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Meade County Messenger Year in Review - 2006


Following a marathon session to iron out last-minute concerns, the Meade County/Brandenburg Industrial Development Authority and Meade County Fiscal Court entered into an agreement with Arch Chemicals to purchase 551 acres of property for the sum of $6 million. The Industrial Development Authority will begin marketing it to businesses interested in the area.

Signing the agreement for the 551-acre industrial park

Meade County loses a legend: James Ralph Watts died Dec. 27, 2005, at home. He was 88. He served as Meade County attorney for 36 years and trial commissioner for 17 years.

Rash of break-ins solved with two arrests. Meade County Deputy Sheriff Jim Crigler didn’t know when he started writing up a series of reports on vehicle break-ins in Doe Valley that the trail would lead to the two responsible for a rash of church and school break-ins over the last few months.

Meade County was well-represented during the annual Kentucky Association of Fairs and Horse Shows Convention in Louisville Jan. 12-16. Louie LaTondress, Meade County Fair Person of the Year, was named Kentucky Fair Person of the Year. “It’s just an honor to be recognized by the state when there are other fairs that are having people who are working as hard as we are to support their fair,” said LaTondress.


The Flaherty branch of First Federal Savings Bank was robbed Feb. 13 about 1 p.m., but the suspect was apprehended shortly thereafter.

For the first time in the team’s seven-year history, the Meade County High School swim team will have swimmers competing at the state level. The men’s 200-yard medley relay team will advance to the Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s 2006 State Swimming and Diving Meet Feb. 17-18.


11th District champions! Both the Lady Wave and Greenwave basketball teams were victorious in their bids for district championships with the Lady Waves swatting the Hancock County Hornets 57-40 and the Greenwaves trouncing the Breckinridge County Tigers 50-46.

The Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD) recently announced that the Meade County Riverport Authority would receive $206,000 in funding from the Community Economic Growth Grant program to complete the 1.16-mile access road to the riverport.

Lee Richardson was named Meade County Fair Person of the Year.

Kentucky Fair Person of the Year Louie Latondress and Army

After back-to-back wins at the CANAM International Cheer and Dance Competition in Myrtle Beach, S.C., the question loomed large for the Meade County High School varsity squad: Could they make it a three-peat? That question was answered with a resounding “yes!” when they brought home the prize for the third time.

Members from the Meade County High School and Battletown Elementary School archery teams traveled to Louisville March 16 for the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) state and national tournament. Courtney Campbell, a sophomore at MCHS, was state and national overall winner in the co-sanctioned event, shooting for a total of 290 points out of a possible 300. Ashlyn Mills, a 5th-grader at Battletown Elementary School, placed second in both the state and national elementary girls’ divisions with a total score of 252 points out of a possible 300.


During the month of March, several representatives from Meade County attended BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) road shows held around the nation. The road show was coordinated by Fort Knox and One Knox, which is a group designed to facilitate planning for growth associated with Fort Knox’s realignment. Its current emphasis is to provide potential newcomers to Fort Knox with information about the areas surrounding the military post.

The Meade County Riverport Authority met April 4, but what was to have been a business meeting became a casual discussion for lack of a quorum. George Hager, who had faithfully served the Riverport Authority, died unexpectedly last month, and his absence was sharply felt. “I miss that man,” said chairman Don Bewley.

Timi Michelle LaTondress, Guston, has been named to the executive committee of the SADD National Student Leadership Council for the 2006-2007 school year.

What’s going on at Hamilton Field? That was the question of the week when a big rig trundled onto the field and began to drill. Test wells for geothermal are being drilled in the hope geothermal heating and cooling will be possible for the auditorium and athletic addition at Meade County High School.


Matt Johnson and Paige Rhodes were crowned prom 2006 king and queen.

On April 24, an Eagle Scout Court of Honor was held for two members of Boy Scout Troop 150 – Bradley Faber and Adam Stockman.

For the past few years, Meade County High School has honored standouts in the field of athletics. Now the Meade County High School Alumni Association has decided to begin honoring those who have succeeded in other areas of life. With that, the first class of the Meade County High School Hall of Fame has been announced. James McClure, MCHS Class of 1972, and Todd Miles, MCHS Class of 1980, will be honored.

Greenwave Swim Team

On May 12, BuildMax cofounders Tony and Arlene Golladay met with city and county officials to finalize the purchase of three acres (total purchase price of $45,000) in the Bill Corum Commerce Park. On that parcel, BuildMax will construct a 10,000-square-foot facility to accommodate current and future business.

Of the 16,910 registered voters in Meade County, 6,213 voted in the May 16 primary – a 37-percent voter turnout.

Five students from Meade County High School will attend college this summer for a five-week experience of intensive academic, intellectual and social interaction with their peers from across the commonwealth. Annmarie Givans, Katie Straney, TeNisha Murry, Anthony Smith and Jonathan Hobbs were chosen for the Governor’s Scholars program.

Graduation Day – 2006

Severe thunderstorm warnings and power outages couldn’t prevent the graduates of Brandenburg High School from taking their hard-earned walk May 25 or their friends and family from coming out in droves to witness the occasion.

The Meade County High School Class of 2006 graduated May 26. With stormy skies and inches of rain falling the night before, there was much concern about where the graduation ceremony would take place. But Friday dawned bright and beautiful, and the graduation took place in its traditional location – Hamilton Field.

The weather cooperated once again this year for yet another successful Relay for Life, held May 20 and 21 at the Meade County High School track and field. The final numbers aren’t in yet, but over $67,697.69 has been raised here in Meade County. Several teams have not turned in their money, and it is anticipated the total money raised will exceed $70,000. This money will go toward cancer research and finding the cure.


May 31 in New Orleans was a big day for Joe Mac Hamilton and his family as well as for all of Meade County. It’s just not every day someone from our county has a boat named after him. When American Commercial Lines recently refurbished a boat, they were faced with the decision of what to name it. Joe Mac’s name kept coming up during the discussions, and it quickly became apparent that a boat in his honor was quite fitting.

The Brandenburg City Council held a special called meeting June 8 to discuss the street name and address changes proposed by the 911 Center to bring all areas into compliance in preparation for Phase II of the E-911 system. Mayor Ronnie Joyner began by saying, “We need to decide if we’re going to accept their proposal. I do not want to change every address in the city.”

Throughout the year, area fire departments conduct special events to raise money for the WHAS Crusade for Children. Established in 1954 by WHAS-TV, the Crusade raises money for schools, agencies and hospitals to better the lives of special needs children. Meade County Fire Departments raised a total of $85,891.91.

A budget misunderstanding about $3,100 in state incentive pay nearly put an end to the hiring of Larry Naser as chief for the Meade County Fire Protection District. Curl distributed the posting which began with the first item showing an annual salary at $35,000 with $3,100 in state incentives. Naser and Curl interpreted this to mean a total of $38,100 while other board members including trustees Bruno Ilario, Jim Anthony and Martin Bosemer understood it to mean a total salary of $35,000, including the state incentives.


On June 19, 14 student members of the Meade County Skills- USA chapter completed in the National SkillsUSA Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City, Mo. Joseph Pike competed in the HVACR (heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration) competition and came away with a second place finish, a silver medal and a collection of tools and materials that will enable him to continue his work in the business.

It’s not every day that someone comes up with a brilliant and useful invention. And it’s also not every day that this invention manages to make it through the long and rigorous requirements necessary to earn a U.S. patent. Yet, despite the odds, Meade County’s Pat Greenwell has done just that. On June 13, Pat’s Easy Change System officially received U.S. Patent #7,059,419, which remains in effect for the next 17 years.

James Burns, a disabled Army veteran from Brandenburg, competed in the 26th National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Anchorage, Alaska. Burns competed in several swimming, marksmanship and track events and took gold in the 100-meter race.

Lindsey Roberts, the daughter of Kevin and Rhonda Roberts, Guston, was crowned Miss Meade County Fair July 24.

Elwood Morgan receives Bronze Star


Elwood Morgan, 83, Brandenburg, was presented the Bronze Star by Maj. Gen. Robert Williams, commanding general, Fort Knox, during a ceremony at the base July 28. He was given the award for his service with the U.S. Army on the island of Iwo Jima in 1945 during World War II. The Bronze Star medal is the fourth highest individual military decoration awarded for bravery, heroism or meritorious service while being engaged in military operations against an enemy of the United States.

The Meade County Fair experienced another year of record crowds, breaking former records four of the seven nights of the last full week in July. And the total for the week far surpassed last year’s number of 40,000 setting a new all-time high of 41,491 attending the Meade County Fair.

It’s back to school for Meade County students. Total opening day enrollment for Meade County schools was 4,767 students.

Aug. 17, opening day for the Kentucky State Fair, proved to be very rewarding for two young residents of Meade County. Sammy Hamilton and JoLynn Cannady represented Meade County at the Little Mr. and Miss Kentucky County Fair Pageant and were named first runner-up.

On Aug. 26, approximately 100 veterans, dignitaries, families and friends of Meade County’s veterans gathered at VFW Post 11404 for the dedication ceremony for the renaming of the Bypass to Meade County Veterans’ Memorial Bypass.

On Aug. 27, two ceremonies were held on Ruthie Court. The first ceremony was the dedication of the Christina Russell home. The second was a groundbreaking on the ninth Habitat for Humanity home to be built in Meade County.


Shoot! Darn! Yeah! A concert by Johnny Berry and The Outliers concluded the 2006 Summer Concert Series cosponsored by the Meade County Museum and Arts Council and the Meade County Public Library. A native of Flaherty, Berry was happy to come home and pleased to play before a large and appreciative hometown crowd on a pleasant evening in early September.

Ned Brown and Shelley Kessinger were crowned king and queen at the 2006 Meade County High School football homecoming.

Sept. 12 was High Attendance Day across the state of Kentucky with schools competing to see which one could boast of the highest attendance. In Meade County, Muldraugh Elementary School took top honors with 100 percent attendance and no tardies in or out. All schools in Meade County showed great effort in attendance with all attendance percentages in the 90s.

The Meade County Messenger, in partnership with the Family Resource Centers of Meade County Schools, hosted a meet ‘n’ greet Sept. 19 with Woody, Chloe, Mom and Dad. Leigh Anne Florence (aka Mom) is the author of a series of books about Woody the Kentucky Weiner. The event was in conjunction with the serial story, “Tails from the Bluegrass II.”

WHAS Crusade for Children Grant

Results from the 2004-2006 accountability cycle of the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System (CATS) were released to the public Sept. 21. Meade County schools continue to progress with marked improvement in several schools. A district score of 82.1 (the highest score ever for the district) places Meade County in the top 25 percent of all Kentucky school districts and in the top 19 percent of Kentucky county school districts.


Approximately 200 people attended the fifth annual Pets In Need Society Pet Festival and Blessing of the Animals Sept. 16 at Brandenburg City Park. Rev. Janet Carden, associate pastor at Brandenburg United Methodist Church, conducted this year’s blessing of the animals with such elegance and reverence one would never know this was her first blessing of the animals service.

Magistrate Jamie Staples was among those arrested and indicted in a recent drug bust. On Sept. 7, elements of the Meade County Sheriff’s office, working in conjunction with a Kentucky State Police drug eradication task force and helicopter, discovered and seized a large plot of marijuana near Andyville on land owned by James (Ralph) Staples, 64. Magistrate Staples was among several individuals discovered in a trailer on that site. A search of the premises was conducted and evidence gathered having a street value of over $600,000.

Two senior night wins for Meade County soccer! Both the Lady Wave and Greenwave soccer teams chalked up 5-0 wins against visiting Pleasure Ridge Park during their senior night games.

The Meade County Lady Wave volleyball team finished their regular season with a 25-5, 25-16 victory over Fort Knox. The win was the Lady Waves’ 25th of the year – the most wins in the program’s eight-year history.

New board chair Joann Fitzgibbon chaired a working session of the Meade County Ethics Commission Oct. 8. The meeting constituted the first official meeting of the KRS-directed Ethics Commission in almost three years.

On Oct. 17, Rebecca Jackson, chair of the WHAS Crusade for Children visited the Meade County Board of Education to present a check in the amount of $75,000 for a grant submitted by Nancy Mitcham. The grant will pay for salaries of an occupational therapist, a physical therapist and two teacher assistants working with special needs students in the Meade County school system. The check presentation was filmed for a 15-second spot to air on WHAS-11 in late fall or early winter.


Messenger publisher Rena Singleton hosted a political candidate debate Oct. 25. Due to time constraints, only the state representative and judge executive candidates were invited to participate. The room was set up for 150, but people kept coming in the door for Debate 2006.

Election 2006: Every vote counts. In an object lesson in the importance of individual voters exercising their Constitutional right, Meade County recorded yet another example of a close election. The official results in the Meade County sheriff’s race shows a separation of but one vote between challenger Butch Kerrick (R) and incumbent Cliff Wise (D). In the closest race in living memory, Kerrick won the race by one vote.

Election Day in Meade County experienced a higher-than-expected voter turnout. Of the 17,231 voters registered in Meade County, 8,954 cast their ballots Nov. 7 for a 51.96-percent voter turnout.

109 Board liaison committee members Heber Burchett and Shannon Loose, flanked by fellow board members Bill Hofmann and Jim Harris, met with Magistrates Harold Davidson and Herbie Chism Nov. 9 to conduct an active working meeting. One issue dominated the discussion: How to ask Fiscal Court for a loan and rate increase.

Post Commander Wilbur Beasley welcomed approximately 75 veterans, their families and friends to the Veterans Day ceremony held at the Meade County Courthouse Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. The event was hosted by local VFW Post 11404 and was attended by their largest crowd to date.

A little bit of history was made at the Class AAA Region 2 championships Nov. 4 when the Meade County girls’ cross country team earned a state championship berth for the first time in school history.

For senior Ned Brown and the third-seeded Meade County football team, the Greenwaves’ 14-6 district championship win over top-seeded John Hardin was sweet revenge. The Greenwaves fell 52-21 to the Bulldogs in a Sept. 21 meeting, but Brown’s 5-yard touchdown run with 3:26 remaining in the third quarter would be all the offense Meade needed to secure its first district championship in three years.

Matthew Fackler, an 8th-grader at Stuart Pepper Middle School and a varsity member of the Greenwave cross country team, competed at the Kentucky State AAU Cross Country Championship and won the 12-year-old competition. With this victory, he advances to the National Championships held at Walt Disney World.

For the first time in ... oh ... ever, the Christmas by the River opening day celebration was blessed with perfect weather. Warm temperatures and sunshine gave way to a cool breeze and a festive atmosphere as the sun began to set over the Ohio River and Brandenburg Mayor Ronnie Joyner began providing updates on the progress of Santa Claus as he made his way from the North Pole to Brandenburg.

Fiscal Court commits $250,000; votes to begin dissolution of the 109 Board. The Meade County Fiscal Court held a special working session with members of the Meade County 109 Board Nov. 21 to discuss pressing financial distress at the Meade County Solid Waste & Recycle (MCSW&R). Magistrates Herbie Chism, Don Callecod, Theresa Padgett, Harold Davidson and Kent Allen joined Judge Executive Bill Haynes to discuss the future of solid waste management in Meade County with the 109 Board.

Girls’ Cross Country Team

Thanksgiving may have been a memory on Nov. 26, but it was a day of Thanksgiving for Twanna “Shelly” Luney and her three children. That was the day she received the keys to her new home (the eighth Habitat for Humanity home in Meade County), built through volunteer labor and the sweat equity put in by Luney and her family and friends.


The seventh annual Pets in Need Society (PINS) Wreath Festival was held at the Meade County Courthouse in Brandenburg. All monies earned at the festival support PINS’ animal welfare programs and spay/neuter program, which has to date spayed and neutered almost 2,500 Meade County dogs and cats.

The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #67 and the Ladies’ Auxiliary are already in the Christmas spirit. On Dec. 4, they took delivery of a truckload of gifts from Toys for Tots which will be distributed through the Angel Tree program.

After a period of unseasonably warm weather, Meade Countians got their first real taste of winter Dec. 7 when temperatures dropped into the 30s and the snow started falling.

“It’s not very often you literally get to see the answers to prayer come up before your very eyes,” said Rev. Willard Knipp during the dedication of the ninth Habitat for Humanity home in Meade County. This home was a partnership between the Brandenburg United Methodist Church and the Meade County Chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

Judge Executive William Haynes called his final regularly scheduled Fiscal Court meeting to order Dec. 12. All magistrates were in attendance for their final meeting as a Court. The meeting began with a short signing ceremony between the Court and Agri Fuels representative Don Martin officially purchasing acreage in the Buttermilk Falls Industrial Park.

The Meade County Greenwave wrestling team hosted its first-ever home event on Dec. 13, splitting in matches with Fort Knox and North Hardin.

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