Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Nearly 3,000 members experienced a lengthy outage last night due to vandalism and burglary at Warren RECC's Plano Substation, according to a release from WRECC. At approximately 6:45 pm, Warren RECC began receiving notifications of a widespread outage in the area. As crews arrived, they discovered that the substation fence had been breached and copper wire had been disconnected and stolen.
WRECC also said that crews worked into the night to repair the damage, replace missing equipment, and to restore power to all Warren RECC members in the area. All members were restored by approximately 3 am.
"I would like to thank our employees for their hard work and dedication. Repairing damage to a substation, especially damage at the level we experienced, is difficult and time consuming. I would also like to thank the Warren County Sheriff's Office for their quick response," said Dewayne McDonald, Interim President and CEO of Warren RECC.
WRECC also noted that substations are high voltage areas and should only be entered by fully trained, authorized personnel. Careless activity in a substation can quickly lead to electrocution and death. If you have any information relating to last night's incident, please contact the Warren County Sheriff's Office at 270-842-1633.
To report power outages in Warren County, call 270-843-9710; outside Warren County, call 1-888-604-4321.
The office of Edmonson County Clerk Kevin Alexander has released the 2018 delinquent property tax bills for Edmonson County. A property tax sale is scheduled to be held on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 11AM at the courthouse.
Bills are listed in numerical order and you can scroll L-R to see the entire list.
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
State Senator Whitney Westerfield, (R) one of the Commonwealth's candidates for Kentucky Supreme Court Justice, first district, stopped by for a chat on Tuesday to discuss his campaign for the open non-partisan seat.
Westerfield, a lifelong Christian County resident, currently serves as KY State Senator in District 3, where for nearly eight years has been the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, serves on the Budget Review Subcommittee on Justice and Judiciary, and is Co-Chair of the Juvenile Justice Oversight Council, which monitors the implementation of justice system reforms.
"You're going to be seeing lots of ads and discussion about the race for Governor and Attorney General in Kentucky for this November, and those races are important," he said; "however, our Supreme Court seat is just as important, and that's what I want to tell Kentucky voters."
Sen. Westerfield said that the seven justices on KY's supreme court make decisions every day that affect the lives of Kentucky residents, and his past experience as a prosecutor, private attorney, and senator would greatly benefit those same Kentucky lives, if allowed to serve as a Supreme Court Justice in KY.
"I think what we're seeing sometimes is a justice system where judges' outcomes reflect more of their own opinions and not the current laws that are on the books. A judge must apply all laws, period, even the ones they disagree with, and that's what I'll do, if I have the opportunity to serve as Supreme Court Justice."
Westerfield ran for Attorney General in 2015 against current AG Andy Beshear in an extremely tight race. Beshear edged out Westerfield with 50.1% of the vote, compared to Westerfield's 49.9%.
"I'm proud of my run 4 years ago," he said. "I'm not happy that the winner was someone who never prosecuted a single case and outspent me nearly 10-to-1, but you know, I didn't first run for office with the intentions of running for Attorney General or the Supreme Court, it was to serve. Over the years, I've seen opportunities where I thought I could make a better difference and I see now there's an opportunity for Kentuckians to put a constitutional conservative in a Supreme Court seat."
Senator Westerfield noted that straight-ticket voters will have to add the vote for Supreme Court Justice, as the race is a non-partisan office. Simply voting straight-ticket, whether republican or democrat, will not cast a vote for the open Supreme Court seat.
"You can go ahead and vote straight-ticket if you'd like, but I'm also asking you to add one more for me, for Supreme Court Justice."
When asked what was the bottom line he wanted Edmonson County voters to know about his campaign, he quickly replied:
"I'm a constitutional conservative that will not legislate from the bench. That's what I want them to know."
Kentucky's general election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 5, 2019.
The Edmonson Voice allows all political candidates participating in local elections the opportunity to schedule an interview with us to discuss their respective platforms. The Edmonson Voice does not support or endorse any political candidate.
Edmonson District Court was held on Tuesday, August 13, 2019. The Honorable Judge Joseph B. Hines presiding
Sondra Keith Kenner, No expired registration plates. Failure to produce insurance card. Failed to appear. Bench
Christopher Russell, Controlled substance prescription not in original container-- first. Failure to issue insurance card. Possess open alcoholic beverage container in motor vehicle. Operating on suspended/revoked operators license. Operate under influence of alcohol/drugs. Second offense. Careless driving. Possession of controlled substance, second degree- codeine. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial conference. Pretrial conference 9/12/18.
Ralph John Berry Jr., Fugitive from another state- warrant required.
James K Webb, Failure of owner to maintain required insurance/security-- first. License to be in possession. No/expired registration plates. No brake lights (passenger vehicles). Failure to register transfer of motor vehicle. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Possession of controlled substance, first offense- methamphetamine. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial hearing 8/27/19.
Jeremy Hopkins, Escape-third degree. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial conference 9/10/19.
Jeremy S. Hopkins, Alcohol intoxication in a public place- first and second. Resisting arrest. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial conference 9/10/19.
Thomas Hudspeth, Assault fourth degree, domestic violence, minor injury. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial conference 9/10/19.
Jadah L. Hopkins, Operating motor vehicle under influence of alcohol/drugs, first offense. License to be in possession. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial conference 12/10/19.
Christopher Scott Robertson, Assault fourth degree, domestic violence, minor injury. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial conference 9/10/19.
Dexter T. Price, Careless driving, Operate motor vehicle under influence of alcohol/drugs, aggravator, first. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial conference 8/27/19.
Mark Allan Blackburn, Fleeing or evading police, first degree. Driving DUI suspended license, third offense, aggravator. Operate motor vehicle under influence of alcohol/drugs, aggravator, third. Resisting arrest. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial hearing 8/27/19.
William Eric Schafer, Operating on suspended/revoked operators license. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial conference 8/27/19.
Johnny Burlly Henson, Cruelty to animals- second degree. Disorderly conduct, second degree. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial conference 9/10/19.
Sondra Keith Kenner, No/expired registration plates. Failure to produce insurance card. Failed to appear. Bench warrant issued.
Jill Allen Rowe, Operating motor vehicle under influence of alcohol/drugs, first offense. Possession of controlled substance/ second degree- drug unspecified. Failed to appear. $500 bench warrant issued.
Isdel Treavor, Non approved/insufficient number/no personal float. Failed to appear. Bench warrant issued.
Todd Ray Groves, License to be in possession. Failed to appear. $250 bench warrant issued.
Nickie Ron Elmore, Operating motor vehicle under influence of alcohol/drugs. First offense. . Failed to appear. $250.00 bench warrant issued.
Darren Doyle, story:
An Indiana man has been jailed and awaits extradition after law enforcement officials discovered he was wanted on multiple felony charges.
According the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, deputies were dispatched to the 200 block of Pine View Drive in Mammoth Cave around 11am on Monday, August 12th for a complaint of trespassers, with information that at least one may have a warrant and both may be armed; particularly with a stolen AR-15 rifle.
The Sheriff's Office reported that once deputies arrived on scene, they located two individuals that matched the description from the complaint call. One of the individuals was identified as Ralph John Berry, JR. (46) of Aurora, Indiana and deputies discovered an extraditable Failure to Appear Warrant out of Deerborn, Indiana for the following charges:
Berry was arrested and charged with Fugitive from Another State. He was transported to Hart County Jail to await extradition to Indiana. No firearms were found on either individual, according to a press release from the Sheriff's Office.
The Edmonson County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Brownsville City Police and Kentucky State Police, Post 3.
Full List of Events, Times, Admissions, and Contact Info
Darren Doyle, story:
It's almost time for the annual Edmonson County Lions Club Fair, which has been scheduled for September 5th through the 14th. The theme of this year's event is "Educating our Future." The Edmonson Voice is proud to be the media sponsor for the fair once again.
Some changes have been made to this year's fair, which include going back to only two weekends of activities for 2019, as well as two demolition derbies on different nights.
Local pageants will officially kick off the fair at Edmonson County High School on Thursday, September 5th at 7pm. Admission is $10 per person. Pageants will continue the next night, Friday, September 6th, also at ECHS at 7pm. Admission is also $10 per person. For more pageant info, please call 270-784-8520.
2019 Edmonson County Fair Pageant Rules and Info:
The carnival will be available on the first event at the fairgrounds, which is Saturday, September 7th for the first of two demolition derbies featured this year; however, there will be two different costs for this night: a $10 admission for the derby event (12 and under are free) and a separate $10 charge for the carnival (all ages). For demolition derby info, please call 270-246-1202.
According to the Lions Club, the purpose for this is due to the large majority of derby attendants not taking part in the carnival. In years past, the agreement with the carnival provider required the Lions Club to pay half of the gate to the carnival each night, which made it difficult to cover costs of the derby itself. The Lions Club is a volunteer organization where none of its members are paid. All proceeds raised from the fair go to county charities and causes, as well as covering costs of the fair and fairgrounds.
Monday, Sept. 9th will feature the Edmonson Count Homemaker Baby Show at 6pm, admission is $5 per person. No carnival is available on this night. For more baby show info, call 270-597-3628.
Wednesday, Sept 11th will feature the carnival back in action at the fair for "Carnival Family Night," which will feature $10 armbands for all ages.
The Mud Run will be featured on Thursday, Sept. 12th at 7pm, which is similar to a mud bog; however, a run is designed to see how fast vehicles can make it through a mud track. Mud Bogs are designed to test whether or not a vehicle can make it through the mud, period, and if so, how quickly. Admission is $10 per person and includes the carnival.
Edmonson County School Day and the annual parade is scheduled for Friday, September 13th. Parade begins at 9am from ECHS and parade participants can begin lining up at 8am at the high school. Fair Day for students will run from 9am-3pm and armbands are available for $10 each. Later that night at 7pm will be the Mud Bog. Admission is $10 per person, which includes carnival rides.
The fair will conclude on Saturday, September 14th with the second Demolition Derby of the event at 7pm. Admission is $10 per person and includes carnival rides.
For all other fair or parade-related questions, please call 270-597-6623.
2019 Edmonson County Fair Exhibit Categories:
KY Wired Project Continues Towards Brownsville
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
South Central Rural Telephone Cooperative, or SCRTC, has announced that their services are now available in a portion of Edmonson County.
General Manager Jeff Eaton said that telephone, cable, and internet services are now available for the southeastern portion of the county from Park City to the Edmonson/Warren line on Louisville Road (31W).
The announcement comes as part of the KY Wired project, a state-funded program intended to guarantee better access to high speed internet to all counties in Kentucky. SCRTC is in charge of the contract to build the communication lines for the project.
"It's important to note that these services are only offered to those that live on the main road, which is 31W, Louisville Road," said Eaton. "Service is not available at this time for those who live off of the main road in that area," he added.
The company offers a range of products and services that can be purchased individually or in bundles, which can be found on the company's website: https://www.scrtc.com/
It is no secret that Edmonson County has been plagued with limited internet and cellular service for years, and while these new services from SCRTC are offered for only a portion of the county, Eaton says future expansion is possible for more of the county from SCRTC.
The most common complaint we hear in our office about needs in the county is the lack of choices for internet and cellular service. While SCRTC may or may not offer anything better than their competitors, it will give some county residents something they've wanted for ages: more options.
"We're amazed at how the southern part of the county has grown in a short time and we've heard from several residents that live down Chalybeate School Road (HWY 743). We're looking into maybe having a community forum to see how many more residents in that area would be interested in our services."
Eaton noted that it cost the company roughly $35,000 per mile to build the network for their services. They would obviously need a commitment from a large number of residents before investing in such a project.
He said the KY Wired project is still ongoing and expected to be completed sometime in the first part of 2020. It' s a project that will allow more options for the county's communication services. CCC Communications, a sub-contractor of SCRTC, is currently in process of burying the underground cable for the project. Today they are working on Chalybeate Road (HWY 101) headed north towards Brownsville.
Darren Doyle, story:
The Edmonson County Fiscal Court voted in favor of keeping the 2019 county property tax rate the same as last year's, which is a 13.9% rate per $100 in value. This is the first step of several in setting the annual rates for the county.
There will now be an ordinance drafted with the rate and then there will be two separate readings for the ordinance. Once the second reading passes, there will be a special meeting held with public discussion welcomed before becoming official at a final vote.
Other tax rates normally passed at the same time were not discussed today; however, Judge Wil Cannon said those rates would be discussed at the next meeting, which include: Tangible Property tax, Inventory tax, Motor Vehicle tax, Water Craft tax and Aircraft tax rates.
The court also acknowledged the local Health Department tax ordinance, which also remained the same as last year, at a rate of 2.25 cents per $100 of assessed value.
Various county offices gave updated reports during today's meeting:
Road Report: County Road Foreman Greg Carroll reported that road crews had installed several road tiles throughout the county and multiple paving projects had been completed. Several more paving projects are still scheduled for completion before the end of the season.
Jailer Report: County Jailer Hank Vincent reported 17 county inmates currently housed at Hart County Jail.
Emergency Management Director Terry Massey reported two structure fires for local fire departments and several car accidents since the last fiscal court meeting, one of which that resulted in a fatality.
Sheriff Report: Sheriff Shane Doyle reported a busy three-weeks since the last court meeting that has resulted in several drug arrests, another search warrant that could result in several more arrests, and he also discussed the fatal accident from last week. The Sheriff's Office responded to the scene of the accident but due to the short staffing that the Sheriff's Office currently faces, Doyle said he requested help from KSP, who took over the investigation.
Doyle also mentioned the grant received by the Edmonson Count School System to provide a part-time school resource officer in other schools. The Sheriff's Office will pay overtime for the additional duties but will be reimbursed by the school through the grant. Doyle also reported on his recent meeting in Louisville as a member of the KY Law Enforcement Council.
County Clerk Kevin Alexander reported on the new software system in his office used for taking care of boating registration. He encouraged boat owners and those that have sold boats in the past to make sure the registration and ownership is officially transferred when selling, as it's the seller's responsibility to ensure it is out of the seller's name and over to the new owner.
Alexander also noted that delinquent tax information will be published soon.
Parks and Rec Report: Judge Executive Wil Cannon read a written report submitted by Parks and Rec Program Director John Kiernan. The report said that the baseball board is funding a shelter between fields one and two that will help protect from foul balls, and that field 3 was being reworked to accommodate the Babe Ruth League. The report also discussed the progress of the local youth soccer program, not with 148 participants. A new soccer field is currently being built at the Chalybeate park. The report also recognized volunteers Kevin Mills and Carl Mills for donating labor for a drainage ditch at Chalybeate while Whayne Supply donated the equipment for the project.
Tourism/Chamber Report: Director Rhonda Clemmons announced a chamber event for August 17th at noon that will commemorate Alford's Pharmacy and Drive Thru's 10 year anniversary. She also reported that volunteers were ready for the county's booth at the upcoming State Fair in Louisville. She concluded her report by announcing the groundbreaking on August 15th at 2pm in Hart County for the SOKY Film Commission's new sound studio facility that will be used for indoor filming.
The court also discussed the latest on Marvin Way and Gail Court, located in the Richland Subdivision on HWY 743 (New Grove Rd). Both roads have requested to be added to county's road system; however, Judge Cannon reported several issues where the roads don't currently meet the county's requirements. Cannon asked Magistrate Corey VanMeter to contact the roads' current owners for discussion.
Sheriff Shane Doyle also asked magistrates to approve the purchase of a new patrol vehicle for his office to replace one that was wrecked earlier in the year. Insurance covered the costs of the former vehicle, and while the money is in the Sheriff's budget, approval is still required from magistrates to make the purchase. A brief discussion was held on the proper outlet from where the purchase can be made, as it must come from a qualified state contractor. Judge Cannon recommended making the purchase, which will actually be a vehicle lease, through KACO, a company that specializes in working with KY counties for legislative and financial services. Magistrates spoke in favor of the purchase once the proper steps are taken. The item is to be discussed again and voted upon at the next meeting.
The next fiscal court meeting is scheduled for August 26, 2019 at 9am.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
The Edmonson County Water District has announced that county water will be temporarily shut down for a short time this morning for a portion of Chalybeate residents.
The announcement was made to our office at 8:50am this morning. The areas affected are:
Darren Doyle, story:
A single vehicle collision has resulted in a fatality this evening on I-65, according to KY State Police.
KSP reported that they responded to Interstate 65 near the 26 mile marker in Warren County on Friday evening around 5:30 pm.
KSP said that Gerald W. Andres (69) of Floyds Knob, KY was operating a 1955 Chevrolet passenger car traveling southbound on Interstate 65 near the 26 mile marker. According to witnesses, Andres lost control of his vehicle and exited off the right shoulder of the southbound lane of travel. Upon exiting the roadway, the vehicle struck an earth embankment causing it to overturn. Andres, who was unrestrained at the time of the collision, was ejected from the vehicle. Gerald Andres was pronounced deceased on the scene by the Warren County Coroner’s Office.
Traffic was rerouted to Louisville Road which caused major traffic delays on the north side of Bowling Green. The Annual Tri-Five Nationals event is currently being held at Beech Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, an event that highlights 1955-56-57 Chevrolets; cars, trucks, and Corvettes.
The investigation continues and is currently being led by Trooper Aaron Harris. He was assisted on scene by other KSP personnel, Alvaton Fire Department, and Warren County Coroner’s Office.
Edmonson District Court was held on Tuesday, August 7, 2019. The Honorable Judge Joseph B. Hines presiding.
Johnny L. Sowders, Assault fourth degree domestic violence minor injury. Unlawful imprisonment- second degree. Fleeing or evading police, second degree (on foot). Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial conference 8/13/19. $500 bond.
Mark Allan Blackburn, fleeing or evading police, first degree- motor vehicle. Driving DUI suspended license, third offense, aggravator. Operating motor vehicle under influence of alcohol/drugs- aggravator, third. Resisting arrest. Failed to appear. $5000 bench warrant issued.
Tammy L. Matthews, Receiving stolen property $10,000 or more. Possession of burglary tools. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial hearing 8/13/19. $4000 bond.
William Ray Harmon, Receiving stolen property $10,000 or more. Possession of burglary tools. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial hearing 8/13/19. $4000 bond.
Bailey Nathaniel Cornell, Operating on suspended/revoked operator’s license. Theft by unlawful taking or disposition under $500. Trafficking in controlled substance, first degree- methamphetamine. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial hearing 8/13/19.
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
A Mammoth Cave woman has died as a result of injuries sustained in a single vehicle accident that occurred in the 1800 block of Nolin Dam Road this morning around 9:45am, according to Kentucky State Police.
Charlotte A. Newton (58) of Leitchfield, was pronounced dead by the Edmonson County Coroner's office around 10am this morning. One passenger, identified as Charlie McStoots, (17) was air lifted to University of Louisville Hospital.
KSP reported that Newton was operating a 1996 Buick passenger car traveling westbound on Nolin Dam Road when her vehicle briefly exited the edge of the roadway. Newton reentered the roadway over-correcting, causing her vehicle to exit completely off the right shoulder of the westbound lane. Upon exiting the roadway, the vehicle overturned, ejecting Newton before coming to final rest, according to KSP.
Both occupants were unrestrained at the time of the collision, according to KSP.
A family member contacted the Edmonson Voice around 1:30pm today and reported that McStoots was listed in critical condition with a fractured back. He was also being checked for internal bleeding, according to family.
Responding to the scene was the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, Brownsville JAWS, Lincoln and Kyrock Fire Departments, the KY HWY Dept., Edmonson EMS, Edmonson County Coroner, EC Emergency Management, and Kentucky State Police.
The accident is still under investigation by Kentucky State Police and is currently being led by Trooper Ronnie Reynolds.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Kentucky State Police has confirmed that an accident occurred on Nolin Dam Road earlier today that has resulted in one fatality. One other person involved has been air lifted to the hospital. Names and other information are being withheld at this time.
The roadway was closed for a short period of time with at least one lane being closed for about three hours.
KSP are still investigating and we'll have more info as it becomes available.
Back To School: 2019-20 School Year Begins In Edmonson County, Hear From Officials Regarding This Year
School Officials Discuss Additions, Expectations, More: Sheriff's Office Implements Additional School Resource Officer
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
It's back to school in Edmonson County as another school year began this morning on Wednesday, August 7, 2019.
Superintendent Patrick Waddell was greeting students at both the Middle and High School this morning. He said while many emotions come into play when a new school year begins, he feels like those are led with excitement.
"Our staff has done a wonderful job throughout the summer preparing our schools in preparation for this first day," he said. "We had a great start with all bus routes but we do need everyone to be mindful that buses are rolling throughout the county and everyone needs to be paying attention due to bus stops occurring frequently."
Lannie Deweese, Director of Transportation for Edmonson County Schools also spoke about a smooth first day for buses and encouraged drivers to be aware of not only school buses in route, but also students standing by the roadside waiting for bus pickup.
"Please watch for students that may have to cross the road," he added. "I will be going around to the schools again this year to teach bus safety to all students. I want to do everything in my power to teach bus drivers and students bus safety, our students safety is our priority."
South Edmonson Elementary:
SEES Principal Josh Long also discussed the excitement of the first day of school.
"The best part of August is seeing our big family come back together," he said. "There's nothing better than seeing over 400 smiling faces running into school and that excitement stays year round in an elementary school. I hope that we are able to meet each parent's expectations of what they want their school to be and always so glad and thankful that we have such a great community supporting us. This year will be great because of the faculty, staff, students, and parents that make up our school. The first few days our teachers are always working diligently on establishing and practicing our procedures and expectations but the real excitement starts when you walk down the hall and into classrooms and you can see kids reading and packing books around. It's a great time of year and a great day to be a Bulldog."
Shaun Stice, Principal of Kyrock, said the Blackhawks are proud to be known as a great academic school, but they are striving for even more improvements this year. "We are implementing more and more technology instruction each year and will continue to make the necessary adjustments to make sure that all of our students are prepared for the next level and success in the future," he added.
Edmonson County Middle School:
"The faculty and staff at ECMS have worked hard these last few weeks in preparation for a new school year and will continue to work hard for our students throughout the year," said ECMS Principal Brandon Prunty.
He also emphasized the importance of parents and guardians becoming more involved in their children's school work and activities. "If students see that education is important to their parents, it increases the likelihood that it will be important to the child. The support we receive from parents is greatly appreciated and a crucial part of educational success. Parents, ask your children daily about their day and help ensure they practice what they've learned by doing their homework."
Edmonson County 5/6 Center:
Principal Alan Talley said the 5/6 got off to a great start this morning.
"Our faculty and staff was excited to begin working with their students," he said. "While we had to spend some amount of time today on classroom expectations, it was great to hear numerous laughs as teachers, staff, and students were getting to know each other. Many kids told us they expect to have a great school year."
Edmonson County High School:
New ECHS Principal Brian Alexander said that in his returning as principal, he was extremely excited to see students and staff this morning.
"I hope that I can be an asset and a help to all those in the school community to make this a great year," he said. "We're working hard to cultivate a climate where students want to be at school and we hope that parents will work with us on punctual attendance so that we can make this a reality. My hope is that our students really look forward to coming to our school."
Online Registration Requirements:
Supt. Waddell said as a district, the most notable change is the online registration process that has been implemented. "This should speed the process up for parents and hopefully eliminate multiple papers that need to be signed," he said.
According to Brent Norris, Network Administration for EC Schools, said a checklist sheet for online registration that was available at the open houses and will be coming home with students simply cannot be signed and returned; but rather the steps listed online must be completed in order for the registration to be finalized.
"Parents will need to go to the link and complete all of the questions in the form before checking off the boxes on the sheet and returning it," he said. "We have had some who have simply signed and returned without completing the steps online. We have also had others leaving it all blank and signing at the bottom. It's very important to know that they need to go through the form and answer the questions. While we have nearly 50% of students registered, we've only had 75 families actually fill out the Google Form.
Added School Resource Officer and Safety:
Sheriff Shane Doyle said that school safety has never been more important than it is now. The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office has partnered with Edmonson County Schools to provide another part time school resource officer that will rove among all other county schools.
"In addition to our full time SR Officer at the high school, which is Chief Deputy Jeff Brooks, our partnership with our local school system has allowed us to provide another officer in our schools, " he said. "We were also out in school zones this morning as a reminder that school is back in session. While our limited manpower doesn't always allow us to monitor all zones during the entire time, we're asking the public to please be aware of the 25mph speed limit during school rush hours. There is no place worth rushing to that's more important than the safety of our students. In addition to another officer at schools, we're also glad that bus drivers are receiving more training this year that we feel will also increase local safety for students."
Lannie Deweese mentioned the additional training set for this year.
"The drivers will be going through an evaluation this year, they will be performing bus safety inspections and going through a driving course to improve on their loading and unload skills along with other safety measures," he said. "I do feel we have a great group of men and women transporting our children to and from school daily."
System Available To Many Cell Customers In County
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
The Edmonson County Dispatch Center now has the capability of receiving text messages for 911 emergencies thanks to new technology in the county's radio and communication systems.
While the feature is brand new and is still a work in progress, Edmonson is now one of only a handful of counties in Kentucky with 911 texting capability.
Edmonson Dispatch Director Pat Prunty said upgrades made to the county's emergency communication system two years ago included the technology needed in order to use the service; however, the availability of such a service recently became available.
"You simply type 911 into the line that says 'To:' and then your message," said Prunty. "The text message comes through the internet here and we're able to respond to you through our computers."
Although Prunty said he didn't expect a large number of 911 texts to local dispatch, the feature could provide emergency assistance in various circumstances.
"We'd obviously encourage calling 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency when one can talk because we'd rather speak directly with a person to better understand the situation, but this can be used by those with speech or hearing disabilities, or other types of emergencies where talking isn't an option."
He said some of those situations could be if someone is being held against their will or where someone in danger is hiding and doesn't want to be heard.
"God forbid we ever have a school shooting emergency here, but if that's the case, a student or teacher could send a text without making a sound. Plus, most kids can send text messages without even looking at their phones," he added.
Prunty said the system is still undergoing testing and there are still some issues that need to be addressed. During recent tests, AT&T cell phones were the ones that worked with the least amount of problems. Bluegrass Cellular phones only worked with the phone's wi-fi turned off.
In our office, where we have Bluegrass service, we tested the service with two phones: an older iPhone 6 that worked well (with wifi off); however, a new iPhone XR did not work at all. Prunty said engineers say newer iPhones are having trouble working because of the newer technology in the devices themselves, not the communication systems at dispatch; however, carriers are reportedly working to solve these issues as soon as possible. In the event a text will not work, one will receive the following text reply:
"Please call 911 in case of emergency. Text to 911 service is not available. Your message has been discarded."
The feature is text only--no videos or photos can be sent and the signal must be bounced from an Edmonson County cell tower. Those trying the feature near a county line where the cell signal may hit a tower in another county will not be able to reach local dispatch with a text.
"The system is not perfect and not fully functional yet as we need it," Prunty said, "but we're working with engineers to get everything working properly. Many can use it right now and that's what it's about--providing more ways that can help Edmonson County residents in times of emergency."
Edmonson County's Dispatch Center has four dispatchers and receives a total of 10,000 calls per year, according to Prunty. Out of those calls, 5,000 are to 9-1-1. The center also handles over 10,000 radio transmission per year, Prunty said.
Second Local Felony Drug Arrest Since Friday
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
A Smiths Grove man has been arrested and is facing a felony drug charge after a traffic stop yesterday around 2:30pm in Brownsville.
According to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, a deputy stopped a 2001 Buick Regal traveling on the wrong side of the roadway on Sandy Flat Road. The driver, who was later identified as Bailey Nathaniel Cornell (21), Smiths Grove, reportedly admitted to not having a valid driver's license. The Sheriff's Office said Cornell initially gave a false name and date of birth which was later corrected.
Through investigation, the Sheriff's Office discovered an active felony arrest warrant from Warren County on Cornell on charges of Fraudulent Use of Credit Card ($500<$10,000) and Theft by Unlawful Taking or Disposition Auto ($500 or more, but u/$10,000).
During a search of the vehicle, the Sheriff's Office said a deputy discovered a crystal white substance believed to be methamphetamine was found concealed in two separate $1.00 bills.
Cornell was arrested and charged with:
He was also served with a Warren County Bench Warrant. He was transported and lodged in Hart County Jail. The Sheriff's Office also said that the investigation is ongoing and there are further charges pending.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Two men were arrested in Brownsville Friday night after a traffic stop, according to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
Authorities reported that deputies initiated a traffic stop on a 2005 Pontiac Aztec after observing the vehicle drop off the roadway when making a right turn into Park View Trailer Park, located behind the Edmonson County 5/6 Center.
According to a press release from the Sheriff's Office, the driver of the vehicle, Christopher L. Russell (48) of Brownsville showed visible signs of intoxication, which prompted a series of field sobriety tests that Russell allegedly failed.
Deputies also found four Codeine pills in a bottle marked for Penicillin in the console of the vehicle, the release stated. The Sheriff's Office also said that the passenger, identified as James H. Constant, (55) of Bowling Green, had marijuana edibles in one of his pockets and drug paraphernalia hidden on his person.
Constant was arrested for a 2015 warrant out of Metcalfe County for a probation violation. He was lodged in Hart County Jail awaiting transport to Metcalfe County.
Christopher L. Russell was charged with Operating on Suspended/Revoked License, Operating Motor Vehicle Under Influence of Alcohol/Drugs (2nd Offense), Careless Driving, Possession of Controlled Substance (2nd Degree—Codeine), Prescription Controlled Substance Not in Original Container (1st Offense), Failure to Produce Insurance Card, and Possession of Open Alcoholic Beverage Container in Motor Vehicle Prohibited. He was arrested and lodged in Hart County Jail.
Two Vehicle Collision Involving Fire Truck Results in Injuries
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
A two-vehicle collision involving a semi and a fire truck on I-65 resulted in injuries earlier today, according to Kentucky State Police.
KSP said they responded to the scene near the 65 mile marker on the interstate earlier today. According to a press release, a Munfordville Fire Department unit was dispatched to respond to an unrelated, non-injury accident near the same area.
Troopers said that Charles Jones (37) of Munfordville, KY was operating the 2008 Kenworth fire truck owned by Munfordville Fire Department, equipped with red emergency lights and sirens that were activated. Hardeep S. Gill (32) of Windsor, Ontario, who was operating a 2019 Volvo semi-truck and trailer, failed to see the fire truck and the activated emergency equipment, striking it in the rear drivers side causing the vehicle to overturn.
Charles Jones and passenger, Jeremy Reynolds (42) of Munfordville, were transported to Caverna Hospital where they were treated and released for injuries sustained in the collision. Hardeep S. Gill was not injured but was cited for the following charges:
The investigation continues and is currently being led by Trooper Michael Murray. He was assisted on scene by other KSP personnel, Munfordville Fire Department, Hart County Emergency Management, Bonnieville Fire Department, Horse Cave Fire Department and Hart County EMS. No further information is available for release at this time.
"The Kentucky State Police would like to remind motorist to reduce speed and move over when approaching emergency vehicles with activated lights," KSP said in the press release.
Four Arrests From Three Separate Incidents
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office had a busy weekend after making four arrests in three separate incidents in a 24 hour period, according to a press release from their office.
On Saturday, July 27th around 9:45pm, Deputies reportedly stopped a car on Louisville road with only one headlight. According to the press release, deputies smelled the strong odor of alcohol coming from the driver, identified as Riley Coleman (22) of Park City.
Authorities said that two unopened beer cans were visible in the passenger seat of the vehicle and an opened case of beer was discovered behind the passenger seat. According to the Sheriff's Office, Coleman admitted that he had had “a couple of beers” and showed visible signs of intoxication with a flushed face, glossy eyes, and slurred speech. After deputies field tested Coleman on scene, he was arrested and charged with Operating a Motor Vehicle under the Influence of Alcohol/Drugs/Etc. (.08), 1st Offense and One Headlight. He was lodged in the Hart County Jail.
Shortly thereafter, around 10:30pm, deputies responded to a report of a domestic disturbance and a possible drunk driving complaint that originated on Mammoth Cave Road, according to the the Sheriff's Office.
Authorities said that deputies located the vehicle at the Minit Mart in Brownsville and both occupants reportedly admitted that they'd been in an argument, though no one had been assaulted.
The driver of the vehicle, Jadah Hopkins (50) of Smiths Grove, was charged with Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol/Drugs/Etc., (.08, 1st offense) and License to be In Possession after she was discovered behind the wheel of the vehicle with signs of impairment. She was arrested on scene and lodged in Hart County Jail.
The Sheriff's Office also reported that they instructed Jeremy Hopkins (29) of Bowling Green, exit the vehicle after he failed to keep his hands visible upon initial contact. According to the Sheriff's Office, Hopkins smelled strongly of alcohol, had slurred speech, and staggered on his feet when Deputies attempted to speak to him outside the vehicle. After Hopkins reportedly admitted to having “some drinks after work”, Deputies attempted to place him under arrest, where he then resisted, according to the Sheriff's press release.
The Sheriff's Office reported that after being handcuffed, Hopkins tried to free himself of the handcuffs to the point that Deputies restrained him to a chair, at which point, Hopkins attempted to walk off while still attached to the chair.
Hopkins was initially charged with Alcohol Intoxication in a Public Place (1st and 2nd offense) and Resisting Arrest; he was later charged with Attempted Escape, 3rd Degree, after he attempted to escape from the Edmonson County Deputy Jailer’s transport vehicle while in-route to Hart County Jail, according to the Sheriff's Office.
The next morning, around 11:45 am on Sunday, July 28th, deputies initiated a traffic stop on Cedar Grove Church Road after they observed a vehicle with no brake lights and no visible license plate. The driver, James K. Webb (41) of Bee Spring, stated the vehicle did not have proper insurance or tags, according to the Sheriff's Office. The Sheriff’s K-9 unit, Deputy Tango, arrived on scene and immediately indicated on the vehicle, the press release stated.
A probable cause search resulted in deputies discovering a bag with the corner cut out, another bag with meth residue, and a third bag with suspected methamphetamine, according to the Sheriff.
Webb was arrested on scene and charged with Failure of Owner/Operator to Maintain Required Insurance, 1st Offense, License to be In Possession, No Registration Plates, No Brake Lights (Passenger Vehicles), and Failure to Register Transfer of Motor Vehicle, Drug Paraphernalia-Buy/Possess, and Possession Controlled Substance, 1st Offense (Methamphetamine).
After being arrested and awaiting transport to Hart County Jail, deputies said that Webb admitted to having a pipe in his waistband, which was then located and suspected to be a meth pipe with residue.
Webb was lodged in Hart County Jail.
by Senator Steve Meredith:
The anticipated special session to tackle public pensions has come to a close, and the General Assembly has passed a new plan to provide relief for over 100 quasi-governmental agencies—including local health departments, regional universities, domestic violence shelters, mental health providers, and others.
Everyone can agree that Kentucky has a real pension problem. Prior to this five-day session, quasi-governmental agencies allowed into the Kentucky Employees Retirement System (KERS), were facing dramatically high pension costs.
These agencies provide critical services to citizens across our commonwealth. While inaction is never an option, the legislature went to work to construct a plan that will help place these public employees on the path to fiscal soundness.
The new plan, officially passed as House Bill 1, is a legislative attempt to get a handle on the statewide pension crisis. HB 1 extends a one-year freeze to increases in the required employer contribution rate providing flexibility to those quasi-governmental agencies by allowing time to decide which option best meets the needs of its organization. Starting April 1, 2020, each agency will opt in to one of the five alternatives:
Final selection is not required by each entity until April 30, 2020, which allows the legislature time to make any necessary changes during the 2020 Regular Session.
To clarify, this legislation protects the KERS nonhazardous plan and does not further contribute to the underfunding of the pension system. Furthermore, no current benefit structure is changed, and any benefits already earned by employees will be not be affected. Moreover, HB 1 does not affect current retirees.
HB 1 was approved by a 27-11 vote in the Senate after passing by a vote of 52-46 in the House. The legislation went into immediate effect upon Governor Bevin’s signature Wednesday afternoon.
Dave Eager, executive director of KERS, spoke in support of the bill.
“Compared to the current statues, HB 1 allows the 118 quasi agencies three more options to exit the KERS Nonhazardous system. And it is estimated that their collective costs to exit will be over $800 million less than current provisions.”
Our state’s pension crisis is real, and we simply cannot afford to kick the can down the road. While there has been a history of secrecy and mismanagement by past pension administrators and their investment firms, it would be irresponsible to dismiss any individual factor, and point solely to another for the current state of our pension systems.
As a legislative body, it is our job to stabilize the system, and HB 1 is an attempt to do so. The General Assembly still faces serious budget and funding decisions in the upcoming 2020 Regular Session, but we will remain dedicated to finding the best legislative course of action for public employees across the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Thank you for your questions and concerns. It is an honor to serve you in Frankfort.
If you have any questions or comments about the issues or any other public policy issue, please call me toll-free at 1-800-372-7181 or email me at Stephen.Meredith@LRC.ky.gov. You can also review the Legislature’s work online at www.legislature.ky.gov.
Note: the thoughts and opinions expressed by Edmonson Voice guest columnists and authors of submitted articles are their own, not necessarily those of EdmonsonVoice.com
Deputies Say Medical Emergency Causes Driver To Lose Consciousness While Driving: Man Injured In Wreck
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Local first responders and law enforcement were dispatched to HWY 259N around 12:40pm today near Midway Church to the scene of a single vehicle accident that resulted in the driver being sent to the hospital.
According to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, Bill Mudd, (69) of Leitchfield, was headed south in a red Ford F150 pickup when he apparently experienced some sort of medical emergency.
Sheriff's deputies reported that through the witness account from an unnamed passenger who had no reported injuries, the driver suffered some sort of medical emergency and lost consciousness. Mr. Mudd then lost control of the truck and it exited the right side of the roadway, where it missed a guardrail by about a foot, traveled down an embankment and struck a tree where it came to final rest.
A Sheriff's Deputy said that the driver was fortunate to have missed the guardrail, as it would have likely caused the truck to go airborne at its current speed.
Mr. Mudd was transported to the Medical Center in Bowling Green for non-life threatening injuries by Edmonson EMS. He was reportedly wearing his seat belt and multiple airbags deployed in the crash.
Also responding to the scene was Brownsville Fire Department, Brownsville JAWS, Edmonson County Emergency Management, and the KY State Highway Department.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Representative Michael Meredith of Oakland has pre-filed legislation, cosponsored by twelve other legislators including the entire Warren County delegation, appropriating $2.5 million toward the design and preconstruction of a long awaited veterans nursing home in Bowling Green. The move is a necessary step toward receiving significant federal dollars from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to get the project off the ground, especially in light of speculation that federal approval could come sooner than originally expected.
“The service and sacrifice of our veterans should always be honored with access to quality, affordable, and accessible healthcare,” Meredith, who chairs the House Local Government Committee, said. “This is a much-needed step in our efforts to secure a 90-bed facility that we have a great need for in our area.”
The measure is cosponsored by every representative serving Warren County, including Representatives Steve Sheldon, Patti Minter, Jason Petrie, Steve Riley and Wilson Stone. Also signing on were Representatives Tim Moore, Phillip Pratt, Melinda Gibbons Prunty, Brandon Reed, Bart Rowland, Walker Thomas and Ken Upchurch.
BR 125 builds on progress made on the issue in recent legislative sessions to prepare the project to receive a significantly higher match in federal funding. Meredith was instrumental in securing the original $10.5 million in matching state bond funds in the state budget for the nursing home, which a state market assessment study showed was especially needed in the southcentral Kentucky region.
According to the language of BR 125, the $2.5 million in funding would be a mid-year appropriation in Fiscal Year 2019, to be paid out of the state’s rainy day fund or year-end surplus.
“I plan to work diligently throughout 2019 and into the 2020 session to secure bipartisan support for a project that will provide a large boost in support for the men and women who have bravely served our nation,” Meredith added.
BR 125 will be considered by the General Assembly during the 2020 legislative session. Specific details of the measure can be viewed here.
Edmonson District Court was held on Tuesday, July 23, 2019. The Honorable Judge Joseph B. Hines presiding.
Deanna Maria Miller, Burglary, first degree. Theft by unlawful taking/disposition- firearm. Theft by unlawful taking all others $500 or more, but under $10,000. Pretrial hearing 7/25/19.
Deanna Maria Miller, Failure to produce insurance card. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Display/possession of cancelled/fictitious operator license. Operating on suspended/revoked operator’s license. Pretrial conference 7/25/19.
Cody Browning, Trafficking in controlled substance, first degree, first offense-methamphetamine. Tracking in controlled substance, first degree, first offense- drug unspecified. First degree possession of controlled substance/ drug unspecified. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Possession of marijuana. Failure to or improper signal. Failure to notify address change to department of transportation. Pretrial hearing 7/25/19.
Christopher Scott Robertson, Assault fourth degree, domestic violence- minor injury. Continue 8/18/19.
Charles Baize, Disorderly conduct. Failed to appear. $250 bench warrant issued.
Ohn Youn Awar, Criminal trespass- second degree. Failed to appear. $250 bench warrant issued.
Brandy J. Lindsey, Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Guilty. Judgement order signed. $209.00 fees and fines.
Cherokee Makayla Brooks, Criminal mischief- second degree. Guilty. Sentencing 8/13/19.
Mitchell T. Poynter III, Assault second degree, domestic violence. Unlawful taking, second degree. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial conference 8/13/19.
Pedro Sanchez Jr., No/expired registration plates. No/expired Kentucky registration receipt. Failure to produce insurance card. Failure to wear seat belts. Dismissed.
Cody Watkins Duvall, Speeding 26 mph over limit. Failure to notify address change to Department of Transportation. Dismissed.
Darrell James Glenn III, Failure to wear seat belts. Failure to notify address change to Department of Transportation. Dismissed.
Sondra Keith Kenner, No/expired registration plates. Failure to produce insurance card. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial conference 8/13/19.
Nicholas K. Durbin, Operating motor vehicle with expired operator’s license. Failed to appear.
Brock Andrew Vervilles, Speeding 25 mph over limit. Failed to appear.
Chaz Mason Moody, Violation of Kentucky E.P.O/D.V.O. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial conference 8/13/19.
Crystal Darlene Shepherd, Custodial interference. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial hearing 8/13/19.
Ryan Patrick Terry, No expired/registration receipt. No/expired registration plates. Failure of non-owner to maintain required insurance, first. Dismissed.
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
Emergency workers responded to the third accident call today in the county at a scene of a rollover crash that sent a Brownsville woman to the hospital.
First responders were dispatched to the 7500 block of Brownsville Road (HWY 259) where a 2015 Jeep Compass, driven by Britney Maston, (27) of Brownsville had overturned.
According to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, Maston was headed northwest on HWY 259 when for an unknown reason, her vehicle exited the left side of the roadway. The vehicle traveled down the left ditch line of the road, hitting a mailbox and the drainage tile of a concrete driveway. The car overturned and landed upright, facing the opposite direction, according to authorities.
Maston was reportedly wearing her seat belt and multiple airbags deployed in the vehicle.
She was transported to the Medical Center in Bowling Green by Edmonson EMS for non-life threatening injuries.
Emergency workers were also dispatched to two other accidents today; one on Noah Bledsoe Road this morning and another on Oak Hill Road a few hours later.
In addition to EMS and the Sheriff's Office, the Chalybeate Fire Department and Edmonson County Emergency Management responded to the scene.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
The Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs has been asked by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency to help find relatives of Kentuckian PFC Thomas F. Brooks who was born in Edmonson County, according to a statement from the organization.
The statement said they are looking for DNA of family members to aid in the identification of remains.
"The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency goes to great lengths to identify remains of missing/presumed dead service members and return them to their family, said Public Information Officer Lisa Aug in an email. "You may have read about the Korean War soldier from Kentucky whose remains were recently identified and interred at Kentucky Veterans Cemetery West in Hopkinsville last Friday. We would very much like to assist in obtaining the same homecoming for Private First Class Brooks."
A statement from the Department of Defense said:
Private First Class Thomas F. Brooks joined the U.S. Army in Kentucky and served with the 194th Tank Battalion in the Philippines during World War II. He was captured in Bataan following the American surrender and died of beriberi on December 10, 1942, at the Cabanatuan Prison Camp in Nueva Ecija Province. He was buried in a communal grave in the camp cemetery along with other deceased American POWs; however, his remains could not be associated with any remains recovered from Cabanatuan after the war. Today, Private First Class Brooks is memorialized on the Walls of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery in the Philippines.
If you are a family member of this serviceman, DPAA can provide you with additional information and analysis of your case. Please contact your casualty office representative.
If you are a relative of SFC Brooks, or know someone that is, please click here to find out more.