Saturday, December 31, 2011

Area death

Lewis Sliger, 85, of Portage, Ind., formerly of Marion, died Friday, Dec. 30, 2011 in Portage. He was a World War II veteran of the Battle of the Bulge. Services are Wednesday at Gilbert Funeral Home.

Cats vs. Cards rivalry stirs family competition

It’s probably a good thing sisters Alex and Jordan Lange won’t be in the Fort Wright home where they grew up to watch Saturday’s Kentucky-Louisville basketball game. Their father knows it would just end up with the two arguing about the game anyway, since it’s a house divided between Wildcats and Cardinals fans. Alex, 22, who graduated from Louisville in May, will be watching from her apartment in Providence, R.I., where she works for the Big East Conference as a communications assistant. Jordan, 20, a junior at UK, will be watching the game inside Rupp Arena from the student section.

For the full story regarding today's Cats vs. Cards game, visit the Kentucky Enquirer online.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Kentucky traffic fatalities down over years past

Fewer people died on Kentucky highways this year than through the same time period in 2010. As of Wednesday, the Kentucky State Police recorded 701 fatalities in 2011, compared to 750 through the same date in 2010. There were 771 in 2009, 797 in 2008 and 845 in 2007. "Kentucky over the last several years has experienced fewer deaths on our highways than in previous years, and 2011 is no different," Kentucky State Police spokesman David Jude said.

For the full story, visit The Bowling Green Daily News online.

Savings bonds sales to become limited

Over the decades, billions upon billions of dollars of paper savings bonds were purchased at banks and credit unions.

That's about to end.

Starting Jan. 1, savings bonds will no longer sold in paper form at financial institutions. Instead, electronic savings bonds in Series EE and I will be available only through, where bonds have been sold since 2002.

For the full story, visit The Henderson Gleaner online.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

No area Sears, Kmart stores to close...yet

According to as of Dec. 27, no western Kentucky Sears or Kmart stores are slated for closing after Sears, the parent company of both chains, had lackluster sales over the holiday season. In fact, no store within a two-hour radius of Marion will be closing, although there are a couple in the greater Nashville Area.

Seventy-nine of the 100 to 120 store closings have been announced. Three Kentucky stores are being shuttered, including Kmarts in Hazard and Winchester and Sears Hardlines Only outlet in Middlesboro. Winchester, just east of Lexington, is the nearest of the three. Florida is being hit hardest, with 11 Kmarts or Sears stores being shut down.

"We expect these store closures to generate $140 to $170 million of cash as the net inventory in these stores is sold and we expect to generate additional cash proceeds from the sale or sublease of the related real estate," release on state. "Further, we intend to optimize the space allocation based on category performance in certain stores.  Final determination of the stores to be closed has not yet been made." 

Each store being closed represents anywhere from 40 to 80 employees left without a job.

The complete list of stores closing will be posted at when final determination is made.

Five Star closing beginning Jan. 3

Marion's only 24-hour store is about to be a zero-hour outlet, at least for a few months while a complete renovation and expansion takes place.

Five Star Food Mart will be closing for its expansion beginning 6 a.m., Jan. 3. At that time, the convenience store and gas pumps will shut down. A spokesperson from Newcomb Oil Co., owner of the chain of stores, earlier said such a project would take four months before the store could reopen.

Newcomb Oil Co. is based in Bardstown, Ky. They operate dozens of Five Star stores in Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois.

Income tax deduction time limit draws near

For some area residents, the end of the calendar year means making sure income tax deductions are in line. Otherwise, they won’t benefit fully from charitable contributions and other qualifying deductions until 2013. Krystal Williams, manager of Accounting and Tax Professionals in Elizabethtown, said business gets hectic in December with people trying to get in last-minute deductions. Many regular clients make such arrangements near the end of the calendar year, especially deductions for money given to charity, she said.

For the complete story, visit The News Enterprise online.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Area deaths

Donald Ray Alvis, 74, of Marion died Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011 at Salem Springlake Health and Rehabilitation Center. Funeral services are Saturday at Myers Funeral Home.

JoAnn Sheets, 69, of Salem, formerly of Illinois, died Friday, Dec. 23, 2011 at her residence. Funeral service were Wednesday at Calvert and Ferry Funeral Home in Virden, Ill.

Prescription drug deaths are still on rise

The body count from prescription drug overdoses has risen in Kentucky, and narcotics officers face a daily dilemma in trying to find time to investigate prescription drug trafficking while also being ready to dismantle a methamphetamine lab on a moment's notice. From 2009 to 2010 in Kentucky, prescription drug overdose deaths climbed from 78 a month to 82. While this year's statewide overdose death numbers won't be available until the middle of 2012, the drug task force in Warren County has seen a 30 percent increase in prescription drug trafficking cases in 2011.

For the complete story, visit The Bowling Green Daily News online.

Lottery could tweak laws

The Kentucky Lottery's current definition of an online game is one in which tickets are purchased through a network of computer terminals at retail outlets - games such as Pick 3, Mega Millions and Powerball. That definition, however, could change in light of a recent ruling by the U.S. Department of Justice, which puts the regulation of online gaming squarely in the hands of the states.

For the complete story, visit The Bowling Green Daily News online.

Area deaths

Cody Allan Moore, 34, of Salem died Saturday, Dec. 24, 2011 at Lourdes Hospital in Paducah. Graveside funeral services are Friday at Salem Cemetery. Myers Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Betty Winn, 78, of Fredonia died Sunday, Dec. 25, 2011 at Christian Care Center in Kuttawa. Funeral services are Thursday at the Morgan's Funeral Home in Princeton.

Lawmaker wants to change governor's race

A  state representative with some first-hand experience in gubernatorial politics has pre-filed a bill that would change the way slates are chosen for the state's top two offices.

Rep. Mike Harmon's bill would allow candidates for governor to wait until the general election to name their lieutenant governor running mates instead of having to pick someone before the primary as is currently required. Candidates would have four weeks after the May primary to name a candidate.

For the complete story, visit The Advocate Messenger online.

87 percent want vote on expanded gambling

Kentuckians overwhelmingly support putting a casino-gambling constitutional amendment on the November ballot, where it probably would pass, according to a new survey conducted for racetracks and horse-racing interests. According to numbers released Tuesday, 87 percent of Kentuckians want to vote on a proposed constitutional amendment to allow casino gambling. Only 10 percent of those surveyed said they opposed a vote.

For the complete story, visit the Lexington Herald Leader online.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Conservation stewardship sign-ups taken

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently announced that the ranking period cut-off date for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is Jan. 13. Producers interested in CSP should submit applications to their local NRCS office by the deadline so that their applications can be considered during the first ranking period of 2012.

CSP is a voluntary program that encourages agricultural and forestry producers to address resource concerns by undertaking additional conservation activities and improving and maintaining existing conservation systems.

“CSP is a popular conservation program, and we expect to receive many applications,” NRCS State Conservationist, Karen Woodrich said. “I encourage all farmers who are interested in applying to contact their local NRCS office as soon as possible so they can meet the deadline.”

A CSP self-screening checklist is available to help potential applicants determine if CSP is suitable for their operation. The checklist highlights basic information about CSP eligibility requirements, contract obligations and potential payments. It is available from local NRCS offices and on the CSP Web page.

Visit the NRCS CSP Web site or contact Larry Starr, NRCS District Conservationist, at The local conservation district office located at 118 E. Bellville St. in Marion or 360 W. Main St. in Salem, or call 965-3921, extension 3 in Marion or 988-2180, extension 3 in Salem.

Man charged with murder of ex-Crittenden man

A former Crittenden County man was reportedly stabbed to death by a family member late last week in Harrisburg, Ill.

Rick White, an Illinois State Police special agent, told The Crittenden Press earlier this week that Carl Crouch, 59, of Harrisburg was allegedly murdered by his stepson, Charles Ryan, on Friday. White said the victim's wife told him the couple recently moved from Crittenden County to Harrisburg.

"Carl's wife, (Donna), told me they had moved from Turkey Knob in the past year," White said in an e-mail to The Press.

Crouch's obituary identified him a former resident and native of Livingston County, having been born in Smithland.

Ryan, 41, of Harrisburg was arrested Friday night and booked into Saline County, Ill., Jail on a preliminary charge of first-degree murder, according The Evansville Courier and Press. After an autopsy on Crouch was performed over the weekend, the Saline County State’s Attorney’s Office filed a count of murder today that alleges Ryan choked and stabbed Crouch with the intent to kill.

Ryan remains jailed in lieu of $1 million bond or $100,000 cash.

The Evansville newspaper reported the Crouches had moved to Illinois to live with Ryan and his wife.

The Southern Illinoisian reports police were called to Ryan's home around 9 p.m., to investigate a suspected murder. Authorities found Carl Crouch's lifeless body upon entering the home. The Evansville report says Bonnie Crouch was in Kentucky earlier that day and tried to reach her husband by phone several times to no avail. Upon returning home that evening, she reportedly found her husband dead of multiple stab wounds.

Ryan was found in Murphysboro, Ill., a short time later after a report to local police about a naked man on the porch of a home, the Evansville paper reported. Upon apprehending Ryan, local authorities discovered the man was wanted in questioning related to Crouch's death.

There is no clear motive at this time.

Funeral service for Crouch, a U.S. Army veteran and retired river boat pilot for both Ingram Towing and Ohio Valley Towing, will be at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Keeling Family Funeral Home in Paducah with the Rev. Paul Peck officiating.

                                                                PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SOUTHERN ILLINOISIAN
Pictured above is the Harrisburg, Ill., home where Carl Crouch, 59, was reportedly
found stabbed to death Friday night by his stepson, Charles Ryan, 41.

Two file for circuit clerk

Two Republicans have filed to run for Circuit Clerk in Crittenden County.

According to County Clerk Carolyn Byford, Melissa Dawn Guill and Vanda Hunt Adamson filed for the office today. They are two of three people who took the circuit clerk's exam earlier this month to qualify for the post. The test is given only one time when a term is to be filled.

Longtime Circuit Clerk Madeline Henderson earlier this year announced her intentions to retire from office. She has served in that capacity since 1994 after working 11 years in the office as a deputy clerk.

Guill currently serves as chief deputy clerk under Henderson. Adamson works for the Marion law firm of Frazer, Rogers and Peek.

The Kentucky primary election is May 22. The filing deadline for office is Jan. 31.

Area death

Carl L. Crouch, 59, of Harrisburg, Ill., a native of Smithland and formerly of Crittenden County, died Friday, Dec. 23, 2011 at his residence. Funeral services are Thursday at the Keeling Family Funeral Home in Paducah with the Rev. Paul Peck officiating.

Reward offered in Monday night burglary

Marion City Police were called to the office of Chandler and Vaughn Cattle Co., on Spar Mill Road this morning after the owners discovered a break-in, which occurred overnight.

Intruders broke open the front door of the office and stole four electrical extension cords, two chainsaws, four knives, some change from a drawer and other items.

Crittenden County TipLine is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest. Call 965-3000 and remain anonymous.

Sears, Kmart stores at risk of closing

Sears and Kmart stores in Paducah, Henderson, Hopkinsville and Madisonville could be at risk of closing.

According to an Associated Press report this morning, between 100 and 120 stores will be closed due to poor holiday performance. Sears, which owns both department store chains,  has not made a decision on which locations will be closed.

Sears Holdings operates more than 4,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Kentucky again atop dubious list

Once again, Kentucky is leading the pack in one annual ranking.

However, the ranking is an ignominious one as, for the fifth straight year, the Animal Legal Defense Fund has named Kentucky the best state in the nation to be an animal abuser. The rankings are compiled following a study of laws around the nation designed to protect animals and punish convicted animal abusers. However, state legislators say the issues which led to the ranking likely won't be fixed during the upcoming General Assembly.

For the full story, visit The Georgetown News-Graphic online.

Area death

Maxine Hale, 79, of Marion died Monday, Dec. 26, 2011 at Crittenden County Health and Rehabilitation Center in Marion. Services are Wednesday at Barnett Chapel General Baptist Church. Gilbert Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

School testing system getting mixed reviews

School administrators are continuing to learn their way around a new statewide testing system that begins this spring. Districts across the state recently received simulated test results for the new testing model. But the simulated results might not actually indicate how schools might fare under the new system, officials say, since the numbers are the result not of testing, but of simply applying the new system’s scoring formula to data gained through the old testing model.

For the full story, visit The Bowling Green Daily News online.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

State to recognize bicentennial of War of 1812

Most Kentuckians know little about the War of 1812, but its effect on the Bluegrass State still resonates. About 64 percent of the American fatalities in the war that some historians have dubbed America's Second Revolution were from Kentucky even though none of its battles were fought in the state.

And 30 of Kentucky's 120 counties, including Crittenden County, are named after figures in the war. Though most prominently known as a governor of Kentucky, U.S. Attorney General and member of both chambers of Congress, John J. Crittenden was a military officer acting as a confidential assistant to Kentucky Gov. Isaac Shelby in the Battle of the Thames in Canada during the war. Crittenden County was not formed until 1842, carved out of a portion of Livingston County.

Kentuckians will learn more in 2012 about one of the least remembered wars in America's history, thanks to an 18-member bicentennial commission set up by the state legislature. It is made up of lawmakers, state officials, historians and five citizen members.

For the full story, visit The Herald Leader online.

Unseasonably warm temps expected this winter

Forget the white and bring on the warm. It has neither felt nor looked like Christmas this season as unseasonably warm temperatures have graced Kentucky this December, and it looks as if the temperatures might stick around.

For the full story, visit The Bowling Green Daily News online.

Area deaths

Laura Alsobrook Rushing, 91, of Smithland died Friday, Dec. 23, 2011 at Salem Springlake Health and Rehabilitation Center. Graveside funeral services are Monday at Dyer Hill Cemetery Boyd Funeral Directors were in charge of arrangements.

Christmas greetings

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill towards men.
—Luke: 8-14

Merry Christmas from The Crittenden Press family to yours.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Area deaths

Lonnie Lester Pitzer, 58, of Fredonia died Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011 at his home. He was a U.S. Army veteran. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Myers Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Dr. William G. "Bill" Monahan, 84, of Morgantown, W.Va. died Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011 at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown. He served in the U.S. Merchant Marine during World War II and was among the U.S. Army occupation troops in Japan. He began his professional career as a high school teacher and athletic coach in Marion. There will be a memorial service at Hastings Funeral Home in Morgantown on Saturday.

William Lowery "Bill" Collins, 88, of Providence died Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011 at Crittenden County Health and Rehabilitation Center.  He was an Army veteran. Services are Monday at Gilbert Funeral Home.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Teen in Wednesday wreck in critical condition

A PHI Air Medical unit called to the scene of a single-vehicle accident Wednesday
afternoon on U.S. 60 about 11 miles east of Marion takes off with one patient headed for
Deaconess Hospital in Evansville. The wreck occurred around 12:15 p.m.
Emergency personnel responded to a single-vehicle injury accident early Wednesday afternoon on U.S. 60 about 11 miles east of Marion that left one teen in critical condition and sent three others to the hospital.

All of the occupants of the Volkswagen Beetle involved in the crash were juveniles, according to Crittenden County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Rushing. Rushing said three of the victims — Trey Large of Henderson and McKayla Syers and Hope Seay, both of Union County — were treated and released, but Shelby Hiser, 16, of Henderson, remains hospitalized in serious condition.

Hiser was taken from the scene by PHI Air Medical to Deaconess Hospital in Evansville and transferred later in the day to Kosair Hospital in Louisville. At that time he was taken from the scene, he was unable to feel anything below his chest, according to Rushing. Celeste King, a senior producer at WFIE 14 News in Evansville, told The Crittenden Press that a friend of the family reported "his spinal cord was pretty much severed" in the wreck.

Four juveniles from Union and Henderson counties were hurt
in the single-vehicle wreck Wednesday. Their Volkswagen Beetle
was westbound on U.S. 60 East before the driver lost control for
unknown reasons. The vehicle spun around and came to a rest
against a culvert on the opposite side of the road.
All victims were outside of the yellow  Beetle when emergency responders arrived. It is unclear at this time if they were thrown from the vehicle or managed out under their own power. Of the three other victims already released, one was taken to Methodist Hospital in Morganfield by Union County EMS and two were taken to Crittenden Health Systems by Crittenden EMS.

According to Rushing, the car, driven by Seay, was westbound on U.S. 60 East when she appeared to run off the road in a slight curve. The deputy said it looked as if she ran off the westbound shoulder and overcorrected, sending the car across the centerline and spinning around before crashing into a concrete culvert on the opposite side of the road.

The compact car came to rest in a flowing creek of water. Its top was crushed in and the rear of the car suffered severe damage where it slammed into culvert. The car carried Henderson County plates.

The accident happened at about 12:15 p.m., near the 20-mile marker on U.S. 60 East, which is just east of Rosebud Church.

The road was closed for almost two hours to clear the scene.

Other emergency units called to the scene were Mattoon and Sturgis fire departments.

Emergency personnel respond to accident

Local emergency personnel have responded to an accident with injuries on U.S. 60 West.

Initial reports are that an RC Cola truck has crashed near the intersection of Crittenden Springs Road. The driver appears to be the only victim. However, there was a secondary crash probably due to the first accident.

Traffic is running on one lane, but may have to be detoured. If possible, avoid the area until around 3 p.m.

'Layaway angels' striking all across Kentucky

The "layaway angels" have been helping more than Crittenden Countians. They have also been in central Kentucky, paying off the balance of department store layaways for families.

Kelsey Smith says she's the latest beneficiary of this Christmas' biggest gift trend — an anonymous layaway payoff — that has spread like a charitable wildfire among Kmarts and some Wal-Marts. For Smith and her family, the generosity could not have come at a better time. Her year-old daughter, Addison, was in the hospital earlier this year with pneumonia, and Smith, who works in a dental office, said she and fiancĂ© James Chapman have been struggling to pay medical bills.

For the full story on the layaway gifts for local families, see this week's issue of The Crittenden Press. For the full story on other parts of Kentucky experiencing the same trend, visit The Lexington Herald Leader online.

Area death

Rosalie Aldridge, 85, of Marion died Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011 at Livingston Hospital and Healthcare Services in Salem. Services are scheduled for 11 a.m., Saturday at Gilbert Funeral Home with interment in Mapleview Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m., Friday at the funeral home. Among survivors is her husband, Charles Aldridge.

Schools notified of budget cuts

Officials with the Kentucky schools say they are not happy with a two percent budget cut for the current school year and plans for an additional cut for 2012-13. In a release to superintendents across the state, KDE officials reported receiving notification from Mary E. Lassiter, state budget director, that a mid-year budget cut will be necessary.

Calloway County’s allocation of state funding was reported to be cut by $235,237. Superintendent Kennith Bargo, a former coach and principal in Crittenden County, put the cut in perspective during a meeting Tuesday night.

“You can call that five beginning teachers. We can call it three school buses. We can call it tires for the school bus fleet for a year, a small storage building ... These are all things this is not going to cover,” said Bargo. “It means the budget prepared for that year is going to be at a minimum that (amount) short.”

Bargo said this is the fourth year in a row K-12 education in Kentucky has seen funds reduced in some way.

For the full story, visit the Murray Ledger and Times online.

A report on how the cuts will affect Crittenden County schools can be found in our next issue of The Crittenden Press on Jan. 5.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Trooper, a Marion native, honored for DUI stops

Pictured with Trooper Hamby (center) is Kentucky Office
of Highway Safety Director Bill Bell (left) and Kentucky
State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer.
The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety recently held its annual Governor’s Impaired Driving Enforcement Awards ceremony in Lexington and honored a Crittenden County native for his enforcement of DUI laws. 

The event, which took place on Dec. 8, honored 201 officers from 185 law enforcement agencies from across the Commonwealth. Kentucky State Police trooper Cory Hamby of Trigg County was awarded for being the impaired driving enforcement leader for Kentucky State Police Post 1 in Mayfield. Trooper  Hamby was awarded for making 69 impaired driving arrests from Oct. 1, 2010 through Sept. 30, 2011. 

Trooper Hamby has been employed by KSP since 2010 and is a native of Marion.

Area death

Joseph Leon Moxley, 59, of Marion died Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011 at Crittenden County Health and Rehabilitation Center. Funeral services are Saturday in the chapel of Boyd Funeral Directors.

Winter starts today

Today marks the shortest day of the year in Crittenden County with the official arrival of winter.

There will be only nine hours and 35 minutes of daylight on the winter solstice. At the same time, 24 hours of darkness will enshroud the North Pole and the sun will be above the horizon 24 hours at South Pole.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Half of Kentuckians prescribed pain releivers

A newly released Kentucky poll showed 55 percent of the state’s adults reported being prescribed a pain reliever that could not be bought over the counter. Of these statewide adults, 67 percent reported that they had been prescribed the right amount of pills needed to control pain. But about 18 percent believed they had been prescribed more pills than were needed.

Kentucky ranks sixth in the nation for overdose deaths involving prescription pain relievers; in 2008, its rate was 17.9 deaths per 100,000 residents. An official said the overdose deaths correspond to a steep rise in the sale of opioid prescription pain relievers such as Percocet.

For the complete story, visit the Kentucky Enquirer online.

Farm receipts hit record high

Kentucky's economy could get a serious boost if estimates for 2012 farm receipts come true. Farm economists predict that, for the first time, Kentucky farm cash receipts will exceed $5 billion. Last year’s receipts totaled $4.4 billion.

For more on the story, visit the Central Kentucky News Journal online.

Historic Resources Inventory tops 90,000 entries

KPA News Conent Service
The Kentucky Historic Resources Inventory, the primary record of Kentucky's historic places, has now topped 90,000 entries, according to the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office.

The registry contains detailed information about historic buildings and sites throughout the Commonwealth, with files dating to the first statewide survey in 1971.

The registry includes individual listings of houses, barns, outbuildings, commercial buildings and landscape features such as rock fences – documented through extensive research and fieldwork.

The registry's 90,000th entry is for a 1½-story log residence in Bedford, in Trimble County, topped by a side-gable, wood-shingle roof and built on a cut-stone foundation, documented by Wilbur Smith Associates.

The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 requires state historic preservation offices to collect and maintain survey records, which are used to help identify resources for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places as well as to provide data for federal, state and local projects.

The Heritage Council adds to this inventory each year by conducting surveys of communities, neighborhoods and counties.

Heritage Council staff and local groups, individuals and consultants help compile the survey.

Many of the individual survey files contain multiple historic resources and cover a broad historic period, from Kentucky’s settlement in the 18th century to the recent past.

In addition to noting a site’s primary function, surveyors record construction date, architect and/or builder, stylistic influences, construction methods and materials, dimensions and major modifications. Each survey is also required to be submitted with photos documenting the surveyed resources.

“Ninety thousand documented resources is a big milestone, reflecting more than 40 years of painstaking fieldwork, research and data management with contributions from hundreds of dedicated professionals, students and amateurs. Our work, however, is far from done,” said Bill Macintire, Heritage Council survey coordinator.

“Many historic sites remain undocumented, and as time passes, many more become old enough for our consideration. In recent years we have faced the challenge of decreased funding for historic sites survey, but our pace of documentation has remained pretty steady. At the current rate, we will probably hit 100,000 sites by 2014 or 2015.”

Survey files are maintained in the Heritage Council office and logged into a searchable database.

Archaeology survey files of historic and prehistoric archaeological resources are recorded and maintained by the Office of State Archaeology and the Kentucky Archaeological Survey, a partnership between the Heritage Council and University of Kentucky Department of Anthropology.

The National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of historic and archaeological resources deemed worthy of preservation. Kentucky has the fourth highest number of National Register listings in the nation – more than 3,200 districts, sites and structures encompassing more than 42,000 historic features.

According to Macintire, Kentucky’s strong showing in the National Register program reflects the strength of the Commonwealth’s historic resources inventory program. Notably, sites listed in or eligible for the National Register can qualify for tax credits and other state and federal incentives for historic rehabilitation.

For more information about the survey program, forms and instructions, or examples of historic contexts, visit the Heritage Council website at or contact Macintire, or 502-564-7005, ext. 124.

'Cram the Cruiser' collects 25 tons of food

The Kentucky State Police “Cram the Cruiser” campaign more than doubled the amount of food collected lasts year with a total of 50,168 pounds. That’s 28,582 pounds more than in 2010. The food will be distributed to local shelters, churches or other organizations serving those in need during the holiday season. KSP Post 10 in Harlan, with the help of the Barbourville Police Dept. and the Harlan County school system, led the way with 14,436 pounds of food collected.

Area death

Betty A. Crawford, 72, of Marion died Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville. Services are scheduled for Thursday) at Marion First Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Gilbert Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Area deaths

Randall Chandler, 70, of Marion died Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011 at Western Baptist Hospital in Paducah. He was a U.S. Navy veteran and a member of the American Legion. Services ARE Wednesday at Gilbert Funeral Home.

Michael Shane Workman 44, of Marion, died Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011 at his home. A memorial service will be held after the holidays at Brook's Cemetery in Paducah. Gilbert Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Jesse Ausborn "J.A." Rudd, 71, of Smithland, died Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011 at Western Baptist Hospital in Paducah. Funeral services will be Thursday in the chapel of Boyd Funeral Directors.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Area deaths

James B. O'Neal, 76, of Marion died Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011 at Livingston Hospital and Healthcare Services in Salem. He was a navy veteran of the Korean War, Crittenden County Trial Commissioner, police dispatcher and part-time Marion Police officer and sheriff's deputy. Services are scheduled for Tuesday at Gilbert Funeral Home.

Parker Lynn Holsapple, 81, of Marion died Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011 at Western Baptist Hospital in Paducah. Funeral services will be conducted on Wednesday at the Myers Funeral Home.

Rita Aileen Pruitt, 65, of Hopkinsville, formerly of Marion, died Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011 at Jennie Stuart Medical Center in Hopkinsville. Funeral services will be conducted on Monday at Myers Funeral Home.

Harold Wesley Wring, 76, of Salem died Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011 at his home. Funeral services will be Tuesday in the chapel of Boyd Funeral Directors.

Illinois man dies after accident on Ky. 365

An Illinois man died from injuries received in a single-vehicle accident just before dark Sunday on Ky. 365 north of Mattoon. According to Crittenden County Sheriff's Department, Shannon T. Vaughn of Carmi, Ill., died at Crittenden Health Systems after being transported by ambulance from the scene of the crash.

Vaughn, driving a 2006 GMC Sierra, ran off the roadway and struck a tree before the truck came to a rest down an embankment. Only the driver, who was wearing his seat belt, was in the vehicle.

Crittenden County Rescue Squad used the jaws of life to extricate the victim.

Murray professor: Higher education too costly

In an editorial piece, Bob Lochte, chair of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications at Murray State University, expresses his concerns about the cost of a college education in Kentucky.

"Simply put, we are pricing a university education out of the reach of many Kentucky high school graduates at precisely the time more of them are well-prepared to earn Bachelor’s and higher degrees. If this is happening at a relatively low-cost university such as Murray State, the problem looms larger elsewhere. We must do something about this or run the risk of frustrating the aims of more than two decades of education reform," Lochte writes.

For the complete editorial, visit the Kentucky Press Association's News Content Service.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Tyson ground beef recalled for E. coli threat

Tyson Fresh Meats Inc., is recalling approximately 40,948 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The following products are subject to recall:

  • 10-pound chubs of “CHUCK FINE GROUND BEEF 80/20,” packed in cases containing eight chubs.
The products subject to recall have a “BEST BEFORE OR FREEZE BY” date of “11/13/11” and “EST. 245C” on the box label. The products were shipped to institutions and distributors in Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee and several other states.

The problem was discovered through routine FSIS monitoring which confirmed a positive result for E.coli and the company have received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products.

This form of E. coli is a bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration and in the most severe cases, kidney failure. The very young, seniors and persons with weak immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact a health care provider.

Consumers with questions regarding the recall should contact the company at (866) 328-3156. Media with questions regarding the recall should contact the company’s Director of Public Relations, Gary Mickelson at (479) 290-6111.

Kentucky soldiers react to end of Iraq War

Soldiers have mixed feelings about end of war 
When Sgt. Daryl Casey of the Kentucky National Guard returned home from his second deployment to Iraq last winter, he was already gearing up for his third. Although President Obama declared in August of last year that Operation Iraqi Freedom had ended, the Frankfort resident knew the National Guard was still deploying men and women to Iraq - and it made him feel uneasy. But today, that feeling is gone, as the U.S. military officially declared an end to its Iraq mission in a low-key closing ceremony Thursday at a Baghdad airport.

For the complete story in The (Frankfort) State Journal, follow this link.

Veterans react to end of Iraq War
The U.S. this week closed a chapter in its War on Terror, officially ending its mission in Iraq after nearly nine years of combat. The pullout of U.S. troops from the embattled country drew mixed opinions among Hardin County veterans, some of whom have been directly affected by the conflict. Ronnie Thompson Jr., an Elizabethtown resident who was injured in late 2004 when an IED struck his Humvee, had his military career end after the roadside bomb put him on a challenging road to rehabilitation. On Thursday, Thompson said he feels the close of the Iraq War is long overdue and it is time to trust that the Iraqi government can rise up and take care of its own without falling prey to insurgent forces.

For the complete story in The (Elizabethtown) News Enterprise, follow this link.

Local reaction
For  reaction from local veterans, see next week's edition of The Crittenden Press.

Leaving Iraq
For numerous photos and an accompanying audio of the Kentucky National Guard's exit from Iraq courtesy of New York Times photojournalist Andrea Bruce, visit Leaving Iraq from Bruce was an embedded photographer with the unit.

Child-death records show need for more talk between social workers and doctors

In early 2010, 22-month-old Danika Charles of Powell County was admitted to the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital with hair loss and an ulcer in her mouth, according to a report by state child-protection workers. While at the hospital, the toddler developed bruises, and she cried when her mother came into the room, the report said. On Feb. 19, 2010, Danika was rushed to an unnamed regional hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

The review of Danika's case was one of 14 involving children who died or nearly died in 2009 and 2010 that cited a need for better communication between medical professionals and child-protection workers, according to an analysis by the Lexington Herald-Leader of 86 such reviews.

Follow this link to the complete story in the Herald-Leader.

Settlement: KU customers to pay lower rate hike

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) Thursday accepted broad-based settlements in two cases establishing new environmental compliance plans and associated environmental surcharges for Kentucky Utilities Co. and Louisville Gas & Electric Co., meaning local KU customers will be paying about 10 percent more for their monthly bills.

The compliance plans are intended to meet the requirements of several U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations affecting coal-burning electric power plants, according to a PSC press release.

Since 1994, a law enacted by the Kentucky General Assembly has entitled coal-burning utilities such as KU and LG&E to recover environmental compliance costs separately from their general rates. The costs are recovered through a surcharge that appears as a separate item on electric bills.

In orders issued Thursday, the PSC said the settlements "when viewed in total, represent the most reasonable and cost effective course of action for (KU and LG&E) to meet their environmental obligations under the EPA regulations under consideration in this case."

KU and LG&E sought PSC authorization to spend a total of about $2.5 billion to comply with the new federal environmental requirements. The settlement reduces the cost of KU’s compliance plan by about $225 million.

The utilities originally estimated that total electric bills for KU residential customers would see total bills increase by about 12.2 percent over that same time. The settlement reduces the increases to an estimated 9.65 percent for KU customers.

KU estimates that the monthly bill for a customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month (a kilowatt-hour is the amount of electricity used by a 100-watt light bulb in 10 hours) will see an increase $7.47 by 2016 - $1.99 less than under the original proposal.

KU has about 506,000 electric customers in 77 counties across Kentucky, which includes all of Marion and a portion of southern Crittenden County.

The PSC has produced a narrated slide show explaining how it reviews coal-related environmental compliance costs incurred by electric utilities. The presentation explains the legal basis for the recovery of environmental costs, the PSC’s review process and the environmental surcharge through which the costs are passed on to a utility’s ratepayers.

The video, which is about 10 minutes long, is available at this web address:

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Iraq War comes to official end

The war that started March 20, 2003 and affected dozens of Crittenden Countians who either fought in the Iraq or were family members of the troops deployed there came to an official end today.

The almost nine-year war claimed the lives of 4,484 American soldiers and marines and wounded another 31,921, including National Guard soldier Chase Matthews of Dycusburg who suffered catastrophic injuries when his Humvee was hit with a roadside bomb. Guardsman Jonathan McMackin of Marion was also injured in the incident.

No Crittenden Countians were killed in the war, though 59 soldiers from Kentucky gave their lives.

At least eight local Kentucky National Guard soldiers recently returned stateside from Iraq after a four-month overseas deployment with the 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade commanded by Crittenden County native Col. Scott A. Campbell. Several other former or current residents of the county served in the war, some on multiple deployments.

The Iraq War also claimed the lives of more than 100,000 Iraqis and cost American taxpayers $823 billion.

The Crittenden Press would like to recognize anyone from Crittenden County who served in the war and is asking those to e-mail us with your name, rank, unit and date(s) of deployment.

State jobless rate down

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate fell to 9.4 percent in November 2011 from 9.6 percent in October 2011, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

The preliminary November 2011 jobless rate was 0.8 percentage point below the 10.2 percent rate recorded for the state in November 2010. The state’s November 2011 rate is the lowest since the January 2009 rate of 9.2 percent.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate dropped to 8.6 percent in November 2011 from nine percent in October 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

“The year-to-year data shows a positive growth trend with the unemployment rate dropping nearly one percent over the past year. In the last month, a decline in the civilian labor force was the main factor in the decrease in the unemployment rate as people dropped out of the workforce, which is contrary to the trend over the year,” said Ron Crouch, OET director of Research and Statistics.

Unemployment statistics are based on estimates and are compiled to measure trends rather than actually to count people working.

Marion woman injured in U.S. 641 crash

                                                                                PHOTO BY KEITH TODD
A two-vehicle crash this morning on U.S. 641 near the Crittenden-Caldwell County line left a Marion woman slightly injured.

According to Kentucky State Police, Amanda Winters, 20, sustained minor injuries in a wreck just before 7 a.m., when her southbound 2009 Dodge Caliber was side-swiped by an oncoming vehicle attempting to pass another. Though Winters appeared to have a slight head injury, she was not transported for treatment.

Police say Winters' vehicle was hit by a 1992 Toyota pickup driven by Sebastian Hughes, 18, of Fredonia as he was attempting to pass a car in front of him. Both vehicles exited the roadway and came to a rest in a ditch. Hughes was not injured.

Both drivers were wearing their seatbelts.

Newspaper asks judge to force release of uncensored child-death records

The Lexington Herald-Leader asked a judge Wednesday to order the state to turn over uncensored copies of documents regarding Kentucky children who have been killed or nearly killed because of abuse and neglect.

In a motion filed in Franklin Circuit Court, the Herald-Leader asked Judge Phillip Shepherd to make the Cabinet for Health and Family Services produce unaltered copies of more than 80 internal reviews conducted by state social workers after deaths or near-deaths of children. The newspaper's motion came the same day The Courier-Journal filed a motion in Franklin Circuit Court asking that the cabinet be held in contempt for redacting information from the case files.

A hearing in the case is set for next Wednesday.

For the complete story, follow this link to The Lexington Herald-Leader.

Insurers must offer child-only insurance policies

Under a 2010 order from Kentucky Insurance Commissioner Sharon P. Clark, all insurers selling in the state's individual health insurance market must offer an annual open enrollment period in January for Kentuckians under age 19.

The annual open enrollment was ordered for each January beginning in 2011 and ending in 2013. As part of federal health reform, insurers will not be allowed to deny coverage, regardless of health status, in 2014.

Clark took the action after insurers notified the Department of Insurance in 2010 that they planned to cease writing policies on Sept. 23 of that year, the date the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act prohibited companies offering these policies from denying coverage because of an applicant’s pre-existing health condition. At that time, Clark said she was concerned that all Kentucky children who needed a “child-only” policy, even those who were healthy, would have to turn to Kentucky Access, the state’s high-risk pool, placing extra demands on that program.

“This was our way of protecting these young Kentuckians while providing a level playing field for insurers,” Clark said. “We urge all consumers needing this coverage to take advantage of this window of opportunity.”

A list of health insurers required to offer these policies is available at

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Area death

James Harold Kemper, 63, of Marion died Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011 at his residence. Funeral services are Saturday at Myers Funeral Home.

Lawmakers think support there for gaming vote

State representatives Derrick Graham and Carl Rollins believe there’s support for a constitutional amendment on expanded gaming, but Sen. Julian Carroll says any proposal must be vetted before there’s a vote.

That’s in response to Gov. Steve Beshear’s inaugural address, in which he called on leaders to “find the political courage and the will to lay the foundation” for the future before saying he’ll again push for a constitutional amendment on expanded gambling.

Sen. Dorsey Ridley, who represents Crittenden, Livingston, Caldwell, Union, Webster and Henderson counties, said earlier this month he expects to be voting on the matter in the upcoming session.

"I don't know what will be the results, but the discussion will be there and I think it will come to a vote on the Senate floor," Ridley was quoted in The Henderson Gleaner. "I don't know what the language of that bill will look like, but I look forward to seeing that."

Beshear shared broad plans for his second term during his 20-minute inaugural address Tuesday, mentioning job creation, education, gambling and restructuring the state’s tax code when the recession ends.

For the full story, follow this link to The (Frankfort) State Journal.

Area deaths

Marie Peek Travis, 91, of Princeton, formerly of Marion, died Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011 at Princeton Health and Rehab. Services are Thursday at Caldwell Springs Baptist Church. Gilbert Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Tammy Sue Belt Durbin, 39, of Chandler, Ind., formerly of Marion, died Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011 at her home. Services are scheduled for Thursday at Gilbert Funeral Home.

Frank J. Buchanon, Sr., 87, of Fredonia died Monday, Dec. 12, 2011 at Western Baptist Hospital in Paducah after a long illness. He was a World War II Army veteran. Services will be Friday at Morgan’s Funeral Home in Princeton.

Whitfield votes to target fake drugs

Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-Hopkinsville) voted in favor of a house resolution aimed at blocking the growing and dangerous abuse of imitation drugs. HR 1254, the Synthetic Drug Control Act, passed the House last week 317-98 with strong bipartisan support.

“Across the country, we have seen a rise in the abuse of substances that imitate the effects of marijuana and other illegal drugs resulting in tragic, and in many cases, avoidable consequences,” said Whitfield.

The owner of One Stop Smoke Shop in Marion has been accused by local authorities of selling 7H, an alleged synthetic marijuana. However, tests by the Kentucky State Police laboratory are not complete and no formal charges have been filed against the store or its owner.

The congressional resolution now awaits a Senate committee hearing.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New state testing treats evolution as fact

Hart County's school superintendent is arguing that a new test that Kentucky high school students will take for the first time next spring will treat evolution as fact, not theory, and will require schools to teach that way.

Superintendent Ricky D. Line raised the issue in recent letters and email messages to state Education Commissioner Terry Holliday and Kentucky Board of Education members. Line wants them to reconsider the "Blueprint" for Kentucky's new end-of-course test in biology.

For the complete story, visit the Lexington Herald Leader.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Area death

Margarette Crawford, 89, of Burna, died Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011 at Salem Spring Lake Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Funeral services are Wednesday at the Chapel of Boyd Funeral Directors.

James R. Fornear, 81, of Naples, Fla., died Dec. 9, 2011. Funeral services will be held at the Outland Ranch in southern Illinois for immediate family. Colonial Terrace Funeral Home in Eldorado, Ill., is in charge of arrangements.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Area death

Anna Belle Maier, 92, died Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011 at Crittenden County Health and Rehabilitation. Services will be Saturday at Alexander West Chapel in Evansville.

Report on historical sites expected soon

A senior architectural historian with the UK archaeological
survey is asking for drawings like the one above to show the
layout of old Crittenden County crossroads communities.
A report on the 60 mostly-rural sites in Crittenden County surveyed this year by UK's Kentucky Archaeological Survey should be ready after the first of the year, says a senior architectural historian with the Survey.

"I will give a copy of the report to both the library and the historical society," said Janie-Rice Brother, who visited the county several times as a part of the Preservation Kentucky-sponsored survey project. "Copies of the survey forms will be at the historical society."

A website with similar information is also in the works.

Brother, along with other architectural historians, received a grant to survey barns, farms, houses, schools, churches and even commercial sites in both Livingston and Crittenden counties. Though the federal grant was small, $8,800, Brother said the previous lack of sites surveyed in Crittenden County alone piqued an interest in heading west from Lexington.

"We felt there was a great need," she said recently.

Prior to the surveys being completed and compiled by Brother, Crittenden County ranked 119th of Kentucky's 120 counties in number of surveyed sites. The primary focus of documenting architecturally historic sites was on farms, barns, other rural structures and even former crossroads communities.

“Agriculture is such a big part of Kentucky,” said Brother, the daughter of a Kentucky farmer.
She said completion of the reports is not only a means of documenting historical structures before they deteriorate, it’s the first step to achieving designation on the National Register of Historic Places, which allows property owners certain tax exemptions.

Brother said there are many sites the team of architectural historians did not get to survey in the county, but the small grant limited the time and resources they could dedicate. If more money becomes available, she plans to return and survey a list of sites she has kept in mind.
She is also soliciting information on Mexico, as well as other small communities.

“What would be awesome is if someone could draw out what used to be in these little towns,” Brother said. “It really gives you a sense of how things have changed.”

She can be reached at or (859) 257-1944.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Press photos available online

See a picture in The Crittenden Press you like? You can now buy copies of our photos online at The Press Online. Even event photos not used in the paper will be available.

Pictures can be purchased in all sizes, framed or matted. The photos you order will be mailed directly to you.

Friday, December 9, 2011

New livestock report found in Early Bird

As a courtesy to area cattlemen, The Crittenden Press will begin publishing the weekly report from Christian County Livestock Market inside The Early Bird each week, as space allows. The first report from the Hopkinsville market will be published in Tuesday's edition.

The Press already publishes the weekly Tuesday report from Livingston County Livestock at Ledbetter in each edition of our flagship publication. It will continue to be published in the newspaper.

The Hopkinsville livestock auctions, however, are typically held on Wednesday each week, which does not allow time for publication in the newspaper.

Since the West Kentucky Livestock Market in Marion ceased operations in October 2010, local cattlemen have been forced to sell cattle at other locations, with Ledbetter, Hopkinsville and Owensboro being the closest weekly markets in Kentucky.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Shawneetown bridge not hit by barges

"We've had several calls this morning about a barge hit on the Shawneetown Bridge," reports Keith Todd, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokesman. "No barge hit occurred."

According to Union County Emergency Management, the bridge was closed to traffic as a precaution about 8:30 this morning when five barges broke loose from a fleeting area upstream from Shawneetown.

The runaway barges were rounded up by a harbor tug from a nearby coal-loading facility before they reached the bridge.  After holding up traffic for about 20 minutes and determining the bridge had not been struck, normal traffic flow was allowed to resume.

The bridge remains open to normal traffic flow.

Any additional information on the incident will have to come from the U.S. Coast Guard Louisville at 1-800-253-7465.

The Shawneetown Bridge connects Ky. 56 with Ill. 13 across the Ohio River between Morganfield and Shawneetown. About 3,800 vehicles cross the bridge in an average day.

The bridge opened to traffic in 1956, maintaining a historic transportation link that started with ferry service at the site as early as 1802.

Hodge Foundation hosting benefit at Oasis

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Some local guardsmen already at home

Well in advance of the holidays, some Crittenden County families have already had their biggest Christmas wish fulfilled.

At least a couple of local Kentucky National Guard soldiers deployed to Iraq with the 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade over the last four months have already walked through the door of their own home. Earlier news reports today said the troops would be meeting their families at the Benton armory tomorrow, but relatives are telling The Crittenden Press that their soldiers are home ahead of schedule.

"I just talked to him, and he had just come through the front door of his apartment," Larry Threlkeld said of his son Richard, who around mid-day returned to his home and wife in Murray, where he is pursuing a degree at Murray State University.

Other local families were initially expecting their soldiers home on Friday, but late changes to the Guard's plans moved up the return to Thursday, Rachel Urbanowski, wife of Pfc. Josh Urbanowski said. Early today, Rachel was planning on picking up her husband at the Benton armory tomorrow afternoon. However, he was slated to arrive at the couple's home today just before dark.

This week's print edition of The Press, based on early-morning AP reports, stated that some of the soldiers would be returning to the Bowling Green armory on Thursday.

Families of other soldiers or anyone with additional information are encouraged to call The Press at 965-3191 or e-mail

Area death

Nolie Joseph Lee, 81, of Salem, died Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011 at Crittenden Health Systems. Graveside services are Friday at Pinckneyville Cemetery. Boyd Funeral Directors are in charge of arrangements.

Local soldiers headed back to Kentucky

Families and friends of about 75 Kentucky National Guard soldiers who have been deployed to Iraq for six months, including at least two from Marion, will welcome them home Thursday in Bowling Green, according to a report from The Associated Press.

The soldiers are from Bravo Co., 149th Brigade Support Battalion, which is part of the 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade. The brigade deployed more than 1,300 soldiers to Iraq in June in the Kentucky Guard's largest overseas deployment since World War II.

Pfc. Preston Blake and Pfc. Josh Urbanowski of Crittenden County are known to be assigned to the Bowling Green unit.

In this week's issue of The Crittenden Press, find more on this story, an update on the court appearance of the owner of a local tobacco store, Pearl Harbor memories and the fiscal court's public meeting on possible solutions to funding the hospital's ambulance service

Governor announces $15,050 grant to city

From the KPA News Content Service
Gov. Steve Beshear yesterday announced 18 new Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) project grants to help enhance tourism across Kentucky. One of those is to the City of Marion for repairs to the oval track at Marion-Crittenden County Park, as first reported in The Crittenden Press last month.

The Department for Local Government will administer the funds, totaling $558,537 to project awardees. The Marion grant totals $15,050.

“Improving Kentucky parks and recreational facilities visibly enhances our communities, helps increase tourism and boosts local economies during these still difficult times,” Beshear said. “This funding will also add to local residents’ quality of life – giving them excellent spaces to play sports, go hiking or camping, and to live overall healthier and more active lifestyles.”

The LWCF is a grant matching reimbursement program for the development and maintenance of public outdoor recreation areas and facilities, such as campgrounds, sports and playfields, swimming and fishing areas, boating facilities and trails. The

Funding for this program is allocated to the state by the National Park Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of Interior. Cities, counties, state and federal agencies are eligible to apply.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Bechler to run for state representative

Crittenden County resident Lynn Bechler announced that he is seeking election to the Kentucky House of Representatives for the fourth legislative district.

Bechler, of Marion, said, “Our district needs a strong voice in the legislature. For too long the state has treated us like second class citizens and it is time to put someone in the House who will be tough enough to take a stand against politics as usual.”

In a news release, Bechler, a Republican, said he is committed to working for all the people in the district.

“A state representative should act in the best interest of the people in his district; not that of lobbyists, party leaders, special interest groups,or himself. I believe in citizen representation and not politics as a career.”

Bechler advocates term limits and has said that legislators shouldn’t be paid for extra sessions when they can’t agree on a budget in the time mandated by law. 

Bechler retired from IBM in 2007.  He and his wife Kathleen have been married 43 years and have four children. They also have 11 grandchildren and are looking forward to the birth of their twelfth grandchild in March.

Some of Bechler’s current activities include high school tutoring, the Lions Club, church council president, volunteer tax preparation for the elderly, and the Chamber of Commerce.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Area death

John Allen Singleton, 51, of Marion died Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011 at the Regional Medical Center in Madisonville. Funeral services are Wednesday at Myers Funeral Home.

Cave In Rock Ferry closed due to high water

The Cave In Rock Ferry closed late Monday afternoon due to high water on the Ohio River. The ferry will remain closed until the water recedes to normal operating levels.

U.S. 60 closed at Union-Henderson line

U.S. 60 is closed at the Union-Henderson County Line as of 4:15 p.m., today.  A highway crew had attempted to allow one-lane traffic through a flooded area between the 25 and 26 mile marker in Union County near Highland Creek.  However, motorists have been driving past flaggers at the site creating a number of near-miss incidents in the last hour.  Due to the hazards of driving along an extended area of flooded highway after dark, U.S. 60 has been closed to all traffic at this site.

Floodwaters are expected to continue to rise in this area, so it is not likely U.S. 60 can be reopened to traffic in the morning.  Motorists who normally travel this section of U.S. 60 between Morganfield and Henderson should detour via Ky. 141 and Ky. 359 and Ky. 136 through Smith Mills.  Motorists should slow down and use appropriate caution along this extended detour route.

Road closings

At least one road in Crittenden County is closed due to high water. Cool Springs Road is flooded and impassable from a swollen Tradewater River.

As of 11 a.m., the Kentucky Transportation Cabinets has listed the following road closure and warnings report:

  • KY 136       0-6 MM
  • KY 414       0-1 MM
  • KY 811       3-5 MM
  • KY 812       2-5 MM
  • KY 1557     2-3 MM
  • KY 2247     0-1 MM
  • KY 3522     0-1 MM
  • KY 136      10 MM is open with high water signs up

  • KY 130       15.6 – 16 MM
  • KY 667         1 - 16.544 MM
  • KY 668         0 - 1MM
  • KY 871         3 - 5.6 MM
  • KY 1452       0 - 1.982 MM
  • KY 1508       2.6 – 6 MM
  • KY 1637       0 - 2.957 MM

  • KY 141       14 – 18 MM
  • KY 130       10 – 12 MM
  • KY 760         0 - 2.6 MM
  • US 60          18 – 19 MM
  • US 60          24 - 26   MM

  • KY 132       12-13MM
  • KY 138       10.5-10.7
  • KY 270        6-8MM
  • KY 138       10MM is open with High Water signs up

Motorists are reminded to use appropriate caution as water levels are likely to change during the day.  Floodwaters are likely to drop at some locations and rise in others.

Whenever you encounter flood covered roadways that are not marked by high water or road closed signs, please report the specific location to your local 911 call center as quickly as possible.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Adult ed, GED classes offered at Salem

The Livingston County Adult Center has scheduled a six-week adult education and GED class at Salem Springlake Health & Rehabilitation Center in Salem. 

Enrollment, orientation and diagnostic testing for the class will be conducted from 4:30 to 7 p.m., on Tuesday and Dec. 13. Mandatory attendance is required. Actual classes with enrollees will begin starting Jan. 3. 

Anyone who is interested should call 928-3777 for more information or to pre-enroll.  Seating is limited.

Friday, December 2, 2011

149th ends Operation New Dawn mission

149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade Public Affairs Officer
The 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade cased the brigade colors which represented the unit’s end of mission in support of Operation New Dawn Monday at Camp Liberty near Baghdad, Iraq.

The 149th MEB, which includes several soldiers from Crittenden County, served as the last garrison command of the largest and most intricate U.S. base in all of Iraq, Victory Base Complex.  Their mission was to provide base defense operations and force protection for all of VBC as well as life support operations to sustain all tenants on the camp during the withdrawal of troops.
                                               PHOTO BY CAPT. ANDI HAHN, 149TH MEB  

“We asked the 149th MEB to do the impossible,” said Brig. Gen. Paul J. LaCamera, Deputy Commanding General of the 25th Infantry Division.  “We asked them to close the biggest base in Iraq while still providing life support and force protection to the significant population of service members and civilians that still remained.  And they did it with overwhelming success.”

Victory Base Complex as become synonymous with the heartbeat and the center of gravity for U.S. operations during the Iraq campaigns.  VBC alone consists of more than 60 miles of perimeter, 20,000 acres, 19 separate camps, and housed 24,000 service members and civilians at the height of this year.

The most challenging mission for the brigade was to working to transfer authority of all VBC to Iraq.  This included transitioning several of the camps inside VBC to the Government of Iraq, Iraqi Ground Forces Command, Iraqi Special Operations Forces and the 6th Iraqi Army for force protection upon withdrawal from the base.

Col. Scott Campbell (pictured above, second from left), 149th MEB Commander and Crittenden County native, said it’s a momentous accomplishment for Task Force Legion and a significant contribution to the overall effort.

“We are on the verge of giving back the base better than we found it; peacefully transitioning the terrain we once fought for back to the sovereign nation of Iraq,” Campbell said.  “This is a huge milestone but the mission in Iraq is not complete with the transfer of VBC.”

In the four months the 149th MEB was in command of garrison operations, they managed the prime power contract that provided power to over 6,000 personnel on VBC during the drawdown. They provided contracting officer representative support to 23 contracts valued at $470 million dollars and processed more than 600 work orders for tenants on the base.

“The 149th MEB accomplished a lot during their short, but critical time in Iraq,” LaCamera said.  “I am humbled and honored to have worked alongside the leaders and Soldiers of Task Force Legion.”

(Editor's note: This story is reprinted with permission from Unbridled Service, the Kentucky National Guard's public affairs website.)

U.S. 60 lanes restricted at Ledbetter

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans to restrict traffic to one lane on the U.S. 60 Tennessee River Bridge at Ledbetter today for deck patching work.

Motorists can expect to encounter one lane traffic with alternating flow controlled by flaggers from about 11 a.m. to about 4 p.m.

Motorists should watch for slowing and stopped traffic in the work zone. Travel delays should be minimal, generally be less than four minutes.

Motorists should be alert for equipment, flaggers, and maintenance personnel on the bridge deck in close proximity to traffic flow. Appropriate caution is required.

Also known as the George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge and The Ledbetter Bridge, the U.S. 60 Tennessee River Bridge connects McCracken County to Livingston County between Paducah and Ledbetter.  The bridge is at U.S. 60 Livingston County mile point 0.0 and McCracken County mile point 19.718.  The bridge was opened to traffic in 1931 and now carries approximately 7,800 vehicles across the Tennessee River in an average day.

Timely traffic advisories for the 12 counties of KyTC Highway District 1 are available by going to You do not have to be a Facebook member to access this page.

No driver's license testing today

There will be no driver testing today at the Crittenden County Courthouse due to illness of the instructor. That includes no driving or written tests for individuals wanting to get a driver's license.

Public meeting on EMS Tuesday

Crittenden County Judge-Executive Perry Newcom has scheduled a public meeting to receive feedback on the direction the fiscal court should take regarding ambulance service subsidies requested by Crittenden Health Systems.

Newcom said he has a meeting planned for today (Thursday) with hospital administrators in order to receive more specific financial data regarding the emergency medical service’s reported annual losses. With that information, Newcom hopes to provide the public with more answers regarding the issue.

The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Tuesday at the courthouse.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cherry to not seek re-election

Rep. Mike Cherry of Princeton will not seek another term representing Kentucky's Fourth House District in Frankfort, according to a news release from his office today. The Democrat, who represents Crittenden, Livingston and Caldwell counties as well as a portion of McCracken County, has served in that capacity since 1999.

Cherry said he and his wife Gale, who is in public service as well as Princeton’s mayor, “feel this is the right time for me to step down. There is no single reason behind this hard decision, but I will be almost 70 at the end of this term, and I feel the job requires an energy and enthusiasm more often found in one younger. I will still look for, and hope to find, opportunities to be of service to my community and state.”

Next year's session of the Kentucky General Assembly will be his last. His term will end in early January 2013, after a new representative is elected in November 2012.

Area deaths

Vernice Martin, 55, of Eddyville died Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011 at Princeton Health and Rehabilitation. There are no public services. Boyd Funeral Directors is handling arrangements.

Frances Lou Gillette, 94, of Effingham, Ill., formerly of Livingston County, died Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011 at Parkview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Paducah. Funeral services are Sunday in the chapel of Boyd Funeral Directors.

Carriage rides offered Saturday

Saturday’s Christmas celebration in Marion will offer more than the annual parade down Main Street at 2 p.m.

Lori’s Carriage Rides of Ozark, Ill., will be offering horse-drawn tours beginning at noon from the parking lot of First Cumberland Presbyterian Church on West Bellville Street. The cost of rides will be $3 per person. The carriages may seat up to six comfortably.

There will be a short break from the rides from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m., in order for the carriage to transport 2011 grand marshal Judy Winn along the parade route.