Monday, March 27, 2017

Missing girl last seen in Dyersburg, Tenn.

UPDATE: Missing girl and her boyfriend were found at approximately 3 p.m., today in Obion County, Tenn. 

Few details are available at this time. However, Malaja Kimbrell is safe and unharmed. Someone who had encountered the young couple recognized that they were missing and alerted authorities in western Tennessee.

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Authorities in at least three states are involved in the search for a missing Crittenden County girl and her boyfriend.

Milaja A. Kimbrell, 15, was last seen last Thursday night. She was reported missing early Friday morning from her home on U.S. 60 West.

Crittenden County Sheriff’s Deputy Ray Agent is leading the local investigation. He is working with police in Illinois and Tennessee. 

Agent said the teen’s boyfriend, 16-year-old Eric Miller is also missing from his Cambria, Ill., home.

Through the investigation, Agent said it has been determined that the boyfriend solicited a ride from an Illinois woman who also picked up the teenage girl from Marion. The driver told authorities that the two were dropped off early Friday morning in Dyersburg, a west Tennessee city on I-69 and near the Mississippi River.

For more updates on this developing story, see this week's printed edition of The Crittenden Press.

Bingo Thursday in Marion

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Teen still missing from Crittenden County

Milaja A. Kimbrell, 15
A Crittenden County teenager was still missing Monday, and local authorities continue looking for any information that may help in locating the girl.

According to Sheriff Wayne Agent, Milaja A. Kimbrell, 15, was reported missing around 6:15 Friday morning. The sheriff said foul play is not suspected at this time, adding that it is believed she left her home on U.S. 60 West at Moore Hill sometime overnight with her boyfriend, who is from Illinois.

Kimbrell is described as:
  • White with a fair complexion
  • Brown hair below the shoulders
  • Brown eyes
  • 5-1, 106 pounds with a thin build
Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s department at (270) 965-3400.

Students go back to school later in August


Crittenden County students will have a longer summer break than those in recent years, but will go deeper into May in the 2017-18 school year. The board of education has rest the closing dates for both the current and subsequent academic years.

The final day for classroom instruction this year will be Tuesday, May 16, a full 10 days earlier than in 2016. Last summer was delayed due to numerous make-up days nessitated by wintry weather. But this year, students have only two days to recover at the end of the calendar, which was initially planned for Friday, May 12.

There is also a teacher planning day April 9 that could be used for classes if more make-up days become necessary.

The 2017-18 start for students will be Wednesday, Aug. 16, a bit later than in the last few years. The current school year started on Aug. 10, giving children only 77 days of play following May 26 dismissal. Summer 2017 is slated to last 93 days.

The last day for students in the next academic year was moved to May 22, 2018, to allow for additional teacher planning time throughout the year. 

Superintendent Vince Clark said the later start to next year's calendar was not a result of legislation passed in this year's Kentucky General Assembly encouraging schools to give kids a longer summer. Opening date had been set prior to a measure approved by lawmakers urging classes to begin no earlier than the Monday closest to Aug. 26.

The board last week also set the dates and times for the Class of 2017 graduation ceremonies. Commencement will be Friday, May 19 with class night the evening prior. Baccalaureate will be Wednesday, May 17. All ceremonies begin at 6 p.m.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Officials concerned about Country Club Drive

Country Club Drive.
Of significant concern to Marion City Council is the rapid deterioration of Country Club Drive.

Councilwoman D’Anna Sallin in January brought forward her concerns, largely due to the role the pock-marked street plays in transporting students to school. Parents and buses must traverse the street to take children to Crittenden County Elementary School, which is home to nearly 700 students.

“I have had more complaints this week,” she said Monday. “I feel it urgently needs to be addressed.”

The road was initially built to handle a nominal flow of passenger vehicles between Chapel Hill Road to U.S. 60 West. Since its construction, however, the elementary school was built in the early 1980s, and later, Industrial Drive was installed, connecting U.S. 641 to U.S. 60 via Country Club Drive.

The connection created a bypass for tractor-trailers and other heavy trucks otherwise forced to negotiate a precarious 90-degree turn at the U.S. 641-U.S. 60 stoplight. Country Club Drive weathered the heavy traffic fairly well until the construction of a new U.S. 641 sent an untold number of loaded gravel trucks from the Rogers Group quarry on Crittenden Springs Road to the construction site south of town.

Country Club Drive, after two previous harsh winters, is now in a state of severe disrepair. Spot fixes have not lasted. Meantime, Industrial Drive has better sustained the heavy trucks that pass through each day, as it was built to handle typical traffic inside an industrial park.

The council has discussed the issue many times in the past, reaching no solution. Placing a weight limit on Country Club Drive has been considered, yet not seriously pursued. Now, however, resolution may perhaps be within reach following a recent council meeting.

City Administrator Adam Ledford said he has spoken with Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials about the problem created by heavy traffic using the street to bypass the hairy intersection. He said Monday they appear open to the idea of taking over maintenance of the street. The state, perhaps, appears more eager to repair and keep up Country Club Drive than to rework a problem intersection of two federal highways.

Fire Chief Ronald “Red” Howton, who drives a heavy truck for his employer, said a weight limit will essentially be a paper tiger for most fellow operators.

“You won’t stop it unless you put gates on each end,” he warned.

For more on this matter and other city council business see the March 23 printed edition of The Crittenden Press.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Livingston shooting suspect still at large

Livingston County authorities are still looking for a local man they say is armed and should be considered dangerous.

Christopher “Critter” Curnel, 27, is wanted for attempted murder after a shooting on Lola Road last Thursday. 

Livingston County Deputy Ryan Burrow is the lead investigator in the case. He talked to Curnel on the phone late last week, and he said the suspect had agreed to turn himself in, but did not show up.

The sheriff's department said Curnel was last seen driving a blue 1995 Chevrolet S-10 pickup. The body of the truck is dark blue with light blue front fenders and a primer-gray tailgate. The truck bears a Kentucky registration plate with the number 389LKJ.

Curnel faces charges of attempted murder, wanton endangerment and felony theft for an incident at a residence on Lola Road about 2 miles south of Berry’s Ferry. Barrow said Curnel was at the home and three other individuals, a woman and two men, were also there. After an argument, the three other people were fleeing the scene in their vehicles when Curnel allegedly fired multiple gunshots at them from a handgun.

“This was not just a random incident,” the deputy said.

The deputy said all of the individuals involved in the incident were acquaintances. He said Curnel is known to law enforcement officers because he has a criminal history. 

Nobody was hurt in the shooting.

Anyone with information about this case should call the Livingston County Sheriff's Office at (270) 928-2122, Kentucky State Police at (800) 222-5555 or Crime Stoppers at (270) 443-TELL.

Area death

Martha Henshaw Smith, 82, of Sturgis died Wednesday. Whitsell Funeral Home in Sturgis is in charge of arrangements. 

Mexico hosts annual Wild Game Supper Saturday

Mexico Baptist Church will be hosting its annual Wild Game Supper at 5 p.m., Saturday, March 25. 

Keynote speaker will be Steve Chapman, whose more than one dozen books are big sellers among outdoorsmen. His titles include A Look at Life from a Deer Stand, A Hunter Sets His Sights, A Good Husband’s Guide to Balancing Hobbies and Marriage and 365 Things Every Hunter Should Know. 

Chapman is a musician, storyteller and humorist. 

This event is free and will include prizes and a calling contest for kids.

Unplanned pregnancy? HOPE is on the way


A faith-based clinic aimed at helping teens and women in Crittenden and other area counties through unplanned pregnancies is just a couple of months away from opening in Eddyville. However, financial and volunteer support from the communities it serves will be critical to keeping the doors open.

At an informational meeting was recently held in Marion by HOPE Clinic Executive Director Lisa Holland who says the non-profit entity chooses to rely on fundraising, donations and volunteer hours in order to avoid government interference that could restrict the Christian ministry’s focus on the sanctity of life.

HOPE (Healthy Options for Preparing and Empowering) Clinic is a free and confidential place for people who may find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy. An Eddyville clinic will serve Crittenden County clients, as well as those from Lyon, Caldwell and Livingston counties that currently do not have a pregnancy clinic. However, the Benton clinic also serves clients form these counties.

HOPE Clinic does not offer, nor does it encourage abortion as an option. Instead, employees provide information, non-judgmental support and faith-based encouragement for clients and families so that they may make a better, informed decision. In fact, from 2011 to 2016, 79 of 91 clients who came to the clinic considering abortion chose to keep their baby.

To keep the satellite clinic going, it will need financial support. Last year, $177,727 was taken in through donations from individuals, churches and other organizations. The previous five years, $709,900 was raised. The group is looking for churches and other organizations to help.

The next fundraiser will be specifically for HOPE Clinic of Lyon County. It will be at the Lee S. Jones Convention Center in Eddyville at 6 p.m. March 28. It will include a light dinner and commentary from a guest speaker. Seating is limited, so reservations are required by Tuesday by calling (270) 527-4111 or sending a Facebook message to HOPE Clinic of Lyon County.

For more information on HOPE Clinic, call or text (859) 935-1613, call the Benton office at (270) 527-4111or email Holland at The clinic can be found online at

For more on this organization and its fundraising hopes, see the March 16 printed edition of The Crittenden Press.

Forgiveness House: Walk-through Easter drama

Scenes from last year.

First Baptist Church of Fredonia will present its 11th Annual Forgiveness House on two weekends this month and next, starting with this weekend.

During March, the walk-through drama will be held from 6-8 p.m., this Friday and Saturday and from 2:30-8 p.m., on Sunday.

During April, the dates are Friday, April and Saturday, April 15 from 6-8 p.m., each night.

The drama will be held at the church’s Family Life Center located next to the church at 208 Cassidy Avenue in Fredonia.

The production will portray the last days of Jesus Christ on earth.

Event goers will begin their journey through Forgiveness House by viewing the Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples. The next scene will take them to the garden where Jesus prayed. Then comes the scene of Jesus’ crucifixion.  Next is a stop at the tomb where the viewer will experience the resurrection of Jesus Christ. From there, a newly added scene for this year is the ascension of Jesus into Heaven. The final segment will be a visit to Heaven. This scene has also been newly revised.
The entire production includes script changes from previous productions,  and new scenery and music.
Scenes from last year.

This event is free and everyone is not only invited, but encouraged to attend, say organizers.
Child care will be available for children under the age of nine.

New tours will begin approximately every 30 minutes.

Walk-ins are welcome, but reservations are recommended, especially for larger groups.
For more information, call Rena Hillyard at (270) 625-3837 to make reservations.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What's news this week in Crittenden County...

An informational meeting hosted by Crittenden County Board of Education to share the rationale for a proposed “recallable nickel” for school construction turned out to be more of an inquisition. A vocal opposition, mostly farmers who would be among the most affected by the property tax, raised more questions than could be answered at last week’s public forum. But school officials say that was part of the purpose for the public forum – find out what taxpayers need to know about the proposed 5.8-cent increase in the school tax before moving forward.

For a comprehensive look at the proposed tax increase and the following headlines, pick up a copy of this week's issue of The Crittenden Press:
  • Man wanted for attempted murder
  • CCMS library move makes room for baby boom
  • Board of ed sets last day of school, summer longer than recently
  • Board of ed gives OK to ag ed for turning bus into greenhouse
  • Bus driver shortage creates havoc
  • Free lunch questioned, threatened
  • Country Club Drive concern for city
  • Utility pole relocation plan on hold for now
  • Fiscal court OKs asphalt for Ky. 365, Ky. 723
  • Tabor selected to fill vacant council seat
  • Local man pops "the question" at Trivia Night
  • Road sign thefts grow
  • EDITORIAL: Frankfort to blame for inequity of school tax
  • LEGISLATIVE REVIEW: Charter schools bad for Ky.
  • LEGISLATIVE REVIEW: Charter schools: No heartburn in House
  • Ky. Legislature: Charter schools, nuclear plants OK’d
  • FORGOTTEN PASSAGES: Crittenden residents head to Washington State at turn of 20th century
  • SPORTS: Charter students, homes-chooler legislation poses questions for public school officials
  • SPORTS: Youth recreational team assignments
  • SPORTS: Track & Field results
  • SPORTS: Summer hoops action set for boys
  • SPORTS: Book’s walk-off triple completes comeback
  • SPORTS: Crittenden winless after first 4; rain makes going even tougher
  • Wood Badge recognizes Combs for leadership
  • County seeks fitness grant for park’s trail
  • VAUGHT'S VIEWS: LB Daniel ‘keeps it real’; ‘Cats survive Shockers
  • Easter Story comes to life at Forgiveness House
  • Sun ending Monday print newspaper
  • Bruns presents at WKU conference
  • Crochet Corner creates comradery, craft time
  • Post 217 celebrates 98 years of service
  • New resource offers clothes, accessories at CCMS
  • Spring Fling Saturday