MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky., August 14, 2020. – The Green River Ferry and Green River Ferry Road north in Mammoth Cave National Park will be closed to all vehicular traffic on August 17-20 in order to complete a freshwater mussel relocation project and pavement preservation project. The relocation work is being conducted in advance of the next phase of the Green River Ferry improvement project which will extend the south ramp 30 feet into the river and require the installation of a coffer dam, and the paving work is a part of the ongoing project to resurface paved areas throughout the park.
The Green River in Mammoth Cave National Park contains some of the most diverse populations of freshwater mussels in North America. Over 50 species of mussels are found within the park with ten species included on the federally endangered list. The extension of the Green River Ferry access will require coffer dams to be built to restrict water across sections of the river. These dams, as well as the construction equipment’s impacts to the riverbed and dredging, would negatively affect the many mussels living in the construction zone
The mussel relocation project will involve a specially trained dive team who will collect mussels and “re-plant” them in the riverbed either above or below the Green River Ferry crossing. The park relocated over 2,500 mussels in May 2019, just prior to the construction work on the north Green River Ferry ramp. The mussel team collected twenty-eight different species of mussels including two species of federally endangered mussels: fanshell (Cyprogenia stegaria) and sheepnose (Plethobasus cyphyus).
To check the current status of the ferry operation, follow Mammoth Cave Roads and Ferry (@MCNPRoadsFerry) on Twitter or call the Green River Ferry Hotline at 270-758-2166.
Darren Doyle, story:
A Bee Spring man was killed in a single vehicle crash today in Bee Spring, according to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
The Sheriff's Office said Ira Meredith, (88) of Jock Road, was headed south on HWY 259 near Jones and Gravil Tax Service around 1:30pm today in a 1998 Chevy S-10 pickup when his truck exited the right side of the roadway and overturned. Meredith was ejected from the passenger's side window.
He was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Edmonson County Coroner Brentley Esters, assisted by Deputy Coroner Richie Jones. It was reported Mr. Meredith was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident.
Officials at the scene said it was a possibility that Mr. Meredith suffered some sort of medical emergency that might have led to the crash. The accident is under investigation by the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
Also responding to the scene was Edmonson EMS, Kyrock Fire Department, and Edmonson County Emergency Management.
Darren Doyle, story:
New positive reported COVID cases in Edmonson County rose by 18 this week (126 total cases) while recoveries rose by 16 (95), according to the Barren River District Health Department. The reported deaths from coronavirus in Edmonson County have not changed in nearly 6 weeks; holding at 12 deaths, 10 of which were reported from Edmonson Center nursing home facility.
According to numbers provided by BRDHD, there are currently 19 active known positive COVID-19 cases in Edmonson County, (sum of recoveries and deaths subtracted by total cases) or roughly one tenth of one percent of the county's total population (.01%) of 12,000 people.
We attempted to calculate a local positivity rate (the total number of positive cases divided by the total number of tests administered) for both the county and the BRDHD, but there is no access to the number of tests administered in individual counties. As we reported earlier today, Kentucky Epidemiologist Dr. Doug Thoroughman told us there was no good way of calculating a positivity rate at the state level and that doing it locally is not feasible at this time.
In the Barren River District, cases rose by 355 (4316), while recoveries rose by 301 (3515) according to the BRDHD. The department also reported an increase in deaths from coronavirus by 2 (85).
Across KY, Governor Andy Beshear reported 38,298 known positive coronavirus cases, which is an increase from 33,796 last Friday. Recoveries rose by 432 over the same time period and deaths across the commonwealth rose by 40 to 804 total reported deaths from COVID-19.
State Health Official Says COVID-19 Positivity Rate Is "Just An Estimate," Local Numbers Not Available
Darren Doyle, story:
In case you needed more confusion about the coronavirus numbers, data, and percentages, a new number has popped up on the COVID-19 radar, which is "positivity rate."
Governor Andy Beshear continues to stress this number in his regular press conferences, which recently has remained over 5% in KY. He reported yesterday this rate stood at 5.67%. The positivity rate is calculated by dividing the total number of confirmed positive cases by the total amount of tests administered; however, that number is only accurate if the total number of tests administered is also accurate.
During last Friday's Edmonson Voice update on coronavirus cases in both Edmonson County and the Barren River Health District, (which serves 8 counties), we wanted to calculate the positivity rate for Edmonson County and compare it to state numbers. We reached out to A Plus Family Healthcare, a local clinic and a current area hot spot for COVID testing. CEO Patrick Merritt confirmed that their clinic has not been reporting total number of tests administered to any local or state entity, as there has been no requirement from the clinic to do so; however, they are required to report the total number of positive cases to the Barren River District Health Department.
We asked BRDHD if they could provide us with the amount of tests that have been administered in Edmonson County, as well as the amount of tests administered district wide, a population of more than 276,000 people.
We received an emailed response from Kim Flora, listed as Human Resources Manager for Barren River District Health Department. In the email she said, "BRDHD is not tracking the total number of tests being administered so we cannot give that number for our region."
After reaching out to the Governor's Office, we were directed to Susan Dunlap, Executive Director of the Office of Public Affairs for the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. She gave us some general information how administered tests are reported but our specific question was what is the exact process that ensures all testing facilities, (and those can be everything to large hospitals, all the way down to small localized clinics), are reporting the total number of tests that they are administering. Our entire mission was to provide a localized positivity number to compare to statewide numbers. The Edmonson Voice has consistently seen lower numbers in Edmonson County for both active coronavirus cases and deaths than many other surrounding counties, as well as lower than statewide numbers.
She said she was not certain she could give me a comprehensive answer, so she directed us to Dr. Doug Thoroughman, Epidemiologist for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He oversees the infectious disease operation in KY and is tasked to ensure KY follows national guidelines. We spoke with him on the phone on Tuesday.
"Even at the state level, we don't have a good way of accounting in a given county what tests have been given, or how many tests have been given," he said.
He then described the Kentucky Health Information Exchange, which is an electronic data collection system that gathers data from most hospitals and some providers that allows clinicians to share information. If a doctor sees a patient, he or she can access this information portal and see patient information, where COVID data can be seen and shared, but because all medical facilities don't use this, problems occur.
"In the case of COVID-19, there's a whole boatload of new labs that have started testing that have never done public health testing before. A lot of them are labs that traditionally test for drug levels in people for places of employment, and a lot of them say, 'hey look I can do some COVID testing and make some extra money,' and now they're doing COVID-19 testing and a lot of them are unfamiliar in public health reporting and surveillance, and they've never reported to state health departments or local health departments."
He said those labs are unaware they're supposed to report this information and no one knows how many of them are out there; however, every facility is required to report their positive cases.
"By law, labs only have to report positive tests, they don't have to report all their tests--they only have to report positives, so if they're aware they're supposed to be reporting, and we try to make sure people are aware--but like I said, not all are--but by law, they're only required to report their positive tests."
We then asked how can KY's positivity rate be accurate if these hurdles exist for gathering the necessary data.
"So the way we're getting positivity rates, and it's only a statewide rate-we don't get a per-county, it's by a different mechanism because of that very issue. We don't have a very good way of getting all these numbers together--and I will just say---the positivity rate is just an estimate because it's definitely not complete with all the testing that's been done."
He then described a process where all labs are asked to enter information into a daily survey, which is both total number of positives and tests, and break that down into what type of tests they are, but he described that process as "not very good because a lot of those people are repeat-tested so they can be in those numbers more than once."
"Nothing's perfect, I'll tell you right now, there's no good way to get positivity rate in any state, unless the state health department is the only testing body in the state, there's no good way of getting that."
Some argue it is unfair to claim Kentucky's positivity rate is accurate if all lab facilities are not tracking the total amount of tests administered. Others say the process of data collection is accurate enough to give Kentuckians a fair assessment of the situation; however, the fewer administered tests that are reported compared to the same number of positive cases, which all testing sites are reporting, will result in a positivity rate that could potentially be much higher than the correct rate. What does that mean?
According to the World Health Organization, before a region can relax restrictions or begin reopening, the test positivity rate from a comprehensive testing program should be at or below 5% for at least 14 days. If KY's positivity rate remains above 5%, restrictions will likely remain in place as they've been.
Beshear has recently made what he described as a "recommendation" to push in-person school back to September 28th; however, he has come under fire from school officials all across the state claiming that while it's being labeled as a recommendation, it is much more serious than that.
Edmonson County Schools voted to delay in-person classes until September 28th; however, all students will begin virtual classes on September 8th.
Barren County unanimously voted to start in-person classes on August 24th, going against the Governor's recommendation. They also offer virtual classes for those that choose not to attend in-person. Bowling Green City Schools are holding a special called meeting tonight to make their decision. Warren County Schools still plan to open in-person classes on the same date, August 24th.
An Edmonson County Grand Jury recently returned the following indictments:
Jackson Simmons, Rape 3rd degree (5 counts), Sodomy 3rd degree (5 counts), Unlawful transaction with a minor first degree-illegal sex act (10 counts).
Robert A Pedigo, Theft by unlawful taking $500 or more, Persistent felony offender first degree.
Brandon Shaw, Failure to comply with sex offender registration. Persistent felony offender first degree.
Keith Wallingford, Escape 2nd degree, Fleeing or evading police 2nd degree (on foot), Disorderly conduct 2nd degree, Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess, Possession of controlled substance first degree (meth), Tampering with prisoner monitoring device, Criminal mischief 3rd degree, Persistent felony offender 1st degree.
John R. Meredith, Tampering with prisoner monitoring device, Persistent felony offender first degree.
Roger Clark, Trafficking controlled substance first degree-second offense (meth), Possession of controlled substance first degree (meth), Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess, No/expired registration plates, Obstructed vision and/or windshield, Persistent felony offender first degree.
Sara V. Frederick, Trafficking in controlled substance first degree (meth), Possession of controlled substance first degree (meth), Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess.
Steven F. Burns, Possession of controlled substance first degree-second offense (meth), DUI first offense, Possession of marijuana, Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess.
Tommy Ladd, Wanton endangerment-first degree, Disorderly conduct second degree.
Laura McCain, Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess, Possession of controlled substance first degree (meth), Possession of controlled substance first degree.
Jagger Filback, Possession of controlled substance first degree-firearm enhanced, Trafficking controlled substance first degree-firearm enhanced, Possession of marijuana-firearm enhanced, Trafficking marijuana less than 8oz-first offense-firearm enhanced, Unlawful transaction with a minor-second degree, Unlawful transaction with a minor-first degree-illegal controlled substance-victim under 18 years of age, Unlawful transaction with a minor third degree, Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess-firearm enhanced, Trafficking in legend drug, Illegal possession of a legend drug.
Jimmy Vincent, Strangulation first degree, Assault first degree-domestic violence, Possession of marijuana.
Ryan Minton, Trafficking in controlled substance-second offense (meth), Trafficking in controlled substance first degree-second offense, Fleeing or evading police second degree (motor vehicle), Possession of marijuana, Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess, Tampering with physical evidence, Reckless driving.
Jonathan Sparks, Fleeing or evading police-first degree (on foot), Assault third degree-police officer, Resisting arrest, Possession of marijuana-firearm enhanced, Possession of handgun by convicted felon, Persistent felony offender first degree.
Jonathan Weaver, DUI first offense, Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess, Assault second degree, Wanton endangerment-first degree, Possession of marijuana, Tampering with physical evidence.
Nathan Mullet, Drug paraphernalia-buy/possess, Possession of marijuana, Tampering with physical evidence.
Mitchell T. Poynter III, Strangulation first degree, Assault degree-domestic violence, Unlawful imprisonment second degree, Terroristic threatening third degree, Intimidating a participant in the legal process.
Note: An indictment is only a formal charge and is not an admission of guilt. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Superintendent Speaks: EC Schools In-Person Classes Pushed Back To Sept. 28th, All Students To Begin Virtual & NTI On Sept. 8th
Superintendent Brian Alexander Releases Statement Concerning Governor’s Recommendation for School Reopening
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County Superintendent of Schools Brian Alexander has announced that the opening day for in-person classes at Edmonson County Schools will be pushed back to September 28th as recommended by the Governor; however, all students will begin the school year on September 8th, either by virtual instruction for students that chose virtual learning this year, or by NTI, for those that chose in-person instruction for the upcoming school year.
Supt. Alexander provided a statement to the Edmonson Voice earlier today describing the school's stance on the matter as well as an explanation behind this decision. The entire statement is published below:
The school community of Edmonson County has worked very hard over the last three months to create a reopening plan that fits the concerns and needs of our students, parents and staff. I want to commend all involved: our Board members, Central Office administration, Building Level leadership teams, and our Transportation/Maintenance teams have all worked together to craft a plan that fits Edmonson County. Countless hours have gone into working toward the best for our children. Also, the cooperation of students and their families with completing our online surveys has been instrumental at this time where communication for making decisions that best represent all the stakeholders of our school community. We as a school district are extremely proud of our plan.
As all of you now know, the Governor made a “strong recommendation” that schools not begin in-person classes until September 28th. This causes a curve in our road to reopen our schools in Edmonson County that requires additional planning, as well as additional time away from in-person instruction for students that chose the staggered schedule plan for the 20-21 school year.
Regardless of the direction of our response to the Governor’s recommendation, there will be citizens in our school district that will disagree with that response. While this was presented by our governor as a recommendation, the scrutiny our school district would be put under for not complying with the September 28th date would be considerable. The negativity generated from a possible spike in cases during the time period between September 8th and September 28th would put our school district and our county in a position with which I am not comfortable. A part of my job is to keep our school district in a positive light both locally and the state level and I take that responsibility seriously. I love Edmonson County too much to put it in a position to look bad.
It is my stance, and that of our Board members, that our students and families need normalcy and routine back in their lives. The personnel of the Edmonson County School district need and want that as well. The amount of work added to our teachers and various support staffs in order to plan and carry out instruction to our students is considerable and increases with each change as we alter our plan. In-person instruction is how teachers were trained and what teachers prefer, but we are in unprecedented times.
With all this said, it will be the plan of Edmonson County Schools to begin instruction on September 8, 2020, with students who chose to begin the school year on a virtual path using our virtual programs for learning. Students that have chosen the staggered schedule will begin the year with non-traditional instruction (NTI), with no in-person classes until September 28, 2020.
NTI classes will be vastly different than in the past, with students receiving instruction from teachers and completing work consisting of a combination of teacher choice assignments and virtual learning options. Our school administrators are confident we will be successful with this plan, and schools will be sending One Call messages, posting instructions on their respective social media sites, and school web pages concerning handing out Chromebooks and instructions for their use, as well as other important information in the coming days. Students and their families will have ample opportunities to be completely prepared for instruction well before September 8th.
In closing, I ask for your understanding, compassion and support for our schools, teachers and staff as we begin the 2020-2021 school year. I promise you that you will get my very best in these trying times, and I feel I can say that for all of our schools as well.
Feel free to contact me at any time. My door is open to you.
Brian Alexander, Superintendent
Face Covering Mandate Extended Another 30 Days: Bars to Reopen, Restaurants To Increase Capacity to 50%
Darren Doyle, story:
Governor Andy Beshear announced today in a press conference that administration officials, in consultation with Kentucky teachers and school administrators, he is recommending schools meet via virtual classes only until the end of September.
“Our recommendation today is that schools wait to begin in-person classes until Sept. 28,” the Governor said. “Yes, that’s six weeks from now, but it’s also six weeks from what I hope is the peak of this virus, six weeks from the last three weeks where we have been at an all-time high week in and week out, six weeks from a time when we just had a 6% positivity rate. Let’s face it, we’re trying really hard and we’ve taken good steps. Masks are working. But we do not have control over this virus. And to send tens of thousands of our kids back into in-person classes when we don’t have control of this virus, it’s not the right thing to do for these kids, it’s not the right thing to do for their faculty and it’s not the right thing to do as Governor.”
He said the decision was driven by four factors: Kentucky’s cases being near a peak, an increase in infection rates among children across the U.S., the experience of school districts in other states, and families continuing to travel to hotspots for vacations against the advice of health officials.
The Edmonson County Board of Education previously approved the 2020-21 school calendar and the first day of classes beginning on September 8th.
Superintendent of Schools Brian Alexander said no changes have been made to the school calendar at this time; however, the board will soon make a decision regarding the Governor's recommendation.
"We're aware of the Governor's recommendations and we're looking at all aspects of this situation, just like we've done from the beginning," he said. "We are working on multiple plans because as we've said all along, this is a fluid situation and we need to be ready to adjust. We will continue making the best possible decisions for the students, faculty, and staffs of Edmonson County Schools and will keep the public updated as soon as possible with any changes that are made."
Bars & Restaurant Order:
La Tasha Buckner, the Governor’s chief of staff and general counsel, offered an update on bars and restaurants operating in the commonwealth.
“Today we are issuing a new order, effective tomorrow, which will allow bars to reopen and restaurants to increase their capacity,” Buckner said. “Both bars and restaurants can operate at 50% of capacity, as long as people can remain six feet from anyone who is not in their household or group.”
She said the reopening and increase in capacity comes with new requirements to avoid another spike in COVID-19 cases. First, customers in both bars and restaurants will be required to remain in their seats, except when entering, leaving or using the restroom.
Second, bars and restaurants will be required to halt food and beverage service by 10 p.m. and close at 11 p.m. local time.
Face Covering Mandate Extended for 30 More Days:
“Third, as the Governor mentioned previously, the face-covering requirement has been extended as of Sunday for another 30 days,” Buckner said. “Therefore, just like in other businesses, all customers and staff must wear a face covering while in the bar or restaurant except when actively eating or drinking.”
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County Fiscal Court met today at 9AM in the upstairs courtroom of the courthouse where several discussions took place, including possible litigation against the seller of the future site for a county animal shelter and a special election for District 3 magistrate this November.
In Sheriff Shane Doyle's update to the fiscal court, he described a series of weekend events at Blue Holler ATV Park as not only problematic for the area, but also for law enforcement and medical personnel. He said his office has received numerous complaints about large gatherings at the park during the pandemic, as well as noise and similar complaints, but he said health regulations as a result of the pandemic are left up to the local health department and the Kentucky State Police, which he said was was the law enforcement agency dedicated to enforcing the Governor's executive orders, according to a conversation he said he had with the Attorney General's Office.
"We don't have the manpower to police the entire area, plus, we can only enter there on official business if we're responding to a complaint," said Sheriff Doyle. "This weekend, there were multiple medical emergencies at the park that included four different medical helicopter runs, plus additional ambulance runs. It was estimated that as many as 18,000 people attended the park this weekend. We want businesses to do well in our county but it has to be kept under control with regards to public safety. We wrote several citations for riding ATVs on the roadways, but if we'd have started arresting people for public intoxication, we'd have needed five different buses to haul them all away."
Jailer Hank Vincent, who is also a paramedic with Edmonson County Ambulance Service, said five buses wouldn't have held them all.
"It's overwhelming," said Vincent. "And it's going to get worse out there. I wouldn't be surprised if the next thing you hear out there is a killing."
Doyle said one of his deputies was tied up for 10 hours at the hospital with an individual so drunk he suffered a major medical issue. The individual allegedly refused to cooperate with medical personnel at the site after the health concern and law enforcement had to intervene.
The park is located in the Ollie community in District 5, which is magistrate Johnny Brooks' area.
"When you put that many people in one place like that, there's going to be problems," Brooks said.
Phone calls to Blue Holler ATV Park were not immediately returned.
In other reports given from county offices, County Road Supervisor Greg Carroll said county road crews were busy with tile installation and drainage work as well as mowing throughout the county.
Jailer Hank Vincent reported 14 county inmates currently housed at the Hart County Jail with one on home incarceration.
The county also voted to:
Darren Doyle, story:
Governor Andy Beshear appointed democrat Charlie Tarter as Edmonson County District 3 Magistrate on July 24th to fill the vacant seat left by the passing of republican Magistrate Clark Wood in March of 2020; however, Tarter must be elected in November in order to keep the position.
County Clerk Kevin Alexander discussed the scenario at today's Edmonson Count Fiscal Court meeting. He said that the law states that in a situation where an elected office has an appointment from the Governor in a situation of a death, there is a 90-day window where that appointment stands until the next election cycle for that office. In Edmonson County, that election would be November of 2022. Since Tarter was appointed after that period, a special election for magistrate in District 3 must be held in November, despite the fact there will be no other county offices on the ballot.
Alexander further stated that the election will be write-in only; however, not just any name will be counted. One wishing to run for this office must file at the County Clerk's Office by October 23, 2020, even though it's a write-in election. Currently, three candidates (all republicans) have filed to run. They are: Billy Joe Honeycutt, Faron Lindsey, and Terry Joe Hennion.
Magistrates Vote Against Lawsuit With Purchased Animal Shelter Property: Seller Now 5 Weeks Past Exit Deadline
Darren Doyle, story:
The Edmonson County Fiscal Court voted 4-3 against filing a lawsuit against Rollin Rountree after a lengthy discussion at today's meeting. Magistrate Corey VanMeter made the motion to file the lawsuit against Rountree, which was seconded by Magistrate Mark Meeks. Rountree's extended deadline is now nearing 6 weeks past due.
The county voted to enter a into a purchase contract with Rountree in September 2019 for a 12-acre tract on HWY 259 (Veteran's Memorial Highway) for a price of $105,000. The contract stated that the county would pay $20,000 down and would pay the $85,000 balance upon Rountree vacating the property by a deadline of June 1, 2020. The property held a mobile home, an abundance of heavy equipment, machinery of all types, and salvage items.
In May of this year, Rountree addressed the fiscal court and said the property where the vehicles and property were going to be moved had been too wet and he simply couldn't do it in the time period since September of 2019. Rountree said many of the items were moved over a period of one weekend, but he still needed more time and asked the court for an extension. He also said he had no intention of still being on the property on that current date when he sold the land to the county back in September.
The county granted him a penalty-free extension through July 1, 2020 at the May 26th fiscal court meeting. That deadline has now passed with some of Rountree's personal property still at the premises. Judge Executive Wil Cannon read a text message he received from Rountree to the court today where Cannon said the message stated Rountree was still working to move the rest of the personal property off the land and vacate the premises. According to the extended deadline, Rountree would lose $5,000 of the balance owed as of today.
County Attorney Greg Vincent updated the fiscal court on how litigation would work in a suit against Rountree, which had been discussed in a previous closed session.
"This lawsuit would be asking a judge to require Mr. Rountree to comply with the contract and simply make him turn it over to the county, as the signed contract says," he said. "The county will have to sue Rountree, his wife, and the bank, because the bank holds a mortgage against the property. This is a common lawsuit and there's not really any defense to it. The bank will insist their mortgage will be paid and the county will insist to take ownership of property. All this does is force Mr. Rountree to uphold his end of the already agreed upon and signed terms."
Vincent said filing the suit would cost the county a couple hundred dollars in filing fees.
Judge Cannon said he didn't feel the suit would accomplish anything more than what the weekly $1,000 penalties are doing. The motion to file the suit then went to a roll call vote that went as follows: Mag. James Vincent YES, Johnny Brooks NO, Charlie Tarter NO, Corey VanMeter YES, Mark Meeks YES, Edd Rich NO, and Judge Wil Cannon voted NO. The motion to file a lawsuit against Rountree did not pass.
According to the current contract, Rountree will continue forfeiting $1,000 per week until he vacates the premises and turns possession of the property over to the county.
Deputies Deploy Taser In Reported Assault On Officer
Darren Doyle, story:
A Brownsville man is facing multiple felony charges after law enforcement officials say he struck a man on a lawn mower during a DUI crash on Friday.
According to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office, Clay Davis, (19) of Brownsville, was traveling north on Louisville Road (KY HWY 31-W) in a Chevy Impala when his vehicle left the right side of the roadway and struck a man mowing his yard near the intersection of KY HWY 422. The unidentified man was transported to the Medical Center for unknown injuries.
The Sheriff's Office said that multiple witnesses on scene claimed that Davis had been driving erratically on 31-W and that witnesses and a deputy reported the strong smell of alcohol at the scene. Officials said that a breath test at the accident site showed that Davis' blood alcohol level was three times over the limit. Davis was arrested and charged with Driving under the influence and Wanton endangerment.
Law enforcement said that once Davis was transported to the Sheriff's Office for processing, he became unruly towards another deputy and threatened to kill him. Deputies said that Davis attempted to fight the deputy and that officers had to subdue him by the use of a taser, which they said had to be activated three different times.
The Sheriff's Office also said that the crash involving the lawn mower was not a direct hit, but investigation showed that it was a side-swipe, which officials said likely saved the unnamed man's life.
Davis was faced with more charges, which included:
17 Current Cases In EC, According to BRDHD Numbers
Darren Doyle, story:
Coronavirus cases rose in Edmonson County by the largest reported confirmed number (14) in several weeks, from 94 last week to 108 today, as reported by the Barren River District Health Department. Reported confirmed recoveries rose by 5, to 79 total with 12 reported confirmed deaths; a number that has held steady for a month.
Across the BRDHD area, total confirmed cases rose by less than one percent (.89%) while recoveries rose by 1.1%. Deaths rose from 81 to 83, according to press release from the health department.
On Thursday, Governor Andy Beshear extended the state’s mandate requiring face coverings in some situations for another 30 days. Today, he said to expect additional guidance for Kentucky’s bars and restaurants to be announced on Monday.
Across KY, cases rose to at least 33,796 coronavirus cases, 573 of which were newly reported Friday. Beshear also reported 4 new deaths since last Friday, for a total of 764 reported confirmed cases. Kentucky's confirmed coronavirus survival rate is currently at 98%.
Driver's Vehicle Disabled By Police
Cody Brady, (25) Rocky Hill, Brittany Decker, (26) Park City
Edmonson Voice Report:
A Rocky Hill man and a Park City woman were arrested on multiple felony charges and warrants after a three-county pursuit that ended in the driver's car being disabled, according to Kentucky State Police.
KSP said Trooper Jordan Matthews, of Kentucky State Police Post 3 in Bowling Green, observed a blue Toyota car fail to stop at a stop sign on Old Bardstown Road in Barren County. Trooper Matthews reportedly activated his emergency equipment, but the vehicle failed to pull over and started to flee. An official press release from KSP said based on the vehicle registration plate, it was determined that the registered owner had active warrants. The vehicle reportedly continued on multiple roads in Barren, Edmonson, and Warren Counties but came to a stop after a tire deflation device was successfully utilized on Louisville Road in Warren County, KSP said.
Troopers identified the operator of the vehicle as 25-year-old Cody Brady, of Rocky Hill, Ky, who was taken into custody and lodged in the Hart County Jail. He was charged with:
Brady was also served with active warrants.
A passenger in the vehicle identified as Brittany Decker, (26) Park City, was also lodged in the Hart County Jail. She was charged with:
Decker was also served with active warrants.
Edmonson Voice Report:
Sheriff Shane Doyle has announced that Ms. Dorothy Fredericks (82) has been found safe in Brownsville.
"Apparently Ms. Fredericks got turned around last night and drove the wrong direction after shopping in Leitchfield," he said. "After driving around for several hours, she said an unnamed deputy from another county offered her some help. She said he pointed her in the right direction and she was able to drive back into the county this morning. Some neighbors were able to help her and get her home. Thank the Good Lord she is safe and back home."
Sunfish Woman Failed To Return Home From Shopping Trip Last Night
The following is a statement from the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office:
"This morning our agency received a report of a missing person, Ms. Dorothy M. Fredericks, age 82, of the Sunfish community. Fredericks' family stated that she went to Leitchfield, KY to go grocery shopping the evening of 8/3/2020, and has not returned home or contacted them. Financial transactions indicate she was at Leitchfield Wal-Mart at approximately 8:00 PM 8/3/2020 and in Cecilia, KY at a Shell station 8/4/2020 at 7:30AM.
Fredericks is driving a 2010 Ford Escape, Lime green in color with the Kentucky plate number 988 XYX.
At this time foul play is not suspected, and family suspects that Ms. Frederick is possibly confused and gotten lost. If you see Ms. Frederick, please contact the local authorities for that area. Fredericks has been entered as a missing person and a Golden Alert has been issued."
Edmonson County Sheriff's Office: 270-597-2157
Active Cases Steadily Remain 10 Or Less At One Time Over Course of Pandemic
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County has seen fairly consistent numbers regarding positive COVID-19 cases over the past several weeks. Active confirmed cases of coronavirus within the county have averaged under 10 at a time for most of the pandemic. To calculate known active cases, the sum of confirmed recoveries and deaths is subtracted from total cases, (total cases are tallied from the beginning of the pandemic).
As of today, the Barren River District Health Department reported a total number of 94 confirmed positive virus cases in Edmonson County (up 8 from last Friday), 74 confirmed recoveries (up 7 from last Friday) and 12 deaths, which has remained steady for close to a month.
Across the district, which is an eight-county area with a total population 276,669, according to census numbers, the BRDHD reported today a total of 3,635 confirmed positive cases total (up 396 from last Friday), 2849 recoveries (up 435 from last Friday), and 81 deaths (up 3 from last Friday).
Survival rate of confirmed cases within district is currently at 97.8% (or 2.2% death rate) (81 deaths from 3,635 confirmed cases).
Over the past week across Kentucky, cases rose to 30,151 (up 4220 from last Friday), recoveries also rose to 7,396 (up 85) and deaths rose by 44 to a total number of 735.
As of today, there have been at least 629,706 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky, according to a statement from the Governor's Office, which said the positivity rate in KY currently stands at 5.43%. This is calculated by dividing the number of confirmed positive tests by the total number of tests administered. The Edmonson Voice has requested the total number of tests administered in the Barren River Health District so that we can calculate both the district and county positivity rate for comparisons. The World Health Organization says before a region can relax restrictions, the test positivity rate from a comprehensive testing program should be at or below 5% for at least 14 days.
The Governor's Office also reported 7,481 recoveries from the virus.
Few Items Discussed At Night Meeting
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
One of two annual night meetings was held last night for Edmonson County Fiscal Court where a very short agenda was discussed. The full meeting was live video streamed on the Edmonson Voice.
The two main items of business were introducing newly appointed District 3 Magistrate Charlie Tarter to the court in his first meeting and honoring Edmonson County K9 Deputy Tango, who passed on June 16th of this year.
Judge Executive Wil Cannon said most people don't understand the true nature of having a K9 deputy as a partner. Judge Cannon retired from Kentucky State Police as a Trooper for over two decades.
"I can tell you that that particular K9 is more than a right hand to that officer," he said. "When that deputy is lost, part of that officer is lost."
Cannon presented an honorary plaque to Deputy Tango's former handler, Deputy Jordan Jones. Jones thanked the court and discussed the difficulty he'd faced working without Tango. He also thanked the people of the county for their support of law enforcement officers, despite the current climate in the nation.
"I appreciate the community's outreach," he said. "I think it's nice to know that a police officer is still loved by his community, because a lot of places are showing that they just really don't care about them," Jones said. "That's not the way it is in Edmonson County and it never has been. This is the greatest place I've ever lived and I've lived a lot of places with my time in the military. I hope to never leave this place again. Thank ya'll very much."
Tarter was appointed by Governor Andy Beshear's office on Friday, July 24th and was sworn in to office on Monday morning. Tarter, a democrat, filled the vacant position left by former republican magistrate Clark Wood, who passed away while in office in March of 2020. Tarter is a local farmer from the Pig community that attended his first meeting last night.
"We welcome you to fiscal court," Judge Cannon said to Magistrate Tarter. "He spent most of the day with us and if there's anything we can do to help him, we'd be glad to."
Only a few county offices gave reports during the short meeting and no other new business was discussed.
The next fiscal court meeting is scheduled for August 10, 2020 at 9AM in the upstairs courtroom of the courthouse.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Gov. Andy Beshear on Monday announced several new measures to stem the rising number of cases of the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) in the commonwealth.
“At a time when Kentucky is dealing with a surge in the coronavirus, knowing where other states have gone and knowing what it takes to stop it from happening here, let’s remember that we’re going to get through this, and we’re going to get through this together, but it’s going to require us to do what’s necessary,” the Governor said. “Wherever you live in Kentucky, the virus is spreading. Our state government and the federal administration have significant agreement on what we need to do right now to make sure we don’t turn into Florida, Texas, Arizona, so many other states going through what could be absolutely devastating for them.”
So, today Gov. Beshear announced the following steps:
To view the order from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services covering the new restrictions, which goes into effect at midnight tonight, click here.
Beshear Appoints Democrat Charlie Tarter To Magistrate Position Left Vacant By Passing Of Republican Clark Wood
Darren Doyle, story:
Governor Andy Beshear has appointed democrat Charlie Tarter as magistrate in District 3, which is the Rocky Hill/Pig area. Tarter will fill the seat that has been vacant since the death of former magistrate Clark Wood, who passed away in March of this year.
Tarter was sworn in during a private ceremony this morning at Judge Executive Wil Cannon's office. He began his duties immediately.
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County saw only two newly confirmed coronavirus cases this week and four more recoveries, according to today's data from the Barren River District Health Department.
Numbers from the BRDHD rose and fell throughout the week as corrections were made on the totals. In a press release today, they stated: "Please note that a decrease in numbers is due to the county of residence being corrected/updated from what was previously reported."
Totals for Edmonson County today were as follow:
Across Kentucky, the state saw it's second-highest single day total with 797 newly confirmed cases since yesterday, according to the Governor's Office.
“Today we are reporting what I believe is the second-highest number of new cases we have had since our first case on March 6, with 797 new cases of COVID-19," Governor Andy Beshear said today. "That brings our total number of cases to 25,931. What it means is we are continuing to see an increase and a growth that we absolutely have to stop,” said Gov. Beshear. “And we’ll be watching these very carefully through the weekend and if we do not see the numbers come down, we going to have a series of recommendations and steps that we’ll need to take next week.”
Nineteen new cases were reported as being from children ages 5 and younger.
Governor Beshear also reported seven new deaths Friday, raising the total to 691 Kentuckians reportedly lost to the virus.
As of today, there have been at least 574,233 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. The positivity rate currently stands at 5.28%, which is the highest ever reported in Kentucky.
At least 7,396 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus, according to a statement from the Governor's Office.
New Record Set For Event: Nearly $5K In Monetary Donations Plus Supplies
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Another record-breaking year of cramming school supplies into police cruisers happened today in Edmonson County as local school and law enforcement officials teamed up once again for their annual fundraising event.
The 14th Annual Cram the Cruiser event took place at two locations: Dollar General in Chalybeate and Family Dollar in Brownsville as boxes, carts, and bags of school supplies were dropped off at both places.
Jamie Carnes, Supervisor of Federal and State Programs for Edmonson County Schools, said the purpose for CtC is to ensure that all students have the necessary supplies at school, especially those that need a little more help throughout the school year.
"There are a lot of kids out there who do not have access to those items that other kids have," he said. "A lot of parents buy their kids plenty of stuff for back-to-school, we understand that, but there are also plenty of other kids that don't have access to those types of things, and those are the kids we're trying to help out. You'd be surprised the kind of requests we get through the regular school year just for basic things, like notebooks, pencils, pens, erasers, just simple things like that."
Edmonson County Sheriff Shane Doyle said the reason that Cram The Cruiser is always successful is because of the tight-knit community in Edmonson County.
"We do everything together, as a community, as a whole," he said. "We try to support our school system, we try to support our whole community, and they try to support us. We've got a wonderful partnership going."
Also helping out at this year's event was Brownsville Police and the Kentucky State Police. With teams and law enforcement at both locations, the donations were coming in steadily, despite social distancing recommendations. Both places had drop off stations set up where folks could drive in, drop off, and never leave their vehicles.
ServPro set up a tent and provided fans for workers and handed out snacks throughout the day. Pelican's Snoballs of Bowling Green was on hand in Brownsville, and Ladybug's Fritters and Fries was set up in Chalybeate. Both donated a portion of their proceeds to the event.
Kentucky State Police Public Information Officer Daniel Priddy said he was extremely pleased with the local turnout for this year's event.
"This has been another successful event and I'm happy that Edmonson County came out the way they did to show their generosity for our local kids," he said. "And under these circumstances, it's even more important to see just how great Edmonson County is. Today's event will help local students start off right and get help throughout the school year."
Superintendent of Edmonson County Schools Brian Alexander also attended today's event.
"We appreciate everything we get, everything our community can offer to our schools," he said. "And I can't say enough about our staff here today. Our Family Resource folks, our Community Ed folks that come out every year and give their time. They're folks that you don't see sometimes. You see my face, but you don't see theirs and they're the ones that make our school community tick."
The supplies will be divided equally among local schools. The resources will be utilized all school year long.
Arrest At School Supply Fundraiser, Sponsored By Law Enforcement
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
Law enforcement officers were putting more than just school supplies into a deputy's cruiser at one of the annual Cram the Cruiser event locations in Brownsville today, at the Family Dollar.
Local officers were on hand to help Edmonson County School personnel with their annual school supply drive today when something grabbed their attention. A car pulled into the crowded event into a handicapped parking spot with no visible permit. While that normally wouldn't be breaking news, one Edmonson County deputy, the Edmonson County Sheriff, and the Brownsville Chief of Police were surprised at the action, in the midst of large law enforcement event.
After the driver returned from the store to his vehicle, he was questioned about parking in the spot. According to the sheriff's deputy, the driver was identified as Roger Harris, (37) of Brownsville, who not only did not have a handicapped parking permit, but he was also driving on a DUI suspended license.
Officers said that Harris began cursing and became confrontational with officers while parents and children watched at the school supply drive event.
Harris was arrested and charged with:
First Fair Cancellation In 65-Year History of Event
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
For the first time in the 65-year history of the Edmonson County Lions Club Fair, there will be no fair this year.
The Edmonson County Lions Club, who has brought the enduring event to the fairgrounds annually since 1955, made the decision at their monthly meeting, which was held last night. Lions Club President Jimmie Duvall spoke with the Edmonson Voice about the difficult decision.
"The health department is requiring too many regulations for us to be able to bring the fair to the county this year," he said. "We had already planned on bringing a truck and tractor pull, rodeo, demolition derby, a mud bog, and of course our beauty pageants for this year's fair, but there are too many mandates in place for us to be able to do that."
Duvall said some of the requirements would be allowing only two spectators per beauty contestant, with a requirement for the Lions Club to obtain phone numbers and other contact information for those that would attend, and that the Lions Club would be responsible for keeping all attendees 6 feet apart at events.
"This is the first time we've ever had to cancel the fair," an emotional Duvall said. "There's more to this than what most people know. We have so many that look forward to this every year: those that grow vegetables and participate in our exhibit barns, those who work to put it on, and all the kids that come during school day after the parade."
Duvall said the parade is also cancelled. He mentioned that there is a possibility that perhaps a demolition derby or a mud bog could be scheduled later in the year, but that depends on the situation at that time, and obviously any regulations that would be required.
"It's just a bad time right now," he said. "People aren't sure what to do, what to expect. We feel like we're letting folks down, but we have no choice under the circumstances. It's just a bad time."
Edmonson Voice Report:
Edmonson County has fallen behind in its response to the 2020 U.S. Census, according to national and state averages, provided by the Census Bureau.
Julie Travillion, Partnership Specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau, said that response activity hasn't increased much at all over the past few weeks.
"Kentuckians only have a few more weeks to respond to the 2020 Census before local census takers start knocking on doors in mid-August," she said. "Nearly 35% of Kentucky households still need to respond online, by phone, or by mailing back their paper questionnaire."
The image above shows the current response rates in the county, with the northeastern corner falling behind.
Average response rates are as follows:
National Response Rate: 62.3%
Kentucky's Response Rate: 65.6%
Edmonson County's Response Rate: 50.4%
Lowest Responding Tract: 50.5%
Highest Responding Tract: 65.5%
The lowest responding tracts are in brown and pink, and the highest responding is in darker blue. The white area is Mammoth Cave National Park.
Information on responding online can be found by clicking here.