Sheriff Shane Doyle gave the monthly activity report for April, 2016 at the Fiscal Court meeting on Monday, May 23, 2016. He reported the following:
He also noted that the following locations are approved safety traffic checkpoints in Edmonson County, used by local law enforcement:
Darren Doyle, story and photo
A general range of topics was discussed at today's May 23, 2016 Fiscal Court meeting as the court awarded the new truck purchase bid to Tri-State International in Bowling Green. The court recently agreed to purchase three new dump trucks equipped with snow plows and had approved an approximate cost of $103K for each truck.
Judge Cannon opened and read the sealed bid, the only bid received, from Tri-State which listed several options and prices. The court agreed to the price of $102,300 for each fully equipped, single axle truck with an additional $650 per truck for an extended transmission warranty. Delivery of the new trucks is expected for September or October of this year.
County Road Foreman Ray Page reported that patching and paving was complete in some districts and crews were moving into district four today. He said the dept. had been working on road tiles and repairing drain ditches, and he said his crew is still short one seasonal and one full time employee. He also said that two bridges which had been underwater due to recent flash flooding were opened back up on Saturday.
Sheriff Shane Doyle reported that the first Grand Jury since January was recently held and complimented his department for their recent work in several felony cases. He said of all forty-five cases presented, his department presented forty of them. He also said all of the deputies were doing a great job, and his office will be serving warrants this week.
He also expressed thanks to Chief Jeff Jewell and the Brownsville City Police for their assistance in the funeral detail of WWII Vet Wiley Willis. He said all local officers felt like a community icon such as Mr. Willis had earned the right for such a detail.
Parks and Rec
Program Administrator Greg Hudson reported that the park was winding up Little League season and hoped that all league and tournament play would be finished by the middle of June.
He also said the first night of the Concert In The Park Series would be this Friday, May 27 at Chalybeate Park and will feature "Black Gold," a local rock band from the area. The event will be 6pm at Chalybeate, free to public, and donation boxes will be accessible.
He also credited several other businesses and organizations for their help with Parks and Rec projects. “When you see something that says done by Parks and Rec, know that several other community partners are involved, we don’t do it alone," he said.
Deputy Jailer Todd Vincent reported around 30 county inmates lodged in Hart County Jail. He also noted that the department had experienced several car troubles. One cruiser had to be towed, the brakes recently locked up on another, and a third cruiser was experiencing windshield wipers that won’t turn off.
In other news, the court:
County Clerk Kevin Alexander reported a very light 15% turnout on Election Day but expected that number to increase in November for the general election. He also reminder those in attendance that Wingfield Fire House Precinct will be open in November. In closing, he announced that the Clerk's office will be closed on Saturday, May 28 and Monday, May 30 for Memorial Day, as well as the Judge Executive's office.
Vicki Walker announced that the EC Senior Center will host a mini health fair, this Friday, May 27, featuring BRADD, the local DAV and Anthem Insurance. She also said that the new St. John's Food Bank that is scheduled for a May 31st Ribbon Cutting will work closely with Senior Food Pantry. Correction: it was incorrectly reported that the senior center would be hosting a public luncheon on 5/27, but lunch served on that day is a private event only. We apologize for the error.
The next fiscal court meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 13th, 2016 at 9am.
Edmonson Voice Staff
The State Fire Marshal has been called in to investigate three recent fires that occurred within a 24 hour period, according to Kyrock Fire Chief Mike Clubb.
Firefighters responded to a blaze at a house on Morgantown Road Saturday, May 21 around 6am. They cleared the scene in a relatively short amount of time but were called back later in the day after the blaze rekindled. Initial reports were that the home was abandoned, but someone had been living there part-time while renovations were underway.
Clubb said that later that night into the early Sunday morning hours, another fire was reported at an abandoned home in the 9000 block of HWY 259N in Bee Spring. The home was reportedly a bank repo, owned by a finance company and had been vacant for at least a year.
Clubb also said that within hours, the firefighters responded to yet another abandoned home, this time, directly across the road from the house that burnt on Saturday.
"The first one on Morgantown Road didn't really seem suspicious at first," Clubb said. "It had electricity, but the one in Bee Spring had no electric, so we had some questions. When the call came in on the other fire on Morgantown Road just across from the first fire, we decided to notify the State Fire Marshal."
Clubb said all three fires were fully involved when firefighters arrived and that none of them could be saved. "There was around a five minute response time to these fires after the call came in," he said. "Once a fire gets to a certain point, it's out of our hands."
He said several things point to arson in these fires but didn't speculate much more. "We won't know until the investigation is complete, but three fires within 24 hours, two at vacant homes, one where no one was there, and two being across the road from each other is obviously very suspicious."
Bear Creek, Lincoln, Brownsville, and Kyrock VFDs all responded to the calls.
Clubb urged anyone with any info to contact the Kentucky State Police at 270-782-2010.
Edmonson Voice Staff
photos by Selina Linder
An early Saturday morning fire at 9139 Morgantown Road in Roundhill kept firefighters busy for much of the day and resulted in the loss of an abandoned home.
Fire departments were first called to the scene around 6AM Saturday to the property owned by Charles Parrish of Roundhill. Bear Creek Fire Chief J.T. Carroll confirmed the home was abandoned and no one had lived there for a couple of years.
According to witnesses, the scene was cleared that morning but the blaze rekindled soon after, resulting in firefighters returning to the scene and remained there for a good part of the day.
It was reported that in addition to Bear Creek, the Lincoln, Kyrock, and Brownsville fire departments also responded. The cause of the fire is unknown and there were no reported injuries.
Selina Linder contributed to this report.
Beginning Monday, May 23 to June 5, 2016, local KSP Troopers will participate in the national Click It or Ticket campaign in an effort to save lives through increased seat belt use. This enforcement period comes ahead of the Memorial Day holiday, one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.
“We have a special role in helping protect the safety of our citizens,” said J.B. Hines, Edmonson County Attorney. “Time after time, we see the deadly results that come from drivers and passengers refusing to wear a seat belt. Wearing a seat belt is one of the most important steps in increasing survivability in a crash. Our job is to stop those who are not buckled up, and to keep them from repeating this potentially deadly mistake.”
Trooper BJ Eaton, KSP Post 3 Public Information Officer, said that seat belt use has been proven to save lives not only from the stats, but from the years of responding to collisions.
"This Click It or Ticket campaign is vitally important to us to help promote and enforce the importance of using a seat belt when you are in a motor vehicle, said Trooper Eaton. "Time after time, we as Troopers, see where seat belts have contributed to saving someone's life.....Or the adverse, where a seat belt could have prevented someone's death. It is an important campaign to us because we believe that the total number of fatalities in the state would decrease if the number of folks using seat belts would increase."
Hines said it's important to note that hundreds of thousands of drivers will be on the road this Memorial Day weekend as well as throughout the summer vacationing season.
“We want to make sure that people are buckling up to keep themselves and their families safe. It is the greatest defense in a vehicle crash,” said J.B. Hines.
For more information on the Click It or Ticket campaign, please visit www.nhtsa.gov/ciot.
It's hard to keep kids enthused about school when testing is over and the countdown to summer break has begun, but the Family Resource/Youth Service Center (FRYSC) and Community Education helped the fifth graders at the Edmonson County 5/6 Center do just that with the annual Health Camp today during school.
FRYSC 5/6 Center Coordinator Lynette Saling said the event is all about encouraging healthy and safe habits. "We want students to know that you can be healthy and make good choices while also having fun," she said.
Saling said the Health Camp has been a favorite event for kids for the past 10 years or more. "It takes lots of different people from the community to help with the camp," she added. "We'd like to thank everyone who helped, including the football team, KSP, Mammoth Cave National Park, the Extension Office, the Sheriff's Office, Kick'n Country Line Dancing, District Nurse Miranda Elkins, Edmonson EMS, as well as the 5/6 Center PTO, Community Education, and so many other volunteers."
She said the PTO helped fund the event and prizes that were given out throughout the day. She also noted that the event is in conjunction with the Safety Camp held for 6th graders each year.
People love placing ads on EdmonsonVoice.com in our Community Market section because it's simply the most affordable way to get the most people's attention here in Edmonson County. Ads are only $15 per week or less, and the reach is amazing.
We allow people to place ads for just about anything within the law and reason, and recently, lots of folks have taken advantage of our website and social media's reach to sell or rent real estate.
We have tons of readers that will attempt to comment on these ads, asking questions, messaging, calling, or emailing us for more info. The only info we have is what is listed in the ad. Each ad is the sole responsibility of the party that placed the ad, and they are the only ones that can answer your question. One of the most common questions we receive on an item for sale is "How much is it?" We have no idea if it's not listed in the ad, so we can't help you there.
The best way to find out what you're looking for is to simply follow the directions in the ad. We will not respond to any questions sent to us with regards to any ads, as we simply don't have that information. Some folks probably miss out on an item or property because they ask us for specific info instead of contacting the person in the ad.
A lady called our office just last week with a question about a house for sale. She asked, "Can I rent to own?" If we knew the answer, we'd gladly let you know, but we simply don't know anything more than what you see. She was agitated that we didn't have the answer, so we apologized and advised her to contact the number in the ad.
We've helped tons of people sell their items, rent their properties, and promote their events, and we look forward to helping even more in the future. Thanks for making EdmonsonVoice.com our county's number one source for local news and info.
Edmonson Voice Staff
A low voter turnout was the result today in Edmonson County as 1308 voters made their choices at the polls for an approximate 15% total. County results showed Hillary Clinton edging Bernie Sanders for democratic presidential nominee by only 13 votes while Sen. Rand Paul won handily over his opponents in the race for republican U.S. Senator, gathering 78% of votes.
In other races, Democratic U.S. Senate Candidate and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray won in the county with 66% of votes and KY State Senate 5th District candidate Ricky Alvey won over opponent Leslie J Stith by a margin of 72% to 28%.
Statewide results were the same with Paul and Gray each being declared winners, but the race between Clinton and Sanders was neck and neck with 99.8% of precincts reporting. Clinton was declared the unofficial statewide winner, holding onto a 46.7% total to Sanders' 46.3%.
Ricky Alvey lost in the overall district to Leslie J Stith in a close race, 48% to 52%.
Below are the complete totals for Edmonson County.
Edmonson Voice Staff, story and photo
Local artist and ECHS senior Kelsey Janes will have her work hanging in Congressman Brett Guthrie's office in Washington D.C. thanks to a recent push from Edmonson Voice readers to vote for her piece during Guthrie's recent Facebook contest.
On April 29, 2016, Congressman Brett Guthrie announced that “Gerard Way," a pencil drawing by Kelsey Janes from Edmonson County High School was voted by Facebook users as their favorite artwork among the county winners of the 2016 Congressional Art Competition in Kentucky’s Second District.
“The ‘Facebook Favorite’ was a fun addition to the annual Congressional Art Competition this year and I applaud Kelsey for winning this year’s competition,” said Congressman Guthrie. “I enjoyed reading through the supportive comments and seeing people engage in the competition.”
Congressman Guthrie hosted for the first time a competition on Facebook for voters to select their favorite artwork from the pool of Second District county winners in the 2016 Congressional Art Competition. The winning artwork from the Facebook Competition will be displayed in the Congressman’s Washington, D.C. office for a year.
Kelsey's piece was the overall winner from Edmonson County and was entered into the district wide contest several weeks ago.
Kelsey's artwork received one vote for each "like" and two votes for each "share." After the Edmonson Voice ran a feature on the contest, her votes skyrocketed, gathering over 800 likes and over 700 shares.
We featured Kelsey and her talents in a recent piece around the same time as the contest began. Congratulations to Kelsey, and thanks to all our Edmonson Voice readers.
Darren Doyle, story and photo
Superintendent of Edmonson County Schools Patrick Waddell addressed the issue of President Obama's National transgender bathroom directive and what effect it will have on the local school district.
Several rumors have swirled around since the bathroom directive made national headlines last week. Several students and their parents went to social media yesterday and last night to weigh in on the highly controversial issue.
"Nobody took down the boys or girls bathroom signs, nobody put them back up, nobody touched them," said Supt. Waddell. "There were all sorts of things going around last night on social media and at school that simply were inaccurate."
According to Waddell, all public schools in the U.S. received a "Dear Colleague Letter" issued by the U.S. Dept. of Justice and U.S. Dept. of Education on Friday, May 13, 2016 regarding facility availability for all students. A statement on behalf of the entire school system said the school district "does and will continue to comply with all local, state, and federal laws and have reviewed the documents."
"First of all, the letter we received was simply a guidance document that was not tied to any specific laws," said Waddell. "We've been made aware that Governor Bevin stated he was also looking into providing guidance on how schools should act in this matter, and we've not received any further guidance from his office at this time."
Bevin had plenty to say in his reaction to Obama's directive. "Regarding Obama's proposed bathroom rules for public schools, it is difficult to imagine a more absurd federal overreach into a local issue," he tweeted. "Under the 10th Amendment to the US Constitution, the federal gov has no authority to interfere in local school districts' bathroom policies." He continued: "The President is not promoting unity. In fact, he is doing quite the opposite."
Bevin also stated, "If they (schools) do not agree with his personal opinion on policies that remain squarely in their jurisdiction they should not feel compelled to bow to such intimidation. My administration is researching the options available for ensuring that this local issue is decided by Kentuckians, not by bureaucrats in Washington."
So what does this mean for Edmonson County schools now? Not much, really. Waddell said the school system has always had policies in place to protect all students, no matter their race, sex, sexual preference, identity, religion, etc.
Waddell said Edmonson County Schools have always exercised different options that protect all students and provide safe environments and facilities in many forms. "All educational entities have to have some policy in place with regards to dealing with discrimination, which we do, and we always have. We feel that our current policies are appropriate as they are."
Waddell said that each school in the district provides single use bathrooms for any gender, and has for several years. "People don't realize that a number of students need private bathrooms for a number of reasons. Some are social issues, some need more privacy, others are private reasons, but we've provided these restrooms for those students for years and we feel because we're offering these, we are in compliance with this directive. We don't plan on making any changes to our policies at this time."
As far as letting natural born females use the boys restrooms or natural born males use the girls restroom, Waddell says as of now, that is not going to be an option, and that's the big question many parents and students have had since the national headlines last week.
Several students voiced their concerns, the majority of which were not in favor of changing any school policy. Most opinions were strongly against the sharing of the standard bathrooms should that policy alone be forced within the schools.
"This should be a local decision," said ECHS junior Caleb Skaggs. "And we as Edmonson County need to stand up for what we believe in. We should be against this."
Senior Alex Whitfill had a similar opinion. "It's good to have different beliefs and we should respect everyone's opinions, but in saying that, I'd never allow my child or my younger brother to go to the bathroom with someone of the opposite gender, no matter how they identify themselves," she said. "While God teaches us that we should love everyone, He also teaches that we should stand up for what we believe in, but not with hate. I believe a compromise can be made for the kids who feel they need a separate bathroom without compromising their safety and the community's beliefs."
Sophomore Alexis Young said just the opposite. "No matter how many people don't agree, trans people ARE people and they deserve rights. It isn't about bathrooms, just like it was never about water fountains. It's about everyone's right to happiness and equality."
Fourteen other students gave us comments that were against the sharing of bathrooms, but didn't want to go on record. Two others who felt strongly in favor of shared bathrooms and transgender rights also asked for us not to publish their comments.
Jhonna Basil, a senior, was very vocal. "I feel like transgender stuff is just a way for some people to get attention," she said. "I definitely don't feel comfortable knowing a guy is allowed to come into the girls bathroom while I'm in there."
She also said that men's and women's bathrooms are merely common sense issues, and the forced sharing of bathrooms would be discrimination against everyone else that weren't transgenders.
"If you were born a man, you're a man, if you were born a woman, you're a woman. God made you that way. It's an abomination," she added.
Junior Hallie Atkins said she felt like that men should NOT be allowed to be in a bathroom with women. "It's a gateway to rape," she said. "After all, how can one prove that someone is trans? You can't."
A March 2016 study at the Williams Institute estimated the total transgender population of those age 13 and older in Kentucky was 16,656. According to the latest census totals, the total population of Kentucky is approximately 4,434,500, which means transgender people make up only 1/3 of one percent of the total population in the state, or .03%.
Some argue there shouldn't be laws of any kind for .03% of any group if a large majority feel otherwise. Others argue that transgender rights are simply human rights, and they should be defended, no matter the percentage.
"We've always done what we feel is best for our students," Waddell said. "We allow our principals and counselors to make decisions as to what individual students need, and what we're doing is nothing new and nothing in reaction to this document. We believe that the letter stipulates that single use restrooms are sufficient."
Be sure and take advantage of your opportunity to vote on Tuesday, May 17th at your voting precinct. Republicans will vote for their United States Senator candidate while Democrats will choose a candidate for President of the United States, United States Senator, and Kentucky State Senator.
Below is the ballot that will be available in this year's primary election.
A Tribute To Wiley Willis, by Editor Darren Doyle
Over the years, Edmonson County has been home to some of the finest people ever to walk the face of the Earth. It still has some of the finest today; unfortunately, we now have one less as our very own WWII Veteran and veterans' advocate Wiley Willis has passed on.
We were notified Saturday, May 14th by a resident close to the family that Wiley died in his own home of natural causes, surrounded by his family. Physically, one of the smallest grown men I ever knew at 5'4" and less than 100 pounds, but in terms of character, quite possibly the biggest man that ever lived here.
Click here to listen to our interview with Wiley on our talk show "County Conversations." Wiley tells a really funny war story about shooting a picture of Hitler.
This man was a war hero. He watched some his friends die before his eyes. He saved others. He lived in a generation of people that had character and heart like no other generation. He was shipped off to Normandy Beach in February of 1943 at age 22, and faced fears like no others. While most of today's 22 year-olds are playing video games, trying to get to the next level, Wiley Willis was literally trying to save the world.
Wiley made an appearance with us on our local talk show, County Conversations, back in November of 2015 as we recognized Veterans Day. A source close to Wiley told us that he often talked about coming on the show and how much he enjoyed that day. Family members said it was likely the last "fun thing he ever did."
While his service in WWII was incredible, including receipt of the Bronze Star; Purple Heart; American Campaign Medal; EAME Theater Medal with one Silver Service Star; Army of Occupation Medal with Germany clasp; the World War II Victory Medal , the Good Conduct Medal and the French Medal of Honor, his service to veterans and Edmonson Countians in the years to come had just as much impact.
He helped start Edmonson County's DAV Chapter 32 and remained a faithful member until his death, advocating for the rights and services of veterans all over Edmonson County and Kentucky.
He became a Christian at age 90 at a church service at Pleasant Union United Baptist Church when he bowed on his knees and was saved just over four years ago. He shared that experience with many; seldom without tears of joy.
He loved America and he loved the flag. I loved to hear his "old war stories." He told lots of good ones that were better than the movies, many of them comical or even uplifting. There were also stories that were very harsh, as you would imagine.
My life is better having known Wiley Willis. America is less without him.
I picture in my mind the angels in Heaven standing at attention, saluting him as he walks down the golden street.
Thank you for your service, Mr. Willis. You will be missed.
Edmonson County Emergency personnel have closed the Cedar Grove Bridge at Bear Creek due to high water levels that are currently over the bridge.
Drivers are cautioned to use another route. Even though the water may look okay to cross, a vehicle could lose traction and a tragedy could occur. Remember to "Turn Around, Don't Drown."