Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Police urge residents to lock cars in town

Marion Police Department is investigating a rash of burglaries where items have been taken from unlocked parked cars.

Police Chief Ray O'Neal urges residents to protect the valuables by locking vehicles even when they're parked in driveways outside their own homes.

Early this week, a number of complaints were filed by residents of South Walker Street, North Walker Street, Old Shady Grove Road and Club Drive. In every incident, someone had rummaged through vehicles, taking anything of value. 

Boil water order issued for Marion

A citywide boil water advisory has been issued for Marion residents until further notice.

City Administrator Mark Bryant reported effective 1 p.m. today that all water from the city utility used for drinking or food preparation should be brought to a rolling boil for at least three minutes before use. The advisory was issued due to a leak caused during construction of the city's new water main on South Main Street.

The advisory is in effect until further notice, though the problem is being rectified at present. The typical advisory lasts for 24 hours.

The order does not affect rural subscribers to Crittenden-Livingston Water District.

For more information, contact Bryant at 965-2266.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Area deaths

William R. “Ricky” Kiebler, 55, of Paducah died Jan. 28, 2012 at Lourdes Hospital in Paducah. Funeral services are Tuesday in the chapel of Boyd Funeral Directors.

Ronald “Ronnie” Paul Rudd, 52, of Paducah died Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012, at Lourdes Hospital in Paducah. Funeral services are Wednesday at Keeling Family Funeral Home in Paducah.

Program to recognize black heritage

Pam Smith
Crittenden County Historical and Genealogical societies are presenting a one-night program on Feb. 16 in recognition of Black History Month.

In the presentation, Pam Smith of Chicago will discuss her African-American family research with a focus on her Crittenden County ancestors — Todd, Threlkeld and Hodge. She will also talk about her Kentucky family lineage that connects with Thomas Jefferson's sister, Lucy Jefferson Lewis of Livingston County.

Along the way she will share stories about finding other white Kentucky descendants of the people who enslaved her ancestors and what those initial encounters were like. The event will conclude with a question and answer period.

The program is free and begins at 6:30 p.m., at Crittenden County Public Library. It is funded in part by the Kentucky Humanities Council, Inc. and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Area death

Eugene “Sonnie” Ferrell, 70, of Salem died Friday, Jan. 27, 2012 at Western Baptist Hospital in Paducah. Funeral services are Monday at Myers Funeral Home with Bro. Junior Deason officiating. Masonic services are Sunday.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Jury finds Hughes guilty of raping 12-year-old

Ethan Thomas Hughes
aka Bradley Frazier
A Crittenden County Circuit Court Jury deliberated for almost two and a half hours Friday night before finding Ethan Thomas Hughes, 22, of Central City guilty of statutory rape.

Hughes impregnated a sixth-grade middle student in November 2008. Police learned about the situation and charged him in May of 2010 on one count of second-degree rape.

Hughes admitted on the stand to having sex with the 12-year-old girl, who no longer lives in Crittenden County. However, he testified that he thought she was 16, which is the age of consent in Kentucky. He was 19 at the time of the crime.

Following the verdict, Hughes had to be taken from the courtroom by officers because of outbursts and statements he made about the jury and the family of the victim. The jury's verdict came at almost 9 p.m., after a full-day of testimony.

The jury fixed his punishment at 10 years in prison.

The Crittenden Press printed edition will have details of the trial in next week's printed edition.

Tax returns offer cancer research aid

Rep. Mike Cherry (D-Princeton) encourages Kentucky taxpayers to “check” a box on line 36 when they complete their tax returns this year.  By doing so, they will contribute to the Breast Cancer Research and Education Trust Fund to help fund research, education, treatment and screenings throughout the commonwealth.  At right, Rep. Cherry is pictured next to an enlarged tax return form highlighting box 36.

Central City man on trial for rape today in Marion

A Central City man will stand trial today in Crittenden Circuit Court, accused of second-degree rape.

Ethan Thomas Hughes, 22, of Central City is accused of the crime. Investigators believe he impregnated a 12-year-old Marion girl in 2008.

Hughes will be represented by public defender Paul Sysol. Zac Greenwell will prosecute the case.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin around 9 a.m.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Official promises quick fix to collapsed bridge

UPDATED 10:30 P.M., JAN. 28

Two sections —about 300 feet — of the Eggner's Ferry Bridge at the western entrance to Land Between the Lakes (LBL) collapsed Thursday night after a cargo ship struck the bridge, according to Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials. The bridge carries U.S. 68/Ky. 80 traffic between Marshall and Trigg counties over Kentucky Lake. Officials visiting the scene on Friday promised expedited efforts to restore the flow of traffic.

The pilot of the ocean freight vessel Delta Mariner told the Coast Guard that he saw no vehicles on the deck when the boat struck the bridge, according to Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KyTC) officials. Search teams in boats from the Aurora Fire Department and Marshall County Rescue Squad reported there was no indication that vehicles were on the bridge at the time of the strike.

No one was injured on the ship, either, though it carried away part of the decking and truss of the bridge on its bow before it could stop. It was traveling downstream toward the dam.

About 2,800 vehicles per day cross the bridge which is the only Kentucky access to LBL from its western shores. U.S. 68/Ky. 80 runs through the recreational area, with another bridge over Lake Barkley in Trigg County. The next nearest road crossing into the recreational area west of Kentucky Lake is at Grand Rivers at the northern tip of LBL where The Trace begins. LBL can also be accessed at the southern end of The Trace at Dover, Tenn.

Authorities are asking people to stay clear of the area. No injuries have been reported, either to traffic crossing the bridge or on the tow that hit it. Kentucky State Police request that motorists who normally travel westbound on U.S. 68/Ky. 80 through LBL to please avoid the recreation area and Ky. 453 or The Trace.  KSP request motorist to instead use the Interstate 24 corridor to the Purchase Parkway to access the portion of western Kentucky west of LBL.

Jeff Ellis, a sales executive with the aggregate, paving and road construction company Rogers Group, said the collapsed bridge has really hurt the business. Ellis, of Marion, reports about 70 percent of the trucks from its Canton quarry on the opposite side of LBL pass over the collapsed bridge on an average work day.

Several officials visited the site today, including Congressman Ed Whitfield, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, KyTC Secretary Mike Hancock and Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson. In fact, Gov. Steve Beshear ordered today an immediate review of options for restoring traffic flow over the bridge.

“We’ll turn our attention to a full inspection of the bridge and determine what steps we can take next to speed up the replacement of that important artery," the governor said in a news release.

"At this moment, we're assessing the situation to see whether repair is feasible. We also will be exploring whether construction of the new bridge can be accelerated," added Sec. Hancock.

The bridge was first opened in 1932 before the Tennessee River was dammed forming Kentucky Lake. In 1943 the bridge was shut down in order to be raised to make room for boat traffic along the higher water level of the lake. During that time, a ferry was established to carry traffic across the river.

Just two months ago, part of the under-structure of the bridge was hit by a tow, closing the bridge for an inspection period.

Both the Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley U.S. 68/Ky. 80 bridges that allow access to LBL are scheduled to be replaced in 2017 by modern four-lane spans at the cost of about $350 million.

The Delta Mariner, without a load, displaces two tons of water at 312 feet in length and 56 feet across. According to The Journal of Commerce, Boeing uses the Delta Mariner, owned by Foss Maritime Co., to ship Delta IV rocket parts, including booster cores, to air force bases in Florida and California. The vessel carries rockets from a plant in Decatur, Ala. to the Gulf of Mexico and then to Cape Canaveral in Florida or to California via the Panama Canal.

For more, visit WestKentuckyStar.com or WPSD Local 6 online.

More candidates file in Kentucky

The candidate filing deadline for Kentucky’s May primary election is Tuesday, and as an update and clarification to this week's print edition of The Crittenden Press, there will be two contested races on May 22, but only one for countywide office.

Candidates who have filed to represent Crittenden and Livingston counties as of the close of business Wednesday are:

Crittenden County Circuit Clerk
  • Melissa Guill (R)
  • Vanda Adamson (R)
Livingston County Circuit Clerk
  • Debbie Harth Knoth (D)
Kentucky Judicial District 5 Commonwealth's Attorney
Crittenden, Union and Webster counties
  • Zac Greenwell* (D-Marion)
Kentucky Judicial District 56 Commonwealth's Attorney
Livingston, Caldwell, Trigg and Lyon counties
  • G.L. Ovey* (D-Eddyville)
Kentucky House District 4
Crittenden, Livingston, Caldwell and a portion of Trigg County
  • Lynn Bechler (R-Marion)
  • Raymond Giannini (D-Princeton)
Kentucky Senate District 1
Livingston, Lyon, Trigg, Calloway, Graves, Hickman and Fulton counties
  • Carroll Hubbard (D-Mayfield)
Kentucky Senate District 3
Crittenden, Union, Caldwell and Christian counties
  • Joey Pendleton* (D-Hopkinsville)
First Congressional Representative
Western Kentucky, though congressional redistricting is not finalized
  • Ed Whitfield* (R-Hopkinsville)
President of the United States
  • Mitt Romney (R)
  • Newt Gingrich (R)
  • Barack Obama* (D)
*Incumbent candidate

Unopposed candidates in the primary will not appear on the ballot. Non-partisan city government and school board races will appear on the General Election ballot in November.

See next week's edition of The Press for the final filings for the primary election.

Area death

Ann Marie DiMarco Tabor, 86, of Salem died Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012 at Western Baptist Hospital in Paducah. Funeral services are Sunday in the chapel of Boyd Funeral Directors.

KSP warn of online scams

Kentucky State Police wish to remind citizens of various online scams which could be a financial danger to anyone responding.

Over the past several weeks, KSP has received reports of various scams coming mostly in the form of email messages randomly sent to unsuspecting individuals. These scams are commonly referred to as phishing scams. These scams often look official, but have common details which are easy to spot. Phishing scams are defined as a way of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.

Most scams are relatively easy to spot. These messages usually include poor grammar and often ask for correspondence to be sent to a foreign country. The best rule of thumb is to immediately delete any messages which appear suspicious.  Never respond to a suspected scam.  For more information regarding scams, you can visit the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General website at www.ag.ky.gov.

Liberty Fuels offers pay at the pump 24/7

County turns 170 years old today

Crittenden County turns 170 today. The county was formed from an eastern portion of Livingston County on Jan. 26, 1842, the first of five Kentucky counties established that year.

Named for John J. Crittenden — a Kentucky politician who served in both chambers of Congress, twice as U.S. Attorney General, in the state legislature and as governor of Kentucky from 1848 to1850 — the county was the 91st to be formed in the commonwealth. Crittenden, an aide-de-camp in the War of 1812, is one of 30 figures from that war to have a Kentucky county named for him.

For more on the county’s birthday, see Brenda Underdown’s weekly column inside The Crittenden Press.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Violations of weight restriction threaten to close U.S. 60 bridge to all traffic

Over-rotated and deteriorated rockers connected to piers at the
base of the structure are just part of the problems that led to a
three-ton weight restriction on the U.S. 60 Tennessee River
bridge at Paducah.
More than 60 citations have been written to violators of the strict three-ton weight limit on the U.S. 60 Tennessee River bridge at Paducah, but local official and law enforcement are still concerned at the very real possibility that the span could be closed to all traffic if load limits continue to be exceeded.

Representatives of area law enforcement agencies met today to determine how to best enhance enforcement of the load restriction on the bridge, built in 1931.

While there has been a fairly continuous law enforcement presence at the bridge since the load limit was placed on the structure, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KyTC) and participating agencies have continued to get reports of trucks and large commercial vehicles crossing the bridge during hours when police are not present.

Last night, Livingston Fiscal Court discussed ways of supporting the enforcement effort on their side of the span to make it less likely the bridge would have to be closed to all traffic. Livingston County Sheriff Bobby Davidson, McCracken County Sheriff Jon Hayden, KyTC engineers and representatives of the Kentucky State Police and Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement also met today to better coordinate enforcement of the weight limit.

State police and vehicle enforcement units have written 23 citations for violation of the weight limit in nine days. McCracken County deputies wrote more than two dozen citations during that period, and Livingston County deputies estimated they have also written more than two dozen citations.
The minimum fine and court costs for violating the load limit is about $245, with several trucks having received additional citations for up to $600. State police reported one truck had been even cited twice for violating the load limit.

Livingston County Judge-Executive Chris Lasher expressed concern that if violations continue, the bridge would have to be closed to all traffic. KyTC highway engineers indicated that would be an option if trucks and other large vehicles continue to ignore the load limit.

Engineers continue developing plans to make some repairs to the structure in order to improve the likelihood that it can remain open to passenger vehicles and empty standard pickup trucks until a new bridge being constructed just upstream can be completed in mid-2014.

Deadline for grazing, livestock losses aid nears

U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director John W. McCauley reminds eligible ranchers and livestock producers who had livestock losses or grazing losses during the 2011 crop year that the deadline for applying for benefits under the Livestock Forage Disaster Program and the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program is Monday.

For more information, including eligibility requirements, on FSA’s livestock disaster assistance programs, contact the FSA center in Salem at 988-2180 or KYSALEM-FSA@ONE.USDA.GOV. Information may also be obtained on line at http://www.fsa.usda.gov.

Area deaths

Ruby L. Frantz, 87, of Marion died Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012 in Burna. Services are Sunday at Gilbert Funeral Home with interment in Pleasant Hill Cemetery.

Donnie Miller, 65, of Grand Rivers died Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012 at Lourdes Hospital in Paducah. Funeral services are Saturday in the chapel of Boyd Funeral Directors.

Pharmacy to host Chamber luncheon

KB Pharmacy will host Crittenden County Chamber of Commerce’s quarterly luncheon on Tuesday. The catered meal will be served at Marion Baptist Life Center and is free to guests. Special speakers at the meeting will be Mike Keller, R.Ph., and Larry Orr, CPA.

Those wishing to attend should RSVP the Chamber at 965-5015 by Thursday.

Reception honors retiring Rushing

A reception at the courthouse will be held Friday to honor Greg Rushing for his years of volunteer service as director of Crittenden County’s Emergency Management Agency. After 20 years in the position, Rushing retired last month, handing over the reins to one of his deputies, David Travis.

Judge-Executive Perry Newcom said everyone is invited to the gathering, which begins at 2 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Superintendent's contract renewed for 4 years

Dr. Yarbrough
Superintendent of Crittenden County Schools Dr. Rachel Yarbrough had her contract renewed for four years tonight by the board of education. The board's decision at its monthly meeting will keep Yarbrough here through at least 2016. She started as superintendent of the school district four years ago.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Area death

George Raymond Shire, 84, of Marion died Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012 at Crittenden County Health and Rehabilitation Center. Funeral services will be Thursday in the chapel of Boyd Funeral Directors.

Ferry resumes normal runs across Ohio River

The Cave In Rock Ferry, closed most of the day because of high winds, resumed normal operation shortly before 2 p.m., today.

Police: Hickman mayor shot, killed at home

From the KPA News Content Service
The mayor of Hickman, in Fulton County, in far Western Kentucky, has been shot and killed at his home, the Hickman police chief said early Monday.

Police chief Tony Grogan said Mayor Charles Murphy was shot and killed at his home. A suspect identified by police as Tommy Lattus, 30, gave himself up at the police station after the shooting. Grogan did not give a motive, according to WPSD-TV in Paducah.

Murphy was in his second term as Hickman mayor. The shooting reportedly occurred about 1 a.m. Monday.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Lawmaker proposes Amish buggy safety plan

Sen. Kenneth Winters, a Murray Republican, has
proposed Amish buggy safety legislation agreeable
with the communities across the state.
First District Sen. Ken Winters has proposed a plan that may put an end to dissension between officials and Kentucky’s Amish population regarding placement of safety-warning symbols on horse-drawn buggies. Winters (R-Murray), a native of Crittenden County, says Senate Bill 75 would implement changes to increase visibility of buggies and not offend the Amish religious beliefs. He says he’s spoken to Amish leaders and they find his proposal acceptable.

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

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Area Death

Paul Manker, 77, of Lola died Friday, Jan. 20, 2012 at Livingston Hospital and Healthcare Services in Salem. Services are Monday at St. William Catholic Church in Marion. Gilbert Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Friday, January 20, 2012

U.S. 641 blasting to resume Monday

A contractor for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KyTC) plans to start production blasting on the new U.S. 641 corridor in southern Crittenden County on Monday.

A test blast allowed engineers to calculate the optimum amount of explosives required for excavation at the site as work goes forward.

Completion of the test blast is expected to allow production blasting to begin about noon on Monday.  The contractor plans to set off explosives about every one or two days, with all blasting scheduled at approximately noon. Blasting on the project will be isolated to the area between Crayne Cemetery Road and Lloyd Road southeast of the Crayne community. An audible safety warning horn will provide an advance notice near the blasting site.

The blasting site will be in the knobs area east of existing U.S. 641 between mile point 2.565 and mile point 3.188.

Road Builders and Parkway Construction of Greenville is the prime contractor on this $18.6 million highway improvement project to build a four-lane section between Marion and Fredonia.

Timely traffic advisories for the 12 counties of KyTC Highway District 1 are available by going to www.facebook.com/kytcdistrict1.  You do not have to be a Facebook member to access this page.

Area deaths

Harold “Buddy” Rogers, 82, of Fredionia died Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012 at Princeton Health and Rehab Center. Services will be Saturday at Morgan's Funeral Home in Princeton.

Robert Louis Chittenden, 67, of Joy died Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. Funeral and Masonic services will be Sunday at Myers Funeral Home.

PrayerGate up and running

PrayerGate, a Marion-based prayer request hotline, is now functioning with live answering eight hours a day. The rest of the time, an answering machine will take requests. Local certified public accountant Larry Orr, who was diagnosed with cancer last year, started the program. It currently has a list of 30 individuals seeking daily prayer. Last year, Orr said the program's prayer warriors provided intercessory prayer for 41 individuals. Calls are being answered at 965-4300.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

State's jobless rate drops to 3-year low

KPA News Content Service
Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate dropped to a three-year low of 9.1 percent in December from 9.4 percent in November, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training.

The preliminary December jobless rate was 1.2 percentage points below the 10.3 percent rate recorded for the state in the same month a year earlier. The state’s December 2011 jobless rate is the lowest since the December 2008, when it was 8.5 percent.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate fell to 8.5 percent in December from 8.7 percent in November, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Labor force statistics, including the unemployment rate, are based on estimates and are compiled to measure trends rather than actually to count people working.

Princeton man to run for House seat

A Princeton man has announced his intentions to seek the Kentucky House District 4 seat to be vacated by Rep. Mike Cherry at the end of his current term. Raymond Giannini, friends with his fellow Caldwell County Democrat, said he has always respected the work of politicians but never really considered a run for office until now.

“I’ve been giving this a lot of thought and prayer,” the former director of Pennyrile District Health Department said. “The support has been great, and if not for that, I wouldn’t have considered it.”
Giannini, 58, is a native and longtime resident of the House district. He is married with two children in college and one a senior in high school.

Thus far, only Lynn Bechler (R-Marion) has filed for Cherry’s seat. However, Giannini plans to make his run official by filing paperwork later this week. Each man would run unopposed in the May primary if no other candidates file.

The filing deadline is Jan. 31.

Fohs Hall Ball tickets now on sale

The first-ever Fohs Hall Ball in 2001 was a big success and helped
commemorate the 75th anniversary of the building's construction.
The ninth  Fohs Hall Charity Ball will be held Feb. 18 at historic Fohs Hall in Marion. The elegant, semi-formal event feature fine dining from the Main Street Italian Grill, dancing, and music by the legendary Temple Airs of Evansville, Ind.

Tickets are on sale now for $75 per person and can be reserved by contacting Allison Evans at (270) 704-0447.  Dance only tickets can also be reserved for $25 per person.

A fund-raising auction will be held during the event. Auction items include a weekend at Green Turtle Bay, fine jewelry from Michelson’s, lunch with well-known cookbook author and community icon Ethel Tucker, a hand-crafted tiger maple corner cupboard by renowned woodcrafter Michael Wheeler and many other items. Jody Selph of Selph Portraits is the official photographer for the evening.

Don’t miss the opportunity to be part of this very important event. Proceeds will be used to maintain Fohs Hall for all the citizens of Marion and surrounding areas to enjoy for many years to come. Tax deductible contributions are accepted by mail to P.O. Box 1, Marion KY 42064

For more information contact, Michele Edwards, Marion Tourism Commission director, at  (270) 965-5015 director@marionkentucky.us.

Lady Rockets play tonight in All A Classic semifinal

Crittenden County's Lady Rockets will play University Heights, one of the top teams in the region, at 7:30 p.m., tonight at Dawson Springs in the semifinal round of the All A Classic.

Livingston Central plays Webster County at 6 p.m., tonight in the other semifinal game at Dawson.

Police investigate park vandalism

Marion Police Department is investigating vandalism at Marion-Crittenden County Park over the weekend. Police say someone, probably juveniles, painted obscene remarks on the front the bathrooms, using spray paint. Police Chief Ray O'Neal said city employees report almost weekly damages of some sort at the park. Anyone with information can call Crittenden County TipLine and remain anonymous. There is a $100 reward for information leading to an arrest .

Senate plan drastically reshapes districts

Legislative restricting, which include the state Senate plan below, has now passed both chambers, clearing the House Thursday by 58-39 margin. Crittenden County's legislators, both Democrats, were left on different sides of the partisan-fueled redistricting plans. In the House, districts were redrawn to favor Democrats, who control the chamber. In the Senate, lines were reshaped to favor majority Republicans, leaving several of their Democratic counterparts scratching their heads at their new districts. 

Rep. Mike Cherry voted in favor of the final measure, which favors House Democrats, and Sen. Dorsey Ridley opposed the plan, which leaves him representing a portion of Lexington that includes the University of Kentucky, where he has a son attending college. Ridley, who lives in Henderson 200 miles west of Lexington, will represent his new District 4 until re-election in 2014.

Thursday's House passage now sends the bill to the governor for his signature, making it law until redistricting rolls around again in 2022.

Ridley responds to redistricting
From The (Lexington) Herald Leader: Under the bill, central Lexington would be represented by Sen. Dorsey Ridley, a Democrat from Henderson, in far Western Kentucky, through 2014.

Rep. Kelly Flood, D-Lexington, said the move was "a perversion of democracy" and urged her colleagues to vote against the measure. Rep. David Watkins (D-Henderson) was the only other Democrat in the House to follow her lead.

Stein said she would not move from Lexington and was keeping her options open.

One scenario discussed Thursday could have kept Stein in the Senate, but it was shot down quickly.
Under that scenario, Ridley would file to run for the state House seat held by Watkins in Henderson County. If he won the House seat in November, Ridley would resign from the new 4th Senate District in Lexington, setting up a vacancy. The governor would call a special election to fill the vacancy, and Stein would run.

But Ridley said Thursday that he had "no plans at all" to run this year for the state House.

Asked again whether he might run for the state House this year, Ridley said, "Not just 'no,' but capital 'N,' capital 'O.'"

A Kentucky Senate plan for its own redistricting required after every U.S. Census would drastically reshape the boundaries for all 38 districts, move Crittenden County from its current district alongside Livingston County and change its representation in Frankfort. 

House Bill 1 redraws Congressional and state House, Senate and Judicial districts. Congressional and state House plans have already been approved by both legislative chambers, but the Senate passed its own plan Tuesday with a 22-14 vote split almost entirely down party lines. The map is expected to be approved by the House today.

Sen. Dorsey Ridley (D-Henderson) who currently represents Crittenden, Livingston, Caldwell, Union, Webster and Henderson counties, would not even represent his home county in the redistricting plan. His District 4 has been shifted to Fayette County, leaving him to represent Lexington residents until his term ends in 2015.

Sen. Joey Pendleton (D-Hopkinsville) (center), discusses
legislation with Sen. Joe Bowen (R-Owensboro) (left) and
Sen. Jack Westwood, R-Erlanger, in the Kentucky Senate.
Crittenden County would be shifted to District 3 along with Union, Caldwell and Christian counties. Sen. Joey Pendleton (D-Hopkinsville), who represents District 3 and is running for re-election this year, said he would be happy to represent agrarian counties from the Tennessee border to Illinois, even though constituents he has represented for more than 20 years would be moved to another district.

"I plan on representing these people just as I have these others in the past," Pendleton said on the floor Tuesday in being the only minority Democrat breaking ranks to vote for the bill. "I cannot stand here today and tell these new counties I have gained that I'm voting against you."

Sen. Ridley voted along with other Democrats who declared the GOP remapping was politically charged in order to punish the opposing party by essentially adding as many as four more seats to the 22-15-1 majority Republicans already have in the chamber.

"I've been here through several redistrictings and I understand the process," Pendleton said of the highly controversial plan.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Area death

Harold Riley "Cotton" Tabor, 72, of Marion died Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012 at his home. He was an Army veteran of the Vietnam War. Services are Saturday at Gilbert Funeral Home with interment in Frances Cemetery.

KSP invites farmers to outreach program

The Kentucky State Police/Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division is partnering with the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service to provide a "Farmer Outreach" forum that will forge enhanced relationships between law enforcement and the agricultural community.

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m., Monday in the University of Kentucky Research and Education Center on Hopkinsville Road in Princeton. Topics of discussion will include safety regulations, licensing requirements and driver qualifications and new legislation in effect for Kentucky farm operations.

For more information about the program, contact Officer Chris Green at (270) 388-2979 or Shane Bogle at (270) 365-2787

Five arrested in Livingston County drug raid

Five people were arrested Saturday night and charged with numerous offenses as the result of an investigation conducted by the Livingston County Sheriff's Department.

The investigation began as an anonymous complaint about possible drug activity. The Livingston County Sheriff's Department raided a property used as a deer hunting cabin on Carrsville Road
in northeast Livingston County in the early morning hours of Sunday.

Individuals arrested include:
  • Scott Ringstaff, 42, of Hampton — charged with criminal trespass, first degree; possession of controlled substance (meth); manufacturing methamphetamine and trafficking in a controlled substance (meth).
  • Tony C. Williams, 26, of Hampton — charged with Criminal
    trespass, first degree; possession of controlled substance, first degree (meth); manufacturing methamphetamine, first offense; and trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense (meth).
  • Jeremy See, 30, of Salem — charged with criminal trespass, first degree; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; possession of a controlled substance, first degree (meth) and; manufacturing methamphetamine, first offense.
  • Jessica Myrick, 30, of Hampton charged with criminal trespass, first degree.
  • Misty Alexander, 32, of Salem — charged with criminal trespass, first degree.
Two vehicles and several firearms were seized as a result of this investigation. The Livingston County Sheriff's Department encourages citizens to report suspicious activity and possible drug activity in their

Welcome Longbeards and Whitetails

The Crittenden Press Online welcomes a new partner this week.

Dale Willingham and his outfitting company Whitetails and Longbeards have been operating in the community for several years.

Now, we are proud to have them as part of our online community.

Visit them online at http://www.longbeardsandwhitetails.com/

Or contact them today at

Clerk says phone scam pirated her number

Crittenden Circuit Clerk Madeline Henderson says someone pirated her office phone number and has called at least one local resident as part of what could be a scam.

Henderson has investigated the claim and found that it is feasible for someone to us a caller identification signature that give credibility to the scam.

"It appeared as coming from 1-1-965-4200," Henderson said.

The caller told a local woman he was from the clerk's office and that she owed for a long overdue parking ticket. The woman didn't fall for the scam and the caller became offensive.

Henderson said anyone who receives a suspicious phone call allegedly from her office should call police.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Enforcement of bridge weight limit stepped up

For more pictures of the deteriorating bridge, visit our Facebook
page at www.Facebook.com/TheCrittendenPress.
Area law enforcement agencies have stepped up enforcement of the three-ton weight limit on the U.S. 60 Tennessee River bridge between Paducah and Ledbetter. The bridge was reduced to a three-ton maximum load limit last week after a review of the structure’s most recent inspection report mandated the restriction.

Over the last few days enforcement agencies have received a number of reports of vehicles exceeding the weight limit crossing the bridge. Kentucky State Police, Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement, the Livingston County Sheriff’s Department and the McCracken County Sheriff’s Department have responded by stepping up enforcement at the bridge this week.

There are multiple signs on each side of the bridge, including message boards, that clearly communicate the three-ton limit to drivers as they approach the bridge from all directions. Officers say a basic citation for violation of the load limit carries a fine and court costs of $245.  Additional fines may be included for drivers of commercial vehicles that are cited for violating the load limit.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet engineers have placed the bridge on an accelerated inspection schedule. The bridge will now be examined by inspectors every 30 days. The three-ton load limit is to help maintain the safety of the 81-year old bridge while a new $93 million bridge is being constructed upstream. Construction of the new bridge is expected to be complete in mid-2014.

Also known as the George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge, the existing US 60 Tennessee River bridge connects McCracken County to Livingston County between Paducah and Ledbetter. The bridge was opened to traffic in 1931 and carries approximately 7,700 vehicles across the Tennessee River in an average day.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Handheld devices banned in commercial vehicles

Kentucky authorities are reminding operators of commercial vehices to put away their smart phones and keep their eyes on the road.

On Jan. 3, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration banned the use of all handheld mobile communication devices while operating a commercial vehicle. The ban also prohibits the use of any such handheld device while stopped at a temporary traffic control device such as a traffic light or a stop sign.

The new regulation allows for a one button use for the purposes of initiating, answering or terminating a call and for full operation of a mobile device in an emergency situation in order to contact police or other emergency services.

The law is an attempt to lessen the number of collisions caused by inattentive drivers. Anyone having questions relating to the changes may contact the Kentucky State Police in Madisonville at (270) 676-3313.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Area death

Robert Wayne Coleman Millikan, 70, of Salem died Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012 at Salem Springlake Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Funeral services are Tuesday in the chapel of Boyd Funeral Directors.

Superintendents are skeptical of school bus ads bill

UPDATE: The bill passed the House Jan. 18 by a 69-27 vote with Rep. Mike Cherry (D-Princeton) voting against the measure.
Some area school superintendents are skeptical of the benefit of proposed legislation that would allow school districts to sell advertising on the exterior of school buses. House Bill 30 is currently awaiting a full vote in the state House scheduled for Tuesday.

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

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Area death

Timothy Allen Sparks, 55, died Thursday, Jan. 11, 2012 in Kansas City, Mo. Funeral services are Wednesday in the Chapel of Boyd Funeral Directors.

Livingston library to open next month

For Livingston County's 9,000-plus residents, a trip to the library used to mean as much as a half-hour trip across county lines to Marion or Paducah. But that will change early next month as Livingston opens the first ever public library in the county. Livingston County Judge-Executive Chris Lasher says the library project has been almost a decade in the making. It started in earnest about five years ago when designs were finalized and fundraising started.

For the complete story and an audio interview with Lasher, visit WKMS online.

Smithland dam project takes centerstage for AMP

For American Municipal Power Inc., a nonprofit wholesale power supplier to municipal electric systems based in Columbus, Ohio, hydropower is the No. 1 renewable energy source. To this end, AMP is moving forward with four developments along the Ohio River that will provide more than 300 megawatts of generating capacity for a majority of its 129 members in seven states.

AMP Chief Executive Officer Marc Gerken says hydropower has been “largely ignored” in recent discussions about alternative energy. “Hydro is not a new, shiny, sexy technology,” he said. It’s true, hydropower is not new. Hydroelectric generation comprised about 40 percent of total generation in the early 1900s. But by 2011, hydroelectricity accounted for just 7 percent, according to the National Hydropower Association.

The 72-megawatt Smithland project near Smithland, Ky., just one of AMP's four developments, will divert water from Smithland Locks and Dam through three horizontal 25.3-megawatt bulb turbines to generate an average gross annual output of about 379 gigawatt hours. The gross head of the project is 22 feet. The site will include an intake approach channel, a reinforced concrete powerhouse and a tailrace channel. A two-mile-long 161-kilovolt transmission line interconnection is planned to connect to MISO.

The $450 million Smithland project experienced some construction delays in May 2011 when continuous rains and backwater effect from the Mississippi River caused water to rise nearly to the crest of the cofferdam being installed to construct the powerhouse. Elevation at that part of the river had not reached such levels since 1937.

For the complete story, visit RenewableEnergyWorld.com.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Blasting for U.S. 641 begins in Crayne

After blasting today, work resumed on cutting a path through
the Crayne Knobs for the new, four-lane U.S. 641. Blasting will
continue until the adjacent knobs are tapered from the top down
in the form of a V in order to create a road bed between the two
topographic features.
A contractor for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KyTC)completed a test blast today as part of construction on the New U.S. 641 Corridor in Crittenden County. The test explosion was set off just before 1 p.m.

The test blast was to allow engineers to calculate the optimum amount of explosives required for excavation at the site as work goes forward.

Completion of the test blast should allow production blasting to begin in about seven to 10 days. The contractor plans blasts about every one to two days with all blasting at approximately noon. Blasting on the project will be isolated to the area between Crayne Cemetery Road and Lloyd Road southeast of the Crayne community. An audible safety warning horn will provide an advance notice near the blasting site.

The blasting site will be in the knobs area east of existing U.S. 641 between mile-points 2.565 and 3.188.

The contractor and transportation engineers will coordinate efforts to provide updated information to the public as the blasting schedule firms up.

Road Builders and Parkway Construction of Greenville is the Prime contractor on this $18.6 million highway improvement project to build a 4-lane section between Marion and Fredonia.

For pictures of today's activity, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TheCrittendenPress.

Timely traffic advisories for the 12 counties of KyTC Highway District 1 are available by going to www.facebook.com/kytcdistrict1. You do not have to be a Facebook member to access this page.

KU officially opens Morganfield facility

KU and area Morganfield officials get ready to cut the ribbon to
officially open a new facility in Morganfield.  They include (from left)
Kevin Sheilley of Northwest Kentucky Forward; Morganfield mayor
Bill Young; Union County Judge-Executive Jody Jenkins; Chris Hermann,
Senior VP, Energy Delivery for LG&E and KU; Brad Rives, Chief
Administrative Officer for LG&E and KU; Bob Burrow, KU
Morganfield Operations Team Leader; and former Morganfield mayor
Jerry Freer.
Fifty-four new jobs, improved customer service and a better command center for coping with weather emergencies — those are the benefits that Kentucky Utilities Co. officials said their $4.2 million newly opened customer service and operations center in Union County will provide.

For the complete story, visit The Gleaner online.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

3-ton limit placed on U.S. 60 Ledbetter bridge

The deteriorating condition of the U.S. 60 Tennessee River bridge
between Ledbetter and Paducah has forced transportation officials
to reduce the span's weight limit to only 3-ton vehicles. For more
photos of the areas of concern along the bridge, visit The Crittenden
Press' on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheCrittendenPress.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) is reducing the load limit on the U.S. 60 Tennessee River Bridge to three tons. The weight restriction was posted on Tuesday, essentially limiting the bridge to passenger vehicles and standard pick-up trucks only.

Jim LeFevre, chief district engineer of Department of Highways District 1 at Paducah, said the three-ton load limit is necessary for the safety of citizens who depend on the bridge to get to and from work. It also will help ensure that the bridge can remain in service until a new bridge currently under construction upstream can be completed, LeFevre said.

The new bridge, which is under construction 1,500 feet upstream from the existing structure, is on track for completion in mid-2014.

Also known as the George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge and the Ledbetter Bridge, the span connects McCracken County to Livingston County between Paducah and Ledbetter. The two-lane bridge was opened to traffic in 1931 and carries approximately 7,700 vehicles across the Tennessee River in an average day. About 80 percent is private passenger vehicle and commuter traffic that will be unaffected by the three-ton limit.

However, the limit will restrict truck traffic for a number of major businesses, including the ADM Livingston Point Elevator, Three Rivers Boat and Barge in Ledbetter, Livingston County Livestock Auction and additional businesses in Livingston, McCracken and Crittenden counties.

LeFevre said he and other engineers involved in the decision recognize that the load limit reduction will mean a lengthy detour that will pose a hardship to area truckers and some businesses.

“However, we believe at this time it is best to use caution as we work to maintain the existing structure while the new bridge is being constructed,” LeFevre said.

LeFevre said engineers will evaluate the possibility of repairs, though repair work that would force temporary closure of the bridge, perhaps for several months, would be impractical.

In 2007 the bridge was reduced to a 28-ton load limit for several weeks to allow deck reinforcement and pier cap repairs. Completion of that work allowed trucks to again cross with load limits only on certain types of trucks.

However, cabinet engineers in District 1 and at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet central office in Frankfort concluded, after analyzing results of an inspection completed in October 2011, that the deck, superstructure and substructure of the bridge had deteriorated enough to require the lower weight posting.

"Our prime concern here is the safety of the public. The bridge is safe for passenger vehicles and standard pick-up trucks.  We are not comfortable allowing larger vehicles to cross the bridge at this time," LeFevre noted.

Livingston County Judge-Executive Chris Lasher said he recognized the hardship on the affected businesses.  However, he said he agreed that maintaining the safety of the bridge for everyone should take priority.

Portable message boards have been placed at each end of the bridge to alert motorists of the load limit.  Signs are also up on U.S. 60 near the nine-mile marker in Livingston County and at the west edge of Marion in Crittenden County to alert trucks and travelers well before they reach the bridge. These message board are expected to remain in place several weeks to familiarize drivers with the weight restriction. More permanent signage should be up by the end of the week.

McCracken and Livingston County authorities will strictly be enforcing the weight limit. According to Kentucky law, violators can be fined up to $500 and/or sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Redistricting plan passes, keeping Crittenden in same House District 4 with Livingston and Caldwell counties

The Kentucky House of Representatives voted 63-34 Thursday afternoon to approve a redistricting plan that reshapes the commonwealth's 100 House districts. The new boundaries would remove McCracken County precincts from District 4 that includes the entirety of Crittenden, Livingston and Caldwell counties and replace them with precincts in north to central Trigg County. (Click on the above map to enlarge.)

Rep. Mike Cherry (D-Princeton) chair of the House State Government
Committee, presides over consideration of a redistricting bill.
An earlier report here had erroneously depicted a Republican proposed map introduced as an an alternative to the above map. That map was defeated in favor of the redistricting now shown here.

The bill passed by the house was filed by Cherry with lines drawn by House leadership, including Speaker Greg Stumbo (D-Prestonsburg). The final vote was largely along party lines in the House, where Democrats outnumber Republicans 59-41.

The House-approved map now heads to the Senate for approval. Changes to the plan are expected.

Survey will help drive health services in area

Local officials are asking residents to take a moment to complete the Crittenden County Quality of Life and Community Perceptions Survey. The purpose of this survey is to get your opinion about community health problems.

The Crittenden Health Improvement Partnership committee will be provided with the results of this survey to help identify the most pressing problems and help address them in Crittenden County.

All information provided will be kept confidential. Your opinion is important, and the survey takes fewer than 10 minutes. Thus far, the following number of people have completed the surveys:
  • Crittenden: 47 completed
  • Caldwell: 98 completed
  • Livingston: 108 completed
  • Lyon: 34 completed
  • Trigg: 46 completed
Click here to begin taking the survey if you are from Crittenden County. If you live in another county directed by the Pennyrile District Health Department, click on the respective link below:

Highway crews ready for wintery weather

Highway crews across Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KyTC) Districts 1 and 2 of western Kentucky are prepared to respond to an approaching winter weather system.

For the most part, the area has had light snow reported in all counties. The heaviest snow squalls have been across the northern half of the area. The pavement temperatures are holding in the mid 30’s.

KyTC rews are monitoring bridges, overpasses, and other potential trouble spots across the region. All crews have trucks loaded and are on standby to roll out quickly as the developing weather system requires.

"Our main concern is that as temperatures drop through the day and high winds help chill roadway surface temperatures there will be a potential for slick spots to develop fairly quickly," said Keith Todd, KyTC spokesman. "Crews are prepared to operate 24/7 as required over the next few days as temperatures are expected to drop into the 20’s the next two or three nights."

Motorists are asked to do their part to improve their own safety by reducing their driving speed to meet localized weather conditions. Drivers are advised to monitor area news media outlets for weather updates, particularly through the evening and overnight hours.

For timely updates, visit KyTC's facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/KYTCDistrict1 or http://www.facebook.com/KYTCDistrict2. District 1 covers Crittenden County.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wanted Marion man apprehended

At approximately 2:30 p.m., today, James “Eddie” Millikan was arrested after authorities received an anonymous tip. Millikan was lodged in the Henderson County Jail.
- - - - -
Crittenden County TipLine is now offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of James "Eddie" Millikan.

State Police have issued a warrant for his arrest on charges of third-degree burglary, a Class D felony.

Millikan, 35, is wanted in connection with a burglary on Long Branch Road in rural Crittenden County in which more than $10,000 in items were stolen, including a number of cases of ammunition.

Millikan is 5-foot-10 and weighs 190 pounds. He has brown hair and blue eyes.

Anyone with information can call 965-3000 and remain anonymous.

Whitfield to seek re-election

Rep. Whitfield
Congressman Ed Whitfield, a Hopkinsville Republican, has announced his intentions to seek a 10th term representing Kentucky’s First Congressional District on Capitol Hill. No one has yet to file against the incumbent, who has held the office since 1995. If re-elected, he would become the second longest serving representative of the district. Noble J. Gregory, a Democrat, held the seat from 1937 to 1959.

In other election filings, former Congressman Carol Hubbard (D-Mayfield) has filed to run for the Senate District 1 seat in Frankfort. The seat is currently held by Crittenden County native Ken Winters, a Murray Republican. Winters has not decided if he will seek re-election to a third term.

Area death

Edgar "Clay" Richardson, 86, of Marion died Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012 at Livingston Hospital and Health Services. Funeral services are Friday at Gilbert Funeral Home.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Area death

Cozette Ray Casper, 102, of Hampton died Monday, Jan. 9, 2012 at Paducah Center for Health and Rehabilitation. Funeral services are at 1 p.m., Thursday in the chapel of Boyd Funeral Directors.

Consumers warned of 'tech support' scam

Attorney General Jack Conway is alerting consumers about a new telemarketing scam that is making its way across Kentucky. Conway’s Office of Consumer Protection has received more than two dozen complaints since mid-November about a “Tech Support” telemarketing scam. Consumers report that the scammers impersonate tech support specialists who claim to have detected a virus on the victims’ computer.

“This is just another attempt by scammers to gain access to personal financial information and for the purpose of identity theft,” Conway said. “Never share personal information over the telephone with a stranger.”

For the complete story, visit the Kentucky Enquirer online.

Governor urges Kentuckians to apply for IRS's Earned Income Tax Credit

Gov. Steve Beshear Monday joined other officials to launch his annual campaign to urge eligible Kentuckians to apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a refundable federal tax credit for low- and middle-income working individuals and families.

“This tax credit is an extremely valuable resource for low-wage earning taxpayers struggling in this difficult economy, and I want to make certain that every Kentuckian eligible for this benefit receives it,” Beshear said. “In addition, an estimated 97 percent of received funds from this credit are infused back into local communities, thus boosting Kentucky business and benefiting local economies.”

In tax year 2010, Kentuckians filed nearly 400,000 EITC claims for a total of more than $876 million in benefits statewide. The average awarded credit was $2,200. According to the Internal Revenue Service, an estimated 15 to 20 percent of eligible workers still do not claim their EITC benefits, mostly due to lack of awareness.

Beshear announced a list of nearly 200 free tax preparation sites across the state where trained and IRS-certified volunteers will assist Kentuckians with filing their taxes and applying for EITC. To find information about these sites, including addresses, phone numbers and if appointments are required, visit http://assistance.ky.gov/.

For information about tax preparation, taxpayers may call Community Action Kentucky at 1-800-456-3452.

Eligibility for the EITC is based on income and household composition, as is the amount of the credit. Families who earned up to $49,078 in 2011 can be eligible for EITC. More extensive qualification information is also available at http://assistance.ky.gov/.

Beshear applauded the many organizations across the state working to bring awareness and provide easily accessible and free tax assistance to Kentuckians.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Winter about to invade Kentucky

From the KPA News Content Service
So far, this winter hasn't behaved much like a typical winter. But all that is about to change later this week.

Tuesday and Wednesday will remain mild with highs in the mid-40s to low 50s, according to the National Weather Service's Paducah office.

But all that changes on Thursday and Friday as cold air from Canada invades Kentucky. That will mean temperatures in the 30s and 20s later in the week, but it also means there will be a slight chance of snow showers Thursday afternoon and evening, the Weather Service said.

Lows will be in the teens during the upcoming cold spell.

Area death

Leealema Pauline Duncan Nichols, 67, of Providence died Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012 at Regional Medical Center in Madisonville. Services are scheduled for Thursday at Gilbert Funeral Home.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Police: Bath salt abusers sometimes turn violent

A Frankfort-area official said authorities have run into four incidents involving bath salts and violence within the last two weeks. And after three jailers at Franklin County Regional Jail were bitten by alleged users of the synthetic drug, Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton says the issue has “unequivocally exploded.”

An emergency amendment to House Bill 185, which bans some chemicals used in bath salts within the state, was introduced in the state House of Representatives Tuesday to “expand the definition” of chemicals that are on the ban list.

For the complete story, visit The State Journal online.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Blasting for U.S. 641 project to start in Crayne

As part of construction on the new U.S. 641 corridor in Crittenden County, Kentucky transportation officials say test blasting has been scheduled to take place next week, possibly as early at Wednesday.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KyTC) reports production blasting in the Crayne area is expected to begin seven to 10 days after the test shot has been performed next week. Once this starts, blasting will continue about every one to two days and will take place at noon on the days it will be done.

Blasting for the $18.6 million project will be isolated to the area between Crayne Cemetery Road and Lloyd Road southeast of the Crayne community. Residents living in that area will hear an audible warning signal before blasting takes place.

The contractor, Road Builders and Parkway Construction of Greenville, and KyTC engineers will coordinate efforts to provide updated information to the public as the test shot schedule firms up over the next several days. Once the test blast is executed, production blasting is expected to commence approximately one week from that day

The highway improvement project to build a four-lane section between Marion and Fredonia has been more than a decade in the works.

Area death

Judy Easley, 65, of Marion died Friday, Jan. 6, 2012 at Crittenden Health Systems. She was a retired elementary teacher from Crittenden County's school system. Services are scheduled for Sunday at Gilbert Funeral Home.

Local man wanted for questioning by authorities

Police say they are looking for a local man wanted in questioning regarding some active burglary cases in the county.

James Edward "Eddie" Millikan, 35, of Marion is believed to be in Crittenden or Webster counties. He is described as a white male, 5-foot-10, 190 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes.

Kentucky State Police, Marion Police Department and the Crittenden County Sheriff's Department are each involved in the investigation.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Millikan is asked to call the Marion Police Department at 965-3500.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Area death

Juanita Hobbs, 80, of Marion died Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012 at Crittenden Health Systems. Funeral services are Saturday at Myers Funeral Home.

Financial aid still available for winter heating

The crisis phase of Kentucky’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has begun, offering financial assistance to those in need of help to pay their utility bills.

LIHEAP’s first winter funding phase, for all eligible families who need heating assistance, ended in December. The program’s crisis phase, for families facing a home-heating emergency, ends March 31 or when funding runs out.

To apply or for further information, contact the Community Action Agency in your respective county listed below:
  • Crittenden: 402 N. Walker St., Marion, 965-4763.
  • Livingston: 502 Redd St., Smithland, 928-2827.
  • Caldwell: 116 E. Main St., Princeton, 365-5097.
  • Union: 227 Richards Lane, Morganfield, 389-3742.
  • Webster: 64 N. College St., Dixon, 639-5635.
  • Lyon: Courthouse, Eddyville, 388-7812.

Area death

Rosa Lee Lynch, 87, of Marion died Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 at Crittenden Health Systems. Services are Saturday at Gilbert Funeral Home.

Beshear outlines aims for legislative session

                                                                              LRC PUBLIC INFORMATION
Gov. Steve Beshear (left) greets Senate President David
Williams (R-Burkesville) as House Speaker Greg Stumbo
(D-Prestonsburg) looks on prior to the governor's State
of the Commonwealth Address Wednesday evening.
Gov. Steve Beshear projected deep cuts in the next two-year state budget, pushed for a constitutional amendment to allow expanded gambling and called for overhauling the state's tax structure in his fifth State of the Commonwealth address on Wednesday. The cuts could be as deep as 7 percent to 9 percent during the next two years, state officials said. Beshear, speaking before a joint session of the House and Senate, asked legislators to be "decisive and aggressive" and to take bold steps to fix the state's finances, better prepare its work force and attack Kentuckians' addictions to prescription drugs.

For the full story, visit The Herald Leader online.

Crittenden 2nd wettest county in 2011

Although 2011 began with lingering concerns about drought, the year ended as one of the wettest on record in Kentucky, according to state climatologist Dr. Stuart Foster.

While final numbers from the National Climatic Data Center are not yet available, Foster said the statewide average precipitation total from the Kentucky Mesonet, Kentucky’s official source of climatological observations, exceeded 63 inches and placed 2011 along with 1979 and 1950 as the wettest years in Kentucky in more than a century.

More than six feet of rain fell in Crittenden County in 2011, ranking it second in the commonwealth.

The statewide average precipitation between 1895 and 2010 is 47.5 inches, said Foster, director of the Mesonet and the Kentucky Climate Center at Western Kentucky University. The state’s 1950 average was 62.93 inches, while the 1979 average was 62.86.

The highest totals for 2011 were recorded at the Mesonet stations in Union County (73.78 inches), Crittenden County (73.24 inches) and Breckinridge County (72.35 inches).

The Kentucky Mesonet has 61 stations statewide that collect real-time weather and climate data on temperature, precipitation, humidity, solar radiation, wind speed and direction. Data is packaged into observations and transmitted to the Kentucky Climate Center every five minutes, 24 hours per day, throughout the year and is available online at www.kymesonet.org.

“The state experienced an extended wet spell lasting through the month of April and into the first week of May,” Foster said. “The highest precipitation totals occurred in the lower Ohio River Valley, resulting in widespread flooding. Totals for the period exceeded 20 inches at sites from Elizabethtown west to Benton in Marshall County.”

Temperatures were generally warmer than normal throughout much of the year. The year’s highest temperature, 103.4 degrees on Aug. 3 at the Kentucky Mesonet station near Russellville, posed no threat to Kentucky’s record of 114 degrees recorded on July 28, 1930, at Greensburg.

The lowest temperature was 9.6 degrees below zero on Feb. 11 at the Mesonet station near Bowling Green. Kentucky’s record low temperature of 37 degrees below zero was set at Shelbyville on Jan. 19, 1994.

Weather spotters were active during Kentucky’s severe weather season in 2011. Based on reports through the end of September, tornadoes occurred on 17 days, including 10 days in April. Although no fatalities were reported, 14 people were injured, and damage from tornadoes was estimated at more than $10 million.

While tornadoes are most frequent in spring, recent years have shown that they can occur during any month. In 2011, tornadoes were reported on two days in February, including an EF-3 tornado that struck before dawn on Feb. 28 in southeastern Henry County.

Severe weather was not limited to tornadoes. On April 25, the Kentucky Mesonet station at Murray reported a record wind gust of 101 mph. Hundreds of trees were uprooted and damage was reported to houses, barns and a local factory. More than 400 reports of hail were documented by the National Climatic Data Center through September, including a report of grapefruit-size hail in Pulaski County on April 9.

Flooding through the first nine months of 2011 resulted in six deaths, four injuries, and nearly $50 million of damage across Kentucky. Four children drowned during a flash flood on Feb. 24 in Hickman County.

A series of strong to severe thunderstorms during the early morning hours of June 20 dropped from 3 to 8 inches of rain across much of Bell and Knox counties, causing one fatality and extensive damage.

The winter of 2010-2011 was cold and snowy by Kentucky standards. A persistent weather pattern attributed to the Arctic Oscillation brought frequent snowstorms during the first half of winter. Snowfall totals for January exceed 10 inches over much of the northern and eastern portions of the state. In contrast, Foster noted, the winter of 2011-2012 has seen no significant snowfall through early January, highlighting the variable nature of Kentucky’s weather and climate.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Area death

Roy Spencer Rushing, 87, of Barrington Hills, Ill. died Saturday, Dec. 24, 2011. He was a native of Marion. Funeral services were Dec. 30, 2011 at Davenport Family Funeral Home in Barrington, Ill.

Crittenden man presents Trail of Tears program

The Fredonia Valley Heritage Society will meet on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Fredonia Lions Club Building on Shelby Street in Fredonia. Following the business meeting, William Ralph Paris, Jr., of Crittenden County, will present a program on “The Actual Trail of Tears and the Fredonia Valley.”

Meetings are held on the first Thursday of every odd numbered month where you can learn more about the history of the Fredonia Valley through informative programs and speakers. Membership fees are as follows: $15 for individual, renewed annually; $25 for family, renewed annually; $30 for businesses, renewed annually per voting member; $250 for lifetime.

Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Fredonia Valley Heritage Society is encouraged to attend the potluck meal and meeting on Thursday.

Area death

Kathy Belt, 55, of Marion died Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012 at Kindred Health Care in Louisville. Funeral services are Friday in the chapel of Boyd Funeral Directors.

Longtime political figure Galbraith has died at 64

Kentucky political figure and perennial gubernatorial candidate Gatewood Galbraith has died, according to Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn. Galbraith, 64, ran unsuccessfully for governor seven times, including in last November's gubernatorial race. He was a Lexington criminal defense attorney.

For the complete story, visit The Herald Leader online.

For audio of House Speaker Greg Stumbo of Prestonsburg commenting on the passing of one of the more iconoclastic figures in Kentucky politics, click here.

State is offering lowest interest rates ever through Kentucky Housing Corp.

From the KPA News Content Service

Gov. Steve Beshear Tuesday announced that the Kentucky Housing Corporation, the state housing finance agency, is offering the lowest rates in its 40-year history. 

“With rates this low and down payment and closing costs assistance, Kentuckians who thought they would not be able to own a home now have an opportunity,” Beshear said in a press release from his office. “I encourage potential homeowners to contact KHC to learn more about this unique financing opportunity. These low rates will not last.”

For a limited time, rates are as low as 3.375 percent, with a 30-year, fixed-rate term. KHC also has a program for down payment and closing costs assistance with a special rate of 3.625 percent.

KHC works with customers to simplify the home purchasing process. Buyers work with a network of KHC-approved lenders and banking institutions that help the buyer throughout the purchasing process. There are also over 1,000 KHC-certified real estate agents that are committed to helping their buyers find affordable home-financing solutions. A list of lenders and real estate agents is available on KHC’s website at www.KYHousing.org. 

“Kentuckians can feel comfortable purchasing a home through KHC,” said Richard L. McQuady, chief executive officer of KHC. “KHC home loans start with us and end with us. When homeowners make a payment or call about their loan, they are talking to a KHC staff person at our office in Frankfort.”

Kentucky Housing is able to offer these low rates through an extension of the New Issue Bond Program, a federal bond purchase program provided by the U.S. Department of Treasury. 

To learn more about this and other options available to potential home buyers through KHC, visit www.kyhousing.org, or contact KHC’s Homeownership Department toll-free in Kentucky at 800-633-8896 or 502-564-7630, extension 291, or TTY 711.