Building Is Total Loss, Owners Not Sure Where To Go From Here
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Even with nearly every Edmonson County fire department on scene and two others from outside the county, a local restaurant was lost in the early morning hours of January 31, 2019.
Laura's Hilltop Restaurant, owned by Laura Jacobs and her husband Jeff, was a total loss in the fire, according to firefighters at the scene. The popular eatery was located in the Riverhill Center, next door to Hilltop Quickstop.
Emergency Management Director Terry Massey said the building had two different roofs: the original, which was covered, then another with a different pitch or angle that was added later, mostly for aesthetics. He said once the fire traveled in between the two roofs, saving the structure became virtually impossible.
The Jacobs are no strangers to losing property to fires. Nearly four years ago to the day, the former location of Jacobs Home Furnishings burned on January 30, 2015. Jacobs rebuilt the store and recently moved into a new location in the Riverhill area, in the former Dollar General building.
Laura's suffered a fire not long after that, which was determined to have started from faulty wiring in the ceiling, but the damage was contained and the restaurant made a fairly quick recovery. Firefighters were able to grab some of the personal belongings and photos from the building before the fire spread, but the building soon succumbed to the flames.
"I don't see how we can save any of this here," said Jeff Jacobs. "I would like to say we'll rebuild it but I don't know. We'll have to wait until daylight to get a better idea of what we've got here, but I just don't know. This is Laura's life. This is all she knows--14 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are also 22 people employed here. I don't know what we're going to do."
The Jacobs family was overcome with emotion as relatives, employees, and other friends tried to console them in the freezing cold. The temperature was around 10 degrees with brutal wind chills. The entire parking lot quickly froze over from the thousands of gallons dumped on the fire and most all firefighters on scene had their clothing frozen as well.
All county fire departments were paged just after midnight. The Brownsville, Chalybeate, Wingfield, Kyrock, Bear Creek, and Lincoln Fire Departments were the county departments on scene. Alvaton Fire Department assisted with their ladder truck, which allowed firefighters to rise above the flames and apply water directly to the largest source of the fire. Smiths Grove FD also responded.
EM Director Massey said the cause of the blaze was undetermined and that the state fire marshal had been notified. The Jacobs said that employees thought they smelled an odd scent earlier today but Jeff Jacobs said the entire place was checked out and nothing suspicious was found. The Jacobs said they didn't know what could've caused the fire.
Traffic was detoured around the Riverhill Center via HWY 70 and Sandy Flat Road. Also assisting was the Brownsville Police Department and the Kentucky Highway Dept. of Transportation.
**Update 4:52am: Jeff Jacobs sent the Edmonson Voice a video clip from restaurant surveillance footage that shows the fire starting at a prep table in the kitchen where Jacobs said is the location of a compressor. He said the time of the video is about three hours after employees left for the night. You can view the video on Jacobs' Facebook page by clicking here.
Truck Reportedly Stolen From Owner's Driveway On Old Kyrock Road
The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office has reported receiving a call from a resident stating that sometime during the night of January 29-30, 2019, their truck had been stolen from their driveway on Old Kyrock Road.
The vehicle is a black 2012 GMC Sierra 1500, 4 door, short bed pickup with plate number 581 YCR.
Anyone in the area last night that noticed any suspicious activity or that may have seen this truck is asked to call the sheriff's office at 270-597-2157 or Edmonson County dispatch at 270-597-2729.
Edmonson County Schools are closed Wednesday, January 30, 2019 due to impending cold weather conditions, according to Patrick Waddell, Superintendent of Edmonson County Schools.
It will be NTI day number three according to Waddell.
"With most other school districts and WKU taking precautions, we feel it's best to close schools until the weather improves," he said.
This decision was made shortly after a district-wide one call went out saying that school would be in session. The school district says that first call should be disregarded as the decision has been made to cancel school, according to Waddell.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Congressman Brett Guthrie’s (KY-02) bill has been signed into law to help certain Medicaid beneficiaries voluntarily transition to receiving care in their own homes or communities rather than at a facility.
Guthrie introduced the Ensuring Medicaid Provides Opportunities for Widespread Equity, Resources (EMPOWER) and Care Act with Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI-12) to reauthorize the federal Money Follows the Person (MFP) program. This program allows certain Medicaid participants, such as seniors and individuals with disabilities, transition from a nursing home or institutional care back to their home. The MFP program does not require people to leave institutional care; rather, it allows individuals who choose to go home to do so.
The EMPOWER Care Act was included in the Medicaid Extenders Act of 2019, a comprehensive bill to improve Medicaid programs. President Trump signed the Medicaid Extenders Act into law on Thursday, January 24. The Medicaid Extenders Act provides funding for the MFP program that is expected to last for three months. Guthrie is currently working to introduce bipartisan legislation to reauthorize and fund the program for longer.
“I introduced the EMPOWER Care Act to empower people with disabilities to make choices about how they receive their care,” said Guthrie. “I have met with Medicaid beneficiaries in the Second District who have thrived under Kentucky Transitions, which administers the MFP program in the Commonwealth and has allowed hundreds of Kentuckians in nursing homes and other institutions to choose to go back to their homes for care. I am glad to see this bill signed into law, and I will continue to advocate for a long-term extension of this important program.”
Colder Temps, Wind Chills Bring Increased Risk For Elderly, Others In Need
Darren Doyle, story:
An elderly Edmonson County man with known symptoms of dementia was located lying in a ditch earlier today with no coat or shoes after he was reported missing this morning, according to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff Shane Doyle said a family member of John Bratcher, (80) of Mount Zion Road reported Mr. Bratcher missing this morning around 9am. According to the sheriff, Bratcher went to bed last night but when a family member went to check on him this morning, he was gone from his home and the back door was open.
"Local emergency personnel began searching for Mr. Bratcher this morning and we were in the process of issuing a Golden Alert for a full-scale search when I saw something in the ditch," said Sheriff Shane Doyle.
Doyle said he found Mr. Bratcher shivering in the mud and immediately called for an ambulance where he was transported to the hospital. He was suffering from frostbite, hypothermia, and other injuries.
"With colder temperatures and life-threatening wind chills in the forecast, please pay close attention to your elderly family and friends, and anyone that may normally need any type of living assistance," said Doyle. "Keep in constant contact with them and please call us if you need help."
Doyle said colder temps bring a number of increased risks that include exposure, house fires, and other personal and property dangers. Pets, livestock, and other farm animals are also at higher risks.
"We want to encourage everyone to pay closer attention to these dangers so that a tragedy can be avoided."
Citizens are encouraged to call local dispatch at 270-597-2729 for assistance, or dial 911 for emergencies.
"I'd like to thank our county rescue squad, Brownsville Police, and our local Emergency Management for their assistance in locating Mr. Bratcher," said Sheriff Doyle. "We are praying for a full recovery."
Relief Effort Already Underway For Family
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Firefighters were paged to a home in the 1000 block of Silent Grove Church Road Tuesday morning just before dawn to a report of a structure fire. The home was fully involved when firefighters arrived.
According to officials, the residents were out of town at the time of the fire but the home and contents were a total loss. Chalybeate Fire Chief Daniel Johnson said that relief efforts are already being organized for the family. The Red Cross has reportedly begun working with the family to help with temporary shelter.
The following sizes have been listed for those who can donate to the family's immediate needs:
Chief Johnson said that the cause of the fire remains undetermined at this time. All county fire departments were paged to the scene. Johnson said that Chalybeate ran out of water within minutes and had to leave the scene to find an available hydrant. He said the closest one was either frozen or shut off down in the ground because water was not available there.
Three departments from outside the county, Smiths Grove, Park City, and Richardsville were also paged in order to have enough water on scene to battle the blaze.
"I don't know what we'd have done without the guys coming in from outside the county," Johnson said. "We sure appreciate them and the good relationship we've developed over the years."
Johnson said the frustration with the hydrant is nothing new.
"I don't know what happened with the hydrant, but they won't do us any good if they don't work. This is not the first time we've had these issues. There have been others either shut off or in need of repair. We need these to work. People's property and most importantly, their lives are at stake in these situations."
No injuries were reported in the fire.
Chalybeate Fire Department was first on scene. In addition to the outside departments, Kyrock Fire Department, WRECC, and Edmonson County Emergency Management also responded.
Budgets Discussed, ECHS Youth Leadership Attends
Moriah Peterson, story and photos:
Edmonson County Fiscal Court was held on Monday, January 28, 2019 in the upstairs courtroom of the county courthouse.
No major discussions were shared; however, various county offices gave reports and general business and budgets were discussed.
Road Report- Assistant County Road Foreman Greg Carroll said the road crew poured 75 tons of salt on the roadways last week and they still have 300 tons to use for the rest of the winter. Both the part time and full job positions for the road crew have been filled. Mowing will be moving into district 5 and the road department gate will be complete in 3-4 weeks.
EM Director Report- EM Director Terry "Moose" Massey reported 11 emergency runs since the first of the year.
Sheriff Report- Sheriff Shane Doyle reported an eventful last few weeks which included a burglary in the 5th district. He discussed how a woman found a man in her house when she came home and there was a physical altercation-- but the woman stood her ground. The burglar was found with a hand gun and drugs, while wearing a large knife. The sheriff said the man was located with a woman inside a vehicle and both were arrested.
He also reported that his office assisted Grayson County Sheriff deputies in a missing person case. After further investigation the missing person was confirmed deceased. Sheriff Doyle also reported on a shooting that happened at the Moutardier Marina cabins on January 25th. The victim was shot twice with a shotgun and air lifted to Louisville, and is still in critical condition. According to Doyle the suspect was located and arrested within 3-4 hours. We'd like to thank everyone that helped with this case," said Sheriff Doyle. In addition to Edmonson County Deputies, the Grayson County Sheriff's Office, Brownsville Police Chief Jeff Jewell, Mammoth Cave National Park Rangers, Leitchfield Police, Edmonson County Dispatch, Kentucky State Police, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers all worked together.
Jailer Report- There are currently 15 inmates at the Hart County jail and one on the home incarceration program. There has not been any medical issues and all vehicles are in working order.
County Attorney Report- Greg Vincent will be attending the Kentucky County Attorney Conference from February 13th through the 15th. The lawsuit between the county and the former clerk has been resolved and should receive a payment of around $6000 within a month.
Parks and Rec Report- Parks director A.B Webb reported vandalism on the doors of the Brownsville park main bathroom. Webb also said they plan to lay new tile in the bathroom along with putting in new toilets.
Tourism Report- Rhonda Clemmons stated that Mammoth Cave has reopened the cave tours. The park is currently reviewing applicants for a new park manager. It was reported that over 97 applications were turned in for the position. Tourism is stilling working with the SOKY Film Commission.
Corner Report- 24 term deaths over the last year were reported to the court.
State Senator Steve Meredith also attended Fiscal Court this morning. Meredith spoke about passing of the TVA bill which benefits rural counties in Kentucky. Edmonson County is one of 39 counties of which allocated funds of $2 million will be evenly divided to in Fiscal Year ’18-’19, then $4 million to be evenly divided between the counties in Fiscal Year ’19-’20. He said the purpose of these funds is to continually ready sites and upgrade infrastructure to attract business and create jobs within these rural counties. The senator also spoke about his commitment to eliminate waste in Frankfort. One of the ways Meredith said he plans to do this is by pushing for doing away with the office of Lieutenant Governor. Meredith believes there is no need for this position and doing away with it has the potential to save 1 million dollars a year.
The Edmonson County High School Youth Leadership group also attended Fiscal Court this morning. The group met with county officials after court. The Youth Leadership program is made up of high school students and the purpose of the program is to engage in local community efforts. Next month the group will be visiting Frankfort to learn more about state government.
The Court acknowledged Edmonson County Ambulance Service Rate Revision.
The court approved the KY Board of Emergency Medical Services Ambulance grant application. This is an annual $10,000 grant that allows the purchase of specific equipment.
The court also approved the Resolution EC19-02, affiliation agreement between Barren River District Health Department and EC Emergency management.
Sheriff Shane Doyle shared budget comparisons of Todd and Butler County after budget concerns were expressed by magistrate Clark Wood, who had earlier stated that each of those counties had similar populations as Edmonson but were able to run their respective offices at a much lower budget amount. In the comparisons, Doyle noted what those county’s deputies are paid along with how many deputies the counties have, which was significantly higher than Edmonson County.
Doyle also stated the following line items are not included in the Todd County sheriff budget: the court security officer’s salary and benefits, along with workman’s comp, unemployment insurance and phone bills, all of which are in his budget. The fiscal court portion of the Todd County sheriffs budget is $158,575. He noted that $399,975 is from fees collected, and $315,545 from the general fund, which bring the total budget to $715,520--which is nearly $100k more than Doyle's budget of $616,600.
Butler County has the following line items not in sheriff’s budget is retirement: social security/Medicaid, unemployment, workman’s comp, health insurance and phone bill. The fiscal court portion of the Butler County sheriffs budget is $235,222, $445,022 is from fees collected, and $411,210 from the general fund, which brings their total budget to $856,232, which is nearly $240K more than Doyle's.
Doyle stated that he is currently having to pay for expenses out of the drug fund. The sheriff concluded by asking the magistrates to talk with magistrates from other to counties get insight for how they fund their sheriff departments.
Judge Executive Wil Cannon brought up the discussion of non-essential vs essential employees. During bad weather if Judge Cannon declares an emergency essential employees (road crew, dispatch, deputies etc.) are required to come to work while non-essential employees (clerks, office staff etc.) do not have to come in but still receive pay. Canon expressed his recommendation to keep this system as is. His second recommendation would be to allow time and half if the employee’s hours surpassed 40 hours. The court will have further discussion next meeting.
Next fiscal court meeting is scheduled for February 11, 2019 at 9:00 am.
The following Western Kentucky University students from the Edmonson County area were named to the honors lists for the fall 2018 semester. Full-time undergraduate students with a semester grade-point average of 3.4 to 3.79 are named to the Dean’s List. Students with a GPA of 3.8 to 4.0 are named to the President’s List. Their names are marked with an asterisk (*). The entire list can be found at http://www.wku.edu/mediarelations/deanslist.php.
From the Smiths Grove area
Abby E. Alexander
Miranda L. Bonifay*
Heather M. Borders
Andrew P. Bowles*
Julie A. Bowles*
Taylor M. Cayton*
Adaline L. Estay*
Hayley M. Getz
Jessica N. Hampton
Hunter J. Houchins*
Ashley N. Johnson
Courtney W. Keown*
Brandi L. Lindsey*
Cody L. Lindsey
Logan P. Lindsey
Victoria E. Maund
William K. Meyer*
Cassi K. Payne
Meghan V. Pierce*
Kelcie M. Poteet
Regan A. Saling*
Austin S. Salleng
Kennedy S. Samson*
Victoria M. Smith
Chandler V. Staggs
Grant A. Turner*
Robert Avery L. Vincent
From Mammoth Cave
Dawson C. Stith*
John D. Holt
Kelsey H. Highbaugh*
Quinton T. Dorris*
Hayley S. Bullock
Keaton A. Thompson*
Nicole J. Hinson*
Taylor L. Logsdon
Jhonna L. Basil
Kelsea L. Martin*
Vivian G. Thomas
Lauren S. Booth*
Samantha M. Girard*
Morgan K. Vincent
Amber L. Hagan*
Tyler J. Huber
Jamie K. Salings*
Katelyn L. Miller
From Bee Spring
Cierra P. Woodcock
Statement from Mammoth Cave National Park on the Resumption of Full Operations
From Mammoth Cave National Park:
With the enactment of the continuing resolution, staff at Mammoth Cave National Park will resume Green River Ferry operations at 2:00 pm on Saturday, January 26, and full visitor service operations, including staffing the visitor center and providing cave tours, on Sunday, January 27. All park trails and roads continue to accessible to the public, pending inclement weather events. Please visitwww.nps.gov/maca for updated information about the park.
The park would like to thank the Friends of Mammoth Cave who provided park and area information to visitors throughout the lapse in appropriations. Their support provided valuable information to many visitors looking for recreation options when visiting the park and South Central Kentucky.
The park would also like to thank The Lodge at Mammoth Cave, which is operated by Ortega National Parks, for remaining open during the shutdown and providing essential visitor services and attending to park trash cans.
Mammoth Cave National Park and its employees are happy to be back at work, serving the American people and welcoming visitors to their national parks.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Kentucky State Police Post 3 has reported they are investigating a shooting incident that occurred Saturday evening around 6:30pm at the Barren Detention Center inside the facility. Post 3 troopers and detectives responded along with the KSP Critical Incident Response Team.
According to KSP, the preliminary investigation has revealed that Matthew A. Stapleton (26) of Columbia, KY had been arrested earlier in the evening by Trooper Ricky Cross in Metcalfe County and was transported to the Barren County Detention Center.
KSP said that when Stapleton exited Trooper Cross’ patrol car, a physical altercation ensued between the two. Stapleton retrieved a handgun from his waistband. During the altercation, the handgun discharged, striking Stapleton. Stapleton was transported via ambulance from the detention center to TJ Sampson hospital, where he was then flown by air ambulance to the University of Louisville hospital. Stapleton is currently listed in critical condition. Trooper Cross was not injured. As in all critical incidents, Trooper Cross has been placed on administrative leave.
The ongoing investigation is being led by the KSP Critical Incident Response Team. They were assisted on scene by KSP Post 3, the Barren County Detention Center, Glasgow Police Department, and Barren/Metcalfe EMS.
Suspect Facing Attempted Murder Charges
Darren Doyle, story:
The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office has confirmed that Wesley Roberts, (33), a suspect in a shooting incident earlier today has been located and arrested a short time ago in Grayson County.
Sheriff Shane Doyle said that both the Edmonson and Grayson County Sheriff's Offices worked together to locate the suspect. According to the sheriff, Roberts was located at an undisclosed residence on Anneta Road.
Doyle said arrest warrants were obtained for three counts of attempted murder and that Roberts was taken into custody without incident.
"We'd like to thank everyone that helped with this case," said Sheriff Doyle. "In addition to our office and the Grayson County Sheriff's Office, a special thanks goes out to Brownsville Police Chief Jeff Jewell, Mammoth Cave National Park Rangers, Leitchfield Police, Edmonson County Dispatch, Kentucky State Police, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers."
Doyle said cooperation between all agencies was the key to locating and arresting the subject so quickly.
"I'm proud of the teamwork that happens when a serious incident like this occurs; however, we do our best to handle the large cases with the same dedication as the small ones," said Doyle. "I'm also very proud of our deputies. They put it on the line everyday for Edmonson County and our neighboring communities."
The victim has been identified as Karen Whitfill, (37) of Leitchfield, who is still listed in critical condition.
UPDATE JANUARY 25, 2019 4:11PM: Shooting Suspect Found, Arrested In Grayson County
Darren Doyle, story:
The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office has reported a shooting at the Moutardier Marina cabins with the suspect on the run.
According to Sheriff Shane Doyle, the Sheriff's Office responded to a report of a shooting incident at Moutardier around 11:30am today. Doyle reported that the suspect, Wesley Roberts, (33) of Leitchfield fled the scene to another cabin but has since left the scene.
The female victim, who has not yet been identified, has been air lifted to Louisville with at least two gunshot wounds and is listed in critical condition. According to the Sheriff's Office, the domestic incident escalated into violence between Wesley Roberts and either an estranged wife or girlfriend.
Sheriff Doyle said they found the shotgun that is suspected to have been used in the incident but that Roberts has yet to be located.
The suspect was reportedly driving a silver, 2015 GMC pickup with a black primer hood.
Anyone with any information as to the whereabouts of Wesley Roberts or any related information to this case is urged to call Edmonson County dispatch at 911, 270-597-2729, or the Sheriff's Office at 270-597-2157.
Edmonson District Court was held on Tuesday, January 22, 2019. The Hon. Judge Joseph B. Hines presiding.
Dustin Hunt, Harassing communications. Resisting arrest. Disorderly conduct, second degree. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial conference 2/12/19.
Charles L. Marlak, Public intoxication, controlled substance, excludes alcohol. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial conference 2/12/19.
Lemuel Dew Lamastus, Alcohol intoxication in a public place- first and second offense. Disorderly conduct, second degree. Criminal trespassing, third degree. Continue to 2/12/19.
Christopher J. Burroughs, Operating on suspended/revoked operators license. Failure of owner to maintain required insurance/security first. Possess open alcohol beverage container in a motor vehicle. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial conference 2/26/19
Dale Decker, Resisting arrest. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Possession of marijuana. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial conference 2/26/19.
Cody Rhett Vincent, Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Possession of controlled substance, first degree, first offense-methamphetamine. Pleaded not guilty to all. Preliminary hearing 2/26/19.
Timothy W. Taylor, Receiving stolen property under $10,000. Continue to 2/12/19.
James Michael Aubrey, Convicted felon in possession of a handgun. First degree possession of CS/drug unspecified, first offense. Pleaded not guilty to all. 10% bond. Preliminary hearing 2/12/19.
James Michael Aubrey, Burglary- third degree. Harassment, physical contact, no injury. Pleaded not guilty to all. 10% bond. Preliminary hearing 2/12/19.
Melissa Ann Graves, First degree possession of CS/Drug unspecified, first offense. Pleaded not guilty to all. Appoint DPA. Preliminary hearing 2/12/19.
Billy Joe Clemons, Possession controlled substance, first degree, first offense-methamphetamine. Possession of marijuana. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Pleaded not guilty to all. Preliminary hearing 2/12/19.
Caleb Dunn, Covicted felon in possession of a handgun. Possession of marijuana. Theft of motor vehicle registration plate/renewal decal. Failure to produce insurance card. Speed 10 mph over (limited access) pleaded not guilty to all. Preliminary hearing 2/12/19.
Melissa Renee Hornberger, Possession controlled substance, first degree, first offense- methamphetamine. Possession of marijuana. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Tampering with physical evidence. Continue 2/12/19.
Zachary S. Vincent, Menacing. Resisting arrest. Pleaded not guilty to all. Continue to 2/12/19.
Jeffery Brian Leal, Operating motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol/drugs- first offense. Continue to 2/12/19.
Samuel Austin Scarbrough, Display/possession of cancelled/fictitious operators. Careless driving. Operating on suspended/revoked operators license. Pleaded not guilty. Continue to 2/26/19
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
A home on HWY 70 in Butler County was burglarized around 3:30pm on Tuesday, January 22nd, according to Beech Tree News.
According to the report, the suspect was a white male in his early 30s with short hair with tattoos on his neck and arms wearing a grey sweatshirt and jeans. BTN said he kicked in the door of the residence and was in process of walking off the porch with a large screen television in hand when confronted by the homeowner.
After a brief scuffle, the suspect escaped by driving over an embankment. He headed east on KY 70 toward Edmonson County. He was driving a black SUV with dark tinted windows.
If you have any information, please contact the Butler County Sheriff's Department at 270-526-3676.
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Emergency personnel were dispatched to the intersection of HWY 101 and 743 around 7:45am this morning to a report of a two-vehicle collision.
According to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, Courtney Kemble, (30), of Brownsville was turning left onto HWY 101 from HWY 743 when her Chrysler minivan partially entered the path of John Bratcher, (80), who was driving a white Lexus SUV headed south on 101.
Kemble's van was struck in the rear driver's side by Bratcher's Lexus and both vehicles came to rest in opposite emergency lanes, according to the Sheriff.
The Sheriff said that neither Kemble nor her two-year old daughter were injured in the collision as Kemble was wearing a seat belt and the child was properly restrained in a child safety seat.
Bratcher, who was also wearing a seat belt, was not injured. Multiple airbags were deployed in his vehicle. Sheriff Shane Doyle said given the situation and impact, he was amazed that none of the occupants in the vehicles were injured.
"Thank God no one was injured," said Sheriff Doyle. "That's one of our busiest intersections during the school rush, and it's a miracle no other vehicles were involved and no one was hurt. This is a great example of how important seat belts and child safety seats can be. We'd like to encourage everyone to take your time when school traffic is heavy and please watch closely."
Traffic was backed up for about a half hour in both directions while the scene was being cleared.
Responding at the scene were the Chalybeate and Brownsville Fire Departments, Edmonson County EMS, Sheriff Shane Doyle, and Edmonson County Emergency Management.
**an earlier version of this report had one of the driver's names misspelled. It has since been corrected.
Edmonson County Schools are closed Tuesday January 22, 2018 due to hazardous road conditions in some parts of the county, according to Patrick Waddell, Superintendent of Edmonson County Schools.
It will be NTI day number two according to Waddell.
The following closings have been announced due to winter weather for January 20, 2019:
We will update this list if more become available.
Now Faces More Charges: Stolen Truck Still Missing
Darren Doyle, story:
Wanted burglary suspect James Aubrey has been located and arrested, according to a report from the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
The Sheriff's Office said that Aubrey was located with a woman identified as Melissa Graves in a vehicle in the Cave Hollow Bay community on Friday, January 18th around noon. Aubrey was arrested on the outstanding warrant for Burglary 2nd degree and Harassment - Physical Contact.
During the arrest, a handgun and suspected oxycodone was found, according to the Sheriff's Office. Aubrey now faces additional charges of Possession of handgun by a convicted felon and Possession of controlled substance-1st degree. Graves was arrested and charged with Possession of Controlled Substance 1st degree.
Aubrey is also suspected of stealing the 2000 Chevy pickup he was reportedly driving when he fled the scene of a reportedly burglary, which is yet to be recovered.
The Sheriff's Office said that the truck is a blue Chevrolet 1500 model with primer spots, short wheel base, and single cab. If anyone has any information regarding the truck or suspicious activity in the Cave Hollow Bay community the night of January 16-17th, they are asked to please call the Sheriff's Office at 270-597-2157.
Deputies Say Man Caught In Act Of Burglary On The Run
**UPDATE JANUARY 19, 2019: James Aubrey was apprehended and arrested: click here for details
The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office is requesting information on the whereabouts of a burglary suspect they say was caught in the act and fled the scene.
According to the Sheriff's Office, on Wednesday, January 16 2019, a homeowner in the Cave Hollow Bay community came home to find James Michael Aubrey inside her residence. The sheriff's office said that after a brief struggle, Aubrey fled the property.
Aubrey is currently wanted for an outstanding warrant for Burglary 2nd degree, and Harassment w/physical contact.
Aubrey also lives in the Cave Hollow Bay community and is 42 years old, 5ft 10”inches tall, and was last seen in a black jacket. Aubrey is also possibly operating a 2000 model blue Chevy truck that was stolen in the area the same night.
The Sheriff's Office said Aubrey has an extensive criminal history for multiple theft and drug related charges. Residents are urged to contact 911 immediately if Aubrey is seen. Calls with any tips or info can also be made to the Edmonson Co. Sheriff's Office at 270-597-2157 or Edmonson Co. dispatch at 270-597-2729.
**Jan 17, 2019, 12:28pm: this article was updated with an updated photo supplied by the Sheriff's Office.
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County Superintendent of Schools Patrick Waddell has announced that all EC schools will be closed on Friday, January 18, 2019 due to illness.
"We are currently at 87% attendance, which is borderline," said Waddell. "However, with the long weekend ahead with the holiday on Monday, we feel this is a good time to disinfect our buses and schools to try to stop the spread of illness."
Waddell also said that games for tonight and Friday night will be cancelled. The district game against Trinity scheduled for Monday night will be played as planned, due to it being a District 12 makeup game from earlier in the season.
"We will only cancel the Monday game if there is inclement weather, but other than that, we need to keep that on the schedule," he said.
Two Edmonson County Residents Jailed On Multiple Drug Related Charges
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Two Cub Run residents have been arrested on felony drug charges as a result of an attempt to locate a subject with an outstanding warrant.
The Edmonson County Sheriff's office said they arrived at 1935 Cub Run Road at approximately 8pm on Tuesday night with intentions of locating the subject with the warrant. According to a press release, once deputies made contact with resident Melissa Carrier Hornberger (42), it was discovered that the intended subject was not on the premises, but Hornberger, had three outstanding warrants; one Edmonson County Bench Warrant for Failure to Appear on Flagrant Non-Support and Persistent Felony Offender charges, and two Hart County Probation Violation Warrants for Possession of Controlled Substance 1st Degree, 1st Offense (Methamphetamine) and Drug Paraphernalia-Buy/Possess.
According to the Sheriff's Office, deputies also made contact with an additional resident, Billy Joe Clemons (48), and consent was given to search the property. During the search, deputies found marijuana, a meth pipe containing what appeared to be meth, and multiple pieces of drug paraphernalia.
Both Hornberger and Clemons were arrested and charged with Possession of Controlled Substance, 1st Degree, 1st Offense (Methamphetamine), Possession of Marijuana, and Drug Paraphernalia-Buy/Possess.
Hornberger was also charged with Tampering with Physical Evidence. Both were lodged in Hart County Jail. This is an on-going investigation by Edmonson County Sheriff’s Office, with further charges pending.
Moriah Peterson, story and photos:
One of the two annual night meetings for Fiscal Court was held last night in the upstairs courthouse. Around three dozen visitors were in attendance. It was the first full fiscal court meeting attended by three newly elected county magistrates in their official capacities: District One Mark Meeks, District Two Corey Vanmeter, and District Six James Vincent.
Road Report- Assistant County Road Foreman Greg Carroll updated the court on repairs for both backhoes, which have both been completed. Mowing is almost complete in district six and will be moving into district 4. The road department finished accepting job applications last week and will begin conducting interviews this week. The automatic gate openers were picked up and Carroll reminded the public that these openers are not a luxury item and are needed for safety. Last year Foreman Ray Page was pinned between the gate and their truck which created a dangerous situation. The gate opener's expense came out of the road department budget.
EM Director Report- EM Director Terry "Moose" Massey reported 28 emergency runs during the last quarter.
Sheriff Report- Sheriff Shane Doyle reported that since the beginning of the year, 44 citations have been given which included everything from speeding tickets to warrants served. The Sheriff said he has been working with KSP to update all their contact info for school and county officials. He also discussed the Sheriff’s Office assisting KSP in a double fatality accident last Thursday. Edmonson County Deputies were first on the scene but KSP was called in due to the nature of the accident.
Jailer Report- Hank Vincent reported that there are 21 county inmates at the Hart County jail and one on the home incarceration program. There were multiple ER visits and Vincent said in some cases they will work with the judge to get the inmate released for medical care but that is dependent the inmate’s charges. All jailer vehicles are reportedly in good shape.
County Clerk Report- County Clerk Kevin Alexander reported on the 2018 taxes for the county. The following numbers were reported. $27,711.61 in delinquent tax, $55,493.64 of transfer taxes, $132,892.28 in motor vehicle tax and $304,792.22 in excess fees. These excess fees go back into the community and are used for Parks & Rec, courthouse and community center updates, etc.
Parks & Rec Report- Program administrator John Kiernan shared that little league basketball is currently having games. April 13th is the start of baseball season. The Edmonson County Easter egg hunt will be held on April 20th. The 2019 Freedom Fest date has been set for June 28th.
Rhonda Clemmons reported that Chamber of Commerce is beginning their 2019 membership drive. Forms can be picked up on the Chamber door in the courthouse or signing up online at edmonsonchamber.com. In addition to the membership drive the Chamber is planning a free breakfast in the first quarter that will be sponsored by Edmonson Health Care Center and a free luncheon in May sponsored by St. Johns.
She also announced the EC Planning commission will meet Tuesday, January 22nd in the downstairs office at 7pm. All forms and plats must be turned in the Friday before to be on the agenda. If anyone has items to turn in they can call 270-597-2222 to setup a drop off time and to go over documents.
Clemmons also noted that The Edmonson County Tourism Commission is currently working with the SOKY Film Commission to have language changed in the KY Film Incentive Program to restore the program back to what it was and is seeking letters of support. Edmonson County Tourism is also currently working with Caveland Marketing to distribute alternative visitor info to cave visitors that are being turned away due to no cave tours, in hopes that these visitors will still find other things to do in the area. She also updated the court on room and rec tax collection. Fourth quarter dues went out and are due January 15th. A new tax collection program for Airbnb is being written so that their website will honor the taxing districts that rentals are in and Edmonson County will get their tax money from web hosting sites.
Scott Waste representative Mr. Pete Reckard, was at the meeting tonight to address questions or concerns from the court and public. Commercial trash pickup for dumpsters was discussed due to the price increase. The county will be looking into other company options for commercial pickup. The Scott Waste contract is due to renew in June.
The court also discussed whether or not to continue monthly allowances for employee telephone bills. Judge Executive Wil Cannon said that if they continue to give monthly allowances for cell phone bills he recommends the court deciding on a guideline for cellphone use. County Attorney Greg Vincent also expressed his support in developing a policy for cellphone use. The court voted to keep the allowances the way they are until a policy is put into place rather than eliminating the cellphone allowances.
The next fiscal court meeting is scheduled for January 28, 2019 at 9am in the upstairs courtroom.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
On Thursday afternoon at 3:28 pm (CST,) the Kentucky State Police Post 3, Bowling Green received a call for service in reference to a two vehicle injury collision involving a passenger car and a commercial vehicle. The collision had occurred near 22512 Louisville Road (US 31W,) approximately one mile south of Park City in Edmonson County. Trooper Daniel Priddy, along with other KSP personnel, responded to the collision.
A preliminary investigation has revealed that James E. Arms (32) of Park City, KY was operating a 1999 Chevrolet passenger car traveling southbound on Louisville Road when his vehicle exited the right shoulder of the roadway briefly. Arms reentered the roadway overcorrecting, causing his vehicle to rotate counter-clockwise across the yellow centerline of the roadway, into the path of travel of Stefanee Dawkins (26) of Scottsdale, GA, who was traveling northbound in a 2016 Freightliner semi truck. Dawkins’ vehicle then struck the passenger side of Arms’ vehicle.
Both Arms and a passenger, Lavonda J. Flannery (45) of Rocky Hill, were pronounced deceased on scene by the Edmonson County Coroner’s Office. They were unrestrained at the time of the collision. Stefanee Dawkins did not report any injury.
The investigation continues and is currently being led by Trooper Daniel Priddy. He was assisted on scene by other KSP personnel, Edmonson County Sheriff’s Department, Park City, Chalybeate, and Rocky Hill Fire Departments, Edmonson County Coroner’s Office, Edmonson County JAWS, Medical Center EMS and Edmonson County Emergency Management Director Moose Massey.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
The Edmonson County Sheriff’s Office and Kentucky State Police are currently on the scene of an accident near the Edmonson County and Barren County line. All lanes of 31W/Louisville Rd. are shut down at the 22,000th block. Traffic is completely shut down and there is currently an unknown ETA of when the road will reopen. The Park City Fire Department, Brownsville Fire Department, Med Center EMS, Edmonson County EMS, and the State Highway Department are also on the scene.
Edmonson District Court was held on Tuesday, January 8, 2019. The Hon. Judge Joseph B. Hines presiding.
Linda Faye Wilson, Operating motor vehicle under the influence of drugs/alcohol. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial conference 4/9/19.
Wendell Leon Reynolds Jr., Assault 4th degree domestic violence minor injury. Convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Wanton endangerment-1st degree. Trafficking marijuana, less than 8oz- 1st offense. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial hearing 1/22/19.
Douglas B. Sanders, Violation of Kentucky E.P.O/D.V.O. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial conference 1/22/19.
Bennie Douglas Sanders, Assault 4th degree domestic violence minor injury. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial conference 1/22/19.
James D. Wells, Operating motor vehicle under influence of alcohol/drugs, aggravator, 1st offense. Judgement: show cause orders signed.
Priscilla S. Towe, Operating on suspended/revoked operator’s license. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial conference 2/12/19.