Fair board discusses logistics for Sept. 25 renaming of street in honor of local country singer Gene Watson

Shown clockwise from left are city manager John Godwin; Rickey Lucas, member of the Red River Valley Fair Board; Rita Haynes, executive director; Steve Tucker, secretary-treasurer of the board; board president Wade White; and Paris Live Open Mic representatives Robbie Gunn and David Millsap. (eParisExtra Photo by Charles Richards)

 

By CHARLES RICHARDS

eParisExtra!

Members of the Red River Valley Fair Board this week signed off on renaming the two-block thoroughfare inside the fairgrounds to ‘Gene Watson Boulevard” and discussed the logistics for honoring the acclaimed singer upon his Sept. 25 performance at the Red River Valley Fair.

The Paris City Council on July 9 approved a resolution to that effect. City manager John Godwin told the fair board on Wednesday that the city’s public works department will make new red Gene Watson Boulevard signs to replace the three street signs in place from the south entrances of the fairgrounds to the north entrance.

Watson has long made it a point to be in Paris each year for the annual Red River Valley Fair, where he is the biggest attraction. Watson grew up in the Paris area, and this year is marking his 50th year as a country singer well known nationally.

The two-block-long section of Northwest Sixth Street inside the fairgrounds will officially become Gene Watson Boulevard on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012 – the date that Watson is scheduled to entertain during this year’s Red River Valley Fair.

Rita Haynes, executive director of the board, is a longtime friend of Watson, as is Red River Valley Fair Board president Wade White of Sumner, an acclaimed entertainer in his own right, who for years has been the warm-up act for Watson at his Paris performances.

David Millsap of Paris Live Open Mic, who is perhaps Watson’s biggest fan, spent months making the case to city officials for honoring Watson in this way.

Watson’s Sept. 25 performance at the fairgrounds will be interrupted by Millsaps and others coming onto the stage to honor Watson. Millsap will present to Watson his own “Gene Watson Boulevard” sign.

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Louisiana hits five home runs to come from behind for 10-4 victory over Paris in Dixie Majors World Series

LAUREL, Miss. Ty Huie hit a two-run home run as Paris got off to an early 3-0 lead, but Terrebonne, La., used five home runs to come roaring back for an 10-4 victory Wednesday night to capture the championship of the Dixie Majors World Series.

Three teams went into Wednesday’s championship round with one loss. Louisiana won a coin flip for a bye and watched A 5 p.m. game between Paris and tournament host Laurel, Miss., won in extra innings by Paris, 2-1.

In the championship game that followed at 8 p.m., Louisiana got its first home run in the third for a 3-3 tie. Paris went ahead 4-3 in the bottom of the third, but Louisiana got a solo homer for a 4-4 tie.

Louisiana followed with a 2-run homer in the fifth to take its first lead of the game.

In the bottom of the fifth, Colby Rose was hit by a pitch, loading the bases for Paris. But Louisiana managed to get out of the inning unscathed.

After a scoreless sixth inning, Louisiana added four runs in the ninth to put the game away. There was a single, followed by a home run, and then another single, again followed by a home run.

Paris’ Jeff King, pitching with only three days rest, threw a complete-game 6-5 victory over Florida (Highlands County) on Tuesday to bring the Texas representatives to the final day of the 2012 Dixie Majors World Series.

Later, Louisiana (Terrebonne Parish) defeated previously unbeaten Laurel, Miss., 11-5, leaving both those teams and Paris with one loss each in the 12-team, double-elimination tournament. Terrebonne Parish are 4-and-1, and Laurel is 3-and-1.

After the game, Paris lost a coin flip with Terrebonne Parish for a bye into the championship game on Wednesday night.

Paris will play Laurel at 5 p.m. to determine who plays Terrebonne Parish for the title at 8 p.m.

In Tuesday’s win over Florida, Chase Harvey’s 2-run homer helped Paris to a 4-0 first inning lead, and single runs in the third and fourth innings improved the lead to 6-0. Paris errors helped Florida to score three runs in the sixth and two runs in the seventh to make it close.

“We have a habit of scoring early and not scoring late.” Paris coach Heath Kennedy said.

Monday, Paris took a four-run lead in the first inning against Laurel, Miss., but couldn’t hold it and eventually lost, 8-7.

It was the second victory of the tournament for King, who went the distance in a 1-0 win for Paris on Saturday’s first day of the tournament.

King kept Florida off balance, scattering seven hits. Two of the five runs were unearned. He walked one and struck out one.

“He wasn’t as sharp as he was the first game, but he didn’t have near as much rest either. The pros don’t pitch on three days’ rest, and it’s tough for a young kid to do it,” Kennedy said.

Florida committed two runs in the inning that enabled Paris to add two more runs, both unearned, after Harvey’s 2-run homer.

Lance Fields and Laytner Kennedy got on via errors, and Corban Taylor walked to load the bases. Colby Rose singled in Fields, leaving the bases loaded, and Paris’ fourth run of the inning scored on a sacrifice fly by Logan Warren.

Single runs in the third and fourth innings built Paris’ lead to 6-0 before Florida came back on three runs in the sixth inning and two runs in the seventh. Both late-inning rallies were aided by Paris errors.

Harvey led Paris’ nine-hit attack with the home run and a fourth-inning RBI single. Ty Huie also had two hits, including a double ahead of Taylor’s RBI single in the third.

“It was a good game. Early on, we were flawless. Then we had a little hiccup in the sixth inning and we had another one in the seventh to let them back in the game,” Kennedy said.

“But they were a good team. I’m not taking anything away from them. They hit the ball. Their first four hitters were strong.”

PARIS ROSTER – Kyle Britt, Chris Cole, Lance Fields, Josh Grant, Chase Harvey, Chris House, Ty Huie, Laytner Kennedy, Jeff King, Cort Raulston, Colby Rose, Chevis Springer, Corban Taylor. and Logan Warren.

TOURNAMENT RESULTS

Saturday, July 28:

Game 1 — Florida (Highlands County) 8, Arkansas (Camden) 6

Game 2 — South Carolina (North Charleston) 12, Alabama (Opp) 3

Game 3 — Virginia (South Boston) 4, Tennessee (Mount Pleasant) 3

Game 4 — Texas (Paris) 1, North Carolina (Duplin County) 0

Game 5 — Louisiana (Terrebonne Parish) 13, Georgia (Columbia County) 2

Game 6 — Laurel-Jones County, Miss. 3, Hattiesburg, Miss. 1

Sunday, July 29:

Game 7 — Alabama 9, Arkansas 5

Game 8 — North Carolina 6, Tennessee 5

Game 9 — Hattiesburg, Miss. 5, Georgia 3

Game 10 — South Carolina 5, Florida 2

Game 11 — Texas 7, Virginia 0

Game 12 –Laurel, Miss. 2, Louisiana 0

Monday, July 30:

Game 13 — Florida 10, Virginia 0

Game 14 — North Carolina 7, Hattiesburg, Miss. 1

Game 15 — Louisiana 7, Alabama 5

Game 16 — Texas 10, South Carolina 0

Game 17 — Florida 10, North Carolina 3

Game 18 — Louisiana 6, South Carolina 0

Game 19 – Laurel, Miss. 8, Texas 7

Tuesday, July 31:

Game 20 — Texas 6, Florida 5

Game 21 — Louisiana 11, Laurel 5

Wednesday, Aug. 1:

Game 22 — Texas 2, Laurel 1 (8 innings)

Game 23, Championship  — 7:30 p.m.: Louisiana 10, Texas 4

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Paris wins again in Dixie Majors World Series, must beat two remaining one-loss teams Wednesday for the title

LAUREL, Miss. Paris’ Jeff King, pitching with only three days rest, threw a complete-game 6-5 victory over Florida (Highlands County) on Tuesday to bring the Texas representatives to the final day of the 2012 Dixie Majors World Series.

Later, Louisiana (Terrebonne Parish) defeated previously unbeaten Laurel, Miss., 11-5, leaving both those teams and Paris with one loss each in the 12-team, double-elimination tournament. Terrebonne Parish are 4-and-1, and Laurel is 3-and-1.

After the game, Paris lost a coin flip with Terrebonne Parish for a bye into the championship game on Wednesday night.

Paris will play Laurel at 5 p.m. to determine who plays Terrebonne Parish for the title at 8 p.m.

In Tuesday’s win over Florida, Chase Harvey’s 2-run homer helped Paris to a 4-0 first inning lead, and single runs in the third and fourth innings improved the lead to 6-0. Paris errors helped Florida to score three runs in the sixth and two runs in the seventh to make it close.

“We have a habit of scoring early and not scoring late.” Paris coach Heath Kennedy said.

Monday, Paris took a four-run lead in the first inning against Laurel, Miss., but couldn’t hold it and eventually lost, 8-7.

It was the second victory of the tournament for King, who went the distance in a 1-0 win for Paris on Saturday’s first day of the tournament.

King kept Florida off balance, scattering seven hits. Two of the five runs were unearned. He walked one and struck out one.

“He wasn’t as sharp as he was the first game, but he didn’t have near as much rest either. The pros don’t pitch on three days’ rest, and it’s tough for a young kid to do it,” Kennedy said.

Florida committed two runs in the inning that enabled Paris to add two more runs, both unearned, after Harvey’s 2-run homer.

Lance Fields and Laytner Kennedy got on via errors, and Corban Taylor walked to load the bases. Colby Rose singled in Fields, leaving the bases loaded, and Paris’ fourth run of the inning scored on a sacrifice fly by Logan Warren.

Single runs in the third and fourth innings built Paris’ lead to 6-0 before Florida came back on three runs in the sixth inning and two runs in the seventh. Both late-inning rallies were aided by Paris errors.

Harvey led Paris’ nine-hit attack with the home run and a fourth-inning RBI single. Ty Huie also had two hits, including a double ahead of Taylor’s RBI single in the third.

“It was a good game. Early on, we were flawless. Then we had a little hiccup in the sixth inning and we had another one in the seventh to let them back in the game,” Kennedy said.

“But they were a good team. I’m not taking anything away from them. They hit the ball. Their first four hitters were strong.”

PARIS ROSTER – Kyle Britt, Chris Cole, Lance Fields, Josh Grant, Chase Harvey, Chris House, Ty Huie, Laytner Kennedy, Jeff King, Cort Raulston, Colby Rose, Chevis Springer, Corban Taylor. and Logan Warren.

TOURNAMENT RESULTS

Saturday, July 28:

Game 1 — Florida (Highlands County) 8, Arkansas (Camden) 6

Game 2 — South Carolina (North Charleston) 12, Alabama (Opp) 3

Game 3 — Virginia (South Boston) 4, Tennessee (Mount Pleasant) 3

Game 4 — Texas (Paris) 1, North Carolina (Duplin County) 0

Game 5 — Louisiana (Terrebonne Parish) 13, Georgia (Columbia County) 2

Game 6 — Laurel-Jones County, Miss. 3, Hattiesburg, Miss. 1

Sunday, July 29:

Game 7 — Alabama 9, Arkansas 5

Game 8 — North Carolina 6, Tennessee 5

Game 9 — Hattiesburg, Miss. 5, Georgia 3

Game 10 — South Carolina 5, Florida 2

Game 11 — Texas 7, Virginia 0

Game 12 –Laurel, Miss. 2, Louisiana 0

Monday, July 30:

Game 13 — Florida 10, Virginia 0

Game 14 — North Carolina 7, Hattiesburg, Miss. 1

Game 15 — Louisiana 7, Alabama 5

Game 16 — Texas 10, South Carolina 0

Game 17 — Florida 10, North Carolina 3

Game 18 — Louisiana 6, South Carolina 0

Game 19 – Laurel, Miss. 8, Texas 7

Tuesday, July 31:

Game 20 — Texas 6, Florida 5

Game 21 — Louisiana 11, Laurel 5

Wednesday, Aug. 1:

Game 22 — 5 p.m.: Laurel vs. Texas

Game 23 — 7:30 p.m.: Louisiana vs. Laurel-Texas winner

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Paris finally loses in Dixie Majors World Series, but remains one of four teams still alive in the double-elimination tournament

LAUREL, Miss. – Chase Harvey homered and five players got two hits each as Paris scored a 10-0 victory over North Charleston, S.C., on Monday afternoon in the Dixie Majors World Series.

That made the defending champions one of only two unbeaten teams remaining in the 12-team, double-elimination championship tournament for 15-to-19 year-old players.

Then Paris scored five runs in the first inning Monday night against Laurel, Miss., the other undefeated team, for an early 5-1 lead.

“Yeah, we were sitting good,” Paris coach Heath Kennedy said. “Then we turned around and gave up five runs in the top of the second.”

Laurel ended up winning 8-7, getting Paris out in both the sixth and seventh innings with the tying and go-ahead runs on base.

“We had our chances. We left four runners on base,” Paris coach Heath Kennedy said.

“We’ll come back and get them tomorrow. We lost Game 4 last year, the same way, by one run, so I feel good about our chances.”

By virtue of the win Monday night, Laurel is 3-0, while Paris, Florida and Louisiana are all 3-1.

Paris plays Florida (Highlands County) at 5 p.m. Tuesday, followed by Laurel vs. Louisiana (Terrebonne Parish) at 7:30 p.m.

“For Louisiana to beat Laurel would be good,” Kennedy said.

If that happens, Louisiana and the Paris-Florida winner would flip a coin to see who would play Laurel in an elimination game at 5 p.m. Wednesday and who would get a bye to the 7:30 p.m. championship game.

Paris not only lost the game to Laurel, it lost catcher Josh Grant when he was hit by a foul tip.

“I think his hand’s broke,” Kennedy said.

Kyle Britt, the winning pitcher in Wednesday afternoon’s game, took over behind the plate for Grant.

Britt shut down Charleston on three hits and a walk in a game shortened to five innings because of Paris’ 10-run lead.

Getting two hits each for Paris in the victory were Chevis Springer, Lance Fields, Laytner Kennedy, Ty Huie and Corban Taylor. Harvey’s homer came with no one on base.

A few hours later, Harvey started for Paris and gave up a run in the top of the first inning, but struck out the side. Paris had allowed no runs in any of its earlier three games in the tournament.

Paris quickly overcame the one-run deficit. Springer walked and scored on Fields’ triple, and Laytner followed with an RBI single for a 2-1 lead. Huie and Taylor walked to load the bases, and Colby Rose followed with a 3-run double to make it 5-1.

A throwing error on a force play at second base prolonged the top of the first inning, and Laurel went on to score two unearned runs in a five-run inning that put the Mississippi team back in front, 6-5.

Laurel added single runs in the third and sixth on the way to pad its lead to 8-5, but Paris scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth after loading the bases with one out.

Harvey doubled, Laytner Kennedy singled, and Chris Cole walked. Paris got to within 8-6 on Rose’s single and to within 8-7 when a pitch got away from the Laurel catcher.

But with the tying run at third and the go-ahead run at second, the Laurel pitcher got the third out of the inning on Cort Raulston’s ground ball.

Chris House pitched the fourth through the sixth innings for Paris, gave up one run on two hits and a walk. Logan Warren came on to retire Laurel in the seventh, keeping Paris close enough for the win if it could rally in its final at-bat.

In the bottom of the inning, Paris got two men on base without a hit when Laurel’s pitcher hit Harvey, then walked Fields. Paris’ hopes ended when Laurel’s right fielder caught Kennedy’s fly ball for the final out of the game.

“We had our chances. We left four on base (in the last two innings),” Kennedy said.

“And we had an inning where we felt we had a couple of tough calls that went against us one inning,” Kennedy said.

“We had a guy that stole second. It looked like he was there. And then Corban hit a ball in the hold, and the shortstop laid out and made a great play. But Corban was about a step past first base when he (the first baseman) caught it.”

The bases were loaded that inning with two outs, “so we probably would have had an opportunity to score a couple of runs there,” Kennedy said.

He was not blaming the loss on that, however.

“You always have things like that. It was our own fault.”

Kennedy said “about 30 to 40” fans were in the stands cheering Paris on.

“They’ve been making noise. They’ve helped us a lot,” Kennedy said.

The Paris coach praised his players’ effort throughout the tournament but especially in the loss to Laurel.

“They played hard – everybody that got into the game, whether running or pinch-hitting or whatever. We pitched three different guys,” Kennedy said.

Jeff King, who had a complete-game, 1-0 victory for Paris over North Carolina on the tournament’s opening day, will get the nod to start against Florida.

PARIS ROSTER – Kyle Britt, Chris Cole, Lance Fields, Josh Grant, Chase Harvey, Chris House, Ty Huie, Laytner Kennedy, Jeff King, Cort Raulston, Colby Rose, Chevis Springer, Corban Taylor. and Logan Warren.

 

TOURNAMENT RESULTS

Saturday, July 28:

Game 1 — Florida (Highlands County) 8, Arkansas (Camden) 6

Game 2 — South Carolina (North Charleston) 12, Alabama (Opp) 3

Game 3 — Virginia (South Boston) 4, Tennessee (Mount Pleasant) 3

Game 4 — Texas (Paris) 1, North Carolina (Duplin County) 0

Game 5 — Louisiana (Terrebonne Parish) 13, Georgia (Columbia County) 2

Game 6 — Laurel-Jones County, Miss. 3, Hattiesburg, Miss. 1

 

Sunday, July 29:

Game 7 — Alabama 9, Arkansas 5

Game 8 — North Carolina 6, Tennessee 5

Game 9 — Hattiesburg, Miss. 5, Georgia 3

Game 10 — South Carolina 5, Florida 2

Game 11 — Texas 7, Virginia 0

Game 12 –Laurel, Miss. 2, Louisiana 0

 

Monday, July 30:

Game 13 — Florida 10, Virginia 0

Game 14 — North Carolina 7, Hattiesburg, Miss. 1

Game 15 — Louisiana 7, Alabama 5

Game 16 — Texas 10, South Carolina 0

Game 17 — Florida 10, North Carolina 3

Game 18 — Louisiana 6, South Carolina 0

Game 19 – Laurel, Miss. 8, Texas 7

 

Tuesday, July 31:

Game 20 — (5 p.m.) Florida (3-1) vs. Texas (3-1)

Game 21 — (7:30 p.m.) Louisiana (3-1) vs. Laurel (3-0)

Wednesday, Aug. 1:

Game 22 — Laurel vs. Florida-Texas winner or Louisiana

Game 23 — (if necessary) between last two remaining one-loss teams

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Sara Lee purchase scheduled to be completed soon, Gilbert says

By CHARLES RICHARDS

eParisExtra!

 The closing of the deal by a purchaser to acquire the Sara Lee plant has been pushed back, the executive director of the Paris Economic Development Corporation said Monday.

Steve Gilbert

Originally, the closing was expected on Monday, followed by a meeting — either in person or by teleconfgerence — with the new owners with the media.

The new owners now are scheduled to visit with the press on Thursday to tell their story, Gilbert said.

Tom Messmer, with Industrial Realty Group, will be in Paris on Thursday to meet with the media. The acquiring company has offices “all over,” Gilbert said, “New York, Chicago, Los Angeles.”

The Sara Lee plant closed in November 2010, putting 150 workers on the unemployed list. Other employees were released earlier in the year.

The new owners are re-developers who will own the Sara Lee plant and seek job-producing occupants of the facility.

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