Saturday, May 30, 2009

No foul play suspected in death at City-County Park

Marion Police were on the scene at an apparent suicide at Marion-Crittenden County Park Saturday morning. No foul play was suspected. The identity of the individual has not been released.

Crittenden among disaster counties in May

President Barack Obama on Friday declared parts of Kentucky devastated by May storms, tornadoes, flooding and mudslides a major disaster, making federal funding available for recovery.

Gov. Steve Beshear said in a news release that Crittenden and 21 other counties will be eligible for federal funding, and in four of those counties, individuals will be able to apply for grants, low-cost loans and other programs to help rebuild.

According to the White House, the eligible counties are Ballard, Breathitt, Carlisle, Clay, Crittenden, Floyd, Grayson, Hickman, Jackson, Knott, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Madison, Magoffin, Marshall, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Russell, and Trigg.

In all of those counties, federal funding will be available to eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work or the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by severe storms, flooding, torandoes and mudslides.

In four of those counties - Breathitt, Floyd, Owsley and Pike - federal grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs, will also be available for individuals and business owners.

Additionally, the federal funds will be available for "hazard mitigation measures" for the entire state, the White House statement said.

The White House says the federal funding will be available for weather events that occurred from May 3 to May 20.

This comes as an addition to the Feb. 5 declaration by Obama that designated 93 Kentucky counties a disaster area due to the affects of a late January ice storm that caused more than $185 million in damages.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Grand Rivers man killed in auto accident

Clarence F. Jones, 77, of Grand Rivers was killed Thursday afternoon in a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of U.S. 62 and J.H. O'Bryan Road in Livingston County. The accident occurred around 2:50 p.m.

According to Kentucky State Police, Jones and 15-year-old passenger Clint Combs of Gilbertsville were northbound on J.H. O'Bryan Road when Jones failed to yield to the right of way, losing control of his vehicle. The vehicle overturned and slid into a tractor-trailer traveling east on U.S. 62. 

Jones was taken by ambulance to Lourdes Hospital in Paducah where he later died from his injuries, while his passenger was taken by ambulance to Western Baptist Hospital where he was treated and released. Both were wearing their seatbelts.

The accident was the second fatality in Livingston County in less than a half-hour. At about 2:30, an Arizona man was killed in a three-vehicle accident involving a school bus near Smithland.

The driver of the semi, Kevin Stone, 46, of Robards was not injured, but a passenger, 46-year-old Stacy T. Stone of Henderson, was taken to Lourdes where he was treated and released. Both men were wearing their seatbelts.

Bobcats season off to ominous start

The Marion Bobcats open their season at Tradewater tonight, with the season already off to an ominous start.

Two of Marion's players and a coach were injured in an auto accident returning home to Madisonville after practice Thursday night. Pitcher Jared Long will likely miss at least half the season due to a broken collarbone and potential other injuries, while the driver, Coach Perry Utley, and son, pithcer Ethan Utley, were banged up in a two-vehicle collision about three miles west of Richland in Hopkins County. Coach Utley's youngest son, Dalton, 13, was also shaken up in the accident.

All three occupants in the second vehicle, which Kentucky State Police report pulled into the path of Utley's vehicle, were also injured. All seven people involved in the crash were taken to Regional Medical Center in Madisonville for treatment.

Long, schedule to start Saturday's game at Tradewater, will join Ethan Utley on injured reserve. Utley is still recovering from a broken hand suffered during his college season. Meantime, Perry Utley is expected to be in the dugout for tonight's game in Dawson Springs. The game, as well as the remaining two games in the three-game set, start at 7 p.m., at Riverside Park.

For updates, visit

Graduation tonight at 7 p.m.

Crittenden County High School will graduate 77 seniors tonight at commencement ceremonies starting at 7 p.m., at Rocket Arena.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

One dead in accident involving Livingston bus

 An Arizona man died an two-vehicle accident Thursday afternoon when the SUV he was driving collided head-on with a Livingston County school bus on U.S. 60 just east of the Cumberland River Bridge near Smithland. 

Trevor Wayne Hammond, 22, of Camp Verde, Ariz., was traveling east on  at about 2:30 when his vehicle crossed into the westbound lane, striking the school bus. The driver of the bus, Denise Kazumba, 40, of Salem tried to stop but couldn't avoid a collision. The Livingston coroner pronounced Hammond dead at the scene. 

A passenger, in Hammond's vehicle, Heather Jo Travis, 21, was transported to Western Baptist Hospital by ambulance and was later taken by PHI air ambulance to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville. Another passenger in the SUV, Colton Lawless, 1, of Smithland, was transported to Livingston Hospital with minor injuries. 

Neither the school bus driver nor her two passengers, ages 12 and 9, were injured.

Area Death: Duvall

Georgia Alice Duvall, 102, of Marion, died Wednesday, May 27 at Livingston Hospital in Salem. The funeral is Saturday at Gilbert Funeral Home.

Serious accident on U.S. 60 near Smithland

There was a serious automobile accident today just east of the Cumberland River bridge at Smithland in Livingston County. Rescue crews were still on the scene at 4 p.m.

The accident happened about 2:30 p.m., and involved a school bus.

Two victims in a passenger vehicle were seriously injured and there was reportedly one fatality. About a half dozen people were taken to area hospitals, but no one on the school bus was seriously injured, according to the Kentucky State Police.

U.S. 60 is closed to through traffic at this time (2:55 pm)

Governor makes formal jobs announcement


**Click here for audio from governor's announcement**

Gov. Steve Beshear (pictured at right with Safetran President Kevin E. Riddett) today joined company and community leaders in Crittenden County to formally announce the expansion of one of its corporate citizens. Safetran Systems Corporation, part of the Invensys Group, a worldwide leader in railroad crossing technology and crossing warning systems, will invest up to $2.8 million into its Marion facility, creating approximately 150 new jobs in the Commonwealth over the next few months.


“The expansion of our existing industries is vital to our economic progress,” said Gov. Beshear. “Today’s announcement that Safetran Systems Corporation will make an additional investment into the Marion facility, creating 150 new jobs, is wonderful news.  The economic impact will be felt throughout the entire region. I’m delighted the Commonwealth could partner with Safetran and the community to make this project a reality.”


Safetran plans to significantly upgrade and expand an existing 110,000 square-foot facility on a 24-acre site on Industrial Drive in Marion. The manufacturing site is in close proximity to Safetran’s corporate headquarters, based in Louisville. 


Established in 1920, Safetran has five facilities, two located in Kentucky, and one in California, New York and Florida. Products include electro-mechanical signal devices, the electrical/electronic control systems that activate them, communications systems, as well as complete signal system design and construction. 


“I want to compliment the efforts of the Cabinet for Economic Development and Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, as well as everyone who contributed to this result,” said Kevin E. Riddett, president of Safetran. “This is a great day for Invensys/Safetran as well as the state of Kentucky. Our decision to grow our Marion facility serves as a testament to the relentless commitment of our employees and the sincere, tireless efforts of theKentucky delegation who displayed a higher sense of urgency to make this day possible. Kentucky was competing with other states for this opportunity – the difference was that Kentucky never deviated from the goal of winning this project.”


The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved Safetran for tax benefits up to $2,275,000 under the Kentucky Rural Economic Development Act, an incentive program designed to attract and expand manufacturing employment in the state. Additionally, the company was approved by KEDFA for a $525,000 Economic Development Bond to assist in the expansion.


“One of the main reasons Safetran chose to expand in Marion is because of the hard-working, dedicated employees they have found here,” said Crittenden County Judge Executive Fred Brown. “One hundred and fifty jobs for Marion are like 10,000 jobs for a larger city.  It’s a major announcement.”


“In previous recessions, it seems like Marion is the caboose when the economy is ready to take off again,” said Marion Mayor Mick Alexander. “But this time, it seems like we’re going to get through this recession without any sudden halt in the local economy.”


“This is tremendously positive news for our community and a testament to the skills of Kentucky workers,” said Sen. Dorsey Ridley, ofHenderson. “The people of Marion — and all Kentuckians — should be proud of their partnership with Safetran Systems. It’s an example of the great things that can happen when private businesses work with local and state officials to build stronger communities.”


“I’m delighted with this announcement and happy state government was able to make a positive contribution,” said Rep. Mike Cherry, ofPrinceton. “But, I am particularly pleased that Safetran has recognized our most important asset – the quality and productiveness of our local, homegrown workforce. Given the opportunity, I’m confident they can compete favorably with any workforce anywhere. We all need to thank them for their pivotal role in making this expansion happen.”

Press will be on sale today

Due to the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, the printed edition of The Crittenden Press will on newsstands a day late. It will be on sale starting at 10 a.m., today.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Governor to announce jobs incentives

Gov. Steve Beshear will be in Marion Thursday for an announcement regarding 100 new jobs at Safetran manufacturing facility. The governor and other dignitaries, along with Safetran officials, will meet at noon at the Marion Ed-Tech Center.

Beasher will announce a more than $2 million economic development incentive package for Safetran's nearly $3 million expansion project.

Rockets eliminated from regional play

Crittenden County's baseball team lost 5-0 against Christian County Tuesday in the semifinal round of the Second Region Baseball Tournament at Madisonville.

See details in this week's printed edition of The Crittenden Press, on newsstands Thursday.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Roadside debris cleanup in Crittenden County

Contractors for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet continue clearing storm debris in Crittenden County. 

A number of crews will be working over the coming days as the state tries to complete its removal of debris by early June. 

Crews are expected to continue working along U.S. 60 East of Marion this week between Marion and the Union County line. Crews will also be working along Ky. 120 East of Marion for the next two weeks. They will be working between Marion and the Webster County line. Motorists should take note of these work zones and use appropriate caution where equipment, flaggers and other personnel will be on the roadway in close proximity to traffic flow.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Rockets baseball team wins in region

The Rockets baseball team beat Central Hopkins 5-4 Monday in the first round of the Second Region Tournament at Madisonville.

Crittenden County plays Christian County at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday in the regional semifinals.

See this week's printed edition of The Press for details. The newspaper will be on sale after 3 p.m., Thursday.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Area Deaths

Lillian Macy Brantley, 73 of Marion died Thursday, May 21, 2009 at her home. A private funeral was planned at Myers Funeral Home.

Bobby E Russelburg, 53, of Sturgis died Thursday, May 21, 2009 at his home. A memorial service will be held later at Gilbert Funeral Home.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Marion woman in Mrs. Kentucky Pageant

Crittenden County native Brittany McDaniel Tabor is competing today in the Mrs. Kentucky Pageant in Louisville. Tabor advanced to the competition after winning the title of Mrs. Western Kentucky last fall. See photos of the competition activities and photos of all contestants at The pageant is scheduled to air on KET at 4:30 p.m., this afternoon. Live updates and photos from the competition are also posted throughout the event on

Friday, May 22, 2009

Marshall accepts job as CCMS principal

Crittenden County Middle School site-based council has selected Teresa Marshall as the new principal for their school.  

Marshall has served as an intermediate and middle school language arts teacher in both Webster County and the former Providence Independent, curriculum coach for Providence Elementary, assistant principal at Providence and currently as the principal of that school.

"I have worked with her for the past several years and know that she brings the leadership and curriculum expertise to move that school forward in a positive direction on behalf of student learning," said superintendent of schools Dr. Rachel Yarbrough, who left the Webster County school district last year to accept her current position. "What an asset she will be to our district leadership team!"

Marshall accepted the position Thursday morning and will sign a contract with the district next Tuesday. She replaces two-year principal Diana Dodson, who is relocating out of the district.

Panorama hosted at Fohs Hall tonight

Panorama, the high school comedy and talent show, will be at 6 tonight at Fohs Hall. Admission is $3. 

Hosts this year are Mary Hollamon and Keester. 

There will be several musical performances featured at tonight's show, a magic act and multiple live comedy routines. 

Debris cleanup along U.S. 60 east of Marion

Debris removal crews plan to work along U.S. 60 in Crittenden County east of Marion now through this weekend to clear debris from January’s ice storm.

Crews will be working along U.S. 60 between about the 10-mile marker and the Crittenden-Union County line.

Some delays are possible.

Motorists should be alert for slowing and stopped traffic along U.S. 60 between Marion and Sullivan. Appropriate caution is required.

The patience and cooperation of the driving public is appreciated as crews attempt to complete the storm debris clean up by June 6.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New ATV Park opening near Salem

A new ATV park is opening near Salem this weekend. Similar to the Paddy's Bluff Retreat that closed more than a year ago near Dycusburg, the developer of the new park says it will be open 15 weekends a year. 

More information is available in this week's printed edition of The Crittenden Pres or at Copperhead ATV Park online.

The Press will be on newsstands today after 3 p.m.

Missing man identified as Livingston resident

The missing man from an Ohio River boating accident Tuesday afternoon has been identified as Greg Chittenden of Joy in Livingston County.

Chittenden and another man were in a small john boat near Berry's Ferry Landing about 4 p.m., when the boat capsized. One man swam to shore, but Chittenden is believed drowned. Rescue and recovery personnel are back on the river this morning looking for his body.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rockets win district baseball title

Crittenden County High School's Rocket baseball team won the Fifth District Tournament Tuesday night, beating Trigg County 7-6 at Cadiz. It was Crittenden second straight district baseball title.

The Rockets will play Friday or Saturday in the Second Region Tournament.


UPDATE: One man is believed drowned. Another made it to shore after their boat turned over in the swollen Ohio River. No names are being released at this time. Search and recovery missions will begin again in the morning.

Several Livingston County rescue and emergency services are at Berry Ferry's Landing at this time, responding to a capsized boat.

Initial information indicated that several people were in the river. After rescue personnel arrived, they concentrated on one person who was still unaccounted for at the scene of the capsized boat.

Pope County, Ill., rescue personnel were also involved in the rescue mission and PHI Air Ambulance was called to the scene.

No other details are available at this time.

Ledbetter bridge down to one lane Friday

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans to restrict traffic to one lane on the US 60 Tennessee River Bridge at Ledbetter during the day on Friday, May 22, 2009.

Also known as the Ledbetter Bridge and the George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge, the structure carries about 8,500 vehicles across the Tennessee River between McCracken County and Livingston County each day at US 60 mile point 19.7.

The lane restriction is to allow transportation cabinet bridge inspectors to check the bridge deck and railings to plan for a future maintenance project.

Lane restrictions are expected to be in place on the US 60 Tennessee River Bridge from approximately 9:00 a.m. to approximately 1 p.m., on Friday. Motorists should slow down and be prepared to encounter equipment, flaggers, and bridge inspection personnel on the bridge deck in close proximity to traffic flow. Appropriate caution is advised. Traffic delays should be less than 5 minutes.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Contractors for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Paducah highway district are wrapping up months of debris cleanup work that began after January’s devastating ice storm.

Cleanup has been completed in Calloway, Livingston and Carlisle counties. Crews in all other counties, Fulton, Hickman, Ballard, Graves, Marshall, McCracken, Lyon, Trigg and Crittenden counties, are aiming for a June 6th or earlier finish.

“We have undertaken a widespread and thorough effort to collect the unprecedented volumes of debris that accumulated during the ice storm,” said Jim LeFevre, chief district engineer for the Paducah highway district. “We’ve completed more than one debris collection pass in most counties and expect all contract work to end by June 6.”

Highway maintenance crew supervisors have mapped cleanup progress and have made a concerted effort to cover all areas in the district at least one time. With work nearing completion, property owners should no longer place debris along the roadways.

LeFevre said state crews will focus on chipping remaining debris through the summer. However, crews will not be picking up any piles pushed out to right of way by landowners after the final sweep started. Landowners will now have to be responsible for properly disposing of debris from their property.

I-24 work begins this week, lane restrictions apply

A contractor for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has installed signage and is mobilizing to begin work along sections of Interstate 24 in Lyon County and Caldwell County. This highway improvement project will require lane and width restrictions for both eastbound and westbound traffic.

Motorists can expect to encounter lane and width restrictions between the 45 mile marker and the 56 mile marker on I-24. The project area begins near the KY 293 Interchange at I-24 Exit 45 and runs eastward to the KY 139 Interchange in Caldwell County at Exit 56, a distance of 10.61 miles. This work zone includes a 12-foot load width restriction.

This section of I-24 has been plagued by settling and shifting concrete slabs that have created areas of rough surface that has required ongoing maintenance efforts in recent years. This project includes the replacement of uneven slabs and diamond grinding on the westbound lanes to smooth the surface and extend the life of the existing concrete roadway. The project includes an asphalt overlay along the eastbound lanes through the project.

Rogers Group, Inc., is the prime contactor on this $11.1 million highway improvement project. The scheduled completion date is November 1, 2009.

January ice storm devastated lake area

GRAND RIVERS, Ky. (AP) - A U.S. Forest Service official says as much as 10,000 acres of the heavily wooded Land Between the Lakes public forest may have been severely damaged by the January ice storm.

Trent Girard, leader of a U.S. Forest Service team assessing damage in the forest, says the northern end of the peninsular public area got the worst of the damage.

The Paducah Sun reports that some concerns about the ice storm damange include potential access issues, weakening of trees' resistance to insect attack and potential of fire danger because of broken limbs drying and deteriorating on the forest floor.

But LBL spokeswoman Kathryn Harper says on the plus side, the downed limbs could be benefiting wildlife foraging at ground level, as well as allowing in more sunlight to spur the new growth of oak and hickory trees.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Blackford Memorial Day services cancelled

The annual Memorial Day ceremony at the Blackford Walking Trail and Veterans Memorial has been cancelled this year. 

Organizer Brent Witherspoon said spring rains, couple with delays in preparation due to prolonged clean-up from January’s ice storm, have made a mess of the area where service is held, particularly the parking lot.

“I hate to do it, because I love doing this,” Witherspoon said today.  “I'd rather not get people over there and get them in a  mess.”

The Memorial Day service was initially planned for May 23 at the Walk of Honor, an area dedicated to local veterans of all wars. Witherspoon said the spring rains that have already fallen, in addition to weekend rains forecast at the time he made the decision today to forgo the services, just made it too risky to ensure adequate parking.

Instead, Witherspoon is encouraging usual visitors to the ceremony to attend a barbecue dinner May 23 scheduled as a benefit for injured Iraq War veteran Chase Matthews of Dycusburg. The organizer of the Blackford services, who himself was injured in the Vietnam War, plans to attend the fund-raiser in Marion.

Cave In Rock Ferry Running Despite Floodwater

While floodwaters on the Ohio River have hampered crop planting by bottomland farmers, the Cave In Rock Ferry has continued operating and is expected to avoid a service interruption at this time.

The ferry provides an important transportation link by connecting Ky. 91 North of Marion  with Illinois Route 1 at Cave In Rock, Ill.

Based on the current river stage forecast from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Ohio River is expected to drop substantially over the weekend. Ferry operator Lonnie Lewis says if that forecast holds the ferry operation will avoid a service interruption.

“We, quite literally, were within a few inches of having to shut down the last two days. However, at this point, I’m optimistic the ferry will remain in operation. The key is getting through the next few days without major rainfall upstream.”

River levels were threatening to put water over the ramp at the Kentucky Landing. The Ohio River Gage at Shawneetown has held steady at about 39.5 feet the last two days. It is expected to drop more than 3 feet by Sunday. Lewis says that substantial drop will allow the ferry to continue serving travelers between Kentucky and Illinois.

The ferry normally operates from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., 7 days a week. There is no charge to motorists at the river crossing. The ferry carries about 500 vehicles across the Ohio River in an average day. The ferry is limited to trucks less than 22 tons.

Call for Spotlight: Send us your information

The Crittenden Press printed edition is always seeking news tips and short features for its Spotlight on the Community section.

Do you have a college student who joined a fraternity or sorority, a friend who received a special award or recognition, an employee who recently completed special training or a parent who is retiring? These are just a few examples. We're looking for a variety of Spotlight features. If you think it's important to you, it's probably important to our readers.

If so, we want to know. Provide us with some basic information such as who, what, when, where and why. And please include a contact email address or phone number. 

Area death: Newcom

Kay Newcom, 61, of Marion died Thursday at her home in Marion.
The funeral is Saturday at Gilbert Funeral home in Marion. Visitation is Friday.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Safetran expansion will include 100 jobs

The Crittenden Press has just learned that the Safetran expansion reported this week in the printed edition of the newspaper, will include at least 100 new jobs. The Press reported in its May 14 edition that the expansion would be significant, but information released late yesterday by the state confirms how important it will be to the local economy.

The company, which has been operating in Marion since 2002, employs 50 full-time workers right now, but it received preliminary approval on April 30 for $2.2 million in state-tax incentives for a $2.8 million expansion project. That would bring its payroll to 150 employees.

According to public records filed by the Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet, the state has approved Kentucky Rural Economic Development Grant funds to help aid Safetran's expansion. It will be among the most significant state tax incentives ever granted to a Crittenden County manufacturer. Par 4 Plastics, another local manufacturer, received a $2.5 million state tax incentive for an expansion in 2007. That was the largest expansion project in the county in more than two decades.

The Safetran jobs are expected to pay an average hourly wage of $13, according to Safetran's KREDA application.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Relay still has time for goal

Crittenden County's Relay For Life held last weekend was a bit short of its goal of $24,000, but the American Cancer Society project has a few more months to collect donations.

Relay, held indoors at the National Guard Armory due to weather, took in just over $18,000. However, organizers have until August to collect more for cancer research. They hope to reach the goal by late summer.

Read more about this and other community events in this week's printed edition of The Crittenden Press, on sale at newsstands after 3 p.m., today.

Also, photographs of Crittenden Elementary School's Distinguished and Proficient students from last year's CATS testing will be published in a two-page spread in this week's paper.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

New Swine Flu Cases Reported

Seven new cases of Swine Flu have been reported in Kentucky, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Read the entire article online by clicking here.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Giordano, 77, veteran Caldwell coach, dies

PRINCETON, Ky. — Al Giordano, 77, Princeton, long-time football coach at Caldwell County High School, died at 8:15 p.m. Friday, May 8, 2009, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn., following a brief illness.

Services will be at 4 p.m. Tuesday at St. Paul’s Catholic Church with the Rev. Frank Roof officiating.

Visitation will be from 4 until 7:30 tonight with a remembrance service at 7:30 at Morgan’s Funeral Home.

He had taught and coached at Caldwell County High School for 45 years and had played professional baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was a two-time All American football player and graduate of Murray State University where he is in the university’s Hall of Fame as well as the Ohio Valley Conference Hall of Fame.

According to a report in The Times Leader, Princeton, his tenure at Caldwell County High School is thought to be a state record.

In addition to coaching football, he had also served as head coach of the baseball, golf and softball program at the school and was assistant basketball coach.

He is a member of the Caldwell County Football Hall of Fame, the State Softball Hall of Fame and the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame.

He was a Korean War veteran.

Memorials may be made to the Coach G Memorial Fund Benefiting Caldwell County Athletes, Post Office Box 128, Princeton, Ky., 42445.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Kenergy power outages from storm

At approximately 4:15 p.m., on Friday, May 8, Kenergy had 844 customers
remaining without power due to storm damage experienced earlier in the day.
Outages by counties:

Caldwell 6
Crittenden 1 (more than 300 were without power earlier in day)
Daviess 63
Hancock 2
Henderson 37
Hopkins 2
McLean 486
Ohio 51
Union 193
Webster 3

State debris pick-up complete in Livingston

Contractors for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet have now completed all debris collection work in Livingston and two other western Kentucky counties.  Debris removal contractors have made their final collections in Livingston as well as Calloway and Carlisle counties, according to Keith Todd, a spokesperson for the Cabinet's two westernmost districts.

Motorists should continue to use appropriate caution in those counties where debris crews are still working, which includes Crittenden County.

Approaching storm could pack 100 mph winds

According to the National Weather Service, a strong storm system is approaching western Kentucky from Missouri and Arkansas. This system has prompted NWS to issue a tornado watch across much of the region until 4:00 p.m., today.

The watch includes these counties in western Kentucky: Crittenden, Livingston, Caldwell, Lyon, Union, Webster Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Christian, Daviess, Fulton, Graves, Henderson, Hickman, Hopkins, Marshall, McCracken, McLean, Muhlenberg, Todd and Trigg.

If these storms hold together widespread wind damage will be possible across the region, warned Keith Todd, a resident of Marion and spokesperson for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet's two westernmost districts.

The main line should approach the Mississippi River after 11 a.m., this morning.

These storms have a history of producing winds of 70 to 100 mph.

This squall line is likely to create hazardous driving conditions with rainwater accumulating on road surfaces and blowing rain creating limited visibility, Todd said.  High winds are likely to create additional hazards, especially for high profile vehicles.

Appropriate caution is advised.

Downpour washes out some county roads

Road crews were in Districts 1 and 2 in Crittenden County this morning patching roads washed out by a deluge early this morning.

While Marion and other portions of the county received as much as three-quarters of an inch of rain early this morning, the Shady Grove and Mattoon areas received significantly more over a short period. Flooding from the downpour was enough to wash out culverts and eat away pavement on several roads, including Cave Springs, Cool Springs and Nunn Switch roads. County road crews were patching the washed out areas with rock in preparation for more flooding expected today and tomorrow.

On Cool Springs Road, at least two spots had pavement washed away down to its rock base. On Cool Springs Road, near the intersection with Nunn Switch Road, the same occurred, with nearly have of the roadway missing, leaving barely enough width for vehicles to pass.

In Marion, hail the size of golf balls was reported. (See photo above.)

Powwow starts today

Native Americans will gather starting today for an intertribal powwow at Marion-Crittenden County Park. The public is invited. There will be lots of shows, vendors and crafts.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Basketball coach resigns

Crittenden County boys' basketball coach Rob Towery turned in his resignation on Thursday. Towery had been the head coach the last four years.

Stay tuned to The Press printed edition next week for more details.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Area deaths

Thomas Ray “Tommy” Waters of Burna died Wednesday. The funeral is Monday at Boyd Funeral Directors in Salem.

Lois Carolyn Davidson, 59, died May 5, 2009 at Lourdes Hospital in Paducah.
The funeral is Friday at Boyd Funeral Directors in Salem.

Rendell Boyd , 90 of Marion died Tuesday at Crittenden Hospital. The funeral is Saturday at Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion.

Relay for Life moved indoors

Due to a forecast of additional rain and storms the rest of the week, Crittenden County Relay for Life will be moved indoors Friday. The event will be relocated to the Carson G. Davidson National Guard Armory, with the survivors lap starting at 5 p.m. Opening ceremonies remain at 6 p.m., as well.

"The ground is already incredibly soaked and the forecast appears to be well... even wetter," said Stephanie Elder, community representative for the American Cancer Society office in Paducah.

Elder said the decision was made before noon today by event co-chairs Frank Blackburn and Sue Padget.

Everything will run as planned, Elder said, with Relay beginning at 5 p.m. Friday and ending at 5 a.m., Saturday.

"We will have the luminaria ceremony as planned, but modified because of the fire risk with candles," Elder said. "We will still have lots of activities throughout the night as well as food and drinks being sold by the teams."

The National Guard Armory is located on Rochester Avenue in Marion.

Safetran expanding operations, adding jobs

Safetran, a manufacturer of railroad signal, communication and relay equipment, will be expanding operations at its Marion plant, adding several new jobs in the near future. 

The announcement was made to plant employees on Tuesday. Donnie Bane, plant manager, confirmed the expansion this morning, adding that more details would be available later.

The addition of jobs in Crittenden County is welcome news for the local economy. Currently, unemployment in the county is above 10 percent. Bane could not say how many more jobs would be added, but The Crittenden Press will have full details on the expansion in the May 14 edition.

Safetran's corporate headquarters are in Louisville, with other facilities in Marion and three other locations in the United States. Worldwide, Safetran has installation on every continent, save Antarctica. Safetran has been in operation more than 80 years.

Insurance tax not living up to expectations

Last summer, Crittenden County's local government initiated a new tax-raising plan by imposing a levy on insurance premiums. Officials thought the extra funds would help close a gaping hole in their budget.

Almost a year later, the tax is generating far less than expected. 

See details in this week's printed edition of The Crittenden Press, on newsstands today after 3 p.m.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Area death: Greenwell

Ruth Greenwell, 98, of Evansville, formerly of Morganfield, died Sunday. She is the mother of former commonwealth attorney Bill Greenwell of Marion. The funeral is Wednesday at Whitsell Funeral Home in Morganfield.

Serious wreck on U.S. 60 in Union County

UPDATE: U.S. 60 East of Waverly in Union County is fully open to traffic at this time. Motorists should be aware that utility and clean-up crews plan to be working in the area today and Wednesday, so appropriate caution is recommended.

A tractor trailer has been involved in a crash and overturned on U.S. 60 East, 1.5 miles east of Waverly, according to the Kentucky Department of Highways.

The truck overturned in ditch and both saddle tanks ruptured. 

The rescue squad extricated the driver, who was seriously injured. 

The east bound lane of U.S. 60 is blocked, restricting traffic to one lane in the area. The road may have to be completely closed later in the morning to remove the truck.

Motorists should avoid the area if possible.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Hart earns CATSBY as top scholar athlete

Marion's Brad Hart received a coveted CATSBY Award as the Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year at the University of Kentucky last week. Hart was a two-year starter on the UK football team.

See the May 7, 2009 issue of The Crittenden Press for more details.

Debris worker hurt in Caldwell County

A contract debris removal worker was injured in Caldwell County Thursday morning when he was hit by a falling tree.

Don Russell of Fredonia was cutting a tree near the intersection of Frog Lane and Pleasant Hill Road in the Farmersville area of Caldwell County when the tree kicked out and hit him.

Russell was transported to the Regional Medial Center in Madisonville where he was believed to have a broken or dislocated hip. He was expected to undergo surgery Friday.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Area death: Woodall

Everett Ray Woodall, 76, of Marion, died Friday at Crittenden Hospital. The funeral is Sunday at Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion.

Sammie Jewel Harris, 65 of Salem, died Thursday at the home of her daughter in Crittenden County. The funeral is Monday at Myers Funeral Home.

CCHS SBDM to approve next year's staff

The Crittenden County High School SBDM will meet in special session at 5:30 p.m., Monday, May 4 in the teachers workroom for the purpose of approving the staffing allocations for the 2009-10 school year.