Thursday, January 31, 2013

Police recover stolen motorcycles at Hampton-area 'chop shop,' makearrest

Earlier today, a multi-agency law enforcement investigation that included Crittenden County officers discovered at a northern Livingston County home and farm a significant amount of property that had been reported stolen to several agencies. Kentucky State Police report Joseph Shane Robinson, 38, of Hampton was arrested and charged with four counts of receiving stolen property in connection with the case.

Information attained by authorities led to the execution of a search warrant at the rural property. Troopers and detectives with the state police, along with deputies from the Livingston, Lyon and Crittenden County sheriff’s departments, executed the search warrant on Duley Road near Hampton.

At the property, troopers discovered a suspected “chop shop operation” with two stolen Harley Davidson motorcycles being recovered, one that was reported stolen to the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department and one that was reported stolen from Ohio. Troopers also recovered numerous other motorcycle parts believed to have been removed from other stolen motorcycles.

In addition, state authorities recovered an enclosed trailer that was reported stolen to the Crittenden County Sheriff’s Department. Also recovered were furnishings and electronics stolen in a November theft in Kuttawa that had been reported to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Department.

Robinson was lodged in McCracken County Jail in Paducah. Bond was set at $15,000. The investigation is continuing by the Kentucky State Police.

12-year-old charged after bathroom threat

A 12-year-old was charged with criminal mischief and third-degree terroristic threatening after writing a message on the wall of a girls bathroom at a Warren County elementary school, according to Officer Ronnie Ward, spokesman at the Bowling Green Police Department.

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

Area deaths

Deloris Jane Beard, 78, of Marion died Wednesday at Livingston Hospital and Healthcare Services in Salem. Boyd Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements. There will be no services.

Ollie "Eugene" Tinsley, 77, of Marion died at his home Tuesday. Gilbert Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

State health plan launches discount program with Walmart

Kentucky Employees' Health Plan members will receive access to Vitality HealthyFood, a program that makes plan members who shop at Walmart eligible for 5 percent savings on products including fresh fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy. The products carry Walmart's "Great for You" icon.

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

Area death

Harold O'Neil Bryant, 61, of Marion died Tuesday at Livingston Hospital and Healthcare Services in Salem. Funeral services are Saturday at Myers Funeral Home.

Kentucky students score higher on EXPLORE and PLAN tests

Kentucky students scored higher on EXPLORE and PLAN tests in 2012, registering gains in every subject tested, according to data released today by the Kentucky Department of Education. The data also show more students are on track to be ready for college coursework by the time they graduate high school. (District- and school-level average scores and other data are available at

The EXPLORE test is given to all 8th-grade public school students and the PLAN test is given to all 10th-grade public school students in Kentucky each September. The assessments, precursors to the ACT college entrance exam given to all public high school juniors in the state each March, test knowledge in English, mathematics, reading and science.

“We’re extremely pleased with the results but are not surprised by them,” said Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday. “Since the implementation of Senate Bill 1 (2009), we’ve been focused on getting students ready for college and career. These test results are a clear indicator of the progress that teachers and students are making toward that goal.”

EXPLORE provides an early indicator of readiness for college, provides important information for building a high school academic plan and helps students identify careers in which they might be interested. PLAN serves as the midpoint check of academic progress in high school. It is designed to
improve students’ preparation for education, training and work after high school while students still have time to adjust their high school courses.

“Both tests are important tools for educators, students and parents to use when planning for the future,” Holliday said. Individual student scores have already been sent home to parents. “These results should be a topic of discussion about whether students are adequately preparing themselves for life after high school,” he said.

In addition to higher scores, the data also show the percentage of students on track to be ready for credit-bearing college coursework increased up to 6 percent from 2011 -- depending on grade and subject, and up to 13 percent since the tests were first given statewide in 2006.

“While we have made progress on getting students ready for college, we clearly have more work to do in this area,” said Holliday. “We also need to work on closing the gaps in performance between student groups to ensure all Kentucky students graduate college/career-ready.”

Rumored Senate candidate splits from husband

If Kentucky native Ashley Judd plans a run against Sen. Mitch McConnell in 2014 for one of the commonwealth's two seats in the U.S. Senate, the actress will apparently be doing it without her husband. People magazine reports that Judd, currently a resident of Tennessee, and her husband of more than a decade are calling it quits. The couple married in 2001 in Scotland.  Franchitti is a race car driver.

Judd is a Democrat and has been rumored as a candidate for the Senate seat held by Minority Leader McConnell, who has represented Kentucky in the upper chamber since 1985. He has led the GOP in the Senate since 2007.

For the full story, visit the Kentucky Press News Service online.

Storm spares county

Despite Tuesday night's harried weather warnings, Crittenden County Judge-Executive Perry Newcom said he had no reports of injuries or major damage from the county. "We had a few limbs down here and there, but that's about it," he said this morning. Road crews were clearing any debris that might remain on roadways.

With a severe thunderstorm warning late into the night and a tornado watch persisting until 4 a.m., this morning, several people did take shelter in the basement of the courthouse, which is typically open in the case of impending severe weather.

There was sporadic damage, flash flooding, power outages, injuries and a few tornado warnings across the region as the weather front moved through last night, but Crittenden County was largely spared the brunt of the system.

However, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet reports some water remaining over state roadways. In Webster County, water is over the road on Ky. 270 between mile-points 6.8 and 8.7. Flood waters are  also affecting traffic on Ky. 120 between mile-points 10 and 11 in the Bull Creek area. Meantime, Ky. 138 in Webster County is closed between the 10- and 11-mile markers.

For a wrap-up of some of the damages reported across Kentucky, visit the Kentucky Press News Service online.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Speed bump only temporary

A temporary speed bump was placed on West Gum Street near the junction with Main Street in Marion around 2 p.m. Tuesday when a dump truck hauling rock lost its load. Crews are working to remove the rock from the roadway.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Area death

Samuel Wesley Mardis, an infant, of Dexter, Ky., died Jan. 22, 2013 at Murray-Calloway County Hospital. His grandparents are Greg and Judy Binkley of Marion. Private graveside services were last Saturday. 
Imes-Miller Funeral Home in Murray was in charge of arrangements.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Area death

Ruth Carner Drury, 97, died Thursday at Crittenden Health and Rehabilitation Center in Marion. Myers Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Livingston youth charged in 4-wheeler theft

A Livingston County juvenile has been charged in connection with a four-wheeler theft reported earlier this month.

On Jan. 13 Livingston County Sheriff's Department received a complaint of a stolen Honda TRX 450ER. The complaint and location of theft originated in Salem. An investigation by Deputy Robert Johnson has led to charges of receiving stolen property less than $10,000 against the youth. Johnson's investigation led to the recovery of the stolen four wheeler as well as several county road signs.

The case is under investigation and additional charges are probable for others involved.

Elkton police officer jailed

An Elkton city police officer was arrested late Thursday night on charges stemming from an undercover drug investigation.

Kentucky State Police received information in reference to an Elkton police officer attempting to buy narcotics while on duty. State police conducted an undercover investigation and performed a controlled delivery to Officer Russell Morris, 44, of the Elkton Police Department. Morris was arrested shortly after 11 p.m. and charged with first degree official misconduct; firearm-enhanced first degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense; and firearm-enhanced possession of a synthetic cannabinoid agonist. He was lodged in the Muhlenberg County Detention Center.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Whitfield reappointed as chairman of House Energy and Power Subcommittee

U.S. Representative Ed Whitfield (R-Hopkinsville) this week was reappointed as chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy and Power of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The subcommittee has jurisdiction over a number of federal agencies and issues that play a major role in the nation’s energy policy, including authority over the Department of Energy, nuclear power, the national power grid system, the Clean Air Act and other issues directly related to the coal industry. As chairman, Whitfield has been a leading advocate on behalf of the Kentucky coal industry, working to ensure coal is a leading component of our “all-of-the-above” approach to achieving North American energy independence.
“I am pleased that (Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred) Upton has once again called on me to serve as the chairman of the Energy and Power Subcommittee,” said Whitfield. “I believe we made great strides during the 112th Congress in reining in President Obama’s overreaching EPA, but we have more work to do. We will continue to pursue policies that help promote job creation, economic growth, and energy independence—policies that will continue to benefit Kentucky families. This administration is still trying to regulate coal out of existence and I refuse to stand idly by as these regulations destroy jobs and increase energy costs for consumers.  We have once again developed an aggressive agenda that I hope we can pursue in a bipartisan manner.”

Area death

William “Bill” Keith Bennett, 65, of Fayetteville, N.C., formerly of Crittenden County, died Jan. 17 at his home. Reeves Funeral Home of Hope Mills, N.C., handled the arrangements.

County GOP talks gun, states rights

Crittenden County Republicans will meet 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the courthouse in Marion. Agenda items for discussion include gun rights protected by the Second Amendment and states rights outlined in the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.

Everyone, regardless of party affiliation, is being invited to attend.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Area death

Nelson Hughes, 70, of Marion died Tuesday at Lourdes Hospital in Paducah. Funeral services will be Saturday at Myers Funeral Home. Burial will follow  in the Mapleview Cemetery.

Kentucky churns out million-plus vehicles in 2012

Kentucky’s thriving automotive industry enjoyed a banner year in 2012, with annual production reaching more than one million vehicles for the first time since 2007, before the national economic downturn. With more than 1,025,000 light vehicles produced, Kentucky ranks fourth in the nation for total light vehicle production, up from fifth in 2011.

For the full story, visit Kentucky Press News Service online.

Livingston teen selected as National Youth Delegate for prestigious conference

Nicole Fox, of Grand Rivers, a student at Livingston Central High School has been selected to represent Kentucky as a National Youth Delegate at the 2013 Washington Youth Summit on the Environment at George Mason University.

Fox has been awarded the opportunity to join a select group of 250 students from across the country to participate in an intensive week-long study of leadership in environmental science and conservation. Fox was chosen based on academic accomplishments and a demonstrated interest and excellence in leadership in the sciences and conservation studies.

George Mason University along with partners, National Geographic and the National Zoo are excited to welcome the nation's youth scholars to Washington, D.C. With distinguished faculty, guest speakers, and direct access to elite D.C. practitioners, the Washington Youth Summit on the Environment offers aspiring environmentalists and student leaders an unparalleled experience. The week-long program is held at George Mason University's state-of-the-art campus. The Summit will encourage and inspire young leaders who desire a unique experience focused on successful careers in this dynamic industry.

Henderson truck parts plant planning upgrades

Good news may be in the pipeline for Accuride Corp.'s steel truck wheel plant in Henderson. The Evansville-based truck components manufacturer says it has landed new long-term sales agreements for steel and aluminum wheels and plans to invest $30 million in upgrades at its steel wheel plants over the next three years.

For more, visit The Gleaner online.

Tea Party groups want to challenge McConnell

Many Kentucky tea party leaders anticipate someone among their ranks will step forward to challenge the state’s senior senator in the Republican Primary in 2014. Several state tea party groups distanced themselves from U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell on Tuesday and a statement signed by 14 groups under the name United Kentucky Tea Party criticized McConnell’s recent overtures to the tea party movement.

For the full story, visit the Kentucky Enquirer online.

Organ donation heart graces IDs

Kentuckians today can begin having an organ donor heart printed on their driver's license like in the bordering states of Ohio, Indiana and others.

“For more than 20 years, the Circuit Clerks of Kentucky have been educating communities about the life-saving mission of organ donation. Thousands of kids and adults are waiting for an organ transplant today. Now, Kentuckians can proudly show their support for these patients in need,” explains Crittenden County Circuit Court Clerk, Melissa Guill.

When renewing a license, deputy clerks ask all Kentuckians if they would like to be a registered organ donor. Everyone who says yes will have the option to have a small, blue heart with the words “Organ Donor” printed on his or her license.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Weapons sales soar in Kentucky on threat of new federal restrictions

The scene is the same at many gun stores: shelves that once held semiautomatic rifles, boxes of ammunition and high-capacity magazines are barren. Concealed-carry training classes are filled to capacity. And shooters have hit the gun ranges to pop off dozens of practice rounds. In Kentucky, like other states with lenient gun laws and an entrenched gun culture, people are rushing to stock up on rifles, handguns, spare clips and ammunition. Prices are rising to meet the demand.

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

Kentucky's taste for pills staggering

More than half of Kentucky’s residents were prescribed a painkiller last year, and a third know someone with problems because of prescription drug abuse, a new Kentucky Health Issues Poll shows. The state ranked sixth in the nation for prescription drug overdose deaths in 2011, a 2011 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report said.

For the full story, visit the Kentucky Enquirer online.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Runaway, 15, found in Paducah

Hanna Barnette
Missing since Tuesday

Update: According to Marion Police Chief Ray O'Neal, the juvenile was located Monday in Paducah. She was unharmed.

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A Crittenden County teenager has been reported as missing by Marion Police. She is considered an "endangered runaway."

Hanna Michelle Barnett, 15, has been missing from her residence at 600 1/2 S. Main St. in Marion since Tuesday, according to authorities. She is believed to be with her boyfriend, Austin Shane Russell, 19.

The pair may be traveling in a green 1993 Nissan Sentra with a black trunk lid and red windshield wipers. The driver's side headlight is out, and the vehicle is bearing a Kentucky registration plate, 708-DLA. The two may be en route to Lawrenceburg, Tenn., Austin, Texas or Albuquerque, N.M.

Barnett is white with black hair and brown eyes. She is 5-3 and 140 pounds with a "Hope" tattoo on her left hand and a piercing through the right corner of her lip. Barnett left with all of her clothing and may be pregnant.

Russell is white with brown hair and is 5-10, 150 pounds. Criminal charges are pending against the teen for felony custodial interference and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

If you have information on Barnett, contact Marion Police Department at 965-3500.

Area deaths

Georganna “Jo” Tabor, 69, of Morganfield died Sunday at Breckenridge Place in Morganfield. Service are Wednesday at Whitsell Funeral Home in Morganfield. Burial is in Odd Fellows Cemetery in Morganfield.

Mary Louise Brown, 73, of Fredonia died Sunday at her home following a long illness. Services are Wednesday at Morgan's Funeral Home in Princeton. Burial is in Asbridge Cemetery in Crittenden County.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Elderly driver crashes into Eddyville Dollar General

A Lyon County business had an unexpected interruption when a vehicle crashed through a window near its front entrance. A dozen customers in a Dollar General store escaped injury when an 86-year-old driver hit the gas instead of the brake and crashed into the building.

For the full story, visit The Times Leader online.

Eddyville man allegedly assaults brother, jailed

Authorities arrested a Lyon County man for allegedly assaulting his brother today.

According to Kentucky State Police, Jacob Lawrence, 26, of Eddyville entered his brother’s residence earlier today at 24 Cedar St. in Eddyville and got into a verbal argument with his sibling, Greg Wilson. The argument escalated into a physical fight.

Lawrence reportedly pulled a knife from his pocket and cut Wilson during the struggle. Lawrence was said to be struck in the head with a shotgun and fled the residence. He was located a short time later at the Caldwell Medical Center in Princeton where he was seeking medical attention. After receiving treatment, Lawrence was arrested for second-degree assault and lodged in Caldwell County Jail. Wilson was treated at his residence by the Lyon County EMS.

The case remains under investigation by Trooper Lewie Dodd.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Painkiller abuse less familiar to western Kentuckians

Kentucky ranks sixth in the nation for overdose deaths involving painkillers. But a poll suggests painkiller abuse is more prevalent in eastern Kentucky than it is in the western part of the state. Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky released data this week from an exhaustive poll it conducted in the fall. Researchers asked Kentuckians numerous questions about their relationships with prescription drug abuse.

For the complete story, visit the Kentucky New Era online.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Actors sought for coming local play

A casting call for "Murder at the High School Reunion" will be at 6 p.m. Jan. 31 at the auditorium in Fohs Hall. Auditions are open to the public. For more information, contact Susan Alexander at 704-0046.

Automotive supplier to create 120 jobs

Following a productive meeting with company officials in Germany this summer, Gov. Steve Beshear Wednesday joined company and local officials in Murray to announce Kemmerich USA will establish a manufacturing operation and its U.S. headquarters in Calloway County. The project, which brings 120 new, full-time jobs and a $12.2 million investment to the state, is the second new location announcement by a German-owned company in Murray within the past two months.

For the full story, visit the Kentucky Press News Service.

Kenergy customers facing rate increase

Substantial rate increases to Kenergy customers, the possible closure or sale of a power plant and increased uncertainty for the future of Rio Tinto Alcan’s Sebree aluminum smelter are facing Henderson and western Kentucky. Big Rivers Electric Corp. on Tuesday sought permission to raise its wholesale electric rates in western Kentucky by $74.5 million per year starting in August, primarily to make up for departure of its biggest customer, Century Aluminum’s smelter in Hancock County this August. That could boost a typical residential customer's bill by more than $21 a month.

For the complete story, visit The Henderson Gleaner online.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Caldwell man charged with federal fraud

A Caldwell County man has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of defrauding Social Security disability and Medicaid programs. Travis L. Vickery, 47, was charged Tuesday in a two-count federal indictment by a grand jury meeting in Paducah. Vickery is charged with failing to report his ability to work to the Social Security Administration and fraudulently receiving disability and Medicaid benefits for 20 years.

For the complete story, visit The Times-Leader online.

Colleges spend more on sports than education

Public universities competing in NCAA Division I sports spend as much as six times more per athlete than they spend to educate students. Read more on the USA Today.

Per-university spending to subsidize sports
The sum of students fees, direct and indirect institutional support and state money to college athletic departments of local interest are listed below. The NCAA and others consider such funds "allocated" or everything not generated by the department's athletics functions.

WKU: $14 million
MSU: $9.8 million
UK: $819,000
UofL: $10.1 million

For a list of all universities, visit USA Today's database.

Princeton clubs now OK to serve liquor

A change in state policy will mean greater opportunity for alcohol sales in the Princeton's private clubs. The state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has apparently reversed its stance on liquor sales in private clubs in fourth-class cities like Princeton. City ABC Administrator Brent Thompson said he was contacted Thursday by state ABC General Counsel Steve Humphress with the news.

For more, visit The Times-Leaders online.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lyon voters OK countywide alcohol sales

Lyon County voters passed a referendum Tuesday that will allow the sale of alcohol across the entire county. By a count of 1,530 to 1,272, supporters of liquor sales beyond the already-moist Kuttawa beat out the temperance movement in Lyon County. Sales could begin as early as March.

New USDA loan guide released

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has just released a new guide to help people understand the loan programs it offers to farmers. To view or download the guide, visit

Counterfeit bills passed in Marion

Marion Police Chief Ray O'Neal said local businesses should be on the lookout for counterfeit cash. The police department is investigating a small number of counterfeit cases in the city with regard to $20 bills. O'Neal said a fake $1 bill was also found in a local vending machine.

He encourages merchants to use counterfeit marker pens to detect bad bills. He suggests merchants check all denominations of bills $20 and up.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Crittenden inmate found dead today

Kentucky State Police are investigating the death of a Crittenden County Detention Center inmate. This morning, state police were contacted by the detention center in reference to a female inmate who had been discovered unresponsive. Efforts to revive the female, Angela Kyle, 52, of Marion, were unsuccessful, and she was pronounced dead at the scene by the Crittenden County Coroner Brad Gilbert. An autopsy is being conducted today at the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Madisonville. Foul play is not suspected.

Fire destroys historic Fredonia site

An overnight fire completely destroyed the historic Wilson-Blair African American 
One Room School and Museum in Fredonia. Linda Bennett, a Fredonia resident and member of the group that oversaw the building's restoration and conversion into a museum, said the fire began about 3 a.m. The blaze is under investigation, she said.

Area deaths

HosickCarl F. “Tommy” Hosick, 82, of Burna died Saturday at Lourdes Hospital in Paducah.
Services are today at  Boyd Funeral Directors in Salem.

Nora Alice Ladd, 47, of Tiline died Friday at her home. Services are today at  Boyd Funeral Directors in Salem.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Tinsley Miss Congeniality at state pageant

Jessica Tinsley
On Saturday in Louisville, Jessica Tinsley, Miss Crittenden County 2012, was voted Miss Congeniality among her peers in the Miss Kentucky County Fair Pageant at the Kentucky Association of Fairs and Horse Shows convention and trade show.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

North Livingston Church hit by twister

Accounts from Livingston County are that North Livingston Baptist Church has been hit by a tornado and leveled. Danny Starrick of Crittenden County is the pastor there. In lieu of the damage to the church building, Sunday's service will be at 10 a.m. at North Livingston Middle School, according to the church's Facebook page.

Initial reports indicate there were no injuries from the damage in Livingston County.

Images of the damage can be were posted on Facebook.

UK research project shows potential to eliminate mosquitoes without insecticides

There is perhaps nothing more annoying than mosquitoes in the summer with their buzzing and biting. Aside from being a nuisance, the insects can also be disease carriers, capable of infecting humans as well as animals. With that said, methods to rid our backyards of the pesky creatures have come and gone, including the extensive use of chemicals in various forms. Research at the University of Kentucky is examining the possibility of ridding certain mosquitoes without the use of any chemicals.

For the full story, visit Business Lexington.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Warning sirens flunk first test

Even the best laid plans of mice and men sometimes go awry...

A test of the county's 11 severe weather warning sirens didn't quite go as planned today, while the City of Marion's alarm sounded off as expected, albeit a little longer than the minute most people in the downtown area expected.

Judge-Executive Perry Newcom said a glitch in the county's warning system prevented all of the strategically-placed alarms from sounding during their first planned test today, which was scheduled for noon. He said four of the alarms have also gone off at sporadic times prior to the intended test. The sirens are now shut down until the company that installed them has a chance to troubleshoot the technical problems, likely next week.

Meantime, the city's alarm, operated independently of the county's system and based at the new fire station, effectively filled downtown with the sound of the alert. Both the city and county's sirens were intended to be tested simultaneously.

Responders heading to accident on Ky. 365

UPDATE: First responders on the scene from the Mattoon Fire Department have indicated that no one appears to be seriously hurt in the wreck. Two people were in the vehicle.

First responders were dispatched to single-vehicle accident on Ky. 365 north of Bells Mines Road at 4:34 p.m.

State ranks 7th in national teacher certification; two area teachers among recipients

Teacher quality reached a new milestone in Kentucky with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards’ (NBPTS) announcement that 268 Kentucky teachers were awarded the prestigious National Board Certification in the class of 2012. The achievement recognizes these educators among the top in the profession and promises to improve student learning and achievement in classrooms across the state.

No one in Crittenden County's school district was among the 268, but David Shaffer at Caldwell County High School and Melinda Smith at Caldwell County Middle School, earned certification in Mathematics/Adolescence and Young Adulthood and Science/Early Adolescence, respectively. They were the only recipients of certificates from districts adjoining Crittenden County.

Kentucky is ranked seventh in the number of teachers earning National Board Certification in the class of 2012. The top 10 states with the highest number of teachers achieving National Board Certification in 2012 were North Carolina, Washington, Illinois, California, Arkansas, South Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland, and New York. Nationally, 4,980 teachers achieved certification.

This brings the total certified up to 102,237. Kentucky has made tremendous progress and is ranked 10th overall in the total number of teachers in the U.S having earned National Board Certification.

Welcome Stone-Lang to Press Online

The Crittenden Press online welcomes Hearing Specialists Stone-Lang to the online community.

You can click on the Stone-Lang logo that will appear regularly in the left column of this web site, or click on the link below to access information about the company's services.

Rains help city's water supply

Marion's own drinking water supply is on the rise after recently heavy rains.

"We are trying our best not to get too excited, but our situation is improving quite dramatically," City Administrator Mark Bryant said in an e-mail today.

More than 2 inches of rain was received overnight, adding to the more than 5 inches recorded in the county since Dec. 2 of last year, according to Kentucky Mesonet's weather and climate data station in Repton. "If I'm calculating right, (this) makes this the eighth straight week of precipitation. According to the Weather Channel, we have a 90 percent chance of rain tomorrow and tomorrow night," Bryant added.

City Lake, commonly referred to as "Old City Lake," is currently used as the city's water source and is over its spillway. Meantime, "Lake George was at 6.2 feet below the spillway when we shot it earlier in the week," Bryant said. "I went out this morning and last night's rain surely took that number down considerably. Using the poles alongside the lake as a benchmark, I'd say the water level rose as  much as 2 feet."

The City continues to draw 100 gallons per minute from Crittenden-Livingston Water District. "As of yesterday, we have now spent $22,975 purchasing water from the district during this drought period," Bryant reported.

Thank you again for all your support and assistance.

Toy gun sends Henderson school into lockdown

The same day another school shooting took place in California, a toy gun mistaken for the real thing led to a lockdown at Henderson's East Heights Elementary School on Thursday. During student dismissal in the afternoon, a parent informed Principal Nancy Gibson that she had seen another parent in the parking lot retrieve what appeared to be a gun from his vehicle, according to a news release from Henderson County Schools.

For the complete story, visit the Henderson Gleaner online.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Crittenden woman killed in traffic accident.

The Henderson Gleaner reports a Crittenden County woman was killed earlier today in a single-vehicle crash in Webster County.

According to Webster County Sheriff's Department reports supplied to the newspaper, Doris Martin, 65, was pronounced dead around 1 p.m. at the site of the wreck on Ky. 132 just outside of Clay. Martin was reportedly eastbound when it appears she slipped off the roadway, causing her to overcorrect and hit a guardrail, then overturning.

She was wearing a seatbelt, reports indicated.

Outlook for gas prices good

For six of the last seven years U.S. retail gasoline prices have risen from Christmas Day to mid-January but this year could run counter to that trend.

“That’s because of the massive buildup in gasoline inventory just announced by the U.S. Department of Energy’s weekly petroleum report. With an increase over the previous month of 16.1 million barrels, gasoline inventory now exceeds the highest level reached during 2012 and is at the highest point recorded since February 2011,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst,

“Gasoline inventories ended the year with the highest December level ever, and obviously we’ve added significantly to that, so for that reason we could see many markets remain flat or even decline slightly over the next week to two weeks,” says DeHaan. “You could say it’s the calm before the storm that arrives every spring.”

“Having said that, we are confident that our overall forecast for 2013 and specifically for January will prove accurate, with the U.S. national average projected to be in a range from $3.21 to $3.43, with a median price at $3.29 per gallon, he noted.    

Earlier this week GasBuddy released its "GasBuddy Fuel Price Outlook 2013."

Kentucky voting slogan poll open

Students across the Commonwealth are participating in Kentucky’s 24th annual Essay and Slogan Contest, and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is inviting the public to vote for their favorite slogan.

 “Almost 500 students submitted entries for the Slogan Contest,” said Grimes. “I’m thrilled to see so many young Kentuckians already engaged and interested in elections and congratulate all of the contestants for highlighting the importance of voting.”

Kentucky sixth- through eighth-graders were eligible to enter the slogan contest. Entries are judged on how well they attract attention to and express the importance of participating in elections, and the Secretary of State’s office has narrowed the field of slogan entries to 20 finalists.

You can vote for your favorite slogan at The poll will remain open through 1 p.m. on Feb. 28. The first, second, and third place winners in the Slogan Contest will receive savings bonds worth $1,000, $600, and $400, respectively.

Poll: Kentuckians support statewide smoking ban

Statewide, 59 percent of those interviewed last fall for a poll said they support a statewide ban on smoking in public places.

Ann Barnum, senior program officer, substance abuse disorders for the Health Foundation, said the poll suggests Kentuckians are more likely to favor a smoke-free law than in the past. “People are becoming more knowledgeable about the impact of second-hand smoke to themselves and their community,” Barnum said. “The poll results tell us that this is really not a partisan issue.”

For the complete story, click here.

Ledbetter bridge deemed safe despite rumors

State transportation officials assure the Ledbetter bridge is safe
Residents who use the Ledbetter Bridge on a daily basis have expressed concerns about misleading information that has circulated in the area. To alleviate possible distress to the public, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet provided the following statement:

"There is no plan or specified date to close the U.S. 60 Tennessee River Bridge at Ledbetter. KyTC bridge inspectors continue to check the existing bridge on a regular basis to assure it is safe for commuter traffic. If at any time the existing bridge is deemed unsafe for commuter traffic it will be closed immediately. The Ledbetter Bridge remains safe for traffic under the three-ton load limit, such as passenger vehicles and pickup trucks.

"As part of prudent planning, KYTC engineers and area emergency agencies are prepared to take appropriate action should the need arise to close the bridge, whether long-term or short-term. KyTC engineers are optimistic that the existing US 60 Tennessee River Bridge at Ledbetter will remain open to vehicles under the three-ton load limit until the new bridge is ready to handle two-lane traffic.

"To maintain safety on the existing bridge, the load limit is closely monitored by an enhanced enforcement presence. Motorists violating the three-ton load limit will be cited appropriately, with violations bringing fines from $245 to $1,500."

Monday, January 7, 2013

Area death

Forrest D. Teer, 79, of Robards, Ky., formerly of Marion, died this afternoon at Methodist Hospital in Henderson. Funeral services are Thursday. Rudy Rowland Funeral Home in Henderson is in charge of arrangements.

Ledbetter bridge struck by tow

UPDATE: 4:25 p.m.
Inspectors have thoroughly checked the existing U.S. 60 Tennessee River Bridge at Ledbetter and given an all clear.  Traffic was only halted for about 15 minutes for their initial inspection.  Engineers were then able to use the walkway beneath the bridge to conduct a more detailed inspection after traffic was restored.  The bridge is open to traffic at this time.

The U.S. Coast Guard continues their investigation of the incident.

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At this hour Kentucky Transportation Cabinet engineers are conducting a detailed inspection of the U.S. 60 Tennessee River Bridge at Ledbetter, responding to a report that a tow boat had struck the bridge around 1:40 p.m. today.

According to members of a construction crew working on the New Ledbetter Bridge, one of the piers on the existing Ledbetter Bridge was struck by the Motor Vessel Gladys Ford hauling several barges upstream.

Several KyTC engineers were working near the bridge when the incident was reported, allowing inspectors to be on site within about five minutes to start checking the bridge structure for possible damage. After an initial check of the existing Ledbetter Bridge, it was determined that traffic could continue to cross while inspectors took a more detailed look at the bridge structure. Traffic is moving across the bridge at this time.

The U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit at Paducah is investigating the incident.  The tow boat was reported to be holding position about 1,500 feet up srteam from the new bridge.

The U.S. 60 Tennessee River Bridge at Ledbetter has been restricted to a three-ton load limit for the last year to help maintain safety of the 81 year old structure while work continues on a new bridge just upstream.

For timely updates on the Ledbetter Bridge and traffic across the region go to  You do not have to be a Facebook member to access this page.

Area death

Martha Lee Brandon, 69, of Marion died Saturday at Lucy Smith King Care Center in Henderson. Graveside services are Tuesday. Myers Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Area death

Rhonda Kay Teague, 58, of Clay died Saturday at her home. Graveside services are at 1 p.m., Wednesday at Rosebud Cemetery.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Area death

James Randolph Holsapple, 92, of Seville, Fla., died Thursday in Orange City, Fla. He was a native of Marion and a World War II veteran who received three Purple Hearts. A memorial service will be held Saturday in Crescent City, Fla.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Area death

Edward Eugene Harnice, 68, of Livingston County died Friday at Crittenden Hospital. No services are planned. Boyd Funeral Directors in Salem are in charge of arrangements.

Woman taken to hospital after Ky. 297 wreck

Authorites have responded to a single-vehicle injury accident on Ky. 297. The wreck occurred five miles north of U.S. 60. A female driver was taken to Livingston Hospital with injuries.

Milk prices good for all but dairymen

A potential hefty jump in the price for a gallon milk is not on the horizon, at least not anytime soon, dairy officials say.

“I don’t see much change; prices may even go down a little bit,” said Maury Cox, executive director of the Kentucky Dairy Development Council.

The average gallon of milk costs about $3, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But there had been a fear of prices as high as $7 per gallon because of issues related to farm bill that was tied into the “fiscal cliff” in Washington. Without an extension of the 2008 farm bill or a new bill, that price could have doubled, Cox said.

But the fix is simply a bandage. “They’re just kicking the can down the road until the end of August,” he said.

And while consumers may be breathing a sigh of relief, dairymen like the owners of Kalmey Dairy Farm in Shelbyville, Ky., believe farmers desperately need milk prices to go up at least $1 a gallon to pay off loans and purchase new equipment.

For the full story, visit The (Shelbyville, Ky.) Sentinel-News.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Area deaths

Francis A. Turley, 79, of Marion died Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013 at Crittenden Hospital.  Services are Saturday at Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion.

John Kenneth Fritts, 97, of Poplar Bluff, Mo., formerly of Marion, died Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2013 at Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center. Services are Sunday at Crooked Creek Church in Marion.

Estate tax erased for small farms, businesses

An increase in the federal death tax that could have hit Kentucky farmers, small business owners and their families especially hard was averted when a measure to forever prevent a drastic hike in the levy — also known as the estate tax — was included in legislation passed earlier this week to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff." Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), during talks with Vice President Joe Biden, was able to permanently erase the death tax for family farms and businesses valued at less than $5 million.

"I am pleased that we permanently prevented a massive increase in the death tax, which will help Kentucky farmers plan for the next generation. This is good news for Kentucky farmers who want to keep the farm in the family and would otherwise have to sell part or all of their assets or the farm itself to settle their tax burden,” Sen. McConnell said.

Without this change, farms and businesses valued at $1 million or more would have been taxed at 55 percent starting in 2013. The new deal sets a permanent 40-percent rate on those valued at more than $5 million (indexed to inflation), ensuring those valued at less than that same amount are exempt from any death tax liability.

The move was lauded by Kentucky Farm Bureau officials.

“Providing Kentucky farm families relief from the federal estate tax has long been a national priority of Kentucky Farm Bureau," said Mark Haney, president of the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation. "Even as the fiscal cliff approached, Sen. McConnell was determined to keep the interests of Kentucky’s farm families and their financial stability at the forefront of the debate.”

Lawmakers converge on Frankfort Tuesday

Kentucky LRC photo
Kentucky lawmakers are facing a full slate of issues for a short legislative session, which kicks off Tuesday. The state’s House and Senate members will convene for three days next week, take three weeks off, meet from Feb. 5 to March 11, and then break again before wrapping the session up on March 25-26.

House District 4 Rep. Lynn Bechler (R-Marion) has replaced retired legislator Rep. Mike Cherry (D-Princeton) in representing Crittenden, Livingston, Caldwell and a portion of McCracken counties. In the upper chamber, Senate District 4, comprised of Crittenden, Livingston, Caldwell, Union, Webster and Henderson counties, remains represented by Sen. Dorsey Ridley (D-Henderson).

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Heath shooter's appeal denied by Sixth Circuit

Attorney General Jack Conway and his Office of Criminal Appeals announce a ruling today by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in the Michael Carneal case. The unanimous opinion upholds a July 12, 2011 ruling by the U.S District Court for the Western District of Kentucky denying Carneal’s request to withdraw his guilty plea in the 1997 Heath High School shooting that left three students dead and five others wounded. 

“I agree with today’s opinion and appreciate the careful consideration of this matter by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals,” General Conway said. “I am grateful to all of those in my Office of Criminal Appeals who have spent countless hours working to ensure that justice is upheld, so that we may bring closure to the victims of this crime that tragically impacted the Paducah community and our Commonwealth.”

Attorneys for Carneal, who was 14 at the time of the shooting, argued that he was mentally unfit to accept responsibility for the crime.  Carneal pled guilty in 1998, but did not file for state post-conviction relief until 2004 and did not file for federal habeas relief until 2009. 

The Attorney General’s Office successfully argued that Carneal’s appeal was not timely and therefore his conviction and life sentence should stand.  Additionally, General Conway’s prosecutors were able to prove that Carneal was competent in 2002, at which time he could have filed an appeal of his conviction.

“I hope this ruling brings some level of comfort to the families who lost loved ones and the victims who are still living with the injuries Carneal inflicted,” General Conway said.

The Office of Criminal Appeals fulfills the legislative mandate (KRS 15.020) that the Attorney General represent the Commonwealth of Kentucky in all criminal appeals in which the Commonwealth has an interest in both state and federal courts. 

Since General Conway took office in 2008, his Criminal Appeals division has filed more than 3,200 briefs on more than 10,400 issues and made nearly 240 oral arguments.

Citizens encouraged to join CERT training

There will be a public information meeting Saturday for Crittenden and Livingston county residents to learn more about FEMA's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

CERTs are forming across the country to help first responders in the event of disasters and emergencies. It's a minuteman type force of volunteers from the community, who can be called upon in times of need. Volunteers receive training throughout the year and become a certified team member after completing 24 credit hours of training. 

Gary Ivy, CERT field commander in Salem, is a certified trainer. He will be forming a team of volunteers from north Livingston County and Crittenden County. Saturday's meeting is for anyone interested in learning more about  CERT. It will start at 5:30 p.m., at the Salem Fire Department. There is no cost to volunteers.

CERT trainees learn to identify hazards, reduce hazards in homes and workplaces, extinguish small fires, assist emergency responders, apply basic medical techniques, conduct light search and rescues and help reduce survivor stress. 

People interested in taking an active role in their community's emergency preparedness are encouraged to come learn more about CERT.

Area death

Charles Norman Winters, 59, of Marion died Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012 at his home. Services are Friday at Gilbert Funeral Home.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Area death

Charles Norman Winters, 59, of Marion died Sunday at his home. Services are Friday at Mapleview Cemetery. Gilbert Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.