Sports, Extracurricular Activities Also Suspended During Closing
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County Schools will be closed Monday, February 3rd, Tuesday, February 4th, and Wednesday. February 5th, according to a released statement from Superintendent of Schools, Patrick Waddell.
"After monitoring attendance the past few days and conversations with local health care providers, I have decided that the best course of action for the safety and well-being of our students and staff is cancel school on Monday, February 3rd, Tuesday, February 4th, and Wednesday, February 5th," Waddell's statement read. "All schools will be closed during this time."
He continued in the statement: "Also, it does not benefit us to call off school if we allow extracurricular activities to continue, so beginning after this evening's contests and continuing until Wednesday afternoon, all games, practices and activities with the exception of Saturday’s Regional Middle School Academic Team Tournament will be canceled."
The release also stated that all schools will reopen on Thursday, February 6th.
"I hope our students, their families and our staff take this time to get better," he added.
Supt. Waddell also noted that schools will utilize NTI Days #1, #2, and #3 for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of next week.
Moriah Peterson, story and photo:
Edmonson County Fiscal Court met on Monday, January 27, 2020 at one of the two annual night meetings in the Edmonson County Courthouse. In addition to magistrates voting unanimously for Edmonson County to become a Second Amendment Sanctuary, county offices gave reports in addition to other business being discussed at the session.
Road Report: County Road Supervisor Greg Carroll reported that Willie Webb Bridge is still under water. The new signs for high water have been received, which are equipped with lights and will show how deep the water is over bridges in the county.
EM Director Report: EM Director Terry Massey reported a total of 13 local runs by emergency personnel.
Sheriff Report: Sheriff Shane Doyle reported that he will be having surgery this Thursday due to an injury he sustained while taking a fugitive into custody in October. Despite months of physical therapy he reported that doctors say he still needs surgery. Sheriff Doyle said that recovery will be extensive and he will out of the office for at least a few weeks.
“I have a very capable staff and I fully trust them to continue to take care of our county,” stated Doyle.
He said the Sheriff’s Office has received a new truck and is waiting for it to be outfitted with police equipment. Doyle also included the recent tragic house fire in his report and stated that the investigation is being handled by the state fire marshal and KSP.
Doyle closed his report by giving the magistrates a felony indictment numbers report from 2011 through 2014, from information obtained by the Edmonson County Circuit Clerk's Office. The report showed that 433 total cases were handled by local law enforcement in the county; 37% of those were handled by the Sheriff's Office, for a total of 161 cases. From 2015 to 2019, he said there were 704 felony cases in the county, which was a 62% increase of total cases.
These numbers were in contrast of Judge Executive Wil Cannon's claim at the last fiscal court meeting where he said the amount of activity and calls for services for the Sheriff's Office haven't changed much over the years.
Doyle said out of those 704 felony cases, the sheriff's office handled 77% of those (541) during the time that Doyle has been Sheriff. He noted that while other local law enforcement agency case numbers are holding steady or dropping, the Sheriff’s Office workload is steadily increasing. He also clarified that he nor his office was claiming that previous administrations did a lesser or poorer job than his office, but simply that the case numbers were much higher for whatever reason, and that his office was the one having to work them. He also noted that the numbers he provided were available to the public from both his office and the Circuit Clerk's Office.
Doyle said after the meeting that the numbers he provided to fiscal court prove that any claim that the Sheriff's Office isn't significantly busier now than ever is incorrect.
County Attorney Report: County Attorney Greg Vincent gave an update on the Park Mammoth Case. He reported that the property has sold, but no money from the sale has been distributed.
County Clerk Report: Kevin Alexander reported that there are no local races in May, but the school board and city races will hold elections in the fall. He also noted that the Clerk’s office has applied for a grant to transfer some larger paper plats to digital format along with restoration for some.
He also informed the court that any Edmonson County resident planning to fly domestically, or wishes to have access to federal buildings and military bases must obtain a Real ID/ Driver’s License by October 1st. All residents will have to go to the Bowling Green location to receive this license. Clerk Alexander also reported that the Excess Fees for 2019 are $374,424 and in the last five years as County Clerk total Excess Fees are 1.1 million dollars. All this money goes back to county for Fiscal Court to use accordingly.
Parks & Rec Report: A.B Webb reported several items on behalf of Parks and Rec: 1. Youth league basketball is set to wrap up mid-February, 2. The annual Easter egg hunt is scheduled for April 11th. 3. New LED lights will be installed soon and the mowers are getting ready for the summer season. Webb also praised all the work that has been put into the Disk Golf course by its coordinators. He said last year 900 players came to the course to play.
Tourism Report: Rhonda Clemmons stated that the office’s review is up to date. There will be lunch and learn on March 4th on small business development. The class $10 and includes lunch. The event will take place at the Mammoth Cave Lodge. Room and Rec tax bills have been distributed and those payments have been received. The planning commission meeting will take place February 11th at 7pm at the planning office.
In other county business, the fiscal court also:
The next Fiscal Court meeting will be February 10, 2020 at 9am.
Moriah Peterson, story and photos:
Edmonson County has been named a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary. Edmonson County residents gathered in the upstairs court room last night for one of the annual nightly Fiscal Court meetings, many that were in support of the resolution.
Resolution EC20-03 passed unanimously with no hesitation or opposition from the county magistrates.
Judge Executive Wil Cannon stated "I would like Edmonson County to be a protected place for our 2nd Amendment rights and all Constitutional rights."
There was little discussion prior to Monday's vote or at the meeting regarding the resolution. A copy of the resolution is pictured below.
A Second Amendment Sanctuary is a term that refers to states, counties, or localities in the United States that have adopted laws or resolutions to protect citizens at local levels from certain state or federal gun control acts that are perceived to violate the Second Amendment. Those measures can include universal gun background checks, high capacity magazine bans, assault weapon bans, red flag laws, etc.
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
The annual D.A.R.E. graduation ceremony was held at the Edmonson County 5/6 Center this morning where 148 5th grade students accepted their certificates for completion of the program, which is administered by the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office and Edmonson County Community Education.
While some students received prizes and the large group of students, parents, and faculty enjoyed a dance routine from the lion mascot "Daren," the star of today's show was Edmonson County Sheriff K-9 unit Tango, who performed a number of tricks and maneuvers. However, most all students would agree that seeing Principal Rex Booth getting attacked by Tango was the highlight of the day.
Booth agreed to wear a protective sleeve while Tango was ordered to attack him. Tango was able to very aggressively remove the sleeve from Booth in about 12 seconds, which appeared as though it was plenty of time for Booth to get acquainted with the highly trained K-9 unit.
Deputy Jordan Jones, who not only serves as the school's D.A.R.E. instructor, but is also Tango's certified handler for the Sheriff's Office, said this year's program was highlighted by the students' enthusiasm.
"The kids made it so much more exciting," he said. "They were always so eager to participate and willing to learn. They definitely made it even better for me, and this is something I really enjoy. They obviously love seeing Tango and we were happy to have him here today as a special treat."
Community Education Director Lisa Whobrey said the working partnership between the Sheriff's Office, the school, and local sponsors make the program a success.
"The biggest impact we see with students is that this program gives them confidence," she said. "Deputy Jones does a wonderful job with our students. He doesn't just instruct the kids, he bonds with them."
Several community members were assembled as a panel in support for the local program today, which included: Principal Rex Booth, Officer Tamara Jupin from Brownsville PD, Chief Jeff Jewell from Brownsville PD, Sheriff Shane Doyle, State Farm Agent Josh Roney, Judge Executive Wil Cannon, Deputies Wally Ritter and Jeremy Hodges, along with Melissa Newkirk from the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
Deputy Devin Lindsey also agreed to play another one of Tango's victims in the K-9 presentation.
Principal Booth said having the program continue at the 5/6 is "extraordinary."
"This goes far beyond our standard classroom content," he said. "This is real-life material we're confident that will stick with our students for a lifetime. Deputy Jones and the Sheriff's Office have been outstanding to work with because they go above and beyond. Today's program was so much more than handing out certificates. You can tell that Deputy Jones treats this as so much more than just as part of his job."
Funding for the program's officer is secured by KY-ASAP, or Agency for Substance Abuse Policy. This year's sponsors were: Buttram Farms, St. John's Thrift Store, Lindsey's Auto Parts, Josh Roney State Farm, and Edmonson Co. PVA Kyle White.
Bogus Company Asking For Money To Remove Non-Existent Virus
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Edmonson County Sheriff Shane Doyle has issued a warning for county residents as a result of multiple reports of a scam that's currently popular in the area.
Doyle is calling this a "Computer Virus Scam."
"County residents are getting phone calls from someone who claims that a dangerous computer virus has been discovered on the victim's computer and the caller will arrange a repair for $299," said Doyle.
He said it was scam, that there are no viruses, and the company does not actually repair anything--all they simply want is quick money.
"Never give bank, credit card, or any other financial information over the phone," said the Sheriff. "In today's times, we recommend ignoring a call from a number you don't recognize. If it's truly a necessary call they will leave a message with information that can either be verified or it will be someone that you know."
Sadly, many of the scam callers are no longer real people. Many cell providers have reported that nearly half of all cell phone calls were robocalls in 2019. 40% of those calls were scams, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
"It's also difficult for us to track these numbers because they change all the time and scammers can also "spoof" their number to appear as a local one," said Doyle. "The easiest thing to do is to simply ignore the call, but if you answer and someone wants to sell you something, asks for money or other personal information, hang up."
Mother and Daughter Perish In Fire
Darren Doyle, story:
Tragedy struck in the Segal Community last night on E Hack Road as a house fire claimed the life of a mother and daughter, according to the Kentucky State Police. Emergency calls began coming in sometime around 10:30pm.
In a press release issued by KSP, troopers responded to the call around 2AM of a possible fatal residential fire at 1425 E Hack Rd in Edmonson County. Multiple fire departments responded to the scene and extinguished the residential fire. Tiffany B. Mooneyhan (33) of Brownsville along with her 6 year old daughter Ayreana L. Mooneyhan were located deceased in the burnt residence. No foul play is suspected at this time.
"This is a horrible tragedy that has impacted our community," said Sheriff Shane Doyle. "I encourage everyone to remember this family in your thoughts and prayers."
Emergency Management Director Terry "Moose" Massey said the structure was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters first arrived.
"It was fully involved but still standing. We knew we couldn't save the structure but we began trying to knock down the fire."
He said in those instances, additional help is called off because there's nothing that can be done to save the structure but in this case, Massey said Mooneyhan's father arrived and told emergency workers that there were people still inside.
"We immediately called for more help and we did everything we could," said Massey. "We fought the fire from different directions and went inside to try to find the individuals but with a burning building, the smoke and steam, we did all we could do."
The investigation is ongoing and being led by Arson Investigator Terry Scott. He was assisted on the scene by other KSP personnel, Edmonson County Coroner, Edmonson County Emergency Management, Edmonson County Sheriff’s Office, Bear Creek, Kyrock, and Brownsville Fire Departments.
*10:07am: this article was updated after speaking with Edmonson County Emergency Management Director Terry Massey.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Two men were arrested and face meth charges after allegedly leaving the scene of an accident that occurred on Saturday, according to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
According to a press release from the Sheriff's Office, a deputy responded to a vehicle collision on Saturday, January 11th at approximately 12:00 pm, to the 3800 block of Otter Gap Road, where an eye witness allegedly stated the driver had fled the scene to a neighboring house.
After the deputy surveyed the collision and found the suspected driver, based on eye-witness accounts, Timothy Bridges (33) of Bowling Green, at the home of Jonathan Willoughby (45), just a short distance from the scene of the collision, according to the release. Willoughby was detained outside of the home after Bridges allegedly ran inside and locked all the doors. The Sheriff's Office reported that after numerous verbal commands from law enforcement, Bridges unlocked a door and was detained without incident. A security sweep of the home produced a visual on the clothes Bridges had been reportedly seen wearing at the time of allegedly fleeing the scene of the collision, along with facial hair in the bathroom sink, Bridges had allegedly tried to alter his facial appearance, according to the press release.
Officials reported that drug paraphernalia with suspected methamphetamine was also found in the same room as Bridges’ discarded clothes. A photo of Bridges was presented to eye witnesses, who confirmed he was the one to flee the scene of the accident, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Timothy Bridges was charged with:
Both were transported and lodged in Hart County Jail.
County Also Applies For Grant To Fund New Local Weather Data Station
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County Fiscal Court voted against locking gates at flood-prone bridge locations in the county today in a 6-0 unanimous vote. Instead, the county approved the Edmonson County Road Department to utilize either larger barricades or more barricades that spanned the entire road, not just one lane.
During the discussion, county road supervisor Greg Carroll said he would recommend the county to stay with barricades because he felt residents would simply cut the lock off a gate if they wanted to go around it. The question was asked again about liability for the county between barricades or locked gates, to which County Attorney explained there was no difference.
Vincent said once the road is marked closed, it becomes unlawful for anyone to go around it, whether it's a gate or a barricade.
Magistrate Edd Rich made a motion to object to the locking gates and Magistrate James Vincent seconded. As the motion passed unanimously, Jailer Hank Vincent said while the gates may not be needed, something extra needed to happen in order to prevent tragedies in the future and to show that the county was being proactive in an effort to save lives.
A 20-month old toddler recently drowned when his mother, who was allegedly high on meth, disregarded a barricade and drove into Alexander Creek on Oak Hill Road when the bridge was flooded, on December 2, 2019, according to county officials. Jailer Vincent volunteered the costs of larger barricades out of his own salary if the county didn't want to fund them; however, supervisor Carroll said the county has enough barricades to cover both lanes of traffic on the problematic roads, which are: Willie Webb Road, Oak Hill Road, Blackgold Road, and Cedar Grove Church Road.
County Approves Grant Process For WeatherSTEM
Magistrates also approved a grant application process for a WeatherSTEM station for Edmonson County. The system is a weather monitoring and forecasting system, much like a mesonet, that would give real-time weather data for Edmonson County. The county currently has no form of monitoring weather data, mainly because of the cost.
Dajuana Crockett from BRADD, discussed the advantages of the system that could offer local text alerts and allow schools to access educational weather components. Units are said to cost more than $6000, but a grant would cover the cost, minus an $845 fee and a $500 annual cost for operation. Fiscal court also voted to accept the one-time fee and $500/yr maintenance costs.
We later reached out to Edmonson Voice and regional Meteorologist Landon Hampton from WxOrnotBG.com, who has experience with the system. He said it's a top-of-the-line addition to any community.
"Each station has a very in-depth, localized dashboard, which provide real-time updates," he said. "With the fast advancement of technology, this device provides for additional updates as they become available in the weather world. I applaud the fiscal court's decision to try to obtain this service, as it's a tremendous addition for Edmonson County."
County offices also gave their routine reports:
County road supervisor Greg Carroll reported that 3 of the 4 local flood-prone bridges are currently closed due to high water. He also said crews worked lots of hours after storms on Saturday night took down several limbs and trees on county roadways and he commended road workers. He also noted that crews had fixed a drainage problem on Parsley Road, and had recently installed tiles on Mattingly Road and Ray Ashley Rd.
EM Director Terry "Moose" Massey reported several medical assist runs and eight fire runs, most of which were from recent storms where tree limbs damaged power lines.
Sheriff Shane Doyle reported a very busy start to the new year. He said his office has documented 14 arrests, 19 felony cases, 20 misdemeanors, 9 warrants, and more in the past 12 days. He said his office has collected nearly $30K extra in tax revenue for the county so far from 2019's property taxes.
Jailer Hank Vincent reported 30 county inmates currently housed at Hart County Jail.
County Clerk Kevin Alexander was reportedly absent because of the flu.
County Attorney Greg Vincent reported on the status of the county's ongoing opioid litigation. He said that two companies involved have filed bankruptcy, which could affect the county's estimated settlement amount of $42K. He also reported on an expired "CrimeStoppers" donation program. He said several years ago, an agreement of affiliation was made with CrimeStoppers and fiscal court where $1 was added to all local court cost to help fund CrimeStoppers. He said the resolution has expired and that the fiscal court must approve a new resolution in order for that partnership to continue. The court agreed to allow Vincent to prepare a new resolution. He was then asked a question regarding past due room and rec taxes owed to the county by the previous owners of Park Mammoth, who have since filed for bankruptcy. Attorney Vincent said the county is basically waiting “in line” for past due amounts.
Tourism Report: Chamber and Tourism Director Rhonda Clemmons thanked volunteers for help with this year's Christmas decorations around town and noted that the county chose not to rejoin the SOKY Film Commission, due to the expiration of incentives allowed to film companies from the state. The Bevin administration discontinued the incentives which have kept filmmakers away from the bluegrass. Clemmons said in the event the state continues these incentives, the county would reconsider joining.
A discussion and approval of the 2020 Sheriff's budget then took place.
The next fiscal court meeting is scheduled for Monday, January 27, 2020 at 6pm in the upstairs courtroom of the Edmonson County Courthouse.
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
Edmonson County magistrates approved the 2020 budget for Sheriff Shane Doyle's office today, but one lower than requested by the sheriff, who said he'd already cut as much as he could.
The approved amount was for $666,000 for the upcoming year, which is $28K less than what Doyle requested, but $50K more than last year's $616K. Doyle said the increased amount was mainly to provide a raise to his deputies and provide more overtime as a result of the increased amount of calls for his office, in addition to large increases in state retirement and health benefits, which his office is required to pay. Doyle has said that these costs have risen drastically over the past couple years and his budget has been forced to absorb it. The Sheriff requested a budget amount of $694,000. Doyle's salary is set by the state and neither he nor the county have any say in that.
Doyle said after much research and several meetings with County Treasurer Tammi Willhite, they found $50K from last year's budget not yet earmarked. The additional $28K was due to additional tax revenue his office had collected, and Doyle said he even felt like that number is estimated to be even higher.
"I've got to keep my employees happy, I've got to try to keep the taxpayers happy, and I've got to try to keep you all (magistrates) happy. And so, what I'm trying to do with this budget I've turned in of $694,000, is I'm trying to get my employees pay rates up to somewhere close to what other employees of the county make," said Doyle. "Particularly, the County Clerk's office, which is the only other fee office we have in this county besides me. It still wouldn't make the rates the same as the deputy clerks at the County Clerk's office. It's getting them a little bit closer. We are in a position right now, with the deputies we have, with the exception of Deputy Meredith (who is currently attending law enforcement academy), they're well experienced, highly trained, and they're very desirable for other agencies to steal. That's exactly the way I think about it. We've paid to train them, we put them through the academy, and we've given them every bit of their experience."
Doyle went on to commend his staff and the work they provide for Edmonson County taxpayers. He said the experience his officers get is much richer than that in larger towns because county deputies work all sorts of cases that include larger, higher profile cases for just a few officers on top of the normal small town calls for service.
"Every time one of them leaves and goes somewhere else to make more money and better retirement, we have to start that process all over again," he said. "And we also lose quality workers. And that will happen if we can't pay them better."
Doyle said he wouldn't ask for that number if he felt the county would be put in a bind.
"That's what I feel like we need to do to properly serve the residents of this county and to properly reward the people that are working very, very hard for everybody here."
Judge Executive Wil Cannon said he didn't think anyone would say that deputies didn't work hard but because of a low tax base, past revenues, and rising retirement and jail costs, the number requested was too high. He felt that a comfortable budget number that could be handled by the county was $663K. He also discussed that if jail costs continue on the same pace from Hart County Jail, a budget amendment would have to be approved for an additional $70K this year for those costs alone.
Cannon also said he felt like the county shorted Doyle $7K on last year's budget and he added that back to his proposed number.
Doyle noted that in 2014, the fiscal court funded 26% of the Sheriff's budget compared to only 23% now, largely due in part to the rising retirement and health benefit costs that his office has had to absorb. He said in order to continue at this pace, the county would either have to pay more or cut services. "People want services, they don't want to hear 'magistrates wouldn't give me the money.'"
Cannon passed out old activity reports to magistrates from when he was sheriff and said that the stats were not that much different back then. He also passed out copies of dispatch reports that said calls for service aren't that much different either.
Magistrate Edd Rich told Judge Cannon that he and the sheriff should've already had a suitable amount between the two prepared and then have that amount ready to be presented to fiscal court. Cannon said he presented Doyle with a number but Doyle wasn't happy with it. Mag. Rich made a motion to accept a budget amount of $666K, but County Attorney Greg Vincent said the motion on the agenda was to either accept or reject the Sheriff's requested amount of $694, which passed unanimously to reject. Mag. Rich then made a motion to accept the $666 amount, seconded by Mag. Johnny Brooks. All magistrates voted "Yes" except for Mag. Corey Vanmeter, who said he felt like the amount wasn't enough, and Mag. James Vincent, who said the amount was too high. The motion passed 4-2.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Two individuals have been arrested and face felony drug trafficking charges after in incident in Bee Spring on Tuesday, according to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
Authorities said in a press release that at approximately 6pm on January 7, 2020, the Edmonson County Sheriff’s Office received information that Kimberly Deering (44) of Bee Spring, who was wanted on multiple outstanding warrants was possibly traveling in the area of Noah Stevenson Road.
Deputies reported that they observed a vehicle matching the description of the one Deering had been driving. Deputies said that since the license plate of the vehicle returned as expired, a traffic stop was initiated, according to the release. When deputies approached the vehicle, the female occupant allegedly gave a false name, but officers immediately recognized her to be Kimberly Deering and placed her under arrest for three outstanding warrants, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Deputies also reported they detected the distinct odor of marijuana coming from the passenger side of the vehicle and after a probable cause search was conducted, deputies said they found suspected methamphetamine and multiple forms of drug paraphernalia, along with a stolen debt card.
The driver of the vehicle, William Saltsman (47) of Leitchfield, Kentucky, along with Kimberly Deering were charged with:
Both were arrested on scene and lodged in Hart County Jail.
A Bowling Green man has been arrested and faces auto theft charges as well as facing previous charges as a fugitive from Tennessee.
According to a press release from the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, a deputy responded to the 800 block of Pine Grove Church Road around 10 am today, after a caller advised a vehicle had been abandoned in a nearby driveway and the male driver fled towards the woods.
Deputies said they discovered the vehicle had been reported stolen from Warren County by Bowling Green Police Department. A neighboring property owner reported they discovered a man lying in the back of a pickup truck asleep and covered in oil, and that the man fit the same description as who was witnessed fleeing from the vehicle, according to the release.
Law enforcement reportedly made contact with Patrick Ingram, (40) of Bowling Green, who allegedly claimed he received the car from someone else and it ran out of gas. The Sheriff's Office reported that during the arresting process, Ingram attempted to flee on foot and became extremely combative when the deputy detained him. Officers credited a civilian on scene who assisted in helping to get Ingram in cuffs, where Ingram allegedly continued to fight with law enforcement.
Ingram was arrested on scene and charged with:
Ingram was lodged in Hart County Jail. Edmonson County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Brownsville City Police. Additional charges against Ingram are expected from Bowling Green City Police.
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson Voice mobile app users weren't able to open the app as of Thursday afternoon, January 9, 2020, but don't worry--a new version will be ready in a few days.
Due to some problems in the app building process, we began experiencing problems with push notifications a couple months ago. During the process of working through those, we discovered that there more even bugs that were negatively affecting the way the app worked for Android users.
After more work and research, we've learned that the best route to go is to ask current mobile app users to delete the current version of the app and download a new and improved version in just a few days, or as soon as we announce that it's available.
Technology changes each and every day and sometimes it's frustrating when it doesn't work exactly how we'd like; however, it's a crucial part of our daily lives and we are working hard to make things as smooth and as easy as we can for our thousands of weekly readers.
You can still visit EdmonsonVoice.com for all your local news and info, as the site is running properly. We also post daily updates on our Facebook and Twitter pages, and we're also on Instagram.
Thanks for your patience and we'll have our mobile app up and running for both Apple and Android users as soon as possible.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
A Rocky Hill man has been arrested after local law enforcement say he fired shots into the air and pointed a gun at individuals from a company while they were allegedly attempting to repossess his property.
The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office reported that they responded to Rocky Hill Road around 10:15pm on January 9, 2020, for a shots-fired complaint. According to the Sheriff's Office, David Prather (64) of the Rocky Hill Road residence, fired multiple shots into the air when he saw three individuals who he thought was stealing his tractor. According to a press release from the Sheriff's Office, the individuals were representatives of a repossession company, on location to repo the piece of farm equipment Prather believed was being stolen.
The Sheriff's Office reported that in addition to firing several shots into the air, Prather pointed the firearm at one of the individuals.
"It is imperative for any gun owner to know and understand the laws as they pertain to carrying and using firearms," said Sheriff Shane Doyle in the released statement. "While Mr. Prather felt there was a threat against his personal property, it was not within the means of the law for him to use a firearm to protect that property; he could have used physical force to stop what he perceived to be a theft of his personal property, but because he, as a human being, was not in any sort of physical risk of serious injury or death, then deadly force could not be used to just protect his personal property. In addition, when shots are fired into the air, gun users need to be aware that those shots will also come down, thus creating a risk of serious physical harm or death to a potentially unsuspecting individual(s). Furthermore, while a person may not have intent to pull the trigger when pointing a gun at an individual, just the perceived threat creates the potential for serious injury or death, which falls right in line with a wanton endangerment charge."
The Sheriff also referenced KRS 13201, which states: A person is guilty of wanton endangerment in the first degree when, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, he wantonly engages in conduct which creates a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to another person.
Prather was charged with Wanton Endangerment—1st Degree (attempt), which is a felony. He was arrested on scene and lodged in Hart County Jail.
Edmonson County Property Value Administrator (PVA) Kyle White has released the following legal notice to all Edmonson County property owners. White said all owners greatly benefit from staying informed about his office and the different options available to them.
"The most common question we have is about the Homestead and Disability Exemptions," said White. "The amount remains unchanged from 2019, which is $39,300. A taxpayer who qualifies can receive up to this deduction if they qualify for one of the exemptions. For homestead, you have to be age 65 anytime in 2020, own, and occupy the home. For disability, you have to be 100% disabled and currently receive benefits for the entire year of 2020, while owning and occupying the home. The full deduction equals around $360.00 in savings for the taxpayer."
Brought to you by the Edmonson County PVA Office of Kyle White, Edmonson County Courthouse, PO BOX 37, Brownsville, KY, 42210. 270-597-2381.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Congressman Brett Guthrie (KY-02) voted against H.Con.Res. 83, Speaker Pelosi’s War Powers Resolution, which passed in the House on Thursday by a vote of 224-194. It was a vote that narrowly followed party lines. He released a statement yesterday afternoon on his vote:
“President Trump acted in America’s best interest when he ordered the strike that killed Iranian General Soleimani,” said Guthrie. “This afternoon, I voted against Speaker Pelosi’s War Powers Resolution that would undermine President Trump’s authority to protect American troops in the Middle East. This resolution fully ignores President Trump’s clear ongoing efforts to avoid war and bring Iran to the negotiating table, and it would further prevent President Trump from keeping our troops safe. I will continue to pray for our brave men and women abroad, and I stand ready to work with President Trump and my colleagues to negotiate with Iran on a deal that keeps our nation safe.”
The resolution is currently non-binding and will now go to the Senate for a final vote.
Sheriff Doyle Recommends, Offers Plans for Church Safety
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
Edmonson County Sheriff Shane Doyle is offering free safety assessments for local churches and is looking to meet with members to discuss church shootings and safety as a community service.
"A church used to be the one place that you could be safe no matter what, but unfortunately, that's now changing all over the country," said Sheriff Doyle. "While Edmonson County is still a different type of place compared to the rest of much of America, I feel very strongly about being educated in safety, as well as preparedness for action."
Doyle said that while no local mass shooting incidents have happened, local law enforcement still trains and has multiple plans in place in the event of such.
"We conduct real-life scenarios for school shootings, bus emergencies, and other tragedies," said the Sheriff. "None of us want to think about that happening in Edmonson County, but we have to be as ready as we can for it."
Sheriff Doyle said many local churches have already made changes to the way they assemble. Some by locking doors after services start, others by adding cameras and additional lighting, and some have even allowed the Sheriff to conduct safety training for their congregations.
"If we fail to plan, then we are planning to fail," he said. "We live in a day when we now have to ask, what would you do if someone came into your church and started shooting? Do you have any idea on what to do next? Without a plan, this situation becomes exponentially worse."
Doyle said he and other trained officers can meet with church leaders and/or members and answer questions regarding:
"Just because you may be a responsible gun owner isn't enough," he added. "And simply because you can legally carry a weapon doesn't mean you have a plan. I want to help our churches be better prepared in case of emergency."
For more information regarding local church safety, Doyle said to contact the Sheriff's Office at 270-597-2157 or the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office Facebook Page by private message.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
A Brownsville man has been arrested and faces sexual image-related charges after an investigation by Kentucky State Police.
KSP reported they arrested James S. Clinton III, (37) of Brownsville on charges related to Possess/View Matter Portraying Sexual Performance by a Minor. Clinton was arrested as the result of an investigation after KSP reportedly discovered he was in possession of sexually explicit images of a minor.
The investigation resulted in a search warrant at residences in Brownsville where equipment used to facilitate the alleged crime was seized. Equipment was taken for a forensic examination leading to the arrest of James Clinton, according to KSP.
Clinton has been charged with one (1) count of Possess/View Matter Portraying Sexual Performance by a Minor. He is currently lodged in the Hart County Jail.
The investigation is still ongoing and is being led by Trooper Michael Waggener.
Secretary of State Adams, Attorney General Cameron, Auditor Harmon, Treasurer Ball, and Commissioner of Agriculture Quarles Inaugurated
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Kentucky’s constitutional officers were sworn into their positions in an inaugural ceremony at the State Capitol on Monday morning. Secretary of State Michael G. Adams, Attorney General Daniel Cameron, Auditor of Public Accounts Mike Harmon, Kentucky State Treasurer Allison Ball, and Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles officially began their terms as elected officers upon taking the oath of office. Auditor Harmon, Treasurer Ball, and Commissioner Quarles were sworn in for their second terms, while Secretary Adams and Attorney General Cameron will begin their first full terms in office.
Secretary Adams, a Paducah native, is a nationally recognized election law attorney and has served on the Kentucky State Board of Elections. The Commonwealth's chief elections official, Adams strongly supports a photo identification law for Kentucky’s elections and vows to clean up the voter rolls.
"Thank you, Kentucky, for the trust you've placed in me,” Secretary Adams said. “As we open a new decade, we also turn a new page in the Secretary of State's Office. Joined by a strong staff, now I set forth to implement my platform and enhance Kentuckians' faith in our election process."
Attorney General Cameron is a Hardin County native and the first African American independently elected to statewide office in Kentucky’s history. He is a fierce advocate for the law enforcement community and has pledged to depoliticize the Office of the Attorney General and defend the laws of the Commonwealth.
“I am humbled by the confidence Kentuckians placed in me to serve as the Chief Law Enforcement Officer for the Commonwealth, and I will work every day to be a good steward of their trust,” said Attorney General Cameron. “As we enter this next decade, our public safety challenges must be met with determination and resolve, and I am committed to tackling the drug epidemic, protecting our most vulnerable, and fighting for a Kentucky that is safer for every man, woman, and child.”
Auditor Harmon looks forward to continuing the work of bringing good government to taxpayers. His motto, “Follow the Data,” has become synonymous with the work of the Auditor’s office, reflecting his objective to operate the office independently, without targeting anyone and without giving anyone a pass.
“During the last four years, my office has made historic strides and shed light on issues to improve how tax dollars are spent. A few examples of this include examinations of the Administrative Office of the Courts, the Kentucky Horse Park, the University of Louisville Foundation, KentuckyWired, and transparency compliance concerns with our public pension systems,” said Auditor Harmon. “Team Follow the Data has accomplished many things during my first term, but there is more work to be done. I am very appreciative of the people of Kentucky for giving us the opportunity to serve you for another four years.”
A Prestonsburg native, Treasurer Ball has advanced financial literacy across the Commonwealth and returned nearly $89 million in unclaimed property during her first term, more than any other presiding Treasurer in a single term.
“I’m grateful for the last four years as Treasurer and I look forward to continue serving Kentucky as a fierce watchdog of taxpayer dollars and making even greater strides in transparency and financial literacy throughout the Commonwealth,” Treasurer Ball said. “I will continue my commitment to fiscal responsibility and implementing common-sense economic policies.”
Dr. Ryan F. Quarles was first elected Agriculture Commissioner in 2015. Under his leadership, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) started several new programs, including initiatives to combat hunger and connect Kentucky farmers to new markets.
“Being Kentucky’s Commissioner of Agriculture has been a dream of mine since growing up on my family’s farm in Scott County, and it is a great honor and privilege to serve for a second term,” he said. “Major priorities for our farm families include expanding markets for our producers, investing in agriculture technology, and promoting agriculture across the state. I look forward to continuing to work for all of Kentucky in the years ahead.”
The new and returning officers were sworn into office surrounded by family and friends at a ceremony that included remarks from Governor Andy Beshear, prayer from Prestonsburg pastor Ron Ball and Elizabethtown pastor Jeffrey Noel, and musical performances by Mackenzie Bell of Horse Branch, Jeremiah Parker of Campbellsville University, and Miss Kentucky Alex Francke of Lexington.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
A three-week long investigation has led to the arrest of two Bee Spring residents after an undercover operation from the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, according to a press release.
Deputies reported that on Saturday, January 4, 2020, they conducted an undercover operation to take Erik Harley Anderson, 26 of Bee Spring, into custody on theft and forgery charges. Once in custody, deputies said they attempted to serve another felony warrant in the home when they located firearms and suspected drugs.
According to the Sheriff's Office, Anderson is a convicted felon and is not legally allowed to possess firearms. Deputies reportedly then got a search warrant for the residence and located multiple guns, drug paraphernalia, suspected methamphetamine and marijuana, as well as suspected stolen tools.
One firearm was reported stolen from Tennessee, according to the Sheriff's Office. Also charged was Sydney Sawyer, 19 of Bee Spring, who was allegedly using her social media account to assist Anderson in trafficking the stolen items.
Anderson was charged with Forgery 1st degree, Theft of Identity, Theft by Unlawful Taking over $500, as well as felony drug charges. Sawyer also faces various felony drug charges. The investigation is ongoing and more charges are expected.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
A Brownsville man was arrested tasered and charged with felony assault after Edmonson County deputies said they caught him in the act of strangling a woman on January 4, 2020.
The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office reported that county deputies and Brownsville City Police responded to 913 E. Hack Road to a third-party disturbance call. As officers arrived, they reported hearing a loud cry for help coming from inside the residence.
Officers entered the home and found Timothy D. McGrew, 60 of Brownsville actively assaulting the woman, according to a press release from the Sheriff's Office. Law enforcement said they ordered McGrew to cease his actions but he failed to do so which led to a deputy deploying a taser on McGrew, according to the release.
McGrew was arrested was taken into custody after complying with officer’s orders and charged with Assault 2nd degree, Strangulation 1st degree*, (both felonies), Resisting Arrest, and other misdemeanor charges.
*strangulation is a new felony assault charge that was signed into legislation in March, 2019
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Two individuals were arrested on C.L. Ray Road in the Pig Community on Thursday, January 2, 2020 when deputies attempted to serve an order and one individual tried escaping from a patrol cruiser.
According to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, deputies arrived at the residence to serve a civil inquest order, and upon arrival, two subjects ran to the back of the residence.
Deputies reported that they located the sought-after individual, identified as Kyra L. Holt, 27 of Smiths Grove, in a spare bedroom with more than ½ oz of suspected methamphetamine. Also located allegedly hiding in a closet was a Jacob D. Burton, 29 of Bowling Green. Burton was a fugitive from Warren County wanted on probation violation charges.
Both were charged with Trafficking in a Controlled substance 1st degree, 1st offense, Fleeing or Evading Police, 2nd degree (on foot), and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Holt was also charged with Escape 2nd degree for what deputies described as "efforts to exit a patrol cruiser while handcuffed and under arrest and fleeing from the scene." The Sheriff's Office reported that she was quickly placed back into custody. Both were lodged in the Hart County Jail.
Traffic Stop Leads To Arrest
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Two women were arrested in the Wingfield community on New Year's Eve after a routine traffic stop led to the discovery of drugs, according to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies said they conducted the traffic stop on December 31st on a gold Ford Taurus for suspected DUI in the Wingfield community. According to the Sheriff's Office, the driver was identified as Susan Y. Cherry, 57 of Bowling Green, and Theresa C. Short, 33 of Bowling Green was identified as the passenger.
Deputies reported that Short, the passenger, gave the deputy a false social security number. After receiving consent to search, deputies reportedly found a change purse in Cherry’s pocket which contained suspected methamphetamine and marijuana, according to the Sheriff's Office. Deputies said that due to the packaging and amount of the suspected meth, Cherry was charged with trafficking in meth, which is a felony. Short was also arrested on a warrant from Warren County.
An Edmonson County Grand Jury has returned the following indictments for December, 2019.
Note: An indictment is only a formal charge and is not an admission of guilt. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Francis Kennedy, Possession of firearm by convicted felon. Possession of handgun by convicted felon.
Chance N. Weed, Possession of controlled substance, first degree, first offense( meth). Tampering with physical evidence. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess.
Dakota W. Farris, Assault in the second degree. Menacing.
Rayburn D. Farris, Assault in the second degree. Menacing.
Charles Grindley, Possession of controlled substance first degree (meth). Wanton endangerment in the first degree. Leaving scene of accident- failure to render aid or assistance. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Criminal mischief in the third degree. Operating on suspended or revoked operators license.
William Brent Decker, Assault in the second degree. Burglary in the second degree.
Nathaniel Ryan, Sexual abuse in the first degree- victim under 12 years of age (twelve counts). Sexual abuse in the first degree (six counts). Rape in the second degree (three counts).
Alexandra Richardson, Murder. Assault in the first degree. Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol/drugs. Wanton endangerment in the first degree (twelve counts). Possession of controlled substance in the first degree (meth). Possession of marijuana. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Persistent felony offender in the second degree.
William Suttle, Possession controlled substance in the first degree (meth). Wanton endangerment in the first degree. Possession of marijuana. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess.
Christopher Russell, Operating motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol /drugs, fourth or greater offense. Operating motor vehicle on suspended or revoked license. Careless driving. Possession of controlled substance, second degree- codeine. Failure to produce insurance card. Possession of open alcohol container in motor vehicle. Prescription controlled substance not in original container. Persistent felony offender in the first degree.
Sandra L. Fabyan, Attempted murder. Assault in the first degree. Wanton endangerment in the first degree. Possession of handgun by convicted felon.
Mandy L. Phelps, Bail jumping in the first degree.
Scott Lane, Bail jumping in the first degree. Persistent felony offender in the first degree.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
A Wingfield man was found deceased early this morning in a house fire on William Simmons Road, according to Kentucky State Police.
According to KSP, at around 3:30 AM, Troopers were contacted by Edmonson County Dispatch in regards to a possible fatal residential fire at 2916 William Simmons Road in Edmonson County. Multiple fire departments responded to the scene and extinguished the residential fire.
Warren Kessinger (66) of Bowling Green was located deceased in the burnt residence. No foul play is suspected at this time.
The investigation is ongoing and being led by Arson Investigator Terry Scott. He was assisted on the scene by the KSP personnel, Edmonson County Coroner, Wingfield, Chalybeate, and Brownsville Fire Departments.