Madison Doyle, story and photos:
This evening at the Chalybeate Park, multiple local business and county officials passed out candy to trick or treaters at this year's trunk or treat.
Below is a slideshow of a few trick or treaters out of the many who attended.
Congressman Brett Guthrie Stops In Brownsville For Lunch Discussion: Inflation, Favorite Halloween Candy, More
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
U.S. Representative Brett Guthrie stopped in Brownsville today to have lunch at Mis Amigos and speak with constituents from around the area. He spoke with the Edmonson Voice today on a number of topics that not only included some current issues, but also his favorite Halloween candy.
We asked the Congressman about the current state of inflation, the downturn in the economy, what the government could do to help, and if there was an end in sight.
"Well, the government caused it," he said. "We've just spent too much money. I supported the CARES Act during Covid, but now we're looking at a total of $7 trillion dollars spent, and that's just too much. Now the feds are raising interest rates, which hurts, and the best thing for our economy now would be to become energy-independent. If Biden would undo everything he did when he took office that limited American energy, that would be a great start. Diesel is $5 a gallon right now and that trickles down into everything. Biden signed all these executive orders on day one that began hurting us. I believe that if we can put the brakes on spending, then Wall Street will react, which will also be positive. And I believe that after the midterms President Biden will pivot and see that the people want different policies. We're also still dealing with a $700 billion dollar "Build Back Better," and that money still has to go through the system. Let's stop the spending."
We then asked his thoughts on the upcoming midterms, where several House and Senate seats are up for grabs. Currently, democrats hold a 220 seat to 212 majority in the house. There are 34 seats in contention in the Senate, where democrats control 48 seats plus 2 independent seats that caucus with them, plus VP Kamala Harris' vote. That gives the democrats a 51-50 majority in the Senate.
"I do think republicans will be in charge, and although I wish it was immediately after the election, it won't happen before January of 2023, but I think republicans will pick up 20 seats or so, overall. I think the people can see that what's happening right now isn't working," he said.
We also asked him about the continued talk of voter suppression throughout the U.S., while some areas are seeing record turnouts.
"It's nonsensical," he said. "How can you have people coming out to vote in record numbers and at the same time, the White House says there is voter suppression? I think they're just trying to salvage things. What we're trying to do is make it easy to vote but hard to cheat. Why would anyone have a problem with proving who they are? If you as a voter can be verified, it makes all our votes more valid. I've continually asked, 'where is the voter suppression? why does anyone have a problem with showing their ID?' and no one has ever really answered the questions."
Finally, sitting at the restaurant underneath festive Halloween decor, we asked Congressman Guthrie about his favorite candy, which was somewhat non conventional.
"You know, I might be a little different, but my favorite Halloween candy is to take a big handful of candy corn then mix it with a big handful of peanuts. It's kind of like having a Payday candy bar but a lot more. It's something I've always liked."
His answer when asked about the worst Halloween candy?
"Circus peanuts, definitely," he said with a serious look. "It's the worst. My grandmother always had those and they were terrible. You can leave them out of the bag for a couple hours and then use them for doorstops. That's about all they're good for."
Darren Doyle, story:
The countywide burn ban that was issued by executive order from the office of Edmonson County Judge-Executive Wil Cannon has been officially lifted as of this morning, October 31, 2022.
The order was given on October 7th and has remained in effect during drought conditions in the county as well as the surrounding area. Recent rainfall has drastically improved those conditions.
The rescinded executive order is published below.
Madison Doyle, story:
Edmonson County Fiscal Court met today, Monday, October 24, 2022. The meeting was called to order by Judge Executive Wil Cannon by leading the court in the pledge of allegiance. As usual, multiple county department heads gave updates within their respective offices. No further discussion was had on the reports.
Tony Sanders, General Manager of Edmonson County Water District, attended fiscal court today and addressed some complaints of discolored water throughout the county. Sanders said this is the first year that the county has had lower water levels when they have released the dams. He said they were supposed to start the release on October 15, and by the 18th, the water district had received multiple complaints of brown water, or others said that it had an unpleasant taste. Sanders said he contacted personnel in charge of the dam release to try to find answers. He said "When all of that water was released, the levels were low and there wasn't enough water to dilute everything that was released, and it all came out at one time." Sanders also said there is chlorine in the water lines to help disinfect, and right now there is a lot of chlorine and that could cause discoloration. He said that all water in the county is at an adequate level and is safe to use. "We are flushing out the lines trying to get everything cleared up right now," he said. "If anybody has any more questions, please feel free to call the office and I'll do my best to help you."
There were no other major discussions today. The court also voted to:
The next fiscal court meeting is scheduled for November 14, 2022 at 9:00 a.m.
Edmonson County Schools Assessment Results Released: Kyrock Elementary Shows Very High State Ranking
Edmonson Voice Report:
The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) released assessment results for the 2022 Kentucky Summative Assessment on October 18, 2022. This year’s results are based on the state’s revised accountability system. Carol Stice, District Assessment Coordinator for Edmonson County Schools, explained, “This year’s data release has significant changes from our last look at the five-star accountability model. Now we are looking at a color-coded rating system that ranges from red (very low) to blue (very high). The release gives us individual scores and labels from very high to very low for each indicator at the school and district levels and then an overall score.”
Elementary and middle schools were scored in the areas of Reading and Math (grades 3-8), Science (grades 4, 7), Social Studies and Writing (grades 5, 8), and Quality of School Climate and Safety (grades 3-8). High schools were scored in the areas of Reading and Math (grade 10), Science, Social Studies, and Writing (grade 11), Quality of School Climate and Safety (grades 10 and 11), Post-Secondary Readiness (grade 12), and Graduation Rate. Schools and districts were also scored on English Language Proficiency; however, the ECSD does not have a high enough student population for public reporting.
The tables below show each school’s results for each indicator and their overall scores and rank. Scores are listed for all students that were accountable to the school.
Brian Alexander, Superintendent of Edmonson County Schools, said, “Overall we are pleased with the test scores we received from the state. There were 59 elementary schools out of 701 in Kentucky that scored “Very High.” We have one of those schools in Kyrock Elementary. When we looked at that further, Kyrock ranked 15 out of 701 overall, 12th in reading, 5th in math, and 25th in Science. KES ranked first in those content areas among the 123 elementary schools in the GRREC region. There just aren’t enough words to say how happy and proud this makes us,"
“Additionally, Edmonson County Middle School was 60th overall Middle School (out of 318) with a “High” ranking. We are so proud of them as well,” Alexander said. “While our other schools may not have ranked as high overall, we did see growth in our district and know that the sky is the limit for our schools. I know our teachers and students worked very hard to see all of this come to pass.” Alexander also stated, “When we compared our scores to other districts around the region we were excited to see how we performed overall in comparison. Coming out of the pandemic, we knew that we would face challenges in achievement at the level we hope to be at in some of our schools. We are already developing an action plan to improve our accountability in several areas. Now that we have a better understanding of this revised accountability system, I am confident we will quickly improve on this new rating scale. Our Board, our administration and our teachers are all committed to continuing to make Edmonson County Schools a great place to learn. While we have work ahead of us, Edmonson County has a lot of which to be proud.”
Individual student reports will be coming home with students on Friday, October 21, 2022. For more detailed information on the release of state assessment results, you may access the Kentucky School Report Card.
Police: Medical Issue Leads to Truck Crashing Through Parking Lot, Hitting Parked Vehicles With People In Them
Darren Doyle, story:
Tragedy was narrowly avoided yesterday in Brownsville when a pickup veered off the roadway into a parking lot, crashing into a dumpster and two other vehicles, according to the Brownsville Police.
According to Brownsville Police, Stephen Brown (58) of Plano, was headed north on Washington Street just past City Hall when he apparently suffered a medical episode that caused him to veer his truck off the left side of the roadway and to enter the rear parking lot of the Main Street Center.
Police said Brown's Dodge pickup first crashed into a guy wire of a utility pole in the DAV parking lot, then into Main Street Center parking lot where the truck first hit a garbage dumpster. Police said the dumpster was smashed into the side of a parked C&A Plumbing pickup truck where Trevor Roof (22), a C&A employee, was in the bed of the truck, cleaning it out into the dumpster. According to police, another C&A employee, Travis Graham (33), was standing on the opposite side of the truck and narrowly missed being trapped between the truck and a parked Nissan Versa. The C&A truck smashed into the Versa, knocking both Roof and Graham to the ground, police said. The owner of the Versa was also standing nearby but was reportedly uninjured.
All three individuals involved were transported to the hospital via Edmonson EMS with non-life threatening injuries. The Brownsville Police Department worked the incident and members of the Brownsville Fire Department helped at the scene.
Rep. Michael Meredith was recently presented a 2022 County Advocate award by the Kentucky Association of Counties (KACo). Pictured left-right, first row: KACo Director of Government Affairs Shellie Hampton, KACo Associate Director of Government Affairs Gracie Lagadinos, Warren County Jailer Stephen Harmon, Fiscal Court Clerk Brenda Hale, Magistrate Mark Young, Deputy Judge/Executive Marie Smith, County Clerk Lynette Yates, PVA Susan Lewis, Deputy Clerk Carla Hill, Magistrate Ron Cummings; top row left-right: KACo Executive Director Jim Henderson, Warren County Judge/Executive Mike Buchanon, County Attorney and KACo President-elect Amy Milliken, Rep. Meredith, Asst. Warren County Attorney Jamie Spinks Meredith, Edmonson County Judge/Executive Wil Cannon, Magistrate Doug Gorman
Edmonson Voice Report:
Rep. Michael Meredith has been recognized for his service in the Kentucky legislature by a statewide organization representing county governments. The Kentucky Association of Counties (KACo) presented Meredith with a 2022 County Advocate award this week.
"Rep. Meredith has always been willing to hear and understand the perspectives of local officials. We appreciate his steadfast efforts to support counties and the legislation that impacts them," said KACo Executive Director Jim Henderson. "Specifically, the funding for e-recording of county clerk documents, a solution to reapportionment that had been delayed due to COVID-19, fostering a discussion of saving counties significant taxpayer dollars by reducing jail costs and more were all critical to the mission of counties. KACo is proud to name Rep. Meredith a County Advocate."
Meredith has served in the Kentucky House since 2011, representing Edmonson County and part of Warren County. Several county officials, including KACo President-elect and Warren County Attorney Amy Milliken, joined Henderson and the KACo government affairs team for the award presentation in Bowling Green this week.
"As Chair of the House Committee on Local Government, I appreciate the friendships I have with both KACo and my local elected officials. After all, our constituents benefit when we work together," Meredith said. "We have focused on investing in areas that improve our quality of life and making our community the place that future generations want to call home. That means improving our roads, expanding access to broadband, and looking at how we can make our antiquated tax code more competitive. I’m proud to receive this award for the work we’ve done together this year and I look forward to our continued work in years to come."
Founded in 1974, the non-profit Kentucky Association of Counties is the voice of counties in the Commonwealth, representing more than 1,500 county elected officials. The KACo County Advocate award recognizes state lawmakers who supported counties by sponsoring or shepherding legislation that helps counties provide services and infrastructure to residents and businesses.
Darren Doyle, story:
An Edmonson County resident, who wished to remain anonymous in order to protect the identity of her 86 year-old mother, called the Edmonson Voice and shared her story about intervening during a recent scam call.
The resident said she entered the home of her elderly mother and saw she was on the phone. She said her mother was so excited because she had apparently won a Publisher's Clearing House sweepstakes. The resident thought something sounded fishy so she took the phone from her mother and joined the call.
"He said his name was John Cooper from Publisher's Clearing House and mom had won $7,000 a month, a Mercedes, and a year's worth of insurance from Allstate. He gave a badge number and everything. He was very convincing and well spoken. He spoke with a foreign accent but very good English," she said.
"He told my mom she needed to go to the nearest Dollar Store and buy a VISA gift card and put $505 on it. She just needed to buy it first, then give the numbers to him over the phone. He even told her he'd stay on the phone with her while she went to get it. I asked him what was this for, and he said it was for attorney and estate fees. He said once he had the gift card, he'd send the prize team out to her house and they would deliver all the prizes."
The resident said she knew it was a scam and hung up. She said she contacted the real Publisher's Clearing House and reported the incident; not only that, but she was able get the real PCH on the line when the scammer called back on her mother's phone, where the real PCH called "John" out and confronted him as the scammer."
All is well that ends well, because the elderly lady was not scammed, but it's likely she would have, had her daughter not intervened.
"I just want people to know that this stuff goes on right in our own county and our elderly are being preyed upon," she said. "Please, tell your relatives not to fall for this stuff. It's not right."
She said the incident was also reported to the Sheriff's Office, but that it's nearly impossible for the guilty parties to be caught in situations like this.
"These people are very slick at what they do," said Sheriff Shane Doyle. "Unfortunately, they are usually based outside of the U.S. and are able to use a U.S. phone number, sometimes even a local phone number. As always, if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is, and NEVER give any bank or financial information to anyone over the phone or internet. Certainly, never trade gift cards for anything like this."
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Shawn Marie Alcott, a candidate for the Kentucky Supreme Court, made a stop in Edmonson County on Thursday, October 13th to speak with citizens about her campaign.
She made the stop at Honeybee Baked Goods during lunch today, sharing her thoughts and taking questions from those inside the cafe.
She also discussed her background and ideas with the Edmonson Voice at today's stop.
She said her first job out of law school was with the court of appeals as a staff attorney for Judge Joseph R. Huddleston, which cemented her desire to come back to the appellate court.
Alcott said without a strong independent judiciary, our system of government as it's designed can't properly function.
"We have to have a strong court to enforce the separation of powers we have in our three branches of government," she said. "Our legislative branch looks at the executive and they're envious of that power and vice versa, and it's up to the courts to keep everything in line and in check. If our government isn't functioning well, that affects everyone at the local level. A lot of people think what happens in Frankfort doesn't affect them, but it does."
She said she believes that she is the most qualified candidate on the ballot as a result of her 29 years experience in all aspects of the law. Alcott obtained her bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University and later attended the University of Kentucky College of Law. She was a member of the UK Women’s Law Caucus and a Business Manager of the Kentucky Law Journal.
From there, she landed first at the Court of Appeals, then as Assistant Warren County Attorney, and then into private practice where she is a shareholder at the Kerrick Bachert Law Firm.
She said that many see attorneys as people who sit in nice offices that don't work very hard, but added that her upbringing and outlook is very different.
"I grew up in Muhlenberg County in a small business and I've worked since I was 12 years old," she said. "My first job was cleaning the bathrooms and mopping the floor for my dad. I worked in that small business all the way through college, so I know what it is to work. That prepared me well for the practice of law, because unless you're committed to working hard and working a lot, you're not going to be successful."
The race for Kentucky Supreme Court is non-partisan. She made note that anyone voting straight ticket will not have a vote cast in this race. She encouraged everyone to vote specifically for all non-partisan races as well as amendments and other races.
She and her husband, son, and two daughters reside in Bowling Green. Supreme Court District 2 covers a total of 17 counties: Allen, Barren, Breckinridge, Bullitt, Butler, Edmonson, Grayson, Hancock, Hardin, Hart, Larue, Meade, Monroe, Ohio, Simpson, Spencer, and Warren.
Says Main Concerns Are Rising Power Costs, Fiber/Wireless Connections
Darren Doyle, story:
Pamela Decker, an Edmonson County resident, was recently appointed as the District 4 Director of the WRECC Board, a position that was vacant due to the passing of former director N.E. Reed.
The decision came during the recent WRECC September meeting. With a total of seven districts in the WRECC area, District 4 covers all of Edmonson County (minus the National Park) and a small portion of Barren County.
Many would agree that Edmonson County lost an advocate with WRECC with the loss of Reed, so having county representation in the co-op is important to many local customers. Mrs. Decker, who has a long career in the banking and education fields, said she wanted to be that local representation.
"I had great respect for N.E. Reed and his commitment to our county," she said. "After his passing, I had some family members approach me about applying for the vacancy on WRECC's board. Like the other applicants that applied for the position, I care deeply about our county and the region. I am at a point in my life where I want to give back to my community. I believe in servant leadership, and this is one way that I can serve the area where I have lived my entire life."
Mrs. Decker said that while she is eager to learn about electric co-ops, she understands the value and demand that we all have for those services everyday. She said that while being interviewed for the position, she was asked what she saw as the biggest challenge facing rural electric co-ops in the future.
"My response included more than one concern," she said. "Among these were the rising costs of electricity and the ever-changing regulatory and technological landscape, especially in regard to new green initiatives. I also discussed the need for rural areas to have better access and affordability to fiber/wireless connections. While this has been a concern for some time, it became even more prevalent after the Covid lockdown when we were all working and studying at home. This is one area that I would like to focus on as a board member."
Mrs. Decker's long and impressive career began here locally at Bank of Edmonson County, where she served for 15 years. She was able to be part of a management team that started American Bank & Trust in Bowling Green, where she served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for another 15 years. She then retired from banking in 2015 and joined a financial technology company (CSI) out of Paducah, where she served as Vice President of Customer Experience, overseeing their customer support center and education/training department. While working at CSI, she finished her doctorate in organizational leadership and decided to leave the corporate world and move into higher education. She is now an Assistant Professor of Business at Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Kentucky teaching courses in management, ethics, finance, and international business.
Her notable resume was unlikely to harm her chances in being named the new director; however, most people on the local level still know her as "Pam." Her husband is longtime school bus driver and all-around student friend, Hoppy Decker and they have been married for 41 years. They currently live in the Pig community and have two grown children, Nadina and Jacob.
"Nadina lives in Big Reedy and is married to Kevin Alexander, and they have blessed us with three grandsons, Gavin, Nolan, and Canon," she said. "Our son Jacob lives in Bowling Green."
Mrs. Decker said that she is truly honored and humbled to have been chosen for this position.
"All the candidates who applied for the vacancy were more than qualified, and I told the nominating committee and full board during my interview that they couldn't go wrong with whomever they selected. We have some wonderful people here in our county, and I have been and will always be proud to say that I'm from Edmonson County. I consider it a privilege to represent WRECC's District 4 which includes Edmonson County and the Park City area of Barren County."
Darren Doyle, story:
A Brownsville woman had a scare earlier today when her vehicle ended up on its side in a ditch, resulting in a trip to the hospital.
According to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, around noon today, October 10, 2022, Martha Hogan (60) of Brownsville, had turned from Twin Springs Road onto Silent Grove Church Road, when for an unknown reason, fell off the left shoulder, which was a steep embankment. Her vehicle, a 2014 Chevy Equinox, came to rest on its side and she was trapped inside until emergency personnel could reposition the car to remove her from the vehicle, the Sheriff's Office said.
The driver was transported to the Medical Center in Bowling Green for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
In addition to the Sheriff's Office, responding to the scene were the Chalybeate and Brownsville Fire Departments, Edmonson County JAWS, Edmonson EMS, and county Emergency Management.
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County Judge Executive Wil Cannon has issued an executive order for a burn ban for all of Edmonson County, due to drought conditions. The ban applies to all outdoor burning with the exception of campfires in an established campground.
Mammoth Cave National Park also issued a burn ban within the park boundary.
The full executive order is published below.