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Farewell 2016

Take a journey back through 2016


The year 2016 had its ups and downs, but overall was a good year for Humboldt. Here’s an overview of headlines and news stories from the pages of the Humboldt Chronicle.

The year began on a sad note. Two days prior to the New Year, Humboldt’s own Doug Atkins passed away. The NFL Hall of Famer, UT Vols standout and Humboldt High School state champion was laid to rest in Rose Hill Cemetery on January 2.


Perhaps Humboldt’s most famous athlete, Doug Atkins was laid to rest in Rose Hill Cemetery on January 2.


In February, John Hale was named honoree of the 79th annual West Tennessee Strawberry Festival. On the 15th, Humboldt celebrated her 150th birthday.


John Hale was selected as honoree of the 79th Strawberry Festival. President Rob DeLoach congratulates Hale.


As March blew in, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton won their respective Presidential Primary elections.

The Humboldt School Board approved a $4.5 million school renovation project.

The city of Humboldt secured a $3.85 million loan for the school system and Humboldt City Schools will make the annual payment on the note.

Greg McFadden and Ola Mae Mathis were voted Mr. and Miss Gibson County in the Chronicle’s Best of the Best contest.2016-best-of-the-best-button

Greg McFadden and Ola Mae Mathis were voted as Mr. & Ms. Gibson County in the 2016 Best of the Best contest.


April saw the mayor’s office move from the Municipal Building to downtown Humboldt on Main Street.


Mayor Marvin Sikes sits at a conference table in the new city hall in downtown Humboldt on Main Street.


Legendary basketball coach Dale Brown was in the headlines as keynote speaker of the Humboldt High School Athletics Banquet in early May.

The Mass Band consisting of all five Gibson County high school bands, and the world famous Clydesdales were highlights of the Strawberry Festival Grand Floats Parade.


Bands from Humboldt, Milan, South Gibson, Trenton and Gibson County high schools joined forces to create the Mass Band to perform at the Strawberry Festival.


The world famous Budweiser Clydesdales were a hit at the Grand Floats Parade.


John Thomas Dement, a resident at Tennessee State Veterans Home celebrated his 97th birthday. Dement is the oldest Gibson County veteran who served in World War II.


John Thomas Dement celebrated his 97th birthday with family members who joined him at the State Veterans Home as he was honored by the state as the county’s oldest living veteran. Dement (seated) is joined by Anthony Dement, (from left), wife Charlotte, Carla Rebstock, John Dement Hudson and Jeff Hudson.


Alderman Don Graves was charged with violation of an order of protection by a Madison County woman.


Alderman Don Graves faced charges of violating an order of protection by a Madison County woman.


In June, the Gibson County Industrial Park received almost $900,000 in grants for improvements.

After 17 years, a settlement between Humboldt and Three Way was finalized. In 1999 Humboldt challenged the validity of Three Way’s incorporation as a city.


Humboldt Mayor Marvin Sikes and Three Way Mayor Larry Sanders shake hands after settling a lawsuit challenging Three Way’s validity as an incorporated city.


Construction of the new hanger at Humboldt Municipal Airport was underway.


Humboldt Municipal Airport manager Benny Miller welcomes the construction of 10 new T-hangars.


As summer hit, the red-hot Humboldt Babe Ruth all-stars qualified for the state tournament in July.


Josh Parks and the Humboldt Babe Ruth All-stars qualifed for the state tournament last summer.


Humboldt was awarded almost $750,000 grant for phase 3 downtown enhancement project.



State Representative Curtis Halford Humboldt Mayor Marvin Sikes and State Senator John Stevens display a ceremonial check for nearly three quarters of a million dollars to continue downtown renovations.


Humboldt’s Kimbrough Dunlap III was named president of University of Tennessee Alumni Association.

As August rolled in, WTSF President Ashley Culpepper announced his sister, Melissa Swingler, would be festival general chairman.


Ashley Culpepper (right), president of the 80th annual Strawberry Festival, proudly announced his sister, Melissa Swingler, will be festival general chairman. This is a festival first, having siblings hold the top two positions with the Strawberry Festival.


Curtis Halford won the Republican nomination as State Representative.

Dominique Williams, the gunman who shot Janeice Frisbee in a kidnapping and attempted bank robbery, pled guilty to Federal charges.

In September, East Elementary School principal, Charlotte Shivley, was announced as one of the finalist for Principal of the Year in Tennessee.


Humboldt City Schools superintendent, Dr. Versie Hamlett (left) congratulates Charlotte Shivley for being one of nine finalists for Tennessee Principal of the Year award by the Tennessee Department of Education.


Humboldt Police Department added a new officer, Roxie, a 2-year-old German shepherd drug dog. K-9 Officer Charles Cox is her handler.


Drug dog, Roxie, joined the Humboldt Police Department. Her handler is Officer Charles Cox.


The annual Chamber of Commerce banquet had a new twist and was held smack-dab in the middle of Main Street in downtown Humboldt.


The annual Humboldt Chamber of Commerce Membership Banquet was held in the middle of Main Street.


Charles Allison pled guilty to sexual assault.


Charles Allison pled guilty to sexual batter and was sentenced to two years with all the sentence suspended.


Homecoming festivities were renewed in October for Humboldt High School that included a parade, bonfire and daily events during at school.

Former Gibson County sheriff, Chuck Arnold, pled guilty to 23 felony charges stemming from a TBI investigation in 2015. Arnold was sentenced to 10 years probation and ordered to pay $8,500 restitution back to the county.


Former sheriff Chuck Arnold pled guilty to 23 felony charges and received 10 years probation.


Election returns for November elections were tabulated. President Elect Donald Trump received 70-percent of the vote from Gibson Countians. David Kustoff also garnered 70-percent for the county votes as 8th Congressional District representative. State Senator John Stevens and State Representative Curtis Halford won their bids for re-election, both ran unopposed with no Democrat contenders. Medina Mayor Vance Coleman won his bid for re-election as did Gibson Mayor Tony Black. About 60-percent of Humboldt voters chose to allow wine to be sold in grocery stores.

Former Gibson County sheriff and county mayor, Joe Shephard, passed away November 7.

Humboldt High School senior, Jose Chavez, won first place in digital art at the State Beta Club Convention and will compete at the Nationals in Orlando, Fla. next June.


Jose Chavez, a senior at Humboldt High School recently competed at the Tennessee State Beta Club Convention held in Nashville. The star student took home first place in digital art at the convention. Next up for Chavez is a trip to Orlando, Fla. where he will compete at the Beta Club National Convention.

Jose Chavez, a senior at Humboldt High School, competed at the Tennessee State Beta Club Convention and took home first place in digital art.

In December, after months and months of postponing a vote, Dr. Versie Hamlett was offered and accepted a 3-year contract extension that runs through June 2020 as superintendent of Humboldt City Schools.


Dr. Versie Hamlett

Dr. Versie Hamlett, superintendent of Humboldt City Schools accepted a 3-year contract extension in December.


Alderman Don Graves was in the news once again for facing three charges after an incident at the Humboldt Police Department.

In Humboldt, 2016 saw many notable deaths. Some of those included Jean Guy on January 6, Alice Adams Jackson on January 9, attorney Jere Albright on February 3, Rege Luckey on March 18, Rufus “Bub” McLemore on April 13, former Alderman James Chester on May 9, Sir Peter Howard on July 2, Relay for Life honoree Pauletta Kilzer on September 7, long-time Chronicle staffer Beverly Ward on October 12, Herbert Schilling Jr. on October 23, city inspector James Longmire on October 24, B.J. Jones on November 8 and Bob Duvall on November 18. These wonderful Humboldtans will be sorely missed.

1 Comment

  1. Sheila Miller on December 28, 2016 at 8:26 am

    Enjoyed the story. Brought back lots of memories

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