Monday, February 27, 2012

Area deaths

Thelma G. Melton, 91, died Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012, at Crittenden Health Systems in Marion. Services will be held Wednesday at Melton Funeral Home in Providence.

Minnie May Lane, 80, of Marion died Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012 at Regional Medical Center in Madisonville. Services are scheduled for Wednesday at Gilbert Funeral Home.

Donnie Belt, 59, Marion died Monday, Feb. 27, 2012 at his residence. Graveside funeral services are Wednesday in Mapleview Cemetery. Myers Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Area death

Alberta G. Wright Tyner, 84, of Tolu died Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012 at her home. Funeral services will be Tuesday in the chapel of Boyd Funeral Directors.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Bald eagle struck by vehicle rescued

UPDATE: 6:10 p.m., March 1
From Eileen Wicker of Raptor Rehabilitation of Kentucky, Inc., "She's getting stronger, but weirdly, she is not eating unless she is hand-fed. Then she wolfs it down. But if we just leave the food, she doesn't eat it. Very unusual. She goes in for a recheck at the vet Friday."

Officer Josh Hudson with the Kentucky Department of Fish and
Wildlife secures an injured bald eagle Friday as Crittenden County
Deputy Sheriff Greg Rushing helps home deposit the raptor for rescue.
A mature American bald eagle was rescued late Friday afternoon in northeast Crittenden County after being hit by a vehicle. The injured eagle, with white plumage on its head and tail, was left alongside the highway until officer Josh Hudson with Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife was able to respond.

The eagle, the national symbol of the United States, was removed from the scene by Hudson along with the help of Crittenden County Deputy Sheriff Greg Rushing  and taken to Eddyville where the Fish and Wildlife officer awaited a courier from the Raptor Rehabilitation Center of Kentucky in Louisville to pick up the injured bird of prey. There, the bird will be nursed back to health, if possible.

Though addled, the raptor did not appear to have suffered life-threatening injuries. It was able to make its way from the shoulder of the roadway after being struck on Ky. 365 near Sturgis to tall grass about 10 feet off the road. The driver of the vehicle that struck the bird called local authorities as well as Fish and Wildlife after striking the low-flying bird. He was later released.

Rushing stayed with the bird until Hudson arrived in order to help him put the eagle in a box for transport. A blanket was first put over the bird to calm it and also to allow Hudson to corral the fighting raptor as he placed it in the box.

The bald eagle, once listed as endangered, was taken of the threatened list in 2007. Despite, the raptor remains protected by law and to intentionally kill or possess the bird is illegal.

Once rehabilitated, the bird should be released near where it was hit in Crittenden County. It was not clear whether the eagle was a male or female.

County plans community meetings

Crittenden County Judge-Executive Perry Newcom is planing four community meetings similar to the one held at the courthouse earlier this year in order to address the county’s financial situation and proposed solutions to fund EMS, senior citizens programs, parks and recreation and other efforts, as well as a potential mandate to provide health insurance for all county employees under Obamacare. An occupational tax has been introduced to help fund these items.

Those meetings are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m., on the following dates:
  • Tuesday at Mattoon Volunteer Fire Department;
  • Thursday at Tolu Community Center;
  • March 6 at Shady Grove Volunteer Fire Department; and
  • March 8 tentatively at Dycusburg Baptist Church fellowship hall.
These meetings will give residents across the county a chance to weigh in on the issue before the taxing ordinance would be enacted with a second reading, probably at next month’s fiscal court meeting on March 20.

Sen. Ridley to, indeed, keep Crittenden County

Sen. Dorsey Ridley (far left) will remain Crittenden County's
senator in Frankfort until 2015 after a Kentucky Supreme Court
ruling Friday upheld 2002 district boundaries ruled used by a
Franklin Circuit judge in January. Also pictured with Ridley during
a visit to Capital Hill Wednesday are (from left) Crittenden County
Judge-Executive Perry Newcom, Marion Mayor Mickey Alexander,
Crittenden County Economic Development Corp. Board Chairman
Terry Bunnell, Crittenden Health Systems CEO Jim Christensen and
Rep. Mike Cherry.
The Kentucky Supreme Court has blocked implementation of the newly drawn boundaries for state legislative districts. In a two-page order issued a few hours after hearing oral arguments in the case Friday morning, the state’s highest court upheld Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd’s ruling that this year’s redistricting was unconstitutional.

The court said districts enacted in 2002 remain in place, meaning Sen. Dorsey Ridley (D-Henderson) will, in fact, remain a Senate District 4 lawmaker until 2015, representing Crittenden, Livingston, Caldwell, Union, Webster and Henderson counties instead of urban Lexington which was called for in redistricting legislation.

For the complete story, visit The Herald Leader online.

Area death

There will be a memorial service next month in Illinois for Dr. Arthur Gene “Art” Kupisch, 70, of Marion who died at his home Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012. The service will be at 11:30 a.m., March 4 at Calvary Cemetery in Mattoon, Ill. Myers Funeral Home in Marion is in charge of arrangements.

Drug trial today in Crittenden Circuit Court

UPDATE: Just before the trial began, the defendant entered an Alford plea, which means he admits there is enough evidence to convict him, but he does not admit guilt. The plea has a similar effect as pleading guilty. He will be formally sentenced on March 8 by Judge Rene Williams. Commonwealth Attorney Zac Greenwell is recommending a total of 10 years and will not oppose shock probation for Brewer.

A Metropolis, Ill., man will stand trial today in Crittenden Circuit Court on felony drug charges stemming from an undercover investigation in 2010.

Willard C. Brewer is charged with complicity possession of methamphetamine, complicity to manufacture meth and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Jury selection began at 8 a.m.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Senate gaming bill killed on floor

A bill to let the people of Kentucky vote on a proposed amendment to the commonwealth's constitution to allow expanded gaming was killed today on the Senate floor. Senate Bill 151, which would have allowed up to seven casinos in Kentucky if the referendum passed, left the Senate State and Local Government Committee Wednesday with bipartisan support.

Sen. Damon Thayer, a Republican, speaks to reporters Thursday
about Senate Bill 151's failure to reach passage from the Senate floor.
Thayer was a rare bipartisan supporter for placing an expanded gaming
constitutional amendment on the November ballot.

However, it was defeated 21-16 today in a floor vote. It needed seven more votes to pass and move to the House for approval. Of western Kentucky lawmakers, Sens. Dorsey Ridley (D-Henderson) and Joey Pendleton (D-Henderson) voted in favor of SB 151. Sens. Ken Winters (R-Murray) and Bob Leeper (I-Paducah) opposed the measure.

There are still measures in the House addressing Gov. Steve Beshear's proposal for an amendment to all expanded gaming.

For more on the story, visit The Herald Leader online.

KSP unveils Chevy Caprice cruiser

Have you ever wondered how a police agency chooses their police vehicle? The answers vary and obviously depend on the needs of the agency regarding the type of service delivery and geographical terrain that they routinely patrol in. Price, functionality, style, performance, and appearance are also some of the weighted factors taken into consideration.

While the Kentucky State Police utilize several different types of specialty vehicles, arguably none are more recognizable by the citizens of our state than the familiar gray marked cruiser with the blue bar light. Although we have driven the Ford Crown Victoria for many years, 2012 will reveal a somewhat different look. Last year, Ford announced that it would discontinue the Crown Victoria police package and replace it with the new Ford Police Interceptor.

After establishing a committee comprised of troopers, trainers, mechanics and researchers, each of the three police vehicle packages offered by Ford, Chevrolet, and Chrysler were studied over a several month period. Each vehicle was test driven in a variety of conditions on a controlled test track. Although each of the products tested had numerous attributes, it was determined that the Chevrolet Caprice police package would be the choice for purchase in the 2012 calendar year.

For more on the story and photos, visit Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer's blog online.

State fair board chairman, Workman, keeps job

It appears Harold Workman, Kentucky State Fair President and CEO, will get to keep his job a while longer. Workman, who has ties to Crittenden County, had been asked to resign by Gov. Steve Beshear for unspecified reasons. But in a fair board meeting today, members opted to keep Workman on the job.

Workman's current contract expires on June 30 according to

Paducah postal processing centers gets axed

Kentucky Press News Service

Eight postal service mail processing centers around Kentucky will be closed. In a press release Thursday, the postal service said processing centers in Somerset, Paducah, London, Hazard, Elizabethtown, Bowling Green, Campton and Lexington will close beginning in mid-May. Mail will now be processed at other facilities.

The U.S. Postal service has been fighting massive losses in the billions and looking to close facilities across the nation to stay profitable.

Meanwhile, the American Postal Workers Union is encouraging its members to voice their opposition to the postal service's decision.

"The union is continuing to oppose USPS plans to slash service, eliminate 35,000 jobs, and destroy the mail distribution network," according to a statement on the union's website.

Fifteen jobs from the Paducah plant will be moved to Evansville, which will now process virtually all of Crittenden County's mail.

Area death

Joan Love Thomas, 80, of Marion died at Crittenden Health Systems Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012. Graveside services will be Sunday at Love Cemetery. Boyd Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements.

Debra Gail Sullenger, 56, of Villa Park, Ill., died Jan. 23. There will be a memorial service Saturday, Feb. 25 at 11:30 a.m., at First Baptist Church in Fredonia.

Some not so happy about new U.S. 641

Gov. Steve Beshear speaks with Joyce Winters Claghorn of Fredonia last Wednesday at the Ed-Tech Center in Marion after a formal dedication of the new, four-lane U.S. 641. Claghorn, a Crittenden County native and sister of state Sen. Ken Winters (R-Murray), is unhappy with the possible path of the second leg of the road from Fredonia to Interstate 69 which could claim her home.

Actual work on the $18.6 million grade and drain construction phase of the first 5.2-mile leg — Marion to Fredonia — began in mid-December in Crayne.

Last week’s “ground-breaking” was simply ceremonial.

For more on the U.S. 641 story, see this week's issue of The Crittenden Press.

Newcom urges broadband survey participation

The Kentucky Office of Broadband Outreach and Development and the Kentucky Council of Area Development Districts has launched a new survey as part of Broadband KY initiative to obtain direct input from the public about broadband access and use across the commonwealth.

The survey is part of a rigorous broadband mapping and planning project for Kentucky that will provide comprehensive, current, and accurate information on how Kentuckians use broadband. Surveys will be accepted through March 7.

“I have been trying to find a way to provide internet access for the entire county as I believe that it would greatly enhance our educational opportunities for all our citizens and provide a greater level of business opportunities, said Crittenden County Judge-Executive Perry Newcom. “Hopefully, this type of survey can add more credibility to the fact that we are in desperate need of access for our area.”

Surveys will be solicited via email, but can be taken by any Kentucky citizen using the website or paper surveys. More than 100,000 businesses, non-profits, health organizations, local governments, and households in Kentucky have received email messages this asking them to participate in the survey.

Anyone can participate by visiting

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Area death

Lila D. Williams, 57, died Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012, after a brief battle with cancer. Funeral services are Friday at Gilbert's Funeral Home.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Former Livingston Judge-Executive, Smith, dies

Ralph Smith
Former Livingston County Judge-Executive and Sheriff Ralph Smith, 87, died Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012.

Smith graduated from Livingston County High School in the class of 1943, and entered into the field of farming and raising cattle – a life-long passion. Even after he entered into Calvert City Convalescent Center, he was aided by his loyal driver/helper to continue to visit his herd of black angus and “count heads.”

Once the state’s youngest sheriff, he retired as the oldest county judge. He was a charter member of the Kentucky Sheriffs’ Association.

Smith’s first term as sheriff was in 1954, with a salary of $400 a month and from that amount he had to hire his own deputy and use his personal vehicle. Before 1985, there was a rule that sheriffs could not succeed themselves, so at the end of his term Smith ran for county judge and won. With only one four-year interruption (1974-78), Smith flip-flopped in the two offices until 1981. He was elected county judge-executive in 1982 and held that position until he retired from office in 1999. In all, he spent 16 years as sheriff and 25 years as the county chief executive.

On Aug. 2, 2002, the Interstate 24 Cumberland River Bridge which connects Lyon and Livingston counties, was renamed and dedicated as Ralph Smith Bridge.

Funeral services will be Tuesday at Smith Funeral Chapel in Smithland.

Area death

Phillip Gordon "Babe" Sutton, 71, of Eddyville, died Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012, at Lourdes Hospital in Paducah. Services are Tuesday at Lakeland Funeral Home Chapel in Eddyville.

Water line work to disrupt traffic on Main Street

Traffic on North Main Street may get frustrating at the end of the month. Marion City Administrator Mark Bryant said extension of the city’s new water main to near Sturgis Road will begin Feb. 27.
Installing the line will take about five weeks Bryant said.

“I don't know if that means every-day flagging,” he said.

Local traffic can be routed through side streets, but large trucks will simply have to wait for clearance to pass.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Area death

Polly Herrin, 80, of Marion died Friday, Feb. 17, 2012, at Western Baptist Hospital in Paducah. Funeral services are Monday at Myers Funeral Home.

NRCS offers soil health workshops

U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) along with Conservation Partners will hold five soil health workshops next month. Workshops will increase participants' understanding on how soils function and reducing dependency on chemical fertilizers, pesticides and fuel.

"Last year, we held four workshops in Kentucky with great attendance," Karen Woodrich, state conservationist said. "We feel that the health of the resources in the commonwealth starts with the understanding of how our soils function. We want to share this knowledge with our farmers and partners."

Two nearby sessions will be:
  • March 8 from 8:30 a.m., to 4 p.m., at the Hopkins County Cooperative Extension Office at 75 Cornwall Drive in Madisonville; and
  • March 9 from 8:30 a.m., to 4 p.m., at the Marshall County Cooperative Extension Service at 1933 Mayfield Highway in Benton.
For more information or if you require alternative means of communication, call John E. Graham, NRCS Soil Health Specialist at (859) 224-7438 or e-mail at

Friday, February 17, 2012

Free resources available to Kentucky adults thinking about returning to college

Kentucky Press News Service
Kentucky adults considering returning to college have a free resource to help them make decisions about higher education.

Adults Returning to School is published by the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA), the state agency that administers Kentucky student financial aid programs and provides college planning materials.

The book provides information about entrance exams, financial aid programs and Kentucky colleges and universities. It also includes information about adult education programs and GED testing centers, as well as other state programs that can help adult students.

Adults Returning to School is available at adult education centers. Free copies are available through KHEAA by e-mailing

To learn how to plan and prepare for higher education, visit For more information about Kentucky scholarships and grants, visit; write KHEAA, P.O. Box 798, Frankfort, KY 40602; or call (800) 928-8926, ext. 6-7372.

Area death

Effie Marie Clark Croft, 88, of Salem died Friday, Feb. 17, 2012, at Salem Springlake Health and Rehabilitation Center. Funeral services are Sunday in the chapel of Boyd Funeral Directors.

New signage on blue mail boxes affects few

Some around town have noticed new signs on the two blue U.S. Mail drop boxes outside the post office and at other locations. It's led to a bit of confusion, but actually has very little effect on the average postal customer and even makes life a bit easier when it comes to dropping off bill payments or birthday cards.

The new triangular signs posted atop the blue boxes brings attention in bright red to the so-called "13-Ounce Rule," indicating that stamped mail over that weight is prohibited from being dropped in those boxes and must be brought inside and passed to a mail clerk during business hours. The reason, as the signage goes on to explain, is due to heightened security, primarily over the threat of explosive or hazardous materials inside heavy packages. Mail left in drop boxes over that weight will not be delivered.

Adding to any recent confusion is the removal of the familiar "local" and "out-of-town" labels on the two blue boxes outside the Marion Post Office, indicating the final destination of your mail. However, that change actually makes life easier on the customer. Mail — under 13 oz., of course — can be dropped in either. The same differentiation on the drops inside the post office will also be removed, allowing qualifying mail to be dropped in either slot. These changes are because the mail, whether with the local 42064 ZIP code or other must be sorted anyway to ensure proper bundling for delivery.

As for the question of whether your mail is over 13 oz., consider that the current AT&T Real Yellow Pages for Crittenden County residents weighs just under 10 oz. So virtually any letter, card or business mail in a standard manila envelope can still be deposited after hours inside the building or outside in the blue drop boxes.

Ridley, other western Kentucky legislators favor vote on racetrack casinos

Sen. Dorsey Ridley (center) favors a statewide vote on racetrack
casinos proposed by Gov. Steve Beshear (right). Both men, as well
as Rep. Mike Cherry (left), were in Marion Wednesday to formally
dedicate construction of a new U.S. 641 that has already begun.
A majority of the state legislators in the Henderson area favor a public vote on allowing casino-style gambling at horse racetracks. Senate Bill 151 is currently in the Senate State and Local Government Committee. State Sen. Dorsey Ridley (D-Henderson), said he favors the bill.

"This issue has been around since the decision was made on the lottery back in 1988," he noted. "It continues to be discussed. I think it's time the people of the commonwealth of Kentucky have an opportunity to vote on this.

"If they vote yes, we'll move forward. If they vote no, then we'll go on to something else."

Rep. Mike Cherry said he would have to see what comes out of the Senate before he would commit to answering the question how he would vote on gaming legislation. However, he did say that he would stick with his pledge that the only way he would vote for a gaming bill would be if it allows for the people of the commonwealth to decide in a statewide referendum whether to amend the Kentucky Constitution to allow expand gaming.

Even at that, he continued, the wording of the proposed amendment would have to be very clear and meet certain standards of his support for the measure.

For the complete story, visit The Gleaner online.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Upcoming classes at Marion Ed-Tech Center

Upcoming classes at Marion Ed-Tech Center
  • Electrician/HVAC/Plumbing: Saturday
  • Elements of Underground Mining: April 9 to May 3. Monday through Wednesday from 8 a.m. to noon. Thursday at Madisonville Community College 8 a.m. to noon. Only 12 seats available.
  • COMPASS test: call to set-up appointment
To register for a class or for additional information, call Jeremy Wheeler at 965-9294

Legislators want to rein in unbridled constables

A “compromise” bill that would allow local governments to limit duties of constables by ordinance has passed the Senate State and Local Government Committee. The legislation, Senate Bill 30, which originally sought a constitutional amendment to abolish the office, would give fiscal courts and merged governments more authority over the roles of constables. Local governments could not abolish the office outright, though, and must leave at least one duty for the elected peace officers.

For the full story, visit The State Journal online.

Area death

Betty Sue Guier, 74, of Cadiz, formerly of Dycusburg, died Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012, at Trigg County Hospital in Cadiz. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Friday at King's Funeral Home in Cadiz.

Risky wildfire season returns

Kentucky Press News Service
Forestry officials are cautioning the public that above-average rain this winter does not necessarily mean a low-risk wildfire season. So far this year, over 50 fires have burned nearly 1,500 acres in Kentucky. According to Kentucky Division of Forestry records, these numbers are higher than normal for this time of year.

“Although some predictions show a lower fire potential for Kentucky this spring, we don’t want the public to get lulled into a false sense of security,” said Leah MacSwords, KDF director and state forester, said in a statement from her office. “A string of hot, dry and windy days can quickly raise the risk and result in wildfire across the Commonwealth.”

Spring wildfire season that normally peaks in March and starts subsiding in April officially began Wednesday and ends April 30.

During this time, it is illegal to burn anything within 150 feet of any woodland or brushland between the daylight hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. The law is intended to prevent forest fires by allowing outdoor burning only when conditions are less likely to cause a wildfire to spread.

“We need the public to assist us in preventing wildfires,” MacSwords said. “Simple precautions and reporting arson can make a tremendous impact on an otherwise busy and costly fire season.”

The following recommendations are offered by KDF to help in prevention efforts:
  • Be aware of all outdoor burning restrictions, including forest fire hazard seasons, air pollution regulations, restrictions imposed by local ordinances and county burn bans.
  • Avoid burning debris during fire hazard seasons and during times of dry, windy conditions. Outdoor burning is illegal between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. in or within 150 feet of any woodland or brushland during forest fire hazard seasons.
  • Extinguish all campfires and debris piles completely. Never leave a fire unattended and always extinguish fires if conditions become too windy. The smallest spark can lead to a dangerous wildfire.
  • Extinguish smoking materials properly. Put out cigarettes, cigars, or pipes only in cleared areas free of vegetation or debris.
  • Avoid parking cars, trucks, or recreational vehicles on dry vegetation. The exhaust system on a vehicle can reach a temperature of more than 1,000 degrees, which is hot enough to start a wildfire during our current dry season.
  • Incorporate ‘Firewise’ practices around homes and communities in forested areas. Firewise practices range from creating a defensible space around homes by removing leaves, debris and firewood and ensuring access for fire response personnel and equipment in rural or isolated areas.
  • Report arson to the nearest Kentucky State Police post or call the Target Arson Hotline at 1-800-27-ARSON.
For more information about how you can prevent wildfires, contact the Kentucky Division of Forestry at 1-800-866-0555 or visit the division’s website at

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Free tax preparation offered

Free preparation and filing of tax documents is provided through the Pennyrile Allied Community Services (PACS) Senior Citizen Center in Marion. The service is being offered through the PACS Retired and Senior Volunteer Program.

From 9 a.m., to 2 p.m., every Tuesday through April 10, anyone can receive free tax preparation, but priority is given to those 60 and older. Service is by appointment only, which can be made by calling 965-5229. Next Wednesday, is also available.

The following must be brought with you at your appointment time:
  • Identification;
  • A copy of last year’s state and federal returns;
  • Verification of Social Security numbers for every member of your household; and
  • Forms W2, 1099, 1098, proof of Social Security/retirement income and any other documents that show income to be reported.

Governor formally dedicates new U.S. 641

Gov. Steve Beshear (third from left) officially broke ground today
on construction of a new U.S. 641 from Marion to — eventually —
Interstate 69. The ceremony took place at the Ed-Tech Center in
Marion, almost four miles from the primary current site of construction
in Crayne. Also pictured (from left) Crittenden County Economic
Development Corp. Board Chairman Terry Bunnell, Rep. Mike
Cherry, Gov. Beshear, Sen. Dorsey Ridley, Marion Mayor Mickey
Alexander and Crittenden County Judge-Executive Perry Newcom.
In a brief ceremony this morning, Gov. Steve Beshear formally dedicate construction of the new U.S. 641 that will eventually tie Marion to Interstate 69. Beshear was joined by Rep. Mike Cherry (D-Princeton), Sen. Dorsey Ridley (D-Henderson) who drove by car from Frankfort, and promptly returned to the Capitol for Day 30 of the 2012 legislative session.

The governor did not visit the primary site of construction in Crayne, but instead made his remarks christening the four-lane road after touching down in a state helicopter and traveling to the Ed-Tech Center in Marion. The center is about a mile from where the new U.S. 641 will tie into the existing corridor.

The new state roadway, the first to be constructed in Crittenden County in decades, has truly been a bipartisan effort.

The project, with roots as far back as 1990, was hatched under the leadership of Democratic Gov. Paul Patton in 1999 by then-Judge-Executive Victor “Pippi” Hardin, a Republican. Crittenden County’s representation in Frankfort has been Democratic — Rep.  Cherry and Sens. Paul Herron and Dorsey Ridley, both from Henderson — the entire 13 years since Hardin first pleaded the case for four-lane access to Marion for economic reasons. Subsequent judge-executives Fred Brown and Perry Newcom, meantime, are both Republicans like Hardin.

Late last year, when Cherry announced he would not seek re-election to his House seat, he called the construction of U.S. 641 one of his proudest achievements of his time in Frankfort. Hardin, too, has called it his most important work while judge-executive.

Meantime, Gov. Beshear, just weeks into his second term, has been in office during the critical phases of securing money to ensure construction of this first leg of U.S. 641 to Fredonia. The second leg, from Fredonia to I-69, is still awaiting property acquisitions and a determined route, but the governor assured the dozens in attendance at today meeting that the project would get finished.

Salem man charged with operating meth lab

Livingston and state authorities arrested a Salem man early today on four charges after discovering an active meth lab early today while executing a search warrant at his home at 157 Mill St.

According to a release, Brian W. King, 36, was arrested after Livingston County Sheriff’s Department along with the Kentucky State Police found the lab in his home at the time of entry. There was a small quantity of methamphetamine that was already in the finished stage in the residence, and officers also found a variety of prescription pills inside that had been crushed for ingestion.

The sheriff’s department charged King with possession of a controlled substance, first degree (meth), second offense; possession of a controlled substance, second degree (drug unspecified); possession of a controlled substance, third degree (drug unspecified); and manufacturing methamphetamine, first offense.

King was lodged in the McCracken County Jail.

The active meth lab site was removed by state police personnel who are trained to deal with the extremely volatile materials found with a meth lab.

The Livingston County Sheriff’s Department encouraged the public to report any suspicious drug activity at 928-2122.

Area death

Ronald Gene Hoffman, 67, of Deland, Fla., originally from Henderson, died Saturday, Jan. 22, 2012. He served his country in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. A memorial service will be held Saturday at Third Baptist Church in Owensboro. James H. Davis Funeral Home & Crematory in Owensboro is in charge of local arrangements.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

House member speaks on ending constable post

A 60-second cut and wrap with Rep. Derrick Graham of Frankfort voicing his thoughts about a proposed constitutional amendment that would eliminate the elected office of constable in Kentucky.

Fire and accident in different locations

Local responders were engaged in two emergency calls just before 5 p.m., today. Both were in the northwest part of the county.

A pickup truck overturned near the six-mile marker on Ky. 297. One person was taken to the hospital from the accident scene.

In a separate emergency, firemen responded to a garage fire behind a home near Tolu.

Governor's gaming bill would allow 7 locations

Gov. Steve Beshear’s expanded gaming bill introduced today would authorize a statewide vote to amend the state’s constitution to allow expanded gaming in up to seven locations in Kentucky. The bill would allow Kentucky voters to approve a constitutional amendment that would authorize up to five casinos at racetracks and two at stand-alone locations at least 60 miles from the nearest racetrack. Revenue from the gaming facilities would be spent for job creation, education, human services, health care, veterans programs, local governments, public safety and support of the horse industry.

For the complete story, visit The State Journal online.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Area death

Leonard Daymon, Jr., of Belleville, Mich., formerly of Hardin County, Ill., died Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012, at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich. Graveside services are scheduled for Saturday at Peters Creek Cemetery in Elizabethtown, Ill. Hardin County Funeral Service in Rosiclare, Ill., is in charge of arrangements.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Area death

Marcia Carolyn Shewmaker, 69, of Marion died Friday, Feb. 10 2012, at Crittenden County Health and Rehabilitation Center in Marion. Funeral service are Sunday at Myers Funeral Home.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Area deaths

Ronnie Landreth, 67, of Marion died Friday, Feb. 10, 2012, at his home. Memorial services will be held Monday at Gilbert Funeral Home.

Robert Lawrence "Robbie" Eberle, 44, of Marion died Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012, at his home in Marion. Memorial services will be held at a later date. Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion is in charge of arrangements.

Coalition supports putting gambling on ballot

Business, union and education leaders from across the state announced Thursday the formation of an advocacy group to call for putting a constitutional amendment to expand gambling on the November ballot.

For the complete story, visit The Herald Leader online.

Spring burn ban starts Wednesday

Kentucky's spring forest fire hazard season begins Wednesday and runs through April 30.  During forest fire seasons, it is illegal to burn anything between the hours of 6 a.m., and 6 p.m., within 150 feet of any woodland or brushland. As per state law, the Kentucky Division of Forestry is responsible for enforcing forest fire hazard seasons. Violations can be punishable by fines, jail time or both.

Additionally, inside the City of Marion it is not legal to burn trash of any kind, and burning of foliage should be reported to city officials before beginning.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Paducah grocery distributor to add 40 jobs

From the KPA News Content Service

Company and community officials in Paducah Wednesday unveiled a new 166,261-square-foot distribution facility for the H.T. Hackney Co. The Knoxville, Tenn.-based wholesale grocery distributor plans to add 40 new jobs as part of the expansion. The company already employs more than 100 in Paducah.

H.T. Hackney is one of the largest wholesale distributors in the United States, with 30 supply centers serving more than 20,000 retail customers in 22 states. Former University of Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl is the company's vice president of marketing.

“We are happy to expand our distribution center in a community that has readily available industrial parks that allow us to reduce our down time,” Dean Ballinger, H.T. Hackney’s vice president and chief operating officer, said in a press release from Gov. Steve Beshear's office. “Paducah is a leading location choice for the distributors. The incentive certainly helped us make a favorable decision for Paducah.” 

To encourage the expansion in McCracken County, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved H.T. Hackney for tax benefits up to $588,000 through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act. 

“We are excited that H.T. Hackney, which has been an employer in Paducah for the past 22 years, is continuing to invest not only in our community, but in our workforce,” state Sen. Robert Leeper of Paducah said.

Chicago woman traces local slave ancestry

Two programs next week will focus on a Chicago woman’s slave ancestry in Crittenden and Livingston counties.

On Tuesday, Pam Smith of Chicago will present “Tracing Slavery and Slaveholding on the Kentucky Frontier” in Smithland. This program, sponsored by the Livingston County Historical and Genealogical Society, will begin at noon. The program is free and everyone is invited to attend.

Smith will tell how she became interested in genealogy through her grandmother, Ione Holland, and the discovery of Professor Ann Neel, a white descendant of the family that owned her second great-grandfather, Baltimore Robinson, during slavery. Smith will discuss her African-American family research with a focus on Kentucky, including her Livingston County ancestors — the Lewis and Threlkeld families. Her family line connects with Thomas Jefferson’s sister, Lucy Jefferson Lewis of Livingston County.

She will share stories about finding Kentucky descendants of the people who enslaved her ancestors. Smith will tell her story through pictures, oral histories, census and probate records, information from research trips and results from DNA testing. The event will conclude with a question and answer period.

Tuesday’s program will be at Livingston County Historical & Genealogical Society located at 117 State St. in Smithland.  For questions or additional information, contact the society at 928-4656 or

Smith will conduct a similar program next Thursday in Marion detailing her ancestry in Crittenden County. That event will begin at 6:30 p.m., at Crittenden County Public Library. It is also free to attend. For further information, contact Brenda Underdown, call 704-6402 or e-mail

Kentucky honors Civil War's 150th anniversary

Pulitzer-Prize winning historian Dr. James M. McPherson summarized Kentucky's role during the American Civil War (1861-1865): "It is scarcely an exaggeration to say that the Confederacy would have won the war if it could have gained Kentucky," McPherson writes, "and, conversely, that the Union's success in retaining Kentucky as a base for invasions of the Confederate heartland brought eventual Union victory."

Today, the Kentucky Historical Society (KHS), administrator of the Kentucky Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, is working to highlight the Bluegrass State's importance during America's most significant conflict. Working with many partners, KHS is creating Civil War heritage tourism development opportunities, educating students, training teachers, developing initiatives for new scholarship and encouraging events and activities across the commonwealth.

For a list of Civil War sesquicentennial events in Kentucky, visit the Kentucky Historical Society online.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Donations piled for domestic violence shelters

Shock and awe. That was the reaction in the Capitol Rotunda when Kroger executive Tim McGurk and Domestic Violence Association President Ann Perkins unveiled Monday how much Shop and Share Day raised to help the state’s women’s shelters. This year’s total of $782,296 exceeded the goal of $500,000 by more than $250,000 – and totaled more than what the drive raised in the past four years. First lady Jane Beshear, who led the effort to collect food, supplies and money for 13 shelters of the DVA in Kentucky, thanked Kentuckians for their generosity.

Hopkinsville Area - Sanctuary, Inc.
  • Crisis Line: 1-800-766-0000
  • Business Line: (270) 885-4572 
  • Website:
Pennyrile Area Development District includes the Western Kentucky counties of Livingston, Crittenden, Lyon, Caldwell, Trigg, Hopkins, Christian, Muhlenberg and Todd; including the communities of Hopkinsville, Madisonville, Cadiz and Greenville.
For the complete story, visit The State Journal online.

Survey asks for input on Internet use

From the KPA news Content Service
Two state agencies are asking businesses and citizens to participate in a survey that will collect information on broadband use as part of the Broadband KY initiative to help increase internet utilization in the daily lives of Kentuckians.

“Broadband services are critical to the advancement of our state in education, economic development and job creation,” Lori H. Flanery, secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet, said in a press release. “The Broadband KY initiative is working to help businesses and citizens take full advantage of existing broadband capabilities and identify areas of greatest need for broadband expansion in homes, schools and commerce.”

The public survey will be available online through March 8 at More than 100,000 businesses, non-profit and health organizations, local governments and households in Kentucky will receive email messages this week requesting their participation.

The survey is designed to identify where internet access is not being fully utilized as an educational or business tool, and to target areas with limited or no broadband availability in the state. The results will help build a strategic plan to promote the internet as an economic development asset in all aspects of daily life.

The state has received more than $5.3 million in grants for broadband mapping and outreach programs.

Integrity of Eggners Ferry Bridge checked

The Delta Mariner ripped away a 322-foot section of the Eggners
Ferry Bridge over Kentucky Lake on Jan. 26.
A Kentucky Transportation Cabinet bridge inspection team plans to rappel down several piers on the U.S. 68/Ky. 80 Eggners Ferry Bridge on Thursday as part of an ongoing detailed review of the structure.

The examination of the piers is to help KYTC engineers further develop about a half-dozen options being considered to replace a 322-foot span knocked off the bridge the evening of Jan 26 when it was struck by the cargo ship Delta Mariner.

Climb team members plan to take a detailed look at Piers 4, 5, 6, and 7 on Thursday. This will require the inspection team to rappel from the top of each pier cap to the water.  The team expects to start their work around 9 a.m., if weather conditions permit.

The inspectors will be checking the structural integrity of each pier and specifically looking at the construction joint where new pier sections were added to raise the height of the bridge deck when Kentucky Lake was impounded in the mid-1940s.

Meanwhile, work continues to provide a reliable power source to the bridge. Transportation Cabinet personnel have been manning two generators to power navigation lights on the western portion of the damaged structure. Power that came from the Trigg County side of the bridge is being temporarily replaced by an electric line from the Marshall County end.  A transition to that new power source is expected to be complete by the end of the week.

Bridge's future iffy; Thursday inspection set

                                              KENTUCKY TRANSPORTATION CABINET PHOTO
Work on the new U.S. 60 bridge over the Tennessee River at
Paducah should be complete by mid-2014.
Violations of the weight restriction on the U.S. 60 Tennessee River bridge at Paducah continue to mount, threatening closure of the bridge to all traffic.

Kentucky State Police and the Livingston and McCracken County sheriff’s departments have written dozens of citations to those violating the three-ton restriction. Livingston County Judge-Executive Chris Lasher has expressed worries about the possibility of closing the bridge.

That decision has yet to be made.

Meantime, the bridge will be down to one lane between 8:30 a.m., and 2:30 p.m., Thursday for an inspection. Delays should be minimal.

Fohs Hall in need of facelift, support

Fohs Hall as it appears today.
She’s always been the belle of the ball, but as she prepares for her next big dance in just a matter of days, she’s feeling a bit run down and in need of a nip here and tuck there.

Fohs Hall, Marion’s most iconic landmark for more than 85 years, is showing signs of its age. Aside from a face lift, she’s in need of repairs to an ever-leaking roof and plaster crumbing from the walls. Paint and new stage curtains are in need, and heating and cooling units are on virtual life support. The building has also suffered from an infestation of insects, including bees and destructive termites.

But the still-stately building, constructed in 1926 and given to the people of Crittenden County by F. Julius Fohs for community use, remains the cultural center of the county. In just nine days, she will host her ninth Fohs Hall Ball, a formal dinner and dance set to the Big Band Era sounds of the Evansville-based Temple Airs.

“It’s the premier social event in Marion,” said Alan Stout, longtime president of Fohs Hall, Inc., the organization formed in 1981 for the perpetual preservation of Fohs Hall once it was no longer needed as a school.

The ball is also the biggest fund-raising effort for Fohs Hall, Inc. The first ball was held in 2001 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the structure’s opening. It proved to be such a success, that the tradition has continued almost annually. In fact, in 2010, the elegant affair netted $8,500 for Fohs Hall, Inc. The previous ball two years earlier brought in $6,134.

But this year, the building’s oversight board is depending on the ball more than ever before. That’s because funding from the Fohs Foundation — a charitable institution headed by decendents of its namesake aimed at improving Jewish-Arab relations in Israel — has dried up due to a combination of factors.
Fohs Hall under construction prior to
opening in 1926.

“We need to have a very successful Fohs Hall Ball,” Stout reiterated.

For years, the endowment contributed thousands to the maintenance of Fohs Hall in order to keep the legacy of its builder alive locally. But Fohs’ name carries far beyond Crittenden County. As a child in 1890, he moved to Marion from New York with his family, but he went on to become an internationally renowned geologist, philanthropist and champion of Jewish causes.

Stout said the sour economy, a change in leadership and an ardent focus on Israeli causes have led to the Fohs Foundation to drop its annual $15,000 contribution to the local oversight board.

The foundation was instrumental in the renovations to the structure 30 years ago when Fohs Hall, Inc., took over care of the building. Its annual gift, along with individual contributions, rentals for events, memberships and fundraisers have kept the doors open all these years.

“We’re appreciative of past support we have received,” Stout said of the foundation’s generosity. “Hopefully we'll get that in the future.”

In a recent meeting, members of the Fohs Hall, Inc., board of directors approached Marion Tourism Commission looking for financial assistance, perhaps through underwriting the cost of the ball so all revenue from tickets and the auction of donated items could be deposited in the board’s operational fund. Tourism, as well as Crittenden Fiscal Court, already contribute $500 annually for the building’s upkeep. Though the tourism board would not finance the cost of putting on the ball, the the commission offered hundreds of dollars of assistance in the form of promotional materials, postage and advertising, as well as donating an hand-made cabinet item for the auction.

Tourism, headed by Michele Edwards, has also pledged to continue promoting Fohs Hall through advertising and establishing a presence online through Facebook.

“We need to be more aggressive in marketing and promotion to let people know what it is available for,” Stout of the such efforts.

He said the board has been functioning on a Field of Dreams strategy — if you build, it they will come.

That strategy is starting to fade, with donors having been tight-fisted during The Great Recession. Also, fewer people are left who went to school in the majestic building, those whose emotional attachment makes the facility more than bricks and mortar.

Fohs Hall, Inc., board members are careful to not paint the situation as dire or hopeless. But the more than $20,000 earmarked for making essential repairs, such as to the leaky roof, falls short of funding the overall needs.

“There have been a lot of band-aids over the years, and now the chickens have come home to roost,” board member Tom Crider told the tourism commission of the building's declining health.

Linda Schumann, another board member actively seeking solutions to funding woes, said the board does have money set aside in its perpetual fund for repairs, but an estimated $113,000 is needed to complete desired upgrades, which is a cost higher than can be afforded at present

And with the loss of the foundation’s funding, the board is essentially operating on a year-to-year basis as far as financing annual expenses like utilities to keep the building functional.

“The concern I have more than anything is to find out the kinds of things that make it more attractive to the community,” Schumann said. “We need to buy some time and not let the building deteriorate.”

The building was selected as a Kentucky Landmark in June of 1981 and was accepted on the National Register of Historic Places in May of 1982.

Kohl's offers scholarships to volunteer youth

Kohl’s Department Stores will be awarding more than $420,000 in scholarships and prizes to more than 2,200 young volunteers who have made a positive impact on their communities. Through its Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program, the chain will offer awards from $50 Kohl’s gift cards to $10,000 scholarships. Nominations for children ages six to 18 will be accepted through March 15 at

Through the program, Kohl’s, which has an outlet in Paducah, is helping promising youth to further their education at a time when college tuition continues to increase yearly – a challenge to many American families who face high unemployment and stagnant incomes.

“Through the Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program, Kohl’s recognizes young volunteers who dedicate their time, energy and passion to helping others and bettering the communities we live in,” said Julie Gardner, Kohl’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. “During a time of economic uncertainty and high tuition costs, it’s important to support extraordinary kids by investing in their future. We encourage parents, teachers, neighbors and friends to nominate outstanding young volunteers at”

To nominate volunteers for a Kohl’s Cares scholarship, visit Nominators must be 21 years or older. Two nominees from each of the more than 1,100 Kohl’s stores nationwide will win a $50 Kohl’s gift card, and more than 200 will win regional scholarships worth $1,000 toward post-secondary education. Ten national winners will be awarded a total of $10,000 in scholarships for post-secondary education and Kohl’s will donate $1,000 to a nonprofit organization on each national winner’s behalf.

Since the program began in 2001, Kohl’s has recognized more than 15,000 kids with more than $3 million in scholarships and prizes.

Area death

Lena Inez Hunt Belt, 97, of Marion died Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2012, at Crittenden Health Systems. Services are Sunday at Gilbert Funeral Home.

Eggners Ferry Bridge salvage work continues

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet technicians have placed laser markers on the U.S. 68/Ky. 80 Eggners Ferry Bridge that will allow the Kentucky Transportation Research Center to detect movement down to a fraction of an inch. The focus of the ongoing study is the stability of three piers that may have been damaged when the cargo ship Delta Mariner struck the bridge, knocking a 322-foot span into Kentucky Lake on the night of Jan 26.

As a backup to the high-tech monitoring, engineers are taking a more traditional approach by surveying the bridge structure and continuing a variety of other prep work aimed at gathering detailed information that may be required to repair the structure.

Meantime, salvage workers successfully cut the Delta Mariner free from subsurface bridge debris at 10:15 a.m., Monday, and continue removing remaining portions of the bridge from the bow of the ship.

“The salvage operations are proceeding as planned, and it is a significant milestone that the ship has now been relocated downriver and clear of the Eggner Ferry Bridge,” said Cmdr. Claudia Gelzer, commanding officer of Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Paducah.

A 25-foot Response Boat-Small and crew from MSU Paducah remain on site to ensure safety of salvage operations.

The Coast Guard is working closely with the Army Corps of Engineers, the National Transportation Safety Board, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, Foss Maritime and Marshall County Sheriff's Office.

The investigation into the cause of the incident is ongoing.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Livestock market reopens Wednesday

'Hay,' we're back in business
Kentuckiana Livestock Market at Marion re-opens Wednesday. The local market has been closed for more than a year. It will host a sale the second Wednesday of each month starting tomorrow.

The livestock auction – formerly known as West Kentucky Livestock Market – closed in October 2010 after the collapse of Eastern Livestock Company.

The facility northeast of Marion sold to Riley Livestock Company of Mayfield last summer.

Pictured here are (foreground) Jason Curneal, new manager of the local market, and Adam Sanders. They were unloading hay today to get ready for this week's livestock.

Sales start at noon and cattle and other livestock are accepted starting the day before each sale.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Area deaths

Lahrie J. Guthrie, 71, of Henderson died Monday, Feb. 6, 2012 at VNA Charlier Hospice Center in Evansville. He was a U.S. Army veteran. A private service will be held at a later date. Benton-Glunt Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

James Kenneth Martin,68 of Eddyville died Monday, Feb. 6, 2012. There will be no services. Condolences may also be left online at

Virginia Isabelle Vaughan, 97, of Marion died Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012 at Crittenden Health and Rehabilitation Center.Funeral services will be held at Myers Funeral Home on Friday

Ruby Underdown Claridge, 94, of Evansville died Monday, Feb. 6, 2012 at Deaconess Gateway Hospital. Funeral services will be Thursday at Boone Funeral Home East Chapel in Evansville.

Kentucky prepares for earthquake drill

February has been proclaimed as Earthquake Awareness month as Kentucky continues to prepare for the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut Earthquake Drill, scheduled for Tuesday.

The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut in February 2012 will involve more than a million people through a broad‐based outreach program, partnerships with the media and public advocacy, according to a state press release. This event is being organized by the Central United States Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC) that includes the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Tennessee. The ShakeOut will be centered around a simultaneous Drop, Cover and Hold On drill that will be held 10:15 a.m. on Tuesday.

Drop, Cover and Hold On is the easy‐to-remember and recommended personal protective action to take in the event of an earthquake.

Tuesday is also the 200th anniversary of the last of the 1811‐12 earthquakes that destroyed the town of New Madrid, Mo. and created Reelfoot Lake in northwest Tennessee.

Scientists, experts and emergency management officials are aware earthquakes similar to, if not greater than, those that struck in 1811–12 could hit Kentucky anywhere, at any time and are taking steps to educate and prepare Kentuckians, and others alike.

“Unlike the weather, earthquakes cannot be predicted,” John Heltzel, director of Kentucky Emergency Management, said. “An earthquake similar to those our region experienced in 1811–12 could truly be catastrophic today and that is why we should take time now to educate ourselves and practice this drill in order to better protect ourselves and lessen that impact.”

The 2012 ShakeOut drill will follow on the success of the 2011 drill, where more than 3 million people, businesses and organizations participated in the largest preparedness event in central U.S. history. More than 357,000 registered from Kentucky and officials hope that number is increased this year.

Interested participants are encouraged to go to and pledge their family, school, business or organization’s participation in the drill. Registered participants will receive information on how to plan their drill and how to create dialogue with others about earthquake preparedness.

The Drop, Cover and Hold On drill is a two-minute commitment for something that can save your life. It all begins with registering, which is free and open to everyone.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Fish & Wildlife to host town hall meetings

People have the opportunity to exchange ideas and engage in open conversation with staff from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources during a series of town hall meetings being held across the state.

The nine town hall meetings, including two that cover Crittenden and surrounding counties, begin Monday in Lexington and conclude with the final session April 2 in Morehead. Individual meetings are subject to rescheduling due to bad weather.

The meetings encompass Kentucky Fish and Wildlife’s goal of striving toward a more informed and involved public. Commissioner Jon Gassett and managers of the departments’ various programs will be on hand to answer questions, provide updates and discuss issues of interest to hunters, anglers, trappers, boaters and other wildlife/outdoor enthusiasts. The commission member representing the district will also attend the meeting.

All meetings will begin at 7 p.m. local time.

The First Wildlife District meeting will be in Gilbertsville on March 26. The session will be held at the Kentucky Dam Village Convention Center, 113 Administration Drive. This district includes Crittenden, Livingston, Caldwell, Lyon and 10 other counties.

The following day, in Powderly, the Second Wildlife District will host  a meeting at the Merle Travis Music Center, 750 Cleaton Road. This district includes Union, Webster and 13 other counties.

For more information about the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, visit online at

Friday, February 3, 2012

Online poll open for slogan contest

Students across the Commonwealth are participating in the Office of the Secretary of State Voter Slogan and Essay Contest. The Secretary of State’s office has narrowed the field of slogan entries to 20 finalists and invites the general public to vote for their favorite. Slogans are judged on how well they attract attention and express the importance of participating in elections. Please take the time to cast your vote at The poll will remain open through 2 p.m. on Feb. 28.

“More than 1,000 students submitted entries for the slogan contest,” said Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. “We are thrilled about the level of participation and congratulate all of the contestants for realizing and bringing attention to the importance of civic involvement.”

Kentucky sixth through eighth graders were eligible to enter the slogan contest, and the essay contest was open to student in grades 9-12. Prizes of up to a $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond in the slogan contest and four $3,000 U.S. Savings Bonds in the essay contest will be awarded. The monetary awards are made possible by contest sponsors Houchens Industries, KEA Retired, Turner Construction, the University of Kentucky Scripps Howard First Amendment Center, and US Bank.

For more information about the contest, or to find out how your school, organization, or family can get involved in any civic activities taking place across Kentucky, please visit

Coast Guard OKs salvage plan for vessel involved in bridge collapse on Tennessee River

The Coast Guard approved a salvage plan today to remove both the supply ship Delta Mariner and a section of the Eggner Ferry Bridge that remains on its bow following a collision a week ago.

Salvage operations are anticipated to begin Saturday. Foss Maritime, owner of the Delta Mariner, has brought in numerous support vessels and technical salvage equipment in anticipation of debris removal operations.

"The Coast Guard is working closely with Foss Maritime to ensure the safest and most efficient salvage of the ship," said Cmdr. Claudia Gelzer, commanding officer of Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Paducah. "The company is cooperating fully and bringing the appropriate resources to bear in support of the operation. The goal is to free the ship from the bridge span debris and assess damages so it can be repaired and put back into service."

The Coast Guard has been enforcing a safety zone from mile marker 41 to mile marker 43 on either side of the bridge on the Tennessee River to protect the public from the damaged bridge and stricken ship since Jan. 26. The river was opened to commercial traffic on Jan. 28, with speed restrictions.

The Coast Guard Cutter Obion and a 25-foot Response Boat-Small and crew from MSU Paducah remain on site to ensure safety of salvage operations.  The Coast Guard is working closely with the Army Corps of Engineers, the National Transportation Safety Board, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife and Marshall County Police.
There are no reported injuries or pollution at this time.

The investigation into the cause of the incident is ongoing.

Big goings on tonight at Rocket Arena

There will be two high school basketball tonight at Rocket Arena with Crittenden's boys hosting Fort Campbell and the girls hosting Dawson Springs. The boys play at 6 and the girls after that.

There will be a ceremony to recognize Mary Mattingly, the only senior on either team, and senior cheerleader Jessic Tinsley at halftime of the first game.

Participants of Tumble Extreme will also perform at halftime of the boys' game.

The annual homecoming festivities, including crowning of a queen, will be held between games.

And, if that isn't enough, the Farmers Bank Marion-Crittenden County Athletics Hall of Fame will induct Chad Perryman and Vanessa Gray during a ceremony at halftime of the girls' game.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Gov. Beshear pledges to run 'pill mill' doctors out of Kentucky

Curbing Kentucky's increasing problem with prescription-drug abuse will be one of the top priorities of the current legislative session, Gov. Steve Beshear said Wednesday. Beshear said a bill will be introduced soon that will call for tighter controls on pain clinics and wider use of the state's prescription-monitoring system, among other things. One goal will be to crack down on so-called "pill mills" — offices where doctors give prescriptions for powerful painkillers and other drugs to addicts, usually with little or no real physical examination.

For the complete story, visit The Herald Leader online.

Area deaths

Rev. James T. Boone, 101, of Marion died Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012 at Crittenden County Health and Rehab. Services are Sunday at Gilbert Funeral Home.

William O. "Bill" Farmer, 98, of Henderson, former of Marion, died Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012 at St. Anthony Care Center in Henderson. Services are Monday Gilbert Funeral Home.

2nd Democrat files for congressional seat

Democrats will have at least one race to vote in on May 22.

Charles Kendall Hatchett of Benton filed Tuesday to run for Kentucky First Congressional District seat and will face James Buckmaster of Henderson in the Democratic primary. The winner will square off against the winner of the Republican primary. Thus far, only incumbent Ed Whitfield of Hopkinsville has filed for the GOP primary, seeking his 10th term in the seat.

Buckmaster, a doctor, is medical director of Tri-State Skin Care in Henderson. Hatchett has been a banker, construction worker and part-time auctioneer. He currently works on a temporary basis for the City of Calvert City. Hatchett ran against Whitfield in the 2010 congressional election.

Congressional and state legislative candidates have until Tuesday to file their papers for candidacy.

Republicans in Crittenden County, as of today, will vote for circuit clerk and U.S. President.

Uncontested races do not appear on the ballot.

NFL's Tebow to speak at Graves High

Tickets for the first-ever Graves County Eagle Foundation “Night with a Champion” featuring Tim Tebow on April 20 will go on sale Feb. 17 at Graves County High School (GCHS) or by calling (270) 856-TBOW.

 Tickets are available exclusively to members of the Graves County Eagle Foundation beginning at 9 a.m. Feb. 17. If you are not a member of the Graves County Eagle Foundation and would like to join, you may become a member at anytime. For more information regarding membership. please contact Doug Gloyd, athletic director at,, call at (270) 674-4884 or visit

On Monday, Feb. 27 seats not purchased by Graves County Eagle Foundation members will go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. at GCHS or by calling 856-TBOW. You may also purchase these tickets online at

Prior to the Graves County Eagle Foundation “Night with a Champion” an exclusive Tim Tebow meet and greet will be held at 6 p.m. in the GCHS cafĂ© for event sponsors.  If you would like to take advantage of the meet and greet and photo reception opportunity, contact Gloyd at or 674-4884.

Overweight traffic threatens bridge closure

Representatives of area law enforcement agencies plan to continue their enhanced enforcement of a three-ton load restriction on the U.S. 60 Tennessee River Bridge at Ledbetter.

Livingston County Sheriff Bobby Davidson, McCracken County Sheriff Jon Hayden, highways engineers and representatives of the Kentucky State Police (KSP) and Vehicle Enforcement Division have pledged to continue efforts to keep overweight vehicles off the bridge.

KSP reported 37 citations written by their officers as of Wednesday afternoon, including one DUI. The other participating agencies reported writing dozens of citations to overweight vehicles crossing the bridge with the numbers gradually dropping through the week as word has spread about the stepped up police effort.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KyTC) engineers are awaiting a printout from monitoring equipment placed on the bridge to help determine the number and size of vehicles illegally crossing the structure.

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 continued to ignore the posted load limit. Signs and message board have been placed on all highways approaching the bridge to alert truckers and motorists to the three-ton limit.

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

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 was opened to traffic in 1931 and now carries approximately 7,800 vehicles across the Tennessee River in an average day.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I-24 signage may improve emergency response

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) has installed additional mile point markers along Interstate 24 in McCracken County.

The new markers, placed every two-tenths of a mile, are intended to improve emergency response. Often motorists can tell 911 dispatchers that they are on I-24 but, with mile markers a mile apart, are unable to pinpoint their location.That means extra time for dispatchers to determine exact location, which in turn means delay in sending emergency personnel.The extra mile points will make it easier for motorists to accurately describe their location.

Transportation crews installed 56 signs this week mile between mile points 1 and 8. The idea of extra mile points was born in meetings of a joint-agency Incident Management Team in McCracken County.

The Incident Management Team is an inter-disciplinary group with a goal of improving safety and emergency response along I-24 in McCracken County. Other recommendations have included improvements in radio communication between agencies.

The estimated fabrication cost of the new mile point markers is $4,300.

The new mileposts in McCracken County cover the most heavily traveled section of I-24 in Kentucky. Approximately 40,000 vehicles travel I-24 between Exit 4 and Exit 7 in an average day.

Marion's boil water advisory lifted

The boil water advisory for all of Marion's water system users has been lifted according to City Administrator Mark Bryant. Bryant notified The Crittenden Press of the lift around 5:30 p.m.

Collapsed bridge open for viewing Saturday

On Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Land Between the Lakes (LBL) National Recreation Area will provide the public and media with a one-time opportunity to view the partial collapse of the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge across Kentucky Lake/Tennessee River. U.S. 68/Ky. 80 west from Woodlands Trace National Scenic Byway to the bridge will be temporarily opened to traffic.

Visitors will be directed to park at the Fenton Camping Area and Boat Ramp, and will be allowed to walk in designated areas only to view the bridge.  Be advised that there will be a quarter-mile walk from the parking area to the bridge viewing area.  This is the only time traffic will be allowed west on U.S. 68/Ky. 80 past Woodlands Trace. For public safety, this entire area, including the Fenton Boat Ramp and Camping Area, is completely closed to all vehicle, boat, and pedestrian traffic until further notice.  In the future, visitors ignoring road closures or U.S. Coast Guard restrictions on Kentucky Lake will be cited.

LBL reminds the public all other LBL facilities normally open at this time are operating as normal, except Turkey Bay Off-Highway Vehicle Area and Trails due to saturated soil conditions. Visit for outdoor recreation, program information, spring  alendar of events and any alerts and notices.

LBL is managed by the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, to provide outdoor recreation and environmental education for the public to enjoy.  Additional information is available on LBL’s official website at or by calling 1-800-LBL-7077 or (270) 924-2000.

Father, son located, arrested on felony theft

Father and son David Bauer, 48, and Joe Bauer, 24, were arrested by Livingston County authorities early Monday evening at a home near Lola.

Both subjects were being sought by police since Jan. 2, when the Bauers were suspected of stealing a large spool of copper wire valued at $2,500 from Pine Bluff Sand and Gravel near the Salem.

The Bauer’s are also suspected of stealing approximately 1,100 feet of copper wire from Cook Farms near Salem as well as causing a great deal of damage to Cook Farm property while attempting to remove the wire from a large irrigation system.

The Bauers were located due to an anonymous tip to the Livingston County Sheriff's department. The Bauer’s were taken into custody without incident by the sheriff’s department and the Kentucky State Police and lodged in the McCracken County Jail.

Boil water advisory continues for Marion

The boil water advisory for the City of Marion is still in effect.

On Tuesday, City Administrator Mark Bryant said crews replacing the city's water main nicked a line, leading to the advisory having been issued at 1 p.m. At the time, Bryant said the typical advisory is for 24 hours, but water quality tests from today have yet to come back. He said it would be at least 4 p.m. before he knew anything further.

Anyone using the city's water system should continue to bring water to a three-minute rolling boil before use in food preparation or for drinking.

Dr. Rachel Yarbrough, superintendent of schools, said students and staff at the county's schools have been supplied bottled water today to deal with drinking water issues.

Inside this week's print edition of The Press

Super Bowl connections
Some familiar faces are connected to the biggest football game of the year — Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis. Three former Crittenden County residents are tied to the NFL’s championship game in some manner — one appearing with Madonna during the halftime performance, one on an advertising campaign leading up to the game and another working security behind the scenes.

Rape trial
A jury of four women and eight men following a day of testimony deliberated for almost two and a half hours before finding a Central City man guilty of statutory rape and recommending a 10-year prison sentence.

Burglary charges
Charges continue to mount against a couple of men police arrested recently for their believed involvement in a series of burglaries in the county.

Election filings
Crittenden County native Kenneth Winters has decided against seeking a third term in the Kentucky Senate. The Murray Republican, who represents Livingston County in the Senate District 1, will retire from the state legislature when his current term ends in January 2013. Find out all of the current election filings for Kentucky May 22 primary.

75 of 952 early-release prisoners in trouble

As Kentucky prepares to grant early parole to an estimated 204 additional prisoners this month, state correction officials say implementation of the controversial penal code reform is going smoothly. The prisoners will be paroled throughout February and are in addition to the 952 prisoners who were released in January, including as many as 15 from Crittenden County. The monthly releases are being made under the Mandatory Re-Entry Supervision program, a legislative initiative to reduce prison costs and populations.

Unlike last month, when a tentative list of early parolees was released to the public in advance, the names of February’s early parolees will not be available to the public until it is finalized today.

So far, 75 of the prisoners released in January have received violations since leaving prison, according to the corrections department.

For the complete story, visit The Kentucky Enquirer online.