Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hopson to sign new book at Delta Heritage Center

The West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center, in Brownsville, Tenn., will host authors and book signing for I Do…Every Day, Words of Wisdom for Newlyweds and Not so Newlyweds, Saturday May 14, from 2 - 4 p.m.

I Do…Every Day, Words of Wisdom for Newlyweds and Not so Newlyweds, is the newest book of devotions from Haywood County native Dr. Cynthia Bond Hopson. This time she has teamed up with her husband, Roger, and they’re on a mission to help newlyweds and couples revitalize marriage as the treasure God intended.

In the 31 reflections released May 1 from Abingdon Press, the Hopsons offer straight talk, ask tough questions that may cause a little blushing (don’t worry, nothing X-rated), and tell stories that will touch readers where they live, inspiring them to be equal partners, friends and lovers. It is for anyone who has ever said “I do,” “I will,” or “I messed up” and even those who are getting ready to walk down the aisle.

This is Hopson’s fifth book and it joins her popular titles, Wiggle Tales, a collection of her columns from the Brownsville States Graphic, an account of media coverage of voter registration in Haywood County, Times of Challenge and Controversy, and her two books of devotions for women, Bad Hair Days, Rainy Days and Mondays, and Too Many Irons in the Fire and They’re All Smoking!

Hopson is the daughter of Mrs. Alvis M. Bond of Stanton and the late John A. Bond Jr., Emma and Carey Bowles. She is assistant general secretary for the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s Black College Fund. This is her first writing venture with her husband, a United Methodist minister who serves as executive assistant to the Nashville Area bishop. They live in Lebanon, Tenn.
Authors Cynthia Bond Hopson & Roger Hopson


More than 137 sports teams and 1,000 runners and walkers will travel to Jackson to compete and participate in sporting events over the upcoming weekend. The Mid America Youth Basketball Tournament, Little General’s 5K Run/Fun Walk, Jumpstart Jackson’s Community Wellness Walk as well as baseball and softball games at the West Tennessee Healthcare Sportsplex are expected to attract about 7,000 people to Jackson.

Mid America Basketball Youth will host the first of a series of three basketball tournaments over the spring and summer in Jackson at Northside High School, Jackson Central Merry, Rose Hill Middle School and Tigrett Middle School where over 60 teams will compete.  West Tennessee Healthcare Sportsplex will host 77 teams with the USSSA “Baseball Blast” and the USGF “Fastpitch Fever” games.

At Union University runners will compete in the Little General’s 5K Run and 1 mile Fun Walk benefitting the Pediatric Unit at Jackson Madison County General Hospital.  Across town at the Carl Perkins Civic Center, Jumpstart Jackson kicks off their Annual Community Wellness Walk through downtown.

“We are fortunate to have sports destinations and venues like West Tennessee Healthcare Sportsplex and the Jackson Madison County School System,” said Lori Nunnery, Executive Director of the Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau.  “Sports Tourism plays an integral part in raising the profile of our community and is increasingly seen as part of a broader tourism strategy.  The sporting events, along with the Casey Jones Day and Celebrate Art Festival in the Casey Jones Village, help to make this a great weekend of fun. ”

“Besides the benefits of increased media exposure that will have long-term effects on tourism, these events bring people and a substantial financial impact.  No matter who walks away with the trophy at the end of the tournament, the Jackson-Madison County economy is set to be the big winner.”                            

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

NASA Traveling Exhibit to Visit Casey Jones Village

 A little bit of Mission Control will have lift-off in Jackson, Tenn., the weekend of May 14 - 15, as the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, brings  NASA’s Driven to Explore mobile exhibit to Casey Jones Home & Railroad Museum and Casey Jones Village  from 9 am to 7 pm each day.  Driven to Explore has no admission charge and is designed for all ages to enjoy. 

Driven to Explore is a mobile, multimedia experience showcasing NASA’s future plans for space exploration, including information on next-generation vehicles and the challenges associated with long term space travel. It immerses visitors in the story of NASA. The walking tour includes breathtaking imagery and audio and visual technology to connect guests with the space program.  

The Museum was chosen as the only site in West Tennessee due to the unique transportation connection of the railroads to space travel and amount of visitors Casey Jones Village enjoys each year.  NASA will be touring the exhibit through Tennessee during the month of May. 

Visitors will have the rare opportunity to touch a moon rock brought back by Apollo 17, the last manned mission to the moon in 1972. The moon rock is the centerpiece of the traveling exhibit and is one of the only seven lunar samples in the world made available for the public to touch and feel.

Casey Jones Home & Railroad Museum is located in Casey Jones Village in Jackson, Tennessee at 30 Casey Jones Lane.  It is dedicated to the life and legend of Casey Jones and Jackson railroading history.  For more information visit

The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC) is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's center for human space flight  training, research and flight control. The Center consists of a complex of 100 buildings constructed on 1,620 acres in Houston, Texas.  Johnson Space Center is home to the United States astronaut  corps and is responsible for training astronauts from both the U.S. and its international partners. It is often popularly referred to by its central function, "Mission Control".  For more information visit  

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mickey Utley to perform “On the Porch”

After two months performing on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship “Voyager of the Sea," Brownsville’s own Mickey Utley will return to his hometown Sunday, May 22, to perform on the porch of the Sleepy John Estes home at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center. The concert is free to the public and will begin at 3:30 p.m.

Utley is set to release a new single this summer titled “I’m Feelin’ You.” His last single “Cry like Memphis” is getting worldwide play and has made it on to the Music Row Charts.

“I’m looking forward to coming back home to play,” says Utley of his upcoming concert. “There’s nothing like coming home to perform where it all started.”

Called a soul-billy rocker, Utley says playing music is second nature to him. He also spends time writing and perfecting his rock-n-roll infused country sound.

The May 22 concert is part of the 2011 Summer Concert Series “Concert on the Porch.” Utley CDs will be available for sale and he will also be signing autographs and posing for photos immediately following the concert.

To learn more about Mickey Utley, visit

The West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center is a tourism information center with three regional museums located at Exit 56, behind McDonald's, in Brownsville, Tenn. The "Concert on the Porch" series is presented once a month May through September and features performances by local and area artists. To learn more about the Center and for a complete schedule of concerts, visit the website at

Fun is "Spring"ing up all over West Tennessee

There are all kinds of adventures waiting in West Tennessee this Spring. From the World's Biggest Fish Fry to the Exit 56 Blues Fest.

One unique thing about West Tennessee is that everything is within easy driving distance and won't cost a fortune to enjoy. Check out our latest newsletter for some fun suggestions ...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Union City Resident Honored for Museum Work

Sonia Outlaw-Clark presents Hugh Wade with a commendation for his extensive volunteer work with the Obion County Museum in Union City, Tennessee. The award was issued by the Tennessee Association of Museums (TAM) during its annual conference held March 23-25. Clark is the West Tenn. At-Large Representative for TAM.
Photo by Glenda Caudle, Union City Messenger

Union City, Tenn., resident Hugh Wade was honored March 28, 2011, at a meeting of the Obion County Museum board of directors. Sonia Outlaw-Clark, the West Tennessee representative for the Tennessee Association of Museums (TAM) and the director of the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center, presented Wade a commendation issued to the local museum earlier this month at a state meeting.

Wade has put three years of work into a  military history exhibit now on display at the museum. Visitors can view the exhibit at the Obion County Museum, 1004 Edwards Street, Saturdays and Sundays, 1-4 p.m., and by appointment (731-885-6774). The military exhibit features thousands of items collected and catalogued by Wade.

The exhibit will also be available for viewing Saturday, May 21, during "Day at the Museum." There will be lots of outdoor family activities on this day as well. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Shiloh Battlefield to Host National Park Week Events

Superintendent Woody Harrell is pleased to announce that Shiloh National Military Park will be hosting special programs during National Park Week 2011. Join us April 16th–24th as America celebrates this week long observance.

“We are eager to host events for National Park Week 2011. This is an opportunity for all Americans to learn more about their parks. To coincide with these special programs being offered at Shiloh Battlefield, this week has also been designated a fee free week.” stated Superintendent Harrell.

In conjunction with National Park Week, Shiloh National Military Park will present a different program starting on Sunday April 17, 2011. The interpretive programs will provide visitors the opportunity to learn about the vast cultural and natural resources of Shiloh Battlefield, added Harrell. 

The programs for the upcoming week are listed below, and visitors may register, and receive additional information about each program by contacting the Shiloh visitor center at 731-689-5696.

April 17 (5pm) Arial Acrobats of the Night (Bat Program) meets at Shiloh visitor center
April 18 (1pm-3:30pm) Shiloh Indian Mound Program Series meets at the Shiloh Indian Mound kiosk
April 19 (6pm) The Establishment of Shiloh National Military Park meets at Shiloh visitor center
April 20 (5pm) Meet the Eagles meets at Shiloh visitor center at 5pm
              (11am) Meet the Eagles meets at Tennessee River Museum
April 21 (6pm) The Civil War Begins: Fort Sumter meets at Shiloh visitor center
              (1:30pm) Arial Acrobats of the Night (Bat Program) meets at Tennessee River Museum
April 22 (9-1, 1-4) All Day Tours of Shiloh Battlefield meets at Shiloh visitor center
               (11am) The Establishment of Shiloh National Military Park meets at Tennessee River Museum
April 23 (9am) Junior Ranger Day meets at Shiloh visitor center
April 24 (1:30pm) The Monuments of Shiloh: Memorials of Stone meets at Shiloh visitor center

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Director elected to Tennessee Association of Museums Board

Seventeen West Tennessee museum professionals traveled to Johnson City, Tenn., March 23-25, to attend the Tennessee Association of Museums annual conference. Pictured are: (seated, from left) Nancy Bassett, Collierville, Dian McGuire, Lexington, Barbara Andrews, Memphis, and Norma Steele, Paris; (standing, from left) Tracy Lauritzen Wright, Memphis, Don Bassett, Collierville, Wanda Conger, Parsons, Bill Hickerson, Humboldt, Branson Townsend, Parsons, Renee Moss, Adamsville, Bill Cloar, Dyersburg, Joyce Riddell, Lexington, Danny Walden, Dyersburg, Suzy Herron, Paris, Polly Brasher, Union City, Jestein Lamey, Memphis, and Sonia Outlaw-Clark, Brownsville.

Seventeen West Tennessee museum professionals joined others from across the state for the Tennessee Association of Museums (TAM) annual conference. This year’s event was held in Johnson City, Tenn., March 23-25.

During the annual business meeting, Sonia Outlaw-Clark, director of the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center, was elected to a two year term on the TAM Board of Directors as an At Large Representative for West Tennessee.

Other West Tennessee representatives elected to serve on the board were Deborah Shaw Laman, Casey Jones Museum, Jackson, and Jacob Shock, Museum of Biblical History, Collierville.

The purpose of TAM is to encourage and improve the practices of museums in the state, to stimulate public interest and promote the exchange of ideas among museums and museum professionals while preserving Tennessee’s cultural, historical and scientific heritage. To learn more about TAM, visit