STB, Houchens Industries Kick In For Largest Local Total Ever
Darren Doyle, story: Moriah Peterson, photos:
Each year the Edmonson Voice is proud to take part in Edmonson County's "Cram The Cruiser" event, which is the local branch of one the region's most popular benefit organizations, "Stuff The Bus," and each year we report the same thing: "biggest year ever."
For Edmonson County schools, being able to report the same news is anything but ordinary as the school supply drive increases each year. On Saturday, school personnel and volunteers along with KSP, Brownsville PD, and the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, worked the crowd at Family Dollar in Brownsville as folks dropped off their school supply and cash donations. Those were collected and sorted later in the day as the operation moved uptown to Sav-A-Lot, where the Stuff The Bus Foundation of Southern KY sorted, boxed, and matched even more donations. Volunteers also took donated cash and shopped for school supplies inside the store.
When all was said and done, a little more than $2000 was collected during the all-day event, all of which that stays with Edmonson County schools.
"We do this for the kids of Edmonson County," said Community Education Director Lisa Whobrey. "We have such a wonderful community and when we ask our community for help, it seems they give back tenfold."
Whobrey said the success of the event wouldn't be possible without not only the local community, but also the Stuff the Bus Foundation, which has worked with the Edmonson County event for the past 12 years.
Regional radio and media personality Tony Rose, Founder of STB, praised the local efforts of the Edmonson County portion of their program after helping with the event once again.
"I've said it for a long time and I'll keep saying it. Edmonson County is one of the best examples of how the local communities work together with Stuff The Bus," he said. "When you take their efforts, their passion, and that great working relationship and couple it with our mission and what our friends at Houchens Industries are doing, you end up with a significant impact on Edmonson County students that can ease the burden of the need for supplies, not just for the first part of school, but all year long."
Rose said when the STB Foundation decided to go on a multi-county tour, Edmonson County was at the top of the list.
"Edmonson County gets it and it's easy to see how they're trying to make a difference in local students' lives. I joke a lot about being an adopted Edmonson child, but after events like this, it seems like it's really true."
Pelican's Snoballs, a Bowling Green sno-cone dessert maker, set up at Cram the Cruiser and donated 20% of their total sales during the day. Several other businesses, local officials, and organizations also stopped to make donations.
So now what happens? Whobrey expounded the local process.
"The donations will be split between the five Family Resource Center/Youth Services Center offices once we're done with everything," she said. "The monies will be used to purchase more basic school supplies, backpacks, and basic clothing items like gym shorts, sweatpants, and similar items. The goal is to do our best to break any barrier that a student may have that could prevent a successful school year."
Truck Pull and Rodeo Return To Fairgrounds
The Edmonson County Lions Club Fair for 2018 has been set to run multiple weekends once again, beginning Friday, September 7th and will run with various nights and events until Saturday, September 22nd.
This year's fair will see the return of the KTPA Truck and Tractor Pull, which was discontinued as a result of low attendance over the past couple of years. There will also be an added Mud Run in addition to the Mud Bog.
Pageants will kickstart the fair as usual, and will be held at ECHS. Local and state competition winners will be chosen in various categories. The carnival will be open beginning on Wednesday, September 19th for family night and will run through the remainder of the fair.
The annual Fair Day parade is set for Friday, Sept 21st with schools dismissing for fair activities. The demolition derby is expected to be the fair's largest night and the rodeo, which was a success last year, will return as the final event of the 2018 fair.
The fair is sponsored and organized each year by the Edmonson County Lions Club, a volunteer group that contributes to dozens of local causes in Edmonson County each year.
The Edmonson Voice is proud to be a media sponsor of this local event. For more info, check out the official flyer for more.
Proclamation Signed For "ECMS Academic Team Appreciation Day"
Moriah Peterson, story and photos:
The ECMS Academic Team was honored at Fiscal court on July 9, 2018 for their recent success in being named Junior National Academic Champions.
Edmonson County, who won the New Orleans division, edged out Johnson County Middle School (KY) for the National Championship title. Johnson County won the Orlando division of the tournament with a perfect 8-0 record, the same as EC; however, Edmonson County averaged 414 points per game, while Johnson County averaged 393 points per game.
The team was named National Champions on June 18, 2018.
A proclamation by Judge Will Cannon was signed to observe July 10, 2018 ECMS Academic Team Appreciation Day in Edmonson County.
Moriah Peterson, story and photos:
One of two annual night meetings for Fiscal Court was held on July 9, 2018 in the upstairs court room. There was a good crowd attending, including Boy Scout Troop #597 and the ECMS Academic team.
County Road Foreman Ray Page reported road work in district four and five are complete and work in district three began Monday morning. He said mowers are heading towards Poplar Springs and after servicing the mowers, crews will head to the south side of the county.
Sheriff Shane Doyle announced that all full time deputies are now in new vehicles. he added that the mobile computer/printers for the vehicles have been received, which was purchased using seized drug money. He also said the sheriff’s office was recently able to recover a stolen four wheeler from a local couple. Finally, Sheriff Doyle announced that J.B Hines is now the sole district judge due to Judge John McCarthy now serving a new district.
Deputy Jailer Todd Vincent reported that there are currently 16 county inmates lodged in the Hart County Jail, along with one on home incarceration. There was one inmate hospital visit in June. He said the jailer vehicle is still overheating and they are unsure of the cause.
Parks and Rec program administrator John Kiernan shared the success of Freedom Fest 2018 and thanked all who helped make it possible. He announced they have plans for even more games next year. He said that Parks and Rec will be hosting a movie night on August 10th at the Chalybeate Park. Concessions will be set up and the soccer board will have games and be available to answer questions about the upcoming soccer season. He added that the basketball board will be having a public meeting for re-elections at 12 pm August 4th at the Parks and Rec office. Parks and Rec Director A.B. Webb also addressed the high water bill the city received and stated it was due to a bathroom faucet being left on after Freedom Fest.
Old business included a Scott Waste service update regarding surrounding counties. Treasurer Tammi Willhite called several surrounding counties and gathered information regarding trash pickup and pricing.
Butler County uses Green River Waste at $22.00 per month while Grayson County uses ten different companies for trash collections. She said the treasurer of Grayson County personally uses Pat Sanitation at $18 per month. Whillhite said the trash collection companies pay an annual fee of $50 to the county along with an annual report, which is a net profit report; and the county earns .5% off their net profit earnings.
Metcalfe County uses five different companies. She said the treasurer of Metcalfe County personally uses Mid-State Waste out of Glasgow and pays $18.00 per month. The trash collection companies pay an annual fee of $25.00, which is the only benefit for the county.
She said that a message was left for Barren County solid waste but a call wasn’t returned. The Barren County Treasurer personally uses an individual who charges her $15.00 per month. Todd County used Republic Services up until 6/30/18 at $41.00 per month. At the time of the call, Todd County was currently working with a company called Waste Industries to form a contract.
Hart County has county trash collection and charge their residents $15.00 per month. They pick up once a week, using nine trucks, sixteen employees and utilizes twelve to fifteen inmates as well. They do not have a mandatory trash collection in the county but they do have 87% participation rate. They still run at a profit and have not had a rate increase in ten years. Their population is 18,400 in Hart County. For residents 65 years and older their rate is $14 per month, free trash collection for their fire departments. They use the landfill in Glasgow and pay them $30,000 monthly.
Judge Will Cannon stated that he reports all complaints to Scott Waste Service and believes once those issues are resolved Scott Waste might be the best option for Edmonson County.
Boy Scout Troop #597 was also acknowledged during the meeting. They have been organized as a group of scouts longer than past groups in the county. Their attendance at last night's meeting helped the boys toward a merit badge they are trying to obtain.
Fiscal Court approved a class action lawsuit towards the federal government for money owed to the county in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The county will be joining others across the country for "payments in lieu of taxes." According to County Attorney Greg Vincent, There is a federal statute that grants certain municipalities, counties, or cities monies because states cannot tax the federal government.
Edmonson County is supposed to receive payments because the county cannot collect property taxes from lands surrendered to Mammoth Cave National Park. The county will not have to pay court or attorney fees and the money collected will be evenly distributed amongst the counties the federal government owes.
Rhonda Clemmons updated the court regarding Trail Town Day scheduled for Sept 22nd. She also mentioned anyone who would like to volunteer at the Edmonson County booth at the state fair can contact her to schedule a day. She also reported that County Attorney Greg Vincent has drafted a letter to send out to vacation rental owners in Edmonson County who are not paying their room tax as required by a county ordinance.
Vickie Walker shared with the court that anyone who goes to the Hot Rods game on August 8th and brings two cans of food will get discounted tickets for $5.00. The canned food collected will go to the Edmonson County Senior Pantry.
Barbara Fitzhugh, from St. John's Thrift store announced that on July 26th from 9-11am there will be produce giveaway for any resident in Edmonson County on the Courthouse lawn.
The next Fiscal Court meeting will be on July 23rd at 9am in the upstairs court room.
Darren Doyle, story:
The 12th annual "Cram the Cruiser" event, which is part of the 13th annual Stuff The Bus Foundation school supply drive, will be held this Friday, July 13th in Brownsville.
Cram the Cruiser will kick off at Family Dollar at 10am and will last until about 2:30pm. It's an annual event sponsored by the Edmonson County FRC and YSC, along with Kentucky State Police, Edmonson County Sheriff, and Brownsville Police. The operation will be moved to Sav-A-Lot in Brownsville at 3pm with Tony Rose from D93 and the Stuff the Bus gang and will run until 6pm.
This year's event is sponsored by Houchens Industries, who will be matching donations at the store. ALL DONATIONS WILL REMAIN IN EDMONSON COUNTY and will be distributed to Edmonson County School personnel on the SAME DAY. Check out the video for all the details.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Kentucky State Police Post 3 has reported a fatal accident occurred early this morning on I-65 in Warren County near the Oakland exit number 36.
According to KSP, troopers responded to a single vehicle injury collision today at 6:18 am where James C. Williams (83) of Mcminnville, TN who was operating a 2000 Subaru Outback, traveled southbound in the right lane of travel when his vehicle exited the right shoulder of the roadway.
KSP reported that Williams’ vehicle traveled down an embankment and struck a tree before coming to final rest. According to witness accounts, Williams’ vehicle caught fire upon impact, causing severe damage to the front of the vehicle. Williams was pronounced dead on scene by the Warren County Coroner’s Office.
The investigation is still ongoing and being conducted by Master Trooper Tomie Walters. He was assisted on scene by Smiths Grove Fire Department, Med Center EMS, and Warren County Coroner’s Office.
Edmonson District Court was held on Tuesday, July 3, 2018. The Honorable Judge Joseph B. Hines presiding.
April Campbell Cummings, No tail lamps. Operate motor vehicle under influence of alcohol/drugs-aggravator-first offense. Wanton endangerment-first degree. Possession of marijuana. Failure to wear seat belts. Careless driving. No/expired registration plates. Failure of owner to maintain required insurance/security-first. Pleaded not guilty to all charges. Preliminary hearing 7/10/18.
Gavin Douglas Houchens, No/expired registration plates. No/expired KY registration receipt. Amend to all others, failed to appear.
Rosie E. Hopkins, Speeding 14mph over limit. Failed to appear.
Brandon Chester Gibson, No/expired registration plates. No/expired KY registration receipt. Amend to all others, failed to appear.
Daphne Dawn Crabtree, Trafficking in controlled substance-third degree-first offense. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial conference, 7/24/18.
Lindsey B. Kirby, Possession of controlled substance-third degree-drug unspecified. Controlled substance prescription not in original container. Pleaded not guilty to both. Pretrial conference 7/24/18.
Debra Cook McNutt, Possession of controlled substance-third degree-drug unspecified. Trafficking in controlled substance-third degree-first offense (two counts). Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial conference 7/24/18.
Jeremy C. Johnson, Theft by unlawful taking or disposition farm equipment-$500 or more but under $10,000. Pleaded not guilty. Preliminary hearing 7/10/18.
Kristopher A. York, Trafficking in controlled substance, first degree, second or more offense, (meth), Trafficking in marijuana, second of more offense, Carrying concealed weapon by prior deadly weapon felony offender, Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess, Trafficking in controlled substance, third degree, second or more offense, drug unspecified. Pleaded not guilty to all charges. Preliminary hearing 7/10/18.
Ronald C. Allen, No/expired registration plates. No/expired KY registration receipt. No/expired KY registration receipt. Failure to produce insurance card. Failure to register transfer of motor vehicle. All dismissed. No tail lamps. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial conference. 7/24/18.
Stephen R. Brooks, Assault 4th degree domestic violence-minor injury. Menacing. Pleaded not guilty to both charges. Pretrial conference 7/24/18.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office is warning of a local scam where a caller is claiming the recipient has an arrest warrant from the sheriff's office.
Sheriff Shane Doyle said his office was contacted by a local resident who said he received a threatening voicemail with a number from New York.
"The caller stated the message said 'We have a warrant for your arrest from Sheriff Doyle,' and then gave a number to call so a fine could be paid," said Doyle. "The message claimed that unless the fine was paid, the resident would be arrested, which is absolutely false and is nothing more than another scam attempt."
Doyle said the Sheriff's Office will never call a resident in regards to an arrest warrant and they will never ask for any payment over the phone.
"We urge anyone who receives a call like this to hang up immediately," said the Sheriff. "Giving personal information over the phone is highly discouraged."
“The ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign means zero tolerance for drunk driving—no excuses.”
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Over the 4th of July and the coming weeks, Mammoth Cave’s law enforcement rangers will be out in full force cracking down on drunk drivers. Expect to see law enforcement rangers at sobriety checkpoints throughout the summer along the Mammoth Cave Parkway, Green River Ferry Road, Brownsville Road, and on roving traffic patrols.
“The consequences of drunk driving are serious,” added Chief Peppers. “Not only could you put your life and the lives of others at risk, but a DUI arrest means a loss of freedom and money, including going to jail, losing your license, and paying steep financial expenses. A DUI arrest in Mammoth Cave National Park is a federal offense, punishable by up to six months imprisonment and/or a $5,000 fine.”
Chief Peppers also requests that if you suspect a driver to be operating their vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in the park, please contact Mammoth Cave rangers at 270-597-2729.
Moriah Peterson, story and photo:
U.S. Congressman Brett Guthrie (R) held a public visit at the Edmonson County Public Library Friday morning June 29, 2018 to discuss current topics from the federal to local level.
Topics covered included Social Security, Medicare, DACA, Net Neutrality, and the Prosper Act. Veterans Affairs, veteran suicide and the legalization of marijuana were also discussed. Guthrie stated “I’m not for legalizing recreational use of marijuana, it needs to be studied more before legalizing.” In regards to veteran healthcare Guthrie mentioned that any veteran whose health plan hasn’t been working for them needs to inform him.
On a local level, Houchin Ferry and Mammoth Cave National Park where also among topics discussed. Congressman Guthrie stated that he is for the development of a National Park class hotel or lodge being built in this area. He believes it will greatly increase tourism to the Mammoth Cave area. He has invited United States Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke to visit the area and they are setting up a date at this time.
At the end of the meeting Guthrie thanked all that attend. “This was great experience, good questions were asked and when we visit, I want make sure to address local issues."
Confirmed: No Ferry, No Bridge, No Boat Ramp
Moriah Peterson, story and photos:
There was a great turnout Thursday evening June 28, 2018 at the public library for the meeting hosted by the National Park Service to discuss a range of options for the Houchin Ferry site.
According to documents distributed by the park, the ferry will not be restored, a bridge will not be built, and there will not be a boat ramp. During the meeting, concepts were displayed around the room for viewing and for questions.
In the documents, the NPS explained reasons for dismissing the three most popular suggestions from locals:
Concept A is an “existing conditions” concept. This concept is used as a way to evaluate the effects of concepts B, C, and D. It can also help determine why NPS, along with the public may believe changes need to be made. This concept would involve continued use of the south side of the river; the north side would only have the existing vehicular turn-around space. River access would remain unchanged and the overnight and day use facilities would be maintained in their current configurations.
Concept B is designed to balance day and overnight use. Concept B’s south side would include twenty-two parking spaces, six campsites, two accessible spaces, six trailer spaces, more picnic shelters in addition to what is there currently, an emergency boat launch, a canoe/kayak launch, and a trail to an overlook. The south side would have a turnaround for vehicles, a trail leading to an overlook with picnic tables, and no improvements to the existing ramp.
Concept C is designed to maximize the overnight use of the site. It is documented that concept C will include eighteen parking spaces and one accessible space. Camping will consist of thirteen campsites and six trailer spaces. This concept will also include a trail to pedestrian bridge, canoe/kayak launch, emergency boat launch, and a medium sized picnic shelter. The south side will have a turnaround and parking for vehicles and trailers, a trail leading to pedestrian bridge and picnic tables. There will also be a kayak/canoe launch and three campsites with a porta john.
Concept D is planned to maximize day use and would convert all existing campsites into picnic areas and there will be additional small/medium sized shelters. Parking spaces would be increased to thirty-two with two accessible spaces. Six trailer spaces, a trail to an overlook, an emergency boat ramp and a canoe/kayak launch are also part of concept D. The south side will have a vehicle turnaround and parking, a canoe/ kayak launch, along with a trail leading to an overlook with picnic tables and porta john.
Mark Kinzer, the project manager, was able to give insight for the Houchin Ferry Timeline. He said in six to eight weeks after public feedback is received, a second document will be released. Fifteen to twenty-- after its release another meeting will be held for more public feedback. Once comments are collected, a decision from the Regional Director of the Southeastern National Park Service will be made and then the funding process will begin. Mr. Kinzer is part of the regional office in Atlanta but is in Kentucky for planning.
Mammoth Cave Superintendent Barclay C. Trimble stated “This is the kickoff stage, we are looking to receive feedback from the community to see what the public wants. Houchin Ferry is a gem in the park, we want to give it the TLC it needs and address the current deficiencies there due to the lowering river levels. We are thrilled to see such a great turnout here tonight.”
Edmonson District Court was held Tuesday June 19, 2018. The Honorable Judge John M. McCarty Presiding.
Brandon Chester Gipson, No/expired Kentucky registration receipt. No/expired registration plates. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial conference 7/3/18.
William Dal Wilson, Criminal littering. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial conference- 60 days.
Floyd E. Lindsey, Sexual abuse- 3rd degree. Dismissed.
James Wells, Possession of marijuana. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Pretrial diversion, 30 days.
Shaun Besau, Operating on suspended/revoked operator’s license. No/expired registration plates. Failure of owner to maintain required insurance/security 1st. Display/possession of cancelled/fictitious operators. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial conference 7/10/18.
John Robert Meredith, Trafficking in controlled substance, 1st degree, 1st offense- methamphetamine. Trafficking in controlled substance, 1st degree, 1st offense-drug unspecified. Failure to/or improper signal. Traffic in marijuana, less than 8oz- 1st offense. Possession of controlled substance, 1st degree, 1st offense- methamphetamine. 1st degree possession of CS/drug unspecified, 1st offense. Possession of marijuana. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial hearing 6/26/18
Judy Smith Payne, Theft by deception-includes cold checks, under $500. Pleaded guilty. Probated for two years.
Edmonson District Court was held Tuesday June 19, 2018. The Honorable Judge Joseph B. Hines Presiding.
Deanna M Miller, Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess. Possession of marijuana. Failure to/or improper signal. No/expired registration plates. Guilty. Total costs and fines $458.00
Christopher Logan Phelps, Speeding 23 mph over limit. Will attend traffic school.
Jerri Haley Beckham, Speeding 17 mph over limit. Failure of owner to maintain required insurance/ security 1st. Failed to appear.
Jeffery A. Laws, Operating motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol/drugs, 1st offense. Theft of motor vehicle registration plate/renewal decal. Possess open alcohol beverage container in a motor vehicle. Possession of Marijuana. No/expired registration receipt. Failure of owner to maintain required insurance/ security 1st. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial hearing 7/10/18.
Nicholas Scott Carroll, Possession of marijuana. Guilty. Ten days in jail, probated for two years on condition of not being charged with same or similar offense.
Bobby Lee Brooks, Driving DUI suspended license, 1st offense, aggravator. No rear view mirror. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial conference 7/10/18.
Rebecca G Bostic, Possession of controlled substance, 1st degree, 1st offense- methamphetamine. Resisting arrest. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial hearing 7/10/18.
Andrew Williams, Possession of controlled substance, 1st degree, 1st offense- methamphetamine. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial hearing 7/10/18.
Brian K. Carroll, Possession of marijuana. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Pleaded not guilty. Preliminary hearing 7/10/18
Brandy Nichole Kinser-Napper, Possession of controlled substance, 2nd degree-codeine. Possession of controlled substance, 2nd degree-drug unspecified. Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess. Posession of marijuana. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial conference 7/10/18.
Paul S. Harder, Possession of marijuana. Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess. Operating motor vehicle under influence of alcohol/drugs, 1st offense. Obstructed vision and/or windshield. Resisting arrest. Assault 3rd degree-police/probation officer. Pleaded not guilty.
Charles M. Pendleton, Harassment-no physical contact. Criminal mischief- 3rd degree. Pretrial conference 7/10/18.
Daniel Thomas Darst, Operating motor vehicle under influence of alcohol/drugs, 1st offense. Pretrial conference 8/14/18.
Man Faces More Drug Charges On Top Of Outstanding Warrant
Darren Doyle, story:
A Bowling Green man is facing multiple felony charges after a bag he allegedly left behind at a local store led police to his arrest.
According to Brownsville Police, they received a call that a clerk at the Minit Mart in Brownsville had discovered a bag left by a customer on Tuesday, around 3:45pm. The caller said the bag was discovered after the customer left and store personnel opened the bag in an attempt to find identification from the owner.
Police said the caller found illegal drugs instead and local authorities began a search of the area using the man's description and video footage from the store.
Police said they, along with Sheriff's deputies, began asking local residents about the man in question and someone led them to the Green River Apartments. Police said they knocked on the first door at which they arrived where the resident allowed them to enter. They said they found the suspect inside the apartment who was identified as Kristopher York, (37) of Bowling Green, who already had an outstanding warrant for drug related charges in Warren County, according to police.
Police said inside the bag was 18 grams of methamphetamine, 3 ounces of marijuana, 21 pills of three different narcotic types that were not in their original containers, along with various drug paraphernalia, cash, and two large knives.
York was arrested and charged with:
York was transported and lodged in the Hart County Jail. Assisting the Brownsville Police was the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
Driver Swims Across River In Attempt To Flee, Captured On Other Side
Darren Doyle, story:
A high speed pursuit that began in Glasgow has ended in Brownsville after the driver drove into the Green River in an attempt to flee from law enforcement.
According to Brownsville Police, local law enforcement were notified that a high speed chase was headed into Edmonson County around 7pm on Monday, June 25, 2018, after a traffic stop went haywire in Glasgow when Glasgow Police attempted to make a traffic stop on a Pontiac Grand Prix, driven by Joshua Soukup, (38), of Louisville.
Police said that during the attempted stop, Soukup attempted to run over a Glasgow officer and fled the scene. Brownsville Police joined the pursuit as the vehicle entered the city limits where speeds were in excess of 90 MPH through town and onto Washington Street. The pursuit continued up the tiny side street under the bridge past the entrance to the city park where the car drove straight off the boat ramp into the river.
Police said the driver immediately exited the vehicle and swam across the river to the other side in an attempt to get away. One passenger, Dana Geer, (50), of Louisville, exited the vehicle and was taken into custody. Officers crossed the river and traveled down Lock Road where they soon picked up the driver and took him into custody. Police said as the car sunk below the water, another passenger surfaced out of the vehicle. Amanda Minyard, (26), of Louisville, made it out of the car, gasping for air. She was then taken into custody.
Police said that one of the passengers said the driver purposely drove the car into the water in an attempt to flee. The driver was said to have three outstanding warrants. Police said they also found what appeared to be meth in the vehicle or possibly cocaine; however they could not confirm the actual substance at the time of this article.
The driver and passengers are facing multiple felonies from this incident from Glasgow Police, Barren County Sheriff's Office, and Brownsville Police, including several wanton endangerment charges, as well as fleeing and evading and drug trafficking and possession charges.
After being transported to T.J. Sampson Hospital for evaluation, all three will be lodged in the Barren County Detention Center, according to police.
"It's a miracle that no one was injured in this incident," said BPD Officer Dustin Harvey. "Driving into the river and escaping injury is one thing, but we had several residents, including children out in the area at the same time."
Multiple agencies responded during the incident, including Glasgow Police, Barren County Sheriff's Office, Brownsville Police, KSP, Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, National Park Service, Dist. 2 and Dist. 5 Constables, Edmonson EMS, and multiple first responders from various local fire departments.
Officer Harvey said cooperation from multiple agencies was a key factor in the arrests.
"We're very grateful for the excellent working relationship we have with not only our local agencies, but our surrounding counties and cities," he said. "We appreciate the cooperation from Glasgow as well as the others."
The investigation is still ongoing and more charges are pending.
Moriah Peterson, story:
Fiscal court was held on Monday June 25, 2018 in the upstairs courtroom of the courthouse.
County Road Foreman Ray Page reported that tile work is still being done. Road crews have finished in district 6 and have begun work in district 4. County mowers finished the south side of the county on June 2nd and began working on the north side on June 14th.
Sheriff Shane Doyle reported that Devin Lindsey was sworn in as a special deputy on Wednesday, June 13th. He also reported that Josh Watt was presented the Carnegie Medal on Friday evening June 22nd. Sheriff Doyle also said he is picking up a new deputy vehicle in Lexington today.
County Attorney Greg Vincent gave an update on the lawsuit between the County and Fortress Group, dba Park Mammoth. When Fiscal Court voted on pursuing the lawsuit, it was reported that the Fortress Group was two months behind on current taxes in addition to back taxes, but it was discovered that the previous treasurer did in fact, cash a check but didn’t disclose that information, making Fortress Group one month behind instead. It was reported that the Fortress Group has paid March, April, May payments, and June’s is due at the end of the month. Vincent also stated that the Fortress Group asked Judge Coleman to dismiss the case but that requested won’t be granted without consent from Fiscal Court. Edmonson County Fiscal Court is seeking more than $80,000 in back taxes in the suit.
The Committee Report included the upcoming meeting at the Edmonson County Public Library at 6pm on Thursday night June 28th to discuss the future plans of Houchin Ferry with Mammoth Cave Park officials.
A+ Family Healthcare will offer CDL physicals at $95.00 each and if employees choose to go elsewhere Fiscal Court will reimburse up to $95.00 in costs.
Two costly bids for building a new fire department in Lincoln were rejected at fiscal court today. The first bid was for $780,000 from Sunbelt Construction and the second was a $733,531 bid from C&C Contracting. Fiscal Court approved Lincoln applying for a grant that would increase the building budget to 500,000 not including the $100,000 that the Lincoln Department will pay.
The purchase of a 2005 Chevy truck for the Parks & Rec department was also approved. The cost of the truck is $3500.
It was reported that Parks & Rec landline telephones have been disconnected and that phone calls now go directly to John Kiernan’s personal cell phone. It was approved that upon proof of bill submission and an invoice, Kiernan will be paid $50 a month towards his phone bill. Disconnecting the park phone has saved $130.00 each month.
In regards to the acknowledgement of Scott Waste Services, LLC annual rate increase, it was agreed that the Judge’s office would make phone calls to other counties to compare the cost of the trash pickup. Before the next contract renews, it was suggested that CPI costs be investigated further.
Judge Cannon also announced that U.S Congressman Brett Guthrie will be at the public library on Friday morning June 29th from 9-10 am.
The next fiscal court is scheduled for Monday, July 9, 2018 at 6pm. This is one of the two annual night meetings.
Moriah Peterson, story and photos:
On Friday night June 22, 2018 probation and parole officer Josh Watt received the prestigious Carnegie Medal, an award that has only been received just over 10,000 times since 1904.
This medal was created to recognize outstanding acts of selfless heroism, and consists of a lengthy selection progress. The commission members search out heroes throughout Canada and the United States and they require extremely specific information and an investigation before picking awardees.
Josh Watt, a local parole and probation officer, was picked on March 28, 2018 to be awarded for his heroism at the scene of a horrific crash that took place on June 26, 2017. During the ceremony, Sheriff Shane Doyle reported that Officer Watt is credited for saving the life of James Allman and his 17 year old passenger, Alyssa L. Gore who were trapped upside down in a burning truck. Officer Watt cut the seat belt of Miss Gore, removing her from the burning truck and was able also pull Mr. Allman out of the truck and put out the fire on his clothes.
Sheriff Doyle spoke about Officer Watt receiving the prestigious national award. "We always hate when tragedy strikes in our community. Sometimes it takes a tragedy to show us the best humanity has to offer, and in my opinion, Josh Watt perfectly embodies the best. He's selfless in every way, and I'm proud to call him a friend."
Police Chief Jeff Jewell was also present at the ceremony stating “there is no doubt that Josh was the right man in the right place.” Chief Jewell thanked Josh on the behalf of the Brownsville Police Department and the Brownsville Fire Department for his quick actions.
Upon receiving the medal, Josh thanked all who came, which included his wife, daughter, parents, in-laws and grandparents. He stated “This is a huge honor for me.”
At the end of the invitation-only ceremony, Samantha Catt, sister of James Allman, gave an update on James saying that he is still in recovery but has improved drastically since the accident. She also expressed her family’s thankfulness to Josh.
"From the bottom of our hearts, we want to say 'thank you' and because of your actions, James and Alyssa are with us today.”
Woman And Two Children Escape And Call For Help
Darren Doyle, story:
A Wingfield man has been charged with a series of gruesome crimes that include various rape, assault, and kidnapping charges involving a teen, according to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
Law enforcement officers received a call on Sunday, May 27th from a panic alarm coming from a Wingfield residence. As officers were en route to the address, they received an additional call from a woman who reported that she and her two children, a young female teen and a 4 year-old boy, had been held against their will by the woman's boyfriend. She also reported that she was the same individual who activated the panic alarm at her residence. The Sheriff's Office said that the woman and her children escaped from the home after the boyfriend fled. They were picked up by a passing motorist who assisted them in calling law enforcement.
According to the Sheriff, one deputy stayed with the victims and called for medical help while other officers arrived at the residence.
According to officials, the woman, whose name was not released, said her boyfriend, Billy G. Key (34) of Wingfield, restrained her teen daughter and abused her. She said Key left the home to pick up the woman from work, but when they returned home, the man then restrained the woman along with the teen and fled, where he reportedly told them he was going to commit suicide.
Sheriff Shane Doyle said an arrest warrant for Key was immediately obtained and the man was soon located at his friend's home in Sumner County, TN. He was arrested by the Sumner County Sheriff's Office on an out-of-state fugitive warrant. Key was reportedly taken into custody without incident and lodged in the Sumner County Jail. He was later expedited to Hart County Jail.
Key was charged with:
Due to the graphic nature, details of the alleged crimes were not released; however, Sheriff Doyle said discoveries made during the investigation were more than enough to obtain an arrest warrant.
The Sheriff's Office said that more charges are pending. If found guilty, Key could face up to life in prison. He is currently lodged in the Hart County Jail on a $50,000 cash bond.
*update 6/22/18, 1:13pm: The Edmonson County Sheriff's office has updated their report to state that the suspect was found at a friend's house, not brother, as they originally reported, and that the 4yr old was not restrained as originally stated.
Seven Involved In Crash, All Transported To Hospital
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
Emergency personnel responded to a two vehicle crash in front of the Edmonson County Water District on KY HWY 259 around 4pm today.
According to the Brownsville Police, a 1998 black Dodge Ram pickup, driven by Linda Higgs (55) of Brownsville, was heading south. Witness reports and evidence on scene indicated that the truck traveled into the northbound lane for reasons not immediately known, according to police. There were also two passengers in the truck; Brandy Watt (31) and a 5-year old juvenile.
Police said the truck collided with a northbound 2011 Kia Soul, driven by Haley York, (19) of Sweeden. Also in the vehicle was David Wilson (33), as well as a 5-year old and a 1-year old, according to police.
All seven that were involved in the accident were transported to the Medical Center in Bowling Green. Police said the juveniles were wearing seat belts and properly restrained. All others were reportedly wearing seat belts, according to police. Officials had no update as to the extent of the injuries.
Brownsville Police Officer Dustin Harvey said that the accident is still under investigation. Also responding to the scene was the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, Brownsville Fire Department, Edmonson EMS and the District 2 Constable.
*update 6/23/18, 5:26pm: an earlier version of this article said that police reported everyone was wearing seat belts except Mrs. Higgs. That has been corrected thanks to information sent to us on behalf of Mrs. Higgs that indicated she was also, in fact, wearing her seat belt.
Traffic Stop Leads To Trafficking Arrest
Darren Doyle, story:
A Brownsville man is facing several felony drug charges after a traffic stop on Sunday evening. According to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, a deputy noticed that a pickup truck failed to use a turn signal as it pulled onto N. Main St from York St. The deputy said the truck quickly pulled into Mis Amigos parking lot, where the driver got out and appeared to go through items in the truck as law enforcement made contact with him in a traffic stop.
The Sheriff's Office said that that a deputy asked the driver of the vehicle, John R. Meredith, (46) of Brownsville, to leave the items alone and speak with the officer. Officials said Meredith had been named in several other recent interviews in multiple drug complaints. According to the Sheriff's Office, Meredith consented to a search of the vehicle.
Officers found a backpack containing a jar of marijuana and hydrocodone pills in bottles that were not prescription containers. A further search of the area resulted in the discovery of a black box underneath the truck that contained suspected meth, more pills, and items of drug paraphernalia.
Meredith was arrested and charged with:
Wildcats Boast First Ever National Title
Darren Doyle, story:
The Edmonson County Middle School Academic Team has just been named 2018 National Champions after final scoring has been completed for the tournament system.
According to Head Coach Greg Grey, the championship is similar to a college football bowl system with different criteria. The stats and performances from each of the four regional champions are then compared in order to name the final national winner.
ECMS defeated Paideia Middle School from the Atlanta area in the New Orleans championship game on Sunday, May 27, 2018. It was their 8th win in a row during the tournament and they finished as the only team in the New Orleans competition undefeated. It's also important to note that the Wildcats were able to defeat high profile, private schools in the tournament. Many were stunned by the performance of the Edmonson County, which of course is in a rural, public school system.
Chip Beall, the director of National Academic Championship, informed Mr. Grey this morning that they had officially been named Junior National Academic Champions. According to Mr. Beall, EC edged out Johnson County Middle School (KY) for the National Championship. Johnson County won the Orlando division of the tournament with a perfect 8-0. Edmonson County averaged 414 points per game, while Johnson County averaged 393 points per game.
Based on the rules of tournament, the selection committee has named Edmonson County Middle School as national champions.
Coach Grey reflected on this year's team and discussed how the entire season has been a very long term investment.
"We started practicing in August of 2017 for this tournament and we wound up playing in May and still weren't named national champions until June of this year, so that speaks of just the time investment for just one year," he said.
“Even though Jonas Miller and Brody Johnson led the team in scoring and the tournament staff named Jonas New Orleans MVP, I want to stress that every point by every player really mattered,” he added. "It was truly a team effort. Probably without some points scored at particular times from Taylor Dooley and Meredith Hennion when they did, we probably wouldn't be number one right now, we'd be number two."
Grey said the major difference maker for this team is that they were consistent all year long.
"They never gave up and no matter what the situation has been, they never seem disturbed or shook up. They've just always been able to keep their calm."
Principal Brandon Prunty said the National Championship is a very fitting ending to the already successful season the team has enjoyed.
"Mr. Grey and his coaching staff work tirelessly to prepare these students for the various competitions in which they participate during the year," he said. "To see the entire group rewarded for their hard work is wonderful."
He also added that being able to accomplish such a feat as a small public school in a rural area makes the news much sweeter.
"They outperformed many, many private schools who have virtually unlimited resources. It's all a true testament to how special this group is, including Mr. Grey. I'm definitely a proud principal."
Johnson County, in Paintsville, was named runner-up. It's also a small, rural public Kentucky school.
Now that this season has concluded, the bar has been set at the highest rung. We asked Mr. Grey where the team is going from here:
"Tomorrow I'm taking three middle schoolers to academic camp and we start getting ready for next season," he said.
He has his sights set on winning the state recall tournament, a competition in which they've come up just short, and of course, defending their national title.
"I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of this team. I probably spend more time with them than any of their family members, other than their parents. We practice, go to tournaments on weekends, do things together, and this year has been special. It's really pretty amazing."
Grey said the team plans to construct a parade float for the September Lions Club Fair parade and a new national championship banner is likely coming soon. He also said stay on the lookout for championship t-shirts and merchandise that will hopefully be available soon.
Moriah Peterson, story and photos:
A ceremony to honor Noah Bledsoe Rd. to fallen soldier U.S. Army Specialist Elzie Sanders, Jr., who was killed in action on November 12, 1967 in the Vietnam War, was opened with prayer on Saturday morning at Otter Gap Church.
Longtime friend Raymond Durbin spoke first about Elzie Sanders stating “He is still my counselor, my go-to guy and the keeper of my secrets.” After Durbin’s tribute, Sheriff Shane Doyle sang "God Bless America."
Linda Hodges, sister of Elzie, addressed the crowd “Thank you all for giving up your busy day, I know Saturdays are busy, to help honor my brother. This is a great day, a blessing. Since my mom and dad passed, and when I’m gone, I was afraid he would be forgotten.”
During the ceremony VFW Commander Floyd Houston read remarks from Ronald Detmer, a fellow service member who was in Vietnam with Elzie Sanders Jr. :
“I would tell so many stories about Junior in the 7 months we were together in Vietnam, concluding with the day he was killed in action. During a firefight, he radioed back from their corner position that two were wounded and they were taking sniper fire from behind the lines. As the B Company senior medic, I moved up to their position and began to treat the man most seriously wounded, Carl Davis. Almost immediately, a bullet went through my left hand and split my right forearm and wrist wide open. Junior came to my side and stopped my arterial bleeding and bandaged me up, saving my life. Junior then took my med kit over to the wounded man, Carl. He was exposed to more gunfire and was fatally wounded. He was absolutely one of the bravest men I ever knew.”
Before revealing the road sign, Mrs. Hodges continued. “My brother probably walked more miles on this road than anybody did. When he got a bicycle, he rode many miles helping farmers that lived on this road, and when we got his car he burnt the tires off that car on Noah Bledsoe Rd. I hope this dedication is the first of many in the county. I know there are many heroes in our county that died in action.”
The sign on Noah Bledsoe Rd features all the medals Elzie Sanders Jr. received, which include the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Purple Heart for being wounded in combat, Bronze Medal for heroism and valor, and the Silver Star Medal, which is the 3rd highest medal for valor in our nation, along with his unit patch.
The dedication sign is located on Noah Bledsoe Rd right outside of the Otter Gap Church. Linda Hodges closed the ceromony stating “I hope in 100 years when people turn on Noah Bledsoe Rd they will see Elzie’s medals on his sign and know that he did something great.”
Darren Doyle, story:
The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office swore in a new special deputy on Wednesday, June 13th. Devin Lindsey, a graduate of ECHS and a longtime Edmonson County resident was sworn in yesterday by Sheriff Shane Doyle.
Lindsey has volunteered in several capacities for the county, which include the Judge Executive's Office and as a Deputy Jailer. He is filling a vacant special deputy's position with the Sheriff's Office.
Special deputies are volunteer positions and are appointed by the Sheriff. Effective July 1, 2018, Edmonson County will have a bit more freedom with special deputies thanks to House Bill 275, sponsored by State Representative Michael Lee Meredith. Sheriff Shane Doyle worked with Rep. Meredith on the bill, which will increase the amount of special deputies allowed by a Kentucky Sheriff's Office.
The current law allows the sheriff of a Kentucky county with a population of 10,000 or more to appoint only one special deputy for each 2,500 residents. Edmonson County has a population of just over 12,000. HB 275, which was signed by Governor Matt Bevin on April 2, 2018, will allow a county with a population over 10K to have up to ten special deputies if needed.
"Special deputies are very important to a county the size of ours," said Sheriff Shane Doyle. "While our office has more certified deputies than ever, there are also other needs in our county. Special deputies can assist in so many ways and I'm happy to have the opportunity to add Devin Lindsey to our team."
Lindsey resides in Brownsville with his family.
Santa's Secret Hands Changes Names: Now Incorporated As Non-Profit Organization, 2018 Projects Already Underway
Now Officially Known As Santa's Helping Hands, INC.
Darren Doyle, story:
After thirteen years, the county's most popular charity event has officially become a full non-profit 501(c)3 organization. Today, the group is officially known as Santa's Helping Hands, INC.
According to co-founder Mark Wardlow, who now serves as the organization's treasurer, the newly obtained status will allow them to invest even more money back into their local cause by avoiding sales tax. Wardlow said the group paid tax on over $40,000 in purchase last year alone.
Wardlow said the non-profit status was obtained through the help of attorney Mark Alcott and Shelton CPAs, LLP, who either donated their services or offered them at extremely reduced rates.
"The reason for changing the name from 'secret' to 'helping' is because it's not a secret anymore what we do, we try to help people and we hope to continue helping people in Edmonson County," said Wardlow. "In the past, Jeff Rich and I have made most of the decisions for the charity. Things have changed and we now have a seven-member board. These are people who I believe have the charity's best interest at heart and have been a huge to help to Jeff and I over the last thirteen years."
Wardlow said that all requests for help will now go before the board for approval.
"We will continue to do the exact same things we've done over the last thirteen years, which is to keep trying to assist people in this county only. Our guidelines have not changed, this is a charity for Edmonson County residents only."
Wardlow said SHH INC. will continue to raise money through raffles, golf tournaments, and the annual auction/benefit held each year at the Edmonson County Community Center, which continues to grow each year.
A raffle for a 2018 Club Car Onward golf cart will begin this week, with a limited number of only 150 tickets available. Tickets will be available for $100 each. The winner will be chosen in a random drawing during the Santa’s Helping Hands golf tournament on August 25th at Shady Hollow Golf Club. All board members will have tickets for sale and they will also be available at Cee Bee, Jacob’s Home Furnishings, and Saling's Grocery.
Santa’s Helping Hands board members are as follows:
Vice President-Greg Nugent
Information Director-Mark Rich
Board Member-Danny Hayes
Board Member-Lorie Wardlow
For more information on how you can be part of the projects for Santa's Helping Hands, INC., please contact Mark Wardlow at 270-991-2972.
Edmonson District Court was held Tuesday June 12, 2018. The Honorable Judge Joseph B. Hines Presiding.
Noel Jaryn Orellana Carrasco, Speeding 25 mph over limit. Pleaded guilty. $50 fine. No operator’s/moped license. Pleaded guilty. $150 fine, concurrent. Total fines and costs, $293.
Abigal R. Abney, Assault, fourth degree, domestic violence, minor injury. Defer for six months.
David Dakota Forth, Disorderly conduct, second degree. Pleaded guilty, $25 fine. Public intoxication controlled substance, excludes alcohol. Pleaded guilty, $25 fine. Total costs and fines, $209.
Vernon Jeffery Patton, Trafficking in controlled substance, first degree, first offense- methamphetamine. Trafficking in controlled substance, first degree, first offense- opiates. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Persistent felony offender- first degree. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial hearing 6/26/18.
Patrica Jane Mills, Trafficking in controlled substance, first degree, first offense- methamphetamine. Trafficking in controlled substance first degree, first offense- opiates. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Public intoxication controlled substance-excludes alcohol. Carrying a concealed deadly weapon. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial hearing 6/26/18
Jerrell D. Boyd, Wanton endangerment, first degree. Operating motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol/drugs, first offense. Pleaded not guilty to both. Pretrial hearing 6/26/18
Ryan D. Littlejohn, Assault second degree- domestic violence. Violation of Kentucky E.P.O/ D.V.O Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial hearing 6/19/2018.
Jacob Austin Lewis, Possession of controlled substance, first degree, second offense- methamphetamine. Possession of controlled substance, second degree- drug unspecified. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Improper registration plate. Failure of owner to maintain required insurance/security 1st. Operating on suspended/revoked operator’s license. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial hearing 6/19/18.
Billy G. Key, Rape, first degree- domestic violence. Kidnapping-minor. Sodomy, first degree w/ serious physical injury. Assault, second degree- domestic violence. Kidnapping adult. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial hearing 7/3/18.
Stanley Chapman, Manufacturing Methamphetamine, second or greater offense. Possession of anhydrous ammonia with intent to manufacture meth. Unlawful possession of meth precursor-first offense. Possession of handgun by convicted felon. Receiving stolen property of $10,000 or more. Trafficking in controlled substance-second degree, first offense. Continue in one week.
Larry D. Highbaugh II, Possession of controlled substance, first degree, second offense- methamphetamine. Obstructed vison and/or windshield. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial hearing 6/26/18.
Board of Education, Sheriff's Office Work Together To Increase Safety
Moriah Peterson, story:
School safety is being increased this year thanks to a joint effort from the Edmonson County School Board and the Edmonson County Sheriff’s Office. According to school superintendent Patrick Waddell, he recently met with Sheriff Shane Doyle to talk about the possibilities of increasing school safety. After discussion and research, both he and Sheriff Doyle felt confident that funding could be found and that school safety could be increased.
Thanks to funding from Title IV Part A, a student support and academic enrichment federal grant, which is part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the Edmonson County Sheriff’s Office will be able to provide an additional school resource officer one day a week to serve at South Edmonson Elementary, Kyrock Elementary and the 5/6 Center. This will be in addition to the school's current full-time resource officer at ECHS and ECMS, Chief Deputy Jeff Brooks.
“Having school resource officers in our schools is the biggest deterrent against school violence, and our end goal is to have full time officers in each school," said Supt. Waddell. "This summer, buzzer systems to get into the schools, along with automatic door locks and barrier films over the windows are other ways we are making our schools as safe as we can.”
The new school resource officer’s duties will begin in August when school starts, and it is very likely that the officer will visit multiple schools in the same day.
Sheriff Doyle stated "School safety is a top priority for your Sheriff's Office. Mr. Waddell and I have made a collaborative effort to best utilize this grant. Adding another school resource officer is another step in our effort to boost school safety and security. We're thankful to have a great working relationship with Mr. Waddell and Edmonson County Schools. This addition wouldn't be possible without funding from our school system."
In order to receive this grant, the school had to go through a process which began with consultations with parents, teachers, students, school leaders, local government representatives, and other community partners to see where the grant money would be utilized best. Once consultations took place, Jamie Carnes, Supervisor of State and Federal Programs for Edmonson County Schools, began creating an outline of how the money would be used along with a budget for the available funds. While crafting the application, Carol Stice, Supervisor of Instruction, and Wyn Caudill, Director of Special Education, assisted with ideas to best implement the grant.
“We’re excited for the opportunity to use this money to improve the education and safety within our schools,” said Carnes. “This grant is helping us continue to provide a well-rounded education to our students in Edmonson County.”
A total of $12,764 was received to support both the curricular and safety needs for the students in Edmonson County Schools. The grant will be divided between providing a school resource officer, a music curriculum for the elementary schools, 5/6 center, and the middle school, along with a bully prevention program that will kick off this fall.