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The McCreary County Property Valuation Administrator (PVA) is reminding local residents that they may be eligible for lower property tax payments through the Homestead Exemption. That provision allows seniors age 65 and older to claim an exemption on property taxes for their primary residence up to $35,000. Those who already receive the exemption do not need to reapply, but those who believe they may be eligible and are not receiving the exemption can contact the PVA’s office for details at 376-2514. The PVA says of the 7,397 housing units on the books in McCreary County based on the 2010 Census, 1,494 of those are eligible for the exemption with another 829 eligible for disability exemptions.

The McCreary County School District is preparing for the 2014-2015 year with some open house and registration events scheduled. McCreary Central High School will open up the registration dates today (Tuesday July 29th) with seniors registering from 1:00-3:00pm and juniors today from 4:00-6:00pm. Sophomores will register Wednesday July 30th from 4:00-6:00pm and freshmen on Thursday July 31st from 4:00-6:00pm. Any student missing their day to register can be made up on Friday August 1st from 9:00-10:00am with new enrollees registering August 1st from 10:00-11:00am. Freshmen orientation at McCreary Central High School will be Tuesday August 5th at 7:00pm.

Other local schools planning open house and registration include Pine Knot Primary School holding their kindergarten camp and registration Friday August 1st from 3:00-6:00pm with 1st through 3rd grade registering at Pine Knot Primary Tuesday August 5th from 3:00-6:00pm. Pine Knot Intermediate School will have open house for all grades from 4:00-6:00pm on Thursday August 7th. Whitley City Elementary School will have its kindergarten camp and registration Friday August 8th from 10:00am-1:00pm with open house and registration for all other students at Whitley City Elementary will be Monday August 11th from 4:00-6:00pm. McCreary Middle School will have open house for 7th grade Monday August 11th 3:00-6:00pm and 8th grade on Tuesday August 12th from 3:00-6:00pm. McCreary County Preschool, located next to Pine Knot Intermediate School, will have open house Wednesday August 13th from 4:00-6:00pm. Opening day for staff in the McCreary County School District will be Wednesday August 13th with opening day for students on Thursday August 14th.

Somerset Police are investigating a home invasion which took place Thursday afternoon on the Hail Knob Road area. They say a 52 year old male opened the door of his apartment to find a man and woman outside. The couple reportedly forced their way inside where the male subject assaulted the victim but nothing seems to have been stolen in the invasion. The couple, identified as 24 year old William Zearing and 26 year old Brandi Stoops, both of Somerset, reportedly fled the scene in a gray 2003 Mercury Sable. However, the vehicle was found abandoned early Friday morning. Police say the exact motive of the home invasion is not known but it appears the main reason for the break-in was to assault the victim, who did suffer head injuries and had to receive treatment at the hospital. Zearing was arrested Friday afternoon and was charged with first degree burglary and first degree unlawful imprisonment. At last report, Brandi Stoops was still at large with the Somerset Police Department seeking tips from the public.

The latest unemployment rates released by the state show improvement for McCreary County. In June 2014, the county recorded a jobless rate of 11.9%, which was down from 13.9% in June of 2013 and was also down from 12.4% in May of this year. Even with the slightly good news on the economic front, McCreary County still had one of the higher rates of unemployed in the state. The highest Kentucky jobless figure was recorded in Jackson County at 16.5% while the lowest statewide was Boone County at just 5.5%. On the down side of the jobless picture for McCreary County, the local unemployment rate was the highest in the ten county Lake Cumberland region with Wayne County the next highest at 10.8%. The overall Lake Cumberland rate came in at 8.3% while Kentucky’s jobless rate for June was 7.4%. For more information on the labor market and unemployment rates in Kentucky, you can visit

Kentucky Treasurer Todd Hollenbach has made it one of his missions to return unclaimed property, including money, to the citizens of Kentucky. He has even traveled around the state with visits by his staff to nearly all counties to promote the effort. Now, Hollenbach says some scams are using that program to target individuals. Potential scam victims are receiving mailings or e-mails regarding unclaimed property, but Kentucky residents should be aware that if that mailing or e-mail does not include the official Kentucky State Treasury letter head, it is not coming from an official source. Many of the mailings are coming from a Denver postmark and people are asked to call a number or are directed to a website. Hollenbach reminds that for questions regarding the legitimacy of the contact on unclaimed property you can call his office at 1-800-465-4722. You can also search for unclaimed property online at

The discovery of 22 marijuana plants by authorities in Whitley City last Saturday is under investigation with the case set to be presented to the local grand jury for possible action. The McCreary County Record reports that the incident began with reports of a woman being chased by several other individuals. When officers arrived on scene they located three individuals and arrested Stacy Chumley and Ricky Stephens, both of Harrodsburg on charges of public intoxication. The third suspect, Ronald Spradlin of Whitley City, was arrested on a bench warrant. Officers discovered the marijuana plants at the residence involved and say while charges have not yet been filed the case will be presented to the grand jury for possible indictments. Investigating the case was McCreary County Sheriff’s Deputy Jerry Meadows, along with Kentucky State Police, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife and National Park Service officers.

Another marijuana discovery resulted in charges filed against a Pulaski County man earlier this week. Police say 32 year old Jeremiah Harrison has been charged with alcohol intoxication, cultivating marijuana and fourth degree assault against his own mother. Harrison was picked up late Tuesday night after officers were called to Lakeshore Drive near Burnside after he had apparently gotten into a fight with his mother who had a cut on her head. While she did not require medical treatment, Harrison was charged with assault in the case and officers located a marijuana plant growing at the residence. Harrison reportedly admitted to police that the plant belonged to him leading to the additional charges. He was lodged in the Pulaski County Detention Center as the sheriff’s department leads the investigation.

The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area will continue its series of weekend interpretive programs including a program on nocturnal animals this Saturday July 26th at 7:00pm at the Blue Heron Campground fire circle. A ranger led nature hike will also be held Sunday morning starting at 10:00am from the Yahoo Falls parking area. For additional information or directions on these free programs in the Big South Fork, call the Blue Heron Interpretive Center at 376-3787.

The latest arrest report released by the McCreary County Sheriff’s Department covers the period from July 16th through Monday July 21st with department staff reporting a busy week of arrests. A total of 15 individuals were taken into custody by the department starting on July 16th with 25 year old Tonya Corder arrested for criminal mischief and 34 year old Kevin Canada arrested the same day for non-payment of fines. On July 19th, deputies arrested 40 year old Richard Longmire for public intoxication and failure to appear, Vincent Dixon age 32 for non-payment of fines, Stacy Chumley age 19 for public intoxication, Ricky Stephens age 23 for public intoxication and Ronald Spradlin age 52 for non-payment of fines. Arrested on July 20th were James Stephens age 25 for alcohol intoxication, Robbie Godsey age 33 for failure to appear, Newton Loudermilk age 38 for operating a motor vehicle under the influence, Jordyn Perry age 24 for public intoxication, Latosha Owens age 28 for public intoxication, and Felicia Johnson age 23 for disorderly conduct and menacing. July 21st arrests included Brittany New age 25 for failure to appear and Timothy Gibson age 34 for failure to appear. These arrests represent only those reported by the McCreary County Sheriff’s Department for the week ending Monday July 21st and do not include arrests by any other law enforcement officers or agencies.

A special craft day event is planned for this Saturday July 26th at Tower Crafts on Wilburn K Ross Highway in Stearns. According to organizers, local crafters are invited to setup free of charge at the event to display and sell their handcrafted products. The event will run from 9:00am to 5:00pm Saturday and including antique and vintage items, homemade cakes, soaps, candles, rustic furniture, primitive décor, jewelry and more. In addition, a barbecue vendor will be on hand selling food. For information on the event call 376-5644.

After reporting that two Pulaski County jail inmates had walked away from a work detail on Saturday, authorities say one of the two men is now back behind bars. 35 year old David Brian Tomlison was located by police Monday afternoon and was returned to the confines of the Pulaski County Detention Center. Officials are still searching for the second escapee, 26 year old Shane Christopher Delay. 22 year old Amanda Grote of Science Hill was reportedly arrested with Tomlison Monday and was charged with second degree hindering apprehension or prosecution.

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet announced this week that a total of 61 drinking water treatment plants across the state have been recognized for consistently producing drinking water in 2013 that exceeded state and federal water quality standards. Among the water treatment plants recognized for superior performance is the McCreary County Water District plant in the Flat Rock area. A total of 149 public and private water treatment plants in the state participated in the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Area Wide Optimization Program which challenges plants to reduce levels of cloudiness in the water, referred to as turbidity. That cloudiness can be caused by things like sand and dirt but can also be caused by bacteria and viruses. Of the 149 treatment plants in the state taking part, 61 were recognized for their performance, including the McCreary County plant.

After serving their country in uniform, members of American Legion Post 115 are now serving their community with a number of upcoming events at their Stearns post. This Saturday, July 26th, the post will host a health fair for all veterans from 9:00am to 12:00pm including nurses from the VA (Veterans’ Administration) providing services. In addition, Randy Fisher will be on hand to assist veterans with filing claims. On Sunday, July 27th, American Legion Post 115 will host a youth day from 2:00 to 6:00pm with karaoke, pool, darts, horse shoes, corn hole and other activities. Hot dogs, chips and drinks will also be sold and all members, families and guests are being invited to attend. The legion will host their annual membership luau on Saturday August 2nd from 12:00-6:00pm and the band Pressure Point will perform that evening from 8:00pm to midnight. Members and guests are invited to attend. All of these activities are held at the American Legion Post 115 in Stearns, off West Highway 92, which is also the location of the local Veterans’ Memorial Wall in McCreary County.

A 19 year old man from Ohio was pronounced dead Sunday evening following a boating accident on Lake Cumberland in Wayne County. Authorities say Adam Sharp of Greenfield, Ohio was a passenger on a watercraft when it was struck by another boat. He was pronounced dead at about 7:25pm Sunday and his body transported for autopsy in Frankfort. The accident is being investigated by Kentucky Fish and Wildlife officers.

The 8th annual Camp UNITE is set to begin today (Tuesday July 22nd) on the campus of the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg. The camp is held each summer for youth preparing to enter 7th, 8th or 9th grade from the Operation UNITE service area across southern and eastern Kentucky. About 250 students are scheduled to attend and take part in the camp that will begin today with registration and check-in and continue through Friday July 25th. Activities offered at the camp include drug dog demonstrations, swimming, impaired driving demonstrations, basketball, archery, karate, talent show and more. Participants will close the camp on Friday with a motivational speaker and will sign a drug-free pledge. For information on the camp or other Operation UNITE programs visit their website at

Over the last couple of weeks, WHAY Radio has been working to improve our signal strength, especially to the north, as well as audio quality. This has required, at various times, the radio station to be off the air for the work including being off for most of the last two weekends. WHAY’s management apologizes for that inconvenience but add that the interruption in broadcasting was necessary to complete the upgrades. WHAY is currently experiencing a stronger broadcast signal to the north and is working on ways to improve the signal to the south of Whitley City. For more information on WHAY Radio, including the complete program schedule, visit our website at

McCreary County is facing yet another lawsuit after the family of a man who died in custody earlier this year claims he was denied medical attention. The McCreary County Voice reports on the lawsuit which was reportedly filed in May by the son and family of Charles Lee Rose who was arrested February 17th by McCreary County Sheriff’s Deputy Joe Horne for driving under the influence. The lawsuit claims that Rose was in need of medical attention due to suffering a heart attack as a direct result of drug use that night. Rose was instead lodged in the Wayne County Detention Center that night and was found unresponsive in his cell the next morning. Rose underwent hospital care for several days before eventually succumbing to his condition. The lawsuit names several officials and the county governments in McCreary and Wayne County claiming Rose died as the result of not being provided needed medical attention. The Voice reports that a response by the defendants asks for the case to be dismissed by a federal judge ordered in late June that all parties involved meet to discuss a possible settlement in the case. There is no word as to when such a meeting may take place. If a settlement is not reached, the case could go to trial.

Two Pulaski County jail inmates walked away from a work detail Saturday afternoon, prompting a massive search for the escapees over the weekend. At last report, the men were still at large with police asking for the public’s help in locating them. The men are identified as Shane Delay, who was being held on burglary charges, and David Tomlinson, who was in jail for probation violations on a felony charge.

A crash north of Somerset Friday sent black smoke into the sky that could be seen for miles around. Authorities say the collision involved a train and a tractor trailer that was turning off Highway 2227 near the SomerSplash water park. While several fires were reported at the crash site it could have been much worse as a UPS trailer on the train was loaded with black powder. However, crews fighting the fires say the flames did not reach that train car. The only injury suffered in the crash was the tractor trailer driver who suffered severe burns and injuries and was airlifted for treatment in Lexington. The crash remains under investigation by the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department and Norfolk Southern Railroad.

The McCreary County School District is preparing for the 2014-2015 year with some open house and registration events scheduled. As previously reported, McCreary Central High School will open up the registration dates with seniors registering on Tuesday July 29th from 1:00-3:00pm and juniors the same day from 4:00-6:00pm. Sophomores will register Wednesday July 30th from 4:00-6:00pm and freshmen on Thursday July 31st from 4:00-6:00pm. Any student missing their day to register can be made up on Friday August 1st from 9:00-10:00am with new enrollees registering August 1st from 10:00-11:00am. Freshmen orientation at McCreary Central High School will be Tuesday August 5th at 7:00pm.

Other local schools planning open house and registration include Pine Knot Primary School holding their kindergarten camp and registration Friday August 1st from 3:00-6:00pm with 1st through 3rd grade registering at Pine Knot Primary Tuesday August 5th from 3:00-6:00pm. Pine Knot Intermediate School will have open house for all grades from 4:00-6:00pm on Thursday August 7th. Whitley City Elementary School will have its kindergarten camp and registration Friday August 8th from 10:00am-1:00pm with open house and registration for all other students at Whitley City Elementary will be Monday August 11th from 4:00-6:00pm. McCreary Middle School will have open house for 7th grade Monday August 11th 3:00-6:00pm and 8th grade on Tuesday August 12th from 3:00-6:00pm. McCreary County Preschool, located next to Pine Knot Intermediate School, will have open house Wednesday August 13th from 4:00-6:00pm.

The Kentucky Arts Council has announced they have awarded more than $1.4 million in grant funds to a total of 96 arts partnership organization across the state. Among the organizations to receive grant funds is Lake Cumberland Performing Arts receiving $3,075. The Watershed Arts Alliance, also in Pulaski County, received a $1,000 and the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum, located in Rockcastle County, received $4,986. In Whitley County, the Kentucky Native American Heritage Museum, based in Corbin, received $9,037 to continue its annual operations. For additional information on the Kentucky Arts Partnership program and the grants you can visit the Kentucky Arts Council website at

The Blue Heron Campground, on the Kentucky side of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, will be hosting another evening program on nocturnal animals this Saturday July 19th at 7:00pm. Ranger Doug Singleton will lead a nature hike Sunday morning starting at 10:00am from the Yahoo Falls parking area off Kentucky Highway 700 west in McCreary County. These programs are free to attend and participants should dress appropriately for weather conditions. For more information call the Blue Heron Interpretive Center at 376-3787.

Earlier this week, the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department was reporting that they were investigating a possible scam of individuals selling books door to door saying it was to benefit the Pulaski County School District. Now, authorities report that the effort may actually be legitimate. Officers apparently spoke with a representative from Southwestern Advantage, the company selling the books, as well as a representative from the school district. While the sheriff’s department says the project is not actually a scam, it was not clear exactly where any benefit money from the sales is going. Authorities encourage anyone in Pulaski County approached about the book sales to use their own judgment on whether to take part.

With the confusion this week over whether the project was or was not a scam, it shows how difficult it can be to tell the difference. Authorities urge everyone to use caution and research any claims.

The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area will host its 22nd annual “Haunting in the Hills” storytelling festival Saturday September 20th at the Bandy Creek Visitor Center and the surrounding fields on the Tennessee side of the park. Park staff and festival organizers are currently seeking crafters and volunteers for the event. Crafters can display, demonstrate and sell their handcrafted items for a one-time fee of $25. Crafters will need to provide their own tables, chairs and tents. For information on crafts at the festival call Letitia Neal at 423-569-2404 ext 267 or e-mail The crafter application deadline is September 5th. To volunteer for the festival contact Effie Houston at 423-569-9778 or e-mail For general information on the storytelling festival in the Big South Fork, call the Bandy Creek Visitor Center at 423-286-7275 or visit the park’s website at

The McCreary County Sheriff’s Department has once again released its weekly arrest report for the week ending Monday July 14th. During the last seven day period nine individuals were arrested by sheriff’s department staff on a variety of charges including Brandi Stephens, age 27 of Meadows Grove Road, arrested July 9th for wanton endangerment, possession of a handgun by a convicted felon and public intoxication. 27 year old Lisa Neal of Strunk and 59 year old Jackie Neal of Osborne Creek Road were both picked up July 10th for assault, while Richard Cross, age 22, was arrested July 10th for public intoxication. Robert Sorenson, age 51 of Williamsburg, was arrested July 11th for alcohol intoxication and 34 year old Brandy Baird of Kingtown Road was arrested July 11th for disorderly conduct. 48 year old Jesse Soard was arrested July 12th for shoplifting and warrants for non-payment of fines, failure to appear and flagrant non-support. Andrea Henderson, age 32 of Somerset, was arrested July 14th for trafficking in controlled substances and Nicholas Ridner, age 21 of Whitley City, was picked up July 14th for failure to appear. These arrests represent those conducted by the McCreary County Sheriff’s Department for the week ending July 14th.

Ninety (90) days after the close of the legislative session for the Kentucky General Assembly, bills that were passed into law officially go into effect. Tuesday July 15th marked the effective date of a long list of new laws that state legislators passed this year. Among those new laws now in effect is Senate Bill 98 that creates an adult abuse registry to help employers in the adult care profession determine if a prospective employee has a previous history of abuse. House Bill 260 allows an ATV operator 16 years of age or older to cross a public roadway if the speed limit is 45 miles per hour or less without protective headgear to get from one trail to another. The “Boater Freedom Act” requires law enforcement officers to have a reasonable suspicion of a violation to board or inspect a boat on a waterway. Senate Bill 213 will allow Sunday alcohol sales at small farm wineries if authorized by a fiscal court vote or local option election in that area. A number of other laws also took effect this week in Kentucky on issues ranging from healthcare to driver safety and consumer protection.

The McCreary County Public Library was recently presented a check after being awarded a “People Fund” grant for its summer reading program. The grant is made possible through South Kentucky RECC which accepts applications from organizations to help fund their activities in support of the community. RECC members are asked to round up their bills to help deposit money in the “People Fund” which is then awarded back to the various community groups. For information and applications for the program you can visit

Authorities in Pulaski County have confirmed that an 18 year old from Somerset drowned in Lake Cumberland while swimming Sunday afternoon. Tobias Napier was reportedly on Lake Cumberland with friends near Slate Branch Boat Ramp when he apparently slipped into the lake and could not recover. Napier’s body was located more than 60 feet below the lake’s surface and was recovered late Sunday. Investigators say the incident appears to be an accident and they currently have no reason to believe alcohol or drugs played a role.

The July membership meeting for the McCreary County Chamber of Commerce will be held this Wednesday July 16th at 12noon upstairs at the public library. This month’s meeting will be an open community forum to discuss past and ongoing projects of the Chamber as well as projects that could benefit the organization and the community. The August Chamber meeting will feature State Senator-Elect Max Wise as guest speaker. Lunch is available at each Chamber meeting for $5.00. For more information on the McCreary County Chamber of Commerce visit

With the start of the new fiscal year on July 1st, the McCreary County Fiscal Court is moving forward on several projects and is currently accepting bids and proposals for those projects. One such project is an issue that has been under consideration for more than a year with the county last year approving the use of municipal road money for Whitley City, Stearns and Pine Knot for sidewalk improvements. The court opted to use the money this year for the same purpose but has yet to complete any work on sidewalks. The county is now soliciting bids from qualified contractors to improve or reconstruct sidewalks in those areas of the county using the money from the state. County leaders are also accepting bids for the renovations and construction of a new 911 center located in the lower level of the existing ambulance service building in Whitley City. County officials have said they did not want to place new 911 equipment, which the county is obtaining through grant funds, in a building that is not even worth as much as the equipment. That would be the case if the 911 center remained in the old building. The third project underway is the refurbishment of a McCreary County ambulance, something county leaders have agreed to do each year by setting aside $5,000 monthly into a special ambulance fund. For details on the bid requests by the county on these projects you can see the public notices in last week’s issue of The McCreary County Voice or visit the county website at

Federal government employees working in McCreary County make a good living, especially for this area, but not all of these employees pay their fair share in taxes. That is according to information from the McCreary County Judge Executive’s Office and reported on this past week in The McCreary County Voice. The article focuses on the continuing problem of federal employees in the county not paying their occupational tax as required by county ordinance. While most employers simply deduct the 1% occupational tax from their employees’ wages federal employees are required to self report their earnings and pay their taxes annually. The Voice reports that local tax administrator’s office has been working on compiling a list of delinquent taxpayers for the 2013 tax year and while only about halfway through that process has already come up with at least $40,000 owed to the county from federal government employees. The county previously worked through the County Attorney’s office a few years ago to deal with the issue and got many to accept amnesty in exchange for making arrangements to pay their due taxes. Still, at least 30 or so of these federal employees did not follow through and remain delinquent to this day. That is money that the county could be using to provide services ranging from law enforcement to economic development, ambulance and more. County leaders say they are attempting to work with federal agencies to resolve the issue but to date it remains an ongoing problem.

While the exhibit hall displays are normally part of the McCreary County Fair, this year the fair was held last month and the exhibit hall will be open this month. In fact, the McCreary County Exhibit Hall, at the Senior Citizens’ Center of the County Park, will be open this Wednesday July 16th through Friday July 18th. Entries will be taken Wednesday from 1:00-6:00pm with judged items open for public viewing Thursday from 5:00-8:00pm and Friday 5:00-7:00pm. Admission to the exhibit hall is free and all items should be picked up by the exhibitor on Friday July 18th between 7:00-8:00pm. Another activity taking place during the exhibit hall display will be a Centennial Celebration honoring 100 years of the Smith-Lever Act, which established the Cooperative Extension Service. The McCreary County Extension Service will host the celebration this Thursday July 17th from 5:00-8:00pm at the exhibit hall at the park with refreshments and door prizes. For additional information contact the local extension service at 376-2524.

After long time County Treasurer Donna Ross retired from her post June 30th, after serving with the past three judge executives, the McCreary County Fiscal Court voted during their July session to appoint a new treasurer. Mark Sewell was appointed to serve through June 2015, which will conclude the remaining time on Donna Ross’ term. Mark Sewell has prior banking experience and also serves as a local church pastor and owns and operates the Dairy Bar in Whitley City. The next scheduled meeting for the McCreary County Fiscal Court will be the regular session Thursday August 14th at 7:00pm. The court now meets the second Thursday of each month.

The numbers are in and the revenue collected from McCreary County’s Occupational Tax was down for the month of June. The numbers show a total of $6,284.02 collected last month, down from June 2013 when nearly $7,800 came in and June 2012 when the county took in more than $9,000 for the month. Tax expenses last month, including the administrator’s salary and office expenses, came in at $2,983.27 leaving just over $3,317 to be deposited in the General Fund from the tax. For the complete monthly tax summaries and more information on the tax you can visit the county website at or go directly to

After we reported on a busy week for the McCreary County Sheriff’s Department ended on June 30th, the department now reports a fairly light week of arrests ending Monday July 7th. Only five individuals were picked up by department personnel during the week including 25 year old Randal Stevens who was arrested July 1st for public intoxication. Also on July 1st, 18 year old Jordan Maybrier was picked up for non-payment of fines. 37 year old Crystal Redden was arrested July 3rd for assault, while 25 year old Thomas Lynch was charged July 3rd with burglary. 43 year old Tonya Daugherty was arrested July 6th on charges of driving under the influence and possession of a controlled substance. These arrests include only those by the McCreary County Sheriff’s Department for the week ending Monday July 7th.

The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area is offering an interpretive program on nocturnal animals in the region Saturday evenings, including this Saturday July 12th, at the Blue Heron Campground fire circle. The program begins at 7:00pm and is wheelchair accessible and free to attend. For information or directions call the Blue Heron Interpretive Center at 376-3787.

Big South Fork staff will continue offering their series of nature hikes at Yahoo Falls in McCreary County each Sunday, including this Sunday July 13th. The hike starts at 10:00am each week from the Yahoo Falls parking area off KY Highway 700 west of Whitley City. The trail is rated moderate in difficulty and does include a long set of stairs.

The Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation, also known as SKED, is bringing a twelve (12) hour training course to Whitley City this summer. The program is geared toward small business owners and entrepreneurs in McCreary County who was to fine tune their skills or maybe improve their bottom line or develop an idea for a new business. The program is called “Entrepreneurial SMARTS” and is broken down into four sessions, each lasting three hours, for a total of twelve hours. The sessions will be held on Thursday August 7th, Thursday August 14th, Thursday August 21st and Thursday August 28th from 5:30 to 8:30pm each day at the McCreary Center of Somerset Community College. There is a $25 registration fee for those who want to participate in all four sessions, but organizers say the training is actually valued at $250, or ten times the registration fee. They add that the impact on your business could be much greater. For information or to register for the program, contact SKED through their website at or contact Susan Stephens at the McCreary County Economic Development office to learn more at 376-9711.

Those who will be attending McCreary Central High School in the 2014-2015 school year will want to make note of the upcoming registration schedule. The process begins on Tuesday July 29th with seniors registering from 1:00-3:00pm followed by juniors the same day from 4:00-6:00pm. Sophomores will register Wednesday July 30th from 4:00-6pm while freshmen register on Thursday July 31st from 4:00-6:00pm. A make-up day for those who missed their scheduled day will be Friday August 1st from 9:00-10:00am with any new enrollees at the high school set to register August 1st from 10:00-11:00am. A 9th grade freshmen orientation is scheduled for Tuesday August 5th starting at 7:00pm at McCreary Central High School. Registration packets should be received by all incoming students no later than July 22nd. Those who do not receive the packet should contact the high school Youth Service Center. The opening day for students in McCreary County is set for Thursday August 14th.

After citizens addressed the McCreary County Fiscal Court on numerous occasions in recent months about the problem of speeders racing along through streets and potentially posing a risk to safety in the area, county leaders are taking a step toward action. The court has adopted a policy that, along with state law, will allow local citizens who want to slow down traffic in residential areas to submit a request form asking that a “speed hump” be installed on a county road. The humps can be installed under specific guidelines approved by the court including being on single lane, paved county roads along with posted 25 mile per hour speed limit signs. For the complete list of guidelines and the application needed to submit your request to the McCreary County Fiscal Court, visit and look under the “Road Department” section on the “Documents and Notices” page.

The holiday weekend included events, fireworks and fights. Police report that an altercation in neighboring Whitley County ended with a stabbing and two people airlifted for treatment. It happened over the weekend when an argument erupted between two men in a vehicle that contained several passengers including two children. The argument soon turned violent and two men, identified as Clarence Lawson and George Saylor, were airlifted from the scene for injuries suffered in the fight. Police located a large amount of blood and a broken stick, apparently used in the fight, at the site in the Upper Mulberry area of Whitley County. The investigation into the case is continuing with charges already filed against Julia Lawson on two counts of endangering the welfare of a minor.

A Whitley County man has entered a guilty plea to charges of possessing and distributing child pornography. The announcement came last week by the Kentucky Attorney General’s office after its Cyber Crimes Unit investigated the case. 39 year old William Parrish entered the guilty plea in Whitley County Circuit Court last week and will be sentenced in October with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office recommending a six year prison term. The charges were filed after a search warrant was executed on Parrish’s Williamsburg home in 2012 with investigators finding images and videos of child pornography. For more information on the Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes Unit you can visit or to report cyber abuse call 1-800-843-5678.

The month of June ended with a busy week of arrests, including more than a dozen suspects taken into custody on various charges during the week ending Monday June 30th. Among those charged were 28 year old Anna Cooper for contempt; 30 year old Carolyn Brassfield for failure to appear; 49 year old Angela King for terroristic threatening; 27 year old Daniel Hatfield for wanton endangerment and criminal mischief; 25 year old Tonya Corder for failure to appear; 33 year old Francina Sparks for receiving stolen property; 36 year old Steven Blakley for theft; 30 year old Rodney Vaughn for receiving stolen property; 42 year old Everett Young, Jr. for failure to appear; 37 year old Teresa Sexton for driving under the influence; 30 year old Chanda Duvall for public intoxication; 35 year old Felix Moses II for public intoxication and fleeing or evading; and 26 year old Silas Miller for driving under the influence and endangering the welfare of a minor. These arrests represent only those conducted by the McCreary County Sheriff’s Department for the week ending June 30th and do not include arrests for that period by other law enforcement officers or agencies.

We previously reported on a McCreary County couple arrested in early May for child endangerment charges after they allegedly left an 11 month old unattended in a hot car. Police say the mother, 25 year old Amanda Ogle, was not in the vehicle at the time and was arrested for public intoxication charges while 30 year old Christopher Taylor was in the vehicle but spotted passed out by witnesses. Taylor was charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence and being a persistent felony offender. Both have now been indicted on those charges as well as wanton endangerment by a McCreary County Grand Jury. Others indicted this past month by the grand jury included Bobby Kidd of Main Street for theft over $500, criminal mischief, possession of a controlled substance, theft of a debit card, misuse of electronic information and being a persistent felony offender. Dustin Shawn Ross of Strunk was also indicted for burglary, theft and being a persistent felony offender, while Brittany Schwartz of Pine Knot was charged with theft and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon. The grand jury also indicted Ashley Lyons Cooper of Whitley City for criminal possession of a forged instrument and being a persistent felony offender. Indictments by the grand jury formally charge a suspect in a case but are not a finding of guilt. The McCreary County Grand Jury also reviewed the May primary election and found no evidence of wrongdoing.

Tour SEKY, the regional tourism promotion organization based at the Center for Rural Development in Somerset, recently announced it would award McCreary County Tourism a grant worth $24,945 for beautification efforts in the county. The grant will allow for implementation of the project, which is part of the overall Trail Town project, including light poles, pole banners, benches, bike racks and signage in Whitley City, Stearns and at the county entrances. For more in tourism efforts in McCreary County, contact Tourism Director Tara Chaney at 376-3008 or e-mail

The official grand opening of the McCreary County Farmer’s Market took place this past Saturday. Approximately a dozen vendors set up to display and sell items at the market with items available including fresh produce like potatoes, tomatoes, corn, green beans, onions and more along with locally made candles, crafts and even livestock including rabbits and goats. The McCreary County Chamber of Commerce gave out free watermelon slices and held a ribbon cutting ceremony. The event also included an appearance by local musician and popular personality Edsel Blevins. The McCreary County Farmer’s Market will continue its hours of 9:00am to 2:00pm each Saturday at the site next to the soil and water conservation district office, just off Wilburn K Ross Highway in Stearns. Those interested in setting up as vendors at the market can call Susan Stephens at 376-9711 or the Judge Executive’s office at 376-2413. You can also visit the farmers’ market page online at

The McCreary County Farmer’s Market now has three open days in the books to work out details but the grand opening of the market is set for this Saturday July 5th. The market opens at 9:00am Saturday morning but the ceremony, including ribbon cutting by the McCreary County Chamber of Commerce, will be held at 10:00am. The market is next to the Soil and Water Conservation District office, just off Wilburn K Ross Highway in Stearns. For information on the market or to become a local vendor call the McCreary County Community and Economic Development Office at 376-9711 or the Judge Executive’s Office at 376-2413. You can also visit the farmers’ market page at

The Independence Day (July 4th) holiday weekend will include three days full of activities and events in McCreary County. McCreary County Tourism is sponsoring an evening of free music with the local group “Coffey Holler” Thursday July 3rd at 7:00pm at Jackson Heritage Park just behind the tourism office in Whitley City. Bring lawn chairs, blankets and picnics.

On Friday July 4th, the McCreary County Park will host the family picnic day starting at 11:00am with free inflatables and water slide for kids all day, plus a schedule including a wiffle ball home run derby at 12:00pm, cornhole tournament at 1:00pm, watermelon seed spitting contest at 2:00pm, family rocket launch at 3:00pm, and kid’s wheels and walking parade at 6:00pm. A free showing of “The Lego Movie” will be presented at 9:00pm with free popcorn. The Uptown Opry in downtown Whitley City will also have a July 4th cookout starting Friday at 5:30pm followed by their live country music show at 7:00pm.

This Saturday, July 5th, will be the Stearns Homecoming Celebration with live music all day at the Big South Fork Talent Showcase stage, open house and activities at the McCreary County Museum and the annual car show with registration from 1:00-5:00pm. Entry will be $12.00 with proceeds going to the Relay for Life and the show in being held memory of Dr. Scotty Little. Trophies for the car show will be presented at 6:00pm. The local fireworks show will be held over Stearns after dark Saturday sponsored by the McCreary County Heritage Foundation and its partners.

For more on the various July 4th weekend activities in McCreary County you can call the local tourism office at 376-3008 or the County Park office at 376-7275.

We previously reported on a body discovered in the waters of Lake Cumberland Sunday afternoon. That body has been pulled from the lake and has been identified by officials. The Pulaski County Coroner’s office reports that the body was identified as 32 year old Justin Shelton, who officials say likely fell in the water and drowned accidentally. An autopsy was conducted Monday in Frankfort to determine the exact cause of death.

The Kentucky Department of Revenue has announced that the 2014 state real property tax rate has been set and will remain unchanged at 12.2 cents per $100 assessed value, the same rate from the previous year. All revenue raised from the state property tax goes into the state’s General Fund. Local property taxes will be set in the coming months with McCreary County’s 2014 property tax bills due to come out around October 1st.

This July 4th the Kentucky State Parks are inviting people to celebrate with a series of events at various state parks around the state. One such event will be held at Cumberland Falls State Resort where games and activities will be held throughout the day from 10:00am to 5:00pm on Friday. Craft vendors will also be set up Friday and Saturday at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park. Some of the activities Friday will include a dunking booth, bouncy castle, cornhole tournament and more. For information call the park at 1-800-325-0063.

The man accused of gunning down Somerset attorney Mark Stanziano outside his office Friday was in court in Pulaski County Monday to answer to murder charges. A public defender appointed for 40 year old Clinton David Inabnitt entered a not guilty plea on his behalf and the judge order the suspect held under $250,000 bond. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for July 16th.

For those who are unable to attend programs at the McCreary County Public Library, there is now another option. The library has announced that starting next Tuesday July 8th they will be offering some of their programs on the road at various locations in the county. Throughout the summer, programs will be offered each Tuesday at 11:30am in the community room of McCreary Apartments, Tuesdays at 1:00pm at The Landing, and on Thursdays at 1:00pm at the McCreary Housing Authority in Pine Knot. The bookmobile will also make these stops on a regular basis to allow residents at each location the chance to check out materials from the library each week. The bookmobile will also be offering summer readying activities to patrons on the road as well as at daycares in the county. Each summer reading program includes stories, crafts and snacks with prizes awarded to children who complete the program. The library encourages participation in the program by children of all ages and abilities. Stop by the library in downtown Whitley City for information, call 376-8738 or visit them online at

A Somerset attorney is dead and a suspect behind bars after a fatal shooting outside the attorney’s office Friday morning. Police say Mark Stanziano, a defense attorney from Somerset, was approached by 40 year old Clinton David Inabnitt who then shot the attorney taking his life. The suspect allegedly talked with Stanziano Thursday night and became mad that he would not help him with a problem. Police say a witness has reported some type of threat being made that night, and then the shooting was carried out the next morning. Court records show the suspect had been in trouble with the law before including multiple arrests for resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and alcohol related offenses. His current charge is one count of murder and he is lodged in jail under no bond as the fatal shooting remains under investigation. Funeral services for Mark Stanziano will be Tuesday afternoon.

Officials say a body was pulled from the waters of Lake Cumberland in Pulaski County this past weekend. It happened Sunday afternoon after a fisherman apparently spotted the body and notified authorities. The identity of the man has not yet been determined but officials say he appears to be in his 20s or early 30s and likely fell into the water accidentally. The discovery remains under investigation.

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