County Attorney Hines Joins Drive Safe Kentucky: "Take The Pledge, Save A Life" Campaign At ECHS On November 7
Edmonson Voice Staff
In an effort to make roads safer and to save lives, Edmonson County Attorney J.B. Hines announced today that his office has joined the Drive Safe Kentucky “Take the pledge and save a life” campaign to stop distracted driving. The Edmonson County Attorney has pledged its support to help spread the message that distracted drivers are not only a danger to themselves, but everyone else on the road.
“We all know that talking or texting on our cell phones while driving is distracting, but that doesn’t stop most people from continuing to do it,” said Guy Huguelet – President of Drive Safe Kentucky. “This effort is intended to educate our community about the dangers of cell phone use and other distractions while driving. We hope that once people see the statistics and realize the danger involved, they will change their driving habits to help protect themselves, their families, and others on the road.”
“For anyone who thinks they can talk on their phone, text, apply make-up, or do any other distracting activity while driving, it’s time for a crash course in reality from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, here are some facts” said Huguelet:
While anything that takes your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off the task of driving is a hazard, there is heightened concern about the risks of texting while driving because it combines all three types of distraction – visual, manual and cognitive. Drive Safe Kentucky and Edmonson County High School will host
Drive Safe Kentucky “Take the pledge and Save a Life” campaign on Monday November 7th 2016 at Edmonson County High School. The Campaign is a comprehensive safe driving awareness program geared toward our youth in the Commonwealth. The program will put an emphasis on driver experience, improper driving behavior, distracted driving and driving under the influence using simulators and student participation activities. Each student will be asked to sign and take the pledge to not text and drive.
“Every driver in Edmonson County has a role in this effort,” said Edmonson Co Attorney J.B. Hines. “However, we especially want to reach out to parents with teen drivers because we know that statistically, the under-20 age group had the highest proportion of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes.”
“The Edmonson County Attorney and Drive Safe Kentucky’s goal with this campaign is simple – save lives by getting drivers to remember that “One Text or Call Could Wreck It All” and “It can Wait”. It’s time to Drive Safe Kentucky. “ said J.B. Hines.
For more information about distracted driving, please visit www.distraction.gov, or you can contact Guy Huguelet, Drive Safe Kentucky – firstname.lastname@example.org or 8595765770. J.B. Hines, Edmonson County Attorney, 270-597-9609.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report
A call from a resident complaining of a reckless driver resulted in a felony drug arrest, thanks to Tango, the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office K9 unit.
Authorities responded to a complaint on E.G. Nash Road around noon on Sunday, where a caller said he was following a yellow '98 Chevy pickup which was driving recklessly.
Officials reported that they met up with a vehicle matching the description and same license plate number given by the caller and conducted a traffic stop at the Minit Mart in Brownsville.
Deputies reported that the driver, Richie Seabolt, 25, of Roundhill, gave officers consent to search the vehicle but nothing was found at first. Deputies then called for Tango, the sheriff's office K9 Unit for deployment in an attempt to locate any illegal drugs.
Tango, who recently became a certified K9 Unit in narcotic detection, made a positive alert on the passenger's side, where authorities said they found hidden drug paraphernalia which led to the discovery of a glass pipe with what appeared to be meth residue hidden in a child's car seat.
It was Tango's first narcotic detection deployment since becoming certified on October 19, 2016.
Officials said that Seabolt then admitted to consuming meth earlier and that the items located in the vehicle were in fact, his.
Seabolt was arrested and charged with Possession of controlled substance-first degree (meth), and Drug Paraphernalia-buy/possess-first offense.
He was transported and lodged in the Hart County Jail. Also assisting was the District 2 Constable.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report
The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office has reported that a convicted felon is now facing more felony charges after he was arrested for moving into a home that didn't belong to him.
Authorities said they responded to a complaint on C Lashley Road in Roundhill where the property owner said someone had broken into his vacant house. The caller also said it appeared as if someone had been living there as several personal items including clothing, bedding, and food were inside, and that someone had placed a padlock on the garage door.
Deputies said they removed the padlock and found more personal property inside that did not belong to the owner along with paperwork and other mail addressed to Rodney McNutt. Authorities said they began an investigation focusing on the personal property and mail.
Deputies were called back to the same location just a few hours later by the property owner who was staying at a nearby property. The owner said he saw headlights and noticed someone pulling into the home. Authorities said as they arrived, they were met by Rodney McNutt, 44, of Brownsville, who was exiting the house while carrying several personal items.
Deputies said they questioned McNutt and asked why he was there. They reported that he claimed he'd inherited the property and had been hired by the Department of Defense to provide security there. Authorities also said that McNutt told them "I don't have to follow your laws because I'm a freewill mason of the 33rd and a half degree." It was also reported that McNutt continued telling authorities he was an undercover agent.
The Sheriff's office said that the property owner arrived and said he didn't know the man nor did he give permission for him to be there. Authorities said it was then that McNutt admitted he didn't have the right to be on the property.
After a search was made inside, deputies said they found an unmarked bottle of pills along with a .22 cal rifle. They also reported that McNutt tried to dispose of the pills while he was handcuffed. It was discovered that McNutt was a convicted felon for a prior First Degree Burglary charge. He was arrested and charged with:
Darren Doyle, story and photos
Firefighters were called back to Walnut Way, just off Laurel Ridge Road in the Cave Hollow Bay area Friday afternoon as a forest fire that began on Sunday once again rekindled. It was the sixth day in a row that the fire has continued burning.
Although contained to an approximate five-acre area, the steep incline of the hollow has made for near impossible access to much of the area.
Firefighters have dug out what is known as a "fire line" to help control the fire. It's where brush, trees, and anything can be fuel to a fire is cut down and dug to the dirt, leaving nothing that can burn. It looks like a dirt path that surrounds a fire.
"Conditions are just so dry right now," said Lincoln Fire Chief Steve Sanders. "We've got a fire line made all around the area, so all we can really do is hope that anything that rekindles can only go up to the fire line and burn out. Either that, or hope for a good rain."
Sanders also reminded everyone of the current burn ban that is in effect for all of Kentucky that began on October 15, 2016. The ban prohibits burning outdoors within 150 feet of woods or brush between the hours of 6am and 6pm. The ban will remain in effect until December 15, 2016.
"We'll come back and keep checking it everyday until we know it's completely out," Sanders said.
Darren Doyle, photos
Edmonson County High School celebrated Senior Night for Fall Sports and Organizations last night at Wildcat Stadium as senior members of football, cheer, band, golf, and cross country were recognized and honored with friends and family before last night's game between Edmonson and Barren Counties.
Enjoy a slideshow of all the participants. (Not pictured is Spencer McMurdo, senior band member, the son of John and Patricia McMurdo).
Edmonson Voice Staff Report
A Brownsville woman originally charged with murder pleaded guilty to first degree manslaughter yesterday in Edmonson Circuit Court.
Angela Reshonsky, 56, of Brownsville was formally indicted on charges of Murder and Tampering with physical evidence on September 4, 2014 after she was accused of shooting and killing her former boyfriend, Charles Bingham, who was 49 at the time, at her HWY 70 home in Brownsville on July 30, 2014.
Reshonsky's attorneys argued that she was a victim of domestic violence and shot Bingham in self defense.
The murder charge was amended to First Degree Manslaughter where she took the plea agreement.
She is scheduled to appear back in court on January 18th, 2017 where she faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.
Darren Doyle, story
Edmonson County Circuit Court Clerk Tanya Hodges is advising Edmonson County drivers that the Kentucky Department of Transportation is no longer mailing driver's license renewal notices.
"Some people believe those notices come from my office, but they never have," she said. "They come from Frankfort, and they've announced that the notices will no longer be used."
Driver's licenses must be renewed every four years in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
A memo that was sent to all circuit clerks said that the KY Division of Drivers Licensing will save an estimated $250,000 per year by discontinuing the notices, and that money will be used for state roads and bridges. The memo also said the state can offer email and text notifications to anyone wishing to provide that information voluntarily.
Darren Doyle, story and photo
Officer Bob Couchman, a member of the Madisonville Police Department, Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and the U.S. Secret Service, gave a hard-hitting presentation to a small crowd last night at ECHS on the dangers of social media and internet predators.
Couchman went through a list of popular smart device apps that children are using, most of which compromises personal information and can lead to dangerous outcomes.
"Your kids are savvy enough to stay out in front of you," Couchman said to parents in attendance. "They might be good kids, but they're not perfect. I wasn't a perfect kid, and neither were you. Most times, if there's a way to sneak around something, kids will find it and that's where the door opens for some very bad things."
Couchman focused on several apps that are popular with today's kids and how easy it was for them to not only see and experience inappropriate material, but become victims as well. Some of the apps he advised parents to keep away from children were:
Couchman said that while not all users abuse the apps, young people are obsessed with sharing too many details of their personal lives along with personal info in app profiles that they don't even think about, like their address, phone numbers, email addresses, and social app usernames used in other apps.
Couchman used one particular Facebook profile of an anonymous female teenager. Through a few swipes of a phone, he had the ability to steal her photos, found her personal information, where she went to church, known friends and family, and even found a street view of her home. One of the reasons that he said his teenage children were not social media users.
"Parents think that it can't happen to their child, but it can," Couchman said.
He stressed that while it's likely that most teens will continue using social media, it's imperative for parents to stay involved with their smartphone activity.
"In my house, there are no passwords," Couchman said. "If I find something on one of their phones that's locked me out, forcing me to use a password, I take a hammer, smash the device into small pieces and place what's left in a ziploc bag," he said. "I'm the parent, it's my job to know what my kids are doing, same as it's your job to know yours."
One staff member said, "Some parents don't want to hear this stuff because they're using these apps themselves. They don't want their kids to stop because they think it's popular."
Couchman quickly nodded his head in agreement. "It's sad how many parents are trying to live vicariously through their children," he said.
Several parents, faculty, and school staff members asked detailed questions and were amazed by some of Officer Couchman's answers.
Sheriff Shane Doyle said his office deals with dozens of cases each year involving students from ECHS and ECMS that have been involved with inappropriate use of some of the apps, sending and receiving sexually explicit material, and either being a victim or a suspect in cyber-bullying.
"Most people have no idea what our School Resource Officer Jeff Brooks deals with on a regular basis," Doyle said. "The amount of inappropriate material that is shared between our own kids right here would shock you."
ECHS Principal Tommy Hodges applauded Officer Couchman's presentation and hopes to have him return.
"I thought it was amazing, even shocking," said Principal Hodges. "It's my personal feeling that every single parent that has a child with a cell phone should experience this and see what their son or daughter can potentially do with that phone. It blows my mind. I almost wish we just go back to flip phones where we just talk and text, with very little texting. Of course, in this technology age, smart phones are something we'll continue to deal with and some of these things will only get worse."
Hodges said he was very disappointed with the low attendance to the free event.
"I feel like this this needs to be priority to the parents of high school students. I'm not saying their children are guilty of some of these things, but they need to be aware of what could happen. It's a reminder of the importance of monitoring what their children do."
The event was coordinated by Edmonson County Supervisor of Federal and State Programs, Jamie Carnes, and his efforts were praised by Hodges.
"He did a great job putting this together. He worked hard with you guys in the media and a one-call was made to parents in our school system so people should've known about it. My feeling is, if you missed this, when we get Officer Couchman back, we need to fill up this place. Our parents need to see what I saw tonight."
by Darren Doyle
We just want to thank everyone for the biggest week we've experienced so far here at the Edmonson Voice. We've been visited 80,000 times by 22,000 people over the past seven days. When you consider that there are only 12K people in Edmonson County, you can see how much of an impact our news has on our county and surrounding areas.
Whether it's covering a county emergency that involves everyone, the latest sports coverage, our free announcements, or our normal ads, we're there. We've become the standard when it comes to news in Edmonson County and it's something we don't take lightly. Thank you for allowing us to be Edmonson County's number one source for local news and information by an amazing margin.
Our numbers continue to grow and we'll continue to do our very best bringing you updated and accurate information. Thanks for reading EdmonsonVoice.com.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report
Green River Ferry will close at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, November 1, 2016, for maintenance on the ferry paddle wheel, according to Mammoth Cave National Park spokesperson Vickie Carson.
The ferry will resume operation as soon as the work is complete.
For ferry operation status, please call 270-758-2166.
Rep. Michael Meredith Pre-Files Bill to Provide Needed Increases for Police, Firefighters and Volunteer Fire Departments
FRANKFORT, Ky. (October 26, 2016) – This week, Rep. Michael Meredith, R-Brownsville, pre-filed a bill that seeks to make permanent increases in supplemental incentives for law enforcement officers, firefighters and volunteer fire departments. During the 2016 Regular Session, the General Assembly passed budget language increasing incentive pay for qualified police officers and firefighters from $3,000 to $4,000 annually. The language also increased state aid funding for qualifying volunteer fire departments from $8250 each year to $11,000. If passed, B.R. 300 would make these increases permanent.
“Police officers and firefighters work selflessly to ensure our communities are safe,” said Rep. Meredith. “Current times present many life threatening situations for our public safety workers and volunteers. I firmly believe we must adequately compensate law enforcement officers and firefighters and provide the best equipment possible for those volunteering to serve our communities.”
As our country sees a rise in line of duty deaths of law enforcement officers, pay raises for those who put themselves in harm’s way while on the job are becoming more necessary. In response, Rep. Meredith’s bill makes public safety a priority.
“Our public safety officials have not seen significant pay raises that their families deserve,” added Rep. Meredith. “This bill seeks to solve this problem and ensure that we retain and continue to attract the best people to fill these important roles.”
The 2017 Regular Session begins in January.
Darren Doyle, story
Pat Prunty, photos
What started as a fairly simple brush fire in a wooded area on Laurel Ridge Road in the Cave Hollow Bay area has ended up giving firefighters more than they bargained for as flare ups rekindled today for the third time in four days.
Emergency workers first responded to the scene on Sunday afternoon where apparently someone was cleaning up and burning limbs and debris on the property and the burning trash quickly got out of hand. Firefighters were able to control the blaze that evening but it has rekindled multiple times since.
"Conditions are just so dry out here," said Edmonson County Emergency Management Director Pat Prunty. "We've had about 25 guys out here today doing everything they can. The fire is is within a 5-10 acre area but it's on a steep hillside and there's just no easy way of getting to it."
Prunty said the Lincoln, Bear Creek, Kyrock, and Brownsville Fire Departments have all responded and were on sight today. He also said the Kentucky State Forestry Division was on scene this afternoon.
"We've had Edmonson County EMS on standby in the event of heat exhaustion or other accident," Prunty said. "These conditions are very difficult for any of us to work through."
Firefighters cleared the scene this afternoon with hopes of finally having the fire completely extinguished.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report
The Kentucky State Police Post 3 Bowling Green responded to a single vehicle injury collision today at approx. 1:34 pm near the 10,000 block of KY 185 in Warren County that resulted in the death of the operator of the vehicle.
The preliminary investigation indicated that Gerald Clark (70) of Roundhill was operating a 2001 Chevrolet Camaro and was traveling southbound in the 10,000 block of KY 185 when he dropped off the right shoulder of the roadway. The vehicle then overturned and rolled multiple times, ejecting Mr. Clark.
Mr. Clark was pronounced dead at the scene by the Warren County Coroner.
The investigation is still ongoing and being led by Trooper First Class Brett Coomes. He was assisted on the scene by Sergeant Jeremy Smith, Master Trooper Tomie Walters, Warren County Sheriff's Department, Warren County Coroner's Office, Medical Center EMS, and the Richardsville Fire Department. No other details are available for release at this time.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report
A Brownsville man will face charges for his third DUI after he was arrested yesterday, October 24, 2016, just outside the Brownsville city limits.
The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office reported that as deputies were returning from a required department firearms qualification, they came in contact with a 1997 GMC pick up that they said was traveling at a high rate of speed on Veterans Memorial Highway (KY HWY 259).
They reported as they made a traffic stop on the vehicle, they discovered a strong smell of alcohol. The driver, Aaron Hanson, (39) of Brownsville was then asked to undergo field sobriety tests where officials said he showed multiple signs of being under the influence.
Hanson was placed under arrest and charged with Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol/drugs- 3rd offense; Speeding 26mph or greater; and Possession of an open alcoholic beverage in motor vehicle.
Court records indicate Hanson received a 2012 DUI conviction in Barren County District Court and a 2014 DUI conviction in Edmonson County District Court.
"People drink and drive 24 hours a day," said Det. Wally Ritter. "Anytime you witness what you think is an impaired driver, call authorities immediately. This instance happened while school buses were still on routes, thankfully the driver was arrested before anyone was hurt."
Darren Doyle, story
The fiscal court voted to postpone payment to Starnes Construction once again in today's meeting, pending hearing from the company in regards to a $2,326.04 bill for drainage work done at the HWY 70 ball fields back in August.
According to Parks and Rec Program Administrator Greg Hudson, the local contracting company was hired to repair drainage issues at two fields in 2015. The drainage problems were so severe that portions of the outfield in two different fields were rendered useless.
Hudson told the court today that the company guaranteed the work and they said if the drainage issue continued, they would return to the fields and continue the work until the county was satisfied. Hudson said not only were the issues not properly fixed the first time, one of the fields actually held more water after the initial repair. He said the company sent someone out a second time, at the county's request, but also sent a large bill, and the park won't know for sure if the issue is resolved until wet weather sets in.
Don Starnes, owner of Starnes Construction told the Edmonson Voice on September 26, that the original work that was done included a curtain drain system to pull water away from low-lying, wet areas. He said that that particular work was completed and is properly working. He said the additional problems that the park experienced was due to a leaking pond on property above the park and is a separate issue from what he was originally hired to do.
Mr. Starnes also stated that when his company returned to do additional work, the scope of work that he had previously discussed with Judge Executive Wil Cannon was changed by Greg Hudson.
Hudson, who opposed payment of the bill, disagreed. "Well, the backhoe operator couldn't dig the ditch in the exact spot that was discussed because it was too wet, so all I did was ask that the new ditch that was being dug be moved out about 10 feet," he said.
No one from Starnes Construction attended today's meeting.
"If Mr. Starnes was worried about getting paid for this, I'd figure he'd be here today," said Magistrate Mark Woosley. "I’m not in favor of paying this bill. Business is business, and this is taxpayer money. He guaranteed it to work and it didn’t, so he came back to fix it. A ditch is a ditch no matter where you dig it."
Mag. Woosley made a motion to postpone the payment until someone from the company can attend fiscal court and justify the cost and why the county owes it. The motion was seconded by Magistrate Joe Durbin.
Darren Doyle, story
Both Sheriff Shane Doyle and Jailer Hank Vincent discussed last week's inmate escape incident at the Edmonson County Courthouse and how similar situations can be prevented in the future during today's fiscal court meeting.
Jailer Vincent said one door in particular that remained accessible to prisoners will now be closed, locked, and only accessible with a key card. Vincent said with that door being inaccessible to prisoners, they would be much less likely to get anywhere else inside the courthouse.
"For six years, the system that's been put in place has always worked," Jailer Vincent said. "Well, now we've obviously found flaws that need to be fixed."
Vincent said the individual that escaped last week took a huge gamble on whether or not court security was in the hallway of the courthouse. "Of course, it there had been anyone out there, he would've been stopped right there. We always notify court security when we're going to have prisoners at the courthouse, and how many we're going to bring. From now on, we're going to notify them five minutes ahead of time so they can meet us at the back door."
Sheriff Shane Doyle said court security officers, who operate through the Sheriff's Office, are always aware of court dates and when prisoners are going to transferred, however, this particular incident happened before normal business hours and the officers had not yet arrived at the courthouse.
Vincent said the new policy has also been changed to be sure any doors accessible to public areas of the courthouse are locked and secured before moving prisoners inside. Once inside, the prisoners will remain in handcuffs until they are secured in the holding cell.
"Then we place them in the cells. There's a food service area opening in the cell where they can put their hands in and we can take their handcuffs off, after they're in the cells," Vincent said.
Sheriff Doyle said he thought the policy changes made by the Jailer would be very effective.
"I feel like maybe some people think Jailer Vincent and I were trying to toss the blame back and forth, but that never was the case," Doyle said. "First of all, in Edmonson County, we all work together. Some counties you go to, you hear about how this office has a problem with that one, or you see where some newspaper is trying to turn one office against another, and we're not going to have that here. All of our county offices have the county's best interests at heart, and the same goes for Jailer Hank Vincent. They've got their hands full just like we all do in a small county. He's done the legwork to try to keep this from happening again and my office will back him up."
Doyle also said that Edmonson County Emergency Management Director Pat Prunty was a big help during the search with the use of the county's telephone emergency notification system, CodeRED. Through the free service, which is available to any county resident, Doyle was able to make a "one-call" notification to alert citizens of the county of the situation.
Craig Troutman, the escaped inmate, now faces up to 20 more years in prison for new charges as a result of the manhunt.
Edmonson District Court was held on Tuesday, October 18, 2016. The Honorable Judge John M. McCarty presiding.
Thomas M. Minton, Theft by unlawful taking or disposition shoplifting under $500. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial conference 11-1-16.
Craig Woodcock, Theft of services. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial conference 11-1-16.
Oscar June Denham, Assault 4th degree, no visible injury. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial conference 11-15-16.
Jeffery Wayne Self, Terroristic threatening 3rd degree. Pleaded not guilty. Pretrial conference 11-1-16.
Corey R. Parker, Alcohol intoxication in a public place-first and second offense. Possession of marijuana. Possession of controlled substance-third degree-drug unspecified. Pleaded not guilty to all charges. Pretrial conference 11-1-16.
Devan T. Parker, Alcohol intoxication in a public place-first and second offense. Possession of marijuana. Possession of controlled substance-third degree-drug unspecified. Pleaded not guilty to all charges. Pretrial conference 11-1-16.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report
After an eight hour search that spanned from 31W all the way to Roundhill, escaped inmate Craig Troutman was apprehended on Thursday, October 20, 2016 just after 4pm after escaping the Edmonson County Courthouse that morning.
Sheriff Shane Doyle discussed the game plans used to track down the escapee while he shared details of the process and conversations with Troutman.
Troutman was able to make his way into the courtroom lobby through an unlocked door as prisoners were being transferred into a holding cell. The Sheriff said no court security was present in the lobby because they weren't aware inmates were on the property before business hours.
Doyle said that deputies were dispatched around 7:30AM, and the Sheriff's Office drone was deployed. He said the thick canopy over the woods kept authorities from seeing much on the drone's camera. Edmonson County Schools were placed on "lock-in" around 8AM, meaning no one could enter or exit the building, but normal activities could take place inside.
"We were close right off the bat," Doyle said. "Troutman later told us he could hear the drone and he knew it was close so he just stayed in the woods."
Although there were several calls and tips from various parts of the county, all of which were investigated, Troutman told authorities that he never left the woods.
Doyle said that after the first trail went cold, the Sheriff's Office regrouped and began to focus on known family members that Troutman had in the county and a campsite on a remote farm location on the edge of Mammoth Cave National Park. Doyle said the campsite was discovered as Troutman's temporary home a couple of months ago when the Sheriff's Office assisted Warren County in a robbery case where Troutman was a suspect. He said the Sheriff's Office suspected that Troutman would possibly return to the site or near the park area.
The Sheriff also made a "one call" emergency notification to Edmonson County residents. If you did not receive a call, he noted to make sure you are signed up through the county's "CodeRED" Emergency Alert System, where you can receive calls, texts, or other messages on both land lines and cell phones. Click here to sign up for the free service.
He said a coordinated response to the family members' locations and the campsite were also dead ends.
He said they turned their focus back to the wooded area near the river when they were contacted by U.S. Park Rangers.
"The Park Service got a call from a motorist on the north side of Houchins Ferry Road that said a suspicious looking character with no shoes stopped them and asked them for a ride," said Doyle. "They said they told the man they couldn't help him and immediately called the Rangers. The Rangers immediately called us and they responded to the location given to them by the motorist, and there they found Troutman where he was apprehended and detained."
Sheriff Doyle said deputies arrived, arrested, and took custody of the man. Doyle said as Troutman was being processed, he asked him his plan.
"He told me that he was an impulsive guy and that if he could just get to Alaska and never break the law again, he might be able to start a family."
Doyle also said that since Troutman was completely dry, the only possible way he could have crossed the river was by walking across the Lock 6 Dam. Low water levels in the river have caused the top of the dam to be exposed and dry. There is no longer a working ferry at Houchins Ferry.
Troutman was immediately taken back to the courthouse to stand before the judge for final sentencing in a felony theft case, the exact reason he was brought to the courthouse at 7:30am earlier that day.
"I always ask anyone that's in custody if they feel like they were treated fairly by our deputies, and I asked Troutman the same," Doyle said. "He assured me he was treated fairly, even though he said he figured he'd get tazed in the face."
In addition to the current felony theft charges he faced, which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years total, Troutman was charged with Escape-First Degree, Fleeing or Evading Police-First Degree On Foot, and Burglary-3rd Degree.
He now faces an additional 20 years in prison for the new charges from the escape.
Doyle said he appreciates the cooperation he received from the public as well as the school system.
"It was a hectic day but in the end, we had a positive outcome. We appreciate the help we received from our school system and that our local administrators and teachers helped make the inconvenience of a lock-out go as smoothly as possible. Because of their quick reaction, our kids were never in danger."
Doyle also had some advice for anyone else that ends up in jail.
"Don't try to escape. You won't get very far, and you'll only end up in far worse shape."
The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office has reported that Craig Troutman (22) an escaped prisoner from the Edmonson County Courthouse this morning has been captured.
According to officials, Troutman was captured on the north side of Green River on Houchins Ferry Road in Mammoth Cave Park.
According to U.S. Park Rangers, park visitors were flagged down by Troutman. They reported that Troutman asked the visitors for a ride but they refused and immediately called the Rangers.
Troutman was arrested without incident.
Rangers are currently working at the scene with the Sheriff's office. Multiple charges are pending. No other information is available at this time.
Darren Doyle, story
Security camera footage from Alford's Pharmacy captured images of Craig Troutman, (22) a Hart County Jail inmate this morning shortly after he escaped from the Edmonson County Courthouse.
The first image shows Troutman just after he kicked off his jail-issued orange flip-flops in the drive-thru at the pharmacy.
The second image shows Troutman running across the Main Street Center parking lot, shortly after attempting to steal Walden's BBQ owner, Tina Walden's SUV.
If you have seen this man or have any information as to his whereabouts, please call 9-1-1.
Darren Doyle, story
Jason and Tina Walden don't open their popular barbeque restaurant until lunchtime, but they're at their location early every morning to get the fires going and the BBQ smoking.
This morning was out of the ordinary to say the least.
"I got here around 7:40 this morning," said owner Tina Walden. "I parked out front, unlocked the door and went in. I sat my purse down and turned around and here is this guy standing there in my store looking at me."
Walden said she didn't know at the time, but the man was escaped inmate Craig Troutman, who had managed to come inside without Walden knowing.
"He was just standing there and he said he needed to use the phone. I told him we weren't open yet, but he just stood there and that's when I started to get nervous. I started backing up and that's when he just took off out the front door."
Walden said the man ran to her car which she could see through the front window and he tried to get inside. She said luckily the keys weren't in it, so he took off through the Main Street Center parking lot towards Alford's Pharmacy.
Walden said the man eventually ran around the back of the building and met up with her husband, Jason, who was cooking out back.
"He yelled at me and said, 'your associate wouldn't let me use the phone', and I said, 'yeah, we're not going to, either,'" Jason said. "He ran up the hill and he was gone. I didn't know who he was, I just know he was weird, but I see lots of weird things, so I didn't really think anything about it until I saw a deputy's car driving up. I pointed in the direction he went."
Tina said she wasn't sure how he got inside the restaurant without her knowing. She said she didn't hear the door open so it was possible he could've been inside before she was, however, she didn't confirm that.
Troutman's shoes were found outside of Alford's Pharmacy and his black and white striped, jail-issued shirt was found in a trash can outside the courthouse. He is still at large and is being sought by local law enforcement.
Darren Doyle, story
Jailer Hank Vincent has asked the Edmonson Voice to allow him to make a clarification in our earlier story in regard to the absence of court security in the courthouse lobby this morning during the escaped prisoner incident.
Vincent said his office notified the courtroom bailiff last night to inform him that there would be prisoners at the courthouse the next day (today).
Sheriff Shane Doyle said that the reason there was no court security present in the lobby this morning was because security, which is handled through the sheriff's office, was not notified.
"We don't notify the sheriff's office directly," Vincent said. "We've never done that. We notify the courtroom bailiff, which operates through the sheriff's office. We called him last night and informed him."
Vincent mentioned, however, that the deputy jailer arrived at the courthouse before business hours, something of which court security was unaware.
"We are putting a new policy in place where we will notify the court security officers when we're about five minutes out to make sure they're aware of exactly when we'll be arriving with inmates," Vincent added.
Vincent also noted that Deputy Jailer Todd Vincent was handling the prisoners at the courthouse alone because Jailer Vincent was en route to transport more prisoners from Hart County while another deputy jailer was transporting an additional prisoner from Warren County.
Sheriff Shane Doyle said no one was trying to point fingers.
"There are several things that led to this incident," Doyle said. "We're a small county with limited resources. Of course our court security officers know when court is supposed to be held, but we didn't realize that the Jailer was on the property before business hours. Our officers didn't know that. My job here isn't to assign blame, it's to try to locate this prisoner and help keep our county safe. Jailer Vincent knows that and he and I are on the same team."
Darren Doyle, story
Sheriff Shane Doyle has informed the Edmonson Voice that the search for escaped inmate, Craig Troutman, (22) is still underway.
Troutman escaped from the Edmonson County Courthouse this morning under the supervision of the Edmonson County Jailer's Office.
According to Jailer Hank Vincent, seven inmates were transported to the courthouse from Hart County Jail this morning to appear in court. Vincent said normal procedure is for all inmates to be restrained with handcuffs until they are transferred into the holding cell at the courthouse.
According to Vincent, Volunteer Deputy Jailer Todd Vincent, who was handling the inmates by himself, had removed the handcuffs from the inmates so they could be transferred to the cell and he heard a door shut. As the deputy jailer looked up he could see that Troutman was missing from the line.
"He was able to get out an unsecured door that led to the courthouse lobby, where the metal detectors are," said Jailer Vincent. "Normally there are security officers out there, but for whatever reason, no one was out there. It appears that Troutman just ran out the back door of the courthouse, facing the sheriff's office."
When asked why Troutman was able to access an unlocked door into the courthouse lobby, Vincent said he has asked the same thing.
"We have doors in the courthouse that don't secure," he said. "Inmates shouldn't have any possible way of getting to the lobby or accessing the public, but it's the way the courthouse is set up."
He said the courthouse is not built for the current amount of inmates that must be accommodated.
'I can't take 20-plus prisoners and pile them all in a 12 x 12 room, and we have that sometimes. As you can imagine, inmates don't always get along with one another so we've had to bring them in the lobby before, and no inmate should ever have interaction with the public, that's just bad news waiting to happen."
Sheriff Shane Doyle said that his office was not notified of prisoners being transferred to the courthouse today. "Our court security officers are always in the lobby in the event that prisoners will be on site, but we must be notified by the Jailer," said Doyle. "Court security officers are always ready to assist the Jailer's Office, but no one called us this morning."
Doyle also said that all local law enforcement officers are still actively searching for Troutman. He said there was one report of someone that attempted to "jiggle the handle" at the back door to Abney Eye Care where officers flooded the area, but no luck.
"At this point, we really need the help of the public," Sheriff Doyle said. "The problem with someone on the loose is that they're not going to stay in one place. We're urging all residents to keep your eyes open and report anything suspicious or out of the ordinary."
Doyle said Troutman is a known car thief and has already attempted to steal at least one today.
"Keep your cars and doors locked," he said. "Again, we have no reason to believe this man would hurt anyone, but people do desperate things sometimes."
He also said that all schools are still on what's known as "lock-out," except Kyrock Elementary, which was cleared at 11:24am. "Lock-out" means no one can enter or exit the building but are free to move about as they wish inside. The Sheriff also said schools are going about their normal activities inside.
The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office has reported that there is an escaped prisoner in Brownsville as of 8AM this morning.
Apparently Craig Troutman, 22, was able to get away from the courthouse this morning as he was scheduled to appear in court. Troutman is 5'11" and weighs 160 lbs.
The Sheriff's Office also reported that Troutman attempted to steal a car at Walden't BBQ but failed because the keys were not in the vehicle. They also reported he attempted to force his way inside the restaurant but also failed. He was last seen retreating into the woods behind the restaurant, on the east side of Washington Street.
"This is not a known violent offender and we have no reason to believe he would harm anyone, but we are urging residents to use extreme caution during this time," said Sheriff Shane Doyle. "Lock your doors, don't answer the door for anyone you don't know, and please call 9-1-1 if you see anything suspicious at all."
The schools are currently on "lock-out," which means no one can enter or exit the buildings, but those inside are free to move about the schools. "Lock-down" means everyone is required to stay put, wherever that may be, however, that is not the case according to the Sheriff.
Troutman is in jail for burglary charges, including car theft. No further details are available at this time.
**UPDATE: Troutman has discarded his black and white prison shirt and orange shoes. The Sheriff's Office says he should be in a white tee shirt, dark gray sweatpants, and will be in sock feet.
Darren Doyle, story and photos
Four fire departments responded to multiple grass and brush fires today near the KY HWY 70/187 area around 11:30am.
Edmonson County Emergency Management Director Pat Prunty said the first call came in with a report of a single fire on HWY 187, but several other calls followed with reports of multiple fires along the same road, with others just off the road on HWY 70 near Bear Creek Fire Department and Cub Creek Cemetery.
Prunty said it's possible someone could have started all of the fires, but discussed another possibility.
"It's all just speculation, but I've seen something like this before," he said. "I've seen where a large tractor-trailer had a rear brake to lock, causing it to catch fire. The driver didn't immediately see it and burning debris from the tire was scattered along the roadway. That's a real possibility here, especially with the dry conditions."
Responding to the scenes were the Bear Creek, Brownsville, Kyrock, and Lincoln Fire Departments.
"Thanks to quick response from our fire departments, the fires were extinguished quickly and property was saved," Prunty added.
There were no injuries reported in the incidents.