Darren Doyle, story:
After numbers fluctuated a bit up and down this week, the result today is the same as last Friday in Edmonson County with 82 active COVID-19 cases reported by the Barren River District Health Department. That number is down from the highest active number Edmonson has seen during the pandemic with 102 active cases on January 8th.
The BRDHD reported a total of 695 total cases in Edmonson County with 600 reported recoveries and 13 deaths from the virus. No new deaths from coronavirus have been reported by the BRDHD since November.
Edmonson County once again has the lowest numbers of both total cases and active cases in the Barren River Health District, with Metcalfe County close behind.
UPDATE: 1:51pm--The Sheriff's Office has reopened the road to traffic but drivers are urged to use extreme caution while utility workers repair the pole.
The accident was a non-injury incident where communication lines were damaged, according to the Sheriff's Office.
BREAKING: 1:13PM--BEE SPRING, KY:
Local law enforcement has shut down a portion of HWY 259N near the Bee Spring Post Office due to a vehicle accident that has caused a broken utility pole. Officials are advising to stay clear of the area at this time.
EDMONSON COUNTY FISCAL COURT
NOTICE OF REGULAR AUDIO/VIDEO TELECONFERENCE MEETING
In accordance with KRS 61.823, KRS 61.826, Executive Order 2020-243, OAG 20-05, 2020 Senate Bill 150 and the March 31 Attorney General Advisory, the Edmonson County Fiscal Court will meet in session at 6:00 p.m. on January 25, 2021 to consider the following Agenda. The meeting will take place via audio teleconference due to the current public health situation with the fiscal court not meeting in person. The public may attend via audio by dialing: 1-312-626-6799, meeting ID 820 6123 1386, password 811078
or by going to the following link:
EDMONSON COUNTY JUDGE EXECUTIVE
Local Man Pulls Driver Out of Semi
Darren Doyle, story, photos, and video:
An overturned gasoline truck kept emergency personnel busy all through the night as they worked to clean up thousands of gallons of gasoline that had already leaked into the ditch line in the 8000 block of KY HWY 259 North in Bee Spring.
According to Edmonson County Sheriff Shane Doyle, a 2021 Freightliner semi, driven by Anthony Luster, (29) of Nashville, TN, was headed north when for an unknown reason, dropped off the right shoulder of the road. The truck traveled over 300 feet in the ditch line until it struck a culvert, which then caused the truck to overturn on the passenger side, the Sheriff said.
The truck then skidded on its side and struck a black Dodge Journey, driven by William Wilkerson, (51) of Bee Spring, according to Sheriff Doyle. The Sheriff also said that John Brooks, also of Bee Spring, drove up on the accident and saw gasoline pouring from the truck. Sheriff Doyle said that Brooks broke out the windshield of the truck, awakened the driver who was unconscious and bleeding from a head wound, and pulled him to safety.
According to the Sheriff, Mr. Luster refused medical treatment at the scene and Mr. Wilkerson reported no injuries.
Edmonson Voice photo slideshow from the January 19-20th gasoline tanker spill on KY HWY 259
While an overturned semi-truck is not something you see everyday in Bee Spring, that's not really the big issue; it's the thousands of gallons of gasoline flowing down the ditch and entering the ecosystem, and that's what has emergency personnel concerned today.
Edmonson County Emergency Management Director Terry Massey said when emergency crews arrived around 3PM yesterday, they immediately saw the gas leaking from the tanker.
"We had gas gushing out of the tank," he said. "There were ripples of gasoline flowing down the ditch."
Massey said road crews were immediately called in to dig a retaining pond for the fuel in order to stop the flow into the ditch; however, the gasoline had already entered and was disappearing, meaning the gasoline was traveling underground. In this area, the ditches flow into a creek, which flows into Nolin River, then into Green River, which is above the Edmonson County water treatment facility, Massey said.
He said that the creek below was full of dead minnows; evidence that the gasoline had already done damage there.
"Bowling Green Hazmat got there and started using absorbing measures," said Massey. "The EPA got involved and they sent their emergency response leader down here. The department of transportation has been really helpful with all their manpower and equipment. They brought their backhoe. The Kyrock, Brownsville, and Anetta Fire Departments have been here all night. Everybody's been working to help."
Massey said the trucking company, which is Dupre Logistics, LLC. in Birmingham, Alabama, sent a pumper truck to remove the fuel from the tanker but when they finally arrived, there was a malfunction with the pumping equipment and they could not do the job. Another truck from Tennessee had to be sent, which finally arrived; however, there was only about a thousand gallons left in the tanker, meaning approximately 7,000 gallons of gas had already leaked out onto the ground.
Fire department members began evacuating inhabitants of 8-10 houses in the area as not only gasoline flowed, but the fumes were just as dangerous, and explosive. Massey said the Red Cross was contacted and two families were placed in hotel rooms last night. Others reportedly went to stay with family or friends.
Massey said that because the gasoline penetrated the soil, the PVC main water lines could become compromised without action. Tony Sanders, Manager of Edmonson County Water District, said that officials were going to reconvene immediately after the scene was cleared today to discuss a plan moving forward.
Massey said Warren County's Emergency Management also arrived on scene to help along with a soil cleanup crew. That crew will have to pump any standing fuel off the ground, then the ground itself will have to be removed, disposed of, then replaced with new soil.
"There was gasoline running literally two-foot deep down the ditch," Massey said.
Officials at the scene said the costs for cleaning everything up would run into the millions and could take months before things looked like they did before the accident. Sheriff Doyle said that the trucking company has a contracted cleanup crew to repair damage from the spill.
The scene was cleared and the road was finally reopened earlier today.
Edmonson Voice Report:
A Bowling Green man has been arrested and charged with three counts of murder after a triple homicide in Butler County today.
Kentucky State Police reported that on January 19, 2021 at approximately 9:45 A.M. , KSP Post 3 was contacted by the Butler County Sheriff’s Office requesting assistance with a shooting complaint at 88 Lonnie Snodgrass Road.
KSP said in a press release that detectives were able to determine that Lupe V. Mcgranahan, age 63 of Morgantown, Charles W. Mcgranahan, age 79 of Morgantown, and Angela R. Carey, age 30 of Morgantown had been shot multiple times and were pronounced deceased at the scene by the Butler County Coroner’s Office. Law Enforcement located Joseph M. Carey, age 32 of Bowling Green, who is reportedly the husband of Angela R. Carey at the residence. Joseph Carey was detained and later arrested for the deaths of the three victims.
Joseph M. Carey was charged with one count of Murder-Domestic Violence, two counts of Murder, and three counts of Wanton Endangerment. Carey was later lodged in the Butler County Detection Center. An autopsy has been scheduled for tomorrow at the Kentucky Medical Examiner’s Office. KSP Troopers and Detectives were assisted at the scene by the Butler County Sheriff’s Office, Morgantown Police Department, Butler County EMS and the Butler County Coroner’s Office.
Darren Doyle, story:
BREAKING: A tanker semi full of gasoline has overturned in the 8000 block of HWY 259N. Emergency personnel are clearing the scene due to gasoline spillage along the roadway and ditch line. All motorists are being detoured on Jock Road through Nolin Dam Road at this time. Officials are telling us that the road will be closed for an extended period.
Sheriff Shane Doyle has reported that all homes within a quarter-mile stretch have been requested to evacuate the area.
This is developing story and we'll have more as it becomes available.
January Is Edmonson County School Board Recognition Month
Edmonson Voice Report:
Superintendent Brian Alexander presented KSBA Certificates to Lorri Keith, Mickey Johnson, Alex Ulm, Keith LaMastus and Paul Forester in recognition of January’s School Board Recognition Month.
Kentucky will again observe January as School Board Recognition Month.
"Our board members are responsible for our community’s most precious resource and the key to its future – our children and their educational opportunities," a statement released by the central office for Edmonson County Schools.
The statement also said that these individuals are responsible for making decisions aimed at ensuring that every child in the school district has a chance to be successful both in school and in life.
"Each board member has to keep up with changing education laws and policies and spend hours on professional learning and state-mandated training," the statement said. "The dedication of our Board has never been more evident than during the past year in dealing with the COVID Global Pandemic."
"At a time when state and federal funding continue to shrink, our school board members haven’t flinched in the face of the challenges or shied away from their responsibilities. Our community can be very proud of this team of board members and I’m proud to be their partner in striving for education excellence for our children"
Tonya Jones, (second photo) Notary Public and Secretary to the Superintendent, administered the Constitutional Oath and the Oath of Office to Alex Ulm and Paul Forester, appointed Board members. Board Member Mickey Johnson was unable to attend the meeting, but was administered the Constitutional Oath and the Oath of Office on January 8, 2021.
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County saw a decline in active COVID-19 cases this week after seeing its highest number of active cases just over a week ago.
As we've continued to stress, a more accurate assessment of the pandemic can be reached by tracking active case numbers in a particular area instead of focusing on total numbers, only. Total cases will only continue to rise; however, active cases fluctuate according to the severity of spread in an area, which affects recoveries and deaths.
Edmonson County has consistently been at the bottom or very near the bottom of the list in the Barren River Health District in terms of both total number of cases and active cases since the beginning of the pandemic.
Active cases in Edmonson County reached 102 on Friday, January 8th, which was an all-time high; likely due to spread that occurred during the Christmas and New Year holidays; however, that number declined to 90 active cases on Tuesday, January 12th.
The number declined further yesterday, according to the latest data from the BRDHD, which is now reported to be 82 active cases in Edmonson County. Total cases in the county are now at 666, with 571 recoveries and 13 deaths reported from the coronavirus.
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
It was a chaotic morning for Edmonson County emergency personnel due to at least seven separate accidents occurring all around the same time today due to heavy patches of black ice throughout the county.
The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office responded to five of the seven accidents during an hour-and-a-half timespan. The other two did not require medical or law enforcement attention, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Law enforcement reported the first accident at around 6:30AM on Nolin Dam Hill, that involved two vehicles. The Sheriff's Office said two vehicles were headed west towards Nolin Dam when one vehicle attempted to pass the other but hit a patch of black ice. The vehicles collided but no injuries were reported.
A deputy said he left that scene to just out the road where another vehicle topped a crest, hit black ice and slid into the Lincoln Country Corner parking lot where it collided with a parked vehicle, where once again, no injuries were reported.
Edmonson County emergency workers were then dispatched around 7AM to Morgantown Road near Bear Creek to the report of an overturned vehicle. The Sheriff's Office said that a 17-year old female juvenile was headed west on Morgantown Road in a 2009 Honda Civic when she hit black ice and lost control of the car. The vehicle overturned and came to rest near the guardrail. She was transported to the Medical Center for unknown injuries.
Working that accident scene were the Kyrock and Bear Creek Fire Departments, JAWS, The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, Edmonson EMS, and the District 3 KY Transportation Cabinet.
Emergency workers encountered a fourth accident at the Hilltop intersection while en route to the Morgantown Road accident. The accident involved two vehicles that collided, also due to ice; however, no injuries were reported at that scene. While emergency personnel were working both the Morgantown Road and Hilltop accidents, another emergency call went out for an accident on Louisville Road.
The Sheriff's Office said that another 17-year old juvenile, a male, was headed north on Louisville Rd, (31W) in a white Chevy pickup when he hit a patch of ice, lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a fence row. The youth had to be extricated from the vehicle. He was transported to Greenview Hospital with unknown injuries.
Responding to that scene was the Brownsville Fire Department, JAWS, Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, local emergency management, and Edmonson EMS.
An Edmonson County ambulance also obtained a flat tire while en route to one of the accident scenes when it came in contact with road debris from a previous accident.
"To say that Edmonson County emergency workers were busy this morning was an understatement," said Sheriff Shane Doyle. "Thankfully, due to the quick response and professionalism of our first responders here, we were all able to work together during a very difficult morning. Black ice is extremely dangerous and this is just a small example of what can happen on slick roads. I also want to thank our local dispatch for their excellent work this morning under very difficult conditions."
Edmonson Voice Report:
Today, Governor Andy Beshear, state officials, and Kroger leadership announced a new partnership said to significantly increase the speed of COVID-19 vaccinations across the commonwealth.
Beshear said the first Kroger regional, drive-through vaccination sites will open the week of Feb. 1 for Kentuckians in Phase 1A, 1B and 1C. For more details on who is included in each phase, click here. More details are said to come later regarding site locations and how to sign up.
“Last year, when we were wondering when anybody who wanted a COVID-19 test would be able to get one, Kroger made that a reality. That testing partnership created the national model for surge testing,” said Gov. Beshear. “These drive-through vaccination sites are fantastic news all Kentuckians, and we’re grateful to the entire Kroger team for making it possible. Your help in this effort will save countless lives.”
Vaccinations have already begun for K-12 school personnel through individual school districts and will continue to ramp up over the next few weeks. The Governor said the state expects to finish administering initial vaccination doses for K-12 educators and support staff the week of Feb. 1.
Vaccinations organized by local health departments have been scarce with little information available.
“The great news is, we expect to finish first dose vaccinations for school staff the week we said we would start,” said Gov. Beshear.
The Governor urged Kentuckians to be patient as vaccine allocations from the federal government are still far too small to cover everyone in Phase 1A, 1B and 1C who wants to be vaccinated; however, he said it's critically important that the state gets vaccines into arms quickly. That means in some cases, vaccine providers will need to vaccinate Kentuckians out of the phase sequence in order to meet the state’s goal of administering 90% of vaccines within one week of their arrival at a distribution site.
The Governor and the Kentucky Department for Public Health outlined these phases to help providers distribute vaccines in the most equitable order they can while still vaccinating people as fast as possible. To learn more, click here.
“I know people are understandably anxious and want to get the vaccine as soon as they can, especially those who are high-risk. We want to do our very best to put those people in the front of the line, but we also need to move quickly so vaccines don’t just sit in a freezer, helping no one,” said Beshear. “The faster we increase our vaccination numbers, the safer we all will be, because we will get closer to herd immunity as a state more quickly. That’s the overarching goal, so we ask Kentuckians to bear with us if they have to wait a little while in order to get an appointment.”
William O. Lindsey No Longer Employed By School District
Darren Doyle, story:
An Edmonson County High School Teacher has been arrested and charged with attempted production of child pornography and attempted online enticement, announced United States Attorney Russell Coleman.
“The United States Attorney’s Office and the Kentucky Attorney General stand united in protecting our kids,” said U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman. “We will not permit predators to use the guise of some of our most trusted and respected fellow citizens, its teachers, to exploit our young people.”
“Child perpetrators are becoming increasingly clever in the methods they use to entice and exploit children, and our Department of Criminal Investigations is focused on devoting resources to tracking these perpetrators online and stopping them before they can carry out crimes against a child,” said Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron. “Our office worked closely on this investigation with U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman, U.S. Secret Service, Kentucky State Police, Edmonson County Sheriff’s Office, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, and Louisville Metro Police Department, and I appreciate their partnership.”
William Oneal Lindsey, 28, of Brownsville, Kentucky, was charged on January 13, 2021, by criminal complaint and arrested at Edmonson County High School.
According to the criminal complaint, on January 7, 2021, the defendant began an online conversation that was sexual in nature with what he believed to be a minor. In fact, Lindsey was talking with an undercover officer with the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General’s Department of Criminal Investigations (DCI).
After several days of conversations, Lindsey was taken into custody at his place of employment, Edmonson County High School without incident. According to the complaint, Lindsey waived Miranda and agreed to be interviewed. During the interview, he admitted the person he met online he knew to be a minor and that the conversation was sexual in nature and he asked for images. He offered that he should not have engaged in the behavior because of the age of the person he was talking to, and went on to say that he had communicated with numerous other girls on various platforms concerning sexually explicit topics and that he believed many of them were minors.
The statutory maximum penalty for attempted enticement is no less than 10 years and no more than life; attempted production carries a sentence of no less than 15 years, and no more than life.
Both counts carry a fine of $250,000, and no less than 5 years and no more than life of Supervised Release per count.
Lindsey was employed at Edmonson County High School as the Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) teacher. Edmonson County Superintendent of Schools Brian Alexander confirmed to the Edmonson Voice today that Lindsey was no longer employed by the Edmonson County School District.
Assistant United States Attorney Jo Lawless is prosecuting the case. The Office of the Kentucky Attorney General, Department of Criminal Investigations conducted the investigation with assistance from the United States Secret Service, Kentucky State Police, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, and Edmonson County Sheriff’s Office.
Impeachment Process Explained: Trump Could Be Barred From Holding Office In Future
Darren Doyle, story:
Today, The U.S. House of Representatives voted 232-197 to impeach President Donald J. Trump, where he was charged with “incitement of insurrection." He is the first US president to be impeached twice. There were also ten House Republicans that broke with their party and voted for today's impeachment; however, the Senate will not convene until next week to hold a trial for the president, according to a statement from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“The House of Representatives has voted to impeach the President," said Leader McConnell. "The Senate process will now begin at our first regular meeting following receipt of the article from the House."
“Given the rules, procedures, and Senate precedents that govern presidential impeachment trials, there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude before President-elect Biden is sworn in next week. The Senate has held three presidential impeachment trials. They have lasted 83 days, 37 days, and 21 days respectively."
“Even if the Senate process were to begin this week and move promptly, no final verdict would be reached until after President Trump had left office. This is not a decision I am making; it is a fact. The President-elect himself stated last week that his inauguration on January 20 is the ‘quickest’ path for any change in the occupant of the presidency."
“In light of this reality, I believe it will best serve our nation if Congress and the executive branch spend the next seven days completely focused on facilitating a safe inauguration and an orderly transfer of power to the incoming Biden Administration. I am grateful to the offices and institutions within the Capitol that are working around the clock, alongside federal and local law enforcement, to prepare for a safe and successful inauguration at the Capitol next Wednesday.”
U.S. Congressman Brett Guthrie also released a statement regarding the impeachment.
“The idea from House Democrats that we have to act today to impeach President Donald Trump because we do not have a second to spare rings hollow. The Senate has indicated impeachment proceedings will not start before January 20th, which means the impeachment trial could happen in the days, weeks, or even months after President Trump has left office.
In the United States one of our core principles is due process, and this impeachment is clearly being rushed with no due process. Before a House floor vote to charge a president with an impeachable offense, Congress should examine all of the facts and hold hearings in the appropriate committees.
Let me be clear: I unequivocally condemn the violent mob storming the Capitol last week and want those responsible to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. In order to fully evaluate the circumstances around the attack on the U.S. Capitol and ensure this will never happen again, I support a bipartisan commission to conduct an investigation and uncover all of the facts. I disagree with the urgency to impeach today without knowing all the facts and carrying out due process.”
The 10 House Republicans voting to impeach the President were:
• Rep. Gonzalez (OH)
• Rep. Meijer (MI)
• Rep. Upton (MI)
• Rep. Cheney (WY)
• Rep. Katko (NY)
• Rep. Kinzinger (IL)
• Rep. Rice (SC)
• Rep. Herrera Beutler (WA)
• Rep. Newhouse (WA)
• Rep. Valadao (CA)
The impeachment process moving forward would likely take several days, even weeks in a Senate trial, and would occur after Trump leaves office; however, if found guilty, Trump could lose his Presidential pension and could be barred from ever holding office again as part of what is known as "late impeachment."
A Senate trial would also take place under a new Democrat-led Senate where Chuck Schumer will become Senate Majority Leader. Also, a two-thirds majority vote is required for a guilty verdict, meaning several Republicans would have to be in favor. This is now more of a possibility, considering 10 House Republicans voted for the impeachment today, compared to only one when he was impeached by the House on December 18, 2019.
No Name Released At This Time
1/14/21: This story has been updated: https://www.edmonsonvoice.com/-news/edmonson-teacher-charged-with-federal-child-porn-crimes-after-undercover-operation
Darren Doyle, story:
An Edmonson County District employee was arrested today, according to a statement from Superintendent of Schools Brian Alexander; however, no other details were available regarding the incident.
The school's automated phone call system sent calls across the county with a message from Superintendent Alexander. The entire statement was as follows:
"I have learned that an employee of the Edmonson County School District was arrested by the Kentucky State Police on January 13, 2021. At the present time, I have no knowledge of any allegation of inappropriate activity involving students attending the District. I am taking appropriate action to remove the employee from the District until further information can be obtained.
Due to individual privacy rights, we are unable to comment further at this time."
No other information was available from Supt. Alexander today.
We requested information concerning this arrest from Kentucky State Police today; however, they informed us that the information would only be available through the U.S. Attorney's Office in Louisville. A call to their office was not immediately returned.
This is a developing story and we will have more as information becomes available.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (January 13, 2021) – The Senate Majority Caucus has announced the committee assignments for the 2021 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly. Senator Stephen Meredith (R-Leitchfield) will serve as the chairman of the Budget Review Subcommittee on Human Resources.
Senator Meredith will also serve as the vice-chairman of the Senate Standing Committees on Veterans, Military Affairs, & Public Protection; and Health & Welfare. He will also serve as the co-chairman of the Government Contract Review Subcommittee; and the Medicaid Oversight and Advisory Committee.
Additionally, Senator Meredith will serve as a member on the Senate Standing Committees on Education; and Appropriations & Revenue.
“I am honored to have been appointed to these committees, as both a member and a leader,” said Senator Meredith. “This session will be unlike any other as we address issues regarding the pandemic and the annual state budget. I am eager to get to work with fellow lawmakers and stakeholders to address these issues and many others.”
Senate committee memberships are confirmed during the first of the session by the Senate Committee on Committees.
Governor Signs Executive Order For Unemployment One-Time Relief Payment Program
Darren Doyle, story:
Although not by much, Edmonson County's active COVID cases declined to 90 today from Friday's number of 102, according to numbers released from the Barren River District Health Department. Today's data showed 651 total cases, 548 which were recovered, and 13 total deaths reported as a result of COVID-19.
The BRDHD also announced today that local departments are moving forward with the next phase of COVID-19 vaccinations.
"We have been authorized by the Kentucky Department of health to move forward into Phase 1b of vaccination, which includes first responders, any of at least 70 years of age, and K-12 school personnel," the dept. said in a press release on Monday.
"The Barren River District Health Department will be vaccinating individuals 70 years of age and older on Thursday at each of its eight local health departments. We hope to vaccinate more 70+ individuals next week pending availability of the vaccine. If you are 70 years of age or older, reside in Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Logan, Simpson or Warren Counties, and would like to schedule an appointment with the Barren River District Health Department for this Thursday’s clinic, please call your local health department phone number and press 1. If you are 70 years of age or older, reside in Hart or Metcalfe Counties, and would like to schedule an appointment with the Barren River District Health Department for this Thursday’s clinic, please call 270-781-8039, press 4, then press 1."
They also said that the Norton Call Center has been set up for the public that have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. The call center is open 24 hours a day/7 days a week and can be reached at 1-800-722-5725.
The Edmonson County Health Department's phone number is 270-597-2194.
Few vaccinations have been administered in Edmonson County and information regarding the vaccines have been scarce. Some local first responders and medical workers have received vaccinations over the last two weeks that included, law enforcement, emergency medical personnel, health care providers, and pharmacy workers.
Governor Andy Beshear signed an executive order creating the Unemployment One-Time Relief Payment Program to be administered by the Office of Unemployment Insurance (OUI) and funded by Coronavirus Relief Fund money for up to $48 million. The program will provide one-time supplemental payments to claimants:
According to the KY Department of Health, 119 out of 120 KY counties were listed as "red zone" today.
Darren Doyle, story:
There was little discussion at today's Edmonson County Fiscal Court meeting other than proposed legal action against any new trash pickup solicitor, as we reported earlier today.
Road Report: County Road Foreman Greg Carroll said that crews had completed ditching work and other repairs on Penner Road where a farmer allegedly damaged the roadway and ditch with farming equipment. He said road crews had installed several road tiles while county right-of-ways had been mowed and ditching work had been completed across the county. He also reported the new impound lot that will be used by the sheriff's office is too wet to complete much work now, but that project will resume in drier weather.
Emergency Management: EM Director Terry Massey said county emergency personnel had responded to 24 emergency calls since the last report that included several fire and motor vehicle accidents. He was asked about the current vaccine schedule in Edmonson County to which he deferred to the Barren River District Health Department. "The itinerary changes from day-to-day," he said.
Coroner Brentley Esters gave his annual report that was simply 33 calls worked this year. He said none were COVID-related.
Sheriff Shane Doyle said that his part-time document server is working out great, which allows officers to deal more with law enforcement instead of paper work. He also said his office had made several drug arrests. Finally, he wanted to thank the road department publicly for the work completed so far on the new impound lot, although work has been suspended for now. He also reported that the final plans are being made for his office remodeling project.
Jailer Report: There are currently 17 county inmates housed at Hart County Jail according to Judge Wil Cannon.
The court also voted to approve a pay raise for dog control officer Kenny Heath to $13 per hour. With the raise comes new responsibilities that include the ability to issue animal control citations. Some magistrates asked about the requirements for new training for the additional work and Judge Cannon said that law doesn't require it but local law enforcement is advising him on the proper scenarios for citations. Mag. Rich wanted to ensure that Heath was uniformed properly and his vehicle was identified, to which Cannon confirmed.
The court also voted to:
The next Fiscal Court Meeting is scheduled for January 25, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. via audio/video teleconference.
Fiscal Court Prepared For Legal Action Against Trash Collection Solicitor According To Current Ordinance
Darren Doyle, story:
The Edmonson County Fiscal Court doubled down today on possible action against a new trash collection service that has been discussed on Facebook.
In today's Edmonson County Fiscal Court meeting, Judge Executive Wil Cannon said that the county had to adhere to state and local laws that would not allow any other trash collection in the county until the county's waste management plan was up for renewal. County Treasurer Tammi Willhite said that plan is not up for renewal until June 30, 2022.
Cannon said county resident Elvis Lindsey had posted/commented on Facebook that he was pursuing his own trash collection service, which according to a county ordinance cannot legally happen in Edmonson County as part of the county's current waste management agreement with the state.
County Attorney Greg Vincent said that there are current county ordinances in place that grant an exclusive license to one single trash provider in the county that is awarded the bid for the county's services, which is currently Scott Waste.
"They have the the only license to perform this service in the county," Vincent said.
He said the county is required to adhere to guidelines concerning how trash is picked up, disposed of, and it must include at least 90% countywide pickup, if not more.
"The ordinance that set all that up was passed back in 2008 and has been going fine since then," the County Attorney said. "This ordinance was passed because at the time this took place, we had almost a dozen different trash carriers in the county. Some actually had garbage trucks but most of them were pickup trucks with wooden racks on the sides and they were losing as much trash along the road as they were hauling off to begin with. There was no uniformity like 'Bee Spring on Monday, or Chalybeate on Tuesday.' You had trash pickup on every day of the week, trucks of different sizes going up and down the highway, it was very unsafe, wasn't regulated, and we (Edmonson County) couldn't qualify for any grants because we couldn't show that these guys were taking it to an actual certified dump as opposed to their sinkhole or a neighbor's yard and burning it."
Vincent said under the ordinance, anyone other than the contracted company with the winning bid who solicits trash pickup can be prosecuted for a misdemeanor charge for each violation, such as if another company goes out and picks up 5 new customers; that would be 5 different charges.
"According to evidence gathered, he's soliciting business but has not started a pickup," Vincent continued. "In that situation, I couldn't charge him with a crime, but what I intended to do was to file a lawsuit in Edmonson Circuit Court seeking a restraining order and injunction that would prevent him from operating this type of business."
Sheriff Shane Doyle reported to the court that as of today, according to Lindsey's Facebook comments, Lindsey was holding off on the garbage route for the time being.
Judge Cannon said Lindsey has neither called the Judge Executive's Office nor has contacted any other member of the fiscal court regarding his proposed venture; however, the Judge's office also said no one from the fiscal court has attempted to contact Lindsey directly, either. All the discussion up to this point has revolved around what has been posted to Facebook.
"Look, this is a law. It's an ordinance," Cannon said. "We'd be taking these measures with anyone that's violating our ordinances. He's more than welcome to call us about this, but we're not going to conduct county business over Facebook."
In a message sent to Elvis Lindsey from the Edmonson Voice, we asked him if he was going to continue soliciting business for a new trash pickup service. He responded with "Yes I am wanting to what you think."
We also asked for his response to where the fiscal court says this action is currently illegal. He replied "I don't think it is right to the people. People are upset about it."
Other guidelines set by the state in the county's current waste management plan include requiring trash pickup companies to:
Magistrate Mark Meeks made a motion for County Attorney Vincent to initiate the civil process in the event Lindsey continues to solicit trash pickup business under the current county ordinance, which was seconded by Magistrate Charlie Tarter. The court then voted unanimously to accept that motion.
A Morgantown man faces felony drug charges after a traffic stop on Saturday afternoon, according to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
The Sheriff's Office stated that on January 9, 2021 at approximately 1:30PM, a deputy observed a red Honda Accord turn from Sandy Flat Road onto Morgantown Road while disregarding a stop sign without a turn signal. They also said local dispatch confirmed the license plate was also registered to another vehicle.
Deputies then initiated a traffic stop in the parking lot of Ace Hardware in Brownsville where the driver was identified as Anthony Hazelwood (30) of Morgantown, according to the Sheriff's Office. Hazelwood was allegedly driving with a suspended license and had multiple priors for the same offense.
Hazelwood was placed under arrest for driving on suspended license and upon a search for incident to arrest, the deputy reportedly found suspected methamphetamine on Hazelwood’s person. A search of his vehicle produced multiple baggies of suspected methamphetamine and multiple forms of drug paraphernalia, the Sheriff's Office said.
Hazelwood was charged with:
Hazelwood was lodged in Hart County Jail.
Darren Doyle, story:
COVID-19 cases rose again in Edmonson County this week, bringing the active case number up to 102, according to the latest numbers from the Barren River District Health Department. This is a rise of 40 cases since this time last Friday, and ten more since Wednesday.
Total cases in Edmonson County were reported at 632 from the beginning of the pandemic with 517 recoveries and 13 deaths.
Red Zone counties in KY were listed as 117 out of 120 by Governor Andy Beshear earlier today.
Darren Doyle, story:
A Chalybeate man faces a host of felony charges after a warrant service led to additional meth charges, according to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies were sent to 109 Sunflower Lane in Chalybeate on Thursday, January 8, 2021 to serve multiple arrest warrants on George Kelly Tarter, age 60. The warrants were results of previous incidents from Tarter, dating back to 2003 when he was arrested and convicted for manufacturing meth, according to Sheriff Shane Doyle. Sheriff Doyle also said that Tarter received parole for that charge several years ago but violated the parole in October of 2020 when he was arrested for Possession of Meth by the Smiths Grove Police Department.
Tarter failed to appear in court for the possession and parole violation charges, so warrants were issued for his arrest that included: Methamphetamine Manufacturing and for Failure to Appear on Methamphetamine Possession.
According to a press release, when deputies arrived to serve the arrest warrants, they located Tarter in the home and reportedly saw suspected methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia in plain view. Tarter was arrested on both warrants and faces new charges of Possession of Methamphetamine and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
He was transported and lodged in the Hart County Jail.
EDMONSON COUNTY FISCAL COURT
NOTICE OF REGULAR AUDIO/VIDEO TELECONFERENCE MEETING
In accordance with KRS 61.823, KRS 61.826, Executive Order 2020-243, OAG 20-05, 2020 Senate Bill 150 and the March 31 Attorney General Advisory, the Edmonson County Fiscal Court will meet in session at 9:00 a.m. on January 11, 2021 to consider the following Agenda. The meeting will take place via audio teleconference due to the current public health situation with the fiscal court not meeting in person. The public may attend via audio by dialing: 1-312-626-6799, meeting ID 875 8527 0702, password 075840.
Or by going to the following link:
I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call
III. Approval of today’s Agenda
IV. Approval of December 28, 2020 Fiscal Court Minutes
a. Read b. Dispense
V. Approval of Bills
VI. Approval of Appropriation Budget Transfers
VII. New Business
a. Approve Resolution EC21-01, Animal Shelter Agreement with BGWC Humane Society.
b. Acknowledge November & December BGWC Shelter Directors Report.
c. Acknowledge November Animal Control CAD Report.
d. Approve Groundwater Protection Plan for Road Department.
e. Approve Kenny Heath’s pay increase from $11.67 to $13.00 per hour, effective 12/28/20. Additional responsibilities include writing citations for animal cruelty and responding/investigating all animal abuse calls.
f. Approve to pay Constables Bond Insurance. Constables will reimburse County $28.50 for their portion.
g. Approve Treasurer’s December Monthly Settlement Report.
h. Approve Judge’s Quarterly Financial Report.
i. Approve Treasurer’s Quarterly Cash Receipts Journal.
j. Approve Treasurer’s Quarterly Receipts Report.
k. Approve Treasurer’s Quarterly Appropriations Report.
l. Approve Resolution EC21-02, Electrical Inspection Services with Michael Barks.
m. Approve Resolution EC21-03, Electrical Inspection Services with Teddy Webb.
n. Approve Sheriff’s December Fee Account Report, pending final audit.
o. Approve Sheriff’s December Property Tax Report, pending final audit.
p. Approve Sheriff’s December Fire Protection Report, pending final audit.
q. Approve Sheriff’s 2020 Annual Settlement, pending final audit.
r. Approve County Clerk’s December MVAV Collection Report, pending final audit.
s. Approve County Clerk’s December Deed Transfer Tax Report, pending final audit.
t. Approve County Clerk’s December Excess Fee Report, pending final audit.
u. Approve County Clerk’s December Delinquent Tax Collection Report, pending final audit.
v. Trash Collection-Elvis Lindsey a.k.a. Lindsey’s Sanitation.
IX. Judge Executive:
XI. Next Fiscal Court Meeting will be January 25th, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. via audio/video teleconference.
EDMONSON COUNTY JUDGE EXECUTIVE
Boys Basketball Also Set To Resume On Monday
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County Superintendent of Schools Brian Alexander said that plans are still in place for students to return to in-person classes on Monday, January 11, 2021.
"We are planning for students on our staggered schedules to return to in-person classes on Monday," he said. "We're excited to have them back."
Local schools have been virtual-only since November 18th, when Governor Andy Beshear announced the closing of in-person schools until at least January 4th with elementary schools having the option to reopen on December 7th if those counties were not in the red zone. Not only did Edmonson County Schools choose not to open elementary schools on December 7th, they also chose to remain closed past the first recommended date of January 4th.
"We will continue the option of virtual learning for those families that are still not comfortable with in-person classes, but based on what families are telling us and what we've seen from other school districts, we feel good about returning to in-person on Monday," Alexander said.
He also added that social distancing and mask wearing would continue as it has all year long.
"We want to get students back in school because we feel they learn better there than at home. We're proud of our plans that have been put in place since the fall. Our custodians and all our staff have worked very hard to keep our schools clean and provide a safe environment and we are dedicated to our plan."
Alexander also said the ECHS boys basketball team will fulfill their quarantine requirements by the end of this week and plans are moving forward to resume play, also on Monday, as the team will travel to Cloverport to play the Aces, which will be the Wildcats' first game of the season. The team has not experienced any further cases that would hinder their quarantine, practice, or play at this time.
"Because basketball is such a high-contact sport, we have to take things very carefully," said Alexander. "The safety of our students and staff is most important and the team has done a great job in their effort to do what's necessary. We may add or subtract games here and there throughout the season, but we're ready for basketball to begin with our boys on the road on Monday night and a freshman/JV game at home."
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County saw its highest amount of active COVID cases today at 92, according to the data released by the Barren River District Health Department. This tops the previous number of 91 that was reported on Friday, November 20th.
Total cases in the county are now at 609 with 504 recoveries and 13 deaths reported as of today's available data.
Active cases rose in the county by around 30 since last week. The jump also bumped the county up one spot on the list of both active and total cases in the district. Edmonson held the lowest numbers of each for several months but that now belongs to Metcalfe County with 609 cases, 520 recoveries, and 10 deaths for an active number of 79.
Statewide, 114 out of 120 counties were listed in the "red zone," and only one county not orange or red.
Edmonson County Schools are scheduled to resume in-person classes on Monday, January 11th.
Governor Andy Beshear postponed a State of the Commonwealth address that was scheduled for today in lieu of the protesting and violence that occurred at the U.S. Capitol today in Washington, D.C..
“Based on the events at our nation’s Capitol, the Senate President, Speaker of the House and I have jointly agreed to delay the joint session for the State of the Commonwealth and the Budget address to 7 p.m. tomorrow, Thursday, Jan. 7," he said. "We all recognize the gravity of this situation.”
Darren Doyle, story:
There were no major changes in active COVID cases in Edmonson County for the final week of the year, according to available numbers from the Barren River District Health Department; however, numbers were only released on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week.
Active cases fell from 68 on Wednesday, December 23rd to 55 on Monday, December 28th. They rose to 58 on Tuesday, then up again to 65 on Wednesday of this week.
While calculating active cases is the most accurate way to gauge COVID cases in an area, total cases numbered were at 559 with 481 recoveries and 13 reported coronavirus deaths in Edmonson County.
COVID cases are expected to rise in some areas as a result of Christmas gatherings; however, Edmonson County saw no spike in numbers after Thanksgiving. Whether or not the county will see the same result after Christmas and New Year's gatherings remains to be seen.
The next Edmonson Voice COVID update is scheduled for Friday, January 8th unless there is a significant change in numbers over the course of the next few days.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report: photos courtesy of Genesis Healthcare
Genesis Healthcare, Edmonson Center in Brownsville received COVID vaccinations at their facility today for their residents and workers.
In a released statement, Dr. Richard Feifer, Chief Medical Officer of Genesis Healthcare, said that today's measure will help prevent further tragedies, especially in the vulnerable population.
"We are happy to report that Edmonson Center completed its first vaccination clinic on December 30, 2020, with CVS, our chosen partner through the Pharmacy Partnership for Long Term Care program," he said. "CVS will return three weeks later to administer the second booster shots for those who received the vaccine in round one and will also vaccinate anyone not included in round one. They will then return for a third time, three weeks after round two, to administer the final booster shots."
Dr. Feifer said Genesis has a goal of vaccinating 100% of the staff without an attempt to impose a requirement. Through what he called a "robust communication and education initiative," they are encouraging vaccination among staff, residents, and families.
"We are confident that the vaccine development and clinical trial process has been rigorous, and that the FDA will approve only the candidates that merit it," he added.
"All drugs or vaccines have some potential side effects, and it is important to monitor for such issues even after a drug or vaccine is approved. As the largest nursing home operator, we’re prepared to assist," Dr. Feifer said. "Genesis is participating in a newly developed safety monitoring program with Brown University School of Public Health researchers, to monitor for any potential adverse health impacts after nursing home residents in our affiliated centers receive COVID-19 vaccinations. This work is part of a CDC effort to carefully monitor vaccine safety, particularly focused on frail elderly residents who were not included in vaccine trials."
The center said that all able residents received the first round of the vaccine today.