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The year in review

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Locals hanging out with a TV start was one of the top stories of the year. File photo

It is natural to reflect on the passage of time, especially when one year ends and another begins. Following is a review of the news that made headlines in 2013. 


Atoka begins residential trash collection program. Covington’s Davarius Smith is acquitted on his fourth attempted murder charge, but will be serving time on convictions in Lauderdale County. A mother and daughter are killed in wreck on Highway 51 between Covington and Brighton. “The Hobbit” runs at The Ruffin Theater. Debra Moody is sworn in as state representative. The Gilt Edge Volunteer Fire Department announces it will end medical calls. The Johnson family attends President Barack Obama’s second inauguration. Richard Hatchel of Drummonds is arrested and charged in the shooting death of his wife, Shannon. 


A feasibility study finds, if taxes are raised, the Town of Atoka can support a fire department independent from the City of Munford. Local gun and ammunition dealers say demand is high, and supply low, during national shortage. Covington High School’s boys’ basketball team is forced to forfeit its winning season because two players were not eligible for the team due to being Haywood County residents. Atoka residents are angry over a proposed amphitheater in Pioneer Park. A state audit finds deficiencies in county purchasing departments. Munford business owners set up benefit for reserve officer Bruce Potter. The parole request of Cindy Clifton, a former Covington teacher convicted of performing sexual acts with minors, is denied. The Town of Brighton sets date for its Centennial Celebration. Crestview Middle School principal James Fields is arrested for driving under the influence. The City of Covington is ordered to pay $5.4 million in damages in a civil case involving housing developments. Atoka officials delay, indefinitely, the amphitheater project. 


Covington High School’s Lady Chargers are state bound. Sheriff Pancho Chumley answers allegations made in audit report. The Celebration of Service and Sacrifice committee announces it will bring the traveling Vietnam memorial wall to Munford in October. A Covington man steals a Kubota tractor, and then wrecks it while fleeing the scene. Covington alderwoman Minnie Bommer questions promotions within municipal departments and requests diversity among public safety ranks. After four months of negotiations, Atoka and Munford agree on contract to provide services between both cities. The county announces the jail will be expanding in the coming year. Munford High School’s Advanced Choir is set to perform at Carnegie Hall. Two Tipton County Public Works employees are indicted for theft. Covington Integrated Arts Academy’s dance troupe wins big in Dallas. Munford officials oppose a proposed power line that will run through its boundaries. Young twins are found in a home during a meth lab bust. A Hydratrek vehicle is featured on an episode of popular reality show “Duck Dynasty.” New programs instituted by volunteers help reduce euthanasia at Tipton County’s famously high-kill shelter. 


Two fugitives are captured in Covington. Federal drug charges are announced for dozens of West Tennessee residents, including some in Tipton County. “You Can’t Take it With You” runs at The Ruffin. The Tipton County Board of Education announces the county’s top ten seniors from each high school’s graduating class. County begins offering scholarships to high school seniors. Atoka hosts its first BBQ Festival in Nancy Lane Park. The Grovestock Music Festival, honoring late sisters Callie and Kendall Kercher, takes place at Holly Grove Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Officials in Atoka and Munford announce sales tax referendum to support fire department. More than 1,000 people attend Go Lucy Go event. 


Munford considers implementing its own residential trash collection program. Former Munford mayor John Chorley Sr. dies. Music on the Square announces its 2013 lineup. State officials announce closure of local unemployment office. Wounded warrior Christian “CB” Brown is awarded the Silver Star. Spongy dirt delays construction on Atoka’s splash pad. Claybrook Farms announces it will expand its operations. CMS Principal James Fields is reassigned following DUI. Brighton, Munford and Atoka compete for dog park grant. Atoka proposes a $6.5 million budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year. A memorial is held for fallen law enforcement officers. Covington Parks and Recreation announces it will begin a Tipton County Sports Hall of Fame. Munford’s Lady Cougars softball team wins its state tournament opener. A Drummonds man is killed when his vehicle hits a tree. The Tipton County Sheriff’s Office adds an armored vehicle to its fleet. A missing Tipton County man is found dead in a ditch. “Beauty and the Beast” opens at The Ruffin. 


An EF-1 tornado touches down in the Mt. Lebanon community, damaging two homes in the area. Five of the nine tornado sirens in South Tipton County are not functioning. A Covington family celebrates the graduations of three of its four children. Brighton is still in the running to win the $100,000 dog park grant.  The Covington-Tipton County Chamber of Commerce hosts a garden tour on June 8. A rodeo is held to raise funds for the Hatchie River Region Boys and Girls Club. Covington dentist Michelle Woodward dies after drug overdose. Oleo Acres announces its Salt of the Earth festival featuring prominent Memphis-area chefs preparing farm-to-table feast. Funding is cut for the Tipton County Adult Development Center. Covington mayor David Gordon and Atoka recorder Debbie Pickard earn Certified Municipal Financial Officer certificates. Governor Bill Haslam travels to Atoka to announce a $399,000 multimodal travel grant which will fund a trail from the fire department’s Station 3, at Walker Parkway and Elizabeth, to Walker Park. 


Six new principals are announced by the Tipton County Board of Education. Atoka’s splash pad opens on July 5. Brighton toddler drowns in family pool. The Tennessee Technology Center at Covington changes its name. A Ripley man is killed in a Covington wreck. A Brighton police officer is indicted for theft and having sex with a victim in one of his cases. Through a Fans of Atoka group on Facebook, residents voice many concerns over the town’s new splash pad. High school students begin football practice. Covington officials increase taxes, utility rates. The City of Munford passes a “pretty lean” annual budget. Two men are arrested in an TCSO “spice” bust. 


Dyersburg State Community College announces it received a $23,000 grant. The TCSO is searching for suspects in the invasion of an elderly man’s home. A man posing as a Lincare employee steals medicine from an elderly Covington woman. “Grease” opens at The Ruffin. The fire that destroyed the TCSO substation on Centennial Island is ruled arson. Teresa Smith, whose son Darius Heaston was killed in a 2011 murder, organizes an anti-violence event in Frazier Park. A Covington teacher is suspended after allegedly stabbing a woman while at a conference in Nashville. Covington retires its crossing guards due to budget cuts, causing controversy to erupt from parents of students at Crestview elementary and middle schools. Covington’s postmaster announces the city’s walking loops will soon be phased out and asks residents to install curbside mailboxes. Paslode announces the plant will close in September. Ritter Communications becomes new name of Millington Telephone. Tipton County passes $126.7 million budget, with $78 million allocated for schools. Bryan DeMeza is arrested in the December 2012 death of his newborn stepson. The City of Munford hires Peter Colin Sr. as new city administrator; Colin’s wife Terry steps down as alderman. Covington High School is named a Reward School by the state commission on education. Two-year-old Cathlena Hinnard is hit by a car and killed in front of her Mason-area home. Motorcyclist CJ Maughn Jr. killed in Munford-area wreck. Hundreds sign petition to reinstate crossing guard program in Covington. Atoka and Munford set to begin early voting for sales tax referendum. 


Covington’s Biomass Gasification plant begins its operation, transforming organic waste to energy for the wastewater plant. Covington High School working to raise money for new band uniforms. Christian Brown to be honored with fundraising Lt. Dan Band concert in Memphis. Local teens involved in Millington federal sex trafficking case. Sales tax referendum passes in both Atoka and Munford and will fund salaries for new firefighters. Brighton celebrates its centennial with three-day event. Tipton County Adult Development Center now under management of SRVS organization. Unilever announces Covington plant will expand its operations, becoming the largest ice cream producer in the world and adding 430 jobs by 2016. Former sheriff Buddy Lewis named new Covington police chief; he will succeed Tim Glass who will retire in October due to medical reasons. Brighton homeowners will now be fined for having high grass. 


The local effects of the federal government’s shutdown aren’t known, but local federal employees are worried about furlough. Local officials say Healthcare.gov website roll-out needed better organization. State comptroller Justin P. Wilson visits local schools. Munford High School football coach Ahmaad Galloway resigns amid allegations of inappropriate behavior at away game. Cotton crop coming in late this year. Tipton Get Fit program receives national recognition. Search warrant leads to discovery of dog fighting ring with more than two dozen pit bulls pulled from Covington home. A First Utility District clerk steals funds to pay utility bills. Buddy Lewis is sworn in as new police chief. Lauren Smethwick is crowned Miss Tipton County. The traveling Vietnam wall, an 80 percent replica, as well as other tributes to public servants and veterans from all wars arrives in Munford and is seen by thousands. Deputies shoot Drummonds man after being threatened with a knife; they were at the residence to arrest the man’s father. Covington High School wins its second consecutive SCORE prize. 


Covington police and TCSO deputies shoot elderly woman near Walmart after she shoots at them. Brighton and Munford marching bands fare well at annual Bandmasters Championship. An undercover drug operation at Broadmeadow Place Apartments yields 28 arrests. The Tipton County grand jury indicts 168 during the November term. A vintage car museum is planned for the old curtain factory in northern Covington. Local veterans are honored with parade and school events for Veterans Day. Local woman is killed in ATV accident at Sugar Creek Trails in western Tipton County. DSCC’s Academic Building is renamed the Baptist Memorial Healthcare Academic Building. A correctional officer is caught on tape saving the life of a choking grand juror during a lunch break. A man missing from Drummonds is found alive, having been lost in the woods and disoriented. A man leads deputies on a high-speed chase through a school zone and into east Covington. The City of Covington is awarded a $300,000 grant to renovate the Covington Municipal Center. The first inductees into the Tipton County Sports Hall of Fame are announced. The City of Munford considers raising its sewer and water rates. 


A Brighton woman shoots and kills husband, telling police she thought she heard something outside and accidentally shot her husband; she is later charged with second-degree murder and bonded out of jail once her bond was reduced from $100,000 to $20,000. Brighton High School senior, one of the area’s most highly-sought football players in decades, commits to the University of Tennessee. Tucker Ashford, Earl Billings, Bobby Davie, Johnnie Jones, Adrian Nathaniel and the late Harvey Kendrick are inducted into the sports hall of fame during a meeting of the Covington Board of Mayor and Aldermen. An ice storm expected to rival that of the legendary storm of 1994 sends residents into a panic, but results in only ¼” of ice and few power outages. Covington High School is officially awarded its SCORE prize. “A Christmas Story” runs at The Ruffin. Parents against Common Core standards host an informational meeting in Atoka. The jail expansion is on track, officials say. Highway 51 in Brighton is closed for bad wreck at Woodlawn in Brighton; a five-year-old ejected from one of the vehicles is airlifted to LeBonheur, but only sustained minor injuries. A Covington man is killed in a Haywood County accident involving a train. 

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