JACKSON, Tenn — This time of year is very important for high school seniors, as many of them are not only looking forward to graduation, but deciding where they plan to go after those high school doors are closed.

30 seniors from schools in Madison County and neighboring counties were recognized Sunday at the annual Talented Ten Percent reception at University of Memphis Lambuth.

“It’s an opportunity for students to be recognized for their high achievements in high school, but also get the opportunity to mix and mingle with some of our faculty and staff here and learn more about the University of Memphis Lambuth,” said Adam Johnson, Coordinator of Enrollment Services for University of Memphis Lambuth.

WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News spoke to some of the best and the brightest about how they feel about receiving the honor.

“It feels pretty good that my genius is finally recognized, haha. I’m joking. I’m joking,” Milan HS Senior, Jack Parr said.

“I’ve worked hard all my life pretty much and through high school and God has led me through this journey, Northside High School Senior, Torrance Buntyn said. “And I’m so happy that I got to be here and just to be awarded this amazing honor,”

Buntyn says he was rewarded a full ride to Tennessee State University. “I want to major in music education because music is my passion,” Buntyn said. “And I really want to teach music to other students whenever I become a band director so I really want to teach and influence their lives in becoming the best they can be,”

Parr explains why he’s decided to pursue a career in space engineering. “Rockets are cool,” Parr said. “It actually started out as a joke to be honest. I said I wanted to be a rocket surgeon, but I looked into it and I thought it was really interesting, so I decided yeah I’m going to do it,”

Students say they know the hard work has just begun. “Its just now starting. I’m going to graduate and start a whole new chapter of my life, so its just now starting,” Buntyn said.

Event organizers say the Talented Top 10% award was based on the students’ grade point average throughout their high school career.

University of Memphis Lambuth representatives say this coming fall has marked a record breaking enrollment year for them with over 1000 new students.

Weather Update – 10:45 p.m. – Sunday

After seeing the clouds break apart Sunday afternoon, we were able to warm up to near 70 today. Clouds increase as we watch out for our next rain maker approach overnight. We stay mild with lows in the low 50s tonight and conditions becoming very windy.


Chance of showers start to increase after midnight with areas closer to the Mississippi river possibly seeing a few isolated showers. We won’t see it really pick up until the early morning hours on Monday. A few storms could be embedded in this system but the risk for anything strong is very low.


The main concern with this frontal passage will be the wind gusts. Around the time it reaches us, winds ahead of it could gust over 30 mph. Again these are not the consistent wind speeds, it’s only showing how strong winds could gust up to briefly at certain times. The winds along with the rain and chance for possible storms in the morning could cause some strains during the morning commute to work and school as well so plan accordingly.

Good news is that the showers should taper off by the middle of the day when that front moves through that afternoon, with the cloud cover gradually decreasing.  It will continue to be breezy, although not as gusty like earlier in the morning. Winds will still be coming from the south around 10-15 mph shifting to the west south west.

The high will be around 63, with temperatures also dropping during the afternoon as the cold front moves through. Cooler air will move in Monday night with lows dropping into the 30s again. Meteorologist Moe Shamell will keep track of the rain on Good Morning West Tennessee but also keep up with Storm Team Weather online too for more updates.

Corallys Ortiz
Storm Team 7 Meteorologist
Twitter – @WBBJ7Corallys
Facebook – facebook.com/WBBJ7Corallys
Email – cortiz@wbbjtv.com


PARSONS, Tenn — Emergency crews in Parsons confirmed their working to extinguish a fire at Bear Creek Baptist Church.

WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News was told by first responders on scene that no one was inside when the fire broke out.

The cause is still under investigation. Stay with WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News for more information.



Fire officials confirm it started around 7:30 p.m. Sunday night. The pastor and members of Bear Creek church say it’s a historic building, just last August the congregation celebrated their 175th church anniversary. Multiple firefighters provided assistance, including the Henderson county fire department, Parsons emergency crews, and city of Lexington first responders.

There was an out pour of support from the community as volunteers, and congregations of neighboring churches showed up to help.

First responders say the fire started in a portion of the building and quickly spread. Crews stayed on the scene, battling the flames for hours.

The pastor of Bear Creek says most likely they will have church at another facility next Sunday as local churches have already reached out to welcome them.

Investigators say the building is a total loss, and the official cause is still under investigation.


JACKSON, Tenn. — Salt and sand used to treat the streets turned into soap and shine, as the grime washed off hundreds of cars over the weekend.

The snow and ice from last weeks storm has melted away, but employees at Car Wash USA in Jackson are too busy to notice.

“We’re nearing 1,500 cars in three days,” assistant manager Jonathan Wombrod said.

Wombrod said his team cleaned triple the amount of cars they do on a normal weekend.

“Usually summers are our busiest times, but right after snow and all the salt and ice, we’re bumper-to-bumper,” he said.

Many car owners say their tires were caked with salt after a week of driving on icy streets.

“All that salt and stuff and can rust the bottom of the car,” car owner Joesph Hinton said.  “So if you don’t hurry up and get it cleaned, it can eventually tear away at the car.”

Hinton is just one of many costumers who waited in line to have his car cleaned.

“It was almost a whole new color,” he said.

But after a good soap and scrub, Hinton’s car was back to a shiny black.

Employees say some mixtures used to treat winter weather can cause costly damage.

“If you have a little salt build up, come get it washed or it will start eating away at the paint,” Wombrod said.

With the cars sparkling and ready to go, Wombrod and his team are ready for more business to come.

“If people didn’t want to come get their cars washed, I wouldn’t have a job,” he said.

Employees at car wash USA in Jackson say they are expecting to clean triple the amount of cars for the rest of the week.

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative David Kustoff sent a letter to the Chief Administrative Officer of the U.S. Congress requesting that his salary be withheld during the government shutdown.

“If our troops don’t get paid during the Schumer Shutdown, I cannot in good conscious accept my pay,” said Congressman Kustoff. “I have requested that my personal salary be withheld until we fund the government. I will continue working with my colleagues toward a timely solution and will fight for the needs of West Tennesseans.”

Congressman Kustoff’s office will remain open throughout the government shutdown to answer questions and work to find a solution to fund the government.

You can read the full letter by clicking here.

Weather Update – 10:45 p.m. – Saturday

We warmed up a bit more today with highs in the upper 50s, although a few places further south did peak into the low 60s. We will stay in a warming as winds from the south help bring in warm, moist gulf air. Low expected to drop into the mid to upper 40s tonight with mostly cloudy skies and staying mostly dry, although we could see a few spotty showers and patchy drizzle.


Mostly cloudy conditions continue through tomorrow. It will be a bit warmer, with highs staying in the low 60s. Winds will be consistently breezy through the day, coming from the south around 10 mph. The chance for showers increase as an approaching cold front moves through overnight, with most of the rain starting in the early morning hours Monday right before the work commute.


As the cold front approaches, the winds ahead of that will pick up a lot. Very windy conditions Sunday night with gusts anywhere between 30-45 mph at times. The winds should stay gusty through early Monday until the front completely passes through. Wouldn’t rule out the chance for some scattered strong thunderstorms that night, but the risk is low for now.


System will move through quickly through, finishing around mid-day Monday, with skies gradually clearing out going into Tuesday. More seasonable temperatures expected for most of the week with mostly sunny skies. Stay with WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News for the latest forecast, and keep up with Storm Team Weather online too for more updates.

Corallys Ortiz
Storm Team 7 Meteorologist
Twitter – @WBBJ7Corallys
Facebook – facebook.com/WBBJ7Corallys
Email – cortiz@wbbjtv.com

HARDEMAN COUNTY, Tenn —  The streets in Bolivar were packed Saturday as many came together for an annual parade, honoring a civil rights hero.

Hardeman county churches, law enforcement, and other organizations marched in the parade honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Organizers say the goal was to bring awareness to high quality elementary and secondary education, a cause important to Dr. King.

One parade go-er explains her favorite part. “I’m here to watch the parade, I love parades. They’re so cool and fun. I’ve been begging my dad to take me to the parade,” Nylah Harris said.


Organizers say it is one of the biggest annual parades of the year for Hardeman county, and it’s important to honor a man who made his mark on our communities and across the country.

JACKSON, Tenn —  Guests filled their glasses and took to the dance floor Saturday evening at the Star Center in support of a local high school.

‘Bid and Boogie’ is a fundraising event for the University School of Jackson. The event featured live and silent auctions, as well as live entertainment by the one and only Party Band of Nashville. Event organizers say the money raised will be used to further the educational success of the students.

“That helps us renovate lower school playgrounds, also financial aid is a big piece to this so, some of our families need financial support, and the funds raised tonight will help those families,” Head of School, Stuart Hirstein said. “It also helps for things like renovating our middle and upper school library head,”

Representatives said the auction included an autographed football from Nick Saban, as well as products and services donated by parents of students.


MADISON COUNTY, Tenn — Madison County Sheriff John Mehr confirmed a deputy has been arrested.

Deputy Shane Paar is allegedly accused of simple domestic assault, involving his son. The incident occurred around 11 a.m. Saturday on Madelyn Cove in Oakfield.

Deputy Paar has been placed on administrative leave and suspended with pay, according to the sheriff’s office.

Public information officer, Tom Mapes, said Deputy Paar will be arraigned in court Monday.

The case is still under investigation.

JACKSON, Tenn. — With all this news about frozen pipes and dangerous winter weather covered roads, it was a welcomed change for many guests Saturday night who had the opportunity to lounge under palm trees and sip on something sweet. And how can you go wrong when all of this was in support of a local, good cause?

“And until I came to the Dream Center and they loved me; Ms. Gale has loved me when I was so hard to love and so unlovable, and if it wasn’t for that woman and that place, I would probably be dead right now,” said Amanda Davis, who has been helped by the Dream Center.

Heartfelt stories were shared Saturday night at the eighth annual “A Night in the Caribbean.” Proceeds from the event benefiting the Dream Center.

“We house the women, teach them about Jesus, how to be a good parent, how to be a good cook and take care of their finances; anything that’s going to help them to become successful when they get out,” said Gail Gustafson, Executive Director of the Dream Center.

“I know it’s easy sometimes to look at someone’s life and say, well you know, you made your bed, you can lie in it,” said event attendee Suzette Reeves, “but for the grace of God, that could be any of us.”

The night included dinner, drinks, live music and auctions. Representatives say they are hoping to eventually raise enough money to build a new building that would house around 125 woman and children.

“We need 3.5 million dollars to build that building debt free, and that’s what we want to do. We want to go in debt free,” Gustafson said.

“No one really knows us, what the Dream Center really is, and it’s us women and our children that don’t have nowhere to go and don’t have no one,” Davis said, “and a lot of us just need to be loved and shown love the right way, and that’s through God. I mean, its saved my life. Its saved my life and my kids life.”

Event organizers say they are hoping to raise over $100,000 from the event.

If you would like to learn more about the Dream Center, the services they provide and how you can help, you can visit their website at dreamcenterjackson.com

Simple Share Buttons
Simple Share Buttons