Monday, March 31, 2014

Water district to host special meeting

Crittenden-Livingston Water District will hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Livingston County Extension Service Office in Smithland.

CCHS spring break intercession

Crittenden County High School will hold spring break intercession from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., April 7.

Christian County wreck involves buggy

Kentucky State Police investigated a vehicle and a horse drawn buggy injury collision Sunday morning that occurred on Ky. 91 (Princeton Road) approximately four miles north of Hopkinsville.

The preliminary investigation revealed that Branden McGhee, 23, of Cerulean was operating a 2000 Suzuki Esteem southbound on Ky. 91.  McGhee was closely following a vehicle when that vehicle suddenly passed a horse drawn buggy, occupied by John Stoltzfus, 60, his wife Anna, 46, and their sons Amos, 14, and David, 13, all of Cerulean that was also traveling southbound.  McGhee was not able to stop in time before impacting the rear of the buggy.

McGhee, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was not injured in the collision.  Amos Stoltzfus was transported by ambulance to Jennie Stuart Medical Center in Hopkinsville for treatment.

Trooper Luis Palmer investigated the collision.  He was assisted at the scene by the Gracey Volunteer Fire Department and Christian County EMS.

Big Appliance, Furniture Sale in Marion

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Friday, March 28, 2014

School ‘snow days’ bill receives final passage

The Kentucky House gave final passage today to the so-called “snow days” bill that would give school districts until June 6 to make up instructional time lost due to this winter’s snow, ice and cold.
House Bill 211 was the result of an agreement between the House and Senate. It passed the Senate by a vote of 36-1 on Thursday, and was given final passage in the House this afternoon by a vote of 97-1.
Under HB 211, school districts will have until June 6 to complete all 1,062 instructional hours required by the state per school year. Districts may choose to extend school instructional time for the remainder of the school year to make up the lost time, as long as instructional time does not exceed seven hours a day. Districts that are unable to meet all 1,062 hours before June 6 must request assistance from the Kentucky Commissioner of Education no later than May 1 for help to reach the requirement, per the bill.  

The bill still must be enrolled by the Senate in order for it to be acted upon by the governor. The Senate is expected to take that final legislative step on Monday, and the Gov. Steve Beshear has pledged to sign the bill the same day.
Crittenden County Board of Education will meet Monday to decide on a new academic calendar for the school district.

Read what the board decides in next week's issue of The Crittenden Press.

SCAM ALERT: Apparent scheme targets KU customers

An apparent scam with a caller claiming to be from Kentucky Utilities Co. has targeted multiple loca residents today, according to Marion Police Chief Ray O'Neal.

The caller claimed to be from KU. He reportedly told the individual answering the call they were behind in their payments and that the electric utility would be cutting off their power today if they did not provide him with proper banking or credit card information to settle the outstanding bill.

In a particular instance, the man, who had a foreign accent, called the same number twice, each time claiming the individual had different outstanding amounts on their KU account. Each time, the call was made from a different phone number.

When questioned about the nature of the call, the caller hung up.

Anyone receiving such a call is advised to hang up and provide no personal information to the caller.

GOP meet-and-greet Tuesday

Republican candidates in the primary will  be meeting with the public beginning next week.

On Tuesday, the GOP will host a candidate meet-and-greet from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the courthouse. Candidates will also visit Mattoon Fire Department on April 15 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The party’s three candidates for jailer will visit with the public from 6:30 to 8 p.m. May 6 at the courthouse.

CCHS report cards issued next week

Crittenden County High School grade cards go home Wednesday.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Book signing set for Saturday

Noted local author, researcher and historian Tom C. McKenney of Marion and John B. Tonkin of Ohio will be at Crittenden County Public Library from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday for a book signing and presentation of related artifacts. They will be discussing and signing the book “The Sniper Anthology: Snipers of the Second World War.” Each man contributed chapters to the compilation of stories from 10 authors.

'Blue and Red Day' proclaimed

Gov. Steve Beshear has proclaimed Friday as “Blue and Red Day” in honor of the NCAA men’s tournament matchup between the University of Kentucky Wildcats and the University of Louisville Cardinals.

“March Madness is truly living up to its name here in the Bluegrass State,” Beshear said in a statement. “This Friday, intra-state rivals UK and UofL are matching up to play one of the most anticipated games of the NCAA tournament so far. In Kentucky, this means there will be heated divide between fans of both teams – one that can pit neighbors, friends and even families against each other. To honor the teams’ talents and fans’ passion, I’m proclaiming Friday as ‘Blue and Red Day’ in the Commonwealth. Best of luck to the Cats and the Cards on a great game!”

Friday’s game will be the second time in three seasons that UK and UofL have met in the NCAA tournament. In 2012, UK prevailed in the game and went on to win the National Championship. The following year, UofL came out on top, winning the 2013 National Championship.

UK enters the game with a record of 26-10, having defeated Kansas State and Wichita State in their tournament run. Louisville has defeated Manhattan and St. Louis in their tournament journey and will enter the game with a 31-5 record.

Friday’s “Sweet Sixteen” matchup between UK and UofL is scheduled to air on CBS at 8:45 p.m. EDT.

Snow days legislation favorable for district

An agreement between Kentucky House and Senate negotiators to relax school attendance laws following a disruptive winter appears favorable for Crittenden County School District.

Lawmakers agreed Wedensday night to suspend a requirement that districts meet for 170 days of classroom instruction so long as they have at least 1,062 hours of facetime with teachers. Districts can achieve this by adding time to each day of classes. The agreement also allows districts to have class on election day.

Republicans in the Senate and Democrats in the House are expected agree with the deal. That could get the bill to Gov. Steve Beshear's desk by late today, he said.

Local school officials believe this could allow the district to get out of school for the academic year before the end of may. However, any decision to amend the calendar will have to be approved by the board of education, which is expected to meet in special session on Monday to consider a revised calendar.

Senate adds in some money for U.S. 641

The Kentucky Senate on Wednesday approved by a 28-0 vote a revised two-year Road Plan for the state that adds in some money for the relocation of U.S. 641 from Marion to Eddyville. The plan approved by the House last week contained no money for the project.

While money to complete construction for the segment in Crittenden County is still missing, $1.5 million for design work in Lyon County has been allocated for 2016.

Operational money for the Cave In Rock Ferry is the only project for which funding is shown for Crittenden County.

The Senate's version of the road-building plan is slightly slimmer, with fewer projects than the House road plan passed a week ago, according to The Herald Leader. The Senate plan calls for spending $3.67 billion on transportation projects over the next two years, while the House version of the bill would spend $3.92 billion. One reason for the difference: The Senate doesn't endorse the House's proposed 1.5 cent-a-gallon increase in the state's gas tax, which would boost the road fund.

The dueling road plans will join the differing state budget and revenue bills before a House-Senate conference committee that's trying to negotiate final versions of each measure no later than Monday, when the legislature is scheduled to recess for two weeks.

Read next week's issue of The Critenden Press for further information on the U.S. 641 project.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Hampton woman charged with iPad theft

A Hampton woman has been arrested after allegedly stealing a handheld computer device from the Salem store where she worked.

Rebecca Murray, 22, was charged with theft by unlawful taking over $500 for allegedly taking an iPad from a secure area inside the Dollar Store in Salem, where she worked.

According to Livingston County Sheriff's Department, the iPad had been lost by a customer in the parking lot of the store. It was being securely held by management of the Dollar Store pending the customer's return to claim the item from the store.

The investigation, conducted by Deputy Kenneth Vincent, resulted in recovery of the missing property and return to its rightful owner.

Murray was lodged in McCracken County Jail.

Scam alert

Officials are warning of an apparent scam that asks people to send money to claim a prize.
According to a Marion woman who received a call earlier this week, the caller said  they were with Publishers Clearinghouse and that the woman had won $800,000. They told her to go to CVS and get a Money Fax Paper Express Card and send them $250 so they could then send her the prize.
Anyone who believes they are being scammed should disregard the call.

Area deaths

Roland E. Lee Jr., 90, of Salem died March 25, 2014, at Salem Springlake Health and Rehabilitation Center. Boyd Funeral Directors in Salem is in charge of arrangements.

Joann Barnett Travis, 81, of Fredonia died March 26, 2014, at Crittenden Health Systems in Marion. Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion is in charge of arrangements.

CCHS parent-teacher conferences today

Parent-teacher conferences will be held today from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Crittenden County High School.

Marion man arrested in Mayfield

Shannon Rodgers, 42, of Marion was arrested in Graves County along with another man after a traffic stop yesterday.

To read more, follow this link.

App helps guard against texting-driving

In conjunction with National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, law enforcement agencies in Kentucky are stepping up efforts to persuade drivers to put down the phone as part of the first national texting enforcement crackdown – U Drive. U Text. U Pay.

“People need to know that we are serious about stopping this deadly behavior,” said Kentucky Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock, who is Gov. Steve Beshear’s designated representative on highway safety and chair of the Governor’s Executive Committee on Highway Safety.

“We are distributing federal overtime funds to select agencies throughout the state to strictly enforce our anti-texting law. Driving and texting has reached epidemic levels, and enforcement is part of the cure,” Secretary Hancock said.

Violating Kentucky’s texting law, which took effect April 15, 2010, can be costly. Violators will be liable for fines of $25 on a first offense and $50 on each subsequent offense, plus court costs.
The law bans texting for drivers of all ages while the vehicle is in motion. For drivers over 18, it allows the use of global positioning devices and reading, selecting or entering a telephone number or name for the purpose of making a phone call. Texting is allowed only to report illegal activity or to request medical or emergency aid.
For drivers under 18, no use of personal communication devices, such as cell phones and pagers, is allowed while the vehicle is in motion. The use of a global positioning system is allowed, but manually entering information must be completed while the vehicle is stopped. 
“When you text while driving, you take your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and mind off the task of driving,” Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) Director Bill Bell said. “That puts everyone else’s lives in danger, and no one has the right to do that on our roadways.”

Adding one more tool to combat texting and driving, KOHS partnered with Mobile Life Solutions on a “Text Limit” application. 

The “Text Limit” app, available at, eliminates the temptation to text and drive by limiting or disabling the ability to receive a text once your vehicle reaches a set speed that you determine. Once the vehicle slows to your selected speed, the phone features become active again. Also, you may set a “maximum top-speed” that will cause the administrator to receive an email or text when the vehicle in which the phone is being transported exceeds the selected speed. 

The cost is $24.99 per year, but with the code NOTEXTKY it is free for the first year. 

“This is an excellent way for parents to make sure their teen drivers cannot receive or send a text while driving, and for companies to manage texting while their drivers are behind the wheel of a fleet vehicle,” Bell said. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 3,328 people killed and 421,000 injured nationwide in distraction-affected crashes in 2012, the most recent year for which data is available. The University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute reports that a quarter of teens respond to a text message once or more every time they drive, and 20 percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit that they have extended, multi-message text conversations while driving.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Board hires consultant to find superintendent

Crittenden County Board of Education has hired a consultant to help it find a new superintendent. The process is now underway and a parent representative is wanted to help decide who eventually gets the job.

See this week's printed edition of The Press for details about the hiring process and how to get involved.

The consultant will cost the local school system about $7,000.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Speed zone extended in Burna on US 60

The transportation department is widening the speed zone on U.S. 60 through the Burna Community in Livingston County.

See this week's printed edition for details.

Big Sale at Johnson's Furniture/Appliance

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Exchange your old wreath to Bowtanicals

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Former Crittenden band director dies in wreck

Former Crittenden County High School band director and teacher Mike Congiardo died in an automobile accident Friday afternoon in Jackson, Tenn., where he was band director at a local school.

Congiardo was band director in Marion around 1990.

He died from injuries sustained in the wreck after his car went through a red light and struck a school bus.

Read more:

Friday, March 21, 2014

Field fire burns several acres

Crittenden County Fire Department Chief Billy Arflack works
to extinguish a pile of hay bales at a field fire Friday afternoon.
Firefighters with several departments have a field fire mostly contained at Midway in Crittenden County. No one was injured nor any structures burned. Several acres have been charred, however.

State spring fire hazard elevated

Kentucky’s spring forest fire hazard season remains in effect until April 30. During this period, it is illegal to burn anything within 150 feet of any wooded area 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. Violation can result in a fine and/or jail time.

Crittenden County Volunteer Fire Department Chief Billy Arflack said firefighters have been called to numerous brush and field fires with the onset of warmer weather and increased spring cleanup activity around homes in the county.

State lawmakers could begin negotiations on school 'snow days' bill today

State lawmakers hope to resolve today a plan to give relief to school districts that have missed several weeks of school due to winter weather. The Senate decided Thursday not to back away from its proposed plan, which the House refused to accept earlier this week. Since the two chambers are at odds on the issue, the Senate named its members to a conference committee made up of representatives from both chambers that will try to negotiate a compromise. The House is expected to announce its conferees this morning. The committee could begin its work shortly afterwards.

For the story, visit The Herald Leader online.

Mid-Continent University awaits news about student aid

Leaders at Mid-Continent University remain optimistic amid some positive financial news, but the school continues to wait on notification from the U.S. Department of Education regarding its financial status. The college had not heard as of Thursday from the Department of Education about a fourth round of student financial aid and grant paperwork, according to acting president Ken Winters. He said the school hopes to learn the status by next week, and the department is working to verify the academic records of about 200 students.

For the full story, visit The Paducah Sun online.

Baseball, Softball FINAL deadline today

This is the LAST DAY to postmark baseball and softball registration forms mailed to Crittenden County Dugout Club for summer youth recreational leagues.

Team selections will begin Sunday and some leagues will begin practicing within a few days. T-Ball and Coed Rookie leagues (ages 4-6) will begin a bit later.

Forms may be hand-delivered to a Dugout Club board member on Saturday. Call 27.704.0435 for details. Otherwise, registration for all leagues ages 7-up will close tomorrow. Link to registration form is below. The late penalty is now in effect.


Crittenden-Livingston Water District meets Monday

Crittenden-Livingston Water District will meet at 7 p.m. Monday at the district office in Salem.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Federal judge stays enforcement of gay marriage ruling pending appeal

A federal judge has extended the stay of his gay-marriage ruling, saying the state presented legitimate concerns that it could cause "chaos" if same-sex marriages were recognized in Kentucky and then the decision was later reversed. With his stay about to expire Thursday, U.S. District Judge John Heyburn II said that while Gov. Steve Beshear's lawyers hadn't shown they are likely to win on appeal, it is "best that these momentous changes occur with full review, rather than risk premature implementation or confusing changes. That does not serve anyone well."

For the full story, visit The Courier Journal online.

Senate president hopes committee can iron out differences on snow days legislation

Senate President Robert Stivers said Wednesday he hopes a conference committee will start soon to iron out differences between the House and the Senate on snow days legislation. Stivers (R-Manchester) made the comments Wednesday after the Kentucky House refused to concur with the Senate's amended House Bill 211 and sent a message asking the Senate to withdraw them.

For the full story, visit The Herald-Leader online.

Jailer candidate promotes qualifications

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Bird tour offered at Pennyrile State Park

Bird DVD author Joe LaFleur will lead a bird walk and program at Pennyrile Forest State Park in Dawson Springs next month.

From 9 to 10 a.m. on April 6 and Bird Walk & Program will be held at the state forest. Join LaFleur for a free guided bird walk along Clifty Creek. The walk features hands-on identification of resident and migrant birds in habitats like woodlands, shrubby areas, riparian areas, creek and lake. Beginners are welcome. Meet at the lodge lobby.

Then, from 10 to 10:30 a.m., LaFleur will provide a free audiovisual program about common spring migrants. The program will help you identify birds by sight and sound and will also review preferred habitats where each species is likely to be encountered. Meet at the private dining room in the lodge.
The program is for ages 10 and up. Bring binoculars and good walking shoes.

For more information, call (270) 797-3421 or (888) 414-2837.

LaFleur holds degrees in wildlife biology and communications. He is the author of "Better Birdwatching," a series of DVDs about birds of North America and with birds to the music of Vivaldi’s "Four Seasons." LaFleur has been collecting video and sounds of birds for 22 years and currently lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

2-year road plan absent of U.S. 641 money

The Kentucky House of Representatives voted yesterday to approve a two-year state road plan and nearly $5 billion to fund the plans projects and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet operations and needs over the next two years. Noticeably absent, however, is any funding for the relocation of U.S. 641 in Crittenen, Caldwell and Lyon counties.

The House voted 52-43 to approve House Bill 236, the funding bill that would pay for the $4.5 billion 2014-16 Road Plan found in HB 237, which was amended and passed by the House by a 51-43 vote.  HB 236 would also fund administrative and capital project needs of the Cabinet over the biennium.

Rep. Lynn Bechler (R-Marion), a supporter of continued funding for the relocation U.S. 641 from Marion to Lyon County near Eddyville, voted against both measures.

However, funding in the two-year road plan did include $402,000 for each fiscal years 2015 and 2016 for Kentucky's portion of operational funding for the Cave In Rock Ferry. Illinois funds an equal portion to keep the ferry across the Ohio River operating.

Additionally, the House voted to pass House Joint Resolution 62 which includes the last four years of the state’s six-year road plan, or 2016 through 2020. That legislation passed the House on a 51-44 vote.

In that plan, called the "out years" of the six-year road plan which are projections and not backed with actual budged finances, the ferry will continue to see annual funding of $402,000, but $12 million in surfacing and grade and drain work for U.S. 641 from Marion to Fredonia has been moved to Fiscal Year 2019.

However, $29 million has been allotted in those four years for design work, right-of-way purchase, utility relocation and construction of the U.S. 641 relocation project in Caldwell County. Design work in Fiscal Year 2017 has a projected $1.5 million allocation; right-of-way purchase in 2018 shows $5 million; utility relocation reflects $2.5 million in 2019; and, finally, construction funding of $20 million is projected for 2020.

Bechler also opposed HJR 62.

All three pieces of legislation are sponsored by House Appropriations and Revenue Committee Chairman Rep. Rick Rand (D-Bedford).

Of the road projects in the two-year road plan found in HB 237, Rand said $1.86 billion are state-funded and $2.7 billion are federal projects. Around $182 million of the projects in the road plan are projects backed by previously-authorized state bonds, Rand said.

House Transportation Budget Review Subcommittee Chair Rep. Leslie Combs (D-Pikeville) said the Road Plan includes several major projects, notably the Louisville bridges project, work on Interstate 65 and the western Kentucky bridges projects, work on the Mountain Parkway, and work on the I-69 corridor.

There is no new debt in the road plan, Combs said. “It is all authorized in previous bienniums.”

House Minority Leader Rep. Jeff Hoover (R-Jamestown) expressed concerns over the planned allocation of transportation projects and said that the Road Plan had been brought up for a vote before all members had a chance to properly review it.

Hoover said the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee “had less than 15 minutes to look at a 200-and-20 some page bill, and take a vote. And now, a couple of hours later, we’re being asked on this floor to vote on this same bill that was amended by committee substitute.”

Hoover ultimately made a motion that HB 237 be “laid on the Clerk’s Desk,” which would have postponed a vote on the bill. That motion was defeated on a 46-51 vote.

Both HB 236 and 237 now go to the Senate, as does HJR 62.

More than 100 have lost their lives on Kentucky roads so far this year

One hundred-four people have died on Kentucky highways so far this year. That's according to the Transportation Cabinet's Office of Highway Safety.

That compares to 108 deaths as of this date a year ago. In 2012, 136 fatalities had been reported by this date.

KOHS said 21 percent of the 104 fatalities year to date involve alcohol use and 40 percent of those killed in accidents wore seat belts while 48 percent did not.

Four of the fatalities involved motorcycles. Nineteen percent of the fatalities occurred in the 55-64 years age bracket while the 20-24 years old bracket was second highest with 18 percent of the fatalities year to date.

Lawmakers seek to pass bill allowing alcohol sales at many state parks

State lawmakers appear ready to approve a bill that would allow nearby neighbors to determine if many state parks and golf courses could sell alcohol. House Bill 475, which won approval Tuesday by a Senate committee, would allow residents in precincts where there are state park lodges or golf courses to petition for an election to determine whether the park or golf course could sell alcoholic beverages by the drink. Most state parks and golf courses now are in "dry" counties. Under the bill, the precinct that contains the park could go "wet" while the rest of the county remains "dry."

For the full story, visit The Herald-Leader online.

Shoney's restaurants in Owensboro and Henderson to close

One of Owensboro's longstanding restaurants, Shoney's on Frederica Street, will be closing in the next few days. Recently, the restaurant's parent company announced that the Henderson Shoney's would close also.

For the full story, visit The Messenger-Inquirer online.

Heath High School shooter files new motions

New motions in the case of Heath High School shooter Michael Carneal are elongating a 16-year court battle. Carneal, now 31, who opened fire on a group of classmates the morning of Dec. 1, 1997, killing three of them and wounding five, filed new motions in February in McCracken Circuit Court. Carneal is moving for his conviction and judgment to be vacated, among other post-conviction motions. Carneal argued that his counsel was ineffective for advising him to make an Alford plea during the original proceedings.

For the full story, visit The Paducah Sun online.

Area deaths

Ruby M. Baker, 88, of Marion died March 18, 2014, at Salem Springlake Health and Rehabilitation Center. Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion is handling arrangements.

Jewell Beatrice Dollins Duffy, 84, of Marion died March 19, 2014, at Baptist Health Paducah. Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion is handling arrangements.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

U.S. 60 closed at Salem

UPDATE: 8:-2 p.m.

The site is cleared and the road is now open.


UPDATE: 7 p.m.

The Paducah Police Department Bomb squad is on site.

Detour for passenger vehicles is via KY 723 and KY 1433 between Salem and Burna.

Duration Extended another 2 hours.


US 60 is closed at the west edge of the Salem community in Livingston County.

According to Livingston County Emergency Management, the roadway is closed due to a suspicious package found near the TAMBCO Car Wash.

Estimated duration is 2 hours.

Motorists are asked to avoid this area.

Detour between Marion and Paducah should be via U.S. 641 and Interstate 24.

Detour from Salem to Burna is via Ky. 133 and Ky. 135.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Hunts not for public information

March 16-22 has been set aside as
Sunshine Week in the United States.
Though created by journalists, Sunshine
Week is about the public’s right to know
what its government is doing and why.

Sunshine Week seeks to enlighten and
empower people to play an active role
in their government at all levels and to
give them access to information that
makes their lives better and their

Participants include news media,
government officials at all levels, schools
and universities, libraries and archives,
individuals, non-profit and civic
organizations, historians and anyone
with an interest in open government.
When the Valley Journals of Riverton, Utah, a suburb of Salt Lake City, wanted to know the time of the town’s 2012 Easter egg hunt, they couldn’t find out. The city barred the parks official from speaking to reporters without permission, and nothing, not even the Second Coming, would pry that information loose.

What Valley Journals Managing Editor Linda Petersen experienced is unfortunately all too common – and becoming more so – in Utah, Washington, D.C., and other government shops across the country.

Agencies at all levels, through aggressive and manipulative tactics, are increasingly controlling what information the public receives, threatening the very foundation of democracy.

This is more than just about Easter eggs and inconveniences for journalists. Growing message management by the government is something that concerns anyone who cares about holding elected officials accountable. The examples are too numerous to ignore.

Last year White House photographers and their supporters fought en masse against the increasingly common practice of the Obama administration barring photos of official events, instead distributing polished White House-provided photographs.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stopped a Palm Beach Post reporter from speaking to a CDC investigator on one of the largest tuberculosis outbreaks in 20 years because, the PR officer said, the agency wanted the state to take the lead.

The Department of Health and Human Services stopped a New York Times reporter from talking to a federally employed psychologist who had alleged widespread child abuse on a Native American reservation.

Most federal agencies prohibit their employees from communicating with journalists unless the bosses have public relations staffers sitting in on the conversations. Contact is often blocked completely. When public affairs officers speak, even about routine public matters, they often do so confidentially in spite of having the title “spokesperson.”

Reporters seeking interviews are expected to seek permission, often providing questions in advance. Delays can stretch for days, longer than most deadlines allow. Public affairs officers might send their own written responses of slick non-answers.

So why should the public care about journalists’ frustrations? Why don’t reporters just buck up and work harder to get the information? Many are, despite cutbacks in most newsrooms. But this isn’t a battle between the press and government. It’s about the information you receive to self-govern.

It is entirely possible that Department of Health and Human Services insiders would have educated reporters months ago about the website dysfunction if they could have spoken confidentially – if the government were responsive to the public rather than secretive and controlling.

Unfortunately, because of these overzealous PR practices, the public won’t find out about problems until it’s too late.

A 2013 survey of government public affairs officers from throughout the country found that two-thirds believe it is their duty to monitor employee interviews with journalists. The study, by Kennesaw State University researcher Carolyn Carlson, also found that 40 percent had blocked reporters because they didn’t like what the journalists wrote.

Passed off by agencies as “just the way it is,” these restrictions are relatively new. In pre-9/11 times, credentialed reporters walked agency halls freely. They called staff at will, and bureaucrats weren’t afraid of losing their jobs if they took the time for a conversation. The public got information it needed.

Reporters’ unofficial talks with people inside government – going back long before Watergate – are essential to public understanding and prevention of abuse of power. The official story is never the whole story.

Limiting access to government information is a disservice to the citizenry. Muzzling government employees has the same effect as censorship. It hides problems that need to be exposed.

Journalists don’t want that, citizens don’t want that, and we sincerely hope the administration doesn’t want that.

It is time for a significant cultural shift in American government, and that starts at the top.

We urge President Obama, governors, mayors, school superintendents, and all other government leaders to reverse this troubling trend by pledging to create open agency information cultures.

Allow journalists and the public to contact government employees directly for information, without PR specialists intervening. Allow journalists to interview government employees without a public relations specialist present. Pass a federal shield law, stronger state shield laws and stronger whistleblower protection laws.

All of these actions will improve public discourse and democracy. Citizens should expect nothing less of their public servants – to foster knowledge, credibility and openness, not spin, mistrust and secrecy. The time for change is now, before it is too late.

Hunts are for Easter eggs, not government information.

(Angela Greiling Keane is the 2013 president of the National Press Club and David Cuillier is the president of the Society of Professional Journalists.)

Youth Shooting Sports organizes tonight

 The 4-H Shooting Sports program will hold an organizational meeting at 6:30 p.m., tonight at the Crittenden County Extension office.  An adult or guardian must attend the organizational meeting.

Shooting Sports is open to any boy orgirl between the ages of 9 and 18.  Enrolment in Shooting Sports can be the first experience in 4-H for a child.

Local leader Carolyn Belt explains that there are 13 different disciplines included in the program such as Shotgun (12 and 20 gauge), Rifle (.22 cal. bolt action, air and BB), and Archery (compound bare and recurve, bowhunter and target) but there must be a certified coach in that area for it to be available locally.

All volunteers in the program must undergo a background check and certified coaches must attend statewide training.  

For further information contact the Extension office at 270-965-5236.

Near record number signs up for youth leagues

Crittenden County Dugout Club has registered more than 200 youngsters for youth baseball and softball.

If you missed registration deadline Saturday there's still one last chance to pay a $15 penalty and register this week. Registration will close and rosters for ages 7-12 will be frozen after Saturday, March 22. 

Mail your registration form to PO Box 5, Marion, Ky., this week or deliver it to The Crittenden Press.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Conrad's Food Store two-day sale

Click to enlarge

High winds close ferry

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

The Cave In Rock Ferry will remain closed for the remainder of today. The forecast indicated the ferry should be able to reopen on the regular schedule on Saturday morning.

The Cave In Rock Ferry connects Ky. 91 with Ill. 1 across the Ohio River between Crittenden County and Hardin County, Ill.

The ferry normally operates from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. central time, seven days a week. The ferry carries about 500 vehicles across the Ohio River in an average day.

Special board of ed meeting called

Crittenden County Board of Education will hold a special meeting at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Farmers Bank & Trust Co. board room in Marion. On the agenda is consideration of approval of a contract with the KASA Superintendent Search and Selection Service.

Snow day waiver bill clears House, 82-8

School districts would be allowed to excuse up to 10 instructional days missed this school year under legislation that today passed the Kentucky House.
House Bill 410, sponsored by Rep. John Will Stacy )D-West Liberty) would take effect immediately upon becoming law. Although students would be excused on the instruction days made possible if HB 410 becomes law, teachers and other school employees would still work on those days.
Many of the state’s 173 public school districts have missed more than 10 days of school this winter due to snow, ice or bitter cold.
“HB 410 is simply the bill that allows some relief for our struggling school districts after the disastrous winter that we’ve had,” Stacy said. “It allows them to go ahead and plan the remainder of their school year.”
Supporting the bill was Rep. Brian Linder (R-Dry Ridge) who explained that it will be a help rural school districts like his that “don’t have delays (when there is bad weather). If the weather is bad, we miss the whole day.”
Rep. Adam Koenig (R-Erlanger) who voted against the bill, said that in the eight years he has served in the Kentucky House “this is the third time we will have forgiven 10 days. And I vote against it every time. And it’s bound to catch up with us at some point.”
HB 410 passed the House 82-8 and now goes to the Senate.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

House passes budget bill

The Kentucky House today gave approval to a proposed new state budget that would authorize over $20 billion in spending for education, public health, state universities and other needs between 2014 and 2016 while implementing nearly $100 million in cuts across state government.


House Bill 235, sponsored by House Appropriations and Revenue Committee Chairman Rick Rand, D-Bedford, was amended and passed by a vote of 53-46. It now goes to the Senate.


As amended and passed by the House, HB 235 would add $189 million in guaranteed base per pupil funding (or SEEK funds) for schools, beef up Medicaid with help from over $166.7 million made available through the federal Affordable Care Act, and provide nearly $1 billion in new General Fund-supported debt for capital construction while fully funding required contributions to the state’s pension systems.


Other appropriations in the bill would expand preschool for over 5,000 more four-year-olds, increase funding for school textbooks and increase rates for foster care parents and private child care. Pay for state workers and teachers would also be increased over the next two years under the bill, which would be paid for with five percent cuts across most of state government, a projected average General Fund revenue increase of 2.8 percent, fund transfers, use of the state’s $69.5 million ending balance from this fiscal year, and other fiscal resources and lapses outlined in the bill.


New General Fund dollars for HB 235 appropriations would come from a separate revenue bill, HB 445, also sponsored by Rand and passed by the House 53-44 on Wednesday. The legislation would increase General Fund dollars by around $25.5 million over both years, boost state Road Funds by $46.5 million in 2015 and $60.8 million in 2016 through a proposed increase in the motor fuel tax, and boost restricted funds by at least $4.5 million.


A fiscal note on HB 445 state the proposed additional Road Fund dollars would be derived by holding the minimum, or “floor,” of the average wholesale price of gas at the pump at $2.878 a gallon, thereby increasing the motor fuels tax by 1.5 cents per gallon—a 2.2 cent per gallon increase over the rate that would take effect otherwise.


In reference to the spending plan, Rand told the House, “We are changing people’s lives. … This is an important budget, and I think anyone who votes yes on this budget today can feel good about that vote.”


Said Rep. John Will Stacy, D-West Liberty, said the House’s actions will help create new opportunities across the state. “This provides for the future of this state. It provides jobs for Kentuckians. It provides educational opportunities for Kentuckians. It provides health care for Kentuckians.”


Rep. Stan Lee, R-Lexington, who voted against HB 235, expressed concerns about proposed state spending levels. “One of the things we have to do as a co-equal branch (of government), the one that is responsible for appropriating the money,  is to set priorities, and the stark reality is we don’t have enough money to do everything we’d like to do. We just don’t,” Lee said. “The rate of increase in revenues is once again being outpaced by an increase in the spending.”


Lee called for a vote on his floor amendment to require the Attorney General’s office to cover any state expenses associated with hiring special counsel to appeal the recent federal same-sex marriage ruling affecting Kentucky. That proposed amendment was stopped after a House procedural vote.


A floor amendment was also called by Rep. Joe Fischer, R-Ft. Thomas, to restrict Kentucky’s implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act. That proposed amendment was also stopped after a House procedural vote.


In addition to passing the executive branch budget, the House also approved a nearly $840 million two-year judicial branch budget found in HB 238 and a nearly $117 million two-year legislative branch budget found in HB 253, each by a vote of 99-0. Those proposed budgets also include five percent operational cuts, the same reduction that would be required for most executive branch agencies and programs under HB 235.


All of the bills now go to the Senate for further action.

HPV vaccination bill heads to Senate

Rep. Lynn Bechler
Legislation aimed at getting more children vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV) was amended yesterday so that children would only receive the vaccinations if their parents or guardians took steps to indicate their approval.
Rep. Lynn Bechler (R-Marion) said his amendment, which was adopted on a 50-45 vote, “simply adds language that requires the school district to send home information on the HPV vaccine … and it requires a parent to opt-in” if a child's vaccination is desired.
Prior to being amended, HB 311 called for vaccinations for children unless their parents or guardians provided a written statement opting out. HB 311 is sponsored by Rep. David Watkins (D-Henderson) and Rep. Jim Wayne (D-Louisville).
Adults who received HPV vaccinations as children have a lower risk of becoming infected with the virus, which can spread through sexual contact and cause cervical cancer and other diseases.
As amended, HB 311 requires that parents received information on the HPV virus from their children’s schools upon a child’s enrollment in sixth grade. It further states that “a parent or legal guardian of a child shall always be privileged to decide whether he or she wants his or her child to be immunized against human papillomavirus, and shall only be requested to opt-in to a vaccination program...”
In opposing the amendment to his bill, Watkins emphasized that his original proposal would provide parents a chance to opt children out of the vaccinations. “I feel this amendment is intrusive (and) adds additional burden to all our school systems which already are burdened by too much expense,” he said.
HB 311 passed the House on a 60-37 vote. It now goes to the Senate for further consideration.

Saturday deadline for youth baseball, softball

Anyone wanting to play little league baseball or softball must register by Saturday. Boys or girls age 7-up should attend a skills assessment event Saturday at CCMS gym. The assessment will take only a few minutes. Players can come anytime between 9 a.m., and 11 a.m. Below is a link to a registration form.


Murray State regents name new president

The Murray State University Board of Regents named Robert "Bob" Davies as the school's next president Wednesday. Davies, president of Eastern Oregon University in La Grande, Ore., since 2009, will become Murray State's 13th president. His tenure is set to begin July 14, and he will earn an annual salary of $300,000, according to board chairman Constantine Curris.

For the full story, visit The Paducah Sun online.

Upcoming meetings, events

  • Crittenden County High School site-based decision making council will meet at 3:30 p.m. Monday in the high school conference room.
  • Marion City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Monday at Marion City Hall.
  • Crittenden Fiscal Court will meet at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in the judge’s courthouse office.
  • Salem City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Salem City Hall.
  • Crittenden Health Systems Board of Directors’ annual meeting will be at noon next Wednesday at the education building on the campus of the hospital. 
  • Crittenden County Board of Education will meet at 6 p.m. March 25 at Rocket Arena.
  • Livingston Fiscal Court will meet at 5:30 p.m. March 27 at the judicial center in Smithland.

KSP raffle features GMC truck

The Kentucky State Police Trooper Island raffle features a vehicle ready for work or play this year. 

Newly re-designed and re-engineered for 2014, the GMC Sierra 1500 SLE pickup includes an iridium metallic exterior and jet black interior; a four-door, air- conditioned crew cab with heated, leather front seats; a 5.3L V8 EcoTec3 engine with 355 hp; a six-speed automatic transmission with four-wheel drive; electric power steering and a five-year/100,000 mile powertrain limited warranty 

Tickets are $10 each. For a chance to put this truck to work in your family or business fleet, contact any Kentucky State Trooper, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officer or any of the 16 KSP posts located throughout the state. Only 20,000 tickets will be sold. The winning ticket will be drawn on Aug. 24 at the Kentucky State Fair. 

Ticket holders do not have to be present at the drawing to win. 

The raffle winner is responsible for all tax and license fees.
Trooper Island is a free summer camp for underprivileged boys and girls age 10-12 operated by the Kentucky State Police on Dale Hollow Lake in Clinton County. It is financed entirely by donations, no public funds are used. 
Each year, the camp hosts approximately 700 children, providing good food, fresh air, recreation, guidance and structured, esteem-building activities designed to build good citizenship and positive relationships with law enforcement officers. Visit for more information.

Designate a sober driver this St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is Monday and the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety said it's reminding drivers not to get behind the wheel if they’ve been drinking.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that since 2007, at least 270 people were killed nationwide in crashes involving drunken drivers during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday.

“When you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, just be smart about it. If you know you’re going to drink — whether with friends at a bar or attending a party — designate a sober driver ahead of time or call a taxi to make sure you get home safely,” KOHS Director Bill Bell said in a news releazse. “There’s never an excuse for driving after drinking.”

According to NHTSA, on average, one person was killed every 51 minutes in a drunken-driving crash in the United States in 2012, the latest year available for national statistics. Most of those crashes involved drunken drivers who had blood alcohol concentrations of 0.15 or higher, almost twice the legal limit of 0.08.

To prevent tragedies from occurring, KOHS recommends the following steps for a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day:

Before the festivities begin, plan a way to safely get home at the end of the night.

Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home.

If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation to get home safely.

If you see a drunken driver on the road, contact local police. You could save a life.

And remember, if you know people who are about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get them safely to where they are going.

Adding one more tool to combat drinking and driving, KOHS partnered with Mobile Life Solutions last year to develop a “No DUI Kentucky” application.

With information about local taxi services and sober ride programs, along with a one-touch dial feature to report a drunken driver and a link to Kentucky’s HERO designated driver campaign website, the app aids in the fight against drunken driving.

The free “No DUI Kentucky” app is available to download in the Apple App Store, Google Play Store and the Windows Phone Store. Or, it can be downloaded at

Park restrooms to reopen today, renovation begins

Restrooms at Marion-Crittenden County Park will re-open for the season this afternoon. A project to renovate the restrooms will also begin within days.

During construction, the park will provide portable restrooms.

Weather issues have delayed the renovation and opening of the restrooms.

Clerk closes office Monday afternoon

Crittenden County Clerk Carolyn Byford's office will close at 12:30 p.m. Monday in order for the clerk and deputies to attend a training session.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Photo, information on war dead sought

The Crittenden Press and Crittenden County HIstorical Society are looking for photos of men from the county killed during 20th century wars. With the help of the community over the years, photos and information have been gathered for display of nearly all of the men who gave their lives. But a few still remain.

Many of the surnames of these men are familiar to residents who still live in the area. Please help preserve the memory and commemorate the sacrifice of the following men if you have any information or photos you would be willing to share with the newspaper and historical society:

World War I
  • Pvt. Luther H. Horning (U.S. Army: Died Oct. 13, 1918)
  • Pvt. William Curry (U.S. Army: Died Nov. 26, 1918)
  • Pvt. John E. Samuel (U.S. Army: Born 1893, Died Dec. 12, 1918)
  • Cpl. James C. Turner (U.S. Army)
  • Sgt. Maj. Freda A. Baker (U.S. Army)
World War II
  • Sgt. Forrest E. Brantley (U.S. Army: Born 1913, Died Jan. 13 1945)
  • Pfc. John W. Freeman (Born 1913, Died 1943)
  • Pfc. J.D. Hodge (Born 1915, Died 1944)
  • Sgt. Herbert A. Hoover (Born Aug. 29, 1904, Died Oct. 14, 1944)
  • Staff Sgt. Denver L. Marvel (U.S. Army: Born 1920, Died 1943)
  • Sgt. Vivian McDonald (U.S. Army: Born 1917, Died May 12, 1945)
  • Pfc. Carter Shewcraft (Born 1925, Died 1945)
  • Pfc. James B. Truitt (Born 1910, Died July 11, 1944)
  • Sgt. Jack L. Woody (U.S. Army Air Force: Born 1910, Died Dec. 14, 1945)
  • Pfc. James C. Yandell (Born 1919, Died 1944)
Korean War
  • Sgt. James R. Bissell (U.S. Army: Born 1928, Died June 2, 1951)
To share additional information or photos of these men, please e-mail Daryl K. Tabor at

Road closed at city-county park for repairs

A portion of Old Morganfield Road at the lower part of Marion-Crittenden County Park will be closed through Friday for the city to make repairs to the road, which was undermined by winter weather.

Area death

Janie Lucille Hastings Odom, 83, of Dycusburg died March 12, 2014, at Baptist Health Paducah. Dunn’s Funeral Home in Eddyville is in charge of arrangements.

Adopt-a-Highway Spring Clean next week

Volunteers will be out in force next week to spring clean Kentucky highways. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KyTC) announced today that Adopt-a-Highway Spring Clean Week is March 17-23.

“We appreciate the efforts of our Adopt-a-Highway volunteers, who help keep our highways and communities beautiful and litter free,” Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock said.

More than 700 volunteer groups participate in Kentucky’s Adopt-a-Highway program, which was established in 1988. Volunteers clean approximately 4,800 miles of roadside annually, setting an example of responsible environmental stewardship.

The Adopt-a-Highway program promotes public environmental awareness and supports tourism. The program also creates a partnership between citizens, community and government, and establishes a sense of pride in the Bluegrass State.

The environment is everyone’s responsibility. Adopt-a-Highway provides the opportunity to be a part of the solution. Each year, the KYTC spends about $5 million and 200,000 worker hours to remove 96,000 bags of highway litter. Adopt-a-Highway volunteers help save thousands of taxpayer dollars and demonstrate that a clean environment is a shared responsibility.

Any permanently established business, association, community or public organization or government entity can adopt a stretch of highway. A wide range of groups throughout Kentucky now participate, including homemaker clubs, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, high school organizations, service clubs, veterans, college fraternities and sororities, sports teams and church groups, among others.

Volunteers adopt two-mile sections of highway under a two-year, renewable contract with the Transportation Cabinet.

Adopt-a-Highway coordinators can explain the fundamentals of the program to volunteer groups, work with group members in locating an available highway, and keep them notified of news and upcoming events.

Litter pickups are held at least four times per year or as many times as necessary to keep adopted areas reasonably litter-free. The Cabinet coordinates three annual clean-up efforts.

Groups interested in becoming members of the Adopt-a-Highway Program can find details and district coordinator information at  Safety guidelines are provided to volunteers and should be reviewed prior to each cleanup.

The Adopt-a-Highway coordinators help volunteers get in touch with the county maintenance crew superintendent to arrange warning sign placement on the date of pickup. Trash bags and safety vests can be obtained at each state maintenance facility, and litter removal is provided by the state highway crews.

For more information, visit

Senior center hosting fundraiser

Crittenden County Senior Citizens Center will be hosting a fundraiser from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the center on North Walker Street. Chili and all the trimmings will be served for $5. Proceeds go to the center.

KSP investigates crash with injury

Kentucky State Police investigated a single-vehicle, injury collision that occurred Wednesday morning on U.S. 60 approximately four miles west of Marion.

The preliminary investigation revealed that Thomas Irvin, 26, of Bloomfield, Ky., was operating a 1999 Ford F-250 pickup truck eastbound on U.S. 60 when he lost control of the vehicle. It exited the right shoulder of the roadway and traveled down an embankment. The vehicle struck a ditch and came to rest off the roadway.

The accident occurred at 11:30 a.m.

Irvin and his son, Ricky Irvin, 5, were transported via ambulance to Crittenden Health Systems for treatment. Irvin was wearing a seatbelt and his son was restrained in a booster seat.

Trooper First Class Darron Holliman investigated the collision. Crittenden County Sheriff's Department, Crittenden County EMS and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet assisted at the scene.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tourism commission to meet

Marion Tourism Commission will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Marion Welcome Center.

Area death

Billy Wayne Baird, 82, of Marion died March 10 at Livingston Hospital and Healthcare Services in Salem. Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion is handling arrangements.

Dr. Yarbrough selected as Webster superintendent

Crittenden County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Rachel Yarbrough has been selected as the new head of Webster County schools, according that school district's interim Superintendent Pete Galloway. She will begin her duties there July 1.

Dr. Yarbrough, superintendent here since 2008, has not been reached for comment.

Yarbrough is a graduate of Webster County High School and was previously a teacher and administrator in that school system for 19 years.

Crittenden County educators say Dr. Yarbrough's tenure here has been widely applauded in the school system and community.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Area death

Dewey Wesley Kitchens, 78, of Salem died March 10, 2014, at Livingston Hospital and Healthcare Services in Salem. Boyd Funeral Directors in Salem is handling arrangements.

CCHS SBDM to meet March 17

Crittenden County High School site-based decision making council will meet at 3:30 p.m. March 17 in in the high school conference room.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

State fire marshal: Change batteries this weekend

The Kentucky State Fire Marshal is reminding Kentuckians to change the batteries in each of your home’s smoke alarms when you spring your clocks forward this weekend to daylight saving time.

“Early warning is the first line of defense in escaping a fire,” said William Swope, director of the Public Protection Cabinet’s Division of Fire Prevention and the state’s fire marshal. “Without a working smoke detector to issue an early warning, occupants can become trapped by deadly smoke and heat as the fire spreads quickly throughout a home, blocking escape routes."

Smoke detectors should be on every floor of your home, including the basement and in each sleeping area. “The bottom line is smoke detectors can save the lives of your family and pets,” said Swope. “It’s simple: When you set your clocks forward, change the batteries in your smoke alarms.”

Swope said education is the key to preventing fires in your home. “Make sure that everyone in your home knows about fire prevention and what to do in case of a fire in your residence,” he said. “And pay particular attention to family members with disabilities to ensure everyone escapes a home fire successfully. Have a fire escape plan that includes two ways out for everyone.”

For additional information on fire prevention, visit the National Fire Protection Association website at There, you can find fact sheets on several fire prevention topics.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Alumni men's basketball Sunday at Rocket Arena

The late
Carlisle Towery
Shady Grove grad
Rocket basketball coach Denis Hodge is encouraging all former basketball players to participate in Sunday's Alumni Games and Reunion at Rocket Arena. Players should report to the gym no later than 1 p.m.

Games will be two 15-minute halves. There will be two age brackets:  39-under and 40-over. Players 40-up may play with the younger group. Graduates of Crittenden, Marion or any of the county schools are welcome to participate by playing or simply coming to enjoy the reunion.

Pull-over scrimmage jerseys will be provided.

For info, call Denis Hodge at (270) 704-0643 or Travis Perryman at (270) 969-1168 or

Admission will be $5.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

No classes for students Friday

School officials have announced there will be no classes for students in Crittenden County on Friday. However, certified staff are to report to work at 9 a.m.

That brings to 17 the total number of instructional days missed by students in the district. Unless the board of education elects to amend the academic calendar, June 5 will be the final day of classes with graduation on June 6.

Area deaths

James “J.D.” Myers, 82, of Marion died March 5, 2014, at Crittenden Health Systems in Marion. Myers Funeral Home in Marion is handling arrangements.

Coleman David "Skip" Buchanan, 85, of Waverly died March 6, 2014, at Lucy Smith King Care Center in Henderson. Whitsell Funeral Home in Morganfield is handling arrangements.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

No school Thursday

There will be no school in Crittenden County Thursday.

That brings the total number of days of instruction missed in the district to 16.

Prior to this week's missed days, the last day of school was set for May 29 with graduation on May 30. However, by tacking on to the end of the calendar the four days already missed this week, that would make the last day of class on June 4 with graduation on June 6 unless the board of education decides to alter the school calendar when they meet later this month.

Two county roads under water

With saturated ground and high water levels in waterways, two roads in the northwest portion of Crittenden County are now under water, according to Crittenden County Judge-Executive Perry Newcom. Those roads are:

  • Phin Croft Road
  • E-town Ferry Road

Weather slows Press time today

UPDATE: Newspaper is now available.

Due to the weather, the printer will be arriving a little late with The Crittenden Press today.

Copies should be available at our office at about 3 p.m. Our vendors should have them shortly thereafter.

We apologize for any inconvenience this creates.

State's salt supplies critically low

Just about everyone is fed up with winter, but state transportation officials have even more reason to be eager for spring – salt supplies are critically low.

Despite a lull in the winter storms that have pounded the Commonwealth, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KyTC) has advised its 12 highway districts to conserve salt supplies and focus on other conservation efforts in combating further snow and ice this season.

“Our snow plow operators are carrying a heavier burden in clearing our highways,” said KyTC Secretary Mike Hancock.  “It’s a real challenge, but our crews are working hard to ensure our roads are safe and passable.”

Currently, the cabinet has less than 70,000 tons of salt on hand statewide.  Historically, this amount has been more than enough for riding out the winter. But the cabinet wants to ensure that each county has enough salt to handle another snow and ice event.

To level supplies, salt has been shifted among highway districts, and the state’s emergency reserve, stored at the Mega Cavern in Louisville, has also been tapped.  Plow operators have concentrated on clearing priority A routes first and transitioning to B and C routes afterward.  The cabinet will reassess the distribution of salt if another snow and ice event occurs.

A national salt shortage, delays in salt deliveries and wave after wave of winter storms have hampered the cabinet’s snow and ice removal efforts. The cabinet has ordered more than 90,000 tons of salt, and shipments are expected in the coming weeks. As salt deliveries trickle in, the cabinet has implemented conservation methods to preserve supplies.

These include:
·         During a wet snow with moderate temperatures (25 degrees and warmer), crews should be able to rely strictly on plowing operations to combat accumulation on roadways. Once the snowfall has ended and it is daylight, crews can begin light applications of salt in the cleanup phase. 
·         Reducing application rates when applying salt. In most cases, an application rate of 180-200 pounds of salt per 2-lane mile would be sufficient during cleanup efforts.  The customary application rate would be 250-400 lbs of salt per 2-lane mile.
·         On lower priority routes, where possible, crews can blend sand or small aggregates with the salt to extend supplies.  In most cases, crews have to rely on plowing operations and warming temperatures to completely clear these routes.
This season, the cabinet has used more than 410,000 tons of salt, compared with 160,000 tons at this point in 2013.  Snow and ice operations have cost the cabinet more than $53 million this year.