Wednesday, November 30, 2016

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

Historian Brenda Underdown will lead Saturday's Christmas parade in Marion.

Brenda Underdown has always kept her finger on the historic pulse of the community. This weekend, she’ll step into the widely celebrated and often unforgettable role as grand marshal of the annual Crittenden County Chamber of Commerce Christmas parade in Marion. Underdown will lead the parade, which starts at 5 p.m. Saturday. It is the second consecutive year the parade will be held at night, a nostalgic piece of trivia that Underdown would certainly find interesting.

For the full story and the following headlines, pick up a copy of this week's issue of The Crittenden Press:
  • Library falls short of grant for expansion
  • New facilities plan gets initial approval from board of ed
  • New tower will better serve rural water customers
  • Burning ban for Crittenden lifted
  • Burglaries reported in area
  • Local man reports rare armadillo confrontation
  • Santa schedules visits to Marion
  • Local couple suffers loss in widespread Gatlinburg fires
  • Final 2016 Ky. crop progress report shows drought effects
  • FORGOTTEN PASSAGES: Old homes part of community’s heritage
  • SPORTS: Dickerson changes roles with ease, knocks down 24
  • SPORTS: Lady Rockets roll in opening win at St. Mary's
  • IN PICTURES: Scenes from Saturday's Alumni basketball game
  • VAUGHT'S VIEWS: Once-in-generation athlete commits to Kentucky
  • Judge Heady attends district judges college
  • PSC releases video on coming Lifeline changes
  • State’s labor force up
  • Local October unemployment rises
  • KyTC ready for battles with winter
  • USDA to issue almost $1.7B in payments for 24M acres
  • KDA seeks proposals for specialty crop grants

Area Death

Doug Millikan, 80, of Princeton died Tuesday. Morgan's Funeral Home in Princeton is in charge of arrangements.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Circuit clerk scaling back hours in 2017

Starting Jan. 1,  Crittenden County Circuit Clerk Melissa Guill will be reducing her office hours. After the first of the new year, the office will be open 9 to 11 a.m. only one Saturday per month. Guill said that will be the first Saturday unless weather or holidays close the courthouse.

“No matter what, the office will be open one Saturday a month,” Guill said in a social media post seeking input from patrons.

Until 2017, the office will remain open 9-11 a.m. each Saturday unless affected by a holiday. It will be closed this Saturday, however, due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Alumni Game Photos

From Saturday's Crittenden vs Livingston Alumni Series


Kentucky grocery prices fall

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After a slight increase in food prices was experienced during the second quarter of 2016, third quarter results returned to declines, according to the latest Kentucky Farm Bureau Marketbasket Survey.

This marks the sixth quarter out of the last seven in which food prices have dropped, denotes the survey which represents the average total cost of 40 basic grocery items. Overall the cost of the items totaled an average of $118.51 as compared to the $120.16 recorded during the second quarter of 2016.

The decrease of 1.39 percent was led by a 9.64 percent decrease in the poultry category which includes the price of eggs. The next largest decline came by way of the beef category which dropped by 2.99 percent.

The largest increases were attributed to pork, which jumped by 3.68 percent followed by fruits and vegetables which were up a 1.04 percent.

The U.S. Consumer Price Index shows a decline in grocery costs across the nation.

Kentucky grocery price changes from previous quarter
  • Ham: up 44 cents per pound
  • Potatoes: up 23 cents per 10 pounds
  • Center cut pork chops: up 28 cents per pound
  • Ribeye steaks: down 61 cents per dozen
  • Cheddar cheese: down 31 cents per pound
  • Red delicious apples: down 31 cents per pound

Alumni games tonight at Rocket Arena

The alumni action at Rocket Arena tonight starts at 5 p.m. between Crittenden and Livingston in the showdown on the basketball court.

Watch former players from both schools go at it once again.

Doors open at 4 p.m. There will be alumni events for cheerleaders and band members.

There will be a memory room so bring your scrapbooks to share.

Cost is just $5.

Today in Marion !

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Friday, November 25, 2016

Area Deaths

Carisa Jill Underdown, 54, of Calvert City died Wednesday. Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion is in charge of arrangements.

Dixie Ann Stanton, 70, of Salem, formerly of Wimauma, Fla., died Wednesday. Boyd Funeral Directors and Cremation Services is in charge of arrangements.

Patricia Jean Cupples, 84, died Wednesday. Boyd Funeral Directors and Cremation Services is in charge of arrangements.

Christmas parade entries still taken

Entries are still being accepted for Marion’s Christmas parade on Saturday, Dec. 3. It will be a nighttime parade beginning after dark. Entry forms can be found on Facebook by searching for “Crittenden County Chamber of Commerce, Marion, KY” or they can be picked up at the Chamber office inside the Marion Welcome Center.

The Chamber is also looking for the ugliest winter or Christmas sweater to be featured in the parade. The winner gets to ride in the parade. To enter, upload your photo to the “Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest” event page on the Chamber’s Facebook page. The sweater with the most likes wins.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Christmas Angel trees up in Marion

Christmas wish lists for children in 64 Crittenden County households are now available at Shopko and Conrad’s Harvest Foods. Community Christmas coordinator Cheryl Burks said the number of families participating is down for the third straight year, following implementation of a three educational/enrichment class requirement for participation in the Christmas charity. Three years ago 151 families were registered to receive food and gifts.

Monetary donations can be taken to Farmers Bank or taken or mailed to the Extension office on U.S. 60 East. Paper products can be taken to Marion Baptist Church through Monday, Dec. 5.

Community Christmas Distribution will be from 9 a.m. to noon, Friday, Dec. 16 at the Carson G. Davison National Guard Armory.

Questions about Community Christmas can be directed to Burks at (270) 965-2248.

‘Kentucky Collectibles’ visits Marion family

Barbara Wheeler of Marion was comfortable shooting inside her shop earlier
this month on East Carlisle Street for the KET series “Kentucky Collectibles.”

FROM THE CRITTENDEN PRESS, NOV. 10
What will be a five-minute television segment on KET in January took two days to shoot recently in Marion.

A crew of five was at Wheeler’s Antiques and Backroads Gallery earlier this month where the cable television series “Kentucky Collectibles” spent several hours videotaping and interviewing local furniture maker Mike Wheeler and his enterprising mother, Barbara. The two local residents make and sell all sorts of hand-crafted items from replica furniture to wreaths and other decor. They also have one of the most fascinating antique collections in western Kentucky.

Casey Harris, who produced the part for Kentucky Educational Television’s regular antique series, said she found Wheeler’s operation online and visited Marion to check it out.

“We’re trying really hard to get out to all areas of the state so we were looking down here in western Kentucky. I came down here last summer to scout it out and see what Wheeler’s Antiques was all about. We were looking for an antique shop that specializes in furniture.”

Two cameramen, a sound technician, on-camera host and Harris drove from Lexington to Marion and spent the afternoon shooting what the industry calls B-footage, still shots of inanimate objects, storefront video and some shots around downtown to show the flavor of the community.

“We saw this was a perfect fit because Mike knows so much about furniture and their craft is excellent,” the producer added.

Barbara Wheeler, 85, grew up in Christian County where she met her late husband Floyd "Rip" Wheeler, who was a game warden. They loved buying and restoring old furniture to sell, and through it all her youngest son got the bug, too. She spun her story for the KET cameras.

“I had five children so it was something I could do at home while raising my children,” she told Kentucky Collectibles host Amy Hess during their on-camera interview.

Hess is a Lexington native who was educated at American Academy of Dramatic Arts in California and did some acting on shows like "90210" and "The Heat of the Night." She does the on-air work for the KET program that centers around an antique appraisal fair that was held in August at Northern Kentucky Convention Center. The whole series, which includes about a half-dozen, half-hour shows, tells Kentucky stories through prized items brought in for evaluation at the KET Appraisal Fair.

To round out each show, the program mixes in features from across Kentucky. Those breakout segments are only six or seven minutes long, but as the Wheelers learned, it takes a while to put it together.

Mike Wheeler, 54, says he doesn’t like being in front of the camera, but you’d never tell it from his interview.

“That was nearly perfect,” Hess told him after the shoot. “I hardly had to ask anything, you just answered it all.”

In his interview, Wheeler discussed a number of interesting pieces of furniture one might find in his shop such as a sugar chest and pie safe that were made anywhere from about 1790 to 1860. His favorite, however, is a wine press which he explained was really a liquor cabinet. They’re very rare and fetch thousands of dollars.

“They’re almost like a Big Foot sighting when you find one,” he told KET. “You think it’s just a legend then one shows up.”

Wheeler said the wooden cabinets were probably made by a well-trained craftsman with the last name of Lamb. Wheeler and his family have documented about 30 of the pieces since 1950. The latest one he’s restored has some names scrawled inside of it – Ellie and Effie Boone and Woodall. Through a little research, he’s found that the Boone sisters were children in the 1870s.

KET’s crew was captivated by Wheeler’s stories – some of which he shared on camera and others behind the scenes. They shot tons of footage for the program and some of it will be archived for later use on antique episodes or other KET programming.

Chamber urges holiday shopping spree in Marion

Crittenden County Chamber of Commerce is encouraging shoppers to keep their business in Marion on the busiest retail spending weekend of the year. Holiday shopping kicks into high gear this week on Black Friday, but Small Business Saturday on the following day is designed to encourage holiday shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses that are small and local.

The Chamber will be whipping up excitement Saturday about local shopping by giving away free coffee and handing out promotional materials from area businesses. Chamber members will be located at Marion Commons outside the tourism office from 9 a.m. until noon.

First observed in 2010, Small Business Saturday, a registered trademark of American Express, is a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which feature big box retail and e-commerce stores respectively.

Chamber encourages Small Business Saturday

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CCHS soccer awards presented

Awards for the Crittenden County High School Soccer team were presented recently. Recognized were (front from left) Macye Shoulders, senior award; Francesca Pierce, varsity mosts goals (24) and senior award; Kiana Nesbitt, most improved and senior award; Bailey Barnes, varsity most saves, most coachable and captain award; Ashley Wheeler, most assists (20) and varsity most versatile; Alexis Tabor, four-year player, captain award and senior award; Emily Tinsley, defense award, four-year player, captain and senior award; (back row) Leah Long, JV most improved; Carmon Guess, JV defense award; Destiny Knight, JV most saves; Allie Geary, JV most coachable, hustle award and most versatile; Jaelyn Duncan, JV most goals (8); Hanna Easley, varsity hustle award. Not pictured, Bristen Holeman and Meredith Evans, senior award.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Burn ban for Crittenden lifted

The burn ban in effect the last 10 days in Crittenden County has been lifted by Judge-Executive Perry Newcom. He issued the order today ending the restriction put in place due to drought conditions.

"The rescinding of this burn ban is a result of recent rainfall and the forecast for the next several days, which also indicates a greater possibility of rain chances and lower temperatures," the proclamation lifting the order read. "I would still encourage all citizens to exercise extreme caution regarding all planned outdoor burning activities."

State burning laws remain in effect. The fall forest fire hazard season continues through Dec. 15, meaning it is illegal to burn within 150 feet of brush- or woodlands between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

A story on the front of The Crittenden Press that hit newsstands today indicates the order is still in effect. At the time the paper went to press, burning was still prohibited. Notification of Newcom's decision to end the restriction was received around 2:30 this afternoon.

Crittenden holiday closings scheduled

All city and state offices will be closed Thursday and Friday in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, and most Crittenden County Courthouse offices will be closed beginning at noon today and remain closed until Monday. The judge-executive’s office, however, will be open all day today.

Meantime, the public library, Extension service, senior center and mineral museum will be closed Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. The library and mineral museum will re-open Saturday.

Crittenden County Convenience Center will be closed Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Federal offices, including the postal service, will be closed Thanksgiving Day only. The mail will be delivered Friday and Saturday.

The Crittenden Press will be closed Thanksgiving Day and Friday.

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

Second-graders share their instruction for cooking at turkey.

The centerpiece of any traditional Thanksgiving meal is, of course, the turkey. Again this year, Crittenden County Elementary School second-graders share their instructions for cooking the bird. Some more non-traditional preparation methods for the customary entree suggested by the 8- and 9-year-olds include stuffing it with mashed potatoes, decorating it with slogans supporting local sports teams or serving it with a side of a variety of cookies.

For children's directions for cooking a Thanksgiving turkey and the following headlines, pick up a copy of this week's issue of The Crittenden Press on newsstands today as normal:
  • Marion council considers sewer plant location
  • Ban on burning remains in effect
  • Board of ed OKs laptop for each MS, HS student
  • Public gets 1st look at new Smithland bridge
  • IN PICTURES: CCMS homecoming courts
  • Yarbrough finalist for top schools chief
  • City utilities director hurt in Friday crash
  • Circuit clerk scaling back hours in 2017
  • Christmas Angel trees up in Marion
  • Friday wreck hurts Murray woman, 20
  • Brooks Legion’s Veteran of the Month
  • Parade dates set in area towns
  • Shelter hosts Santa event
  • Nunn-Switch re-opens to traffic
  • Dental services prevent absences
  • Christmas parade entries still taken
  • OPINION: Thanksgiving is true story of America’s beginning
  • SUBMITTED PHOTO Principal makes good on attendance reward
  • FORGOTTEN PASSAGES: Thanksgivings of long ago much different than today
  • SPORTS: Alumni rematch Saturday at Rocket Arena
  • VAUGHT'S VIEWS: UK basketball recruiting lands blue chips
Also inside this week's paper is the Crittenden County basketball preview:
  • Moss leads Lady Rockets’ district challenge
  • Hodge confident that team will improve as season progresses
  • Team photos and more

Hodges Black Friday Savings

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Area Deaths

Joan Evans Holcomb, 82 of Marion died Tuesday. Myers Funeral Home in Marion is in charge of arrangements.

Former banker Leon Brasher, 90, of Fredonia died Monday. Morgan's Funeral Home in Princeton is in charge of arrangements.

Shop Small at Johnson's

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Alumni Showdown is Saturday

The second ever alumni basketball showdown between Livingston Central and Crittenden County happens this week.

It is a repeat of last year's Crittenden County vs. Livingston Central Alumni Basketball Series. Last time it was as Smithland. This time the games are at Rocket Arena.

The action starts at 5 p.m., Saturday.

Get your tickets in advance at The Crittenden Press or contact Denis or Shannon Hodge to participate in the games.

It costs $5 to watch or $20 to play. Proceeds benefit Rocket and Lady Rocket Basketball.

Monday, November 21, 2016

CCHS Volleyball Awards Presented

Crittenden County’s Lady Rocket volleyball team held its awards ceremony recently. Among those honored were offensive award winners Lily Gardner, Harley Wesley and Madison Champion; defensive award winners Emily West, Ellie Smith, Paige Gilbert; service award winners Cameron Howard, Kyron Hicks and Kaitlyn Hicks; MVPs Cameron Howard, Jada Hayes and Kenlee Perryman; most improved Kyonna Ross and Rocket Award winner Jada Hayes. Pictured are (front from left) Perryman, Champion, Kaitlyn Hicks, Gilbert, (back) Hayes, West, Gardner, Smith and Kyron Hicks.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Woman injured in Friday crash

Kentucky State Police investigated a single-vehicle, injury-collision that occurred on US 60 East of Marion Friday night during heavy rainfall.

The preliminary investigation revealed Kelly N. Schaeffer, 20, of Murray was operating her 1998 Ford Explorer eastbound when the vehicle began to hydroplane off onto the left shoulder of the roadway.  The vehicle left the highway and dropped down into the ditch on the north side causing it to overturn toward the passenger side.  The vehicle rolled down the north ditch where it came to final rest.

The driver was the only occupant and was transported by a passer-by to the Crittenden Hospital for treatment of injuries sustained in the collision.

Crittenden County Rescue Squad and the Marion Police Department assisted with the investigation.

 

Crittenden holiday closings scheduled

All City of Marion and state offices will be closed Thursday and Friday in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, and most Crittenden County Courthouse offices will be closed beginning at noon next Wednesday and remain closed until Monday. The judge-executive’s office, however, will be open all day Wednesday.

Meantime, the public library, Extension service, senior center and mineral museum will be closed Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. The library and mineral museum will re-open Saturday.

Crittenden County Convenience Center will be closed Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Federal offices, including the postal service, will be closed Thanksgiving Day only. The mail will be delivered Friday and Saturday.

The Crittenden Press will be closed Thanksgiving Day and Friday, meaning the deadline for next week’s issue of The Early Bird will be moved up to 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Cabin fire gets out of control

Firefighters from several stations in Livingston and Crittenden counties are battling a wildfire between Burna and Smithland near the rock quarry. The fire apparently started at a cabin where hunters were staying. No other details were immediately available.

Early Bird deadline moved up

The Crittenden Press will be closed Thanksgiving Day and next Friday, meaning the deadline for the Nov. 29 issue of The Early Bird will be moved up to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22.

Students invited to participate in Legion scholarship contest

Area students 20 and under who attend high schools or are home-schooled in the 1st District of the Kentucky American Legion are invited to participate in the 2017 American Legion Oratorical Scholarship Contest with an opportunity to win up to $18,000 in unfettered scholarships.

The 1st District consists of schools/students from Crittenden, Livingston, Lyon, Caldwell and several other western Kentucky counties. The contest will be conducted Sunday, Jan. 22 at the Murray/Calloway County Senior Citizens Center at 2 p.m. The center is located at 607 Poplar St. in Murray.

Contestants will be required to present a prepared oration 8-10 minutes in duration on some aspect of the Constitution of the United States with an emphasis on the duties and obligations of citizens to our government.  Contestants will also be required to speak for 3-5 minutes about an assigned topic that will be drawn from these four Amendments: 7, 10, 16 and 17.

Students interested in competing can obtain complete rules by going to AmericanLegion.org and clicking on “Oratorical Contest.” All students need to either contact their local American Legion Post or email District Coordinator Mark Kennedy at usmc1965@bellsouth.net. Those without email can call Kennedy at (270) 752-3333 to receive a pamphlet by mail.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Area deaths

World War II veteran and local farmer Gilbert Martin Cloyd, 101, died Wednesday. Gilbert Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

June Young Driver Norman, 83, died Wednesday. Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion is in charge of arrangements.

Chamber looking for parade grand marshal

Once again the Chamber of Commerce is looking for candidates to be considered for grand marshal of its Christmas parade slated for 5 p.m. Dec. 3. Names must be submitted to the Chamber by Monday.

The grand marshal title is presented to an individual or group who has consistently made a difference in the community but has not received public recognition for their contributions. Often this will be a person who gets a project completed or makes sure everything is done with little or no self-promoting. Many times, this person or group work on their own time and, generally, are not compensated. They go beyond the normal demands and may also involve service to country or a non-profit or include positions achieved on state, national or international level.

Candidate choices may be mailed to: Crittenden County Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 164, Marion, KY 42064; or email to susan@crittendenchamber.org.

Call the Chamber at (270) 965-5015 for further information.

Meantime, applications for parade entries may be picked up at the Marion Welcome Center.

High winds heighten fire dangers

No-burn order in effect. No outdoor
burning of any type is allowed.
A burning ban remains in effect for Crittenden County and will likely remain so for several days, despite a sure-bet of rain late Friday afternoon. The weather system ushering in the rain brings with it a heightened danger of wildfires.

The cold front approaching Friday will bring with it an increase in south to southwest winds, gusting up to 20 mph. This will combine with hot, dry conditions during the afternoon to produce an elevated risk for wildfires. Fires could spread quickly and potentially burn out of control. Open burns could spread to wooded areas and homes.

The relief from Friday’s rains will be only temporary, as rainfall totals are forecast between only one-third and one-half inch.

There are currently 85 counties with outdoor burning bans in place. Visit the division’s Facebook page at Kentucky Division of Forestry to view a complete list.

“While others are out enjoying the beautiful weather, division firefighters, other state agency personnel and countless local fire department firefighters will be risking their lives to protect Kentucky’s forests, homes and communities,” said Director Bill Steele Jr. “I urge every Kentuckian to do their part in protecting them by not setting any fires.”

Most wildfires in Kentucky are caused by careless debris burning and arson, therefore, the division is urging citizens to report any information about arson to the division or a local law enforcement agency. Other outdoor burning laws to consider include open burning regulations and legal disposal methods.

Revival Saturday at Fohs


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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

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

Zero-burn order enacted
They’re not likely to land a Hollywood casting call or need an agent, but a trio of unlikely participants in local theater defies common perceptions about the dramatic arts. On the surface, Mike Crabtree, Todd Riley and Frank Pierce might seem a bit out of character performing under a spotlight on stage.

For the rest of this story and the following headlines, pick up a copy of this week's issue of The Crittenden Press:
  • Drought conditions lead to countywide burn ban
  • KU seeking rate increase for upgrades
  • Fake $20 bills passed locally
  • Man, 38, pleads guilty to child porn charges
  • Grand jury indicts 9 last week
  • Detention center taking in about $30,000 extra
  • Community honors Korean War vets, dedicates memorial cross
  • Legion hosts Veterans Day service
  • FORGOTTEN PASSAGES: Community news records history of communities
  • Chamber urging city holiday spree
  • Christmas angel trees up Friday
  • Church offering free holiday meal
  • OPINION: Electoral College worth keeping
  • OPINION: 3 ‘V’s of America: Vets, voters, vision
  • OPINION: America too new to understand consequences of presidential elections
  • OPINION: Election 2016 results: How, why God put Trump in oval office
  • Ky. grocery prices fall
  • Bible-based, 12-step program offers healing for participants
  • 4-H organization thankful for volunteers
  • Dine In Dec. 3 promotes family time at the table
  • Ky. set for record soybean harvest
  • CCES Rocket Role Models NAMED
  • SPORTS: Epic meltdown scuttles Rockets playoff run
  • VAUGHT'S VIEWS: Hardin expected to be star for UK women
  • OUTDOORS: Supermoon affects hunting
  • OUTDOORS: Dry weather may not impact waterfowl hunters
  • Smithland bridge plans revealed
  • September jobless rate up in county

Christmas Open House

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Area Death

Former school teacher Harold Wayne Grace, 68, of Marion died Monday. Gilbert Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Now Open, Pleasant Valley Bulk Foods

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Monday, November 14, 2016

Area death

Dortha Helen Cosby Jones, 79, of Marion died Friday. Myers Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Burn ban ordered in county

Crittenden County Judge-Executive Perry Newcom has issued a an executive order this morning declaring a burn ban for the county until further notice.

The ban has been necessitated by the lack of rainfall over the past two months. The ban will be in force until sufficient moisture has been realized, the judge said.

It is particularly important that hunters camping for deer season understand that this ban includes campfires.

Meeting presents options for new Smithland bridge

FROM THE CRITTENDEN PRESS, NOV. 3, 2016
The next step toward a new bridge over the Cumberland River at Smithland will take place this week.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Federal Highway Administration have scheduled a public meeting to discuss the replacement of the U.S. 60 Cumberland River Bridge in Smithland.
KyTC District 1 Chief Engineer Mike McGregor urges anyone having an interest in the project to attend.

“We’ll have displays available to illustrate the design for reconstruction of the Smithland Bridge available for public review and comment,” McGregor said. “This meeting will offer the public an opportunity to discuss the project with our engineering and design staff, as well as with consulting engineers from Stantec.”

The meeting is not for just Livingston County residents, but anyone who may travel across the bridge, which includes many Crittenden Countians on a regular basis for school, work, shopping and doctor visits. It will run from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the KyTC Smithland Section Office at 811 U.S. 60 East. The section office is along U.S. 60 just east of the bridge and east of the Livingston County Fairgrounds entrance.

The Kentucky Legislature included $870,000 in its Road Plan for utilities and right-of-way acquisition. Another $15 million was penciled in for construction in Fiscal Year 2018.
Regardless, a new bridge is still a few years away.

"The main thing is that this will allow us to move ahead with right of way acquisition, which is about a year-long process," said KyTC spokesman Keith Todd. "That would set things up to move ahead once full funding for construction becomes available."

McGregor said participants can provide both written and oral comments at the meeting. Comment sheets will be distributed, and a court stenographer will be available for those who desire to make a written or oral statement.

While McGregor encourages attendance at the meeting, citizens who are unable to attend may submit comments in writing before Nov. 30. Comments may be addressed to Chris Kuntz, Project Development Branch Manager, Department of Highways District 1 Office, 5501 Kentucky Dam Road, Paducah, KY 42003.

The meeting will be an informal format with opportunities to view displays and ask questions. Transportation employees and their consultants will have exhibits at the meeting and will share information with the public concerning the project design and future right-of-way acquisition impact. Materials presented at the public meeting will be available for review at the KyTC District 1 office in Paducah until Nov. 30. Office hours for the District 1 office are 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Comments may also be provided at the time of the visit.

The existing U.S. 60 Cumberland River Bridge at Smithland is also known as the Lucy Jefferson Lewis Memorial Bridge and the Smithland Bridge. The 1,817-foot through-truss structure was opened to traffic in 1931. About 5,100 vehicles cross the bridge in an average day.

Per executive order, KyTC is seeking to engage low-income and minority populations that may be present in the project area. This engagement would facilitate the identification of all potential impacts to underserved populations and the development of a range of minimization and mitigation measures that would serve to offset potential effects.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Rifle Deer Season Opens Saturday

A banquet of acorns set across Mother Nature’s table will have whitetails and hunters alike parked amid the wooded hills and valleys of Crittenden County as modern firearms deer season opens at the crack of dawn tomorrow.

The season runs 16 consecutive days through Sunday, Nov. 27. Hunters are allowed one antlered deer and just about as many antlerless females as they care to harvest – properly licensed, of course.

“White oaks were really heavy this year and we’ve had some good red oaks, too,” said Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist Philip Sharp.

To check in a deer, call  1-800-CHK-GAME.

For more on the season's outlook and the trophy status of local bucks, see this week's printed edition of The Crittenden Press, on sale at area newsstands.

Veterans honored locally

Boy Scouts salute the flag during a ceremony at Mapleview Cemetery.

Crittenden County veterans were honored at two ceremonies this morning. The school district hosted its annual Veterans Day ceremony at Rocket Arena with students and the public in attendance. American Legion Post 111 in Marion also held its annual tribute to veterans with a traditional 11 a.m. service at Mapleview Cemetery war memorial.


Veterans were recognized by military branch at a ceremony at Rocket Arena.

Veterans salute during the playing of "Taps" at Mapleview Cemetery.

Umpires wanted for high school

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.

Get a deer? Here's where to take it


Thank you for your service

Several events to honor veterans in the coming days are scheduled for the area, including two Veterans Day ceremonies Friday in Marion.

The school district will offer its annual program at Rocket Arena beginning at 9 a.m. Friday. It will conclude in time for the 11 a.m. American Legion service at the Mapleview Cemetery war memorial in Marion.

Also on Friday, the American Legion post and its auxiliary in Burna will be hosting a slum supper at 6:30 p.m. for veterans and their guests. The meal is free and will be served at the post.

On Sunday at the Mapleview Cemetery war memorial will be a public ceremony to dedicate a newly-engraved cross to Crittenden County native Junior Raymond “J.R.” McDowell, who was killed in the early days of the Korean War in 1950. All Korean War veterans are encouraged to attend for recognition. Frances native Brig. Gen. Scott A. Campbell will be the featured speaker.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Little League basketball

SIGN UP FOR BOYS/GIRLS LL BASKETBALL SATURDAY
  • Evaluations and practice for BOYS' little league recreational basketball will begin Saturday morning at Rocket Arena for boys in grades K-6. Players in K-2 will begin at 9 a.m., with 3-4 grades starting at 10 a.m., and 5-6 grades at 11 a.m. A league schedule will be available at the workout Saturday. Cost is $20 to participate. Each player will receive a T shirt. Players will be evaluated and some may be selected to play on travel squads. For more information and to keep up with little league information throughout the season, download the Celly app on your smartphone and text 23559 to @littleleaguebb.
  • Registration for GIRLS continues Saturday in the little league basketball and little dribblers programs. Cost is $25 with discounts for multiple children. K-2 should go at 9 a.m., Saturday to CCMS gym and grades 3-6 should show up at 10 a.m.

Level I drought declaration issued for Crittenden, 116 other Ky. counties

The Office of the State Climatologist and the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, in coordination with the Kentucky Drought Mitigation Team, are issuing a Level I drought declaration for 117 counties in Kentucky, including Crittenden County.

A Level I drought indicates moderate to severe drought conditions have developed, primarily affecting soil moisture and vegetative health.  Increasing incidents of wildfires and adverse impacts to agricultural water needs and public water supplies are likely if drought conditions persist.

The public should be aware that drought conditions do exist and if conditions continue they may be asked by their water system to conserve water.  Local community water systems, especially those with drought vulnerable sources, should re-familiarize themselves with their water shortage response plans and local officials should meet to discuss how they will proceed if they do need to ask citizens to conserve water.  Also, water systems should contact the Division of Water immediately if at any time they feel their water supply is getting low.

Kentucky has had only 40 to 75 percent of the normal precipitation over the past 90 days, with the driest conditions occuring in eastern and southern Kentucky.  However, western parts of the state have been the driest over the past 30 days, with some locations receiving less than a tenth of an inch of precipitation during that time.  Boone, Kenton, and Campbell counties have not been included in the drought declaration as those counties have received three to five inches of precipitation over the past 30 days.

Widespread dryness and unseasonably warm temperatures have caused a rash of wildfires that have consumed more than 29,000 acres in the eastern half of the state, as well as a few fires in the west. Six Blackhawk helicopters from the Kentucky National Guard have dropped 306,000 gallons of water on the fires, but new fires have started daily. As of Wednesday, there were 27 fires being managed or monitored. More than 60 counties have issued burn bans as a result of the wildfire activity and drought conditions.

Drought has already had an effect on agriculture operations. Cattle producers have already begun to feed hay, as pastures have suffered due to the lack of rain. Because the spring and summer seasons were wet, hay is neither plentiful or of particularly good quality, putting additional pressure on herds.

Further, crops like winter cover wheat are struggling to get out of the ground or to germinate due to the dry conditions, putting producers at risk for soil erosion over the winter months. Stock ponds are significantly lower than typical for this time of year, which could result in these ponds freezing during the colder winter months.

Statewide, public water supplies are not seriously affected at this point but persistent drought conditions will increase the risk of water shortage conditions, especially for those systems relying on small lakes, small headwater streams and wells located in localized fracture-flow aquifers.

Low water levels in lakes can also lead to deteriorating water quality issues that could make the water difficult to treat. All water systems relying on small lakes, localized aquifers and lesser streams should begin to monitor their water sources on a routine basis and consult their local water shortage response plans for guidance on dealing with potential water shortages.

Short-term forecasts show continued dryness for most of the state. No significant rain is expected for the next week, and widespread light shower activity on Nov. 8 did little to alleviate the situation.

The Kentucky Division of Water will continue to monitor all of the state’s water systems and their sources of supply and notify the public of any changes that may lead to water shortages.

More information about drought declaration criteria can be found in the Kentucky Drought Mitigation and Response Plan at http://water.ky.gov/wa/Documents/State%20Plan_Final.pdf.

Additional information is available at http://eec.kentucky.gov.

Area deaths

Brenda Sue Tabor, 42, of Salem died Wednesday. Boyd Funeral Directors and Cremation Services is in charge of arrangements.

Dana Bliss McDowell, 54, of Eddyvlle died Saturday. Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion is in charge of arrangements.

Mary Lee Coleman, 78, of Marion died Sunday. Boyd Funeral Directors and Cremation Services is in charge of arrangements.

Football at Livingston Central? Maybe

Livingston Central High School will host a student meeting at 4:30 p.m., today at the school library to gauge interest starting a football team. Earlier surveys showed football and bass fishing were among the sports options most attractive among LCHS students.

Livingston currently offers basketball, golf, track, cross country and baseball as sports opportunities for male students.

School officials say that if students want football, the matter will continue to be examined with meetings for parents and the community.

See this week's printed edition of The Crittenden Press for more details on this developing story.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

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

If Kentucky is politically a Red State, then paint Crittenden County crimson. Voters across the nation went to the polls Tuesday to select everything from a President to down-ballot candidates for state and local government as well as ballot propositions. In Kentucky, the GOP wrested away the state House after 95 years of Democratic control. In Crittenden County, voters turned out in droves to choose Republicans across the board and elected two new members to Marion City Council.

For more on the election and the following headlines, pick up a copy of this week's edition of The Crittenden Press:
  • EDITORIAL: With election over, time to put ugliness of it all behind us
  • Shopko liquidating, closing doors in January
  • $31.2M in construction proposed for schools by committee
  • ‘Kentucky Collectibles’ visits Wheelers
  • Rifle hunt for deer opens this weekend
  • CCES honor roll released
  • ABOUT TOWN: Hornets pack a powerful sting, but can they predict weather?
  • OPINION: Remember the service and sacrifice of all Kentuckians who served
  • Veterans events scheduled locally
  • Many offices closed for Veterans Day
  • Chamber promotes Small Business day
  • Contest seeks ugly Christmas sweaters
  • State parks offering Thanksgiving buffet
  • Dental issues at center of recent study
  • Southern Baptists among fastest growers
  • FORGOTTEN PASSAGES: Korean War service saluted for Veterans Day
  • Blue Knights strong after 3 tournaments
  • VAUGHT'S VIEWS: Killeya-Jones better than Calipari realized
  • Drought ups fire risk, hurts pastures
  • OUTDOORS: Lock & Load: Deer season begins Saturday
  • OUTDOORS: Forestry: Hunters’ help ‘deerly’ needed
  • SPORTS: Livingston checking support for HS football
  • SPORTS: Hunt, Boone lift Rockets past Knox
  • FFA youth attend 89th convention
  • Active shooter training held at CCMS
  • Holidays alter distribution dates for local food pantries
  • Grand marshal for Christmas parade sought by Chamber

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Tuesday's Local Election Returns

Small crowd assembled at courthouse
tonight for election returns.
Turnout was extremely heavy in Crittenden County, according to election officials and poll workers.

See The Crittenden Press printed edition - on newsstands Wednesday - for details of local election returns.

ABSENTEE BALLOTS and 5 of 5 precincts reporting

MARION CITY COUNCIL 6 elected PERCENT CITY TOTAL
Jared BYFORD 13.2% 648
Donald ARFLACK 11.3% 555
Dwight SHERER 10.8% 529
Mike HARRIS 5.5% 270
Minnie Lou BROWN 7.8% 381
D'Anna Browning SALLIN 8.8% 432
Michael BYFORD 8.7% 428
Junior MARTIN 8.6% 420
Ricky WINDERS 6.6% 322
Phyllis A. SYKES 11.3% 551
Cletis O. HUNT 7.3% 357


Area death

Jean Highfil, 87, of Marion died Monday. Gilbert Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Allen W. Hosick, 93, of Benton died Sunday. Boyd Funeral Directors and Cremation Services in Salem is in charge of arrangements.

AG warns of scams targeting veterans

As Veterans Day approaches, Attorney General Andy Beshear is warning Kentuckians to be cautious of scams targeting veterans.

According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, there are nearly 330,000 veterans in Kentucky who could be the target of scams.

The scams include calls and emails offering bogus military discounts and soliciting personal military information. Scammers are pretending to be a deploying solider or claim to be a representative from a bogus military charity.

“We owe an incredible debt to those who have fought to defend our freedoms,” Beshear said. “As we prepare to honor those who have served our country on Veterans Day, I want to warn our veterans and military families to be cautious of scammers who do the inconceivable – attempt to defraud them and take advantage of their sacrifice and service.”

Beshear said AARP has issued a nationwide alert to help veterans identify the top scams targeting veterans and military families.
  • Veterans Affairs Impostor Scam – By phone or email, a scammer may claim he or she is from the Department of Veterans Affairs and ask to confirm or update personal military information.
  • Deployment Scam – Con artists may pretend to be a deploying service member who places an online classified ad looking to sell an expensive item right away at a steep discount. The scammer will ask for upfront payment with gift cards or wire transfer and never provide the item.
  • Benefits Buyout Scam – Scammers may target veterans in need of money and offer to pay them cash in exchange for their future disability or pension payments. The cash offered is usually only a small part of the value of the disability or pension benefit.
  • Military Discounted Rent Scam – Fake online real estate classified ads may target veterans by promising military discounted rent. The scammer then takes a veteran’s money through a wire transfer as a security deposit to the “landlord.”
  • Fake Military Charity Scams – Scammers often try to use what sounds like legitimate charities and reference armed forces, veterans or military families to try and swindle Kentuckians.
Beshear offered these tips to help veterans and Kentuckians identify scams:
  • Be suspicious when asked to pay with gift cards or by wire transfer. These payment methods are often used by scammers because they are difficult to track and nearly impossible to recover.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs will never call to update personal financial information over the phone.
  • Donors who are not familiar with a charitable organization and how they use their money can verify what percentage of their income goes to the charity’s purpose on CharityNavigator.org. Additional research tools and resources can be found on the Attorney General’s website.
  • Veterans and their families should only work with VA-accredited representatives regarding their benefits. To find a VA-accredited representative, visit http://www.va.gov/ogc/apps/accreditation/index.asp.
To report a scam contact the Attorney General’s Office at 888-432-9257 and file a complaint online.

Kentuckians are urged to stay up to date on new and trending scams by signing up for Scam Alerts. To enroll text the words KYOAG Scam to GOV311 (468311), or enroll online at ag.ky.gov/scams and select text message or email alert.

In October, Beshear announced Kentucky service members and their families targeted by retailer USA Discounters will share nearly $1 million in restitution from a multistate settlement to resolve claims the company preyed on service members with deceptive trade practices.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Local election results online Tuesday

The Crittenden Press will post local election results here Tuesday night as vote totals are reported at the courthouse.

Seminary Loop Road re-opens

Ky. 1901/Seminary Loop Road has re-opened to traffic in Crittenden County.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Area deaths

Jack Mabry Meadows, 84, of Salem died Friday. Boyd Funeral Directors and Cremation Servers is in charge of local arrangements.

Billy Kesterson, 64, of Salem died Thursday. Boyd Funeral Directors and Cremation Servers was in charge of local arrangements.

Mary Ann Hina Wescott, 42,of Louisville, formerly of Marion, died Wednesday. Whitsell Funeral Home in Sturgis was in charge of arrangements.

Crowded council field highlights down-ballot

FROM THE CRITTENDEN PRESS, OCT. 27
Leaner and meaner.

That's the direction many of the candidates for city council believe Marion should head.

All of the eight men and three women on the only local downticket ballot Nov. 8 favor streamlining city government; none advocate a tax increase of any kind as the answer to the city's problems; and all seem to think it is time for nuisance property owners to clean up their act.

Last month, The Crittenden Press sent a questionnaire to all 11 candidates for the six non-partisan Marion City Council seats asking the same questions on some hot-button issues in the city. And their answers offer a bit of insight as to how each would approach their role as an elected leader over the next two years. (See the Oct. 27 print edition of The Crittenden Press.)

The friendliness of the city and small-town atmosphere is what attracted or kept those running for council here, according to their collective responses. And by running for a seat on city government, they hope to make Marion even more welcoming to residents and businesses.

The five incumbents running offer a combined 53 years of experience in governing the city and stand by the work that's been done under their terms while offering a few changes for the future.

"Any vote that I have cast as a councilman has always been what I thought was in the best interest of the citizens," said Dwight Sherer, a 16-year veteran of the council and current mayor pro-tem.

Darrin Tabor is the only current councilman not seeking re-election.

Of the six challengers, only Mike Harris has spent time on Marion City Council (1998-2000). Despite that lack of combined experience, there is no shortage of answers to issues confronting the city, with greater accountability to the people as a common theme. In August, following former City Administrator Mark Bryant's arrest on drug trafficking and other charges, four of the challengers began regularly attending council meetings, asking for a comprehensive citizens audit of city government.

One of those, Cletis Hunt, whose answers are often critical of the current council, calls for more transparency and responsiveness by the "mayor and city administrator in dealing with (the) city council and citizenry at meetings and programs of the city" as one of his three goals, if elected. Hunt is also a member of a city government audit committee led by resident Linda Schumann.

Bryant was fired by Mayor Mickey Alexander following his arrest and Marion has gotten by with a part-time, pinch-hit city administrator for nearly three months now.

Harris believes a shakeup in city government could help to "restore integrity" and "change the attitude of our city council to ensure our safety, security and way of life."

Full-time mayor
The very position of city administrator has come into question, with at least three current council members and four of the challengers clearly supporting a move to a full-time mayor that would eliminate the position altogether, despite the current council having agreed at Monday's meeting to hire Adam Ledford as the new full-time city administrator.

"I strongly favor this move and have been an advocate of it for some time," said Councilman Donnie Arflack, who believes Bryant in his former position held too much control over city finances and decision-making. "Doing away with the city administrator position will save us a small amount of money, but will give the council more control over spending."

Arflack believes the mayor, as a full-time elected official like the county judge-executive, should be the one to oversee the day-to-day operations of the city. That individual would be held accountable by voters every four years and be more accountable to the six-person council, he believes.

Alexander, a full-time investment broker with Edward Jones in Marion, has said he does not want to be a full-time administrator of city government. He does not think the move is in the best interest of the public, as it is more difficult to remove an elected official from a post than an employee who can be fired for cause.

Arflack says the decision should be made by the new council elected next month and taking office in January. The position of mayor, unlike the council, is elected every four years, and Arflack would like to see the new form of city government begin after the 2018 mayoral election.

Councilman Jared Byford, though, is opposed to the proposed change.

"The city administrator's position is a highly-skilled, technical job, and it would be nearly impossible to be sure a full-time, elected mayor would have the technical background to immediately assume the duties of mayor and city administrator," he said in his survey response.

Housing
Perhaps the largest single concern across the list of candidates is the state of housing in the city. A study a couple of years ago conducted by the city found an extraordinarily high number or rental units, unoccupied homes and nuisance properties that have many around Marion worried about perception and property values.

"I really think this is a major issue in our city," said challenger Phyllis Sykes.

A variety of answers are offered by candidates as to how to begin solving the housing problems, but it could take an overhaul of city ordinances and new approaches by the code enforcement board, planning and zoning commission and the council itself. Code Enforcement Officer Terri Hart has said it will take a commitment of more money from the council to put more teeth into enforcement.

Another area of concern voiced widely across the city is the condition of infrastructure, from pock-marked streets to crumbling sidewalks. Challenger Ricky Winders lists as his top priority installing a sidewalk along Sturgis Road to make travel safer for pedestrians walking along the busy business district. That has been on the city's radar for many years, but no progress has been made.

But financing infrastructure improvements is difficult for a city that has cut staff and programs in order to balance the budget. That's why Winders believes voters "need to elect new people or have old city officials change their way of thinking" in order to find creative means to see the projects through.

Sewer plant
One infrastructure project the city must pursue is a new wastewater treatment plant. The facility has been mandated by the state to replace the current one that has proven to be inadequate during times of heavy use. During downpours, the plant is unable to treat the millions of gallons of combined storm and sewer water flowing through the system, emptying untreated sewage into Rush Creek. If the city does not act on this perhaps $12 million project, they face hefty fines for each future environmental violation.

Finding a place for the new facility is some time off, but will probably be a question the new council has to answer with the advice of engineers. The city currently owns enough acreage off Old Morganfield Road where the Victory Gardens are located, but Industrial Park North has also been proposed as a possible site, though that land would have to be purchased.

"The reason we bought that (Old Morganfield Road) property was for future expansion," said the longest-serving councilman, Mike Byford, who is seeking a 10th term. "The industrial park is not a suitable place for a sewer plant."

Most candidates feel the least expensive route is the answer, but challenger D'Anna Sallin says that cost should not be the only determining factor.

"The location is best determined by the engineering firm hired to make such decisions," she wrote in her survey response, " however, we need to take into consideration the concerns of the neighboring property owners."

To fund or not to fund
Earlier this year, as the current budget was being crafted, some community organizations that had received funding from the city in the past were left out as a cost-savings measure. Pleas brought before the council got most of the funding restored, but raised the question of whether city government should be funding outside organizations over which the it has no control, even if they are for the welfare of citizens.

None of the candidates fully oppose funding programs like the senior citizens center's home-delivered meals program, the drug-free coalition's efforts to address the burgeoning problem locally or Crittenden County Food Bank, which feeds hundreds of people each month. Some suggest reduced participation by the city, while others feel like it's government's role to take care of its people.

"...All forms of government, including city government, share the responsibility of the health, safety and welfare of their citizens," said challenger Minnie Lou Brown, who sees the need in the community regularly as a volunteer with and treasurer of the food bank.

Each candidate in The Press's questionnaire was also asked why the voters should elect them to the next city council. Councilman Junior Martin is running on his record, simply pointing out his efforts to keep city government from dipping further into the pockets of the people it serves.

"For two years as a councilman, I have strived to stay up to date on issues, voted no to raising taxes and voted no to the environmental fee on water bills, which the records show," Martin said.

He was the lone councilman this summer to vote against a property tax increase of a 10th of a penny and was joined by Jared Byford in June in voting against an additional fee placed on city water bills to finance the mandatory wastewater system upgrades.

Other races

President
Five political parties have sent a nominee to the presidential ballot and there is also one independent. Everyone should be aware of Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, but the Libertarian, Green and American Delta parties also have a candidate in the running. There are also 23 write-ins eligible.

Following are the candidates, their running mates and their party:
  • Donald J. Trump/Michael R. Pence, Republican
  • Hillary Rodham Clinton/Timothy Michael Kaine, Democrat
  • Gary Johnson/Bill Weld, Libertarian
  • Rocky Roque De La Fuente/Michael Steinberg, American Delta
  • Jill Stein/Ajamu Baraka, Green
  • Evan McMullin/Nathan Johnson, independent
U.S. Senate
After a failed bid to earn the Republican nomination for President, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul will try to keep his seat in the upper house of Congress. He will face the Democratic Mayor of Lexington, Jim Gray.

Paul is projected to win a second term, which would help the GOP in its bid to maintain its narrow 54-44-2 majority.
  • (R) Rand Paul
  • (D) Jim Gray
  • There are also two write-in candidates
U.S. Representative
Voters in Kentucky's 1st Congressional District, which includes Crittenden, Livingston and Caldwell counties, will vote twice for someone to replace longtime U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield. It may seem tricky, but it's not.

Whitfield, who served almost 22 years and was the first Republican ever elected to the seat, resigned Sept. 6. To fill his unexpired term, there will be a special election, sending the winner of the two-person race to Capitol Hill in a matter of days. To fill the next two-year term that starts in January, the same two men will face-off. It is conceivable, but not likely, that two different congressmen could be elected to one seat on the same ballot.

Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner and candidate for governor James Comer is the favorite, which would help the GOP in its bid to maintain its tenuous 234-201 majority.
  • (R) James R. Comer
  • (D) Samuel L. Gaskins
  • There is also a write-in candidate
State representative
In his bid to win a third term to the Kentucky House, Lynn Bechler, a Crittenden County Republican, is essentially a lock. He is running unopposed on the ballot for the first time in House District 4 – Crittenden, Livingston, Caldwell and a part of Christian County. However, there is a write-in candidate.

Currently, the House is made up of 53 Democrats and 47 Republicans. Democrats have held the House for 95 years, but that stranglehold on the party's only state legislative chamber in the South is precarious due, in part, to the environmental platform pushed by the top of the ticket.

At a March town hall meeting, referring to her party's push to transition to clean energy, Clinton said, “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”

That has made Trump somewhat of a hero in coal country. "The New York real estate developer's anger on the campaign trail matches the mood of many in Appalachia, where job losses associated with the declining coal industry have fueled a backlash against national Democrats that has slowly trickled down to the local level," a recent Associated Press story reported. The same can be said for those dependent upon the coal fields of western Kentucky.

Kentucky is one of only seven states where the legislature is split, as the GOP controls the Senate 27-11. Republicans hold legislative control in 30 of the 49 states with both a house and senate. Nebraska has a unicameral, non-partisan legislature.

Crittenden County
Board of Education
Besides the Marion City Council race, three educational districts will be voting for school board representatives. However, all three will be unopposed. They are Bill Jay Asbridge, Christopher E. Cook and Pam Collins.

Livingston County
Salem Mayor
Two filed to run for the top office in Salem currently held by Stanley Wallace, who is not seeking re-election. The mayor's race is non-partisan.
  • Todd Hansen
  • Rell Peck
Salem City Commission
Like the mayor's race, the election for Salem City Commission is non-partisan. All four incumbents will be re-elected to the four-person city government body.
  • Crystal Belt-Franklin
  • Gary Damron
  • Janet L. Hughes
  • Craig Dossett
Carrsville City Commission
No one filed to appear on the ballot.

Board of education
Voters in the Joy and Burna areas of the county will elect a new member to the board of education. There will be two choices.
  • Joseph K. Smith
  • Kathleen Sullivan Cockrel
Meantime, voters in the Lola and Salem areas will send David Kitchens back to the board. He is unopposed.

Caldwell County
Fredonia City Council
At least two-thirds of Fredonia's six city council members will change after next month's vote. Four current members – Steve Stewart, Glenna Rowland, Hannah Brasher and Denny Brasher – are not running again. Angela Blair and Donnie Boone will keep their seats. There are only five individuals on the ballot.
  • Angela Blair
  • Donnie Boone
  • Melissa "Missy" Faughn
  • Mollie Bennett Tabor
  • Jimmy Don Seibert
Board of education
Bill Clift will be running unopposed in the district that includes Fredonia.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

County's voter registration swings by 1,000

Click to enlarge
FROM THE CRITTENDEN PRESS, OCT. 27
An election, in the end, is simply a game of numbers.

And the numbers in Crittenden County and across Kentucky spell bad news for Democrats. Since President Obama became his party’s nominee in the summer of 2008, the GOP in the commonwealth has grown at a pace nine times that of its counterpart.

Final figures from the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office before next month’s election show Democrats in May 2008 outnumbered Republicans by more than 600,000. But since that time, the GOP has closed the gap by more than 250,000 voters.

Locally, party majority switched back to Republicans a couple of years ago, after almost 40 years with Democrats holding that title. The GOP majority continues to grow, too.

Since Obama won the general election in 2008, Republicans in Crittenden County have added 592 to their ranks while 421 Democrats have jumped ship. That’s a swing of more than 1,000 voters in eight years.

Since October of last year, 10 of the county’s 12 voting precincts added Republicans, while two lost. Marion Precinct No. 3 grew Republican ranks the most – 30 voters. Voters in that territory poll at Marion Baptist Church.

Meantime, 10 precincts saw Democratic numbers fall, one added voters – albeit only three – and another stayed steady. The sole area to gain was Marion Precinct No. 6, which polls at St. William Catholic Church.

Currently in Kentucky, a record 3.3 million residents are registered to vote.

Democrats still maintain a significant majority of 51.2 percent to 40.5 percent over Republicans, despite GOP growth since May 2008 of 284,183 to Democrats’ 31,483.
Republicans in the state, despite the growing unpopularity of the man at the top of their ticket, added 22,700 since the middle of last month.

Third-party and “Other” registrations account for 8.3 percent of the voters in Kentucky.

Final Day! Tag Sale in Marion

Click Image to Enlarge

Friday, November 4, 2016

Daylight saving time ends Sunday

Daylight saving time will end at 2 a.m. on Sunday. Kentuckians will get back the hour of sleep they lost during the spring time change in March.

When going to bed on Saturday night, adjust your clocks back one hour. For example, if going to bed at 11 p.m. Saturday, turn your clocks to 10 p.m. That way, your clocks will be accurate when you awaken Sunday.

Since 2007, daylight saving time begins in most states on the second Sunday of March and ends in November on the first Sunday.

Dec. 21 is the shortest day of the year. Daylight will continue to decrease until that day.

Hear it from the coach's mouth


Seminary Loop Road closed for work Monday

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans to close a section of Ky. 1901/Seminary Loop Road in Crittenden County on Monday.

Ky. 1901 will be closed at mile point 0.6 to allow a cross drain to be replaced.  This closure point is along KY 1901 about a half-mile north of US 60 and just north of the first S curve off US 60.

The roadway at this site is expected to close at approximately 8 a.m. Monday. It is expected to reopen to traffic around 2 p.m. Monday.

There will be no marked detour. Property owners may access the area north of the closure via the Ky. 654 end of Ky. 1901.

This work is scheduled on a weather permitting basis.

Ky. 654 N closed for work Wednesday

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans to close a section of Ky. 654 North in Crittenden County on Wednesday.

Ky. 654 will be closed at the 7 mile marker in the Crittenden County west of Mattoon to allow a cross drain to be replaced.

This closure is along Ky. 654 in the Crittenden County Amish community between Mount Zion Church Road and Rooster Lane. It is about 3 miles west of US 60 in front of Ray’s Small Engine Repair Shop.

The roadway at this site is expected to close at approximately 8 a.m. Wednesday. Ky. 654 is expected to reopen to traffic around 2 p.m. Wednesday.

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

This work is scheduled on a weather permitting basis.

Get in it to Win it...


Rockets host playoff game tonight

For the first time ever, Fort Knox and Crittenden County will meet tonight on the football field. They will open the Class A playoffs at 7 p.m., at Rocket Stadium.

The Eagles (2-8) are the Second District third-seed and visit Marion for the first time led by a 30-year military veteran, Sgt. Maj. Samuel Wilson, who describes his team as athletic but young and inexperienced.

Crittenden County finished the regular season the second seed in the Class A First District with a 2-1 league mark – its only loss was to second-ranked Russellville – and 4-6 overall.

Fort Knox was a major force in Class 2A for several seasons in 1980s and 1990s winning three state championships and finishing runnerup twice. However, over the past decade or so, military draw downs have adversely affected the football program because the school enrollment has dropped to around 300 students in the top four grades.

Coach Wilson says student-athletes tend to play for only a couple of years at Knox before their military families are transferred to another base.

Neither Fort Knox nor Crittenden has a whole lot to brag about with regard to their respective seasons. Although the Rockets have won four games, those defeated opponents have a combined 3-35 record. The Eagles have won two games against teams that haven’t won at all this year – Caverna and Shawnee. Two of the teams Crittenden beat – Todd Central and Fulton County – were winless, too.

Winn Estate Sale: Day 2

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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Chamber Ugly Sweater Contest

Do you have an ugly winter or holiday sweater?

If so, dig out of the closet, pull it on and snap a selfie. 

Then load your photo onto the Chamber of Commerce Ugly Sweater Facebook page.


The sweater that gets the most likes will be the lucky winner. 

Among prizes will be a chance to ride in the Christmas Parade in downtown Marion on Dec. 3.