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City Beautiful Commission chairman disturbed by report of sign

City Beautiful Commission chairman disturbed by report of sign

By: Donna Ryder Messenger Associate Editor

Messenger Associate Editor
A sign at a home along Highway 51 welcoming motorists to Obion County and inviting them to call a telephone number is troubling to one Union City resident.
Union City City Beautiful Commission chairman Melba Mackins told the Union City Council Tuesday night she was contacted recently by a Michigan couple who said they saw the sign and called the number. The number, according to the Michigan couple, is to the Ku Klux Klan, she said, adding she did not personally call the number.
Ms. Mackins said it concerns her because this is one of the first things people driving in from Kentucky along that roadway will see, so it is their first impression of Obion County. With the Discovery Park of America being built here, she said she thinks people will pass through and not stop in the county.
“It’s not Christian-like,” she said.
The property is not in the city limits and therefore the city council can’t do anything about it. Ms. Mackins said she wanted to make the council aware of the situation and that she has also spoken with Obion County Mayor Benny McGuire.
After the meeting was opened in prayer by city attorney Jim Glasgow Jr., the council:
• Agreed to sell lot 14 in the Mosswood subdivision to Timothy and Christina Warford for $2,950. City manager Don Thornton said it is the last lot the city owns there.
• Postponed action on authorizing the mayor to sign a letter in opposition to EPA’s proposal to lower the current eight-hour ground level ozone standard. Jim Cooper of the Obion County Joint Economic Development Council was to appear before the council to explain the action but was absent from the meeting.
• Voted to accept bids for the demolition of property at 306 North Taylor St.
• Passed a resolution authorizing the execution and submission of an application to the state Department of Economic and Community Development for fiscal year 2008 Community Development Block Grant funds.
• Confirmed appointments to several boards and committees. They include Municipal-Regional Planning Commission: Bridgette (Keathley) Darnall and Jimmy Jones; Board of Zoning Appeals: Shea Riley Jr. and Sam Nailling Jr.; Beer Permit Board: John Horner; Personnel Advisory Board: Linda Reaves and Larry Vernon; Perpetual Care Cemetery Board: Grover P. Schleifer Jr.; Insurance Advisory Committee: Kathy Johnson, Nancy Durham and Tracy Boucher; Museum Committee: Bill Dahnke, Karl Ullrich and Earnest Daniels; Housing Authority: Martha Rippy and Jody Kizer; Civic Auditorium Committee: Laura Johnston and Sacchi Doss; Board of Housing Appeals: J.H. Ragsdale and Robert Nichols; Parks and Conservation Board: Kenneth Kemp, Shelly Jackson and Ron Green; Municipal Board of Examiners: David Searcy; and Health, Education and Housing Facility Corporation Board: Edward Turner and Sandra Harris. Positions are still open on the Civic Auditorium Committee and Municipal Board of Examiners.
• Appointed Mike Daniel to the Board of Equalization.
• Rescheduled orientation for Feb. 12.
Published in The Messenger 2.6.08

Union City City Beautiful Commission chairman Melba Mackins reported to The Messenger Thursday that the Obion County Sheriff’s Department had determined a telephone number she was concerned about is actually not to the Ku Klux Klan.
Ms. Mackins had appeared before the Union City Council Tuesday night concerned that a sign near the Obion County border was promoting the KKK. She said a Michigan couple had informed her that the number was a recruiting station for the racially-based organization, but she had not called the number.
Capt. Kent Treece told The Messenger one of the deputies took a photograph of the sign and, in the department’s opinion, there is nothing racial on it and no references to the Ku Klux Klan.
The deputy called the number and determined it to be the home base for the Sons of Confederate Veterans — a historical organization.
Treece said the organization in Tennessee is based in Columbia but has two units in Obion County. In order to become a member, he said the qualifications, as explained on the phone, are extensive. He said first a genological search must be performed and the person must prove he has an ancestor who not only served in the Confederate Army but had honorable or above honorable service.
Treece added he visited the organization’s Web site,, and could not find anything that made him feel the group was racially motivated or was involved with the Ku Klux Klan.
Published in The Messenger 2.8.08


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