Madison Doyle, story and photos:
The Edmonson County Chamber of Commerce celebrated its second annual Big Brownsville Bash with multiple events starting Thursday and running through today. Many families came out to the square to see all the fun, such as a car show, several food trucks, a crafts and vendor fair, art exhibits, and face painting. There was also a 5K, a kayak challenge, cornhole tournaments,and a one mile walk.
Below is a slideshow of different events and exhibits:
Darren Doyle, story:
The Edmonson County Water District has lifted the boil water advisory to all customers south of the Green River that was issued on June 1, 2023.
The full statement below:
“The Edmonson County Water District has lifted the boil water advisory that was issued on June 1st., 2023 for customers south of green river, which included the communities of Chalybeate, Cedar Springs, Wingfield, Rocky Hill, Arthur, Pig, Otter Gap, Shadyland, Chaumont, Fairview, Mohawk, Upper Smiths Grove area, and Rocky Hill.
Samples that were taken were negative and the water has been deemed safe to drink by the Environmental Protection Agency. If there are any questions you may call the Edmonson County Water District at 270-597-2165.”
Madison Doyle, story and photos:
The Edmonson County Chamber of Commerce Big Brownsville Bash second annual beauty pageant was held last night in the ECHS Auditorium. The event was organized by Lori Alexander, and was sponsored by the Bank of Edmonson County.
Katherine Kinser, of Bowling Green, was named Miss Brownsville. The rest of the winners are as follows:
Overall Winner: Sadie Jane Minor
Local Winner: Lyla Jane Massey
1st Runner Up: Kimber Jo Swift
2nd Runner Up: Kaylee Garrett
3rd Runner Up: Lexi Phillips
Overall Winner: Lynna Karoline Dennison
Local Winner: Ava Caroline Kemble
1st Runner Up: Marlee Martin
2nd Runner Up: Abby Phillips
Overall Winner: Jocelyn Kate Kemble
Local Winner: Emma Kay Jaggers
1st Runner Up: Bryleigh Elizabeth Self
Overall Winner Hannah Claire Cassady
Local Winner: Abigail Elizabeth Hogg
Overall Winner: Katherine Kinser
Local Winner: Skylar Hawks
1st Runner Up: Haley Wallingford
2nd Runner Up: Makayla Gillis Hogg
Madison Doyle, story and photos:
The Edmonson County Chamber of Commerce Big Brownsville Bash second annual baby show was last night, June 1, 2023 at the Edmonson County Community Center.
The event was presented by the Edmonson County Homemakers, and sponsored by Scott Skaggs Photography and the Hidden Homestead. The overall girls division winner was Luna Richmond, daughter of Page and Dakota Richmond of Pig. The overall boys division winner was Kacen Findley, son of Alyssa Findley from Grayson County. The rest of the winners are as follows:
0-6 month girls:
Winner: Madeline Harper Casey, daughter of Lauren and Josh Casey.
1st place: Kinlee Brooks, daughter of Megan Mercer.
2nd place: Naomi Logsdon, daughter of Josie and Kenny Logsdon.
0-6 month boys:
Winner: Kacen Findley, son of Alyssa Findley.
1st place: Maverick Oller, son of Austin and Taylor Oller.
7-12 month girls:
Winner: Abby Sue Marie, daughter of Sarah and Timmy Garner
1st place: Emery Heaverin, daughter of Kaylee and Nick Heaverin.
2nd place: Thea Mae Frederick, daughter of Hunter and Emily Frederick.
3rd place: RaeLynn Lavon Lamastus, daughter of Jacob and Heather Lamastus.
7-12 month boys:
Winner: Atlas Gauge Minor, son of David Lee and Cherokee Minor.
1st place: Zeke Dewayne Roof, son of Josh and Janna Roof.
13-18 month girls:
Winner: Callie Sowders, daughter of Haley and Casey Sowders.
1st place: Kassie Garrett, daughter of Brittany Davis and Josh Garrett.
2nd place: Emaline Meredith, daughter of Drew and Brianna Meredith.
13-18 month boys:
Winner: Maverick Hennion, son of Ryan and Destiney Hennion.
19-24 month girls:
Winner: Olivia Gentry, daughter of Dalton and Shana Gentry.
1st Place: Charlotte Girard, daughter of Josh and Samantha Girard.
19-24 month boys:
Winner: Eli Avery-Woodcock, son of Kaelynn Woodcock.
2 year old girl:
Winner: Luna Richmond, daughter of Page and Dakota Richmond.
1st place: Marley Jones, daughter of Isaac and Julie Jones.
2nd place: Harper Kate Cassady, daughter of Kyle and Staffane Cassady.
2 year old boy:
Winner: Abel Neal Hennion, son of Ryan and Destiney Hennion.
1st Place: Rowan James Minor, son of Cherokee and David Lee Minor.
3 year old girls:
Winner: Tilly Jo Massey, daughter of T.J. and Alex Jane Massey.
1st place: Adalee Cait Minor, daughter of Cherokee and David Lee Minor.
2nd place: Amelia Phillips, daughter of William and Amanda Phillips.
3 year old boy winner:
Jonathan Kane Kemble, son of Josh and Courtney Kemble.
Boil Water Advisory For All Customers South of Green River, Excluding Brownsville
**UPDATE JUNE 3, 2023: THE BOIL WATER ADVISORY WAS LIFTED AT 11:50AM**
The Edmonson County Water District has issued a boil water advisory to all customers south of the Green River, excluding Brownsville Water customers.
The full statement is published below:
This is a message from the Edmonson County Water District on June 1st, 2023. The Edmonson County Water District has issued a boil water advisory because the potential exists for bacteriological contamination due to low pressure or no pressure because of a main line break.
The areas affected are all customers south of Green River but not including the city of Brownsville. The areas impacted include, but are not limited to, the communities of Chalybeate, Cedar Springs, Wingfield, Rocky Hill, Arthur, Pig, Otter Gap, Shadyland, Chaumont, Fairview, Mohawk, Upper Smiths Grove area, and Rocky Hill.
The advisory will remain in effect until water samples have been taken and the threat of contamination has been eliminated to the satisfaction of the Environmental Protection Agency.
You must bring your water to a rolling boil for at least three minutes. If there are any questions you may call the Edmonson County Water District at 270-597-2165.
Smiths Grove Man Faces Over a Dozen Charges
Darren Doyle, story:
A Smiths Grove man is in jail after a pursuit that stemmed from a domestic incident, which also led to a Grand Jury Indictment that included a host of charges.
According to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, a deputy was dispatched to a residence in Brownsville on April 16, 2023 as a result of a disturbance where a male subject was throwing things around. The deputy reported that the male subject, Kevin D. Miller, (42) of Smiths Grove, would not identify himself but said he was only getting some personal items and would be leaving. The deputy stated that there was no reason for further investigation and the deputy left.
The deputy then reported that he was dispatched back to the same residence a few minutes later where the situation had escalated into Miller throwing a knife and arming himself with a shotgun. The deputy reported that he blocked the driveway of the residence as Miller attempted to leave, but Miller drove around him over the sidewalk and fled on Veterans Memorial HWY at a speed of over 100MPH.
The deputy reported that Miller turned onto HWY 743 (Chalybeate School Road) and continued driving erratically. The pursuit eventually continued onto Pine Grove Church Road, Henry Meredith Road, then other small roads when the deputy lost sight of the subject and the pursuit was temporarily terminated. Edmonson County units notified KSP and soon met up with Warren County units during the pursuit.
According to the Sheriff's office, law enforcement received a tip that Miller could be found at a residence on Penns Chapel Road and both Edmonson and Warren County deputies, and the Edmonson County Sheriff, found Miller at the residence. The deputy reported that after a brief struggle, Miller was subdued and arrested. A search of his vehicle resulted in the discovery of marijuana, unknown pills, and a sawed-off shotgun. It was also discovered that Miller was a previously convicted felon. Miller was transported to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office where he became uncooperative and disorderly, according to the Sheriff's office.
It was also reported that Miller exposed himself to a minor female, the Sheriff's Office stated.
He was then transported to Caverna Hospital after he requested to see a doctor, then on to Hart County Jail, the Sheriff's Office stated. Miller was recently indicted by an Edmonson County Grand Jury on multiple misdemeanors and felonies.
He faces the following charges:
Miller is currently being held on a $7500 cash bond.
Grand Jury Releases Indictments
Edmonson Voice Report:
An Edmonson County Grand Jury recently returned the following indictments:
Jess Andrew Mason: Tampering with physical evidence, Criminal mischief first degree, Criminal mischief third degree.
Justin David Vincent: Fleeing or evading police first degree, Reckless driving, Speeding, Persistent felony offender first degree.
Katie Danielle Baldwin: Criminal abuse first degree (3 counts), Failure to notify address change to department of transportation, Improper registration plates.
Kevin Dewayne Miller: Fleeing or evading police first degree, Possession of a defaced firearm, Resisting arrest, Operating on a suspended or revoked operator's license, Possession of marijuana, Failure to produce proof of insurance, Speeding, Persistent felony offender first degree.
Kevin Dewayne Miller: Possession of firearm by a convicted felon, Persistent felony offender first degree.
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.
Madison Doyle, story and photos:
The annual Memorial Day ceremony was held today in the Edmonson County Courthouse yard. This year's ceremony featured many guest speakers, special recognition of several groups and individuals, with a couple of musical performances.
DAV Commander, Jack Hasty, began the ceremony by welcoming the crowd, which was even larger than last year's. The VFW Post 6937 Honor Guard and the Scouts of America Pack 597 presented the the United States flag.
Nathan Carrol, DAV Chaplain, then explained the protocol for the raising or lowering of the American flag, and also the meaning of Memorial Day.
"People often confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day as the same celebration, and it's not," said Carrol. "Veterans Day is in November, and it's when we honor those soldiers who are still here with us today. Memorial Day is more sorrowful, because today we honor those who have fallen."
After being led in the pledge of allegiance by the Scouts of America, and a performance of the National Anthem by the South Edmonson Bulldog Choir, Brother Jerry Patton led in prayer, and then Jack Hasty introduced the four guest speakers: Representative Michael Lee Meredith, Circuit Court Judge J.B. Hines, Judge/Executive Scott Lindsey, and DAV Member Wil Cannon.
Each of these speakers spoke on their thankfulness for the patriotism shown in Edmonson County, and each said they were "extremely proud" to live here.
Penny Saltsman recognized all of the veterans in attendance, and Maurita Miller and Gerald Carroll recognized the two guest veterans, Paul Vincent and D.C. Decker. These two men are Edmonson County's only remaining World War II veterans. There are currently only 7,000 World War II vets remaining.
The South Edmonson Bulldog Choir performed a second time, singing "American Tears" and receiving a standing ovation from the veterans in attendance.
The ceremony was concluded by a 21 gun salute from the VFW 6937 Honor Guard, and the playing of taps by Benny Durbin, DAV member.
ECHS Celebrates 2023 Graduation
147 Graduating Members
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Edmonson County High School was packed once again as 147 diplomas were awarded during the 2023 commencement ceremony in the gym.
This year was the first to recognize students in the Latin Honor System instead of valedictorian and salutatorian, with students being named Summa Cum Laude (GPA of 4.0 or higher), Magna Cum Laude (3.7-3.99 GPA) and Cum Laude (3.4-3.69 GPA). Thirty-two students were named to the highest honor of Summa Cum Laude.
The ceremony began with "Pomp and Circumstance," performed by the ECHS Band, then a welcome from Principal Jonathan Williams.
Much of the ceremony was student-led, and senior Emma White introduced Brody Johnson, who performed the National Anthem. Johnson also performed a musical number, which was a combination of the songs "The Edge of Glory," and "Landslide."
MaKaylee Thompson introduced the panel, which consisted of Board administration, Board of Education members, school administration, and guidance counselors.
Special recognitions were given by Mr. Kevan Alford and Mrs. Kori Skaggs, counselors, Asst. Principal Mrs. Nikki Culbreth, and Mrs. Charla Caudill, Dean of Students.
Kylee Houchin gave the introduction for Alyssa Doyle, who performed the song "Never Grow Up."
Carlie Johnson then introduced the class president Wade Luttrell, who delivered the presidential address.
Superintendent of Schools Brian Alexander then presented the diplomas as Mr. Alford called the names of this year's graduates.
Once diplomas were presented and all the class was seated, Mr. Williams then dismissed the class of 2023 as the seniors tossed their caps into the air in celebration.
Darren Doyle, story:
The Edmonson County High School Class of 2023 will hold its annual graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 27th at 2PM in the ECHS gym.
The school said that 147 students will be graduating.
Doors will open at 1PM.
Edmonson Water Pleads Case to Lawmakers As River Intakes Reach Critical Condition From Dam Projects
Many Questions Still Remain Unanswered
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Edmonson County Water District Manager Tony Sanders, members of the Edmonson County Water Commission, and staff members spoke to representatives of Senator Mitch McConnell, Senator Rand Paul, and Congressman Brett Guthrie today in a meeting where the condition of the intakes for the Water District in the Green River have reached a critical condition.
Also present at the meeting was State Rep. Michael Meredith as well as representatives from local tourism, business owners, engineers, and other elected officials.
Mr. Kelly Rosser, a diver from Green River Commercial Diving, which is a contractor with Edmonson Water, showed video and photos of intakes at the bottom of Green River that were nearly covered in sand and sediment. This keeps the intakes from working and Sanders said that if water levels reach where they did last year, Edmonson County Water customers could face a very difficult situation.
"I've worked for many water plants over the state of Kentucky, some in Tennessee, we did a little bit up in Indiana and Ohio," Rosser said. "I've seen a little bit of many different types of intakes. From large to small, but I will say as far as what I see here in Edmonson County and Brownsville, it's probably one of the most critical situations right now, out of any of the water plants I've worked with."
Green River Lock and Dam #6 failed back in 2016 and was removed in March of 2017 under the direction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. At that time, the process was celebrated by federal, state, and local officials, as it was supposed to increase canoes, kayaking, and similar recreational activities on the Green River; however, once Lock and Dam #5 in Roundhill was partially removed in September of 2021, the water levels in Brownsville drastically dropped. Erosion all along the Nolin River caused trees and logs to clog up canoe and kayak routes as well. Houchins Ferry was removed years ago and Green River Ferry in Mammoth Cave constantly shuts down with little notice.
Lock #6 was removed because it failed and posed a huge safety issue, but Sanders said today that Lock #5 was removed for other reasons.
"I don't think Lock and Dam #5 was structurally going to fail. It was removed to get the river back to it's natural state before the dam was put in," Sanders said. "There's some endangered species with mussels and things, the way I understand it after talking to fish and wildlife, around Lock #5. So that is part of the reason, to get it back to it's natural state and where fish and mussels and things can repopulate."
Several in attendance murmured at the notion that mussels and fish were seemingly prioritized over the Water District's approximately 11K customer accounts, which equates to approximately 30K people in Edmonson, Grayson, and Hart Counties. The boat ramp at Brownsville is inaccessible to trailers, and canoe and kayakers have to carry their vessels a long way to have access. It was discussed at today's meeting that there is currently no boat ramp access from Lock #5 in Roundhill all the way to Green River Ferry.
Multiple Water District employees spoke today about the difficulty of the treatment of water as a result of the sand and sediment. Filtering becomes problematic and workdays that were once 8 to 12 hours for water treatment workers are now becoming 14-16 hour days. Increased costs could eventually lead to higher rates for customers.
During the drought situation that was faced last year, the U.S.ACE halted the dam removal at #5 until a solution could be obtained. Edmonson Water Commissioner Barry Rich said whatever solution that was supposed to be should have happened far before now.
Edmonson County Judge/Executive Scott Lindsey said that current water levels are already a foot below where officials were told they would be once the dam was removed. The bigger problem with that is that the dam has only been partially removed.
"When we first caught this problem, we thought we would have this resolved within a few weeks, well, here we're fixing to go back in the same situation. In a month or so it's going to be a year, and they haven't told us anything," Rich said.
Sanders said the planning and scheduling for today's meeting started two months ago but scheduling conflicts kept bringing delays. He said today was suggested by the Corps but he got an email yesterday that he said stated no one would be available to attend from the Corps.
Sanders said the purpose of today's meeting was to first educate community leaders and the media of the dire situation that Edmonson Water faces, and to ask for action to be taken.
"It seems that with the removal of the dams, we have had a change in the river flow and stream," Sanders said. "That depth of water is not there anymore. My concern is, with a new intake, or moving them out further, it's not going to take care of the problem. Unfortunately, I don't have the answers, though. The only thing I can think of is that something is going to have to be built below our intake or some type of structure that can hold a pool of water that is deep enough for us to be able to get water out of there."
Sanders later said that the Corps and the Nature Conservancy have partnered together to work on a solution. He said the Nature Conservancy now has a new engineering firm that is supposed to be benifical. He credited them for their eagerness to work with the District.
Sanders noted that when Nolin Lake began to drop the level of the lake to winter pool, the district received many customer complaints of discolored water that had an odor. Water from the lake is released into Nolin River at the dam, and the water comes from the bottom of the lake where most of the bacteria and dark mud is. He said that while the water was still safe to drink, people were still unhappy, and he understood why.
"The water quality that was released was so bad and the amount of water that we had left in the river to help dilute that, it was just about untreatable," Sanders said.
Normally, this doesn't affect water quality too much because the level of the Green River is enough to dilute to lake water, which has been easily treatable in the past.
"People want good-smelling, and good-tasting water," He added.
Rep. Michael Meredith said studies back several years ago showed Lock #6 could have been repaired cheaper than being removed. That didn't happen and the dam failed, forcing a removal.
At several times during the meeting, Sanders said something along the lines of "that's a question for the Corps," who obviously wasn't there. He said the Corps asked to have a separate meeting in a couple weeks at the Nolin Lake office with a much smaller audience with no media. Also, at multiple times during the meeting, different speakers said the Water District was "at the mercy of the Corps."
We reached out to the Nolin office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and asked why no one was present at today's meeting. They referred us to Abby Korfhage, Public Affairs Specialist, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville District, who emailed a response. She said she would speak with her team in the morning and provide more information and then stated the following:
“Green River Dam No. 5 removal efforts were temporarily suspended in July 2022 due to concerns from the Edmonson County Water District regarding water levels. We fully understand the concerns from ECWD, and their water supply remains of utmost importance. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District, in partnership with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Nature Conservancy, have worked collectively over the last year to perform additional surveys, data analysis and additional modeling to further analyze the effects of dam removal on water levels in the river under varying conditions. We will continue coordination with ECWD in the coming weeks. USACE is committed to keeping our stakeholders and the public informed as we collectively move forward.”
***Update: 5/26/23: We received the following statement from Abby Korfhage, Public Affairs Specialist, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville District on Friday at 2:03PM regarding the meeting yesterday:
"The information you have surrounding The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District’s participation in Edmonson County Water District’s public meeting yesterday is not accurate. The Corps has been in frequent communication with ECWD and has worked collaboratively with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Nature Conservancy over the past year to perform additional surveys, data analysis and additional modeling to further analyze the effects of dam removal on water levels in the river under varying conditions. We will continue coordination with ECWD in the coming weeks. USACE is committed to keeping our stakeholders and the public informed as we collectively move forward."
Representatives from the offices of Senator McConnell, Senator Paul, and Rep. Guthrie who were in attendance, all agreed that local lawmakers at the federal level are in support of the Water District.
After the meeting, we asked Tony Sanders how he felt the meeting went.
"I thought the meeting went well," he replied. "I feel that everything was explained and presented well, and the true situation was brought to light."
We also asked if nothing changes, what does the immediate future look like for Edmonson Water customers?
"I don't really know," he said. "The problem is, so much sediment is covering the intake. If water gets as low as it did last year, things are going to be very difficult."
Edmonson Voice Report:
The Bank of Edmonson County is warning of a current scam where calls and texts are going out that falsely appear to be from their bank.
Bank COO Donna Bagshaw said the a bank customer will receive a text message asking them to verify their most recent transaction and almost immediately after, the customer will receive a call from what looks like the Bank of Edmonson County telling them that their debit card has been compromised.
"The caller reads the customer the first 8 digits of their card number and asks the customer to give the caller the last 8 digits, the expiration date, and the 3-digit code on the back of the card," she said.
"The bank will never, ever contact you for your card number because they already have that information. If you receive any texts or calls asking for your banking information, do not respond to the text, hang up on the caller and call the bank’s bookkeeping department immediately at 270-597-2175."
I-65 Resurfacing Project in Barren and Edmonson Counties Expected to Start this Week
Lane Closures and Delays Possible, Motorists Urged to Use Caution
Edmonson Voice Report:
A project to resurface a section of Interstate 65 in Barren and Edmonson Counties is expected to begin soon. Various lane closures at various times should be expected from mile points 43 to 48 from today through the end of the year. Motorists should expect delays, traffic congestion, and slowed and stopped traffic during the lane closures.
Crews will begin prep work for the resurfacing phase and drainage work beginning today near the 43 mile marker. Beginning tonight I-65 is expected to be down to one lane between mile markers 46 and 48 from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. for the rest of the week. Project progression will dictate the days the lane closures will take place from now until the project is finished, so motorists should expect construction and lane closures between mile markers 43 to 48 until the end of the year.
The project contract was awarded to Scotty’s Contracting & Stone LLC in April in the amount of $5,799,330.40.
Darren Doyle, story:
A structure fire was reported on Big Reedy Road around 6PM tonight that claimed the home of Brian and Lori Alexander.
The couple are no strangers to the community as Brian is Superintendent of Edmonson County Schools and Lori is nurse practitioner at A Plus Family Healthcare.
Brian told the Edmonson Voice that no one was home at the time of the fire and the cause has not yet been determined. Family and friends immediately came to their aid and a relief effort is already underway. Emergency needs are currently being met.
Multiple fire departments responded to the fire this evening, as well as a rekindle.
The couple has not only been involved in the school system and local healthcare for years, but also multiple community functions, youth sports, and various organizations. They have three sons and a daughter.
The family requests prayers during this difficult time.
Quarles Carries County But Cameron Wins Statewide: Beshear Claims Democratic Nomination
County Has Only 15% Voter Turnout While State Sees 14%
Darren Doyle, story:
Republican gubernatorial candidate Ryan Quarles carried the votes in Edmonson County for the party's nomination, but Daniel Cameron won handily statewide, gathering nearly 50% of the votes for the 2023 Primary Election.
Incumbent Andy Beshear (D) won his party's nomination in a landslide, garnering 91% of the statewide vote. He won 93% of the democratic gubernatorial votes in Edmonson County.
The county had only a 15% voter turnout, recording only 1506 voters out of 9,724 registered, which was slightly higher than the state total of only 14%.
There were no local county elections for Edmonson this year.
Statewide, Cameron more than doubled the votes over Quarles and nearly tripled Glasgow native Kelly Craft's vote totals.
Also securing wins were:
The General Election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 7, 2023.
Edmonson Voice Report:
Judge/Executive Scott Lindsey released a statement regarding current burn regulations.
"From May 1st through September 30th of each year, Open Burn is allowed by the State of Kentucky. If you plan to burn, please contact the Edmonson County Dispatch at 270-597-2729 and let them know your home address and phone number.
This is in case someone calls in to report a fire and it may prevent an accidental Fire Department Dispatch; this is not explicit permission by Edmonson County Dispatch to have a Controlled Burn."
Edmonson County Fiscal Court Finance Committee will meet Friday, May 19, 2023 at 8:00 a.m. to go over the FY23/24 Budget in the upstairs courtroom.
Early Voting Continues Through This Saturday: Tuesday, May 16th is Election Day
Edmonson Voice Report:
On Monday, May 8th, County Clerk Kevin Alexander reported at the Edmonson County Fiscal Court meeting that early voting will continue this week. Early voting will continue 8am-5pm on Friday the 12th, and 8am-4pm on Saturday the 13th, which will be at Community Center.
Monday, the Clerk's Office will be preparing for the primary election which will be held on Tuesday, May 16th. No local elections will be held but voters will choose a nominee for governor and other state offices.
Doniel Woodcock Shares Story of Her Husband, Bud On Long Way to Recovery: Relief Efforts Underway
Darren Doyle, story:
Many prayers are going up and relief efforts are underway for Chalybeate resident Bud Woodcock, who was critically injured in an accident at the Spring Demolition Derby at the Edmonson County Fairgrounds on Saturday, April 29, 2023. The hashtag #BudStrong has been seen thousands of time on social media and there are few people in the area that are not aware of Bud's accident.
One of the best examples of #BudStrong that I have seen is the unwavering love and support of Bud's wife, Doniel, who has stayed by his side since the accident happened. While the only help she's requested has been in the form of prayers, her devotion to her husband has been a great example on how one can carry the load of tragedy in a time of great need. She agreed to share her story with the Edmonson Voice for no other purpose than to ask for continued prayers and give thanks to God Almighty for the progress that has been made up until now.
Doniel said that Bud was injured that night when he was lining up cars for one of the heats in the derby, just as Bud has done countless times. One of the cars entered the ring and did not see Bud and hit him. The car ran over Bud and dragged him nearly 20 feet. Staff members and crowd volunteers frantically came in to remove the car from Bud, lifting it off him to try to help.
He was airlifted by Air Methods in Glasgow to UofL trauma center listed in critical but stable condition.
"We’ve been told he had 30 multiple injuries ranging from critical to minor," Doniel said. "He has a small skull crack, fractured neck (C1/C2), broken sternum, multiple rib fractures on each side and small hole in each lung. Several thoracic and lumbar fractures. Several lacerations over his body with a major on on his right thigh, that required to be closed during surgery. His major injury was his unstable pelvis break. It had broken in three places and caused some internal bleeding."
As of this writing, he has already undergone multiple major surgeries. One to stop bleeds, two on his pelvis to help stabilize the serious breaks, and a 4.5hr surgery on Friday where two plates and five screws were placed on his right side.
"Surgeons are confident that the right side will heal fine," Doniel said. "On the left side they were able to put two larger screws about 180cm each and they will watch this side about three months and hope no more surgeries are needed. He will be non-weight bearing for at least 6 weeks."
Doniel said that after his pelvis heals somewhat, extensive therapy will be needed.
"He has a very long road to recovery, but we will see it through."
Relief efforts of all sorts are popping up in and outside of Edmonson County. Donated items for raffles, contests, donation baskets, event proceeds, food items, and more are all examples of how a small community bands together to help their own.
A car show benefit event has been organized by Bud's friends, called the Bud Strong, Show and Shine that is scheduled for August 19th at the Edmonson County Fairgrounds. The event will feature a silent auction, food, vendors, live music, car show, and a demolition derby car show. All proceeds from the event will go directly to Bud and his family.
There is a Facebook event page that has been setup for more information that you can find by clicking here.
Bud Woodcock has been a derby driver for basically his entire adult life and has organized countless derbies in the area for years. The highlight of the Edmonson County Fair year after year is the demolition derby, organized by Bud Woodcock and his BW Productions. Doniel is always there, helping him stay organized and taking care of all the paperwork. Today, she is by his side, still doing everything she can to help, but she could use a little more help, and she says that is through prayer.
"I didn’t expect all that has been done for our family, I just requested and prayers and lots of them, because I knew we needed and still need them," she said. "We know God answers prayer, and without Him we wouldn’t be where we are right now. I didn’t expect all that’s been done. I appreciate from the bottom of my heart every act of kindness sent our way. I’m so proud to be from a small county where communities come together when one is in need. I would never be able to repay everyone, but I’ll sure do my best when we are off this very long, long road we have in front of us.”
Second Annual Event Runs From June 1st - June 3rd
Madison Doyle, story:
The Edmonson County of Chamber of Commerce is hosting its second annual Big Brownsville Bash, a three-day event, starting Thursday, June 1st and running through Saturday, June 3rd. All of the events will be downtown in Brownsville, with the exception of the firework show, which will be at ECHS.
Chamber President Darren Doyle said this year's Bash will see a couple of changes from last year that the Chamber Board felt needed a little improving.
"Last year, the Bash was overwhelmingly successful," said Doyle. "We saw more people out on the square on Saturday's events of last year than we have seen in decades. We basically ran out of room, but that was a great thing."
Doyle said this event absolutely could not happen without the support of the sponsors. Last year, there were six corporate sponsors that are all returning, plus the addition of one more. These seven sponsors are Rafferty's, Patton Funeral Home, A Plus Family Health Care, Alford's Pharmacy, Scott Skaggs Photography/The Hidden Homestead, Edmonson County Tourism and Commission, and Bank of Edmonson County.
"We are so thankful that the same people that sponsored us last year wanted to sponsor us again, and the additional sponsor on top of that. This just couldn't happen without them," Doyle said.
There will be several major events; many of those being the same as last year. Doyle says the Chamber hopes that the improvements being made on these events will draw out an even larger crowd than last year for a more "festival friendly atmosphere."
"In addition to our sponsors, our Chamber Board has been dedicated to the Chamber's mission, which is to strengthen our local business community and provide whatever resources we can to our members," he said. "We have a great board that believes in our community, made up myself, Vice President Josh Casey (C&C Firearms), Treasurer Daniel Bolton (Bank of Edmonson County), Scott Skaggs (Hidden Homestead/SS Photography), Mark Wardlow (Santa's Helping Hands), Mike Stoyonovich (DAV Chapter 32) and our newest member, Sherrell Thompson (Edmonson County FRYSC)."
To kick off the events on Thursday, there will be a three day 4-H Rally Day exhibit, which will be a qualifier for the state competition. Doyle said that last year's Rally Day exhibits allowed many kids to compete at the state level, and said many even received "impressive"statewide awards. This event will be at the Heritage Center in Brownsville.
In addition to the 4-H Rally Days, there will also be an art exhibit from the newly reformed Edmonson County Arts Guild. This is going to be organized by Mrs. Phyllis Miller, retired art teacher from ECHS, who will be recruiting local artists to put together their own art exhibits. This will be held during all three days of the Bash.
Thursday night will be the Edmonson County Homemakers Baby Show, presented by Scott Skaggs Photography/The Hidden Homestead. There will be a number of divisions for both boys and girls. This event will be in the Community Center.
"We want to personally thank the Homemakers, they organize the Baby Show themselves and they put this on for us; we are thankful they want to be part of it, and we couldn't do it without them," said Doyle.
On Friday, the 4-H Rally Days and the art exhibits will continue, but there will also be a new event. There will now be a tractor show, also on the square. While antique or "out of the ordinary" tractors will be featured, any and all tractors are welcome. This event is free to all with no registration fee to participate.
There will also be gourmet Texas-style barbecue and Tex-Mex available for purchase from Creekside Market and BBQ, one of the Chamber's newest members. Also on Friday will be the Arts, Crafts, & Vendor Fair, sponsored by Patton Funeral Home. Last year, this event was held only on Saturday. Doyle said because of the event's success, the Chamber has decided to extend it to Friday. Also on Friday night, the Big Brownsville Bash Miss Brownsville Beauty Pageant will be held at the ECHS Auditorium. The pageant is sponsored by the Bank of Edmonson County, and it also a sanctioned Kentucky Festival pageant. Doyle said he hopes that this will be a benefit to those who will be competing.
EVENT FLYER SLIDESHOW:
Doyle says Saturday will be the biggest day of the Bash with multiple events lined up. Kicking things off early will be a 5K run and one mile walk. Doyle says while this event was successful last year, it wasn't the best location. The Chamber decided to move this event downtown as well. The runners will start at the square, and there will be a designated route down to the river, to ECHS, then back to the square. This also counts as a point race to cater to those who run in multiple tournaments throughout the year. This is sponsored by Edmonson County Tourism and Commission. Those who sign up before the deadline will receive a free t-shirt.
Also Saturday morning, the Arts, Craft, and Vendor Fair will begin at 8 am and go until 2 pm. There will be a variety of things such as boutique items, jewelry, clothing, and even homemade treats. This will be in the community center. While that event takes place, there will Big Bash Car Show on the square, sponsored by Rafferty's. Doyle said last year's car show brought out the largest crowd and he hopes to see an even larger crowd this year. Also during this time, will be the return of the Big Bash Canoe and Kayak Challenge, sponsored by Alford’s Pharmacy. This will be at Houchins Ferry. This year there will be a business division in the challenge to compete in as well.
Saturday afternoon there will be a two-man corn hole tournament with cash prizes. It has a $30 sign up fee per team. The prize money will be 100% payback and additionally, the Chamber is throwing in an extra $200 to first place, and an extra $100 to second place. This event is sponsored by A Plus Family Health Care.
Saturday night will be the Big Bash Firework show, brought to you by all seven sponsors of the Brownsville Bash. The fireworks will once again be shot from the practice football field at ECHS. Doyle says this free event will be able to be seen from anywhere in Brownsville.
"We heard from people who watched the fireworks from not only the high school, but also from Dairy Queen, from downtown, we heard from all over the place and we received nothing but compliments," said Doyle.
Doyle also noted that there will not be a carnival this year, and more parking will be available because of this.
"We aren't having a carnival this year because we feel that we just don't have the space to hold a larger carnival," Doyle said. "We were glad we were able to have a carnival last year, but this year we felt that it would be more beneficial to have more inflatables and games for the kids that will be free, rather than paying for a carnival ticket. The cost of everything has gone up so we wanted to provide a way for a family to come out and literally not spend a single dollar at the Bash if they don't want to. There will be plenty to do."
The inflatables and games will also be downtown on Saturday.
Doyle added that the Chamber realizes that is is a little bit "unconventional" for a Chamber of Commerce to put on a festival as one of their main priorities.
'We hear people say 'Why don't you guys host events like Bowling Green or Glasgow?' Doyle said. "Well, what works for those other towns may not work the best for our community. We feel, as a Chamber, that our priority is to provide opportunities for our members. What better way to do that, than to do everything we can to bring people in our town, get people out of the house, and go to these events? We feel like this is a way for people to get excited about our town and community again."
Doyle said people often complain that there's nothing to do here, "Well, here it is," he said. "We hope we are providing fun opportunities for families and we hope that spills over into helping our business community."
Doyle also noted that the Chamber has invested in billboards in Brownsville, Bowling Green, and Glasgow that will be displayed soon, in hopes of drawing other people to Edmonson County.
In addition to all the events, the Chamber is also hosting "Food Truck Alley" on Saturday, with Pelican's Snoballs, The Edmonson County Cattlemen's Association hamburgers and beef hot dog grill, Big Al's Hot Chicken, Ladybugs Fritters & Fries, and local favorite Walden's Barbecue. More food trucks are likely to be added before the event, Doyle said. There will also be an online photo contest where anyone can submit a local photo to the Chamber Facebook Page.
The Edmonson Voice is also proud to be the media sponsor for the event. They are providing all the ad, flyer, and promotional designs, as well as a complete advertising package at no cost.
Doyle added that QR codes appear on all the flyers so that one can be directed to the Chamber website or other sites pertaining to specific events.
For all registration and other specific information regarding these events, you can click here to visit the Chamber website.
Fiscal Court Recap: Green River Ferry Operation & Petition Discussed, Second Reading of Room and Rec Tax Approved
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
Mr. Nelson Sanders, a Lincoln resident, spoke to the Edmonson County Fiscal Court today as he discussed the importance of the operation hours of Green River Ferry, located in the area near the forks of the river.
Sanders said the ferry operation hours have been shortened from 6AM to 9:55PM to 6AM to 6PM and that is was hindering the community, specifically church goers in the area.
Mr. Sanders said the hours of operation were reduced one year ago, due to the retirement of a ferry operator.
"At that time, people was told that a ferryman had retired and they was getting one certified in order to take over and start restoring it," he said. "It's took a year and they still ain't got any certified, or they ain't tried."
Sanders said he and other community members distributed petitions to extend the operation hours of the ferry back to 9:55PM. Many were sent to area churches. He said the petitions went out on Wednesday of last week around 5PM and of this morning, more that 700 signatures had been gathered.
He also handed out a map that showed the mileage from the former Forks Grocery at HWY 1352 (Stockholm Road) when using the ferry from the Mammoth Cave side and routes drivers are forced to take when the ferry is not operating. From HWY 70 to the start of Stockholm Road is 16.6 miles, according to his map when using the ferry. Going through Brownsville and Bee Spring is 36.1 miles, and going from HWY 70 to Cave City, through Munfordville and around to Cub Run to Stockholm Road is 31.9 miles.
Sanders asked the fiscal court to send a letter to Mammoth Cave National Park Supervisor Barclay Tremble, officially requesting that the ferry's operation hours be returned to 6AM to 9:55PM.
According to the NPS MCNP website, current ferry hours are 6AM to 6PM Mon-Fri and 8AM to 6PM on Saturday and Sunday.
In a press release published on the website on May 4, 2022, it read "The ferry boat is operated and maintained by the National Park Service, but ferry boat drivers are required to meet specific training and certification standards set by the United States Coast Guard. The park’s facilities management team is working to replace the vacant ferry operator positions as quickly as possible."
The Edmonson Voice receives press releases and updates from MCNP on changes to ferry hours, but with the changes so frequent, we no longer publish these updates. Many times the hours have changed again before we have opportunity to publish information. Drivers often times have to rely on ferry signage on Stockholm Road on HWY 70 on the other end to determine whether or not they can use the ferry, even though this info is available at www.nps.gov/maca, on Twitter: @MCNPRoadsFerry, or by phone (270) 758-2165.
Mr. Sanders said he has already received letters from State Rep. Michael Meredith and local elected officials that support the petition. He also said there were several that attend Stockholm Church that depend on the ferry's operation. He said they currently have to be at the ferry around 5:45PM then sit in the parking lot for nearly an hour before church starts at 7PM evening services. When church is over, those same people have to take one of the long routes back because the ferry is closed. He also noted that bike and hiking trail users are also affected, having to cut their usage down in order to get back to the ferry before closure.
After a few more minutes of discussion, District 5 Magistrate Gary Bagshaw made a motion to draft a letter of support for the extended ferry hours and present at the next fiscal court meeting for approval before sending to the Park Service, which was seconded by District 4 Magistrate Mickey Johnson. The motion passed unanimously.
Transient Room, Recreational Tax Update:
The second reading of Edmonson County's Transient Room Tax (Ordinance EC23-06) was approved at today's meeting. The Tourism Commission has run into obstacles collecting this tax from vacation rentals like Airbnb and VRBO in the past. The tax is a straight 3% fee charged to any facility that is available for short term rent in Edmonson County and is used to fund the Edmonson County Tourism Commission.
Tourism Director Vanessa Ulm said an online form has been created so that each property host can register their property so that the Tourism Commission can help them promote their listings. There are currently around 70 different listings available on the county tourism site, cavesandlakes.com.
She also added that tourism will be filming commercials in June and July using two different families vacationing in Edmonson County.
The second reading for Edmonson County's Recreation Tax (EC 23-13) was also approved at today's fiscal court meeting. The tax is paid by all recreation providers in the county (ATV riding, water sports, golf courses, etc.) and the funding is used for Edmonson County Parks and Rec.
Other county offices gave their normal reports including Jailer Todd Vincent, who said there were currently 20 inmates at Hart County Jail. Parks and Rec Director A.B. Webb announced that the annual Freedom Fest is scheduled for Friday, June 30th.
County Clerk Kevin Alexander reported that early voting will continue this week. Excused early voting will continue through Wednesday the 9th at the Community Center from 8am to 4pm; however a voter must have an excuse. Thursday, early voting for anyone (no excuse needed) is available from 8am-4pm on Thursday, 8am-5pm on Friday, and 8am-4pm on Saturday, also at the Community Center. Monday, the Clerk's Office will be preparing for the primary election which will be held on Tuesday, May 16th. No local elections will be held but voters will choose a nominee for governor and other state offices.
The fiscal court also voted to:
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Mr. Jimmy Hayes of Sunfish, attended today's fiscal court meeting and asked prior to the start of the meeting if he could be added to the agenda. The court approved the addition to the agenda and Mr. Hayes was allowed to speak, as he raised his concerns about the condition of Sunfish-Round Hill Road.
The road has not been improved, nor have any changes been made to the barricades at the site of an enormous hole in the road, more like a canyon, where Donald Hardison died on April 28th when he drove off the end of Sunfish-Round Hill Road down a 20ft drop off into water below.
Mr. Hayes asked the fiscal court why nothing had been done to prevent another driver from entering the water on the damaged road and when is the next life going to be lost there.
"The barricade does not cover the road. People are driving around it," he said to the court. "On the Sunfish-Round Hill Road end, (HWY 187 side) there is not a 'road closed' sign anywhere."
Mr. Hayes noted that on the HWY 70 side, there is a pile of rock at the end of the road and a barricade, but he said the sign blew over during a storm on Wednesday night and it still remains down today. He spoke for several minutes about how it's the county's responsibility to maintain safety on the road and something needed to be done today. He noted a simple solution was to dump a load of rock right in the road to prevent anyone from driving any further. The barricade on the 187 side where Mr. Hardison drove into the water, is located approximately one quarter mile from the end of the road.
"Once you go around that sign (barricade) and up through there, you're going up through woods and uphill, and you're on it before you know it," he said. He also noted that while the county road department moved the barricade into the middle of the road, it can still be moved where someone could drive around it. "There's so many people in Edmonson County not aware of the enormous size of that hole until they go see it."
He then addressed Judge/Executive Scott Lindsey.
"I know you inherited that, but you're in the lead now and we're looking to you to keep someone else from dying in that hole. And the magistrates."
Judge Lindsey responded by saying "We've all been working to make that safer over there. We've talked about putting up concrete barriers like you see on the interstate in between the medians, to keep anybody from being able to get to the hole. We're working on those kinds of things. We're talking about possibly putting a gate up to keep anybody going through a 'road closed' sign, to where it covers both ditches and the road. There's a lot of things we're taking a look at right now to make it safer over there when we get an answer from FEMA."
Hayes replied with "Well, now, let's not roll the ball to somebody else," and Lindsey agreed.
"No, no," said Lindsey. "One thing you said, I inherited this. It was done prior to me getting in office, but it is my responsibility. I take full responsibility for that."
The discussion went on for a few more minutes and County Road Supervisor Joe Montgomery said he could place a load of rock in front of the hole today, with magistrate approval. Montgomery also noted that the barricade was placed where it was because there is a driveway immediately to the left, which is the last place someone could turn around on the road before the hole.
Mr. Hayes said the barricade wasn't a "fool-proof way of keeping anybody from getting to that hole." He also described it as people think there's a pot hole or a little water over the road when they see those barricades.
In December of 2019, Alexandra Richardson was able to drive around the same barricade on Oak Hill Road, where flooding had caused the water to be several feet over the road. She drove into the water intoxicated with her 20 month-old son and another juvenile. The boy died as a result of the crash and Richardson was charged and convicted of murder and sentenced to 20 years in jail.
Montgomery said concrete barriers had been purchased for this purpose but the road department wasn't able to pick them up because their trailer used for that is currently in need of repair.
Judge Lindsey said the rock would be placed in front of the road today and make sure no access would be available on either side. He also confirmed to the Edmonson Voice this evening that the rock had been placed at the end of the road today with road closure signs on each side.
Edmonson Voice Report:
An Edmonson County grand jury recently returned the following indictments:
Dana Jean York: Possession of a controlled substance first degree, Possession of marijuana, License to be in possession, One headlight.
Jona Lynn Melander: Possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, Persistent felony offender second degree.
Jona Lynn Melander: Possession of a controlled substance first degree, Possession of drug paraphernalia, Possession of marijuana.
Steven Dale Hoffman: Sexual abuse first degree, Sexual abuse first degree - victim under 12 years of age.
James O. Hart: Possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, Persistent felony offender first degree.
Scott Brady Fennell: Trafficking in a controlled substance first degree first offense (>= 2 grams meth), Trafficking in a controlled substance first degree first offense (>= 10 D.U), Trafficking in a controlled substance ssecond degree first offense (>= 20 D.U), Trafficking in a controlled substance third degree first offense (>20 D.U), Possession of drug paraphernalia, Possession of marijuana.
Kim Ann Sweany: Trafficking in a controlled substance first degree first offense (>=2 grams meth), Trafficking in a controlled substance first degree first offense (>= 10 D.U), Trafficking in a controlled substance second degree first offense (>=20 D.U.), Trafficking in a controlled substance third degree first offense (<20 D.U.), Possession of drug paraphernalia, Possession of an open alcoholic beverage container in motor vehicle, Rear license plate not illuminated.
Michael Scott Gipson: Bail jumping first degree.
Douglas Meeks, Sr: Possession of a controlled substance first degree, Possession of drug paraphernalia.
Douglas Meeks, Jr: Fleeing or evading police first degree (on foot), Resisting arrest.
An indictment is only a formal charge and is not an admission of guilt. All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law
Darren Doyle, story:
Superintendent of Edmonson County Schools Brian Alexander announced Mrs. Charla Caudill as the new principal at the Edmonson County 5/6 Center today. Alexander said he was very pleased to make the announcement.
"Charla has been part of Edmonson County Schools for many years during her career," said Mr. Alexander. "Everyone can expect Ms. Caudill to be involved and engaged with all stakeholders of the learning community at the 5/6 Center. We are excited for the school and look forward to Ms. Caudill's leadership going forward."
Mrs. Caudill will take over from the departing Jarad McReynolds, who has chosen to go back into the classroom. He will be a teacher at South Edmonson Elementary next year, Mr. Alexander said.
Mrs. Caudill thanked those involved in the decision for her new position.
"I want to thank the Site Based Decision Making Council and Mr. Alexander for entrusting me in becoming the principal of Edmonson County 5/6 Center," said Mrs. Caudill. "I have been blessed to call Edmonson County my home and raise my family here. I am excited to serve the students, parents, and educators at the 5&6 Center."