Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Congressman Brett Guthrie (KY-02), a senior member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, today applauded the House passage of the Pallone-Thune TRACED Act (S. 151), a bill that will end the practice of illegal robocalls.
“So far this year, Kentuckians have received over 500 million robocalls. That’s over 100 calls per person this year,” said Guthrie in a speech on the House floor in support of the TRACED Act. “Scammers have found creative ways to trick people into thinking that their calls are legitimate. These calls have wreaked havoc for private citizens, hospitals, small businesses, and everyone in between.”
Congressman Guthrie cosponsored the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act (H.R. 3375), which passed in the House in July. The Pallone-Thune TRACED Act is the result of negotiations between the House and the Senate to develop compromise legislation to stop robocalls.
Guthrie said, “I was proud to cosponsor the original House bill, the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act, and I was proud to vote in support of the Pallone-Thune TRACED Act, which will put an end to these frustrating calls. I look forward to seeing this important bill signed into law.”
Now that the House has passed the TRACED Act, the Senate must pass it again before it is signed into law by President Trump.
Arrest Warrant Info Obtained
Darren Doyle, story:
A $50,000 cash bond has been set for Alexandra Richardson, (28) of Wingfield, according to the Hart County Jail. Richardson was charged with murder among other charges yesterday as a result of the death of her son after she drove her vehicle into the flooded Alexander Creek on Oak Hill Road on Monday night.
Information listed on Richardson's arrest warrant, which was provided by the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, stated:
"Alexandra Richardson committed Murder KRS 507.020 on or about December 2, 2019 when she operated a motor vehicle upon the highways of the Commonwealth while under the influence of drugs and wantonly drove her vehicle around a "road closed" sign and into a flooded creek. This created a grave risk of death to her minor passenger, (name redacted) who ultimately died due to drowning."
"Alexandra Richardson committed Wanton Endangerment First Degree KRS 508.060 on or about December 2, 2019 when she engaged in conduct which created substantial danger of serious physical injury to two minor children."
"Alexandra Richardson committed Driving Under The Influence of Drugs/Alcohol KRS 189A.010 (5a) first offense, on or about December 2, 2019 when she operated or was under physical control of a motor vehicle upon the highways of the Commonwealth while under the influence of drugs/alcohol."
The arrest warrant was electronically signed by Judge J. McCarty at 10:06am on Wednesday, December 4, 2019.
The murder charge is a capital offense in KY. The penalty for this class carries 20 to 50 years in prison, or life in prison.
Richardson has a court date scheduled for December 10, 2019, according to the Hart County Jail.
Woman Also Charged With Drug DUI
Darren Doyle, story:
A toddler has died since being removed from life support after an accident that occurred Monday night when the boy's mother attempted to drive through high water over a bridge on a closed road. As a result, the driver, Alexandra Richardson (28) of Wingfield, has been charged with murder, DUI (drugs), and other charges.
Edmonson County Sheriff Shane Doyle said that Richardson admitted to law enforcement at the hospital that she had recently smoked both meth and marijuana. Sheriff Doyle said the sheriff's office obtained a search warrant for Richardson's medical records from the hospital and that those records showed the presence of meth and marijuana in Richardson's blood at the hospital after the accident.
The child was removed from life support and pronounced dead at 11:40pm at the hospital, Tuesday, December 3, 2019, according to Sheriff Doyle.
A search warrant was obtained for Richardson's residence today but she was not there when officers arrived, according to the sheriff. A search with K-9 indicated the odor of drugs. A subsequent detailed search of the residence revealed a small amount of suspected marijuana and methamphetamine.
Public reaction of the accident was a mixture of emotion after Richardson began posting updates on what appeared to be her own Facebook page under the name of Alexandra Sasha McCullough. Those posts have now been either deleted or blocked from public view. Richardson allegedly posted multiple pictures of the child where he appeared to be in an unresponsive or sleeping state in a neck brace and connected to various hospital equipment. Many comments reflected encouragement and support while others expressed outrage over the photos and the manner in which Richardson appeared to be handling the accident.
A Facebook Page protesting Richardson's actions was created today called "Justice For Carson, Edmonson County, KY" and has screenshots that are said to be from Richardson's Facebook account.
Richardson has a previous arrest for meth. She was arrested on August 9, 2015 and charged with Manufacturing meth and Controlled substance endangerment to minor 4th degree, due to a three year old child also being at the scene.
Sheriff Doyle said posts from the Facebook Page will be subpoenaed.
"We have been working the case non-stop since the accident took place on Monday night," said Sheriff Doyle. "There is a proper way to do things and we wanted to be sure we did that. We know that Richardson was under the influence at the time of the accident and we also know she was aware that the road was flooded when she made the decision to drive through the area with two children in her vehicle. What we didn't know at the time was whether we would be charging her with assault or murder. Sadly, the child has died and we are proceeding accordingly."
Arrest warrants were also obtained for Alexandra Richardson (28) for Murder, Wanton Endangerment 1st degree (2 counts), and Operating Motor Vehicle under the Influence (drugs). She was arrested at the Edmonson County Sheriff’s Office along with William Suttle (56) and was charged additionally for possession of drugs and paraphernalia that had been found during the search of the home. Both were lodged in the Hart County Jail.
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
A toddler is clinging to life as a result of a rescue mission tonight on Oak Hill Road after a vehicle stalled in high water and a baby was swept out of his mother's arms in Alexander Creek.
The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office said the driver of the vehicle, Alexandra Richardson, (28) claimed she didn't see the "road closed" sign as she was headed south on Oak Hill Road when her vehicle went into Alexander Creek, which was over the low water bridge. Richardson reportedly said she tried driving through the high water but her vehicle stalled and it began taking on water.
According to the Sheriff's Office, Richardson told first responders she was able to remove her 20 month-old boy from his car seat and began swimming with him but the child was swept from her arms and she wasn't able to retrieve him. There were conflicting reports on the number of other passengers in the vehicle; however the Sheriff's Office said one other juvenile passenger was able to exit the vehicle safely.
Members of the Chalybeate, Wingfield, and Brownsville Fire Departments were apparently not yet aware of whether or not the child was still in the vehicle when they arrived and several firefighters attempted swimming down to the vehicle to find the child. They later discovered that the child was swept from the mother and then began searching the area around the vehicle.
Several firefighters waded into the frigid waters trying to find the child until the Edmonson County Rescue Squad arrived with a jon boat. They were able to paddle out around 50 feet from the vehicle where they located the child in the water, who was unresponsive. The baby was immediately taken to the hospital by Edmonson EMS where he was being prepared to be air-lifted to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville.
Richardson and her juvenile passenger were transported to the Medical Center and treated for non-life threatening injuries. The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office is currently investigating the accident.
Crash Claims Life of 19 Year-Old, Baby Listed In Stable Condition
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
A Park City teen has died as a result of a two vehicle crash in Barren County earlier this morning, according to Kentucky State Police.
In a press release, KSP said they received a call from the Barren County Sheriff’s Department requesting assistance with an investigation of a two vehicle collision that resulted in a fatality. The collision occurred near the 6000 block of New Bowling Green Road where Post 3 Troopers responded to the scene.
Troopers reported that Jacie B. Smith (19) of Park City, was operating a 2005 Mercury SUV traveling eastbound on New Bowling Green Road in Barren County while Brandon T. Smith (35) of Glasgow, was operating a 2003 Ford Pickup westbound, also on New Bowling Green Road. According to the release, while the vehicles passed other, they made contact near the center dividing line. KSP reported that Jacie Smith's vehicle swerved right and exited the roadway and continued down an embankment before coming to final rest after striking a tree. Brandon Smith was able to stop his vehicle on the right shoulder of the roadway, according to KSP.
Jacie Smith, along with a 1 year old female passenger, were transported to TJ Samson Hospital for injuries sustained in the collision where Smith was pronounced deceased by hospital staff. KSP said the baby remains in stable condition. Brandon Smith was transported to TJ Samson Hospital where he was reportedly treated for minor injuries. KSP said Stuart Kerley (24) of Glasgow, was a passenger in Brandon Smith's vehicle and was uninjured in the collision.
The investigation continues and is currently being led by Trooper Bo Hubbard. Trooper Hubbard was assisted on scene by other KSP personnel, Barren County Sheriff’s Department, Glasgow Fire Department, South Barren Fire Department and Barren-Metcalfe EMS.
An Edmonson County Grand Jury has returned the following indictments for November, 2019.
Note: An indictment is only a formal charge and is not an admission of guilt. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Bradley J. Steenbergen, Possession of controlled substance first degree (meth). Possession of marijuana. Drug paraphernalia-buy-possess.
Frenda Sparks, Possession of controlled substance first degree (two counts) Possession of marijuana, Possession of controlled substance second degree, Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess, Possession of legend drug.
Jennifer Elmore, Trafficking controlled substance first degree-less than 2 grams of meth, firearm enhanced. Trafficking controlled substance first degree-more than 2 grams meth, firearm enhanced. Trafficking controlled substance first degree-less than 10 d.u. drug unspecified, schedule 1 & 2, firearm enhanced. Trafficking controlled substance first degree-less than 120 d.u. drug unspecified, firearm enhanced. Trafficking controlled substance third degree-more or equal to 20 d.u. drug unspecified, firearm enhanced. Trafficking legend drug. Cultivate in marijuana 5 plants or more, firearm enhanced. Endangering the welfare of a minor (two counts). Wanton endangerment first degree. Possession of handgun by convicted felon (two counts). Persistent felony offender.
Timothy W. Taylor, Trafficking controlled substance second degree, second offense, more or equal to 10 d.u.codeine. Trafficking controlled substance, first degree second offense, less than 2 grams of meth. Possession of controlled substance first degree meth. Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess. Failure of owner to maintain required insurance, security, first offense. Improper parking firelane/block traveled portion of highway. Obstructing highway. Persistent felony offender first degree.
Michael Christoper Reeves, Unlawful transaction with minor, first, illegal cont substance, u/18 years of age. Unlawful transaction with minor second degree. Trafficking controlled substance, first degree, less than 4 grams of cocaine. Custodial interference. Prohibited use of electronic communication system to procure minor/peace officer re: sex offenses. Distribution of obscene matter to minor. Use of a minor under 18 years of age in a sexual performance. Promoting sexual performance by a minor under 18 years of age.
Westley Moyer, Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess, firearm enhanced. Illegal possession of legend drug. Possession of marijuana, firearm enhanced. Operating on suspended or revoked operating license. Trafficking in marijuana, less than 8 oz. first offense, firearm enhanced. Trafficking legend drug, first offense.
David R. Kerr, Trafficking controlled substance second degree, more or equal to 10 d.u. codeine. Trafficking controlled substance first degree, less than 2 grams meth. Possession of controlled substance first degree, meth. Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess. Disorderly conduct second degree. Persistent felony offender first degree.
Jennifer Spainhoward, Possession of controlled substance first degree, meth, firearm enhanced. Possession of firearm by convicted felon. Possession of marijuana, firearm enhanced. Drug Paraphernalia-buy/possess, firearm enhanced.
Mildred T. Justice, Possession of controlled substance first degree, third offense, meth. Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess. Possession of burglary tools (no true bill).
Harold D. Jones, Theft by deception-include cold checks greater than $500, less than $10,000. Persistent Felony offender first degree.
Sarah Moyer, Trafficking controlled substance first degree-less than 2 grams of meth, firearm enhanced. Trafficking controlled substance first degree-more or equal than 2 grams meth, firearm enhanced. Trafficking controlled substance first degree-less than 10 d.u. drug unspecified, schedule 1 & 2, firearm enhanced. Trafficking controlled substance first degree-less than 120 d.u. drug unspecified, firearm enhanced. Trafficking controlled substance third degree-more or equal to 20 d.u. drug unspecified, firearm enhanced. Trafficking legend drug. Cultivate in marijuana 5 plants or more, firearm enhanced. Endangering the welfare of a minor (two counts). Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess. Wanton endangerment first degree (two counts).
Timothy Harp, Possession of controlled substance first degree, meth, firearm enhanced. Possession of firearm by convicted felon. Possession of marijuana-firearm enhanced. Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess, firearm enhanced.
Shawn L Hayes, Possession of controlled substance first degree meth. Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess.
Tiffany F. Glass, Possession of controlled substance first degree meth. Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess.
Gianna Gessman, Possession of controlled substance first degree. Possession of controlled substance first degree meth. Public intoxication.
Westley Moyer, Trafficking controlled substance first degree-second offense, less than 2 grams of meth, firearm enhanced. Trafficking controlled substance first degree-second or more offense, more or equal than 2 grams meth, firearm enhanced. Trafficking controlled substance first degree-second offense, less than 10 d.u. drug unspecified, schedule 1 & 2, firearm enhanced. Trafficking controlled substance first degree-second or more offense, less than 20 d.u. drug unspecified, firearm enhanced. Trafficking controlled substance third degree-second or more offense, more or equal to 20 d.u. drug unspecified, firearm enhanced. Trafficking legend drug. Cultivate in marijuana 5 plants or more, firearm enhanced. Endangering the welfare of a minor (two counts). Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess. Wanton endangerment first degree (two counts).
Larry C. Geralds, Possession of controlled substance first degree, third or more offense, meth. Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess. Trafficking controlled substance second degree, second offense, less than 20 d.u. drug unspecified schedule 3, Possession of controlled substance first degree. Trafficking controlled substance first degree second offense. Possession of controlled substance, second degree, drug unspecified. Persistent felony offender first degree.
Dylan R. Elmore, Video voyeurism, Promoting sexual performance by a minor, Possess/view matter portraying sexual performance by a minor.
Charles T. Decker, Possession of firearm by convicted felon.
Jason M. Cooper, Possession of controlled substance in first degree opiates. Possession of marijuana. Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess. DUI, first offense. Prescription controlled substance not in original container.
Nathan Bowen, Possession of controlled substance first degree meth. Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess.
Thomas Davidson, Possession of controlled substance first degree, two counts. Possession of marijuana. Possession of controlled substance second degree. Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess. Illegal possession of legend drug.
Kenneth Sanders, Possession of a firearm by convicted felon. Criminal trespassing second degree. Menacing. Two counts of terroristic threatening third degree. Attempted arson first degree. Fire hazard seasons: burning before 4:30pm local time. Fourteen counts of wanton endangerment first degree. Two counts of wanton endangerment first degree, police officer.
Brian Bledsoe, Possession of controlled substance first degree, meth. Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess. Possession of burglary tools.
Travis Shane Thomas, Possession of controlled substance first degree meth.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office has announced that they will be closed November 28-30, 2019 for the Thanksgiving holiday.
They will reopen on Monday December 2, 2019 for regular business hours. The 2% discount will be extended through close-of-business on Wednesday, December 4, 2019. Any mailed payments will have to be postmarked by December 4, 2019 for the 2% discount to apply.
Contact the Sheriff's Office at 270-597-2157 for more.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) is asking the community to be on the lookout for thieves stealing copper wiring from KYTC lighting around the District 3 area.
Thieves recently stole thousands of dollars worth of taxpayer funded copper wiring from KYTC lighting in Warren County, according to a press release from the KYTC District 3 office. The Kentucky State Police and the Office of Inspector General from Frankfort have been called in to investigate the crime.
"The stealing of wiring for lighting on roadways not only wastes taxpayer dollars, but also creates safety issues for motorists as it takes time to get that wiring replaced and the lights turned back on," said the office in the release.
The community is being asked to be observant of any suspicious activity, especially during the nighttime hours near lighting areas on roadways. "We are asking folks to report any suspicious activity to local law enforcement as soon as possible. Time is very important and notifying local law enforcement immediately will increase the chance of catching those involved in stealing KYTC property," said the release.
Local recycling businesses are also being asked to be on the lookout for anyone trying to sell possible stolen KYTC property and report those people to local law enforcement.
All KYTC vehicles and KYTC contract vehicles are clearly marked with labels and work personnel should be clearly visible with reflective material on clothing and other high-visibility attire. Any unmarked vehicles, including utility looking vehicles should be considered suspicious and reported to local law enforcement immediately.
Ten-County Organization Asking Counties To Cosign For Portions According To Population
Darren Doyle, story:
Judge Executive Wil Cannon read proposed resolution EC19-28 to the fiscal court today that requested that Edmonson County government cosign a portion of a loan from a state financial institution totaling $500,000 for Community Action of Southern Kentucky, a non-profit organization that provides various services to a regional ten-county area, including Edmonson County.
Cannon, who serves as Vice Chairman on CA's Board of Directors, said the organization is in financial trouble after poor management and bad budgeting over a number of years.
During the meeting, Cannon said a former CEO, who he didn't name in open court, in his opinion, was to blame for the financial problems facing the organization due to poor decision making. He said the organization needed an influx of capital to continue, and that the county was being asked to cosign for 4% of the total amount, which is $20,000.
While Cannon was in favor of the local effort made by the Edmonson County office of CASOKY, he noted that the county did not have any reserve funds in the event that they would have to be on the hook for the cosigned amount.
Cannon also said that Treasurer Tammi Willhite requested a financial statement from CASOKY for their last quarter, which was presented to magistrates today. Cannon reported the statement showed a $119,000 loss in one quarter alone.
The Edmonson Voice contacted to the Chairperson of the CASOKY Board, local resident Vickie Walker, to ask about the loan request and if she could expound on the financial problems facing the organization. She said she wasn't aware of a request being made for local government to cosign a loan; however, she said she knew measures would have to be taken in order to keep the organization's programs running. She also said the financial strain of the organization was due to "bad work ethic" and "bad decisions" from the former director, who she did not name.
During the meeting, Cannon said each of the ten counties were being asked to cosign an amount according to the county's population and programs that serve those individual counties. Warren County, for example, was being asked for a much higher cosigned amount of 43%, or $215,000. CASOKY provides public transportation in Warren County, known as "GO BG Transit."
County Attorney Greg Vincent asked if CASOKY had put a clear plan in place to pay back the loan and if so, if they had provided that plan to the judge executive's office. Cannon said they had not provided any such plan.
After more discussion, Magistrate Edd Rich asked the court to table the motion until more research could be done regarding payback of the loan and specific requirements from the fiscal court. The motion for the tabling passed.
We also spoke with Judge Cannon after the meeting for more information about the loan and asked what he knew about the financial problems.
"In 2014, Community Action hired a new director with a financial background who was supposed to help with some financial issues the organization was having, but instead of them getting better, they only got worse," he said.
Melissa Weaver was hired as CASOKY's executive director in December 2014 and remained in the role until she was replaced in 2018 by current director, Dr. Donald Butler.
"I'll give credit to Dr. Butler for the job he's done in keeping things going after the mess they got into," Cannon said. "He's been a miracle worker but I don't think this loan alone is going to solve their long term problems."
Cannon said if the county agrees to cosign the loan he didn't think the organization would default on the loan and put the county on the hook; however, it was still a risk for a poor county, even though multiple programs were provided to Edmonson County residents.
We contacted local coordinator for Edmonson County Community Action Regina Vessels and asked her to discuss the local CASOKY programs available to Edmonson County residents. She listed the following:
Cannon said he personally would be in favor of the cosign this one time simply to help Edmonson County programs. He also said the board was to blame for the issues the organization faces.
"The board is at fault for hiring the new director in 2014, and I'm also blaming myself because I was part of that board," he said. "I was a new Judge Executive and I was learning. There were complaints being brought to the board but I was told the complaints came from a disgruntled former employee. This is just my opinion, but nothing was done when it should have been, but again, I put the blame on myself as well."
The issue is supposed to be discussed again at the next fiscal court meeting.
County Approves Agreement With BG/WC Humane Society With Added Amendment
Darren Doyle, story:
Magistrates voted to partner with Bowling Green/Warren County Humane Society for another year at today's fiscal court meeting; however, BG/WC asked for an amendment to be added to the agreement. According to Judge Wil Cannon, the BG/WCHC said they would sign the agreement under the condition that Edmonson County was prepared to run their own shelter within 12 to 24 months.
"By law, we either have to have our own shelter or contract this out," he said. "When we first asked for other counties to give us a bid on housing our animals, they are the only ones that even submitted a bid. No one else would even talk to us."
Cannon said that was the main purpose the county recently purchased property on Veterans Memorial Highway.
"We don't have a choice on this," he said. "We're saving every spare dollar we have in order to be able to build this. The Warren County Shelter has given us another two years to get this going and we have to prepare to do that."
Cannon read the requested amendment to the court and asked for a motion to approve, which passed. The amendment stated:
" 11.) At this time Edmonson County is diligently working on plans to have our own Animal Shelter built
within the next 12-24 months. The County has entered into an agreement to purchase land from an individual
which we plan to close on June 2020. Our full intent is to begin construction on Animal Shelter in 2020."
Cannon said his plans would be to begin construction on the shelter in July of 2020. The new agreement, which is the same payment as previous agreements-- $1500 per month, is for January 2020 through December 2020.
There was also a lengthy discussion of a request to cosign a loan on behalf of Community Action of Southern Kentucky that will be published in an additional article.
Various county offices gave reports at today's meeting.
Road Report: County Road Supervisor Greg Carroll discussed various equipment issues that road crews are currently working through. He also explained different functions of the new patching machine; the purchase of which magistrates would later approve. The machine will be allow road crews to repair holes, fix shoulders, and resurface worn spots. The total purchase price of the machine and accessories was $47,800. Caroll said it will be delivered soon and will save the county money as it can be used all year long, not just summer months when paving work is normally done. Judge Cannon noted the used machine is half the price of a new one and the supplier will include all maintenance work on it for as long as the county owns it, minus parts price.
Emergency Management Director Terry Massey gave a brief report on the amount of runs local first responders made since last meeting (20) and Jailer Hank Vincent reported 21 county inmates currently house at Hart County Jail.
There was a short report from Rhonda Clemmons regarding Edmonson County Tourism, County Attorney Greg Vincent gave no report, and Sheriff Shane Doyle and Parks and Rec Director A.B. Webb were both absent.
County Clerk gave a short report on the recent vote recanvass requested by Governor Matt Bevin, where there was no change in the vote total. He also said that KY's governor-elect Andy Beshear will be inaugurated on Tuesday, December 10th and state offices will be closed. While the clerk is a county official, his office operates under state systems, which will not be available that day. He said his office will likely have to close on that day as well.
Magistrates also vote to:
What You Need To Know About The Upcoming Census
The U.S. Census Bureau is looking for 118 applicants for temporary jobs in Edmonson County, according to Julie Trovillion, Partnership Specialist for the bureau.
She stopped by to discuss these job opportunities with starting pay at $14/hr with a bonus of .58/mile, as well as important information that all Edmonson County residents need to know for the 2020 Census. More than $675 billion dollars are allocated across the U.S. each year based on population.
Check out the video below for all the info:
Trump-Appointed, Top Fed Law Enforcement Official In Western KY Sits Down And Talks
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
It can seem a bit intimidating when a federal SUV pulls into your parking lot as guys roll out in dark suits, but in the case of U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman and his staff members, it only took a couple minutes before I realized I was speaking with some down-to-earth guys that were very passionate in their professions.
I was contacted last week by U.S. Attorney Coleman's office Public Affair Officer Nick Storm, who wanted to schedule an interview. I figured if the PR guy has a superhero name then surely the attorney himself is legit. Once the guys rolled up and my yellow lab Sparky happily greeted them, I guessed the interview would go well. Sparky is a great judge of character and is smarter than most people I know...
After everyone introduced themselves and I took them on a quick tour of my office, we had conversations about the various items displayed on the walls and on shelves. We discussed Star Wars, The Dukes of Hazzard, UK basketball, and different types of music. These guys were dressed sharply in well-fitting suits but they quickly made themselves at home here in rural Edmonson County.
I cut right to the chase and asked Attorney Coleman point blank, "What is a U.S. Attorney and why should the readers of the Edmonson Voice care?"
He nodded and had a quick and deliberate reply.
"The meth that comes into Edmonson County doesn't always come from here," he said. "The pills that are being sold, the fentanyl, the specific high-potency drugs that are creeping into places like here, they come from outside here. We have resources to fight them at the federal level and we want to be relevant in all 53 counties."
And 53 counties is the number in his western district that spans from Casey County on the east side all the way to the western tip of Fulton County that hangs over into Missouri territory. There are more than 2 million people that reside in those counties, where Mr. Coleman oversees a staff that includes 36 attorneys, 39 non-attorney support personnel, and 7 federal contractors. His Office is responsible for prosecuting federal crimes related to firearms, narcotics, public corruption, child exploitation, wire and bank fraud, and terrorism. The Office also defends the United States in civil cases and collects debts owed to the United States.
Mr. Coleman explained the role of his office and compared it to being the federal version of the Commonwealth Attorney's. One difference of course, is that his position was appointed by President Donald Trump and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
"You've never really sat through a meeting until you've been grilled by a senate committee led by Jeff Sessions," he said with a laugh.
He said that he felt as if his office had put all their focus on Louisville-only in the past, and while it's certainly a hub of drugs, gangs, and guns, reaching out to rural Kentucky was also important.
"We have a commitment to working with local guys like your Commonwealth Attorney Blake Chambers and Sheriff Shane Doyle, and all local law enforcement," he said. "We're going to be a better partner to local prosecutors and law enforcement."
Mr. Coleman said he is focused on getting "the bigger bad guys," that cause crime to trickle down into the areas like Edmonson County.
"The most serious crimes are focused around drugs, guns, and technology, and we're going to prosecute those cases and get those guys. Some of theses guys are the worst of the worst...the child crimes that are simply horrific. We're able to send these guys away for decades. If we do that, then we're keeping some of this stuff from making its way into your community. Our job is not to be a federal overlay of your local guys, it's to get these bigger bad guys out of your communities."
He was complimentary to the two guys with him, the first was his Law Enforcement Coordinator, Sergeant Eric Black (Retired), previously of the Louisville Metro Police Department. Sgt. Black was first hired as a police officer with the Jefferson County Police Department in 1995. His role is basically that of a liaison between the U.S. Attorney's office and state and local law enforcement issues. Sgt. Black has an impressive resume that stretches from being a patrol officer all the way to leading a multi-agency drug task force (2018's Drug Task Force Officer of the Year).
His public affairs officer, Nick Storm (I can't help but hearing his name in my head being read from the deep, scratchy voice of a movie trailer narrator--"NICK STORM") is a two-time Emmy nominated journalist, and a former anchor and managing editor of Spectrum News Pure Politics. I've talked with lots of PR folks in my line of work, many at the state level. Nick didn't seem as "slick" as many of them are, which is a total compliment.
Mr. Coleman made several references to growing up in rural KY and his roots in Logan and Daviess counties, and he even made a tobacco barn reference that one would only know if they had actual experience working in one. He and his team were gracious and thanked me for my time and for the opportunity to help him reach out to Edmonson County.
"By this Friday, we will have made it to all 53 counties in the district," he said. "That doesn't deserve credit, it's just the right thing to do. We're trying to build trust in all of these counties. We want to work with your local guys and we want to be good stewards with our federal resources. It's a privilege to be able to use that to work with local law enforcement."
Victim Air Lifted To U of L Hospital
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
A Rocky Hill woman has been arrested and charged with multiple felonies, including attempted murder, after a shooting occurred on Saturday night, according to a press release from the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
Officials reported that at approximately 7:00 pm on Saturday, November 16, 2019, deputies were dispatched to 265 Goldenrod Lane off of Crump Road for a possible shooting. The Sheriff's office reported that dispatch received a call from Sandra Fabyan (59), who stated she had shot at her neighbor and was not supposed to be in possession of a firearm. Deputies said that after their arrival, Fabyan stated she had shot at her female neighbor after Fabyan had found the neighbor knocking on a door to the main floor of the house, which Fabyan told deputies the neighbor had entered through a partially opened garage door.
When deputies asked if the neighbor had been wounded, Fabyan allegedly stated she did not know. The sheriff's office said that it was later determined as the neighbor was knocking and shouting for Fabyan to come to the door, she had not made any threats of violence against Fabyan.
Fabyan then told deputies that she was a convicted felon for methamphetamine charges out of Colorado and that she knew she wasn’t supposed to have a gun, according to the press release. Deputies soon confirmed a felony arrest for “dangerous drugs,” along with burglary and contraband inside a jail/prison, and inside Fabyan’s house, deputies found a single action 22 Revolver, according to the release.
Deputies said their investigation revealed the female involved in the shooting incident at Fabyan’s house had gone by personal vehicle to TJ Sampson Hospital for a gunshot wound to the abdomen. The victim was later flown to U. of L. Hospital. Deputies said in an interview with the victim, she stated that she thought Fabyan had shot at her 5 or 6 times and that one of the shots had hit her vehicle. Upon inspection of the victim’s vehicle, deputies reportedly found a bullet hole in the front windshield.
Deputies also stated that the shooting had stemmed from a personal relationship between Fabyan a separate male party.
Fabyan was arrested and charged with:
Project Expected To Run Through January 2020
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (Nov. 18, 2019) – A project to replace the bridge deck on KY 743 near mile point 7 over Beaver Dam Creek (New Grove Road) has started with a long-term closure. The road closed Monday, November 18th and is expected to reopen on Jan. 3, but work is weather dependent. A signed detour utilizing KY 422, U.S. 31-W and KY 101 will be in place. Motorists should allow for extra travel time due to the detour.
The project will rehabilitate or replace seven (7) bridges in Casey, Edmonson, McCreary, Metcalfe and Wayne Counties as part of the Bridging Kentucky Program. Scott & Murphy Inc. was awarded the project on August 8, 2019 in the amount of $4,412,713.
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County Clerk Kevin Alexander has announced that his office, in conjunction with the Edmonson County Election Board, has completed the 2019 recanvass of the Kentucky Governor's race for the general election by request of Governor Matt Bevin, which resulted in no changes to the original vote total reported.
The local vote total amounts originally reported were: Matt Bevin: (R) 2284--Andy Beshear (D) 1383.
"It's a relatively simple process," said Clerk Alexander. "We have a good system in place, and we were able to handle this process in less than half an hour."
Alexander said election officials, made of both republican and democrat representatives, look at the all the vote totals and look for any discrepancies.
"We didn't foresee anything different than what was tallied on election night and that was the case today," he said.
Bevin's vote count at 704,388 came in under democratic challenger Andy Beshear's 709,577 on election night, with 100% of the precincts reporting. With only 5,189 votes difference, Bevin suggested in a press conference on November 6th, there could be possible irregularities in the vote count and that he wanted to ensure integrity in the process of the election.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
South Green River Ferry Road from the intersection with Mammoth Cave Entrance Road to the Green River Ferry parking lot will be closed to all traffic on Thursday, November 14 and Friday, November 15. Visitors will not be able to access the Echo River Springs Trail trailhead or the temporary canoe and kayak ramp in the Green River Ferry parking lot during the two day closure. The closure is in effect so that a newly updated ferry boat can be launched into the Green River Ferry crossing area.
The Green River Ferry shuttles vehicles across the Green River 364 days a year and transports approximately 95,000 vehicles from one side of the Green River to the other. The updated ferry boat has been retrofitted to improve safety and operational efficiency of the ferry service. The new boat will sit higher in the water, carry up to 12 tons of weight, and have longer ramps to reach further up the shoreline. The new ferry will also provide seating and bike storage for hikers and bicyclists and should be able to accommodate some horse trailers.
The refurbished ferry boat will begin regular operations once the Green River Ferry improvement projects are completed in spring 2020. The ferry crossing improvement project will extend the Green River Ferry vehicle access ramps into the Green River by 30 feet which should allow the ferry boat to operate during periods of low water levels.
Experts Predict No Change In Results
Darren Doyle, story:
Kentucky republican governor Matt Bevin has officially called for a recanvass of the votes, which is scheduled for Thursday, November 14, 2019 all across the commonwealth.
Bevin's vote count at 704,388 came in under democratic challenger Andy Beshear's 709,577 on election night, with 100% of the precincts reporting. With only 5,189 votes difference, Bevin suggested in a press conference there could be possible irregularities in the vote count and that he wanted to ensure integrity in the process of the election.
A recanvass means that each county's election officials will check the vote totals again and verify them once more. The process is handled electronically.
Edmonson County Clerk Kevin Alexander said the process is relatively simple.
"We'll check the tapes to the machine counts, certify them, then return to the state board of elections," he said. Alexander added that he did not foresee any changes in the results. Other state and national politicians and election officials have also said results are not expected to change.
Several national media outlets were quick to point out Bevin's loss in an overwhelmingly republican state where Donald Trump claimed a 30 point win over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election; however, republican candidates won in all five of the remaining 2019 state offices, which included attorney general, secretary of state, state auditor, state treasurer, and agriculture commissioner.
Polling results from Morning Consult's Governor Approval Rankings from the third quarter in 2019 had Bevin listed as the second-most unpopular governor in America with a 53% disapproval rating statewide. Even though Beshear's victory of less than one percentage point over one of the least popular governors in the country could seem significant to some, Beshear's team has claimed the victory, has begun the transition, and is preparing to take office in 2020.
Bevin became the enemy of many Kentucky educators, both republican and democrat, during his term as he was consistently in the middle of name-calling and bickering in a process where he attempted to revamp the commonwealth's underfunded pension system.
Requests for further comment from Bevin's office were not returned.
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County fiscal court met on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 as a result of Veterans Day falling on the normal second Monday meeting day of the month.
A very short meeting was held with few items being discussed.
County Road Foreman Greg Carroll discussed the recent loss of Braeden Combs, who was a county road department employee. Carroll said crews would have a department truck taking part in the funeral procession.
He said the snowfall that occurred on Monday night was light and while it caused county schools to close, it didn't require crews to plow roads. Crews cannot pre-treat roadways during rain, which was the case on Monday. He also noted that he and Judge Wil Cannon would be flying to Indiana on Thursday to look at used road patching equipment that a particular company is selling for $30,000, which is less than the $75-80,000 price tag he said was on a new one.
Sheriff Shane Doyle and Jailer Hank Vincent were absent as a result of scheduling conflicts with district court.
County Clerk Kevin Alexander reported that last week's election day ran very smoothly with a 40% county voter turnout--an amount higher than expected. Governor Bevin has officially requested a recanvass of the votes, which means Alexander's office will be checking all totals again; however, Alexander said he expected no changes in the results. Bevin's total of 704,388 votes fell short of democratic challenger Andy Beshear's 709,577.
The court also voted to:
A request from the Small Business Development Center in Bowling Green, formerly funded in part by WKU, for more than $3,000 from the county government did not receive a motion. Magistrates said no money had been budgeted for this purpose this year.
The next fiscal court meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 25, 2019 at 9am.
Edmonson County Schools will be closed for Wednesday, November 13, 2019 due to road conditions in some parts of the county, according to Patrick Waddell, Superintendent of Edmonson County Schools. It will be another make-up day, NOT an NTI day.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky., November 12, 2019. – The Green River Ferry vehicle ramp improvement project in Mammoth Cave National Park has been extended beyond the original completion of November 15th, according to an announcement from MCNP. Because of the extension, the park said, the Green River Ferry service and portions of Green River Ferry Road will now remain closed to all vehicular traffic until early spring 2020.
“The park is disappointed that we are unable to open the ferry crossing as intended this fall,” said park Superintendent Barclay Trimble. “We have communicated extensively with the Federal Highways Administration, and feel that extending the contractor’s schedule through the winter is the best overall option for the local community, businesses, our visitors and the park overall. Allowing the work to extend through the winter will mean more work for the contractor, but will be less of an impact on local commuters and tourists than if they were to stop all construction work now and restart again during our busy spring or summer season.”
The project’s contractor, Kovilic Construction Company, has experienced several delays during the completion of their work and submitted a work schedule extension request to the Federal Highway Administration Eastern Lands Highway Division, who is overseeing the construction project, according to the park. Winter weather in Kentucky generally brings more rain and higher water levels in the Green River so the contractor is also resubmitting design information on constructing a higher coffer dam, larger than what was originally planned, around the south side ramp in order to complete the required ramp work, said the press release from MCNP.
The Green River Ferry serves as a river crossing location, river access for canoes and kayaks, boat ramp for fishing boats, and parking area for trail and river users. According to MCNP, during periods of low and high water, extended closures of the Green River Ferry create negative impacts which affect local citizens, visitors, and park staff by presenting safety problems, limiting access to recreational resources, and disrupting frequently used travel routes. The park says the ramp extension project will extend the current vehicle access ramps into the Green River by 30 feet which should allow the ferry boat to operate during periods of low water levels.
The start date of the project was delayed multiple times, but with each announcement of a delay, the original completion date of November 15th remained the same.
The Green River Ferry Road will remain closed from the north side of the Green River, beginning just south of Maple Springs Campground, to the south side of the river at the entrance of the Green River Ferry parking lot.
The Green River Ferry area will remain open for hikers wishing to walk the Echo Springs Accessible Trail, and for river paddlers needing water access throughout the winter construction period, said the press release. A temporary canoe and kayak ramp has been installed at the northeast side of the Green River Ferry parking lot for this purpose, according to the park.
For more information on the Green River Ferry improvement projects and the Green River Ferry and road closure, please visit the park’s website www.nps.gov/maca/green-river-ferry-improvement-projects.htm or call the Green River Ferry Hotline at 270-758-2166 for current ferry operating status.
ECHS Voice Of Democracy Presenters Highlight "What Makes America Great" In Veterans Tribute
VFW Members stand with Voice of Democracy Winners: L-R: Kevin Engel, Donna Engel, Lainey Alexander, Zoha Shabaz, Brooklyn Bean, Floyd Houston, Bennie Durbin.
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Edmonson County High School hosted their annual Veterans Day Program today, which featured the Voice of Democracy speech winners and special guest speaker retired Army Command Sergeant Major Kevin Engel.
Assistant Principal Chad Johnston emceed the program that was led by ECHS students, which began with the Presentation of Colors by Boy Scout Troop 597. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by FFA President Morgan Turci, which was followed by the singing of The Star Spangled Banner by FFA Secretary Jade Keltner.
Local VFW Post 6937 Commander Floyd Houston, Lt. Colonel U.S. Marine Corps (ret.) recognized all veterans in attendance and presented the first, second, and third place speech winners their awards.
"The news likes to tell how bad things are in America," said Col. Houston, "but I look up here and see the faces of all these great young kids in Edmonson County and I don't believe that. We're gonna be OK."
The first place winner was ECHS junior Zoha Shahbaz who said that while many see America as just a country, but to her, it is home.
"A place where we're granted rights, a place where we're not discriminated based on our race or ethnicity, and most importantly, a place where we are free and independent," she said.
She said there three crucial factors that makes America great for her: freedoms, diversity, and opportunities available. She discussed the three points in detail and finished with various examples of how women's opportunities have continued to become equal with men's.
"The values I hold for this country are something I could never print into words," she said. "Due to the work and service of our founding fathers and protection from our military, America is a free and independent country. I consider myself to be fortunate to be in a country where everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion and no one is judged for being themselves. America is undoubtedly free because of the brave."
Sergeant Major Kevin Engel, was the featured guest speaker. Engel is an Iraq War veteran and a Bronze Star and Purple Heart Medal recipient. He is also the VFW 5th District Commander as well as the Brownsville VFW Post 6937 Senior Vice Commander. His speech highlighted the choice he made more than 30 years ago to do something more, and the continuing choices to do so throughout his life and career.
He said he was deployed to Iraq with 101st Airborne as a senior enlistment adviser to the commander of an 875-man task force, responsible for 1100 square miles of combat space in Iraq, which he said was the toughest job he ever had.
He addressed students in today's assembly.
"You, as teenage students have opportunities that will come your way," he said. "Step outside of your comfort zone. Dedicate yourself to being more and achieving more. If you never try to reach for more, you'll never know what could have been. You will get older and wonder, 'what if I did?'
He encouraged students to find a mentor, listen, learn, then make the choice to do something more.
"It's all about choices," he said. "Every person in this room will have opportunities as they move forward to make choices...don't be afraid to make a choice and to try something that's outside your comfort zone. Everybody has more in them than they think."
Veterans in attendance were then asked to stand and be recognized as a medley of armed forces theme songs were played. As each theme played, the various branch members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard stood to the applause of the crowd.
Dalton Curtis, a member of the ECHS band and Eagle Scout, played "Taps," on the bugle as the ceremony came to a close. Many veterans stayed after the program to enjoy time with friends.
Most veterans then went to the Community Center where the DAV Auxiliary treated them to a special Veterans Day Dinner.
Edmonson County Superintendent of Schools Patrick Waddell has announced that there will be no school in Edmonson County on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 due to hazardous road conditions.
It will be a makeup day, not an NTI day, Waddell said.
Fatality in Butler County
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
The life of a local teen was claimed Sunday afternoon as a result of a two car collision in Butler County, according to Kentucky State Police.
In a press release, KSP said that today at 1:08 PM they received a call for service from the Butler County Sheriff’s Department requesting assistance with an investigation regarding a two vehicle fatal collision.
KSP reported that the collision occurred near the 5500 block of Reedyville Road (KY185), near the intersection of Lock 5 Road.
Troopers said that their investigation indicated that Paul D. Hensley (72) of Hazard, KY was operating a 2015 Ford pickup while traveling southbound on Reedyville Road. According to the press release, Hensley’s vehicle crossed the yellow center line of the roadway into the path of travel of Robert B. (Braeden) Combs (18) of Smiths Grove, KY, who was operating a 2005 Ford pickup traveling northbound. Police reported that Hensley’s vehicle collided with Combs’ vehicle in a head-on manner.
Combs was pronounced deceased on scene by the Butler County Coroner. Paul Hensley was airlifted to the University of Louisville Hospital for treatment of serious injuries sustained in the collision.
The investigation is ongoing and is being conducted by Detective Mike Wathen. He was assisted on the scene by Post 3 Troopers, Butler County EMS, Butler County Sheriff’s Department, Butler County Coroner, Bear Creek Fire Department, and Air Evac.
Edmonson County Sees Near 40% Turnout As Republicans Win Locally
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County voted heavily for republicans in tonight's general election, but statewide, the governor's race went down to the wire as democratic challenger Andy Beshear took 49.18% of the vote (711,955) narrowly edging republican Governor Matt Bevin's 48.86% (707,297) by only 4,658 votes.
Bevin has not conceded at this time. KY has no mandatory recount law, but the governor could request counties recanvass their results, which is simply a check of the vote count to ensure the results were added correctly. For a recount, a court would have to approve the process.
County totals were:
Matt Bevin: (R) 2284
Andy Beshear (D) 1383
Secretary of State:
Michael Adams (R) 2569
Heather French Henry (D) 1117
Daniel Cameron (R) 2619
Greg Stumbo (D) 1070
Ryan Quarles (R) 2766
Robert Conway (D) 859
Mike Harmon: (R) 2569
Sheri Donahue (D) 952
Allison Ball (R) 2750
Michael Bonner (D) 884
See the total county wide results below:
Whitney Westerfield won in-county for KY Supreme Court Justice with 1338 votes compared to Christopher Shea Nickell's 889, but Nickell won the district-wide race.
While County Surveyor was on the ballot for a write-in, no one ran as an official write-in candidate. Paul Forrester ran unopposed in one school district seat.
UPDATE 11/6/19: This article was updated with information regarding recounts and recanvassing.
On Chalybeate School Road
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
A small scratch on a driver's wrist was the only thing that could be noted as an injury after a rollover crash occurred on HWY 743 Monday afternoon.
Emergency workers were paged to the 2200 block of Chalybeate School Road to the report of an overturned vehicle around 4:40pm on Monday. According to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, the driver, who was identified as Willie Lindsey, (37) of Brownsville, was headed south on HWY 743 in a white Chevy Cobalt. A sheriff's deputy reported that Lindsey said a vehicle malfunction caused the car to exit the right side of the roadway, where it then struck a telephone pedestal, went airborne, and came to rest on its top about 100 feet off the road.
Mr. Lindsey said he was able to exit the overturned car on his own.
"It was a wild ride, man," said Lindsey. "I was wearing my seat belt and I didn't get hurt. That seat belt saved me."
Officials said that Mr. Lindsey refused medical treatment at the scene. Also responding was the Chalybeate Fire Department.