Darren Doyle, story:
Magistrates voted to make no change to traffic requirements on Indian Creek Road as requested by local law enforcement during the May 22, 2017 fiscal court meeting
Local law enforcement had used a recent accident of an overturned semi on the narrow county road as an example of why large truck traffic is a safety hazard on smaller roads, such as Indian Creek, just north of town.
Judge Executive Wil Cannon said he understood the concerns, but he felt like there was no way one road could take preference over any other.
“If we shut down traffic on one road, we’re opening the door to do it on all roads and that could be very difficult," he said. "But that's up to the fiscal court. I'm not the dictator.”
County Attorney Greg Vincent said that there could also be other options like ordinances for weight limits and trailer lengths, but Cannon said it would be nearly impossible to enforce those as there were no scales in the county.
Sheriff Shane Doyle said state transportation officers will respond if called, and that they could enforce both county ordinances and state law.
Magistrate Edd Rich made the motion to make no change, which was seconded by Mark Woosley, but County Attorney Vincent advised that no motion was needed due to nothing being changed.
Several local residents said that stopping semi traffic on the road would hurt local Amish farmers and builders who rely on semis to deliver goods and materials on Indian Creek.
Vincent said the current weight limit on county roads was 15 tons, which will remain for all roads and vehicles.
Dog Control Officer Introduced At Fiscal Court, Judge Cannon Discusses Hiring Decision, Job Description
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
Newly hired County Dog Control Officer Kenny Heath was introduced at today's fiscal court meeting as Judge Executive Wil Cannon discussed the hiring process for the position while asking magistrates to approve the hire, which also included a secondary officer, Devin Lindsey of Brownsville.
Heath was hired over a week ago, as announced in the Edmonson Voice and Cannon said that he recently found out that there were some magistrates that wanted to be included in the decision.
Cannon said he made the decision for the hire because it was a time-sensitive issue with the law requiring the county to have an officer and that calls for dogs could come in at any time; however, he said if magistrates want to be included in such decisions, he would allow it.
A question was asked about the pay of the officer and Cannon said it was $10 per hour for each officer; however, he clarified that this was not a salary position and that officers would only be paid for hours worked. He also said it was unlikely that both officers would be working at the same time.
Another question was asked as to why the sheriff's office will not be supervising the position. Cannon answered that he felt like the position didn't need to be confused as a deputy because they are completely different jobs, each having completely different authority.
Judge Cannon also clarified the duties of the dog officer, which included the picking up of abandoned or stray dogs when sent through county dispatch. The officer would only have authority to transport a dog to its owner or the BG/WC Animal Shelter, and nowhere else.
Cannon further stated that the county does not have the financial means for the officer to answer calls regarding cats, horses, or anything else other than dogs. He said that calls regarding the mistreatment of animals or emergencies, no matter what type of animal, would always be answered by local law enforcement.
Cannon asked for approval on the hire, to which Magistrate Mark Woosley asked, "If he's already been hired, why does it need the court approval?"
Judge Cannon replied, "Because if you don't, we'll do something completely different," insinuating that the new officers would've been fired.
Magistrates voted to approve the hire with the exception of Mag. Woosley who chose not to vote. Mag. Joe Durbin spoke on the issue and said he was in favor of magistrates having input on all county hires. Cannon said that moving forward, these types of decisions will be brought before fiscal court.
Later in the fiscal court meeting, Cannon clarified his decision making process as the county Judge Executive, which he said were based on what he called "army values."
"Integrity, honesty, loyalty, personal courage, amongst others," he said. "I live by these values and I've always tried to, and always will. I do make mistakes, I'm human. But, I promise you, I'll never use deviant political procedures to get things done on the agenda."
In addition to dog control officer, Judge Cannon said that Mr. Heath would also be utilized as an extra prisoner transport officer and will occasionally help with maintenance for county property and buildings.
If you have a request for the dog control officer, you are asked to call Edmonson County Dispatch at 270-597-2729.
Darren Doyle, story:
Judge Executive Wil Cannon announced the only bid received to Edmonson County Fiscal Court for county jail service, which came from Hart County Jail at a price of $40 per inmate, per day. It's a 60% increase from the county's contract price of $25 per day/per inmate, which is $5 more than a quote given to the county back in February of this year.
Cannon said letters requesting bids went to all neighboring counties with jails which included Warren, Barren, Grayson, Hart, and Butler. He said they also asked Allen County for a bid. Hart County was the only bid received out of the six.
Not only was the bid for $40 per inmate/per day, the bid also read that there were "stipulations to be named at a later date." Cannon said it was unclear whether or not that would be good or bad for the county.
"If we pay the increase from $25 to $35, it would break the county," Cannon said. "If we pay $40, it will cripple us."
He said Hart County Jail had told him earlier this year that the cost would increase to $35, which is the same rate Jailer Israel Bergenson told the Edmonson Voice in February of 2017.
County Attorney Greg Vincent advised the court to reject the bid because of the unknown stipulations stated in the bid.
County officials have previously discussed the financial burden this places on the county. The current budget will not currently allow for this type of increase which would be somewhere around an additional $8500 per month.
In February, Cannon said that building a jail in the county would also be difficult due to the project having a multi-million dollar cost and would have to hold around 200 inmates. Since the county averages only 15-20 inmates at a time, the jail would have to be filled with federal inmates in order to keep the beds full to justify the cost. It would be unlikely that housing federal prisoners in Edmonson County would be popular with the public.
The court voted to reject the bid and the item was tabled until the next meeting.
MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky. – The boat ramp at Nolin Lake State Park will be closed on Saturday, June 17 for the Summer Splash and Houseboat Hop event, held by the Friends of Nolin Lake. Boaters will still be able to launch at ramps operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers at Nolin Lake Dam, Dog Creek, and Moutardier.
The Summer Splash and Houseboat Hop will begin at 3:00 pm with a parade of boats departing Moutardier Marina for Nolin Lake State Park. Once at the state park, participants can enjoy food and product vendors, family-friendly activities, swimming, and live music. The event will conclude with a spectacular fireworks display.
Families and individuals can enjoy other entertainment and camping opportunities at the park. Nolin Lake State Park features a 32-site RV campground, 27-site primitive campground, boat ramp, public beach, playground, and more than 9 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails.
The park is located at 2998 Brier Creek Road in Mammoth Cave. From Highway 259 at Bee Spring, take Highway 728 west toward Mammoth Cave.
For more information contact David Kem, email@example.com or call the park at 270-286-4240.
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
County Clerk Kevin Alexander has made several changes and improvements to the way the office handles their business, the latest coming in the form of a $35,000 state-of-the-art storage/shelving system that was all state funded thanks to a grant Alexander was able to receive through the Kentucky Department of Library and Archives.
"We have huge space limitations here," he said. "Right now, we don't really have the option of creating more space so we have to utilize what we have. This system is a huge step in the right direction and it was all funded through a generous grant."
The office has somewhere around 850 mortgage, deed, and other record books, to which the public must have access. Many are simply kept in storage because there's never been a really good place to store them. The old shelving system took up lots of room but only allowed access to a small number of books.
"When I came into office in 2015, I found that there had been no grant activity from the clerk's office in over 16 years," said Alexander. "The state needed some books on microfilm and we needed some improvements here, so we were able to work together and secure the grant."
Calling it a shelving system is not really accurate. It's more like a rolling, safe/shelving/storage/track system unit. Whatever you call it, it's impressive.
It's basically seven enormous cabinets that roll on a track system. You can grab the cabinets and simply push (although they're heavy) or you can crank the handle on the outside that resembles the wheel on a safe. The crank can easily be spun with one hand, which moves the cabinets back-and-forth, allowing the user to walk in between the cabinets.
Alexander was quick to mention that he doesn't take all the credit for the grant and the new system.
"This was part of the "Local Records Project," funded by grant, and was completed with the help of Judge Executive Wil Cannon, the KDLA, Regional Administrator Pam Howarah, Tri-State Systems, and Oakes Contracting from Nashville, TN."
He also said that plans for more improvements are in the works, including new flooring, more user-friendly work spaces for those seeking records, and seating.
"We can't do all this at once, but we want the best office we can run for Edmonson County," he said.
Darren Doyle, story:
Two former Edmonson County High School students have been named to the Dean's List at Campbellsville University for the spring semester, 2017.
Monica Renee Gregory, a Criminal Justice Major and MaryChris Waddell, who is majoring in Nursing, have each made the list. Both were 2016 graduates of ECHS.
In order to make the list, students are required to achieve a grade point average of 3.50 or above for the semester with a course load of at least 12 hours.
Monica is the daughter of Stacy Martin of the Windyville Community and MaryChris is the daughter of Patrick and Lisa Waddell of Brownsville.
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County Parks and Rec has announced that Freedom Fest 2017 has been set for Friday, June 30th at Chalybeate Park on KY HWY 743. Program Director and event coordinator Greg Hudson said he expects an even bigger crowd than last year and that park personnel and volunteers have been working for months to assemble the annual event.
"We're continually trying to improve our Parks and Rec Department and we're proud each year to provide Freedom Fest and our huge fireworks display to the public for free," he said. "We're thankful for our Park Champions and Park Hero sponsors for helping make the event possible."
Things will kick off at 2pm with volleyball tournament registration. The tournament will feature two divisions: ages 17 and under and ages 18 and up. Cost is $40 per team to enter.
At 3pm, registration begins for a cornhole tournament, also with two divisions which will be the same age categories as the volleyball teams.
Vendors will be allowed to set up their booths beginning at 4pm, the cost of which is $20 per booth.
The Little League Baseball/Softball awards presentation will begin at 6pm.
Local band "Double Nothin'" will perform live music beginning at 6pm and will play until 9pm, and the fireworks display will begin soon after.
To sign up for vending booths or for other event info, visit ecparksandrec.com or call 270-597-9103.
Also added this year to the events is the "Independence 5K Run, 1 Mile Walk" that will take place the next day, Saturday, July 1. Packet pickup and registration will be at 7AM with the run beginning at 8AM and the walk at 9AM.
Those who register on or before June 15 will receive a free t-shirt and can sign-up for $20. Registrations after June 15 will cost $25 and will not include a t-shirt.
Darren Doyle, story: photos courtesy of Kim Raymer Whittinghill (Facebook):
A Roundhill woman escaped injury this morning in a freak accident on KY HWY 185 in Warren County. Evelyn Raymer, owner of The Corner Market in Roundhill, was headed south around 8am today when a tree uprooted and fell on her SUV while she was driving.
"It was like it was happening in slow motion," she said. "It was surreal to see this tree falling and all I could do was try to stop."
The huge tree, which took up both lanes of traffic, apparently uprooted due to saturated grounds from heavy rains in the area over the last 24 hours. The tree crushed the front end of her Chevy Tahoe and smashed her windshield.
"If I had been one foot closer, or one second sooner, it would have hit the cab of my truck and would've been so bad," she said. "As it was, I didn't have one scratch. Not one."
She said a driver in front of her turned around and offered her help. She was able to call her son-in-law and then 911. She said she had a little trouble opening the door, but she managed to escape the crushed vehicle.
Mrs. Raymer and other family members credited a higher power as the reason for walking away unharmed.
"The Big Guy was riding shotgun with me, no doubt."
KSP responded to the scene along with the KY State Highway Department to help clear the scene.
The Corner Market, a staple of the community, is one of the few remaining country stores in the county.
"It's the bologna sandwich capital of the world," she said, laughing.
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County has a new dog control officer, formerly known as Animal Control. Judge Executive Wil Cannon said that a decision was made last week to hire Kenny Heath of Brownsville as the new officer.
Cannon said the job was restructured to better suit the needs of Edmonson County and will be supervised by fiscal court.
"We feel like Kenny is the best choice for this position," Cannon said. "We've made the requirements of this position much more specific and we believe it will work much better."
Cannon said that the position will be used for the picking up of stray or abandoned dogs only, and that Mr. Heath will either transport dogs to the proper animal shelter or home of the dog owner. The officer will also respond to law enforcement's call for animal assistance but will not operate under the sheriff's office.
Mr. Heath, a 36 year-old native of Breckinridge County who also served in the U.S. Army as military police said as a dog lover, he wants to do his part to help in the care of abandoned and lost dogs.
He and his wife moved to Edmonson County this past December and operate a woodworking and small engine repair shop at their home near Brownsville.
"My wife and I are dog lovers," he said. "We have two dogs and we call them 'our boys,' Bodie and Diesel."
Heath said shortly after moving here, one of his dogs got loose and it took them several hours to find him, but others helped them search, and the dog was found safe at a neighbor's house.
"I actually saw the ad for the dog officer position on the (Edmonson) VOICE," he said with a laugh. "When I saw it, I thought it was a good opportunity for me to help others with their dogs."
Although Heath's duties began last week, he had not yet been dispatched to a call. He said having a home-based business would allow him to be available in the new position when called upon.
Judge Cannon also said the county has appointed Devin Lindsey of Brownsville as a backup dog officer. Cannon said it's a volunteer position and hopes it will fill in the gaps in case Mr. Heath is unable to respond.
Lindsey is expected to be available beginning around the first of July. Mr. Heath was in the process of responding to his first call as our interview concluded.
Darren Doyle, story:
Kentucky State Police Detectives have arrested a Morgantown City Police officer on sex abuse charges after an investigation. According to KSP, a complaint was received from the parent of a juvenile reporting that sexual contact may have taken place within the last month between the juvenile and officer James Embry (26) of Morgantown.
The case was turned over to KSP Special Investigation Section in Bowling Green due to the suspect being a police officer. After interviews from investigators on Thursday, June 1st, authorities said sufficient probable cause was found for the arrest of Embry.
Embry was arrested and charged with Sexual Abuse 1st Degree and Custodial Interference; both of which are class D felonies. He was lodged in the Butler County Jail.
The Morgantown Police Department released a statement regarding the arrest of Officer Embry. According to the statement, City Police Chief Giles D. Taylor and Morgantown Mayor Billy Phelps "moved to action immediately, suspending Embry without pay, pending termination, as per policy."
"The citizens of Morgantown, Butler, and surrounding counties can rest assured that we as the city of Morgantown have ZERO tolerance for actions such as these," the statement read. "As a city grounded in ethics, actions will always be taken swiftly, and harshly. Maintaining public trust and openness between ourselves and our community partners is of the utmost importance, however this is an ongoing investigation."
*Comments without a first and last name and an email address are not published. All comments are subject for review and must adhere to the Edmonson Voice commenting policy which is posted on this site.
Edmonson District Court was held on Tuesday, May 23, 2017. The Honorable Judge John M. McCarty presiding.
Ronald Ray Massey, Alcohol intoxication in a public place-first and second offense. Pleaded guilty. Fined $25. Total fines and costs $209.
Frank Dewayne Cowles, Careless driving. Amend to I.E. Pleaded guilty. Fined $100. Total fines and costs $243.
David Allen Harrod, Inadequate silencer (muffler). Amend to all others. Failed to appear.
Melissa Stewart, Failure of owner to maintain required insurance/security first. Restitution of $500 to be paid.
Michelle L Kurtz, Assault 4th degree domestic violence minor injury. Resisting arrest. Possession of marijuana. Public intoxication controlled substance (excludes alcohol). Disorderly conduct, 2nd degree. Pleaded not guilty to all charges. Pretrial conference 6/6/17.
Cody L Haycraft, Alcohol intoxication in a public place-first and second offense. Fleeing or evading police, first degree (on foot). Wanton endangerment-first degree-police officer. Wanton endangerment-first degree. Pleaded not guilty to all charges. Pretrial hearing 6/6/17.
Trevor D. Vincent, Assault-3rd degree police/probation officer. Resisting arrest. Criminal mischief. Operating motor vehicle under influence-aggravator-2nd offense. Fleeing or evading police-first degree. Fleeing or evading police, first degree (on foot). Wanton endangerment-first degree-police officer (two counts). Wanton endangerment-first degree. Reckless driving. Intimidating a witness in a legal process. Wanton endangerment-first degree-police officer. Pleaded not guilty to all charges. Pretrial hearing 6/6/17.
Edmonson District was held on Tuesday, May 30, 2017. The Honorable Judge Joseph B. Hines presiding.
William Eddington, Alcohol intoxication in a public place-first and second offense. Possess open alcohol beverage container in motor vehicle. Unlawful transaction with a minor 2nd degree. Possession of marijuana. Drug paraphernalia, buy/possess. Continued on 6/6/17.
Jessie Lee Taylor, Trafficking in controlled substance, first offense, less than 2 grams of meth. Trafficking in controlled substance, first offense, drug unspecified. First degree possession of controlled substance-drug unspecified, first offense. Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess. Pleaded not guilty to all charges. Preliminary hearing 6/6/17.
Amber Mason, No/expired registration plates. Failure of owner to maintain required insurance, 2nd or more offense. Continue 6/13/17.
Clifton H Simmons, Operating motor vehicle under influence of alcohol/drugs-2nd offense.
Franklin D. Nunn, Operating on suspended/revoked operator's license. Failed to appear.
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
The office of Judge Executive Wil Cannon has declared June "Special Olympics Month" in Edmonson County, in recognition of the rekindled program that has been dormant for many years.
Parks and Rec Program Administrator Greg Hudson restarted the program last year which has grown tremendously.
"Several years ago the program was run through the school system but it stayed inactive for many years," said Hudson. "We'll be taking five of our many athletes to compete in the state games in Richmond on June 2-4, 2017."
Hudson said for now, the Edmonson County team only competes in track and field events but they hope to add more sporting events in the future, including those in winter games.
"We're excited about the program and our volunteers, which include our school system. We're grateful they allow us to use the track," Hudson said.
The National Special Olympic games will be held in Seattle, Washington in July.
If you know someone that is interested in becoming a Special Olympic athlete or volunteer, please contact EC Parks and Rec at 270-597-9103.