Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Four individuals have been arrested and now face multiple felony drug charges as a result of a complaint call of a toddler that was reported alone in the middle of the road, according to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
Officials reported that around 6:30 pm on Wednesday evening, Edmonson County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the 19000 block of Louisville Road in response of a call that a toddler, who had almost been hit by a vehicle, was wandering alone in the middle of the road.
According to a press release, the toddler’s mother had already retrieved the child from the driver who had called the incident into E-911 Dispatch. The mother of the child, identified as Brittney Decker Houchin (25) of Rocky Hill, told deputies she was “cleaning up a trailer” behind the residence and had left the child in the care of Sherry Davis (57), also of Rocky Hill, according to the release. Deputies said that the trailer referred to by Houchin was actually a camper where deputies reportedly found what they suspected to be multiple forms of drug paraphernalia related to using methamphetamine.
Officials said that Houchin then stated that she had been in a shed instead of the camper, where deputies found suspected Suboxone and a mirror with suspected drug residue on it. Sherry Davis was reportedly found inside the Louisville Road residence and allegedly told Deputies she “didn’t know where they went” when asked about the two-year old child wandering alone in the middle of the road, while supposedly under her supervision.
Deputies reportedly found suspected Suboxone, Clonazepam, and Gabapentin, along with various forms of suspected drug paraphernalia inside Davis’ purse. Also found inside the residence was Patrick Flannery (19) of Rocky Hill where deputies also reportedly found suspected Suboxone and drug paraphernalia with white residue, believed to be methamphetamine, according to the press release. The release also stated that Jonathan Rogers (22) of Auburn, who reportedly walked out of the woods when Deputies arrived stated he had been “in the shed out back” which drugs and drug paraphernalia had already been found.
Sherry Davis was charged with Possession of Controlled Substance, 1st Degree, 1st Offense (methamphetamine); Possession Controlled Substance, 2nd Degree (drug unspecified); Tampering with Physical Evidence; and Endangering the Welfare of a Minor.
Brittney Decker Houchin was charged with Possession of Controlled Substance, 1st Degree, 1st Offense (methamphetamine); Possession of Controlled Substance, 2nd Degree (drug unspecified); Drug Paraphernalia—Buy/Possess; and Endangering the Welfare of a Minor.
Patrick Flannery was charged with Possession of Controlled Substance, 1st Degree, 1st Offense (methamphetamine); Possession of Controlled Substance, 2nd Degree (drug unspecified); Drug Paraphernalia—Buy/Possess.
Jonathan Rogers was charged with Possession of Controlled Substance, 1st Degree, 1st Offense (methamphetamine); Possession of Controlled Substance, 2nd Degree (drug unspecified); and Drug Paraphernalia—Buy/Possess.
All four were arrested on scene and lodged in Hart County Jail.
"Edmonson County Sheriff’s Office very much thanks the citizen that stopped traffic and put the child in their vehicle, while waiting on law enforcement to arrive, as they likely saved the child from serious injury," said the sheriff's office in the released statement.
Edmonson District Court was held on Tuesday, August 27, 2019. The Honorable Judge Joseph B. Hines presiding.
Duane G. Kling, Operating on suspended/ revoked operator's license. Failure to surrender revoked operator's license. Failed to appear. $250 cash bench warrant issued.
Timothy Adam Parker, Assault 4th degree domestic violence, minor injury. Failed to appear. $500 bench warrant issued.
Natasha L. Richardson, Possession of controlled substance, first degree, first offense- methamphetamine. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial hearing waived.
Wendell Dale Vincent, Operating on suspended/revoked operators license. Display/possession of fictitious operators. Continue 9/10/19.
Ohn Youn Awar, Criminal trespass- second degree. Continue 9/10/19.
James Hugh Constant, Possession of marijuana. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Guilty. Judgement orders signed.
Keith Russell Goble, Possession of controlled substance, third degree- drug unspecified. Controlled substance prescription not in original container, first. Continue 9/10/19.
Natasha Lynn Meredith, Possession of marijuana. Possess open alcohol beverage in a motor vehicle. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial conference 9/10/10.
Jason D. Meredith, Failure to wear seatbelts. Possession of marijuana. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial conference 9/10/19.
James Suttle, Harboring a vicious animal. Owner permitting vicious dog to run at large. Continue to 9/10/19.
Anthony T. Moran, Failure to wear seatbelts. Failure to produce insurance card. Continue to 9/10/19.
Keith Lockard, Driving on DUI suspended license- first offense. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial 9/10/19.
Dylan B. Patton, Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Possession of marijuana. Operating motor vehicle under influence of alcohol/drugs- first offense. Continue 9/10/19.
Charles Baize, disorderly conduct, second degree. Guilty. Judgement signed.
Albert C. Slavik, Violation of foreign E.P.O/D.V.O. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial conference 9/10/19.
Former Principal Alan Talley Becomes Director of Pupil Personnel For EC Schools
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
The Edmonson County 5/6 Center now has a new principal, as announced today by Superintendent of Schools Patrick Waddell at the board of education office in Brownsville.
Waddell announced that Rex Booth, a 2005 graduate of ECHS will assume his duties immediately.
"The site-based council met on Monday night and made a decision," said Waddell. "We had three, quality, certified applicants that we interviewed for the position, and we were pleased with that. We were happy to offer Rex the position and he seems very excited about the opportunity to come back home and we're excited as a school district to have him back."
Booth graduated from Lindsey Wilson College and has full resume of education experience; first as a math teacher at Glasgow High School. From there he held positions at Livingston Central, Trigg County, Hopkins County Central, and most recently as guidance counselor for Russellville Middle and High Schools.
Booth said the combination of both having the opportunity to serve as principal and doing it in his hometown was something that immediately interested him.
"Coming from here and still having family here, I was excited about the opportunity," he said.
Booth has served as a head basketball coach for the past 10 years, with the last three at Russellville.
"Sports has been a passion of mine for a long time but priorities change," he added. "I've got a lot of experience building teams and that's exactly what I want to do at the 5/6 Center; lead and be part of a winning team."
Booth said he had no plans to start making big changes right of the bat, but he wanted to focus on building relationships first.
"I want to get to know the staff and the kids. School culture is important to me and I want to be part of the school culture. Sure, we'll look at making some changes, but we'll do that as a team."
Booth added that one of his focuses would be on technology and make it a priority that students have the proper access to technology in the classroom.
He was joined today by his wife, Shannon, who is the secretary at Russellville Middle School and also serves as head volleyball coach for the Lady Panthers. Their daughter Lilah, age 6, also joined her parents at today's announcement.
Former Principal Alan Talley, who moved into the vacant Director of Pupil Personnel position For Edmonson Schools left by now ECHS Principal Brian Alexander, spoke to us about leaving the 5/6 Center.
"As I've started to prepare to transition to a new role, I've quickly realized leaving the 5/6 Center will be extremely difficult,' Talley said. "My 6-plus years here have been some of the most rewarding of my professional career. This school has always been full of wonderful adults who genuinely want to help children. But without question, the toughest part is leaving a position that works so closely with the best kids in the world. The good news is, I get to continue to work with the faculty, staff, and students in some capacity in my new role. I look forward to my new challenge, as well as watching the 5/6 Center grow under new leadership."
Booth said he was headed over to the 5/6 Center to begin speaking with staff.
"I'm excited and am looking forward to coming together as a family, with a family culture," he added.
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County Schools has received a grant from the Steele-Reese Foundation for the purpose of purchasing social studies textbooks for grades 5-12 in the amount of $39,000, according to Supervisor of State and Federal Programs for Edmonson County Schools, Jamie Carnes.
"As a result of the grant award, our Board of Education has graciously agreed to purchase social studies textbooks for grade 4 as well," Carnes said. "This means that the grant will have a direct impact on every school in the district.
According to The Steele-Reese Foundation, they are a charitable trust committed to supporting rural communities and the tax-exempt entities that serve them in Idaho, Montana, in the Native nations that share the geography, and in Appalachian Kentucky. The organization says they have maintained a focus on the unique challenges of rural living and on helping people build healthy, successful, and sustainable communities.
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County Sheriff Shane Doyle and Edmonson County Superintendent of Schools Patrick Waddell have each made statements regarding a social media post circulating in the Arkansas and Kentucky regions about a perceived school threat.
Both the Sheriff and Superintendent have stated that these perceived threats are absolutely unsubstantiated; however, they each have described the plan of action regarding the threat, which has been labeled a hoax.
According to Supt. Waddell, the school was made aware of a Facebook post that was circulating referencing a school shooting in Kentucky on August 28th. The message was general in nature and did not specifically reference the Edmonson County School District, according to Waddell.
"Edmonson County School District and local law enforcement officials have investigated the threat, and believe it to be a hoax," said Waddell in a statement. "However, it is our commitment to remain vigilant regarding our security efforts to keep students and staff safe. It takes all of us working together to ensure that our campuses are safe. This is an opportune time to remind our community that if they “see something, say something.” Edmonson County School District, Edmonson County Sheriff’s Department, Brownsville Police Department, and other local state law enforcement agencies constantly work together to help make our schools as safe as possible. There will be officers on campus this week, along with extra patrol around campus and at campus events. School administration and staff remain vigilant in providing a safe and secure learning environment for all students. As a matter of precaution, we take all threats toward our school communities of this nature very seriously. Student security and safety are of the utmost priority for our schools. We appreciate your partnership in keeping our schools the safest place for your student to learn and grow."
Sheriff Shane Doyle said much of the same and he said he wanted to emphasize two points: 1. Officers will be present all day at each Edmonson County school tomorrow, and 2. Sharing these types of social media posts need to be stopped.
"We take any threat or perceived threat to our local schools, communities, and children very seriously, and we immediately began investigating this possible threat as soon as we received information from the FBI and KY Dept. of Homeland Security," Doyle said. "Both of these highly-trained and qualified agencies described this perceived threat as completely unsubstantiated and considered it nothing more than attention seekers on social media. While social media is an excellent way to share information quickly, there is also a huge disadvantage when incorrect or inaccurate info is also shared. If you see something on social media from a non-credible or unknown source, please do not share it. If you see something that appears threatening, again, please do not share it. Instead, please contact our office with your concerns and we will act accordingly," said Doyle.
"Let me be clear, there is NO reason to find any credibility whatsoever to these unsubstantiated claims of a forecasted incident at Edmonson County Schools tomorrow; however, in a proactive effort to provide safety to our schools, we are providing an officer at each Edmonson County school tomorrow, for the duration of the school day. We feel there is absolutely NO reason to keep your child at home tomorrow. Please plan your school day as any other day and we are confident that students will be as safe as they are each and every day in Edmonson County," Sheriff Shane Doyle said.
Darren Doyle, story:
The Edmonson County Fiscal Court approved the County Clerk Excess Fee Report of 2019 Revenue Supplement Fund which was around $66,000, all of which will be turned over to the county to be used as the fiscal court chooses.
Alexander said that the funds are received through his office from the state and that Edmonson County receives it because it has a population of less than 20,000. Since Alexander has been the County Clerk, more than $300,000 in excess fees have been turned over to the county.
"If not for the funding that Kevin has turned over to the fiscal court, the county would have really struggled with maintenance and repairs for Parks and Rec and the courthouse," said Judge Executive Wil Cannon. "Nothing was ever turned over to the county from the county clerk's office until Kevin took office."
Out of the excess fee money that comes from the state, Alexander said he has used very little of the money in the past, but has used it on upgrading the office server to be more efficient for customers and an for an upgrade to the shelving system where records are kept inside the clerk's office.
Darren Doyle, story:
Sealed bids were accepted until 9am this morning for Edmonson County's jail contract for the next fiscal year. The contract is currently held by Hart County Jail, which charges Edmonson County $40 per day, per inmate. Currently, there are 24 county inmates housed at Hart County Jail, which is close to the average for the county.
At that number, the county pays more than $300,000 per year to house incarcerated individuals.
Today, Judge Wil Cannon opened three bids and read them aloud to the fiscal court for a vote.
Butler County Jail submitted a bid of $35 per day, per inmate; however, they set a maximum of 10 inmates for the county. Hart County also submitted a bid, at an increased price of $45 per day, per inmate, and Warren County Regional Jail offered a bid of $52 per inmate, per day.
All bids noted that medical expenses for inmates would be in addition to the daily prisoner rate, the same conditions as the county currently pays Hart County Jail.
Judge Cannon suggested utilizing all three bids, as they weren't exclusive. He suggested using the lower cost Butler County for the first 10 inmates, then Hart County as usual, then Warren County if neither Butler nor Hart were available. Canon said utilizing Butler County's lower cost could save the county around $18k per year; however, it would take some coordination with jail transport on court days. He suggested trying it and see how it went. Magistrates made a motion to do that, which passed.
Court Also Discusses Renting Community Center Kitchen Daily To For-Profit Business
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
The Edmonson County Fiscal Court voted today to dedicate the fourth county road to a local veteran killed in action during military service.
Gerald Carroll of Mammoth Cave, presented a sign at today's fiscal court meeting, asking that the court dedicate Dickey’s Mill Rd to Private First Class Thomas Franklin Brooks (Frank) who was killed in action in WWII. Carroll said that PFC Brooks joined the army in 1941. There is currently a grave marker at Hill Grove Cemetery but no remains.
In July, The Edmonson Voice published a report from the Department of Defense, who sought family members for DNA testing in case PFC Brooks' remains were recovered.
A statement from the Department of Defense said:
Private First Class Thomas F. Brooks joined the U.S. Army in Kentucky and served with the 194th Tank Battalion in the Philippines during World War II. He was captured in Bataan following the American surrender and died of beriberi on December 10, 1942, at the Cabanatuan Prison Camp in Nueva Ecija Province. He was buried in a communal grave in the camp cemetery along with other deceased American POWs; however, his remains could not be associated with any remains recovered from Cabanatuan after the war. Today, Private First Class Brooks is memorialized on the Walls of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery in the Philippines.
PFC Brooks grew up on Dickey's Mill Road, according to Carroll. The court voted unanimously to allow the road to be dedicated to the fallen soldier. The official ceremony has been scheduled for October 5, 2019 at 11am. More details will be released when further arrangements are made.
The court also discussed the possibility of renting the Community Center kitchen to a resident who plans to run a for-profit lunch delivery service, which would be rented at a cost of $15 per day. The resident said the facility would be used Monday thru Friday and sandwiches and other lunch foods would be available for delivery or pick up.
Magistrates asked several questions, discussed liability issues, and Judge Cannon said he felt like the rent would be better than the kitchen sitting vacant. One magistrate asked about insurance requirements, business licensing, and if it was even legal to rent out the facility to a for-profit business. Cannon said he'd suggest that if someone else wanted to rent the entire Community Center then that would take precedent over the rental of just the kitchen alone. The question was asked "If the business owner burns her hand in the kitchen, who's liable for those injuries?" The Judge said the county would be liable.
If the request is approved, it would mean a private business owner would be renting county-owned property at a daily rate for the purpose of running a business for approximately $180 per month. A motion was made my Magistrate Johnny Brooks to give authority to Judge Cannon to gather more details and present a recommendation to the court at the next meeting for a vote. That motion passed.
Road Report: County Road Foreman Greg Carroll reported that crews had completed two tile installations and had finished paving projects in the lake and surrounding area. He said crews had to deal with several rude drivers, one of which that he said drove past the flagger into newly paved blacktop. He said the department has a few more projects coming up, weather permitting. He added that mowing crews are still working throughout the county and he mentioned an incident with a school bus on HWY 187, where mirrors were clipped and broken; however, no one was injured.
The county also voted later in the meeting to approve the purchase of a semi-truck--which was within the road department's budget--which is supposed to allow for more efficient equipment moving.
Emergency Manager Report: EM Director Terry Massey reported a calm two weeks with only one grass fire, one structure fire, and one vehicle accident.
Jailer Report: Deputy Jailer Todd Vincent said there were currently 24 county inmates housed at Hart County Jail, with no medical calls, and no one on home incarceration.
Sheriff’s Report: Sheriff Shane Doyle said his office had seen a very busy two weeks since the last meeting, with more than 20 different arrests ranging from drug, warrants, and indictments. He also said he had purchased new firearms for all officers in the sheriff's office, funded by the office drug fund. Doyle said that the county sheriff's office first provided weapons to officers 11 yrs ago; prior to that, officers had to provide their own. The county first provided .40 Glock pistols, but over time, those pistols needed to be retired. He said that he had worked with Glock manufacturing directly and worked out a deal for 9mm models. He said the smaller caliber has been proven to be just as efficient, but with cheaper ammo and more available ammo. The Sheriff's office was able to either trade in the old service weapons or deputies could purchase them at fair market value. He said no tax payer funds were used for the purchase, thanks to the drug fund.
Parks and Rec Report: Park Director A.B. Webb said that league soccer is going strong and the new soccer field has been constructed and sown with grass.
POSSIBLE ROAD ORDINANCE CHANGES
Judge Executive Wil Cannon said that possible ordinance changes should be discussed after two private roads were recently denied into the county road system: Gail Court and Marvin Way, both in the Richland Subdivision off of New Grove Road (HWY 743).
Local businessman Jeff Rich, who developed Richland, said it was the second subdivision he's helped develop, and the list of requirements presented in order to accept the two roads were the first he'd ever seen.
"I thought I should’ve been given a plan and requirements when I first paid the fee to the planning commission, and I think that should be the case for anyone else asking to be included into the county road system," he said.
Cannon said he thought the commission now has the requirements posted online, but he was sure they weren't available online at the time Rich discussed.
Plastic tiles were also used in the subdivision, which was apparently another violation of the ordinance. Road Foreman Carroll also noted that plastic tiles were sufficient, despite the current ordinance that prohibits them, and he said from his point of view, they should be allowed. Rich noted that no one told him plastic tiles were prohibited. Cannon said the court must examine the current ordinance and look where they can change some items to make it more efficient and more inviting to developers to encourage county growth.
The county later went into closed session to discuss a possible property purchase and pending litigation, according to the agenda.
An Edmonson County Grand Jury returned the following indictments in August, 2019
Lindsey J. Joy, Possession of controlled substance in the first degree- methamphetamine. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess.
Michael Johnson, Possession of controlled substance in the first degree.
Michael E. Breed, Possession of controlled substance in the first degree- methamphetamine. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Possession of marijuana. Failure to wear seatbelts. Careless driving. Tampering with physical evidence.
Etta L. Coffelt, Bail jumping in the first degree.
Mitchell T. Poynter III, Assault in the second degree- domestic violence. Unlawful imprisonment in the second degree. Terroristic threatening in the second degree. Intimidating a participant in the legal process.
Michael Raymond Fox, Possession of firearm by convicted felon. Assault, fourth degree (domestic violence). Theft by unlawful taking or disposition all others under $500. Resisting arrest. Robbery in the second degree. Theft of motor vehicle registration plate. Disorderly conduct in the second degree. Terroristic threatening in the third degree. Stalking in the first degree. Persistent felony offender in the second degree.
Angela Renee Rich, Possession controlled substance in the first degree- methamphetamine. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Possession of marijuana.
Cody A. Browning, Trafficking in controlled substance, second offense- methamphetamine. Trafficking in controlled substance in the first degree, second offense. (two counts) Possession of controlled substance in the first degree. Drug paraphernalia- buy/posses. Possession of marijuana. Failure to or improper signal. Failure to notify address change to the Department of Transportation. Persistent felony offender in the second degree.
Derek L. Sanders, Trafficking in controlled substance, first offense- methamphetamine. Trafficking in a controlled substance in the first degree. Possession of controlled substance in the first degree. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Possession of marijuana. Persistent felony offender in the second degree.
Mark A. Blackburn, Fleeing or evading police, first degree (motor vehicle) Driving DUI suspended license- third offense. Operating motor vehicle under influence of alcohol/drugs- third offense. Resisting arrest. Wanton endangerment- first degree (five counts). Wanton endangerment- first degree- police officer (two counts). Leaving scene of accident.
Thomas M. Minton, Failure to wear seatbelt. Failure of owner to maintain insurance. Operating on suspended or revoked drivers license. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess- firearm enhanced. Prescription controlled substance not in proper container- firearm enhanced. Illegal possession of legend drug. Trafficking in legend drug. Possession of marijuana- firearm enhanced. Possession of controlled substance in the third degree- firearm enhanced.
Brandy L. Lindsey, Trafficking in controlled substance, first offense- methamphetamine. Trafficking in a controlled substance in the first degree, first offense (two counts). Possession of controlled substance in the first degree. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Possession of marijuana.
Dylan M. Lemieux, Assault in the third degree, police or probation officer. Assault in the third degree, peace officer, communicable body fluid. Assault in the fourth degree, domestic violence, minor injury. Resisting arrest. Disorderly conduct in the second degree.
Lakesha A. Minton, Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess- firearm enhanced. Prescription controlled substance not in original container- firearm enhanced. Illegal possession of legend drug. Trafficking in legend drug. Possession of marijuana- firearm enhanced. Possession of controlled substance in the third degree- firearm enhanced.
Michael Meredith, Fleeing or evading police first degree- on foot. Wanton endangerment in the first degree- police officer. Escape in second degree. Resisting arrest. Terroristic threating in the third degree. Assault in the third degree- police/probation officer. Disorderly conduct in the second degree. Persistent felony offender in the first degree.
Martin T. Ingram, Trafficking in a controlled substance in the first degree. Persistent felony offender in the second degree.
Deanna M. Miller, Burglary in the first degree. Theft by unlawful taking-firearm. Theft by unlawful taking $500 or more. Possession of a handgun by convicted felon. Persistent felony offender in the first degree.
Kala R. Ware, Abandonment of minor (three counts). Endangering the welfare of a minor (three counts). Wanton endangerment in the first degree (three counts). Criminal abuse in the first degree (three counts).
Dinanga Dinanga, Possession of marijuana. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Unlawful imprisonment in the first degree. Possession of alcohol beverage container in motor vehicle prohibited.
Melissa Embry, Trafficking in a controlled substance in the first degree.
Christopher Robertson, Possession of controlled substance in the first degree- methamphetamine. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess.
Douglas Sanders, Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Possession of controlled substance, first degree, second offense- methamphetamine.
Crystal Shepherd, Custodial interference.
Richard J. Smith, Criminal possession of forged instrument in the first degree (thirteen counts).
David W. Vincent, Theft by unlawful taking auto- $500 or more. Theft by unlawful taking $500 or more. Persistent felony offender in the first degree.
Johnny Sowders, Criminal possession forged instrument in the first degree. Terroristic threating in the third degree. Persistent felony offender in the first degree.
James K. Webb, Possession of controlled substance, first degree- methamphetamine. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Failure of owner to maintain required insurance, first offense. No registration plates. License to be in possession. No brake lights (passenger vehicle). Failure to register transfer of motor vehicle.
Note: An indictment is only a formal charge and is not an admission of guilt. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Edmonson District Court was held on Tuesday, August 23, 2019. The Honorable Judge Joseph B. Hines presiding.
Denise C. Barnes, Operating motor vehicle under influence of alcohol/drugs, second offense. Possession of controlled substance, third degree- drug unspecified. Driving on DUI suspended license- first offense. Tampering with physical evidence. Wanton endangerment-first degree. Controlled substance prescription not in original container, first. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial conference 8/27/19.
Daniel M. Taylor, Operating motor vehicle under influence of alcohol/drugs. Wanton endangerment- first degree. Resisting arrest. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial hearing 8/27/19.
Clinton D. Browning, Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Possession of controlled substance, first degree, first offense, methamphetamine. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial hearing 8/27/19. Bonded.
Jarrod Wade Kirby, Assault, second degree- domestic violence. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial hearing 8/27/19.
Ohn Youn Awar, Criminal trespass- second degree. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial conference 8/27/19.
Concerned Citizen Takes Action In Close Call
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
A Brownsville woman was arrested and faces multiple drug and DUI-related charges after what witnesses said was a close call with an Edmonson County School bus early this morning, according to a press release from the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
Edmonson County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to the 4300 block of Veteran’s Memorial Highway in Brownsville around 6:45am this morning for a suspected impaired driver. The Sheriff's Office reported that local dispatch advised that a concerned citizen who called in the complaint, later identified as Cara Atwood of Glasgow, had witnessed an orange Chevy Camaro almost rear-end a school bus, while the bus was stopped to pick up a student.
Officials said that Atwood approached the Camaro, removed the keys, and witnessed the driver who was identified as Denise C. Barnes (38) of Brownsville, attempt to hide what appeared to be pills. Once Deputies arrived on scene, Barnes was placed in the back of a police car where she was seen attempting to hide suspected Xanax bars in the backseat of the cruiser, according to the press release. While Deputies were on scene, they also found what they suspected to be Gabapentin, Tramadol, Valium, and Xanax, and there were also bits of what appeared to be chewed up pills in Barnes’ mouth, according to the Sheriff's Office.
"She was driving erratically behind me for a good while and I began to get concerned," said Atwood, who stated Barnes’ car was directly behind her. "The car wasn't speeding but we were approaching a school bus stop in front of me and I just sort of braced myself because I'd rather the car hit me the than the bus in front me."
Atwood said everyone stopped safely at that bus stop but the next one, not so much.
"The car passed me as the bus was stopped to pick up another child and the car just barely got stopped in time," she said. That's when I got out, pecked on the window, and asked if she was ok. I offered to give her a ride home and the lady said yes. She said she was just tired but you could tell she was on something."
Deputies arrived shortly after and took control of the scene. Other drivers reportedly had also stopped. Atwood said other drivers also had called to complain.
It was also discovered that Barnes was driving on a DUI suspended driver's license. Field sobriety tests were performed and Barnes was arrested and charged with:
She was transported to and lodged in the Hart County Jail.
Atwood said she didn't do anything that any other concerned citizen wouldn't have done.
"There were lots of kids on that bus and lots of traffic. I'm just thankful no one got hurt," she said. "I don't deserve any glory out of it, God gets that. I just hope this lady is ok and gets the help she needs."
Darren Doyle, story:
A Rocky Hill homeowner has been arrested and charged with a violation of a domestic violence protection order after he allegedly threatened to shoot at renters, according to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
A press release from the Sheriff's Office stated that the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office responded to 253 Rocky Hill School Road on Monday, August 20, 2019 to a disturbance between a landlord and renters. According to the release, the homeowner, Albert Slavik, (62) told officers that he refused to allow the people back into the home that claimed to have lived there for over a month. Slavik was advised that he could be sued for any damages incurred to the renting party and was ordered to return all of their property to them immediately, stated the release.
As deputies cleared the scene, Slavik allegedly made the statement to deputies that he would shoot buckshot into the renters' tires if they returned. A records check of Slavik showed that he had a domestic violence order from Florida that prohibited him from possessing firearms, according to the sheriff's office. Deputies, in cooperation from the Edmonson County 911 dispatchers, verified the conditions of the protection order and that Slavik had signed the order, acknowledging his restrictions.
On Tuesday, August 21, 2019, Deputies obtained a search warrant for Slavik’s home. The Sheriff's Office said that Slavik refused to open the door for the officers, causing them the force entry into the home. Once inside, a shotgun was located on the property and Slavik was arrested for violation of out-of-state EPO/DVO and his shotgun was seized.
"All of this trouble could have been avoided if the homeowner had simply followed the court restrictions that he had already agreed to in Florida, and hadn't made threats of shooting at people that he had previously allowed to stay at his home," Sheriff Shane Doyle said. "Because of his decisions, officers were tied up at his home for several hours. We don't ever like to go into someone's property and take their things, but we take protection orders very seriously and we won't leave someone's safety to chance," Doyle said.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
An investigation stemming from a July domestic dispute has resulted in two individuals being indicted by an Edmonson County Grand Jury on felony drug charges, according to a press release from the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
On July 12, 2019, Edmonson County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to 175 Woosley Drive, Smiths Grove, for a domestic disturbance, which resulted in the arrest of Christopher Robertson, (40) of Smiths Grove on that same day for Assault 4th Degree Domestic Violence, Minor Injury, according to the release.
The Sheriff's Office reported that during the investigation, a search of the property resulted in the discovery of a basement room in the home being used for drug activity. A Sheriff’s deputy reportedly detected the strong odor of marijuana in the room, along with various drug paraphernalia used for smoking marijuana. Also found was suspected methamphetamine residue inside of a baggie and paraphernalia used for smoking meth, the release stated.
The case was presented to an Edmonson County Grand Jury on July 30, 2019 and an indictment was returned on Lindsey J. Joy (41) and Christopher Robertson (40), both of 175 Woosley Drive, Smiths Grove, on August 19, 2019. Both have been formally charged and served Indictment Warrants for Possession Controlled Substance, 1st Degree, 1st Offense (methamphetamine) and Drug Paraphernalia—Buy/Possess.
They were both lodged in Hart County Jail.
Darren Doyle, story:
Two individuals were arrested on felony drug charges Monday night as law enforcement officers attempted to serve an active warrant, according to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
Around 10pm on Monday, deputies arrived at 4108 Brownsville Road in an attempt to locate a subject with an active felony warrant, according to a press release from the Sheriff's Office. Deputies said that as they searched the residence for the subject, they discovered what appeared to be meth and other drug paraphernalia in plain sight.
The current occupants of the residence, Clinton Browning, (34) of Brownsville, and Natasha Richardson, (38) of Bowling Green, were both arrested and each charged with:
The Sheriff's Office said the investigation is on-going and further charges are pending. Both individuals were transported and lodged in the Hart County Jail.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
The Edmonson County Sheriff’s Office is investigating six, separate vehicle break-ins that occurred on the property of Moutardier Marina between Friday, August 16 and Sunday, August 18, 2019, according to a press release from the sheriff's office. The release stated that a wide range of hand and power tools were stolen, in addition to an air compressor and portable air conditioner.
"This is the second big round of reported break-ins at Moutardier Marina this summer; the first occurred this past June where two pull-behind campers and over $1000 in tools and fishing equipment were stolen," the release said.
Anyone with any information on these incidents or that notices anyone suspicious in this area is encouraged to call the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office at 270-597-2157 or Edmonson County Dispatch at 270-597-2729.
Driver Reportedly Found Unconscious in Nearby Creek Bed
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
A rollover crash on Monday resulted in the arrest of the driver who fled the scene, according to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
First responders arrived at the junction of Brownsville Road (259) and Knob Road around 2:30pm on August 19, 2019, where they discovered a 2012 Nissan Sentra resting on its side in a grassy area. According to law enforcement, the car was registered to April Kenney, (44) of Park City, who was identified as the passenger and was injured in the crash.
Law enforcement reported that they had received multiple complaints of reckless and erratic driving in the same area earlier in the day.
According the sheriff's office, the passenger was uncooperative and had no information as to who the driver was, nor where the driver went.
Kenney was transported to the hospital via Edmonson EMS for serious incapacitating injuries, according to the sheriff. A deputy said that according to evidence on scene, the car was traveling at a high rate of speed, left the roadway, and overturned.
The sheriff's office also said that a short time later, law enforcement was notified that the suspected driver, later identified as Daniel Taylor, (41) of Park City, had been located unconscious in a nearby creek bed by family members who had called for medical help. The sheriff said that the family reported that Taylor became combative with family once he awoke.
According the the sheriff, law enforcement arrived on the scene where Taylor, who was intoxicated, reportedly became combative with officers. He was then detained and forcibly removed out of the area, which was approximately 200 feet up a hill side, where he was arrested and charged with:
He was first transported to Caverna Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. He was then medically cleared and transported to Hart County Jail.
Responding to the accident scene was the Rocky Hill Fire Department, Brownsville JAWS, Edmonson County Sheriff, and Edmonson EMS.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Nearly 3,000 members experienced a lengthy outage last night due to vandalism and burglary at Warren RECC's Plano Substation, according to a release from WRECC. At approximately 6:45 pm, Warren RECC began receiving notifications of a widespread outage in the area. As crews arrived, they discovered that the substation fence had been breached and copper wire had been disconnected and stolen.
WRECC also said that crews worked into the night to repair the damage, replace missing equipment, and to restore power to all Warren RECC members in the area. All members were restored by approximately 3 am.
"I would like to thank our employees for their hard work and dedication. Repairing damage to a substation, especially damage at the level we experienced, is difficult and time consuming. I would also like to thank the Warren County Sheriff's Office for their quick response," said Dewayne McDonald, Interim President and CEO of Warren RECC.
WRECC also noted that substations are high voltage areas and should only be entered by fully trained, authorized personnel. Careless activity in a substation can quickly lead to electrocution and death. If you have any information relating to last night's incident, please contact the Warren County Sheriff's Office at 270-842-1633.
To report power outages in Warren County, call 270-843-9710; outside Warren County, call 1-888-604-4321.
The office of Edmonson County Clerk Kevin Alexander has released the 2018 delinquent property tax bills for Edmonson County. A property tax sale is scheduled to be held on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 11AM at the courthouse.
Bills are listed in numerical order and you can scroll L-R to see the entire list.
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
State Senator Whitney Westerfield, (R) one of the Commonwealth's candidates for Kentucky Supreme Court Justice, first district, stopped by for a chat on Tuesday to discuss his campaign for the open non-partisan seat.
Westerfield, a lifelong Christian County resident, currently serves as KY State Senator in District 3, where for nearly eight years has been the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, serves on the Budget Review Subcommittee on Justice and Judiciary, and is Co-Chair of the Juvenile Justice Oversight Council, which monitors the implementation of justice system reforms.
"You're going to be seeing lots of ads and discussion about the race for Governor and Attorney General in Kentucky for this November, and those races are important," he said; "however, our Supreme Court seat is just as important, and that's what I want to tell Kentucky voters."
Sen. Westerfield said that the seven justices on KY's supreme court make decisions every day that affect the lives of Kentucky residents, and his past experience as a prosecutor, private attorney, and senator would greatly benefit those same Kentucky lives, if allowed to serve as a Supreme Court Justice in KY.
"I think what we're seeing sometimes is a justice system where judges' outcomes reflect more of their own opinions and not the current laws that are on the books. A judge must apply all laws, period, even the ones they disagree with, and that's what I'll do, if I have the opportunity to serve as Supreme Court Justice."
Westerfield ran for Attorney General in 2015 against current AG Andy Beshear in an extremely tight race. Beshear edged out Westerfield with 50.1% of the vote, compared to Westerfield's 49.9%.
"I'm proud of my run 4 years ago," he said. "I'm not happy that the winner was someone who never prosecuted a single case and outspent me nearly 10-to-1, but you know, I didn't first run for office with the intentions of running for Attorney General or the Supreme Court, it was to serve. Over the years, I've seen opportunities where I thought I could make a better difference and I see now there's an opportunity for Kentuckians to put a constitutional conservative in a Supreme Court seat."
Senator Westerfield noted that straight-ticket voters will have to add the vote for Supreme Court Justice, as the race is a non-partisan office. Simply voting straight-ticket, whether republican or democrat, will not cast a vote for the open Supreme Court seat.
"You can go ahead and vote straight-ticket if you'd like, but I'm also asking you to add one more for me, for Supreme Court Justice."
When asked what was the bottom line he wanted Edmonson County voters to know about his campaign, he quickly replied:
"I'm a constitutional conservative that will not legislate from the bench. That's what I want them to know."
Kentucky's general election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 5, 2019.
The Edmonson Voice allows all political candidates participating in local elections the opportunity to schedule an interview with us to discuss their respective platforms. The Edmonson Voice does not support or endorse any political candidate.
Edmonson District Court was held on Tuesday, August 13, 2019. The Honorable Judge Joseph B. Hines presiding
Sondra Keith Kenner, No expired registration plates. Failure to produce insurance card. Failed to appear. Bench
Christopher Russell, Controlled substance prescription not in original container-- first. Failure to issue insurance card. Possess open alcoholic beverage container in motor vehicle. Operating on suspended/revoked operators license. Operate under influence of alcohol/drugs. Second offense. Careless driving. Possession of controlled substance, second degree- codeine. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial conference. Pretrial conference 9/12/18.
Ralph John Berry Jr., Fugitive from another state- warrant required.
James K Webb, Failure of owner to maintain required insurance/security-- first. License to be in possession. No/expired registration plates. No brake lights (passenger vehicles). Failure to register transfer of motor vehicle. Drug paraphernalia- buy/possess. Possession of controlled substance, first offense- methamphetamine. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial hearing 8/27/19.
Jeremy Hopkins, Escape-third degree. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial conference 9/10/19.
Jeremy S. Hopkins, Alcohol intoxication in a public place- first and second. Resisting arrest. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial conference 9/10/19.
Thomas Hudspeth, Assault fourth degree, domestic violence, minor injury. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial conference 9/10/19.
Jadah L. Hopkins, Operating motor vehicle under influence of alcohol/drugs, first offense. License to be in possession. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial conference 12/10/19.
Christopher Scott Robertson, Assault fourth degree, domestic violence, minor injury. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial conference 9/10/19.
Dexter T. Price, Careless driving, Operate motor vehicle under influence of alcohol/drugs, aggravator, first. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial conference 8/27/19.
Mark Allan Blackburn, Fleeing or evading police, first degree. Driving DUI suspended license, third offense, aggravator. Operate motor vehicle under influence of alcohol/drugs, aggravator, third. Resisting arrest. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial hearing 8/27/19.
William Eric Schafer, Operating on suspended/revoked operators license. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial conference 8/27/19.
Johnny Burlly Henson, Cruelty to animals- second degree. Disorderly conduct, second degree. Pleaded not guilty to all. Pretrial conference 9/10/19.
Sondra Keith Kenner, No/expired registration plates. Failure to produce insurance card. Failed to appear. Bench warrant issued.
Jill Allen Rowe, Operating motor vehicle under influence of alcohol/drugs, first offense. Possession of controlled substance/ second degree- drug unspecified. Failed to appear. $500 bench warrant issued.
Isdel Treavor, Non approved/insufficient number/no personal float. Failed to appear. Bench warrant issued.
Todd Ray Groves, License to be in possession. Failed to appear. $250 bench warrant issued.
Nickie Ron Elmore, Operating motor vehicle under influence of alcohol/drugs. First offense. . Failed to appear. $250.00 bench warrant issued.
Darren Doyle, story:
An Indiana man has been jailed and awaits extradition after law enforcement officials discovered he was wanted on multiple felony charges.
According the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, deputies were dispatched to the 200 block of Pine View Drive in Mammoth Cave around 11am on Monday, August 12th for a complaint of trespassers, with information that at least one may have a warrant and both may be armed; particularly with a stolen AR-15 rifle.
The Sheriff's Office reported that once deputies arrived on scene, they located two individuals that matched the description from the complaint call. One of the individuals was identified as Ralph John Berry, JR. (46) of Aurora, Indiana and deputies discovered an extraditable Failure to Appear Warrant out of Deerborn, Indiana for the following charges:
Berry was arrested and charged with Fugitive from Another State. He was transported to Hart County Jail to await extradition to Indiana. No firearms were found on either individual, according to a press release from the Sheriff's Office.
The Edmonson County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Brownsville City Police and Kentucky State Police, Post 3.
Full List of Events, Times, Admissions, and Contact Info
Darren Doyle, story:
It's almost time for the annual Edmonson County Lions Club Fair, which has been scheduled for September 5th through the 14th. The theme of this year's event is "Educating our Future." The Edmonson Voice is proud to be the media sponsor for the fair once again.
Some changes have been made to this year's fair, which include going back to only two weekends of activities for 2019, as well as two demolition derbies on different nights.
Local pageants will officially kick off the fair at Edmonson County High School on Thursday, September 5th at 7pm. Admission is $10 per person. Pageants will continue the next night, Friday, September 6th, also at ECHS at 7pm. Admission is also $10 per person. For more pageant info, please call 270-784-8520.
2019 Edmonson County Fair Pageant Rules and Info:
The carnival will be available on the first event at the fairgrounds, which is Saturday, September 7th for the first of two demolition derbies featured this year; however, there will be two different costs for this night: a $10 admission for the derby event (12 and under are free) and a separate $10 charge for the carnival (all ages). For demolition derby info, please call 270-246-1202.
According to the Lions Club, the purpose for this is due to the large majority of derby attendants not taking part in the carnival. In years past, the agreement with the carnival provider required the Lions Club to pay half of the gate to the carnival each night, which made it difficult to cover costs of the derby itself. The Lions Club is a volunteer organization where none of its members are paid. All proceeds raised from the fair go to county charities and causes, as well as covering costs of the fair and fairgrounds.
Monday, Sept. 9th will feature the Edmonson Count Homemaker Baby Show at 6pm, admission is $5 per person. No carnival is available on this night. For more baby show info, call 270-597-3628.
Wednesday, Sept 11th will feature the carnival back in action at the fair for "Carnival Family Night," which will feature $10 armbands for all ages.
The Mud Run will be featured on Thursday, Sept. 12th at 7pm, which is similar to a mud bog; however, a run is designed to see how fast vehicles can make it through a mud track. Mud Bogs are designed to test whether or not a vehicle can make it through the mud, period, and if so, how quickly. Admission is $10 per person and includes the carnival.
Edmonson County School Day and the annual parade is scheduled for Friday, September 13th. Parade begins at 9am from ECHS and parade participants can begin lining up at 8am at the high school. Fair Day for students will run from 9am-3pm and armbands are available for $10 each. Later that night at 7pm will be the Mud Bog. Admission is $10 per person, which includes carnival rides.
The fair will conclude on Saturday, September 14th with the second Demolition Derby of the event at 7pm. Admission is $10 per person and includes carnival rides.
For all other fair or parade-related questions, please call 270-597-6623.
2019 Edmonson County Fair Exhibit Categories:
KY Wired Project Continues Towards Brownsville
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
South Central Rural Telephone Cooperative, or SCRTC, has announced that their services are now available in a portion of Edmonson County.
General Manager Jeff Eaton said that telephone, cable, and internet services are now available for the southeastern portion of the county from Park City to the Edmonson/Warren line on Louisville Road (31W).
The announcement comes as part of the KY Wired project, a state-funded program intended to guarantee better access to high speed internet to all counties in Kentucky. SCRTC is in charge of the contract to build the communication lines for the project.
"It's important to note that these services are only offered to those that live on the main road, which is 31W, Louisville Road," said Eaton. "Service is not available at this time for those who live off of the main road in that area," he added.
The company offers a range of products and services that can be purchased individually or in bundles, which can be found on the company's website: https://www.scrtc.com/
It is no secret that Edmonson County has been plagued with limited internet and cellular service for years, and while these new services from SCRTC are offered for only a portion of the county, Eaton says future expansion is possible for more of the county from SCRTC.
The most common complaint we hear in our office about needs in the county is the lack of choices for internet and cellular service. While SCRTC may or may not offer anything better than their competitors, it will give some county residents something they've wanted for ages: more options.
"We're amazed at how the southern part of the county has grown in a short time and we've heard from several residents that live down Chalybeate School Road (HWY 743). We're looking into maybe having a community forum to see how many more residents in that area would be interested in our services."
Eaton noted that it cost the company roughly $35,000 per mile to build the network for their services. They would obviously need a commitment from a large number of residents before investing in such a project.
He said the KY Wired project is still ongoing and expected to be completed sometime in the first part of 2020. It' s a project that will allow more options for the county's communication services. CCC Communications, a sub-contractor of SCRTC, is currently in process of burying the underground cable for the project. Today they are working on Chalybeate Road (HWY 101) headed north towards Brownsville.
Darren Doyle, story:
The Edmonson County Fiscal Court voted in favor of keeping the 2019 county property tax rate the same as last year's, which is a 13.9% rate per $100 in value. This is the first step of several in setting the annual rates for the county.
There will now be an ordinance drafted with the rate and then there will be two separate readings for the ordinance. Once the second reading passes, there will be a special meeting held with public discussion welcomed before becoming official at a final vote.
Other tax rates normally passed at the same time were not discussed today; however, Judge Wil Cannon said those rates would be discussed at the next meeting, which include: Tangible Property tax, Inventory tax, Motor Vehicle tax, Water Craft tax and Aircraft tax rates.
The court also acknowledged the local Health Department tax ordinance, which also remained the same as last year, at a rate of 2.25 cents per $100 of assessed value.
Various county offices gave updated reports during today's meeting:
Road Report: County Road Foreman Greg Carroll reported that road crews had installed several road tiles throughout the county and multiple paving projects had been completed. Several more paving projects are still scheduled for completion before the end of the season.
Jailer Report: County Jailer Hank Vincent reported 17 county inmates currently housed at Hart County Jail.
Emergency Management Director Terry Massey reported two structure fires for local fire departments and several car accidents since the last fiscal court meeting, one of which that resulted in a fatality.
Sheriff Report: Sheriff Shane Doyle reported a busy three-weeks since the last court meeting that has resulted in several drug arrests, another search warrant that could result in several more arrests, and he also discussed the fatal accident from last week. The Sheriff's Office responded to the scene of the accident but due to the short staffing that the Sheriff's Office currently faces, Doyle said he requested help from KSP, who took over the investigation.
Doyle also mentioned the grant received by the Edmonson Count School System to provide a part-time school resource officer in other schools. The Sheriff's Office will pay overtime for the additional duties but will be reimbursed by the school through the grant. Doyle also reported on his recent meeting in Louisville as a member of the KY Law Enforcement Council.
County Clerk Kevin Alexander reported on the new software system in his office used for taking care of boating registration. He encouraged boat owners and those that have sold boats in the past to make sure the registration and ownership is officially transferred when selling, as it's the seller's responsibility to ensure it is out of the seller's name and over to the new owner.
Alexander also noted that delinquent tax information will be published soon.
Parks and Rec Report: Judge Executive Wil Cannon read a written report submitted by Parks and Rec Program Director John Kiernan. The report said that the baseball board is funding a shelter between fields one and two that will help protect from foul balls, and that field 3 was being reworked to accommodate the Babe Ruth League. The report also discussed the progress of the local youth soccer program, not with 148 participants. A new soccer field is currently being built at the Chalybeate park. The report also recognized volunteers Kevin Mills and Carl Mills for donating labor for a drainage ditch at Chalybeate while Whayne Supply donated the equipment for the project.
Tourism/Chamber Report: Director Rhonda Clemmons announced a chamber event for August 17th at noon that will commemorate Alford's Pharmacy and Drive Thru's 10 year anniversary. She also reported that volunteers were ready for the county's booth at the upcoming State Fair in Louisville. She concluded her report by announcing the groundbreaking on August 15th at 2pm in Hart County for the SOKY Film Commission's new sound studio facility that will be used for indoor filming.
The court also discussed the latest on Marvin Way and Gail Court, located in the Richland Subdivision on HWY 743 (New Grove Rd). Both roads have requested to be added to county's road system; however, Judge Cannon reported several issues where the roads don't currently meet the county's requirements. Cannon asked Magistrate Corey VanMeter to contact the roads' current owners for discussion.
Sheriff Shane Doyle also asked magistrates to approve the purchase of a new patrol vehicle for his office to replace one that was wrecked earlier in the year. Insurance covered the costs of the former vehicle, and while the money is in the Sheriff's budget, approval is still required from magistrates to make the purchase. A brief discussion was held on the proper outlet from where the purchase can be made, as it must come from a qualified state contractor. Judge Cannon recommended making the purchase, which will actually be a vehicle lease, through KACO, a company that specializes in working with KY counties for legislative and financial services. Magistrates spoke in favor of the purchase once the proper steps are taken. The item is to be discussed again and voted upon at the next meeting.
The next fiscal court meeting is scheduled for August 26, 2019 at 9am.