Representative Michael Lee Meredith (R), Oakland, has released a statement in reference to the recent pension reform, SB 151, according to both his Twitter and Facebook pages.
Scroll down to read the statement in it's entirety:
Over the last day and a half I've had many questions asked about the pension bill that passed the House early Thursday evening. I've answered several but thought it might be easier to address the issue here. I am not defending the process. I know many of you don't like the process and you certainly don't like the bill that was chosen as a vehicle. However, as a rank and file member, I don't get to make those decisions. The bill was 291 pages in total, but only a fraction of those pages were changes to current statute. The changes in the bill were underlined in bold print or were stricken through to be easily read. The text of the bill is also very similar to SB 1 which everyone has had weeks to study, but the effects of the bill are extremely different because of what was deleted from SB 1 in this reform package.
Photo Slideshow and Video
Darren Doyle, story: Madison Doyle, photos:
Somewhere between 10,000 and 12,000 eggs were vacuumed up by approximately 500 kids at today's annual community wide egg hunt, sponsored by Edmonson County Parks and Rec.
"We had a really good crowd and everyone seemed to have a great time today," said John Kiernan, program director for Parks and Rec.
Kiernan said he's always amazed at how fast the eggs are picked up.
"It's like a vacuum. You can just watch the line of kids move up and the eggs disappear."
More than 65 eggs contained special tickets inside that kids could trade for prizes, which included everything from chocolate rabbits to a BMX bike.
Kiernan said the annual event has become a staple of the community and is a success each year thanks to local organizations and volunteers that help Parks and Rec.
"So many people make this happen," he said. "We'd like to thank Brownsville Missionary Baptist Church, both the Chalybeate and Brownsville Fire Departments, the Corps of Engineers, KY State Police, ECHS for helping stuff the eggs, and the many, many volunteers that make this possible."
Enjoy the photos and videos below:
Madison Doyle, story and photos:
The Edmonson County High School Science Club hosted their annual Magic Show on Thursday, March 29, and Friday, March 30 in the high school auditorium. Members of the club took the stage to perform a series of different experiments, not only educated the audience in the science behind their experiments, but also put on great entertainment as well.
The science club came to existence last year, to “inspire the next generation and teach them that science is cool”, according to the club’s president, senior Mikayla Lindsey.
“We are very thankful for everyone that came out and supported us during the show. It’s an honor to be able to inspire the next generation of science lovers," said Paige Glass, science club member.
The club performed a total of five shows and said although they're exhausted from all of the hard work and practice, they enjoyed putting it on and would do it again, according to Lindsey. Members of the Science Club said they're happy to see improvements in the program and are thankful they were given this opportunity.
Lindsey also wanted to recognize several students for making the show successful. Paige Glass, Miranda Kennon, and Sam Steward were the backstage organizers and said “the show ran so smoothly because of them.” Kaleb Morgan was in charge of music and sound effects, who made the cues for every demonstration performed. Mr. and Mrs. Derek and Denise Stice were the “backbone of the whole show”, and were the sponsors of the program.
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Both the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office and the Brownsville Police Department became a bit more protected today, thanks to a donation of approximately $7,000 worth of bulletproof vests from In-Vest USA.
Michael Letts, President and CEO of In-Vest USA, a charitable organization in South Carolina, said the company's mission is to help raise awareness of the fact that thousands of law enforcement officers and first responders are not fully equipped to properly and safely do their jobs and to raise funds to distribute free vests and equipment to first responders in communities across America.
"I tell people all the time, when you're running away from danger, they're running towards it," said Letts. "The least we can do as Americans is to show our support and our gratitude by making sure they have the proper equipment that they need to come home safely to their families."
Tuck Jones, the company's volunteer chief of staff, who is from Cave City, said he overheard a conversation at an area gas station about the budget crunch in Edmonson County but that Sheriff Shane Doyle needed better vests for his office.
"I thought wow, this is right here in my front door so I reached out to Sheriff Shane Doyle," said Jones. "I called him and told him who I was and about our vests and he said they were in a budget crunch right now. I told him I wasn't worried about the budget and I just wanted to help him get vests. He says, 'seriously? Wow, God bless you,' and we were able to get things going. He called me back a few days later and said, 'hey, I hate to look a gift horse in the mouth, but our city police don't have any either,' and I said we'd work on that. Normally we can give two or three to a department, but we felt like we needed to equip both agencies and cover everybody and we were able to donate ten vests."
Sheriff Doyle said he was extremely thankful that both his office and the Brownsville PD was able to receive such a gift.
"I appreciate Tuck going to bat for us because this is not something we had in our budget," he said at the presentation. "For In-Vest USA to step in and fill that need for us, it's truly a blessing. Everyone of our people, we go to work every day trying to protect the people we serve here in our county and this is going to help us better to do that."
Doyle said he was also thankful that there are charitable organizations like In-Vest USA that give back, especially in today's hostile climate against law enforcement.
"We never know what we're going to encounter from one day to the next," Sheriff Doyle said. "Overall, we know that our folks here support law enforcement, but to see a company that's willing to help a small place like Edmonson County and Brownsville is a real blessing."
Brownsville Police Jeff Jewel said much of the same.
"In-Vest USA has come in and provided protection to every law enforcement officer we've got here. What else can you say? That's huge for us and this county." He pointed to the other officers standing nearby.
"This is my family. These are my kids. I mean, once again, thank you."
Letts also asked to dismiss the presentation in a word of prayer before meeting with the media. He asked God to bless the donation and all the law enforcement officers that would wear them.
Several other first responders attended the presentation today that was held in the downstairs courtroom in the county courthouse.
The vests are rated to stop not only handgun ammunition, but also high powered rifle rounds. Each vest costs anywhere from $500 to $700 each.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Edmonson County Judge Executive Wil Cannon was asked to swear in the new K.A.C.T.F.O 2019 Board Members by Joan Issacs, Pulaski County Treasurer and 2018 K.A.C.T.F.O President at the end of the 35th Annual K.A.C.T.F.O conference on Friday, March 31st.
The event was a three-day training conference in Somerset, KY that welcomed many County Treasurers and Finance Officers from all over the state of Kentucky, including Edmonson County Finance Officer Tammi Willhite, and Margret Page, County Treasurer.
Founded in 1983, The Kentucky Association of County Treasurers and Finance Officers, (K.A.C.T.F.O) is an organization devoted to coordinating the ongoing education, training and support of appointed financial officials in county government, statewide.
Arkansas and Tennessee Men Face Multiple Charges After Lindseyville Incident
Darren Doyle, story:
Two men have been arrested and face felony drug charges after they attempted to sell steaks door-to-door, according to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
The Sheriff's Office said they received a complaint on March 28th from a resident on Lindseyville Loop who said two men knocked on the resident's door but when the resident didn't answer, the men tried to open the door.
Authorities said they responded to the area where a neighbor gave a description of the vehicle and pointed law enforcement to a residence where the men were supposedly last seen. Deputies said they located the vehicle along with Christopher Brown, (49) of Smyrna, TN, and Bret Withers, (37) of Crossett, AR, where the men said they were selling steaks out of a freezer in their truck, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Deputies said they detected the odor of marijuana and a search of the truck resulted in the discovery of suspected marijuana, syringes, spoons with suspected meth residue, and a prescription blank for the drug Klonopin, a controlled substance which was prescribed to neither occupant.
Brown was arrested and charged with Public Intoxication of controlled substance (excludes alcohol), Possession of marijuana, Drug paraphernalia, and Illegal possession of a prescription blank for a controlled substance-1st offense.
Withers was arrested and charged with Possession of controlled substance-1st degree-drug unspecified, Possession of marijuana, Drug paraphernalia, and Public intoxication of controlled substance (excludes alcohol).
Both men were transported and lodged in the Hart County Jail. Each is being held on a $10,000 cash bond, according to jail records.
County's First Annual National Vietnam War Veterans Day Ceremony
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Brownsville DAV Chapter 32 hosted a solemn wreath ceremony today inside the Veterans Hall at the Edmonson County Courthouse in honor of National Vietnam War Veterans Day.
U.S. Senators Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., introduced legislation in 2017 to honor Vietnam Veterans with a day on the anniversary of the withdrawal of military units from South Vietnam, which was March 29, 1973. President Donald Trump signed the Vietnam War Veterans Day Act on March 28, 2017, calling for U.S. flags to be flown on March 29 for those who served.
DAV Auxiliary Commander Maurita Miller read a statement at today's ceremony that was attended by several local veterans and their family members. After DAV Commander Jack Hasty opened the ceremony with prayer, Mrs. Miller gave a brief history of the Vietnam war from a prepared statement.
"Casualties in Vietnam were 58,000 plus killed in action. 153,000 plus wounded. 1,948 listed as missing in action," she read from her statement. "As of April 2017, there are still 1,611 still missing."
She then honored the 12 Edmonson County residents which lost their lives in the Vietnam conflict by sharing their names and the year they passed:
Two local vets, Johnny Russell and Benny Durbin, carried a memorial wreath and an American flag from the south entrance of the hallway and placed them in the center during the ceremony.
Mrs. Miller said while the DAV didn't expect an overwhelming crowd, it was important to recognize Vietnam vets everywhere on this day, especially those from the area.
"We know this ceremony isn't as big as our annual Memorial Day program, but this isn't a day we need to let slip by," she said. "We need to show honor to these brave men and women every year."
DAV Commander Hasty, who served in Vietnam in 1966-67, said much of the same. "We have a lot of Vietnam veterans in Edmonson County and it's important that they're recognized."
Madison's Flowers donated the wreath used in today's ceremony. Several employees from courthouse offices also attended today's event.
Local Officer Named To National Award Recipient List For Heroic Act
Darren Doyle, story:
Local Parole and Probation Officer Josh Watt has been named a 2018 recipient of the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission Medal for his action at the scene of a horrific crash on June 26, 2017.
Officer Watt was credited for saving the life of James Allman and his 17 year old passenger, Alyssa L. Gore who were trapped upside down in a burning truck after the June 26, 2017 crash. Officer Watt cut the seat belt of Miss Gore, removing her from the burning truck and was able also pull Mr. Allman out of the truck while his clothes were on fire.
First reported by the Edmonson Voice on June 26th, news of the the heroic act of Officer Watt quickly spread around the region, state, and the country. Watt was soon recognized by multiple organizations and agencies and was recently named the state's VFW Police Officer of the Year.
The Edmonson Voice received a statement from the CHFC today announcing the news.
"Established April 15, 1904 by Andrew Carnegie, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission was created to recognize outstanding acts of selfless heroism performed in the United States and Canada," the statement said. "The Commission awards the CARNEGIE MEDAL to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others."
Officer Watt was among one of 18 recipients named today from across the U.S. and Canada. The heroes announced today are the first awards made in 2018 and bring to 10,009 the total number since the Pittsburgh-based Fund's inception in 1904. Commission Chair Mark Laskow said each of the awardees or their survivors will also receive a financial grant. Throughout the 114 years since the Fund was established by industrialist/philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, $39.9 million has been given in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance.
"I am honored to have been chosen for this," Watt told the Edmonson Voice.
According to the CHFC, Watt will receive his medal and an undisclosed financial grant at an upcoming ceremony. Watt lives in Chalybeate with his wife, Jordan, and his daughter Charlotte.
Jail Budget Increases By $24K, Much In Part To State Required Retirement Contributions
Darren Doyle, story:
The Edmonson County Fiscal Court approved the 2018-19 jail budget at today's meeting in the amount of $429,410.00, which is just over a 6% increase from last year's number of $404,750.
The amount has more than doubled over the past 6 years, mainly due to rising costs from Hart County Jail. It is the only regional jail that submitted a bid for Edmonson County last year. Jail budget increases this year have much to do with the state retirement contributions that were increased by the state government.
The contributions for state employee retirement from each county government are regulated at the state level which has been estimated to add an additional $76,000 this year across the board for all offices in Edmonson County.
In other fiscal court news, County Road Foreman Ray Page reported that his crews had been busy with road tiles and other projects, while wet weather had hindered their schedules. He also said backhoe and dirt work was being done, along with mowing/trimming, ditch work, and mailbox work. Crews are preparing for asphalt work that will begin any time.
Sheriff’s Report: Sheriff Shane Doyle said his office was preparing to host an active shooter training for county schools that would simulate an actual school shooting. While he said he hoped and prayed nothing like that would ever happen here, he wanted to make sure local law enforcement and school personnel were as prepared as they could possibly be. He also discussed the increased time from the school resource officer, which is also chief deputy, Jeff Brooks. The school pays for the school resource officer through the Sheriff's Office and has increased Brooks' time on school property. He also said that Supt. of Schools Patrick Waddell is working with the Sheriff's Office to try to add another part time school resource officer in another school. Both organizations are working to make it happen but the funding must come from the school system.
Jailer Report: Jailer Hank Vincent reported there were 24 current county inmates at Hart County Jail with on home incarceration.
County Clerk Report: County Clerk Kevin Alexander discussed new county finance officer Tammi Willhite's excellent work on some recent telephone billing issues faced by his office and thanked her publicly. He said his office was preparing for the upcoming primary election which is scheduled for May 22, 2018. He also noted that his office will be closed, this Friday and Saturday (Good Friday) because of the state holiday. He noted that when a holiday falls on Friday they are normally closed Saturday as well because the other offices with which they work in conjunction are also closed.
Tourism and Chamber Report: Tourism and Chamber Director Rhonda Clemmons reminded the court about the upcoming Trail Town meeting scheduled for Thursday, March 29th at the Edmonson County Library on Ferguson St. Refreshments will begin at 6 pm and a presentation at 6:30 pm by Helen Siewers of the Cave Country Trails group that will show the work of the UK Landscape Architecture students who worked on the project about Brownsville for the past six months.
The court also approved a host of upcoming conferences and reports from other county offices.
The next fiscal court meeting is scheduled for April 9, 2018 at 9am.
Electronics Allegedly Stolen From House
Darren Doyle, story:
A Brownsville man is facing a felony theft charge after being arrested as a result of a complaint last week.
According to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, they received a complaint that Ricky N. Mullikin (24), of Brownsville had stolen multiple electronic items from a residence where he had stayed the night before on March 21st.
As a result of an investigation, the Sheriff's Office obtained an arrest warrant for Mullikin the next day. The theft victim was able to tip the Warren County Sheriff's Office as to where Mullikin could be found and he was located in Warren County and arrested by the WC Sheriff's Office on the outstanding warrant, according to officials.
Mullikin was charged with Theft by unlawful taking over $500/under $10,000. He was transported and lodged in the Hart County Jail where two, $500 cash bonds are listed.
The case is still under investigation and the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office is still seeking info in this case, specifically if anyone has purchased items from Mullikin. You can contact the Sheriff's Office at 270-597-2157.
Darren Doyle, story:
The University of Kentucky College of Education is recognizing Kelly Rich as a "Teacher Who Made a Difference."
Mrs. Rich was nominated by colleague Mrs. Charla Caudill, ECMS Media Specialist, for reasons Mrs. Caudill said was because of "her dedication to our students and staff."
"She comes in early on most days to help supervise students who arrive early to school," said Mrs. Caudill. "She volunteered to go to Marshall County after the shooting to assist with counseling students and support their staff. I could tell when she returned that the Marshall County work was hard for her, but she came back to our school ready to do her job."
The recognition ceremony to honor teachers who made a difference in the lives of their students will be held at the Woodford Reserve Club at Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky on Saturday, April 21, 2018.
Mrs. Kelly is the guidance counselor at Edmonson County Middle School.
"She is a great educator and she deserves the recognition," said Mrs. Caudill.
The Edmonson County Water District has officially lifted the boil water advisory issued on March 22, 2018 for customers south of the Green River.
Water samples were deemed safe by the KY Division of Water on Saturday, March 24, 2018, according to the Edmonson County Water District.
You can contact the local office with any questions at 270-597-2165.
Advisory Hopes To Be Lifted On Saturday, Depending On Samples
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
A boil water advisory for Edmonson County Water District customers south of the Green River was put in place on Thursday, March 22, 2018.
Tony Sanders, General Manager contacted the Edmonson Voice today and said that repairs have been made and that water samples had been taken and are being tested now. Once the samples are approved for safety the advisory will be lifted.
Sanders was hopeful that the advisory would be lifted sometime Saturday but that would depend on the sample test results.
Brownsville City Customers Not Affected, Excluding ECHS Softball Field
The Edmonson County Water District is issuing a Boil Water Advisory for all customers south of the Green River, as of 4:26pm on Thursday, March 22, 2018, according to Tony Sanders, General Manager of the Edmonson County Water District.
"The potential exists for bacteriological contamination due to a break in a main pumping line," said Sanders. "Customers of the City of Brownsville and customers on the North side of Green River are not affected at this time. We will take samples tomorrow and lift the advisory as soon as possible."
The Water District said they would notify the public as soon as the advisory is lifted. Anyone with questions is advised to call the Water District office at 270-597-2165.
Edmonson District Court was held on Tuesday, March 13, 2018. The Honorable Judge John M. McCarty presiding.
Pedro Sanchez, Jr., No/expired registration plates. No/expired KY registration receipt. Failure to produce insurance card. Failure to wear seat belts. Court notice: two weeks, 3/27/18.
Brian K. Yanders, Convicted felon in possession of firearm. Cultivation of marijuana-5 or more plants-first offense. Traffic in marijuana-8oz to less than 5lbs-first offense. Possession of marijuana. Pleaded not guilty to all charges. Pretrial hearing 3/20/2018.
Andrea J. Eastman, Possession controlled substance-first degree-first offense (meth). Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial hearing 4/24/18.
William E. Suttle, Possession of marijuana. Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess. Hindering prosecution or apprehension 2nd degree. Failed to appear, bench warrant issued: $1,000.
Saleh Ali Alajmi Nasel, No operator's/moped license. Continue in two weeks.
Jared K. Mattingly, No/expired registration plates. Dismissed. No/expired KY registration receipt. Dismissed. Failure to or improper signal. Deferred 6 months.
Sara N. Alfaro, Speeding. Pleaded not guilty. No operator/moped license. Had license from Texas. Failure to produce insurance card. Pretrial conference 4/24/18.
Christopher Michael Jones, No/expired registration plates. Pleaded guilty, fined $150. Failure to produce insurance card. Dismissed. Total costs: $293.
Lindsey L. Hart, Operating motor vehicle under influence of alcohol/drugs. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial conference, 3/27/18.
Amy Botts, No/expired registration plates. Amend to all others. Failed to appear, notice sent to dept. of transportation. No/expired KY registration receipt.
Ronald G. Dunn, Jr., Convicted felon in possession of firearm. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial hearing 3/20/18.
Caleb C. Dunn, Possession of controlled substance-first degree-first offense meth. Fleeing or evading police-first degree (on foot). Convicted felon in possession of firearm. Wanton endangerment police officer-first degree. Operating vehicle with expired operator's license. Tampering with physical evidence. Trafficking in controlled substance, first degree, first offense, 2 grams or more of meth. Pleaded not guilty to all charges. Pretrial hearing 3/20/18.
Elvis Lindsey, Menacing. Continue in two weeks.
Katie Jaggers, Operating motor vehicle under influence of alcohol/drugs. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial conference 5/22/18. Will sign order for medical records from hospital.
Kenneth J. Kitchens, Operating motor vehicle under influence of alcohol/drugs. Failure to produce insurance card. Criminal mischief-third degree. Pleaded not guilty to all charges. Pretrial conference 5/22/18.
Edmonson District Court was held Tuesday, March 20, 2018. The Honorable Judge Rebecca Ward presiding.
Mohammed Alkandery, No operator/moped license. No/expired other state registration receipt. Bench warrant issued.
Larry Joe Cherry, Failure to wear seat belt. Improper/no windshield. Failed to appear. Bench warrant issued.
Saad Mohammed Alyami, Failure of owner to maintain required insurance/security first. No/expired registration plates. No/expired KY registration receipt. Permit unlicensed operator to operate motor vehicle. Failed to appear. Bench warrant issued.
Roger D. Clark, Failure of owner to maintain required insurance/security first. Continue 4/3/18.
John Michael Wilkins, Harassing communications. Deferred per agreed order for 6 months. No contact, no communication with cw.
Cody Alexander Carneyhan, Speeding 18mph over limit. Deferred 60 days. Failure to produce insurance card. Dismissed.
James David Johnson*, Convicted felon in possession of firearm. Convicted felon in possession of handgun. Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess. Pleaded not guilty to all charges. Pretrial hearing 4/3/18. Ordered no firearms. *(not the James David Johnson of Poplar Springs Road, according to a family member)
Darrell T. Decker, Alcohol intoxication in public place-first and second offense. Possession open alcohol beverage container in motor vehicle. Drinking alcohol beverage in public place-first and second offense. Pleaded not guilty to all charges. Pretrial conference 4/2/18.
Tambra Renee McCartney, Assault 4th degree domestic violence minor injury. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial conference 4/3/18.
Joshua Aaron Cook, No/expired registration plates. No/expired KY registration receipt. Both charges dismissed.
Richard O. Burton, No/expired registration plates. No/expired KY registration receipt. Both charges dismissed.
Kim Lee Filback, One headlight. Operating on suspended/revoked license. Display/possession of cancelled/fictitious operator's license. Pleaded not guilty to all charges. Continue 4/3/18.
Randy Lee Meador, Theft by deception-including cold checks under $500. Continue 4/3/18.
Bart A. Houchin, Operating motor vehicle under influence of alcohol/drugs-first offense. Pleaded Possession controlled substance first degree, first offense meth. Possession of marijuana. No/expired registration plates. Failure to produce insurance card. Possession of controlled substance-second degree-drug unspecified. Pleaded not guilty to all charges. Continue 3/27/18.
Edmonson County School Superintendent Patrick Waddell has announced that there will be no school on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 due to hazardous road conditions.
This will be NTI Day number five for students.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
The Edmonson County Middle School Academic Team has finished third in the overall Governor's Cup Competition, for the second consecutive year.
The ECMS Quick Recall Team has also finished second in the Governor's Cup Quick Recall State Championship today after falling to Johnson County 35-33. It makes the second year in a row that the team has competed in the state finals.
The Quick Recall team won their pool play on Sunday morning, beating both Powell County (37-9) and Russell Independent (32-22).
Later in the day, they defeated Casey County 38-9 in their final game on Sunday, where they advanced to the Sweet 16 in State Governor’s Cup competition.
Today began with ECMS defeating Noe Middle School 47-21 in their opening state Governor's Cup match. They advanced to the Elite Eight and defeated Calloway County 42-17, which shot them to the state's final four.
There, they rolled over Campbell County, 38-25 which landed them in the state Quick Recall Finals where they fell to Johnson County.
In addition to the Quick Recall team's solid performance and the third overall finish for the team, several individuals were ranked in the top ten their overall state performances.
Seventh grader Jonas Miller took home the honor of finishing #1 in the entire state for Social Studies. He also finished 4th in Arts & Humanities. Eighth grader Meredith Hennion finished 6th in Language Arts and Brody Johnson, a seventh grader, finished 10th in Arts and Humanities and tied for 9th in Language Arts. Gavin Dooley was ranked #8 in General Knowledge.
ECMS Principal Brandon Prunty spoke with the Edmonson Voice about the exceptional performance from the team. "The quick recall team play throughout the weekend was amazing," he said. "They did an awesome job to finish as state runner up for the second year in a row. Additionally, the individual effort from Meredith, Jonas, and Brody in their written tests was wonderful."
Coaches were unavailable for comment at the end of competition but the Edmonson Voice will be following up with a special recap presentation of their season in an upcoming feature.
"To see each individual on the team contribute to an overall 3rd Place finish in the Governor’s Cup standings makes me very proud of the ECMS Academic Team and their coaches," Principal Prunty continued. "Greg, Robin, Nick, and Alan give these kids so much of their time. I’m glad to see the coaches and kids rewarded for all their hard work."
The team is inviting the public to meet on the square around 8pm as local emergency vehicles will lead a short parade around the courthouse square, weather permitting. Stay connected to the Edmonson Voice Facebook and Twitter pages for updates.
Superintendent Says “Better Safe Than Sorry”
Darren Doyle, story:
Superintendent Patrick Waddell has confirmed that the incident involving what was first announced as a threat has now ended.
He said earlier this morning, they received an anonymous tip that an ECMS student had an apparent hit list. The student was removed from the school bus and questioned.
After investigation in conjunction with the Sheriff’s Office and the Brownsville PD, the school confirmed there was no list, no weapons, or nothing else discovered to be a credible threat.
”We appreciate the information we were given,” said Waddell. “We investigate all matters like this. At this time, this perceived threat is over. Our view is that it’s better to be safe than sorry.”
Waddell said no charges or disciplinary actions are being directed at the student at this time.
”We also want to thank our Sheriff’s Office, the Brownsville Police, and our School Resource Officer for their work during this incident.”
All Students Confirmed Safe At This Time
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County Superintendent of Schools Patrick Waddell has announced that the school system is currently investigating an alleged threat made by an Edmonson County Middle School student.
Waddell said that school officials were made aware of the situation early this morning and that the student was immediately removed from the school bus. He said the student is under investigation by school authorities and that the school is currently working with both the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office and the Brownsville City Police.
Mr. Waddell confirmed that all students were safe and there was no need for parents to be concerned at this time.
*This article was updated on 3/15/18 at 10:10am: An earlier version of this article said there was an apparent "hit list." Supt. Waddell has confirmed there was no "hit list" discovered. He said there were reports of such a list but they have confirmed the reports to be false.
Part Of Ongoing Plan To Reinvest In Program and Park
Darren Doyle, story:
The Edmonson County Babe Ruth Baseball/Softball Board has announced the addition of a one dollar admission charge for non-coaches and players ages 17 and up during the 2018 Spring/Summer season as part of an ongoing initiative to build and reinvest back into the program.
In a meeting with league coaches on Saturday, March 10, board members discussed the financials of last year's season and provided documentation referencing all income and expenses.
Simply put, the entire program operates on nearly an $8,000 loss on the income of player registration fees alone. Each player is required to pay a $55 registration fee (or $50 each if more than one player per household) to participate in the season. The 2017 season consisted of 261 paid players according to the report.
Thanks to donations and other fundraising methods, the park is able to operate just above the break-even point. An additional $9,655.58 was generated last year as a result of donations, sponsorships, all-star tournament revenue, and concessions. The concessions counted for more than half of the additional income at $5,358.03.
According to the report provided to each coach, nearly $5,000 has been directly invested back into the program, specifically with improvements to HWY 70 Sports Complex since 2016 for the following:
2016/2017: Batting Cages………………………………………….………… $2,509.86 (material cost only, labor was donated)
2016/2017: Bull Pens……………………………………………………….….. $350.64
2017: Dry Line Marker (Chalk Machine)……………………………….. $246.00
2017: Popcorn Machine (Hwy. 70 Concession Stand)…………... $351.98
2017: Snow Cone Machine (Hwy. 70 Concession Stand)……….. $445.23
2017/2018: Pitching Mounds and Field 3 & 4 Cubbies………….. $803.02
According to board president Michael Meredith, the new admission charge is a sensible way for the program to raise additional funds to provide a better experience for all players by improving facilities and the overall program. He said this will provide the board a better opportunity to invest even more back into the leagues and facilities.
He also noted that coaches and players will not be charged any admission and all other kids 16 and under are free. The charge will be for ages 17 and up at one dollar per person. You can also choose the park's "Season Pass," for a flat fee of $20 per person. While most $20 passes would exceed the total amount of games for a season (normally 12 games--$12 per person, per season) the extra would be a donation to the program.
While some parents have complained that Edmonson County programs offer far less than bordering county programs, other programs sometimes charge more than $100 per player. Feedback from the public has regularly indicated that a large majority of parents and guardians aren't willing to pay that much for little league play here.
This year's league baseball/softball board members are:
President ‐ Michael Meredith, Vice President - Chris Webb
Secretary – Lori Alexander, Treasurer – Stewart Lich
Publicity Director – Chad Clemmons, Fundraising Coordinator – Matt Richardson,
Equipment Manager – Shawn McCombs
All board positions are completely volunteer and no member gets paid for their services. Practices will begin this week for all baseball and softball leagues and the annual League Jamboree, which will kick off the season, is scheduled for Saturday, April 14th.
Board Allows Parent To Address Concerns, Safety Measures Discussed
Moriah Peterson, story and photos: firstname.lastname@example.org
Safety was a topic of concern at Monday's school board meeting, held at Edmonson County High School. Student parent Marty Cassady of Chalybeate, who also has deep family roots in education and the Edmonson County School District, spoke before the board about “keeping all options on the table when it comes to protecting our children.”
Moments before Mr. Cassady spoke, High School Principal Tommy Hodges played a video that recapped the school year at the high school. The presentation was mostly a slideshow of pictures but the last clip was a video of Edmonson County students shouting that they are “Marshall Strong,” which was a reference to the Marshall County, Kentucky school shooting that took place in January.
Cassady’s opening statement to the school board was “I never want to hear another county saying they are Edmonson Strong.” He continued by saying, “I’m looking for preventative measures to discourage violence as well as active measures to confront the violence within seconds if heaven forbid, it were to occur.”
Cassady also referenced a recent Edmonson Voice Poll that asked, “Would you feel that Edmonson County schools would be safer if a selected number of teachers and staff were armed?” 66% of those voting said 'YES.'
During the meeting, Superintendent Patrick Waddell referenced 28 different safety measures that are in the process of being implemented into Edmonson County schools to increase school safety. Some of which are already in place. These processes are categorized by training, procedural, and items purchased to increase safety.
Specifics included door buzzers that would require all visitors to buzz in before entering the school, safety film for the windows, all interior doors remaining locked, and the school resource officer’s hours have already been increased to full time. The officer will be present during lunch hours and will monitor halls during class transitions.
The board concluded by saying they always appreciate when people bring those concerns to the board, as that's the reason they are there.
"I think Mr. Cassady had valid points and school safety and the safety of our kids has always been a priority,” said Mr. Waddell. “We feel that we have a safe school district and we feel that we have staff that would do anything in their power to protect our students. We encourage parents to check social media accounts and that if anyone sees inappropriate content or has concerns that they report it to myself, any board member, and school staff. We do stay in touch with Sheriff Shane Doyle and we investigate everything that is brought to our attention.”
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Local law enforcement is crediting an anonymous tip for information that led to two felony arrests yesterday after a foot pursuit in the Family Dollar parking lot in Brownsville.
The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office said they received a call yesterday from someone who reported they heard two individuals discussing selling drugs and gave a description of a their vehicle. The Sheriff's Office said they found a 2005 silver Cadillac that matched the caller's description at Family Dollar.
According to the Sheriff, officers attempted to make contact with the driver and passenger of the vehicle, who had reportedly exited the vehicle and were headed toward the store's entrance. Deputies said when they attempted to speak with the two individuals, one immediately fled on foot behind the store.
The Sheriff's Office said that after a brief foot chase, one suspect was found hiding in a shed on private property behind the Cee Bee Food Store. A Sheriff's Deputy reported that during the chase, the suspect, who was identified as Caleb Dunn, (24) of Roundhill, dropped several items including a needle, what appeared to be a pipe, and a plastic bag. Dunn was placed under arrest and two of the dropped items were recovered, according to the Sheriff, including a needle and what is suspected to be a bag of meth.
*The Sheriff's Office also credited Brownsville Police for helping in the pursuit and the apprehension of the suspect. He said the BPD also conducted surveillance on the suspect's car before contact was made.
A search of the area where the suspect was found resulted in the discovery of a crumpled $20 bill that also contained suspected meth inside, according to officials.
The other individual, Ronald Dunn, Jr., (52) of Roundhill, was detained by Sheriff Shane Doyle when the pursuit began, according to the Sheriff's Office. A search of the vehicle was also conducted where law enforcement discovered more needles and a .22 rifle. The sheriff's office said both individuals were convicted felons from previous cases.
The Sheriff's Office said that $6,293 in cash, multiple needles, five grams of methamphetamine, a rifle, and cell phones were seized in the case, which is still under investigation. Caleb Dunn's vehicle was also seized.
Caleb Dunn was arrested and charged with:
Ronald Dunn, Jr., was charged with Possession of firearm by convicted felon.
Sheriff Shane Doyle said the arrest would not have likely happened if not for the anonymous caller.
"We had a cautious citizen who overheard a conversation that raised some red flags and called us," he said. "As a result, we were able to get more drugs off our streets."
Also assisting was the Brownsville Police Department. Both men were transported and lodged in the Hart County Jail.
*This article was updated on 3/13/18 after an update from the Sheriff. "I apologize for failing to mention the role that the Brownsville Police played in this case," he said. "This case wouldn't have happened without them."
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Edmonson County Ambulance Service recently put into service a new Physio-Control LifePak 15 Cardiac Monitor/Defibrillator, according to a release from their Brownsville Office.
This device allows paramedics to monitor a patient’s heart rhythm, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and carbon dioxide levels; perform cardiac pacing, cardioversion, and defibrillation; and obtain and transmit 12-Lead EKGs to the receiving hospital ER, cardiac cath lab, and on-call cardiologist, according to the statement.
These capabilities allow for early intervention for a patient suffering a heart attack and can help reduce or prevent damage to the heart. The capability to obtain and transmit 12-Lead EKGs allow the patient in most cases to bypass the emergency room and go directly to the cardiac cath lab when the on-call cardiologist determines that a cardiac cath is necessary.
This can greatly reduce the time from initial patient contact to definitive treatment, and can drastically reduce the severity of a heart attack.
Ambulance Service Director Keith Sanders said the total project price was $37,875 with $32,000 coming from grant money from the Department of Homeland Security via the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security Grant Program.
County Reports Given, Local ATV Park Reopens
Darren Doyle, story:
Several items were discussed at today's fiscal court meeting, such as the Memorial Road Ordinance first reading and the Road Department's wrecker purchase.
Various county offices also gave individual reports, including County Road Foreman Ray Page who discussed last night's snowfall that resulted in Edmonson County Schools being closed today. He said road crew members reported to work at 3am this morning and began plowing roads around 4am. He also said that snowfall amount ranged anywhere from 3 inches all the way up to 6 inches in some places near the forks of the river.
Sheriff’s Report: Sheriff Shane Doyle said that his office had made seven different felony arrests over a short period of time, with one case that involved the identity theft arrest case that included fraudulent credit cards and money orders on February 28th. He said the case has now been turned over to federal authorities. He also spoke briefly about the car that crashed under the Brownsville Bridge.
Jailer Hank Vincent reported that there were 28 Edmonson County inmates currently housed in the Hart County Jail with one on home incarceration. He said the number was elevated slightly due to more drug related charges, with some as a result of child support violations.
Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Director Rhonda Clemmons updated the court regarding items discussed by the local tourism board. Plans are in the works for the possibility of new signs around town pointing to boat ramps and other river access. She announced that the next Trail Town meeting is scheduled for March 29 at the public library at 6pm that will feature a University of Kentucky landscape and architectural designs presentation. Chamber membership still ongoing and those interested can visit edmonsonchamber.com for more info.
Clemmons also noted that Blue Holler ATV Park has reopened, but with a balance of around $1,000 in unpaid county recreational taxes from their previous attempt at running the park a couple years ago. She said she had been in contact with the managers and a plan has apparently been put in place for the taxes to be paid.
Judge Wil Cannon said he and Sheriff Doyle recently visited the park to discuss previous issues that had some area residents upset. Cannon said there was an excessive amount of traffic around the park, which blocked some roadways in the area.
Cannon said park managers are working on solutions for the traffic problems and Sheriff Doyle said his office didn't receive any complaint calls over this past weekend. Magistrate Johnny Brooks said managers are also planning for the purchase of a new entrance which should take care of the congestion. He also said someone from the park is also considering purchasing a street-sweeper to help with mud that is being left on the roadways.
Judge Cannon said the park is supposed to have their back taxes paid when they pay their new taxes for their first quarter.
The court also heard from the Edmonson County Conservation District, who requested a 2% increase in funding from the county from last year's budget. Last year's amount of $19,400 was increased to a $19,800 amount for the new budget. The motion passed.
The fiscal court also:
Cannon said he asked for two picnic shelters, trash cans, fencing around the grassy areas, and possibly a bike rack for trail riders in the area. He said there is already a ramp for paddle craft.
He said KY F&W plans on leasing the entire property to the county at no cost and the county will maintain the property.
The next fiscal court meeting is scheduled for March 26, 2018 at 9am.
Court Also Approves Bid To Purchase Wrecker For County Road Department
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Magistrates voted to pass the first reading of a county ordinance which would allow county roads to be memorialized for fallen soldiers who died in battle. The ordinance, named EC18-11, gives veterans' families the opportunity to memorialize a county road on which the fallen veteran lived by purchasing a road sign that would display the soldier's name, rank, branch of service, and other military related information.
The ordinance came about after some citizens on Noah Bledsoe Road in Chalybeate requested to memorialize the road in honor of fallen Vietnam veteran Elzie Sanders, Jr. in December of 2017.
The ordinance states that the name of the road would not change but the memorialization would be in an addition to the already named county road. An example would be a "Sgt. John Doe Memorial Road" (or similar) sign mounted at both ends of a county road, funded by the family of "John Doe," providing the ordinance was followed in full.
Some of the regulations include: the fallen soldier must have been a resident of the county and lived on the particular county road for request, must have died in battle with documented proof of service provided, the sign dimension guidelines must be followed, and the county road department must be in charge of the sign installation. The first reading passed unanimously.
The county also officially opened sealed beds for the purchase of a 5-ton wrecker for the county road department where the Memphis Equipment Company was the only company to submit a bid. They offered a 5-ton wrecker truck, completely refurbished with new fluids, belts, hoses, a new brake system, batteries, tires with at least 70% available treadwear, new upholstery, and minor body, paintwork, and graphic design.
It is powered with a Cummins diesel engine, Alison transmission., 24V electric system, 20Klb front winch, 45Klb rear winch, for a total price of, $36,000 delivered to Brownsville.
Judge Wil Cannon explained why the purchase was possible in the midst of tight budget conditions.
"These funds come from our road fund, which originates from our state gas tax," he said. "A portion comes back to each county and that money can’t be spent anywhere else but for our roads, the equipment related to our road department and road maintenance, and the trucks they use."
He said none of that money can be spent for needs from any other county office, including the Sheriff, Parks, and Rec, the Community Center, etc.
He also explained that the county's snow plow trucks are not four wheel drive and when they get stuck in winter weather, a wrecker bill is a minimum of $750 per run; however, he said the county can no longer get commercial wreckers to respond to these calls.
Currently, when a truck becomes stuck, another road truck has to stop plowing or working elsewhere in an attempt to pull it out, which hinders the county's operation. The new wrecker will also be used on other county projects, not just during winter weather. A motion was made by Magistrate Edd Rich and seconded by Magistrate Johnny Brooks, which passed unanimously.