Thursday, June 30, 2016

Park Trail Closing Tuesday

The 1.25-mile recreational trail at Marion-Crittenden County Park will be closed for seal coating and repairs on Tuesday and Wednesday (July 5-6) next week. 

There will be no walking, running or biking allowed on the trail starting at 6 a.m., Tuesday and until work is complete sometime on Wednesday. 

Fowler Seal Coating of Marion is the contractor for the project and will have barriers as signage at trailheads to notify users. Once barriers are removed, normal use of the trail may resume. 

The park’s oval track will remain open and available for use during this period. Walkers and runners are encouraged to use the oval Tuesday and Wednesday.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Boil Water Order LIFTED

Crittenden-Livingston Water District has lifted its boil water order that had been in place since Sunday.

The advisory was initiated after a bloom of algae on the Cumberland River created raw water issues for the plant in Pinckneyville in Livingston County.

Although the algae was non-toxic, it caused water quality and compliances issues for the district.

The order was lifted at about 2:30pm Wednesday after favorable test results were found at various points on the water distribution system.

Public offices close for holiday

All city, county, state and federal offices will be closed Monday in observance of Independence Day. That includes the courthouse, city hall, the senior citizens center, Extension service, public library, Pennyrile Allied Community Service office, the county animal shelter, the convenience center and post offices. Closings also include the Ben E. Clement Mineral Museum.

Additionally, the public library and courthouse will be closed Saturday.

Closed Saturday
Crittenden County Public Library
Crittenden County Courthouse

Closed Monday
Crittenden County Courthouse
Marion City Hall
Crittenden County Public Library
Crittenden County Senior Citizens Center
PACS office
Crittenden County Extension Service
Crittenden County Animal Shelter
Crittenden County Convenience Center
Ben E. Clement Mineral Museum
All state offices
All federal offices
All post offices

Early Bird ad deadline today

Press closed Friday, Monday

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

Marion city council allocates money for food bank.
See this week's issue of The Crittenden Press for details.
Marion has a curfew, and police are cautioning parents and guardians to understand the consequences of allowing children to roam around unattended throughout town at night and causing problems. Starting immediately, City of Marion Ordinance 136.01 will be enforced to the letter of the law, said Marion Police Chief Ray O’Neal.

For the rest of this story and the following headlines, pick up a copy of this week's issue of The Crittenden Press:
  • Crosswalk stays despite lost federal funds.
  • Independence Day weekend active one in community.
  • City restores funding to food bank, other entities.
  • OPINION: Local government not our brother’s keeper.
  • Algae affects 3,500-plus rural water users; not hazardous.
  • OPINION: Panel needs to offer true criminal justice reform in Ky.
  • Walking trail to close for repairs.
  • Newcom offers state of the county update.
  • Fair to feature 8 nights of events.
  • IN PICTURES: Church honors local veterans.
  • OPINION: Unshakable is the character of our U.S. military veterans.
  • Crop certification reports due.
  • FSA seeks county committee nominations.
  • IN PICTURES: Youth put their new acting skills to practice.
  • AAA driving course offered July 12 to seniors.
  • FORGOTTEN PASSAGES: Mormon missionaries visit Crittenden in 1891.
  • The Peoples Bank named Chamber business of the month.
  • IN PICTURES: Youth recreation league team photos.
  • SPORTS: Baseball team distributes awards.
  • SPORTS: Youth compete at football camp.
  • SPORTS: Marion Swim Team results.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Boil Water Remains in Effect

The Crittenden-Livingston Water District's boil water order remains in effect.

Algae in the Cumberland River – the district's source of raw water – has prompted the advisory.

It is expected that the boil water order will remain in place another 24 hours, if not longer. Stay tuned to this website for developments.

Water should be brought to a rolling boil for five minutes before used in cooking or drinking.

Life expectancy 75 for newborns in Crittenden

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On average, children born this year in Crittenden County might expect to live to the year 2091. But a few basic changes made to the unhealthy lifestyles that have become part of our culture could allow those babies to see the dawn of the 22nd century, says local physician Dr. Rex Manayan.

Released earlier this month, data from researchers at the Virginia Commonwealth University Center on Society and Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation show the life expectancy of newborns today in Crittenden County is 75 years. That’s on par with nine other western Kentucky counties, including Livingston, Union and Caldwell counties; more than three others, including Webster County (74); and slightly less than other counties west of Interstate 65, including Lyon County (76.)

The average lifespan across the state for people born in 2016 is 76 years, according to the VCU center’s study. That ranks 45th out of the 50 states and District of Columbia, reports Measure of America, a separate initiative of the  Social Science Research Council.

The VCU data show that chances to lead a long and healthy life can vary dramatically by county in the commonwealth and that the lowest life expectancies are in eastern Kentucky. More affluent central Kentucky, commonly referred to as the Golden Triangle – an area between Louisville, Lexington and Covington – has the longest expected life span.

“Health differences between communities are rarely due to a single cause,” the researchers said in a press release.

“The health differences shown in these maps aren’t unique to one area. We see them in big cities, small towns and rural areas across America,” said Derek Chapman, the VCU center’s associate director for research.

Life expectancy is perhaps the most basic measure of a community’s overall health. While 75 years is roughly equal to the average in most western Kentucky counties, a closer look at each county shows deeper differences in health outcomes and the factors that drive them.

Health researchers say life expectancy is driven by a complex web of factors that influence health – opportunities for education and jobs, safe and affordable housing, availability of nutritious food and places for physical activity and access to health care, child care and social services.

Dr. Manayan, a surgeon with Crittenden Health Systems, is concerned about the community’s overall health and regularly coaches patients and the community through a series of health and wellness conversations.

“There seem to be a lot of sick people in Marion,” the doctor said.

Manayan said there are a few simple “baby steps” people can make right now to expect a longer, healthier life. Among those are cutting out sugar and increasing exercise. But these cannot be temporary fixes, he cautions.

“At the end of the day, there has to be a lifestyle change,” he said. “Getting this set in your mind first is the most important thing.”

The VCU center’s map and data released last week is the latest effort by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to raise public awareness of the many factors that shape health, particularly social and economic factors.

Another is the County Health Rankings, done annually by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The rankings don’t provide a comprehensive explanation for life expectancy, but they provide helpful correlations.

For example, Crittenden County ranks 38th out of 120 Kentucky counties in overall health outcomes and 64th in the factors that influence those outcomes. Crittenden has an adult obesity rate equal to the state average of 32 percent, the local rate of adult smokers is lower, as is the number of newly diagnosed sexually transmitted infections. However, the county’s percentage of population with adequate access to locations for physical activity at only 18 percent is abysmal when compared to the statewide average of 70 percent.

Crittenden County ranked far behind the state average in all areas of clinical care ratings, placing it at 102nd in that category. Those areas include the number of uninsured; the ratio of primary care physicians, dentists and mental health providers; preventable hospital stays; diabetic monitoring; and mammography screening.

Livingston County’s health rankings were similar to Crittenden County’s. The overall rank in health outcomes was 35th and 50th in factors that influence those outcomes. Livingston ranked slightly better than Crittenden and at or below state averages except the number of teen births and percentage of those with access to exercise opportunities. However, at 52 percent, Livingston County’s percentage of population with adequate access to locations for physical activity was nearly three times that of Crittenden County.

The complete rankings are available at

To improve health, experts say there must be a change in culture beginning at the local level.

“We must build a society where everyone, no matter where they live, the color of their skin, their financial or family situation, has the opportunity to lead a productive, healthy life,” said RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey.  “There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Each community must chart its own course, and every person has a role to play in achieving better health in their homes, their communities, their schools and their workplaces.”

Sharing information from one of his “Healthy Living” talks, Manayan points to five basic things people can do to improve their health:
  1. Cut out the sugar: This is the No. 1 cause of obesity and other health issues such as Type II diabetes, hypertension and atherosclerosis.
  2. Increase Vitamin D3 intake: Every day, scientists are finding increasing associations of low Vitamin D levels to more and more diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure and dementia.
  3. Eat more healthy fats:  These include Omega-3 fatty acids found in nuts and fish.
  4. Focus on gastrointestinal health: The majority of our immune system is in the gut. One cannot have a healthy immune system if they don't have a healthy gut.
  5. Get moving: Exercise has been scientifically shown to help with multiple diseases, even depression and cancer.
(Editor’s note: Kentucky Health News contributed to this story. Kentucky Health News is an independent news service of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, based in the School of Journalism and Media at the University of Kentucky, with support from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.)

Tonight at Crittenden Library

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Area Deaths

Lonnie Ray “Hopper” Ryan, 84, of Gulf Breeze, Fla., formerly of Marion died June 20.

Darrel Clay Higgins, 68, of Jeffersonville, Ind., died June 24, 2016. He is the son of Clarence and Virginia “Tatty” Higgins of Marion. Scott Funeral Home in Jeffersonville, Ind., is in charge of arrangements.

Crittenden-Livingston customers under boil water order

UPDATE: Water district officials say reserves have rebuilt in holding tanks and there is no longer a potential for a shortage of water.

According to Kentucky Emergency Management, a boil water order is being issued to all Crittenden-Livingston Water District customers.

Information from KyEM indicates the water plant on the Cumberland River in Livingston County is having a problem with persistent algae. An emergency request to use copper sulfate to address the problem has been made to Frankfort by the water district, and the utility is in danger of running out of water.

Until the problem is resolved, a boil water order is being issued to all customers in both counties. The rural water district has about 3,500 customers.

City of Marion water customers are not affected by this.

Crittenden man seeks Commission post


Terry Teitloff’s final term as First District Wildlife Commissioner for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife is coming to a close in August and a Crittenden County man is interested in replacing him.

Teitloff, 66, of Livingston County was originally appointed by Gov. Steve Beshear and served two four-year terms on the commission.

Russell Edwards, 53, who owns a hunting preserve in eastern Crittenden County, has been putting out feelers and making it clear that he wants to be considered as a replacement for Teitloff, who by law cannot seek re-nomination after serving eight years.
A meeting to nominate candidates for the First District commission seat will be held at 6:30 p.m., tomorrow night (Tuesday, June 28) at the Kentucky Dam Village Convention Center at Gilbertsville. Doors will open at 5 p.m. The district includes Ballard, Caldwell, Calloway, Carlisle, Christian, Crittenden, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Livingston, Lyon, McCracken, Marshall and Trigg.

Residents of the First District who, for the past two consecutive years, have either purchased a Kentucky hunting or fishing license; or hunted or fished in Kentucky, but were not required to purchase a license may participate in the nomination process. The names of up to five nominees chosen at the meeting will be submitted to Gov. Matt Bevin, who will appoint one of the nominees to a four-year term, subject to state Senate confirmation.

Teitloff says serving on the commission has been an enjoyable and educational experience.

“There is much, much, much more to this organization than most people understand,” he said.

Teitloff said there are a number of issues that the new commissioner will face in the coming years, including declining turkey populations in Crittenden and Livingston counties and controlling Asian carp in Kentucky waterways.

Edwards is a lifelong outdoorsman who has operated a hunting preserve in the county for the last 16 years. It was originally named Tradewater Outfitters, but Edwards changed the name to Wing Haven Lodge in 2008.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Back-to-school registration to go electronic

Sending children back to the classroom after summer break is about to get a lot easier for parents in Crittenden County.

Starting this fall, back-to-school registration for students will go electronic across the entire school district, streamlining the process for parents and schools. Online registration will eliminate the usual stack of paperwork that can keep a parent busy for an entire evening filling out separate forms with some of the same basic data like names and contact information.

“It’s one of the biggest complaints we get at the start of each year,” said Superintendent of Schools Vince Clark. “I felt the same way when I registered my children. Even then, I thought, there’s got to be a better way to do this.”

The decision to move to e-registration was made by Crittenden County Board of Education at a special meeting earlier this month. It will cost the district $1,900 initially and about $1,200 annually thereafter. That expense will be more than covered by the time saved by staff who have had to input data electronically from thousands of paper forms.

“It takes so much time, and a lot of times, it’s the same information year in and year out,” said Clark. “This will eliminate some of this repetitive work we do at the start of each year. And I think parents will really appreciate this. This is going to be a win-win.”

The new registration system will be a part of the Infinite Campus, an online portal that already allows parents to track their children’s grades, attendance and various other aspects of their education. Once a student’s basic information is entered, it will be carried over each year during the entire course of their education, requiring only updates at the start of each year.

“This really will make life simpler,” said Diana Lusby, who as personnel director for the district researched the move to online registration along with Director of Pupil Personnel Al Starnes. “And if they have several kids, it’s all tied in together.”

The e-registration will include various permissions and agreements, medical records, etc.

Clark said for families who may not have reliable internet access at home or guardians such as grandparents who may not be familiar with navigating Infinite Campus online, help will be available. Plans are for workstations to be set up at each school for guardians to complete the e-registration with hands-on assistance provided by staff. Crittenden County Public Library, too, plans to offer the same guidance at any of its 10 public workstations.

“As a last resort, we could still allow parents to manually fill out the information,” Clark added.

The superintendent said  any concerns over possible data breaches with the new system are not any greater than in the past, as information is already stored electronically after being input from hard copies. The school district will also be the final gatekeeper of the information, allowing staff to verify any suspicious changes to a student’s information on file.

VBS opens tomorrow at Calvary Baptist

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Friday, June 24, 2016

State warns of multiple scams

KSP warns citizens of scams
The Kentucky State Police in Mayfield has received complaints in the past weeks from people advising there have been scam phone calls from someone stating they are with the “Financial Crimes Department”.

The caller will state that a debt is owed and if they are not paid within three hours, a warrant will be issued and the “state police” will be at your residence to arrest you.

These individuals do not identify themselves as working for any specific agency only as working for “Financial Crimes Department” and imply that they are with the state police. The Kentucky State Police will not call you and solicit money with the threat of arrest. When the number given in the recording is called back the line is disconnected as soon as there is mention of contacting the police.

Another scam that has been reported involves a subject calling to advise the person being called that they have won a vacation or a cruise. However, the caller then states that they need a credit card number to charge $293 to hold the vacation or cruise.

KSP is asking people to remember that you cannot win something that you did not enter and that you should not have to pay money to receive a prize that you have won.

KSP wants to encourage the public to never give anyone their personal information over the phone. If you receive a suspicious phone call, contact KSP at 1-800-222-5555.

Kentucky Labor Cabinet Department of Workers’ Claims warns of workers’ compensation scam
The Kentucky Labor Cabinet Department of Workers’ Claims has learned of a telephone scam in which individuals are told that they have been awarded workers’ compensation benefits and that those benefits will be released once a certain “tax” or “fee” has been paid. The caller may identify themselves as being a member of the “Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board.”  The public should not fall for this scam.  Workers’ compensation beneficiaries are not contacted in this manner and no taxes are payable on benefits.  In addition, there is no entity in Kentucky known as the “Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board.”

Kentucky Labor Cabinet Secretary Derrick Ramsey advises Kentuckians to be on guard for potentially fraudulent phone calls. “Unfortunately, there are people out there who are always trying to take advantage of unsuspecting citizens,” Sec. Ramsey said. “I encourage people to use common sense on this matter and to not provide any personal information to persons making unsolicited contact.  If it sounds suspicious or too good to be true, do not hesitate to contact the Department of Workers’ Claims.  I also encourage all Kentuckians who feel that they might have received one of these solicitations to report them directly to the Office of Inspector General for the Labor Cabinet.”

Consumers may contact the Office of Inspector General at 502-564-1985 and or the Attorney General’s office at 502-696-5300.

Kentucky state parks offer 4th of July events

Kentucky State Parks will celebrate the Fourth of July with activities across the state. The events include fireworks displays, picnics, entertainment and more.

See the list below for event dates and descriptions. Kentucky State Parks have lodges, cottages, restaurants, campgrounds, historic sites, marinas, golf courses, hiking trails, fishing and more recreational activities.

To make lodging or camping reservations or to learn more about Kentucky State Parks and events, visit

Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park, Gilbertsville

Fireworks and Live Band, July 4

Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park will have its annual fireworks display, which will begin at dusk over Kentucky Lake and can be viewed at multiple locations around the park. This show is sponsored by the Kentucky Dam Village Marina. A free concert by the classic rock band Cantageous will play from 7 p.m. until the fireworks begin at the Old Beach. Call 800-325-0146 for more information.

Lake Barkley State Resort Park, Cadiz
Fireworks on the Fourth
Lake Barkley State Resort Park will hold its annual fireworks show on July 4 at 9 p.m. There will be food vendors at the beach. Fireworks can be seen from the water, beach, lodge and marina. The fireworks are sponsored by donations from the public which can be given to the Friends of Lake Barkley State Resort Park. No personal fireworks or pets are allowed due to large crowd at beach. Call 270-924-1131.

Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park, Dawson Springs
Beach Party, July 2 - 3

Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park will celebrate the Fourth of July with a beach party. Fun, family friendly activities will be held at the beach all day long. The activities include tie dye t-shirts, beach volleyball, DJ Dance Party, and much more. Schedule with times of activities will be available on the park's Facebook page. Hot dogs and snow cones will be available for cash purchase at the beach shelter. Call 270-797-3421.

Barren River Lake State Resort Park, Lucas

Fourth of July Fireworks, July 4

The Friends of Barren River Lake will host a fireworks display on Monday, July 4, at Barren River Lake State Resort Park to celebrate the Fourth of July. This event is free to the public. Patrons should bring their own lawn chairs, blankets and picnic baskets and make plans to spend the day. Barren River Lake State Resort Park's recreation staff will have plenty of activities to keep kids and adults entertained. Fireworks display will begin at dusk. Call 270-646-2151 for more information.

Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park, Buckhorn

Independence Celebration, July 1-5

Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park will celebrate the Fourth of July during Independence Weekend at the park. There will be games, music and food. The traditional firework show will take place on Monday July 4 at dark. Call 606-398-7510 for more information.

Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, Corbin
Independence Day Celebration, July 2-3
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park will celebrate the Fourth of July weekend with games and activities throughout the day, such as bouncy castles and carnival-type games. Smoky Bear will make an appearance both days, and the Frontier Band will play Saturday evening at 7 p.m. Craft vendors will be set up on Saturday and Sunday. Call 800-325-0063 if interested in setting up a craft booth. This event will take place at the falls area.

Fort Boonesborough State Park, Richmond

Fourth of July Fest, June 30 - July 4

Fort Boonesborough State Park will celebrate the Fourth of July with a week of patriotic activities. The park will have a camper decoration contest, crafts, free tours, hayrides, a parade, NASCAR on our satellite TV, and more. This event is for registered campers only. For more information call 859-527-3454 or email

Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, Prestonsburg
Stars and Stripes Weekend, July 1-4
Jenny Wiley State Resort Park will host Stars and Stripes weekend!  The park will have square, folk, and country line dancing on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening at 8 p.m. at the dance pad at the campground.  Kevin Hardesty will appear as the great pioneer "Daniel Boone" at the dance pad at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 1.  Hardesty, a Kentucky Chautauqua performer, will speak about the life and times of Boone. Guests can check out the popular "Friday's After 5" show on the patio of the May Lodge.  Enjoy great food and live entertainment each Friday from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. The city of Prestonsburg will host a fireworks display on Monday, July 4. It can be viewed from several places downtown, just a short drive from the park. Guests can also take part in fun-filled family activities all weekend long such as patriotic t-shirts, pinewood cars, nature programs, and much more. Call 606-889-1790.

Lake Cumberland State Resort Park, Jamestown

Independence Day Celebration on Lake Cumberland, July 2

Lake Cumberland State Resort Park will celebrate the Fourth of July on July 2 with fireworks that begin after dusk. Kentucky's favorite party band, SUPERFECTA, will provide the entertainment for the evening. Call 270-343-2525 for more information.

Levi Jackson State Park, London

July Fourth Celebration, July 1-4

Levi Jackson State Park will celebrate the Fourth of July with recreation activities and performances, including a Campers Only Pool Party. Camping reservations are recommended. Call 606-330-2130 or email for more information.

My Old Kentucky Home State Park, Bardstown

Stephen Foster's Birthday Celebration, July 2

My Old Kentucky Home State Park will celebrate the Fourth of July and Stephen Foster’s birthday on Saturday, July 2, in historic Bardstown. The events will feature a host of activities and games before the show, free cupcakes at intermission, and a magical fireworks display to cap off the evening. For tickets and more information, call 800-626-1563 or visit

Natural Bridge State Resort Park, Slade

Natural Bridge Hoedown, July 2

Natural Bridge State Resort Park will host its famous Natural Bridge Hoedowns. The event at Hoedown Island will include easy to learn Appalachian square dancing, line dancing, two-stepping, polkas, waltzes and other couple and individual dances. The warm-up dance will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the regular dance program will start at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $3/person and children ages 12 and under are free. (There is the possibility of cancellation for inclement weather.) Call 606-663-2214.

Nolin Lake State Park, Mammoth Cave
Fireworks, July 3
Nolin Lake State Park will celebrate Fourth of July weekend. The beach will be open all day long and two food vendors will be available July 3 for food and drinks at the beach. There will be a fireworks show the evening of July 3. Call 270-286-4240 for more information.

Old Fort Harrod State Park, Harrodsburg

Picnic in the Park, July 1

Old Fort Harrod State Park will host its Picnic in the Park on July 1. Patrons are invited to bring a picnic lunch and enjoy free entertainment under our "big ol' tree.” The picnics, a 30-year tradition, are held Fridays in June and July at noon and include performances from singers, magicians or piano player. Call 859-734-3314 for information on performances.

Pine Mountain State Resort Park, Pineville
Fourth of July Weekend
Pine Mountain State Resort Park will celebrate Fourth of July weekend July 1-4 with family fun activities such as snow cones, tie dye, s’mores, pool games, and more. The schedule for the weekend, including program times, will be posted on the park Facebook page closer to the date. or call 606-337-3066 for more information.

Rough River Dam State Resort Park, Falls of Rough
Rumble Over Rough July 2
Rough River Dam State Resort Park will host the Rumble Over Rough Fireworks on Saturday, July 2.  This event is sponsored and financed by The Friends of Rough River.  The fireworks will begin around dark.  There will also be food and activities all day at the park and there will also be a concert by the rising band Jericho Woods starting at 8 p.m. that night.  All activities are on the main hillside overlooking the beach and the lake. Call 270-257-2311.

Area death

Local auto salesman Larry Wayne Franklin, 66, of Salem died Wednesday. Boyd Funeral Directors and Cremation Services is in charge of arrangements.

MCC meeting students here Tuesday

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

CCHS SBDM meeting

The next regular meeting of the Crittenden County High School SBDM will be Monday at 1:30 in the high school conference room.

VBS at Calvary Baptist starts Monday

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Smithland bridge inspection finished

The detailed inspection of the U.S. 60 Cumberland River Bridge at Smithland is complete.

Extra inspectors were brought in to help minimize the time lane and load width restrictions had to be in place.

All of the necessary inspection work was completed Wednesdsay, so no additional lane or width restrictions will be required in the immediate future.

The bridge will be open to normal traffic flow today.

Heat advisory continues

A heat advisory issued by the National Weather Service continues for all of western Kentucky today. Temperatures should be in the mid-90s with the heat index surpassing 100 degrees.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

City, county budget available for viewing

Last Thursday, Crittenden Fiscal Court approved its budget for the coming fiscal year, and on Monday, the City of Marion introduced its proposed spending plan for 2016-17. Final approval of the city's budget is anticipated at a special meeting called for 5 p.m. Monday. To view or download each budget, click the respective links below:

Heat advisory in effect

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A heat advisory has been issued today by the National Weather Service for Crittenden County and all of western Kentucky. At 12:45 p.m., the temperature was 90 degrees, but with the relative humidity, it felt like 101. The heat advisory is likely to be a daily occurrence for the coming week, as temperatures are forecast to remain above 90 through Tuesday.

For a heat index chart, pick up a copy of this week's paper.

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

Find a full-size heat index chart in this week's paper
The good news is, the City of Marion's proposed budget for 2017 includes no tax increases and is balanced without tapping into reserves. The bad news is, to get there, the government will need to play Scrooge with its employees and cut out funding to several community welfare groups. The $1.3 million spending plan for the coming fiscal year was presented to city councilmen at Monday’s regular monthly meeting.

For the complete story and stories under the following headlines, pick up a copy of this week's issue of The Crittenden Press:
  • Lack of city funding could ‘finish’ county food bank.
  • Council OKs new sewer fee.
  • County creates committee to prioritize road paving.
  • Former sheriff, longtime fireman pass.
  • Siemens to get $250K for expansion project.
  • Rescue squad to seek Homeland Security monies for boat, drone.
  • Teachers on move in school district.
  • School employees honored for service.
  • Summer brings swelter, heat-related dangers.
  • Youth accepted to future-physicians academy.
  • Murray, Campbellsville name spring term dean’s list.
  • Kentucky unemployment falls.
  • SPORTS: Home runs are rarity at colossal ballpark.
  • FORGOTTEN PASSAGES: Take a look back at 1977 in the county.
  • Cook stepping away from historical society board after 24 years.
  • Atmos unveils revamped website.
  • Senior center honors men for Father’s Day.
  • Kentucky wheat offers fields of gold for growers.
  • Crittenden farmer directs donation to local 4-H.
  • Ridley keeps spot on regional ag group.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Inspection to cause delays at Smithland bridge

Travelers through Livingston County on their way to Paducah should take note, daytime delays and a load restriction will start tomorrow and continue for a few days at one of the bridges they cross.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans to place a lane and 8-foot load width restriction on the U.S. 60 Cumberland River Bridge at Smithland starting Wednesday. Work was initially planned to start no earlier than today (Thursday).

This maximum load width restriction on the aging bridge is to allow use of a snooper truck and climbers to conduct a detailed inspection of the bridge structure. Inspectors anticipate being on the span over the Cumberland River from 7 a.m. to about 3 p.m. daily for about four to five days, weather permitting.

“Motorists should be prepared to encounter one-lane traffic with alternating flow controlled by flaggers,” said KyTC spokesman Keith Todd. “Some minor delays are possible during the movement and positioning of equipment. The 8-fooot load width restriction essentially limits the bridge to vehicles no wider than a pickup truck or large SUV.”

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Friday, June 17, 2016

Auction Saturday on Depot Street

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Area Deaths

Madonna Brandon, 66 of Sturgis died unexpectedly Thursday. She was retired from Par 4 Plastics. Whitsell Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Darlene Lynn West, 62, Marion died Thursday. Gilbert Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Peoples Bank Seminar Tuesday

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CCHS Lady Rocket softball awards

Crittenden County High School’s fast-pitch softball team recently held its awards ceremony. Among those honored were (from left) Jessi Brewer, Cassidy Moss, Courtney Beverly, Kaitlyn Hicks, Elle Smith and Madison Cox.
Slugger Award Cassidy Moss
Most RBIs Cassidy Moss
Most Homeruns Cassidy Moss
Golden Glove Jessi Brewer
Leadership Award Courtney Beverly
110 Percent Kaitlyn Hicks

Slugger Award Ashlyn Hicks
Most RBIs Ellie Smith
Golden Glove Ashlyn Hicks
Golden Glove Jada Hayes
Golden Glove Matthia Long
Most Versatile Player Chandler Moss
Most Improved Madison Cox
110 Percent Ellie Smith

Two local public servants die

Two community servants have died. Longtime volunteer fireman Orman Hunt died overnight at Crittenden Hospital and former Crittenden County Sheriff Floyd Andrews, 62, passed away yesterday in South Carolina after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Bone marrow donor drive Tuesday for boy

A bone marrow donor drive is being held Tuesday in Salem for a local boy fighting an immunodeficiency disease.

Early last year, after struggling with health issues for months, Mason Fuller of Salem was diagnosed with NEMO, a genetic condition where the body does not produce enough protein to fight off infection. It is extremely rare, and the only cure for the adolescent child of Brad and Jenny Fuller is a bone marrow transplant.

That’s why Tuesday’s event at Livingston Hospital and Healthcare Services is so important to the boy and his family. The Marrow Donor Registry Drive will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is for ages 18-44.

For further information, contact event coordinator Jamie Taylor at (270) 221-5724 or Be the Match representative Mary LeSueur at (662) 403-0091 or

You can also join the Bone Marrow Transplant Registry online at

Auction Saturday in Marion

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Vets need to sign up today for luncheon

Local veterans planning to attend an appreciation luncheon held in their honor later this month need to register by the end of today. As of 4 p.m., only 49 people had registered, a disappointingly low number to organizers.

“We’re having a hard time getting people to call in,” said Rev. Lucy Tedrick, who is helping to organize the event. “We need to know by Thursday how many people are coming so we can order the food.”

On Saturday, June 25, Marion Church of God on Fords Ferry Road will be offering a free noon meal to anyone in Crittenden County who has worn the uniform of the U.S. military. There is no charge to attend and spouses are invited. The meal will be catered by Conrad’s Food Store, with drinks and desserts furnished by the church.

To reserve a spot, call Tedrick at (270) 965-3269 or Bill and Marlene James at (270) 965-2931.

Area Death

Dennis Ray Sullenger, 63, of Carrsville died Monday at Baptist Health Paducah. Boyd Funeral Directors and Cremation Services is in charge of arrangements.

Senior center menu, activities

Crittenden County Senior Citizens Center is open weekdays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lunch is served at 11:30 a.m. each day and is $3 for those 60 and older or $5 for those under 60. Milk, coffee or tea is available each day. Reservations are requested by 9 a.m. Upcoming activities and menu include:
  • Today: A blood pressure clinic will be offered by Lifeline Home Health. Menu is sweet and sour chicken, rice, spring roll, green beans, dreamsicle gelatin and fortune cookie.
  • Friday: Bingo begins at 10:30 a.m. Fathers will be recognized in honor of Father’s Day. Menu is beef pot roast with gravy, mashed potatoes, squash casserole, whole wheat roll and fruit cobbler.
  • Monday: Ladies’ exercise by Full Body Fitness Studio begins at 9:45 a.m. Menu is chicken and rice casserole, peas, whole wheat roll and baked apples.
  • Tuesday: A legal aid will be on hand beginning at 10 a.m. to assist with legal matters. Menu is meatloaf, mashed potatoes, seasoned cabbage, whole wheat roll and peach crisp.
  • Wednesday: Bingo begins at 10:30 a.m. Menu is Mexican lasagna, steamed broccoli, whole wheat garlic bread stick and Jell-O cake.
  • Next Thursday: A blood pressure clinic will be offered by Lifeline Home Health. Menu is barbecue chicken, macaroni and cheese, green bean casserole, whole wheat roll and tropical fruit.
All menu items are subject to change based on availability. Every day, the center at 210 N. Walker St. in Marion offers billiards, card games, Wii games and the use of exercise equipment. Call the center at (270) 965-5229 for further information. The center is a service of Pennyrile Allied Community Services. Aging Coordinator Jenny Sosh is director of the center.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Area Deaths

Mitchell “Mitch” Ray Johnson, 42, of Marion died at his home Wednesday. Gilbert Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Betty L. Lizak 74, of Marion died Tuesday at the Crittenden Hospital. Gilbert Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

First day of school Aug. 10

A story on the front of this week's issue of the paper incorrectly lists the first day of school for the upcoming 2016-17 academic year. The first day of classes will be Wednesday, Aug. 10. The entire  calendar from the school district can be accessed by clicking the image below to enlarge it.

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

On average, children born this year in Crittenden County might expect to live to the year 2091. But a few basic changes made to the unhealthy lifestyles that have become part of our culture could allow those babies to see the dawn of the 22nd century, says local physician Dr. Rex Manayan. Released earlier this month, data from researchers at the Virginia Commonwealth University Center on Society and Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation show the life expectancy of newborns today in Crittenden County is 75 years. That’s on par with nine other western Kentucky counties...

For the rest of this story and the following headlines, grab a copy of this week's issue of The Crittenden Press:
  • Back-to-school registration to go electronic.
  • Doors to get extra security at schools.
  • CAF BBQ to showcase culinary arts.
  • Shady Grove firemen to mark 25 years Saturday with open house.
  • Vets need to sign up for luncheon.
  • Immunizations offered at clinic.
  • City sewer plant loan OK’d.
  • CCEDC extends property loan.
  • FORGOTTEN PASSAGES: Residents once had great hopes for Tolu.
  • More local churches offering alternative service times.
  • Family tree can open door to past.
  • Woman's Club takes outing.
  • DEFEW'S VIEWS: Book uncovers 1927 Livingston murder.
  • Zika threat spotlights mosquitoes.
  • Former ‘Rosie the Riveter’ celebrates her centennial.
  • Delinquent county tax bills go on sale July 15.
  • More kids utilizing summer food offers.
  • Free school lunches too generous: GOP.
  • Summer brings rare solstice moon.
  • Wheat forecast in Ky. down from 2015.
  • Drug-related charges crowd circuit court docket.
  • 3 indicted locally last week.
  • Senior Food Box distribution altered.
  • Fuel leak at NLES found last week.
  • County lands grant for animal control.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Area Death

Dennis Ray Sullenger, 63, of Carrsville died Monday at Baptist Health in Paducah. Arrangements are incomplete at Boyd Funeral Directors and Cremation Services.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Veterans invited to appreciation luncheon

One of the community's strongest supporters of veterans and her church congregation want to say thanks to local veterans with a luncheon later this month.

Eleven years ago, Rev. Lucy Tedrick organized an appreciation banquet that drew more than 300 Crittenden County veterans and their spouses to the high school multi-purpose room. But with a dwindling veteran population in the county, she's not expecting as many at the luncheon planned for Saturday, June 25.

"What we are trying to do is just show the veterans how much we appreciate them," said Tedrick, pastor of Marion Church of God. "We want to show them how much we love them before it's too late."

The free noon meal will take place at the church's family center, which seats about 100. Anyone who has worn – or is wearing – the uniform is invited to attend along with their spouses. The center is located on Fords Ferry Road.

In 2005, there were about a thousand veterans living in Crittenden County, scores were from the World War II era. With the Greatest Generation fading, the U.S. Department for Veterans Affairs estimates that total number has fallen to 685, with only two dozen or so World War II veterans remaining. Today, Vietnam and peacetime veterans make up the majority of that shrinking population.

Tedrick, 86, has her own sense of urgency for showing appreciation to those who have served in the armed forces.

"I want to get this done before the Lord calls me home," she said.

Veterans have held a special place in Tedrick's heart since she was a teenager. She was only 12 when World War II broke out for the United States, but she recalls vividly how it affected her.

"I remember standing in the yard crying because our men were dying," she said. "It's always touched my heart. It's always been a heartache."

After traveling the world as an adult, she saw some of the places where Americans died in battle during the war which affected her life so deeply. She felt many of those places were not worth the toll of war.

"That's why I try to help the veterans," she said.

She wants to be clear that her church family is as much to thank for the appreciation dinner.

"I couldn't do any of this if it weren't for the people at the church helping," she explained.

Reservations are required by Thursday to attend the June 25 luncheon in order to give organizers an idea of how much food to prepare. If the number of veterans in the county and their spouses planning to attend exceeds the capacity of the church's family center, Tedrick said a second round of meals could be served an hour or so later.

Conrad's Food Store will be catering the luncheon, with desserts and drinks offered by members of the church congregation.

To reserve a spot, those planning to attend should call Tedrick at (270) 965-3269 or Bill and Marlene James at (270) 965-2931.

Chamber Discusses Farm to Table Dinner

Crittenden County Chamber of Commerce is planning a dinner for later this summer that will help get local farmers and producers involved in a local marketing event.

During its regular monthly meeting in June, the Chamber’s board discussed having a Farm to Table Dinner in August. The idea is to host an outdoors picnic-style dinner that will be open to the public and will showcase food grown or produced solely in Crittenden County.

The Chamber hopes the event will help farmers and producers create awareness for what they are growing or making. From Amish-grown vegetables, to fruit from the Victory Gardens and honey from area beekeepers, there are plenty of delicious, home-grown options, said Chamber President Randa Poindexter.

While details have yet to be finalized, Chamber members are asking for local producers to begin making contact with the organization in order to create a catalog of available items. The phone number to the Chamber of Commerce office is (270) 965-5015.

In addition to the farm-to-fork-style dinner, Chamber directors are already beginning to piece together plans for this fall’s Pumpkin Festival. The event is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 1.
The Chamber meets monthly on the first Thursday of each month at 8 a.m., at the Chamber headquarters inside Marion City Hall’s Tourism Center.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Courthouse offices closed June 18

The offices of Crittenden County Circuit Clerk and Sheriff's Department will be closed Saturday, June 18. The courthouse will also be closed Saturday, July 16 for the barbecue festival that will be taking place around the courthouse.

Area Deaths

James Joseph Mathieu, 88 of Morganfield died Friday at his home. Whiitsell Funeral Home in Morganfield is in charge of arrangements.

James “Dude” Ford, 88, of Marion died Friday. Gilbert Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Christopher David Hopkins, 40, of Marion died Saturday, June 4 at Lourdes Hospital in Paducah. Heritage Funeral Home of Columbia, Tenn., was in charge of arrangements.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Hog Rock has Ferry hopping

The annual Hog Rock festivities in Cave In Rock, Illinois has the Cave In Rock Ferry busy as it can be this week. Some entrepreneurs have even set up shop on this side of the river, providing refreshments for long waits for the ferry.

Lucas 6th in state 3200 meters

Originally published June 2, 2016 The Crittenden Press

Crittenden County’s Aaron Lucas continues to climb the ladder of success in the 3200-meter race. The sophomore finished sixth Memorial Day Weekend at Lexington in the KHSAA state meet, 11 rungs higher than his performance a year ago and good enough to earn a medal and a place on the winner’s platform with other top finishers.

The two-time regional champion finished the two-mile race in 10:25.44, about five seconds faster than his qualifying finish two weeks ago in the First Region Class A meet at Murray.
Lucas finished 17th last year in the state meet with a time of 11:01.47. He’s trimmed more than half of a minute off his time in the past year and has his sights set on the school record and perhaps a state championship, but the road will not be clear ahead as several underclassmen have proven themselves in the distance runs.

At Lexington, Lucas was 24 seconds behind the two-mile champion, Keeton Thornsberry, who is just a freshman at Louisville’s Holy Cross High School. Thornsberry’s time was 10:01.13. Also in front of Lucas in this particular race was a seventh grader, two sophomores and a junior. That means the CCHS harrier will have his work cut out for him moving forward if he wants to win a state championship.

Lucas’s coaches say the sky is the limit for the long, lean runner who is only just now learning how to pace himself against the course and his competition.

Lucas was 10 seconds off pace at the state meet to set a new Crittenden County school record. The Rockets’ all-time best time in the 3200 meters was more than 25 years ago by Claude Williams at 10:14.30.

Lucas was 11th in the 1600 meters, finishing about 20 seconds behind the winner, Dedrick Troxell at 4:26.87. Lucas was tripped while running in traffic during the crowded race, but recovered for a strong finish.

Troxell, like Lucas, is a sophomore. The Green County miler will be a real challenge for Lucas in years ahead. Thornsberry, the Holy Cross freshman, was second at 4:29.74. A couple more sophomores finished slightly ahead of Lucas, but the others were upperclassmen.

Crittenden County’s Dylan Hicks finished 19th in the state’s 300-meter hurdles. Hicks was third in the region and earned an at-large berth at Lexington. Murray’s Malik Britt-Taylor won the race at 39.92 and Hicks finished at 46.19. Livingston Central sophomore Chase Cooper was 14th.
The Rockets’ 1600-meter relay team captured 18th place at the state meet. Its anchor runner, junior Will Tolley, was a bit banged up from a car wreck a week earlier, but he was still able to close out the final 400 meters for the squad. The foursome of sophomore Jacob Russelburg, senior Dylan Hicks, freshman Devon Nesbitt and Tolley earned an at-large bid in the state meet. The boys finished at 3:43.73 in a very tight race that was won by Bishop Brossart at 3:29.83.

Crittenden County’s school record in the 4x400 was set in the 1970s at 3:29.00.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

City offering shelter from weekend heat

Marion City Hall will be open all weekend as a cooling center for local residents who may have been caught off guard by unseasonably warm temperatures forecast for the coming days.

The mercury is expected to rise to the mid-90s Friday through Sunday, weather more akin to late-July or August. City Administrator Mark Bryant said the air-conditioned digs of city hall will open to the public to come and go throughout the duration of the blistering heat. After an uncommonly cool May, Bryant reasoned that many residents may have yet to install their air conditioners for the summer or otherwise be prepared for late-summer temps.

Temperatures are forecast for the low 90s on Monday and Tuesday before dropping back down to more seasonable readings.

KSP vehicle auction scheduled for Friday

The Kentucky State Police will put approximately 130 running and 90 non-running vehicles, two modular buildings and other miscellaneous items up for public auction on Friday, June 10.

The auction will be held at 94 Airport Road in Frankfort and is open to the public. Auction items can be viewed beginning at 8 a.m. with the auction beginning at 9 a.m.

All announcements made on the day of sale supersede any previous announcements, oral or written. KSP reserves the right to reject any and all bids.

There will be a 7 percent buyer’s premium charged to all items sold. Full payment is required within one hour after last item is sold. Payment for items to be made by cash, cashiers, certified or travelers checks, money order or in-state personal checks with proper identification.

All out-of-state checks and checks totaling more than $5,000 will require a fully-certified bank letter that guarantees payment. The letter must be on bank letterhead, or bids will not be accepted. There is a $100 fee on all returned checks and a 2.75 percent fee on all credit card transactions.

All items are sold on an as is and where is basis.

Auctioneer provided by Kentucky Auctioneer’s Association. Sale number 16-025.

For a listing of the auction items, visit

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Thursday Sale

MOVING SALE THURSDAY. Desks, couches, rocker, sheets, towels, blankets, glassware, home furnishings and decor, floral arrangements, toys, men's and women's clothes. Too many items to name. 175 Nunn Jent Rd, just off Chapel Hill Rd, 1.2 miles from Par 4.

Saturday in Princeton

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

Summer Reading started Tuesday at the
public library. Above, sisters Karlee and Emily
Hardin get down to business with some coloring
during the opening ceremonies of an Olympics-
themed summer of sharpening young reading skills.
In many ways, Hurricane Camp Meeting can be boiled down to a numbers game. There’s a head count for campers. This year, almost 70 young folks – the most ever – will ascend upon the grounds, bringing their laughter, pillows, tooth brushes and excitement to the forested hillsides that are tranquil and tame for the other 51 weeks out of the year.

For more on this story and the following headlines, pick up a copy of this week's issue of The Crittenden Press:
  • FORGOTTEN PASSAGES: Hurricane Camp offers 128 years of history.
  • Vets invited to appreciation luncheon.
  • Crittenden Relay nears 2016 goal.
  • Audit of sheriff takes issue with practices.
  • OPINION: Flag Day reminder to stand for heritage.
  • Schools close successful year, look ahead.
  • CCES final 9 weeks honor roll.
  • CCMS end-of-year awards presented.
  • Culvert on Hurricane road to be replaced after camp meeting.
  • Rains dampen farmers’ schedule.
  • 36th Marion High Reunion July 2.
  • County woman injured in wreck.
  • Chamber discussing idea of farm-to-fork dinner featuring nothing but local tableware.
  • Community Christmas classes slated.
  • Salem man arrested for second-degree robbery.
  • Woman’s Club earns 7 state awards.
  • Library’s top 10 includes Amish fiction.
  • SPORTS: End-of-season baseball, softball stats.
  • Senior center monthly evening fundraiser set for tonight.
  • Dual credit offered at no cost to students.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Track and Field awards ceremony

Here are the Crittenden County track and field award
winners from this season. They are (front from left)
Shelby Wallace, Jessie Potter, Nikki Shuecraft, Dylan
Hicks, (back) Devon Nesbitt, Amanda Lynch, Branen
Lamey, Jantzen Croft, Jesse Belt, Sarah Hodge,
Jacob Henry, Aaron Lucas and Will Tolley.
Track & Field
  Crittenden County High School’s track and field team held its award ceremony last week at the park.
  Among those honored were the following:

100 Point Club
Madison Champion 100
Nikki Shuecraft 100
Branen Lamey 118
Amanda Lynch 121
Jessie Potter 126
Will Tolley 136
Shelby Wallace 137

150 Point Club
Jacob Russelburg 156
Dylan Hicks 168

175 Point Club
Devon Nesbitt 176
Aaron Lucas 183

Shelby Wallace
Aaron Lucas

Jantzon Croft,  Margaret Sitar, Jacob Henry, Nikki Shuecraft, Dylan Hicks, Sarah Hodge, Gary McConnell, Jesse Belt

Barnes, Emmalea
Beavers, Adam
Belt, Jesse
Brooks, Landon
Champion, Madison
Crider, Ross
Croft, Jantzen
Curnel, Cortne
Duncan, Jaelyn
Ford, Devin
Gobin, Anzie
Graham, Kaylee
Hayes, Trinity
Henry, Jacob
Hicks, Dylan
Hodge, Sarah
Hutchings, Nadia
Keller, Kate
Lamey, Branen
Lucas, Aaron
Lynch, Amanda
McConnell, Gary
Nesbitt, Devon
Perkins, Will
Perryman, Kenlee
Potter, Jessie
Russelburg, Jacob
Shuecraft, Nikki
Steele, Tyson
Tabor, Alexis
Tolly, Will
Wallace, Shelby

Saturday, June 4, 2016

On tap this weekend

Click Image to Enlarge


The exemplary life’s work of each of this year’s four Crittenden County Distinguished Alumni inducted last month involves careers in justice, technology research, broadcasting and business. This year’s inductees Judge Jerry Brown and Dr. Andrew Mason exemplify the very best of ambition, drive and hard work. Posthumous inductees Bob Swisher and Juanita Burks each shared a lifetime of contributions already recorded in history. All were recognized at a private luncheon May 27 and again at commencement ceremonies at Rocket Arena.

Burks blazed trail for minority women in business

Juanita Burks embodied all the traits that made her generation the greatest of all American generations – hard work, dedication, perseverance and self-sacrifice. For that, and her success as a pioneering Louisville businesswoman, the Marion native is being honored posthumously Friday as the first minority inductee as a Crittenden County Distinguished Alumnus.

Born on July 2, 1920, she entered into a segregated Southern society still influenced by Jim Crow laws, even in Crittenden County, where racial tensions were virtually non-existant. As an African-American, she was not allowed to attend high school locally. Instead, she was forced to find transporation out of town each day on a farm truck in order to complete her secondary education at Dotson High School, a school for blacks in Princeton.

“She had to catch a ride on a slop truck,” said her son Ish Burks, a retired Army colonel, former Kentucky State Police Commissioner and current academic coordinator for the criminal justice department at Jefferson Community & Technical College in Louisville.

Marion High School was not integrated until 1955, long after Juanita had started a new life and family in Louisville. But she never let the separate and unequal opportunities for blacks in that era become a barrier to success later in life. And her son said the family was never allowed to dwell on issues of discrimination.

“They understood,” Ish said of his mother and father, for whom he was named. “Those were the times we lived in. They never showed any sense of bitterness.”

Ish said his mom enjoyed her life growing up in Crittenden County. Though he was born in Louisville, Ish, 71, would spend his summers as a youth in Marion with his grandparents, Allen and Donna Farley. He, too, has only fond recollections of Marion.

After graduating high school, Juanita attended the historically black Kentucky State University in Frankfort, but things did not work out. She married and moved to Louisville, and like so many other women during World War II, she went to work in a munitions factory. For a period, she worked as a domestic and even an elevator operator to help put all three of her children through college.

That’s just what good parents do, said Ish, who plans to attend Friday’s Distinguished Alumni luncheon at Rocket Arena.

“They always wanted more for their family,” he said of his parents. “They always made sure we had good things.”

After putting her last child through college, Juanita herself returned to the halls of higher education, taking business courses at the University of Louisville, where she would later serve on the board of trustees. She parlayed that education into a series of successful ventures around Louisville. Most notably, at the age of 60, she founded J.P. Burks Construction, which won contracts for work at iconic Louisville sites.

“Over 20 years later, she continued to work 12-hour days. Her company supplied glass for the expansion of the south wing of the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center and was awarded a $193,000 contract to supply sprinklers for the renovation of Churchill Downs,” her entry in “The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia” reads.

Six years before establishing her construction company, Juanita and Ishmon Sr. mortgaged their home and took out a federal small business loan in order to open a personnel recruitment service that paired minority workers with Fortune 500 companies. “Her later business ventures included a nursing business, an alcoholic beverage distributorship, a stop-smoking center and a shoe store," her encyclopedia entry continues.

She even sold insurance door-to-door.

“It takes a certain knack to do that,” Ish said with a chuckle.

Juanita was appointed by Gov. Julian Carroll in the late 1970s to President Jimmy Carter’s energy board. She earned the Woman of Achievement award from the Business and Professional Women of River City in 1983, became a member of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, raised diabetes awareness and at 76, was named the 1996 Kentucky Entrepreneur of the Year.

In her mid-80s, her Encyclopedia entry tells, Juanita claimed, “As long as I got breath in my body I’m going to be doing something.”

“We had to literally pull her out of her office (to get her to retire),” Ish added.

The son said he is most proud of the work ethic his mother exhibited and instilled in her three children.

“I’m 71 and still working full time,” he added. “I’m only doing what I saw. I’m very thankful for those values.”

Ish said his mother’s impact lives on today, two years after her death.

“I cannot walk down the street that somebody doesn’t stop me – primarily black people – and ask if I’m her son,” he explained. “They’ll tell me, ‘Your mother helped me so much. She was such an inspiration.’ I get it all the time.”

What is the Distinguished Alumni honor?
The Crittenden County Distinguished Alumni honor was created in 2010 as a means to recognize accomplished men and women who earned their public education in Crittenden County schools. Recipients of the award must have completed their education at Crittenden County High School or one of the other secondary schools that once existed in the county. Special consideration is given to individuals for whom a high school education was not available here at the time. Selections for the Distinguished Alumni honor are determined by educational, professional and community service accomplishments.

Previous winners are:

  • Kenneth Winters
  • Albert Michael Crider
  • Forrest Carlisle Pogue*
  • F. Julius Fohs*
  • Ollie M. James*
  • Scott Campbell
  • Trish Milburn
  • Jim Hatfield*
  • Johnny Rushing
  • Jeff McKenney
  • David Newcom
  • Helen Moore
  • C.S. "Clem" Nunn*
  • W.A. Franklin
  • Stephanie Kelly



The exemplary life’s work of each of this year’s four Crittenden County Distinguished Alumni inducted last month involves careers in justice, technology research, broadcasting and business. This year’s inductees Judge Jerry Brown and Dr. Andrew Mason exemplify the very best of ambition, drive and hard work. Posthumous inductees Bob Swisher and Juanita Burks each shared a lifetime of contributions already recorded in history. All were recognized at a private luncheon May 27 and again at commencement ceremonies at Rocket Arena.

Swisher western Ky. sports broadcasting legend

If a person can truly be born for a particular job, sports broadcasting was given Bob Swisher.

The longtime voice for western Kentucky sports, Swisher grew up during the Great Depression and World War II on the ballfields of Crittenden County. When he wasn't playing ball, he was pretending to call the games like the St. Louis Cardinals broadcaster he idolized.

"When he was little, he would go around with a tin can and play like he was on air," his college sweetheart and widow Hilda said. "He was trying to sound like Harry Caray."

As a boy, she said, he went so far as to showcase his early skills before a crowd at the county fair.

It's for developing that passion into a long, successful career that Swisher will be inducted posthumously Friday as a Crittenden County Distinguished Alumnus. He began broadcasting for real while a student majoring in history and physical education at then-Murray State College in the late 1940s and remained on the airwaves in western Kentucky as a fixture until his death at the age of 82 in 2010.

Sports broadcasting was the perfect match for a man who excelled as an athlete both as a hard-hitting shortstop and as a quarterback for Marion High School's Blue Terrors. In 2000, he was inducted into the Marion-Crittenden County Athletics Hall of Fame.

After graduating MHS in 1946, Swish – as he was known by many of those close to him – traded in the ball for a microphone and was able to remain close to the games he loved. Settling in Paducah, he became station director for WKYB radio and broadcast professional baseball games for the Paducah Chiefs of the former Kitty League and gridiron action for Paducah Tilghman High School and Murray State.

"He had a great voice," said Gordon Guess, whose own amateur broadcasting career was greatly influences by his friend Swisher.

"It was a gift, and he had a nice easy way of doing it," Hilda, who plans to attend Friday’s induction ceremony, said of her husband's delivery.

Though he would leave Crittenden County to establish his career, he never forgot his heritage. In the years after he left in 1946, he would often frequent local sporting events, visit with friends and even emcee the annual Marion High reunion.

In 1957, Swisher put a face with that voice by signing Paducah's new television station, WPSD, onto the air. His television career budded earlier that decade in San Diego as a public information officer in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. He left television in 1990, having influenced dozens of on-air personalities in his 30-plus years as sports director and production manager for WPSD.

Swisher never really retired from broadcasting. Though he maintained no regular broadcasts in his later life, he would turn up on air from time to time. In 2008, Guess invited Swisher, an infielder six decades earlier for Marion's amateur Twin States League team, to toss out the first ball for the Marion Bobcats on opening night of the inaugural season. He later joined Guess on air for the first-ever Bobcats radio broadcast.

For decades, Swisher's voice painted the picture of what was happening on the field. But he left his mark on western Kentucky in other ways. He organized Sports Against Cancer that continues to raise money for the American Cancer Society. At church, he used his silky voice to teach a senior women's Sunday school class.

"They just loved him," Hilda said.

Despite Swisher’s success, he never took his gifts for granted.

"Since he's gone, I just think about how many things he was good at," Hilda said, adding a little career advice for today's youth. "He worked hard at things he wanted to do. And if you get the chance do something you really love, that's just a wonderful thing."