honored, Friday night.

Entering its third year, “A Few Good Men” gives young men, ages 4 to 18, the chance to reach their full potential..
More than 20 students took part in the most recent class, seeing the work of this special campaign, first hand.

“A few men got together three years ago and was tired of seeing our young men fall victim to the streets so basically what this does is it proves mentors to them to help them to be law abiding citizens in society,” said Shereka Phinnessee, the event’s organizer.

Every year, one senior member is chosen as the recipient of a scholarship, made possible by the event.

JACKSON, Tenn.-The man accused of robbing the Money Now store on South Highland Avenue in south Jackson was in court, Friday.

Harold Anthony Junior allegedly threatened to kill an employee, after he was refused a loan on June 6.
An arrest record showed Anthony ran from the store with nearly $9,000 in cash.
He faces one count of aggravated robbery.

MARTIN, Tenn.-Two officers were promoted Friday at the Martin Police Department.

Captain Phillip Fuqua was promoted to Assistant Chief and Lieutenant Eric Reed was promoted to Patrol Captain.
Both have been on the force, a combined 35 years and will assume their new duties in July.

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