Seating Capacity Set at 25% Due To Guidelines, Edmonson Voice Will Livestream Event
The Edmonson County Board of Education has announced that ECHS has scheduled the graduation ceremony for last year's class of 2020 to be held on Saturday, October 24, 2020 in the ECHS gym.
The Edmonson Voice will livestream the event for those who cannot attend. The full statement from the school board is published below:
The Edmonson County Board of Education is pleased to announce that we will be able to honor the Class of 2020 with their graduation ceremony on October 24, 2020. This date was the second of three announced dates released in the spring.
The graduation ceremony will occur on the afternoon of October 24, 2020 at 12:30 pm in the Edmonson County High School gym. Graduates will be asked to be at ECHS at 10:00 am for graduation practice. Doors will open at noon. Graduation will begin at 12:30.
Due to current health guidelines, we are limited to 25% seating capacity. Due to this, each student will be allotted 4 tickets for guests for graduation. In order to allow as many guests as possible for graduates, the band will not be in attendance. Music will be played through the sound system. Also, the ECHS staff will not be asked to attend as to optimize available seating for graduates' guests. With the absence of the band, seating for the graduating class will be spread out to allow for social distancing. For those family members that cannot attend, the ceremony will be available by livestream video. Pictures will also be available as well.
Graduates must RSVP to Ms. Nikki Culbreth by October 22, 2020 at Edmonson County High School at (270) 597-2151. Tickets will be available for graduates to pick up on October 9, 2020, and all those that enter for graduation must complete contact tracing forms. Temperature checks and masks are MANDATORY upon entering the facility and masking is required of all guests throughout the graduation program.
This graduation ceremony will look like those of the past. The stage will be set up and decorated as in the past. As graduates cross the stage, they will be given a diploma cover as in past years. Following the conclusion of the graduation, graduates will be given an envelope with their actual diploma in it, as is tradition.
Graduates who choose not to attend the ceremony may pick up their diploma and diploma cover starting on October 26, 2020.
Graduation programs will be printed as a keepsake for graduates and their parents as well. As has been requested by the Class of 2020, we are attempting to make this as close to what their parents and siblings experienced as we possibly can.
Those with handicapped seating concerns may contact Jonathan Williams at Edmonson County High School at (270)-597-2151 by October 22, 2020.
Darren Doyle, story:
A traffic stop led to a meth arrest Friday evening, according to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
Officers said that around 8:30 pm on Friday, September 25th, an Edmonson County Sheriff’s Deputy observed a vehicle traveling westbound on Nolin Dam Road with no tail lamps. A traffic stop was initiated at the intersection of Nolin Dam Road and Kyrock Road where the driver was identified as James Aaron Ashley (46) of Munfordville. A deputy reported that Ashley had a white pill in his lap and when Ashley was asked to exit the vehicle, the deputy reported he saw Ashley attempt to conceal a suspected baggie of drugs. Ashley also allegedly had other pills laying in the driver’s seat of the vehicle, according to the Sheriff's Office. After Ashley exited the vehicle and was detained, the deputy retrieved the baggie that Ashley had allegedly attempted to conceal where the deputy found suspected methamphetamine, the Sheriff's Office reported.
Ashley was arrested and charged with:
In an unrelated incident the next night around 10:00 pm on Saturday, September 26th, an Edmonson County Sheriff’s Office reported that a deputy observed a vehicle leave the Minit Mart in Brownsville and make some abrupt turns into a nearby driveway, pulled back out, then turned without a turn signal into another driveway and shut off the lights.
A Sheriff's deputy initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle and identified the driver as Christopher Ray Decker (47) of Park City (Edmonson County), according to the Sheriff's Office. Authorities reported that Decker said he did not know anyone at either of the residential driveways where he had previously stopped. The deputy said he observed signs of intoxication from Decker and a consented search of the vehicle was performed. According to the Sheriff's Office, the deputy found an unlabeled pill bottle with suspected Oxycodone inside. Decker was placed under arrest and charged with:
He was lodged in the Hart County Jail.
Darren Doyle, story:
A Brownsville man is facing a felony theft arrest after an acquaintance accused him of stealing and wrecking his car after he stayed with him, according to a press release from the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies responded to the stolen vehicle complaint around 5am on Sunday, September 27th, where Andrew Taylor, the owner of the vehicle, reportedly said that the suspect named Ryan Minton stayed at his residence the night before and when Taylor woke up, both Minton and the vehicle were gone. Taylor said Minton had no permission or reason to use his car, according to the Sheriff's Office.
The Sheriff's Office said through the investigation, deputies were able to locate the vehicle in a residential driveway on KY HWY 259N, where Minton was sitting on the front porch. Minton was charged with Theft by Unlawful Taking or Disposition Auto--$500 or more but under $10,000
According to the Sheriff's Office, Minton stated he had left Taylor’s residence in the vehicle around 5:00 am that morning, heading to Smiths Grove, where he wrecked the vehicle on the way. Minton allegedly then stated he drove the vehicle to his own residence and then to the residence where he was located.
Minton was lodged in Hart County Jail.
School Board Partners With A Plus Health For Available Medical Care In All Local Schools
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County Schools started in-person school on Monday, September 28th and along with students attending class for the first time this year, schools also have another first: available medical care in all schools.
The schools have partnered with local healthcare provider A Plus Family Healthcare, who will provide care at no cost to the school system, called "A Plus KidCare." While Edmonson County Schools are providing office space and internet, A Plus is footing the bill for their resources and personnel.
The clinic will have medical assistants at South Edmonson, Kyrock, and another that will share duties between ECHS and ECMS, which are joined. The Edmonson County school nurse will be stationed at the EC 5/6 center, who will work with the medical assistants. Each school's medical personnel will be equipped with telehealth resources that will allow any student to see on of the many nurse practitioners on the A Plus team, virtually.
"Students that receive Medicaid benefits will receive the medical services of A Plus at no charge," said Superintendent Brian Alexander. "Other families have the option of receiving services much like taking a child to the doctor; the child's insurance may be billed for services that arise that are billable services. Providing band aids, ice, etc. are not billable services. The advantageous part of this partnership for working families is that, through telehealth services, a child can be seen for a non-contagious medical issue and never have to leave school, and parents won't have to leave work to pick up their child, take them to the doctor and return them to school. As a superintendent and board, we felt this would be a positive for the families of Edmonson County."
Alexander said any student can opt out of the medical services, as services provided at school are not required; however, he said the clinic is offering services that have never been available to students at school until now.
"A Plus is also providing state-of-the-art telehealth equipment and other resources that will test for COVID, strep, and flu in a matter of minutes," he said.
A Plus CEO Patrick Merritt said the main purpose for partnering with local schools is to break down barriers that prevent many kids from receiving much needed healthcare.
"A Plus has been fortunate over the past several years to be given the opportunity to expand into our school system right here in our hometown and Mr. Alexander and the Board of Education were overwhelmingly supportive when A Plus presented School Based Health Centers to EC," he said. This opportunity helps ensure well kids stay in our classrooms and sick kids return to the classroom as soon as possible. Tons of counties throughout the state of KY have been privileged for years with school clinics and now it's time for our hometown kids to have the same luxury at home. One thing we've heard repeatedly from other school districts is that sick kids do not learn as well as healthy kids."
Another advantage both the schools and the clinic say students will have is the ability to receive medication from medical personnel, something teachers nor staff can provide.
Supt. Alexander said he considers this opportunity a blessing for families with students in the district.
"For working families, this partnership will allow for students to have medical treatment and parents do not have to leave work, and students to not have to leave school," he said. "I appreciate the school board's willingness to enter into this agreement with A Plus, and I appreciate the investment A Plus is making in the students of Edmonson County."
Darren Doyle, story:
A brief agenda was discussed at today's Edmonson County Fiscal Court meeting, most of which were regular reports given by individual county offices.
Road Report: Road Supervisor Greg Carroll said road crews had been working on several tile jobs throughout the county and that paving had been sporadic due to the difficulty of obtaining asphalt mix from Scotty's.
Emergency Management Director Terry Massey discussed his recent award presented by the KEMA for most improved Emergency Management Agency in KY and discussed an upcoming drive-thru flu shot that will be available for county residents. Details will follow in the near future regarding the flu shot.
Sheriff Shane Doyle shared some recent cases his office had handled, consisting of a pursuit and drug arrest, various meth arrests, and a sex abuse case involving a minor. Doyle also said that county road crews will be placing signage on Ollie Road near Blue Holler ATV Park for the purpose of reminding drivers that recreational use of ATVs on the highways are prohibited. He also noted that a recent article published on the Edmonson Voice regarding a wanted man for murder in New Albany, Indiana, formerly from Edmonson County, had been located thanks to a tip from a reader. Full details are expected to come soon. The suspect also has open warrants out of Edmonson County.
County Clerk Kevin Alexander updated the court on the upcoming election. He said that his office had received the first group of ballots but it was a small number; not nearly enough for county needs. He said another shipment is coming in. He also noted that his office had received far less requests for mail-in ballots than in the primary election and he is expecting more in-person and early voting in their office. He also said that the last day to pay late registration and vehicle taxes in his office without penalties is Oct 6th. He also added that no appointments are needed for in-person early voting in his office when that becomes available.
Parks and Rec: County Treasurer Tammi Willhite made an announcement on behalf of the county youth basketball league. She said Superintendent of Edmonson County Schools said the school system will allow youth basketball to use school gyms. She reported that he said as long as school sports are allowed they will allow youth sports to use schools with the same restrictions that are being used now.
Judge Executive Wil Cannon updated the court on the new animal shelter property purchased from Rollin Rountree. Cannon said Rountree is now 13 weeks overdue to turn the property over to the county. The penalty is $1000 per week, which is being subtracted from the price owed to Rountree from the county. Judge Cannon said Rountree told him he plans to have all of his items removed from the property by the end of September.
The court also voted to:
The next fiscal court meeting is scheduled for Friday, October 9th at 9am with a public tax hearing at 8:45am. The county has voted on the same tax rate as last year at 13.9 cents per $100 of assessed property value. The public hearing is to allow residents to speak on the matter.
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County Emergency Management Director Terry "Moose" Massey was recognized by the The Kentucky Emergency Management Association (KEMA) for a statewide award, along with 10 other current and former officials Thursday, Sept. 24th during a ceremony in Lexington. The honors highlight achievements of personal and statewide significance.
Massey received the award for "Most Improved Program."
“Recipients this year were selected from peer nominations from across our state,” said KEMA President Drew Chandler. “These individuals stood out for their continuous contributions to make Kentucky a safer place.”
The Certified Kentucky Emergency Manager (CKEM) credential was conferred upon Greg Bucker of Campbell County and Sean Fay of Mercer County. The certification is a mechanism to validate an individual’s knowledge, skills, abilities, and experience to effectively manage a comprehensive emergency management program.
“We are particularly proud of the growing number of certified members and those working toward the qualification requirements,” Chandler continued. “They represent the best in our profession.”
Massey has served in local emergency services in various forms for the past 37 years. He was named Edmonson County's Emergency Management Director in 2018. He was recognized for the award on the second anniversary of being named county director.
Ten Active Cases Reported In Edmonson County: Deaths Unchanged For Nearly Three Months
Darren Doyle, story:
The Barren River District Health Department has issued a press release today with updated COVID-19 numbers from the area for the first time since September 11th. We reached out again this morning to inquire about data for Edmonson County and received this response from Ashli McCarty, BRDHD Marketing & Communications Coordinator:
"...we apologize for this inconvenience. This down time is due to a system update involving thousands of data points that our staff are having to manually sort and check for accuracy. We are working very hard to ensure our system is up and running as soon as possible so we can continue providing information to our communities. I have been told by those involved that we should be able to provide an update this afternoon if no further issues arise. We appreciate your patience during this time."
We received the press release just a few moments ago that listed Edmonson County as having a total number of 10 current active known positive cases, (149 confirmed positive cases minus 127 recoveries and 12 deaths). Deaths have not changed in Edmonson County in nearly three months.
Driver Faces Drug, Fleeing & Evading, More
Darren Doyle, story:
A Park City man has been arrested and faces felony drug charges after he led law enforcement on a short pursuit in Brownsville, according to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
The Sheriff's Office said that around 6:45 pm on Tuesday, September 22nd, an Edmonson County sheriff’s deputy was walking back towards his patrol vehicle on Grassland Road when he observed a white pick-up truck drive by, heading towards Morgantown Road; the deputy reported he could smell the odor of marijuana emitting from the vehicle. The deputy located the vehicle as it was turning onto KY HWY 259, heading south. The deputy said he observed the white pick-up truck cross the white fog line several times and initiated a traffic stop as they neared the Bank of Edmonson County.
According to the Sheriff's Office, the vehicle accelerated and did not stop after blue lights and the deputy’s siren were activated. The driver allegedly accelerated over the 35 mile per hour school zone speed limit and the deputy said he observed the vehicle pass another vehicle by driving on the right shoulder of the roadway. Officials said the white pick-up continued through Brownsville, turned onto Mohawk Street, and eventually came to a stop in the oncoming lane of traffic.
The deputy also said he could smell marijuana as he approached the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle was identified as Caleb G. Vincent (21) of Park City in Edmonson County. A search of the vehicle produced numerous forms of drug paraphernalia, methamphetamine, and the driver of the vehicle showed evidence of having consumed marijuana, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Vincent was arrested and charged with:
Darren Doyle, story:
A Sweeden man has been arrested and faces felony drug charges after a traffic stop led to the discovery of meth, according to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
A deputy reported that at approximately 9:30 pm on Thursday, September 17th, he observed a Ford Focus turn left onto Vincent Street without using a turn signal. A traffic stop was initiated in the parking lot of the 5/6 Center, where the deputy made contact with the driver, Kenton Webb (37) of Sweeden, Kentucky. According the the Sheriff's Office, the driver consented to a search of the vehicle where the deputy found several forms of drug paraphernalia and suspected methamphetamine.
Webb was arrested on scene and charged with:
Webb was lodged in Hart County Jail.
Darren Doyle, story:
A Wingfield man was arrested and faces sexual abuse and offense charges after allegedly sending lewd videos and messages to minors, according to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
The Sheriff's Office said that on Friday, September 18th, a deputy was notified by the family of a 15 year old juvenile that Tracy Scott Jaggers (51) of Ellis Cole Road had sent an obscene video of himself to the minor, using the popular app Snap Chat. According to the Sheriff's Office, during the same Snap Chat conversation where the obscene video had been sent, Jaggers made an obscene request towards the 15 year old juvenile’s friend, also a minor of the same age.
Contact was then made with Jaggers and he was arrested and charged with:
Jaggers was housed in Hart County Jail and released the following morning after 10% percent of his $5,000.00 bond was paid.
School Bus Drivers, Cooks, & Staff Working Hard Behind Scenes Despite Schedule Changes
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
With the delay in the start of school for the 2020-21 year, complications with schedules were only a small part of the difficulties Edmonson County Schools faced when juggling the jobs and duties of those employed by the school system.
Due to COVID-19, Edmonson County schools had to change their calendar this year to start on September 8th. This was pushed back further by the governor's recommendation to delay in-person classes to September 28th; a recommendation that local school officials have said was anything but.
Superintendent of Edmonson County Schools Brian Alexander said that through these scheduling changes, one of the many complications that comes along with an overhaul of the school calendar is what to do with classified employees, such as bus drivers.
"Bus drivers are under contract to work a 185-day contract, which includes the days that are part of the change in the calendar," he said. "Our original calendar called for school to start August 5th, so what do we do? Most alternatives would cause a change in the employment status for these folks, such as a layoff, but this would affect their benefits, which we didn't want. So we decided to make campus improvements across the district. We've painted and pressure washed, and we hope to do landscaping and perhaps some parking lot repair."
Over a dozen school bus drivers were at Kyrock Elementary this morning painting the hallways of the building. The hallways were packed with workers rolling and brushing paint, with most everyone laughing and joking with one another.
Alexander said that the improvements made to schools for this school year are impressive but he wanted to stress that the spirit and attitude taken on by employees were more important than the work itself.
"I don't know of a single complaint or gripe," he said. "And they have done an outstanding job. I can't wait for parents and students to see their schools. Soon, Good Lord willing."
Bus drivers aren't the only ones working behind the scenes on tasks that are still necessary, despite the unsettled schedules. School cooks and other staff members have also been working together to accomplish good things at local schools as meal deliveries and kitchen work have been going strong for several weeks now.
"Our lunchroom staff worked from March 16th through the month of June to make sure the kids of Edmonson County were fed during the pandemic," Alexander said. "They started back in August and have been working every day since. These folks have worked extremely hard to take care of our kids."
Alexander said faculty, staff, and administration are usually the school workers that the public sees most, but it's important that folks remember other school workers as well.
"I've said many times that we have some of the best anywhere right here in Edmonson County," he added. "I wish everyone could see the amount of work that our employees accomplish for the kids of Edmonson County. Bus drivers, lunchroom staff, janitorial staff, maintenance, everyone here. It takes all of us to make our school system what it is and I'm very proud of that."
Courtesy of WDRB-41, Louisville, KY:
Darren Doyle, contributing:
Police in New Albany, Indiana, are looking for a suspect formerly from Edmonson County in a homicide that occurred Wednesday at an apartment complex off Prestwick Square, in New Albany.
New Albany Police Chief Todd Bailey said Rodney McNutt is wanted for the death of Adam Galloway, 44, who was found dead inside his apartment at the The Annex of New Albany complex just after 5:15 p.m. Wednesday. McNutt is a former Edmonson County resident with a criminal history in Edmonson County.
McNutt, currently of Clarksville IN, is a white male, age 48, 5 ft 7 inches, and 200 lbs. He has black/gray hair.
Sheriff Shane Doyle said the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office is offering assistance to investigators.
"We have no reason to believe McNutt would be back in Edmonson County; however, we encourage anyone that might know of his whereabouts to call our office at 270-597-2157 and we can coordinate with New Albany Police," Sheriff Doyle said.
In a press release from New Albany Police, provided by WDRB, police stated: "McNutt was last seen on foot in Clarksville IN. DO NOT APPROACH this suspect as he considered armed and will likely resist. If seen contact your local law enforcement. TIPS should be relayed to NAPD Criminal Investigations at 812-948-5317 or 812-944-6411; TIP line 812-948-NAPD."
Chief Bailey also stated in the press release, “The hard work of NAPD investigators assisted by Indiana State Police have concluded McNutt’s involvement in this case. I encourage anyone who encounters McNutt to immediately contact law enforcement."
Darren Doyle, story:
There is no available COVID-19 data for Edmonson County or the Barren River Health District this week, according to an emailed statement from the BRDHD.
We have received the same email each day this week from BRDHD that states:
"The Barren River District Health Department will not be providing a press release with the daily COVID-19 data report this afternoon of Friday, September 18th, due to transitioning to statewide system for contact tracing and tracking. We will resume our data updates as soon as possible. As always, please remember to practice social distancing, proper hand hygiene, and mask wearing in public."
There is no other known source of available information for active COVID-19 cases in Edmonson County. We will provide updates as soon as the information becomes available.
Darren Doyle, story:
The Edmonson County Board of Education conducted their tax rate hearing, followed by a Special Called Meeting on Thursday, September 18, 2020 where the Board voted keep all tax rates for 2021 the same as the tax rates for 2020.
As of January 01, 2021, the tax rates will be as follows:
"While we have one of the lower tax rates in the area, it's very important to the Board and myself to keep tax rates steady in this unprecedented time in dealing with a pandemic," said Superintendent of Schools Brian Alexander. "Keeping an identical rate from last year will allow the District to maintain a good financial standing and allows the district to avoid major cuts into existing programs as well as allow the district to continue to staff schools below state requirements."
Illegally Placed Signs Removed: Political, Event, Yard Sales, Etc.
by: Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, District 3
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (Sept. 18, 2020) – Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) crews are removing illegally placed items along state maintained right of way areas. Political candidates, residents, business operators and property owners along US and KY routes are reminded no signage is allowed on right of way other than official highway signs and items approved through a permit process.
In particular, as we approach the November election, campaign signs must be placed beyond right of way limits. Right of way fence is included with this restriction. On roads with a right of way fence, no signs may be attached. Final mowing cycles of the growing season are in full swing across the district. Crews will not mow around illegally placed items. They will be removed. Items placed on right of way areas create significant delays for our mowing crews and are potential hazards for mowing operators and passing motorists.
As we head into fall, KYTC takes this opportunity to educate citizens on right of way issues in addition to election signs. The restriction often becomes a problem with regard to yard sales and real estate advertising. Illegally placed materials along roads can create additional hazards by blocking sight distance or distracting drivers, particularly at intersections. All yard sale activities including parking should be off right of way limits.
It is also illegal to attach items such as flyers, posters, balloons or streamers to stop signs, highway markers or any other road sign or utility pole. Illegal placement on utility poles presents additional obstacles and potential dangers for utility crew workers.
Removed items will be taken to each county’s KYTC maintenance facility and temporarily held. Unclaimed materials will be trashed or recycled.
The KYTC District 3 area serves Allen, Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Logan, Metcalfe, Monroe, Simpson, Todd and Warren Counties.
Ray and Margaret Page Named Winner of $335,000 Home
Edmonson Voice Report:
Ray Page, Edmonson County resident and former County Road Supervisor, and his wife, Margaret, also a former county employee, were recently named the winner of the annual St. Jude Dream Home giveaway.
WBKO TV said the house is valued at $335,000, has three bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, and an estimated 2,300 square feet. The main floor has a master suite with large walk-in closet, double vanity, and spacious walk-in shower. There’s a large open kitchen with a center island, custom cabinetry, and a chef’s appliance package. There’s a kid’s zone upstairs with two bedroom, bathroom, common area, and lots of attic storage.
“It’s all just a good cause for the children,” Page said in a WBKO television interview.
6,500 tickets are sold every year. WBKO said this year's contest sold out quicker than any previous contest. Page said his son let him know that he won and he couldn’t believe it.
“I haven’t won anything in my life, we’re still soaking it in.” he told WBKO.
All of the proceeds from ticket sales go to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
Four Arrested In Two Separate Meth Incidents
Darren Doyle, story:
Four individuals have been arrested in two separate incidents and now face felony drug charges, according to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
In a press release, the Sheriff's Office stated that at around 8:00 pm on Friday, September 11th, deputies were dispatched to the Dollar General Store in Chalybeate for a call of a suspicious vehicle. Authorities said it was reported that the vehicle had been in the parking lot for a long period of time and the occupants of the vehicle had been entering and exiting the business. While doing so, a suspicious hand-to-hand transaction with a third party was also reported.
According to the Sheriff's Office, deputies arrived at the Dollar General Store and saw the described vehicle with Adam N. Aaron (39) of Bowling Green, in the driver’s seat. The second occupant of the vehicle, Sara L. McNay (42) of Russell Springs, was located inside the Dollar General Store, authorities said. Deputies reportedly spotted drug paraphernalia laying in plain view inside the vehicle and suspected methamphetamine was also discovered inside the vehicle.
Both Aaron and McNay were placed under arrest and charged with:
The following day at around 12:30 pm, September 12th, an Edmonson County Sheriff’s Deputy observed a silver Ford Escape traveling northbound on KY HWY 259 North, the Sheriff's Office said. The vehicle allegedly crossed the center line three times in a short distance and an Edmonson deputy said he observed that the operator was not wearing a seatbelt.
A traffic stop was initiated on J. Carroll Road, at which point the operator of the vehicle was identified as Thomas D. Toney (38) of Leitchfield, officers said. The passenger of the vehicle was identified as Kandis L. Middelton (36) of Somerset, according to the Sheriff's Office. Law enforcement reported that both occupants of the vehicle were asked to exit the vehicle after the deputy spotted drug paraphernalia laying in plain view. Suspected methamphetamine was also located inside the vehicle, officers said. Both Middelton and Toney were arrested and charged with:
Darren Doyle, story:
United Way of Southern Kentucky announced in a press release last week that it is investing a total of $11,421 in Education, Health, and Safety Net programs and services for its July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021 funding period in Edmonson County. According to the release, nine local programs through six service providers will receive the allocated campaign dollars and donor designations.
In Edmonson County, $11,421 was allocated by volunteers led by Edmonson County Chair Craig Browning as follows:
In March 2020, Edmonson County specific programs who had the opportunity to complete the full application process moved forward to a full review with the Allocations Committee. With the full review by the Allocations Committee and recommendation to and approval by the UWSK Board of Directors complete, the press release said that funding is now being awarded to the programs selected.
According to UWSK, allocation dollars were determined based on the work of 108 volunteers working specifically in their home counties of Allen, Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Hart, Logan, Metcalfe, Monroe, Simpson, and Warren. In total, these volunteers invested approximately 800 hours in the process which began with training sessions for all volunteers. This time generated an impact of $19,336 in service to our community (based on National Rate of Volunteer Time: $24.17 per hour). Volunteers reviewed programs, finances, governance, and outcomes to develop the recommendations for program investments.
In total, $878,203 will be invested across the 10 county BRADD region as part of the 2020/21 funding cycle to 118 total programs through 46 service providers, UWSK said.
No Edmonson COVID Recoveries Reported For Over Two Weeks: Health Dept Having Issues With Data Reporting
Darren Doyle, story:
On Friday, September 11th, The Barren River District Health Department reported 9 additional positive COVID-19 cases in Edmonson County over the past week; however, they haven't reported any new recoveries in nearly three weeks. A recovered case is normally calculated after a positive case no longer shows symptoms 14 days after a positive test result and tests negative after the 14-day quarantine.
We reached out to BRDHD Director Matt Hunt and asked the reason for no reported recoveries during this time period. He said that all health departments across the state are transitioning to a new statewide database.
"The new system is called Kentucky Contact Tracing and Tracking (CTT)," he said. "While our local system was very robust and provided local customization, the KY Department for Public Health wanted to standardize and streamline the process across the state. We were required to train our staff to use the new platform and started using CTT approximately a week ago, but our older data were still in our local database and we worked those cases and closed those cases out for data migration. Friday night a large data migration occurred moving all records in our local database to CTT. You should notice an uptick in the recoveries this week since all data are in CTT."
In a statement sent out yesterday, Ashli McCarty from the BRDHD said, "Good afternoon, we are unable to provide a press release this afternoon due to our data system inaccurately pulling data after a system update that was done over the weekend."
Without accurate data on recoveries and deaths, the current number of active cases cannot be determined. No other current COVID-19 data specifically for Edmonson County was available.
Fiscal Court Recap: Court Votes To Keep Property Tax Rates Same, No Changes To Other Taxes
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
The Edmonson County Fiscal Court voted to keep the property tax rate for the county the same as the previous year, which is 13.9 cents per $100 of assessed value. Judge Wil Cannon said the county had the option of taking the compensating rate which was a lower 13.5%; however, he said keeping rates the same would assist the county with keeping up with inflation costs.
Magistrates voted unanimously for no change in the rates from last year. The court agreed to schedule a public hearing for October 12th at 8:45am to give citizens the opportunity to speak for or against the vote before the final reading of the rate is passed. The property tax rate has remained the same in Edmonson County since at least 2016.
In other tax rates, representatives from the Edmonson County Public Library, Conservation District, and Extension Board also spoke to the court today, respectively. All three entities announced those individual tax rates would also be the same as last year.
Road Report: County Road Supervisor Greg Carroll said tiles had been replaced all over the county since the last meeting. He also said the road department had a recent a safety meeting that went well and that he wants to do them on a quarterly basis. He also discussed the purchase of a new pickup truck which was listed later in the agenda, and said for the past month workers have used their personal vehicles for picking up parts. He said he wouldn't ask the court unless it was needed. Magistrates later voted to allow the purchase, which was already budgeted in the road department fund of $40,000.
Emergency Management Report: EM Director Terry "Moose" Massey reported several emergency calls involving accidents, fires, and a short missing person case that ended quickly with no issues. He also said the county is currently working with Barren River District Health Department to have flu vaccine available for county residents.
Sheriff Report: Sheriff Shane Doyle said deputies have been experiencing high volumes of calls over the past few weeks and he updated the court on the situation with the City of Brownsville law enforcement, where he was asked to be interim supervisor of the one officer they have after the abrupt resignation of Jeff Jewell. He said he'd been researching stats and that out of all the city's criminal cases over the past year, the sheriff's office has actually opened up 25% more cases in the city than city officers did during that time. He said no long term agreement between the city and county had been made yet. He also reported that he was called by Superintendent of Edmonson County Schools Brian Alexander in regards to concerns about a supposed protest that was rumored to take place at Friday night's home football game. He said some had threatened to protest the game because the graduation ceremony for 2020 had been postponed again; however, he said what few people showed up to protest caused no issues. He added that most of those decisions are currently out of hands of school system; however, protests are legal as long as no laws are broken, no property is damaged, no traffic or events are impeded, and no permit is required to have one in Edmonson County.
County Attorney Report: County Attorney Greg Vincent reported former County Attorney Luther Norene’s funeral arrangements. Norene was Vincent's predecessor, who served 17 years as county attorney.
County Clerk Update: Clerk Kevin Alexander updated the court on the plan for the 2020 General Election practices, where there would be three ways to vote: 1. option of mail in ballot, which must be requested through govoteky.com thru October 9th. He said his office has not received ballots from state yet. 2. On Oct 13th, voters can vote early in-person in their office thru November 2nd during normal business hours, and finally, 3. On election day, all precincts will be open for standard in-person voting. Says a lot of folks have reached out and volunteered to work polling places of there were shortages. He also announced that the grace period for expired tags and licenses ends on Oct 6th.
Parks and Rec: Park Director A.B. Webb said that a youth soccer league coach recently tested positive for COVID-19, and that games were cancelled at that time as a safety precaution. He said the entire team was initially instructed to quarantine but there was a miscommunication of sorts and only the coach and his family were the only ones to do so. He added that new LED lights installed had been installed in local parks and the EC3 basketball league had continued their help with other park projects. Judge Cannon asked about donating the old lights to Lions Club, and Webb said he would be in favor; however, the Judge said he would look into restrictions that may be in play due to the old lights being county surplus.
Judge Cannon also described the old playground area in the courtyard facing Jackson Street that is currently being remodeled. He said the old equipment was removed, the rubber mulch was dug out and replaced with rock. He said the area would gain a few more parking spaces for county employees and a grass area was planned to be constructed. The playground was used by Head Start when it operated out of the Community Center but they've since moved.
The court also voted to:
Preserving Edmonson Pride Gives Presentation At Fiscal Court With Artist Renderings
Big Potential Changes Could Come to Courthouse, Community Center, More In Future
Darren Doyle, story and photo: drawings provided by PEP
Preserving Edmonson Pride (PEP), a local non-profit organization purposed for beautifying the community, gave a presentation at today's fiscal court meeting as they outlined goals set for improvements made within the city of Brownsville.
Shaksa Hines, PEP member, said after Brownsville and Edmonson County was named an official Trail Town, a group of citizens started a discussion about making some improvements to the appearance of the community.
"We formed a non-profit with a mission of working with county and city governments to beautify public spaces, to bring about economic development, and enhance the quality of life of our citizens," she said.
She said that over the past year, PEP has been working with Arnold Consulting and Engineering Services for some design ideas around town that focus on the courthouse square. PEP member Andrea Brantley then presented a slide show with some photos of the town square dating back decades to remind the court of the thriving community Brownsville once had. They consisted of hardware stores, auto dealers, appliance stores, cafes, and even two pool halls next door to one another.
She then showed some renderings of proposed redesigns of the county courthouse, the community center building, and the surrounding area.
Mrs. Brantley also said that one of PEP's goals was to seek out grants for these projects, which are available; however, they must be done in conjunction with city and county governments.
"We have done studies that prove there are over 2 million people that go through Brownsville every year. They're either going Nolin Lake State Park, or they're going to Mammoth Cave. What our motives are, is to draw those people in. We don't want them going to Leitchfield, Bowling Green, or Cave City to spend their money, we want to develop businesses in the county where those tourists will come spend their money with us."
She then described how their initiative would first focus on coming into town then onto the courthouse square.
She said board members have covered the costs associated with the architectural firm up to this point and the firm is currently working on full cost estimations for these improvements.
Costs would likely be in the millions when all said and done; however, PEP is actively seeking grant funding for these proposed projects.
Judge Cannon said he fully supports the efforts of PEP and encouraged the court and county to do the same.
"These grants are not available with people without a plan, and you can see this organization has been working on these things for two years," he said. "We have a group here that’s willing to put the time, resources, and energy into this, and we need to support this."
To find out more about Preserving Edmonson Pride, visit their Facebook Page by clicking here.
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
A proclamation was signed today by Edmonson County Judge Executive Wil Cannon in support of a veterans group and announced and today's fiscal court meeting.
"Disabled American Veterans Day" was proclaimed for September 25, 2020 in Edmonson County. Judge Canon read the entire proclamation at the meeting.
"We can't say enough about our local veterans and the folks at the local chapter here in Edmonson County," he added. "Our local DAV does a lot for veterans here and we appreciate what they do.
DAV Chapter #32 Adjutant and KY State Jr. Vice-Commander Mike Stoyonovich also spoke to the court.
"I'd like to say thank you to the fiscal court for their support of veterans in Edmonson County and to this county as well. Thank you all so much."
The entire proclamation is published below:
Conversation With Rep. Guthrie: COVID Vaccine, Schools Can Open Safely, Stimulus Packages, More
Congressman Says Warren County, Bowling Green Schools Are Opening Safely, We Need To Get Back To Life
All content copyright 2020 Edmonson Voice, LLC.
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
U.S. Congressman Brett Guthrie spoke with the Edmonson Voice today on a number of topics that impact the people of the second district, which includes Edmonson County, today in a telephone interview.
One of the first subjects discussed was the handling of COVID-19 in Kentucky.
"I don't know how to compare to other states because I can't speak on what other states are doing," he said. "But when we first got to the shut down, the idea was to slow the spread so we wouldn't overwhelm our hospital capacities, but now we're 6 months into this and we gotta get back to life. Businesses are really struggling, so we have to mitigate it--it is serious, it is stronger than the flu in some people, but in some people--the younger you are, the less effective it is. If you're older it's more serious, and that's where we're seeing our deaths come from. We know that it's going to be around until we get a vaccine, but we have to get back to life and mitigate it: wash our hands, wear a mask, but we can't keep everything shut down forever. Currently, there's not an overrun of ICU beds, ventilators are available, and hospitals have personal protective equipment...so if we're just going to measure it by how many people come up positive on a test and say that's the standard, even though they don't even have symptoms, then we're never going to open anything up again until we get a vaccine."
Rep. Guthrie said a vaccine was key in helping control COVID-19, and science has been working on coronavirus vaccines for years; however, the process must be completed efficiently, but most of all safely. He said that politicians won't have control of when the vaccine is readily made to the public, rather, science will do that and it won't happen until FDA approval. He said Americans could see a vaccine by October, but more likely by the first of 2021.
"This is based on about a decade of research on the coronavirus, so it's not new," he said. "The COVID-19 strain of the virus is new, so from January to about May, they were taking decades of research and honing it on on COVID-19."
He said phase 2 trials began in May in small groups of people, then five to six thousand in phase 3, which is the final phase. He said there were currently three vaccines in phase 3. He said it simply takes time.
"It will be safe and effective or it won't be approved. Politicians won't make that decision, the scientists will," he said.
He said vaccines will likely be given to front line workers first, then those with pre-existing conditions.
"The President is coordinating this. He's not getting much credit for it, but he's coordinating it. We could have 50 million vaccines available by the first of the year. There are 330 million Americans, right? So not everyone is going to take it, but if we can inoculate first line workers, people working in nursing homes, people working in hospitals, people in nursing homes and people with pre-existing conditions first, then the risk from people dying from this drops dramatically. The risk isn't zero to a sixth grader...but it's close to zero for any serious problems to happen. The risk is when the sixth grader kisses their grandma or grandad. If we can inoculate grandma or grandad in that first batch, then people can get back to their lives."
We asked Rep Guthrie is he felt like it was safe for Kentucky students to go back to in-person classes.
"Bowling Green and Warren County appear to be doing it safely," he said. "I know they've only been doing it for a couple weeks, but I think Hart County is doing it safely. Can you do it safely? Anytime you have people together there is some level of risk. Some schools aren't going back until September 28th, but I don't believe it will be any safer then that it was two weeks ago. If you said it wasn't safe two weeks ago, it's not going to be safe September 28th. If people say, 'I'm not going to have school until there's zero risk of people getting sick,' then they just need to stop until after the vaccine is here. I think schools can safely open. Bowling Green and Warren County is showing that. The Governor keeps pointing out that Warren County has one of the highest rates of testing and he can't believe they're having school...I think if you look at our schools, they're doing it successfully. So if a county like Warren County, who has high rates of testing are opening schools, then I think other counties can, too."
We also asked the Congressman when could Kentuckians expect another stimulus package, and what would it look like? Guthrie said he felt like too many extras were being added into the most recent bill that didn't bring immediate relief to Americans; a package that was over three trillion dollars (3,000,000,000,000).
"I did not support the current bill. It was a three trillion dollar bill," he said. "Very little of it had to do directly with coronavirus...Speaker Pelosi said it was a bill that must pass, so we're going to put all these things on it--alot of it is Green New Deal, all these other issues. Senator McConnell went through it methodically and looked for things to keep our businesses going."
Guthrie said that McConnell wants to focus on helping small businesses, unemployment, and help those directly affected by coronavirus, which was a much lesser bill--around the tune of a trillion dollars, but the House still wants a two trillion dollar package.
"Two trillion is a trillion dollars that is not COVID-related, or indirectly related that we don't have to have, and therefore, we're not going to take another trillion dollars in debt and put that on our children and grandchildren."
Guthrie also shared his frustrations with how COVID-19 data was interpreted by state officials, specifically on push back out of Frankfort on vaccines.
"If the CDC says shut things down, then they're really quick to shut things down, but if CDC says get ready for a vaccine then they push back against it. What's frustrating to me-- because I'm right in the middle of it since I'm on the oversight committee, is seeing people take the same sources of data, and if it helps their argument they use it, but if it doesn't help their argument, they don't use it. Either it's real or it's not."
Guthrie finished the interview by coming back to COVID-19 in Kentucky.
"Dr. Fauci always said we have to slow the spread, he didn't say we're going to go to zero. He said we can't have our hospital systems overrun. If we fill our hospitals up with COVID patients, one--it not only affects those that catch COVID-19, but it also affects the normal hospital day--those that have heart attacks or strokes--they can't get a bed in a hospital. But now we've slowed that spread, most hospital beds in Kentucky were empty. We're not back to where we were, but we need to manage our hospital capacity, not just a number of cases. Some people will argue 'well, we have hospital availability but our cases are still going up, so in two weeks our hospitals are going to be full,' and that just has not come to fruition--at least in the second district. The coronavirus is serious. It makes people sick, it can kill people. You gotta respect it, mitigate it, but we also gotta get our lives moving again. And we can do that, I think, safely. Not without risk, but as I said, what risk is going to be different on September 28th that on September 7th?"
You can contact Representative Guthrie via his website by clicking here.
Edmonson County Sees Only Two New Cases This Week
Darren Doyle, story:
Governor Andy Beshear today extended his executive order requiring face coverings in public for another 30 days. It's the second time the order has been extended. The original order was given on July 9th for 30 days then extended on August 8th for 30 more days. The entire order can be read here. Beshear said an extension is needed because of it's success in slowing the spread of COVID-19.
Beshear said on Sunday, August 31st, that the week's coronavirus cases were an all-time in KY, with 4,503 in that time span. Kentucky is on pace to top that number with 3,719 reported cases since Monday, September 1st.
Edmonson County has had only two new reported positive COVID-19 case this week, according to numbers provided by the Barren River District Health Department (135 total cases). There are currently 10 active known positive cases in the county according to BRDHD data. Deaths reported as a result of the virus in Edmonson County have been unchanged for nearly two months at 12, with 83% of those being reported from Edmonson Center.
The Edmonson County Grand Jury recently met and returned the following indictments:
Darrell Duvall, Theft by unlawful taking $500 or more, Receiving stolen property over $500, Tampering with physical evidence, Engaging in organized crime.
Eric Green, Possession of controlled substance first degree (meth), Possession of marijuana, Fleeing or evading police second degree on foot.
Brandon Blanton, Assault 4th degree-domestic violence-minor injury, Wanton endangerment-first degree, Menacing, Persistent felony offender first degree.
Marcello L. Martinez, Resisting arrest, two counts of Wanton endangerment second degree-police officer, Assault second degree-police officer, Assault third degree.
Sonny J. Richards, Theft by unlawful taking auto-$500 or more, under $10,000. Theft by unlawful taking or disposition, all others under $500, Persistent felony offender first degree.
Wesley Ryne Booker, Trafficking in controlled substance first degree-second-offense-(meth), Possession of marijuana, Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess, Persistent felony offender first degree.
John C. Hewitt, Possession of controlled substance first degree-(meth), Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess.
Jayla Miller, Theft by unlawful taking $500 or more, Receiving stolen property over $500, Tampering with physical evidence, Engaging in organized crime.
Austin D. Doyle, Theft by unlawful taking $500 or more, Receiving stolen property over $500, Tampering with physical evidence, Engaging in organized crime, Persistent felony offender first degree.
Phillip Hayes, Theft by unlawful taking $500 or more, Receiving stolen property over $500, Tampering with physical evidence, Engaging in organized crime, Persistent felony offender first degree.
James Matthew Logsdon, Flagrant non-support, Persistent felony offender first degree.
Caleb M. Vincent, Possession of controlled substance first degree (meth), Possession of marijuana.
Clay Davis, Wanton endangerment-first degree, Operating motor vehicle under influence of alcohol-aggravated circumstances, Careless driving, Assault first degree, Assault third degree-police officer, Resisting arrest, Terroristic threatening third degree.
An indictment is an accusation only, and all parties are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.