Edmonson Voice Staff Report: photos courtesy of Genesis Healthcare
Genesis Healthcare, Edmonson Center in Brownsville received COVID vaccinations at their facility today for their residents and workers.
In a released statement, Dr. Richard Feifer, Chief Medical Officer of Genesis Healthcare, said that today's measure will help prevent further tragedies, especially in the vulnerable population.
"We are happy to report that Edmonson Center completed its first vaccination clinic on December 30, 2020, with CVS, our chosen partner through the Pharmacy Partnership for Long Term Care program," he said. "CVS will return three weeks later to administer the second booster shots for those who received the vaccine in round one and will also vaccinate anyone not included in round one. They will then return for a third time, three weeks after round two, to administer the final booster shots."
Dr. Feifer said Genesis has a goal of vaccinating 100% of the staff without an attempt to impose a requirement. Through what he called a "robust communication and education initiative," they are encouraging vaccination among staff, residents, and families.
"We are confident that the vaccine development and clinical trial process has been rigorous, and that the FDA will approve only the candidates that merit it," he added.
"All drugs or vaccines have some potential side effects, and it is important to monitor for such issues even after a drug or vaccine is approved. As the largest nursing home operator, we’re prepared to assist," Dr. Feifer said. "Genesis is participating in a newly developed safety monitoring program with Brown University School of Public Health researchers, to monitor for any potential adverse health impacts after nursing home residents in our affiliated centers receive COVID-19 vaccinations. This work is part of a CDC effort to carefully monitor vaccine safety, particularly focused on frail elderly residents who were not included in vaccine trials."
The center said that all able residents received the first round of the vaccine today.
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
While a fire claimed a detached garage, firefighters were able to save the residence with minimal damage to the house on Brownsville Road this morning.
Multiple fire departments were paged to 9000 block of Brownsville Road to a report of a structure fire at a detached garage that was fully engulfed around 8AM on Tuesday, December 29, 2020.
Firefighters worked to contain the fire to the garage as it inched closer to the carport of the home of Shawn Keith. Mr. Keith spoke to us briefly at the scene and said he had no idea how the fire began. He said he was in bed and unaware of the fire at first but a neighbor was able to wake him by beating on the door.
"It started to get the end of the house but the wind shifted," Mr. Keith said.
The end of the residence obtained some damage but was saved.
"We're okay," he said.
Responding to the scene were the Brownsville, Chalybeate, Rocky Hill, and Wingfield Fire Departments, along with Edmonson County Emergency Management and the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
No injuries were reported and no official cause of the fire was given.
Judge Cannon Addresses Rumor Of New Trash Service Starting In County: Says It Can't, Won't Happen As-Is
County's Waste Management Plan Calls For One Vendor: Service Must Be Bid For Entire County
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County Judge Executive Wil Cannon updated the fiscal court on what he said was a rumor that a county resident was starting his own competing trash collection service.
Cannon said that according to the county's five-year waste management agreement and a county ordinance, this cannot and will not happen in the manner that this new service has supposedly been announced.
"In that management plan, and some of you went to the same training I went to, it recommends that we have one vendor for the entire county so that we can collect the correct stats on how much garbage is collected in this county, and how much garbage this county deposits into landfills," he said in today's meeting. "We have to have this information in order to fulfill the 5-year sold waste management plan. If we've got numerous or more than one entities doing garbage pickup, we're not going to have good numbers."
Cannon also said that this agreement, which contracts Scott Waste to handle all of the trash pickup in Edmonson County, also allows Edmonson County to receive grants for litter abatement and tire disposal each year. He also said Scott Waste provides the dumpsters for the annual countywide cleanup at no additional cost.
Scott Waste also pays a franchise tax to the county, which is one dollar for every bill paid each month, which is somewhere around $50K per year.
"The reason I'm bringing this up is that I believe that this person is going to try to start up a garbage collection at some point in time," Cannon stated. "And it's also, I feel like, it's our duty to protect customers from people like this that are going to jump in and out of this business--jump in, collect money, and leave without providing the correct services. We've looked into the amount of money it takes to start up a business like this and I don't think you could even start to think about this for less than half a million dollars with the price of trucks and things like that."
Cannon said it's also possible that this individual could also be planning on providing this service in a pickup truck for a handful of people, but he'd also be in violation if he did that. Magistrate Edd Rich asked if this was an in-county or out-of-county person, and Cannon said the individual lives in Edmonson County.
"He's a person we've had dealings with in the past, and you'll know him when he pops his head up, you'll know him," Cannon said. The Judge also said that in the event that any new garbage company wants to do business in Edmonson County, they would be required to submit a bid to the fiscal court that would service the entire county.
"If he wants to place a bid for the entire county, he's more than welcome," said Cannon. "But if he starts up an illegal business on the side, then we will prosecute him through the county attorney's office."
The Judge did not release of the name of the individual in today's meeting due to the situation only being a rumor at this point; however, Cannon said he wanted to ensure that magistrates understood the county's position on this in the event that the discussion moved forward.
Darren Doyle, story:
Magistrates voted unanimously to pass the 2021 annual budgets for the offices of Edmonson County Sheriff Shane Doyle and Edmonson County Clerk Kevin Alexander at today's fiscal court meeting.
While both are funded through taxpayer dollars, the Sheriff's budget has a portion funded from the county's general fund, which is normally around 25% of the total amount. The County Clerk's budget is funded through county tax funds but doesn't require additional funding from the county's general fund; in fact, the clerk's office turns over excess funds not used in their office back to the general fund each year. The clerk's budget still requires approval from the fiscal court, which was in the amount of $2,909,215.
Sheriff Doyle has faced issues over the past two years from former magistrates who have strongly disagreed with the requested amounts and has been forced to take lesser amounts than requested. His 2019 budget was approved at $616K, which was $10K less than he requested, and last year's budget amount was approved at $666K, a number that was $28K less than his request. Doyle has repeatedly said that most of the increase requests in his budgets over the years are from rising costs that he cannot control, such as state retirement and health benefits, as well as overtime for deputies due to increased call volumes to his office. In addition, Doyle has also been an advocate for pay increases for his deputies in order to stay competitive with other counties with similar populations and sheriff office sizes.
Doyle's requested amount for his 2021 budget of $696K was approved unanimously by magistrates at today's virtual fiscal court meeting.
A few county offices gave their periodic reports to the court that included the following:
Road Report: County Road Supervisor Greg Carroll said the the road department's new paver should be shipped sometime in the second week of January and the county has agreed to hire an equipment hauling company to ship the machine from Florida to Brownsville in the amount of $3200. Carroll also said workers had been busy with tile and drainage work in multiple districts and he also discussed upcoming repair charges in the amounts of $13K total for a couple of their trucks that had experienced some issues; one of which was a major transmission problem.
Judge Executive Wil Cannon also discussed with Carroll potential damage caused to the intersection of Penner and Sulphur Roads due to farm equipment in that area. Carroll said that large farm equipment has damaged the drainage ditches on the roads, as well as the road itself. Judge Cannon said the farmers causing the damage are responsible for the repairs and will be billed accordingly. The name(s) of the farmers were not discussed.
Emergency Management: Judge Cannon said Emergency Management Director Terry Massey was helping with COVID vaccination distribution in the county today for local first responders. Cannon said few local emergency workers were taking the vaccine, which would leave a surplus of the vaccines in Edmonson County. Cannon also noted that these vaccines can only be used for first responders at this time. He noted that while his personal choice is to see that the surplus of the vaccines on this particular shipment should stay in the county and go to seniors and other high-risk residents, they can only be used on first responders and recommends any extra be donated to Warren County's emergency workers. No other information is currently available on the accessibility of vaccines for others.
Jailer Report: County Treasurer Tammi Willhite said a submitted report from the Edmonson County Jailer listed 17 current county inmates housed at the Hart County Jail.
Willhite later addressed an audit issue with the way the Sheriff's Office paid one deputy for his role in running the school's D.A.R.E. program. She said the sheriff's office receives funding for the program through a grant which had been placed in the sheriff's drug fund and paid directly out to the deputy; however, that was not allowed because the payment to the deputy had to be taxed, which the sheriff's office said they were not aware. She said the county was able to correct the issue in the way the deputy will be paid for the program in the future and the deputy has agreed to pay the proper taxes on the payment he's already received.
The court also agreed to:
The next fiscal court meeting is scheduled for January 11th at 9AM via virtual meeting.
KSP Reporting Problems With Cell Network In BG Area, Edmonson Dispatch Says No Current Issues
Kentucky State Police, Post 3 has reported major issues regarding calls coming into the Bowling Green dispatch center, as well as some other surrounding districts are reporting outages; however, local dispatch in Edmonson County is reporting no issues at this time.
KSP reported that Post 3 dispatch is still receiving 911 emergency calls from Verizon carriers at this time; however, if someone is calling in on the AT&T network, it is possible they may not get through.
"It is possible this issue is being experienced statewide in multiple states in this area," KSP said in a released statement. "Post 3 personnel is requesting the public in the Post 3 district who cannot get through by calling 911 to utilize the phone numbers 270-782-2010 or toll free 877-416-1224."
KSP also said that if you do call in to report an emergency or non-emergency, please be patient and please advise dispatch personnel of your location in so that first responders can respond to the correct location.
Edmonson County dispatch is still operating normally through all networks at this time. They may be reached by calling 911 or 270-597-2729.
Edmonson Still Has Lowest Case Numbers In District
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County's active COVID numbers have hovered at the same pace for nearly two weeks, with virtually no change since Friday's report.
According to numbers released today from the Barren River District Health Department, Edmonson County's active COVID cases were at 68, with 537 total cases, 456 recoveries, and 13 deaths. Active cases have stayed near that mark for several days. Both Monday and Tuesday's active numbers were also at 68 cases, and in our last local COVID report on Friday, December 18th, had 70 active cases. The previous Friday, Dec 11th showed 69 active cases.
The health department has announced that there will be no numbers released on December 24th or 25th. The Governor's office also announced the same reporting schedule, so there will be no additional COVID report on the Edmonson Voice until next week.
Edmonson County's active cases in comparison to the entire county population is 68 active cases in 12,000 people, or .05% (one half percent of the county's population) with a current known positive COVID case. The county continues to have both the lowest total cases and active cases in the Barren River Health District.
Editor's Note: The Edmonson County school system is the largest employer in Edmonson County. There are currently 406 employees, both full and part time, listed in the organization. All full time employees are required to participate in the KRS.
KRS net position decreased slightly to $18.39 billion as state employee and State Police plans were cash flow-positive for the year; CERS plans expected to see continued improvement in cash flow in FY 2021.
FRANKFORT, KY (December 22, 2020): The Kentucky Retirement Systems (KRS) has released its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the Fiscal Year (FY) Ended June 30, 2020. The report serves as a detailed resource for understanding the structure, financial status, and governance of the plans that are administered by KRS. As such it is a critical component of KRS’ effort to maintain transparency for all stakeholders.
The FY 2020 CAFR shows that nine of the ten pension and insurance plans managed by KRS saw their funded ratios increase during the fiscal year. The combined fiduciary net position for all pension and insurance plans decreased to $18.39 billion from $18.41 billion at the start of the fiscal year. The five pension plans saw their combined fiduciary net position decrease 0.54% in FY 2020 to $12.86 billion, while the net position of the five insurance funds increased by 0.8% to $5.53 billion.
Cash flow for the Kentucky Employees Retirement System (KERS) and State Police Retirement System (SPRS) plans remained positive for FY 2020. For the second year in a row and the third year out of the past four, KRS’ most financially troubled plan, the KERS Non-Hazardous pension, had positive cash flow, which helped its funded status increase to 14.2% from 13.4% the prior year. The CERS plans should continue to improve next year, as the phase-in of higher employer contributions continues into its third year.
KRS’ actuaries, GRS Consulting, project that all of the pension and insurance plans will be fully funded in Fiscal Year 2049, provided KRS receives the full Actuarially Determined Contribution (ADC) each year and all actuarial assumptions are met.
Investment performance for the fiscal year was positive, with the KRS pension funds earning a combined net return of 1.15% versus a benchmark of 0.5% and the insurance funds earning a combined net return of 0.48% compared with a benchmark of 0.13%. The plans fell short, however, of their assumed rates of return, which for all of the insurance and pension plans except the KERS Non-Hazardous and SPRS pension plans is 6.25%. For the KERS Non-Hazardous and SPRS pension plans the assumed rate of return is 5.25%.
KRS paid out more than $2 billion in monthly pension payments in FY 2020, 93% of which went to recipients living in Kentucky. Those payments ranged from $1.1 million in Robertson County to $358.2 million in Jefferson County, $197.1 million in Franklin County, and $119.4 million in Fayette County.
The number of covered employees participating in KERS continued its long decline, reaching 35,948 in FY 2020, down 5.4% from the prior year. The number of CERS covered employees also fell in FY 2020 by 1.5% to 93,341. State police covered employment fell in FY 2020 by 14.4% from the year before to 798 employees.
The FY 2020 report can be found on KRS’ Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports page under Publications & Forms.
Kentucky Retirement Systems is responsible for the investment of funds and administration of pension and health insurance benefits for over 394,000 active and retired state and local government employees, state police officers, and nonteaching staff of local school boards and regional universities.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
A 34-year old man has died as a result of a crash in Hart County, according to Kentucky State Police.
KSP reported they responded to South Dixie Highway (US 31- W) near the intersection of L and N Turnpike (KY 335) in reference to a fatal collision on Tuesday, December 22nd at 8:16PM.
According to a KSP press release, a Hart County Constable attempted to make a traffic stop on a 2000 Chevy Monte Carlo traveling at a high rate of speed on US 31-W northbound. The Monte Carlo failed to stop and maintained a high rate of speed causing the constable to lose visual of the vehicle near Rowletts Road. The vehicle continued north on US 31-W where the operator lost control of the vehicle near Ky 335, KSP said. The operator, Michael E. Johnson (34) of West Point, Ky, was ejected after the vehicle struck an earth embankment and overturned and he was pronounced deceased at the scene of the collision by the Hart County Coroner, KSP said. Johnson was unrestrained at the time of the collision, according to the press release.
The investigation continues and is currently being led by Trooper Mike Wathen. He was assisted on scene by Hart County Sheriff’s Department, Hart County EMS, Hart County Coroner’s Office, Munfordville Fire Department, Horse Cave Police Department, and other KSP personnel.
EDMONSON COUNTY FISCAL COURT
NOTICE OF REGULAR AUDIO/VIDEO TELECONFERENCE MEETING
In accordance with KRS 61.823, KRS 61.826, Executive Order 2020-243, OAG 20-05, 2020 Senate Bill 150 and the March 31 Attorney General Advisory, the Edmonson County Fiscal Court will meet in session at 9:00 a.m. on December 28, 2020 to consider the following Agenda. The meeting will take place via audio teleconference due to the current public health situation with the fiscal court not meeting in person. The public may attend via audio by dialing: 1-312-626-6799, meeting ID 817 2987 3436, password 246503.
or by going to the following link:
EDMONSON COUNTY JUDGE EXECUTIVE
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Brett Guthrie (KY-02), ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, released the following video message after receiving the first of two injections of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
In the video message, Guthrie said the following:
"I’m Congressman Brett Guthrie. I’m on the Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, the ranking member. I had responsibility for the legislative oversight of the development of the vaccines, so I’ve been following these vaccines since the inception of Operation Warp Speed (OWS). I wanted to say that I took the vaccine today. I took it for the purpose of illustrating that I find it extremely safe, extremely effective, and I have no concerns about taking the vaccine. Always talk with your health care provider who provides it for you, but the vaccine is safe and effective. I’m willing to take it, and I encourage everybody to take the vaccine when it becomes available because we need to make sure that we beat this coronavirus."
The Office of the Attending Physician received Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine doses and strongly recommended the vaccine. While Guthrie has oversight of federal health agencies and COVID-19 vaccine development, this distribution to Congress was not his decision.
Darren Doyle, story:
Not much change was seen in the number of active COVID cases in Edmonson County this week. While total case numbers somewhat, the recoveries increased at the same rate with no more deaths determined from the virus, which leaves the number of active cases at 70 today, compared to 69 last Friday, according to today's released numbers from the Barren River District Health Department.
Active cases hovered around the same amount all week long and Edmonson County still has the lowest number of total cases (512) from the beginning of the pandemic, as well as active cases in the Barren River Health District. Edmonson's death rate for coronavirus is still at 13, which is in the middle of the pack. Ten of those deaths were reported from Edmonson Center, Genesis Healthcare facility in Brownsville.
Earlier this week, Edmonson County Schools announced that in-person classes will remain suspended until January 11, 2021. High school basketball games are scheduled to begin on January 4th, where Edmonson County will host the All A Classic in a boy/girl doubleheader. Both teams will take on Owensboro Catholic beginning at 6pm.
Local Relief Efforts Underway
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Multiple fire departments responded to a structure fire that claimed most of a residence last night in Wingfield.
The Wingfield, Chalybeate, and Brownsville Fire Departments responded to the 5000 block of Wingfield Church Road where according to radio traffic, one end of a mobile home was engulfed in flames.
According to Wingfield Fire Chief Brandon Graham, the family was at a neighbor's house when they heard a loud pop from their home, which is apparently when the fire began. Attempts to put out the fire were unsuccessful and the fire departments were called, according to witness reports.
Firefighters were able to knock down the flames and save the structure but extensive smoke and water damage will likely deem this residence a total loss, according to emergency personnel.
Also responding in addition to the fire departments were the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, Edmonson EMS, Edmonson Emergency Management, and WRECC.
The family of four were unharmed, which included two toddler girls, firefighters said. Local relief efforts are underway to help the family with immediate needs.
Anyone interested in helping with relief efforts can contact Chief Brandon Graham at 270-246-2514.
Online Only Until Monday, January 11th
Edmonson Voice Staff:
Edmonson County Superintendent of Schools Brian Alexander has announced that online-only instruction will be extended until January 11, 2021, according to a released statement today.
"Edmonson County Schools will begin the Spring semester of instruction on January 4th, 2021, by continuing instruction on an online learning basis," the statement said. "In-Person learning will resume on January 11th, 2021, for all students on the staggered schedule format. This decision is based on the COVID-19 Mode of Instruction Metrics for K-12 Education released on December 14, 2020 by the Kentucky Department of Public Health, and Governor Beshear’s recommendation to postpone In-Person instruction until January 11, 2021."
The statement continued with "Edmonson County has been in the “RED” category since mid-November*, with predictions to remain in this category throughout the holiday season due to holiday-associated gatherings. In an effort to continue to keep students, staff, and Edmonson County families safe, Edmonson County Schools will continue online learning for the week of January 4-8, 2021, in hopes of minimizing positive COVID cases."
"The teachers, administration, counselors and leadership of Edmonson County Schools will continue to work with students and families to meet their individual needs as we all work together to navigate through this pandemic, and we welcome contact from parents and students. We will be continuing to contact parents and students to meet the education needs and goals of our students. Parents and Students, thank you for continuing to work with our schools. We anxiously look forward to students returning to “In-Person” learning on January 11th, 2021."
"We wish everyone a safe and healthy holiday season," he added. "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year."
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Seven defendants have been charged in a conspiracy to deal a large quantity of methamphetamine in the Bowling Green area, announced United States Attorney Russell Coleman.
“Relationships matter especially in law enforcement, when collaboration is needed to defend our families from the volume of poison that traffickers are pouring into West Kentucky,” said U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman. “That is exactly why we opened a fully-staffed office of federal prosecutors in Bowling Green earlier this year, to work with some of the finest lawmen and women in our Commonwealth to better protect Southcentral Kentucky.”
“This case resulted in the largest crystal meth seizure in Warren County history. These cases are not possible without a team effort of our state, local and federal partners,” said Tommy Loving, the Executive Director of the Bowling Green/Warren County Dug Task Force. “Our local detectives partnering with the FBI shut down a major supplier of crystal meth and his drug trafficking organization. The US Attorney’s office worked with us from the early stages of this case to help bring it to fruition. The Bowling Green Police, Kentucky State Police, Warren County Sheriff’s Office, and WKU Police all participated in the joint investigation with the FBI.”
According to the indictment, beginning June 11, 2020, and continuing to on or about August 30, 2020, the seven defendants: Tyrecus J. Crowe, George Sanchez, Andre M. Graham, Michael D. Padilla, Raymond Derouse Jr., Jeremy Quezada, and Brandon Cherry, conspired to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Derouse, Quezada, and Cherry all face additional counts for possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance: methamphetamine.
An accompanying affidavit in support of a federal criminal complaint gives more details surrounding the alleged conduct. According to the document, on July 24, 2020, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) stopped a white Chevrolet Tahoe for speeding. A driver and two passengers occupied the Tahoe. The driver consented to have the DPS search the vehicle. That consent search uncovered approximately 40 pounds of suspected crystal methamphetamine hidden in a black bag. The search also revealed a rental agreement between the rental company and Tyrecus Crowe. The DPS detained the driver and contacted the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). A special agent with the DEA met the driver and advised the driver of his rights. After receiving his Miranda warnings, the driver agreed to speak with the DEA special agent. The driver explained he was driving the rented car from California to Bowling Green, Kentucky to deliver the crystal methamphetamine to Tyrecus Crowe. The driver stated Crowe rented the vehicle and let the driver use it for this trip. The driver further stated this was his second trip to California to pick up crystal methamphetamine for Crowe. The first trip occurred approximately one week prior. At the end of that trip, the driver successfully delivered approximately 25 pounds of crystal methamphetamine to Crowe's residence in Bowling Green.
During a July 26, 2020 interview, the driver allegedly stated that during both trips, Crowe provided the driver with cash to deliver in California. Once in California, the driver met George Sanchez at a pre-determined location in Los Angeles, California. Sanchez met the driver, then the two traveled together in Sanchez's vehicle to a residence relatively close to the initial meeting location. Sanchez and the driver hand counted the money, then Sanchez weighed the money on a scale. The driver did not remember how much money he transported the first trip, but Crowe gave the driver $105,000 in cash during this second trip. The driver gave Sanchez the $105,000 and Sanchez then gave the driver the crystal methamphetamine and drove him back to the driver's vehicle.
If convicted at trial, the defendants face no less than 10 years and no more than life in federal custody. The United States has also filed notice to seek forfeiture from the defendants named to include: $57,000 in cash, a residence in Bowling Green, 2008 Ford Mustang, 2012 Nissan Altima, 2001 Impala, and a 2015 Maserati Ghibli.
A federal complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offense charged and must be made under oath before a United States Magistrate Judge. The charge set forth in a complaint is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark Yurchisin of the U.S. Attorney’s Bowling Green Branch Office. The case is being investigated by the Warren County Drug Task Force, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Louisville Field Office.
Darren Doyle, story:
The first COVID-19 vaccines shipped to Kentucky were administered this morning. Three Kentucky hospitals, UofL Hospital, Baptist Health Lexington, and the Medical Center at Bowling Green, each received 975 doses today and began their vaccination plans.
“Today is a historic day in the commonwealth – we are at the beginning of the end of our war with COVID-19,” said Governor Andy Beshear, who was at UofL Hospital as UPS delivered the vaccines. “The Pfizer vaccine, which we believe to be 95% effective, is the defense we have needed to end this pandemic, and with the highly effective Moderna vaccine likely on its way to approval soon, we are all filled with hope for the first time in a very long time. Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible. To our front-line workers: we are forever grateful for your bravery, talents and compassion.”
According to information obtained by the Edmonson County Judge Executive's Office this morning, local health departments are expecting to receive their first shipments of the vaccine as early as next week. Judge Wil Cannon said today that vaccines are currently being prioritized by health officials and will be administered based on priority levels for now; however, those plans are subject to change at any time.
Cannon said select hospitals will begin receiving shipments this week and local health departments in the Barren District Health Department region will receive some next week. As of now, the current priority areas are as follow:
In Bowling Green, Connie Smith, president and chief executive officer of Med Center Health, said, “In what will forever be remembered as a monumental event in our nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Medical Center is honored to have been selected to be one of the first hospitals in Kentucky to receive an allocation of the initial Pfizer vaccine," according to a press release from Beshear's office.
She added, “We have seen firsthand the impact of this devastating virus on our patients, physicians and health care workers, as well as the community. Now is not the time to let our guard down. While the arrival of the vaccine is a game-changer in the fight against this pandemic, we recognize that the delivery of subsequent vaccines for the general public will take time over several months. We all must continue to wear a mask, practice proper hygiene and keep socially distant. Let’s finish this together.”
The Kentucky Department of Health has released additional information in the form of frequently asked vaccine questions, which can be viewed here.
Darren Doyle, story:
Two women were arrested and face felony drug possession and other charges after a Friday incident, according to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
Local law enforcement said that a deputy observed a green Chevy pickup traveling west on Nolin Dam Road on December 11, 2020 cross the centerline multiple times; nearly coming to a complete stop. Law enforcement reportedly initiated a traffic stop in Bee Spring where the driver was identified as Martha Hornback (62) of Mammoth Cave.
According to the Sheriff's Office, Hornback showed signs of being under the influence and was asked to undergo several field sobriety tests, all of which Hornback allegedly failed. A passenger in the vehicle, identified as Grace L. Morgan (59) of Clarkson, also showed signs of being under the influence, the Sheriff's Office said. According to law enforcement, consent to search the vehicle was given, where law enforcement discovered suspected marijuana and methamphetamine. Both were arrested where Hornback was charged with:
Darren Doyle, story:
The Edmonson County Fiscal Court met today in a virtual meeting where magistrates approved the bid and purchase of a used paving machine for the county that will replace an old machine that is reportedly on its last leg.
County Road Supervisor Greg Carroll recently traveled to Brown Equipment in Ocala, Florida to examine a 2015 Caterpillar paving machine. Carroll said after seeing the machine in person and speaking with the dealership's owner, Lee Brown, he was confident this purchase would be good for the county.
"A large construction company out of Louisiana had originally bought this machine and traded it in," Carroll said. "I was able to try the paver out and I believe it's going to be a good one."
Carroll also said he spoke with other customers of Brown Equipment and all with whom he spoke were satisfied with their purchases. He also noted that this particular paver, which he said sells for more than $600,000 new, can pave 10 to 20ft widths with no seams. He said it will also require less manpower for the road department. Carroll said while the machine has 5000 hours, it had only paved 132 miles of road, which means it had sit idling for much of its life.
Brown Equipment was the only company to submit a sealed bid to the county, which was opened by Judge Wil Cannon today during the meeting, which was for $148,000. Magistrate Edd Rich made a motion to accept the bid; seconded by Johnny Brooks. Both Rich and Brooks motioned and seconded (respectively) to approve the purchase of the paver today.
Carroll said he had received a price of $3200 for the shipping of the machine from Florida to Brownsville; however, he thought he could find a lower shipping cost through some local connections. He said the machine will have to be shipped via semi-truck.
The old machine, according to Carroll, could possibly bring $15K-$20K back to the county in a government auction in the future.
In addition to the regular reports given by various county offices, the fiscal court also voted to approve the re-appointments of A.J. Johnson and Debbie Cain to the Ambulance Board, effective January 1, 2021.
The court also voted to appoint Magistrate Charlie Tarter to the Edmonson County Tourism Board, which fills the vacancy left by former Magistrate Clark Wood, effective today and expires December 31, 2022.
Two new county employees were also hired as a result of magistrate voting today, which included fulltime employee Darrell Sanders for the road department and Eric Lyvers, a seasonal employee for the county's litter abatement program.
The county also acknowledged a $300 donation from Woodmen Life, Chapter #296, which was incorrectly acknowledged at the last fiscal court meeting as "Woodmen of the World."
The Emergency Management Program Grant was also approved by the fiscal court at today's meeting. Judge Cannon said this was a yearly grant available to local Emergency Management programs in Kentucky. Treasurer Tammi Willhite said the county is eligible for a maximum amount each year.
"The county can be reimbursed for 50% of salary, vehicle maintenance, office supplies, and phone bills for Emergency Management," she said. "This usually helps the county recover about six or seven-thousand dollars a year."
Finally, the court approved to advertise for remodeling of the Sheriff's Office, which is made possible by federal CARES Act funding. The funds can only be used for emergency services and Judge Cannon said the electrical and plumbing systems at the office are past need of repair. He also noted that the parking lot needs to be repaved as well, which can also be done during the project.
"This has been something we've needed to do for a long time, going back to even when I was there," he said. "We've just not had the available funding to do this until now."
The next fiscal court meeting is scheduled to be held virtually on December 28, 2020 at 9AM.
submitted by Britney Franich, Gifted and Talented Coordinator, Edmonson County Schools:
Brayden Johnson, a seventh grade student at Edmonson County Middle School, attended YMCA’s flagship program, Kentucky Youth Assembly, in a virtual format on December 10th and 11th. This program allows students to participate in a mock legislative process which includes writing a bill, presenting the bill to a student-led house of representatives, a student-led senate, and an elected governor, if passed in both the house and the senate.
ECMS presented one bill for debate at this year’s conference. Brayden presented a bill regarding mandatory recess for grades kindergarten through fifth. Brayden’s bill passed in both the student-led house and senate and was signed by the student governor.
On the final day of the conference, during the closing awards ceremony, Brayden received an award for being an outstanding delegate and a certificate for having a bill that passed both the senate and house and was signed by the student governor. ECMS also received a Delegation of Excellence certificate for participating in all parts of the conference.
Brayden is the son of Brad and Jodi Johnson of Bee Spring.
Little Change In Edmonson COVID Cases This Week: County Still Has Lowest Total & Active Cases In District
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County COVID cases have remained steady since last Friday, with active cases staying in the 70s through the week. Active numbers are actually down a couple of cases today in the county with 69 active known cases, according to the Barren River District Health Department.
Edmonson's total cases from the beginning of the pandemic are currently at 473, which is the lowest of all counties in the Barren River Health District. Active cases in Edmonson County are also the lowest in the district.
Red Zone counties in KY are now 118 out of 120 total. Edmonson County's incidence rate is currently at 56.4.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (December 9, 2020) – State Representative Michael Lee Meredith of Oakland has been reappointed by House Speaker David Osborne to chair the House Local Government Committee in the Kentucky General Assembly.
“I am honored to be able to continue in this capacity and look forward to putting my experience to work on the issues facing local governments,” Meredith said. “This committee provides a unique opportunity to help our city and county governments be more effective and efficient. We have made great strides over the past few years, but we still have a great deal to accomplish.”
Standing committees are a critical part of the legislative process. In addition to providing the first level of consideration for legislation before the Kentucky General Assembly, members are responsible for monitoring ongoing governmental operations, identifying issues for legislative review, and gathering and evaluating information. The Local Government Committee provides state policy leadership and oversight to Kentucky’s 419 incorporated cities, 120 counties, and more than a thousand special districts.
Speaker Osborne shared that he appreciates Meredith’s willingness to continue leading the committee.
“Rep. Meredith has done an outstanding job as chair of this committee,” House Speaker David Osborne added. “He is well respected among our colleagues and provides both the experience and the knowledge to spearhead our efforts to give local governments the tools they need to serve their people while still holding them accountable.”
Meredith represents the state’s 19th House District, which includes all of Edmonson County and a portion of Warren County. He was elected to the Kentucky General Assembly in 2010.
Lawmakers will convene the 2021 Regular Session on January 5.
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Traffic was slowed and detoured for about a half hour today as a result of a collision that involved four different vehicles on KY HWY 259 N.
Just before noon on Thursday, December 10, 2020, emergency personnel responded to the report of a two vehicle crash in front of Midway Church on 259N. According to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, Sandra Russell, (75) of Bee Spring was headed south on Lindseyville Loop in a 2014 Toyota Corolla when she entered into the pathway of Joshua Simpkins, (31) of Bowling Green, who was headed south on HWY 259 in a 2003 Jeep Liberty SUV.
Deputies said the two vehicles collided and Russell's vehicle left the roadway and came to rest in the ditch. As traffic was stopped at the accident scene, Lula McGrew, (83), of Bee Spring, who was driving a 2001 Buick LeSabre, collided with Charlie Lindsey, (78) of Bee Spring, who was stopped in traffic in a 1994 GMC pickup. Minor damage was reported in McGrew's and Lindsey's vehicles, along with no injuries. Mrs. Russell was transported to the Medical Center for unknown injuries, according to the Sheriff's Office.
In addition to the Sheriff's Office, responding to the scene were the Kyrock and Brownsville Fire Departments, Edmonson EMS, Edmonson County JAWS, and Edmonson County Emergency Management.
EDMONSON COUNTY FISCAL COURT
NOTICE OF REGULAR AUDIO/VIDEO TELECONFERENCE MEETING
In accordance with KRS 61.823, KRS 61.826, Executive Order 2020-243, OAG 20-05, 2020 Senate Bill 150 and the March 31 Attorney General Advisory, the Edmonson County Fiscal Court will meet in session at 9:00 a.m. on November 23, 2020 to consider the following Agenda. The meeting will take place via audio teleconference due to the current public health situation with the fiscal court not meeting in person. The public may attend via audio by dialing: 1-312-626-6799, meeting ID 835 1013 1005, password 125092 or by going to the following link:
Darren Doyle, story:
Two men have been arrested and face meth charges after law enforcement found suspected meth and other illegal items, according to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
The Sheriff's Office said that at approximately 10:00 pm on December 07, 2020, deputies were dispatched to the 100-block of Cornflower Lane (Brownsville) for suspected drug activity. Law enforcement located the homeowner, identified as Aaron Hanson (44) and another individual, Derik Bledsoe (40) of Smiths Grove, Kentucky.
The Sheriff's Office said that consent to search was given, which produced several different forms of drug paraphernalia, suspected methamphetamine, and a large amount of cash.
Both Hanson and Bledsoe were charged and arrested for:
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County saw a sharp decline in active COVID cases on Monday of this week, where active cases dropped from 91 (Nov. 20th) to 32 in ten days; however, cases were back on the rise through the work week and are now at 72 active cases today, according to the latest data from the Barren River District Health Department.
Total county cases are now at 431, which are tallied from the beginning of the pandemic in March, and deaths reported from the virus are at 13.
One bright spot for Edmonson County is that it has the lowest totals for both active and total coronavirus cases of all counties in the Barren River Health District.
Several county churches have suspended in-person services during the uptick in cases and Edmonson County Schools announced yesterday that local schools will remain closed to in-person meetings until at least January 4th. That is also the same date that has been announced for the official beginning of high school basketball games by the KHSAA, which was pushed back for more than a month.
Edmonson Voice Report:
Two individuals were arrested after law enforcement said they were caught in the act of attempting to steal a car on Monday.
According to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, deputies were dispatched at approximately 4:30 pm on Monday, November 30, 2020, to the 1100block of Silent Grove Church Road to the report of an attempted car theft. A press release from the Sheriff's Office said deputies found a BMW loaded on a trailer that was hooked to a running truck with the driver’s door open with no occupants inside.
The Sheriff's Office said Brandon Coy (32) of Brownsville and Sydney Sawyer (20) of Bee Spring were both located behind a barn on the Silent Grove Church Road property, and both reportedly admitted to arriving in the pickup truck that was being used to steal the BMW. Law enforcement said that both parties reported a third individual had been on scene with them but had fled when deputies arrived.
Coy and Sawyer were both charged and arrested for Theft by Unlawful Taking or Disposition Auto--$500 or more but under $10,000.
Coy was also served a Criminal Summons out of Grayson County for Theft by Unlawful Taking or Disposition All Others—Under $500.00.
Both Coy and Sawyer were lodged in Hart County Jail.
The Sheriff's Office said local dispatch received a complaint of a second stolen vehicle the next day, located less than two miles from where the attempted BMW theft had occurred.
"It is believed that the individual who had fled the scene the day before with Coy and Sawyer is responsible for this theft," said a statement from the Sheriff's Office. "The stolen vehicle is a 1998 black Chevy step-side pick-up truck with a red tailgate; the vehicle belongs to Lakota Wilson of Brownsville Road."
The Edmonson County Sheriff’s Office has a suspect in the theft of the pick-up and anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 270-597-2157 or Edmonson County dispatch at 270-597-2729.