Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Offices closed for Saturday’s festival

Crittenden County Public Library and the courthouse offices of sheriff and circuit clerk will be closed Saturday. The annual Pumpkin Festival will be shutting down portions of Court and West Carlisle streets around the court square in Marion, limiting access and parking for the offices and library.

Shooter, victims reported at Bremner

UPDATED AT 4:25 pm: The following statement on the shooting has been issued by Princeton Police Department: "On Sept. 30, 2015, at approximately 12:14 p.m., Princeton Police Department officers responded to the report of a shooting at ConAgra Foods (Bremner) at 1475 U.S. 62 West in Princeton. Preliminary investigation revealed that Nellie Renee Nichols, 37, of Longbreak Road in Dawson Springs went to the factory to confront her mother. An argument ensued and Nichols began firing shots from a semi-automatic pistol. A male bystander was struck in the hand by one of the shots. He was transported by Caldwell EMS to Caldwell Medical center with non-life threatening injuries. Nichols was taken to Caldwell Medical Center by Caldwell EMS where she was pronounced dead by the Caldwell County coroner as the result of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Princeton Police were assisted on scene by Kentucky State Police, Kentucky Commercial Vehicle Enforcement, Caldwell County Sheriff’s Department and Princeton Fire Department. The incident remains under investigation by Princeton Police."

UPDATED AT 1:32 pm: The active shooter situation at Bremner is "all clear," according to Princeton Police Department, reports The Times Leader.

ORIGINAL POST AT 1 pm: The Crittenden Press has confirmed reports of a shooter at the Bremner Food Group plant in Princeton. There are at least two victims, according to The Times Leader newspaper there. Updates will be posted here as they become available.

Self-esteem awareness class scheduled

Feeling low about yourself? The University of Kentucky Crittenden County Cooperative Extension Service and Sanctuary Inc. are working to build confidence with a self-esteem awareness class offered Monday, Oct. 19. The hour-long session at the Extension Service office just north of Marion on U.S. 60 East begins at 1 p.m. and pizza will be provided for those attending.

Based in Hopkinsville, Sanctuary is a non-profit agency committed to the provision of preventative and restorative services to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. More information on the self-esteem class or Sanctuary can be obtained by calling (270) 881-0310.

This week's issue of The Crittenden Press listed an incorrect date for the class.

Pick up The Crittenden Press this week

Today is Police Blue Ribbon Day
Crittenden Countians have always been known for their True Blue Spirit, but the spunk shown of late for Blue Ribbon projects and other support of law enforcement has been remarkable. In fact, it has drawn regional and even out-of-state media attention from Paducah to Nashville, Tenn., and beyond as ball players and merchants have devoted time, energy and resources toward the cause. Next Thursday, citizens here will have an opportunity to show up in person to support local lawmen during a prayer vigil.

For more on this story and the following stories, pick up a copy of this week's issue of The Crittenden Press:
  • Main Lake Road bridge, Copperas Springs Road closed for repairs.
  • White Road bridge soon to be replaced.
  • Whitfield to forego 11th term on Hill.
  • Kenergy replacing its outdated meters.
  • Class prepares storm spotters.
  • Officials discuss U.S. 641 project.
  • GOP hosting local meet-and-greet.
  • County jobless rate falls below 5 percent.
  • Virus at schools hurting attendance.
  • Preview Saturday's Pumpkin Festival with a schedule of events.
  • Find a list of people participating in this weekend's Highway 60 Yard Sale.
  • Former teacher walks length of Nile ... sort of.
  • Flu shots urged by Ky.’s First Couple.
  • ‘85 state champs to head up football homecoming parade.
  • OPINION: Where’s the beef ... and the law?
  • Schools bolster counseling effort.
  • Rocket Arena goes digital with video board.
  • SPORTS: Crittenden challenge stalls in third period.
  • FORGOTTEN PASSAGES: Orville “Bobby” McDaniel, Glen Patmor remembered.

Grand Opening of New Location !

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Whitfield to retire from Congress

Congressman Ed Whitfield, a Republican representing western Kentucky on Capitol Hill since 1995, announced today he will not seek a 12 term. See this week's Press for more information.

Copperas Springs Road closed for repairs starting Wednesday

A portion of Copperas Springs Road in rural Crittenden County will shut down tomorrow and remain closed for several days. A stretch of about 0.4 miles will be closed in order to make repairs to the road bed and drainage prior to paving this fall. The repairs are expected to take one to two weeks. See this week's issue of The Crittenden Press for further details.

Pumpkin FEST in MARION !!

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Tonight's soccer match is cancelled

Crittenden County High School's soccer match at Dawson Springs tonight has been cancelled due to the weather.

1985 State Champs head homecoming parade

1985 State Champs
Members of the 1985 Class A state champion Rocket football team will be honorary grand marshals for Thursday's Homecoming Parade in Marion.

The football team was 13-1 in 1985, winning Crittenden County's football state title under coach Pat Gates. Players are celebrating the 30-year anniversary of that season.

Players, cheerleaders, coaches, managers and other members of that team should begin assembling after 4 p.m., on West Elm Street near the intersection of Main Street. The 1985 team will lead the parade, right behind the Boy Scouts Color Guard.

The parade begins at 5 p.m.

Main Lake Road bridge out

The bridge across Caldwell Spring Creek on Main Lake Road has been closed due to unsafe conditions. The span near the intersection with Ky. 855 South will remain closed until repairs can be made to a deteriorating deck. See this week's Press for further details.

Registration for election ends Monday

The general election in Kentucky that will see a new governor chosen is a little more than a month away, but the deadline to register to vote at the polls on Nov. 3 is Monday. Crittenden County Clerk Carolyn Byford’s office is open until 5 p.m. that day to accept last-minute registrations.

Registered voters who will be unable to make it to the polls in November can now cast a mail-in absentee ballot. There are certain stipulations to be able to vote by mail-in ballot. Byford’s office can provide more information by calling (270) 965-3403 or visiting the courthouse office.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Area deaths

Donna D. Lingo, 71, of Crestwood, Ky., formerly of Crittenden County, died Sept. 25, 2015, at home. Funeral services are Wednesday at Stoess Funeral Home in Crestwood.

Helen Louise Marshall, 57, of Burna died Sept. 26, 2015, at Crittenden Health Systems in Marion. Private family funeral services were today in the chapel of Boyd Funeral Directors and Cremation Services in Salem.

Farmers Day Oct. 2 at Bank

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Join us for Fall Revival at MBC

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Taiwan to buy more from Ky. farmers

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear last week announced an agreement between the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Kentucky farmers to increase corn and soybean exports to the East Asian nation over the next two years.

“These agreements between Kentucky farmers and the Republic of China will allow Kentucky to capitalize on one of our nation’s great trade partners,” said Gov. Beshear. “Kentucky exports already support more than 125,000 jobs statewide, and I am excited to have the opportunity to extend that success to our farmers with each of these trade organization commitments in Taiwan.”

Supporting Kentucky’s agriculture community has been a priority for Gov. Beshear throughout his administration. Back in 2009, annual farm receipts totaled $4.3 billion. Today, that number is hovering around $6 billion.

The governor traveled to Taiwan in April during his trade mission to Asia. In Taiwan, he met with Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou and other government dignitaries to further explore trade and investment opportunities.

The Taiwan Feed Industry Association has agreed to purchase 197 million bushels of corn at a cost of more than $1.2 billion. The Taiwan Vegetable Oil Manufacturers Association will be purchasing approximately 100 million bushels of soybeans valued at $1.1-$1.2 billion. These combined purchases over the next two years will be beneficial to corn and soybean growers in Kentucky and across the U.S.
Last year, the Commonwealth exported $27.5 billion in products to more than 190 countries, the fourth consecutive year of record growth.

In 2014, Taiwan ranked as the seventh largest market for U.S. corn exports and fifth in the U.S. Taiwan has imported more than $9 billion in corn and more than $10.5 billion in soybeans from the U.S. since 1998.

Ky. Auditor’s race up for grabs

Mike Harmon has a dual goal in running against incumbent Adam Edelen for Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts. The Republican challenger is not only hoping to unseat Edelen, he's also looking to sully the Democrat's reputation in order to ruin any shot he might have of beating U.S. Sen. Rand Paul in 2016.

"If the campaign knocks out Edelen for considering to run next year for the U.S. Senate, so much the better," Harmon, 48, told The Herald Leader in May.

Edelen said at the time he had no plans to run for  a spot on Capitol Hill. But at the annual Fancy Farm Picnic last month, he did take a jab at Sen. Paul as well as GOP gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin after countering Harmon's claim that the down-home values the Democrat projected were not genuine. Speculation about a possible run at the Senate by Edelen continues among political pundits.

Since Fancy Farm, the auditor's race has been pretty quite, giving Harmon's campaign little fodder with which to derail Edelen's hunt for a second term as auditor or any political aspirations he might have beyond the Nov. 3 general election.

Born in Meade County to a farming family, the 40-year-old Edelen now resides in Lexington with his wife and two children. He earned his bachelor's degree in community communication and leadership development from the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.

Since becoming auditor in 2012, Edelen's office has put numerous public officials and entities in the spotlight for questionable finances, including former Commissioner of Agriculture Richie Farmer. Edelen also led the charge to enact state legislation in 2013 intended to bring more accountability to the annual $2.7 billion spent by more than 1,200 special districts in Kentucky that the auditor referred to as "ghost government."

One of seven executive officers elected in Kentucky every four years, the auditor is required to conduct annual examinations of county offices. Some auditors have exercised leeway to go beyond that and audit city offices and quasi-government agencies.

Edelen's latest efforts have focused on counting the number of untested rape kits held as evidence by Kentucky law enforcement agencies. As the result of a resolution passed by lawmakers in March, Edelen issued a report Sept. 21 that showed the state currently has more than 3,000 untested sexual assault kits.

Harmon, a state representative from Danville since 2003, voted for that resolution. He also backed House Bill 1 in 2013 that created transparency with special taxing districts.

An insurance agent, Harmon ran unsuccessfully in the 2011 GOP primary as a lieutenant governor candidate on the ticket with Phil Moffett. But like Edelen, he had no trouble earning his party's nomination last May for auditor. Both men were unopposed.

Harmon holds a bachelor's degree from Eastern Kentucky University, where he majored in math, statistics and theater. He is married with a child and stepchild.

A member of the House Banking and Insurance Committee, Harmon was a loan officer for a mortgage company for five years.

"I understand that every dollar the government confiscates from you is one less dollar you have to save, invest or spend in the manner of your choosing. You deserve a proven fiscal conservative fighting to protect all the tax dollars the Kentucky government collects from you. As your state auditor, I will scrutinize every single dollar the government spends ..," Harmon states on his campaign website.

Harmon's chief campaign advisor resigned in August following a federal indictment related to misconduct tied to his work with other campaigns. Harmon has said he was unaware of Benton's previous activities.

In the most recent Bluegrass Poll in July, Harmon trailed Edelen 31-35, with 34 percent of prospective voters either undecided or uninterested in the race.

The two candidates will be featured on KET's "Kentucky Tonight" on Oct. 5. The hourlong program airs at 7 p.m. and repeats Oct. 7 at 1 a.m.

"Kentucky Tonight" on Monday will feature candidates for Commissioner of Agriculture. It will be aired at 7 p.m. and again at 1 a.m. Wednesday.

CCES Fall Festival this week

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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Propane customers should plan ahead for winter chills

With temperatures still reaching into the 80s during the day, it might be hard to think of winter, but cold weather is just around the corner and officials are urging Kentuckians to fill their propane tanks now, taking advantage of low prices and abundant supplies.

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) and the Kentucky propane industry urge consumers to prepare now for this coming winter by participating in early fill programs while prices are low and propane is in abundant supply.

“The best way to reduce the effects of any potential problem is to be prepared,” said EEC Secretary Len Peters. “There is little question that the memory of last winter’s extreme weather is still fresh for many Kentuckians. Weather is a dominant influence in the demand for propane—colder-than-normal winters both increase demand and negatively impact deliverability. With last year’s persistent pattern of above-average snowfall and record-breaking cold temperatures extending well into the spring months, we want to make sure Kentuckians are prepared.”

According to a recent survey conducted by the Kentucky Department for Energy Development and Independence, the average, non-discounted, price for residential propane in Kentucky is approximately 20 percent lower as compared to mid-March 2015 prices.

While the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports regional propane supplies are above the five year average, Tod Griffin, executive director of the Kentucky Propane Gas Association, pointed out an important concern is getting the propane to where it is needed.  “Propane production has increased significantly; the problem is potential bottlenecks due to lack of adequate storage and transportation infrastructure,” Griffin said.

Griffin and the propane industry strongly urge customers to:
  • Fill storage tanks now before the cold weather hits.  Many dealers have pre-buy or summer fill programs that encourage customers to top-off before the high-demand season starts.
  • Sign up for automatic delivery rather than being a “will call” customer.  This allows dealers to better schedule delivery trucks and helps ensure that the customer won’t run out of propane.
  • Sign up for budget payment plans.  This helps the customer spread the payments for propane over several months.
  • Monitor your tank.  Know how much you have left in the tank.  Unless your dealer requests otherwise, call when the level hits 25 percent.  This will allow your dealer to schedule you for a refill in a timely manner.
  • Have a professional do tune-ups/maintenance on equipment to increase fuel efficiency. 
“The winter of 2013 and the unprecedented snowfall and arctic temperatures this past season are reminders to be concerned about and to take measures to avoid propane delivery disruptions during the coming winter,” said Secretary Peters.

Secretary Peters also recommends that homeowners seal and insulate their homes for increased efficiency and comfort in both winter and summer.  See for more information about available incentives for improving your home.

For tips on home weatherization and energy efficiency visit the Cabinet’s energy website at For more information from the propane industry, talk with your local propane dealer or visit

Milling on U.S. 60 in Union starts today

The contractor delayed paving along a section of US 60 in southern UNION County for several weeks to allow the site of a recently replaced cross drain to settle.


The contractor is now moving ahead with the project and the work zone is again active. 


A milling crew plans to work along US 60 from Sullivan to Sturgis today.


The contractor then plans asphalt paving along this section starting Monday, September 28th, weather permitting.


This project along US 60 in the Sturgis area of Union County running from the 1 mile marker extending eastward through Sullivan to the 6 mile marker near the 10th Street intersection in Sturgis.  This section of US 60 also carries KY 109.

Ky.’s fall fire hazard season starts Oct. 1

Wednesday marked the first day of autumn, and with the season each year comes a heightened risk of wildland fires. In fact, fall fire hazard season in Kentucky begins Thursday and runs through Dec. 15.

During that period, it is illegal to burn anything within 150 feet of any woodland or brushland between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Violations can result in fines and/or jail time.

The county has been dry for several weeks, making the risk of fire very high as vegetation begins to go dormant. Since Aug. 20, just more than a half-inch of rain has fallen in Crittenden County according to data from the local Kentucky Mesonet weather and climate monitoring station.

Pumpkin Festival Oct. 3

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Auction in Livingston County Saturday Oct. 3

Printable PDF Format

Youth hunting creates memorable experiences

By Kevin Kelly
Kentucky Afield Outdoors
She sits on a plastic bucket in a field with her toy wooden gun, admiring the caterpillars and butterflies, while her father waits alongside and hopes for doves to fly into shotgun range.

They are creating a memory and nurturing a seed planted a couple of years ago. She was 3 then and her dad had taken a deer during the modern gun season. Seeing the harvested animal up close intrigued her.

The daughter may decide when she is older that it would be more fun to participate than watch. If that's the case, and her parents agree she's ready, little stands in her way.

Each fall, Kentucky offers youth hunters special opportunities to take deer, doves, elk, furbearers, waterfowl and, now, bears. A hunter is considered a youth if they are age 15 or under at the time of the hunt.

"I encourage everyone to take a kid out hunting this fall," said Steve Beam, Wildlife Division director for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. "We have some amazing opportunities for our kids out there."

Among the most popular is the statewide youth-only firearms deer season that runs for two consecutive days starting the second Saturday in October. This year, the dates are Oct. 10 and 11. The appropriate hunting license and deer permits are required, and all other zone restrictions and hunter requirements apply. Most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) are open for this special deer hunting opportunity for youth hunters, including some of the most sought-after locations, Beam said.

"Adults spend years building preference points to draw the quota hunts on places like Big Rivers and Ballard," he said, "but if you have a child who wants to deer hunt there, just load them in the car and head that way for the October youth deer weekend."

A new youth-only bear season coincides with the free youth weekend for deer, which this year is scheduled for Dec. 26 and 27. The youth-only bear season harvest quota is five bears of either sex. A hunting license and bear permit is required. The seven-day free youth hunting and trapping week also starts the Saturday after Christmas. It represents a great opportunity to mentor young hunters and trappers. Furbearers may be hunted or trapped and small game hunters may pursue rabbits, quail, grouse and squirrels.

"Small game hunting in general is a good place to start with youth hunters," Beam said. "You don't have to go on an all-day hunt in winter weather. Get out and have a good time, bring home a few squirrels and make some dumplings."

Children under the age of 16 are not required to have licenses, permits or hunter education certification during the Free Youth Weekend for deer and the Free Youth Hunting and Trapping Week.

Outside of these special opportunities, any hunter born on or after Jan. 1, 1975 must carry a valid hunter education card or hunter education exemption permit while hunting. Pre-registration must be done on the department's website in order to receive the orange hunter education card.

"Right now is the peak time to try to get into a Hunter Education class," said Jamie Cook, Hunter's Legacy program coordinator for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. "It allows plenty of time for the card to be processed and the students to have their card in hand before they go into the field. It takes at least three weeks for their cards to be delivered."

Children must be at least 9 years old to take the hunter education exam, but aren't required to take the course until they are 12 years old.

Small game and furbearer hunters under 12 who do not have a hunter education card must hunt with an adult regardless of the hunting method. Youth hunters age 15 and under also must hunt alongside an adult if using a firearm to hunt deer, bear, turkey and elk (if drawn). In both cases, the adult must be in a position to take immediate control of the youth's firearm or bow.

Taking a child along during a regular, non-youth specific season can be a special experience, too. Often, being there can be just as much fun as letting them be the hunter. It's also an opportunity to stress hunter safety and ethics.

"It is so important that we pass on our heritage and legacy," Beam said. "On a more fundamental level, it is my personal philosophy that people need to know where our food comes from. We are more likely to value soil health, clean water and healthy wild habitat if we make that direct link to our kitchen table. Whether we are growing tomatoes in the back yard or harvesting a deer and making a burger, we are actively participating in that link to the earth, and our children make that connection."

Before taking a youth hunter afield this fall, consult the department's website and the Kentucky Hunting and Trapping Guide, available online and wherever licenses are sold. These resources detail special youth hunting opportunities, general hunting seasons, public lands information and more.

Pumpkin Fest Next Week !

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Medicaid, kynect contentious issues

On the back of Wednesday’s debate featuring candidates for lieutenant governor, Medicaid expansion in Kentucky and kynect continues to be a contentious topic, but several reports and projections show any change would be pricier for the state than partisanship banter. During Wednesday’s debate, Republican lieutenant governor candidate Jenean Hampton continued her running mate Matt Bevin’s attack on Kentucky’s Medicaid expansion including an echo of criticism from Republican primary candidate James Comer who said the kynect was a just website.

For the full story, visit The State Journal online.

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Area death

Charles L. Martin, 74, of Lincoln Park, Mich., a native of Livingston County, died Wednesday. Funeral services are Saturday at J.L. Peters Funeral Home in Lincoln Park, Mich.

Crash blocking Ky. 91 in Caldwell

UPDATE, 2:49 p.m.: The site is now cleared.

Ky. 91 is blocked by an injury crash near the 14 mile marker in Caldwell County. This is just north of the Ky. 139 intersection between Princeton and Fredonia.

Two commercial trucks have collided head-on at this site with a substantial fuel spill that will require clean up.

Estimated duration is three hours.

KyTC personnel have assisted police and fire units with establishing a detour via Ky. 139 and Ky. 70.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pennyrile GOP Meeting Candidates

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I-69 work will lead to restrictions

A contractor for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans to begin work at I-69 exits 79 and 81 in Caldwell County and at Pennyrile Parkway exits 40, 42, and 49 in Hopkins County starting Tuesday.

This project is being done to address Control of Access issues with Interstate 69 and to prepare for I-69 to be extended northward along the Pennyrile Parkway.

Work at I-69 Exit 79 will consist of removing two entrances, one of which will be reconstructed off of a side street, and new right-of-way fence will be installed in places.

Work at I-69 Exit 81 will consist of installing some additional right of way fence.

Work at Pennyrile Parkway Exit 40 will consist on some additional right of way fence and adding an access road.

Work at Pennyrile Parkway Exit 42 will consist of some additional right of way fence, removing access to KY 254/I-69 ramps from South Drive, and some work on KY 254 including paving of the intersection to the I-69 NB ramp.

Work at Pennyrile Parkway Exit 49 will consist of installing some additional right of way fence.

While some of this work can be completed off on right of way without lane restrictions, motorists should be alert lane and shoulder restrictions at these locations.  During paving and othet work on KY 254 at Pennyrile Parkway Exit 42 motorists should be prepared to encounter one lane traffic with flow controlled by flaggers.   Motorists can expect to encounter one lane traffic controlled by flaggers in the work zone.  Appropriate caution is required where equipment, flaggers, and construction personnel are along the roadway in close proximity to traffic flow.

Rame Contracting, LLC, of Springfield, Kentucky, is the prime contractor on this $256,424 highway improvement project.  The project has a target completion date of November 1st, weather permitting.

Chamber looks at gubernatorial candidates

The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce takes a look at all three gubernatorial candidates appearing on the Nov. 3 ballot. Click on the candidate's name to read the latest chamber story on each.

Matt Bevin (R)
Bevin says laws causing “fast track to incarceration” for low-level offenses should be reevaluated at federal and state level.

Jack Conway (D)
Conway wants to see passage of two major competitiveness issues.

Drew Curtis (I)
Curtis feels state should submit compliance plan for EPA rule regulating carbon emissions.

Ky. education board hires new commish

Kentucky's new education commissioner said Wednesday that he's not going to make "rash changes" in a state that he said had a strong system of public education. "For me to come in and make rash changes just because a new guy's in town really does not make a whole lot of sense," said Stephen Pruitt, who was selected for the job Wednesday by the Kentucky Board of Education.

For the full story, visit The Herald Leader online.

Total lunar eclipse visible Sunday

After this weekend, Crittenden County residents won’t get another chance to see a total lunar eclipse until 2019, according to Clifton Laney, Western Kentucky University’s observatory education scientist. At 7:12 p.m., the moon will enter the outer part of the Earth’s shadow and become dimmer, according to information provided by Laney. The moon will enter the Earth’s inner shadow at 8:07 p.m. before fully passing into the shadow at 9:11 p.m. After that, the moon will look “coppery or even reddish” until 10:23 p.m., when it begins to slip out of the shadow.

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

Friday Night Lights: Braves host Rockets

Union County (4-1) vs. Rockets (4-1) 

Renovation planned for Pennyrile golf course

The golf course at Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park in western Kentucky will undergo a renovation during the fall and winter, Kentucky State Park officials announced earlier this week.

As a result, the course will be closed starting Friday and will reopen in the spring of 2016. The dry summer weather has been especially tough on the greens. The greens at the 18-hole course will be aerated and reseeded this fall.

Season passholders will be allowed to play at other nearby courses at Lake Barkley State Resort Park and Mineral Mounds State Park. They will be given a prorated pass for 2016.

Equipment checks urged to prevent
 combine engine fires during harvest season

As the seasonal harvest of row crops gets into full swing across the state, Kentucky Farm Bureau (KFB) reminds farm workers to keep their combine engines clear and well-maintained before firing them up and heading out to the field. Combine engine fires, while usually avoidable with regular upkeep and cleaning of these essential machines, are both dangerous and expensive.

The risk of combine fires typically increases in drier conditions, during warmer afternoon temperatures and under the day-long accumulation of crop residue from harvesting. Across the nation combine and tractor fires have been estimated to cause up to $20 million in property damage annually, plus millions of dollars more in lost labor time and crop loss. Even more concerning is that nearly 50 people a year are injured during these fires, occasionally resulting in death.

Before taking a combine out for a long day’s work of harvesting crops this fall, operators must be sure to:

  • Have a clean machine. Approximately 75 percent of all equipment fires start in the engine compartment, so keeping a combine’s engine clear and clean of dust, plant residue, trash and other flammable material is crucial. This area should be cleaned at least daily, but more frequent attention may be required during periods of heavy use. Compressed air can be used to blow out dust and chaff, and a high-powered pressure washer can blast away grease, oil, fuel spills and other flammable residues. Keeping the engine clean also allows it to run cooler and more efficiently, further reducing the risk of a fire igniting from excess heat build-up.
  • Be diligent about daily inspections and maintenance. Timing is everything when it comes to farming activities, but skipping the daily inspection, cleaning and maintenance of equipment like a combine when in heavy use isn’t worth the associated risks just to get back in the field sooner. Carefully examine wiring, fuel lines, hoses, belts, fittings and bearings to identify worn parts, leaks, cracks or other damage that can lead to a breakdown or, worse yet, fire. Replace or repair any parts that don’t pass inspection and follow the manufacturer’s recommended schedule for lubrication and maintenance.
  • Go to the source of the heat. While combine fires can be sparked by a variety of heat sources, keep a close eye on the parts that are naturally hot – like the engine, exhaust system and electrical connections – and ensure they are in top condition. In addition to engine fires, it is common for leaky or worn components like the manifold, muffler and turbocharger to run extra hot and ignite flammable materials they contact. Malfunctioning fuses, circuit breakers, wiring, switches and other electrical parts must also be addressed swiftly with the dealer or manufacturer. Arcing electricity between bad components or wires – especially if near flammable materials kicked up from the combine – can quickly start a fire.
  • Equip combines with a 10-pound ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher. Or better yet, two – one in the cab and another where it can be accessed from the ground. Despite following preventative measures, sometimes fires do still occur. Putting the fire out quickly is possible if extinguishers are mounted on the combine, but only after the engine has been turned off. Having a second fire extinguisher at the ready helps in case the first one malfunctions or has lost its pressure, and having them in dual locations ensures one is quickly available no matter where the fire originates.
In the event a fire does break out while operating a combine, and if the operator can continue to safely drive it without risk of personal injury, it should be steered toward a clear area to reduce the further risk of starting a field fire and losing crops in addition to equipment. Fire extinguishers can be used to put out the flames if possible, but only as the operator is able to do so safely. A cell phone or radio should also be used immediately to call for help, especially when operating in isolated locations. Local fire departments will respond quickly and help reduce the overall damage of the fire.

As Kentucky’s farmers seek to work quickly and efficiently while bringing in their crops during the long weeks ahead, regular inspections and maintenance of their combines and other equipment remain essential. Kentucky Farm Bureau urges everyone to keep personal safety and property damage reduction the number one priority this fall.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

What's news this week in Crittenden County...

Mexico Baptist Church has never doubted Biblical promises that the Lord will provide for the needs of Jesus’ followers, but on Sunday the church’s extended family watched such a blessing unfold before their eyes. Every fall for six years now, the country church with an active congregation has hosted its Football Fellowship program. It’s a faith-based revival of sports, typically attracting around 400 attendees, and most of those are not members of the congregation.

Find out the details on this story and the following stories inside this week's issue of The Crittenden Press:
  • Two charged with sending meth FedEx.
  • Jailer asks fiscal court to add more beds.
  • Marion seeks sidewalk funds for Sturgis Road.
  • County again recognized for child support collections.
  • Rogers Group eyes local industrial park.
  • City mulls mass alert system to deliver notifications.
  • Eclipse planning under way.
  • CHS still negotiating EMS management.
  • Leaking city water tank needs repairs.
  • Football helps church spread Christian message.
  • Fall illnesses spreading at local schools.
  • Rezoning request heard by council.
  • Ky. Auditor’s race up for grabs.
  • 2015 Relay awards presented; goal, theme set for next year.
  • Music program will put ‘Bluegrass in Schools.'
  • SPORTS: Rockets hope to regain respect.
  • Mexico Baptist Church provides outreaches to its community.
  • FORGOTTEN PASSAGES: 85 percent of U.S. fluorspar from county in 1922.

Area death

Jessica Elizabeth Sunderland, 72, of Lola died Sept. 22, 2015, at her home. Funeral services are Friday at Myers Funeral Home in Marion.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Area death

Nicholas Alexander Robles, 24, of Salem, died Sept. 19, 2015, at Caldwell Medical Center in Princeton. Funeral services will be at 7 p.m. Thursday at Myers Funeral Home in Marion.

Homecoming Parade Entries Sought

Anyone interested in having a float or other entry in the Crittenden County Football Homecoming Parade on Thursday, Oct. 1 should contact Kim Vince at (270) 965-2248 or email

Deadline for entries is Sept. 24.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Area death

Chad Robert McCormick, 29, of Salem died Sept. 18, 2015, in Ledbetter. Funeral Services are Tuesday in the chapel of Boyd Funeral Directors and Cremation Services in Salem.

Fall Revival starts Oct. 4

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Saturday, September 19, 2015

KET hosts 2015 Kentucky candidates

KET continues airing its discussions with Kentucky's slate of 2015 general election candidates Monday. The hour-long interviews with all candidates for respective offices air on "Kentucky Tonight," which is broadcast at 7 p.m. CDT each Monday. The series culminates with the three candidates for governor on Oct. 26. The election is Nov. 3.

This week featured the two candidates for Kentucky Treasurer, Republican Allison Ball and Democrat Rick Nelson. If you missed it, a recap from KET can be found in a separate post on our website.

Following is the "Kentucky Tonight" candidate discussion schedule:

Secretary of State
  • First airs Sept. 21 at 7 p.m.
  • Again on Sept. 23 at 1 a.m.
Commissioner of Agriculture
  • First airs Sept. 28 at 7 p.m.
  • Again on Sept. 30 at 1 a.m.
Auditor of Public Accounts
  • First airs Oct. 5 at 7 p.m.
  • Again on Oct. 7 at 1 a.m.
Attorney General
  • First airs Oct. 12 at 7 p.m.
  • Again on Oct. 14 at 1 a.m.
Lieutenant Governor
  • First airs Oct. 19 at 7 p.m.
  • Again on Oct. 21 at 1 a.m.
  • First airs Oct. 26 at 7 p.m.
  • Again on Oct. 28 at 1 a.m.

Football Fellowship tomorrow

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Friday, September 18, 2015

Marion Baptist Fall Revival

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Firefighters responding to two blazes

UPDATE, 3:05 p.m.: Firefighters have the hay bales ablaze on a Tolu-area farm under control, though they will let the bales burn themselves out.

UPDATE, 2:47 p.m.: Mattoon firefighters are leaving the scene of the fire in the wildlife management area and returning to the fire station.

Two fires in the northern portion of the county have firefighters busy this afternoon.

Sturgis, Sullivan and Mattoon fire departments are responding to a fire in the Big Rivers Wildlife Management Area on the border with Union County. There has been no word on the extent of that blaze or a cause.

In Tolu, Crittenden and Tolu fire departments are responding to a hay fire on Kevin Wheeler's farm. There are reportedly about 25 bales of hay on fire. No cause has been reported.

Conditions across the county are very dry after several weeks without significant rainfall. Residents are advised to avoid any burning until evening and overnight hours.

Junior Pro Football starts at noon Saturday

Crittenden County's Junior Pro football teams will host Webster County Saturday at Rocket Stadium.

The B-game will start at noon. 

Kickoff for the third- and fourth-grade game is 1pm

Kickoff for the fifth- and sixth-grade game is 2:30pm

Your neighbors are reading The Press

According to the National Newspaper Association's recent survey, 7 out of every 10 people read newspaper media either in print, online or on mobile devices in an average week.

If you need to get your message across to Marion and Crittenden County, choose The Crittenden Press and The Crittenden Press Online.

We appreciate our readers!

Boomers invited to jobs info session

Madisonville Community College (MCC) will host an information session for adult students as a part of the American Association of Community Colleges Plus 50 Encore Completion Program. The program is a national effort to train 10,000 Baby Boomers for new jobs in health care, education and social services, while helping them complete certificates or degrees.

Individuals 50 or older who are interested in entering the health care or social services field are encouraged to attend an information session on beginning at 12:30 p.m. Thursday in Room 225 of the John H. Gray building on MCC North Campus. Prospective students will have the opportunity to meet with professors in the fields of human services and medical information technology, in addition to having access to the college’s admissions services and career planning services.

To learn more about career training opportunities at MCC, contact the Plus 50 Program coordinator Beth Moore at (270) 824-8610.

Rocket Salute Photos and More
Just Posted to Our Photo Gallery are dozens of pictures from the Rocket Salute and Game last week at Rocket Stadium, including pictures of those First Responders, Military Personnel and Veterans who were honored.


Marion Country Club Restaurant Now Open

Where you having lunch today?

Try The Heritage Restaurant 
at Marion Country Club!

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Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday

Welcome new chef, Sua Candelario

Next Week is Home Football Game Night

Youngman: Breaking down 2 days of debates

It was a long 48 hours — and that was just the CNN Republican presidential debates. I kid, but three debates in two days was a lot, even for the most deranged of us political junkies. But it also left us with a lot to unpack, so let's get right to it.

For more of Sam Youngman's commentary on Drew Curtis, Matt Bevin, Jack Conway and Rand Paul, visit The Herald Leader online.

Make plans to be in Salem Saturday !

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Blog covers Ky. governor's race

A blog from the University of Kentucky's College of Journalism and Telecommunication is covering this year's governor's race in the Bluegrass State. The blog, Kentucky's Race for Governor, is updated periodically with stories from students in the advanced program.

Some of the recent headlines following Monday's debate between the three candidates are as follows:

Thursday, September 17, 2015

5 questions with Wildlife Division Director

By Kevin Kelly
Kentucky Afield Outdoors
Steve Beam gained a foothold with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources more than two decades ago by working as a seasonal wildlife technician. In the years since, he climbed the departmental ladder and in May was appointed director of the Wildlife Division.

"I feel like I've hit every rung on the ladder," said Beam, who served as regional coordinator for the Southeast Wildlife Region before moving into his present role. "I think it gives me a unique perspective. When I look at the budget, I probably think about it a little different because I know what may look like a small thing in the overall budget is important to that person in the field who's trying to deliver habitat on the ground and provide service to hunters and to the public."

The 42-year-old, who is an avid deer and turkey hunter, recently sat down for an interview at Kentucky Fish and Wildlife headquarters in Frankfort. The following are excerpts from that interview.

How would you sum up your first months on the job?

Beam: It's been exciting. I'm still on a steep learning curve. There are still a lot of things I need to learn. We have a lot of opportunity here and a lot of good work going on. I've gone out and met with almost everybody in the division. To just hear what projects are going on, what things they're working on, it's amazing. Everybody is out there doing good work.

Of the projects you just referenced, what are the ones that you're most excited about?

Beam: How habitat-focused we are excites me because that's something I truly believe in. I'm really excited about how seriously Wildlife Division staff takes providing additional opportunity. The Voucher Cooperator Elk Permit Program is a good example of that.

The Voucher Cooperator Elk Permit Program opens more than 100,000 acres of private land for drawn quota elk hunters this year. Is there something more in the works that may lead to expanded hunting access in the state?

Beam: We are exploring every avenue and every opportunity. One thing that I would like to highlight outside of the elk voucher opportunity, which has been a big success, is how much acreage in eastern Kentucky has been opened through public hunting or wildlife management agreements. It's more than 170,000 acres. Those give us access for elk, but also open up that land for other hunting.

Where do things stand today with regard to the efforts to improve habitat for grouse and other woodland species in eastern Kentucky?

Beam: We are in the process of hiring a new biologist who will focus on spearheading that effort. It looks like our first round of funding for the additional habitat work is going to be right on schedule. While we don't have the written plan as of yet, I know program staff in Frankfort and field staff in the Northeast and Southeast wildlife regions have a lot of ideas about how to focus some of that money. Grouse habitat is a slow process. Most of the cuts are going to be six to 10 years before they're really good grouse habitat. This is not as quick of a turnaround as you see with other small game species like rabbits and quail where you do habitat work and a year or two later you start seeing major responses. With grouse, obviously you have to look at the food resource, but the main issue is just the stem density.

Advances in technology are revolutionizing the sport of hunting. With all of the cutting-edge equipment on the market today, where might it lead from here?

Beam:  It's impossible to predict where we go now. I think technology is the proverbial double-edged sword. It can be so wonderful. Think about what you can do with a paper map and a GPS. Last year, I took a buck with a .30-06 rifle. That's technology that hasn't changed much over the years. But then you look at how much bows have changed in 100 years. And trail cameras? I think trail cameras have helped hunters learn about deer and animal behavior in general. I think that engages people and makes them more knowledgeable. But there are some technological advances that we really have to be careful with. Most technology taken too far can take you beyond fair chase. I think there are some potential pitfalls with the drone technology. As hunters and conservationists, we have to be very cognizant of what we're doing and try to envision the possible impacts.

(Editor's note: Author Kevin Kelly is a staff writer for Kentucky Afield magazine, the official publication of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. Get the latest from Kevin and the entire Kentucky Afield staff by following them on Twitter: @kyafield.)

Providence traffic light being removed

Following a 3-month study, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC)  plans to remove a traffic signal at the intersection of KY 109/Broadway and KY 120/Main Street in Providence.

KYTC District 2 traffic engineers placed the signal in flashing mode on June 4th to allow a traffic signal removal study.  The engineering data collected during the 90 day study period confirmed that a traffic signal is no longer warranted at this location.  During the study the signal was in flashing mode with the intersection functioning as a 4-way stop.

“Over the years, the traffic volume at this intersection has decreased,” KYTC District 2 Traffic Engineer Kenny Potts said.  “During the study period, our traffic engineering group monitored the intersection to determine possible adverse impacts to traffic flow that might be associated with removal of the signal.  During the study there was only one police reported crash at the intersection.”

The traffic signal is in downtown Providence at KY 109 mile point 1.332 and KY 120 mile point 4.836.  Approximately 6,300 vehicles travel through the intersection in an average day.

Potts noted that if the study had indicated it should remain in operation, the existing signal would have required significant upgrades that could have cost up to $100,000.  The existing mast arm signal poles were determined to be structurally deficient.  One of the support masts had been struck and damaged by a truck in recent years.

The existing signal structure was installed by the City of Providence in cooperation with KYTC in 1991. The City started the process of removing the signal heads and supports this week. Additional changes to this intersection will include the installation of ADA compliant sidewalk ramps. At such time as that work is completed, new pavement marking will be installed.

Potts indicated traffic engineers will continue to monitor this intersection over the next couple of months to determine if additional traffic control devices are needed beyond the traditional 4-way STOP signage that has been installed.

Work to remove the signal heads, electrical wiring, and support structure and installation of new ADA compliant sidewalk ramps could take several weeks to complete.  Motorists are urged to be alert for personnel and construction equipment working in and around the intersection in downtown Providence.

Coal miner dies in Alliance mine

A coal miner is dead after a heavy piece of machinery fell on him in an underground mine near Sebree.

Rickey Thorpe of Dawson Springs was working on a continuous mining machine at 2am Wednesday in the Alliance Sebree Mine in Webster County when he died as a result of the accident.

The mine has been closed while officials investigate the incident.

Save Big with Eddie at Royal Oaks!

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Homecoming Parade Entries Sought

Anyone interested in having a float or other entry in the Crittenden County Football Homecoming Parade on Thursday, Oct. 1 should contact Kim Vince at (270) 965-2248 or email

Deadline for entries is Sept. 24.

Friday Night Lights: Rockets visit Trojans

Webster County (0-3) vs. Rockets (3-1) 

Mexico Baptist Event

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Governor orders flags to half-staff Friday

Gov. Steve Beshear has directed that flags at all state office buildings be lowered to half-staff Friday in honor of an Air Force officer from Kentucky who died while supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Afghanistan.

According to the Department of Defense, Capt. Matthew D. Roland, 27, of Lexington, died of wounds suffered Aug. 26 when the vehicle he was traveling in was attacked near Camp Antonik, Afghanistan. Capt. Roland was assigned to the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla.

Roland was the 44th Kentuckian killed in Afghanistan since October 2001. To date, there have been 2,363 Americans killed in the war-torn country.

Interment services for Capt. Roland will be held Friday at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.

Baptists Raising Roof at Family Life Center

Marion Baptist Church is having the roof on its Family Life Center replaced.

The crew removing the old surface looked like worker bees Thursday morning.