Thursday, August 31, 2017

Emergency management gearing up for Harvey

Kentucky Emergency Management (KyEM) will activate its State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in support of the remnants of Hurricane Harvey that will cross over the Commonwealth later today. The SEOC will activate at 4 p.m. today at a Level 4, which consists of personnel monitoring the weather system.

The remnants will bring periods of widespread, moderate to heavy rainfall Thursday evening through Friday.  Areas that receive multiple rounds of heavy rainfall will likely see some street flooding and rises in area creeks and rivers.  As the center of the low-pressure system moves near southern Kentucky early Friday morning, an isolated tornado is possible.

“By activating our state emergency operations center, we are positioning ourselves forward to respond quickly and efficiently should the need arise," said Michael E. Dossett, director of KyEM. "Our primary mission is to support our county responders and the citizens of the Commonwealth.”

Officials remind citizens to stay tuned to their local media for watches and warnings. Flash flooding will be a threat as the system moves through the Commonwealth.  Do not drive or walk through any flooded areas.  A mere 6 inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult.  It takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away a small car, while 2 feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles

EDC will need $42K for regional partnership

Crittenden County and its neighbors appear to be in the economic development business. Leaders of the new coalition met in Marion last week and agreed to move forward with what, for the time being at least, will be called the Lake Barkley Economic Development Partnership.

Over the coming weeks, it will establish a job description for a paid director and begin searching for that individual, who will likely earn between $60,000 and $75,000, plus benefits. The group figures on having revenue of $140,000 from public and private contributions.

Crittenden County has pledged $42,000. Lyon County is committed to $39,000 and Caldwell County $58,800. The amounts were determined by a formula based on each county’s population.

As it appears now, Crittenden County will have five voting representatives to the partnership. Caldwell will likely have eight and Lyon five.

For now, the group is keeping the same name used by the previous Lyon-Caldwell partnership, hoping its association with the lakes area will provide a unique marketing concept. It will also keep the physical address which is to a post office box in Princeton.

Now that the ball is rolling toward a three-county economic development effort, the question for local leaders is where to come up with the additional funding to pay Crittenden’s share.

Plans are for the Crittenden County Economic Development Corporation (CCEDC) to continue as a viable entity – with its assets of industrial park real estate and the Marion Ed-Tech Center. The CCEDC plans to raise the additional funds it will need to join the Lake Barkley Partnership.

At this point, CCEDC has annual financial obligations of about $35,000, according to information provided during its annual meeting in July.

According to a detailed report made public recently, the group took in investor revenue of $56,650 in its fiscal year ending June 30, with about 70 percent of that funding coming from four major investors – Farmers Bank & Trust Co., Siemens, the City of Marion and Crittenden Fiscal Court. There are some other sources of revenue from rental income, but not much.

The local group will need to raise at least $20,350 in new money to meet its pledged obligations to the collaborative group.

CCEDC owes about $280,000 on property it bought in 2005, hoping to attract industry to land north of town where the Tyson Foods chicken-growing operation was once located. The group paid $300,000 to get 105 acres, but it has only 90 acres left after deeding to the state 15 acres in 2011. The state has yet to pay for the property. The City of Marion has an option on up to 33 acres inside the park for construction of a new sewer plant, which could generate income to pay on the mortgage.

City and county officials had said in previous meetings that additional public funding isn’t likely to support economic development.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Stolen road sign amnesty in September

Crittenden County Fiscal Court is partnering with TipLine and the Crittenden County Attorney’s office to create a comprehensive campaign to stop road sign theft.

Judge-Executive Perry Newcom said the problem has become such a public safety issue that extreme measures must be taken. Since spring, dozens of road signs, including stop signs and other critical guideposts have been stolen or vandalized, costing the county thousands of dollars.

In an attempt to get a handle on the problem, county leaders have agreed to give offenders a one-month amnesty period during September.

“If they have a sign and bring it back, nothing will be said,” Magistrate Curt Buntin said. “After that it’s full prosecution. We have to put some teeth in this to get it stopped.”

During the amnesty period, traffic signs can be dropped off at the county road department's maintenance facility on U.S. 60 East during or after normal business hours. After hours, leave them on the bench in front of the building. They may also be left at Marion Police Department or The Crittenden Press on the loading dock off North College Street at any time 24 hours a day.

After the September amnesty period, there will be up to a $1,000 reward offered for the arrest of those stealing road signs. Everyone found in possession of a traffic sign will be prosecuted, officials say.

Look for posters, awareness programs in the community and a social and traditional media blitz from the county to get its message out about the amnesty program and potential criminal penalties facing those caught in the aftermath.

Magistrates say they’re serious about it and so is County Attorney Rebecca Johnson, whose office is putting up half of the reward money.

Johnson said sign theft is creating potentially dangerous situations and has advised county leaders to replace any stolen traffic sign, especially stop signs, as soon as they are found to be missing.

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

Congressman James Comer visited Marion Tuesday for a town hall meeting.

Great live music, a welcoming atmosphere and gathering of both locals and visitors is what one can expect next month at the Tradewater Music Festival. The first-ever event will take place Friday, Sept. 15 and Saturday, Sept. 16 on the banks of the Tradewater River on the Crittenden-Webster County line. It is expected to draw music lovers from a 10-county area of western Kentucky and beyond.

For more on this story and the following headlines, pick up a copy of this week's issue of The Crittenden Press:
  • Balloting opens for school tax
  • Comer addresses concerns at town hall visit
  • New bank moving toward local branch
  • Harvey remnants could cause local flooding
  • Man with local ties part of Trump trade team
  • Sheriff seeks leads in cattle theft case
  • Church collecting for Texas flood relief
  • PASTOR'S PEN: More than just memorials at stake
  • GUEST OPINION: Slow mail has cost for everyone
  • 10-part ‘The Vietnam War’ premieres Sept. 17 on KET
  • Clothes Closet offers students new clothes without stigma
  • Williams presented top agent hardware
  • Master Cattleman’s classes starting soon
  • Chamber hosting Farm to Table Dinner
  • Optometrist collecting used eclipse glasses
  • Jobless rate, workforce both up
  • FORGOTTEN PASSAGES: County’s Fishtrap community lost to history
  • All public offices closed for Labor Day
  • Mott City landmark is no more
  • Coupons aim to help control pet numbers
  • SPORTS: Rockets’ home opener brings in Trigg
  • SPORTS: White wins Sycamore Hills
  • SPORTS: Fall sports roundup
  • SPORTS: Annual football rivalry game brings out support, awareness for Barnes’ disease
  • OUTDOORS: WMA ready for doves
  • VAUGHT'S VIEWS: Bromley: 7 wins a must for Stoops, ‘Cats
  • Ky. moving to exclusive electronic CDL method
  • FRSYC coordinator native of Crittenden

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Area hospitals talking of combined services

Hospitals in Marion and Salem have begun talks that could eventually lead to formal collaboration.

Crittenden Health Systems (CHS) and Livingston Hospital and Healthcare Services (LHHS) issued a joint statement earlier this month, confirming their plans to further explore the idea.

Directors at each facility have for few years talked in general terms about the potential and need for more cooperation. Over the past few weeks, those discussions have become more formalized and hospital leaders have brought in legal and financial experts to further the talks.

“While this is very preliminary, we are excited about the prospect of opening joint discussions with the hope of strengthening both organizations to better serve their communities,” said Charlie Hunt, board chairman at CHS.

Small rural hospitals are struggling across the nation with lower volumes, less reimbursement and need for additional revenue to keep up with ongoing regulatory requirements and capital
needs. Leaders in Marion are not surprised that there is a movement to seek greater cooperation between the two health care entities that lie about 10 miles apart.

Crittenden County Judge-Executive Perry Newcom applauds the development.

“I think it is the prudent thing to do for both communities given the current state of health care,” Newcom said.

The county judge said the two hospitals have had a great deal of dialogue in the past, but that the “timing may be the best it has ever been for these discussions.”

In its joint news release this week, the groups said, “Crittenden Health System and Livingston Hospital and Healthcare Services, both charitable hospital organizations, have begun exploring opportunities for collaboration. Within the last week, the board of directors of each organization has approved engaging in high-level discussions with the other, and has appointed an ad hoc committee to carry those discussions forward.”

“With all of the uncertainties in Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance, we believe that it’s only prudent for these two small rural hospitals to be talking to each other,” said Barry Chittenden, board chairman for LHHS.

The prepared statement said both hospitals share a common mission, that of providing quality health care to the citizens of their communities.

Monday, August 28, 2017

School tax absentee voting starts Tuesday

Absentee voting for the countywide school tax referendum begins Tuesday.

Voters who will be out of the county on Election Day and unable to cast a ballot in person at their respective polling location between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 12 may vote on the absentee machine set up in County Clerk Carolyn Byford's office. The machine will be available beginning at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Meantime, Tuesday, Sept. 5 is the final day to apply for a paper absentee ballot. The application for a mail-out paper ballot must be received in Byford's office by the close of business that day. Paper ballots are often used by homebound voters or voters out of the country, like members of the military.

The clerk's office will be closed on Labor Day.

In June, Crittenden County Board of Education approved an "equivalent nickel" tax for the purpose of new school construction. Petitioners subsequently acquired enough signatures to send the levy to countywide ballot. The rate increase on 2017 property tax bills, if approved on Sept. 12, would be 5.9 cents per $100 valuation.

Local church hosting Beth Moore simulcast

DNA allegedly links man to McDonald's robbery

Marc Hocking
A DNA match has led to the arrest of a convicted felon on first-degree robbery charges.

Marc Hocking, 30, of Benton, formerly of Marion, was arrested earlier this month for a 2016 armed robbery of McDonald’s employees in the restaurant parking lot.

Marion Police Chief Ray O’Neal said Hocking was served a warrant and taken into custody when he appeared recently for a family court appearance at Crittenden County Courthouse. Hocking was convicted in 2013 on felon drug charges in Crittenden County. He received a five-year sentence.
If found guilty of armed robbery, a Class B felony, Hocking will face 10-20 years in prison.

The police chief said DNA from a pair of dark sunglasses worn by the robber and recovered near the scene by police helped solve the case. Hocking had actually been a suspect in the hours following the alleged robber. He was questioned by police because he was witnessed at McDonald’s later that night wearing clothes that fit the description of the person who allegedly committed the crime.

“He’d come back to pick up a girlfriend who was working at McDonald’s,” the police chief said.

Hocking voluntarily allowed officers to take a DNA swab when he was questioned.

The robbery occurred on April 20, 2016, more than 16 months ago. More than $1,300 was taken in the robbery that occurred just before midnight when an armed man dressed in black robbed two employees at gunpoint while wearing black pants, a black hooded sweatshirt, black gloves and sunglasses.

O’Neal said a backlog of evidence at the state forensic lab often leads to long waits. He said evidence in more violent crimes is usually dealt with first, then cases such as this one.

Second Suspect Charged
Police have charged a second person in their investigation into the 2016 armed robbery of two McDonald’s employees who were held up at gunpoint in the parking lot of the Marion restaurant.
Kayla Elliot-Claycomb, 22, of Marion was served a warrant recently charging her with complicity to first-degree robbery in the April 20, 2016 incident.

Elliot-Claycomb was an employee of McDonald’s at the time and was on duty the night of the robbery, which was allegedly conducted by her then-reputed boyfriend, Marc Hocking, 30, of Benton. Hocking is charged with first-degree robbery after DNA evidence linking him to the crime came back from the state laboratory.

Marion Police Chief Ray O’Neal said investigators believe Elliot-Claycomb had conspired with Hocking by giving him information about how and when the employees leave the restaurant and head to the bank’s night depository with cash receipts.

Elliot-Claycomb was in the McCracken County Jail this when authorities served her with the warrant. She is being held in McCracken on an unrelated charge. Elliot-Claycomb is also a convicted felon from a previous Crittenden County drug case.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Don't Move: Just place your classified ad


Yard Sale?
Need to get rid of some stuff?
Have a car to sell?

Press Classifieds are a sure-bet way to move the items you have for sale and Spring is a great time to think about getting rid of some of that stuff.

Place your ad right from your computer.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Extension meeting Thursday

The Crittenden County Extension District Board will meet at 6:15 p.m., Aug. 31  at the Extension Office on U.S. 60 East in Marion.

CCHS SBDM to meet Tuesday

The August meeting of the Crittenden County High School SBDM will be Tuesday at 4 p.m. in the high school conference room.

New School Balloting will be Sept. 12

Voters across Crittenden County will head to the polls on Tuesday, Sept. 12 to approve or reject an “equivalent nickel” school tax for construction. The ballot question will read as follows:

Are you for or against the Crittenden County Board of Education’s levy of an equivalent tax rate of five (0.05) cents on each one hundred dollars ($100.00) valuation of real and personal tangible property to raise funds that would be dedicated strictly to major renovation of existing school facilities, new construction and debt service?

Voters will be asked if they are “For” or “Against” the tax. A simple majority wins.

The verbiage does not spell out the 5.9-cent per $100 valuation that might be levied on tax bills this year. According to Roy Massey IV, legal counsel for the board of education, the wording is not an attempt by the board to be disingenuous and has been used by other boards of education seeking the tax. The precise levy is not included because the equivalent rate could vary each year of the 20-year life of the bond for a new high school. That rate is set by the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE).

The actual “nickel” rate is greater than 5 cents because of how KDE determines how much money should be generated from the tax base. It calculates how much revenue would be produced by 5 cents per $100 valuation of property and motor vehicles in the county. The district is required to collect enough money from property taxes to transfer that dollar amount into its building fund.

How much will it cost each taxpayer
A county resident who owns a $71,800 home, the median value of a house in Crittenden County according to the U.S. Census Bureau, will pay $42.36 more in school taxes if a 5.9-cent increase is approved at the ballot box Sept. 12. A home valued at $100,000 would cost its owner $59 more; a $50,000 home, half that at $29.50.

However, the homestead exemption for seniors and disabled persons would remove $37,600 from the taxable value of a home, lowering the additional tax burden by $22.18. To qualify for the homestead exemption, a person must be at least 65 years old during the tax period or have been classified as totally disabled by any public or private retirement system.  The property must also be owned, occupied and maintained by the taxpayer as a personal residence on the Jan. 1 assessment date.

The average farmer would pay a little more for his land than the typical homeowner in Crittenden County. An average farmer – median land value and acreage – would pay an additional $55.68. That is based on the average size farm – 251 acres – according to the 2012 Census of Agriculture for Crittenden County and the average taxable value of each acre – $376 – based on soil class. Soil classes in the county carry a tax of between $159.35 and $592.64 per acre.Voting information.

Voter information
The Sept. 12 vote to decide the fate of a school tax levy for construction will take place like most any election in Crittenden County – on a Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at all the usual 12 precinct polling locations.

Voter registration, however, is already closed. By statute, voter rolls must close at least 30 days prior to any election. Anyone not registered or registered with an incorrect address will not be able to vote next month. If you are already registered, then you will be able to vote. There are about 6,700 registered voters in the county according to the July report from the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office.

For those who will not be in the county on election day, absentee voting will be made available both on a machine located inside the county clerk’s office and through paper ballot. Contact County Clerk Carolyn Byford’s office at (270) 965-3403 to see if you qualify or to request a ballot.

Byford said only one voting machine will be used at each precinct, unlike other elections where two varieties are employed. The eScan machines that read a paper ballot marked and inserted by the voter will be the only option on election day next month. The other machines, eSlate, are much larger and more cumbersome to set up. 

On a short window to get the election ready, Byford said using only one machine will move the process along more quickly and should cost less. She estimates the election will cost the board of education around $20,000.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Youth triathlon is off for this year

There will be no youth triathlon held in Marion this year on Labor Day weekend.

Organizers of the event have decided to only host it every other year. Therefore, 2017 will be the off year and plans are to have one in 2018.

Area deaths

Sherry Ann Kinnin, 63, of Marion died Wednesday at her home. Gilbert Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Mary Jean “Jeannie” Hamilton, 61, of Marion died Wednesday. Gilbert Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

This week's newspaper on stands

This week's printed edition of The Crittenden Press is now on newsstands throughout Marion and the immediate area, and en route to subscribers in the mail.

Future plans for the former Shopko building, a stolen traffic sign amnesty program, city council and fiscal court news and eclipse photos and followup are among the informative and entertaining features you will find in this week's newspaper.

To get news from Marion and Crittenden County that you will not find on social media, grab a copy of this week's printed edition of The Press, your hometown newspaper since 1879.

Cattle rustling incident under investigation

Local authorities are trying to solve a cattle rustling caper and need your help.

Sunday night at about 10:30pm, someone allegedly stole nine head of cattle from Riley Livestock (formerly Kentuckiana) on the northern edge of town on U.S. 60 East. The stolen cows average about 480 pounds apiece and are valued at about $6,500.

Crittenden County Sheriff's Department has reviewed video from downtown Marion and they believe the vehicle and trailer involved in alleged theft traveled along Main Street en route to the livestock facility. A white flatbed Dodge truck pulling a livestock trailer was caught on videotape and authorities want to talk to the person driving the vehicle.

If you have seen this vehicle or know anything about the alleged crime, call the Crittenden County Sheriff's Department at (270) 965-3400 or central dispatching at (270) 965-3500.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

School release delayed 15m today

Due to inclement weather, Crittenden County Schools will be letting out 15 minutes later than normal.

School officials believe the storm will have passed through the area by then.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Eclipse brings crowd to Marion, Ky.

Dozens of aircraft brought people to Marion-Crittenden County Airport for Monday’s total eclipse and others motored in from all around the country and across the globe. More than 40 aircraft were in and out of the airport on Monday. Visitors included a photographer who shoots for National Geographic and other magazines. Hundreds of people filled Marion-Crittenden County Park and others found interesting places to watch the solar event. See this week's printed edition of The Crittenden Press for their stories.

See our live videos at

Piney Fork School Road closing for work

Crittenden County road department crews will be repairing base failures on Piney Fork School Road starting Tuesday or Wednesday this week.

The road will be closed to through traffic during the project. It is expected to take about two weeks.

Real Danger: Optometrist urges eclipse caution

Dr. Porter
Just a few seconds of staring at the sun can cause permanent eye damage.

On a normal day, there's little reason to think anyone would look into the sun long enough to harm their eyesight. But today, local residents will join millions of Americans gazing up to catch a glimpse of the Great American Eclipse, the first total solar eclipse to darken the skies above Crittenden County in the lifetime of anyone living here today.

Marion optometrist Dr. Adria Porter warns the dangers from staring directly at the sun at any time without protective eyewear are very real.

"It burns the retina, which will cause you to have blind spots in your vision," Porter explained. "It's not complete blindness, but vision impairment."

Solar retinopathy damages the retina’s light cells at the back of the eyeball, effectively causing "sunburn." Damaged cells effectively burn out, shutting down light receptors and leaving blind spots in a person’s field of vision. Typically, it's straight-ahead sight that is affected, not peripheral vision, Porter said.

An eclipse offers a particular risk. With the sun almost covered Monday during the eclipse, it may be comfortable to stare at the sun and protective reflexes like pupil contraction and blinking are less likely to kick in than on a typical day. So you won't likely notice pain as the damage occurs, but the harm is still being done.

Porter said permanent blind spots could appear as early as Monday evening.

"I expect I will have patients come in over a few days (after the eclipse) who may be worried about their vision," she said. "But hopefully, everyone will view it safely."

She recently treated a patient who has had eclipse blindness since childhood, when he looked directly at the sun during an eclipse without proper protection.

Protection does not mean sunglasses or even welding shields, Porter cautioned. If you're going to look up, eclipse glasses need to be NASA-approved, with “ISO 12312-2” printed on them.

Other so-called eclipse glasses, as well as the recommended versions that may have scratched or wrinkled film, are not considered safe.

Even with the proper gear, Porter suggests looking away every few seconds.

"It's probably a good idea to not watch it continuously," she said. "Just take a little break."

The partial eclipse in Marion begins at 11:55 a.m. Totality arrives at 1:23 p.m. and lasts 2 minutes and 31 seconds. The entire show is over at 2:50 p.m.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Eclipse closing

Click Image to Enlarge

Chamber in the Park SolarFest

Saturday 4 PMMarion City/county ParkMarion, KY
Crittenden County Chamber of Commerce


Inspection to affect Twin Bridges

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Indiana Department of Transportation are planning annual walk-through inspections on jointly-owned Ohio River bridges starting next week. Motorists should be prepared to encounter work zone lane restrictions Tuesday at the U.S. 41 Twin Bridges starting at 10 a.m. for about four hours. Inspectors will make use of the existing work zone on the U.S. 41 Twin Bridges for their walk through inspection with no additional restrictions required.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Emergency management activated for eclipse

Kentucky Emergency Management (KyEM) will activate the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Frankfort and a Regional Response Coordination Center (RRCC) in Hopkinsville in support of the upcoming 2017 Solar Eclipse which will occur on Monday.

The SEOC, in conjunction with the RRCC, will activate on Saturday at 8 a.m. to coordinate local, state, federal and private sector partner operations during the much-anticipated global event. The Eclipse is scheduled to cross 14 states in the U.S., with ground zero running from near Carbondale, Ill., to Hopkinsville.  Hopkinsville will experience a total solar eclipse lasting up to 2 minutes and 40 seconds, one of the longest periods in the U.S.

The RRCC will be staffed with local, state, federal and private sector partners who will track status reports from all critical infrastructure sectors in the region. Should the need arise, the RRCC will be ready to assist with resource requests within the 21 county event area. 

Job opening at PDHD

Click Image to Enlarge

Public health officials urge eclipse safety

Send us your Crittenden County
eclipse pictures for sharing. Email them
The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) is warning the public not to directly look at the upcoming solar eclipse Monday without the proper equipment and techniques.

People from all over the world will converge on the U.S. to witness the eclipse. While the solar eclipse will occur across the continental U.S., those within an estimated 70-mile path labeled “Path of the Total Solar Eclipse” which includes Hopkinsville, Paducah and the Land Between the Lakes will experience a total solar eclipse, lasting up to 2 minutes and 40 seconds. Outside of this path, observers will witness a deep partial eclipse, which will partially block the sun’s light. The last time a total solar eclipse occurred across any part of the contiguous U.S. was in 1979. Following the 2017 solar eclipse, the next total solar eclipse will not be visible over the continental U.S. until April 8, 2024.

“Looking at an eclipse without proper eye protection can cause permanent and irreversible eye damage including blindness”, said Hiram C. Polk, Jr., M.D., commissioner of DPH. “We encourage everyone to enjoy this special celestial event, but urge the public not to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun without special purpose solar filters such as eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers.”

There are several ways to safely view a solar eclipse and avoid permanent eye damage:
  • Eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers that meet the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 12312-2 international standard for eye and face protection products intended for direct observation of the sun may be used. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun.
  • Telescopes with solar filters can also be used. Never look through a telescope without a solar filter on the large end of the scope. Never use small solar filters that attach to the eyepiece as found on some older telescopes.
  • Pinhole projectors and other projection techniques are a safe, indirect viewing technique for observing an image of the sun and can be constructed using paper or cardstock.
Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars or other optical device. Similarly, do not look at the sun through a camera, telescope, binoculars or any other optical device while using your eclipses glasses or handheld solar viewer. The concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury. Seek expert advice before using a solar filter with a camera, telescope, binoculars or any other optical device.

In addition to eye safety measures, the following additional public health safety tips are recommended for people who participate in outdoor activities while viewing the eclipse:
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Increase your normal fluid intake regardless of your activity level. You will need to drink more fluids than your thirst level indicates. This is especially true for people age 65 and older who have a decreased ability to respond to external temperature changes. In addition, avoid drinking beverages containing alcohol, because they will actually cause you to lose more fluid.
  • Wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen. Choose lightweight, light colored, loose fitting clothing. In the hot sun, wear a wide-brimmed hat that will provide shade and keep the head cool. Sunscreen should be SPF 15 or greater and applied 30 minutes before going out into the sun.
State health officials will deploy portable medical tents at an upcoming eclipse event in Hopkinsville to ensure first aid services are available to participants through coordination with local and state agencies. The first aid tents will be staffed by Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteers and public health staff. Public health environmentalists will also inspect food vendors in the region to help prevent foodborne and waterborne illnesses.

Video footage related to eclipse eye safety is available at A video for eclipse eye safety for children is available at Video footage for an eclipse safety kit is available at For more information on safe viewing of eclipses, visit

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Eclipse closings mounting

All courthouse offices, save the judge-executive's, will be closed Monday for the Great American Eclipse. This includes the sheriff's office.

Marion City Hall will be shuttering at noon, and Crittenden County schools have cancelled classes.

Some local businesses will also be closing for the day or for a period during the eclipse.

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

Even before 1800, a ferry was serving travelers crossing the Ohio River between Kentucky and what what would become Cave In Rock, Ill. Fast forward to 2017, and the Cave In Rock Ferry is as vital as ever, offering a direct link for goods and services between two rural communities on opposite sides of the river, a shortcut for commuters and a unique experience for sightseers.

For an in-depth look at the ferry and the following headlines, pick up a copy of this week's issue of The Crittenden Press:
  • Hospitals mull joining efforts
  • School tax vote
  • Eclipse closings now include schools
  • set for Sept. 12
  • Local optometrist: Eclipse blindness very real
  • Shopko building, land bought for $274,000
  • CCEDC wants to move on three-county group
  • Report: CCMS mold spore count ‘elevated’
  • Evidence leads man accused of rape to plea to lesser charge
  • Massey to be county attorney in Caldwell
  • 2 women turn 100 on same day
  • SPORTS: Football, fall sports preview
  • SPORTS: Rocket offense maturing in time for Rebels
  • SPORTS: Purvis, Gilchrist earn state All A golf berths
  • SPORTS: Runners gear up for 3.1-mile fall feature races
  • VAUGHT'S VIEWS: Let’s take a look at UK’s colorful characters

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Country Club Drive reopens

The City of Marion has completed its repair work on Country Club Drive and it is reopened and ready for tomorrow's school traffic.

Crittenden canceling school Monday

Crittenden County School District is canceling classes on Monday due to concerns the administration has with potential issues surrounding the eclipse.

The district had said for about a year that it planned to have school and use it as an educational opportunity. It had even purchased glasses for students to safely view the eclipse.

Several other school districts in the area had announced earlier that they'd be closing. Some Crittenden parents had gone to social media protesting the school being in session.

In the end, Supt. Vince Clark said a number of concerns prompted school officials to decide to close on Monday.

The glasses will be sent home with children on Friday and teachers will be educating students this week about the eclipse.

Comer town hall Thursday at Smithland

Congressman James Comer (R) will host a town hall forum in Smithland at 2pm Thursday. The event will be in the circuit courtroom.

The Congressman has already held town hall events in 23 counties so far this year.

Bright Beginnings Kickoff tomorrow

Click Image to Enlarge

Wireless 911 calls may not work

AT&T has told Marion Police Department and Crittenden County's central dispatching center that wireless calls to E-911 may not go through today due to problems with AT&T's communication system.

Marion Police Chief Ray O'Neal says anyone who dials 911 and does not get an immediate connection should hang up and call the local emergency number (270) 965-3500.

"They tell us that AT&T is working to resolve the issue," O'Neal said.

Woman's Club celebrating 97th year

It started out as a public restroom for women in the early part of the 20th century. Since then, the Woman’s Club of Marion has been an integral part of the community.

The club was honored recently by the Crittenden County Chamber of Commerce, recognized as its Member of the Month.

The Woman’s Club of Marion was an outgrowth of a small literary club, first forming in 1920.  The original club building was built in 1926.

The Woman’s Club Building on East Carlisle Street is used for a number of community activities, perhaps most recognizably as the venue for an annual Cake Auction and Election Day luncheons. The current clubhouse was constructed in the 1950s. Fire had destroyed the original building in 1947 and Ethel Tucker was president when a major fundraising effort was initiated to build the new clubhouse.
“Just like club women before us, we are currently fundraising for the repairs to the building due to water damage from the roof,” said President Nancy Hunt.

In earlier days when women came to town on a horse-drawn buggy, they needed a place to change into more appropriate attire for Saturday shopping and visiting in town.

“So they built the Woman’s Club as a place for them to stop and change into nicer clothes,” said Susan Alexander, a Woman’s Club member and president emeritus of the state federation for women’s clubs.

“And, originally it was a  public restroom for women,” Alexander added.

Hunt said the club has about 26 members. At the highest enrollment, there were almost 70 several years ago. This is the 97th year of the Woman’s Club activity in Marion.

“We will be observing the anniversary of the club in September with a membership recruitment event called Wonder Woman was a Clubwoman,” Hunt said.

In addition to Woman’s Club events, the club can be rented for receptions, showers and reunions.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Help sought to find missing Marion man

UPDATE: Richardson has been located in Cedar Hill, Tenn., about 20 miles east of Clarksville. Although he'd been involved in an automobile accident, he was okay, according to authorities.

Original Post: A 77-year-old Marion man is missing and his family and local authorities are asking for the public’s help to find him.

Jack Richardson of North College Street was last seen early afternoon Saturday driving a gray 2008 four-door Chevrolet Impala license number 448-MBV.

Authorities say Richardson suffers from dementia.

He is described as a white male, 5-foot-11, 165 pounds with gray hair and blue eyes.

If you have seen him, call Marion Police dispatching center at (270) 965-3500.

Health Department job opening

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Friday, August 11, 2017

Applications available for Christmas in Marion

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Football tuneup tonight at Rocket Stadium

QB Hunter Boone
Rocket quarterback Hunter Boone and the Crittenden County football team will provide their first public display of the ariel offense tonight with a scrimmage game at Rocket Arena against Calloway County.

Kickoff is at 6pm.

This is Rocket coach Al Starnes' 27th and final season at the helm of the Rockets.

Library going tobacco free Sept. 1

Crittenden County Public Library will go completely tobacco-free beginning next month.

Tobacco and e-cigarettes were already prohibited inside the facility, but last Thursday, the board of trustees voted to make the entire property, including the grounds, tobacco-free starting Friday, Sept. 1.

The five-member board chose to prohibit smoking and all tobacco outside the building for the health of patrons entering the facility as well as to maintain the cleanliness of the entryway.

Despite an ash tray and smoking urn, cigarette butts have been repeatedly tossed onto the walk or in flowerpots and landscaping near the front doors.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Test results: CCMS mold negligible

The results from an air quality test at Crittenden County Middle School are good news for students and the school district.

According to results from Air Source Technology testing at the school on July 31, the mold detected inside the school was a tiny fraction of that detected outside the building both before and after interior readings. That means, said Superintendent Vince Clark, the school is safe for the start of school next week.

The testing was prompted after a complaint from a parent who said they detected the smell of mold while picking up their child's schedule. The results showed typical amounts of mold spores found inside school buildings during the summer.

Find more on this story in next week's issue of The Crittenden Press.

Click here to download a copy of the mold report. 

School board sets tax election date

Crittenden County Board of Education has set the date for a referendum on a 5.9-cent school tax increase. The countywide special election will be held Tuesday, Sept. 12. The board set the date at a special meeting this evening.

Anyone hoping to weigh in at the ballot box, though, will have to finalize their registration by the close of business tomorrow. Registering to vote or updating registration must be done by 4 p.m. Friday at County Clerk Carolyn Byford's courthouse office or through the state's online portal. Those websites are:
Online registration must be completed by the end of the business day as well.

Anyone who has moved since they last voted must update their registration to be eligible to vote next month. By statute, voter rolls must close new fewer than 30 days prior to an election.

Find more on this story in next week's issue of The Crittenden Press.

Special CD rate at Peoples Bank

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Starting tomorrow

Friday 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-1 p.m. 211 Fords Ferry Rd., Marion. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Marion Baptist having special Back-to-School service

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Shopko building sells at auction

The 17-year-old former Shopko building on Sturgis Road sold today through an internet-based absolute auction. The buyer's name has not been disclosed at this time; however, the selling price is public.

The 36,047-square-foot building sold for a high bid of $274,000. With a 10-percent buyer's premium required by the selling agent, the buyer will pay $301,400 for the structure and 3.7 acres.

Local real estate agent Darrin Tabor of Homestead Realty brokered the purchase. He said the buyer will disclose future plans for the building once the real estate deal is closed. A Sept. 13 closing deadline was advertised as part of the auction, which was conducted by Don Erler Real Estate & Auction of Louisville and

There were a total of 36 bids cast for the property during the online auction that ended today at 12:44pm.

Coincidentally, Tabor also brokered the deal when Shopko/Pamida first purchased the property from individual landowners almost 20 years ago.

Mosley Open House Saturday

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

Work to repair Country Club Drive in Marion continues.

Only a week after a controversial move to dead-end a critical city street, Marion City Council reversed course. On Tuesday, council members voted  4-2 to keep Country Club Drive a through street once repairs are completed at section where the pavement is failing. For more than an hour, councilmen Darrin Tabor and Donnie Arflack led a spirited debate to keep the street closed...

For the full story and the following headlines, pick up a copy of this week's issue of The Crittenden Press:
  • Petition to recall school tax OK’d
  • Glenn’s on Main gets new, local ownership
  • With eclipse just days away, prep key to enjoying
  • Eclipse, Kelly ‘Little Green Men’ incident have local connection
  • Airport expecting eclipse influx
  • Second person charged in 2016 McDonald’s burglary
  • MY 2¢ WORTH: Foresight immeasurable gift
  • SUPER NEWS: School year great time to #bethedifference
  • JUDGE'S JOURNAL: County website will help offer transparency, information
  • IN PICTURES: Scenes from the county fair
  • Crittenden County Fair 4-H Winners
  • VAUGHT'S VIEWS: Willis teaching hoops to his ancestral roots
  • SPORTS: Golfers clip Livingston to gear up for All A Classic
  • SPORTS: Yancy etches name in KHSAA baseball recordbook
  • Originally a public restroom for women, Woman’s Club marking its 97th year
  • DEFEW'S VIEWS: Worm’s life cycle affects catalpa tree
  • Crider attends WKU academic camp
  • Students at middle, high schools to get early starts
  • Ky. organ donor program 25 years old
  • FORGOTTEN PASSAGES: Blackford Camp Meetings stirred soul, community
  • Road sign theft continues to grow

County maintenance work closing roads

Crittenden County's road department will be reopening Seven Springs Road in the southern part of the county after it was closed a few days for repairs.

Red Road will be closed Thursday at the intersection of Seven Springs Road and proceeding one-half mile north. Red Road should be re-opened Tuesday.

Crews will then move to Piney School Road on Aug. 17 and it will be closed for approximately one week. Work at Piney School Road will be at the intersection of SR 506. There will be two cross drains replaced that have failed and causing the road to collapse.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Area Death

James Elmer Perry, 87, of Marion died Monday. Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion is in charge of arrangements.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Area Deaths

Robbie Maxine Tabor, 82, of Marion died Sunday. Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion is in charge of arrangements.

City flushing water system this week

Some Marion water customers may notice some abnormalities from the tap this week, but it is routine according to Utilities Director Brian Thomas.

Thomas said city utility workers are systematically flushing water lines this week across the whole system. Work should begin each day 9 p.m. and conclude in the early morning hours. A slight discoloration of the water or air in the lines might be noticed.

The City of Marion periodically flushes its hydrants to maintain the quality of water. Water main flushing can result in discolored water. These conditions are not harmful and should not last very long. Briefly running the cold water tap may help to clear discolored water.

Places to be this week

Safety first on Eclipse Day!

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Sunday, August 6, 2017

Place your classified from where you sit


Yard Sale?
Need to get rid of some stuff?
Have a car to sell?

Press Classifieds are a sure-bet way to move the items you have for sale and Spring is a great time to think about getting rid of some of that stuff.

Place your ad right from your computer.

A look at school dress codes

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For more Back to School information
See The Press's Special Edition
printed July 27. Copies are still available at our office

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Back to School Information

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For more information on Back to School, see The Press's special edition printed last week. Copies are still available at The Press office in Marion.

Friday, August 4, 2017

City council, school board meet next week for pressing matters

Several pressing matters will be addressed in special meetings next week by the respective bodies of Marion City Council and Crittenden County Board of Education.

On Monday, the board of education will meet to take the next step in the recallable, equivalent nickel school tax increase approved in June for school construction. County Clerk Carolyn Byford plans to deliver the certified petition to recall the 5.9-cent property tax, which aims to put the levy's ultimate fate in the hands of voters. At the 4 p.m. meeting, the board will consider approval of the petition verification by the clerk and also consider approval of ballot language should the five-member elected body choose to move forward with a special election.

The board can challenge the petition verification, opt to forego the tax or schedule the vote for between 35 and 45 days of certification (Sept. 11-21). The board has 15 days to make that decision.

Should they choose to schedule a special countywide election, it would have to be for a Tuesday, according to Byford. That means an election would be either Sept. 12 or 19. However, setting the date for a special election is not on Monday's meeting agenda issued by the board.

The board of education will also set its tax rate for 2017 bills. Last year's rate was 46.3 cents per $100 valuation of real estate. Board Chairman Chris Cook said the tax rate set Monday should not include the additional 5.9 cents.

The following day, Marion City Council will introduce an ordinance setting its 2017 tax rate, but that will take a second reading before it becomes final. Last year's rate was 22.4 cents on real property.

But more pressing on Tuesday will be the matter of Country Club Drive. On the agenda is discussion of plans for the street after a major repair now underway is completed.

Currently, the city street is closed to all through traffic at the site of the repair, which officials hope is completed by the time school is back in session Aug. 16. But the council last week voted to indefinitely dead-end Country Club Drive at Chapel Hill Road following the repair. The hope is to eliminate heavy industrial traffic blamed for the street's continuing demise.

The intent, it appears, is to force the state to take over maintenance of Country Club Drive or alleviate the problems presented at the U.S. 60/U.S. 641 stoplight for large trucks making turns, particularly right-hand turns. If either happens, which would likely be years in the making, Country Club Drive would then be reopened to through traffic, connecting U.S. 60 and U.S. 641 by way of Country Club and Industrial drives, both currently city-maintained.

It is unclear if the council will reverse that decision Tuesday evening. The meeting begins at 5 p.m.

Also on the agenda is appointing Misty Porter to Marion-Crittenden County Park Board.

Downtown restaurant to reopen

Marion restaurant Glenn's on Main has sold.

It was announced yesterday that the restaurant would be closed by owner Glenn Conger as he puts all of his effort into operating his other restaurant the 88 Dip. 

Conger tells us that a new owner will make an announcement next week.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Church putting Faith in Action

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Chamber asks city to reconsider road closing

Crittenden County Chamber of Commerce's board of directors adopted a resolution at its regular meeting this morning in Marion, asking the City Council to reconsider a recent decision to close Country Club Drive to through traffic once repairs are made to the road.

The Chamber's official correspondence to the council reads as follows:

Crittenden County Chamber of Commerce encourages the City of Marion to bring all stakeholders to the table and work to negotiate a long-term solution for Country Club Drive and to reconsider its plan to close one end of a critical thoroughfare in the community that will negatively impact transportation, including school traffic, hospital and EMS traffic, industrial traffic and commerce in general. 

The city council is tentatively set to meet in special session at 5pm Tuesday to further discuss the matter.

Glenn's on Main shuttered for now

Glenn Conger, owner of Glenn's on Main restaurant in downtown Marion, confirmed today that the restaurant is closed.

Conger said he will put all of his energy toward operating his other restaurant, The 88 Dip, on Sturgis Road.

There is a possibility, Conger said, that the downtown restaurant may re-open under new ownership.

"If it works out, it should reopen soon," he said.

Hurricane Camp annual meeting Aug. 18

The annual meeting for The Hurricane Camp Board will be held at 7 p.m., Aug. 18 in the dining hall.

All interested persons are encouraged to attend.

Leadership Breakfast Friday, Aug. 11

Crittenden County Chamber of Commerce and Crittenden County Economic Development Corporation are hosting their second Leadership Breakfast event of the year.

Breakfast will be served beginning at 7am on Friday, Aug. 11. The program will begin at 7:30am.

The program will include State of the Community reports by Judge-Executive Perry Newcom and City Administrator Adam Ledford.

This event is open to the public and will be catered by Conrad's Harvest Foods. Cost is $7 per person.

Please RSVP by Aug. 8 to

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

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

A car drives into the opposite lane Monday to avoid the crumbling pavement on Country Club
Drive. Marion City Council will close the street at this location Friday to make repairs. But
the council plans to keep the road closed indefinitely to through traffic following the repairs.

Just two weeks before school starts, Marion City Council is closing Country Club Drive to through traffic at the site of a major repair of failing pavement. After that, though, the street will remain closed indefinitely at its junction with Chapel Hill Road, raising concerns with public safety and school officials. At a special meeting Monday, the six-person council voted unanimously to declare fixing a failing area of the crumbling city street an emergency...

For the rest of the story and the following headlines, pick up a copy of this week's issue of The Crittenden Press:
  • Tax petition awaits certification; ‘equivalent nickel’ now 5.9 cents
  • ABOUT TOWN: CCEDC facing difficult decisions
  • DNA match leads to arrest in 2016 McDonald’s robbery
  • Barnes crowned Miss Crittenden County; Lions fair concludes Saturday
  • IN PICTURES: Winners of Sunday's fair pageants at Fohs Hall
  • EDITORIAL: Great American Eclipse great day to be in school
  • WRITE NOW: Intern eclipses expectations
  • Eclipse shadow growing nearer
  • Holliman receives send-off for recent KSP retirement
  • New commander at Post 2 named
  • CCHS Mission Launch divided into 2 groups
  • Public library getting new roof
  • Library soon tobacco-free on facility grounds as well
  • Magistrates decline only bid for mineral museum work
  • VAUGHT'S VIEWS: Baity sees better season coming for UK
  • SPORTS: Local cowgirls kick up
  • SPORTS: Rockets tee it up with early action
  • SPORTS: Softball, baseball awards presented at ceremony
  • heels at World event
  • Leadership breakfast slated for Tuesday
  • Ballard man seriously hurt in bike crash
  • Fredonia hosts parade, festival Aug. 11-12
  • Final classes offered for participation in Community Christmas

Vehicle fire threatens Marion home

Marion firefighters were quick to respond to a burning automobile that was parked near a residence on East Carlisle Street Wednesday morning.

The blaze was quickly extinguished when firemen arrived, eliminating the threat the nearby home.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

City plans to close Country Club Drive

The City of Marion has adopted a plan that includes repairing and then closing Country Club Drive to through traffic.

The road will be closed at its current four-way intersection with Chapel Hill Road and Industrial Drive once repairs are made.

There will be no through traffic allowed on the road once repairs begin and after they are completed, based on the council's decision Monday night.

School officials are expressing great concern about the plan, as are others throughout the community.

See this week's printed edition of The Crittenden Press for details. It will be available at newsstands on Wednesday.