Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What you need to know about Kentucky's health care reform plan

An animated video produced by the state promotes signing up for health insurance under the new health care reform act as being "as easy as going online to book airline tickets or book a hotel." That remains to be seen. But the video is part of an $11 million information campaign aimed at telling Kentuckians how to enroll for health care through what's being called an online "exchange" at The messages about the online service will become more frequently seen — on billboards, newspaper, radio and television ads and online — in the coming months.

For more, visit The Herald Leader online.

Christian fastest growing county in state

Following the news that Hopkinsville is the fastest growing major city in Kentucky, recent data show that Christian County is also the fastest growing county in the commonwealth. According to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, Christian County had a population of about 75,427 in 2012, up 1,874 people from the previous year. This represents a 2.5 percent increase, and it also makes Christian County the 11th most populated county in Kentucky.

For more, see the Kentucky New Era online.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Head crowned Miss Crittenden County Tuesday


Davana Head, the 18-year-old daughter of David and Serita Head of Marion, was crowned Miss Crittenden County Tuesday night at Fohs
Hall as part of the Crittenden County Lions Club Fair. Pictured are all 10 contestants (from left) Ashley Collyer, Prettiest Hair; Amber
Wright, Miss Congeniality; Sydney Hunt, fourth runnerup; Brittany Buell, first runnerup; Davana Head, Miss Crittenden County; Elle
LaPlante, second runnerup; Elizabeth Brown, third runnerup; Hayley Young, Most Photogenic; Kaitlyn Binkley, Prettiest Smile; and
Jeslyn Duncan, Prettiest Eyes. See this week's Crittenden Press for more coverage from the county fair pageants.

Owen tees off in second at KPGA event today

Marion's Aaron Owen tees off this morning in the Kentucky Junior PGA's state championship golf tournament  for 17 and 18 year olds at Oxmoor Country Club in Louisville.

Owen shot a 5-over 77 in yesterday's opening round and will complete the 36-hole tournament today. He starts the final round two strokes off the lead.

Monday, July 29, 2013

New Tennessee River Bridge to open tonight

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will open the new U.S. 60 Tennessee River Bridge between McCracken and Livingston counties today between 7 and 8 p.m.

Crews have established message boards and signage to alert motorists of the bridge opening. The new traffic signal on the McCracken County side will be operational at this time.

The old Ledbetter bridge will remain open to traffic until around 6 to 7 a.m.  tomorrow morning.  State police and transportation crews will continue to monitor traffic on the bridge until it officially closes tomorrow.

Area death

Charles Guthrie Sherer, 76, of Marion, died July 27, 2013, at Salem Springlake Health and Rehab in Salem. Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion is handling arrangements.

Rep. Bechler hosting town hall meet Tuesday

Rep. Lynn Bechler (R-Marion) will be holding a series of town hall meetings across House District 4 starting this week to discuss and gather feedback on some of the major issues facing Kentucky.

“With a special session dealing with redistricting scheduled to start in a few weeks, and with a new budget and possible tax reform legislation looming for next year’s session, I want to hear from the people who elected me to serve them about these and other concerns,” said Bechler. “It is my hope these town hall meetings will serve as an open dialogue on how we can best move our region and our commonwealth forward.”

Rep. Bechler will hold town hall meetings in each of the four counties he currently represents. In Crittenden County, the forum will be 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Ed-Tech Center at 200 Industrial Drive in Marion.

Other meetings include:
  • Caldwell County: 6 p.m. Aug. 6 at the Caldwell Fiscal Court meeting room at 100 E. Market St. in Princeton.
  • Livingston County: 6 p.m. Aug. 13 in the Livingston Fiscal Court meeting room at 321 Court St. in Smithland.
People are encouraged to follow Rep. Bechler’s Facebook and Twitter pages for additional information.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ky. 70 in Livingston to be closed

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans daytime closures along Ky. 70 in Livingston County starting Tuesday and continuing on weekdays through Aug. 7. The road will be closed during daylight hours for approximately seven working days to allow the replacement of a number of cross drains between Smithland and Tiline.

The roadway will close on the following tentative work schedule:
  • July 30: Mile-point 6.4 to 6.850
  • July 31: Mile-point 8.0 to 8.987
  • Aug. 1: Mile-point 6.850 to 7.0
  • Aug. 2: Mile-point 6.0 to 6.850
  • Aug. 5: Mile-point 2.9 to 3.176
  • Aug. 6: Mile-point 2.5 to 3.0
  • Aug. 7: Mile-point 1.0 to 1.809
Closures will be from about 7 a.m. to approximately 5 p.m. all dates, except for Aug. 7 when the closure will run from about 7:45 a.m. to about 3:30 p.m. to allow school buses to run after school starts. This will also apply to any additional work rescheduled to after Aug. 7 by weather delays.

These dates are subject to change due to rain and other issues. However, the crew will attempt to maintain this schedule as closely as possible.

Motorists who regularly travel Ky. 70 between Tiline and Smithland should be aware of this work schedule and make advance alternate travel plans. There will be no marked detour.

Effort offers students help with school supplies

A Back to School Celebration to distribute elementary school students free school supplies will be held next week at the Crittenden County Child Support Office in Marion. Meantime, middle and high school students can each be registered to receive one of two iPad minis to be awarded next month.

Both giveaways are sponsored by Crittenden County Attorney Rebecca Johnson.

Free school supplies will be available for school children in kindergarten through fifth grade from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday at the child support office located at 217 W. Bellville St. In order to obtain the supplies, however, parents or guardians must first stop by the office this week to receive a voucher. Vouchers can be picked up from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Friday at the child support office.

When signing up for the voucher, parents or guardians are asked to specify the grade level of the child. School supplies will be tailored to the needs of the child based on grade level. Once they receive the voucher, parents will be given an appointed time to stop by the child support office on Monday to receive the supplies.

Parents and guardians of middle and high school students can register to win an iPad mini during the registration period this week. One iPad mini will be given away to both a middle and a high school student during the Back to School Bash held Aug. 6 inside the Crittenden County Middle School multipurpose room.

Marion business hosting school supplies drive

Local residents and businesses may help Crittenden County students by bringing in needed school supplies to the Edward Jones branch office during regular business hours through Wednesday. The Marion office is located at 123 E. Bellville St.

Donated items will be distributed for use during the upcoming school year.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Area death

Thomas “Sonny” Lynch, 71, of Marion, died July 23, 2013, at Crittenden Hospital in Marion. Boyd Funeral Directors in Salem is handling arrangements.

Mary Louise Conger, 94, of Princeton, died July 23, 2013, at the home of her nephew. Morgan's Funeral Home in Princeton is handling arrangements.

New U.S. 60 Tennessee River Bridge at Ledbetter to open in about a week

The new U.S. 60 Tennessee River Bridge at Ledbetter may be ready for two-lane traffic next week.

“Above average rainfall and the daily grind of placing rebar and pouring concrete has made it difficult for our contractor to be specific about when the new bridge will be ready for traffic,” said Jim LeFevre, Chief District Engineer for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KyTC) District 1 in Paducah.

The new, four-lane bridge was originally scheduled to open one year from now--July 2014. But recognizing the importance of the river crossing to commuters and commerce in Livingston and McCracken counties, KyTC and the contracting team--Kay & Kay Construction Co. and Haydon Bridge Co.--devised a way to get the bridge partially opened, with two lanes of traffic, ahead of schedule.

The key to the plan is that the contractors will paint the bridge truss in sections--one side at a time. When the first half of the truss is painted, traffic will be shifted to allow painting of the other half.

However, opening the new bridge 12 months early creates additional challenges for KyTC engineers and the public.

A “long-term temporary” connector from the new bridge to U.S. 60 requires two 90-degree turns just off the Livingston County end of the bridge. That may create issues for large trucks hauling grain and livestock.

“When we expedited work on the bridge, it advanced well ahead of efforts to construct a new U.S. 60 around the south side of Ledbetter,” LeFevre said. “But there will eventually be a new, four-lane connection directly to the bridge.”

The new bridge replaces the two-lane Ledbetter Bridge, which was built 82 years ago. Deterioration of the old bridge forced KyTC to impose a 3-ton load limit and prompted the decision to accelerate completion of the new bridge.

If the new bridge is opened to two-lane travel by Aug, 1, the contractor will collect about $2 million in incentives. LeFevre indicated the new bridge could be fully open, with four traffic lanes, by late fall or early spring.

Updated information about the Ledbetter Bridge, or changes in the functional status of the existing bridge, will be posted for the public at

Get your school supplies Monday at law office

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Area death

James Bebout, 81, of Marion, died July 22, 2013, at his home. Boyd Funeral Directors in Salem is handling arrangements.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Kentucky’s jobless rate increases to 8.4 percent

Kentucky’s unemployment rate rose to 8.4 percent in June from 8.1 percent in May 2013, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET). The June 2013 jobless rate was 0.1 percentage points above the 8.3 percent rate recorded for the state in June 2012.

The latest labor statistics showed a weakening in the Commonwealth's economy not seen since  2009.
“The Kentucky labor market has definitely taken a short-term hit. We had the largest monthly gain in unemployment in over four years. A longer view, based on changes from a year ago, shows a definite softening,” said economist Manoj Shanker of the OET.

 While Kentucky's jobless rate rose last month, the nationwide jobless rate was unchanged from May 2013 to June 2013 at 7.6 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

The Bluegrass State's employment in the leisure and hospitality and public sectors posted gains in June over the previous month. Meantime, blue-collar sectors such as logging and mining, construction and manufacturing saw a decrease in employment since May.

“The largest decline is in government-funded activities related to heavy construction like roads and bridges. Budget cuts have dampened this area of construction,” said Shanker.

The state’s manufacturing sector fell by 3,200 positions in June 2013. Since June 2012, however, employment in manufacturing has increased by 2,000 jobs.

“Year-over-year manufacturing employment has increased for 35 consecutive months, but the monthly gains have been sporadic,” said Shanker. “The current uptick in consumer confidence should keep manufacturing employment stable.”

School shots and sports physicals available

Friday, July 19, 2013

Area death

Neal Dalton, 74, of Salem, died July 17, 2013, at his residence. Myers Funeral Home in Marion is handling arrangements.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sinkhole repairs off U.S. 60 in Livingston under way

A contractor for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has started work to repair a sinkhole along U.S. 60 in Livingston County.

Work started Monday near the 19-mile marker. This is near the Dyer Hill Mines Road intersection just west of the Dyer Hill Curve and Three Rivers Rock Road area.

The sinkhole will be lined with a special material that allows water to drain through, but holds soil in place. The hole will then be back-filled with rock and capped with soil to help prevent the sinkhole from reforming.

Work at the site is expected to have minimal impact on U.S. 60 traffic flow.  However, motorists should be alert for trucks hauling material into the work site.

Harold Coffey Construction Co. Inc. is the prime contractor on the $100,000 project.  Work at the site is expected to take about two weeks to complete, weather permitting.

Body of missing boy found in Ohio River

The body of 3-year-old Carter Nall has been found in the Ohio River. Rescuers recovered his body late last night.

No other details are available at this time.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Prayer vigil tonight for missing boy

There will be a prayer vigil tonight at 7 p.m., at Dam 50 as the community gathers to pray for Carter Nall, the 3-year-old boy who went missing on the Ohio River yesterday. Rescue workers are on the river now looking for the child.

The event tonight is open to everyone and it is being deemed Shall We Gather at the River and Pray for Carter.

For more information call Kim Orr at 704-3694 or Brit Gardner 704-1031.

Crittenden Rescue Squad assisting in search for missing boy

Crittenden County Rescue Squad members on Monday morning launched search and rescue boats from Dam 50 in an effort to assist Union County authorities who are looking for a three-year-old boy missing on the Ohio River.
The boy, Carter Nall, has family in the Weston community of Crittenden County. He is the son of Rob and Jill (Harkins) Nall of Union County.

The boy went missing late Sunday. Crews began searching land and water immediately above Dekoven and southwest of the Shawneetown Bridge, according to local rescue members.

The Crittenden squad was requested by Union official early this morning. The Crittenden crews are searching south of the Dekoven area.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Area death

Euleen Baxter, 86, of Salem, died July 12, 2013, at Mills Manor Health and Rehabilitation Center in Mayfield. Boyd Funeral Home in Salem is in charge of arrangements.

Sinkhole on Western Kentucky Parkway repaired

UPDATE: As engineers dug into the sinkhole they found it was only about 5 feet deep. The hole was filled back in and covered with concrete before 1 a.m. Sunday. Lane restrictions have been taken down. A crew will be back at this site next week to make final surface repairs.

- - - -

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinets  reported around 9 p.m. Saturday that a sinkhole on the Western Kentucky Parkway (Interstate 69) had opened up in Caldwell County, restricting traffic to one lane.

Northbound traffic was slowed and moved to the inside shoulder at this site, which is between the 76- and 77-mile marker, or between the Caldwell-Lyon County line and the Princeton exit. The almost five-foot diameter sinkhole opened up in the right-hand or driving lane.

Cabinet personnel planned to dig the hole out overnight, repack it with rock and cap it with concrete. This work zone lane restriction may remain in place until sometime Sunday afternoon to allow the cement used for the repair to set up.

Caution is required in this area.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Area death

Donald M. Siebert, 90, of Smithland, died July 11, 2013, at Baptist Health of Paducah. Boyd Funeral Directors in Salem is handling arrangements.

McConnell, Reid to face off on 'Meet the Press'

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell will appear on NBC’s "Meet the Press" on Sunday. Majority Leader Harry Reid will also appear on the show, which airs at 8 a.m. on WPSD.

Traffic to be restricted on U.S. 62 bridge

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans to restrict traffic to one lane on the U.S. 62 Tennessee River Bridge between Gilbertsville and Lake City on Tuesday.

This lane restriction at U.S. 62 Marshall County mile-point 11.9 and Livingston County mile point 0.0 is to allow use of a snooper truck to conduct a detailed inspection of the Tennessee River Bridge below Kentucky Dam.

Motorists can expect to encounter one lane traffic with alternating flow controlled by flaggers from about 8:30 a.m. to about 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The work should be completed in one day, weather permitting. However, some lane restrictions could also be required on Wednesday.

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

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Area death

Willard Mott, 91, died Thursday at Crittenden County Health and Rehab. Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion is handling arrangements.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Lane restrictions set on Ky. 1077, U.S. 641 in Crittenden

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans to restrict traffic to one lane on Ky. 1077 and U.S. 641 in Crittenden County on Thursday.

Starting at 7 a.m. Thursday, Ky, 1077/Piney Creek Road will be reduced to one lane at mile-point 1.1 to allow concrete repairs to a cross drain. This is along Ky. 1077 between Wiggington Road and Lone Star Road. This work expected to be complete at about noon on Thursday.

Starting at about noon on Thursday, U.S. 641 will be reduced to one lane at mile-point 1.6 to allow concrete repairs to a cross drain.  This is along U.S. 641 between Crayne and Mott City. Work at this site is expected to be complete and full traffic flow restored by about 4 p.m. Thursday.

Motorists should use caution in these work zones were equipment, flaggers, and maintenance personnel are working along the roadway in close proximity to traffic flow. Motorists can expect to encounter one lane traffic with alternating flow controlled by flaggers in these work zones.

Ky. 838 near Crittenden-Livingston line closed starting Thursday

A contractor for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans to close Ky. 838/Ditney-Lola Road near the Crittenden-Livingston County line for bridge deck repair work starting Thursday.

Ky. 838 will be closed at Livingston County mile-point 5.884 to allow bridge deck overlay work on the Deer Creek Bridge. This is on Ky. 838 east of the Lola community.  The closure is about a mile west of the Crittenden-Livingston County line between Ky. 723 and Ky. 133.

There will be a marked detour via Ky. 723, U.S. 60 and Ky. 133.

Once work is completed on the Ky. 838 Deer Creek Bridge, traffic will be restricted to one lane for deck work on the Flatlick Creek Bridge at Crittenden County mile-point 0.687 and deck work on the Coefield Creek Bridge at Crittenden County mile point 1.974. At these sites motorists should be alert for one lane traffic with alternating flow controlled by an automated signal.

Intech Contracting LLC is the prime contractor on this $363,587 bridge repair project.  The expected project completion date is about Oct. 1.

FSA acreage reporting deadline is Monday

John W. McCauley, USDA Kentucky Farm Service Agency State Executive Director, is reminding producers that the acreage reporting deadline for the 2013 crop year is Monday. Acreage reports are required for many Farm Service Agency programs. Producers who file accurate and timely reports for all crops and land uses, including failed acreage can prevent the potential loss of FSA program benefits. Crops reported after Monday, will be considered late filed; however , the late file fee will be waived for the 2013 crop year for crops reported Monday through Sept. 15.

Producers are also reminded that Aug. 2 is the deadline to sign up for DCP.

To report prevented or failed acreage, producers must complete Form CCC-576, Notice of Loss for applicable crops. Reporting prevented or failed acreage to FSA will ensure compliance with current farm programs, and possible eligibility for future disaster programs. Once a CCC-576 has been submitted, it cannot be withdrawn or revised.

Reporting forage crops and pastures is also required. For 2014, perennial forage, fall wheat, and other fall seeded small grains will have a Dec. 15 reporting date. All crops on the farm, including forage crops and pasture are used to determine overall eligibility for some FSA programs, so accurately reporting these crops is important.

If a producer misses the reporting deadline for prevented planting, they may still report prevented planting acreage as long as the disaster condition may be verified by a field visit and a late filing fee is paid

For questions regarding crop certification and crop loss reports, please contact the local FSA office in Salem.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

'KSP TV' documents history of state police

Kentucky State Police released the latest episode of "KSP TV" today.  The video is Part 2 of a trilogy highlighting the agency’s rich history.  "KSP TV" consists of short films in documentary style format that highlight the inner workings of the agency, giving the public an opportunity for a unique look inside of the agency.

To view "KSP TV," you can follow this electronic link:

For more information about "KSP TV," contact the public affairs branch at (502) 782-1780.

Public Health asks for statewide input on health assessment survey

The Kentucky Department for Public Health is seeking the input of Kentucky residents for the state health improvement plan. Kentuckians can provide their thoughts and insights into improving the health of state residents by filling out the online survey at: by Aug. 1.

DPH recently drafted the state health assessment to examine the health of the population and identify key problems and assets in Kentucky. The ultimate goal is to provide data to guide decision making for a State Health Improvement Plan, according to a state news release.

“The Department for Public Health is asking for your input to decide what priorities to focus on for the Kentucky State Health Improvement Plan,” DPH Commissioner Stephanie Mayfield, M.D., said in the news release.

Currently, Kentucky ranks 50th in smoking, 40th in obesity, 50th in cancer deaths and very low in status for many other important health indicators. Overall, Kentucky currently ranks 44th among all states in major health status categories, according to the America’s Health Rankings Profile for 2012.

“The main objective of the state health improvement plan is to address these negative health indicators by developing a roadmap to transform Kentucky from a state that consistently reports poor health status to one that supports dynamic initiatives to help Kentuckian’s lead healthier lives,” Mayfield said. “Now is the time to make a move in the right direction. Too many Kentuckians are dying from issues that can be prevented. This will take public health, community partners, and the general public to weigh in on the best strategies to move in that direction.”

Individuals without computer access can obtain a paper survey by contacting 564-3970.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Area deaths

Anna Smith Collins, 101, of Marion, died at her home on July 7, 2013. Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion is handling arrangements.

Debbie Davis, 63, of Sturgis, died July 6, 2013, at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Evansville. Whitsell Funeral Home in Morganfield is handling arrangements.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Area death

Eva Sharpe, 93, of Marion,  died July 4, 2013, at Crittenden County Health and Rehab in Marion. Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion is handling arrangements.

Bobcats game postponed

Due to poor field conditions, tonight's Bobcats game has been postponed.

Friday, July 5, 2013

With gas tax hike, Kentucky drivers paying much more than Ohio

While gasoline prices have fallen nationally and locally in recent weeks, Kentucky motorists are paying more in taxes. On July 1, the state excise tax went up 2.4 cents to 32.3 cents a gallon. That puts the state’s gas tax a full 4 cents higher than Ohio’s 28 cents a gallon, further adding to the disparity in gas prices between Northern Kentucky and Ohio.

For more, visit the Kentucky Enquirer online.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Area deaths

Mike “Poppy” Downey, 66, of Marion, died June 26, 2013, at his home. Myers Funeral Home in Marion is handling arrangements.

Grimes looks to challenge McConnell

Speaking to reporters in Frankfort Monday afternoon, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, a Democrat, announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate in 2014.

She is looking to challenge longtime veteran Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in the November 2014 general election.

Grimes told reporters she is accustomed to being an underdog and faced that scenario when she was elected secretary of state 18 months ago.

Within minutes of Grimes' announcement, McConnell released a statement of his own:

“Accepting the invitation from countless Washington liberals to become President Obama’s Kentucky candidate was a courageous decision by Alison Lundergan Grimes and I look forward to a respectful exchange of ideas. The next 16 months will provide a great opportunity for Kentuckians to contrast a liberal agenda that promotes a war on coal families and government rationed health care with someone who works everyday to protect Kentuckians from those bad ideas. Together we’ve invested a lot to ensure that Kentucky’s voice in the U.S. Senate is heard from the front of the line rather than the back-bench and I intend to earn the support to keep it there.”