Trail de Paris from 12th SE to 24th SE will be closed for next 2 to 3 weeks

The City of Paris parks department will be closing a section of Trail de Paris on Tuesday for the continued repair of soft spots , subgrade failures and drainage issues.

City manager John Godwin said Monday that the section from 12th SE to 24th SE will be closed to the public for approximately two to three weeks.


Paris Majors shut out South Boston (Va.) 7-0 to remain unbeaten in Dixie Majors World Series

Paris Majors squad walks off the diamond after a 7-0 victory Sunday over South Boston, Va., at the Dixie Majors World Series baseball tournament in Laurel, Miss. (Photo via Facebook by Chris Cole)


LAUREL, Miss. – Corban Taylor  struck out eight, walked three and allowed only two hits Sunday afternoon, pitching Paris to a 7-0 victory over Virginia (South Boston) as Paris remained unbeaten and unscored upon after two games in the Dixie Majors World Series.

Corban Taylor

Paris will play again at noon Monday against South Carolina (North Charleston), the team that Paris defeated in last year’s championship game for the 2011 Dixie Majors World Series title.

North Charleston is also 2-0, having beaten Alabama (Opp) 12-3 on Saturday and Florida (Highlands County) 5-2 on Sunday. Paris defeated North Carolina (Duplin County) 1-0 on Saturday on Jeff King’s four-hitter.

In the 12-team, double-elimination tournament. Paris will play again at 8 p.m. Monday if it wins its noon game and at 5:30 p.m. Monday (in the loser’s bracket) if it loses. Waiting to play the Texas-South Carolina winner is the host team, Laurel, Miss., the tournament’s only other 2-0 team. Laurel beat Hattiesburg, Miss., 3-1 and Louisiana 2-0.

Like King a day earlier, Taylor went the distance Sunday for Coach Heath Kennedy’s Paris squad.

Paris scored three runs against South Boston in the third inning, two runs in the sixth and two runs in the seventh.

In the third, Chevis Springer singled and Chase Harvey walked, and both moved up on a passed ball. Springer scored on a single by Laytner Kennedy, Harvey scored on a balk, and Kennedy scored on Taylor’s ground out.

Colby Rose and Jeff King both reached base on South Boston errors in the sixth inning. RBI singles by Cort Raulston and King padded Paris’ lead to 5-0.

Paris added the final two runs in the top of the seventh on three singles, a sacrifice bunt and a passed ball.

Harvey started things off with a single and moved to second on a passed ball and to third on Kennedy’s sacrifice bunt. Ty Huie’s single made it 6-0, and Huie later came around on Rose’s single.

Paris was the only team that posted a shutout on the first day of the tournament, as King struck out 10 while allowing just one walk. Paris gave King a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on Kennedy’s RBI single, scoring Springer, who had also singled.


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.



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 — (9:30 a.m.) Virginia vs. Florida

Game 14 — (9:30 a.m.) Hattiesburg, Miss. vs. North Carolina

Game 15 — (Noon) Alabama vs. Louisiana

Game 16 — (Noon) Texas vs. South Carolina

Game 17 — (3 p.m.) Winner of Game 13 vs. Winner of Game 14

Game 18 — (5:30 p.m.) Winner of Game 15 vs. Loser of Game 16

Game 19 – (8 p.m.) Laurel, Miss. vs. Winner of Game 16

Tuesday, July 31:

Game 20

Game 21

Game 22


Wednesday, Aug. 1:

Game 23 (if necessary)


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New restaurant (with wine and live dancing) to open in downtown Paris

The former Belk Department Store building at 21 S. Plaza, next to People’s Bank, will become the new home of a restaurant that will have wine and live dancing. Priest’s Emporium, which now occupies the building, will shut its doors Monday and will vacate the building by Aug. 31, after which the new owner will take over. (eParisExtra! photo by Charles Richards)



Priest’s Emporium — in the old Belk Department Store building at 21 S. Plaza, next door to People’s Bank — will close its doors on Monday to make way for a major new restaurant downtown.

Sale of the building came quickly, said Chance Priest, who with his wife, Kerri, has sold antiques, comic books, collector cards, guns and countless other items out of the first floor of the four-story building for the past four years.

“I’m telling you, it happened like within a day’s period. It went from somebody saying, ‘Wow, I like your building. Would you ever sell it?’ to, all of a sudden, there’s a contract. I said, ‘Let me think …’ and then I said, ‘OK!’ ”

A Greenville woman is the new owner. She’s already put down money on the building, and the deal will close on Thursday, Priest said.

“We’ve got to be out of the building by the end of August. She’s got a lot of stuff to do in here. I don’t know what she’s doing, but I know it’s going to be a restaurant, that’s for sure, with live dancing,” he said.

“She apparently has experience in the restaurant field, and everything. I think she’s in love with the walls, and she loves this rustic appearance and everything,” he said.

When she came into the store and began talking to him, she was talking about downtown buildings, Priest said.

“We weren’t too busy that day, and I let my son give her a tour through the building. When she came back down, it didn’t take her no time. She was like, ‘I want this sucker,’ ” he said.

What people see when they browse through Priest’s Emporium is on the first floor, but there’s more than meets the eye, as will attest those who remember the days when the Belk store was downtown. The building has three other floors, each with 11,000 square feet, identical to the first floor.

“We’re full on every floor, and I was like, ‘If I were to sell it, I’d want this much, and it would take me three months to move out.’ The only thing I had to compromise on was one month to move out,” he said.

“It’s a massive undertaking. I mean, this is a 45,000-square-foot building,” he said.

Nearly everyone would agree that moving’s no fun, but Priest has been buying and selling merchandise most of hislife.

“I’ve done it all my life. I’m used to it,” said Priest, who grew up in Canton. He said this move won’t be as big as when he and his wife shut down a store in San Antonio several years ago.

“Our operation in San Antonio was 15 acres, and we moved it. So I can do it. I was younger then, though,” the 38-year-old Priest added, laughing.

“We’re going to move all this to a warehouse and have warehouse sales every month or so. Anybody will tell you this wholesale is where you do pretty good. When we sold our store in San Antonio, we went to pure wholesale and just about doubled our revenue.”

Pictured is one of the barns on a long-ago abandoned farm property on five acres along U.S. 271 in Powderly. This barn and another will be converted into haunted houses for a Halloween theme park. (eParisExtra! photo by Charles Richards)

For Chance and Kerri Priest, it’s on to a new adventure.

They plan to build a Halloween theme park on five acres of land he bought on the west side of U.S.271 in Powderly, south of the Dairy Queen and directly across the highway from the Borderline Café.

Two old barns on the property, which appear not to have been used for decades, are being converted into haunted houses. There will also be a “haunted woods” and a haunted stage show.

Also in the works is a small roller coaster “that takes you through a mad house,”  if Priest can get the ride delivered in time. It’s now in Corpus Christi.

Workers are busy with the early construction work on the theme park now, he said, with plans for an Oct. 1 opening.

“We’ll have it just on the weekends. Start slow this year. We’ve got about 10 employees right now. We’re going to need about 30. We’re probably going to open it Christmas, too, and again in the spring,” Priest said.

“More than likely, the majority of it this year is just going to be revolving around the two haunted houses where you can go through and get scared, and then a haunted woods where you run through and get scared.”

The theme park will have a stage show “where you go in and they perform a show in front of you. But it’s meant to scare you; it’s not for little kids,” he said.

Clearing has already begun on an open area that will eventually be a carnival with midway attractions and a small roller-coaster that will take patrons through a “mad house.” (eParisExtra! photo by Charles Richards)

“We are going to have areas outside for everybody, including little kids. We’re going to have all the ring toss games and all that stuff, just like the carnival. That’s going to be the crux of it.”

Priest says he’s seen a lot of haunted houses, but not like the ones he’s planning on. “I’ve got a guy helping me out of Antlers (Okla.), and so it’s going to be pretty unique.”

Asked about pricing, Priest said a ticket will be required for everything, just like at the fair. There will be a main box office where tickets are sold. People will be able to buy tickets for each ride or show individually, or pay one price for a ticket that will be good for everything.

The theme park will have enough to keep a person busy for two or three hours, Priest figures, although “you could buzz through it in a couple of hours, I guess.”

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NY Times publishes back-to-back second article on Paris mayor

Mayor Arjumand Hashmi (center), a Pakistani-born cardiologist who has become one of the United States’ most improbable politicians. (Photo by Anand Giridharadas, NY Times)


PARIS, Texas — In this city in northeastern Texas, not far from the Oklahoma border, there would appear to be more antique shops than restaurants and more churches than both of those things combined.

There is a lot of God in Paris, Texas — the Christian one, to be precise — and a lot of antiques, because there are a lot of old people dying and leaving their wares behind. What there’s not a lot of is dynamic young people. Those who can tend to leave for college and never come back.

road sign to Paris

But Paris is also an unmistakably charming town, with the Southern — more than the customary Texas Western — feel of a Charleston or New Orleans. And it is now having something of a renaissance.

A little more than a year ago, with little fanfare, this out-of-the-way Texas city elected as its mayor a man who is simultaneously (A) a Muslim, (B) a Republican, (C) a cardiologist, (D) a Pakistani native and (E) a really wealthy guy.

For my latest column, I trailed Arjumand Hashmi, the improbable mayor of Paris, Texas, for a day. Because he is the mayor as well as a practicing cardiologist, he weaves in and out of each job throughout the day. He could be inserting a catheter in someone’s heart one moment, then on a surprise inspection of a city agency 15 minutes later, only to return to analyze some blood work at his office. To make all this work, he now wakes up at 3:30 a.m. and has donated part of his medical office to Paris, so that it can function as his mayoral office when he needs to wear that other hat.

Dr. Hashmi concedes that he has national political ambitions, but he is coy about them. The question, strangely enough, is whether voters elsewhere will be as open-minded as those in Paris, Texas, have proven.

But wherever he ends up, Dr. Hashmi may have a unique opportunity to build bridges in an age of deep divisions: he is, after all, a brown Muslim voted in with the support of droves of white Christians; a Lamborghini-rich doctor born in one of the poorest places on earth; a cowboy boots-wearing Texan who is also a Yale-trained jetsetter; and an American who has close friendships with the leaders of Pakistan, with which the United States has a hard, fraught relationship.

In the meanwhile, he has a city to turn around — and voters to win over. And he is trying to get used to them, too: “I’m still trying to correct people’s English in town,” he said, only half-jokingly. “I keep telling them they have an accent, but they don’t believe me.”

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PEDC sponsors ‘Texas Good Roads’ presentation on Aug. 21 at Love Civic Center