Mr. Gwin Austin Chapman age 70 of Cincinnati, OH, husband of Benita Pellillo Chapman, passed away Tuesday October 28, 2014. Graveside services will be Saturday November 1st at 3:00PM at Greenwood Cemetery. McCreary County Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


Updated Friday October 31, 2014 @ 7:00am

This week’s arrest report from the McCreary County Sheriff’s Department indicates a busy work week for department personnel. The week ending Tuesday October 28th saw a total of 14 individuals arrested on a variety of charges. 37 year old Gloria Coffey of Rattlesnake Ridge was nabbed on October 22nd for non-payment of fines; 29 year old Curtis Bloodworth of Day Ridge Road was arrested October 23rd for contempt; 32 year old Melissa Bowling of Highway 1651 was jailed on October 23rd for public intoxication; 21 year old Zachary Shoopman of Richmond was arrested locally October 23rd for public intoxication; 42 year old Marvin Kilby was arrested October 24th for resisting arrest; and 21 year old Keisha Roberts was jailed October 24th for public intoxication and possession of marijuana.

Other arrests during the past week included 30 year old Tracy Watson of Williamsburg for failure to appear; 34 year old Francina Sparks and 30 year old Rodney Vaughn both for public intoxication, fleeing or evading police, disorderly conduct and escape; 43 year old Timothy Brown for operating a motor vehicle under the influence; and 28 year old William Wilson for receiving stolen property.

The McCreary County Sheriff’s Department also reported three arrests this past Tuesday October 28th including Randal Stevens, age 25, for burglary; Teresa Collins, age 41, for failure to appear; and 31 year old Starlin Young for operating a motor vehicle under the influence. These arrests reflect those by the sheriff’s department over the past week, and do not include arrests by other law enforcement officers or agencies working in McCreary County.

The Centers for Disease Control has offered several tips for making this Halloween safe and fun for everyone. Among those tips are suggestions including making sure accessories for costumes such as swords, knives and other items are kept short and flexible to avoid injury. Avoid trick or treating alone and instead walk in groups and make sure children are accompanied by an adult. Use reflective tape or costumes to ensure visibility, examine candy and treats before allowing a child to enjoy them, test make up on a small area first to avoid a reaction, do not wear decorative contact lenses without a prescription, and wear well fitting masks and costumes. Also, officials say to eat only factory wrapped candy and treats, only enter homes of people you know well and trust, and use sidewalks where possible and watch for traffic. In addition, you are reminded to stay clear of candles or luminaries while wearing a costume to avoid the risk for fire. Remember, the official Halloween trick-or-treating hours for McCreary County are set from 5:00-8:00pm.

During Monday night’s candidate debate, McCreary County Judge Executive Doug Stephens eluded to a pending announcement that would bring good news to the county in terms of economic growth. Judge Stephens said he, and his staff, had been working for about two and a half months to secure a new employer for the county. This week, the official announcement came that METT USA, LLC is in the final planning stages for locating such a facility locally. The facility will reportedly be focused on providing responsible waste management and clean energy production according to information released by county officials this week. The new facility will be constructed in various phases over three years but could employ between 600 and 900 people at full capacity. More information about the project is available at

To help voters make their last minute decisions before Election Day Tuesday, WHAY Radio will air encore broadcasts of some of the recent countywide candidate debates, which have aired on the “Truth or Politics” program. This Monday November 3rd beginning at 3:00pm, citizens of McCreary County can tune in and listen to the debate between candidates for sheriff, followed by the judge-executive candidate’s debate at approximately 3:50pm. The 5:00pm news block will air during its regular time followed at about 5:15pm by a replay of the jailer candidate’s debate. At 6:00pm Monday, “Truth or Politics” will air live from the McCreary County Senior Citizens Center with candidates for magistrate in all four districts invited to take part in a debate. The various debates are also archived online at

While General Election Day is still several days away, voters across Kentucky are already casting ballots through the absentee voting process. Statewide, officials said as of this past Monday more than 35,000 total absentee votes had been cast including more than 22,000 voting in their local county clerk’s offices and more than 12,000 voting by mail. That was well ahead of the numbers through the same time frame in the 2010 election. While this past Tuesday was the deadline to request a mail-in absentee ballot, those who have received their ballot still have time to return it to the county clerk by mail. Those ballots must be received by the clerk’s office no later than Election Day, next Tuesday November 4th. Absentee voting in the clerk’s office will continue through close of business next Monday November 3rd with polls open at the regular voting precincts Tuesday from 6:00am to 6:00pm.

A number of topics and issues were covered Monday evening as candidates for McCreary County Judge Executive debate on the “Truth or Politics” program live at the senior citizens center. All three candidates took part including Republican incumbent Doug Stephens, Democrat Jimmy Waters and Write-in candidate Wayne Phillips. The session began with opening statements from each, beginning with Wayne Phillips. Jimmy Waters kept his opening short and to the point. Judge Stephens focused his opening comments of the debate on the progress of the past four years and a desire to continue serving.

Each candidate for judge executive was asked what their top priorities in office would be. Another question posed to the candidates by “Truth or Politics” host Darlene Price concerned why the local jail closed nearly two years ago and what plans each candidate has for dealing with that issue. Other topics touched on during Monday’s debate included jobs and economic growth, tourism, litter and trash issues, and working with the community and transparency in county government. Each of the three judge executive candidates closed with a final plea to the voters of McCreary County.

The complete program with the judge executive candidate’s debate is archived online at The final in the series of debates will be Monday November 3rd as candidates for McCreary County Magistrate in all four districts will take part.

It is exactly one week until voters will go to the polls and cast their ballots for many local races as well as some judicial races and the US Senate race from Kentucky. Polls will be open Tuesday November 4th from 6:00am to 6:00pm and absentee voting continues in the McCreary County Clerk’s office through Monday November 3rd for those who will be unable to go to the polls on Election Day. There will be no school in McCreary County next Tuesday, as several local schools are used for voting locations, including Pine Knot Intermediate School and McCreary Middle School. On the ballot next Tuesday will be local countywide races like judge-executive, sheriff, jailer, coroner and PVA. The race for county clerk and county attorney are already decided with no challengers in the General Election. District races on the ballot will include magistrate from all four county districts, as well as school board in districts 2 and 4. In addition, the Soil and Water Conservation District will have three seats up for grabs. Four candidates are on the ballot and voters can vote for three of those. Those who vote in the Stearns precinct will also be asked if they favor allowing alcohol sales by the drink at qualified sites within the historic district of Stearns. WHAY Radio will bring you a complete run down of election totals Tuesday evening November 4th. We hope to have that report beginning at 8:00pm on 98.3FM and online at

The McCreary County Sheriff’s Department continues to encourage local property owners to pay their 2014 property tax bills now in order to get the 2% discount off their bill. That discount applies to anyone who pays their bill before the close of business next Monday November 3rd at the sheriff’s office. To assist property tax payers, the office will be open this Saturday November 1st from 9:00am to 12noon, in addition to their regular office hours during the week. When paying at the office, you can pay with cash, check or credit or debit card. Payments can also be paid using check by mail but you should include a self addressed, stamped envelope if you desire a receipt mailed to you. Tax payments can also be made using credit cards online by using the link at After November 3rd, tax bills will be due at face amount through the end of the calendar year.

ith a field of three candidates hoping to occupy the McCreary County Judge Executive’s office for the next four years, candidates will face off in a debate this evening (Monday October 27th) on the “Truth or Politics” program. Republican Doug Stephens, Democrat Jimmy Waters and Write-In candidate Wayne Phillips have invitations to answer questions on the program starting at 6:00pm live from the McCreary County Senior Citizens Center. Live audience members are welcome, but the audience and candidates should arrive no later than 5:45pm to avoid disturbing the start of the program. The debate will also air live on WHAY 98.3FM and will be archived at The final in the series of candidate debates will be Monday November 3rd, when candidates for magistrate in all four county districts are invited to take part. Voters will go to the polls on Tuesday November 4th.

Last year, McCreary County was selected to take part in the “Grow Appalachia” program, which uses grant funding to assist local residents with growing a garden, sustaining the local food supply and even providing assistance with marketing locally produced items. The program continues to grow in McCreary County increasing participation from 19 locals the first year to 35 this year. County officials are hoping the trend continues with 35 slots anticipated for the program in 2015 and applications for the program being accepted now. In next year’s program first year participants will be provided support, assistance and guidance in getting their garden started and making it a success, while second year participants will see more focus on marketing and the creation of value-added products. Grow Appalachia holds regular meetings as well as educational classes and field trips for participants. One aspect of the program this year was also the introduction of a local farmers’ market, which organizers plan to continue into next year. Applications for inclusion in the 2015 program are available now through the McCreary County Judge Executive’s Office or online at Applications should be submitted by Monday November 3rd to the judge’s office and even those who took part in the program this year should submit a new application for next year. For information on the Grow Appalachia project you can call the judge’s office at 376-2413 or visit the county website.

The Pulaski County man accused of killing his girlfriend and dumping her body in a sinkhole appeared in court this week to formally answer to murder charges. Johnny Hendrix was arrested a short time after Monica Wells was reported missing and her body eventually discovered in the sinkhole not far from her home. Hendrix has entered a not guilty plea to murder charges after a Pulaski County judge refused to amend the charge to manslaughter. Information came out in court that Hendrix may have become upset after learning that Wells was with another man. The case has been held over for a grand jury with Johnny Hendrix being held on $500,000 bond. Monica Wells funeral was held earlier this week.

State officials have reported that for the second consecutive month, in September 2014, unemployment rates dropped in all 120 Kentucky counties, including McCreary County. Locally, the jobless rate improved from 9.9% in August to 9.2% in September, a drop of more than three points from one year ago when the rate for McCreary County was nearly 13%. Other neighboring counties also saw improved jobless rates including Pulaski County where the rate inched from 7.2% in August to 6.6% last month. Wayne County saw an improved rate of 8.1%, down from 8.8% the previous month, while Whitley County improved its jobless rate from 7.9% to 7.3%. Kentucky’s unemployment rate was also down from 6.5% in August to 6% last month, compared to the national rate of 5.7% in September. For more on unemployment rates and the labor market in Kentucky visit

Crews from the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area will be joined by volunteers this Saturday (October 25th) for a Yamacraw Bridge area cleanup in McCreary County. Those taking part should meet at 8:30am in the parking area on the east side of the river just off Highway 92. Volunteers will sign in and begin the clean up from the parking area and should wear comfortable, sturdy shoes or boots, dress appropriately for the weather and bring water with them. Trash bags and trash grabbers will be provided. For information on Saturday’s cleanup around the Yamacraw Bridge area, call Effie Houston with the Big South Fork at 423-569-2404 ext. 228.

The weekly arrest report from the McCreary County Sheriff’s Department ending Monday October 20th shows a total of eight individuals arrested by department staff for the week. 36 year old Clayton Lewis of Whitley City was arrested October 15th for non-payment of fines; 25 year old James Strunk was picked up October 17th for possession of marijuana and fleeing or evading police; 45 year old Lonnie Stephens was arrested October 17th for burglary and theft by unlawful taking; 38 year old Donny Bell of Oneida was nabbed October 18th for non-payment of fines; 18 year old Brandon McConnell was arrested October 18th for assault; 19 year old Miranda Allen was jailed October 18th for alcohol intoxication and assault; 21 year old Scottie Lyons was arrested October 18th for alcohol intoxication; and 64 year old Sharon Adkins was taken into custody October 19th for careless driving and driving under the influence. These arrests reflect only those by the McCreary County Sheriff’s Department over the past week and do not include arrests by other law enforcement officers or agencies.

The two party nominees for McCreary County Sheriff squared off Monday night in the “Truth or Politics” debate for the office. Republican incumbent Sheriff Gus Skinner and Democratic challenger Randy Waters took part in the program and answered questions about their vision for the sheriff’s department over the next four years. One issue dividing the candidates was whether the local department should take the lead on drug busts or work with other agencies. Waters said as sheriff he would lead the way on busting drug dealers which would not only get them off the streets but also provide revenue for the department through asset forfeitures. Skinner said he works with other agencies, including state police and the Lake Cumberland Area Drug Task Force, to secure more arrests and more jail time for offenders. Waters also pushed for a partial payment option for property taxes, while Sheriff Skinner highlighted his more than thirty years of experience in law enforcement. Each candidate made a final push for votes and support in their closing statements.

Danny Lee Crabtree, who lost his bid for sheriff in the primary, has entered the race on November 4th as a write-in candidate, but failed to attend and take part in Monday’s debate. The next candidate debate will be Monday October 27th at 6:00pm at the McCreary County Senior Citizens Center when candidates for County Judge Executive will answer questions.

While McCreary County officials say there is no need for panic and the chance of a health emergency such as an outbreak of Ebola locally is very minimal, they are nonetheless preparing as a precautionary measure. The McCreary County Judge Executive’s Office recently participated in a conference call with officials from the Centers for Disease Control and is implementing preparedness measures to be ready in case of a health emergency. According to information released this week, Judge Executive Doug Stephens is directing all the county’s emergency responders to follow guidelines set forth by the CDC and has issued an executive order to that effect. In a statement issued this week, Judge Stephens said “there is very little probability that we will have to face an emergency related to this disease here in our community. However, as the situation grows so does concern and the need to be prepared.” McCreary County Emergency Management Director Rudy Young is monitoring the situation, along with EMS/911 Director Jimmy Barnett and other county officials. Right now, say county leaders, the best thing for local residents to do is to not panic, and take simple precautionary measures to avoid the spread of illnesses, just as they would to avoid spreading the flu. Wash hands frequently and thoroughly; avoid contact with ill persons; remain home if you are sick; and contact health officials or 911 if you are ill with your symptoms to ensure proper treatment can be planned without spreading the illness to others. More information on McCreary County’s response to Ebola and other health emergency preparedness is available on the official county website at That includes the recent executive order, an Ebola fact sheet and instructions for putting on personal protective gear. A link is also included for up to date information from the CDC website.

Each year, the McCreary County Chamber of Commerce hosts its annual meeting and banquet including installation of new officers and board members, presentation of awards, dinner and entertainment. This year’s banquet is scheduled for Tuesday October 28th at the McCreary Center of Somerset Community College in Whitley City. Tickets for the banquet are available in advance for $20 per person and can be purchased at United Cumberland Bank by seeing Trey Ball or Whitney Tucker. The last day to purchase tickets is Monday October 27th.

Authorities report a crash in southern Pulaski County Friday evening at about 9:00pm. It happened on US Highway 27 near the Keno Road area when police say 33 year old Tasha Cox fell asleep behind the wheel and drifted off the roadway crashing into an embankment. While Cox, and the five year old child in the vehicle, suffered non-life threatening injuries, both were reportedly transported to Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital in Somerset for treatment.

With the countdown to Election Day now under two weeks, it’s all hands on deck for the McConnell and Grimes Senate campaigns ahead of November 4th. Alison Lundergan Grimes has recently had some heavy hitters batting for her across Kentucky including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Bill Clinton. Senator Mitch McConnell’s wife is also out pushing for his re-election including an upcoming visit to McCreary County. McConnell’s wife is former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao who served all eight years of the George W. Bush administration. She will make a stop in downtown Stearns this Friday October 24th at 4:00pm with the public welcome and light refreshments planned. The stop is being sponsored in part by the McCreary County Republican Party. Mitch McConnell is seeking to retain the US Senate seat from Kentucky that he has held for the past thirty years. Grimes, who is Kentucky’s current Secretary of State, is running to defeat him saying during her campaign that thirty years of McConnell is enough.

The McCreary County Senior Citizens Center will play host next month to a “Medicare Checkup” event for seniors. Open enrollment for Medicare for 2015 is underway through early December and representatives from the State Health Insurance Assistance Program, known as “SHIP”, will be on hand Friday November 7th to discuss Medicare benefits. These representatives will provide unbiased, accurate information to help seniors determine their needs. For information on the free program, or to make an appointment, call Sonya at 1-800-264-7093.

With just over two weeks until Kentuckians go to the polls to cast their ballots in important races, last week US District Judge William Bertelsman issued an injunction against Kentucky’s law that prohibits campaigning within 300 feet of a polling place. The suit seeking the injunction was brought by a Kentucky business and property owner who wanted to post campaign signs on his property which fell within the 300 foot barrier. The judge ruled that the law banning such campaigning violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the US Constitution. Kentucky’s Secretary of State and Attorney General joined to appeal that decision and late Friday a decision was returned by the federal appeals court. That ruling upheld the injunction which allows private property owners to post campaign material on their property even if it is within 300 feet of the polling place. However, the decision also allows Kentucky to continue enforcing a ban on campaigning within 300 feet of a polling place on public property. The actual grounds around a polling place and inside the polling place also remain off limits to campaigning efforts on Election Day.

For those who will be out of town or otherwise unable to go to the polls on Tuesday November 4th to vote, they still have options in terms of casting their ballot. Some may qualify to do a mail-in absentee ballot but an application should be submitted no later than October 28th to receive you absentee ballot by mail. The actual ballot must be back to the County Clerk’s office by Election Day. Another option for those unable to vote November 4th is absentee voting in person at the McCreary County Clerk’s Office which is underway now through Monday November 3rd. For details on absentee voting or voter registration contact the clerk’s office at 376-2411 or stop by in the McCreary County Courthouse.

The series of candidate debates held by the Truth or Politics program will continue this evening (Monday October 20th) with candidates for McCreary County Sheriff taking part. Republican Gus Skinner won the office in 2006 as a write in candidate and then claimed re-election in 2010. Skinner went on to narrowly defeat challenger Milford Creekmore II in this past May’s primary and will seek a third term on November 4th. Democrat Randy Waters, a former McCreary County Constable, was originally named the winner of the 2006 race but a court decision on write-in votes allowed Skinner to take office. Waters ran again in 2010, winning the Democratic primary, but losing to Skinner in the General Election. Now, Randy Waters will face Skinner again this November after winning his party’s primary this year. Danny Lee Crabtree, who lost his bid for sheriff in this year’s Republican primary by a large margin, has also reentered the race this time around as a write-in candidate. All three have an invitation to take part in tonight’s debate which will air live on WHAY 98.3FM at 6:00pm. Live audience members are also welcome at the McCreary County Senior Citizens Center. Candidates and audience members are asked to arrive and be seated by 5:45pm. The debate for McCreary County Judge Executive candidates will be next Monday October 27th.

The case that began as a search for a missing Pulaski County woman this week has now become a homicide investigation with the discovery of her body late Wednesday. Police say 34 year old Monica Wells was reported missing Tuesday and police searched for her until they found her lifeless body in a sinkhole well about 12 feet deep. Investigators say Wells was last seen alive arguing with her boyfriend, 35 year old Johnny Hendrix, in front of her 8 year old son Tuesday morning. Hendrix had fled the area as police searched for Wells but he was located at a residence in Leslie County Wednesday night and was arrested on the charges of assault and murder. Authorities are still searching for Hendrix’s brother, Freddy Pennington, who they believe witnessed the assault or may have been involved. Anyone with information in the case is asked to contact the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department at 606-678-5145. Hendrix was lodged in the Pulaski County Detention Center under $500,000 bond.

Two Scott County, Tennessee sheriff’s deputies were injured early Wednesday morning as they pursued a domestic dispute suspect. The Scott County Sheriff’s Department reports that Captain Gary Sexton and SGT. Paul Adkins responded to the dispute call and spotted the suspect traveling on US Highway 27 in the New River area when they began the pursuit. Foggy conditions resulted in the officers striking each other’s vehicles just north of New River Bridge. Both deputies were seriously injured in the wreck and were transported from the scene to the hospital for treatment. The suspect in the case fled the scene and was still at large at last report. The accident is being investigated by the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area is coordinating an effort to clean up around the Yamacraw bridge area in western McCreary County. The cleanup is scheduled for Saturday October 25th starting at 8:30am when volunteers will meet at the parking lot on the east of the river just off Highway 92. Morning snacks, coffee and water will be available at that time followed by volunteers cleaning up around the area. Trash bags, trash grabbers and portable restroom facilities will be available on site. For more information or to volunteer call Chelsea at 376-3787 or Effie at 423-569-2404 ext. 228.

A Pulaski County Grand Jury has returned an indictment against a Stanford man for first degree assault in connection with the August 2013 shooting of a McCreary County native. 24 year old Troy A. McAninch was indicted this month on the charges related to his alleged shooting of Luster “Levi” Rose of Parkers Lake at the intersection of the KY 914 bypass and KY Highway 1247 just outside Somerset more than a year ago. The McCreary County Record reports on the indictment and the shooting.

Authorities have arrested a Pulaski County Sunday School teacher on charges of sexually abusing a teenager. Police say 30 year old Rex Murphy of Eubank was taken into custody this week on three felony charges related to accusations that he sexually abused the underage boy. Lexington’s WKYT television reports that Murphy is a Sunday School teacher at Polly Ann Church of God in Pulaski County. The case remains under investigation with Murphy lodged in the Pulaski County Detention Center.

The McCreary County Sheriff’s Department has reported a light week of arrests, with only four suspects taken into custody during the week ending Monday October 13th. Billie Bolin age 27 was arrested on a warrant for forgery; Brittany New age 25 was arrested for public intoxication; Chas Anderson age 42 was arrested on a warrant for bail jumping; and Brandon Hill age 28 was nabbed on warrants for burglary, theft and non-payment of fines. These arrests reflect only those executed by the McCreary County Sheriff’s Department for the past week and do not include arrests by other law enforcement officers in the county.

McCreary County officials recently received a letter of approval from state officials concerning their efforts toward solid waste management. The letter dated October 6th comes from the Department of Environmental Protection, part of the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet. The letter, directed to McCreary County Judge Executive Doug Stephens, states that the county is making progress toward its solid waste management plan for 2013 through 2017. The Division of Waste Management commended the county for making progress with the plan as well as litter abatement funds received annually by the county. Those funds are used in part to fund a county position held by Donnie Morgan, who also serves as the county’s recycling coordinator. Counties are required to prepare and submit to the state a solid waste management plan each five years.

The house fire that killed three people in McCreary County early Sunday morning was likely not caused by foul play according to Kentucky State Police investigators. They told media sources this week that the fire was likely electrical, possibly related to a heater that was in use, but was likely not intentionally set. Funeral services for 52 year old David Perkins, 48 year old Lisa Young, first identified as Lisa Perkins, and 2 year old Shaelynn Crabtree will be Thursday afternoon at McCreary County Funeral Home. The fatal fire was first reported to authorities just before 6:00am Sunday and was on Sycamore Trail off Williamsburg Street in Whitley City.

The Whitley County Sheriff’s Department reports an arrest in a stabbing incident that took place on October 4th. The incident was reported as part of a domestic disturbance in the Cane Creek area where officers say Roy Thomas and Aaron Nelson were involved in a physical dispute. Nelson was stabbed in the leg during the altercation and was treated at the scene and then flown to UT Medical Center in Knoxville. Thomas admitted to stabbing Nelson but told investigators it was self defense. After a week on investigating the case, the sheriff’s department obtained an arrest warrant and took 43 year old Roy Thomas of Williamsburg into custody this past weekend on charges of second degree assault and third degree terroristic threatening. Thomas was lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center as the investigation continues.

The Blue Heron Interpretive Center in McCreary County will host a special dulcimer music concert this Saturday October 18th at 12:00pm. The Knoxville Area Dulcimer Club will be performing at the Blue Heron Mining Camp site for the free concert. The club is a non-profit group that teaches and shares the playing of Appalachian and hammered dulcimers at events throughout the region. Limited seating will be provided for the event but you can also bring your own outdoor chair. The event is wheelchair accessible. For information or directions to Blue Heron, call 376-3787 or visit the Big South Fork park website at

McCreary County Judge Executive Doug Stephens has signed an executive order setting the official trick-or-treating hours for the county. Halloween activities will be Friday October 31st from 5:00-8:00pm. The McCreary County Park Senior Citizens Center building will host a “Trunk-or-Treat” event that evening followed by a dance in the gym at the park. For information on the event call 376-8811 or 376-7275.

Those who hike in McCreary County, and more specifically those who hike the Lick Creek Trail and the nationally recognized Sheltowee Trace Trail, will notice a new pedestrian bridge has been completed. The project was a joint effort of the US Forest Service and National Park Service to complete a new bridge over Lick Creek in the Stearns District of the Daniel Boone National Forest in western McCreary County near the boundary of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. The creek crossing also forms the intersection of the Lick Creek Trail and the Sheltowee Trace National Trail. The 16 foot steel I-beam bridge also includes pressure treated lumber for the decking and was built by US Forest Service employees. The Big South Fork, part of the National Park Service, contributed the building materials for the project. For additional information on the project or on recreational opportunities in the area you can call the Stearns District of the Daniel Boone National Forest at 376-5323 or the Big South Fork park at 423-286-7275.

The McCreary County Hiking Club will participate in two scenic hikes this Saturday October 18th with anyway interested invited to join the group. They will meet at and leave from the McCreary County Extension Office at the McCreary Center at 9:00am Saturday morning and will then travel to the Buzzard Rock Overlook area for a hike that is about a one mile round trip. The hike is rated easy, but does have a couple of short hills. The overlook from Buzzard Rock provides a great scenic view of the Big South Fork River. A second hike will be tackled by the hiking club at Three Forks of Beaver Overlook which is a two mile loop trail rated easy with very little elevation change. This trails leads to the overlook with a view of the Beaver Creek Wilderness Area. There is no fee for the hikes. For information contact Greg Whitis at the McCreary County Extension Service at 376-2524.

An early Sunday morning house fire in McCreary County claimed three lives according to Kentucky State Police. The fire was reported before 6:00am Sunday on Sycamore Trail, off Williamsburg Street, in Whitley City. 52 year old David Perkins, 48 year old Lisa Perkins and 2 year old Shaelynn Crabtree were all pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators believe all three died from smoke inhalation but autopsies are planned and the exact cause of the fire remains under investigation.

In addition to nearly two dozen drug-trafficking suspects arrested in recent weeks by authorities in McCreary County, The McCreary County Voice reports that another ten suspects were picked up last week. Local law enforcement officials say as their investigation continues, even further arrests are possible.

The Whitley County Sheriff’s Department reports that the suspect in a school bus hit and run last Thursday has been apprehended and is facing charges. The collision took place on Junior Rowland Road when a grey and silver car struck the bus and then fled the scene. While officers searched for the vehicle involved, a woman identified as 34 year old Krystal Smith of Williamsburg called the Whitley County School’s bus garage and claimed to be the driver of the car that hit the bus. Upon investigation, officers found that Smith was lying and was actually not the driver. She was charged with falsely reporting an incident and was lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center. As the investigation continued, officers obtained an arrest warrant for 21 year old Preston Rains for leaving the scene of an accident and failure to render aid second offense. Additional charges on the warrant included driving on a DUI suspended license and possession of a controlled substance. Rains was located after several hours, but officers say he resisted arrest leading to an additional charge. He was also in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia at the time of his arrest and was charged with those crimes. After being lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center, investigators say Rains was found to be in possession of additional marijuana leading to the charge of promoting contraband. The Whitley county Sheriff’s Department, which is leading the investigation, says no children were injured during last Thursday’s hit and run.

The “Truth or Politics” program has been holding a series of candidate debates ahead of the November 4th elections and was also set to host a debate on the upcoming wet/dry vote for the Stearns precinct. That debate was scheduled for this evening (Monday October 13th) but show host and moderator Darlene Price says that despite offering seats on the panel to both sides of the issue, a lack of significant response from those opposing Stearns alcohol sales has resulted in the debate being cancelled. The vote is slated for Tuesday November 4th, along with the regular General Election, but only those already registered to vote in the Stearns precinct will be able to vote “yes” or “no” on alcohol sales. The measure, if it passes, will only impact the historic district of Stearns and not the entire precinct, although all voters in the precinct can vote. The measure would allow for sales by the drink at restaurants and at special events in the historic district. Those with questions regarding the wet/dry vote in Stearns or their eligibility to vote should contact the McCreary County Clerk’s office. The next live “Truth or Politics” program will be Monday October 20th when candidates for McCreary County Sheriff will debate.

The latest numbers are in and a decline has been reported in McCreary County’s Occupational Tax for September. According to the numbers released by the Judge Executive’s Office this week, a total of $6,059.82 came in last month from the tax collections, down from more than $7,600 in September one year ago. Last month, just over $18.00 in interest came in from the tax fund for a total collection of $6,078.24. After just over $3,000 in administrative expenses for the month, $3,033.61 was left to be deposited in the county’s General Fund. For complete details on McCreary County’s Occupational Tax, including monthly tax reports, visit the tax page online at

The owner of an online medical equipment company has reportedly been indicted by a Pulaski County Grand Jury on charges that he stole from a Somerset doctor. Kyle Lulow is facing two Class D felony counts for allegedly stealing $5,000 from a doctor who ordered an ultrasound machine from the man’s Ohio based company. The doctor told investigators the equipment was never delivered despite paying for the order. Listeners are reminded that a grand jury indictment is not a finding of guilt but formally charges a suspect in a case for further action.

The final regular session of the McCreary County Fiscal Court before the November 4th election was held Thursday evening with mainly routine items on a short agenda. The court approved minutes from the September session, as well as a September financial statement and transfers as presented by County Treasurer Mark Sewell. The court also approved a measure to seek bids for a new 911 radio console system which will be purchased using grant funding and will allow for all new equipment at the local dispatch center. Stacey Earnest was hired as a PRN (part time as needed) paramedic; Carrie Jones was re-appointed to the West McCreary Fire District; and Adam Phillips and Kathy Reed were re-appointed to two year terms on the 109 Solid Waste Board.

Most county department heads were on hand to give updates on activities including Donnie Morgan, who serves as litter abatement and recycling coordinator for the county. Morgan said a recent shipment of recycled items was sent out, earning the county money, and that he recently delivered 70 tires for recycling as part of the county’s ongoing tire recycling program. That allows McCreary County residents to dispose of old, unwanted tires properly, and free of charge, using state grant funds. Other departments reporting to fiscal court included Susan Stephens, Economic Development Director; James Jones, county maintenance; Milford Creekmore, Animal Control Officer; Rudy Young, Emergency Management; Jimmy Barnett, EMS and 911; and Melissa Vanover, County Park Manager.

The court also discussed the need for generator backup and a new computer system for the road department garage. According to Deputy Judge Executive Andy Powell, the system sometimes locks up and will not allow county vehicles to get fuel, including ambulances, law enforcement and road department equipment. He said with winter weather ahead that could become a dangerous situation. He added that with generator backup, even with a power outage the fuel pumps could still operate. Powell said the county’s LGEA fund has about $250,000 currently and will still have about $150,000 after an upcoming payment for a road department truck. He said that money could be used for the upgrades which he estimated would cost between $30,000-$35,000, including the cost of a generator, plus the cost of a new computer. The court agreed to solicit bids on the project to review and possibly accept next month.

The next regular meeting of the McCreary County Fiscal Court will be Thursday November 13th at 7:00pm, more than a week after the November 4th General Election which will determine the makeup of the court starting in January.

A father and son are reportedly dead following a Tuesday night crash in southern McCreary County. Kentucky State Police report it happened at about 10:00pm Tuesday on US Highway 27 at Job Corps Road in the Pine Knot area when a Chevy Trailblazer, driven by 29 year old Shea Coffey of Stearns, crossed the centerline of the highway and struck another vehicle head on. The driver of the second vehicle, identified as 68 year old Palace Anderson of Strunk, was killed while his son, 47 year old Samuel Anderson of Strunk, was airlifted to UT Medical Center in Knoxville where he later died. Shea Coffey was also seriously injured and was airlifted for treatment. The accident remains under investigation by Kentucky State Police, who say none of those involved were wearing seatbelts at the time of the collision.

The McCreary County Sheriff’s Department has released its weekly arrest report for the week ending Monday October 6th, with a total of 18 individuals arrested by the department during the seven day period on a variety of charges. Among those arrested were:

David King, age 38 of Mt. Pleasant Rd. was arrested on September 30 on a warrant for Assault; Heather Ferrier, age 27 of Roundtop Rd. was arrested on October 1 on warrants for non-payment of fines; Timothy Crabtree, age 27 of Whitley City was arrested on October 1 for violation of an emergency protective order; Lisa Young, age 48 of Whitley City was arrested on October 1 for violation of an emergency protective order; Gene Cooper, age 29 of Hwy 1651 was arrested on October 2 on a warrant for trafficking in marijuana; Michael Barnett, age 35 of Shady Acres Rd. was arrested on October 2 on a warrant for trafficking in controlled substance; Chasity Atwell, age 42 of Whitley City was arrested on October 2 on a warrant for trafficking in controlled substance; Larry Spradlin, age 54 of Clear Pine Dr. was arrested on October 2 on a warrant for cultivating marijuana; Joseph Jones, age 45 of Bridgefork Rd. was arrested on October 2 on a warrant for trafficking in controlled substance; Anthony Perry, age 35 of Whitley City was arrested on October 2 on  a warrant for trafficking in controlled substance; Randy Coffey, age 38 of H. King Rd. was arrested on October 2 on a warrant for trafficking in controlled substance; Gloria Coffey, age 37 of Rattlesnake Ridge Rd. was arrested on October 2 on a warrant for trafficking in controlled substance; Melissa Bowling, age 32 of Revelo was arrested on October 2 on a warrant for trafficking within 1000 feet of a school; Billy Miller, age 47 of Bear Creek Rd. was arrested on October 2 on a warrant for trafficking in marijuana; Stephen Newberry, age 36 of Lexington was arrested on October 2 for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest; Marshall Staten, age 38 of Monticello was arrested on October 4 for criminal trespassing and public intoxication; Tyler Mason, age 19 of Kidd Cemetery Rd. was arrested on October 5 on a warrant for theft by unlawful taking; and Brock Byrd, age 29 of Hwy 1651 was arrested on October 5 on a warrant for failure to appear.

Again, these arrests represent only those by the McCreary County Sheriff’s Department for the week ending Monday October 6th.

Candidates for McCreary County Constable were invited to take part in the latest round of candidate debates held Monday evening as part of the “Truth or Politics” program. While candidates in all four of the county’s districts were invited to take part, district four was no represented in the debate. From district one, Democrat Bill Hayes and write-in candidate Jeff Tucker took part while Freddie Clark, the incumbent constable in district two, was present, along with district three candidates Tim Dixon and Donald Daugherty. Daugherty is seeking a third term in office. In addition to answering a series of questions, each candidate had a chance to give a closing statement as a way of pleading with voters for their support. Issues addressed during the constable debate included qualifications, knowledge of the office budget and duties, arrest powers and plans if elected.

Upcoming candidate debates include the Sheriff’s race on October 20th, Judge-Executive on October 27th and Magistrates from all four districts on November 3rd. Each debate begins at 6:00pm live from the McCreary County Senior Citizens Center and is also broadcast live on WHAY 98.3FM. General Election Day is set for Tuesday November 4th when polls will be open from 6:00am to 6:00pm.

Emergency management officials have reported that a minor earthquake occurred in southeastern Kentucky late Saturday night. The epicenter of the quake was centered about 38 miles east-southeast of Somerset or about 7 miles west-southwest of Barbourville, just west of Interstate 75. The epicenter was reported as being about 6 miles below the earth’s surface and it was recorded as a 2.2 magnitude quake. No noticeable damage has been reported from the earthquake this past weekend.

A new link has been added to allow for paying 2014 property taxes by McCreary County property owners using credit or debit cards online. The link to view and pay tax bills is available through the McCreary County Sheriff’s department website at Tax bills can be paid with a 2% discount now through Monday November 3rd at the sheriff’s office, which will be open Saturday November 1st accepting payments in addition to regular office hours during the week. Tax bills not paid by the close of business November 3rd will be due at face amount through the end of the year at which time penalties will be added.

For the past 100 years, the Orie S Ware Masonic Lodge #874 has been part of the local community. Lodge members will celebrate that milestone with a special event this Saturday October 11th at the McCreary County Park from 11:00am to 4:00pm including barbecue and sides, provided in part by the Eastern Star, Laurel Heights Chapter #288. Awards will also be presented at 12noon and the celebration will include all Past Masters and widows. The lodge invites everyone to attend the special 100th anniversary celebration this Saturday at the McCreary County Park.

The series of candidates debates will continue tonight (Monday October 6th) with candidates for McCreary County Constable in all four districts invited to take part. The debates are being held as part of the “Truth or Politics” program each Monday evening at 6:00pm at the McCreary County Senior Citizens Center at the county park. Live audience members are welcome or you can listen to the debates live in 98.3FM. The programs are also archived and can be listened to at

A child in Whitley County is recovering from injuries suffered after being hit by a car on Friday. Authorities say the child was riding a bicycle on Cemetery Road in Whitley County when they rode out in front of an oncoming vehicle, which then struck the child. The child did suffer non-life threatening injuries but was hospitalized for treatment.

A crash in Pulaski County Saturday resulted in a motorcycle operator being airlifted to UK Medical Center in Lexington for treatment. Police say it happened on Highway 90 just west of Burnside Saturday when 83 year old Terry Stewart was reportedly driving a van and turned into the path of an oncoming motorcycle, operated by 21 year old Chad Keeney, who collided with the van. Keeney was seriously injured and air lifted for treatment, while Stewart was not injured in the crash. Police say the van’s driver continued on after the crash but did return to the scene of the accident. No charges have been filed in the case but the investigation is continuing.

Most McCreary County schools showed some improvement in the latest round of test scores released last week by state education officials. All but one local school met their goal for the 2013-2104 school year, with only Whitley City Elementary School backsliding. According to the figures, the school slipped from a 69.6% score in 2012-2013 to 66.3% last year. Other schools, including McCreary Central High School, McCreary Middle School, and Pine Knot Primary School met their goal with improved scores but were still below 70%, meaning they still fall in the “needs improvement” category. However, Pine Knot Intermediate School was up to 76.4% last year, a significant increase in scores from the 72.9% of the previous year, keeping the school in the “proficient” category. The overall district score for McCreary County was listed at 65.4%, up from 64% the previous year. The school district’s state report card shows local schools overall meeting general goals but not meeting graduation goals for 2013-2014. More information on the recent scores can be found on the Kentucky Department of Education website at

Last Saturday, September 27th, was the “Drug Take Back Day” across Kentucky with law enforcement officials, including Kentucky State Police and the DEA, conducting events to take back old, unwanted prescription drugs. Every state police post was a location for residents to drop off their old drugs to avoid having them fall into the wrong hands. The one day event resulted in more than 1,100 pounds of drugs being collected in Kentucky. A permanent drug drop off box is also located in the McCreary County Sheriff’s Office.

This weekend will be full of activities in downtown Whitley City and throughout McCreary County as McCrearyFest is held and a number of school reunions and other events are planned. McCrearyFest dates back to 1980 when an event was established by the McCreary County Chamber of Commerce to help promote and support local businesses, but it grew into an annual community event including live music, food, vendors, games, and the parade.

McCrearyFest traditionally begins with the pageant, which this year was held over two nights last weekend at McCreary Central High School. McCreary Central Junior Rachael Wells was crowned this year’s Miss McCrearyFest during those festivities.  

Events continue tonight (Friday October 3rd) on Main Street with a chili cook-off and supper, live music from Ryan Patrick and the group Austin’s Basement, and the first ever McCrearyFest “Zombie Walk.” It is free to participate with awards for funniest and scariest costume as well as best group costume or theme. Line-up for the walk takes place at 6:30pm on the south end of town with the “Zombie Walk” starting at 7:00pm and proceeding north along Main Street to Jesus Hill. For information call Candice at 606-516-1051.

Saturday’s main day events begin with the closing of Main Street and vendor setup at 8:00am followed by the opening of vendors and the children’s section at 10:00am. The children’s section will be in the area around Centennial Park across from the bank while Jackson Heritage Park will be used for the McCreary County Farmers’ Market and other displays and booths. The original schedule released to the media by McCrearyFest listed a performance by KITES on Saturday, but McCrearyFest President Shane Gilreath said that was a mistake as the group was discussed as entertainers this year but was never confirmed by McCrearyFest.

Parade lineup begins at 9:00am at the Lord’s Gym, the former McCreary County High School, with the “Sweet Southern Comfort” parade starting at 11:00am with the presentation of colors and the National Anthem at the main stage. After the parade, entertainment will include a return visit by Dewayne Spaw, the McCreary Cloggers at 1:30pm, Rhonda Wilson and Keith Williams at 2:30pm, presentation of parade and mystery search prizes at 3:30pm and American Idol contestant and McCreary County’s own Zach Day at 4:00pm. Dewayne Spaw is scheduled for an encore performance at 5:00pm and country artist Buddy Jewell will cap off Saturday’s events at 6:00pm with a free concert in downtown Whitley City.

McCrearyFest is organized and planned each year by an all volunteer board of directors and supporters who also oversee WinterFest in December and the annual Banquet of Blessings to help feed those in need at Christmas time. For information visit or look them up on Facebook.

The case of an alleged rape in McCreary County about a month ago will be heard by a grand jury for possible action. The McCreary County Record reports that 36 year old Michael Ralph Barnett appeared before District Judge Fred White last week with Judge White finding probable cause to hold the case over for the grand jury. Barnett was lodged in the Wayne County Detention Center under $150,000 bond after his arrest last month by Constable Freddie Clark. Barnett is accused in the September 5th rape of a woman who then spent two days in the woods before being located walking on train tracks the following Sunday.

The 2014 McCreary County property tax bills have gone out in the mail and are payable now at the local sheriff’s office with a 2% discount. That discount is available now through November 3rd, after which the tax bills will be due at face amount. Those who do not receive a tax bill within the next several days should contact the McCreary County Sheriff’s Department who remind property owners that failure to receive your tax bill does not exempt you from paying a bill that is due. You can also view your tax bill information online using a link on the department website at Tax bills can be paid at the sheriff’s office using cash, check, non-pin debit card or credit card. Tax bills can be paid during regular office hours, Monday through Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm, at the McCreary County Sheriff’s Department.

The latest arrest report released by the McCreary County Sheriff’s Department shows a total of nine individuals arrested on various charges for the week ending Monday September 29th. This list does not include the nearly two dozen suspects arrest in the last two weeks on drug trafficking charges in McCreary County. The regular arrest report does include 32 year old Brandon Stephens who was arrested September 23rd for flagrant non-support; 34 year old Gradin Barnett who was jailed for terroristic threatening; 42 year old Chastity Atwell arrested for contempt; 48 year old Michael Soard who was charged with violating an emergency protective order; and 43 year old Sally Laney who was arrested for hindering prosecution. Other arrests this past week included 26 year old Laura Warman for contempt and non-payment of fines; 51 year old James Morgan for cultivating marijuana; 35 year old Brian Ball for non-payment of fines; and 26 year old Dustin Ross was arrested for non-payment of fines. Again, these arrests reflect those for the week ending Monday September 29th by the McCreary County Sheriff’s Department and do not include arrests by other law enforcement officers or agencies.

The first in a series of local candidate debates was held Monday evening as part of the current issues program “Truth or Politics” at the McCreary County Senior Citizens Center. Candidates for jailer and coroner were invited to take part in this week’s debate with all three jailer candidates showing up, including Derek Jones, Jesse Hatfield and Jerry Privett. Hatfield picked up the Republican nomination in May, while Jones won the Democratic primary. Privett had originally filed to run in May but due to health issues withdrew from the race early. He says he is now ready to resume his campaign and is running as a write-in candidate. All three men said they fully support getting the McCreary County Jail reopened and pledged to work hard to make that happen. Other questions addressed during Monday’s debate included budget and money saving ideas, training of staff, and community service programs for inmates. In their closing statements, each jailer candidate discussed why they want to be jailer and why voters should consider voting for them on Tuesday November 4th.

Only one candidate for McCreary County Coroner participated in Monday night’s program. Teddy Coffey, who won the Democratic nomination in May, answered questions and asked voters for their support. Republican Tim Corder did not participate.

You can listen to the full debate archived online at The next scheduled “Truth or Politics” debate will be next Monday October 6th at 6:00pm at the McCreary County Senior Citizens Center when candidates for constable in all four districts are invited to take part.

A Corbin woman accused of intentionally exposing people to hepatitis C has now been indicted by a grand jury on charges related to that incident. 29 year old Tiffany Myers was being treated at the Knox County Hospital in early August when authorities say she forcefully removed an IV from her arm and intentionally spread her infected blood around the room, exposing the medical personnel and officers on the scene to hepatitis C. She is further accused of trying to spit on officers as they tried to restrain her. Myers has been formally charged with second degree assault in the case and was lodged in the Clay County Detention Center.

The Kentucky Division of Forestry wants to remind all Kentucky residents that the Fall Forest Fire Hazard Season is set to begin this Wednesday October 1st across the state. During the season, it is illegal to burn outdoors within 150 feet of any woodland or brushland between 6:00am and 6:00pm. In other words, burning is only permitted after 6:00pm or when snow covers the ground. The fall season runs from October 1st through December 15th with a spring fire hazard season running from February 15th through April 30th.

McCreary County is again benefiting from state funding that provides for the proper disposal and recycling of old tires. The county has received $4,000 in state grant funds to conduct the local tire recycling program for the current fiscal year running through June 30, 2015. Beginning October 1st, which is this Wednesday, McCreary County will accept old, unwanted tires free of charge from local residents. This is the fourth consecutive year that the funding has been provided. Those with fewer than ten tires can take them directly to the transfer station off Wilburn K Ross Highway in Stearns for disposal during regular business hours. Those with ten or more tires are required to contact the McCreary county Judge Executive’s office for a free voucher will then allow for disposal at Leslie’s Tires which is the county’s certified recycling partner for the program. To date, a total of 3,521 tires have been recycled in McCreary County since the program was first implemented in 2011. Last year alone, more than 1,400 tires were recycled. The tire recycling program is funded through the Kentucky PRIDE program and administered by the Division of Waste Management. To find out more about recycling efforts in McCreary County you can visit or call the McCreary County Judge Executive’s Office at 376-2413.

This site is © 2014 by H-L Communications, Inc./WHAY Radio.
No portion of this site may be reproduced, copied or used without written consent.
PO Box 69 (69 Courthouse Square) Whitley City, KY 42653