The Edmonson County Fiscal Court has released the following public notice regarding the Monday, July 13, 2020 fiscal court meeting.
The meeting will be live streamed on the Edmonson Voice.
EDMONSON COUNTY FISCAL COURT
NOTICE OF SPECIAL (OR REGULAR) AUDIO 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 July 13, 2020 to consider the following Agenda. The meeting will take place via audio teleconference. A portion of the Edmonson County Fiscal Court will be appearing in person with the remainder appearing via audio only. Members of the public may attend the in-person meeting at: Edmonson County Courthouse, Brownsville, KY or watch the meeting via live stream. The meeting will be broadcast/shown live at Edmonson Voice Facebook page.
EDMONSON COUNTY JUDGE/EXECUTIVE
Darren Doyle, story:
Numbers released from the Barren River District Health Department today showed one new death in Edmonson County this week as a result of COVID-19. It is the first reported death from the virus in Edmonson County since June 5th. It is one of three new deaths from the virus this week across the district, which now has been totaled at 67.
Total cases in the county rose by three this week to a total of 79, with 59 recoveries reported, one more this week.
The BRDHD also confirmed 2,568 cases of COVID-19 in the Barren River District today, 1,958 of which have recovered. As we reported on Tuesday, numbers across the district, specifically in Edmonson County, have been incorrect at times due to admitted errors from the health department. In today's press release, the health department stated, "Please note that a decrease in numbers is due to the county of residence being corrected/updated from what was previously reported."
Governor Andy Beshear reported that there were at least 18,670 coronavirus cases in Kentucky today, 426 more than yesterday. He also reported today that there have been at least 470,548 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky and at least 5,258 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.
This comes after yesterday's announcement, where he signed an executive order requiring all Kentuckians to wear a mask of face covering when in public.
Also today, Attorney General Daniel Cameron filed a motion in Scott Circuit Court asking the Judge to consider whether Governor Beshear’s most recent executive order requiring face coverings complies with the current temporary restraining order stopping enforcement of COVID-19 executive orders that are not in compliance with state law.
This comes after AG Cameron on Thursday announced where a Scott Circuit Judge ordered the Governor to cease issuing or enforcing executive orders related to COVID-19 unless the orders meet specific criteria for an emergency as outlined by state law. The Judge stated that, in order to issue and enforce executive orders related to COVID-19, the Governor must specify the state of emergency that requires the executive order, the location of the emergency, and the name of the local emergency management agency that has determined that the emergency is beyond its capabilities.
Edmonson Voice Report:
Attorney General Daniel Cameron today released the following statement regarding Governor Andy Beshear’s executive order requiring Kentuckians statewide to wear face masks:
“Today, our office is filing a motion in Scott Circuit Court asking the Judge to consider whether Governor Beshear’s most recent executive order requiring face coverings complies with the current temporary restraining order stopping enforcement of COVID-19 executive orders that are not in compliance with state law.
Had the Governor consulted with our office and the leadership of the General Assembly on his order prior to its issuance, this step would have been unnecessary. The Governor has refused input on his executive orders, despite offers of assistance. This pattern has led to numerous challenges in court, all of which he has lost.
To be clear, the request we are making to the court today is not about whether or not it is appropriate to wear a mask. It is my belief that masks are an important tool in fighting this pandemic. It is, however, about determining if the Governor’s executive order mandating mask use follows state law. As the chief law officer for the Commonwealth, it is my duty to raise this question before the court and ensure that the law is followed.”
Yesterday, Governor Andy Beshear signed an executive order that requires all Kentuckians to wear masks in public places, effective today at 5pm. The order will remain in effect for 30 days.
Must Have Appointment and Follow Guidelines For Visit
Rochella Dennison (left) visits with her mother, Cora Luttrell. Ms. Cora has been at the facility for 11 years and celebrated her 100th birthday on March 10, 2020.
Edmonson Voice Report:
Genesis Health, Edmonson Center in Brownsville has announced that they will resume visitation opportunities at their facility beginning Monday, July 13th.
Nursing home patients and residents across the country have been restricted to their rooms and have not been able to visit with their loved ones, except for exceptional circumstances, such as end-of-life situations.
"To make things easier for families, in mid-March, we implemented the ability for families and loved ones to perform video conferencing calls using Zoom technology and we have updated families via regular video conference calls," said Dr. Richard Feifer, Chief Medical Officer.
Dr. Feifer also noted that many states are beginning to allow outdoor visitation by families at facilities where permitted and with precautions. He said that Kentucky has given nursing homes the green light to resume visitation with precautions.
"At Edmonson Center, we will begin offering visitation outside on Monday, July 13, 2020," he said. "Visitors and residents will need to wear masks, practice safe social distancing, and visitors will be screened prior to the visit - including a temperature check. We will pre-schedule visits and will allow no more than two residents to have visitors at any one time. Staff are currently being trained on the appropriate precautions and will be present to assist with the visits."
Ms. Geraldine Madison (far left) and Mark Ashley visit with their sister, Evelyn Knox. Ms. Knox has been at the facility for 2 years and will celebrate her 90th birthday on July 15, 2020.
A trial run was held today at the facility to work out any issues before Monday. Today, visitors used the custom-built shield outdoors by local Scout Brycen Daniels to meet with their family members.
The facility said that on Monday, there will be 30-minute time slots available for visitation, and an appointment is necessary in order to attend. During these half hour slots, visitation will be for 20 minutes and the other 10 are designated for sanitation and to prepare for the next visitor.
Time slots will be available first come, first served and will run from 8am to 11:30am, then from 1pm to 4pm. You must have an appointment for a visit and no more than two visitor will be allowed with a resident at one time. Call the facility's activities department to schedule an appointment at 270-597-2335.
Governor Spars With Attorney General On Executive Orders
Darren Doyle, story:
Governor Andy Beshear announced today in a press conference that he has signed an executive order requiring masks or face coverings in public.
"Today I've signed an executive order that is starting tomorrow at 5pm, I'm going to mandate that Kentuckians in public and certain situations must wear a facial covering or mask," he said. "What this means is, all customers in retail facilities must wear a mask. In grocery stores, must wear a mask. Most forward-facing businesses, must wear a mask. If you are indoors and you can't get 6 feet from individuals on anything that's not covered, must wear a mask. And outside, if you cannot be six-feet away from another individual, you must wear a mask."
Beshear said this order will run for a minimum of 30 days.
"I want to see how well we can do in 30 days," he said. "It's going to be enforced by local health departments and others, and it's going to be as simple as if someone won't wear a mask in your place of business, then they cannot be served. It's that simple."
He said the plan is to continue to have restaurants open at 50% capacity as well as retail stores.
"I believe we can keep the things that we've opened up, open, and if we do it, I think we've got a shot at sports that other states are worried about right now. But it's on us. It's on us. It's really going to come down to whether we have personal pride or we have some belief that we have liberty to spread this thing to others, and therefore shouldn't have to wear something like this. It's all going to come down to whether we're willing to do it. Whether we truly care about each other and our economy."
He said he guessed those not wanting to wear masks would be about 20% of the people; however, many we've heard from locally are strongly against mandating masks.
"Honestly, folks, wearing a mask in a worldwide pandemic makes a lot of sense," he said. "And is it too much to ask? I don't think so."
Beshear also discussed some exceptions that would be allowed where certain people wouldn't be required to wear masks, which included children under the age of 5, if you are alone in a single room, with your household members in your own home, exercising six feet away from others, or have medical issues or other breathing issues that would prohibit your safety further by wearing one.
Beshear reported 333 new cases in Kentucky since yesterday with 4 new deaths reported from coronavirus.
This news comes in sharp contrast of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's announcement today where a Scott Circuit Judge ordered the Governor to cease issuing or enforcing executive orders related to COVID-19 unless the orders meet specific criteria for an emergency as outlined by state law. The Judge stated that, in order to issue and enforce executive orders related to COVID-19, the Governor must specify the state of emergency that requires the executive order, the location of the emergency, and the name of the local emergency management agency that has determined that the emergency is beyond its capabilities.
“The Governor cannot issue broad, arbitrary executive orders apart from the requirements of state law, and the Judge agreed by today issuing a statewide temporary restraining order,” said Attorney General Cameron. “This is a clear win for the rule of law and will help Kentucky families and businesses across the Commonwealth who have suffered and continue to suffer financial losses and economic hardship because of the Governor’s executive orders.”
Attorney General Cameron joined the lawsuit last week, which challenges Governor Beshear’s use of executive power during the COVID-19 pandemic and was filed by Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles and Evans Orchard and Cider Mill, LLC, an agritourism business in Georgetown. Evans Orchard instituted new public health guidelines and procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic in compliance with Governor Beshear’s executive orders, including requiring employees to wear masks, sanitation protocols for the facility, and reduced capacity to comply with social distancing. In one instance, Evans Orchard was told by the local health department that they could not allow more than 10 individuals at a time into the business’s 96,000 square foot attraction.
According to a press release from AG Cameron's office, the temporary restraining order issued by the Judge today also stops the enforcement of the Governor’s executive orders as they apply to Kentucky’s 548 agritourism businesses.
Beshear was asked about the ruling and he commented on the temporary restraining order.
"They basically ruled that over 500 businesses in Kentucky don't have to follow any rules whatsoever," said Beshear on the ruling.
Beshear said those businesses would include farmer's markers, distilleries, and an expo center.
"This is dangerous and devastating and for a court to say 'I guess I just don't believe that the virus exists and you don't have to do anything--no social distancing, nothing else?' is absolutely irresponsible.
Beshear also said that his office was sending the order to court of the appeals and the supreme court.
"This shouldn't be political, and it all seems to be," he said. "The AG in Kentucky is the only AG in the country that's suing the governor over these restrictions and we gotta move past it. I'm gonna continue to do what it takes, he put in that order today, and we're doing the mask mandate today. We'll beat him in court. Just because the circuit judge there thinks he's an epidemiologist, we don't need any types of restrictions, and I know that's not the case."
To view a copy of the order, click here.
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
It was a long night for local firefighters after they responded to a structure fire in the 8100 block of Brownsville Road.
Emergency personnel were paged to respond around 11:30pm Wednesday night, where firefighters found a home fully engulfed. According to reports at the scene, the home was a rental property not currently occupied, which is apparently owned by someone outside Edmonson County.
The Rocky Hill, Brownsville, Chalybeate, and Wingfield Fire Departments responded to the blaze, where no injuries were reported. After battling the fire for a few hours, firefighters were paged again around 5am after the fire rekindled. According to emergency radio traffic, what was left of the structure was fully engulfed again.
The house was a total loss.
Also responding to the blaze was the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, Warren RECC, EC Emergency Management, and the District 3 Constable.
Darren Doyle, story:
Today, in his regular COVID-19 press conference, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said new requirements are going to be announced as a result in spike of COVID-19 cases in Kentucky.
The Governor announced 402 new cases in the Commonwealth today, for a total number of known positive cases of 17,919 in KY.
“I hope you had a good Fourth of July weekend, but I hope it was safe, and it’s important that it was safe, because while we have been at a plateau in Kentucky, really for several weeks, over the last four to six days we are seeing larger numbers,” said Beshear.
“The rising case numbers are cause for concern, so tomorrow we’re going to announce some new requirements that are going to be mandatory,” said Governor Beshear. “Given what we are seeing across the country with exploding numbers in certain places, my commitment is to make sure that doesn’t happen here, but I can’t do it alone.”
Six new deaths were also reported today by the Governor, which raised the total number of deaths in Kentucky from coronavirus to 608.
The deaths reported Wednesday include a 72-year-old man from Casey County; a 67-year-old man from Fulton County; two women, ages 73 and 77, and a 61-year-old man from Jefferson County; and a 74-year-old woman from Perry County.
“That is far too many Kentuckians to lose, and we’ve got to do everything we can to minimize our loss moving forward,” said Beshear.
He also said there have been at least 451,451 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky, and at least 4,912 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.
Meeting To Be Held At ECHS Auditorium
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County Superintendent of Schools Brian Alexander has released information regarding the upcoming school board meeting scheduled for Monday, July 13, 2020.
The meeting will be held at the ECHS auditorium so that parents and other citizens can attend, which is set for 6:30PM.
Mr. Alexander said that citizens will have opportunity to speak, following guidelines.
"Citizens wishing to address the board will have an opportunity upon recognition by the board chairperson," he said. "Citizens that address the board will be given a maximum time of five minutes to share their comments or ask questions."
He also added that all attendees will be required to wear a mask, no exceptions.
Event Will Focus On Drop Off Service For Safety
Darren Doyle, story:
The 2020 Cram the Cruiser event has been announced by the Edmonson County Community Education and the EC Family Resource/Youth Services Centers. This year's event will be the 14th consecutive year for the local event and the Edmonson Voice is proud once again to be a sponsor of the annual school supply fundraiser.
Cram the Cruiser, or CtC, is focusing on safety this year, due to the virus pandemic. Donors will be able to participate while staying safe, according to Community Education Director and event coordinator Lisa Whobrey.
"Individuals can drive up to set locations to drop off their monetary or school supply donations," she said. "Any event volunteer or worker at the location can come get the items from the individual,or we can have a table available where they can drop off their donations if they prefer. Supplies will likely be set out at a designated location for a small period of time just as a precautionary measure."
Whobrey says the reason for the event is very simple: for the kids.
"We do this to keep all kids armed with the necessary means to succeed in school," she said. "This year more than ever, we want to make sure the students and parents have one less thing to worry about, which is being prepared for the school year."
100% of monetary donations and supplies collected stay in Edmonson County Schools. Whobrey and the event staff are asking for a host of items, which will become available to any student at any school that needs them, including:
Teams will be set up in two different locations from 9am to 4pm, which will be Family Dollar in Brownsville and Dollar General in Chalybeate. ServPro will provide tents and other needs for the event and Pelican Snoballs and other vendors will be onsite.
The event is sponsored by:
Both locations will be open throughout the day for the public to cruise in and drop off. Your donations will help ensure all students begin the school year on a level playing field with the supplies they need.
For more information, please call the office of Community Education for Edmonson County Schools at 270-597-8329.
Edmonson Voice Report:
Ricky Simon was recently appointed to the Brownsville City Council, according to an announcement from the City of Brownsville.
Simon was sworn in to replace the departing Jeremy Spainhoward, who recently moved out of the city limits. All members of the council must reside within the Brownsville city limits.
Ricky is a lifelong resident of Edmonson County and lives with his wife Janis in Brownsville.
Health Dept Says Errors Have Been Corrected
Darren Doyle, story:
When tracking numbers of positive COVID-19 cases around the globe, it can get pretty confusing to say the least. The numbers in Edmonson County are no exception as varying totals from the Barren River District Health Department have been reported.
Our latest article on local COVID-19 numbers for Edmonson County was published last Friday, June 26th, and had a positive headline amid the pandemic: 15x more recoveries reported than new cases. All these numbers are supplied by the BRDHD and we monitor them with their daily press releases. They supply three different numbers for each county in their district: total number of known cases ever, total number of known recoveries, and total deaths determined from COVID-19. Those numbers are completely different this week, meaning they were obviously incorrect at some point.
In the last article, we published there were 79 total cases reported with 65 recovered and 11 deaths. If you add total recoveries and deaths, you get 76 cases, which left 3 current active known cases in the county. However, on Thursday, July 2nd in their daily press release, the BRDHD reported 84 total cases, 75 recovered, and 11 deaths, which did not add up. It's impossible for total recoveries and deaths (86) to be greater than the total number of reported cases (84).
We immediately asked for clarification on the incorrect figures and were told by the health department our question was being forwarded to their Epidemiologist.
That was certainly an acceptable answer and the next day was an observed holiday for Independence Day, so there was no press release; however, we followed up that day with the same question and we were told the Epidemiologist had not yet responded, but we would be contacted when a response was given. Yesterday's numbers were released and they are even more confusing than they were on Thursday. We did receive a brief response from BRDHD in an email that read "According to the press release yesterday the numbers have changed-she corrected some errors that were in the system."
Monday's numbers from the BRDHD for Edmonson County were listed as: 76 total cases (8 lower than last July 2nd) 58 recoveries (17 lower than July 2nd) and 11 deaths, which has not changed in several weeks. Again, it's important to note that "confirmed cases" does not mean current or active cases. It means the total number that has been confirmed since the beginning of the pandemic. They cannot get lower.
We also noticed numbers for Butler County were off in recoveries. On July 2nd, recoveries were reported at 133 but that number had changed to 126 yesterday.
Today, the BRDHD provided an answer to our question, which was emailed to us from Ashli McCarty, Marketing & Communications Coordinator.
"According to Layne Blackwell, regional epidemiologist, the isolated data errors were due to an algorithm in our data," her response stated. "The mistake has been corrected. As it relates to the data fluctuating a little day-to-day that will unfortunately happen in a small number of cases when we get updated addresses and counties for positive cases. For example, a Smiths Grove address might be in Edmonson or Warren County. After conducting the interview with the positive cases we are able to verify information and we correct it in the next day of reporting. Please let me know if you have any further questions."
We chose to hold off on a local COVID-19 update until we could get clarification on these numbers, as the BRDHD is the only source we have for these numbers, and that's why there was no update last Friday, July 3rd.
In related news, Genesis Health, Edmonson Center is still coronavirus-free, according to their latest update to us. This makes the third consecutive week with no active cases in the facility.
UPDATE: JULY 7, 2020, 5:43PM: We just received word from Mammoth Cave that the ferry is closing for a repair: From MCNP: "The Green River Ferry in Mammoth Cave National Park is temporarily closed to all traffic through noon on Wednesday, July 8 in order to repair an issue with the ferry’s access gate. Repairs are scheduled for early in the day on Wednesday. The ferry service will resume once the needed repairs have been completed."
Darren Doyle, story: Video courtesy of the Voicemobile:
The Green River Ferry at Mammoth Cave reopened yesterday and we took a short trip to check it out. While the short video below won't make you hold on to your seats, it was nice being able to see the ferry in action once again after being shut down for nearly a year.
Many folks in the area rely on the ferry to help with their commutes across the river. Not having the ferry available causes several county residents to add at least an hour to their routes each day.
We activated the GoPro on the Voicemobile as we went across the Green River yesterday.
The ferry is only open temporarily before it will temporarily be closed again to complete renovation on the south side ramp. Mammoth Cave NP told the Edmonson Voice that the repairs will be on the south ramp of the ferry. They are still in negotiations for the next closure, so a date for the repair has not yet been set.
Do you plan to use the ferry? Leave a comment below or on our Facebook Page on this article.
Period Runs From July 6 Through July 20, 2020
Edmonson County PVA Kyle White has announced that the annual inspection period for the 2020 property tax rolls will be from July 6 through July 20, 2020.
He also announced a provision in the Homestead and Disability Exemption. "Those who are 65 years or older and persons who are 100% disabled qualify for either the Homestead and Disability Exemption," he said. "This year's amount is a 39,300 reduction in assessment. That will be approximately $375 off their property taxes for 2020."
The announcement is published in full below:
INSPECTION PERIOD FOR THE PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENT ROLL
The Edmonson County real property tax roll will be opened for inspection from July 6 through July 20, 2020. Under the supervision of the property valuation administrator or one of the deputies, any person may inspect the tax roll.
This is the January 1, 2020, assessment on which state, county and school taxes for 2020 will be due in the Fall of 2020.
The tax roll is in the office of the property valuation administrator. Unless otherwise determined by the property valuation administrator, inspections will be conducted remotely. If in-person inspections are available, the tax roll may be inspected between the hours 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Thursday and Saturday and 7:30 a.m.-5:00p.m. Friday.
Any taxpayer desiring to appeal an assessment on real property made by the PVA must first request a conference with the PVA or a designated deputy. The conference may be held prior to or during the inspection period. Due to the current COVID_19 crisis, all conferences will be held via video conference, where available, email, telephone or fax. Documentation supporting your opinion of value will continue to be required; however, you will receive specific instructions on the best method to submit your documentation after contacting our office about your intention to have a conference.
Any taxpayer still aggrieved by an assessment on real property, after the conference with the PVA or designated deputy, may appeal to the county board of assessment appeals.
Your appeal must be filed with the county clerk's office no later than one workday following the conclusion of the inspection period. Please contact the county clerk's office to receive instructions on the method that office is using to accept appeals this year and to obtain a form that can be used to file your appeal.
Any taxpayer failing to appeal to the county board of assessment appeals, or failing to appear before the board, either in person or by designated representative, will not be eligible to appeal directly to the Kentucky Claims Commission.
Appeals of personal property assessments shall not be made to the county board of assessment appeals. Personal property taxpayers shall be served notice under the provisions of KRS 132.450(4) and shall have the protest and appeal rights granted under the provisions of KRS 131.110.
The following steps should be taken when a taxpayer does not agree with the assessed value of personal property as determined by the property valuation administrator.
(1) He or she must list under protest (for certification) what is believed to be the fair cash value of the property.
(2) A written protest must be filed directly with the Department of Revenue, Office of Property Valuation within 30 days from the date of the notice of assessment.
This protest must be in accordance with KRS 131.110.
The final decision of the Department of Revenue may be appealed to the Kentucky Claims Commission.
--Kyle M. White, Property Valuation Administrator
Virtual Instruction Will Be Offered To All Students, All Grades
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
The Edmonson County School Board has announced that September 8, 2020 will be the first official day of the 2020-21 school year, in a statement from Superintendent Brian Alexander. The entire calendar will not be set and approved until the next board meeting, which is scheduled for July 13th; however, Mr. Alexander said he wanted to announce the first official day back to help parents and guardians prepare for the new year.
"We want to thank those that have participated in our parent and staff surveys," Mr. Alexander said. "The Board members and I have taken the input of both parents and staff into account in making a start date decision. The comfort, health and safety of the students of Edmonson County, which allows for a positive educational experience, is always our primary concern. A great deal of consideration for students wearing masks on buses and the heat students would be subjected to in early August was a major consideration in our choice to go with a September 8th start date."
The statement also said type of school schedule for the 20-21 school year has not yet been finalized at this time. The school district could opt for a traditional 5-day schedule or a staggered schedule for students. A staggered schedule would be a combination of in-person and distance learning for students in an effort to allow social distancing so that masks may be removed.
"An important point to be made is that if we stay with a traditional 5 day schedule, masks will be mandated 100% of the time, as social distancing of 6 feet cannot be accomplished," said Mr. Alexander. "If a staggered schedule is chosen, students will be allowed to remove masks throughout the day."
According to Edmonson County Schools, they are diligently preparing buildings and buses so that all guidelines set forth are met with the "Guidance on Safety Expectations and Best Practices for Kentucky Schools (K-12)" document released June 24, 2020. You can view this document at:
"We fully understand that families may still be uncomfortable with in-person learning. With this in mind, Edmonson County Schools will also be offering virtual learning opportunities for students K-12 this year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. All of Edmonson County's schools are adopting virtual policies in response to health concerns caused by this pandemic. The school district has researched several software programs and are prepared to offer state-of-the-art virtual learning experiences to students and families that have health conditions or concerns that make in-person learning uncomfortable for them during the 20-21 school year. It is important to point out a distinct difference between home-school and virtual learning settings. As a home-school student, parents must create their own curriculum. As a virtual student enrolled in the Edmonson County School District for the 20-21 school year, we will make available this curriculum to families and students that is specifically designed for learning outside the traditional. This will be much different than the NTI coursework used to finish the 19-20 school year. In addition to the software opportunities, technology devices such as chromebooks will be available to students for use as part of our virtual learning programs."
Mr. Alexander concluded his statement by stating:
"No plan is perfect and no plan will please everyone and meet everyone's needs to a full extent. As stated earlier, the comfort, health and safety of the students of Edmonson County, which allows for a positive educational experience, is always our primary concern. We want the best possible educational experience for all the students of Edmonson County for the 2020-2021 school year and we thank you for your input and ask you for your support during these unprecedented times."
KSP Investigates a Fatal Collision Involving a Pedestrian
Edmonson Voice Report:
A Munfordville woman has been killed as a result of a collision with a vehicle on 1-65 while she was walking on the interstate, according to Kentucky State Police.
The collision occurred near the 58 mile marker of Interstate 65 around 10pm on Wednesday, July 1st in Horse Cave, KSP said.
Upon arrival and through investigation, Troopers reportedly found that 57-year-old Lisa Swarm of Munfordville was walking in the left lane of travel near the 58 mile marker of I-65 northbound. The left lane of travel was being occupied by 28-year-old Anthony Andres of Wauwatosam, WI, who was operating a white Ford Escape. Lisa Swarm was struck by the Ford Escape while in the travel portion of the roadway and was pronounced deceased on scene by the Hart County Coroner, KSP reported.
No reason was given as to why the woman was walking on the interstate, and in a lane of traffic; however, KSP confirmed the woman was walking near the exit ramp and was not in a vehicle.
The investigation is ongoing and being led by Trooper Robert Hartley. An autopsy has been scheduled with the Medical Examiners Office.
Trooper Hartley was assisted on scene by the Horse Cave Fire Department, Hart County Coroner's Office, Hart County Sheriff's Office, Hart County EMS and the Horse Cave Police Department.
Work On South Ramp Still Needed
Edmonson Voice Report:
Mammoth Cave National Park will temporarily reopen the Green River Ferry and Green River Ferry Road to vehicular traffic on Monday, July 6 for service seven days a week from 6 am to 9:55 pm CST. The newly retrofitted ferry was certified for service by the United States Coast Guard, but construction on the south ramp of the vehicle crossing is still needed. Commuters should anticipate an additional closure of the ferry later in the summer.
“The updated ferry boat should improve the safety and efficiency of the ferry service,” said Superintendent Barclay Trimble. “The boat will sit higher in the water, carry more weight, and have longer ramps to reach further up the shoreline. Even though more work is needed on the south side ramps, the park does not want to impact visitors or our local community any more than possible. We are trying to set the construction date for the south ramp for the latest day possible so the project can be completed before the water rises in mid-November. We know the ferry is essential to many commuters and our neighboring businesses and we want to get back to normal operations.”
The work that remains for the south side of the ferry crossings is to extend the vehicle ramp thirty feet further into the Green River and repave both the north and south ramps. The project will include the installation of a coffer dam on the south side which will require the ferry to again suspend operations.
Kovilic Construction Company (Kovilic) has experienced several delays during the completion of the ferry ramp work which has closed the ferry service and roadway since August 2019. Kovilic submitted a work schedule extension request in November 2019 to the Federal Highway Administration Eastern Lands Highway Division who is overseeing the construction project. The park will continue to work with Kovilic to determine the date when they will resume the ramp improvement operations and will notify the public at that time.
MCNP first announced that the anticipated start of construction on June 17, 2019 was delayed until July 8, 2019; however, they also said that the initial projected completion date would not change, which was originally November 15, 2019. That date was also pushed back to early spring during delays this past winter.
The Green River Ferry area serves as a river crossing location, river access for canoes and kayaks, boat ramp for fishing boats, and parking area for trail and river users. During periods of low and high water, extended closures of the Green River Ferry create negative impacts which affect local citizens, visitors, and park staff by presenting safety problems, limiting access to recreational resources, and disrupting frequently used travel routes. The ramp extension project will extend the current vehicle access ramps into the Green River which should allow the ferry boat to operate during periods of low water levels.
For more information on the Green River Ferry improvement projects and the Green River Ferry and road closure, please visit the park’s website www.nps.gov/maca/green-river-ferry-improvement-projects.htm or call the Green River Ferry Hotline at 270-758-2166 for current ferry operating status.
McGrath Named Winner Over Booker In Narrow State Win
Darren Doyle, story:
The election totals have been tallied for Edmonson County for last Tuesday's primary race.
A total of 2,511 votes were counted locally that resulted in the following:
President: Donald Trump
Senator: Mitch McConnell
U.S. Representative: Brett Guthrie
President: Joe Biden
Senator: Amy McGrath
Court of Appeals Judge: Jenny Hines
Statewide, McGrath (45%) was narrowly named the winner over Charles Booker (43%) by less than 10,000 votes.
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Superintendent of Edmonson County Schools Patrick Waddell is putting in his final day of work at the school board's central office today and friends, family, and coworkers tipped their caps by a wave parade along Wildcat Way.
Coworkers said they'd planned a reception in his honor for this occasion, but the coronavirus pandemic forced other plans. Dozens of cars lined up at ECHS and drove by Waddell and his family as they honked horns, waved, and shouted well wishes. One car even tossed out a gift, which was a neatly wrapped Case pocket knife.
Waddell has been the superintendent in Edmonson County for 16 years. In all his years of education, he's been in this role longer than any other.
"It's bittersweet," Waddell said. "When you work 16 years in one place, especially like this, you make a lot of wonderful relationships."
He also discussed the difficulty that the virus pandemic caused and is causing for the school system.
"I never imagined that I'd have to work through a pandemic in my last year here. It drastically changed so many aspects of what we do, but everyone came together and we've made it this far."
Waddell said that while he will miss everything about Edmonson County Schools, he's looking forward to having the day off tomorrow.
"Well, I'm not going to lie, it will be nice," he said with a laugh. "But I will genuinely miss the people in our school system and this county. This is truly a wonderful place."
Long time educator and administrator Brian Alexander has been chosen to replace Waddell. He will officially be Edmonson County's new Superintendent of Schools on Wednesday, July 1, 2020.
Nursing Home Virus Free For Second Consecutive Week
Darren Doyle, story:
It was a good week in Edmonson County for reported COVID numbers as the total number of positive confirmed cases rose by only 2, while recovered cases were numbered at 29 over the past 7 days. Edmonson Center reported once again that their nursing home facility is coronavirus-free for the second consecutive week. The death toll has remained steady at 11, all reported from Edmonson Center.
Today, the Barren River District Health Department reported 79 total cases in the county with 65 recoveries, compared to 77 and 36 respectively, from last week.
Across the district, the number of total cases rose by 175 to 2,190 for an 8.6% increase; however, recoveries increased by 230 (1624 total) for a 16.5% rate increase. Simply put, the rate of recoveries has doubled the rate of newly confirmed cases in the BRDHD district over the past 7 days.
There have been a total number of 60 deaths reported from coronavirus in the district. That number rose by 9 over the past week with 4 of those being reported in Logan County.
Statewide, Governor Andy Beshear reported a total of 14,859 total cases, which is an increase by 1,405 over the past week. Cases rose by 807 the week before. He also reported 3,730 total recoveries from the virus (up from 3,516) and 553 total deaths (up from 522 last Friday).
School System Seeks Public Feedback On New School Year: Governor's New Guidelines Create New Environment
Drastic Changes Expected For Next School Year
Darren Doyle, story:
No matter the measures taken, the upcoming school year for Edmonson County Schools will be like none ever seen. With new requirements handed down to schools across the state by the Governor's office, the 2020-21 school year will undergo drastic changes.
There will be very specific social distancing and/or mask requirements in schools and school buses, and you can expect a different look on basically every aspect of activity inside local schools.
Superintendent Brian Alexander is requesting that all parents of Edmonson County students participate in a survey to help school officials decide what will work best of all students and staff.
Some of the topics covered and questions asked in the survey cover the following:
Some of the state requirements for the new year include:
The letter from Mr. Alexander is published in its entirety below:
June 25, 2020
To the staff, students and parents of the Edmonson County School District Community --
First of all, thank you for your cooperation since mid-March in dealing with the most significant health crisis of our lifetimes. What we have lived through together has been unprecedented in the history of public education, and through this time we have been able to continue to help students learn.
I'd also like to thank you for your patience. Yesterday, on June 24, 2020, at 3:00 pm Governor Beshear released his plan for reopening schools during his afternoon press conference. The link to this press conference is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbDFFUIcNDA . The section of the press conference dedicated to reopening schools is between 19:15 and 46:20 in the video. Additionally, the "Guidance on Safety Expectations and Best Practices for Kentucky Schools (K-12)" document was released following the press conference. The link to this document is https://education.ky.gov/comm/Documents/Safety%20Expectations_FINAL%20DOC.pdf. I'd like to encourage you to review these documents in order to better understand what is expected of our schools as we work toward making decisions that lead to reopening schools.
We have purposely waited until now to release two surveys for Edmonson County Schools. One survey is a staff survey, while the other survey is a parent survey. The staff survey has been release to all school personnel through school email. As a school district, we are now at the point where our stakeholders can give accurate answers and we can collect accurate data that will help to guide the decisions for Edmonson County Schools.
There are several points to keep in mind as we work together in this reopening phase. Please understand that:
The link to the Parent survey is: https://bit.ly/2BBvkSo
Edmonson County Hall of Heroes Conservation Project Gets Underway
By Edmonson Voice Editor Darren Doyle:
Members of two local Edmonson County Veterans groups have created a new non-profit organization for the purpose of digitizing each individual veteran photo displayed in Edmonson County Courthouse's "Hall of Honor." It's an honor for me to say that I've been asked to oversee a portion of this project and I'm asking our county to step up and be part of it.
The impressive exhibit that began during WWII, displays photos of Edmonson County veterans from all time periods dating back to the war of 1812. More than 1,200 individual photos are displayed behind glass cabinets down both sides of the courthouse hallway. For many of these photos, they are the only ones in existence. With the possibility that a disaster of some type could ruin these photos forever, a digitization project discussion began earlier in the year by local veterans.
Former VFW Post Commander LtCol USMC (retired) Floyd Houston began reaching out to those who might be interested and shortly thereafter, the Edmonson County Hall of Heroes Conservation Project was born.
"Our modern day hallway curator Maurita Miller, the President of our Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Auxiliary Chapter, dutifully repairs frames, rehangs photos as they fall, updates the cross-referenced index for the collection, and hangs new images of our youngest veterans," said Houston. "But this priceless, one-of-a-kind collection is vulnerable. The photographic paper already shows age and some decay, but more important, they could be destroyed overnight in the event of a fire, flood, or sprinkler activation."
Houston said that non-profit 501c3 status has been secured for the Edmonson County Hall of Heroes Conservation Project, Inc., and work has already begun, initially funded by a generous donation from Nesbit Alexander VFW Post #6937 members from Brownsville. I have been asked to supervise the digitization and database process while Col. Houston will help incorporate community-sourced documents such as medal citations and recommendations, as well as period news stories associated with these veterans.
Funding for the project is needed through community donations and sponsorships, which is the same manner in which the Wiley Willis Memorial Wall was constructed. The group says that each photo on display in the courthouse has to be photographed individually, transferred, edited, saved, and stored digitally, which will be in the form of its very own website, which has been named EdmonsonVets.com. Site construction has begun and some photos have already been stored; however, the site will be in the early stages of building for some time.
Sponsorship packages are available and donations can be made through the organization. My hope is that the entire project can be funded through these donations and sponsorships so that our local veterans can keep their own money. Days have already been invested into the project, which has barely gotten off the ground.
If your business would like to become a sponsor of this project, please contact the Edmonson Voice office at 270-597-6550 or email us at email@example.com to find out how you can become part of the new website. For donations not associated with potential sponsorship packages, please send checks to:
Edmonson County Hall Of Heroes Project
200 Clevie James Road
Brownsville, KY 42210
Soon, the site will have the capability of receiving donations via credit card in various amounts.
All funds will be handled by the non-profit and 100% of the money raised will go to complete the digitization of current photos, as well as additional photos submitted by the public in the future and the ongoing maintenance to keep the site up and running.
Edmonson Voice Report:
Two individuals were arrested and charged with various felonies after a suspicious activity call and traffic stop last night on Lindseyville Loop, according to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
Law enforcement received a call of suspicious activity in the Ray Ashley Road last night and on the way to the area, a deputy said he met a vehicle matching the caller's description. Due to a busted windshield, a traffic stop was initiated on the Ford Ranger pickup in the Lindseyville Loop area. The vehicle was also discovered to have a cancelled license plate, according to the Sheriff's Office.
The occupants of the vehicle where identified as Roger D. Clark (34) of Cub Run, and Sarah Frederick (36) of Glasgow. The Sheriff's Office said that Clark was known by the deputy to be a convicted felon and laying in plain view of the deputy was ammunition and drug paraphernalia. A search warrant was obtained and served on the vehicle where suspected meth and various forms of drug paraphernalia were found, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Clark was arrested and charged with:
Darren Doyle, story:
Only one polling place was open for Edmonson County's primary election yesterday, which was the county Community Center. While the process went smoothly, County Clerk Kevin Alexander says he hopes the process returns to normal when it's time for the general election in the fall.
"This has been a 5-week process for planning and preparation and it's been fairly difficult, even though things went pretty well in the Community Center yesterday," he said. "The main issue is manpower it takes to follow these steps properly. We have to hire extra part time help but these folks are putting in full time hours. This isn't a local decision, but something handed down from the Governor."
There were no local elections for Edmonson County but voters were able to choose candidates for President, U.S. Senate, and U.S. Representative. Local tallies haven't been finalized yet, due to the processing and counting of absentee ballots. All ballots postmarked by yesterday will still be counted. Those final results won't be available until June 30th.
For republicans statewide, candidates already named the winners are President Donald Trump, Senator Mitch McConnell, and Congressman Brett Guthrie. Trump will take on Democrat candidate Joe Biden in the fall while Guthrie will face off with democrat Hank Linderman. McConnell's opponent has not yet been named as the race between Amy McGrath and Charles Booker is still being processed. McGrath currently has 44.7% of the vote while Booker is at 36.5%.
SCREENSHOTS FROM BALLOTPEDIA
Alexander said one of the issues that increases the difficulty of the process is the extra mail-in ballots. Each ballot had to be requested by mail, completed, then returned by mail to the Clerk's Office. Those ballots have to be confirmed by matching signatures on driver's licenses then processed.
"Some embraced the idea of voting from home because they didn't have to get out, but from what we saw, the much larger number would rather go vote in-person at their individual polling place," said Clerk Alexander.
There are 7 polling places in Edmonson County, all of which were closed except for the Community Center yesterday.
"As far as that process was concerned, it went pretty well. There was no waiting at all except for a few people that came to vote before 6am," he said. "Each voter came in, had their temperature taken, they were offered a mask and their own pen for voting. The room was laid out by CDC guidelines, which overseen by Sheriff Shane Doyle. There was plenty of spacing inside and voters were able to exit a different door than where they entered. It was a good response from those who attended this polling place, but we still hope that we can go back to a more normal process when the general election comes in November."
Alexander said 570 votes were cast at the Community Center and approximately 1600 mail-ins had been received as of now. He said he expected around a 30% county voter turnout, which is higher than many thought, with virus restrictions considered.
Engine Knocked Out Of Car During Crash
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Three teens walked away from an incredible collision today with only minor injuries after a rollover accident on Oak Hill Road.
According to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, Adryan Forbes, (19) of Bowling Green was headed south on Oak Hill Road in a 2016 Ford Focus. Mr. Forbes told the Edmonson Voice that he lost control of the vehicle and it exited the left side of the roadway.
The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office said that according to evidence at the scene, it appeared that after the vehicle left the roadway, it struck a number of trees that caused the vehicle not only to rotate 180 degrees, but also overturn and land on its top. Somewhere in the crash the vehicle's engine was knocked completely out and landed about 50 feet south of the crash.
Emergency personnel also gathered other major parts along the roadway including an axle with a wheel still attached and the vehicle's radiator.
The Sheriff's Office said there were also two passengers in the vehicle, both 18 years of age. All three teens were walking around and discussing the accident. All were wearing their seat belts during the crash and they were all able to exit the vehicle without assistance. They chose not to be transported to the hospital and had only minor cuts and bruises.
Also responding to the scene was the Chalybeate Fire Department and Edmonson EMS.
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County Fiscal Court met today in the upstairs courtroom of the Edmonson County Courthouse. The entire meeting was broadcast live this morning on both EdmonsonVoice.com and the Edmonson Voice Facebook Page.
County Road Supervisor Greg Carroll discussed several paving and tile jobs in various parts of the county, some of which was funded with FEMA disaster money. He said the county's new tractor had been outfitted with the proper equipment and mowing of right of ways is continuing. Finally, he noted that he was requesting a raise for employees, which was listed later on the agenda. He said he'd already confirmed with Treasurer Tammi Willhite that funds were available in the road department budget.
Detective Wally Ritter gave this meeting's report that begin with a recap of the sudden death of Deputy K-9 Unit Tango and asked those in attendance to remember Deputy Jordan Jones, who was Tango's handler, in thoughts and prayers. He also discussed multiple felony arrests made by the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office since the last meeting. He also said that Deputy Austin Meredith would be returning to the state's law enforcement academy as a result of the lifting of coronavirus restrictions at the academy.
Judge Executive Wil Cannon said that fiscal court is in process of getting a memorial plaque in honor of Deputy Tango.
Edmonson County Jailer's office submitted a report to Judge Cannon, which he read in open court. He said there were currently 14 county inmates incarcerated.
County Clerk Kevin Alexander said his office, while still closed to the public, has still been extremely busy with both regular clerk business and the upcoming election, which is tomorrow, June 23rd. There will be only one open polling place, which will be the Edmonson County Community Center from 6am to 6pm. Social distancing will be practiced at the facility with multiple measures being taken for sanitation. Clerk Alexander said if you've requested an absentee ballot, they will still be counted as long as they're postmarked by tomorrow. He said approximately 60% of the requested ballots had been returned and that he expects a busy day at the Community Center tomorrow. Alexander reminded the court that this was not a local decision, rather the Governor's office has requested these measures be taken.
He also announced that his office will not be open for regular clerk business on Tuesday. Office workers will be handling election business only.
Parks and Rec:
A submitted report from Parks and Rec was read by Judge Cannon, who reminded the court that this year's Freedom Fest has been cancelled. All youth sports were also cancelled this spring and summer and that rentals for park facilities will be offered to the public soon.
The court then opened up sealed bids for road materials, which were submitted by multiple companies. Judge Cannon read the entirety of each bid, which took about a half hour. After all bids were read, the court voted to accept all bidders and that the county would purchase materials from whichever supplier was closer/most suitable for each individual job. A motion was made by Magistrate Johnny Brooks and seconded by Magistrate James Vincent.
Judge Cannon also reminded the court that all county road funding comes from taxes paid when purchasing fuel in Kentucky. No local property taxes go towards roads and none of that revenue can go to another department. All road revenue must go towards county roads only.
Magistrates also voted to approve the second reading of the county 2020-2021 budget. Magistrates approved the first reading on June 8th that showed an increase of $191,958 for the county's general fund.
The county's general fund budget rose 9.4% to $3,181,075 this year, compared to last year's $2,989,117. The county's road fund budget was approved at $2,109,706, a lower amount from last year's $2,123,848. The lower amount was due to last year's $523K in discretionary funds, which was not available this year.
Road Department Raises Approved:
Judge Cannon read the current pay rates of Edmonson County road employees, which he said is part of public record information. Supervisor Carroll requested a dollar per hour raise for all employees, not including himself, who is salaried. A motion was made by Magistrate Edd Rich and seconded by Johnny Brooks, which passed.
The county also voted to:
The next fiscal court meeting is scheduled for July 13, 2020 at 9AM.