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Continuing A Look Back at 2023’s Top Stories

As Perry County settles into the routines of 2024, the Buffalo River Review will share over the next few weeks excerpts from some favorite stories and photos from 2023.
APRIL 2023
While Perry County High FFA students were attending the organization’s conference in Gatlinburg, eight local members received the impressive FFA State Degrees: Kalin Durad, Katie Perkinson, Will Southall, Haley Carroll, Trenton Bates, Lily Shelton, Hailey McCoy, and Nina Dowdy.
The new grads were accompanied by FFA Advisor Cindy Rogers,
Degree recipients must perform community service, participate in many FFA activities at and above the chapter level, have a satisfactory academic record, demonstrate leadership abilities, earn and invest at least $1,000 (or work 300 approved hours), complete two years of agricultural education, and have been an active FFA member for two years.
April 2023
Perry County UT Extension Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent Amanda Mathenia attended the TN Sheep Producers Association annual meeting in Crossville.
Amanda was presented the Tennessee Sheep Producers Extension Educator Award. She has worked with sheep producers from the Mississippi River to the Cumberland River, coordinated annual TN Master Small Ruminant Producer programs, serves on the state Small Ruminant workgroup, and specializes in teaching FAMACHA, Business Principles, and Small Ruminant Quality Assurance.
She’s even traveled to Utah and Wyoming to study the industry.
Her favorite part of working within the sheep industry is when she is called out for farm visits during lambing season.
May 2023
On May 12, 1863, Union troops, under the command of Lt. Commander S.L. Phelps, U.S. Navy, and Lt. Colonel W.K.M. Breckenridge, met on the banks of the Tennessee River and planned a surprise attack on a group of Confederate soldiers stationed at the Perry County Courthouse in downtown Linden.
That day was recreated on Saturday, May 13, 2023—after a five-year hiatus—when re-enactors staged the 160th anniversary of the “Capture & Burning of the Courthouse by Federal Troops,” culminating with a staged confrontation at the courthouse.
The return of the event, the first one since 2018, is bittersweet following the passing of co-founder and re-enactor James Sharp on March 22, 2023. James and wife Regina were already planning this year’s activities when he passed, and she decided to continue.
The 2023 re-enactment, held in Mr. Sharp’s memory in appreciation for the years he spent organizing the event, was presented by the Town of Linden and Perry County Government, all events on the courthouse square were open to the public: cannon firings, Victorian ladies; tea, Civil Wae-era music by the 20-piece Fifth Alabama Regimental Band, parade of troops, and re-enactments.
President & Mrs. Abraham Lincoln were among the re-enactors, as were General Robert E.. Lee and his Adjutant, Major John W. Fairfax, who visited spectators and offered commentary on the battles.
Forrest Crossing Guard Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp #2332, of Clifton, had a recruitment booth, and a Civil War-era medical tent was set up on the courthouse lawn.
May 2023
At 84th overall, Perry County is in the bottom half of Tennessee counties in child well-being, according to the annual Kids Count report.
Perry’s strongest indicator is the percent of children who are living in single parent families, where the county ranks first.
The county also performs well in the low percent of households experiencing a severe housing cost burden at 7.6%.
The county’s biggest challenge is the percent of chronic absenteeism among public school students, where it ranks 95th.
The report offered these remedies:
Implementing positive and supportive engagement strategies to improve students’ …………….


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