Friday, February 28, 2014

Crittenden under winter storm watch

The National Weather Service is monitoring an approaching storm that could bring considerable amounts of ice, sleet and snow to southern Indiana, southern Illinois, southeast Missouri and portions of western Kentucky along the Ohio River during the day on Sunday and into Monday. A winter weather watch has been issued for the effected areas from late Saturday night through Monday morning.

So far, the only portion of Kentucky that might be impacted lies along a line from Paducah to Owensboro and includes Crittenden and Livingston counties. But the weather service emphasizes that could change and more of Kentucky might fall under the approaching storm's influence - depending on a number of weather variables.

The weather service is monitoring the situation and will update the forecast as the storm approaches.

The primary impact will be significant ice, snow and sleet accumulations. Other impacts include snow- and ice-covered roads resulting in extremely dangerous travel conditions. Ice accumulations on trees and power lines will likely cause tree damage as well as some power outages.

Mid-Continent University works to stay open

The new leadership at Mid-Continent University has worked throughout the week in trying to bring the college out of the precarious position on the edge of a fiscal cliff. Acting president Ken Winters, a native of Crittenden County who was named to the position last Saturday during the Board of Trustees meeting, said he has been working with school consultants and the financial department to analyze the budget and help the university reach spring graduation, currently set for May 10.

For the full story, visit The Paducah Sun online.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

March winter storm in the offing?

The calendar will say March beginning on Saturday but the weather will be anything but spring-like for the next several days.

Wind chills will drop as low as zero degrees to 5 below zero tonight, according to the National Weather Service. And that trend will continue for a few days.

Light snow is expected in much of Kentucky Friday night and Saturday morning with accumulations expected to be an inch or less, the weather service said.

But a winter storm appears likely to hit the Ohio Valley from early Sunday morning through Monday afternoon. The weather service said the situation is a little difficult to pin down at present but it will know more in the coming days.

But there's a likelihood that a mix of snow and ice will hit much of Kentucky with significant accumulations of a wintry mix possible.

Elevated wildfire risk today

Due to current conditions, there is a high risk of wildfires today.
The National Weather Service at Paducah is warning of an elevated wildfire risk across the heartland today. The combination of low relative humidity, dry vegetation and gusty winds will result in an elevated danger in controlling any fires today. The humidity and dry vegetation will reach or surpass critical thresholds this afternoon. In contrast, the wind is expected to remain just below critical values. However, wind gusts will approach 20 mph at times which will make it difficult to contain or control an fires that get started. Burning is not recommended today.

Area deaths

Jimmy K. Ball, 74, of Portage, Ind., formerly of Crittenden County, died Feb. 24, 2014, at St. Mary Medical Center. Rees Funeral Home in Portage is in charge of arrangements.

Elizabeth Weldon, 84, of LaCenter died Feb. 26, 2014, at Select Specialty Hospital in Evansville, Ind. Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion is in charge of arrangements.

Robert Lee “Bob” Farley, 71, of Hobart, Ind., formerly of Crittenden County, died Feb. 26, 2014. Rees Funeral Home in Hobart is handling arrangements.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

City officials warn of phone scam

City officials say local residents should be aware of a local phone scam where the caller represents himself as someone with Publisher's Clearing House.

City Administrator Mark Bryant said police have received information about several local calls with the same method of operation. The caller passes himself off as a legitimate rep of PCH and asks for no personal information, but does at the end of the call request a payment to cover taxes for a cash award.

'American Pickers' coming to Kentucky

The History Channel's "American Pickers" are coming to Kentucky in March and they're looking for leads – interesting characters with interesting items and lots of them.

"Our favorite picks feature multiple buildings crammed with piles of cool stuff," said Sarah Moore with Cineflix Inc., the company that produces the show.

The high profile show follows two of the most skilled pickers in the business, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, as they embark on an epic road trip across the United States. The show offers a fascinating insight into what it’s like to be the men on the ground on the frontlines of the antique industry. The show follows the pickers in their van as they go on a mission in search of America’s most fascinating and valuable antiques – treasures that have been long forgotten in junkyards and barns across the country. The team tracks down unique and interesting items from motorcycles, classic cars and bicycles to oneof-a-kind vintage memorabilia.

"We're looking for movie and music memorabilia, sports memorabilia, western items, and basically any other oddball, one-of-a-kind, or interesting historical item you can think of," Moore said. "We don't go to shops, antiques malls, or flea markets, and we're not currently looking for any fine furniture, agricultural or farming items/equipment, depression glass or pottery."

Sebree man charged with attempted murder

The Kentucky State Police arrested a Sebree man on charges of attempted murder after conducting an investigation.

At approximately 6:10 p.m. Tuesday, KSP Post 2 in Madisonville received a call for assistance from the Webster County Sheriff’s Department and the Clay Police Department in relation to a complaint that shots were fired into a residence in Clay. Upon the arrival of law enforcement, the perpetrator returned to the residence, striking a deputy with his vehicle and firing additional shots into the residence.

At this time, officers discharged their firearms at the perpetrator, striking his vehicle. Officers initiated pursuit as the vehicle fled the scene. The perpetrator, Tommy R. Branson, 61, of Sebree was taken into custody without incident on Ky. 132 near Dixon.

A Webster County deputy was treated and released at Baptist Health Madisonville.

Branson was charged with the following:

  • Four counts of attempted murder.
  • One count of attempted murder (police officer).
  • One count of assault, first degree.
  • One count of wanton endangerment, first degree.
  • One count of criminal mischief, first degree.
  • One count of tampering with physical evidence.
  • One count of fleeing/evading police, first degree.

The incident is under investigation by the Kentucky State Police.

Goalie Club to meet Monday

The Goalie Club for the Lady Rockets soccer team will have an organizational meeting at 6 p.m. Monday in the high school library. Expectations for the upcoming season will be discussed as well as fundraising activities. Any current or future player is encouraged to attend along with their parents. Please contact Coach Ken Geary if more information is needed.

Rockets earn berth in regional tournament

Fans celebrate with the Rockets, including senior center Devin
Belt (30), as a dejected Livingston star, Austin Woodward (4), heads
off the floor following the close game.
For the first time in seven years, Crittenden County's boys' basketball team is heading to the regional tournament. A buzzer basket by Travis Gilbert helped the Rockets overcome a 12-point second-half deficit Tuesday night to beat Liviingston Central in the Fifth District semifinal.

Crittenden will play Trigg County (coached by former Rocket Payton Croft) in Friday's 7 p.m., district championship game. The tournament is being played at Rocket Arena in Marion.

The regional tournament is next week at Madisonville.

READ MORE on the Basketball Blog

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Area deaths

Richard Joseph Benoit of Fredonia died Feb. 23, 2014, at North Side Hospital in Florida. Memorial services will be held at a date yet to be determined.

Donald Bruce Oliver, 75, of Marion died Feb. 25, 2014, at Crittenden Health Systems in Marion. Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion is in charge of arrangements.

KyTC to begin pre-treating roadways

Highway crews across Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 1 plan to pre-treat bridges, overpasses, and other potential trouble spots in anticipation of snow in the forecast for tonight and later in the week.  It will also serve to help reduce the likelihood of icing due to temperatures dropping into the teens at night.

While the forecast indicates a dusting of snow is likely tonight into Wednesday, there is also a chance of snow on Friday and Sunday in the long-range forecast.

Motorists are asked to be alert for trucks spraying brine today and on through the week.  Crews will focus on pre-treating potential trouble spots today, then move to more widespread efforts through the week.

Pre-treating uses a brine solution produced by running water through salt. The brine is then sprayed on roadways where it dries to a fine powder and sticks to the road surface until it is activated by falling snow. During the early hours of a winter weather event the salt powder improves driving conditions by melting snow as it falls.  It also prevents snow from bonding to the pavement, allowing it to more easily be plowed off once it accumulates.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Area deaths

Bobby Neil Patton, 48, of Marion died Feb. 23, 2014. Boyd Funeral Directors in Salem is in charge of arrangements.

Judy Faye Barnes, 68, of Marion died Feb. 24, 2014, at Lourdes Hospital in Paducah. Myers Funeral Home in Marion is in charge of arrangements.

STARTS TONIGHT: 5th District at Rocket Arena

The Fifth District Tournament starts tonight with Crittenden County hosting the weeklong event at Rocket Arena.

Here are the brackets for this week's games:

Girls’ Semifinals
Trigg County vs. Lyon Co., 6 p.m.
Crittenden vs. Livingston, 7:30 p.m.

Boys’ Semifinals
Lyon Co. vs. Trigg County, 6 p.m.
Crittenden vs. Livingston, 7:30 p.m.

Girls’ championship, 7 p.m.

Boys’ championship, 7 p.m.

Longtime real estate broker dies

Longtime Marion real estate broker and auctioneer John Chappell died Sunday, following a short illness. He was 78. Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion is in charge of arrangements.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Need water hauled to your home, farm or business?

Area deaths

Manson Page, 78, of Grand Rivers died Feb. 19, 2014, at his home. Boyd Funeral Directors in Salem is handling arrangements.

William W. "Bill" Jones, 83, of Marion died Feb. 20, 2014, at Livingston Hospital and Health Care Services in Salem. Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion is handling arrangements.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ferry closed due to wind

The Cave In Rock Ferry is closed due to high winds.

The ferry will remain closed for the rest of the evening and plans to reopen on the regular schedule on Friday Morning, weather permitting.

Tornado watch issued for area

The National Weather Service in Paducah has issued a tornado watch for Crittenden County and the surrounding area through 9 p.m. today. A tornado watch means conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms that are capable of producing tornadoes.

A wind advisory for gusts up to 50 mph also remains in effect until midnight.

Courthouse open as shelter if need be

Crittenden County has so far dodged any severe weather, but Judge-Executive Perry Newcom will be leaving the courthouse open this evening for anyone who may need to use the building as a shelter if the weather deteriorates.

Parent-teacher conferences canceled

Parent teacher conferences scheduled for this afternoon at Crittenden County Middle and High schools are canceled due to the threat of severe weather.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Severe storms forecast for Thursday

It's a pretty safe bet that the area will see heavy rains tomorrow; there is a 100-percent chance of rain.

The National Weather Service in Paducah is forecasting potential severe weather beginning tonight and continuing Thursday. There is a threat of tornadoes, large hail and flooding from this system moving east across the nation's midsection.

Scattered thunderstorms are forecast for tonight as a warm front moves south to north across the region.

On Thursday, numerous showers and thunderstorms are forecast with severe thunderstorm development possible from mid- to late-morning through early evening. Damaging wind is the primary hazard with severe thunderstorms; however, large hail and isolated tornadoes are possible. Additionally, the combination of well-saturated ground conditions and potentially heavy rain from any thunderstorm activity could result in localized flooding.

Tornado safety
Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. Spawned from powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes can cause fatalities and devastate a neighborhood in seconds. A tornado appears as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 mph. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. Every state is at some risk from this hazard.

Some tornadoes are clearly visible, while rain or nearby low-hanging clouds obscure others. Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that little, if any, advance warning is possible.

Before a tornado hits, the wind may die down and the air may become very still. A cloud of debris can mark the location of a tornado even if a funnel is not visible. Tornadoes generally occur near the trailing edge of a thunderstorm. It is not uncommon to see clear, sunlit skies behind a tornado.

The following are facts about tornadoes:
  • They may strike quickly, with little or no warning.
  • They may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are picked up or a cloud forms in the funnel.
  • The average tornado moves southwest to northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction.
  • The average forward speed of a tornado is 30 mph, but may vary from stationary to 70 mph.
  • Tornadoes can accompany tropical storms and hurricanes as they move onto land.
  • Waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water.
  • Tornadoes are most frequently reported east of the Rocky Mountains during spring and summer months.
  • Peak tornado season in the southern states is March through May; in the northern states, it is late spring through early summer.
  • Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m., but can occur at any time.

CHS financial report good news

Crittenden Health Systems had a good report for Crittenden Fiscal Court this week.

On Tuesday, CHS CEO Greg McNeil, as he does each month, presented the health care facility’s abbreviated financial statement for the ambulance service to magistrates and Judge Executive-Perry Newcom. The report showed a net loss of only $365 for the month of January. This is in contrast to an average monthly loss of more than $20,700 since November of last year.

McNeil, who took on the role of CEO at the hospital in November, said January saw an extraordinary number of runs by the ambulance service.

Though the fiscal court does not have a hand in the operation of the hospital, it does contribute $12,500 each month to CHS to offset EMS expenses. The financial report presented Tuesday did reflect that monthly allocation.

A story in this week's issue of The Crittenden Press did not clarify that the financial report was for EMS operations only.

Area death

Lawrence Newsome, 65, of Marion died at his home. Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion is in charge of arrangements.

Board of Ed meeting venue changed

Crittenden County Board of Education meeting set for Tuesday has been moved to the high school library due to the district games in Rocket Arena. The meeting begins at 6 p.m.

Rocket homecoming basketball

Senior Amber Wright crowned queen and Adam Watson is king.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Area deaths

John Stephens, 79, of Marion died Feb. 17, 2014, at Salem Springlake Health and Rehabilitation Center. Boyd Funeral Directors in Salem is handling arrangements.

Dorothy Thompson, 79, of Burna died Feb. 17, 2014, at Salem Springlake Health and Rehabilitation Center. Boyd Funeral Directors in Salem is in charge of arrangements.

CCHS progress reports go home this week

Crittenden County High School progress reports go home with students on Wednesday. Parent-teacher conferences are from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.  Thursday.

“We hope to see a lot of parents at our conferences this week,” said Principal Rhonda Callaway. “We also encourage our students to take advantage of our Crosswalk Learning Center to assist with academics.”

For further information, call the school at 965-2248.

Position open with TransAmerica Insurance

TransAmerica Insurance Company is looking for a professional in the following counties: Crittenden, Livingston and Caldwell. The position is available due to the upcoming retirement of a veteran agent and has supported a six-figure income for many years. 
  • This position offers:
  • Competitive base salary compensation
  • Monthly/annual bonus programs
  • Guaranteed level introductory pay
  • Comprehensive benefits – medical, vision, dental, paid time off
  • Company matched 401K and pension plan
  • Established client base
  • Professional training and development programs
  • Personalized one-on-one training for the first eight weeks
If interested, visit or contact Joe Rhea (270) 575-1080.

Ky. 120 in Webster County to close Tuesday, Wednesday

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans to close Ky. 120 on Tuesday and Wednesday at the west edge of Providence in Webster County to remove inactive rail crossings. 

Ky. 120 will be closed on Tuesday at mile-point 3.7. This is between Green Road and Cedar Street.   

Ky. 120  will be closed on Wednesday at mile-point 4.4. This is between Gulf Street and Poplar Street in Providence. 

Both closures are to allow the removal of inactive railroad crossings. Ky. 120 will be closed promptly at 8 a.m. both days and remain closed until about 3 p.m. each day. 

There will be no marked detour. Passenger vehicles may self-detour via side roads. Trucks should self-detour via appropriate state routes. 

Motorists who regularly travel Ky. 120 at these locations should make advance alternate travel plans.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Area death

Lois V. Brasher Hicks, 81, of Eddyville, formerly of Marion, died Friday at Crittenden Health Systems in Marion. Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion is handling arrangements.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Freezing temps cause big problems

Black ice has been reported in Crittenden and surrounding counties.

Temperatures have dropped to below freezing across the region creating the potential for flash freezing of roadways.

Moisture from rain during the day has not had time to dry, say Kentucky DOT officials.  That, combined with dropping temperatures creates the potential for hazardous driving.

Motorists are advised to use extra caution during overnight travel.

Basketball games are off tonight

Crittenden County's varsity doubleheader at St. Mary tonight has been cancelled because of the weather forecast.

Spring forest fire hazard season begins Saturday

It doesn’t make sense for wildfires to start easily when Kentucky has had such a run of cold, wet weather but how wet or cold the ground is has little to do with how vulnerable dead grass is to a spark.

“Despite recent precipitation, fine dead fuels like grass, leaves and twigs are rapidly dried with minimal sunlight and wind,” said Leah MacSwords, director of the Division of Forestry. “With only a few hours of sunlight and wind these fuels can become primed for carrying a wildfire.  It is very important that people not develop a false confidence during wet conditions, and take all necessary precautions with any outdoor burning,”

Kentucky law designates Feb. 15 through April 30 as spring forest fire hazard season. 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 after 6 p.m. when conditions are less likely to cause a wildfire to spread.

Harsh temperatures mean drier vegetation, making it easier for a fire to start and spread. Even if the ground is so wet you can’t walk without sinking, the vegetation on top of the ground is tinder just waiting for a spark to ignite. The division reports there have been 55 fires burning 1,506 acres since Jan. 1, 2014.

“This law is one of the most effective tools we have to prevent wildfires,” said MacSwords. “Downed trees, branches and leaves from winter storms become ‘forest fuels’ that increase the danger of a forest fire. By adhering to the law and burning after 6 p.m., fires are less likely to escape and threaten people, their property and the forests of Kentucky. 

“Of course arsonists don’t pay attention to burning restrictions and a large part of our wildfires are started by arsonists,” said MacSwords.  “The best way to stop arsonists from endangering lives and property is for people to make the call.  By that I mean call the Target Arson Hotline at (800) 27-ARSON.”

People should contact their local fire department if they have any questions about local restrictions regarding burning.

For more information about fire hazard seasons, outdoor burning laws and safe burning practices, contact the Kentucky Division of Forestry at 1-800-866-0555 or visit the division’s website at

High school SBDM to meet

CCHS SBDM will meet Monday at 3:30 p.m. in the high school conference room.

Conrad's Big 2-Day Sale Begins Today !

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Tourism commission meets Wednesday

The Marion Tourism Commission will meet 6 p.m. Wednesday. The meeting will be held at the Marion Welcome Center.

HELP WANTED: Local childcare center

Teachers Associate Position at Tiny Tot Child Care Center  

Minimum requirements of Commonwealth Credential or prior experience working in a formal setting with infants or pre-school children. 

Interested applicants APPLY IN PERSON at Tiny Tot Child Care Center, 231 Bluebird Lane, Marion, Ky. Please bring resume with references.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Alternate bus routes Friday... bad forecast, too

With a forecast for more wintry weather Friday, school officials are keeping their eye on the sky – and the radar.

If no further inclement weather materializes and Crittenden County schools are in session on Friday, buses will run the alternate routes as they did on Wednesday and Thursday.

Area deaths

Jeanetta Ann Talley Booher (Skeeter), 74, of Franklin, Ky., died Feb. 12, 2014, at her home. J. C. Kirby & Son Funeral Chapel in Bowling Green is in charge of arrangements.

Anna M. Kinnin, 100, of Marion died Feb. 13, 2014, at her home. Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion is in charge of arrangements.

Insurance company seeking professional applicants

TransAmerica Insurance Company is looking for a professional in the following counties: Crittenden, Livingston and Caldwell. 
The position is available due to the upcoming retirement of a veteran agent and has supported a six-figure income for many years.
This position offers:
  • Competitive base salary compensation
  • Monthly/annual bonus programs
  • Guaranteed level introductory pay
  • Comprehensive benefits – medical, vision, dental, paid time off
  • Company matched 401K and pension plan
  • Established client base
  • Professional training and development programs
  • Personalized one-on-one training for the first eight weeks

Special gift ideas for Valentine's Day at Bowtanicals

Kenergy crews on way to help North Carolina co-op

Kenergy Corp. is sending 15 linemen to a rural electric co-op near Raleigh, N.C., which is reeling from an ongoing winter storm. The line technicians left Wednesday afternoon bound for Wake Electric Membership Corp. in Youngsville, N.C., and are expected to arrive today.

For more, visit The Gleaner online.

Register now for youth baseball, softball


Get it done now because this year's deadline is earlier than normal due to joining leagues with Eddyville, Princeton and Dawson Springs.

Click the link below and register before MARCH 15 DEADLINE:

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Buses on same routes Thursday

School buses in Crittenden County will be on alternate routes on Thursday just as they were on Wednesday. Many side roads and gravel roads remain very slick and potentialy troublesome or even dangerous for buses.

Federal court: Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages from other states

U.S. District Court Judge John Heyburn has struck down Kentucky's ban on recognizing same-sex marriages performed outside the state.

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., issued a statement commending the judge's ruling:

“I am proud of the four Kentucky families who are standing up for marriage equality in this lawsuit and of the thousands more who continue this fight every day. Today’s ruling is an important step forward in the march toward recognition of all marriages under the law and full equality in our Commonwealth.”

Meanwhile, the Family Foundation issued a statement taking the opposite point of view. According to the foundation's news release:

"Kentucky marriage policy will now be dictated from places like Boston and San Francisco," said Martin Cothran, a spokesman for The Family Foundation said in the release.

"If a state like Utah were ever to legalize polygamy, Kentucky would be forced to recognize it under this decision."

Cothran said Kentucky voters will be disappointed with the practical effects of this decision.

"This decision puts Kentucky voters on notice that if their reasons for defining marriage as between a man and a woman don't correspond with the political ideology of liberal judges, their votes don't count."

Firefighters respond to reported house fire

Marion firefighters are on the scene of a reported fire at 201 Cherry Street, the home of Mary Pigg.

The fire apparently started in a back room, and according to one firefighter, it appears to have been extinguished by a burst water pipe overhead. No one was injured.

The fire was called in around 4:30 p.m. At 5 p.m., firefighters were still at the home removing burned debris and ensuring the fire was put out completely.

Area death

John Leonard Faith, 71, of Marion died Feb. 11, 2014, in Goodlettsville, Tenn. Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion is in charge of arrangements.

Livingston authorities asking public for leads

The Livingston County Sheriff's Department is requesting the public's assistance in locating a stolen four-wheeler. The ATV  is a 2014 Can Am Outlander 500, yellow in color with a black seat and trim. The four-wheeler was stolen from a construction site at 1062 U.S.  60 East near Smithland during the early morning hours of today.

Anyone with any information regarding the location of the four-wheeler or information about the perpetrator(s) who committed the theft is urged to contact the Livingston County Sheriff's Department at (270) 928-2122 or Crime Stoppers at (270) 443-TELL. You may be eligible for a cash reward. 

You may remain anonymous.

Candidate withdraws from jailer's race

According to Crittenden County Clerk Carolyn Byford, Republican Robert "Rocky" Roberts has withdrawn from the county jailer's race.

There remain six candidates vying for the post – three Republicans and three Democrats.

Engineering education trumps football for Sindelar

Caldwell County's much-heralded all-state quarterback has chosen to take his athletic skills to Purdue University in Indiana. His decision was based on the best choice for his education, say his family and coaches.

Sindelar will QB the Tigers for one more year in the fall of 2014, but he committed early to Purdue in order to concentrate on things other than the recruiting process. Sindelar and Caldwell County will host Crittenden County for the last time in 2014 as a district opponent.

See more about Sindelar's decision at these websites:

Louisville Courier-Journal 

Princeton Times-Leader

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Livingston sets make-up school days

In addition to the pre-approved make-up days previously announced for Feb. 17 and March 14, the following additional days have now been approved for student make-up days in Livingston County, according to a post on Livingston County Middle School's Facebook page:

  • March 31
  • April 1
  • April 2
  • April 7

As of Tuesday, with having missed 14 days of school and using all of the above make-up days, this would make students' last day May 28 with teacher closing day on May 29. That will make high school graduation tentatively set for May 30.

Bus routes improving, but still abbreviated

School officials say buses will run on "alternate" routes on Wednesday. This is a slight improvement from the "snow" routes used Monday and Tuesday.

For Wednesday, it will be up to each individual bus driver to determine where icy trouble spots might be on their routes. Bus drivers will notify student households if, in their discretion, a road is impassable or unsafe for a bus.

Phone scam targets Windows users

An apparent phishing scheme is targeting users of Microsoft Windows.

Multiple calls have been received in Marion from alleged tech experts claiming the user's computer had been hacked. The technician offers to fix any problems with Windows, asking for the user's IP address and other private information.

The callers have had thick foreign accents and identify themselves with either Microsoft or Windows. The connection is also poor.

At least one of the calls showed to be from an area code in Virginia.

If anyone receives such a call, they are advised to hang up and not share any personal information or IP addresses.

Drug abuse seminar tonight at Ed-Tech Center

“Prescription Drugs and Their Abuse by Children” is the name of a class being offered at 5:30 p.m. today at the Ed-Tech Center in Marion. The speaker is Virginia Oldham, Pennyroyal Center Youth Empowerment Service Coordinator. This informational meeting will help parents talk to their child about use and misuse of prescription drugs. It is open to the public.

Throw back idea hits snow snag

The Rocket basketball game tonight at Princeton was going to be held at the old high school downtown; however, the throw-back idea is nixed because of snow and ice in the parking lot.

The game will be played at the current Caldwell County High School gym.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Schools in session at regular time Tuesday

Crittenden County schools will be in session at the regular time on Tuesday, but snow routes only will be run by buses.

Area deaths

Jason Ray McDowell, 40, of Henderson died Feb. 8, 2014, at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, Ind. Boyd Funeral Directors in Salem is in charge of arrangements.

Willard Pasco “Pat” Hardesty Jr., 68, of Marion, died Feb. 5, 2014, at Livingston Hospital and Healthcare Services in Salem. Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion is handling arrangements.

Opal Pearl Hawkins, 83, of Marion died Feb. 7, 2014, at Crittenden County Health and Rehabilitation Center in Marion. Myers Funeral Home in Marion is handling arrangements.

Michael Coleman, 47, of Eddyville died Feb. 8, 2014, in Marion following a short illness. Lakeland Funeral Home in Eddyville is handling arrangements.

Blood drive set for Feb. 14

The public is invited to donate blood Feb. 14 at Crittenden County High School. To make an appointment, contact the school at (270) 965-2248 or e-mail Carol West at or Amy Adams at

School is back in session today

A Crittenden school bus makes a stop on its Crayne snow route this
morning as children return to classes one hour later than normal.
Schools in Crittenden County are back in session today, but on a one-hour delay. Buses were running snow routes only.

There is no preschool today.

Students in Crittenden County have missed 13 days so far this year, including five straight last week.

The school board will be deciding soon how all those days will be made up before school is out in the late spring.

Livingston County schools are closed today. Teachers are reporting. 

Bowtanicals has something for your sweetie

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Area deaths

Jerry D. Campbell Sr., 73, of Marion died Feb. 9, 2014, at his home. Dunn’s Funeral Home in Eddyville is handling of arrangements.

Alfred Neal Boyd, 79, of Evansville, Ind., formerly of Marion, died Feb. 7, 2014, at his home. Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion is handling arrangements.

School officials waiting until morning to decide

Just in .... Dr. Rachel Yarbrough says school officials will wait until morning to decide whether to go to school or not.

If there is no more precipitation overnight, Yarbrough said students would likely go one hour late. However, there would be no preschool and buses would likely run on snow-routes only.

If there is more snow or ice tonight, officials will re-evaluate the situation. 

Automated calls and emails will be sent to student families as early as possible, the superintendent said.

Still no word on school for Monday, stay tuned...

Crittenden County school officials continue to evaluate road and campus conditions to determine whether school can be held Monday.

So far, students have missed 13 days this winter, including five straight last week.

Because officials are now watching a new, developing winter storm, any decision on whether to go to school on Monday might not be made until later tonight or even in the morning.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Church cancelation

First Cumberland Presbyterian Church will not have any services Sunday.

Church cancelation

Due to poor conditions around the church and parking lot, Marion Second Baptist Church will not be having any services this Sunday.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Crittenden GOP to meet

Crittenden County Republicans will meet for a planning meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the courthouse in Marion. All persons running for office should attend.

KyTC crews prep for yet another weather event

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet crews in District 1 are gearing up for another round of winter precipitation overnight. What is expected to be 1 to 2 inches of snow is expected to move across much of the region between about 10 p.m. and about noon Saturday.

A winter weather advisory issued by the National Weather Service indicates this will be a dry snow which should make it reasonably easy to plow off roadways. Motorists are asked to use appropriate caution if they plan to travel overnight. There may be some opportunity for snow to drift back over roadways after they are plowed.

Crews have spent the last two days restocking salt supplies. Trucks have been hauling salt from central storage facilities to individual counties so it can be available for use as needed.  KyTC District 1 spokesman Keith Todd noted that if this were a normal winter, engineers would be fairly pleased with their salt reserves. However, with one winter event right after another, they’re keeping a close eye on salt deliveries and are looking at ways to go into salt conservation mode in the future, if required.

KyTC District 1, headquartered in Paducah, is responsible for about 2,800 miles of highway in Kentucky’s 12 westernmost counties. Covering all state highways in the district is the equivalent of a trip from New York to Los Angeles. Crews may cover all highways in the district 2 or 3 times during a single winter weather event.

Marion native helps ring opening bell at NYSE

Photo by Dario Cantatore/NYSE Euronext
Can you identify the former Crittenden Countian in this photo taken from this morning's opening bell ringing at the New York Stock Exchange? Here's a hint: Ladder Capital executives were given the honor of the ceremonial ringing to celebrate the New York-based commercial real estate mortgage origination and finance company's initial public offering this week on the NYSE.

If you don't know, check out next week's issue of The Crittenden Press to find out.

More snow forecast for tonight

Today's sun glistening off of ice-covered
trees can be a very beautiful part of winter,
as is shown in the image above of Fohs
Hall. Send us your favorite photos from
the winter at
A year ago today, the high temperatures topped 66 degrees in Crittenden County, according to the Kentucky Mesonet weather and climate data station near Repton. Today's high, however, is forecast at 22 degrees...and more snow is predicted for tonight.

The National Weather Service in Paducah has issued a winter weather advisory for snow which is in effect from 6 p.m. this evening to 6 a.m. Saturday. This advisory includes locations along and south of a line from Poplar Bluff, Mo., to Paducah to Owensboro.

From one to two inches of dry powdery snow is expected.

Most of the snow will fall between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. in fare western Kentucky and the southern tip of Illinois and between midnight and 6 a.m. in the Pennyrile Region of western Kentucky.

Roads will become snow covered and slippery.

Cold temperatures around 20 degrees tonight will reduce the effectiveness of some melting agents such as rock salt.

Former Rocket skipper Croft headed to Hall

Jimmy Croft with his son current Trigg County
head basketball coach Payton Croft.

Former Rocket basketball coach Jimmy Croft is the 2014 inductee into the Farmers Bank Marion-Crittenden County Athletics Hall of Fame.

Croft will join a list of former sports greats in the Hall of Fame. See a complete list of past inductees at our Rocket Basketball Blog.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Many city streets still slippery

Earlier today, the City of Marion issued the following statement on Facebook regarding street conditions: "...(C)ertain streets in Marion really should be avoided or driven on with extreme caution. These include Chapel Hill Road, South Blackburn, Watson Street and Fords Ferry Road. Also, extreme caution should be taken as you come to a stop at literally any intersection in town. Our salt spreader broke down yesterday and we hope to have it back up soon, but even once we resume salting operations, the very frigid temperatures will keep this from being very effective."

Minimum wage increase bills pass House

Rep. Lynn Bechler voted
against a measure to bump
the state's minimum wage.
The state’s hourly minimum wage would increase for the first time since 2009 under a bill that passed the House today by a 54-44 vote.

Rep. Lynn Bechler (R-Marion) did not support the measure.

Under House Bill 1, sponsored by House Speaker Greg Stumbo (D-Prestonsburg) Kentucky’s minimum wage would increase in increments from the current rate of $7.25 up to $10.10. The bill calls for the minimum wage to rise to $8.20 an hour this year, then to $9.15 an hour in July 2015, before ending at $10.10 an hour in 2016. It would also require Kentucky workers be paid equal wages for equal work, regardless of sex, race, or national origin, with a few exceptions.

The bill was amended by the House to exempt employees of what Stumbo called “mom-and-pop businesses” with average annual gross sales of $500,000 or less for the last five years (excluding excise tax) from the proposed wage increase.

Stumbo said a minimum wage worker in Kentucky currently earns around $15,080 a year. More than 400,000 Kentuckians – which is a little over 9 percent of the state’s total population – would be affected by an increase in the minimum wage, Stumbo said, adding that a large percentage of affected workers would be women.

“I believe those are small increases for the increased morale and work productivity you will see,” said Stumbo.

Opponents of the legislation included House Minority Leader Jeff Hoover (R-Jamestown), who said HB 1 would ultimately increase the state’s minimum wage by 39 percent. That, he explained, would burden entities like local governments and public school districts – the latter which he said would be impacted by more than $40 million over the next decade, should HB 1 pass.

While HB 1 does not address an increase in the minimum wage for tipped workers, such as restaurant servers, another bill passed by a vote of 57-40 in the House today that would. HB 191, sponsored by Rep. Will Coursey (D-Symsonia) would raise that wage from $2.13 an hour to $3 an hour this year, then incrementally each year until the wage is 70 percent of the state minimum wage for non-tipped employees, addressed in HB 1.

Bechler also voted against HB 191.

Both bills now go to the Senate. 

Area death

John Douglas Gernigin, 49, died Jan. 26, 2014, at Baptist Health Paducah. Services were conducted Jan. 31 at Marks Mortuary in Wood River, Ill.

Officials cancel school for Friday

School in Crittenden County has been cancelled for Friday due to hazardous driving conditions on many roads in the county.

Events at high school campus cancelled

All events scheduled on the Crittenden County High School campus for this weekend, including basketball homecoming, Hall of Fame ceremonies and the Lady Rocket Alumni game, have been cancelled due to winter weather. Lady Rocket Coach Shannon Hodge said the alumni game will be re-scheduled.

Healthy Eating seminar rescheduled

Due to winter weather conditions, the Healthy Eating seminar, originally scheduled for Saturday, has been rescheduled for 10:30 a.m. Feb. 22 at The Woman’s Club of Marion located on East Carlisle Street.

Crissy Carter, a registered dietician, will discuss healthy eating and how to read labels to make better choices. Sue Parrent from the Crittenden County University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service will discuss the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program. Robbie Kirk will speak on the Victory Gardens in Crittenden County and preview the upcoming growing season.

The seminar is open to the public and is an approved Community Christmas educational class.
Individuals are asked to bring a canned food item to donate to the local food pantry and to be registered to win door prizes. Individuals must be present to win.

For more information, contact Rebecca Zahrte at (270) 978-3328 or at the Extension Service at (270) 965-5236. You can also contact Zahrte via e-mail at

More winter weather in the offing

It may be an unpleasant thought at present but better to be prepared. Or so they say. At any rate, The Weather Channel's website reports a storm that could produce a significant weather event could move into the Ohio Valley beginning late Friday and continuing Saturday.

Snow, sleet and freezing rain could move into parts of Kentucky. At present, it looks to be a moderate event,, reports for parts of the East Coast, the Middle Atlantic, including the Ohio Valley, and the Great Lakes region.

More snow could arrive Sunday and continue in places into Monday.

The Weather Channel said that as of this time, it does not appear this system will produce a crippling snowstorm but that it will monitor the situation as it develops.

KSP, BBB warn of phone scam

The Kentucky State Police is warning cell phone users to be aware of a new scam called “The One-Ring Scam.”  Better Business Bureaus (BBB) across the country are seeing a rash of reports of "ring and runs" on cell phones where returning a missed call from an unknown number may cost you.

KSP spokesman Sgt. Michael Webb says scammers profit from individuals who are curious enough to return that missed call.

“A computer program originating outside the U.S. dials American customers and lets the phone ring one or two times before hanging up,” says Webb. “This is enough time to register on a phone’s missed-calls screen, but typically not enough time for a user to actually answer.”

“Many people who receive a missed call will return the call and that is when their account is charged approximately $20 for the call and $9 for every additional minute.”

BBB experts say this is called "phone cramming," when automated dialers send out thousands of calls to random numbers. Most of the area codes are from the Caribbean Islands, but BBB says there is no way for them to really know where the calls are coming from.

Webb advises citizens to refrain from returning calls they do not recognize.

“We are encouraging people to review their cell phone statements and contact their cellular carrier immediately if they notice unauthorized charges,” adds Webb.

The following is a list of area codes the BBB said is connected with the scam:
  • Dominican Republic - 809
  • -Jamaica - 876
  • British Virgin Islands - 284
  • Grenada - 473
  • Aruba - 297
  • Antigua - 268

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

No school Thursday

There is no school in Crittenden County Thursday.

Most all power in county restored

UPDATE: As of 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, only one Kenergy Corp. customer in Crittenden County was reported to be without electricity.


UPDATE: Kenergy Corp. now estimates it will be 10 p.m. Wednesday before power is restored to all of its customers across its service area. However, as of 12:30 p.m., only 13 customers in Crittenden County were without power. That number was 82 around 10 a.m.

"We’re really working on those numbers. We’re below 800 members without power throughout our service area as of 11:52 a.m.," said Renee Beasley Jones, communications and public relations manager for Kenergy. "Earlier today, that number was above 2,000."

At 12:30 p.m., Kentucky Utilities Co. showed power had been restored to all of its customers in Crittenden County.


Kenergy Corp. reports that 82 customers in Crittenden County are without power due to the snow and ice storm.

Kentucky Utilities Co. reports fewer than five customers in the immediate area are without power. Those are near Fredonia.

Outages are reported near Irma, Sheridan, Mexico, Deanwood and Mattoon as well as others in the north-central and east-central portions, too.

Some of the customers in Crittenden County have been without power since before 10 p.m. Tuesday.

Downed trees and falling limbs tore down lines. Also the weight of the ice on lines and poles caused some damage, including downed poles.

Kenergy crews worked through the night and still had about 1,400 customers without power as of 6 a.m. today. They hope to have everyone's power restored by 6 p.m. today.

"It all depends on conditions – work conditions, driving conditions, etc.," said Renee Beasley Jones, communications and public relations manager.

For more information on outages, go to Kenergy's website.

MAPP meeting rescheduled

Due to weather conditions and closings, the MAPP meeting scheduled for Thursday afternoon is canceled. It is re-scheduled to the March meeting date, March 6 at 1 p.m. at the Crittenden County Health Department.

State road crews winding down for day, dangers still exist

Highway crews across the region are winding down their snow and ice-fighting activities this evening. Efforts today have been directed mainly at clearing remaining ice and slush from highways and plowing back shoulders to allow water to run off the pavement.

The wind has been helping to dry the pavement to help reduce the opportunity for re-freezing during the overnight hours. Traffic engineers remind everyone that there are still likely to be some slick spots out there, so appropriate caution is advised.

There is some concern about the low temperatures and humidity to create the potential for black ice to form overnight. Please be aware that tonight’s lows down into the mid-teens will greatly reduce the impact of salt and other ice-fighting chemicals.

All crews will have a truck loaded with salt and ready to roll on short notice during the night should slick spots develop.

Motorists who plan to be out overnight should use appropriate caution.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet crews also spent time today responding to sporadic reports of downed trees and limbs. Winds in the 10 to 15 mph range with gusts to 25 mph overnight could create the potential for additional ice-laden trees to fall. Crews are prepared to respond should problems develop.

KyTC engineers are in the process of evaluating salt supplies. At this time salt supplies are adequate for normal winter weather. However, after a series of major back to back weather events, a couple of additional major events could put a strain on supplies. Engineers are checking inventories of salt and calcium chloride and will be considering going into salt conservation mode at some time in the future.

Beshear unveils new tax plan for Kentucky

To generate more money, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear would look to smokers, wealthy retirees and some companies providing services.

 Beshear’s proposed tax plan unveiled Tuesday would net another $210 million for the state.

“A fundamental weakness continues to hold us back, an archaic tax code that was designed for (a) 20th century economy,” Beshear said.

Beshear would fix that by expanding the sales tax to some services, raising the cigarette tax and creating a tax on e-cigarettes, and eliminating some of the tax exemptions for retirees earning more than $80,000 a year.

For the full story, visit The Kentucky Enquirer online.

Send us your winter storm photos

Send us your photos from Winter 2013-14 and any damage created by Tuesday night's icing event. They may appear in The Crittenden Press or online.

Send photos and a brief description to