Darren Doyle, story and photos
It was everything but 'business as usual' shortly after the Bank of Edmonson County opened Friday morning, July 31, when a burning truck crashed into the rear entrance of the bank, causing an evacuation of the property.
Officials on scene said that a Ford Ranger driven by Heather King, of Mammoth Cave was on fire at the rear of the bank. Apparently King was headed to the drive through window when the truck died at the rear entrance. Her husband, Emmanuel King, 34, reportedly raised the hood to look into the problem when he saw the engine compartment was on fire.
Witnesses on scene said as the fire grew hotter, the engine restarted on its own, taking off and crashing into the rear entrance. Brandon Vincent, from Kyrock VFD who was first on the scene, said the truck was fully engulfed when he arrived.
Vincent said firefighters immediately began trying to get both Mr. and Mrs. King and others away from the fire. "The people there were cussing at us, wanting to know where the fire department was," said Vincent. "I was trying to clear everybody out because the truck could have blown up, and they're threatening us because we dented their hood trying to get it open to put out the fire."
Sheriff Shane Doyle who was on scene, said he heard Mr. King threaten the rescue workers. "I was standing right beside him as firefighters were working hard to control the blaze," he said. "Apparently, he didn't like how they were treating his truck. He looked at the rescue workers and said I'm going to knock them in the (----ing) head."
Doyle said he asked him to repeat what he had just heard and that's when King reportedly said it again. It was then discovered King had been drinking and was arrested for Terroristic Threatening 3rd degree, Disorderly Conduct 2nd degree, and Alcohol Intoxication 1st offense.
Bank employee Patrick Merritt said he heard the crash, looked out the window and immediately called 911. "The police got here fast, I mean it seemed like 10 seconds and they were here," he said. "The evacuation began immediately. We locked everything up and everyone got out and across the street. It was really fast but smooth."
"As soon as we knew there was a fire, we got everything locked up, had the vaults in good shape, everyone's paperwork was safe and we got everyone evacuated safely," said bank employee Michael Meredith. "The fire departments made a quick response time and got the fire put out quickly. It looks like very little damage to the bank at this time. No one was hurt and no damage to any money. We'll have a structural engineer coming over to make sure it's safe to operate and hopefully we'll be open by this afternoon."
Bank Board Chairman Jeanne Patton was grateful to the rescue workers. "We thank our firefighters and emergency workers for such a great job," she said. "We don't know what we'd do without them. Thankfully no one was hurt." She also reminded everyone that the Louisville Road branch in Bowling Green is open and available to help anyone who needs banking until the Brownsville branch was reopened.
Heather King, driver of the truck was heard saying "Sorry about that, ya'll," as she left the scene.
After further investigation into this morning’s widespread outage that affected almost 12,000 Warren RECC members in Richardsville, Oakland, Smiths Grove, west Bowling Green, Cemetery Road, and Park City, the cause was determined to be a snake coming in contact with electrical equipment in a substation.
This is the second time in a year that a snake has caused outages in the same substation. Just last month another snake was captured on video in the substation, and personnel responded before the snake could get into the equipment.
Warren RECC President and CEO W. Scott Ramsey apologizes to all members who were affected, especially those who were getting ready for work or other appointments. “We will be requesting assistance from third parties, including WKU, to perform a snake study in the area where this particular substation is located.
Generally, when snakes get into substations, they are looking for rodents or birds that build nests on the framing of the substation. However, we have also experienced snakes being dropped over electrical equipment from flying hawks,” Ramsey said.
To report power outages in Warren County, call 843-9710; outside Warren County, call toll-free 1 (888) 604-4321.
Darren Doyle, story and photos
Volunteers were sorting through dozens of boxes of school supplies at ECHS today after all the Edmonson County donations from Stuff The Bus 10 with D93 and Tony Rose were brought home. A portion of the supplies were from the recent "Cram The Cruiser" event, an STB 10 partner along with Kentucky State Police, while the rest were donations that came from Edmonson County residents.
Lisa Whobery, EC Community Education Director, said it was the largest amount of supplies that Edmonson County has ever received from the event. An exact amount was not known, but volunteers were working non-stop to sort through the boxes, organizing equal piles to be delivered to each Edmonson County School. Thousands of dollars worth of standard supplies, canned goods, and backpacks were received.
Tony Rose, host of D93's Tony Rose Morning Show, said STB 10 brought in around 18 tons of school supplies, filling up 5 school buses, which shattered the previous record of 9 tons. "When we call on south-central KY for help, they rise to the occasion," he said. "Edmonson County is no different. When we have partners like EC schools, the Youth Service Center, Family Resource Center, Community Education, and media friends like EdmonsonVoice.com, we know good things are going to happen."
Today's volunteers included:
Lisa Sanders, Family Resource Center Coordinator,
Morgan Esters, Youth Service Coordinator for ECMS and ECHS
Lynette Saling, 5/6 Center Family Resource Center
Tonya Sanders, Family Resource Center
Cindy Vincent, Youth Service Center
Jamie Carnes, Edmonson County Schools
Lisa Whobery, Community Education Director
Mahala Sanders, 8th Grader, ECMS
Edmonson County Judge Executive Wil Cannon has announced there will be a public hearing on Monday August 10th at exactly 8:50am, in the upstairs courtroom just before the next Fiscal Court meeting. This hearing is in regards to two proposed new taxes recently discussed by county government.
One is an Extension Agent Tax, the other a Health Department Tax. Both offices are funded by Edmonson County Fiscal Court. Judge Cannon encourages everyone to attend. "We need the public's opinion on these proposed taxes," he said. Cannon has recently discussed how the two taxes could help the county fight a $200,000 budget deficit over the next two years.
Edmonson Voice Staff
The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office has been working some extra overtime during the last month for the statewide "Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over" campaign. A road check set up near the Nolin Dam on Saturday night resulted in two separate DUI's.
Police said that Jennifer Fink, 41, Brownsville smelled strongly of alcohol as her vehicle came through the stop. She reportedly showed obvious signs of intoxication after field sobriety tests were given. Police said Fink had a breath alcohol level over .15, which is almost twice the legal limit.
She was arrested and charged with DUI 1st offense aggravator, possession of an open alcoholic container, failure to wear seat belt, and license to be in possession.
Police also said that as Evan Patterson, 28, from Lebanon Junction KY attempted to pass through the road check, a strong smell of alcohol was noticed. After he was given field sobriety tests, it was reported that multiple signs of being under the influence of alcohol were shown. Police said his breath alcohol level was also over .15. Police also reported Patterson had a .40 cal handgun hidden under a seat.
Patterson was arrested for DUI aggravated circumstance and for possession of concealed weapon. Both were transported and lodged in the Hart County Jail.
Darren Doyle, story and photo
The hot topic of this week's Fiscal Court meeting was the Blue Holler ATV Park that we reported earlier, but there was also plenty of other business discussed.
Emergency Management Director Pat Prunty reported that the county had been awarded a federal grant from FEMA that would reimburse expenses incurred during the first snowstorm of 2015. "We didn't qualify for any help on the second storm, but on the first one, we did. We'll meet with FEMA in a couple weeks and see what we can get," he said. "Anything we get is better than what we had before, so it will be positive."
Prunty said that any government entity can apply for this type of assistance, but from the documentation he saw, he said that the grant would be applied to county road department expenses, as the grant was for the purpose of snow removal.
Parks and Rec Update
Greg Hudson, Parks and Rec Special Events Coordinator, reported that the Freedom Fest cancelled earlier this month has been rescheduled for Labor Day Weekend. We'll have more details in another story. He also said that he had been working with Studio DD, the parent company of EdmonsonVoice.com, to build a website for Parks and Rec. The website will feature photos and info from each of the three county parks, contact information, and a list of all the upcoming events that have been added to the program. He spoke of having "Halloween in the Park," Easter Egg hunts, day camps, a summer concert series, and cooperation with the tourism board and extension agent to help promote all events in the county. We'll have more on this when the website is launched.
State Fair Booth
Tourism Director Rhonda Clemmons reported that there were plenty of volunteers that signed up to help with the county's booth at the upcoming state fair. In the past, she said she'd worked as many as 10 days in a row at the fair by herself, so this was a great help to her as well as for the promotion of Edmonson County.
Rocky Hill Gas Plant
Judge Cannon reported there had been no further action taken with Hellervik Oil and the Rocky Hill Gas Plant. Hellervik is the only active plant seeker looking for industrial bonds from the county. He noted there may be more potential buyers, but no others seeking bonds.
Sidewalk Project Begins This Week
The sidewalk project on the north side of the courthouse will be underway this Wednesday. Cannon said the entire area would be blocked off for the construction process and could take throughout the rest of this week to complete.
Coroner Adjusts Resignation Date
County Coroner Michael Alexander, who recently and reluctantly resigned over a conflict of interest in his state retirement fund has asked the county to adjust the date of the resignation from August 1, to August 31. He also recommended the court appoint Brently Esters who is currently serving as a volunteer deputy coroner.
Esters is a certified coroner with 5 years experience in Warren County. Judge Cannon, by executive order, appointed Esters as County Coroner beginning September 1 until a special election will be held in November of 2016. Cannon asked for approval from the magistrates, although not necessary for executive order. Magistrates unanimously approved.
Fiscal Court Night Meeting Discussed
Judge Cannon said due to a large number of citizens that have requested night Fiscal Court meetings to better accommodate daily work schedules of residents, he recommended having one night meeting per quarter to test the popularity. The item of business will be on the August 10th agenda for a vote.
Judge Cannon said he wanted to form a committee to research other counties' zoning laws, compare them, and come up with a custom-fit plan for Edmonson County. Mag. Buck Simmons said a committee was not needed, he already knew how he would vote on industrial zoning. Cannon said a committee was necessary.
Cannon also announced a public hearing for discussion of two possible new taxes, an extension agent tax, and a health department tax. We will have the formal announcement in another section of EdmonsonVoice.com.
Speed Limit On County Roads
The court previously discussed setting all speed limits to 35mph on all county roads. Cannon said this may not be the best plan as his opinion was some roads are safely driven at 45mph, others at 25mph. The general discussion was to research specific roads and make adjustments to the speed limits as they seem necessary.
Darren Doyle, story and photo
Several residents from the Nolin Dam area attended the Monday, July 27 Fiscal Court meeting to voice their concerns regarding the noise level from the nearby Blue Holler ATV Park. The land is privately owned by local attorney Gary Logsdon with the facility being run by Kevin Nelson, from Clarkson. Several at the meeting said a curfew for this and other similar businesses and events are necessary.
One local resident, Keith Lamastus, said a recent concert held on the property this past weekend was far too loud and lasted until 1 or 2AM. He also complained about the constant noise levels from ATV's which he said seemed to go on 24 hours a day.
"The concert sounded just like they were in my backyard," he said. "I'm not against business, and I'm not against a man making a dollar. We're not for shutting it down, let's just put a curfew on it." LaMastus then quoted a KRS statute regarding a statewide noise ordinance. He wanted to know why it wasn't being enforced.
The property of another resident and local businessman, Forrest Jaggers, borders the ATV park. "I can't even sit on my porch on the weekends and enjoy a cup of coffee without this bullcrap going on," he said. "If we have to, we'll take this to a higher court. How many citations have been written out here? I want to know," he asked.
Sheriff Shane Doyle said he was aware of the noise statute, but there were several gray areas within. He said the law was written in 1972 and that the enforcement of the law could be interpreted differently, depending on who was reading it. He also said the law doesn't state what the punishment is. "If I write a citation for that, I don't know what comes next," he said. "It's very vague, there have been no updates on this law since it was written."
Jaggers said, "You say you don't know this or that, well, I say find out. Let's do something. That's not too much to ask of this body." Doyle said he certainly would find out the details. LaMastus then quoted another KRS regarding the law, but a specific punishment was not listed in what he read. One place discussed that fines could not exceed what a local agency has already imposed, but in the case of Edmonson County, that would be none, as there is no local noise ordinance in place.
LaMastus said there was more than just noise involved. He said there is constant mud on the highway at the entrance to the park, and that ATV riders and spectators ride through and park in Cove Hollow Cemetery. "We've tried being good neighbors, but this has gone too far."
Judge Cannon said as long as there is "no parking" signs posted, (which according to citizens there were) then any and all vehicles on the property could be towed at the owner's expense.
Clayton Pardue echoed the same concerns. "It's like Mad Max on some days with Sand Rails, Razors, ATVs, golf carts, anything with a motor up and down that road."
County Attorney J.B. Hines invited the citizens to meet with him, the Judge, and the Sheriff to research the statute and see what could be enforced. "My office is certainly open to you or any member of the community," Hines said. "We can sit down and look at this together."
The attending residents seemed to be satisfied that county officials were willing to work with them. "All we're asking for is a reasonable curfew," Jaggers said.
Judge Cannon ended the discussion by saying "We're going to develop a plan, we're going to execute a plan and we'll do the best we can to help you."
Rhonda Clemmons, head of Tourism, was recently hired by the county to seek out businesses that weren't properly following the county recreation tax laws. The ATV park was on her list. The tax is 50 cents on each admission to a recreational or entertainment event in the county such as canoeing, camping, golfing, and most recently, karaoke facilities. The tax is supposed to go to Parks and Rec.
Clemmons said she has spoken with Mr. Nelson regarding the tax and that he was willing to work with the county on making things right. Clemmons said he was also willing to pay back taxes, but she didn't know how much that would be as there was no record of how many people had been in and out of the park since it's beginning. She said they last spoke about 10 days ago but according to her, he said he'd have to wait until he opened up a bank account to pay the taxes.
We later spoke with Kevin Nelson, the facilitator of the park and he said he was aware of a few folks that were upset with noise but not many. He also said none of the nearby residents had ever contacted him regarding any potential problems. "That would be the first thing that would have needed to be done, in my opinion," he said, but also noted that he wasn't sure if anyone had spoken with Logsdon, the property owner.
As far as the concert goes, he said he made all the necessary preparations in order to have the concert. "I checked and there was no sound ordinance, I checked for a permit, and there was no permit because of no sound ordinance. I let everybody know we'd be done around midnight, and we were," he said. "I also kept it a good half-mile off the road."
Nelson said he would be more than happy to work with county officials as well local citizens. "We ain't there to make anybody mad, that's for sure." Nelson said the business opened last fall and they're only open on weekends. He estimated a couple hundred folks go through there on a busy weekend.
He also said as far as he knew, parking in the cemetery was a one-time incident due to a shortage of parking on an extremely busy weekend and that the cemetery road was not blocked. He said that the cars in the cemetery were moved off the property before dark on that day.
Nelson also said he would have paid the taxes already, but he had broken his hand which put him behind schedule. "We have an accountant working on that, and she knows everything that goes through our park. Whatever it needs to be is what I'll pay," he said. "I don't know how much any of that is, but whatever it is, is whatever it is. We're going to pay our taxes just like any other business."
Nelson closed by saying "It's hard to make everybody happy. I know the concert deal is going to get a little loud, but it's something we're going to do from time to time, not every weekend, but you know, a couple times a year. We'll try to have it shut down by midnight. Most nights, the riders are through by 10 o'clock other than 4 or 5 little four wheelers that you couldn't hear go down the road anyway. We're willing to work with anybody, it's up to Gary what we do, it's his ground, I just kind of do whatever he wants me to do."
Mr. Logsdon spoke with us and said, "The only thing I'll add is this: I'll support him (Nelson) and what he said because it's correct, but also that any business that develops in any community owes the people that were there first, the respect and dignity of trying to accommodate their needs, and to impact their lives as minimally as possible."
Logsdon said he was aware of the noise associated with the park, but that the noise could be controlled. He said there was also noise associated with farming, airplanes overhead, trucks, and all types of other noise contamination in our environments, but he was willing to work with anyone necessary to solve those issues. "Whatever actions that are necessary to accommodate the community, I'll support."
He said as far as a curfew was concerned, it would depend on the definition and terms of the curfew proposed by county officials before he could comment further.
Darren Doyle, story and photos
A good crowd showed up on the square in Brownsville today as car enthusiasts from around the area came to enjoy the 2015 Relay For Life Car Show and Arts and Crafts Fest. Coordinator Richie Jones said even though the crowd was a tad smaller than last year, hundreds of folks came out to participate in the festivities. Live entertainment was featured inside and outside of the Community Center and several vendors were on hand.
"We were down a few cars this year, but the crowd was still really good," said Jones. "Our auction did really well, too. There were so many people that made the event happen, all the volunteers, vendors, our judges, everyone. It takes so many people to make it successful, and we're glad for all of them."
Jones said the event raised almost $4700, which will make for a nice donation to Relay For Life.
Check out some of our favorites below, with each winner listed.
by Amy Bullock
The Edmonson County School District will be implementing the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) at Kyrock Elementary, South Edmonson Elementary, Edmonson County 5th-6th Center and Edmonson County Middle School during the 2015-2016 school year. CEP allows all students access to free breakfast and lunch at the participating school.
CEP was created as a part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. This program allows schools in high poverty areas to offer free breakfast and lunch to all students in that school. To qualify, a school must have 40% or more of its students eligible for fee meals based on certain benefits such as SNAP, Medicaid and Foster Child Programs.
“Implementing CEP is a great benefit for Edmonson County students and their families,” said Food Service Director, Amy Bullock. “Mornings are rushed in most households and many of our students have to be on the bus before they are even ready to eat breakfast. Sometimes this leads to breakfast being skipped altogether. Also, a lot of family budgets are just too limited to allow for the extra money breakfast normally costs at school. We have great lunch participation rates at all of our schools, but I expect those rates will increase also with the implementation of CEP.” The cost of breakfast and lunch to parents of a paying student was approximately $500 during the 2014-15 school year. “For families with more than one school-age child, the savings will really add up,” Bullock added.
“We know that well-fed children are able to focus in class and ultimately do better in school,” said Superintendent Patrick Waddell. “Participating in school breakfast and lunch helps provide nutritious food for your children at school so they can concentrate better and learn more, and saves parents valuable time and money at home. I hope all of our students at the eligible schools will take advantage of this exciting new program by participating in school breakfast and lunch this year.”
Principals of local schools are also excited at the opportunity to feed all students at no cost.
Jimmy White, Principal of Kyrock Elementary School, said "We are very excited to be able to offer both breakfast and lunch at no cost to all of our students this school year. This new program should be a savings to our families who have paid in the past and even though meal participation has always been excellent at Kyrock Elementary, I expect it to be even higher thanks to CEP."
“I am glad we get to offer this opportunity to all of the students at ECMS," said middle school Principal Brandon Prunty. "We'll have to make some minor changes to our morning routine, but they'll definitely be worth it to the students. Ensuring that everyone has breakfast will be a positive start to each day.”
Principal of South Edmonson Elementary, Jamie Woosley, said “I think this is a great opportunity for all students to participate in a program that promotes health and nutrition without any financial burden to their families."
Alan Talley, 5th-6th Center principal, said, "We are very excited about the opportunity for all of our students to eat breakfast and lunch at no cost this year. We are sure this will increase the percentage of kids who eat both breakfast and lunch on a daily basis. This program is a win-win situation for the parents, students, and our school. We plan to take measures at our school that will maximize student participation, especially in our breakfast program. We just ask that parents reinforce the importance of this program to your child on a regular basis."
Students at the CEP schools will still have meal accounts to allow students to purchase extra servings. You may still send money to school to be put into an account or you can make a payment online at myschoolbucks.com. Please be aware that any meal charges carried over from last school year will remain on your child’s account until paid in full. Students will not be allowed to charge extra servings.
Unfortunately, Edmonson County High School has lower qualifying numbers and will not be included in the CEP Program at this time.
“Eligibility for CEP is re-evaluated on an annual basis,” Ms. Bullock said. “We will keep a close watch on those numbers and hopefully we will be able to qualify ECHS for the program in the future.”
Families at CEP qualified schools will not need to complete the Free & Reduced School Meals application as they have in the past. In its place they can expect a Household & Income Form. “It’s crucial that parents complete this form and return it to school,” Ms. Bullock said. “Federal funding for many of our school programs other than school meals relies upon this information so please be sure and watch for this form in the back to school packet your child receives upon returning to school this year.”
Gipson was transported and lodged in the Hart County Jail. The investigation was led by Officer Garth Avery and was assisted by District 2 Constable Tim Skees.
On Sunday, July 19th, 2015, around 6pm, multiple agencies in the Nolin Lake Area responded to a missing swimmer at the Nolin Lake State Park at the Brier Creek boat ramp. At around 10:30pm, the body of the missing man, Heber Tomas Valle Cardenas, 24 of Honduras, was recovered by a diver called in by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.
After the recovery, he was pronounced dead around 11Pm by Edmonson County Coroner Michael Alexander.
Cardenas was transported to the Louisville Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy. Exact cause of death will be released upon completion of the investigation by the EC Coroner's office.
Responding to the scene were the following:
Edmonson County Emergency Management
EC Rescue Squad
EC Sheriff's Office
EC Emergency Management
KY Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
Mammoth Cave National Park Ranger
EC Coroner's Office
Hart Co. Rescue Squad
US Army Corps of Engineers
Warren County Rescue Squad
Darren Doyle, story and photos
The body of a 25 year old man was recovered around 10:40pm near the beach at Briar Creek at Nolin State Park. The name of the victim will not be released until next of kin is notified. Coroner Michael Alexander pronounced the man dead at the scene with the cause of death being an apparent drowning, pending an autopsy.
A witness on scene said he knew the victim and that the victim was an employee of the construction company that has been conducting recent maintenance and repairs on the Brownsville bridge and is not a resident of Edmonson County.
Officials said three other men who were swimming with the victim reported that he simply went under the water and failed to resurface. KY Fish and Wildlife said that alcohol could have been a contributing factor in the accident.
The body was found approximately 5 hrs after the call first came in. Several fire departments, Edmonson County Emergency Management, Edmonson EMS, EC Sheriff's Department, Edmonson and Hart County Rescue Squads, and a diver from Grayson County Sheriff's Dept. all worked together in the effort.
Edmonson District Court was held on Tuesday, July 14, 2015. The Hon. Judge Renona Browning presiding.
Dennis L Brewer, Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Pleaded guilty. Fined $500, $450 of which suspended for two years on no similar charge. Failure to notify address change to dept of transportation. Dismissed. Total fines and costs $234.
Donald G Bodrey, Part 395 of Federal safety regulations- hours of service for drivers. Failed to appear, notice sent to Dept of transportation.
Sarah J. Witt, Failure to wear seat belt. Prepayable, continued for 7/28/15.
Brooklyn R Smith, Speeding 26mph over limit. Reckless driving. Continued for 7/28/15.
Charles Christopher Vibbert, Alcohol intoxication in a public place, first and second offense. Failed to appear, $500 bench warrant issued.
Mary Deleana Wilson, No/expired registration plates, no/expired KY registration receipt, operating vehicle with expired operator's license. Failed to appear, notice sent to Dept. of transportation.
Ethan C Woosley, Failure to wear seat belts. Pleaded guilty, fined $25. Too many passengers in vehicle (front seat). Pleaded guilty, fined $50. Failure to produce insurance card, dismissed. Total costs and fines $193.
Joseph Anthony Russo III, Speeding, 17mph over limit, prepayable.
Jimmy Dan Gray, Speeding 26mph over limit. Amended to 25 over, will attend county attorney traffic school. Reckless driving, merged into count one.
Laura Michelle Winchester, Speeding 18mph over limit, will attend county attorney traffic school. Failure to produce insurance card, dismissed. No/expired KY registration receipt, dismissed.
Phillip Dewayne Hayes, DUI on suspended license, 3rd offense aggravator, pleaded not guilty. Possess open alcohol beverage container in a motor vehicle, pleaded not guilty. Operating motor vehicle under influence of alcohol, drugs, aggravator, 4th offense, pleaded not guilty.
Paul C. Wilson, Terroristic threatening, 3rd degree, pleaded not guilty. Disorderly conduct, 2nd degree, pleaded not guilty. Criminal mischief, 1st degree, pleaded not guilty. Preliminary hearing for 7/28/15.
Regina Smiley, Assault 4th degree, domestic violence minor injury, pleaded guilty. Alcohol intoxication in a public place, first and second offense, pleaded guilty. Disorderly conduct, 2nd degree, pleaded guilty. Sentencing scheduled for 7/28/15.
Darren Doyle, Edmonson Voice
Friday, July 17th was a busy day in Brownsville for the Kentucky State Police, but instead of rounding up bad guys, they were gathering school supplies with the Edmonson County Youth Service Center, D93's Tony Rose, and a team of local volunteers and emergency personnel at the 8th annual "Cram The Cruiser" school supply drive for Stuff The Bus 10.
"Edmonson County always comes out to help and it's no different today," said Lisa Whobery with EC YSC. "Our first couple years were slow, but with Tony Rose, D93, and Stuff the Bus matching it, it makes a huge difference," she added. "If you give a $5 donation, they take that and turn it into $10 or possibly $15 that goes directly to Edmonson County Schools. It doesn't stay in Warren County, it comes right back here."
Trooper B.J. Eaton, Public Relations Officer with KSP said the donations were steady all day. "We've always had a good relationship with everyone involved in this event," he said. "Any time the State Police can help the schools, where we can reach out and give back to our kids, that's what we want to do."
Sheriff Shane Doyle drove one of his department's Humvees to the event. "Hopefully, after we fill up a couple of these cruisers, we'll fill the Humvee up, too," he said. "It's an honor to help with this event and it really makes a difference in our schools."
Today's event was the largest ever in EC, filling multiple vehicles with supplies and bringing in hundreds of dollars in donations. "This is huge for Edmonson County," Doyle said. "This has been a fantastic event."
D93 morning radio show host Tony Rose, said he was humbled that Edmonson County has helped with his now hugely popular event, Stuff The Bus, which is entering it's 10th year. "When you do a morning show like I do, part of the gig is to do something wacky, something crazy," Rose said. "I said Why don't we live on a bus until people fill it up with school supplies? Looking back on it, we collected two tons of supplies and we thought we changed the game. When we distributed those supplies to local schools, we learned that the amount would only last a month or so!"
It was then he said that he truly realized how great the need was for Stuff The Bus, and that he wanted to make it bigger and better, not just a radio stunt.
"We've brought in over 65 tons of supplies over the past decade," he said. "Our 10-county community has stepped up and they know that kids and families in need are now able to play on a more level playing field as far as their school supplies go, as 100% is donated to local schools. Everyone at Stuff the Bus is a volunteer, no one makes a dime at it, and everything it takes to make it go is donated in every sense."
So, what if you missed "Cram the Cruiser?" What can you do for Edmonson County schools? Fortunately, you have another chance as today's event helps kickoff STB 10, which will be at Bluegrass Cellular parking lot on Campbell Lane in Bowling Green beginning Thursday, July 23 and lasts until Monday morning, July 27th. Simply stop by with your donation and tell the folks you're from Edmonson County. Your gift will be ear-marked for Edmonson County only, and one that will be doubled when it returns to EC.
The Green River ferry is closed today, Tuesday July 14, 2015 because of rising water and drifting debris.
For current information about ferry operation, please telephone 270-758-2166, or check the park's Twitter account at @MammothCaveNP.
Darren Doyle, Edmonson Voice
Judge Executive Wil Cannon discussed two possibilities that would increase county revenue in the 2015-16 fiscal year. Cannon has regularly conveyed that the county is currently spending at a higher rate than the revenue coming in, at an amount somewhere in the neighborhood of $200,000-$250,000 over the next two years.
Cannon has urged magistrates to explore any and all options available to solve the budget issue, unfortunately, there are only a few ways to fix an upside-down budget: increase revenue, decrease spending, (cut programs) or raise taxes. In some cases, a real solution might be a mixture of all the above.
Cannon pointed out that there are two taxes that virtually every county in Kentucky pays that Edmonson Countians do not; 1. An Extension Agent Tax and 2. A Health Department Tax. Cannon said Edmonson County pays around $90,000 to fund the Extension Agent each year and another $120,000 to help fund the Health Dept. services.
The proposed Extension Agent tax would appear on property tax bills, on motor vehicle and water sport vehicle taxes, and on personal property taxes (tangible taxes) in the amount of 1.75 cents per $100 of value. For example, let's say you pay property taxes on a $100,000 home and lot. The tax would add another $17.50 to your property taxes.
A proposed Health Dept. tax would also be applied to the same properties, but at a slightly higher rate of 2 cents per $100 of valued property, or an additional $20 on a $100,000 property.
"None of us (Fiscal Court) want to talk about these things, but here it is upon us and we have to do something," Cannon said. "We can't continue on like we're going. We're going to either have to severely cut the budget, increase revenue, or both. It's on our shoulders as to how this problem is faced."
Cannon has discussed at length that making large cuts in the budget would cause many county programs to suffer, such as Parks and Rec, the sheriff's office, and others. He's reminded the court on several occasions that Edmonson County has always paid fewer taxes than surrounding counties, but compounded over the years, now faces a huge budget shortfall.
Cannon asked the magistrates to take the proposed new taxes to each of their districts and get feedback from tax payers. The new taxes will continue to be discussed in the future.
New Branch of Lincoln Fire Department
Sheriff Shane Doyle also reported on several grants that had been applied for, one written by Lincoln Fire Chief Steve Sanders, would allow his dept. to build an additional branch in the community. The fire district is so large that many community residents are still 15-18 miles from a fire house. This causes insurance rates to be much higher. The construction of a satellite dept in the area would save a large portion of Edmonson Countians a substantial amount on their insurance policies.
He also said Emergency Management Director Pat Prunty has applied for two other grants, one that would allow the county to make improvements to the radio system used by emergency personnel, and the other that would allow a total new system. He noted that the current system being used is virtually obsolete and that there are parts of the county where signal will not reach.
The court also:
The court also discussed Parks and Rec issues and accepted the resignations of the Coroner and Deputy Coroner, both of which we reported earlier in other stories.
Darren Doyle, Edmonson Voice
Edmonson County Coroner Michael Alexander and Deputy Coroner Daniel Ashley have both resigned from their positions as of Monday's Fiscal Court meeting, but will remain in the office until August 1st. The resignations come from a discovery of losing service time put in at their other jobs at the Bowling Green Fire Department.
Alexander, who was first elected as Coroner in the 2010 election, told the Fiscal Court that he pays to two retirement accounts, one as Coroner, the other as an 18 year veteran of the fire department. According to Alexander, the state retirement fund penalizes him for participating in two funds, the one from the fire department being hazardous duty pay. He said that each year, he loses one month of service time from his years at the fire department. He also said that if he is promoted in rank, that can become a loss of two or even three months per year.
"This was a difficult decision for me to make," Alexander said. "I've been thinking hard about this for several months, but I can't afford to lose any more service time than I already have."
He said he currently has lost a total of 7 months service time, which means if he continues to work until he would have normally retired, he will have to work an additional 7 months to make up for the retirement penalty.
Deputy Coroner Daniel Ashley was in the same predicament and he was forced to follow suit with Alexander in order to avoid more service time penalties.
"I knew there would be a penalty, and it didn't seem that bad at first, but it keeps increasing," Alexander added. "I tried to do a good job for my county and we both did the best we could. Again, this was a difficult decision, and I want nothing but good things for Edmonson County."
Judge Wil Cannon said "I've been around a lot of coroners, and Michael has done a great job, Daniel has, too. We hate to see you go, but we understand."
Brentley Esters, a certified Coroner, employed by Patton Funeral Home who was added as a Deputy Coroner back in June, was recommended to fulfill the position but there were questions as to how that would come about. Some mentioned there would have to be a special election in the near future. The election board said they would review the case and do what was necessary when the situation was properly researched. County Attorney J.B. Hines said there were several issues to look at and he didn't want to speculate on what steps needed to be made for now. The county has until August before the new plan becomes final.
Sheriff Shane Doyle gave the monthly report for the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office for June 2015 at this week's Fiscal Court meeting.
Sheriff Doyle also told the court that he had been researching different possibilities for the purchase and use of body cameras for he and his deputies. "It's the day we live in," he said. "We want to make sure we're always doing everything that's best for our citizens while staying up to date on the latest technology we have available." He said there were certain grants that could be available that he hoped would cover the costs of any new project.
Edmonson Voice Staff
Edmonson County High School Athletic Director Kyle Pierce signed an exclusive agreement with EdmonsonVoice.com on July 8th to carry live broadcasts for ECHS boys and girls basketball games and boys football games for the upcoming school year.
The brand new page, "Wildcats Live," which will be launched soon and located in the Sports link, will feature not only the broadcasts of live games, but also biographies of local broadcasters, sports schedules, and different student athelete spotlights.
"I'm very excited about our new partnership with the Edmonson Voice," Pierce said. "We feel that this will provide our athletes and coaches a tremendous avenue to promote their programs. Darren Doyle, with EdmonsonVoice.com, played here and lives here, so he definitely wants to see a quality product for these kids. He has the background and ability to produce the best broadcast possible using the most cutting edge in technology."
Football broadcaster and basketball PA man Scott Lindsey was also glad to be part of the Edmonson Voice family. "It was great to hear about the new home for Edmonson County Wildcat sports," he said. "The Edmonson Voice has established itself as a great platform for news, sports, and anything to do with the people of Edmonson County. Being a locally owned and operated media, the support for us as broadcasters, and for ECHS sports, we feel these broadcasts will be second to none.
Jamie Carnes, basketball broadcaster and co-host of the popular podcast "The View From Wildcat Alley," is also looking forward to the change. "Wyn (Caudill) and I have worked with the Edmonson Voice for a while now, as the site has provided us with an outlet for our local sports podcast and I know we're both happy to be a part of the new "Wildcats Live," he said. "ECHS Athletics' decision to team up with the local site to bring game broadcasts to the public is certainly a logical step, and I'm sure listeners will be impressed with the quality offered by game broadcasts as well as with web content they will see when they visit the "Wildcats Live" page. It will be great to be a part of the first truly home-grown sports broadcast site in Edmonson County."
Some people might wonder if an internet broadcast is as good as your old-fashioned radio broadcast. While some traditionalists don't want to try out new technology, listening to games on EdmonsonVoice.com will be super easy. You can either listen from your computer, smart phone, or tablet, all while watching the Wildcats Live page and all the latest on ECHS sports.
"Since the broadcast will be through the Internet, you can listen to the games anywhere in the world and it will be crystal clear," Piece added. "The Edmonson Voice will provide an updated webpage dedicated to the broadcasts and teams, so you can go there to catch up on any breaking news that comes about as well."
"When you go into a partnership, both sides agree to give their best to make it all go smoothly," said Pierce. " I know we're both excited to get this going and everyone will do their best to promote the kids in a first class manner."
The page will be up and running in a couple weeks and Edmonson Voice staff members are currently putting the final touches on the broadcast equipment and set up. The EdmonsonVoice.com is proud to be your new home for Wildcat Sports. Stay connected for all the latest.
Edmonson Voice Staff
The Edmonson County Ambulance Service received notification on July 3, 2015 that it has been awarded a grant from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program in the amount of $87,715.00. The award will be used to purchase power-loading cot fastener systems for three ambulances. These systems greatly reduce the risk of injury to EMS personnel when loading and unloading stretchers from the back of an ambulance as well as eliminating the risk of a patient being dropped during the loading/unloading process. The equipment that is to be purchased with this award will also meet new safety guidelines that went into effect July 1st of this year.
Edmonson County Ambulance Service Director Keith Sanders said this is the first time that Edmonson County Ambulance Service has received this type of grant. "This funding will allow us to purchase equipment that otherwise we would not have the money to purchase," he said. "This equipment can also be removed from an ambulance that is being replaced and reinstalled in a new ambulance, thus extending the usable life of the equipment."
A statement from the AFG website said "The primary goal of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) is to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency medical service organizations. Since 2001, AFG has helped firefighters and other first responders to obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards. This program is administered by the US Department of Homeland Security/FEMA."
The Assistance to Firefighters Grant is an extremely competitive grant with only around 13% of applications receiving funding.
MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky., July 13, 2015 – This week, the National Park Service (NPS) areas in Kentucky launch the Kentucky National Park Pentathlon, inviting those who visit all five NPS sites in the state to earn a special free commemorative patch. The Pentathlon is in recognition of the NPS 2016 Centennial.
“Congress passed the Organic Act in 1916, which created a new federal agency to manage national park lands,” said Superintendent Sarah Craighead. “During this Centennial we encourage everyone to find their park and get outside to enjoy what it has to offer."
Pentathlon participants can earn the commemorative patch by visiting all Kentucky national parks by April 2017, and participating at a least one activity at each park.
“The Kentucky Parks Pentathlon is a wonderful way to experience the five national parks across the state,” said Craighead. “Each one has spectacular resources and a wide range of recreational opportunities.”
Kentucky has all or part of five national park sites within its borders, including:
Possible activities include hiking, biking, horseback riding, canoeing, camping, volunteering, attend a ranger-led tour/presentation, bird-watching, visiting a park’s museum, seeing park’s film or any other activity available at the parks. Participants can do the same activity at all five parks or try something different at each location.
The NPS is promoting its Centennial slogan “Find Your Park” and the use of #FindYourPark by visitors as they post their experiences and photos to social media sites.
Darren Doyle, Edmonson Voice
Make plans to participate in "Cram The Cruiser" this Friday, July 17th, which is Edmonson County's event to help the region's most recognized area-wide school supply fundraising event, "Stuff The Bus," with WDNS D93's Tony Rose. Don't be fooled by other similar local events that are actually for-profit by other outlets; if it doesn't say "Stuff The Bus," then you'll probably just want to skip it.
"The cool thing about Brownsville and Edmonson County is, they're like the gold standard for what all other counties should do," said Tony Rose, who heads up STB. "The more that counties do at home to help with Stuff The Bus, the more they get back when the supplies are distributed throughout the area."
Rose said that the total amount donated to STB through individual counties is matched (within reason, no iPads, computers, or extremely expensive items) and returned. So, if Cram The Cruiser donates $5,000 worth of supplies to STB, then STB will donate around $10,000 worth of supplies back to Edmonson County schools at the completetion of the event.
He said that Cram The Cruiser began about 8 years ago when he had the opportunity to meet up with the Edmonson County Youth Service Center after he heard they wanted to be apart of a school supply event. "They're amazing people with great energy that's contagious," Rose said. "We knew they were teaming up with KSP and suggested that we'd promote an event in Edmonson County along with STB and if they'd donate everything they received, then we'd give that amount back, plus a ton more."
Rose said the event was a huge success and that it allowed STB to help out one of their favorite counties and school systems while adding to the popularity of STB, which causes more people in the region to donate.
"Each year we're tweaking things here and there, and Cram The Cruiser continues to grow, so now you've got Edmonson County setting the standard for the county-match donation setup."
The event will begin at approximately 7:30/8AM at the Minit Mart in Brownsville and last until around 10AM, when it will move to the Family Dollar just down the street and remain set up there until around 3 or 4PM in the afternoon. Kentucky State Police will be on site with one of their police cruisers with hopes that it's running over with school supplies, plus some, at the end of the day.
"I've always had a strong place in my heart for Brownsville and Edmonson County," Rose said. "I've felt like I've been an adopted citizen of that area for a long time."
Darren Doyle, Edmonson Voice
Judge Executive Wil Cannon presented an idea to magistrates at the Monday, July 13 Fiscal Court meeting to release the authority of county government over the Little League program while adding a Fiscal Court-appointed representative to serve as special events coordinator between the court and program.
The plan comes in the wake of the recent controversy surrounding the resignation of the newly hired Program Director Greg Hudson, who only held the job for about three months. Hudson resigned after he discovered what he said were guidelines set by county government that would not allow him to properly perform his job duties, guidelines he was not originally aware of, mainly regarding open record matters.
This prompted the Fiscal Court to find another solution to the ongoing Little League issues, one that could work without county government being in charge. Many concerned citizens and parents disagreed with Cannon's recommendation to release county government of control of the program as some said it would fail without proper direction, direction that needed to come from Fiscal Court.
The Fiscal Court took no action other than discussion at the last meeting, as Magistrate Mark Woosley was unable to attend. Today, however, was a different story, as the county approved Hudson to withdraw his resignation and allow him to remain employed by the county, but as a Special Events Coordinator.
Hudson addressed the court and explained that the new position would allow him to continue his vision for the betterment of the Parks and Rec program with the addition of 3-on-3, volleyball, and disc golf tournaments, as well as having a summer concert series each year, the proceeds of which would fund Parks and Rec programs.
"These are opportunities for us to raise money to go directly back into the Parks system to make repairs and improvements," Hudson said.
Cannon wants the Baseball/Softball program to have it's own board that would be elected by parents and coaches, a board that would govern itself with the help of an advisor (Hudson). The bottom line is that the Baseball/Softball program won't have to answer to Fiscal Court, yet according to Cannon, the board would still have leadership that so many have expressed concern for.
"What I recommend, is that we have an advisor that could serve as a go-between with the board and the county after it was elected by parents and coaches and help them along," Judge Cannon said. "The advisor can make sure they're doing things properly and Greg's probably the most knowledgeable person there is in the county as to how Little League is supposed to operate."
Magistrates unanimously approved the motion to allow Hudson to withdraw his resignation and for the county to change his job title from "Program Director" to "Special Events Coordinator/Advisor," beginning immediately.
"If we continue on how things have been going with what Greg has been able to do so far, I suspect that the program will continue to see improvements, and with virtually nothing extra coming from the taxpayers," Cannon said.
Show your Edmonson County Pride with our brand new tee shirt designs for both guys and gals! The shirts feature a distressed design with outline of Edmonson County. The ladies' design is 100% cotton fitted shirt in blue, sizes S-XL, and the guys shirt (unisex) is a 50/50 blend available in sizes L-XXL.
They're only $14.99 shipped free to your door. We've already sold a ton of them, order yours today!
Darren Doyle, Edmonson Voice
On Saturday, June 11, around 4pm, EC Dispatch received a call of a possible drunk driver in the area. Within 15 minutes, Deputy Jordan Jones saw the suspected vehicle at the intersection of Sulphur Road and Chalybeate School Road. After making a traffic stop at Chalybeate Park, Phillip Hayes, 35 of Brownsville admitted that he'd been drinking. Police arrested Hayes after he reportedly failed field sobriety tests.
Hayes was charged with Operating a motor vehicle under the influence (aggravated circumstance, 4th offense) Driving under the influence on a suspended license (3rd offense) in which both are Class D felonies, and Possession of an open alcohol container in a motor vehicle.
Hayes was transported and lodged in the Hart County Jail. The investigation was led by Dep. Jordan Jones and assisted by BPD Officer Nathan Dennis.