Man Found In Dollar Store Parking Lot As Deputies Make Quick Stop
Darren Doyle, story:
A Bowling Green man has been arrested where he now faces multiple charges, including child endangerment and an felony drug charge after he was found unconscious in his vehicle at a nearby market when deputies made a quick stop at the location.
According to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, deputies stopped at the Chalybeate Dollar General around 7:30pm on Friday night where they found James N. Wells, (34) of Bowling Green passed out in a vehicle in the store's parking lot.
During a probable cause search, deputies said they discovered what appeared to be methamphetamine and multiple bags of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, an undisclosed amount of cash, and a concealed handgun under a console. In the backseat was a 6-year old child.
Wells was arrested and charged with:
The child was unharmed and released to the care of his grandparents.
Wells was lodged in Hart County Jail. Also assisting was the Brownsville City Police Department.
Edmonson District Court was held on Tuesday, October 17, 2017. The Honorable Judge Joseph B. Hines, presiding.
Jessica M. Womack, Hindering prosecution or apprehension-2nd degree. Failed to appear. $500 bench warrant issued.
Nancy R. Hayes, Harboring a vicious animal. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial conference 10/31/17.
Amy R. Dittmer, Operating on suspended/revoked operator's license. Dismissed on motion of County Attorney. Possessing license when privileges are revoked/suspended. Pleaded not guilty. No/expired/other state registration receipt or plate. Pleaded not guilty. Failure to produce insurance card. Pleaded not guilty. Improper turning. Pleaded not guilty. Failure to register of transfer of motor vehicle. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial conference, 10/31/17.
Erica Leigh Holderbaum, Speeding 10mph over limit. Failed to appear, notice sent to dept. of transportation.
Richard E. Spears, Operating motor vehicle under influence of drugs/alcohol. Amended to reckless driving as per county attorney. Judgement guilty. $50 fine, total costs $193.
Rebecca Diana Meredith, Possession of marijuana, guilty. Drug paraphernalia, guilty. $100 fine, total costs $254.
Christian D. Merz, Wanton endangerment first degree (two counts). Assault first degree. Pleaded not guilty. Preliminary hearing, 10/23/17.
Christian D. Merz, Assault 4th degree domestic violence minor injury. Criminal mischief, pleaded not guilty to both charges. Preliminary hearing 10/24/17.
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Things are looking much differently at the Edmonson County High School football field as the bleachers and press box are currently undergoing demolition. As of Thursday, about half of the bleachers had been removed with all of the interior of the press box removed.
The construction project is part of the three million dollar, school district-wide renovation plan for the 2017-18 school year.
The project is scheduled to be completed in December of this year and will feature all new aluminum bleachers for the home side, along with a completely redesigned press box with a new modernized public address sound system. Members of the construction crew from Alliance, Inc., said that concrete pads were also going to join the blacktopped track which will eliminate walking through grass and dirt around the front of the bleachers.
PAWS & Humane Society of Edmonson County Working Together To Bring Animal Shelter To County
Darren Doyle, story:
Two local humane societies are finally coming together in a more focused effort to bring an self-sustained animal shelter in Edmonson County.
PAWS, a local group formed in June of 2016, announced in a press release that both their group and the Humane Society of Edmonson County have met multiple times and have agreed that working together is now their focus.
Many county residents have been confused as to why Edmonson County needs two separate humane societies, and the question has never been answered. Shortly after group members from PAWS attended a fiscal court meeting on June 13, 2016, which was the same day Edmonson County Fiscal Court dissolved its animal shelter contract with Greg and Kim Carroll after the Carroll's shelter was shut down by KSP in an animal cruelty case, Katie Smith announced the formation of the Humane Society of Edmonson County.
In the early stages, each group seemingly worked against the other and the fiscal court in the effort to bring a new shelter to the county. Katie Smith and her husband Ken, were both plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Edmonson County Fiscal Court in a case going back to 2013 regarding the former shelter. The court granted an agreed order of dismissal on May 15, 2017. PAWS had some personnel issues with their own board members not being on the same page, which raised more questions and confusion.
With both organizations doing separate fundraising events and the county government not sure of either's intentions, progress was slow as many saw each group doing more to undermine the other rather than for the intended purpose; however, according to both organizations, each group will help the other in a local effort for the betterment of animals.
"The Humane Society of Edmonson County and Edmonson County PAWS Humane Society Inc. have had two dual organization meetings recently," said Mike Stoyonovich, in an emailed statement. He is the newly elected PAWS President. "We both are 501©3 non-profit organizations that mutually contacted each other and found common ground through very transparent dialogue. PAWS has recently restructured its board of directors through election of new officers. I do not speak for the Humane Society of Edmonson County, (HSEC), (Katie Smith), but I can speak to our mutual goal of ensuring the best possible quality of life for all animals of Edmonson County and to build and maintain a quality animal shelter in Edmonson County," he said.
Katie Smith said much of the same.
"The Humane Society of Edmonson County reached out to PAWS about two months ago," she said in an email to the Edmonson Voice. "We were excited to have a positive response and have a meeting of our board of directors set. It seemed that PAWS had undergone or was still undergoing some major restructuring and looking toward the future."
Judge Wil Cannon said this was definitely a step in the right direction for the county.
"It looks very hopeful that they'll be working together and that's a good thing," he said. "It's very confusing to our residents having two separate groups here. You had people donating to one group that they thought was to the other, and so forth. I don't think it's government's place to say which group is good or bad or what, but as long as they're working together in the right way to help with our animal shelter efforts, I'll have to say that's a positive."
Cannon said his goal is for Edmonson County to build a shelter on county property and then contract its operation with a local humane society.
"When Bowling Green/Warren County Animal Shelter said they'd house our animals, it was only temporary," Cannon said. "They hoped that we'd be able to take care of our own in about a five year period. I'd like to see this happen within the next four years. Of course that will have to be voted on and approved by the fiscal court, but I think when the county can get some bills paid down, like our emergency radio system, we can all work together to see this happen."
Cannon said the county currently pays around $2000 per month on the county's new emergency radio system.
Mrs. Smith said both groups are working together to apply for a grant that would bring in someone to do a needs assessment for a county shelter and would supply an architect.
"By doing little things like that, give each other leads, tips, advice, splitting research, we can accomplish much more in a shorter time," she said. "The Humane Society of Edmonson County is looking forward to expanding on the budding partnership that we have with Edmonson County PAWS Humane Society. They have some great minds and people who certainly love animals as much as we do, working hard for our shared goal."
In a released statement, PAWS said, "We know this is going to be a multi-year process, but we feel with the combined efforts of both groups, it is a very attainable goal for the future. We hope that this is a very positive first step for our community, and will further benefit the animal welfare of Edmonson County."
Stoyonovich also said that in his opinion, the Humane Society of Edmonson County had worked hard in developing a successful spay and neuter program that has resulted in many benefits.
"They have also structured a program that has many contacts for cat adoption and rescue. HSEC needs to be commended," he added.
PAWS listed the board of directors as:
Judge Cannon said that it's a great step in the right direction.
"If everybody will work together with all the focus on what's needed in Edmonson County, I really feel like we'll have a chance to eventually have one of the best animal shelters around."
You can visit the Humane Society of Edmonson County's website by clicking here.
Click here to visit the Edmonson County PAWS site.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office arrested two Bowling Green teens last night on marijuana trafficking charges during a routine traffic stop near South Edmonson Elementary.
Sheriff Shane Doyle said that deputies made a traffic stop on a vehicle across the street from the school around 9:30pm on Tuesday.
Authorities said that the driver, Baylen Wardlow (18), of Bowling Green, gave consent to search the vehicle. Deputies said they discovered marijuana and drug paraphernalia inside the car and Wardlow, along with Brooklyn Keown (18), also of Bowling Green, were arrested. Keown was said to have been one of three other passengers in the car.
Wardlow was charged with:
Both were lodged in the Hart County Jail. They are scheduled to appear in Edmonson District Court on October 24, 2017.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Kentucky Safe Schools Week is set for October 15-21, 2017. "Together we can Get Involved and Get it Solved STOP the Bullying! " said a statement from Edmonson County Schools.
The Edmonson County School District and Kentucky Center for School Safety stands on the belief that everybody should enjoy school equally and be treated with respect. Community members, educators, students and parents are encouraged to get involved during Kentucky Safe Schools Week.
"Those who use bullying behavior in school, thrive on intimidation, humiliation and secrecy. They count on the silence of bystanders and students who are victimized. During Kentucky Safe Schools Week, every student, every educator and all staff and community members alike are asked to “Roll up your sleeves and lace up your shoes,” and “Get Involved” in activities to reduce the bullying in our schools and community," said the statement.
According to Edmonson County Schools, there are many ways that students, staff and community members can get involved from educating others about the seriousness of bullying to self-examination of one’s own actions when bullying occurs. Learning to solve these issues can be as easy as leaving an online tip. Students can be a “Silent Hero” and help without getting involved if they fear retaliation. The Kentucky Center for School Safety offers to partner with schools and provide a “free” online reporting tool, the S.T.O.P! TIPLINE. The tip line encourages students, parents or community members, who know of an unsafe situation in school, to pass on that information anonymously to school personnel by using a digital format. Check it out at http://www.kycss.org/stop/stop.php?district=Edmonson.County.School.District.
The school also said that getting involved may be volunteering to put up posters in the school halls and on community bulletin boards. It may be noticing a lonely student and asking him/her to eat lunch with you. By taking the online “Get Involved… Pledge Against Bullying” you encourage others and reflect on your personal commitment to stop bullying.
For Safe Schools Week the KCSS website supplies a variety of teaching aids along with the online pledge and Kentucky Safe Schools Week Tool Kit loaded with resources such as daily announcements, activity pages, PowerPoint presentations, lessons, videos, scenarios, interactive websites and much more. Resources will also be available for school administrators, parents and community involvement at www.kysafeschools.org/ssw.php
Nearby Fuel Tanks Presented Additional Danger
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Three different fire departments responded to a garage fire on Brier Creek Road around 8:30am today at the residence of Mr. Tommy Brooks, owner of a local excavation company.
Mr. Brooks said he and a few other men were working on a Caterpillar D6 bulldozer that was pulled just outside the building when he looked up and saw the far end of the structure engulfed in flames.
Mr. Brooks said he had no idea how the fire started or what could've started it; however, there was plenty of fuel to keep the fire going besides the wooden structure itself, including stacked firewood.
An even greater hazard was present due to large fuel tanks on the far end of the structure containing diesel and oil. In addition to trying to extinguish the blaze, firefighters also had to keep the tanks cool.
Lincoln Fire Chief Steve Sanders said there's little that can be done in situations like this.
"Unless we can respond pretty much immediately, structures like this just go up too fast," he said. "You just do your best to contain fires like these."
Extreme heat reached the dozer and shattered it's rear glass but Mr. Brooks said he thought it would be ok. The same couldn't be said for the building and its contents, which he said contained thousands of dollars of tools and equipment. Many were antique hand tools that were highly collectible. The building was a complete loss.
The Lincoln, Kyrock, and Brownsville Fire Departments responded to the scene along with Warren Rural Electric Corp. There were no injuries reported.
Woman Was Reportedly With Two Small Children and Armed With A Shotgun
Darren Doyle, story:
Local law enforcement is investigating two attempted burglaries from what witnesses said was an armed female with two small children last night on Big Reedy Road (Big Reedy Loop) around 10:30pm.
According to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, the first caller reported that the woman, who was armed with a shotgun, attempted to enter the caller's residence and claimed she was being chased. The caller said the children seemed to be approximately aged 7-10 years old. The caller also suspected the woman was under the influence of some type of drug.
While the Sheriff's Office and Brownsville Police were searching the area, they received another call within close proximity to the first call of a similar report. The second caller said the woman pointed the gun at the door and threatened to "shoot it down," unless she was allowed in.
According to authorities, the homeowner opened the door and the woman pointed the shotgun at the caller and threatened to shoot. A struggle ensued where the female was knocked off the porch but she was reportedly able to flee before law enforcement could respond at the scene.
Law enforcement officials said they searched the area until after 3am but did not locate the female or the two juveniles.
Officials said they later found a wrecked 1991 red Ford Ranger in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, also on Big Reedy Rd, believed to be related to the incidents.
According to witnesses, the woman was wearing a burgundy shirt, had darkish hair was approximately 5'2" to 5'4" in height with an average build. The juveniles were both boys, and were reportedly wearing ball caps. Witnesses described the woman's weapon as a 12 gauge shotgun.
No arrests have been made but law enforcement have suspects.
Anyone with information on either the female suspect or the wrecked Ford Ranger is asked to please call the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office at 270-597-2157 or Edmonson County dispatch at 270-597-2729. Your identity can be kept anonymous.
*Comments without a first and last name and an email address are not published. All comments are subject for review and must adhere to the Edmonson Voice commenting policy which is posted on this site.
Darren Doyle, story:
The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office has reported that Tennessee Fugitive Christian D. Merz, 38 has been arrested in Glendale, KY as of 2:52pm on October 13, 2017.
"Myself and members of our office along with Kentucky State Police have not only been searching the area for this man, but also have been in contact with dozens of people over the last 24 hours, following up on every lead available," said Sheriff Shane Doyle.
Doyle said evidence obtained in the investigation showed that he'd hitched a ride with some truckers headed north.
"Through our multi-agency investigation, we obtained video footage that showed the fugitive in the Glendale area," he said. "With help from KSP, Facebook Communications, and Comcast Cable, we were able to discover Merz's use of a public wi-fi hotspot where he used Facebook to contact family. The fugitive was seen walking on an overpass on 1-65 where he was arrested by Kentucky State Police."
Sheriff Doyle said yesterday there were tips from the public that described a man walking down the road with a bag in his hand and that deputies caught up with a person with the exact description, but it turned out he was a relative of a local resident that was only visiting that had no relation to this case.
"We know that situations like this are stressful for our community and we thank you for your patience and help while we continued this investigation," Doyle added. We thank KSP Trooper Terry Alexander for his excellent work in this case. We're proud that we have a great working relationship with KSP and other agencies."
Take quick survey on how next year's fair can be even better:
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Another Edmonson County Fair has come and gone, thanks to the tireless efforts of the Edmonson County Lions Club, an organization in charge of the event since the early 60's. President Jimmie Duvall, who's been a member for over 40 years, said this year's event was one of the biggest and most successful and will greatly help the many local causes for which the Lions Club foot the bill each year.
"Our attendance was up from last year and that's always a good thing," said Duvall. "You know, it really doesn't matter what you do, you can't please everyone, so our goal is to provide a good family fair that everyone can afford, can enjoy, and allows us to continue helping people in Edmonson County."
The Lions Club not only provides eyeglasses for those in need, but also provides each member of the local Head Start program a new coat each winter, sponsors a yearly scholarship, and provides countless unnamed instances of one-time gifts to help a number of needs. Those needs range from someone down on their luck, an emergency medical need, academic needs, to things more community-minded like fire hydrants in needed areas. All causes stay inside Edmonson County and must go before the Lions Club board to ensure the legitimacy of each need.
Duvall also gave several instances of how the Lions Club helps local needy children in a variety of ways including sponsoring the local backpack program, which provides meals to school children each weekend of the school year, as well as providing underprivileged students access to the fair on fair day.
The Lions Club currently has 49 members, many of which use their membership just to volunteer their labor and effort at the fair.
"There's no way to keep up with the man hours it takes to put on the fair," said Duvall. "Everything from keeping the grounds clean and mowed, to setting up each event, repairs and maintenance, it's all done by the Lions Club, and all volunteers. This is something we work on all year."
Duvall said while the local fair isn't perfect, he's proud of what it is, and how it helps Edmonson County.
"For the most part, you see the same group of people each year. We do our best to make this where a family of three or four can come to the fair and be able to pay for it. There's not many places you can go to and enjoy a family friendly event and a carnival for $10."
Duvall said the Lions Club also hears its share of complaints, coming from those who either don't like the prices, don't like the events, or don't like the carnival. He said while he understands not everyone will be happy, the club makes an honest effort to please the most people.
"I had a person come to me once and say 'let me tell you what you need to do to make the fair better,' but I stopped him. I told him that in all my years of being in the Lions Club I'd never seen him one single time on the fairgrounds. I asked him how could he tell me how to make it better if he'd never been there, and he said that he was basing on it just what he'd heard. Well, come out to the fair and see for yourself, then we'll talk."
The top event of the 2017 fair was the demolition derby, bringing thousands out to the popular event, which was said to have been one of the largest, if not the largest, in the state for this year. Close behind was the Mud Bog, followed by the Bullwhip Rodeo, the first in Edmonson County in nearly 30 years.
Events like the truck pull were forcibly phased out in 2015 because of the huge costs truck pull providers charged the Lions Club, but resulted in extremely low attendance.
While the pageants and baby show don't draw huge crowds, they're staples of the fair, even though the pageants are no longer held at the fairgrounds. Pageants are now open to other counties due to the low number of participants when the event was restricted to Edmonson County contestants only. While the winners moving on to state competition might be from another county, there is always a local winner in each category every year.
The ATV drag racing was this year's least popular event, drawing only a few dozen attendees.
Duvall also wanted to point out that the fair wouldn't have been possible without not only the countless volunteered hours by the club members, but also local emergency personnel, including Chalybeate and Brownsville Fire Departments, Edmonson EMS, the Rescue Squad, Sheriff Shane Doyle's Office, Brownsville Police, and others who provided security, aid, and help at each nightly event.
So what will make next year's fair better? Is it a music act? Karaoke or talent show? Someone diving from 100 feet into a damp washcloth? Who knows, but the Lions Club wants to hear from you.
"We're always looking for ways to improve the fair. We're willing to consider anything as long as it can be affordable and it's family-friendly. The fair's not about what I want or what this little group over here wants. It's about what will provide the most family entertainment for the most people that people can afford," Duvall said.
If you feel that your fair needs improvements, you could do several things, but complaining isn't one of them that will help very much. You could also join the Lions Club and lend a helping hand, but it's not likely that a large number of new members will be joining anytime soon. One of the easiest things you can do is answer a few survey questions that the fair board will study and research. Who knows, your input might make 2018 the year that will go down in the history books.
The Lions Club has asked us to allow you to give suggestions on how they can make it better. Please fill out the short form below. All we ask is that you only provide a first name.