OBITUARIES

Pairzida Jones age 89 of Greensboro, NC, formerly of McCreary County, passed away Friday August 22, 2014. Graveside services will be Saturday at 11:00AM at Lower Hickory Grove Cemetery with burial to follow. McCreary County Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Clarence L. "Penny" Perry age 66 of Whitley City, husband of Jo Ann (Sellers) Perry, passed away Sunday August 24, 2014. Funeral services will be Saturday at 1:00PM at McCreary County Funeral Home with burial in Higginbotham Cemetery. Visitation will be Friday after 6:00PM at the funeral home. McCreary County Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

DAILY NEWS UPDATES

I-75 CRASH IN TENNESSEE KILLS ONE, INJURES OTHERS
A head on collision between two tractor trailers resulted in an explosion and a fiery crash on Interstate 75 in Campbell County, Tennessee, about 30 miles south of the Kentucky state line. It happened Wednesday afternoon when one tractor trailer reportedly crossed the median and collided with the other truck. One person was confirmed dead in the crash while at least three others were injured, in addition to two firefighters who suffered injuries while battling the fire. One truck was said to contain chemicals, prompting the evacuation of people within a half mile radius of the crash site, which was around mile marker 129. While traffic was detoured around the area for several hours, authorities say all lanes reopened overnight and the crash remains under investigation.

GROW APPALACHIA PROJECT GROWING, MEETING THURSDAY
The Grow Appalachia Project, which was adopted locally as “Grow McCreary,” is continuing to grow and hold meetings and classes with local growers and producers. McCreary County Judge Executive Doug Stephens says that the next meeting for the project is this evening (Thursday August 28th) at 6:00pm at the McCreary Center Campus with topics including extending the growing season and other fall gardening issues presented by local Extension Agent Greg Whitis. Discussion will also include participation in the program next year with applications available at the meeting. For more information on Grow Appalachia and local participation, call the McCreary County Judge Executive’s Office at 376-2413 or the McCreary County Extension Office at 376-2524. Information is also available online at www.facebook.com/GrowMcCreary.

CUMBERLAND FALLS TO CELEBRATE 90TH ANNIVERSARY
The Cumberland Falls State Resort Park will celebrate its 90th anniversary of the state’s park service with a special homecoming event this Saturday August 30th. The park is inviting all former employees, guests and the public to attend starting at 6:00pm at the pavilion behind the swimming pool at Cumberland Falls. The homecoming will include traditional folk music, line and square dancing and other activities. Attendees can bring photographs and other park memorabilia to share at the event. For information call Cumberland Falls State Resort Park at 1-800-325-0063.

FORMER McCREARY COUNTY SHERIFF PASSES AWAY AT AGE 66
Former McCreary County Sheriff Clarence “Penny” Perry passed away on Sunday (August 24th). Perry previously served as Constable in McCreary County’s first district before being elected sheriff in 2002, defeating Republican incumbent Regal Bruner in that election. Perry served one term as sheriff before losing his re-election bid in 2006. He was also well known for his musical talents, playing banjo for years including time on the Big South Fork Scenic Railway in Stearns. Funeral services for “Penny” Perry will be this Saturday at McCreary County Funeral Home. He was 66 years old.

McCREARY SHERIFF ISSUES WEEKLY ARREST REPORT
The McCreary County Sheriff’s Department has issued their weekly arrest report for the week ending Monday August 25th showing a total of nine arrests during the seven day period for the department. 34 year old Michael Doran was arrested August 19th for a parole violation, while 24 year old Erin Walker was picked up August 20th for terroristic threatening and theft by unlawful taking. 23 year old Tylor Hill and 51 year old Carl Strunk were both jailed August 22nd for contempt; 20 year old Carrie Fletcher was nabbed August 22nd for disorderly conduct, menacing, resisting arrest, fleeing or evading and escape; and 36 year old Jennifer Claxton was picked up August 23rd for operating a motor vehicle under the influence. On August 25th, 27 year old Brittany Garcia and 35 year old Michael Barnett were arrested for non-payment of fines and failure to appear and 47 year old Vanessa Mason was jailed for non-payment of fines. These arrests reflect only those reported by the McCreary County Sheriff’s Department for the week ending August 25th and do not include arrests by other law enforcement agencies.

“MOUNTAIN MAN” TO ATTEND STORYTELLING FESTIVAL
Fans of the History Channel’s “Mountain Men” program will want to mark Saturday September 20th on their calendar and make plans to attend the 22nd annual “Haunting in the Hills” storytelling festival. The event, held each year in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, will this year feature an appearance by North Carolina “mountain man” Eustace Conway, who is featured on the television program. Conway will be at the Bandy Creek Field Big Stage at 3:30pm on the day of the event and will speak about his rustic way of life and his own lifetime experiences.

The festival will run all day Saturday September 20th in the fields and areas around the Bandy Creek Visitor Center on the Tennessee side of the Big South Fork. The event will include music, craft demonstrators and vendors, and all types of storytelling throughout the day, culminating in the ghost stories after dark. It is free to attend and for more information on the 22nd annual “Haunting in the Hills” Storytelling Festival in the Big South Fork, call the Bandy Creek Visitor Center at 423-286-7275 or visit www.nps.gov/biso.

KINDERGARTEN STUDENT WALKS AWAY FROM SCHOOL
Questions have risen in neighboring Wayne County as to how a kindergarten student could not only walk away from class but get out of the school and make it on foot to near their home. That incident began Monday afternoon when school officials at Walker Elementary School apparently noticed that a kindergarten student was missing from class. The school was in lockdown mode while school officials and police began a search for the child, who was eventually located walking near their home. An investigating is reportedly underway with school officials examining their policies to try to prevent incidents like this in the future.

McCREARY TOURISM OFFICIALS MAKE USE OF GRANT FUNDS
The McCreary County Tourism office recently received a $25,000 grant award through TOUR SEKY, a regional tourism organization based at the Center for Rural Development in Somerset. The grant is already being used by county tourism officials to install lamp posts and banners along Main Street in downtown Whitley City and to help prepare for “Trail Town” designation. For more on tourism activities in McCreary County you can follow updates on the official county website at www.mccrearycounty.com or visit www.mccrearytourism.com.

NATIVE AMERICAN MUSEUM TO HOST ANNUAL POW WOW
Each year, during Labor Day Weekend, the Kentucky Native American Heritage Museum hosts its Pow Wow to educate and entertain the public with native demonstrations, music, food and displays. This year’s Pow Wow will be this coming weekend with events Saturday August 30th and Sunday August 31st at 4116 Cumberland Falls Highway in Corbin. While that location serves as the host of the Pow Wow and the base for the museum, the Kentucky Native American Heritage Museum is a mobile museum that travels to festivals, events and other pow wows, as well as schools, throughout the year to display the many historical artifacts contained in the museum. Gates will open for the Pow Wow at 10:00am this Saturday and 12noon on Sunday with a grand entry ceremony at noon Saturday and 1:00pm on Sunday. Other activities will include Native American demonstrations and dancing, pony rides for kids, petting zoo and other events. Admission to the event is $5.00 each day with children under age 12 admitted free with an adult. The Kentucky Native American Heritage Museum is a non-profit organization that receives support annually from the Kentucky Arts Council and the money raised from gate admission helps support the continuation of the event each year. For more information on this weekend’s Pow Wow or on the museum you can visit www.knahm.org online.

HIGHLAND ISSUES STATEMENT ON E-MAIL PROBLEMS
Those with e-mail accounts through Highland Telephone may have noticed some issues with receiving and sending e-mail over the past few days. A statement e-mailed to its members over the weekend by Highland says that the issues arose due to an increased level of SPAM targeting the system. The issues prompted Highland technicians to install several new servers for mail as well as putting in premium SPAM filtering systems and upgrading their webmail interface. Those who log into e-mail using the webmail.highland.net link will notice a new look for webmail which will soon include the Highland logo. When logging in to webmail, you may also notice there is no link currently to “greymail” but you can access that section of mail by visiting greymail.highland.net and logging in with your e-mail and password. Highland says the delay in mail delivery and receiving will likely continue until the backlog created by the issues is resolved.

McCREARY COUNTY RECORDS SLIGHTLY IMPROVED JOBLESS RATE
The latest unemployment data released by the state shows that McCreary County has made some improvements in the number of jobless locally. According to the numbers from July of this year, the county’s jobless rate was down to 11.7% compared to June when the rate was 11.9%. This is also improved over one year ago when the July 2013 unemployment rate for McCreary County was 13.2%. In fact, seven out of ten Lake Cumberland area counties saw lower jobless rates in July compared to the previous month, while Green and Taylor Counties saw slightly higher rates and Cumberland County was unchanged. For the first time in many months McCreary County was not listed as one of the ten highest jobless rates in the state. The highest rate was recorded in Magoffin County at 15.4% while the state’s lowest jobless rate was in Boone County at just 5.8%. The statewide rate came in at 7.5% for July, up slightly from 7.4% in June, but down by a full percentage point from July 2013 when the rate was 8.5%. For more on Kentucky’s unemployment rates and labor market data you can visit www.kylmi.ky.gov online.

McCREARY SCHOOLS WRESTLE WITH TRANSPORTATION ISSUES
With the new school year in session for just over a week, one issue that many parents may have noticed is a lack of school buses, or actually school bus drivers. With some routes combined and many students riding different buses that last year, many buses in the McCreary County School District have been experiencing overcrowding. This has also resulted bus changes with some local students even riding two or three different buses already this year just over a week in. Parents may ask what the local school district is doing to try to deal with the issues. School officials have said they are attempting to hire additional drivers to eliminate the overcrowding and have been advertising for school bus driver applicants for the past couple of weeks. Those interested in applying for a position must be at least 21 years of age; pass a criminal records and driving history check; have a valid Kentucky driver’s license; and be able to pass a CDL physical among other requirements. For information or to apply you can call the McCreary County School’s bus garage at 376-8199 or stop by their office on Highway 1651 just south of Whitley City.

BIG SOUTH FORK PARK RECEIVES “TICKET TO RIDE” GRANT
Officials with the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area recently announced that the park has been awarded a “Ticket to Ride” grant from the National Park Foundation. The grant provides funding to bring school children from urban areas to the region to experience the park along with educational programs. The grant award will allow hundreds of school children and teachers to ride the Big South Fork Scenic Railway to the historic coal mining community of Blue Heron where they can learn about the heritage and history of the region. For information on the grant award or programs in the Big South Fork, call the park headquarters at 423-569-9778 or visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/biso.

FALL SPORTS SEASON UNDERWAY FOR LOCAL SCHOOLS
The 2014 fall sports season is now underway for McCreary County Schools with middle school football kicking off last week and high school girls’ volleyball getting underway earlier this week. High school golf is also underway along with McCreary Central Raider Football which began with a scrimmage game last Friday and the regular season opener tonight (Friday August 22nd). The game tonight will be on the road at Scott County, Tennessee with a 7:00pm kickoff. The Raiders will then travel to Letcher County next week followed by a road game at Clinton County on September 5th. Friday September 12th, the Raiders will host their first regular season home game as they play Pineville. The Lady Raiders volleyball squad will host the McCreary Central Invitational this Saturday August 2rd starting at 10:00am.

McCREARY COUNTY SHERIFF RELEASES ARREST REPORT
This week’s arrest report released by the McCreary County Sheriff’s Department shows thirteen individuals arrested by department staff for the week ending Monday August 18th. The report begins with 28 year old Brandon New being arrested August 14th on a warrant for being a fugitive from another state, while 36 year old Joseph Luckadoo was arrested that same day for flagrant non-support, 43 year old Geneva Ridner for theft by deception, and Darren Kidd age 31 for public intoxication. On August 15th, 33 year old Amber Courtney was arrested for a parole violation while 59 year old Ronnie Davenport was taken into custody for receiving stolen property. 48 year old Randall Duggar was arrested August 16th for harassing communications and 36 year old Jason Smith was arrested for operating a motor vehicle under an influence. On August 17th, 51 year old Patricia Ridner was jailed for disorderly conduct and 21 year old Jordon Bryant was arrested for assault and terroristic threatening. 38 year old Marshall Staten was arrested August 18th for robbery and theft; 26 year old Christy Gregory was jailed for non-payment of fines; and 26 year old Joshua New was jailed for contempt, flagrant non-support and non-payment of fines. These arrests reflect only those reported by the McCreary County Sheriff’s Department for the week ending Monday August 18th.

BIG SOUTH FORK CELEBRATES 98 YEARS OF THE PARK SERVICE
The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area will celebrate the 98th anniversary of the National Park Service this month by offering one night of free camping at the Alum Ford Campground in McCreary County. The free camping night is being offered this coming Monday August 25th along with free backcountry camping permits in the Big South Fork. The Alum Ford Campground, at the end of KY Highway 700 west of Whitley City offers six campsites with grills, picnic tables and lantern hooks along with accessible toilet facilities for camping near the banks of the Big South Fork River. For information on activities in the Big South Fork you can call the Bandy Creek Visitor Center at 423-286-7275 or visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/biso. The National Park Service was established in 1916.

GROUND BREAKING HELD FOR McCREARY SEWER EXTENSION
A ground breaking ceremony was held Monday in Stearns for a sewer extension project in McCreary County that will serve nearly 90 homes. Officials say the project is estimated to cost about $700,000 and should be completed by August 2016. Taking part in the ceremony to officially launch the project were US Congressman Hal Rogers, Eastern Kentucky PRIDE officials, the US Army Corps of Engineers and the McCreary County Water District. The project will extend sewer service from Revelo to Stearns over the next couple of years.

PAPER, DOCUMENT RECYCLING OPPORTUNITY ANNOUNCED
Those looking for ways to properly dispose of old papers and documents will have the chance to do that this Friday August 22nd when Secure Systems of London, Kentucky will be on hand at the Pine Knot Job Corps Center. Starting at 9:00am Friday, Secure Systems will be offering a mobile paper shredding unit that can destroy and dispose of old records and documents while covered by bond and insurance. The cost for the service is $60 per 95 gallon container, which will hold about 300 pounds of paper. More information about the paper recycling opportunity is available by contact McCreary County Deputy Judge Executive Andy Powell at 376-2413.

MONTHLY “LUNCH BUNCH” TO COVER ELECTRONICS 101
Each month the McCreary County Public Library plays host to a “Lunch Bunch” program that allows attendees to bring their own lunch and hear from a guest speaker about a different topic each month. This month’s program will be this Thursday August 21st at 12noon with the topic covering “Electronics 101” for those with questions about electronic devices, writing a resume, and basic computer information. It is free to attend with the program held upstairs at the McCreary County Public Library.

WHITLEY COUNTY ASSAULT INVOLVES SAW AS WEAPON
An unusual assault case was reported Sunday afternoon by the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department. A news release from the department states that officers responded to the reported assault at a service station near the Kentucky-Tennessee state line where they located 38 year old Greg Ball, of Tennessee, who had been injured with severe cuts to his neck. Investigators say a brief interview with the victim led them to believe he had been attacked by another man with a saw. The victim was then airlifted to University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville for treatment. Officers identified the suspect in the attack, 37 year old Jody Currier of Jellico, Tennessee, who later turned himself into authorities where he admitted to the attack. Two women were also arrested during the course of the investigation for public intoxication. Currier was lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center on the charge of first degree assault as the investigation continues.

PULASKI COUNTY MAN DIES AFTER WEEKEND CRASH
A Pulaski County man died Saturday after a vehicle crash on Pine Hill Road. Authorities say 57 year old Don Turner was being rushed to Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital in Somerset following the accident at about 4:15pm Saturday afternoon. The Pulaski County Coroner’s office reports that Turner died at the hospital from an unrelated medical condition. The accident that injured the man was reportedly caused by a gold colored SUV that was apparently driving on the wrong side of the road. That vehicle did not stop after the crash and police are searching for information and witnesses that may lead them to that driver.

FOREST SERVICE PROPOSING MAJOR TIMBER SALE LOCALLY
Officials with the US Forest Service are proposing a major timber sale that will impact the local region, including McCreary and Pulaski Counties. According to the story this week in the Lexington Herald Leader newspaper, the overall project will include the commercial logging of just over 3,500 acres in both counties and will also call for the controlled burning of more than 15,000 acres taking several years to fully complete. The proposal would, according to forest officials, help with forest management, improve wildlife habitat and improve forest health. They say that cutting less desirable trees in certain spots would help allow more sunlight and water for some of the tree species that are more desirable for the forest such as white oak and hickory. Some individuals and groups, including the environmental group Kentucky Heartwood, have expressed concerns about the proposal with specific concerns voiced over a part of the plan that would allow about 1,100 acres to be logged with a quarter of a mile of the Beaver Creek Wilderness Area, located in McCreary County. Others say the measure will not only improve forest and wildlife health but will also give a boost to the area’s lagging economy. For additional information on the project, contact Tim Reed, Stearns District Ranger, at 606-376-5323 or stop by the Stearns District Office on Higwhay 27 just north of Whitley City.

USP McCREARY INMATE DIES AFTER REPORTED ATTACK
An inmate being held at the federal prison in Pine Knot died last Wednesday after reportedly being attacked. Lexington media sources report that the Fayette County Coroner’s office pronounced 69 year old Donald John Post. Sr. dead as the result of injuries he suffered during an attack in his cell at the prison that same day. Post was serving a 40 year prison sentence after pleading guilty earlier this year in federal court in Texas to charges of sexual exploitation of children and possession of child pornography. An autopsy was completed but officials were not releasing the exact details of Post’s injuries.

FEDERAL PRISON INMATE, LADY COMPANION CHARGED IN ESCAPE
In another incident related to the federal prison in Pine Knot, an inmate from the minimum security camp and his lady companion from Tennessee were recently charged in connection with the inmate’s escape. While the investigation into the case remains under investigation, it appears that 37 year old Teresa Phillips, of New Market, Tennessee, was involved in a plot to pick up inmate Delman Davis and take him to a local motel. Officials say Davis was detained at the federal prison and is facing additional charges beyond his original sentence for cocaine distribution. Phillips was arrested by local authorities and was charged with first degree escape and marijuana possession. She was lodged in the Casey County Detention Center under $20,000 cash bond.

McCREARY COUNTY LEADERS HOPEFUL ABOUT JAIL’S REOPENING
When the McCreary County jail closed, some county officials had hoped it would actually save the county money to transport inmates to other counties. However, when questioned about jail expenses by citizen Brian Hill during Thursday’s regular Fiscal Court meeting, officials including Judge Executive Doug Stephens agreed with Hill’s statement that the current arrangement is costing the county at least as much as having a jail. That is without the benefit of the jobs creating by a local jail. Judge Stephens did say he had communicated with officials from the Department of Corrections about the possibility of reopening the jail and that meetings on that subject are being organized. Deputy Judge Andy Powell said it will be a long process even if DOC is open to reopening the facility because they will have to complete an engineering study on work that is needed on the building and that, along with actually getting work done, could take months or even a couple of years. Meanwhile, Judge Stephens said a meeting between county leaders, DOC officials and the local Jailer candidates, Jessie Hatfield and Derek Jones, is being planned in the coming weeks.

US CONGRESSMAN HAL ROGERS TO ATTEND TWO LOCAL EVENTS
Additional information has been released about this coming Monday’s visit to McCreary County by US Congressman Hal Rogers. His office says that Rogers will be attending two events locally this Monday August 18th starting with a role as keynote speaker at the ground breaking ceremony for a new McCreary County sewer extension project. That ceremony will be held at 11:00am at the Heritage Hall community center in downtown Stearns with others participating including the McCreary County Water District, local officials, Eastern Kentucky PRIDE and the US Army Corps of Engineers. The public is invited to attend the ceremony at 11:00am but is asked to RSVP with their intention to twilson@centertech.com. The second event to be attended by Congressman Rogers Monday will be at 1:30pm as the Pine Knot Job Corps Center celebrates its 50th anniversary. That ceremony will be at the Job Corps Center in Pine Knot and will also include comments by US Forest Service National Office Director Tina Terrell.

HEATED DISCUSSION OVER 911 HOME AT FISCAL COURT MEETING
The discussion heated up Thursday evening between McCreary County’s Deputy Judge Executive Andy Powell and District 2 Magistrate Roger Phillips over the future home for the county’s 911 center. A proposal was on the table during the regular monthly meeting of the McCreary County Fiscal Court to move the center from its current location, the former water district office next to the ambulance service in downtown Whitley City, to the basement of the EMS building. County leaders had approved last month, in Magistrate Phillips’ absence, to solicit bids on finishing the basement area in preparation for the installation of new 911 equipment, which the county is receiving using grant funds. The bids came in with Paul Sumner, Jr. bidding nearly $70,000 to complete the project and Gary Clark Construction submitting an even $50,000 bid.

Magistrate Roger Phillips questioned the reason behind moving the 911 center, saying if the current structure is totally unsound he understands that and the building should be torn down. However, Phillips said, he had heard rumors that the county planned to still use the old 911 building for other county offices. Mentioned as possible examples was the county coroner, emergency management and the inmate transport officers. Magistrate Phillips said with a budget crunch on he could not see spending that much money to move 911 if the current building is still usable.

Deputy Judge Powell responded that by installing new equipment in the basement of EMS they can put in all new wiring and installation will not cost the county because it is included in what is covered by the grant. However, Powell said, if the county installs the new equipment in the old building and that structure becomes totally unusable at some point, it will cost the county $25,000 just to move it to a new location.

The discussion got rather heated at times between Phillips and Powell and in the end the court voted to table the issue and hold off on awarding a bid for completion of the project until next month.

BID APPROVED BY McCREARY COUNTY FOR NEW AMBULANCE
Bids were also accepted recently by McCreary County leaders for the purchase of a remounted ambulance. The court previously agreed to set aside $5,000 each month into a special EMS fund to go specifically for the purchase of an ambulance each year. EMS Director Jimmy Barnett explained that a new ambulance can cost between $130,000 and $140,000 or more, but by using one of their existing truck “boxes” and just refurbishing it and mounting it on a new chassis, the county will spend around $80,000 and have a practically new ambulance each year. This year, the service received a $20,000 grant that, when coupled with the $5,0000 monthly, or $60,000 a year, from the designated fund, will pay for the remounted vehicle. The bids received ranged from the high side of about $88,000 to the low bid of $78,400. The court voted to accept that bid once it is checked to ensure that it meets all specifications outlined in the bid request.

Another bid was opened Thursday night during the regular court meeting for sidewalk work in Stearns as part of the “Trail Town” initiative. The only bid received was from Gary Clark Construction for $3600 but it was tabled giving court members another month to review the specifications and the bid. County leaders said that project is the first step in work that they hope to complete on sidewalks in other areas including Whitley City and Pine Knot using municipal road aid money received from the state.

McCREARY SCHOOL BOARD RACES SET FOR NOVEMBER
With the deadline to file to run for school board in McCreary County this year coming Tuesday August 12th, the races for district 2 and district 4 are now set. Brandon Kidd will run unopposed for the District 2 seat, meaning he will continue serving for the next four years on the board. In District 4, the current school board member Larry Davis will be running for the seat but is challenged by Rhonda (Meadows) Armijo. The other three district seats on the school board were elected in 2012 and will not run again until the year 2016. Meanwhile, three seats will be up for grabs this cycle on the McCreary County Soil and Water Conservation District Board. A total of four candidates are running, meaning that the top three vote totals will take those seats. The candidates are Earl D. Kidd, David L. Jones, Vernon L. Gilreath and Todd Martin. Election Day will be Tuesday November 4th with polls open from 6:00am to 6:00pm across the county.

DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS ON BIG SOUTH FORK PROJECT
The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, which straddles the Kentucky-Tennessee state line, will be included in a Contaminated Mine Drainage Mitigation and Treatment System Draft Environmental Impact Statement, which is be prepared now by the National Park Service. The plan will help park staff manage treatment efforts related to the massive mining operations that impacted the region for many years. The project addresses contaminated mine drainage at nine sites in Kentucky. The deadline to submit public comments on the project is Friday August 15, 2014 with written comments accepted by mailing to the Superintendent of the Big South Fork, 4564 Leatherwood Road, Oneida, Tennessee 37841. You can also find more information on the project and how to submit comments online at parkplanning.nps.gov/biso. You can also call the park headquarters with questions at 423-569-9778.

KATHY BRANNON CRAFT DAYS SET FOR SEPTEMBER 12TH & 13TH
For many years, Kathy Brannon served McCreary County as one of its extension agents and devoted much of her time to sharing her skills and passion, including in the area of crafts, until her death from cancer several years ago. The McCreary County Extension Service and other volunteers organize the “Kathy Brannon Craft Days” each year with the event set for Friday September 12th and Saturday September 13th this year. Registration begins each day at 8:00am with various craft classes starting at 9:00am and lasting through each day at the McCreary Center of Somerset Community College. While there is no general registration fee for the event, some fees will be charged for each class to cover materials and other expenses. Refreshments will be provided each morning and lunch will be available each day for a $7.00 fee. The two day event will also include a silent auction with all money raised going to the continuation of the “Kathy Brannon Memorial Craft Days” in McCreary County. The registration deadline is Friday August 29th with classes ranging from acrylic painting, ceramics, and soap making to basket weaving, gourd painting, and pen and ink art. Complete information on the event is available online at mccreary.ca.uky.edu and then click on “Documents and Materials.” There you will find the registration packet for the “Kathy Brannon Craft Days” including class schedule and registration forms. You can also call the McCreary County Extension Service for information at 376-2524.

McCREARY SHERIFF REPORTS FAIRLY LIGHT WEEK OF ARRESTS
This past week, ending Monday August 11th, was a fairly light reporting period in terms of arrests for the McCreary County Sheriff’s Department. On the evening of Tuesday August 5th, deputies report the arrest of 38 year old Tosha Maxey of Muddy Branch Road for public intoxication and 32 year old Christopher Davenport for theft by unlawful taking. On August 7th, 48 year old Michael Soard was arrested for a violation of an emergency protective order, while Janet Crabtree, age 64, was picked up the same day on a warrant for failure to appear. Milford Coffey, age 67, was arrested August 8th for wanton endangerment; Brianna Jones, age 18, was nabbed August 9th for operating a motor vehicle under the influence; 47 year old Earl Vanover, Jr. was jailed August 9th for non-payment of fines; and Teresa Phillips, age 37, was charged August 10th with escape. These arrests reflect only those reported by the McCreary County Sheriff’s Department for the week ending Monday August 11th and do not include arrests by other law enforcement officers or agencies.

McCREARY OCCUPATIONAL TAX NUMBERS REMAIN STEADY FOR JULY
McCreary County officials have released the numbers for occupational tax collections for the month of July 2014. A total of $140,127.42 came in last month and after about $27 in interest earned by the fund, and expenses totaling $3,247.77 for the month, $136,906.96 was left to be deposited in the county’s General Fund. The $140,000 collected was almost identical to the past two years’ reports for the month of July when just over $139,000 was collected in July 2013 and just under $140,000 came in for July 2012. For complete information on the tax as well as month-by-month tax summaries, you can visit the “Tax Page” online at tax.mccrearycounty.com.

MAN DROWNS WHILE DIVING ON LAKE CUMBERLAND
A man died Sunday while diving on Lake Cumberland in Pulaski County. Authorities say the man, identified as 42 year old George John Fiorini, attempted to dive off a 50 to 60 foot cliff into the water when he hit the water on his back. He did not surface and crews were called in to search for the victim. His body was recovered after about two hours with the man pronounced dead at the scene by the Pulaski County’s Coroner’s Office. His body was sent to Frankfort for an autopsy as the investigation continues.

HIGHLAND ISSUES WARNING ABOUT POTENTIAL PHONE SCAM
In this world full of scam artists who target victims trying to gain personal or account information, or access to information through their computer, it is a good idea to remain alert and cautious when providing anyone with information. A new scam warning has been issued this week by Highland Communications saying that some of their customers have received phone calls from someone saying they need access to their computer because it has been hacked or has a virus. Remember that you should never allow access to your computer by anyone including someone claiming to be from Highland Communications unless you have initiated the request for them to do so. Also, officials remind you to never give out personal information, including account numbers or passwords, to an unsolicited request.

McCREARY YOUTH COMPLETE YAHOO FALLS TRAIL REHAB
Eight high school students from McCreary County recently completed a summer work project through the Youth Conservation Corps program with the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. The group worked on rehabilitation of the Yahoo Falls Trail repairing retaining walls and steps as well as cleaning up the Yahoo Falls picnic area. Students taking part from McCreary County included Prestin Cox, Caleb Dobbs, Megan Maxwell, Jacob Tucker, Kayli Tucker, Samantha Whigham, Billy Williams and Sierra Winchester. The group was led by crew leaders Donald Daugherty and Tommy Chambers along with employees of the National Park Service. The Youth Conservation Corps is a summer employment program for youth ages 15 through 18 working on public land projects. A youth group consisting of students from Fentress and Scott Counties also worked on the Tennessee side of the Big South Fork.

DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR US CONGRESS ON LOCAL SHOW
With less than three months until General Election Day in Kentucky, Kenneth Stepp, the Democratic candidate for 5th District US Congressman, will be a guest on the Truth or Politics program this evening (Monday August 11th). Stepp is challenging long time Congressman Hal Rogers for the seat in Washington, DC. The program is hosted by Darlene Price and is open to live audience members at the McCreary County Senior Citizens Center at the County Park. The program can also be heard live on WHAY 98.3FM starting at 6:00pm this evening with shows archived at www.truthorpolitics.info.

ROAD WORK TO BEGIN ON KY HIGHWAY 90 IN PULASKI COUNTY
Work crews will begin working today (Monday August 11th) on a section of roadway in southern Pulaski County that could impact traffic flow for several weeks. The section runs from mile point 0.421, the old Kentucky 90 Loop, to mile point 4.136, the US Highway 27 overpass in Burnside. The work includes paving outside shoulders, installing centerline rumble strips, edge line rumble strips and the installation of guardrail delineators on the highway. Hinkle Contracting was awarded the contract for the project which has a price tag of $648,438 with the work expected to continue from today through late October. For more information on road work as well as traffic information you can visit 511.ky.gov online or look up District 8 traffic information at www.facebook.com/KYTCDistrict8.

KENTUCKY WILDCATS BASKETBALL SEASON ALREADY UNDERWAY
This year marks an extra early start to basketball season for the Big Blue Nation. The Kentucky Wildcats opened the 2014-2015 season with some pre-season scrimmage games in the Bahamas allowing for an early start for the players, coaches and fans. The opening game was held Sunday afternoon with games continuing today (Monday), Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday for a total of six games on the Bahamas trip. The first three games are being televised on ESPNU, while the second half of the trip will be featured on the new SEC Network. All games have a 1:00pm eastern time start. The SEC Network, which officially debuts this Thursday August 14th, can be found by subscribers to Dish Network and DirecTV, as well as those who have the expanded pack lineups on the local Access Cable and Highland Media services. Kentucky Sports Radio is also offering an extended broadcast each weekday that the Wildcats play with their showing running until 12:30pm and heard live here on WHAY 98.3FM. For more on the Bahamas games you can visit www.ukathletics.com and click on “Schedules.”

FOUR McCREARY COUNTY SUSPECTS PLEAD GUILTY IN DRUG CASE
Four separate individuals from McCreary County have entered guilty pleas and will be sentenced in a drug conspiracy case dating back to 2009. The McCreary County Voice reports this week that David Lee Hill and Andy Ray Lewis have pled guilty to conspiring to distribute oxycodone pills in the case. Willie Hill entered a guilty plea earlier this year to the charge of possession with intent to distribute in the case and Barbara Hill has also agreed to enter a guilty plea to charges that she obtained government benefits by fraud. The group had allegedly been conspiring to distribute illegal drugs since 2007 but the investigation began with a traffic stop by Kentucky State Police in 2009. That stop resulted in the location of pills and the ensuing investigation led police to uncover the major drug distribution conspiracy. Barbara Hill was indicted and has pled guilty to charges connected to her obtaining $74,000 in health care benefits and $22,000 in SNAP, or food stamp, benefits by fraudulent means. Final sentencing in the case is set for November when each individual could face a prison term, fines, and other punishment.

STATE RELEASING REFUNDS FROM MINING PERMIT FEES
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear announced this week that the state will be releasing refunds to fiscal courts in 34 counties in the state from mining permit and acreage fees. The refunds total $399,450, up from last year refund amount of $381,400. The amounts being refunded to the counties range from $25 to $73,583 with McCreary County set to receive $188 from the state. Other nearby counties receiving refund checks will include Laurel County at $650 and Whitley County at just over $14,000. The Department for Natural Resources in Kentucky collects mining permit and acreage fees and returns a portion of the fees to coal-producing counties to be used for projects that the fiscal court selects.

McCREARY HUNTER EDUCATION COURSE SET FOR THIS WEEKEND
The McCreary County Hunter Education Program, in conjunction with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, will hold their free hunter education course this weekend. The course, which can be attended by anyone, will be this evening (Friday August 8th) starting at 6:00pm and continues Saturday August 9th at 9:00am at the Sawbucks Bingo building on Highway 1651 between Whitley City and Stearns. Any person born on or after January 1, 1975 that will be hunting is required by state law to carry a valid hunter education course completion card. Children under age 12 and anyone exempt from purchasing a hunting license are not required to carry the card, but children under age 12 must be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age. For information on this weekend’s hunter education course in McCreary County, call 376-3933 or 376-2834. You can also visit the McCreary County Hunter Education webpage at huntered.mccrearycounty.com.

STATE INCREASING ACCESS TO CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE
After having to cut funding for the Child Care Assistance Program last year due to budget shortfalls, state officials have announced that funding for the program has been restored this year and applications are now being accepted. In April 2013, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services shifted the income eligibility mark from 150% of the Federal Poverty Level to 100%, meaning fewer households were eligible for assistance in paying for child care services. Governor Steve Beshear had proposed in his budget to restore the funding to the full amount allowing households at 150% of the poverty level to be eligible. The General Assembly modified that request and restored funding so those at 140% of the poverty level could apply. In May of this year, state officials say the program served about 12,000 children in about 6,000 households statewide. With the new funding levels now in place, the state says they hope to be able to serve about 31,000 children in 17,000 families each month. To apply, parents need to submit an application and include information on income, work participation and residency. The application process can begin online at http://chfs.ky.gov/ccap or in person at most DCBS county offices. Information on the program and eligibility can be found at www.childcarecouncilofky.com or by phone at 1-800-809-7076.

BLUE HERON GHOST TRAIN TO BE HOSTED SEPTEMBER 6TH
The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area is hosting two special events in September to allow locals and visitors the chance to enjoy storytelling and special activities. On Saturday September 6th, the Blue Heron Ghost Train will carry riders on the Big South Fork Scenic Railway from the depot in Stearns to the Blue Heron Mining Camp. Those not wanting to ride the train can also travel by private vehicle to the mining camp in western McCreary County on KY Highway 742 for the event that will begin at 7:30pm and will include storytelling until about 9:30pm. Free parking will be available as well as refreshments at the concession stand at Blue Heron for those attending that evening.

The Big South Fork will also host their 22nd annual “Haunting in the Hills” storytelling festival at Bandy Creek in Tennessee on Saturday September 20th with storytelling, crafts, music and more. For information call the park at 423-569-9779 or Bandy Creek Visitor Center at 423-286-7275. You can also visit the Big South Fork website at www.nps.gov/biso. These events are free to attend.

McCREARY COUNTY TEEN DEAD AFTER EARLY MORNING CRASH
Authorities say a 17 year old McCreary County teen is dead following an early morning crash. It happened around 3:00am Tuesday on North Bee Rock Road in the north end of the county when 17 year old Dustin Strunk reportedly missed a curve and hit an embankment before overturning. Strunk was pronounced dead at the scene. Kentucky State Police are leading the investigation into the fatal crash.

McCREARY COUNTY’S BAUER ROAD CLOSED FOR WORK
The McCreary County Road Department has announced that the Bauer Road in northern McCreary County will be closed all this week during the daytime work hours as crews chip and seal that road. Bauer Road is located just off US Highway 27 in the Greenwood area of McCreary County.

McCREARY SHERIFF RELEASES WEEKLY ARREST REPORT
The weekly arrest report released by the McCreary County Sheriff’s Department shows a fairly busy week for deputies through Monday August 4th with eleven individuals charged. On July 29th, 49 year old Regina Sharp of Falmouth was arrested for public intoxication, while 53 year old Bruce Carmony of Pine Ridge Road was also charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence. Later that same evening, 18 year old Dakota Crabtree was arrested for assault. On July 30th, 27 year old Amanda Pryor of Court Lane was arrested for terroristic threatening, criminal trespassing and criminal mischief. 23 year old Tammy Davis was picked up July 31st for flagrant non-support; 64 year old Coy Stephens was jailed August 1st for failure to appear; 23 year old Joseph Richmond was arrested August 1st for prescription controlled substance not in a proper container; and 51 year old Terry Jones was arrested August 2nd for failure to make required disposition of property. On August 3rd, 37 year old Jerome Williams was jailed for flagrant non-support, while Arnold Keith, age 75, was arrested for menacing and disorderly conduct. 34 year old Derrick Bentley of Piney Grove Spur was nabbed August 4th for operating on a suspended or revoked license. Again, these arrests reflect those for the week ending Monday August 4th and are only those by the McCreary County Sheriff’s Department.

McCREARY TO HOST ENTREPRENEURIAL SMARTS CLASSES
The Southeast Kentucky Development Corporation, known as SKED, which is based at the Center for Rural Development in Somerset, is sponsoring a series of classes this month to help people improve their business or work toward starting a business. The Entrepreneurial SMARTS classes will be held each Thursday this month, starting this Thursday August 7th, from 5:30 to 8:30pm at the McCreary Center of Somerset Community College. The registration fee is $25 for all sessions. For information or to register contact Pat Bradley at SKED by calling 606-335-1488 or e-mail pat.sked@yahoo.com. You can also find information and register online at www.southeastkentucky.com.

I-75 CHASE ENDS WITH ARREST OF MAN WANTED BY FBI
A man wanted for terroristic threatening and harassing communications in Madison County was arrested Monday afternoon after leading police in nearby Laurel County on a 30 mile chase. It happened when a vehicle carrying 40 year old Russell Little was spotted on Interstate 75 near mile marker 33 in southern Laurel County. Little was wanted on the charges by the FBI. Officers attempted to stop Little but he led them on a chase along the interstate that lasted more than 30 miles, ending near mile marker 66 in Rockcastle County. The man was reportedly armed with a gun but officers were able to take him into custody without further incident. He was checked out at a hospital and was then lodged in the Laurel County Detention Center.

TWO SCHOOL BOARD SEATS UP FOR GRABS IN McCREARY COUNTY
While most races for the upcoming November election are set with candidates decided in the May Primary, candidates wishing to run for the non-partisan school board seats in McCreary County still have one week to file. The candidate deadline is next Tuesday August 12th with two school board seats up for grabs locally. Those are the District 2 seat currently held by Brandon Kidd and the District 4 seat held by Larry Davis. According to the Kentucky Secretary of State’s website, where candidate filings are posted, Brandon Kidd has filed for re-election for his school board seat but is the lone candidate to file so far. The only other candidates who could still enter a race for office in November would be write in candidates who have until October 24th to officially declare their intent with the county clerk or Secretary of State. Election Day is set for Tuesday November 4th. For information on candidate filings, voter registration or other election information locally contact the McCreary County Clerk’s office in the courthouse. Stop by or call 376-2411 or visit their website at www.mccrearycountyclerk.com.

McCREARY COUNTY PARENTS INVITED TO USE INFINITE PORTAL
The Infinite Campus Parent Portal is a resource available free to parents and guardians who want to check the progress of their children online. With school set to start in McCreary County next week, you can sign up now to use the portal which allows parents to view up to date information including grades, schedules, assignments, attendance and other information from the school. Parents and guardians can get information about registering to use the infinite campus portal at their individual schools’ open house and registration dates or can call Schyler Jones, the McCreary County School District’s Director of Pupil Personnel, at 376-2591 ext 1011 or ext 1021. You can also visit the school district central office on Raider Way in Stearns for information or visit the McCreary County School District website at www.mccreary.k12.ky.us.

EFFORTS AIMED AT COLLECTING SCHOOL SUPPLIES LOCALLY
With the start of school in McCreary County now just ten days away on Thursday August 14th, some local efforts are underway to collect donated school supplies for children for the upcoming year. A plea is being made for donations to the “Backpack” program, which is normally recognized as helping send food supplies home with children in need on weekends but is also working to provide needed back to school supplies. Items are needed such as one subject notebooks, pencils, folders, glue and crayons and those wishing to donate can drop items off at Bluegrass Home Oxygen in Whitley City, next to Crabtree-Wilson Insurance, weekdays between 9:00am and 5:00pm. You can also call Missy Strunk for information at 606-310-0658. Another effort collecting back to school supplies for local students is the annual “Stuff the Bus” drive sponsored by the McCreary County Public Library. The library is offering excuse any fines on your account for overdue library materials in exchange for donations of items such as crayons, markers, pencils, notebooks, backpacks, scissors, erasers and other related school supplies. For information stop by the public library on Main Street in downtown Whitley City, or call 376-8738. You can also visit the library online at www.mccrearylibrary.org or on Facebook.

McCREARY GRAND JURY INDICTS A DOZEN SUSPECTS IN JULY
A dozen suspects were indicted on various charges during the July session of the McCreary County Grand Jury. Among those with true bills returned was Stephen Blakely on charges of possession of a controlled substance for allegedly possessing methamphetamine. Also indicted were two individuals accused of cashing phony checks in the name of Lumber King at a local bank totaling nearly $6,000. Garrett Ray and Adam Ryan Criss were indicted in the case on counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument. Thomas Lynch, aka TJ Lynch, was also indicted for burglary; Rita Morgan was indicted on counts of burglary, criminal possession of a forged instrument and theft by deception; James D. Murphy was charged by the grand jury with burglary, tampering with physical evidence, and possession of burglar’s tools as well as possession of a controlled substance. Other indictments included Jerome T. Williams for flagrant non-support; Justin Gilreath for flagrant non-support; and Samuel Hurd for intimidating a participant in a legal process and being a persistent felony offender. William James Patton was indicted on two counts of criminal abuse and being a persistent felony offender while William Perkins was charged with burglary, criminal mischief, theft and persistent felony offender. That case also involved an indictment against Tiffany Wilson, aka Stephanie Perkins, for burglary, criminal mischief and theft. No true bills were also returned in cases against Albert Terry, Jr and Roderick A. Crabtree, meaning the grand jury did not find enough evidence for an indictment. Listeners are reminded that an indictment by the grand jury is not a finding of guilt, but finds sufficient evidence to proceed with formal charges.

McCREARY TOURISM DIRECTOR OVERSEEING PROJECTS, EVENTS
McCreary County Tourism Director Tara Chaney has a number of projects in her hands these days including some upcoming events being coordinated through the tourism office. Chaney has provided an update on activity from her office which is available online at www.mccrearycounty.com. You can also contact the local tourism office at 606-376-3008 or by e-mailing tara@mccrearycounty.com.

KINGSFORD CHARCOAL PLANT SUFFERS MINOR DAMAGE IN FIRE
Fire crews were on the scene of a fire at the Kingsford Charcoal plant in southern Pulaski County Tuesday where officials say the plant suffered minor damage. No injuries were reported from the fire which started with a conveyor belt catching fire as it was moving charcoal. Crews were able to bring the fire under control quickly and company officials say work resumed Tuesday afternoon at the plant.

McCREARY SHERIFF REPORTS SEVEN ARRESTS FOR THE WEEK
The latest arrest report released by the McCreary County Sheriff’s Department covers the week ending Monday July 28th and includes seven individuals being arrested. On July 22nd, 23 year old Felicia Johnson of Day Ridge Road was picked up on a warrant for burglary, assault and criminal mischief, while 34 year old David Ballinger of Frankfort was arrested later that same day for operating a motor vehicle under the influence. 42 year old Oscar Martin was arrested July 23rd for burglary, criminal mischief and theft; 30 year old Ashley Cooper was arrested July 24th for criminal possession of a forged instrument; 30 year old James Murphy was arrested July 25th for burglary, tampering with physical evidence, and possession of burglary tools; 39 year old William Patton was arrested July 25th for criminal abuse; and 38 year old Carrie Foster was picked up July 27th for non-payment of fines. These arrests for the week represent only those by the McCreary County Sheriff’s Department.

TENNESSEE SALES TAX HOLIDAY SET FOR THIS WEEKEND
Each year, the state of Tennessee waives sales tax on various items to prepare for back to school including clothing, school supplies and electronics including computers. The sales tax holiday is this weekend running all day Friday August 1st through Sunday August 3rd across the neighboring state of Tennessee. Items included in the tax holiday are clothing priced at $100 or less per item, school and art supplies costing $100 or less per item and computers priced at $1500 or less. For full details and restrictions for the upcoming Tennessee Sales Tax Holiday Weekend August 1st through 3rd you can go online to www.tntaxholiday.com.

REGISTRATION UNDERWAY FOR FALL SEMESTER AT SCC
Somerset Community College is urging prospective students for the fall semester to be prepared and register now. The semester officially begins Monday August 18th with classes at the main campus in Somerset, as well as the Laurel Campus and satellite centers such as the McCreary Center in Whitley City, the Casey County Center, Clinton County Center and the Russell County Center. Advisors are available to speak to students and registration will continue through August 15th ahead of opening day. For additional information call the main campus admissions office at 606-451-6630 or call the McCreary Center at 376-7505. You can also go online for information at somerset.kctcs.edu.

McCREARY CLERK PREPARING FOR DELINQUENT TAX SALE
The staff of the McCreary County Clerk’s Office is preparing for next month’s sale of delinquent 2013 property tax bills for the county. The sale is scheduled for August 27th at the McCreary County Courthouse with those parties interested in registering to purchase those tax bills required to register through the clerk’s office by mid-August. The list of delinquent tax bills from 2013 was published in the July 24th issue of The McCreary County Voice and is also available through the McCreary County Clerk’s Office. Anyone needing information about the upcoming tax sale can contact the clerk’s office at 376-2411 or visit their website at www.mccrearycountyclerk.com. The 2014 property tax bills will be issued and mailed out to property owners by early October.

FALL SPORTS SEASONS JUST AROUND THE CORNER FOR McCREARY
With the start of school in McCreary County just a couple of weeks away, those playing fall sports in the local district will also be hitting the fields and courts over the next few weeks. McCreary Central High School’s football program will again host a “Midnight Madness” event this Thursday night July 31st heading into early Friday morning August 1st at the high school football field. The event was started last year by Raider Coach Garry Galloway with this year being the second event which will include practice and festivities for the team with the August 1st date, which marks the first day teams in Kentucky can begin full contact practices. The first game on the schedule for the Raiders in the 2014 season will be Friday August 22nd at Scott County, Tennessee. The Raiders will follow with road games against Letcher County and Clinton County before hosting their first home game on September 12th against Pineville. Other fall sports at the high school include Lady Raiders Volleyball which begins with a match August 19th at home against Clinton County and Lady Raiders Soccer which opens the season September 9th at home against Clinton County.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHAY WORKING TO IMPROVE SIGNAL STRENGTH, AUDIO QUALITY
Over the last couple of weeks, WHAY Radio has been working to improve our signal strength, especially to the north, as well as audio quality. This has required, at various times, the radio station to be off the air for the work including being off for most of the last two weekends. WHAY’s management apologizes for that inconvenience but add that the interruption in broadcasting was necessary to complete the upgrades. WHAY is currently experiencing a stronger broadcast signal to the north and is working on ways to improve the signal to the south of Whitley City. For more information on WHAY Radio, including the complete program schedule, visit our website at www.hay98.com.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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