Meade County Year in Review
Here are some of the more noteworthy stories that appeared in the pages of the Meade County Messenger:
• The county’s auto dealers – Ray Cottrell Jr. of Ray’s Ford and Tony Brown of Tony Brown’s Chevrolet – agree on one thing: Buy American and buy locally.
• A little baby boy named Kannon Christopher-Daniel Smith was the first baby born at Hardin Memorial Hospital for 2010. Proud parents Ashley Hurt and Josh Smith are from Meade County.
• Two Muldraugh men – Danny McMannama and Jeff Osieczonek – are credited with rescuing their neighbor from his burning mobile home Jan. 5. The home, located at 116 White Arrow Drive in the Muldraugh Mobile Home Park, was totally engulfed in flames when units from the Muldraugh Fire Department arrived.
• Motorists slipped and slid over roads last week as Mother Nature informed area residents she was still around, dumping snow onto the region.
• A newly-instituted complete campus security system will make Meade County schools safer. Meade County Public Schools director of pupil personnel Jason Sutton said the Ident-A-Kid company – based out of Florida – has been chosen to become the district’s sign-in system.
• Kaleb “Storm” Fraley, a Meade County High School junior, is climbing the ladder to success. Fraley, the son of Subreana and the late Jeremy Fraley, received the silver Congressional Medal of Honor for his volunteerism and other activities.
• A Meade County High School student was struck by a vehicle while waiting for his bus at St. Martin and Frederick roads Jan. 20 in Flaherty. Paul Howard, a 16-year-old sophomore, was knocked to the ground by the driver of a red, late model pickup truck.
• Last year, only one competing team from Meade County High School won a regional championship – the Meade County High School dance team. Last Jan. 23, they proved it was no fluke, repeating as the Region 3 dance champions in the hip-hop division.
• Members of the Meade County High School cheerleading team perform a difficult manuever during the Can-Am regional qualifying competition held Jan. 23 at Adair County High School.
• An auditing firm, with a local connection, was hired by the Meade County Riverport Authority for as-needed services for the coming year. Riverport consultant, Mike Flint recommended the hiring of Mountjoy, Chilton and Medley to the Authority during their Feb. 2 meeting.
• Be on the lookout for young up-and-coming golfers, PGA pro Kenny Perry said, in response to an audience question Feb. 9. Perry offered these comments and more during the first annual MAC Matters Gala, held at the Farm Bureau Community Building. The crowd – estimated at 325 participants – also enjoyed a catered dinner, while raising funds for the proposed Meade Activity Center.
• Meade County Public Library officials and the Brandenburg City Council agree that combining forces – or in this case land – for the new library project is a win-win situation. A recent council meeting revealed, however, that questions remain as to how to best accomplish the community project.
• Marion Barnes, a pastor at Glad Tidings Christian Center, was charged Feb. 15 with five counts of sexual abuse of a minor. The charges were filed with Kentucky State Police by 18-year-old Alexandria Owens, who is described as a niece who lived in Barnes’ Ekron home.
• Jane Marlow Willis – former editor of the Messenger, a world traveler and prolific writer – died in her sleep Feb. 17, at her Main Street residence.
• The next time Brandenburg resident, Mary Jones returns to Haiti with her missionary friend, Maryse Burns of Mauckport, Ind., she’ll be taking along one-and-a-half treadle sewing machines, with funds donated by members of the Meade County Extension Homemakers.
• The Current, Meade County High School’s student newspaper, has captured two awards in a statewide Mark of Excellence contest. The newspaper received first place for best front page layout design and staff design artist and senior, Michael Cundiff received an honorable mention for best newspaper page design.
• “I think Meade County should congratulate itself on the basis of these rankings,” said Lincoln Trail Area Health Department regional epidemiologist Karen Card. Based on the criteria used in a recently-released University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute report, Meade County is the 13th healthiest county in the state.
• A coyote killed a dachshund dog in Brandenburg city limits March 18, near Lawrence Street. According to then assistant animal control officer, Jasper Hardesty, it is not unheard of for coyotes to venture into residential or city areas.
• Two Meade County teenagers were charged with felony assault after allegedly shooting an Elizabethtown teen around 10 p.m. on March 21.
• Crews from Kelsey Construction of Shepherdsville have started construction on the KY 933 road connection with Hwy. 448. The work – part of the state’s six-year road plan – will make access easier for semis seeking to access Arch Chemicals and the proposed Riverport.
• Levi McChesney held a cordless phone and a leash for a pet iguana in his hand as he watched area firefighters work fevershly April 5 to save his home. While two animals – a cockatoo and possibly a ball python snake – perished in the blaze, Levi’s parents ,Buck and Shari McChesney, were relieved none of their sons lost their lives.
• A suspected meth lab, located at 6861 Flaherty Road in Vine Grove, is being blamed for a three-alarm fire early Wednesday morning April 7.
• Did you know that 6 percent of college graduates go to community assistance in Meade County for housing and food assistance? Most of the 33 participants in a recent homeless “retreat” didn’t until after their experience, according to Meade County Catholic Youth Ministry coordinator, Jennifer Woolfolk.
• It was the dream of two high school seniors – a dream that bore fruit and has already etched a spot in the history books. The Meade County Rugby Club, playing in their first match April 11, at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park – easily outdistanced a rival St. X team.
• Beginning April 13, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents began a “large-scale” sweep across three states – including Kentucky, Tennessee and southern Indiana – rounding up at least 23 individuals accused in a grand jury indictment of participating in a marriage fraud ring.
• Joy Straney was named queen and Shay McCleavy was named king of the Meade County High School’s 2010 “Now and Forever” prom. Joy is the daughter of Bill and Joyce Straney, Flaherty. She is the FFA secretary, is involved in archery, is on the soccer team and hopes to attend Murray State University. Shay is the son of Sherry and Keith McCleavy, Brandenburg. He is in drama, the National Honor Society, and the Tri-M (Musical) society.
• A settlement has been reached in a long-standing lawsuit against the Meade County Fiscal Court and Judge Executive Harry Craycroft. The lawsuit was filed by former county employee, Larry Hardesty, for wrongful termination stemming back to his dismissal in 2007.
• The days of selling out of the back of pickup trucks and trunks are history at the Meade County Farmer’s Market. Vendors opened their new market at the covered and paved Extension pavilion May 15.
• After receiving the conservation award from the state and local chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Broadbent Wildlife Sanctuary founder and president Mary Ann Tobin felt a need to repay her nominator. She decided to nurse a kestrel – the smallest hawk in the United States – back to life and name it after Jane Marlow Willis, the late regent of the Ambrose Meador Chapter, who submitted Tobin’s name for the honor.
• A total of 6,065 voters – or 37 percent of the county’s registered 17,626 voters – cast their ballots in the off-year primary election, setting the stage for the November general election.
• Stormy weather wreaked havoc on the 5th Region Tennis Tournament May 24, at the University Courts in Elizabethtown. Jenna Mullen, though, emerged as Meade County High School’s star, playing her first round against the Number 7 seed from Marion County and winning 6-3 and 6-3.
• “Strength starts here.” As of 11 a.m. May 27, 2010, that is the new motto at Fort Knox. A late morning command of transfer authority ceremony officially ended the reign of the Fort Knox Armor Center and the leadership of Maj. Gen. Mike Milano.
• With an eye toward the sky and the other on the list of what was the largest class to ever graduate from Meade County High School, the Class of 2010 got their day in the spotlight – but it was a little damp. Three-quarters of the way through the May 28 ceremonies on Hamilton Field, high school principal,Bill Adams announced the gymnasium at James R. Allen Freshman Academy was open and those who wanted to, could go there to avoid the rain showers.
• In a unanimous vote June 5, members of the Meade County High School Alumni Association voted to decrease the L.H. Powell Scholarship by $500, effective with the 2011 graduating year. The move was prompted by the tightening finances, as described by president, Tony Allen to the members in attendance at their annual meeting at the First Baptist Church.
• One woman was airlifted and her daughter was taken by ambulance following a collision with a truck around 1 p.m. Friday, June 13.
• Music, food, a live and silent auction and plenty of noise. What more could spectators attending the Matt Pike Memorial Truck and Tractor Pull at the Meade County fairgrounds want on June 12.
• Parker the Otter – the mascot of the long-closed Otter Creek Park – acquired a new boss and a new lease on life June 16. State, regional and local officials announced the signing of a letter of intent which Gov. Steve Beshear said will “breathe new life for Otter Creek Park.”
• Local residents will receive some help from state Treasurer Todd Hollenbach and his staff in claiming some “treasure” June 23. It’s not the kind of treasure that made pirates giddy with excitement, but it could make area residents dance a jig as they take their newfound cash to the bank.
• People in the area speculate that Mark Monroe is a contractor from Louisville. Meade County officials don’t know what his occupation is, and said the bottom line is it really doesn’t matter. What does matter, they said, is the fact he turned property he owns in Meade County into a dumping ground.
• It is often a rare occasion when burglary victims get their property returned. Even more rare is the chance for victims to speak to the criminal believed to have violated their home and property. For Meade County Detective Bart Ponder, these were the most rewarding aspects of closing 13 burglary cases, arresting a suspect and recovering what is estimated to be over $10,000 in stolen property.
• Construction is complete at the massive new headquarters building of the U.S. Army Human Resources Command (HRC), recently named the Lt. Gen. Timothy J. Maude Complex.
• Meade County Waste and Recycling received one of 48 grants from the “Kentucky Pride Fund,” a state venture of the Energy and Environment Cabinet Division of Waste Management. The $481,000 grant – the largest in the state – will allow the county to upgrade and expand its recycling program.
• While changes from recently passed national health care legislation largely will not take effect until 2013, Meade County residents who choose artificial tanning are finding a new tax awaits them at their salon. Beginning July 1, the federal government added a 10-percent tax on the cost of indoor tanning.
• It only took 13 years, a lawsuit, one large bulldozer, a small Cat, and four huge dumpsters, but the abandoned property/nuisance at 356 Parkway Terrace has finally been resolved. In the end, it only took a few hours July 8 to tear down the eyesore owned by Dr. William Shores of Lexington.
• A total of 40,760 people attended the Meade County fair from July 17-24. Cindy Padgett was named Miss Meade County Fair 2010. First runner-up was Joy Straney; second runner-up Alexa Adams; third runner-up, Megan Skaggs; and People’s Choice, Paris Morgann. Padgett was also voted Miss Congeniality.
• Some 16 residents of Old Mill Estates near Gaines Road have paid to have their road completed and adopted into the Meade County system, and have waited for years. According to 2nd District Magistrate Herbie Chism, some eight residents are delinquent, though, and four have failed to pay anything. The estimated $1,800 is all that stands between them and a finished road.
• In an unexpected event – not on the agenda of the regularly-scheduled Fiscal Court meeting July 13 – the resignation of EMS Director Pam Weber was quietly announced. Weber has served with the Meade County EMS for 11 years – six of those as director.
• Korean War veteran, Harry Reeve, was finally laid to rest Aug. 4 on American soil. The skeletal remains of Reeves – who was a prisoner of war captured during the battle of Unsan – were buried at the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery. The 1st Cavalry Division soldier had been missing in action for over 60 years until his remains were located and identified by forensic teams.
• Summer’s over as 5,077 students returned to school Aug. 4.
• The Meade County High School band welcomed new director, Chris McGee, and a new semi-truck with trailer.
• A tanker truck owned by the Oil Distribution Company of Cincinnati, Ohio, overturned Aug. 4, at the bottom of Paradise Bottom Road in Big Bend.
• The Meade County Library Board unanimously voted to award the bid for the construction of the new library to Morel Construction Company, Inc. in Louisville, that had the lowest bid of $3.486 million.
• Area farmers harvested a bounty of information at the semi-annual Meade County Farm Field Day, Aug. 6, at “Pike Farms.” Edd and John Pike – with their families – hosted the event on their 250-acre spread in Payneville.
• The sound of Indian drums echoed around the Ohio River bank, as Native American Indians held a traditional powwow Aug. 13-14. The event – the “First Ever Educating Our Children and Honoring Our Ancestors Native American Indian Festival” – was sponsored by the Meade County Museum and Arts Council (MCMAC), which hosted over 400 area students.
• Based on the recommendation of board chairman Sandra Stone, on Aug. 23, the Meade County Public Library unanimously approved taking the compensating rate for the upcoming tax year – increasing rates to 9.8 percent.
• Brandenburg resident, Danny Embry, 53, was found dead in his Hillcrest Drive home shortly after 2 a.m. Sept. 2 – the apparent victim of a single gunshot wound during a home-invasion type robbery. Authorities said it appeared that Embry was the second victim shot by Jeffrey Lay, Louisville.
• Due to working smoke detectors, tragedy was avoided Sept. 2 in an early morning trailer fire located at 600 Bruner Road. Three smoke detectors that sounded during the 3 a.m. fire, are credited in saving four members of the Gary and Tammy Gould family.
• A Meade County Grand Jury has returned indictments against five men for a rash of burglaries believed to have happened between January and May this year. According to the Meade County Sheriff’s Department, 20-year-old Eric M. Padgett, 20, Timothy H. Cole, 22, Albert A. Patenaude, 24, Joseph D. Riggs, 28, and Jesse C. Karr, 21, were indicted Sept. 13.
• A burn ban was issued Sept. 7, with an executive order by Judge Executive Harry Craycroft due to severe drought conditions.
• It was announced that the Meade Activity Center (MAC) will be located at the Hillcrest Country Club.
• Ekron and Meade County firefighters responded Oct. 8 to a garage fire behind the home of William Goins at 2525 Hayesville Road, across the street from Ekron Elementary School.
• William B. Wilkins, 34, a resident of Old Barr Farm Road in Battletown, has been arrested and lodged in the Meade County Detention Center in regard to a hit-and -run accident which occurred Oct. 15 on Mills Road.
• Meade County was declared a Level 2 state drought area by the Office of the State Climatologist and the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet. Nearby Fort Duffield suffered large wildfires.
• At Meade County High School, students led by the FCCLA Club handed out over 60,000 pieces of candy during the annual “Pumpkin Patch” event. Elsewhere, several area churches hosted “Trunk or Treat” events.
• On Halloween night and the eve of the election, jailer Troy Seelye’s house was the target of a shooting which peppered his home with rounds believed to be from a shotgun. The crime remains unsolved.
• Voters took to the polls in larger-than-average numbers, and for the first time in Meade County history, Republicans will have majority control of the Fiscal Court. Results of the contested positions countywide were:
1st District Magistrate
2nd District Magistrate
3rd District Magistrate
4th District Magistrate
5th District Magistrate
6th District Magistrate
Jessica Brown Roberts
William “Butch” Kerrick
• An 18-year-old from Tennessee who was attending his brother’s graduation from basic training at Fort Knox, died while at Camp Carlson Nov. 4-5.
• A recount was sought in the close 128-vote Jantzen/Greer district matchup for the State House of Representative’s 27th District seat.The recount on Nov. 5 didn’t change the outcome of the election.
• Meade County authorities investigated the death of Joseph Gregory ‘Joey’ Smith, 18, Payneville. Smith was discovered dead in a duplex apartment near the Rock Haven Baptist Church in the morning hours of Nov. 6.
• A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the new truck route connecting the Industrial Park and Arch Chemicals plant to KY 448. The road – complete with a functioning traffic signal – was officially dedicated shortly after 4 p.m. Nov. 15 by members of the Brandenburg City Council, Meade County/Brandenburg Industrial Development Authority, county officials, Meade County Area Chamber of Commerce and Arch Chemicals employees.
• Amidst the loud sirens and bright lights of the Meade County Fire Protection District and the Brandenburg City Police, Santa and Mrs. Claus and their elf were welcomed in royal style Nov. 27, during the annual Christmas by the River festivities. Santa and his companions were brought to the gazebo in a small toy train, which was one of several new items welcoming the throngs of people throughout the day.
• The entire force of the Muldraugh Police Department was issued verbal and written reprimands Nov. 30, following a special council session. The officers were given the reprimands and written copies will also be placed in their personnel files.
• With the advent of a new library under construction off Old Ekron Road, officials are expected to make overtures to Charlestown, Ind., library officials for the return of a sentimental treasure – the Brandenburg Stone.
• A Rineyville man died Dec. 1, from a gunshot wound received during what police described as an attempted invasion of a Sun & Fun mobile home park residence Nov. 30.
• It was announced that the Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area, OCORA – formerly known as Otter Creek Park – will start the new year with a new lease on life when it opens next year under the management of the Kentucky Fish & Wildlife Department. The park will now charge entrance fees.
• An estimated 230 participants showed up for the 8th Annual Jingle Bell Trot, hosted by the Meade County Area Chamber of Commerce.
• The criminal abuse case against former Glad Tidings Christian pastor, Marion Barnes, took an unexpected turn Dec. 9 – a date when several motions were scheduled to be heard before Meade County Circuit Court Judge Bruce T. Butler. Instead, the newly-sworn-in Commonwealth’s Attorney, David Williams, agreed to “felony mediation” in the matter – a process never used in Meade County before.
• On Dec. 9, as 3,444 soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, otherwise known as the “Duke Brigade,” held a ceremony marking their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.
• The Meade County High School chorus held the first-ever “Madrigal” dinner on Dec. 11. Held in the Family Life Center of the Brandenburg United Methodist Church, the event was a fundraiser for the Madrigals’ spring 2011 trip to Branson, Mo., where they’ll perform and enjoy the music opportunities afforded them.