Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
A Hart County man has died as a result of injuries sustained in an ATV crash earlier today in the Canmer community, according to Kentucky State Police.
KSP Post 3 in Bowling Green said they received a call for service in reference to a single vehicle ATV collision that had occurred near the 5600 block of North Jackson Highway (US 31E) in Canmer.
According to a KSP press release, Larry C. Rogers (77) of Canmer, was operating a 1995 Polaris ATV southbound on North Jackson Highway when he lost control of his vehicle, causing it to exit off the southbound shoulder of the roadway prior to striking a tree. Rogers was transported from the scene by Hart County EMS to the Medical Center at Caverna.
Larry C. Rogers succumbed to his injuries at the Medical Center at Caverna at approximately 5:00 PM, according to KSP. He was pronounced deceased by the Hart County Coroner's Office.
The investigation is still ongoing and being led by Trooper Michael Murray, who was assisted by Linwood Fire Department, Hardyville Fire Department, Hart County EMS, Hart County Coroner’s Office and the Hart County Sheriff’s Department.
WKU Honors 62 Students From Region at Luncheon
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
The Mahurin Honors College at WKU recently honored 62 students from nine high schools in the local area for their academic achievements.
Eight students from Edmonson County high school were recognized at the luncheon where they had an opportunity to meet with WKU President, Tim Caboni.
The students were: Lauren Ballance, Brooklyn Bean, Rachel Cowles, Madison Harrison, Gabriel Lindsey, Luke Meredith, Elijah Pedigo, Emma Rose Vincent.
Mahurin Honors College at WKU states that the program is a leader in honors education for academically talented, creative, and high-achieving students with the following mission statement: "Our mission is to foster excellence in all forms of expression through research and experiential learning, critical thinking, active citizenship, and international engagement."
MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky., September 18, 2019 – Due to elevated forest fire danger, Mammoth Cave National Park has placed a burn restriction on all open fires effective immediately. The restriction applies to the use of campfires in the park’s three front country campgrounds and all back-country campsites and picnic areas.
The fire restriction will be in place until the fire danger becomes less severe and fire weather conditions improve. The restriction is dependent on extended weather conditions, and will be evaluated daily. The restriction placed by the park corresponds with a recent Executive Order issued by Edmonson County, KY that has declared a ban on all open burning within Edmonson County.
Visitors violating the fire ban within the park may be subject to citation under the authority of Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations 1.5(f). Visitors also are reminded to extinguish all cigarettes, cigars, and pipes and dispose of them in appropriate containers.
Darren Doyle, story:
Twenty-three seniors from The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky have been recognized as semifinalists in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Competition, marking the most students recognized in a single school year in the program’s history. Edmonson County's very own Gavin Dooley of Chalybeate has been named as one of the semifinalists.
Since The Gatton Academy’s inception in 2007, a total of 161 students have been named National Merit Semifinalists. 91 current Gatton Academy seniors took the PSAT, meaning 25.27 percent of students achieved the National Merit Semifinalist level.
Gavin is the son of Jason and Jennifer Dooley of Chalybeate. He is a member of Edmonson County Drama and the ECHS Academic Team.
After graduating from Gatton and ECHS next spring, Gavin plans to continue his education at the college level. Among the schools he is considering attending are the University of Kentucky, Transylvania University, and Vanderbilt University.
“We are very proud of what Gavin has accomplished,” said his father, Jason. “We have always encouraged our children to do well in school and to challenge themselves. Gatton has allowed Gavin to explore a variety of opportunities.”
From the approximately 16,000 semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level. To become a Finalist, a Semifinalist and their school must submit a detailed scholarship application, which provides information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout their high school career, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT® or ACT ® scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.
Finalists will be announced in February, and all National Merit Scholarship winners for 2020 will be announced in four nationwide releases beginning in April and concluding in July.
For more information about The Gatton Academy, visit www.wku.edu/academy or call (270) 745-6565.
Cannon Takes Opportunity To Thank Governor Personally
Darren Doyle, story: submitted photo
Edmonson County Judge Executive Wil Cannon had the opportunity to thank Governor Matt Bevin in person at a dinner Monday night for more than $600,000 in discretionary funds that were awarded to Edmonson County over the past two years.
In April of this year, the county was awarded $523,053 from Governor Bevin's Discretionary Funds for resurfacing work.
$181,655 was earmarked for the concrete patching on the curb, railing, and sidewalk of the North Main St. Bridge, while the rest was allocated for resurfacing work on the following roads:
1.1 miles of Oak Hill Rd. - $45,858
2.9 miles of Mt. Zion Church Rd. -$119,977
1.6 miles Salem Church Rd. - $58,688
1.8 miles of Long Fall Rd. -$66,594
0.7 Crump Rd. -$19,108
0.85 Mohawk Rd. -$33,172.
"The Governor is trying to help all counties that need this discretionary funding, whether it's mainly republican or democrat," said Judge Cannon. "I really feel like this is being done for the counties that need it the most, and that's certainly Edmonson County."
In 2018, over $94,000 was awarded from the governor's office to Edmonson County for the resurfacing of Dalton Way and Carnes Road, both in the Chalybeate area of the county.
Governor Bevin also provided a statement to the Edmonson Voice regarding the funding.
"We are pleased to provide discretionary funding to Edmonson County as well as other communities across the Commonwealth to assist with important road improvements,” said Gov. Bevin. “Our Transportation Cabinet has been working closely with local officials like Judge-Executive Cannon to identify priority projects, as we invest in infrastructure upgrades that will significantly improve safety, access, and economic opportunity.”
Cannon said the funding will have an enormous impact on the county.
"It's not often you get to walk up to the Governor in person, shake his hand, and say 'thank you,' " said Cannon. "So I'm glad for the opportunity I had to do that on behalf of Edmonson County."
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Today, Judge Executive Wil Cannon signed a proclamation declaring the week of September 15th-21st "Adult Day Services Week."
In part, the proclamation read, "WHEREAS, adult day services provide socialization, therapeutic programming, nutrition, supervised healthcare, rehabilitative therapies and respite for families allowing older adults and adults with disabilities to remain vibrant members of their communities and in their homes for longer; NOW THEREFORE, I, Wil Cannon, Judge Executive of Brownsville (Edmonson County) Kentucky to hereby recognize Active Day of Brownsville National Adult Day Service Week September 15-21, 2019."
The proclamation was presented by Kim Mills of the Brownsville Active Day Center.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Edmonson County Judge Executive Wil Cannon has released a statement from his office declaring a county wide open burn ban for Edmonson County as of September 17, 2019. This ban will remain in effect until further notice and is a result of extremely dry conditions throughout the region.
Darren Doyle, photos and video:
The final night of the Edmonson County Fair was held on Saturday, September 14th with the last of two demolition derbies. A record-setting crowd was on hand for the event. Enjoy a photo slideshow along with a video clip of the action.
It was slick, slimy, and loud, but hundreds packed the bleachers at the 2019 Edmonson County Fair Mud Bog on Friday the 13th under a full harvest moon to enjoy all the mud slinging action.
Check out our photo slideshow for the closest look you can get without taking on mud yourself.
Darren Doyle, photos:
Moriah Peterson, story and photos:
The 2019 Edmonson County Fair Parade took place Friday morning September 13th. This year’s parade winners are as follows:
Best of Show- Kyrock Elementary
School Division- ECHS Lady Cat Volleyball
Civic Division- Edmonson County 4H
Commercial Division- Bank of Edmonson County
Emergency Vehicle- Wingfield Fire Department Brush Truck
Antique Car- 1941 Black Chevrolet Truck Owned by Sonny Basham
Horse Division- Leighton Kinser & Peso
Horse Drawn- Carl Reed & Jake
Did your picture make it into our onlooker slideshow? Check it out below.
Looking for the actual parade? Good news- we live streamed the entire thing! Click here to watch.
Darren Doyle, photos:
It was one of the hottest days on record for a mid-September fair day with temperatures in the mid to upper 90s, but plenty of families with young ones came out to the annual Edmonson County Lions Club Fair Day event today, on September 13, 2019.
EXHIBIT SLIDESHOW BELOW:
Check out this video of the entire 2019 Lions Club Fair Parade: Brought to you by Josh Roney State Farm, The Hidden Homestead Wedding & Event Venue, and the Edmonson County Tourism Commission and Chamber of Commerce.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Two Illinois residents were arrested at Moutardier Campground this morning on stolen vehicle and felony drug charges, according to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
In a press release, the sheriff's office reported that a deputy was dispatched to Lot A-20 at Moutardier Campground at 9:24AM in reference to a suspicious vehicle call. According to a deputy, he observed that the 2001 Dodge Ram pick-up had an Illinois license plate on the front of the vehicle and a Kentucky license plate on the back.
The VIN number was verified through dispatch and the vehicle was discovered to be stolen out of Illinois, according to the release. Officials said the deputy made contact with a female occupant of the camper who allegedly said she was there alone and that her boyfriend had left earlier that morning. According to the press release, additional movement was heard from inside of the camper and then a male subject stepped out from inside. Both individuals allegedly gave false information, which was confirmed by the Jasper, Illinois Police Department, according to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, and both subjects were reportedly wanted on fully extraditable warrants for “dangerous drug charges." Illinois law enforcement also had them listed as “armed and dangerous,” according to the release.
The sheriff's office also reported that while clearing the camper suspected methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, suspected to be used in conjunction with smoking marijuana and methamphetamine was discovered in plain view. After obtaining consent, a full search of the camper was then conducted, which produced additional drug paraphernalia and suspected methamphetamine, the sheriff's office said.
Additionally, deputies said they observed that a vehicle registration decal had been marked through and written over with false information.
The female suspect, Destiny Budd, (19) of Oblong, Illinois, and the male suspect, Anthony John Littlejohn, (39) of Martinsville, Illinois, were both arrested and charged with:
The sheriff's office said the suspects will be lodged in Hart County Jail, awaiting extradition to Jasper, Illinois.
Brownsville City Police also assisted at the scene.
Edmonson District Court was held on Tuesday, September 10, 2019. The Honorable Judge Joseph B. Hines presiding
Michael Scott Gipson, License to be in possession. Convicted felon in possession of a handgun. Possession of burglary tools. Failure to produce insurance card. No/expired registration plates. Resisting arrest. Assault- third degree- police- probation officer. Wanton endangerment- first degree- police officer. Pleaded not guilty to all. $5000 bond.
Dennis Way Bounds, Operating motor vehicle under influence of alcohol/drugs, first offense. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Possession of controlled substance, first degree, first offense- methamphetamine. Trafficking in controlled substance, first degree, first offense-methamphetamine. Pleaded not guilty to all. $5000 cash bond.
Brittany Houchin, Possession of controlled substance, first degree, first offense- methamphetamine. Possession of controlled substance, second degree- drug unspecified. Drug Paraphernalia- buy/possess. Endangering the welfare of a minor. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial hearing 9/24/19.
Robert Dale Wilson, Speeding 15 mph over limit. Failed to appear.
Robert E. Odle, Speeding 15 mph over limit. Failed to appear.
Jayvone Anthony Williams, Speeding 15 mph over limit. Failed to appear.
Johnathan Rogers, Possession of controlled substance, first degree, first offense- methamphetamine. Possession of controlled substance, second degree- drug unspecified. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Failed to appear. $5000 bench warrant issued.
Jagger Keith Flipback, Possession of controlled substance, first degree, first offense- methamphetamine. Tampering with physical evidence. Unlawful transaction with minor, first degree, controlled substance, under 18. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Possession of marijuana. Failed to appear. $5000 bench warrant issued.
Jordan T. Watt, Possession of marijuana. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Failed to appear. $500 bench warrant issued.
Ohn Youn Awar, Criminal trespassing- second degree. Failed to appear. $250 cash bench warrant issued.
Christopher Scott Robertson, Assault fourth degree, domestic violence minor injury. Guilty. Judgement order signed.
Sherry Davis, Possession of controlled substance, first degree, first offense, methamphetamine. Tampering with physical evidence. Endangering the welfare of a minor. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial hearing 9/24/19.
Patrick Flannery, Possession of controlled substance, first degree, first offense- methamphetamine. Possession of controlled substance, second degree- drug unspecified. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial hearing 9/24/19.
Joseph Mic Sherley, Operating under influence of alcohol/drugs- first offense. Controlled substance prescription not in original container. Possession of open alcohol beverage container in a motor vehicle. Possession of marijuana. Continue 9/24/19.
Crystal Gail McGrew, Alcohol intoxication in a public place- first and second offense. Resisting arrest. Possession of controlled substance, third degree- drug unspecified. Illegal possession of legend drug. Plead not guilty to all. Pretrial conference 9/24/19.
Deanna Lynn Mills, Alcohol intoxication in a public place- first and second offense. Continue to 9/24/19.
James D. Francis, Disorderly conduct, second degree. Alcohol intoxication in a public place- first and second offense. Continue 9/24/19.
Kevin Todd Clark, Failure to wear seat belts. No/expired Kentucky registration receipt. Improper registration plate. Failure to produce insurance card. Continue to 9/24/19.
Wendell Dale Vincent, Operating on suspended/revoked operators license. Continue 9/24/19.
Kelly Christie, Harassing communications. Terroristic threatening, third degree. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial conference 9/24/19.
Richard Dale Slaughter, No/expired Kentucky registration receipt. No/expired registration plates. Pleaded to guilty to both. Pretrial conference 10/8/19. Failure to produce insurance card. Dismissed.
Chance M. Russell-Estes, No/expired registration plates. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial conference 9/24/19.
Wendell Dale Vincent, Operating on suspended/revoked operators license. Display/ possession of cancelled/fictitious operators. Continue 9/24/19.
Brandon Coty Coy, Failure of owner to maintain required insurance/security first. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial conference 10/22/19.
Brandon Coty Coy, Possession of controlled substance, first degree, first offense- methamphetamine. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial hearing 10/22/19.
Cannon's Office Says Violations Occurred Under Former Staff
Darren Doyle, story:
State Auditor Mike Harmon has released the audit of the financial statement of the Edmonson County Fiscal Court for the fiscal year, which ended June 30, 2018. State law requires annual audits of county fiscal courts. In the 20-page report, eleven violations were found in the court's financial statement, all of which Judge Executive Wil Cannon's office says has either already been corrected or is in the process of being corrected.
According to Cannon's office, none of the violations that were found occurred under the current staff.
In a statement sent to the Edmonson Voice, the Judge Executive's Office said,
"The findings of the Edmonson County Fiscal Court Audit for Fiscal Year 2018 (July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018) reflect violations in multiple categories. These violations were corrected upon the appointment of the current Treasurer in June 2018. Unfortunately, the fiscal year ended shortly after the current Treasurer took office. This resulted in a limited amount of time to make the necessary corrections. After notification of the prior year’s audit (Fiscal Year 2017), all violations were reviewed individually and the Judge Executive’s Office implemented numerous steps to ensure we prevent repeat violations during future audits."
The following violations were noted in the audit:
1. According to the report, Harmon said that "The Edmonson County Fiscal Court lacks segregation of duties over cash, receipts, disbursements, capitals assets, and reconciliations: This is a repeat finding and was included in the prior year audit report as Finding 2017-001."
Cannon's office responded with "Office was restructured after termination of previous Treasurer, we have implemented stronger internal controls with a much more strict and accurate check and balance system that includes all office personnel."
2. The report also said "The Edmonson County Fiscal Court did not accurately report financial information: This is a repeat finding and was included in the prior year audit report as Finding 2017-002. "
Cannon's office responded with "All Financials information is now being correctly reported."
3. The third violation said, "The Edmonson County Fiscal Court did not properly reconcile the payroll revolving account: This is a repeat finding and was included in the prior year audit report as Finding 2017- 004. "
The Judge Exec's office responded by saying "Payroll Account is reconciled on a monthly basis."
4. Item number four said, "The Edmonson County Fiscal Court lacks adequate controls over payroll: This is a repeat finding and was included in the prior year audit report as Finding 2017-005."
The response from Cannon's office was "Payroll is processed by an outsourced vendor, with Treasurer and Finance Officer reviewing and reconciling all payroll reports."
5. The report continued by saying "The Edmonson County Fiscal Court did not properly reconcile retirement reports with payroll reports: This is a repeat finding and was included in the prior year audit report as Finding 2017-006."
Cannon's office replied with "Retirement reports are being reconciled to the payroll reports on a monthly basis prior to payment being submitted."
6. The sixth violation found was noted by the auditor saying, "The Edmonson County Fiscal Court did not pay tax liabilities timely resulting in penalties and interest: This is a repeat finding and was included in the prior year audit report as Finding 2017-007."
Judge Cannon's office said "All tax liabilities are now being processed and paid by the Payroll company with Treasurer verifying and confirming payments."
7. The state auditor continued by noting that "The Edmonson County Fiscal Court did not properly withhold employees’ share of insurance and did not properly pay other voluntary deductions: This is a repeat finding and was included in the prior year audit report as Finding 2017-008. "
Cannon's office's response was, "All deductions are being withheld properly and all voluntary deductions are paid in a prompt and correct manner."
8. The eighth violation noted by the auditor said "The Edmonson County Fiscal Court did not have adequate internal controls over disbursements: This is a repeat finding and was included in the prior year audit report as Finding 2017-010."
The response from the Judge Executive's office was "All disbursements are reviewed by Finance Officer, Treasurer and Judge/Executive. We have implemented a stronger process of disbursements."
9. The audit continued with number nine: "The Edmonson County Fiscal Court lacks adequate controls over procurement:"
Cannon's office said "All Procurement requirements are being followed."
10. The audit continued by stating that "The Edmonson County Fiscal Court did not maintain complete and accurate capital asset schedules in compliance with regulatory requirements: This is a repeat finding and was included in the prior year audit report as Finding 2017-011."
The response from the Judge Executive's office said "Created a new Capitalization plan to properly record and maintain all Capital Assets."
11. The final violation noted from the state auditor said that "The Edmonson County Fiscal Court did not properly disclose debt on the fourth quarter financial report or budget and record amounts:"
Judge Cannon's office responded by stating "All Debt is properly being disclosed on required reporting."
The full audit in it's entirety can be found from the State Auditor's website.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
An ATV crash at a popular riding venue has resulted in a felony drug arrest, according to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
According to a press release, around 5:30 pm on Saturday, September 7, 2019, the Edmonson County Sheriff’s Office and Brownsville City Police responded to Blue Holler ATV Park on Ollie Road in Mammoth Cave for a possible ATV collision and drug overdose.
Officials reported that once law enforcement arrived on scene, Crystal Gail “Kristy” McGrew was found as a passenger in the wrecked ATV nearly unconscious, allegedly smelled heavily of alcohol, and was reportedly unable to walk or stand due to her level of intoxication.
Edmonson County Deputies said they found suspected Diazepam, Cyclobenzaprine, and Hydrocodone in McGrew’s possession, along with a loaded firearm. Deputies said when they attempted to arrest McGrew, she resisted by pushing, kicking, and fighting to get away.
McGrew was arrested and charged with
She was lodged in the Hart County Jail.
"Edmonson County Sheriff’s office appreciates the assistance provided by Brownsville City Police," the press release stated.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office has arrested a Bee Spring man on multiple felony counts after a traffic stop yesterday in Sweeden, according to a press release from their office.
The sheriff's office reported that on Monday, September 9, 2019, around 8:30pm, an Edmonson County sheriff’s deputy observed a 2004 Chevy Malibu, being driven by Michael Scott Gipson (48) of Bee Spring, KY, at Marathon Gas Station in Sweeden, KY.
Deputies said that having prior knowledge that the driver may have a suspended driver’s license, officers ran the registration plate of the vehicle, which was discovered to be expired. According to the release, a deputy made contact with the driver and immediately observed what he believed to be a burglary tool. Gibson allegedly could not provide a valid driver’s license or a valid proof of insurance, according to the deputy. Through conversation with Gibson, the sheriff's office reported that the deputy was told that additional burglary tools “may be in the trunk,” that the “AR rifle-looking gun” was actually a BB gun, and that Gipson, had a pocket knife on his person.
Through the investigation, the sheriff's office said they found multiple knives in the vehicle. The press release also stated that Gipson ignored numerous verbal commands given by the deputy to stop moving back towards the vehicle and to get on the ground, with his hands behind his back. During a physical scuffle on the ground, while trying to restrain Gipson, Gipson reached towards his waist band multiple times and ignored the deputy’s commands to not reach for his waist band.
According to the sheriff's office, after physically fighting Gipson into handcuffs, all while Gipson guarded and continued to reach for his waist band, Gipson informed the arresting officer that he had a gun in his waist band. A loaded pistol was reportedly retrieved from Gipson’s waist band after he was placed in handcuffs.
Also assisting was Brownsville Police and an off-duty officer.
Gipson was arrested and charged with:
He was lodged in the Hart County Jail.
Austin Meredith Hired As Full-Time Deputy: Clay Deweese and Col. Floyd Houston Sworn In As Volunteers
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office has added some new faces while promoting some familiar ones. Sheriff Shane Doyle recently oversaw the swearing-in of Austin Meredith as the office's newest full-time deputy. Meredith, a lifelong resident of Edmonson County, has served as a volunteer for the last two years until his full-time status.
"Deputy Meredith has proven himself to be a valuable asset not only our office, but also to our entire county," said Sheriff Doyle.
Sheriff Doyle also appointed another lifelong county resident, Clay Deweese, as a volunteer deputy. Deweese is a graduate of the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training and is a former Bowling Green Police Officer. He currently works for the Rough River Lake Corps of Engineers and wanted to offer his help in the county.
"Clay is a fine young man from a great family and we're happy he's joined our office as a volunteer," Doyle said.
Also joining the Sheriff's Office as a volunteer is Retired Marine Colonel Floyd Houston, who will become an additional school security officer in the county. Col. Houston is the Post Commander for Brownsville VFW Post 6937 and a combat veteran.
Col. Houston discussed why he wanted to help in Edmonson County Schools.
"I’ve often felt that if there was a mass shooting or other attack, that if I were present, I might be able to help," he said. "While I am somewhat mobility impaired because of night rough-terrain parachute equipment jumps and a helicopter crash, I remain an excellent marksman and I’ve been under fire several dozen times while deployed in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1992-93 with the Marines. In terms of where I could help, since I’d be terrible at chasing criminals, I felt I’d be able to contribute in protecting a place, and what could be more important than deterring or defending against any threats to our children?"
In addition to the new hire and appointees, 6-year veteran of the office, Detective Wally Ritter was promoted to the rank of sergeant.
"Sgt. Ritter has proven himself with his work ethic and dedication to this job," said Sheriff Doyle. "Not only did I need additional help with our office, I felt that he needed to be recognized for his effort."
Doyle said Edmonson County is very fortunate to have a group of qualified officers, especially the volunteers.
"Our call volume has doubled over the last five years and that's why we have to rely on so many volunteers," he said. "Thankfully, I trust them just like the other officers on our team."
County Tax Rates Will Remain The Same As Previous Year
Darren Doyle, story:
A short fiscal court meeting was held in lieu of a light agenda today in the Edmonson County courthouse. The fiscal court voted to keep property tax rates for this year the same as last for property, motor vehicle, and water craft taxes.
A special public hearing was held at 8:45am, prior to the regular meeting to allow public comments on tax rates from county residents, and there were none.
The rates will be as follows: (cents per $100)
Property taxes: 13.9
Tangible Property tax: 19.5
Inventory tax: 17.1
Motor Vehicle tax: 19.5
Water Craft tax: 19.5
Aircraft tax: 19.5
The Ag-Extension Office and Public Health tax rates also will remain the same as last year's.
The following county offices gave individual reports:
Road Report: County Road Foreman Greg Carroll updated the court regarding Aramark uniform service, with whom the county discontinued their agreement due to what they said was a breach of contract on Aramark's part. He said the company picked up the remaining uniforms and County Treasurer Tammi Willhite noted that the county had received another bill for their services. Judge Cannon noted that the bill will not be paid, due to the end in agreement.
Carroll said crews had finished paving five different roads in District 4 and had started work on Troy Goins Rd. He also reported that to date, over $628K in paving had been done by the county this year, which added up to over 16 miles.
Both Sheriff Shane Doyle and Emergency Management Director Terry Massey were attending meetings out of town so there were no Sheriff or EM reports.
Deputy County Clerk Jason Alexander reported that the delinquent tax sale is scheduled for tomorrow, September 10th.
Jailer Report: County Jailer Hank Vincent reported 27 county inmates currently housed at Hart County Jail with one more housed at Butler County Jail.
Community Center Rental:
At the last fiscal court meeting, a resident attended to request rental of the kitchen space in the community center for her for-profit lunch delivery business. The resident offered the county $15 per day rental on the kitchen only, Monday thru Friday. Normal price of renting the community center is currently $60 per day, which includes the kitchen and auditorium. The court voted to give Judge Wil Cannon authority to further research and bring a suggestion to the court at today's meeting.
Today, Cannon recommended a rental price of the entire community center at $30 per day, Monday through Thursday, with rentals staying at $60 per day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with the exceptions of holidays. Magistrate Mark Meeks said he had received calls from residents stating their opposition to renting the kitchen out for private businesses and said he felt it was unfair to other restaurants who are renting, owning, and maintaining their own facilities. Cannon said that the county rents out the space without becoming involved in the renters' private business matters, as long as "it's not illegal or immoral," even though to his knowledge, most all renters used the kitchen for private family or benefit events.
Meeks agreed, but noted that other users haven't requested to rent the facility on a consistent daily basis, and that commercial use isn't normally requested.
County Attorney Greg Vincent said if the court voted to rent the facility for commercial purposes, to also require commercial users to carry at least a one million dollar liability insurance policy, to protect the county's liability, to which Cannon agreed. A motion was made by Magistrate Edd Rich and seconded by Magistrate Clark Wood. That motion passed.
The court also voted to:
The next fiscal court meeting is scheduled for Monday, September 23rd, at 9am, in the Edmonson County Courthouse.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
A section of KY 1749, Wingfield Church Road between mile point 3 and mile point 4 in Edmonson County will be closed beginning Sept. 9, according to the KY Transportation Cabinet, District 3. The described area is near Little Beaverdam Creek, around Smith Road.
The roadway is expected to reopen on Sept. 30, but work is weather dependent. A signed detour utilizing KY 743, U.S. 31-W, KY 526 and KY 185 will be in place. The closure is necessary for road repairs. Motorists should allow for extra travel time due to the detour.
County Schools Begin Process of Cooperating With State's "Tobacco Free" Law With Signage Through Grant
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
The Edmonson County School System is already making plans to be in compliance with a new state law requiring all KY school properties to be 100% tobacco and electronic smoking device-free by July 2020 with new signage.
Kathy Thweatt, a health educator from Barren River District Health Department, presented over a dozen signs to Edmonson County Schools today that were purchased through a grant obtained by Thweatt from the KY Dept. of Public Health.
The legislative mandate that was signed by the Governor in April of this year, requires all schools in Kentucky to be completely tobacco-free and electronic cigarette-free in all schools, on all school property, and by all students, visitors, teachers, administrators, and school staff.
The installations of the signs will begin immediately with hope that everyone will begin the process of following the mandate, which will become fully in effect in ten months.
"We started this process with these signs to get the word out about going tobacco and vaping-free," said Patrick Waddell, Supt. of Edmonson County Schools. "As they say, it's hard to quit anything 'cold-turkey,' so these signs will be put to use immediately in order for us to comply by July 2020."
The new law means no smoking, chewing, dip, or any e-cigarette, vaping, or juul-pod device will be allowed anywhere on school property; which will include schools, the board office, school sporting events, sidewalks, or any other school property.
"If the school owns the property, you can't use these products on that property after July 2020," said Waddell. "So we're asking everyone to start that process now."
Thweatt said local health departments strive to be a valued resource for schools and this was another way for the BRDHD to be such a resource.
"Schools have always been great community partners with us, so we want nothing more to continue to be the same great community partners with them," she said.
Waddell said when trying to teach students the dangers of tobacco and vaping products, it can be perceived as hypocritical to continue to allow those products on school property.
"As adults, we need to set the proper examples for our students and this is an excellent way to do that. Whether school is in session or not, these tobacco and vaping products will not be allowed, so we're working now to make sure everyone complies by next summer."
Moriah Peterson, story and photos:
The Edmonson Voice is celebrating 5 years this week as the county's first completely web-based news source. The online company has 20,000 users each week to its site, EdmonsonVoice.com, which is significant in comparison to the county's total population of just over 12,000.
What makes those numbers even more interesting is that owner Darren Doyle says that despite 98% of the content of "The Voice," as it's more commonly known, is Edmonson County-based, the news site draws plenty of readers from outside of Edmonson County.
Doyle, who was better known as a local musician than newsman before the company's launch in September of 2014, discussed the origins of the site and its draw to readers.
"I've enjoyed a ton of memorable opportunities and experiences in my adult life, mostly those that revolved around music and music production," he said. "After running a local recording studio for about 10 years, the market and demand for small, hometown studios became less and less and I knew it was time to do something else."
That "something else" came to him at around 3am one morning on an August night, he said.
"I had gotten into a really low place because work was so slow. I'd been struggling for several months and it's a much longer story than I'll share here, but basically I'd tried fixing everything all by myself, which hadn't worked. I finally just prayed the right prayer and turned it over to the Good Lord. Once I got willing to follow whatever direction God laid out, I was confident something would positive would happen. I just remember waking up in the middle of the night and very plainly, these words came to me: 'Edmonson County needs an online news source, and you're going to run it.' I thought about it just for a second and then basically just nodded and said. 'Yep. Okay then.'"
Doyle said the first thing he did when he woke up the next morning was Google "how to build a website."
"That's how much I knew about websites then," he said, laughing. "I'd worked with several regional media outlets over the years while I worked in video and audio production and had built lots of professional relationships with folks from local TV, radio, and newspapers. With an interest in news, experience with media, and hometown pride, the only thing I needed to do was figure out how to create a good platform. I built EdmonsonVoice.com in 10 days and had contacted my first group of potential sponsors shortly after. I basically had a website model to show them, but with no articles. I didn't really have a product to sell them but those few business owners believed in me--and that's what helped fund the beginning of The Voice."
The first week's numbers topped the only other local news source in the county at that time (according to their own published numbers) and from there, the online media outlet has continued to grow ever since.
The Voice also has a hefty social media following on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and the mobile app, which is available on iTunes and on Google Play is used by thousands each day.
The company later signed an agreement with Edmonson County Schools to be the exclusive audio and video broadcast provider of ECHS football and basketball, where games are streamed on the site with the Edmonson Voice WildcatsLive crew. The Voice's SUV came along in 2016 and was named "The Voicemobile."
In addition to three broadcasters: Jamie Carnes, Scott Lindsey, and Granville Meredith, The Voice also has regional meteorologist Landon Hampton, along with Josh Boyd--a newly added weekly columnist, and local reporter/staff photographer Moriah Peterson, as part of the EV team. There is also an anonymous local advice columnist--who responds to questions mostly tongue-in-cheek--with a periodic feature called "Ask Mongoose."
The Voice has not existed without criticism, Doyle says, but that's part of the world of media.
"When you cover news in a small town, it's going to be rare to publish something that doesn't affect a large group of people personally," he said. "Sometimes the effect is positive, sometimes negative, but we have to strive to simply report the information and let the readers react accordingly. We'll publish something and this side over here loves it while that side over there calls it 'fake news,' threatens to sue, and all that. We've found that just staying down the middle works the best. We stay away from opinion and editorial pieces because I learned early on that people don't really care about that stuff. People don't click on the Voice to hear what I think, personally...they just want to know what's going on so they can form what they think for themselves. We don't endorse people politically or take sides with agendas. That's not the job of news, especially at a local level, and I believe that's why we've seen success."
The content of the Edmonson Voice is completely free to the public, which is made possible from sponsors and advertisers. The outlet is completely funded through ad sales, and Doyle says 92% of those sponsors are Edmonson County-based businesses.
Doyle also said that it's always an adventure when the phone rings because he doesn't know what's coming next.
"When we first began, people would call and ask the craziest things. Things like what time does this particular event start, what bus does my kid need to ride, what is the phone number to ______, or my favorite--where is that ambulance going? It used to get on my last nerve until one day when I told the caller I had no clue as to what he was asking, he replied with, "Well, you're the Edmonson Voice ain't ya? I thought ya'll knew everything that was happening around here!" It was then that I realized people really put a lot of stock in what we report and who we are, so I just tried harder to provide information people needed."
While all the team members of the Edmonson Voice make it a success, Doyle stays involved in all aspects of it, which includes reporting, conducting interviews, photography, audio and video production, attending wrecks, fires, and other emergencies, while attending local events and making the day-to-day decisions of what goes into the news.
"Studies say that if a business can make it through the first five years, they normally can stay for the duration," Doyle said. "It doesn't seem like five years," Doyle said. "I guess that's because I enjoy what we do so much. I'm truly thankful to be able to live and work in my home county, and for all the support we get. That support is not just from our sponsors, but from our readers. We keep reporting, people keep reading and watching, so hopefully we'll stay around for many years to come."
The Edmonson Voice is also hosting a 5-year Anniversary prize giveaway on their Facebook Page that includes nearly $1000 in prizes, made possible by local sponsors. Just follow the instructions on the prize giveaway post for your chance to win.
Trespass Complaint Leads To Drug Arrests For Teens
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office reported several arrests in Edmonson County over the Labor Day weekend, according to a series of press releases from their office today.
The releases stated that around 6:00 pm on Friday, August 30th, the sheriff's office received a trespassing complaint on Grassland Road in Brownsville. Once on scene, a juvenile from Smiths Grove, KY, along with Jagger Keith Filback (18) of Franklin, KY were told they were trespassing on the property and asked to leave at the request of the owner, according to the sheriff's office.
The two individuals were reportedly seen with a black backpack when deputies first arrived and after being instructed to leave, a black backpack, fitting the same description as seen by Deputies earlier, was discovered inside the residence by the owner, according to authorities. Officials said that a search of the black backpack by Deputies revealed suspected methamphetamine, suspected marijuana, and various drug paraphernalia. The juvenile and Jagger Keith Filback were each questioned in reference to the black backpack by local law enforcement and were then arrested and charged with Possession Controlled Substance, 1st Degree, 1st Offense (methamphetamine); Tampering with Physical Evidence; Drug Paraphernalia—Buy/Possess; and Possession of Marijuana.
Filback was also charged with Unlawful Transaction with a Minor, 1st—Illegal Controlled Substance, Under 18 Years of Age.
Road Safety Checkpoint Results In DUI, Drug Arrest
The Sheriff's Office also reported that around 8:30 pm on Saturday, August 31st during a Road Safety Check Point on Nolin Dam Road, deputies came into contact with Joseph Sherley (55) of Shepherdsville, KY, who allegedly admitted to drinking alcohol an hour or two earlier.
Deputies also said they detected the strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. A search of the vehicle produced marijuana, a cold Bud Light beer that was opened, and two suspected Hydrocodone pills; all items were found in the driver’s side door, according to deputies. Sherley also allegedly admitted to smoking marijuana and taking Hydrocodone pills earlier in the day, in conjunction with drinking alcohol. Sheriff’s deputies said they administered field sobriety tests, which resulted in Sherley being charged with Operating a Motor Vehicle under the Influence of Alcohol/Drugs/ Etc., 1st Offense; Prescription Controlled Substance Not in Original Container, 1st Offense; Possession of Marijuana; Possession of Open Alcoholic Beverage in Motor Vehicle Prohibited. He was arrested on scene and lodged in Hart County Jail.
A passenger in Sherley’s vehicle, Deanna L. Mills (51) also of Shepherdsville, KY, showed signs of intoxication with slurred speech and admitted to drinking alcohol, according to a press release from the Sheriff. She reportedly did not have a valid driver’s license and did not know of anyone in the general area that could come pick her up, so, due to her level of intoxication, she was charged with Alcohol Intoxication in a Public Place (1st and 2nd Offenses). She was also arrested on scene and lodged in Hart County Jail.
Motorist Assist Stop Results in Warrant, Meth Arrest
The Sheriff's Office also reported that on Monday, September 2nd, an Edmonson County Sheriff’s deputy stopped at Dru’s Flooring in Brownsville for a possible motorist assist all, after the deputy saw a vehicle in the parking lot with its hood up. The deputy reportedly recognized the subject with the vehicle to be Brandon Coy (31) of Wingfield Church Road in Bowling Green, KY, who the deputy knew to have an active Warrant of Arrest from a charge of Failure of Owner to Maintain Required Insurance, 2nd Degree/2nd Offense.
Coy was immediately placed under arrest for the warrant, but deputies also discovered that he had a bag of suspected methamphetamine in his pocket, according to the press release. In addition to being served the warrant, Coy was also charged with Possession of Controlled Substance, 1st Degree/1st Offense (methamphetamine); he was lodged in Hart County Jail.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
On Tuesday morning, four Warren RECC crews left Kentucky bound for Okefenoke Rural Electric Membership Corporation (REMC) in Hilliard, Florida. The crews will help repair damage and restore power in areas hit by Hurricane Dorian.
Warren RECC joins several Kentucky electric cooperatives heading to the East Coast, and the number is expected to grow as the storm damage is assessed. As always, the first priority of Warren RECC is to ensure our members have safe, reliable power. Warren RECC will have ample crews available for all local needs, including routine maintenance and emergencies.
“Mutual aid among cooperatives is an important part of our business model. We are proud of our employees who are willing and eager to help in times of need and we wish them the best as they leave their homes and head into a major storm,” said Dewayne McDonald, Interim President and CEO of Warren RECC.
Warren RECC crews will remain in Florida as long as they are needed, with relief crews available if necessary.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Four individuals have been arrested and now face multiple felony drug charges as a result of a complaint call of a toddler that was reported alone in the middle of the road, according to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
Officials reported that around 6:30 pm on Wednesday evening, Edmonson County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the 19000 block of Louisville Road in response of a call that a toddler, who had almost been hit by a vehicle, was wandering alone in the middle of the road.
According to a press release, the toddler’s mother had already retrieved the child from the driver who had called the incident into E-911 Dispatch. The mother of the child, identified as Brittney Decker Houchin (25) of Rocky Hill, told deputies she was “cleaning up a trailer” behind the residence and had left the child in the care of Sherry Davis (57), also of Rocky Hill, according to the release. Deputies said that the trailer referred to by Houchin was actually a camper where deputies reportedly found what they suspected to be multiple forms of drug paraphernalia related to using methamphetamine.
Officials said that Houchin then stated that she had been in a shed instead of the camper, where deputies found suspected Suboxone and a mirror with suspected drug residue on it. Sherry Davis was reportedly found inside the Louisville Road residence and allegedly told Deputies she “didn’t know where they went” when asked about the two-year old child wandering alone in the middle of the road, while supposedly under her supervision.
Deputies reportedly found suspected Suboxone, Clonazepam, and Gabapentin, along with various forms of suspected drug paraphernalia inside Davis’ purse. Also found inside the residence was Patrick Flannery (19) of Rocky Hill where deputies also reportedly found suspected Suboxone and drug paraphernalia with white residue, believed to be methamphetamine, according to the press release. The release also stated that Jonathan Rogers (22) of Auburn, who reportedly walked out of the woods when Deputies arrived stated he had been “in the shed out back” which drugs and drug paraphernalia had already been found.
Sherry Davis was charged with Possession of Controlled Substance, 1st Degree, 1st Offense (methamphetamine); Possession Controlled Substance, 2nd Degree (drug unspecified); Tampering with Physical Evidence; and Endangering the Welfare of a Minor.
Brittney Decker Houchin was charged with Possession of Controlled Substance, 1st Degree, 1st Offense (methamphetamine); Possession of Controlled Substance, 2nd Degree (drug unspecified); Drug Paraphernalia—Buy/Possess; and Endangering the Welfare of a Minor.
Patrick Flannery was charged with Possession of Controlled Substance, 1st Degree, 1st Offense (methamphetamine); Possession of Controlled Substance, 2nd Degree (drug unspecified); Drug Paraphernalia—Buy/Possess.
Jonathan Rogers was charged with Possession of Controlled Substance, 1st Degree, 1st Offense (methamphetamine); Possession of Controlled Substance, 2nd Degree (drug unspecified); and Drug Paraphernalia—Buy/Possess.
All four were arrested on scene and lodged in Hart County Jail.
"Edmonson County Sheriff’s Office very much thanks the citizen that stopped traffic and put the child in their vehicle, while waiting on law enforcement to arrive, as they likely saved the child from serious injury," said the sheriff's office in the released statement.