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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

Updated Friday July 31, 2015 @ 7:00am

ONEIDA TEEN FOUND DEAD BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is working with the Scott County Sheriff's Department on an investigation into the discovery of a dead body by the side of the road early Wednesday. Police reports show that the body, which has since been identified as that of 17 year old Larry “Chris” Cooper of Oneida, was found on the shoulder of US Highway 27 just north of the Airport Road bridge. The discovery took place at about 5:00am Wednesday morning. The investigation into the death and how the body came to be on the side of the road is active but authorities say initial examinations indicated no obvious signs of trauma to the body including no gunshot wounds and stab wounds. Cooper was seen by witnesses walking along the road prior to the discovery of his body. An autopsy was planned and officials are hoping that will produce more clues in how the teen died.

McCREARY METH BUST NETS TWO ARRESTS
A Monday morning traffic stop, following a brief pursuit, led officers to a quantity of methamphetamine and the arrest of two individuals. The McCreary County Voice reports that Fish and Wildlife Officer Chris King observed a truck turning into a Forest Service access road and followed, due to recent illegal harvesting of ginseng. The two men in the truck apparently noticed the officer following and turned to flee the scene resulting in the pursuit. Once stopped in the Wiborg area, the vehicle was found to contain large quantities of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and cash. Arrested at the scene were Steven Green of McCreary County and Brian Hittle of Pulaski County, charged with traffic offenses. The drug charges will reportedly be presented to a grand jury for possible action by the Lake Cumberland Area Drug Task Force.

BIG SOUTH FORK OFFERING RANGER LED PROGRAM, HIKE
The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area will offer a ranger led program and a hike this weekend to locals and visitors to the region. This Saturday August 1st, a program on “Animals of the Big South Fork” will be offered at the Blue Heron Campground campfire circle beginning at 7:00pm. The program will last about 45 minutes, is free to the public and is wheelchair accessible. On Sunday August 2nd, a ranger led hike will take place at Yahoo Falls starting at 11:00am in the parking area, just off Kentucky Highway 700. This hike is also free but attendees should wear sturdy, but comfortable, shoes for the hike, dress appropriately for the weather, and brink plenty of drinking water. The hike is rated moderately difficult due to a long set of stairs. For information or directions on these ranger led programs, call the Blue Heron Interpretive Center at 376-3787.

McCREARY SHERIFF CONFISCATES MORE THAN 100 POT PLANTS
McCreary County Sheriff Randy Waters reports the discovery of 130 marijuana plants in the Muddy Branch Road area, off Bethel Road in Pine Knot. The pot plants were found Monday and confiscated by the sheriff's department. Sheriff Waters says no arrests have been made at this time but the investigation into the case is continuing.

FATAL CRASH IN PULASKI COUNTY UNDER INVESTIGATION
A Tuesday afternoon crash at the intersection of KY Highway 80 and KY 461 in Pulaski County resulted in one death and another person being seriously injured. It happened at about 1:30pm Tuesday when an SUV was heading southbound om Highway 461 and pulled into the path of a Chevrolet truck. The collision resulted in the death of Janice Patricia Weston who was riding in one of the vehicles. Two others were treated at the scene and then transported to Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital. Another man was flown to UK Medical Center in Lexington in critical condition. The investigation into the crash is continuing by the Pulaski County Sheriff's Department.

WHITLEY COUNTY MAN RUNS FROM POLICE DURING DRUG BUST
Police in Williamsburg are searching for a man who ran from them Sunday morning during an attempted drug bust. Officers say 41 year old Thomas Wayne Hersey is facing charges of fleeing or evading police, along with manufacturing methamphetamine. Police tried to execute am arrest warrant at his home when he fled into a wooded area. Inside the home, officers found a 22 handgun along with meth making products and one step meth labs. Anyone with information on Hersey's whereabouts is asked to call the Whitley County Sheriff's Department at 606-549-6017.

McCREARY COUNTY PAIR SERIOUSLY INJURED IN WEEKEND WRECK
Two people from McCreary County were seriously injured this past Saturday evening when the motorcycle they were riding was reportedly struck from behind by a truck. Somerset Police have reported that 35 year old Amber Scales od Somerset was driving under the influence when her truck slammed into the motorcycle ridden by 22 year old Damon “Storm” Stevens of Whitley City and his passenger, 19 year old Courtney Dixon of Pine Knot. The motorcycle then struck the car in front of it operated by 30 year old Sarah Lucas of Liberty, Kentucky. Damon Stevens was transported to Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital in Somerset while Courtney Dixon was airlifted to UK Hospital in Lexington with serious injuries. Amber Scales was arrested and charged with driving under the influence 1st offense, operating on a suspended driver's license, four counts of wanton endangerment and one count of assault second degree. She was lodged in the Pulaski County Detention Center. The Somerset Police Department is continuing the investigation into the wreck, which took place at about 9:18pm Saturday in front of the Center for Rural Development on Highway 27.

McCREARY COUNTY SCHOOLS PREPARING FOR 2015-2016 YEAR
The 2015-2016 school year is now just a few weeks away with opening day for staff in the McCreary County School District set for Tuesday August 18th and opening day for students on Wednesday August 19th. Open house and registration dates have been announced for each of the local schools starting with Pine Knot Primary School where kinder-camp open house will be Wednesday August 5th from 1:00-3:00pm and 1st through 3rd grade on Thursday August 6th from 1:00-3:00pm. Whitley City Elementary School will have open house for all grades Thursday August 6th from 3:00-5:30pm, Pine Knot Intermediate School open house Thursday August 13th from 3:00-6:00pm and McCreary Middle School open house Thursday August 13th from 12:00-6:00pm.

McCreary Central High School will begin registration dates on Monday August 10th with new enrollees from 10:00am-12:00pm, seniors from 1:00-3:00pm, and juniors from 4:00-6:00pm. Sophomores will register Tuesday August 11th from 4:00-6:00pm and a freshman kick-off event and orientation will be held Wednesday August 12th from 11:00am to 4:00pm followed by registration from 4:00-6:00pm. A make-up day for all grades at the high school will be Thursday August 13th from 9:00-10:00am.

KARING FOR KYLIE PAGE GAINING COMMUNITY SUPPORT
Since Kylie Ball was hit on Beulah Heights Road more than a week ago, a Facebook page supporting her and providing updates on her condition has gained community support and has well over 2,000 “likes”. Kylie remains in critical condition at UK Hospital in Lexington after suffering severe injuries in the Saturday July 18th hit and run accident. Several efforts are underway to raise money to help with medical and other related expenses including a “Go Fund Me” account and t-shirt sales. Milton's Burger Hut also joined with Hunt Brothers selling pizzas that were donated with proceeds going to help the family. The McCreay County Sheriff's Department is continuing the investigation into the accident and are seeking information from the public. A reward has also been offered for information leading to an arrest in the case. To continue following Kylie's story or to support the ongoing efforts, you can “like” the “Karing for Kylie” Facebook page.

SOMERSET POLICE APPROVED FOR UNMANNED AIRCRAFT
The Somerset Police Department is the first law enforcement agency in Kentucky to be approved to use unmanned aircraft. The department reportedly applied for authorization last year and say using the aircraft will help supplement their existing programs. The craft will reportedly be used for low level photography which can't be obtain safely using manned aircraft. The units can also be used, according to information from the department, to assist other emergency agencies such as fire, rescue and EMS as well as city departments like gas, water and sewer. Now that authorization and equipment are in place, and training is being completed, the program can be put into full operation with the pilot using a remote control to operate the craft which also feeds live video back to the control center.

BLUE HERON HIKE THIS WEDNESDAY TO “CRACK IN THE ROCKS”
A ranger led hike is scheduled at Blue Heron again this Wednesday July 29th starting at 2:30pm. The hike begins from the Blue Heron Interpretive Center and will include a portion of the Blue Heron Loop to the “Crack in the Rocks” area. It is free to participate in the hike but participants are asked to wear appropriate clothing and foot wear for the weather and a short hike, bring plenty of water and watch weather conditions. For information or directions call Blue Heron at 376-3787.

MURPHY REMOVED FROM AIRPORT BOARD; TAX STILL IN QUESTION
The future of a tax recently voted in by the McCreary County Airport Board is still in question after PVA Bruce Lominac filed an injunction last week in Circuit Court seeking a stop to the tax. Lominac told The McCreary County Voice that after consulting with County Attorney Conley Chaney, he felt the board had no authority to impose such a tax without prior approval from fiscal court. He added that as the official responsible for for preparing and printing tax bills, legality issues with a tax could fall back on his office. In the injunction, Lominac is requesting that the tax be nullified and not included on upcoming tax bills. Meanwhile, after fiscal court voted this month to vacate three expired seats on the board, members Clifton Redden and Bill Smith were reappointed by poll of the court, while Bruce Murphy, who had been serving as board chairman, was removed and replaced by Tim Freels. The airport board is reportedly still looking at options moving forward, including the possibility of voting to rescind the tax, selling fuel on hand at the airport and other cost cutting measures in an attempt to keep the facility open.

INVESTIGATION LEADS TO ARREST OF SUSPECTED DRUG DEALER
An investigation last week involving several agencies and multiple counties led police to arrest a 68 year old man on drug charges. According to the Wayne County Sheriff's Department, the joint operation involved local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and involved Wayne and Pulaski Counties. A federal search warrant was executed last Wednesday on the residence of James Ronald “Ronnie” Muse of Wayne County during which more than $42,000 in cash was seized along with drugs and drug paraphernalia. The investigation then led officers to a location in the Bronston area of Pulaski County where a large quantity of crystal meth was reportedly confiscated, with an estimated street value of about $700,000. Ronnie Muse was arrested and charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and was lodged in the Laurel County Detention Center. The Wayne and Pulaski County Sheriff's Department are working with the Lake Cumberland Area Drug Task Force, Operation UNITE and other agencies to continue the investigation.

VOTE ON ALCOHOL SALES RESCINDED AFTER PETITIONS FALL SHORT
After petitions were turned in with about 2100 signatures to call for a vote on alcohol sales in McCreary County, and Judge Executive Doug Stephens set a tentative date for that vote in September, an executive order has now been issued rescinding, or canceling, that special election. This comes after the McCreary County Clerk's Office was only able to verify just over 1100 legitimate signatures on those petitions, nearly 200 fewer than were actually needed. Many of the signatures were reportedly thrown out due to lack of a date on the petition, some due to duplication on petitions and some for not being eligible, registered McCreary County voters. Now, organizers of the effort would have to start over in gathering signatures on petitions with signatures to be gathered for no more than six months before being turned in. One thing that may help in that effort is the fact that the number of signatures needed the next time around would be fewer as they will be based on General Election turnout for this coming November, when turnout is expected to be lower than last November.

UNEMPLOYMENT RATES IMPROVED FROM JUNE 2014 TO JUNE 2015
The latest unemployment figures released show improvements in the jobless rate between June 2014 and June 2015. In fact, 118 counties in Kentucky saw lower rates this year over the same month last year. McCreary County's jobless rate was down from 10.7% in June 2014 to just 8% last month. Nine out of ten Lake Cumberland area counties also saw improved jobless figures with Russell County as the only county in the district with a higher rate compared to last year. The overall Lake Cumberland rate dropped from 8% to 6.6% last month, while Kentucky's rate also improved from 6.7% to 5.3%. The US rate for June 2015 was recorded at 5.5%. Unemployment rates are based on estimates of the number of job seekers within a four week period. For more on Kentucky's labor market and unemployment data you can visit www.kylmi.ky.gov.

BIG SOUTH FORK HOSTING YAHOO FALLS NATURE HIKE ON SUNDAY
The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area is hosting a Sunday morning nature hike at Yahoo Falls this Sunday July 26th. The ranger led hike will begin at 11:00am from the parking area at Yahoo Falls and will take in a large rock cave and towering sandstone cliffs. The hike is free of charge and the trail is rated moderately difficult including a long set of stairs. For information or directions call the Blue Heron Interpretive Center at 376-3787.

McCREARY COUNTY SHERIFF INVESTIGATING WEEKEND HIT & RUN
In an update to the story we have been following this week, the McCreary County Sheriff's Department is leading the investigation into this past weekend's hit and run accident. The incident happened Saturday night on Beulah Heights Road when Kylie Ball stopped in the road to rescue some kittens and was then struck by an oncoming car. The driver of that car apparently did not stop to help Ball and drive off. Kylie was transported to UK Hospital in Lexington where she remains in critical condition and is undergoing numerous surgeries for internal injuries. Sheriff Randy Waters has told media sources that his department is currently looking at surveillance video from a house near the accident scene and they are also checking local cell phone towers to retrieve call records for the time just after the collision. Anyone with any information on the accident can contact the McCreary County Sheriff's Department or the local 911 dispatch center. Kylie Ball's family has reportedly offered a $5,000 reward for anyone who can provide information leading to an arrest in the case. Donations are also being accepted to help with medical expenses.

KY ARTS COUNCIL AWARDS GRANTS TO AREA ORGANIZATIONS
The Kentucky Arts Council announced this week that $1.2 million in state art grant funds have been awarded to organizations across the state. In the immediate area, the Lake Cumberland Performing Arts received $3,351 to help with their ongoing efforts, while the Kentucky Native American Heritage Museum, based in Corbin in Whitley County, received $6,762. The funding was awarded through the Kentucky Arts Partnership program administered through the Kentucky Arts Council.

McCREARY COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY SEEKING JOB APPLICANTS
The McCreary County Public Library has announced that they are seeking applications now for a part time position with the local library. The position is as a “library associate” working up to twenty hours per week including some Saturdays and some evenings. The job will require designing of brochures, flyers and newsletters along with taking photographs of patrons and events at the library, working with school and community groups on projects, website maintenance, and other duties as required at the library. Qualified applicants will possess a high school diploma or GED, proficiency with computers including office programs, photo editing programs and and ability to work independently and be self motivated. Applications are available at and can be returned to the main desk at the McCreary County Public Library and will be accepted now through August 20th.

McCREARY TO VOTE ON ALCOHOL SALES IN SEPTEMBER...MAYBE
After a petition containing more than 2,000 signatures was turned in to the McCreary County Clerk's Office last week, a date has been tentatively set for a vote on alcohol sales countywide. The McCreary County Clerk's office was still working this week to verify that at least 1300 legitimate signatures were included, but Judge Executive Doug Stephens, on advice from the state, was able to set the date for a special referendum vote for Tuesday September 15th. Judge Stephens said this was done due to timing of the upcoming November General Election, but added if enough signatures are not verified that vote will not take place. The clerk's office is reportedly working to get all signatures verified this week. We have been told some have already been thrown out due to a lack of date on the petition and some for duplicate signatures. The last time the vote was held, in August 2012, it was narrowly defeated.
 

KY TOURISM PARTNERS WITH NATIONAL PARKS FOR PENTATHLON
Have you visited all five National Parks located in Kentucky? Did you know there were five National Parks located in Kentucky? Kentucky Tourism is now partnering with the National Park Service to encourage visitation to all of the National Park sites in the state and is offering an incentive to those who visit all five. With the National Park Service set to celebrate its 100th birthday next year, officials felt it was the perfect time to get visitors to see what the parks have to offer. Those who visit all five National Parks in Kentucky by April 2017 and document their visitation can receive a special Pentathlon commemorative patch recognizing the Centennial of the National Park Service. The five National Parks in Kentucky include, of course, the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area which encompasses 125,000 in both Kentucky and Tennessee, with the Kentucky portion located in McCreary County. Other National Parks in the state include Abraham Lincoln's Birthplace in Larue County, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park in Bell and Harlan Counties, The Fort Heiman unit of Fort Donelson National Battlefield in Calloway County, and Mammoth Cave National Park in Edmonson, Hart, and Barren Counties. For more information on the program you can call the Big South Fork Park Headquarters at 423-569-9778.

GO FUND ME ACCOUNT FOR KYLIE BALL AFTER WEEKEND ACCIDENT
We told you Monday about the Saturday night accident that seriously injured Kylie Ball on Beulah Heights Road in McCreary County. Kylie was reportedly out of her car trying to rescue some kittens that were in the roadway when an oncoming car slammed into her, threw her off the road and then drove off. She is currently hospitalized and being treated for her serious injuries at UK Hospital in Lexington. Now, a “Go Fund Me” account has been set up for Kylie Ball and her family to assist with various expenses related to her condition. A link to that page can be found on Facebook and is posted on the WHAY Radio Facebook page as well as other locations on the social media site. The hit and run accident remains under investigation.

DELINQUENT TAXPAYERS GIVEN NOTICE OF UPCOMING EVENTS
Those who owe back taxes in McCreary County will want to make note of two upcoming events. For those who have still not paid their property tax bills from last year, that list of delinquent taxpayers will be published this coming Thursday in The McCreary County Voice newspaper and will also be posted on the McCreary County Clerk's website and on the Kentucky delinquent tax list online. A tax sale will take place August 25th at 10:00am at the McCreary County Courthouse where tax bills that are past due can be sold to a third party who would then hold a lien on your property. Tax bills can still be paid up to the date of the tax sale to avoid this action, but the bill must be paid in full by that date. Contact the McCreary County Clerk's office for full details and payment information.

Those who are behind in paying their required occupational taxes to the county now have a chance to avoid costly late fees, penalties and interest. Now through August 21st, the McCreary County Fiscal Court is allowing occupational tax bills to be paid in full with no penalties or interest added. Those who setup a payment plan during this period can avoid penalties but would still have to be interest on the late amounts. Questions regarding this program can be directed to the McCreary County Tax Administrator's Office at 376-1322 or the Judge Executive's Office at 376-2413. You can visit the tax page online for details on the tax including the county ordinance and reporting forms. That page is online at tax.mccrearycounty.com.

PRELIMINARY PLANS ANNOUNCED FOR “HERITAGE TRAIL DAYS”
Thursday October 1st through Saturday October 3rd, McCreary County will be celebrating its first annual “Heritage Trail Days” events, replacing the McCrearyFest event. The McCreary County Tourist Commission is the primary sponsor of the weekend events, but a number of other organizations and individuals are also stepping up to help organize and carryout the activities. Preliminary plans include a number of guided hikes, mountain bike rides, a canoe race, and a Thursday night kick off event in Jackson Heritage Park in Whitley City with live music, farmers' market and a bon fire with roasted apples and pumpkin. Friday night plans include a zombie walk and free movie at the McCreary County Park and on Saturday a number of activities are being planned including a “Monster Run” 5k race at the park and downtown festival in Whitley City with music, crafts, parade, art show, childrens' activities and more. Tentative plans for Saturday night October 3rd include a street party in downtown Stearns with music, food, business open houses and other special activities.

Currently, food and craft vendor applications are being accepted for Saturday's downtown Whitley City events as well as parade applications. Entries for the parade should be submitted by the end of August to ensure a level of community support for that event.

More details will be announced in the coming weeks as planning continues. To follow updates and schedules, visit www.heritagetraildays.com or like the “Heritage Trail Days” page on Facebook.

PEDSTRIAN SERIOUSLY INJURED IN SATURDAY NIGHT ACCIDENT
A young McCreary County woman was reportedly injured when she was hit by a vehicle while walking along Beulah Heights Road at about 11:30pm Saturday night. Facebook posts identify the victim as Kylie Ball and say she was seriously injured and transported to UK Hospital in Lexington with internal injuries. McCreary County 911 confirmed the location and time of the accident but could not release any additional details. Some reports have indicated the vehicle that struck Ball left the scene of the accident. The case remains under investigation. There has been no confirmed update on her condition.

McCREARY COUNTY SCHOOLS PREPARING FOR 2015-2016 YEAR
The 2015-2016 school year is now just about a month away with opening day for staff in the McCreary County School District set for August 18th and opening day for students on August 19th. Open house and registration dates have been announced for each of the local schools starting with Pine Knot Primary School where kinder-camp open house will be August 5th from 1:00-3:00pm and 1st through 3rd grade on August 6th from 1:00-3:00pm. Whitley City Elementary School will have open house for all grades August 6th from 3:00-5:30pm, Pine Knot Intermediate School open house August 13th from 3:00-6:00pm and McCreary Middle School open house August 13th from 12:00-6:00pm.

McCreary Central High School will begin registration dates on Monday August 10th with new enrollees from 10:00am-12:00pm, seniors from 1:00-3:00pm, and juniors from 4:00-6:00pm. Sophomores will register Tuesday August 11th from 4:00-6:00pm and a freshman kick-off event and orientation will be held Wednesday August 12th from 11:00am to 4:00pm followed by registration from 4:00-6:00pm. A make-up day for all grades at the high school will be Thursday August 13th from 9:00-10:00am.

SCHOOL DISTRICT STILL PUSHING FOR MORE BUS DRIVERS
After a shortage of bus drivers last school year led to longer bus rides for students and more crowded buses, McCreary County school officials are still pushing for more bus driver applicants for the upcoming year. Applications are currently being taken and two full time positions need to be filled along with an unlimited number of substitute positions. An incentive program has been put in place that will help applicants with the cost of enrolling in the training program. For information or to apploy you can stop by the bus garage on Highway 1651 just south of Whitley City or call 376-8199.

McCREARY CENTRAL HIGH PREPARING FOR SPORTS SEASONS
Students who will be playing sports in the McCreary County School District and will need physicals for their upcoming season can get those sports physicals at the high school athletic complex this evening, Friday July 17th, starting at 6:00pm. Players should be accompanied by their parent or guardian and should bring their insurance card to cover the cost of the physical.

Fall sports teams at McCreary Central High School are already practicing and will begin playing next month. The Raider football team will kickoff their season on August 21st on the road at Jenkins, followed by an August 28th game at Lynn Camp. The first home game for the Raiders will be September 4th at 8:00pm.

PARK SERVICE OFFERING WEEKEND PROGRAMS & HIKES
Locals and visitors to the region can enjoy programs and ranger led hikes offered this weekend in the Big South Fork. Ranger Don Tetrick will lead a program on animals of the Big South Fork this Saturday July 18th at 7:00pm at the Blue Heron Interpretive Center, which is wheelchair accessible. The program is free to attend. On Sunday, July 19th, a ranger led hike will begin at 11:00am from the Yahoo Falls parking area and will take in large rock shelters, towering sandstone cliffs and Yahoo Falls, which is Kentucky's tallest waterfall at 113 feet. This hike is also free to attend, but those taking part should wear sturdy, comfortable shoes and bring drinking water. For information on either program offered by the Big South Fork, call 376-3787.

KATHY BRANNON MEMORIAL CRAFT DAYS SET FOR SEPTEMBER
Those who have been around McCreary County for more than a few years will most likely remember Kathy Brannon. Kathy was a long time extension agent in McCreary County who battled cancer and ultimately lost that fight several years ago. Since her passing, the McCreary County Extension Service has developed and present the annual “Kathy Brannon Memorial Craft Days” which this year will be held Friday September 11th and Saturday September 12th. While there is no registration fee, many craft classes are being offered with many of those including a fee for the class to cover materials and supplies. Lunch will be provided each day, catered by Knife of the Party Catering Company from here in McCreary County, with a daily $8.00 lunch fee. There will also be a silent auction of craft items continuing both days with funds raised going to help with the continuation of the event for future years. The registration deadline is August 12th with registration forms available through the McCreary County Extension Service or online by looking up “Kathy Brannon Memorial Craft Days” on Facebook. Classes will be offered for kids and adults in areas including ceramics, quilting, basket making, bird houses, painting, pen and ink, and more.

STATE OFFICIALS VISIT THE CLOSED McCREARY COUNTY JAIL
As we previously reported, state officials were in McCreary County Tuesday where they paid a visit to the closed jail facility. Crews had been working the last week or so to clean up the building in hopes of convincing officials to allow for its reopening. Reports indicate that a number of structural issues were pointed out during the visit to the jail this week. Previous management issues at the jail were also a major concern for the state when they called for the facility to be closed. The McCreary County Voice will have more details on the visit and the jail's future this week.

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE HOSTING SHOP LOCAL CONTEST
Just as parents, guardians and teachers start thinking about purchasing all those back to school supplies, the McCreary County Chamber of Commerce is hosting a “shop local” contest. To enter, simply snap a photo of your receipt for school supplies from a McCreary County business and upload that to the Chamber's Facebook page. Winners will be drawn at random and receive a $25 gift card from a local business. The contest runs through the end of August. Visit and like the McCreary County Chamber of Commerce Facebook page for details and to take part.

McCREARY FARMERS MARKET OFFER “DOUBLE DOLLARS” ON SNAP
Those who receive SNAP, or “food stamp”, benefits can now get twice as much for their benefits when they purchase from the McCreary County Farmers' Market. The market is taking part in a “Double Dollars” grant program this season which allows vendors to accept SNAP transactions and give twice as much product. For example, a person selecting $20.00 worth of eligible products at the market could use their SNAP card and only have $10.00 deducted from their benefits. Credit card and debit card transactions are also accepted at the local farmers' market. Currently, lots of McCreary County grown produce can be found including tomatoes, green beans, squash, cucumbers, cabbage, locally produced eggs, jams, jellies, and even craft items. The McCreary County Farmers' Market is open each Saturday from 8:00am to 12:00pm just off Wilburn K Ross Highway across from the high school entrance in Stearns. The market also has “mobile” set up dates including the first and third Thursday of each month from 5:00-8:00pm at Jackson Heritage Park, behind the library, in downtown Whitley City. The mobile market will be setup at that location this evening. For more on the local farmers' market you can like the Facebook page or visit www.mccrearycounty.com.

McCREARY COUNTY MOVING CLOSER TO ANOTHER WET/DRY VOTE
Three years after the wet/dry vote in McCreary County that saw legalized alcohol sales narrowly defeated, the county is closer than ever to having another referendum vote. For several weeks, organizers of the effort to vote McCreary County wet have been gathering petitions and even held a rally this past Saturday to help energize the effort. Now, according to a post on the “McCreary Co. Going Wet” Facebook page, petitions were turned in to the McCreary County Clerk's Office late Monday afternoon. The post states that more than 2500 signatures were on the petitions, however they must be verified and certified by the clerk before being considered legitimate. Only signatures of registered voters in McCreary County will count toward the total, which must be at least 1,304 in order to call for the special election. Once enough certified signatures are declared by the clerk's office, that will be sent to Judge Executive Doug Stephens who is required by law to call for the special vote within no more than 60 days. That could put a special referendum election sometime between now and the middle of September. Alcohol sales have now begun in the historic district of Stearns with the Whistle Stop Cafe now open limited hours and special runs of the Big South Fork Scenic Railway also including alcohol sales.

SANDHILL RV CAMP TO HOST CHRISTIANFEST '15 THIS WEEKEND
Sandhill RV Camp on Highway 700 just east of Whitley City will be the host location for an event called “ChristianFest '15” this weekend. The two day event will include lots of live gospel music with free admission both days. The event will run from 5:00-10:00pm this Friday July 17th and 11:00am-8:00pm on Saturday. There will be food and other vendors and camping is available on site by calling Melissa at 376-7275 for reservations.

COUNTY OFFICIALS PREPARE FOR STATE VISIT TO LOCAL JAIL
In anticipation of a promised visit from officials with the Kentucky Department of Corrections to the local jail facility, which has been closed the last few years, county officials recently began putting workers inside the building in a cleanup effort. It was announced late last week that the Department of Corrections had finally agreed to send staff to view the facility and speak to county leaders about the possibility of its reopening. In fact, those state officials were scheduled to be in McCreary County today (Tuesday July 14th) for the visit. While county leaders have said that much work is still needed on the local jail building, the recent cleanup efforts should go a long way in showing the state that McCreary County is serious about wanting its jail back in operation. That, coupled with the presence of a new jailer, could help make the case that the facility and its management can be be brought under control. Several inmate escapes, mismanagement and the overall condition of the building, led state officials to call on the local government to close the jail.

KENTUCKY SPORTS RADIO IN WHITLEY CITY FOR TOUR STOP
The 2015 summer tour of Kentucky Sports Radio is in full swing and includes a stop in Whitley City today (Tuesday July 14th). KSR is back at the McCreary County Public Library in downtown Whitley City for a live broadcast of their daily show, which airs on stations across the state and beyond, including local station WHAY 98.3FM, each weekday morning from 10am-12noon. The summer tour stops are free for the public to attend.

STATE POLICE WARNING ABOUT LEAVING KIDS IN HOT CARS
With temperatures soaring above 90 many days with high humidity, officials with the Kentucky State Police are warning against leaving children in hot vehicles for any period of time. Reports using nationwide numbers show that in 2014, 32 children died from heat stroke after being left in hot vehicles in the United States. In many cases, parents simply reported that they forgot that their small children were in the car until it was too late, and in other cases parents carelessly left their children for what they thought was a short period of time, but it was long enough to have devastating results. KSP officials say the temperature can soar well above the outside temperature in minutes. Remember to never leave children in a hot vehicle for any period of time and double check that everyone gets out of the vehicle when unloading and do not overlook sleeping babies. Citizens who spot children left alone in vehicles on hot days should contact law enforcement to report the situation.

PARK SERVICE HOSTING GUIDED HIKE AT BLUE HERON
Staff of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area will offer a guided hike this Wednesday July 15th starting at 2:30pm from the Blue Heron Interpretive Center at the restored coal camp at the end of Kentucky Highway 742 in McCreary County. The hike will take in the diverse landscape of the Blue Heron area as well as the area known as “Crack in the Rocks” on the Blue Heron Loop Trail. Attendees are reminded to wear comfortable, sturdy shoes for hiking and bring plenty of water. The trail is rated moderately difficult. For information or directions on the free hike, call 376-3787.

TEEN DROWNS DURING WEEKEND OUTING ON LAKE CUMBERLAND
The Wayne County Coroner's office confirmed over the weekend that 18 year old Carl “Dudeus” Whitaker of Lexington drowned while on an outing on Lake Cumberland. It happened Saturday afternoon near the Cumberland Point area on the lake during an outing with his family. An autopsy was scheduled as the investigation continues.

KY 700 (SANDHILL ROAD) REMAINS CLOSED TO THROUGH TRAFFIC
More than a week after being closed due to a mudslide, Kentucky Highway 700, Sandhill Road, remains closed to through traffic. State highway officials said early last week that the closure could last at least three weeks giving engineers time to assess the area for safety. The closure is at mile point 13.6 in the Indian Creek area. Traffic can still enter on either side, from Highway 27 or Highway 90, but no through traffic is allowed. Updates can be found on the State Highway District 8 Facebook page or Twitter account.

McCREARY FISCAL COURT APPROVES RESOLUTIONS FOR GRANTS
During their regular monthly meeting last Thursday, the McCreary County Fiscal Court approved two resolutions in support of grant applications. The first is for a Homeland Security grant for $18,000 which would benefit the McCreary County EMS with new life saving equipment. No match is required from the county for the program. The court also approved a resolution supporting a $2500 grant application through Kentucky Animal Control which would allow for spay and neuter opportunities in the county, with the effort being led by the local, non-profit group “Gracie's Rescue Outreach.” That grant also requires no matching funds from the county. The county is also still awaiting final word on a Land and Water Conservation Fund grant which was applied for recently to install splash pads at the local park.

HEATED EXCHANGE AT McCREARY FISCAL COURT MEETING
A heated exchange occurred during the regular session of the McCreary County Fiscal Court Thursday evening. It started when members of the McCreary County Airport Board presented the court with an official letter notifying them of their decision to impose a one cent per $100 value tax to help fund the local airport. Later in the meeting, Bruce Lominac requested that the court take action to vacate three airport board member positions which had previously expired. The court voted to do just that, which later led to one of the expired term board member, Bruce Murphy, making negative comments toward Mr. Lominac. Murphy said that state statute allows a special district member to continue serving until a successor is named. Judge Executive Doug Stephens put an end to a heated exchange between Murphy and Lominac and said they would seek the advice of County Attorney Conley Chaney on the matter. The airport board voted in early June to impose the tax after fiscal court could not come up with nearly $17,000 to match grant funding for a runway resurfacing project.

AMNESTY APPROVED FOR DELINQUENT OCCUPATIONAL TAX PAYERS
Dealing with the issue of those individuals and businesses who have not been paying the required occupational taxes, McCreary County Fiscal Court voted Thursday night to approve an amnesty period for delinquent payers between July 10th and August 21st. During that period, those individuals and businesses can pay the full late amount and have all late penalties and interest waived. Those setting up a payment plan can have penalties waived, but would still have to pay interest. Judge Stephens said after the August 21st deadline, anyone not paying the occupational tax as required will be subject to legal action. The court approved the program.

MOONSHINERS RUN SET FOR THIS SATURDAY IN DOWNTOWN
After starting in 2013 in downtown Whitley City, the Moonshiners Run Car Show moved to the McCreary County Park last year. This year, by popular demand, the show is back on Main Street in downtown and will be this Saturday July 11th between 10:00am-4:00pm. Registration is free but those bringing cars to show are asked to register on Geary Street near the tourism office. There will be live music, vendors and food throughout the day. For information call Paula at 606-516-1223 or visit www.moonshinersrun.com.

COMMUNITY BLOOD DRIVES SCHEDULED IN McCREARY COUNTY
The Kentucky Blood Center will be holding a community blood drive in McCreary County next Tuesday July 14th from 1:00-6:00pm in the community room of South Kentucky RECC. All eligible donors are encouraged to give blood, help save lives and have a chance at winning a new Toyota Camry. All donors giving blood now through the end of August will be registered for the drawing to win the car. To donate blood you must be at least 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in generally good health. For more information on donating blood, as well as contest rules for the car giveaway, you can visit the Kentucky Blood Center online at www.kybloodcenter.org.

BIG SOUTH FORK PLANNING FOR WEEKEND ACTIVITIES
Staff of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area are preparing for weekend activities in the park. This Saturday July 11th, a 45 minute program will be held at Blue Heron Campground starting at 7:00pm which will allow attendees to learn how the National Park Service was established and how the service is celebrating its 100th birthday. The ranger led program will be held at the campfire circle and is wheelchair accessible and free to the public. This Sunday, July 12th, a ranger led hike at Yahoo Falls will begin at the parking area just off Kentucky Highway 700 west of Whitley City at 11:00am. The hike is free with the trail rated moderately difficult due to a long set of stairs. For more information or directions to either program this weekend you can call the Blue Heron Interpretive Center at 376-3787. Information is also available at the Big South Fork Ranger Station just off Wilburn K Ross Highway in Stearns, which is staffed on weekends through the summer.

MISSING KAYAKERS FOUND SAFE AFTER NIGHT ON THE RIVER
The McCreary County Voice
is reporting through their Facebook page that a group of five kayakers went missing on the Cumberland River Sunday afternoon. Recent rains resulted in rapidly rising water levels, according to the report, which created conditions that became hazardous for the men who could not pass a section of rapids. They were able to get to the banks and were able to contact the McCreary County 911 dispatch center to report their situation. Rescue crews search for some time Sunday evening but had to suspend the search at dark. Crews finally located the party Monday morning just upstream from Bear Creek and returned them safely. The McCreary County Voice will have full details on the ordeal this Thursday.

OFFICIALS SAY SANDHILL ROAD CLOSED AT LEAST 3 WEEKS
After a mudslide forced the closure of Highway 700 (Sandhill Road) this past weekend at Indian Creek, state highway officials now say the road could be closed to through traffic for at least three weeks. That is how long it may take for engineers to determine how safe and stable the area is and for work crews to rebuild the section of road at least to a level that it can be reopened. Until that time, crews have closed the road at mile point 13.6 and the road is only accessible from either side but not for through traffic.

SANDHILL ROAD CLOSED AT INDIAN CREEK DUE TO MUDSLIDE
State highway officials announced Sunday afternoon that a section of Kentucky Highway 700 (Sandhill Road) had been closed to through traffic at Indian Creek. The closure was due to a mudslide in the area and will remain in place until further notice as crews work to clear debris from the roadway and ensure the area is safe.

STEARNS TRAIL TOWN TO BE CERTIFIED THIS WEDNESDAY
This Wednesday, July 8th, will mark the official certification of Stearns as a Kentucky Trail Town. Officials from the state, including Kentucky's First Lady, Jane Beshear, will be on hand for a 12:30pm ceremony inside the Big South Fork Scenic Railway depot in Stearns. The ceremony will include comments by state tourism officials, local officials and Mrs. Beshear along with the official certification. The ceremony will be followed by a reception. The designation will put Stearns as one of only six communities statewide to receive the title of “Kentucky Trail Town.” The designation allows Stearns and all of McCreary County to be promoted as a hub of trail activities and potentially attract new visitors to the region.

McCREARY CENTRAL CROSS COUNTRY TEAM TO HOST 5K RACE
The McCreary Central High School Cross Country track team will host a 5k race as a fundraiser for their efforts on Saturday July 25th. Registration will begin that morning at the high school at 7:00am with race time slated for 8:00am. The route will travel from the high school, up Raider Way, then west on Wilburn K Ross Highway before taking in and circling the Stearns area and back to the high school. Motorists are encouraged to use caution when traveling that area on July 25th. Those interested in taking part in the 5k race should register before July 15th to save $5.00 off the registration fee. The fee will be $20 including a t-shirt if registered before that date, or $25 after that date including race day. For information look up “MC for XC 5k” on Facebook. You can also pick up registration forms at the McCreary County Tourism office afternoons on Geary Street in downtown Whitley City.

McCREARY SCHOOL BOARD NAMES NEW ACTING SUPERINTENDENT
In a move that was probably not surprising to those following recent trends with the McCreary County Board of Education, the board voted last Wednesday to name a new Acting Superintendent. The McCreary County Voice reports through their Facebook page that Mike Cash, who had been serving as Principal of the McCreary Academy and who lobbied for the top position the last time it was vacant, was selected to serve in the post at least until the end of December. That is when Donnie Wright will officially vacate the position, although he is currently not active as he is on a leave of absence until then. Aaron Anderson, who had been serving as Acting Superintendent, will return to his role as Assistant Superintendent. The vote by the school board was not publicized before hand with the meeting simply posted as a special meeting of the “Financial Board” of the school board. The vote to install Cash in the position was 4-1 with Roxanne Shook casting the lone dissenting vote.

McCREARY TAX NUMBERS SHOW SHARP INCREASE FOR JUNE
McCreary County's Occupational Tax recorded a sharp increase in collections last month compared to the month of June in previous years. June 2015 saw just over $35,500 collected from the tax, while June 2014 was only at about $6,200, June 2013 at $7,795 and June 2012 at just over $9,000. Of the more than $35,000 collected from the tax last month, about $4,800 went to expenses including the administrator's salary, benefits and expenses, with $30,739 left for deposit in the General Fund. For more on McCreary County's Occupational Tax you can visit the tax page online at tax.mccrearycounty.com.

WEEKEND INCLUDES CRAFTS, PRODUCE, MUSIC, AND FIREWORKS
A busy holiday weekend in McCreary County wrapped up Sunday afternoon with day two of crafters' days at the Mountain Craft Center on Highway 90. The event included craft demonstrations and sales as well as other activities. The weekend began Thursday with a 'Tastin' Luncheon” at the McCreary County Public Library, being held as a fundraiser for Heritage Trail Days to be held in early October. Thursday evening, the McCreary County Farmers' Market setup in Jackson Heritage Park in downtown Whitley City where the Grow McCreary program also held a class on home based food processing. WHAY Radio also sponsored a Thursday evening “Americana Gathering” with Michael Reno Harrell at the Uptown Opry in downtown Whitley City. The Opry also hosted its own pot luck dinner and “Elvis Show” Friday night with a good crowd in attendance. Friday also included the Homecoming and Heritage Day activities in downtown Stearns. While the weather forced the cancellation of the car show and some events, the museum was still open with special events along with various vendors along Henderson Street and the fireworks went on as scheduled Friday night. Saturday included the regular farmers' market setup off Wilburn K Ross Highway in Stearns, July 4th festivities at the McCreary County Park, and day one of crafters' days at the Mountain Craft Center. To continue following activities and events in McCreary County for future dates, visit www.mccrearytourism.com and click on “What's Happening?” or visit and like www.facebook.com/Visit.McCrearyonline.

PULASKI COUNTY CRASH CLAIMS WOMAN'S LIFE, INJURES TROOPER
A Tuesday evening traffic crash in Pulaski County claimed the life of one person and injured a Kentucky State Police trooper. Authorities say it happened just after 7:00pm Tuesday at the intersection of US Highway 27 and Waitsboro Road when a 2004 Toyota Corola reportedly pulled into the path of an oncoming police cruiser operated by Trooper Joshua Brainard. Following the collision, the car's driver, 56 year old Denese Koval of Nancy, Kentucky, was transported to Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital in Somerset where she was later pronounced dead. The officer was also transported to the hospital where he was treated and released. The investigation into the fatal crash remains ongoing.

WHAY, UPTOWN OPRY TO HOST “AMERICANA GATHERING” SHOW
Heading into the July 4th holiday weekend, WHAY Radio and Hap Strunk's Uptown Opry are offering music lovers a chance to enjoy a show featuring Appalachian singer, songwriter and storyteller Michael Reno Harrell. The show will begin at 6:30pm this evening (Thursday July 2nd) at the Uptown Opry on Main Street in downtown Whitley City. Admission is $5.00 to help support the artist who is traveling from North Carolina for the show locally. Michael has previously been a featured storyteller at the National Storytelling Festival and as been featured at the International Storytelling Center as well as performing at music events such as MerleFest and others.

The Uptown Opry will also host a special Friday night show including Larry “Lucky Dog” Davis performing Elvis songs and including a pot luck dinner.

GUILTY PLEA ENTERED IN SHOOTING OF SOMERSET ATTORNEY
One year ago, in June 2014, Somerset attorney Mark Stanziano was gunned down outside his office. Now, the suspect in the case, Clinton Inabnitt, has entered a guilty plea in the case but has also claimed to be mentally ill. He will be sentenced on August 24th in Pulaski County Court.

FOREST SERVICE REMINDER ABOUT FIREWORKS ON FOREST LANDS
With the July 4th holiday weekend approaching, officials with the US Forest Service have issued reminders that fireworks are prohibited on national forest lands. All fireworks are banned on forest lands and that includes the possession of, discharging of, or use of any fireworks or other pyrotechnic device on national forest lands. The reminder was also extended to forest officials saying that all campfires should be attended at all times and that fires should be in designated fire rings or grills only within developed recreation areas. These regulations are in place, according to forest officials, to minimize the risk of uncontrolled wildfires spreading.

SCHOOL BOARD TAKING BIDS FOR MOWING SERVICES IN 2015
The McCreary County Board of Education is currently accepting bids from interested parties wishing to mow grass on school property for the 2015 season. Bid packets and information are available now at the school board office on Raider Way in Stearns with bids accepted through 2:00pm on Wednesday July 8th.

McCREARY GRAND JURY INDICTMENTS LEAD TO DRUG ROUNDUP
The June session of the McCreary County Grand Jury led to law enforcement officers conducting drug roundups last week across the community. The grand jury indicted a total of 23 individuals with many of the charges being drug related. Officers spent much of last Tuesday executing arrest warrants for those indicted.
The McCreary County Voice has full details on the indictments and the drug roundup.

McCREARY 4-H PROJECT WEEK SCHEDULED TO START JULY 7TH
The McCreary County Cooperative Extension Service has announced that 4-H Project Week will begin next Tuesday July 7th and run through Friday July 10th with various activities for kids age 9 to 18. Classes will be offered for youth participants ranging from ceramics, rag top stools and woodworking to cooking, painting and basket making. Classes will be held at the McCreary Center Campus between 9:00am and 3:00pm each day with a lunch break. Each class has a fee to cover materials and expenses with fees ranging from as little as $2 per class to $12. Registration packets and information are available from the McCreary County Extension Office by stopping by or calling 376-2524. Registration forms and payments must be back in no later than this Thursday July 2nd.

MCCREARY SCHOOLS PUSHING FOR MORE BUS DRIVERS
With issues that arose last school year of not having enough bus drivers and many buses being overcrowded, the McCreary County School Board is now pushing for the hiring of additional bus drivers before school starts back in August. The school board recently approved a new incentive plan that they hope will encourage more applicants for bus driver positions, including substitute bus drivers. Those interested in learning more about those incentives or filing an application for school bus driver can contact the McCreary County Board of Education office or the Bus Garage for details.

McCREARY FISCAL COURT APPROVES BUDGET, BIDS FOR NEW YEAR
Meeting in special session Friday afternoon the McCreary County Fiscal Court voted to approve the second reading, and final passage, of the 2015-2016 budget for county government. The new financial plan will go into effect this Wednesday July 1st. The meeting, which lasted only a few minutes, also included the approval of bids for various goods and services for the new year and also an announcement that bids will be sought for new chest compression systems for the McCreary County EMS. The department was recently notified that they had been awarded a grant worth more than $487,000 to purchase the new systems for the service. The next regular meeting of the McCreary County Fiscal Court will be Thursday July 9th at 6:00pm.

McCREARY JOBLESS RATE SHOWS SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT
The latest unemployment numbers have been released by state officials and they show significant improvement for McCreary County over one year ago. The data is for last month when the county recorded an 8% jobless rate, down by nearly three full percentage points over May 2014 when the rate was 10.9%. In fact, all ten Lake Cumberland area counties saw lower unemployment rates from May 2014 to May 2015 with the exception of Russell County which showed a 9.7% rate this year, up from 9% last year. The Lake Cumberland area rate was 6.6% last month while statewide 5.3% were seeking employment. The US rate was also 5.3% in May. For more on Kentucky's labor market and unemployment data you can go online to www.kylmi.ky.gov.

WAYNE CO. TEACHER KILLED IN MOTORYCYCLE ACCIDENT
A popular teacher from Wayne County Middle School was killed this week in a motorcycle accident about 20 miles south on Oneida on Highway 27 in Tennessee. Karen Grinnell was headed south on Highway 27 Monday when she apparently lost control in a curve and hit a guardrail. She was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, but still suffered fatal injuries. She had previously taught in Indiana and Colorado but had most recently led classes in neighboring Wayne County. A private funeral service was planned this week at McCreary County Funeral Home here in Whitley City. Her family had requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter, which also serves McCreary County.

McCREARY FISCAL COURT TO MEET IN SPECIAL SESSION
The McCreary County Fiscal Court is set to meet in special session this afternoon (Friday June 26th) at 4:00pm for the purpose of approving the 2015-2015 budget. The court approved the first reading of the budget in May, but then had to forward the spending plan to the state for approval which was not completed by the June regular meeting. Now, with state approval back, the court will give their final approval to the budget that goes into effect July 1st. The court is also set to approve bids for goods and services for the new fiscal year. Those bids were opened at the June 11th meeting but were tabled for review. The next regular meeting of the McCreary County Fiscal Court will be Thursday July 9th at 6:00pm.

BIG SOUTH FORK PLANNING WEEKEND ACTIVITIES
The staff of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area will be busy this weekend with activities around the park. “Go with the Flow” will be held Saturday evening at 7:00pm at the Blue Heron Campground. The program, which is ranger led, is a virtual tour of the Big South Fork of the Cumberland river. The program is free and is handicap accessible.

Rangers will also lead a nature hike Sunday morning starting at 11:00am at Yahoo Falls, starting from the parking area just off Kentucky Highway 700 west of Whitley City. This hike is also free with a trail rated moderately difficult due to a long set of stairs. For information call the Blue Heron Interpretive Center at 376-3787.

McCREARY SUFFERS SOME DAMAGE FROM WEEKEND STORMS
Storms that blasted through the area this past Sunday left some damage behind locally. In McCreary County, some of the damage reports included a tree that fell on a truck, a roof blown off a garage, and downed power and phone lines. In addition, the Stearns Trail Town sign was also damaged as the posts holding up the sign were twisted. That damage was fixed by county crews early this week as officials prepare for the official Stearns Trail Town certification ceremony set for Wednesday July 8th at that location. There were reports that a tornado may have touched down in the area Sunday, but those reports have not yet been confirmed by weather officials.

MCCREARY FAIR CONTINUES; GOSPEL NIGHT ON TAP THURSDAY
The McCreary County Fair is now in full swing for 2015 with gospel night planned for tonight (Thursday June 25th). Shepherd's Way and Iseral Clark will be performing tonight, in addition to the various games, activities and carnival rides. The fair will be open from 5:00-11:00pm tonight with a $10 per person admission fee. Friday and Saturday night the fair will be open 5:00pm-midnight with a $12 admission fee. Friday night is “open mic” night with anyone wishing to sign invited and Saturday night will include a concert by the Nashville duo The Springs. The McCreary County Fair is being held at the fairgrounds on the north end of the county park.

NEW KENTUCKY LAW CHNAGES BOOSTER SEAT REQUIREMENTS
Parents need to make note of a new state law in Kentucky which pertains to the age and height of children who need to be secured in a booster seat when traveling in vehicles. Previously, children younger than 7 years of age and between 40-50 inches tall were required to ride in booster seats. The new law, which went into effect this week, requires children up to age 8 and between 40-57 inches to ride in a booster seat. Police say a first offense will include a citation and a $30 fine, or the choice of purchasing a booster seat.

MCCREARY COUPLE SENTENCED FOR SOCIAL SECURITY FRAUD
The Social Security Administration has announced that a McCreary County couple has been sentenced for fraud. 59 year old Oliver Taylor was sentenced to 33 months in prison for healthcare fraud, while his wife, Lisa Taylor, was sentenced to 18 months for social security fraud. Records show that in 1993, Oliver Taylor received benefits from his elderly mother and continued receiving benefits even after she died. In total, the Taylors reportedly received more than $480,000 in benefits from the federal government as part of their scheme.

BLUE HERON NATURE HIKE SET FOR MID-WEEK
The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area has scheduled a mid-week nature hike starting from the Blue Heron Interpretive Center at the end of Mine 18 Road in McCreary County. Ranger Don Tetrick will lead the hike starting at 2:30pm today which will take in a portion of the Blue Heron Loop Trail to the “Crack in the Rocks” area. Bring water and dress appropriately for weather, including wearing sturdy, comfortable shoes for hiking. For information on the free, guided hike, call the Blue Heron Interpretive Center at 376-3787.

UNITED CUMBERLAND BANK ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT
After 46 years working with Bank of McCreary County, which became United Cumberland Bank, Sharon Hollis will retire at the end of this month. United Cumberland Bank issued a press release this week announcing the retirement effective June 30th and announcing a retirement reception for family and friends at the main branch of the bank in Whitley City this Thursday June 25th from 10:00am to 2:00pm. The release states that Hollis began with the bank as a teller in 1969 and also served as branch manager at the North Branch for 22 years before taking a position in the Debit/Credit Card division at the bank. She later was named a Vice President for the bank. Sharon Hollis has said she will spend more time with family and on her quilting in retirement.

McCREARY COUNTY PARKS FULL OF ACTIVITY FOR THE SUMMER
The McCreary County Park will be filled with activities and events through the summer, including the McCreary County Fair which is going on this week through Saturday June 27th. The park will also host a July 4th event next Saturday starting at 3:00pm including the second annual model rocket launch, watermelon seed spitting contest, a bike, wagon and walk parade, and movie at dark. In addition, a representative from the Safelink program will be on hand offering information and sign-ups for their lifeline phone service, which provides cell phone service to those receiving government benefits. The July 4th event at the park is being sponsored in part by the Facebook group “Support McCreary” with more information available on their page.

In addition to the McCreary County Park, Sandhill RV Camp will also be hosting events through the summer, including “ChristianFest '15” on July 17th and 18th with live Christian music and activities. A gospel music event is also planned at the McCreary County Park on August 1st.

For more on events at the McCreary County Park and Sandhill Rv Camp, call Melissa Vanover at the park at 376-7275.

McCREARY COUNTY FAIR SET TO OPEN TUESDAY NIGHT
The annual McCreary County Fair will open for 2015 this evening (Tuesday June 23rd) and remain open nightly through Saturday at the fairgrounds at the McCreary County Park. The carnival will be open from 5:00-11:00pm Tuesday through Thursday with a $10.00 per night, per person admission fee included for those riding as well as those walking around. Friday and Saturday night the carnival will be open from 5:00pm to midnight with a $12.00 per person admission fee. The carnival is provided this year by “Forever Young Amusements” with County Fair organizers promising more rides than previous years. In addition, the fair will offer gospel music Thursday night with Shepherd's Way performing at 7:00pm and Israel Clark at 8:00pm. Friday night's entertainment will be “open mic” for anyone wishing to sing and Saturday night will include “All Star Losers” from 5:00-8:00pm and The Springs in concert at 8:00pm. Other activities at the McCreary County Fair this week will include a dunking booth every night and chances to be a cop for a day, go fishing with the sheriff, or lock a cop up for the day. You can look up the McCreary County Fair on Facebook for full details.


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