Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Stolen flood signage creating hazards

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KyTC) is asking for law enforcement assistance to stop the theft and vandalism of Water Over Road, Highway and Road Closed signage marking sections of flooded highways across the region.

Just this week, highway personnel have had to replace signs at several locations multiple times.
The problem has prompted calls from the public complaining that flooded roadways are not marked. However, in most instances crews find signs have been removed or tossed into the ditch.

KyTC spokesperson Keith Todd said removing signage marking flooded areas creates a danger for other motorists and can result in a citation.

“We’ve had calls from the public reporting they’ve seen other motorists stop and throw barricades and signs out of the roadway. We’ve also had reports of motorists driving over signs, barricades, and traffic barrels at some locations,” Todd said. “If you see someone removing or damaging signs placed along flooded sections, please get a license number of the vehicle, take note of the specific location, and report it immediately to your local 911 call center.”

Todd noted that motorists caught damaging or removing signs can be cited for up to a $250 fine, with an additional $50 fine for each sign or traffic control device that is moved.

“Water is no respecter of persons. It doesn’t care if you are old, young, or middle-aged. It doesn’t care if you drive a new car or a well-worn vehicle. If you drive into floodwaters you can very quickly end up in a life-threatening situation. I find it hard to believe some people have so little concern for their neighbors that they would remove critical signage marking flooded sections of our highways,” Todd said.

Some area counties indicated that they’ve had similar issues with people removing and damaging emergency signage on county roads. Todd said it is discouraging for highway crews to spend hours checking the status of highways and marking flooded roadways to help keep the public safe, only to get a call an hour later saying that someone has removed or destroyed signs and barricades.

Many of the roadways closed by floodwaters are in rural areas where there are few people around, so vandals may feel free to steal, move, or destroy signs. Todd urged anyone who sees signs being stolen or damaged to immediately report the activity to police.

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

Flooding in Tolu is close to reaching several homes
This year’s move by Daren and Susie Tinsley to higher ground in order to avoid a rising Ohio River may be their last. And that sentiment is shared by a few others in Tolu and other areas of Crittenden County looking to flee from the effects of last week’s torrent. Four days of steady, sometimes heavy rain dropped several inches of precipitation on the county, washing out roads, closing others due to high water, shutting the Cave In Rock Ferry for an extended period and putting residents along swollen rivers and creeks on high alert for possible devastating flooding.

For more, and the following headlines, pick up a copy of this week's issue of The Crittenden Press:
  • KSP looks into school threat, charges teen
  • Board of education considers school safety
  • EMS being shopped to service providers
  • Who killed Mr. Baseball revealed next week
  • Fohs Hall renovations complete; funds depleted
  • City sewer upgrades staying on schedule
  • Freedom Waste awarded solid waste bid; residential rates to go up $3
  • Crittenden-Livingston Water District upgrading more meters
  • Jail revenue $200K for second straight month
  • All chess divisions state-bound
  • February warm, wettest month since July 2016
  • SPORTS: Crittenden ends 20-year 5th District title drought
  • SPORTS: For first time ever, Lady Rockets get 2nd straight 5th District championship
  • SPORTS: Girls’ season ends in region opener
  • SPORTS: Elementary school basketball district tournament results
  • VAUGHT'S VIEWS: Losing record should not take away from Morris’ season
  • FORGOTTEN PASSAGES: Early attorneys well-respected, successful
  • HOUSE REVIEW: Pension bill offers taxpayers $4.8B savings
  • SENATE REVIEW: Complex pension bill will require intense review

LHHS has job openings

Click Image to Enlarge

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Monday, February 26, 2018

High Water Alert for basketball fans

Crittenden County's girls' basketball team is playing against Hopkinsville at Webster County tonight in the opening round of the Second Region Tournament.

Due to high water, Ky. 120 between Marion and Providence is closed at the county line bridge.

Fans are reminded to seek an alternate route to Dixon. The best might be through Clay.

Crittenden's tips off at 7:30pm tonight.

The Rocket boys play Union County Thursday night at Henderson in the regional tournament.

Squad headed to Bells Mines Road

UPDATE: Rescue personnel have found the man and he is out of the vehicle and appears okay.

Crittenden County Rescue Squad and other emergency responders are headed to Bells Mines Road from where a motorist phoned in to the local 911, telling the dispatcher that his car was stalled in the water and he was getting out to seek safety.

A couple drowned last week in Crooked Creek under similar conditions.

Recent heavy rains have caused creeks and river to swell far beyond their banks with high, swift and dangers waters.

Chamber recognizes Extension Service

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Schools on one-hour delay Monday

Crittenden County Schools will be on a one-hour delay due to flooding on Monday, Feb. 26.

Area death

Dorothy Gilland Crawford, 92, of Smithland died at Livingston Hospital Friday. Boyd Funeral and Cremation Services in Salem is in charge of arrangements.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

'Rosie the Riveter' at Fohs Hall cancelled

The Kentucky Chautauqua "Rosie the Riveter" performance scheduled for Fohs Hall tonight has been rescheduled to April 28 due to the threat of severe weather this evening. The April performance will begin at 7 p.m.

2Region Basketball Pairings announced today

Crittenden's Sawyer Towery guards Lyon's Gabe Board
on Lyon's last-chance trip down the floor during
Thursday's boys' 5th District championship game.
At Henderson County
Henderson vs Lyon, 6pm
Madisonville vs Christian Co., 7:30pm

University Heights vs Hopkins Cent., 6pm
Crittenden vs Union Co., 7:30 pm

Semifinal Rounds

MONDAY, March 5
Championship, 7pm

At Webster County
Webster Co. vs Dawson Springs, 6pm
Crittenden vs Hopkinsville, 7:30pm

Christian Co. vs Livingston, 6pm
Caldwell vs Henderson, 7:30pm

Semifinal Rounds

Championship, 5pm

Murder Mystery comes to Marion March 10

Click Image to Enlarge

Friday, February 23, 2018

Girls make history with 5th District tournament title

Crittenden County's girls basketball team beat Livingston Central – a team it hadn't beaten in two previous attempts this season – in the Fifth District title game Friday night at Rocket Arena.

The 46-23 victory laid stake to back-to-back girls' district tournament championships for the first time ever and completed a first-ever sweep of the Fifth District Tournament. Crittenden's boys beat Lyon Thursday for the crown.

See next week's printed edition of The Crittenden Press for details. 

Area Deaths

Libby Werne, 58, of Marion died Thursday. Whitsell Funeral Home in Morganfield is in charge of arrangements.

Mollie Marie Chambliss, 93, of Salem died Wednesday. Boyd Funeral Directors and Cremation Services in Salem is in charge of arrangements.

Rains lead to state, local state of emergency

The ongoing mid-winter rains have led Crittenden County Judge-Executive Perry Newcom to declare a state of emergency for the county. Likewise, Gov. Matt Bevin has declared a statewide state of emergency.

Significant and damaging rainfall since Feb. 20 has closed several county roads and state highways in Crittenden County due to water over the roadway and felled trees, washed out roads, closed the ferry and swamped the courthouse in leaks.

The local declaration won't have much of an immediate impact of residents, but allows local government to streamline response to emergencies and other ill-effects from the rains. It is also used for any potential FEMA reimbursements in response to the disaster.

Meantime, in response to continued heavy rainfall events dating back to Feb. 9 that have caused widespread flooding and damage to critical infrastructure across Kentucky, the governor this afternoon declared a statewide emergency. The executive order enables state resources to be mobilized and made ready to assist cities and counties should they be needed.

“Monitor the threat of heavy rainfall and flooding alerts through your weather radio and media broadcasts to ensure you have awareness of changing conditions in your area,” said Kentucky Emergency Management Director Michael Dossett. ”Please also be aware of safety concerns for local first responders as they assist citizens in flood-prone areas.”

Bevin has also activated the state’s prohibitions on price gouging, effective immediately, to protect consumers affected by the severe weather system.

Rocket girls playing for district title tonight

The Lady Rockets will play Livingston Central at 7pm in tonight's Girls' Fifth District Tournament championship game at Rocket Arena.

Admission is $6.

Crittenden County is the defending district champion and this will be the girls' fourth-straight trip to the tournament title game.

Grab a Pizza before the Game!

Local student charged following school threat

A Crittenden County student has been charged with terroristic threatening following an alleged remark that he was going to kill everyone at Crittenden County Middle School.

On Thursday, just after classes were dismissed around 3 p.m., Kentucky State Police were contacted by the Marion Police Department in reference to the threat of the school shooting at CCMS

Trooper Joseph Bartolotti, Trooper William Over and Sgt. Zachary Jones responded to the school. A third party student overheard a conversation between two other students. The third party said he overheard a male juvenile telling another juvenile he was going to kill everyone in the school.

The juvenile who made the threatening statement admitted to troopers he said if he was going to kill anyone, it would be the other juvenile. He denied stating he was going to kill everyone in the school.

The juvenile who made the threatening statement was charged for third degree terroristic threatening and persons danger to self/others. He was taken to the Pennyroyal Center for a mental evaluation.

"Charges were filed, and the student making the threat is suspended until the full investigation is complete," a news release from the school district read. "Crittenden County schools make student safety and security its top priority, and we are vigilant to investigate any reported concerns."

There will be more on this story next week in The Crittenden Press.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Rockets break 20-year drought!

Logan Belt makes the go-ahead basket with 12 seconds to go.
Crittenden County's boys' basketball team didn't win a regular-season district game all seasons long and finished dead last in the standings, accepting the fourth seed for the post-season tournament – which it hosted.

Shocking the entire region, Crittenden won two games when it counted most, beating Livingston Central on Monday and Lyon Thursday night in Marion to claim just its third Fifth District basketball championship since Marion and Crittenden consolidated in 1957.

Senior Logan Belt caught a pass from Hunter Boone and banked it in with 12 seconds to play for the go-ahead points in a 52-51 Rocket victory.

The Rockets broke a 20-year drought in the district tournament. It's last title came in 1998.

See next week's printed edition of The Crittenden Press for details. 

Rockets playing to stop 20-year void

Crittenden County will face Lyon County in tonight's Fifth District Basketball Championship at Rocket Arena.

Admission is $6.

Crittenden has not won the district tournament since 1998 and is looking to end that dubious streak on the 20th anniversary of its last championship.

High water to halt ferry service

UPDATE, 1:42 p.m.: The ferry will halt service at 5 p.m. today. The river is not expected to subside to operational levels for several days.

ORIGINAL POST: High water is forcing the Cave In Rock Ferry to close at dark this evening, according to Crittenden County Judge-Executive Perry Newcom. The rising Ohio River is not expected to crest until the middle of next week, so the closure is like to endure for several days.

Rain closes several roads

Several Crittenden County roads are under water following yesterday's rain, and the ferry will likely be closed for several days beginning within the next 48 hours.

According to Judge-Executive Perry Newcom, the following roads are closed as of this morning:
  • Ky. 1917
  • Providence Road
  • Enon Church Road
  • Cool Springs Road
  • Cave Springs Road at the creek crossing at Cave Springs General Baptist Church
  • Kemper Road
  • River Road
  • Elizabethtown Ferry Road
  • Phin Croft Road
“And I’m sure there’ll be more as the week continues the way it sounds,” Newcom said.

Following 1.52 inches of rain Wednesday, heavy more rain is expected beginning tonight through Saturday.

Newcom said Cave In Rock Ferry operator Lonnie Lewis hopes to keep the ferry across the Ohio River operational at least until dusk Friday, but the uncertainty of the rising river could cause operations to halt earlier. The river is not expected to crest until mid-week next week.

The rain has also caused the county road department to spend a portion of today repairing a washout on Piney School Road, and multiple courthouse offices have leaks coming from the ceiling. In fact, County Clerk Carolyn Byford came into her office this morning to standing water in the deed room.

Lawn business accepting customers

Click Image to Enlarge

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

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

The community is grieving the loss of an elderly couple who folks called “salt of the earth.” Wayne Keeling, 86, and Martha Keeling, 82, both of Marion died in a single-vehicle accident last weekend on Fords Ferry Road.

For the full story on this tragedy and the following headlines, pick up this week's issue of The Crittenden Press:
  • Tolu raises $31,000 for local family
  • Skilled trades few in county
  • City moves to end commercial traffic on Country Club Drive
  • Rains could shut ferry, cause areas to see flooding
  • Arflack confirmed to U.S. Marshal post
  • Flu nurse: Not all areas reporting influenza numbers
  • Bechler’s organ donation bill 1st headed to governor’s desk
  • One man’s trash is another student’s treasure
  • MY 2¢ WORTH: Playing victim leads to more victims
  • HOUSE REVIEW: Organ donation bill gets approval
  • SENATE REVIEW: Session passes halfway with little to show
  • VAUGHT'S VIEWS: Book shares insights on ‘78 NCAA title team
  • SPORTS: Rockets pull off 5th upset
  • SPORTS: Rocket girls are back in 5th title game
  • Thompson Burna Veteran of Month
  • FORGOTTEN PASSAGES: Advent of cars prompted new road rules
  • Ex-Livingston deputy circuit clerk punished

Report: Drowning believed cause of death

A preliminary autopsy report has found that Martha and Wayne Keeling of Marion died from drowning after their car crashed into Crooked Creek last weekend.

The elderly couple was found Sunday a few hundred yards downstream from their car which was noticed by a motorist right-side up in the creek about 24 hours after they are believed to have crashed. They apparently survived the initial crash, but were swept away by deep, swift current after exiting the vehicle.

See this week's printed edition for more details on this tragedy.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Ferry likely to close with high water

If you need to make a trip across the Ohio River at the Cave In Rock Ferry, it would be advisable to do it now.

The Ohio River is already up significantly as attested by this photo taken Tuesday morning.

With projected heavy rainfall headed this way, the river is expected to rise quickly this week and crest sometime the middle of next week.

The ferry commonly must close when the river stage reaches 42.5 feet at Shawneetown. It was at 37.1 and rising last night.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Basketball tournament starts tonight

Crittenden County hosts the Fifth District Basketball Tournament, which begins tonight with the Rockets playing Livingston Central.

The tournament will be played at Rocket Arena Monday through Friday of this week.

Couple die in swollen Crooked Creek

Crooked Creek had subsided to lower
water levels by Monday when this picture
was taken. On Saturday it was high
and swift, according to reports.
An elderly Marion couple was found dead in Crooked Creek Sunday night by rescue workers who were dispatched to the scene after a motorist reported finding a vehicle right-side up in the creek.

The investigation is still under way and autopsies are being performed today, but there is speculation that the couple ran off the roadway and into the creek after dark on Saturday.

Their bodies were recovered in the creek about 24 hours later, shortly after a search was deployed downstream.

The victims were identified as Douglas Wayne Keeling, 86, and Martha E. Keeling, 82, both of Marion. The couple is well known in the community. Wayne had been a rural mail carrier for many years.

The couple had apparently been headed toward Marion when their vehicle ran off the bridge, down the embankment (pictured) and into the creek. Because of heavy rainfall, the creek was much deeper and swifter on Saturday evening when the wreck is assumed to have occurred.

See this week's printed edition of The Crittenden Press for further details.

Board seeks candidate for clerk position

Click Image to Enlarge

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Serious accident on Fords Ferry Road

UPDATE 2: The identities of the two have been identified. Wayne and Martha Keeling of Marion were pronounced dead at the scene Sunday night by the coroner.

UPDATE: This was a double fatality involving an elderly couple. No names are being released until notification of next of kin. The accident is believed to have occurred on Saturday and was not noticed until Sunday evening.

Emergency personnel and law enforcement have worked a serious automobile accident at the intersection of Bridwell Loop and Fords Ferry Road.

A vehicle crashed into Crooked Creek.

No details have been released at this time.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Recently remodeled home for sale

Click Image to Enlarge

Area death

James “Herschel” Belt, 81, of Marion died Thursday. Gilbert Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Marriage Conference Saturday

Click Image to Enlarge

Wind closes Cave in Rock Ferry

Due to high winds Thursday, the Cave In Rock Ferry stopped service at 2:30pm.

When winds subside in the morning, the ferry should re-open.

School text no cause alarm

Superintendent of School Vince Clark said a text message sent to parents today requesting permission to accept text messages from the school system is no reason for alarm, and appears to be a glitch in the application that sends such messages.

The following message explaining the error has been posted on the school district's website:
"Parents and Rocket Community please note that today a message was sent from Crittenden County Schools through our School Messenger System requesting your permission to accept Text Messages as a form of communication. This system was supposed to be activated on March 1 so we are contacting School Messenger to find out why some parents, students and staff were contacted today making this request.  We apologize for this inconvenience and realize the timing of this alert is concerning but want you to know there is no reason for concern as we are on a normal schedule today.  This feature would allow us to use Text to enhance our communication with parents, students and staff.  You are welcome to activate this feature if you would like to receive text messages from your school and school system or you can wait until March 1."

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

V-Day Special: A match made on the 'Net

By MIMI BYRNS, The Crittenden Press

The Internet has changed the way people communicate, form meaningful relationships and even fall in love and get married. Not even in her wildest dreams did Ann Moore, a first-grade teacher at Crittenden County Elementary School, imagine Christian Mingle would be the way she would meet her husband Matt. But, love has its own way of conquering all, and surprisingly to everyone – even to the ones involved – to work out perfectly.

"I am a very conservative, old-fashioned girl. So the general idea of online dating was so weird to me," said Moore. "Also, you hear of so many bad experiences, so I was nervous about that as well."

It all started several years ago. While sitting in her dorm room at Murray State University, she received a surprising email informing her she had just joined Christian Mingle, an online dating site for meeting a partner of shared Christian faith. Thinking it was a cleverly planned joke by her roommate, Moore didn't take this message seriously and continued with her daily activities.

"I did not sign up," she remembers. "Fast forward a couple days, and I had a notification that someone had tried to contact me. I was shocked and still amused at the idea of the site. I was not about to pay for a dating site so I couldn't read his message.

"I was still curious, though, and had to check the guy out. I went to his profile and saw the cheesiest grin that made me smile from ear to ear. I was intrigued, so I read more. He sounded like a super sweet guy."

A day or so later, while studying with a friend, she received another message, but this time, Matt put his phone number in the subject line, which opened the door for Ann to contact him if she wanted to. She remembers being very excited and nervous at the same time, wondering whether she should text him or not.

"I went for it and texted him, and we hit it off right away," she said. "After a couple of weeks talking and texting, we finally wanted to meet.

"Now, I was a nervous wreck about this, excited but nervous! We met in Eddyville at Oasis, and he drove us to Olive Garden in Paducah, which now is one of our favorites. On the drive to Paducah it was such an odd feeling to be sitting in the car with someone I had never met and only talked to. My stomach was in knots and my hands were damp from nerves. But as the night went on, we talked and talked and had such a great time.

"It was so easy and natural to converse with him from the beginning."
Matt, originally from Paducah, had just moved into an apartment and out on his own. He kept feeling a tug from God that he should try out Christian Mingle. He decided to go for it and sign up. He works at Siemens in Marion but little did he know, that is where his future wife had been living all of her life.

"It was a true God thing because my account was created around the same time he joined," Ann said. "He said my picture kept popping up, and he was intrigued. He knew he wanted to message me, so he paid the $24.99 membership."

"We have an inside joke that he paid only $24.99 for his wife," laughs Ann.

She is convinced God has put the pieces together for her and her husband to meet. Before they met, they had both been praying God to send them the right person to spend their life with. Matt chose Christian Mingle because he hoped to find a Christ-like woman and felt it was the right thing to do at that time in his life... This article originally appeared in The Crittenden Press Feb. 8, 2018 issue. To read it in its entirety, grab a copy at The Crittenden Press office.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Crittenden joins economic development partnership

Crittenden, Caldwell and Lyon counties have officially partnered for a regional economic development strategy. With the assistance of the Pennyrile Area Development District, the tri-county pact became effective late last month. The new partnership venture is named Lake Barkley Partnership for Economic Development.

Crittenden County Economic Development Corp. (CCEDC), according to a news release from CCEDC Chairman Terry Bunnell, will continue to operate as its own entity to address the needs of Crittenden County, but will also support funding and participation for economic development in the region.  

“The vision is to ensure the county and area (are) improving and moving forward in all aspects of economic development,” Bunnell said in the release. “The partnership will enable the CCEDC to use resources wisely and prudently to represent the area.”

During the first consolidated board meeting of the regional partnership, the following executive committee was formed:

- Chairman Tim Capps: Par 4 Plastics President, Crittenden County.
- Vice Chairman Jeff McDaniels: Farmers Bank (Princeton) President/CEO, Caldwell County.
- Treasurer Bob Hayes: Caldwell County.
- Secretary D’Anna Sallin: Siemens Rail Automation Corp., Crittenden County.
- Wade White, Lyon County Judge Executive.
- Brent Bugg, Fredonia Valley Bank President, Caldwell County.
- Perry Newcom, Crittenden County Judge Executive.
- Princeton Mayor Danny Beavers, Caldwell County.
- Princeton Attorney Todd Wetzel, Caldwell County.

In addition to Capps, Sallin and Newcom, other board members from Crittenden County include Chris Cook, Farmers Bank & Trust Co. Executive Vice President; and Adam Ledford, Marion City Administrator.

The partnership will represent 29,825 residents within its three counties with a projected annual budget of $140,000.

“CCEDC believes that the partnership will allow the pooling of resources, and working together is the most fiscally responsible approach as we attempt to maintain competitiveness for jobs in the region,” said Bunnell.

Mexico Wild Game dinner this weekend

Click Image to Enlarge

Kemper benefit Saturday

Click Image to Enlarge

Monday, February 12, 2018

Area death

Bonnie Lee McClure Apodaca, 51, of Marion died Wednesday, Feb. 7. Gilbert Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Local students score high at competition

Click Image to Enlarge

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Area death

Dan LaRue, 88 of Mayfield, formerly of Salem, died Saturday. He was a longtime Livingston County educator. Boyd Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements.

Crittenden County Chamber recognition

Click Image to Enlarge 

These berries are awesome!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Friday, February 9, 2018

Area deaths

Vicki Taylor, 54, of Ledbetter died Monday. Boyd Funeral Directors and Cremation Services was in charge of arrangements.

Veronica Gilland, 68, of Sturgis died Thursday. Boyd Funeral Directors and Cremation Services in Salem is in charge of arrangements.

Scammers have sheriff's number

Crittenden County Sheriff Wayne Agent wants to alert the public to a possible scam that could have pirated his office phone number.

Agent said he has received a complaint from a local citizen who took a phone call soliciting personal information. Agent said the caller was alleging to try to help the local resident avoid tax penalties.

The phone number that appeared on the Caller ID was (270) 965-3400. That is especially alarming, Agent said, because that is the phone number to the sheriff’s department at the courthouse.

“We are not allowing our number to be used to solicit anything,” the sheriff said.

If you receive a similar call or any call where the sheriff’s number appears in Caller ID, he would like to know about it.

The sheriff said an investigation has been opened into this matter.

LHHS employment opportunities

Click Image to Enlarge

Lorenzen visits Family Fitness Night

Click Image to Enlarge

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Murder Mystery Breaking News

Start Following the Clues to be Ahead in the Game
to Solve the Chamber's Murder Mystery March 9.

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

The Internet has changed the way people communicate, form meaningful relationships and even fall in love and get married. Not even in her wildest dreams did Ann Moore, a first-grade teacher at Crittenden County Elementary School, imagine Christian Mingle would be the way she would meet her husband Matt. But, love has its own way of conquering all, and surprisingly to everyone – even to the ones involved – to work out perfectly.

Read the rest of the story and the following headlines in this week's issue of The Crittenden Press:
  • Crittenden instances of student misbehavior relatively low
  • Preschool screening appointments taken
  • Tolu rallies again to help one of its own
  • Outdoor fire limits start next Thursday
  • Flu has killed more than 100 in Kentucky
  • Local woman seriously injured in wreck
  • Lorenzen brings weight loss journey to Crittenden Schools
  • 2018 basketball homecoming king, queen crowned
  • Winter yielding high energy bills
  • MY 2¢ WORTH: Breadwinners tired of breadlines
  • SENATE REVIEW: Governor’s budget proposal 'train wreck’
  • HOUSE REVEIW: Financial bills pass House
  • CHS receives three stars from measure
  • Kentucky grocery prices continue dip
  • K3, K8, K12 chess teams win 1st
  • VAUGHT'S VIEWS: Olympics ‘icing on cake’ for UK cheerleaders
  • SPORTS: Flipping district leaves Rockets up in air STAFF REPORT
  • SPORTS: Champ’s big night is just not enough
  • OUTDOORS: Brown earns fishing berth in Nation, angling toward bid in Bassmasters
  • FORGOTTEN PASSAGES: Marion businesses flourished in 1894

Plus find our For the Love of Pets special, including:
  • Coping with passing of pet not easy
  • What’s in a name? Bella, Max, Lucy favorites for both dogs, cats
  • Dogs in more homes, but cats outnumber canines
  • Track 2017 Crittenden County Animal Shelter activity

Roads in northern part of county treacherous

For those who are forced to venture out onto the roads this morning, be especially careful in the northeast section of Crittenden County.

There have been a couple of accidents on US 60 E near Sullivan and Ky. 365 toward Sturgis.

Roads in that area are icy and slick.

From all accounts, the southern part of the county is not as bad, but there are slick spots on overpasses, bridges and where water has run into the roadways.

PACS public transportation in Crittenden County was delayed until 8 a.m., today with safety discretion after that. Anyone needing to cancel their transportation can call 270-498-9332 and leave a message.

No school today

No school in Crittenden County today, Wednesday, Feb. 4. It will be an NTI day (Rocket Way Snow Day #4.).

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Area Death

Margaret Tinsley, 66, of Salem died Tuesday. Gilbert Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Weather cancels tonight's hoops action

The Rockets and Lady Rockets were each scheduled to play on the road tonight – the boys at Caldwell and girls at Webster County. However, due to the anticipated icy weather, those games are cancelled.

No makeup date was immediately announced.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Seminary Loop Road work rescheduled

Due to a forecast of rain,  Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KyTC) plans to close a section of Ky.1901/Seminary Loop Road near the Mattoon Community in Crittenden County has been moved to Friday. It was originally slated for Wednesday.

Ky. 1901 will be closed to through traffic at mile-point 1.4 near the Mattoon community to allow a cross drain to be replaced. This is along Ky. 1901 about halfway between U.S. 60 and Ky. 654 North near the Pleasant View Greenhouse.

Ky. 1901 will close at approximately 7:30 a.m. Firday. The roadway at this site is expected to reopen to traffic around 2:30 p.m.

There will be no marked detour. However, local residents will have access from each end of Ky. 1901.

This project is scheduled on a weather permitting basis.

Approximately 60 vehicles travel this section of Ky. 1901 in an average day.

Marion's Branch Market President

Click Image to Enlarge

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Crittenden Springs Road closing for work

A contractor for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans to close a section of Ky. 1668/Crittenden Springs Road in Crittenden County next Thursday.

Ky. 1668 will be closed to through traffic at mile-point 2.2 to make base repairs.  This is along Ky. 1668 between the Rogers Group quarry entrance and the intersection with Ky. 2123/Glendale Church Road.

The road will close at approximately 7:30 a.m. next Thursday. It is expected to reopen to traffic by about 2:30 p.m.

There will be no marked detour. Local residents may access Ky. 1668 from the U.S. 60 end or via Ky. 2123/Glendale Church Road or Ky. 135.

This project is scheduled on a weather permitting basis.

Approximately 300 vehicles travel this section of Ky. 1668 in an average day.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Area Death

Paul Stinnett, 72, of Dycusburg died Friday. Lakeland Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Eddyville is in charge of arrangements.

The Amish: 40 years in Crittenden County

Copyright/The Crittenden Press

Forty winters have come and gone since a handful of Amish men and their families migrated to rural Crittenden County.

They initially settled on an 1,800-acre tract of property that had one small clapboard house, then systematically populated a greater portion of the landscape in the northern section of the county.
Today, John Detweiler says that by his count, there are more than 30 Amish homes on that original farm where the Christian group’s settlement began in December 1977.

This article first appeared in the Feb. 1, 2018
issue of The Crittenden Press printed edition.
For a printed copy, contact us at (270) 965-3191.
Detweiler, 90, peers through a set of strikingly blue eyes centered beneath his long white locks and a snowy beard and tells how things have changed over the last four decades of Amish occupation in the area of the county near Mattoon.

“There’s not much farming being done here anymore,” said Detwiler.

These days, many of the working age men are carpenters, loggers, mill operators, cabinet makers, butchers, grocers or producers of fruit, flowers and berries. The days of each household raising a few acres of corn and hay are about gone.

The community has, in some ways, evolved into a cottage economy of retail services and goods that serves the greater Crittenden County area, and it has also blossomed from about a half-dozen families to almost 100.

Faith a constantThrough it all, there’s one thing that has remained constant. Their faith.

The Amish – although they worship in a similar manner as other Christian denominations – do not build brick and mortar churches in which to congregate on Sundays. Instead, their faith is the church, and they meet regularly in the homes of members. Attendance is compulsory unless there’s ample reason for missing Sunday services.

The Amish community in Crittenden County is divided into four church districts and each is served by a bishop, two ministers and one deacon. Every Sunday there are worship services at two different homes, generally, for about three hours, ending around noon.

The host families typically move out all of the furniture and replace it with pew-like benches to accommodate churchgoers. Oftentimes, a family will have a large shed or outbuilding more spacious and suitable for such a gathering. Funerals sometimes attract 500 to 600 people.

Detweiler was bishop for almost 30 years until 2008 when he passed the mantle to a younger man.

Home away from homeSimon Beachy, a minister in one of the districts, was one of the very first men to arrive in Kentucky. He came in the fall of 1977 from Pennsylvania.

“I thought we’d come south, but we got snowed in the first winter,” said the soft-spoken man who describes himself as a farmer.

At age 79, he’s among the last of the earliest men to bring their families here. Elmer and Jonas Yoder were early migrants. They both passed away in the last few months. The two were known far and wide in the broader community. Elmer was a farmer who raised beef cattle, operated a sewing shop and made baskets. Jonas operated an offset printing shop in the community.

Click to to visit Online
William Cramer was a carpenter who came here with the original group. His wife died soon thereafter, the first Amish death after the families had moved to Crittenden County. He died several years ago and his son-in-law, Jacob Stutzman, who was also among the earliest arrivals, moved to Ohio years ago. He’s still living there. Samuel Hertzler came to Crittenden County in the early wave of migration, too, but he is no longer living.

Hertzler and Detweiler came to Kentucky from South America where land, at the time, was even less expensive than Kentucky.

“We purchased some for $2.50 an acre and the rest was $7 an acre,” Detweiler said about Paraguay, a country in central South America below the equator where the climate is very hot. Property became so expensive in Pennsylvania it made expansion of the Amish community there difficult.

He remembers making some inquiries in the 1970s about the type of land available in Kentucky. He wrote a letter to his friend, Elmer Yoder, who was already here. Detweiler said he was told that the land was rolling, but when he got here, he found it a bit more hilly and perhaps more suitable to cattle farming than row cropping.

“I’d still like to be out there on the farm with the horses, churning the dirt,” he said. “Nowadays, about all I can do is look at it.”

Although he walks with two canes to urge along a couple of bad knees, Detweiler still can be found in his harness shop; however, he says there’s a whole lot of competition in the market.

The community has two saddle shops, a second harness shop and many more hand-crafted artisans who have found new ways to make a living beyond farming.

Settling inStretching from U.S. 60 East to Ky. 91 North, the Amish community is 13 miles in diameter and includes almost 500 or more people. There are five schools – Twin Oaks, Daniel’s Ridge, Happy Hollow, Crooked Creek and Meadow Ridge. The teachers are homegrown, and on warm days, you might catch one taking students to a nearby home where they sing a song to brighten someone’s day. They are taught to speak fluent German in their schools.

Most of the families who have settled here have Delaware roots. Beachy grew up there, and he and his wife Sarah moved to Pennsylvania to begin raising their family. After a short period, they decided to head further south in hope of finding a longer growing season.

Marion Welcome Center has maps, information and
personal assistance available to help you find the Amish

and other attractions in Marion, Kentucky.
Those first few winters were rough. In fact, the winter of 1977-78 was the snowiest on record in western Kentucky.

“But we enjoyed them because we didn’t have so many chores to do,” said Beachy, who was troubled by a nagging cough last week as he talked about those early days. “We didn’t have any frozen water pipes.”

Before long, their homes had running water, but they’ve never had electricity. They heat with wood and light their homes with kerosene lamps or Naptha lights. They power refrigerators and stoves with kerosene, too. In earlier years, they purchased 100-pound blocks of ice in Morganfield to keep their food cool.

It's a simple lifeThe Amish have come to embrace some power tools that run off compressed air, and they use heavy equipment likes tractors, usually on metal or hard rubber tires. Those types of wheels slow down the vehicles and make them impracticable for any type of general transportation. They move around mostly in horse-drawn buggies, but you see many walking, and the kids ride skates on paved roads.
“It’s a simple life,” said Beachy.

And that’s the way they like it. Tourists and curiosity-seekers bring commerce to the community, but it has its pitfalls. Sometimes, the traffic can be a little vexing.

When they get sick, home and natural remedies are common treatment. However, they do see doctors in town and take prescription medication when warranted. There are no doctors in the Amish community, but there are providers for massage treatments and plenty of places to get herbs and vitamins.

There are three groceries and a farm store in the community. There’s little reason for a family to venture into town, but most do from time to time.

“I’d prefer to take my horse into to town,” said Detweiler, “but I’m getting too old for that stuff. Now we get a ride. We were there yesterday, but it had been six weeks, I guess, since the last time.”

Good neighborsThe broader community has been largely receptive to the Amish. Former county magistrate Helen McConnell, whose late husband was a magistrate before her, has developed strong relationships with her neighbors, the Amish. She lives on the same road as many of them just west of the tiny village of Mattoon. The Amish, she said, have taken many farms that were grown over and out of production and made them into something again.

“They’ve cleaned a lot of these places up and done a whole lot for the countryside,” McConnell said.
She calls the Amish caring neighbors who are quick to lend a hand.

“They dress a little different, but they’re really good people. I have never heard anyone fussing about them.”

She said the children walk by her house every morning going to school about 30 minutes before the big yellow buses start rolling by to collect children heading into town for their public education.

“I live in two worlds out here,” she says with a laugh. “I see their world go by my house, then I see my world go by. There’s a big difference,” McConnell said. “Their children are all very well behaved.”

Accepted and respectedTrouble very rarely spills from the Amish community. They tend to take care of behavioral matters either within the family or within the church.

“Their discipline seems to be a little tougher than ours a lot of the times,” said David Travis, who also lives nearby and has served the county in various capacities, including emergency management director. He knows many of the Amish by name, knows where they live and, to a great extent, their family trees.

He and McConnell both say the Amish are among first responders in times of crises. When a tornado ripped through the area about 10 years ago, they provided meals for those cleaning up the debris and helped make repairs to damaged property.

Travis doesn’t think most people in Marion realize the vast number of tourists attracted to the Amish community for cultural tourism and shopping.

“During certain tourists seasons, it’s a solid line of traffic in front of my house,” he said. “They come by the bus loads. A lot of church buses go by.”

Travis was a teenager when the Amish first moved to the area. Over the years, he’s developed strong bonds with some, and so has his son.

“They’re accepted, and they’re respected. And that respect goes both ways. They want a good rapport with the outside world,” Travis said.

There is a good bit of misinformation about the Amish. They pay taxes – including the local school tax – on their property and sales tax on goods sold at their shops. They are not registered to vote in government elections, and their schools are not regulated by the Commonwealth of the Kentucky.

There are indeed many differences in their ways when compared to mainstream culture, and that simplicity of life is arguably as instrumental to their faith as is the church.

“They’re people just like we are, they just live a little differently,” McConnell said.

Visit Marion Welcome Center
On Main Street next to City Hall and Police Dept. 

Friday, February 2, 2018

Bookmobiles part of Kentucky landscape

Hardly able to climb aboard without the help of an adult, Denise Guess’ preschoolers at Crittenden County Elementary School know their way around the bookmobile when their short gate gets them up the final step.

“They sure love their books,” said Susan Smith, bookmobile librarian with Crittenden County Public Library (CCPL).

That kind of enthusiasm has helped keep the largest fleet of bookmobiles in the nation operating in rural Kentucky, delivering books to people who often can’t get to county-seat libraries.

Supporters say bookmobiles play an important role in promoting reading at all ages, but especially among children, helping them do better in school. But it’s not just the children served by the mobile libraries.

“I get to run the gamut from Headstart to 90-plus years old,” Smith said of her patrons, most of whom are homebound adults.

In the most recent national count in 2014, 75 Kentucky counties had traditional bookmobiles, said Michael Swendrowski, a board member with the Association of Bookmobiles & Outreach Services.

The next closest states were Ohio and California with just more than 50 each, he said. Several states reported having only a handful of bookmobiles — six in Texas, for instance, three in Kansas and two in Oklahoma.

Health problems keep people homebound. Many people don’t have a car to get to a public library that can be as far as 18 miles away from the far reaches of Crittenden County, and there is little public transportation in much of the state. Work schedules often don’t match library hours.
Smith said she has patrons with a variety of health issues, including a woman in her 90s who is legally blind. She relies on audio and large print books for enjoyment. Another, a man who suffered a debilitating stroke, looks forward to a new science-fiction title each visit from the bookmobile.

The bookmobile doesn’t run every day, but it makes its way around the county on a regular schedule, returning every two weeks. Smith visits the county’s preschool children and daycares, which are her busiest stops. Daycare kids account for as many as 50 checkouts per visit. And Smith invites home daycares and home-schools to join her route.

To Order Call (270) 965-7070
She goes to the nursing home and the senior center, and even makes a regular stop at the post office in Dycusburg for area residents.

Summer visits to homes help keep kids reading while school is out, countering the “summer slide” in reading skills.

If the weather is good enough for school to be in session, the bookmobile will go just about anywhere a delivery truck can make it up a drive. It does not stop at every house, but rather where people have requested service.

Smith would like to expand her rounds... For more of this article, which first appeared in the Jan. 25, 2018 printed edition of The Crittenden Press, is available in its entirety from archived issues of that paper. You can get one at The Crittenden Press newspaper office in Marion.