Monday, June 30, 2008

KY 91 bridge work

Crooked Creek Bridge on KY 91 North will be restricted to one-lane of traffic today (Monday). The lane restriction is to allow installation of new guardrail on the bridge at the Marion city limits. The contractor will also be installing new guardrail on the KY 91 Crooked Creek Bridge near Freedom Church Road.

The Crittenden County Highway Maintenance Crew has built up shoulders near the bridges to prepare for installation of the new bridge railings and approach guardrail. Work on both bridges is expected to be completed in about a week, weather permitting.

KY 91 links to Illinois Route 1 at the Ohio River via the Cave In Rock Ferry.

Motorists who regularly travel KY 91 North in Crittenden County should be alert for equipment, flaggers, and construction personnel on the roadway at the northwest edge of Marion. About 1,000 vehicles travel this section of KY 91 in an average day.

Grady obituary

Wesley Grady, 57, of Marion died Sunday at his home after a short illness. 

No visitation and nor funeral service was planned. Myers Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

York obituary

Former Crittenden County Coroner Clinton York, 74, of Marion died Saturday June 28, 2008 at his home. Visitation will be from 4-9 Tuesday evening at Gilbert Funeral Home. The funeral is at 11 a.m., Wednesday at the funeral home.

York was a longtime funeral director Gilbert Funeral Home and co-owner of Louise's Flowers in Marion, along with his wife Louise.

For more information, see Gilbert Funeral Home online.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Road reopened

Kentucky highway 838 in the western portion of Crittenden County is reopened to traffic after being closed for bridge repairs.

Work has been completed on the Coefield Creek Bridge, said Keith Todd of Kentucky Department of Highways. "Our employees recognize that residents depend on our highways for transportation to and from work and for other activities. They applied extra diligence to this project to assure that it was completed as quickly as possible to reduce the inconvenience to the public."

Clement obituary

There will be a graveside service at 2 p.m., Sunday at Mapleview Cemtery for Sarah Clement, 65, of Marion who died this week at her home.

There will be a Memorial Service at 2 p.m., Sunday, July 6 at Marion United Methodist Church for family and friends. Rev. Wayne Garvey will officiate. The church will host a meal for the family following the service.

Clement was the daughter of the late Ben (for whom the mineral museum is named for) and Edith Clement and a life-long member of Marion United Methodist Church and a member of Circle 4. In 1955, Sarah was Crittenden County spelling bee champion.

She is survived by a sister Anne Clement of Ft. Thomas, Ky., a brother Ed Clement of Fredonia, Ky.; sister in law Nancy Murray Clement; several nieces and nephews: Alan B. Mason of Chicago, Il., Anita M. Klimek of Bolingbrook, Il., Kenneth J. Mason, Olmsted Falls, Oh., Andrea D. Clement, Benjamin E. Clement III, both of Gulf Breeze, Fl., Christen E. Clement, Bowling Green, Ky.

Quilters will return

The Paducah Quilt Show will be held again in 2009, organizers announced Friday afternoon.

Paducah and surrounding communities breathed a collective sigh of relief at the news that the show will renew its contact with Paducah for 2009.

The American Quilters Society had talked about moving the giant quilt show out of Paducah next spring because the accommodations at the Executive Inn and Convention Center had deteriorated.

The quilt show brings in thousands of people to Paducah at an economic impact of more than $20 million. In Marion, the Backroads Tour, held the same week, generally draws many quilters. The economic impact of the quilters on Marion and Crittenden County is about $30,000.

Marion and Mayfield murder case

It appears that Marion has a tie to that 8-year-old Mayfield murder cases that's been in the news recently.

One man was recently convicted in the Jessica Currin murder case, which had gone unsolved since 2000, and others are scheduled for trial in the near future.

It seems that one of the suspects, Tamara Caldwell, is being held in the Crittenden County Detention Center. The issue was raised during a hearing Wednesday in Clinton, Ky., where the case was moved to due to pretrial publicity. 

A prosecutor lashed out at Kentucky State Police Lt. Brent White, who also lives in Marion. He questioned White's conduct in speaking to Caldwell in the Crittenden jail the night that Qunicy Cross was convicted in April. Caldwell's attorney has asked for the charges against his client to be dismissed, largely based on that jail contact. Two Crittenden deputy jailers testified at the hearing in Clinton. 

The Paducah Sun had an article on the matter yesterday. Here is an excerpt from that Sun story:

After hearing testimony Wednesday, Stark made no rulings on three motions asking him to dismiss charges against Burton and Caldwell and to exclude the death penalty as a possible sentence. He did not indicate when he might decide.

The motions hinged on the conduct of a state police lieutenant the night of Cross’ conviction, the jury’s recommendation for Cross’ sentence and the pending perjury trial of expected witness Rosie Crice.

Two correctional officers from the Crittenden County Jail testified Wednesday that state police Lt. Brent White came to the jail about 11:50 p.m. the day Cross was convicted and had Caldwell awakened. Deputy jailer Tina Rushing testified that she heard White say, “I know I’m not supposed to talk to you without your attorney present,” but that he continued to do so.

Caldwell cursed White as she returned to her cell, Rushing said. White then told Rushing to put Caldwell in isolation, she said. She did so.

“I just need to point out how shocked I am at the actions of Officer Brent White that evening,” Caldwell’s attorney Jim Gibson said. He asked for dismissal of the murder charge or exclusion of the death penalty as a remedy for what he called White’s egregious misconduct.

The Press printed edition will be working on a followup to this story, which does not provide White's side of the matter, nor any comment from the prosecution side. 

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Henderson shooting

The Crittenden Press printed edition this week had an early report of that tragic shooting in Henderson, but here's an update from the Associated Press.

This AP report in the Courier-Journal tells that the shooter and some of the victims were from Webster County.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ice skating in Paducah

WPSD-TV is reporting that the City of Paducah is bringing ice skating to the downtown riverfront area this winter. The City Commission approved spending bout $92,000 to rent an ice-making machine and providing a rink.

Read more at Channel 6 online.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Jake Hodge Memorial Project

A blog site has been established to allow friends, family and others to post comments and stories about their relationship or memories of Jake Hodge.

Go to

Changes for funeral

Summer school has been cancelled for Tuesday so that teachers, students and others may attend the funeral of Jake Hodge, 12, who died Saturday. The funeral will begin at 1 p.m., at Rocket Arena.

Additionally, the Crittenden County Middle School June SBDM meeting has been changed from Tuesday, June 24 to Wednesday, June 25. The meeting will begin at 3:45 in the CCMS library.

In memory of Jake Hodge

By Chris Evans, Press editor

It is with a heavy, hurting heart that I pick up my pen this week to write about something that no parent, grandparent, friend or community should have to endure – the untimely death of a young, vibrant boy.

Twelve-year-old Jake Hodge, the son of Denis and Shannon Hodge and beloved by the entire community and beyond, died in his sleep early Saturday morning at his home, the cause of which has yet to be determined.

It is among the most tragic and difficult things we face as humans, to bury a loved one. When it's a young child, the task is seemingly insurmountable.

When one of our best and brightest is snatched away far sooner than we, armed only with our earthly minds, can find the logic from which to prescribe an understanding, it is unbearably painful. As a father of a nine-year-old daughter, I know the challenges many of you are dealing with in trying to comfort your own children at this time. My children, although truly too young to understand the magnitude of this matter, are nonetheless sadden. With that sadness comes a heightened sense of mortality and questions regarding heaven and death. Such trials in life shake our spirituality just as it does the faith and beliefs just now blooming in our children.

"Can you hug people in heaven?" asked my daughter.

All we know about heaven is that it's waiting for believers who have been granted a pass through the grace of God. From that point on, there is no user's manual that explains what the afterlife holds.

What I know is that Jake Hodge embodied goodness and wholesomeness, and he possessed a competitive spirit that provided him with an intestinal fortitude so very uncommon in pre-teens.

Over the past few days, I have heard countless stories regarding Jake's short time on this earth. While many are chiseled into my mind forever, one stands above the others because it speaks precisely to whom Jake Hodge had become in his young life.

The person telling this was not the original eye-witness, but told it second hand. It seems as though Jake, a stellar athlete, was playing a pickup basketball game recently with some other young boys and some young adults. One of the older fellows was cursing and ranting about issues that arose during the game. Jake took the ball, held it under his arm and told the foul-mouthed opponent this: "It doesn't take much of a man to use those types of words, but it takes a very big man not to."

Yes, Jake Hodge excelled in athletics. He was a national qualifier in youth rodeo, he was known far and wide for his play on the baseball diamond, the basketball court and running with a football. But more importantly, Jake excelled in life. He was an excellent student, community volunteer and highly respected among his fellow middle schoolers.

Our task is not to ask why he was taken so soon, but to learn from his life and to live ours the way that he had begun to live his. For such a young lad, he cast a very long shadow.

We must not dwell on finding a reason for this tragedy. We must have faith that somehow there is indeed a design to it all. In life, we are not guaranteed fairness. Just like when we hear that called third strike and step out of the batter's box. We go back to the dugout and have faith that it will be made right at some point later in the game.

In sports, Jake Hodge made his teams better. His drive and passion lifted teammates and caused them to elevate their own play. He made his school better by showing that a young boy with seemingly everything going for him could also be courteous, obedient and studious. He made his community better because he embodied the very genius, faith and talent that makes us all proud.

Death will not stop a spirit like Jake Hodge. Heaven is undeniably a better place now that he is there.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Welcome Ginkgo Garden

We would like to welcome our newest sponsor at The Press Online. It's Ginkgo Garden in Grand Rivers. 

Ginkgo Garden is located near the entrance to Green Turtle Bay. It's a healing and wellness center featuring a variety of services, including exercise and fitness; nutrition, vitamin and supplement programs; and healing therapies. 

Ginkgo Garden is operated by Dr. Mary Couillard, PhD, ARNP, an experienced nationally certified nurse practitioner providing the best in natural healthcare. In addition, she is certified as a trained herb specialist and has conducted research on herb use amoung native people from West Africa. Since 2003, her practice is limited to natural healing and wellness.

Dr. Couillard emphasizes natural health care that will both enhance and maintain your well-being. Ginkgo Garden works to improve your health wherever your starting point may be. This approach can be particularly helpful for chronic illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes and hormonal imbalance. 

Hodge funeral service

Funeral services for Jake Hodge, 12, will be at 1 p.m., Tuesday, June 24, 2008 at Rocket Arena, the school gymnasium. 

Visitation will be at Gilbert Funeral Home starting at 3 p.m., Monday and prior to the funeral at the gym on Tuesday. 

See Gilbert Funeral Home's Web site for more information.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tragic death grips community

A tragedy of epic proportions has gripped the community today. Jake Hodge, a bright, athletic 12-year-old boy, died in his sleep last night from an unknown cause.

Jake is the son of Denis and Shannon Hodge, both school teachers and coaches in the Crittenden County School System.

An autopsy will be performed.

Hodge was in excellent physical condition and had regularly ranked among the most elite students in the national Presidential Fitness Program. He was to compete next week in the National Junior Rodeo Finals in New Mexico and was an outstanding basketball, baseball and football player. He was also an excellent student.

Crittenden County morns the loss of such a wonderful young man. He would have started seventh grade this fall. Funeral arrangements will be posted when available.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Narrow defeat

The Marion swim team was narrowly defeated by Princeton in a three-team meet Thursday night at Mayfield. Here, Jason Encoh performs in the backstroke event. Crittenden finished second in the meet, losing the top spot to Princeton by a score of 507 to 478. Mayfield was a distance third.

The swim team has three more meets this summer. Thursday's was the first competition of the season.

Super Christian finalist

Former Crittenden County High School principal Roger Cook is one of five finalists for the position of superintendent of Christian County Schools, according to the Hopkinsville New Era.

Cook was principal in Crittenden County for a brief period during the 1990s.

Read more at the Hopkinsville New Era.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

For the hunters

The KDFWR and the NWTF's Kentucky State Chapter recently partnered to create a new full-time NWTF regional wildlife biologist position that will work cooperatively with private, corporate, and governmental agencies and organizations to enhance wildlife habitat and hunting opportunities in Kentucky.

The position will focus on helping KDFWR's staff increase active forest and grassland management on wildlife management areas throughout the state and focus efforts for region wide habitat improvements.

To read more, click here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Rukavina Chief Meteorologist

WPSD NewsChannel 6 has announced the promotion of Jennifer Rukavina to chief meteorologist. Rukavina joined NewsChannel 6 in June 2004 as weekend meteorologist. She began anchoring the 6 p.m., and 10 p.m., weathercasts in October of last year when Cal Sisto left for another position out of state. 

In making the announcement, News Director Griff Potter said, “Jennifer has stepped up as a leader in our breaking weather coverage. Her commitment to warn viewers whenever severe weather threatens them has made her an important part of the Weather Authority team. ”

Rukavina’s expertise in weather forecasting and experience broadcasting during severe weather events recently earned her the American Meteorological Society Seal of Approval. The AMS Seal of Approval was launched in 1957 as a way to recognize on-air meteorologists for their sound delivery of weather information to the general public. Among radio and television meteorologists, the AMS Seal of Approval is sought as a mark of distinction.

Rukavina was awarded the Kentucky Associated Press 2008 Weathercaster of the Year. She was also one of only 25 meteorologists invited to participate in January’s Steamboat Weather Summit in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The majority of the attendees represented the top television markets in the country, a WPSD news release said.

School officer axed

The first victim of school budget cuts this year – and there are sure to be more – is the school resource officer. The school system says it can no longer pay $12,000 for the school deputy, Greg Rushing.

Rushing is a Crittenden County Sheriff's Deputy, but most of his salary was paid for by the school system and the City of Marion. The county paid $6,000 annually, or one-quarter of his salary.

The county cannot afford to pick up the balance, so the sheriff's department will have to lay off one of its three road deputies. Sheriff Wayne Agent has not disclosed which deputy will be released.

Get details to this and other stories in this week's Crittenden Press.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hodge top cowgirl

Crittenden County's Jessi Hodge, 15, has won the Kentucky High School Rodeo All-Around championship and rookie of the year. Hodge won the titles last weekend at Liberty, Ky., and qualifies for the national finals in New Mexico later this summer. 

See this week's Crittenden Press printed edition for details.

Friday, June 13, 2008

WW II veteran dies

Raymond “Red” Marshall Jr., 85, of Marion, died at 10:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 11, 2008 at Crittenden Health Systems. He was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II. He leaves one son, Ronnie Marshall of Marion. Myers Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. The funeral is Saturday.

Relay for Life postponed

Crittenden Relay for Life in Marion has been postponed.

The annual event that raises money to battle cancer was slated to begin tonight and conclude around dawn Saturday, but excessive rains and storms forecast for throughout the night forced organizers to cancel tonight's ceremonies.

"No date has been set," said Stephanie Elder, of the American Cancer Society’s Paducah office.

In Marion, the Relay is typically held at the track at Marion-Crittenden County Park. There is no place to have the event inside, she added.

Elder, the lead organizer for this year's event, will meet with local chairs on Tuesday evening to determine a new date for the ceremonies.

"We would actually like to have the Relay, but we will a least have a couple of hours set aside to have the ceremonies," she said.

One of those includes the luminairia ceremony, for which people have already paid to commemorate a survivor or someone who has lost their life to cancer. Elder assured that the ceremonies will be conducted in the near future.

See Wednesday's Crittenden Press for details on the rescheduled Relay for Life.

Caught in the act

Ronnie Asher of Crayne caught two black rat snakes mating at his brother-in-law's farm on Chapel Hill Road. The mature snakes, which are not poisonous, were entangled in their breeding ritual on the property of Keith Young. Asher just happened to be nearby with a camera when he snapped several pictures.

These snakes may have forgotten the date, as mating typically occurs in April and May. The females lay eggs in early fall in tree cavities, mulch, saw dust piles and rotting logs.

The photos were provided to The Crittenden Press by Betty June Young of Dycusburg. She is Keith's mother and the mother-in-law of Asher.

The black rat snake can grow to almost eight feet in length. It is a shiny black snake with a white chin and its belly is white checkered. It comes out of hibernation during April, and is active during the day during spring and early summer. They are great climbers and are often seen in trees.

Their diet consists mainly of birds, eggs, rodents and squirrels.

Finally coming home

For next week's printed edition, The Press is working on a fascinating story about a local World War II soldier lost in Germany more than 60 years ago.

Lt. Howard Clifton Enoch Jr., had married six months before his plane went down in combat in Nazi Germany in 1945. He had been missing in action ever since, but now, his remains have been identified and are returning to Crittenden County for a formal ceremony.

Stay tuned to The Crittenden Press for more details about this tragic story of a man who went off to war and left his new pregnant bride to long forever for his return.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Quilt quietness hurts Marion

According to reports, the American Quilter’s Society (AQS) is negotiating with officials in Springfield, Mo., to move the national quilt show to Missouri next year.

Paducah could be losing its biggest spring drawing card from the tourism schedule because the motel and convention center is so poorly kept. 

If that happens, the trickle-down effects could hurt Marion, too, which draws hundreds from the event for the annual Backroads Tour.

According to reports in the Paducah media, quilt enthusiasts have been unhappy with the condition of the Julian Carroll Convention Center and Executive Inn. I can attest to the state of disrepair the two are in. I attended a conference there last month and the accommodations were poor.

The quilt show has been in Paducah for 24 years with an economic impact of $281 million over 24 years. Since the Executive Inn was purchased by Bhupinder Singh a couple of years ago, cries about the condition of the facilities have become louder. AQS officials said they were embarrassed by its condition during the 2008 show, The Paducah Sun reported.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Deer hunting at LBL

  Applications for 2008 Quota Deer Hunts at Land

Between The Lakes (LBL) National Recreation Area will be available

beginning July 1. Applications will be mailed to all hunters who

applied last year.

  Deer harvested on LBL are bonus deer and do not count toward

statewide bag limits. New this year, are changes to balance the sex

ratio of the herd and allow more bucks to reach older age classes. All

quota hunt permits will be either-sex permits. Also, there is an

LBL-wide one (1) antlered buck limit.

  The Youth Hunt is an either-sex hunt for hunters 6 to 16 years old in

Tennessee and under age 16 in the Kentucky portion. Each participant

must possess a hunter safety card or certificate according to state

regulations and be accompanied at all times by an adult. This year’s

Youth Hunt will be October 18-19 in Tennessee, and October 25-26 in


  Other hunts are scheduled for October 31- November 1 (KY only),

November 7-8 (TN only), and November 29-30 (both KY and TN).

Hunters who did not apply last year and would like quota hunt

applications may write to: Quota Deer Hunt, Land Between The Lakes, 100

Van Morgan Drive, Golden Pond, KY 42211; or call 270-924-2065.

Applications are also available at LBL North and South Welcome Stations,

Golden Pond Visitor Center, some sporting outlets, and state fish and

wildlife offices. Applications must be postmarked by July 31, 2008.

All quota hunt applicants will be notified of their status by the last

week of September.

Monday, June 9, 2008

News this week

The Crittenden Press is working on various stories for this week's printed edition. The high school will be looking for a new principal after Karen Nasseri took another job within the school system, more thefts have been reported throughout the county and Hurricane Camp and the West Kentucky Youth Camp are full of children of this week. 

We have reporters working on these and other stories. The Press will be on newsstands at 2:30 p.m., Wednesday.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

120th Camp Meeting

Get ready for this week's 120th annual Camp Meeting and Hurricane Church's outdoor tabernacle. The event, a non-denominational revival, youth camp and old-fashioned picnic, is a wonderful time for the whole family. Go early and have dinner at the air-conditioned dining hall before services start at 7 p.m., nightly. Preaching will be held Monday through Sunday.

For a little history on the storied Hurricane Camp Meeting, see historian Brenda Underdown's blog.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Fire causes damage

An electrical fire started in the ceiling at Bill and Ann Greenwell's home Wednesday afternoon. Firefighters responded and put out the blaze, but not before it caused a great deal of fire, smoke and water damage. Most of the damage was isolated in the attic.

Greenwell is the former county attorney and commonwealth attorney. He and his wife live off Cherry Street near the National Guard Armory.

Ann Greenwell was home at the time of the blaze. No one was injured.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Marion man charged in I-24 hit-and-run

A Marion man is charged with leaving the scene of an accident after allegedly hitting a man Saturday on I-24 near Clarksville in Tennessee.

William Stallion was arrested and booked into the Montgomery County Jail after Tennessee State Troopers stopped him farther down the interstate. Read more in the Clarksville Leaf Chronicle newspaper.

The man struck by Stallion's truck and trailer was James Wall, who suffered severe and multiple injuries. Wall had stopped on the interstate to help another motorist. Stallion told state troopers that he did not realize he had hit someone.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Press Scholarships

Congratulations to 2008 Crittenden County High School graduates Jessica Dempsey and Josh Ipock, recipients of the the Paul E. Mick Memorial / Crittenden Press scholarships this year.

Ipock will attend Murray State and Dempsey is attending Asbury College.

The Press wishes both of the fine young students the best as they further their educations.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Southern sound

If you're a fan of hip-slapping country music then look no farther than Tabatha Rowland's new compact disc, Avoid Heat and Flame.

Rowland grew up in Lyon County and has lived in Marion in the past. Her daughter attends Crittenden County High School.

After years of singing in honky tonks, clubs and for various other gatherings, Rowland and her band, Southern Fryd, has released an album which features a sure-fired hit Hank It up. The CD was produced by Dustin Burnett.

If there's a hit on the 10-song compact disc, it's Hank It up, written by Curtis Gamblin and Troy Dock. The song is about a good southern gal who like to kick up her heels in her own way and on her own time.

Rowland wrote Empty, the final song on the CD and collaborated with a couple of others on the fourth track, Give Me Back My Wings.

Rowland has obviously been influenced by Gretchen Wilson and Sara Evans, two country music stars. Unless you're a big fan of the two more popular singers, you'd never know the difference by simply listening.

Copies of her CD are on sale at Sheer Illusions in Marion or by calling (270) 556-6469.

Go online and see and hear more about the new CD by Southern Fryd.