Darren Doyle, story and photos
The Edmonson County Chamber of Commerce hosted a spring luncheon today in honor of Bill and Cathy Canty for their 50 years of service to the people of Edmonson County while owning and operating the county's local printed newspaper, "The Edmonson News," or more commonly known as "The Gimlet." The Canty's retired and sold the paper to an outside company earlier in the year.
"We used to have a spring breakfast, but it didn't draw many people," said Chamber President, Megan Hance. "We wanted to honor the Canty's today with a luncheon instead of a breakfast with hopes of drawing more people. What a great crowd today."
The Canty's were presented a plaque commemorating their service to the people of Edmonson County by Chamber Board Member Bob Kleier. Both Bill and Cathy were very humbled and grateful to see the large crowd on their behalf.
"I told the Chamber not to do all this, there was no need," said Bill Canty. "But they didn't listen to me, so here were are," he joked. Canty said it had been a great privilege to bring the news to Edmonson County over the past 50 years and credited his wife, Cathy for their success.
Cathy became emotional as she addressed the crowd. "When Bill brought me here 40 years ago, I didn't know anyone," she said. "I cried every night because I was a stranger to everyone and everything. But now I look over this crowd today and see nothing but friends, and I love you so much."
The Chamber also launched a brand new website today, EdmonsonChamber.com, that is a much updated version of the old site. The new site now offers online purchasing of memberships along with a fresh, new look. The new site was built by Studio DD Media, the parent company of EdmonsonVoice.com.
The Chamber also recognized Mrs. Lorama Davis, who voluntarily maintained the former website for the Chamber for the past 11 years.
Editor's note: Bill and Cathy Canty have always been dear friends of mine, as well as mentors. Bill often encouraged me when first starting EdmonsonVoice.com and always complimented our work. We shared information and helped each other weekly. The Canty's presence will be missed around the county, and we here at the Edmonson Voice thank them both for their contributions to our communities over the years and we wish them a very happy and lengthy retirement. --Darren Doyle
Darren Doyle, story and photo
A potentially life threatening incident ended peacefully at the home of Michael Miller, 55, of Bee Spring on Wednesday, April 6th, after he called law enforcement and claimed that someone was going to be killed at the home within a few minutes.
Deputy Jordan Jones, along with Sgt. Nathan Dennis of the Brownsville Police Department, responded immediately and upon arrival, they located two juveniles and three adults in the home.
According to officials, officers evacuated the home, removing the two juveniles and the other two adults, all while being threatened to be shot by Miller. Multiple officers from the Sheriff's Office, Police Department, and KSP responded.
It was reported that Sheriff Shane Doyle and Deputy Stoney Phillips then entered the home to attempt to make contact with Miller. Deputy Phillips, who is a trained hostage/crisis negotiator, was able to make contact with Miller, eventually getting Miller to give up and seek treatment for his issues.
"This was a clear case of someone wanting to commit 'suicide by cop'," Doyle said. "Our objective is always to keep people safe, while also attending to people who need help. Mr. Miller clearly needed help, although he definitely didn't go about requesting it the right way."
Sheriff Doyle commended the responding officers on their work. "Our officers couldn't have done a better job responding to this situation. The initial responding officers risked their lives to save those kids, and we also had several officers respond who weren't working or even on call. I appreciate the sense of service that all of our deputies and police officers have," Doyle said.
Although no shots were fired and the incident ended quietly, Sheriff Doyle said his office is currently seeking charges against Miller and are now pending.
County Officials were pleased with Saturday's turnout and proceeds at the county property surplus auction, held at the county garage and sheriff's office.
A total of $16,162.78 was raised at the sale which included two dump trucks, nine police cruisers, and several odds-and-end items, including an antique safe that was estimated to weigh over 1000 pounds.
"We had no use for those items," said Judge Wil Cannon, "so we're happy to get what we got at the sale."
Darren Doyle, story and photo
A representative from Scott Waste said a car battery has been determined as the cause of the fire that caused one of their garbage trucks to ignite last week while on route.
The driver and a passenger of the truck noticed smoke and flames coming from the truck and they were forced to empty the burning contents onto the road. The Scott rep. commended the Bear Creek Fire Department for their quick response.
He also said the mess has been cleaned up other than some small pieces of the melted plastic on the road. County Road Foreman Ray Page said his crew would check it out to make sure everything was ok.
Apparently the terminals of the batteries made electric connection with other materials which sparked the blaze.
Darren Doyle, story and photo
After a lengthy discussion in today's fiscal court meeting, magistrates voted to move forward with the purchase of three brand new trucks for the Edmonson County Road Department with approval in the amount around $300,000.
County Road Foreman Ray Page addressed the court back in January of the dire need he said his department faced with the worn out trucks his crew had been using. He presented examples of three used trucks that were fully equipped for snow and other usage for around $225,000 for all three.
During the discussion, none of the magistrates nor the Judge disputed that the department needed newer trucks, the main point of the issue became whether the county would be better off purchasing brand new vehicles versus used ones.
Judge Cannon noted that Page's preference and professional opinion should be heavily relied upon, and Page said he had no preference. He said his department would be happy with either way the court voted, as either option would make a world of difference with his crew.
New trucks will cost the county around $5K/mo, while used ones would cost around $4K/mo, anywhere between a 5-7 year period, depending on interest rates and down payments.
Mag. Mark Woosley was one of the first in favor of new trucks. He said his reasons for the new trucks would be a better interest rate, warranty availability, and likely less down time for repairs and maintenance. Magistrates Johnny Brooks and Clark Wood agreed.
Magistrate Joe Durbin felt like used trucks would be the better fit for the county's budget, and that good used trucks would still be very reliable. Magistrate Buck Simmons agreed with Durbin.
After discussion, the court came to vote, resulting in Magistrates Woosley, Brooks, Wood, and Rich voting for new, while Joe Durbin and Buck Simmons voted against. The vote for new trucks passed.
Each district will pay a percentage of their road money towards the monthly payment based on the amount each district receives. Districts that have more mileage of paved roads receive more funding, therefore, they'll pay more towards the payment, but each district will pay an equal percentage.
Judge Wil Cannon said the purchase will not be made until July, so until then, Page will continue researching the options and features that will best suit the road department.
Edmonson Voice Staff
Judge Executive Wil Cannon along with other county officials and members of Edmonson County Social Services proclaimed April "National Child Abuse Prevention Month" in Edmonson County today.
The proclamation said that almost 700 child abuse cases are reported in the BRADD Area each year, with 44 of those being reported in Edmonson County, affecting 60 children.
The proclamation further read, "We, the City of Brownsville, and the county of Edmonson, Kentucky, do hereby proclaim the month of April, 2016 as National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and hereby call upon all residents of Brownsville and Edmonson County to observe this month by continuing to build awareness and a network of awareness in this community that can better address the needs of families and children in distress."
Edmonson Voice Staff
Three meth labs were busted and two men were arrested on meth charges Saturday night as local law officials acted on an anonymous child welfare call on Louisville Road near Bluebird Valley.
Dispatch received the anonymous call with reports of a toddler living with adults in a residence with no electricity, water, or heat. Dispatch reported that the caller suspected drug activity at the residence as well. The Edmonson County Sheriff's office along with the KY State Police responded to 18275 B Louisville Road around 9pm on Saturday, April 9, 2016, and found a man at the back of the residence with a flashlight. The man, James M. Harper, of Smiths Grove, reportedly gave officers permission to come inside.
Officials said there was no electricity to the home so everyone was using flashlights. They also reported the very strong odor of Coleman Fuel, a key ingredient in making meth, inside the house and that Harper told the officers he was home alone. Officials asked to look around and they reported that Harper consented to a search.
During a search, officials said they found several items and ingredients used to make meth along with another man, Jason Veach, who was allegedly trying to hide in a back room.
Officers said they questioned the men about the items discovered and Veach admitted to hiding two different "one-step meth labs" under a bed. A third lab was also found in another room. Officers also found various toys, children's clothing, and a baby bed, but no child was present.
Both men were arrested and charged with Manufacturing Meth-1st offense and Unlawful Possession of Meth Pre Cursor- 1st offense.
"What started out to be a concerned caller for the well being child ended up a meth arrest," said Deputy Stoney Phillips, a certified Meth Lab Technician. "Thankfully no child was present during this arrest, but if you see suspicious activity like this caller did, we encourage you to let us know. You could save a child, or help get drugs off the street."
The men were transported and lodged in the Hart County Jail where they are each being held on a $5,000 cash bond.
Edmonson Voice Staff
The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office reported that while on late night/early morning patrol around 2:30am, a deputy noticed a red Dodge Ram crossing the center line multiple times on KY HWY 259 N, weaving back and forth.
After making a traffic stop, the deputy said there was a very strong smell of marijuana present inside the truck. After field sobriety tests were administered, it was determined that the driver, Jarrid Knight, 20, of Smiths Grove was under the influence.
Officials said that Knight later admitted he had smoked marijuana just before driving. He was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs, Possession of Marijuana, Careless Driving, and Obstructed Vision/Windshield.
He was lodged in the Hart County Jail.
Darren Doyle, story and photos
If you're looking to cross the street from the Community Center to the Bank of Edmonson County, or vice versa, chances are you'll also have to wait until traffic is clear, even though there's a legal crosswalk at the spot, and has been for years.
According to Brownsville Police Chief Jeff Jewel, it's the only crosswalk in the county that's not located at an intersection. "In larger towns and cities where crosswalks are more common, drivers are used to them and they recognize pedestrians sooner," he said. "It's not that common in Brownsville, and drivers rarely notice pedestrians waiting to cross the street."
By law, pedestrians waiting to cross the street at a crosswalk have the legal right of way, and while officials have to enforce the law, Sheriff Shane Doyle said the main goal here is safety. "Failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk is a violation that can earn you a fine, but more importantly, it can get someone seriously hurt or killed."
Chief Jewell said it's also important for pedestrians to be careful and try to position themselves where they can be noticed by drivers. "Make sure drivers can see you, and if you're not going to cross the street, don't hang around near the crosswalk. Sometimes people gather outside the bank or Community Center to talk and drivers don't know if they're trying to cross or not."
As a driver, one of our staff members confessed that they hadn't always stopped for folks at the crosswalk, as it didn't seem that important at the time. We tried a little experiment yesterday from both sides of the crosswalk. It took a total of 17 vehicles to pass before one car finally stopped and motioned for us to move across. For two of those vehicles, we were actually standing partially in the road, not just the sidewalk.
Sheriff Doyle says to watch for the signs, and when you see a crosswalk sign, slow down right then. "The pedestrian ALWAYS has the right of way in a crosswalk, and we need everyone to pay attention to foot traffic in Brownsville around the courthouse."
Chief Jewell said he hoped our reminder will just help everyone to pay more attention. "We don't want to impose fines on people for not stopping at a crosswalk," he said. "We want everyone to be safe, that's all."
Darren Doyle, story and photos
Detective Wally Ritter was presented with the National Sheriff's Association Medal of Valor, one of the nation's highest honors tonight at the Edmonson County Courthouse in a surprise ceremony hosted by the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
Ritter was nominated for the award last year by Sheriff Shane Doyle for actions that then Deputy Ritter took while responding to a home invasion at the residence of Harlin Tarter in March 2015.
Ritter was off duty at the time the invasion took place, but had stopped in the Sheriff's Office. When Ritter heard the call over the radio, he immediately responded to the scene with Sheriff Doyle. Both men entered Mr. Tarter's home through the front door and found the intruder, Rickey Brooks, 35 of Glasgow, fighting with Mr. Tarter while attempting to arm himself with a rifle.
Either of the officers would've been justified in using deadly force, but both officers were able to knock the rifle out of Brooks' hands. As Brooks attempted to disarm the sheriff during a struggle, Deputy Ritter was able to strike the assailant in the face, keeping him from gaining the Sheriff's weapon. The Sheriff then held Brooks on the ground while Ritter calmly communicated the situation to dispatch.
As the Sheriff held Brooks down, Brooks attempted to grab the nearby rifle again, but Ritter intervened once more. Brooks, who was intoxicated over three times the legal limit, was eventually handcuffed and subdued.
According to the National Sheriff's Association, "The Medal of Valor is given for an act of outstanding personal bravery, intelligently performed, in the line of duty at imminent personal hazard of life," and is the organization's highest honor.
Ritter received a standing ovation from a courtroom full of officers from the Sheriff's Association, State Police, the Sheriff's Office, Brownsville Police, as well as several county officials, family members, and friends.
Sheriff Shane Doyle became extremely emotional while presenting Det. Ritter the award. "Nobody in our department has ever been nominated for an award like this," Sheriff Doyle said. "We've given out different awards within the department, but as far as a state or national level, we've never had this, and it's a great honor for Detective Ritter and our entire department."
Ritter was overcome by emotion as he accepted the award. "It's the most violent encounter I've ever been part of," said Ritter. "It's the closest I've ever come to shooting someone, and I thought I was going to have to take that man's life; however, things went differently." Ritter was quick to credit his fellow officers for their work and character. "There's not a person in this room that wears a uniform that wouldn't have done the exact same thing. That's one of the reasons I work here. I'm very fortunate to work with the men and women that are here."
One of the most interesting things about the presentation is that the whole thing was a surprise to Ritter. He was told that Chief Deputy Jeff Brooks was receiving a School Resource Officer award, a gag that everyone in the Sheriff's Office was in on.
"It was hard going through that much dishonesty," joked Sheriff Doyle. "Wally kept trying to help me with Jeff's ceremony, so that was difficult. But that's Wally...he's just so dang helpful."
Ritter said he was totally taken off guard and was amazed that the entire office was able to keep the secret. "I was totally shocked," he said. "I just didn't have the words."
Detective Ritter's mother, Melinda Ritter, was asked if she was proud of her son. "Oh, yes, I'm proud of Wally, but not just tonight. I'm proud of him all the time," she answered.
Det. Ritter will also be featured as the "Hometown Hero" in an upcoming segment for a local television station.
Any law enforcement officer that does the job for the right reasons will never look for awards or accolades, nevertheless, Ritter now has an impressive piece of hardware that isn't seen just anywhere you go.
"I'm very grateful," he said with emotion. "But I think all the officers here tonight have done something at some point that's also deserving of this award. I can testify to that."
Edmonson Voice Staff
A traffic safety checkpoint led to another DUI Tuesday night around 10pm at Salings Grocery on Wingfield Church Road. Deputies said that Elvis Francisco Miralda Acosta was driving a white Lincoln Navigator when he came through the checkpoint. According to law enforcement, Acosta's eyes were extremely red and the vehicle smelled strongly of alcohol.
The driver was ordered to pull over into a parking lot where field sobriety tests were administered and officials said there were multiple of clues of Acosta being impaired. Deputies said also in the car was a 10 year old child in the front seat as well as an open alcoholic beverage container.
The mother of the child was contacted and she safely took the child home.
Acosta was arrested and charged with Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, Wanton Endangerment 1st (child), and Open Alcohol Container In Vehicle. He was transported to the Hart County Jail.
"We know that some people may feel that traffic safety checkpoints are inconvenient, but this is exactly why we use them," said Sheriff Shane Doyle. "We were able to get an impaired driver off the road and get a child home safely."
Edmonson Voice Staff
Local officers said that because of an unknown caller who reported a reckless driver in Brownsville on Saturday morning around 9:30am, they were able to get an impaired driver off the street.
The Sheriff's Office said they received a call of a purple Plymouth Neon that was driving recklessly through Brownsville. A deputy was able to find a car matching a description and reported that the car ran the stop sign near PBI Bank. After conducting a traffic stop, it was reported that Tanya Winburn, 32, of Brownsville showed several signs of impairment and after field sobriety tests were administered, it was determined that Winburn had been driving under the influence.
The deputy also reported that loose Oxycodone pills were found in the car. Winburn was arrested and charged with Possession of controlled substance 1st degree, Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs/alcohol, Prescription drug not in original container, and Disregarding stop sign.
She was transported and lodged in the Hart County Jail. She pleaded not guilty to all charges yesterday in Edmonson District Court.
Edmonson District Court was held on Tuesday, April 5, 2016. The Honorable Judge Renona Carol Browning, presiding.
Tanya Lynn Winburn, Operating motor vehicle under influence of alcohol/drugs-1st offense. Controlled substance prescription not in original container. First degree possession of controlled substance/drug unspecified-1st offense. Disregarding stop sign. Pleaded not guilty to all charges. Preliminary hearing 4/19/16.
Clevie J Garner, Assault 4th degree-domestic violence-no visible injury. Pleaded guilty. Sentencing will be held on 4-19-16. Defendant to be released from custody, no contact with victim.
Jason Alan Grimes, No/expired registration plates, pleaded guilty, fined $25. No/expired Ky registration receipt, pleaded guilty, fined $25. Failure of owner to maintain required insurance/security 1st. Pleaded guilty, fined $500, plus sentenced to 30 days in jail. Credit for 5 days served, balance is suspended for two years on condition of no similar charges and enrollment of insurance monitoring program which ends when defendant is insured. Total fines and costs: $663.
Dillard M Meredith, Failure of owner to maintain required insurance/security 1st. Pleaded guilty, fined $500, $450 of which suspended for 2 years on condition of no similar charge and enrollment of insurance monitoring program. 30 days in jail, suspended for two years on condition of no similar charge. Failure to register transfer of motor vehicle. Pleaded guilty, 30 days in jail, suspended two years. Obstructed vision and/or windshield. Pleaded guilty, fined $25, concurrent to charge one. Total fines and costs $193.
James Larry Clemons, Speeding 26mph over/greater limit. Will attend County Attorney traffic safety program. Deferred for 12 months.
Mary Fay Burns, Speeding 21mph over limit. Failed to appear, notice sent to dept. of transportation.
Lacey Teneil Bohanan, Possession of marijuana. Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess. Pleaded not guilty to both charges. Pretrial conference on 4-26-16.
Taylor Elizabeth Miller, Theft by failure to make required disposition of property greater than $10,000. Pleaded not guilty. Preliminary hearing 4-19-16.
Multiple news outlets are reporting that Country Music Legend Merle Haggard has died today, on his 79th birthday.
Notching 38 number one hits over the course of his 50 year career, Haggard reached royalty status in the country music world.
Haggard reportedly died of complications from double pneumonia, from which he had suffered since December of 2015 and had been hospitalized since March 2016.
He is survived by his wife of 22 years, Theresa Ann Lane.
We'd like to take this opportunity to say thanks for the recent spike we've seen in our readership, sponsorship, and social media support over the last quarter.
We usually see around 100 new social media followers per month, and our weekly readers have modestly increased since we began. Since January, we've experienced the largest growth period we've seen since our first month almost two years ago, as we've welcomed over 1000 new followers to our social media accounts, and our weekly readers have increased by another 15%.
There are several reasons that we're Edmonson County's number one source for local news and information, and we're proud of those reasons. We look forward to the future as we continue to bring you the current and accurate Edmonson County information that's important to you.
Thanks for your confidence in what we do and for your support. We're proud to be locally owned and operated right here in the best place in the world, Edmonson County, Kentucky, USA.
--Darren Doyle, Owner/Editor of EdmonsonVoice.com
Edmonson Voice Staff
The Sheriff's Office has reported that as a deputy was on his way to court this morning, he ended up behind a vehicle that continued to cross the center line several times. The deputy made a traffic stop and said that the driver, Calvin Watt, 46, of Bowling Green showed several signs of impairment.
After field sobriety tests were administered, the deputy reported that multiple clues were given that Watt was under the influence of drugs. Watt reportedly told the officer that he, too was on his way to court to appear for a previous DUI charge.
Watt was arrested and charged with Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol/drugs, as well as Careless Driving.
He was transported and lodged in the Hart County Jail.
Darren Doyle, story and photos
Bear Creek and Kyrock Fire Departments received a call of a garbage truck that was on fire on Sawmill Road near Sunny Point Road today around 3:30pm. The driver of a Scott's Waste truck said he and his coworker saw flames coming from the back of the truck while they were on their route. The men said they had to empty the contents of the truck onto the road.
According to the Scott's employees, the truck was a brand new model, valued at over $350,000. The men said the company would bring another truck to clean up the mess and haul the trash away once the site has been determined safe. They also said much of the garbage would have to be cleaned up by hand.
Firefighters said they would probably have to be on scene for a lengthy amount of time in order to keep flare ups from occurring in the smoldering trash.
The truck sustained only a little paint damage because the driver was able to unload the contents quickly. No injuries were reported, but several tons of smoldering, sticky garbage smelled just like you'd imagine.
Edmonson Voice Staff
A local jury was unable to reach a verdict on Thursday in the Commonwealth's child abuse case against Garnett Richard Odell, 64, of Cave Hollow Bay, where Odell was accused of sexually abusing multiple members of his family that were minors.
Odell was originally indicted in July of 2013 on 10 counts of sex abuse-1st degree, 5 counts of sodomy-1st degree, and 1 count of attempted rape-1st degree.
In November 2013, he was indicted with more charges, including attempted sodomy-1st degree, 11 more counts of sex abuse-1st degree, 5 more counts of sodomy-1st degree, and one more count of attempted rape-1st degree.
In February 2015, Odell faced even more charges as he was indicted on 5 more counts of sex abuse-1st degree.
The trial was originally scheduled for May 27, 2015, but that morning, Odell arrived at the Sheriff's Office with two gunshot wounds in the chest, claiming someone tried to kill him. After investigation, Odell admitted that he'd shot himself in a botched suicide attempt.
The Public Defender's office said that Odell denied all charges and claimed all the accusations were false. The Commonwealth Attorney presented testimony from the alleged victims, investigating officers, and from an expert witness, which was a pediatrician.
The jury deliberated for almost four hours, but couldn't reach a verdict and a mistrial was declared. The case can be tried again if the Commonwealth Attorney's office chooses to do so.
"These cases are extremely difficult for a number of reasons," said Sheriff Shane Doyle, who testified to the May shooting incident. "Physical evidence is hard to come by in cases like this and the jury was faced with the difficult job of processing all of the testimony."