Darren Doyle, story:
A Pine Grove man now faces additional drug charges after an indictment warrant incident on Friday of last week.
According to a press release from the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, on Friday, November 20, 2020, deputies went to the 4000-block of Chalybeate School Road to attempt service of an active Indictment Warrant on Keith Graham (56) of Bowling Green, Kentucky (Pine Grove area).
The Sheriff's Office stated as deputies knocked on the door of Graham’s residence, a female approached the door but would not open it. She was identified as Heather J. Kerr (37) of Louisville, Kentucky. Kerr was advised of the active warrant for Graham, and eventually opened the door and told deputies he was inside, according to the press release.
Law Enforcement said they announced their presence and commanded Graham to come out with his hands up, which he allegedly disobeyed. As Deputies cleared the residence to locate Graham, they reportedly found him hiding in a closet, and deputies said they also found suspected methamphetamine, suspected marijuana, and drug paraphernalia.
Both Kerr and Graham were placed under arrest.
Graham was served the active Indictment Warrant for charges of:
Darren Doyle, story:
Two Brownsville residents were arrested on Sunday where one man faces police assault charges and one woman was found to have an active indictment warrant with multiple charges.
According to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, a deputy was dispatched to the 100 block of York Street in Brownsville, to respond to an active domestic call. Law enforcement said they were made aware that the female allegedly involved in the domestic was Janet Hess Compton (37) of Brownsville, who was known to have an active indictment warrant.
Compton was seen in the front yard of the York Street residence by law enforcement and was immediately told she was under arrest, but allegedly fled inside the residence, according to the Sheriff's Office. A sheriff's press release said as law enforcement entered the home, David Edward Houchin (65), also of Brownsville, blocked the deputy from entering further.
The Sheriff's Office stated that Houchin was advised of Compton’s warrant and that she was under arrest, but when the deputy attempted to move past Houchin, Houchin knocked the deputy down, causing him to fall onto a couch and coffee table, which allowed Compton to flee out the backdoor. Houchin was placed under arrest and charged with:
Compton was also apprehended by law enforcement. She was served an indictment warrant for charges of Burglary, 2nd Degree, Possession of Marijuana, Disorderly Conduct, 2nd Degree, and Terroristic Threatening, 3rd Degree. She was separately charged with Escape—3rd Degree.
Compton and Houchin were each lodged in Hart County Jail.
Edmonson County Sheriff’s Department was assisted on scene by District 5 Constable Charlie Peck. Sheriff Shane Doyle spoke about the incident at Monday's virtual fiscal court meeting.
"We want to thank our District 5 Constable Charlie Peck for his assistance in this case," he said. "We really appreciate his help."
Darren Doyle, story:
Today, the Barren River District Health Department reported the first COVID-related death in Edmonson County since July in a press release today.
Edmonson County also has a much higher number of recovered cases today than the past several days with 282. Total number of active cases were reduced from 91 on Friday to 67 today, according to the BRDHD.
Edmonson County still has both the lowest total number of cases at 362, as well as the lowest number of active cases.
According to the KY Department of Health website, only 3 out of 120 Kentucky counties are not in the incidence rate red zone today.
Sheriff Says He and Other Party Were Both Wearing Masks
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County Sheriff Shane Doyle is in self-quarantine after he found out Sunday night he'd been in contact with someone that had just tested positive for coronavirus.
The Sheriff said the exposure happened at a KY Law Enforcement Council meeting in Richmond on Wednesday last week where he was seated next to another Kentucky sheriff, who just recently tested positive.
Doyle said both he and the other party were wearing masks. He also discussed his situation in today's virtual fiscal court meeting.
"I'm feeling fine right now with no symptoms, but in the interest of health and safety, and after consulting with healthcare professionals, I'm self-quarantined, pending a test later this week," the Sheriff said.
Doyle said that while he is still an advocate of people continuing to live their lives, he also asks everyone to follow safety and healthy practices.
"We have a responsibility to behave with common sense and act as safely as possible. Anyone who feels bad or has been exposed should take the same precautions so that we can overcome this spike in cases with as little impact as possible."
Fiscal Court Virtual Meeting Recap: Staff Commended On Near Perfect Audit: Drastic Change In Two Years
Darren Doyle, story:
Judge Wil Cannon commended County Treasurer Tammi Willhite and finance officer Amy Heath on turning the accounting procedures around for the fiscal court and Judge Executive's Office in only two years.
The 2018 audit had nearly a dozen violations that ended up costing the county over $60,000, which is more than double the amount of a standard audit; however, Cannon noted that because of Willhite and Heath, the accounting has been nearly perfect according to state audit standards as he addressed today's court.
"This is a complete turnaround from where we were a couple years ago, and it's only going to get better from here," he said. "These auditors used to come in here and stay for months because they found so many violations, but thanks to our staff now our last audit was very smooth. We appreciate how easy it is now, thank to our treasurer Tammi Willhite for that, as well as Amy Heath, they are a good team and it’s working well now."
Judge Cannon has stated multiple times that the abundant violations occurred under the care of former employees that no longer work for the county and the entire system has been overhauled under Willhite.
The most recent audit, which was just released, showed only one violation that has since been fixed according to Willhite. The violation was in regards to the bidding of road materials and other purchases from vendors. The state listed the violation as "The Edmonson County Fiscal Court Lacks Adequate Controls Over Procurement."
The auditors stated the following:
This is a repeat finding and was included in the prior year audit report as finding 2018-009. The Edmonson County Fiscal Court advertised and received bids for road materials. According to the fiscal court minutes, all bids were opened, and read for road materials. The fiscal court approved all bids for road materials. This method of selecting a vendor is not in compliance with KRS 45A. The minutes do not document the amount of the bids or what materials were included on the bids; therefore, acceptance of the winning or lowest bid was not documented. During fiscal year 2019, the fiscal court paid $673,016 to vendors for road materials who submitted bids.
In addition, the fiscal court did not follow the procurement process for purchases from the same vendor that over the course of the year were above the $20,000 threshold set by Edmonson County Administrative Code. The following purchases were noted as being above the $20,000 threshold without being bid or without documentation as to the reason the purchases were not bid:
The county judge/executive stated he was not aware the fiscal court could not accept all bids as part of the bidding process for all bids related to the construction or maintenance of county roads and bridges. He further stated that the fiscal court makes it a practice to accept all bids for road materials to allow the county to use the vendor that has the best price in relation to the location of the road project.
The county judge/executive also stated he was not aware the fiscal court was required to bid the truck purchase if the vendor honored the state contract price. He was not aware they had spent over $20,000 with the same vendor on gasoline and materials for road projects. As a result, the fiscal court was not in compliance with procurement laws or their administrative code. In addition, the fiscal court might not have received the best value for services or products provided.
Strong internal controls require management to monitor disbursements and purchase orders to ensure compliance with procurement laws, and keep good records of all bid and other procurement transactions. KRS 178.140(1) states, “[a]ll bids for the construction or maintenance of county roads and bridges shall be received at the time and place specified in the advertisement, and shall be opened publicly at the time of awarding, and the amount of items comprising each bid shall be publicly announced.” In addition, KRS 178.140(2) states “[t]he contract shall be awarded to the lowest and best bidder, who shall furnish satisfactory security in an amount equal to the amount of the contract in question, to be approved by the county judge/executive of the county.”
The Judge Executive's Office responded with the following:
"The Edmonson County Fiscal Court will properly bid, accept and record in the Fiscal Court Minutes to meet the KRS 45A requirements. The Edmonson County Fiscal Court will monitor all disbursements to ensure that the procurement procedures are followed for all qualifying disbursements. The Edmonson County Fiscal Court will ensure that proper procedures and requirements are followed to be in compliance with our Administrative Code and KRS 178.140. The Edmonson County Fiscal Court will not use a vendor on a state contract price unless it is properly bid and accepted. All gasoline accounts are now under the State Contract and the accounts were set up in accordance with KRS 45A and State Contract requirements. The gasoline accounts were set up in March 2020."
Magistrate Charlie Tarter also commended Willhite for her work on another efficient audit for the county.
The court also discussed the potential purchase of a new paving machine for the road department. During the last fiscal court meeting, County Road Supervisor Greg Carroll said the county's paver was in desperate need of an upgrade and that repairs wouldn't be feasible due to its condition and age.
Today, he said that their current machine is virtually on its last leg and is around 30 years old. Carroll said he had located a used paver in Florida that could potentially fulfill the county's needs for many years. While photos and phone calls only go so far, he asked the county to allow him a couple days for travel to see the machine in-person and negotiate a price.
The county has already said the machine would be in the budget for the road department, with an estimated cost of $150K or less, which would include delivery if purchased. The court voted to approve the travel.
The court also voted to:
An Edmonson County Grand Jury has returned the following indictments. An indictment is only a formal charge and not an admission guilt. All parties are innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
Tracy S. Jaggers, Sexual abuse first degree 2 counts, Prohibited use of electronic communications to procure minor/peace officer, sex offenses 2 counts, Tampering with physical evidence.
Chaz Moody, Violation of KY EPO/DVO, Wanton endangerment (3 counts), Criminal mischief third degree.
Kelton E. Hawkins, Possession of controlled substance first degree, meth.
James T. Ashley, Strangulation first degree, Persistent felony offender first degree.
Barry S. Rutherford, Bail jumping first degree, Persistent felony offender first degree.
Timothy Taylor, Bail jumping first degree, Persistent felony offender first degree.
Thomas D. Toney, Possession of controlled substance first degree, meth, Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess, Failure to wear seat belts.
Brittany Decker-Houchin, Resisting arrest, Menacing, Possession of controlled substance first degree, Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess. Tampering with physical evidence.
Justice Meeks, Flagrant non-support.
Mickey Shelton, Flagrant non-support, Persistent felony offender first degree.
Ryan Rather, Robbery first degree, Burglary second degree, Theft by unlawful taking over $500.
Ryan A. Minton, Theft by unlawful taking auto $500 or more, Criminal mischief first degree.
Kandis L. Middleton, Possession of controlled substance first degree (meth), drug paraphernalia-buy/possess.
Christopher R. Decker, Possession of controlled substance first degree, second offense. Prescription controlled substance not in original container. Failure to or improper signal.
Stephanie Decker, Flagrant non-support, Persistent felony offender first degree.
Daniel Taylor, Sexual abuse first degree-victim under 12 years of age (2 counts), Failure to comply with sex offender registration, second offense, Persistent felony offender first degree.
Garrett Glen Helton, Burglary second degree, Theft by unlawful taking $500 or more, Persistent felony offender first degree.
Timothy Edward Hayes, Forgery first degree (2 counts), Criminal possession of forged instrument second degree, (2 counts) Theft of identity of another without consent, Theft of motor vehicle registration plate/decal, Persistent felony offender first degree.
Cynthia A. Brown, Theft by deception-including cold checks $500 or more.
Janet L. Compton, Burglary second degree, Possession of marijuana, Disorderly conduct second degree, Terroristic threatening third degree, Criminal mischief third degree, Persistent felony offender first degree.
Keith A. Graham, Terroristic threatening third degree, Fleeing or evading police second degree (on foot), resisting arrest, Assault third degree-police officer, Disorderly conduct second degree, Possession of controlled substance first degree, Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess.
Adam N. Aaron, Possession of controlled substance first degree (meth), Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess.
Sara L. McNay, Possession of controlled substance first degree (meth), Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess.
Garrett Lowe Helton, Burglary second degree, Theft by unlawful taking $500 or more, Persistent felony offender second degree.
William T. Smith, Fleeing or evading police second degree (on foot), Assault third degree-police officer, Resisting arrest, Disorderly conduct second degree, Menacing.
Eric Green, Possession of controlled substance first degree (meth), Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess, Possession of marijuana, Trafficking marijuana (8oz-less than 5lbs) first offense, Persistent felony offender first degree.
Caleb G. Vincent, Speeding 25mph over limit, Tampering with physical evidence, Possession of controlled substance first degree (meth), Possession of marijuana, Wanton endangerment first degree, Wanton endangerment first degree-police officer, Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess, Fleeing or evading police first degree (motor vehicle).
Jay J. Norris, Possession of handgun by convicted felon, Possession of controlled substance first degree (meth) firearm enhanced, Possession of marijuana-firearm enhanced, Possession of controlled substance third degree-firearm enhanced (2 counts), Drug Paraphernalia-buy/possess firearm enhanced, Wanton endangerment first degree, Trafficking controlled substance first degree-second offense (>=2 grams meth) firearm enhanced, Persistent felony offender second degree.
Derek L. Sanders, Burglary second degree, Burglary third degree, Theft by unlawful taking $500 or more, Theft by unlawful taking under $500, Persistent felony offender first degree.
Tabitha Wood, Possession of controlled substance first degree-second offense-meth, Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess.
Laymon Dewayne Shaw, Possession of controlled substance first degree-second offense-meth, Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess. Receiving stolen property under $500.
Phillip Hayes, Possession of controlled substance firs degree (meth), Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess.
Darrell Duvall, Possession of controlled substance first degree (meth) firearm enhanced, Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess-firearm enhanced, Possession of handgun by convicted felon.
Patrick Kyle Roby, Trafficking controlled substance, first degree (>or=2gms meth), Trafficking in marijuana, Tampering with physical evidence, Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess, Persistent felony offender second degree.
Kaitlyn Hartenhoff, Trafficking controlled substance first degree (>or=2gms meth), Trafficking in marijuana, Tampering with physical evidence, Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess.
Summer Apato, Trafficking in controlled substance first degree (>or=2gms meth), Trafficking in marijuana, Tampering with physical evidence, Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess.
Nickie Elmore, Trafficking in controlled substance first degree, Possession of marijuana, Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess, Careless driving.
Matthew B. Stratton, Possession of controlled substance-third or more offense (meth), Possession of marijuana, Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess.
Annie S. Cardwell, Prohibited use of electronic communication system to procure minor/peace officer-sex offense (2 counts), Distributing obscene matter to minors.
Bradley Thomas Courtney, Possession of controlled substance first degree (meth), Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess.
Arthur D. Bratcher, Fleeing or evading police first degree (motor vehicle), Operating motor vehicle under influence of alcohol first offense, Disregarding stop sign, Wanton endangerment first degree-police officer, Failure to or improper signal, Reckless driving, Persistent felony offender first degree.
Tabitha D. Doyle, Possession of controlled substance first degree (meth) firearm enhanced, Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess-firearm enhanced.
Cody D. Brady, Speeding 26mph or over speed limit, Disregarding stop sigh, Operating motor vehicle under influence of substance, Fleeing or evading police first degree (motor vehicle), Reckless driving, Wanton endangerment-first degree-police officer (4 counts), Wanton endangerment-first degree (6 counts), Failure to or improper signal, Failure to wear seat belts, Resisting arrest, Menacing, Possession of controlled substance first degree, Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess, Tampering with physical evidence, Criminal mischief first degree, Failure to produce insurance card, License to be in possession, Persistent felony offender first degree.
Tasha N. Brooks, Possession of controlled substance first degree (meth), Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess, Possession of marijuana, Endangering welfare of a minor (2 counts), Illegal possession of legend drug, Wanton endangerment-first degree (2 counts).
Tasha N. Brooks, Possession of controlled substance first degree (meth), Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess, Possession of marijuana, Trafficking in marijuana (8oz to less than 5lbs), first offense.
Tasha N. Brooks, Possession of controlled substance first degree (meth), Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess, Possession of marijuana, Endangering welfare of a minor, Wanton endangerment-first degree, Trafficking in marijuana (8oz to less than 5lbs).
Eric Green, Possession of controlled substance first degree (meth), Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess, Possession of marijuana, Endangering welfare of a minor (2 counts), Illegal possession of legend drug, Wanton endangerment-first degree (2 counts), Persistent felony offender first degree.
Eric Green, Possession of controlled substance first degree (meth), Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess, Possession of marijuana, Endangering welfare of a minor, Wanton endangerment-first degree, Trafficking in marijuana (8oz to less than 5lbs), Persistent felony offender first degree.
EDMONSON COUNTY FISCAL COURT
NOTICE OF REGULAR AUDIO/VIDEO TELECONFERENCE MEETING
In accordance with KRS 61.823, KRS 61.826, Executive Order 2020-243, OAG 20-05, 2020 Senate Bill 150 and the March 31 Attorney General Advisory, the Edmonson County Fiscal Court will meet in session at 9:00 a.m. on November 23, 2020 to consider the following Agenda. The meeting will take place via audio teleconference due to the current public health situation with the fiscal court not meeting in person.
The public may attend via audio by dialing: 1-312-626-6799, meeting ID 879 8190 5846, password 555900.
or by going to the following link:
I. Call to Order
II. Pledge of Allegiance
III. Roll Call
IV. Approval of today’s Agenda
V. Approval of November 9, 2020 Fiscal Court Minutes
a. Read b. Dispense
VI. Approval of Bills
VII. Approval of Appropriation Budget Transfers
VIII. New Business
a. Approve to advertise for part time Dog Control Officer.
b. Set Finance Committee Meeting (Dec. 14-18)
c. Approve to advertise Paver Bids.
d. Approve Resolution EC20-38, Transportation Funding Needs for the Commonwealth.
IX. Updates: Thank You card from Betty Norene & Thank you card from Lori Burnett.
X. Judge Executive:
XII. Next Fiscal Court Meeting will be December 14th, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. via audio/video teleconference.
EDMONSON COUNTY JUDGE EXECUTIVE
Beshear Announces New Restrictions: Family Gatherings Limited, In-Person Restaurant Dining Suspended
Darren Doyle, story:
Governor Andy Beshear announced some of his most serious restrictions today since early in the pandemic in his daily press briefing in Frankfort. The new executive orders covered the following:
Beshear's office also announced $40 million in relief funds to qualifying restaurants and bars. Each venue that qualifies could receive up to $10K each, as long as less than 50% of sales are not drive thru, they are not publicly traded companies, and they will certify they are in compliance with all other restrictions.
Applications are scheduled to open Nov. 30 and close Dec. 18. and will be processed in the order they are received, and funds will be awarded until they are exhausted. Additional details on where to apply will be announced later.
Beshear also said that none of these decisions were easy.
"I can tell you, none of them are gonna be popular. "But now's the time we make the decision whether we're going to let our fellow Kentuckians become sick and more of them die, or we're gonna take a stand against the third wave of this virus. These restrictions are necessary now. And for activities I haven't listed, please follow the current guidance and others found at the Healthy at Work website."
Active cases rose again in Edmonson County for the third straight day, going from 84 yesterday to 92 today, according to data from the Barren River District Health Department. The county's incidence rate is now at 91.7.
There are 107 out of 120 KY counties are considered in the red zone.
Earlier today, the KHSAA announced the delay of the 2020-2021 high school basketball season until January 4th.
Edmonson's Active Cases More Than Double In 4 Days
Darren Doyle, story:
Today, Governor Andy Beshear said more actions to fight COVID-19 are necessary and guidance will be announced on Wednesday during his daily coronavirus press briefing.
“When we talk about our health care workers, we call them our front line of defense,” said Beshear. “But really, they’re our only line. We don’t have back up. So if we are going to truly care about them and ensure there are enough doctors and nurses to help people who are sick, we have to lower community spread.”
Beshear did not give many details concerning new guidelines, but he did say that the new actions will not be as restrictive as they were back in March. Kentuckians can likely expect bars and restaurants to be affected but not general curfews, he said.
“When you look at the severity of this, action has to be taken,” the Governor said.
Today, Beshear reported 2,931 new cases and 33 deaths from COVID-19. Active cases in Edmonson County took a steep jump from yesterday, compared to case counts over the past several weeks. On Friday of last week, active case numbers were at 41, according to the Barren River District Health Department. On Monday they rose to 65, and today they rose to 84 active cases.
Only 12 counties in Kentucky were not considered "red zone" today, according to the KY Dept of Health guidelines.
Also today, the BRDHD announced they will no longer be conducting contact tracing and issuing quarantine orders on individuals exposed to COVID-19; however, they also clarified that the change does not eliminate the fact that all individuals exposed to COVID-19 must still quarantine.
Today was the last day of in-person classes in Edmonson County Schools until December 4th..
The first round of the football district playoffs between Edmonson County and Clinton County is scheduled to proceed as of now, at Wildcat Stadium on Friday night at 7pm.
Barren River Health Will Stop Contact Tracing, Quarantine Orders On Exposed Individuals Due to Strained System
Will Rely On Positive Individuals To Ask Those Who May Meet Exposure Criteria To Self-Quarantine For 14 Days
Darren Doyle, story:
Earlier today, the Barren River District Health Department released the following statement regarding contact tracing and quarantine orders.
Public health resources across the state are strained due to the overwhelming number of cases of COVID-19. With disease incidence so high it exceeds public health system capacity, Barren River District Health Department (BRDHD) must adapt and direct resources to continue efforts to mitigate the virus's unrestrained spread.
Rapidly identifying and isolating confirmed cases remains the highest priority. Therefore, BRDHD will no longer be conducting contact tracing and issuing quarantine orders on individuals exposed to COVID-19. This change does not eliminate the fact that all individuals exposed to COVID-19 must still quarantine.
BRDHD will enlist the participation of new cases of COVID-19 to notify all family, friends, coworkers, and others who may meet exposure criteria to self-quarantine for 14 days. Additionally, due to overwhelming number of cases and strained resources, there is a delay between cases receiving their positive test result and being contacted by the health department. Individuals should not wait on a call from the health department to begin self-isolating or self-quarantining at home. Take steps to protect yourself and others including:
• Staying home for 10 days if you are a case or 14 days if you are a close contact
• Staying away from people you live with – use a separate bathroom if possible
• Not going to work or school
• Asking friends or family to drop off groceries, medicines, or supplies
More guidance on how to safely isolate or quarantine at home can be found at www.barrenriverhealth.org. If you need support or help call your healthcare provider or Barren River District Health Department at 270-781-8039.
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County's active COVID-19 cases took their biggest increase over the weekend since the pandemic began, according to today's numbers from the Barren River District Health Department. Since March, the county has been fortunate with cases in comparison with area counties and has not seen a noticeable increase in numbers until recently. It has consistently been at the lower or lowest part of the scale for the Barren River District; however, the county is now seeing somewhat of a surge that many counties are already facing.
The active case count in Edmonson County rose from 41 on Friday to 65 today; however, it's still the lowest in the BRDHD area with 290 total cases since the beginning of the pandemic.
Reported deaths from the virus still remain at 12 total in Edmonson County. Today's county incidence rate was listed at 56.4, up from 25.9 on Friday.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. –The United States Secret Service, United States Attorney Russell Coleman, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, and the leadership of other Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force agencies announced the culmination of “Operation Gabbi Doolin” today. This joint federal, state, and local operation was aimed at exposing child predators in Kentucky communities.
The investigations, which were conducted in Elizabethtown and Louisville, Kentucky, resulted in multiple state and federal arrests. In addition to the arrests, multiple investigative leads were developed that continue to assist law enforcement with the apprehension of child predators.
This operation was named in honor of Gabbi Doolin, a 7-year old child from Scottsville, Kentucky, who was kidnapped and murdered from her brother’s youth football game in Allen County in 2015.
“Kentucky law enforcement has no more important mission than to protect our kids,” said U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman. “And we can conceive of no more meaningful way honor to Gabbi Doolin and her family than to work together, federal, state, and local, in an operation in her name to remove predators from our Commonwealth. More to come.”
“The local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies that carried out this joint operation are committed to stopping child predators so that no family has to endure the incredible loss the Doolin family has felt these last five years,” said Attorney General Cameron. “We share a goal to find child predators and remove them from communities before they act. Every arrest that we make stops a potential criminal act against a child, and we will continue to do everything in our power to leverage our resources and work together to protect Kentucky’s children.”
“The United States Secret Service remains steadfastly committed to our role in bringing the fullest weight of the law enforcement community at every level to the fight against child predators online,” said Special Agent in Charge of the Louisville field office Robert Holman. “While the dark corners of the internet might seem like a good place to hide within, today’s announcement serves as a powerful reminder that trained investigators across the interagency can and will identify these especially vile criminals, and ensure they are brought to justice.”
Seven individuals have been charged with federal offenses, they include:
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
The Edmonson County Clerk's Office has announced they will be closed Saturday, November 14, 2020 and also on Monday, November 16th and Tuesday, November 17th as a result of receiving notification from the Barren River Health Department of a positive COVID-19 case in their office.
"Anyone that has been in our office knows, based upon the layout of our desks and with our new glass partitions that we try to practice social distancing," said County Clerk Kevin Alexander. "Plus, we've had a hand sanitizer for years for public use as well. Yet, despite our best efforts, sometimes these things happen" said County Clerk Kevin M. Alexander. "We need to err on the side of caution, and make sure we get everything deep cleaned and sanitized before having the public come back in."
Alexander said that they have seen a very busy season in the County Clerk's office, with completion of the 2020 General Election this past week. After reopening to foot traffic in the office in early July, Alexander said they have been fortunate to not have this happen already.
"We see a tremendous amount of people, handle a lot of paperwork, and travel the same paths daily that many others do," he said.
For now, plans are for the office to reopen on Wednesday, November 18, 2020, Alexander said.
"We want to be open and able to take care of our citizens, and we realize being closed is difficult for the public. Our responsibility is to make sure this is a safe environment for both the people that walk in and out our doors and the people that work here."
Darren Doyle, story:
The number of active COVID cases in Edmonson County rose by 9 since last Friday's coronavirus report. Currently, according to data provided from the Barren River District Health Department, there are 41 active COVID cases in Edmonson County, up from 32 last week.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have not only reported total number of cases, but also tried to focus on the active number of cases, which is a better representation of the current pandemic in Edmonson County. While 41 cases is the highest number of active cases the county has seen, it is still the lowest number of actives cases in the entire Barren River Health District.
Statewide, Edmonson County ranks 98th out of 120 counties in total number of cases with 262 from the start of the pandemic.
Deaths reported from the virus have been unchanged since July.
Edmonson County Schools announced today that they will be suspending in-person classes beginning on Wednesday, November 18, 2020. According to Superintendent of Schools Brian Alexander, there are only 8 active student COVID cases in the school system; however, 90 students are currently quarantined. In addition, there are also 8 positive cases from school staff, teachers, administration, and transportation, with another 21 quarantined.
In an earlier statement, Superintendent Alexander said that the virus is not spreading at school as a result of health and safety measures being taken.
"The problems and the spread is not coming from Edmonson County Schools," he said earlier. "We are cooperating with Barren River Health Department in quarantining students that are exposed to positive cases in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our schools. Virtually all the students that we quarantine fail to contract the virus, yet we are doing everything we are asked to do because we want to be a positive part of our community when it comes to helping in the prevent of the spread of COVID-19 in Edmonson County. The students and parents involved in quarantine situations have been cooperative and we thank them for doing so."
While Alexander is still confident that schools are safe for students, the recent rise in the incidence rate prompted the school system to make the decision to postpone in-person classes.
"Edmonson County is now a RED county, with an expected spike in the incidence rate in the coming days," he said in a statement today. "This has led to a great number of staff positive and quarantine cases related to COVID. We have been forced to make the decision that starting Wednesday, November 18, 2020, through December 4, 2020, Edmonson County Schools will suspend In-Person learning due to complications stemming from COVID-19 and institute NTI at-home learning during this time period for students on the staggered schedule."
Today's county incidence rate is 25.9, which puts Edmonson in the state's "red zone." The rate is figured on a 7-day average of new cases per 100,000 people, which can be confusing. We have received dozens of calls, messages, and emails from readers that have asked if the incidence rate is total percentage of COVID cases in the county, which isn't the case. That is why we also report on active case numbers and compare that with the total population of the county (12,062), meaning that according to current numbers, .03% of the county's population, (one third of one percent) is currently reported to have a positive COVID case.
On Thursday, the Kentucky Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Governor Andy Beshear's executive orders in relation to the pandemic are legal.
The court ruled that Beshear properly declared a state of emergency in March which allowed him to use that authority under the state constitution.
Churches are not required to follow mass gathering or other attendance mandates, as ruled by a federal court in July of this year.
Darren Doyle, story:
A heartfelt tribute was given to former Edmonson County Sheriff's K9 Officer Tango at the Edmonson County 5/6 Center today, as a memorial stone and tree were unveiled near the playground.
Tango passed away earlier this summer from complications of an advanced kidney disease. A favorite of students all across the district, Tango was a staple of the school's D.A.R.E. program, led by Tango's handler, Deputy Jordan Jones.
"Tango was not only a very important member of our school, but our community," said 5/6 Center Principal Rex Booth. "We wanted to make sure we commemorated him, because in June we lost him to an aggressive kidney disease. It devastated those closest to him, it devastated our community, and it devastated our schools so we had some individuals that wanted to come together and do something in his remembrance because he was so special to our school."
Principal Booth asked Deputy Jones, who knew nothing about the presentation, to unveil the memorial, which was provided by Patton-Brantley Monuments and Mills Creations. The stone was laid in front of a magnolia tree, from Creekside Nursery, which was newly planted for this occasion.
Deputy Jones became emotional as he thanked the principal and teachers who attended the ceremony.
"Thank you guys, from the absolute bottom of my heart," said Jones. "Losing him was probably one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life. I know he was a big part of the community."
Deputy Jones then discussed the difficulties he's experienced since working without his partner.
"It means the world to me that you guys did this," he said. "You didn't have to do this. I'm happy to spend as much time as I do here, bring my dogs here, and serve these kids the best ways we know how and we're going to do that. I appreciate it."
A small child, who was standing with his mother, a school staff member, then picked a dandelion and placed it on the stone.
Classes Will Go NTI Through December 4th, Possibly Longer
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County Schools have released a statement regarding the suspension of in-person classes beginning on Wednesday, November 18th, 2020.
The statement is published below in full:
Edmonson County Schools will continue In-Person learning on Monday, November 16, and Tuesday, November 17, 2020. It is very important for students on the In-Person staggered schedule to be in attendance on this Monday and Tuesday to receive learning materials.
Edmonson County is now a RED county (25.9 Incident Rate* at the time of this writing), with an expected spike in the incidence rate in the coming days. This has led to a great number of staff positive and quarantine cases related to COVID. We have been forced to make the decision that starting Wednesday, November 18, 2020, through December 4, 2020, Edmonson County Schools will suspend In-Person learning due to complications stemming from COVID-19 and institute NTI at-home learning during this time period for students on the staggered schedule. Students on virtual learning will continue their learning path as well. Edmonson County Schools will assess the feasibility of a return to In-Person learning prior to December 7, 2020 in hopes to return on this date for the remainder of the Fall semester. An announcement will be made no later than December 3, 2020, should the school district determine a return to In-Person learning is not possible due to COVID-19 conditions. If this is the case, NTI at-home learning will continue.
Food delivery will be available to participating students. The delivery dates will be November 20th and December 4th. Edmonson County Schools will also have food delivery December 11th and 18th should we determine we cannot return to school December 7th.
Teachers will be available for assistance for students each day from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm, Monday through Friday, during this time period via email.
Since we currently have no cases involving sports, our sports teams will be allowed to continue to participate and practice. Should cases arise, these activities will be suspended.
Edmonson County Schools wishes to thank our students, parents and staff for their efforts in implementing our reopening plan since Sept 8th which has allowed our students to safely and successfully participate in In-Person classes to this point. The issues that necessitate the suspension of In-Person classes at this time have not stemmed from our schools, but are due to external factors outside our school community. While we deeply regret the need to suspend in-person classes and the return to Non-Traditional Instruction, the health and safety of all stakeholders in the school community is a priority at this time.
To Our Veterans: Thank You
Darren Doyle, photos:
Even though local Veterans Day programs were cancelled this year due to the risk of COVID-19, we at the Edmonson Voice still feel that we should pause, take a moment, and reflect on this day.
We stopped by the Wiley N. Willis Veterans Memorial Wall on the Brownsville Courthouse Square today to admire the beautiful memorial that was constructed a few years ago. On this Veterans Day, we offer our sincere gratitude and appreciation for our veterans; not only from Edmonson County, but also all our American service men and women across the globe.
We thank you for your service.
Please enjoy some photos of the memorial wall we took today.
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County High School has announced that there will be no Veterans Day Program at the high school this year due to health concerns.
"We regret that we will not be able to honor our veterans on Veterans Day as we normally do at Edmonson County Schools," said Superintendent Brian Alexander. "All of our schools have worked very hard to develop alternative methods of educating our students in all of our schools, so the students of Edmonson County understand the sacrifice our veterans have made for the freedom we all enjoy. Our local VFW has worked with Edmonson County High School this year for the Voice of Democracy essays, but the representatives for the VFW agree that an assembly with our cherished veterans is not a good idea at this time, due to possible COVID exposure."
While the program itself will not be held, Supt. Alexander said schools will honor veterans in the classroom this week.
"Again, we thank our Veterans and I ensure everyone we will honor them on November 11th. Our students will learn about the tremendous price that has been paid for the freedoms we enjoy in the United States of America. However, we want to keep our veterans safe as well. We anxiously look forward to resuming our traditional ceremonies for honoring our veterans again next year."
November 9, 2020
Darren Doyle, story:
Magistrates voted to pay for damages to a Chalybeate subdivision entrance sign that the owner says occurred as a result of recent work completed by the county road department.
The sign in question is at the entrance of Springview Subdivision in Chalybeate, and is made up of two brick walls and columns on either side of the roadway. The sign is owned by Carlton Alexander. Judge Executive Wil Cannon told the Edmonson Voice at today's fiscal court meeting that road crews did some repair work to the ditch and culvert area near the sign and he discussed the reason for the vote.
"When the job was finished, there was about 6 inches or so of rock piled up against the culvert, and the argument from Mr. Alexander was that this caused water to hold up in the ditch, which caused the sign to sink, and it sunk several inches," Judge Cannon said. "He feels like the county caused the damage to that sign. The county feels like, and it's in Mark's (Meeks) district, and Mark feels like that rather than go through litigation on the matter to find out percentages of damages, or to find out if there was any at all, then it would be best probably to just go ahead and negotiate with Carlton if he'll sign a release that we're no longer responsible, in any way, for that wall."
Cannon said that it was basically settling out of court. He also said the county felt that it was a possibility that the water issue could've caused the sign to sink but he felt like the sign was sinking anyway; however, he said magistrates have discretion on these matters.
"This is what was decided and I'll back the magistrates up on these kinds of things," he added.
Magistrates voted to approve a resolution to pay Mr. Alexander the amount of $7,528.75, contingent on Mr. Alexander signing documentation that releases the county of further liability on the sign.
Future County Animal Shelter Property Update:
County Attorney Greg Vincent asked for clarification regarding a crop lease agreement, of which he was just made aware, on the newly purchased property from Rollin Rountree.
Judge Cannon said there was a verbal agreement in place between Rountree and some local farmers for 5-6 acres of soybeans on the property for $500 per year; however, County Attorney Vincent said the original agreement to sell the property to the county was made in 2019 and that if the county had taken possession of it in June of 2020 as originally planned, the county would've been bound by the farm lease agreement and wouldn't have been able to make any improvements to that portion of the property, as a result of the lease.
Cannon said the area currently being farmed would not have had improvements anyway; therefore that issue didn't seem relevant at the time, and that since Mr. Rountree still had ownership of the property at that time, Cannon saw no reason to act otherwise.
County Attorney Vincent said that the seller would have been in violation of the agreement because he would have been turning over property without a clear title and an in-place lease agreement with another party. The agreement signed by the county and the seller stated the property would be free and clear. After several minutes of discussion on different scenarios that could have been, Vincent described it as "an indication of the extreme bad faith that we were dealing with," on the part of the seller.
Vincent also said that neither he nor the company conducting the title opinion were made aware of such an agreement. The conversation ended with a basic, "all is well that ends well," as the county has the option of continuing the lease with farmers next year if magistrates so choose; however, Vincent's point was that as the county attorney, these are the types of issues he can help handle, but only if he's made aware. The property is a 12 acre tract, half of which is currently being cropped.
Road Report: County Road Supervisor Greg Carroll said that work had been completed in various areas around the county including ditching, patching, paving, and installation of tiles. He also reported that the county's paving machinery is in need of replacement and is expected to cost between $75K-$150K. Carroll said he didn't think the machine would last until the spring. The court agreed to look at the road budget for possibilities for a replacement.
Sheriff Report: Sheriff Shane Doyle said his office was recently approved for a state grant that allows for traffic patrol overtime costs. As a result, deputies have focused on the lake area and around the Ollie community, where they recently held a traffic checkpoint where there were several drug and alcohol-related arrests. He also discussed the early portions of the county tax collection, which was down slightly as of now, but he's looking for taxpayers to use more mail, online, and drop box payment options vs. in-person payment.
County Clerk Report: County Clerk Kevin Alexander updated the court on the recent election where the county saw a 63% voter turnout. He said 18% voted by mail, 54% voted early in-person, 28% voted in-person on Election Day. He thanked a number of folks that helped to make local voting a success, much like he announced to the Edmonson Voice on Friday.
The next fiscal court meeting was announced for November 23rd at 9AM.
Darren Doyle, story:
Active COVID cases in Edmonson County rose by 11 since our last update, which was on Wednesday of this week. Total cases in the county since the pandemic began rose to 234, according to the Barren River District Health Department, with 190 reported recoveries and 12 total deaths.
Active case numbers are currently at 32 for the county, an increase of 6 since Wednesday, but only three more active cases since last Friday's report. More reported recoveries over the week contribute to lower active case numbers.
Edmonson County has moved up on the Governor's zone list from yellow to orange, but is still the only BRDHD county not in the red zone. Edmonson also continues to be the county with the lowest number of total cases and active cases in the entire district.
EC Voter Turnout Close To 63%, County Clerk Discusses Election, Thanks Poll Workers, Team Members, More
Darren Doyle, story:
While the nations awaits the results of the 2020 Presidential Election, local results were finalized today, as the District 3 Magistrate race was finalized as mail-in ballots were processed and counted.
Edmonson County Clerk Kevin Alexander, who's office administers county elections, said Edmonson County saw a near 63% percent voter turnout, a number that was just below the 2018 turnout at 64%. The Rocky Hill and Lincoln districts saw the biggest turnouts in the county, which has 9,070 registered voters countywide.
Many election questions have been on the minds of locals since the pandemic hit and Alexander and his office has been at the forefront of the entire process. Only one polling place was open to the public for the primary election (as per state guidelines) in May and Alexander was adamant about opening up all polling precincts for the general election, which became a reality.
"It went better than we could have actually hoped for," he said. "The public that I've talked to seemed to be pleased with the extended early-voting option in our office. We were fortunate to have many people reach out to us about helping work our polling places. From college professors to college students to a mother-father-daughter group, we were covered at every location. Some of our veteran workers remained with us, but from registered nurses to dentists to retirees, Edmonson County's citizens stepped up in a major way as poll workers to help us pull this off."
Alexander wanted to let folks know his appreciation for all who contributed to the success of this year's local elections.
"Our local postal service was incredible to work with. They really went above and beyond to help us. We thank Sheri and her team. Also, a big thank you to Terry Massey, Edmonson County Emergency Management Director, for making sure we had all the necessary PPE for all locations."
Alexander also credited those that work at the County Clerk's Office.
"I want to thank my staff and team," he said. "Jason Alexander takes care of a lot of election paperwork year-round, while myself, Anne Vincent, and Leah Geary work out on the front line. Jason and Sherry Weedman did a marvelous job for us in making this election a success."
Darren Doyle, story:
All the ballots have been finalized and counted for the District 3 Magistrate race, which was the only contested local race in Edmonson County this election. The race for District 3 (Rocky Hill/Cedar Springs area) was write-in only.
Tarter, a democrat who was appointed by Governor Andy Beshear in July after the passing of Republican incumbent Clark Wood, won a tight race over republican challenger B.J. Honeycutt by only 12 votes, 143-131, who had moved into second place on Tuesday night. Today, all mail-in ballots were processed and counted by the Edmonson County Election Board at the County Clerk's Office to make the final tally.
Tarter claimed 42.1% of the district vote while Honeycutt took 38.6%.
There were four other candidates in the race who garnered votes:
Edmonson Showing Low Incidence Rate: All Surrounding Counties At Or Near State's Red Zone
Darren Doyle, story:
Today, Governor Andy Beshear issued an executive order to renew the state’s face coverings mandate for another 30 days. This is the fourth time he has extended the mandate.
He also signed an executive order that extends previous orders allowing pharmacists to dispense 30-day refills. The current executive order is set to expire tonight at 11:59 p.m. The new order will be effective for 30 days beginning Nov. 5.
Since Friday, Edmonson County's active COVID cases have dropped from 29 to 26, according to the latest data provided by the Barren River Health Department. Edmonson County not only has the lowest active and total case count in the entire BRDHD district, but is also only one of three counties in the entire state not listed in the orange or red zone incidence rated counties.
Election 2020, Edmonson County Totals: Republicans Dominate All Races, District 3 Magistrate Not Complete Yet
Charlie Tarter Holds Slim Lead Over Second-Highest Magistrate Vote Recipient B.J. Honeycutt: Mail In Ballots Won't Be Complete Until Friday
Darren Doyle, story:
Republicans dominated the 2020 General Election in Edmonson County on Tuesday night with the narrowest partisan race being the Kentucky Senate race between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Amy McGrath. McConnell won with 76% of the vote over McGrath's 16%. McConnell was also named the winner statewide.
Other winners in the county were President Donald Trump with 87%, Congressman Brett Guthrie with 87%, State Senator Steve Meredith with nearly 92%, and State Representative Michael Lee Meredith with 86%, all republican incumbents.
Trump and Guthrie were declared the winners in Kentucky as Trump picked up 8 electoral votes. Rep. Michael Lee Meredith was also declared the winner in the state house race.
In Brownsville City races, Mayor Jerry Meredith ran unopposed and all 6 councilmen/women who ran were elected: Greg Nugent, Anthony Duvall, Shawn Northener, Stephanie Stewart Gibson, Ricky Simon, and Justin Meredith.
The first Constitutional Amendment was voted 52% YES with 47% NO, with the second Constitutional Amendment 75% NO and 24% YES.
Three school board members also ran unopposed, Alex Ulm, Paul Forester, and Mickey Johnson.
Votes were still being counted for District 3 Magistrate race in Edmonson County and will not be officially announced until Friday, November 6th due to all mail-in ballots being processed; however, appointed democrat magistrate Charlie Tarter holds a slim lead over republican challenger B.J. Honecutt, 110 votes to 92. Honeycutt was second with votes counted as of tonight, according to the Edmonson County Election Board. Over 1,000 mail-in ballots will be finalized on Friday morning, the County Clerk's Office said.
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
From the looks of local polls around Edmonson County today, one would think most everyone forgot to vote; however, most local voters have already cast their vote, according to County Clerk Kevin Alexander.
"We've already had a 44% voter turnout for this election," he said. "The Secretary of State is expecting a 72% turnout number statewide and we could see even more of that here locally after today."
If Edmonson County sees a total turnout number of 70 or more percent, than more than half of voters have already cast their vote. Normally, when Edmonson County sees a 30% voter turnout or lower, polls seem almost silent over the course of an entire Election Day.
Only one contested local race is on the ballot for Edmonson voters, which is District 3 Magistrate, a write-in election. All other races are taking national and state attention with President, Senate, Congress, and state representation as well.
Tallies across the nation are expected to be delayed days, weeks, or longer; however local races will be available tonight after all polls close.