Monday, October 31, 2016

Dry weather gives farmers edge

Farmers have had optimum weather recently for gathering fall hay like Ed Shuecraft, pictured here, or harvesting double-crop soybeans.

While the mild, dry weather has been great for getting farmers ahead of the game, it could wreak havoc soon if ponds get too low for livestock.

Most of the area, however, is simply enjoying the warmer than normal fall. According to one weather report, this was warmest halloween since 1950.

Area deaths

Judy Kay Stone, 65, of Marion died Monday. Myers Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Jesse E. Lawless, 74, of Salem died Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016 at Salem Springlake Nursing and Rehabilitation. Boyd Funeral Directors and Cremation Services is in charge of arrangements.

Connie R. Williams, 68, of Marion died Sunday. Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion is in charge of arrangements.

Tuesday last day to apply to vote absentee by mail

Tuesday is the last day that Kentucky voters may apply to vote absentee by mail in the Nov. 8 general election, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said today.

"This is an important deadline for any person who is not able to vote in-person at the polls on Election Day or before," said Grimes. "I encourage any person who is eligible to contact their county clerk and submit an application as soon as possible before the deadline at close of business tomorrow."

Individuals who may be eligible to vote by mail-in absentee ballot include:
  • Military personnel, their dependents, and overseas citizens
  • Students who temporarily reside outside the county
  • Voters who temporarily reside outside Kentucky (e.g., vacationers)
  • Voters who are incarcerated but have not yet been convicted
  • Voters whose employment takes them outside the county for all days and hours the polling place is open
  • Voters of advanced age or who suffer from disability or illness
  • Voters who are participants in the Secretary of State’s Address Confidentiality Program
Voters may request an absentee ballot application from their county clerk in person or via telephone, fax, or email. Qualified military and overseas voters may also use the Commonwealth's online portal to request and receive their blank absentee ballots.

Applications for mail-in absentee ballots must be received by the clerk’s office no later than Tuesday, Nov. 1. The completed absentee ballot must be returned by mail and received by the county clerk by 6 p.m. local time on Election Day.

Individuals who do not qualify to vote by mail-in absentee ballot may still be eligible to vote early in person prior to Nov. 8, Election Day. In-person absentee voting is open in all counties and is conducted during the county clerk’s regular business hours.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Area Deaths

Ralph Leonard Keeney, 78, of Eddyville died Saturday. Lakeland Funeral Home in Eddyville was in charge of arrangements.

Herbert Charles Bell, 79, of Marion died Thursday. Myers Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Gerald Ross Brantley, 89, of Marion died Thursday. Myers Funeral Home of Marion was in charge of arrangements.

Donald Eugene Cruce, 76, of Marion died Saturday, Oct. 22 at Crittenden Hospital. Myers Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Shelby Lucille Gipson, 77, of Marion died Sunday, Oct. 23 at Crittenden Hospital. Myers Funeral Home in Marion was in charge of arrangements.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Comer makes campaign stop

James Comer, the Republican nominee to fill former Congressman Ed Whitfield's seat, speaks with Fred Stubblefield Friday afternoon at the courthouse in Marion during a campaign stop on his tour of all 35 counties in the 1st Congressional District. Comer was heading to Princeton following his hour-long stop here, concluding his whirlwind swing through the district the last seven days. Comer will appear on the November ballot twice, facing Democrat Samuel L. Gaskins both times – once for a special election to fill Whitfield's unexpired term and once to fill the seat on Capitol Hill for a full two-year term starting January.

New Hunting Guide Now Available

Crittenden Outdoors 2016 Hunting Guide is available at a variety of area locations throughout Crittenden County.

The annual Hunting Guide is published by The Crittenden Press, but is not part of the regular newspaper.

You can find it at area restaurants, sporting goods shops and other participating sponsor locations. It is also available online by clicking here.

Monday in Downtown Marion!

Updated List of Participating Businesses

Special fiscal court meeting Monday

Crittenden Fiscal Court will meet in special session at 8:30 a.m. Monday at the courthouse to approve claims payment for asphalt work on Aunt Jane Tabernacle Road. Because it is a special-called meeting, no other matters can be discussed.

Umpires needed for spring

The Second Region – which includes Crittenden and other nearby counties – is needing high school baseball umpires for spring 2017 season. Pay is good. For more information, call assigning secretary for baseball umpires Matt Bell 270-871-6956.

Salem's oldest bank closes for good

Gone are the days of house calls by bank tellers and lock boxes fastened with bobby pins.
And it won’t be long until Salem’s longest serving financial institution is relegated to a paragraph or two in the county history book.

Today, Oct. 28, Regions Bank will shut its vault and close its doors for the last time. On its final lap, two longtime employees – Pat Hall and Dorothy Fox – were able to spend an afternoon reminiscing with customers, old friends and family. The two are the last in a long line of ladies and gentlemen who served Livingston County as tellers, clerks and loan officers. Hall started at the bank at age 17. She planned on staying only for a summer after graduating high school.

“It’s bittersweet,” she said Friday during a reception for her and Fox.

The branch’s only other employee, Steve Watson, is transferring within the company.
Hall has worked at the bank for 51 years. Fox was there over 23 years.

Together, they’ve seen just about everything. Hall remembers when all loans were due on the first day of the month. The record keeping was done on index cards. Interest was calculated with a pencil.

“People ask me how I can figure interest so quickly,” said Hall. “Well, I had to do it on every one of those notes.”

Fox remembers bowling in the building where the bank is today. It was a movie theater before that.

“My husband, J.W., remembers being in the theater, but I never went. He told me the first picture he saw here, it was a western, but I can’t remember the name.”

Salem Bank was founded in 1902 with less cash than it would take to buy a used car today. The original bank was across Main Street in Salem were there’s a beauty shop now. Dr. John Valentine was the first president.

“He delivered me,” said Jackie Myrick, who’s in her 80s and worked at the bank for 35 years until 1997.

Myrick and her sisters, Jane Slayden and Doris Ann Henry, were among more than 50 who stopped by the bank last week for its going away party. They all three worked there at one time or another. And so did others, like Marble Champion, who stopped in, too.

“I do hate to see it close,” said Champion. “People don’t know yet how much they are going to miss this thing.”

The bank evolved and changed names over the years, but many of the faces behind the counters remained the same season after season. They knew how to serve their customers, Hall said. She recalls that H.G. “Homer” Maddux and his son, T.L. “Louis” Maddux Sr., were the backbone of the bank during its formidable years.

“Louis was a gentleman banker. He was a country banker and everyone loved him,” said Hall.
“I can still see him holding that cigarette in his hand like this and see all those ashes on his desk,” she recalled.

Fox remembered a practical joke she and Hall played on Neal Ramage, who was among the last managers before the independent bank sold out to a larger company.

“He drove a Corvette and left the keys in it. Pat and I decided we were going to play a joke on him so we hid it around the block. He wasn’t too happy about that. I was young then and probably wouldn’t do something like that now that I am older and wiser,” she said.

Times sure have changed since Hall started at the bank. Back then the phone company kept cashier’s checks and took the liberty of signing off for all its customers’ bills each month. When the phone company needed more checks, Hall would take them a stack.

“And we had a set of shelves in the back room. People would bring in tackle boxes. That was their lock boxes. But the thing is, most of them weren’t locked. One was kept closed with a bobby pin,” she said with a laugh.

The tellers helped folks balance and reconcile their checkbooks at the window. One elderly woman who couldn’t read or write would bring her mail to the counter so Hall could read to her what was in the mail.

“The lobby would be full of long lines back then, but I’d take the time to read her mail to her,” Hall said.

The women remembered the ice storm of 2009 and how they never missed a beat.

“They were in here without heat working in gloves. They were troopers,” said Sherry Miller, the bank’s regional manager.

Peoples First National Bank bought out the independent Salem Bank in 1989. In 1998, Union Planters became the owner. Regions bought the bank in 2001, but didn’t change the name until 2007.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Hursts paying forward help they received

The Hurst Family


For Crystal and Dustin Hurst, there are many reasons to avoid looking back.

For starters, it’s too scary to think of what could have happened.

It’s just easier to count their blessings and face tomorrow with greater hope that their youngest child, soon-to-be-2-year-old Layna, will continue to improve.

Their daughter was born with vein of Galen malformation and was diagnosed within a few days of her arrival. The family spent the next week at Kosair’s Children’s Hospital in Louisville and so far, young Layna has undergone two surgeries. She will possibly require two more.

During their early struggles – when they were just learning the details of their daughter's disease – Kosairs and the Ronald McDonald House were among their greatest supporters.

Now, they want to pay that kindness forward.

On Saturday, Oct. 29, the Hursts are hosting a benefit tractor and truck pull with all the proceeds to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kentuckiana and Kosairs Children's Hospital Charities. With the help of Crittenden County Lions Club, the event will be held at the fairgrounds beginning at 5 p.m.

“This is something that has been put on our hearts to do. God has blessed our family so much that we wanted to be able to pay it forward,” said Crystal Hurst, a U.S. Mail carrier on Rural Route 1.

She and her husband both grew up in Crittenden unty and they have a huge support network here with lots of friends being pulling enthusiasts.

"It's literally a seed that has been planted by God for us to be doing this and when you have God leading the way, nothing is impossible, " said Dustin Hurst, a heavy equipment mechanic and owner of Hurst Diesel.

“We really wanted to be able to do this so maybe it will help another family like it did us. When you are faced with a situation like we were, Ronald McDonald House is such blessing. It’s like home. And the people at Kosairs were wonderful,” Crystal said.

The disease that has made Layna’s life a bit complicated so far is very rare. Outside of a handful specialists, few doctors or nurses understand it or know what it is, said Crystal.

Layna sees Dr. Shervin Dashti a neurosurgeon at Norton Healthcare along with cardiologist Dr. Brian Holland of the University of Louisville Pediatric Cardiology and Dr. William Bruce, her pediatrician.

To simplify her daughter’s condition, Crystal says Layna was born with hundreds of extra blood vessels. The veins and arteries are pushing too much blood through the girl’s heart, creating congestive heart failure issues.

“Only one in three million children are born with this,” her mom said.

Surgery is required to close off the extra vessels.

“The procedure they do is to take a catheter and go into the main artery in her leg then snake the catheter into up through her heart and on up into center of her brain. Then they glue off unneeded veins and arteries,” Crystal explained.

The risks are high for stroke and other complications. Layna had her first procedure at 15 months then another not long ago.

“Had this happened to me 36 years ago, I probably would not be here,” said Crystal, pointing out that research over the last couple of decades have helped doctors save lives of infants who come into this world with such condition.

“Layna will probably have to have two more operations,” her mom continued. “But some children end up having 10 or more.”

Layna is a bit small for her age. She weighs 20 pounds. Otherwise, she’s as normal as anyone else and you wouldn’t even recognize her situation by looking at her. Her heart works so hard that she can’t eat enough calories to keep up.

“We’re trying to fatten her up a little,” Crystal said with a chuckle.

The bigger her daughter gets, the easier surgery is on her body. With the support of her older brother, three-year-old Luke, Layna has learned to be strong, independent and ready to tackle anything that is thrown her way.

"It makes us proud to see how protective Luke is with her,” Crystal said.

For now, looking back at how far they’ve come, the family is ready to pay forward whatever it takes to help make similar journeys for others a wee bit more comfortable.

Monday Halloween in Marion

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Marion Mainstreet Inc., will host its annual Trick or Treat on Main Street Monday and there will be several local businesses participating. Also look for other opportunities in Marion on the same day, including Trunk or Treat at Marion United Methodist Church and Halloween photos at The Crittenden Press.

Princeton College Night invites Crittenden juniors, seniors

Caldwell County High School will host a College Night event Wednesday, Nov. 2, from 5-7 p.m.

High school juniors and seniors from across the area are invited to attend, along with their parents, and start making plans for the future.

“We are extending an invitation to students from Lyon County, Crittenden County High School, and Dawson Springs High as well as Caldwell County,” said Mitzi Englebright, College Coach at Caldwell County High.

Students and their parents may come and go anytime between 5 and 7 p.m. and will be able to meet with representatives from several colleges, as well as military recruitment personnel and some companies offering career opportunities.

Englebright said financial aid and scholarship information will also be available during the event.  Refreshments and door prizes will be provided by Farmers Bank, the annual event sponsor. 

“One thing we are really excited about is the KHEAA College Road Show bus will be here,” said Englebright.

CCHS students had an opportunity to visit the bus and meet with Steven Held of the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) in the spring.

“But now their parents have a chance to visit this mobile classroom and have their questions answered,” said Englebright.

Matt Jones, who serves as the KHEAA outreach counselor for this area, will also be on hand for College Night at CCHS.

“He will have a table set up and will be talking about financial aid with parents,” said Englebright. “He comes to our school quite often and the students recognize him. Now parents have a chance to sit down with him.”

Englebright said she is expecting representatives from Murray State University, Eastern Kentucky University, Western Kentucky University, UK, Campbellsville, Austin Peay, Brescia, Southern Illinois University, area community colleges, military recruiters and more.

“We have both in-state and out-of-state schools, several private institutions, coming. We will have about 15 colleges here at least,” said Englebright.

“We also have representatives from UPS who will be here to talk about their program that is affiliated with UofL. If you work part-ime for UPS, they pay your tuition. Not a lot of people know about that.”

Englebright said she is also expecting representatives from the UK College of Engineering who will be available to talk about their program offered at the Paducah campus.

“And we have people from Lake Cumberland CDL School who will offer information on their career opportunities,” said Englebright.

College Night is a good time for parents and students to have their questions answered.

“And there are many questions — financial aid, ACT requirements — that parents and students need to start asking,” said Englebright.

“We hope high school juniors and their parents will be here because by this time next year they will have completed applications for colleges and applications for financial aid. They really need to start planning and preparing for that now.”

Englebright said when students enter high school during their freshman year, that is a good time for parents to start talking to their children about college.

“It’s a conversation they need to start having as freshman. Talk about their grades, the ACT. Look at what career paths they want to take and find schools that offer those programs. Look at colleges they are interested in and find out about GPA and ACT requirements,” said Englebright.

“It is better for the students and the parents to start looking at these things early so they realize what it is going to take to get into the college of their choice.”

Englebright said she is available anytime to talk with students or parents who have questions about college/career paths and planning for the future.

Contact her at Caldwell County High School at (270) 365-8010.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Bus Drivers Wanted Now

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Nunn-Switch re-opens at Hoods Creek

Nunn-Switch Road is now open at the Hoods Creek crossing. The road had been closed in that area for reconstruction of approaches to a bridge over the creek.

According to Judge-Executive Perry Newcom, the next project on the same road will be to repair the approaches to the bridge that spans Caney Fork Creek. The road will be closed there beginning Monday. It will remain closed approximately three weeks depending on the weather.

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

Election HQ
Get ready for the Nov. 8 election, from President to Marion City Council, with this week's newspaper. Coverage includes a Q&A with all 11 city council candidates and the following headlines:
  • Crowded Marion council field highlights downticket balloting
  • Election workers on front lines of keeping democracy working
  • County’s registration swings by 1,000
  • ‘Rigged’ election no worry locally
  • Voter 411: Answering the 5 Ws (and 1 H) of voting
  • 20 write-ins crowd field on Ky.’s presidential ballot
Find all this and the following headlines in this week's issue of The Crittenden Press:
  • Marion courts new city administrator
  • Officials: Avoid outdoor burning
  • CCES thanks bus drivers
  • County jail numbers up to 200 inmates
  • OUTDOORS: Early returns from 2016-17 deer season reflect hunters’ struggles
  • Dry conditions hurting pastures
  • Chess team starts season with big wins
  • Ky. jobless rate creeps up to 5 percent
  • Ky. denied REAL ID compliance extension
  • Library hosts opens house
  • O’Neal completes dispatcher training
  • Students invited to enter art contest
  • Bechler announces funds for Trilogy
  • MAPP board adds Par 4’s president
  • SPORTS: Fulton County pulls out, Rockets idle until playoffs
  • SPORTS: Panthers take crown again
  • SPORTS: Second graders put on tackle gear for first time
  • SPORTS: Fredonia/Lyon captures first Heritage Cup title
  • DEFEW'S VIEWS: Science of apparitions adds to curiosity
  • Pillow project benefits patients
  • Backyard adventures topic of writing contest
  • Marion woman in WKCTC’s honor society
  • Caldwell Springs FD seeks donations for bricks from old Frances School
  • KET crew coming to Marion next week to film segment with Wheelers on East Carlisle

Monday, October 24, 2016

KDFWR hosts fishing forum Tuesday

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will conduct a public meeting Tuesday, Oct. 25 to discuss fisheries issues affecting western Kentucky.

Western District Fisheries Biologist Paul Rister will present information on crappie and bass fishing in Barkley and Kentucky lakes. In addition, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Aquatic Nuisance Species Biologist Neal Jackson and Fisheries Director Ron Brooks will provide updates on the department’s current efforts and its future plans to remove and study Asian carp in the two reservoirs.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife employees also want to hear from the public on these topics.

The meeting is set for 7 p.m. at the Grand River Community Center, 155 Western Cumberland Ave., Grand Rivers, Ky. 

Area Death

Betty Joan Williamson, 82, of Salem died Sunday. Gilbert Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Republicans hold registration edge here

With election day drawing near, registration gains by the GOP continue statewide where Republicans have 1.3 million registered voters while Democrats hold a firm edge at 1.6 million. Republicans have a net gain of 261,486 voters since May 2008.

The same holds true in Crittenden County where the GOP has taken control of the ballot box. Below are local registration figures:

DATE ............GOP .........DEMS
Sept 2016.........3,258 ........2,913
Aug 2016..........3,251 ........2,909
July 2016 .........3,255 ........2,921
Nov. 2008.........2,694 ........3,310

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Need an auto mechanic in Marion?

Looking for an automobile mechanic in Marion? Try these certified repair specialists for all your mechanical and electrical needs. The shop is located off South Main Street next to Siemens and behind Health Quest Wellness Center. They can handle anything from passenger vehicles to heavy trucks.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Area death

James Dwight “Jimmy” Binkley, 67, of Marion died Thursday. Gilbert Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Unlikely source from the farm used in all natural beauty products

Goats are not generally associated with beauty. In fact, the animal is hardly associated with anything attractive with their floppy ears, a reputation for eating just about anything and a penchant for frisky behavior. Why, even the term "goat" is often used to describe an undesirable person.

But as is said, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Laura Bull finds the goat to be a handsome farm animal, supplying her family with meat and an array of dairy products she says are healthier than those offered by cattle. The goat also offers up just about all the beauty products one can find on the shelves of supermarkets and pharmacies.

That’s right, the goat is apparently the Estee Lauder of livestock.

While most people know goats are raised for butchering and milking – even if they may be a little skittish at the thought – few are probably aware that goat's milk can be turned into soap, exfoliates, lotions, body butter and even shaving lotion for men.

Though just a hobby at this stage, Bull spends a good portion of her time turning goat milk not used in the kitchen into all natural bath and beauty products. Last week, she was plying many of those wares at the 29th annual Christmas in Marion Arts & Crafts Show at Crittenden County Middle School, just as she has done the last few years.

Besides the healthful benefits of consumption – Why, even supermodel Christie Brinkley is said to drink only goat milk! – Bull claims the natural vitamins and minerals in the milk are much better for human hair and skin than the chemicals used in most commercial products.

"Milk has nutrients," she explained, "that the water they use to mix with chemicals for commercial products does not. Commercial products have a lot of toxins."

And the prices are not far off those of the mass-produced supermarket products.

"A lot of people tell me I sell things too cheap," Bull said Monday morning at her rural Crittenden County home as she showed off items from large totes gathered on the floor in preparation for Saturday's arts and crafts fair.

Travis, her 9-year-old son, is the biggest supporter of Misty Meadows Farms, Bull's name for her line of products. Home for fall break, he meticulously explains each product his mom sits on the table to display for a photo.

"He's my little salesman," his mother said. "He goes around touting my products."

Bull began selling her goat milk products about four years ago, and makes several festivals and fairs around the area, building a loyal customer base.

"I have regular customers that search me out," she said.

A native of the Boston, Mass., area, she met her husband, Jim, in Nashville, Tenn., and moved to Crittenden County about 16 years ago after a short stint back in Boston. The couple wanted a rural life. Bull had planned to open a thoroughbred rescue facility, but government red tape made the venture too costly. They settled on farm animals and her husband stays busy with a pilot car service escorting wide loads.

For seven or eight years, she has been displaying at Christmas in Marion alongside her mother, first with ceramics, and the last few years with her beauty products. Her mom and dad, Lucian and Bob Perry, have been in the last few days from their home in Massachusetts to help set up for Christmas in Marion. Lucia sells hand-painted wood ornaments.

"I enjoy it," Bull said of Christmas in Marion. "I like letting people know the benefits of goat's milk."

For one, her lotion doesn't leave the oily residue most commercial products leave behind on the skin.

The Bulls' first love was horses, but now they have a variety of animals on their farm. Initially, they weren't all that interested in goats outside of their ability to help clean up the fields with their massive appetites.

"We got into it a little more after we got our first one smoked," she said, indicating they make for a tasty meal.

From there, the Bulls began raising goats that would eventually keep the kitchen stocked. The couple wanted their own meat and milk without preservatives and chemicals found in supermarkets. The animals are all fed non-GMO products.

She currently has about 20 meat and milk goats altogether, with nine expecting litters of kids in January. The milking comes twice a day, with some goats give as much as 2 gallons each milking. Jim leaves most of the goat work to his wife, who calls each animal by name.

"If you don't like high maintenance, I don't recommend goats," she explained.

They can be very susceptible to parasites and diseases other livestock more readily fend off.

With a little research on her own, she discovered the benefits of all natural goat milk products. Leftover milk not consumed at the supper table is converted to her beauty products. The preparation is not terribly difficult or involved, but the wait can be four to six weeks for soaps to cure and cut. Raw soap is formed in a slab about a yard long before it is measured for various weights.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Fun for the Whole Family... and more

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Take his word for it...

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Alumni Basketball CCHS vs LCHS

The second annual Crittenden vs. Livingston alumni basketball event will be held Nov. 26 at Rocket Arena. 

Former players and cheerleaders at both schools who graduated in 2011 or before are encouraged to participate. Doors will open at 4 p.m. for a shoot-around, with the first game tipping off at 5 p.m.

The inaugural event was held last January at Livingston Central with over 80 participants and hundreds of fans attending.

T-shirts will be provided to all participants. There is a $20 registration fee to participate. Fan entry to the games is $5 for ages 4 and over.

There will be three age divisions for men and two or more for women, depending on the number of players.
There will be an over 50 men’s game, age 35-40 men’s game and 34-under for males. 

Throughout the event, an alumni memory room will be open for players and spectators from each school to browse through memorabilia and newspaper clippings. Concessions will be available.

Participants from both communities are asked to submit photos from their playing days to be shown on the video boards in Rocket Arena. Photos should be emailed to

Tickets are available in Marion at The Crittenden Press and from CCHS coaches Denis Hodge and Shannon Hodge. See either coach for a registration form go to this link:

Child support collection efforts again praised

Pam Larue (seated) and Joana Croft, Crittenden County Child Support
specialists in County Attorney Rebecca Johnson’s office, were recognized
along with Johnson in terms of collections as being one of the 20 top
performing counties in the state in 2015-16. Larue was also named
Field Office Employee of the Month for October in Kentucky.

After winning the same recognition year after year, it's easy to become complacent. But that's not the case in County Attorney Rebecca Johnson's child support division.

For the eighth consecutive year, the child support specialists in Johnson's office have ranked among the top-performing collection partners in the commonwealth, as determined by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS). This year, it was Pam Larue and Joana Croft who earned the 2015-16 award from Frankfort last week.

"I'm really proud this year," Johnson, who took office in January 2007, said last week of the award earned by her staff.

The winners were announced last month at a conference in Lexington hosted by the CHFS Child Support Enforcement program, which administers child support enforcement jointly with local contracting officials for all 120 counties.

"Child support is part of the foundation that grounds the building blocks of success for children – nutrition, education, health, wellness and security,” CHFS Secretary Audrey Tayse Haynes said.

Johnson's office in its first year won Most Improved for its collections. Since then, they've stayed among the top 20 performing counties statewide and top eight in counties with 1,000 or fewer cases. Livingston County Attorney Billy Riley's office was also recognized in that category this year.

Contracting officials are ranked based on their paternity establishments, the establishment of child support orders, child support collections and past-due collections. Rankings for the 2015-16 fiscal year were made based on number of active cases.

Croft has worked in the office since March. But she can already track down increasing numbers of transient parents in arrears with the best of them, said Larue.

"She's a little investigator," she added.

Croft said the state’s recognition encourages her to know that hard work, no matter your location, is recognized.

As of Friday, Johnson's office had 540 open child support cases they were working.

"Juggling all the cases can be difficult," Croft said.

Work in the office and appearances before the judge in family court can make for some stressful days, particularly when you are regularly dealing with family crises.

"It can be a little disheartening," Larue said. “We want to help the custodial guardian and the (man or woman). We want to make them feel equally treated. Sometimes we can. Sometimes we can."

"It can tug at your heart strings," said Croft. "You often take it home with you."

"Then you have your good days," Larue followed.

At the end of the day, Larue, Croft and Johnson all agree, the hard work, stress and tears are all to help the children caught up in the mix.

"Pam's been a great mentor," Croft said. "She's kept me from wanting to pull my hair out."

Larue returns the compliment to her work partner.

"She's come up with an awesome system on how to keep up with all that's going on," she said of Croft.

Brenda Croft, the former office manager who left a couple of years ago, continues to pop in and offer pointers and get behind the desk from time to time in order to help Joana Croft and Larue, who's just shy of two years on the job.

"Brenda's been really good to us," Johnson said.

"She pinch hits and comes in once a week to check on things," Larue added.

Johnson said the last year has been a particularly tough time in the office. Larue was diagnosed with breast cancer just a month after being hired. She had two surgeries and missed some time and then began radiation treatment for six weeks.

"This was a real transition year for us," she said. "We lost Pam and Brenda in the course of six months."

But Larue fought through her treatments and pain to make her way back to the office. She would walk a mile before traveling every morning to Paducah for radiation and get back to the office in time to work five or six hours.

"It was pretty tough," she said.

For that effort, Larue was named the October Regional Child Support Specialist of the Month for the commonwealth, earning recognition from Frankfort and high praise.

"It was a big surprise to me," Larue said. "It was real morale booster."

Johnson said the office not only survived through the trying times but thrived due to the system that is in place.

"They have very high standards and we try to meet and exceed them," she said of the criteria for yearly recognition.

The county attorney said collecting child support does not just help the children, but makes parents responsible for the financial costs of raising them, drawing less money from taxpayers.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Bus Drivers Wanted

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Bikers, Join Us this Weekend

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This is going to be a hoot! Get a target for your bike and find a bug for the bull's eye. Share this with your motorcycle friends. Proceeds help Drug-Free Coalition.

5th Graders Tour Cancelled for Thursday

The annual downtown tour of Marion's historic sites by local fifth graders has been cancelled for tomorrow. 

Organizers watching the weather forecast say the chance of rain is too great to have the youngsters participate in an outdoor event. 

The downtown tour, sponsored by Marion Main Street, Inc., and others, will be rescheduled for a later date.

Celebrity baggers raise money for cancer research

American Cancer Society Grocers Against Cancer Day will be Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Conrad's Harvest Foods.

Elected officials, business persons and candidates for upcoming elections will be bagging and carrying out groceries for tips for ACS. Conrad's Harvest Foods will also give a donation.

All monies collected will to ACS.

"Come out, check out the grocery baggers and give your donation," said Margaret Gilland, an ACS volunteer.

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

Fall Home Improvement
Find 10 pages of tips for homeowners, prospective home
buyers and local stories on two women downsizing their homes
to around 600 square feet of living space.
All inside this week's issue of The Crittenden Press!

After almost five years since dirt was ceremoniously turned on the project, the first layers of asphalt will start being put down today (Thursday) on a relocated U.S. 641 in Crittenden County. With completion of base cement stabilization on grade and drain work for the 5.2-mile corridor, a contractor for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet can now begin the next round of work with placement of base material and base layers of asphalt for a two-lane surface.

For more on this important story and the following headlines, pick up a copy of this week's issue of The Crittenden Press:
  • WMA dedicates 841 new acres
  • Sick girl’s family hosting pulls to aid children’s charities
  • Tolu benefit raises $15K for Perryman baby’s family
  • Several guilty pleas entered in circuit court
  • Grand jury indicts 5 on variety of charges
  • LIHEAP funding slightly altered
  • Dumping no cost Friday, Saturday
  • Corrected county tax bills mailed
  • Eclipse planning committee disbands
  • Outdoor movie playing at park
  • OPINION: Who now owns our FBI, Justice Department?
  • OPINION: Coal miners keeping faith amid adversity
  • Salem’s oldest bank closing, sending longtime employees into retirement
  • KyTC removing all signs in right-of-way
  • State parks offering veterans discounts
  • Drug Take-Back Day slated for Saturday
  • Agent: Scammers busy during holidays
  • Loggers, mills recognized this week
  • Local bee school set for Oct. 29
  • Farmers to benefit from safety-net
  • Corn harvest near end, yield down
  • FORGOTTEN PASSAGES: CCHS’s 1st graduates hold final reunion
  • SPORTS: Rockets post record numbers vs. Pilots
  • SPORTS: Local club hosts Ryder Cup styled competition
  • SPORTS: Rockets announce new hoops coaches
  • SPORTS: Fall sports roundup
  • Backpack benefit big success
  • Fitness Boot Camp teaches importance of active lifestyle
  • 5th graders tour Marion for civics, history lesson that ends at Fohs Hall

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Area death

Donna Lou Fox, 74, of Marion died Tuesday. Gilbert Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Don't Miss this Fun Opportunity

Plan a Birthday Party or Church Trip
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Monday, October 17, 2016

Free dumping at convenience center Friday, Saturday

Crittenden County will offer free dumping to its residents this weekend at the convenience center off U.S. 60 East. The center will be open 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. As usual, most large items, including furniture and appliances, will be accepted, but disposal of household garbage requires a fee. No dumping of tires or chemicals will be allowed.

Area death

Homer F. Dunkerson, 79, of Burna died Saturday at Salem Springlake. Boyd’s Funeral Directors and Cremations Services is in charge of arrangements.

Local trooper earns regional recognition

Master Trooper Darron Holliman is a homegrown policeman. He was born and raised in Crittenden County, the son of parents whose families had been here for generations. 

He knows the landscape, the backroads and most importantly the people. He understands that there are many shades of gray in this world, but Holliman can boil it all down with far greater contrast.

“You are either part of the problem or part of the solution,” he said.

Holliman, 48, has choses to be on the side of problem-solving and for that he was recently recognized with a multi-county regional award. 

Serving his community and country was the primary reason Holliman went into law enforcement 1997. It is the same reason he joined the U.S. Navy not long after high school.
A few days ago, Holliman was chosen as the Pennyroyal region’s top cop when it comes to state law enforcement’s efforts in crisis intervention, a specialized form of training that commonly involves someone suffering from mental illness.

Kentucky State Police Post 2 Captain Brent White nominated Holliman for the honor because the Marion native had performed responsibly, ethically and professionally during a number of situations.

“Over the past year, he had many incidents where he had to use his crisis intervention team skills,” Captain White said. “There were attempted suicides in his presence and times when individuals were in crisis because maybe they hadn’t taken their medications properly.”

White explained that major depression, schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder are the most common types of mental illness encountered by law enforcement in Kentucky. Holliman, he said, is well trained to deal with those types situations, and others.

Holliman is the longest serving highway trooper at Post 2, headquartered near Madisonville. He joined state police in January of 1999 after serving for six months as Crittenden County’s sheriff. Holliman got his start in law enforcement as a deputy under the late Floyd Andrews, who was then sheriff. When Andrews left that post, Holliman was promoted to the county’s top law enforcement position.

Holliman said he recognized the importance of training as soon as he became involved the profession. State police, he said, offers a broad and detailed training regimen that makes his job come more naturally.

“Training is the key to reacting properly in stressful situations,” he said. 

Although this recent accolade is primarily for dealing with individuals who are in crisis due to mental illness, Holliman says that almost everyone he deals with on a daily basis are in some type of crisis. 

“Even if it’s just a speeding ticket, they are not happy,” he says with a half-hearted smile.
Holliman has devoted a great deal of his life to community service, whether in or out of uniform. After being part of the heralded 1985 Crittenden County High School football state championship team, Holliman played a little college ball at before joining the U.S. Navy and rising to the rank of petty officer first class. After a nine-year stint in the military, he returned home to serve in law enforcement. He has also coached youth softball, basketball and football and served as youth minister at his church.

“I was blessed to have great parents and to live in a great community,” he said. “When I was growing up, the whole community was like family to me. Everyone held us to a higher standard.”

He continues to strive for that higher standard.

Job Opportunities at Hydro-Gear

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Saturday, October 15, 2016

Friday, October 14, 2016

Fun on Tap for the Weekend

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SATURDAY, Oct. 15 near Frances

This is truly a unique opportunity for vintage and contemporary tractors and tractor parts, plus many other items from the Bill Holcomb Collection. This Metzger Auction will start at 10am on Marion Road near Frances, Ky. Online bidding is available on the auction company's web site.

Got to be in it to Win it!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Museum opening and shrimp feast

Area death

George Thomas Rye, 56, of Marion died Tuesday. Myers Funeral Home in Marion is in charge of arrangements.

Conrad's 2 Day Sale starts tomorrow!

2-year-old case haunts authorities

It has been more than two years since burglars broke into Marion Recycling Center and stole thousands of dollars worth of metal.

What has puzzled law enforcement since the September 2014 burglary is that despite great evidence from video cameras in downtown Marion, the criminals have never been caught.

“This one has always troubled me because we couldn’t solve it. And it still does,” said Crittenden County Sheriff Wayne Agent.

Agent lives only a short distance from the recycling center and responded quickly at 2 a.m., when an automatic burglar alarm went off at the facility on U.S. 641 about two miles south of Marion. When the sheriff responded to the scene he found the doors locked and nothing seemingly out of place. He assumed the alarm was accidentally tripped, which is a regular occurrence with many systems. As it turned out, the burglars were either inside at that time or watching from somewhere nearby as the sheriff checked on the facility.

Finding nothing out of place, the sheriff left. Yet an hour later when the owner arrived, it was determined that intruders had gotten away with two large pallets of copper wire.

Investigators believe the burglars used a cutting device to go through the metal wall of the building.
Luckily for investigators, two video surveillance cameras in downtown Marion caught the alleged thieves driving through town with the stolen loot on a flatbed truck.

The videotape was widely distributed, generating a number of calls and tips. However, Sheriff Agent says nothing ever panned out.

“We thought we had pretty good evidence with the video,” he said. “We even asked Kentucky State Police to enhance it, but it didn’t help.”

Agent said anyone with information can call his office at (270) 965-3400 or Marion central dispatching at (270) 965-3500 and remain anonymous. 

Grand Opening Event Saturday

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Ceremony to honor Korean War vets, dedicate cross

On Sunday, Nov. 13, Crittenden County Historical Society and American Legion Post 111 will join together to honor the men of The Forgotten War and dedicate a cross at the Mapleview Cemetery War Memorial to a forgotten local man, Junior Raymond “J.R.” McDowell, who died as a POW in that war. Crittenden County native Gen. Scott A. Campbell will be the featured speaker. The program is tentatively set for 2 p.m.

All local Korean War veterans and their spouses or widows of Korean War veterans are invited to be recognized. If you plan to attend, please email or call Daryl Tabor at 270.704.6402 to register. If possible, we would like a photo and some details about each veteran.

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

After winning the same recognition year after year, it's easy to become complacent. But that's not the case in County Attorney Rebecca Johnson's child support division. For the eighth consecutive year, the child support specialists in Johnson's office have ranked among the top-performing collection partners in the commonwealth, as determined by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

For more on this story and the following headlines, pick up a copy of this week' issue of The Crittenden Press:
  • Council meets to discuss personnel
  • Absentee voting begins Monday
  • Local Dems finally show gain in votes
  • Sheriff recycling ideas in hunt for copper thieves
  • Christmas in Marion: Unlikely source from the farm used in all natural beauty products
  • New Carrsville museum embodies dreams, gifts, community
  • Local cattle wander-lust a problem
  • EDITORIAL: Unnoticed deaths growingly common
  • OPINION: On Nov. 8, ‘None of the Above’
  • OPINION: Your vote will decide future of SCOTUS
  • OPINION: Public Policy exec: What’s wrong with pastors getting political?
  • Turnout low for Community Christmas sign-up
  • Chamber offering outdoor showing of Disney cult classic ‘Hocus Pocus’
  • Centers to offer cancer screening
  • FSA acreage reporting dates loom
  • Sign marks official Work Ready status
  • School district looking for bus drivers with right stuff
  • RELIGION: Bevin’s remarks stir discussion among local pastors
  • Perfect presence honored at CCES
  • IN PICTURES: Schools participate in color runs
  • IN PICTURES: 'Utterly' fantastic Farm Day at CCES
  • Cruise ship murder mystery coming to Heritage
  • Animal shelter holding shoe drive to raise funds
  • SUBMITTED PHOTO Donations to assist with Outdoor Learning Lab
  • FORGOTTEN PASSAGES: Railroad once played critical role in county
  • SPORTS: Second alumni bash will be at Rocket Arena
  • SPORTS: Ballard thumps Rockets, CCHS hosts Fulton Pilots
  • SPORTS: Fall athletics round-up
  • SPORTS: Lady Rockets upset by Lyon in district final
  • Lieutenant governor Role Model of Year

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Real deal on the river ...

Area Deaths

Linda Sue Brown, 72, of Marion died Sunday. Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion is in charge of arrangements.

Jewell Waunita McDowell, 96, of Marion died Monday. Boyd Funeral Directors and Cremation Services in Salem is in charge of arrangements.

Beatrix Joy Ferguson, 85, of Dycusburg, died Friday. Dunn's Funeral Home in Eddyville was in charge of arrangements.

Final Renion of Class of 1952

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Find articles like these weekly in the printed edition of 
The Crittenden Press

Monday, October 10, 2016

Phone system errors at circuit clerk

Crittenden County Circuit Court Clerk is experiencing phone malfunctions today.

Calls are coming into the office, but the clerks are unable to communicate with callers.

Technicians have been notified.

This weekend in Marion

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Friday, October 7, 2016

First coat of pavement this fall

If all goes as planned, there will be at least one layer of asphalt on the new U.S. 641 highway between Marion and Fredonia sometime in November.

At least that is what the top District 1 highway engineer from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet recently told a group of Crittenden County economic development leaders.

Mike McGregor briefed members of Crittenden County Economic Development Corp. (CCEDC) a few days ago on progress for the new road. He said earthwork for tie-ins on the north and south ends of the 5.2-mile section will be among work orders let for bid on Friday.

“This is a huge milestone,” McGregor said. “It’s something we have been working toward for a long while.”

Indeed, the project was first discussed by local leaders in the 1990s and ground was officially broken by then-Gov. Steve Beshear Feb. 17, 2012.

For the rest of this story, see the September 29, 2016 issue of The Crittenden Press printed edition, available online or at The Press office.

Want an outdoor job?

The Second Region – which includes Crittenden and other nearby counties – is needing high school baseball umpires for spring 2017 season. Pay is good. For more information, call assigning secretary for baseball umpires Matt Bell 270-871-6956.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

POSTPONED: 641 milling to disrupt traffic

The milling and paving project along U.S. 641 in Crittenden County scheduled for this week has been postponed. It will be rescheduled at a later date, according to Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spoakesman Keith Todd.

A contractor for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans milling and paving along US 641 in southern Crittenden County starting Thursday.

This project runs along US 641 from the Crittenden-Caldwell County Line to the US 60 intersection in Marion at mile point 7.494.

Milling is expected to start Thursday morning and take about 3 days to complete.  Asphalt paving will follow starting around Monday, October 10th and is expected to be completed in 4 or 5 days, weather permitting.

Motorists should be prepared to encounter one lane traffic with alternating flow controlled by flaggers during daylight hours.  Appropriate caution is required where equipment, flaggers, and construction personnel are along the roadway in close proximity to traffic flow.

Approximately 5,000 vehicles travel this section of US 641 in an average day.

Rogers Group is the prime contractor on this $819,226 highway improvement project.  The target completion date is mid-October.

Now Tony's Main Street Grill

Under New Management - Tony and Rashelle Perryman

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Give Blood to Support CCHS

Crittenden County High School is sponsoring a Blood Drive and Fundraising event Thursday, Oct. 6 from 8:30 a.m., until 4:30 p.m., at Rocket Arena on the CCHS campus.

All blood donors will receive a Power of One T-shirt.

For every pint donated, West Kentucky Regional Blood Center will contribute $5 to the high school.

This event is open to the entire community.

What's news in Crittenden County...

Master Trooper Darron Holliman is a homegrown policeman. He was born and raised in Crittenden County, the son of parents whose families had been here for generations.  He knows the landscape, the backroads and, most importantly, the people. He understands that there are many shades of gray in this world, but Holliman can boil it all down with far greater contrast.

For the rest of this story and the following headlines, pick up a copy of this week's edition of The Crittenden Press:
  • Jackson School Road open, Nunn Switch closes
  • Kenergy residential bills to soon climb by about 20 percent
  • Kenergy’s meter swap wrapped up
  • Burna man dies in truck crash on I-57 in Illinois
  • School district holds ‘Proficient’ designation
  • Uphill battle: Plan would put MS/HS campus on high ground
  • State land not likely available to schools for years
  • Voter registration deadline Tuesday
  • IN PICTURES: CCHS Class of 1961 reunion
  • IN PICTURES: CCHS Class of 1962 reunion
  • IN PICTURES: Pumpkin Festival Car Show
  • IN PICTURES: CCES Fall Festival
  • Wreck turns traffic upside down
  • Reward for Hurricane damage
  • Ky. winter wheat yield record
  • Critical Ky. crops fairing well in 2016
  • Farmers can help projects through fund
  • CCEDC to lead Nov. 2 planning
  • LOCAL OPINION: Challenge to all Americans: Either love your country or leave it
  • LOCAL OPINION: Jaw-dropping call good surprise
  • GUEST OPINION: Time to debunk ‘newspapers are dying’ hypothesis
  • FORGOTTEN PASSAGES: In 1931, businesses plan large merchandise event in fall with scores of values
  • Pie, scarecrow winners announced
  • Time to shop! Christmas in Marion is Oct. 15
  • Homemaker week celebrates service, education
  • IN PICTURES: Flag football, soccer, volleyball, little league football
  • SPORTS: Gilchrist’s state golf bid ends tied for 96th
  • SPORTS: Rockets show strength in first district win at Fulton
  • SPORTS: Fall sports roundup
  • OUTDOORS: Youth hunt this weekend, WMA open to young hunters

Pinkout with Volleyball Girls

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Crittenden County's volleyball team held its Pinkout during last night's game against Trigg County. Although the girls' lost the match, they championed a cure for cancer.

The team poses here with a number of local people who are currently battling cancer or have dealt with it in the past.

The Rocket football team will have its annual Pinkout event Friday as CCHS hosts Ballard Memorial. Kickoff is at 7pm.

Plan Your Family Outing Close to Home!

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