2009 Year in Review
Written by Danetta Barker
Wednesday, 30 December 2009
Every year we take stock and look back at the stories that made the news. People, places and events shape our lives every year and 2009 was no exception.
A horrible act of aggression and anger finally came to a legal end, but will never end for the families of Willa Thompson and Jason Thompson who were killed as 2008 began. The man who shot the victims in their yard, Roy Pollard, entered a guilty plea more than 18 months after the incident.
Not all news was bad this year. We had very uplifting moments. We saw our young ag students take a broken down school building and return it to its former glory. The Poston School renovations brought back many happy memories.
We paid tribute to a coach and educator who left us, Lake Kelly and we welcomed his son Brian to follow in his father’s footsteps as head coach of the FCHS Boys’ Basketball team.
Her we have compiled some of the stories that made headlines in 2009
Circuit Judge Stockton Wood heard arguments from attorneys on both sides of the Roy Pollard case and ruled to keep the trial date set for Jan. 20.
Pollard defense attorneys Amanda Mullins and Tom Griffiths with the Department of Public Advocacy had made a motion for a continuance of the trial scheduled for Jan. 20 and 21, 26, 27, and 28. Another motion for change of venue was made by DPA in which Commonwealth’s Attorney Kathryn Hendrickson made a motion objecting to the change of venue to Mason County. Wood ruled Dec. 5 that the court would try to seat an unbiased jury before he would consider a change of venue.
Pollard has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the death of Jason Thompson and his aunt, Willa Thompson on Jan.11, 2008, at their homes in the Muses Mill community. He has also been charged with one count each of unlawful imprisonment for allegedly kidnapping his ex-wife Bonnie Butler, first-degree assault, first-degree burglary, tampering with physical evidence, third-degree terroristic threatening, and violation of a domestic violence order related to the events of Jan. 11, 2008.
Carol Gast decided it was time to leave the city offices where she has worked for 25 years.
An arts council for Fleming County is another step closer as 30 people met to elect officers and begin the decision making process. With only two weeks left to apply for grant money from the Kentucky Arts Council, moderator Brian Leedy said there was no time to waste.
Leedy said according to laws governing non profit organizations, a group must have four offices filled, president, vice president, secretary and treasurer. H also said the office of president and vice president could be combined with co-chairs. John Doyle and Garry Barker were elected in those positions.
Two elementary schools were burglarized last week, according to officials. Sheriff Scotty Royse believes one man entered first Ward Elementary then nearly an hour later broke into Hillsboro Elementary.
It was fitting that people gathered at Dairy Queen to watch Barack Obama sworn in as the nation’s 44th President. Dairy Queen was, after all, the place where Bill Clinton made a stop while campaigning for his wife Hillary Clinton during her presidential nomination campaign.
Roy Pollard’s trial was postponed for six months. Fleming County Circuit Court Judge Stockton Wood ruled to postpone the trial of Roy I. Pollard who has been charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of Jason Thompson and Willa Thompson. The ruling comes a year after the incident which occurred in the Muses Mills area of Fleming County.
Alexa Emmons and Jim Tom Galbreath were crowned the winners in the 40th annual Mr. and Miss Fleming Countian.
It has been 55 years since Bill Sims opened Dairy Queen to sell ice cream then sandwiches, which his wife Martha made at home and brought to the store on Water Street next to Cheap’s Chevrolet, which was also a new business.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet road crews worked in every county Tuesday morning to clear snow and ice while a major winter storm left snow, ice and downed trees in its wake.
The Fleming County High School Cheerleaders won the Regional title and a trip to state competition in Bowling Green Feb. 14.
Parts of Fleming County were left in the dark after an ice storm swept through the area. Ice-covered trees fell onto ice-covered power lines and in many cases power lines snapped from the sheer weight of the ice. More than 700 hundred homes were without power in the Fleming-Mason Energy service area for Fleming County.
One person died in a fire on Fox Springs Avenue early Wednesday morning, according to officials. Deputy Coroner Gary Workman confirmed the death of a 47 year old Brenda Williams, who lived at 605 Fox Spring Avenue.
Flemingsburg city council agreed to a proposal to let a new organization adopt City Park. The council heard discussion from Councilman Meredith Story and Economic Development director Steve Donovan about working with the Fleming County Council for the Arts in regards to the Frank Newman Park, commonly referred to as the Old City Park. The Council for the Arts wants to adopt the park and share in the upkeep and renovations of the facility located behind City Hall. The park would be the location of the Council for the Arts annual Herman Chittison Celebration of the Arts. The festival is to honor jazz pianist Chittison who played all over the world during the 1930s and up until his death in 1967. In 1957 Chittison returned to Flemingsburg, where he was born, to give a concert.
Fleming County Fiscal Court took action Tuesday that will essentially dissolve the current Fleming County Dispatch Board, placing all the administrative and fiscal responsibilities of dispatch services solely in the court’s hands.
Superintendent Kelley Crain recognized Fleming County High School students who have been remodeling the historic Poston School, a one-room Fleming County school that closed in 1954. She congratulated the students and Charles Berry, a retired Fleming County teacher who is leading the project which he calls “applied academics
A new generation has become part of the services to honor Pfc. Franklin Sousley, who was one of the six flag raisers on Iwo Jima. A service held Sunday included a song by Mackenzie Purvis, the granddaughter of veteran Nelson Purvis.
It was not business as usual at Hinton’s Plummers Landing Mill Saturday as the last of the Seed Days took place. It was better than business as usual. In the hard economic times, sales have picked up at the farm stores. According to owner Frank “Bud” Hinton, “Business is great.”
Cut fences, garbage and water quality issues have forced the city of Flemingsburg to ban boats from the reservoir. Water Plant Supervisor Joe Dunaway voiced his concerns during a council meeting about the boats left on banks of the lake. He said people were cutting the fence to get boats in and out of the lake, instead of using the gate. After consideration of the situation Mayor Louie Flanery said the boats had to be removed.
The Louisville Field Office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development presented awards for excellence in management to several housing agencies, including Flemingsburg housing Authority, at the Kentucky Housing Association Mid-Year Conference.
As the word of Lake Kelly’s death spread, a pall was cast over Fleming County. For the area has lost not only a wining basketball coach, but a humanitarian, a teacher, an historian and one of the most beloved citizens of the town.
The FCHS Academic team heads out to Louisville for the state competition. The team is making its fourth appearance in four years at state.
At the Fleming County school board meeting Superintendent Kelley Crain made the recommendation that “all high school major sports coaches” become district level positions. This would make Crain ultimately responsible for the hiring of positions such as high school basketball coaches. The superintendent’s proposal includes the creation of three committees. The first committee, the search committee, would identify desirable attributes for coaches, and seek out qualified applicants.
Making music has been a way of life for Robbie Vice since he was big enough to hold a set of drum sticks. While he played in two bands, God Sent and The Vice Family Singers, he has also taught drum classes at his music studio Bald Hill Music. Along with a member of God Sent, Mike Harmon, Vice has recently had the opportunity to record gospel music to the Nashville Number System.
“We recorded 10 songs, chose the arrangements and used the Nashville Music System, which lets each person play the exact same thing,” Vice said. “You can’t get off beat.”
The Nashville Number System is an informal method of transcribing music by denoting the scale degree on which the chord is built.
There are those who say the small community of Poplar Plains has its ghosts. If so they are joined by a new one, Ghost Zero. Dave Flora grew up farming the fields around Poplar Plains and Hillsboro. The son of Fred and Eula Flora, he comes from a multigenerational farming family. The young Dave Flora became a great fan of the Steve Canyon comic strip. Now Dave Flora has turned his experience into his own comic book, or graphic novel, called Ghost Zero.
Coaching jobs for “major sports” in the Fleming County School system will remain building-level positions recruited and hired by the high school principal and Fleming County High School Site Based Decision Making (SBDM) Council.
Roger Romine of the Veterans Administration presents Janice Botkin with the “Sacrifice for Freedom” medal in honor of her son, Sgt. John Cooper, who was killed in Iraq in 2007. “John died for a greater good,” said Romine during his presentation. “He was a patriot who knew in his heart what was important. He gave that last full measure of devotion.” Romine also presented medals to other family members during the ceremony at the Botkin home on March 28, also attended by Ky. Rep. Mike Denham.
Once again the Fleming County Hospital Ladies raised $25,000 over the past year, which paid for various items in the hospital including equipment from housekeeping to surgery.
Policies for hiring the boy’s basketball coach for the high school have changed again. The ultimate hiring authority, according to Superintendent Kelley Crain, is now Jinny Hurdle, the high school principal. This a change from the policy that was adopted on March 16, which made all major high school sports coaches district employees, giving the Superintendent the final authority on hiring.
Miranda Sergent, Jessime Kirk, and Seth Colgan received letters of acceptance April 14 informing them that they had been chosen to attend Kentucky’s Governor’s Scholars Program.
Fleming County is slated to receive money from President Barack Obama’s stimulus package. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has released money for projects throughout the country with $4 million coming to Fleming County. Fox Creek Multiple Purpose Structure 4 Fox Creek MPS#4 project, located seven miles southeast of Flemingsburg, will receive $4,092,088, according to the announcement made last week.
Fleming County High School has a new boy’s basketball coach with strong ties to the community. Principal Jinny Hurdle announced Brian Kelly as the boys’ basketball coach. Kelly will be the second generation to answer to Coach on the Panther court. His father Lake D. Kelly, who recently passed away, took the Panthers to the Boys Sweet 16 twice.
The “prize patrol” of the Beta Sigma Phi was out again. This time, April 20, they surprised Minnie Doyle by proclaiming her the 2009 Lady of the Year.
Local agencies recently came to the aid, literally, of troops headed out for Iraq. First aid and medical supplies were gathered and given to Sgt. Tim Smith of the Army National Guard. Smith will hand over the supplies to troops once they are at the training base in Mississippi.
The first all-new 2010 Camaro has arrived at Cheap’s Chevrolet and is on display, already drawing crowds of eager car enthusiasts.
A guilty plea entered in Circuit Court Tuesday ended the 17-month long legal battle of Roy I. Pollard Jr., who was charged with murder. Pollard pleaded guilty to two counts of murder in the shooting deaths of Willa Thompson and Jason Thompson, unlawful imprisonment, first-degree assault, burglary, first-degree wanton endangerment, stalking, third-degree burglary, tampering with evidence and violation of EPO. He will spend the rest of his life in prison without the chance of parole. The crimes were committed in January of 2008.
The banging of a jackhammer was the only sound heard at the Veterans Memorial Friday afternoon as 135 bricks waited to be placed in honor and memory of Fleming County veterans. The memorial is usually a place of quiet contemplation where families can go to remember those lost on foreign soil.
The Fleming County School Board heard a bedtime story from a student at Hillsboro Elementary, who had written a book that won an award. KET announced the names of the Kentucky winners in the 15th Annual Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators Contest for students in kindergarten, first, second and third grades. The kindergarten winner is Sarah Jane Pease, who attends Hillsboro Elementary School. Teacher Christy Perkins submitted Pease’s story, “Puppy, The Little Brown Dog and Her Playdate,” about three dogs who spend a happy day playing together.
Fleming County celebrated Armed Forces Day with ceremonies honoring those who have served and those currently serving in the military. The focus of the event this year was the bricks that have been placed at the Veterans Monument. The program is part of HAVE, Help a Veteran Everyday. Proceeds from the sale of memorial and honorary bricks go to the program. Jarrod Fritz, Fleming County clerk, said he had sold 135 bricks since the program began.
Dr. Brad Gray, who spent 11 years in college, medical school internships and residency, is returning to Flemingsburg to work with Bacon at Family Medicine Associates.
Several students in Melinda Thomas’ French classes competed May 16 at the Kentucky World Language Association State Festival at the University of Kentucky and brought home first and second place titles.
King Christian Jenkins and Queen Jennifer Burke reign over the Fleming County High School prom Saturday night.
Fleming County High School has released the names of the top four students in the 2009 graduating class. Ashley Peterson, Michelle Workman, Jessica Burke and Sidney Rosser earned top honors in their class.
A Fleming County man has been arrested on charges of distributing child pornography. Commonwealth’s Attorney Kathryn Hendrickson announced the arrest of James Donovan, 26, of Flemingsburg, on five counts of distribution of child pornography, four counts of possession of child pornography, and tampering with physical evidence.
The shot rang out loudly bringing screams of horror with it as the president fell to the floor. Immediately a lone figure ran out of the theater yelling, “Sic Temper Tyranis,” Latin for “Death always to tyrants.” The re-enactment of the assignation of President Abraham Lincoln was a chilling experience for those in the auditorium of Simons Middle School. The school held the annual Civil War Day with Ford’s Theater being a one of the elements.
For the fourth summer children of Fleming County will be treated to the Reading Festival, sponsored by Fleming County Schools and Fleming County Public Library. A new addition is the C-Span Civics Bus.
The Fleming County Covered Bridge Museum paid tribute to a man who spent his life encouraging others to do their best. Former Fleming County High School Basketball Coach Lake Kelly, who died in March, was honored when a plaque was unveiled that will hang in the museum.
People attending the Fourth Annual Reading Festival were treated to a visit from the C-Span bus. For most of the day Friday, Rodee Schreider and Vanessa Bailey gave tours of the bus that crisscrosses America. Schreider said the bus had an opening during the trip from Alabama to Columbus, Ohio.
The community has lost an advocate for education as well as civic minded resident with the death of Ruth Rankin. Rankin, 74, will be remembered most for roll as chair of the Fleming County Hospital Board, where she served for several decades.
About 75 artists and arts supporters converged Saturday night at Banana Tree Studio for the very first “Art Under the Stars” celebration hosted by the Fleming County Council for the Arts.
All across the Nation, July fourth is known as our Nation’s birthday--or Independence Day. For some it’s simply a day of hotdogs and a night of fireworks—but for a few it is a birthday to call their own. Everyone has one, and some people share their days with others and some, like Deloris Vice share their day with America. Vice was born on July 4, 1940 and has since been celebrating her day with America.
Most adults collect vintage toys and games in an effort to hold on to childhood memories. Wesley Shoemaker is writing stories, not to recapture childhood memories, but just to remember his childhood. When the 32-year-old was 19, he was in a car wreck that left him blind and deaf for a while. He overcame that, but lost his childhood memories. Now as youth minister, Shoemaker is writing stories about animals and the environment. His first book “Mother Nature and the Tales of North Fork” is about a teenage bluegill fish.
Ewing Fleming County Fair opens to rainy weather.
New information about swine flu from the World Health Organization comes on the heels of a confirmed case in Fleming County. Stephanie Fryman, the director of Fleming County Health Department confirmed that a person in the county had been diagnosed with swine flu.
Toni Rochelle Hart is crowned Miss Ewing Fleming County Fair July 8. Hart is from Owingsville.
The great wall of old buildings came down as Courthouse Hill was prepared to receive a new Justice Center. The MacDonald, Walton and Razor Law Firm building was taken down by workers of Ohio Valley Salvage. A crane chomped away at old brick and timbers for two days before the building was completely leveled.
Fleming County is about to receive a new superintendent of schools. During a special meeting Friday July 17, Superintendent Kelley Crain gave her resignation to the board. Crain has served as superintendent for seven years and will be leaving to accept a job with the Fayette county School District as Director of Middle Schools.
On the heels of its first anniversary in a new facility, Fleming County Hospital will have new leadership. The Board of Trustees elected Davie Lloyd as the hospital’s next Chief Executive Officer.
New management and new owners means new changes for Twin Pin Lanes in Flemingsburg. Beginning Aug. 1, Gary Shannon and Geno Apgar will take over management of the bowling alley.
There will be two major changes in the Fleming County School system when school starts next week. First, there is a new interim superintendent, Tony Roth. Second, the completion of work on Kentucky 32, which took two years of work to improve highway safety and traffic flow by widening the roadway, installing new turn lanes and redesigning entrances.
Backyard Carnival is offering a $500 dollar reward through the Fleming County Sheriff’s Office for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a thief who stole items belonging to the newly opened business. A bounce house used in the carnivals, along with the blower to inflate it, was stolen.
Who owns a sidewalk? That was a question that could not be easily answered at Monday night’s city council meeting. Councilman Marty Voiers asked the Mayor Louie Flanery who owns the sidewalks. In recent years the council has been enforcing an ordinance to keep sidewalks unobstructed so people can walk freely. With cars parked on sidewalks and other obstructions, residents on some streets have complained to the council.
Two depots received funds for renovation. Johnson Junction Depot has received $119,700 for relocation. The depot is to be moved to the Flemingsburg Depot. The building is to be used for the Fleming County Council of the Arts. The Ewing Depot received $92,000 for restoration. The depot has received funds in the past that helped restore the depot for use as a meeting place for Ewing City Council.
A blood drive held to help Lucas Cannon resulted in an overflow of donors. According to Fleming County Hospital Marketing Director Joyce Fidler, 176 people signed up to donate blood to help Cannon. The 16 year old was injured more than a week ago when the moving roll bales on the family farm at Mill Creek and Cherry Grove Road, according the Fleming County Sheriff’s Office. Lucan Cannon stopped the tractor and it began to roll, he tried to stop it and the tractor ran over him.
Flemingsburg Volunteer Fire Department responded to a fire on Hall Road off Kentucky 32 near Bluebank. When crews arrived at the home of Beatrix Justice flames had engulfed the house.
Four people were arrested after their children were found playing in the highway was arraigned in Fleming District Court Thursday. Timothy Benton, 26, Tyler Benton, 21, Shayla Benton, 21, and Amber Benton, 21, were arrested August 25 after someone reported two children ages 2 and 3, playing in road near the Stockyards. According to Flemingsburg Police Chief Randy Sergent, the four adults were in the house and did not respond to knocks on the door.
Deborah Weber moved a new position at St Claire Regional Medical Center where she will work in the Out Patient Counseling Unit.
The Fleming County Panthers pulled out a hard fought victory over Raceland Rams Friday night. When the buzzer sounded the Panthers had scored 19 points over Raceland’s 13 in the home opener at Panther Field.
Fleming County native and daughter of former executive director for the Buffalo Trace Area Development District Amanda Ross died Friday morning after being shot in downtown Lexington.
Former GOP lawmaker Steve Nunn was arrested and charged with her murder.
Although the reduced charges for four people arrested for firs-degree wanton endangerment, the grand jury saw fit to indict them on the original charges. Tyler Benton, 21, Amber Benton, 21, Timothy Benton, 25 and Shayla Benton, 21 were indicted for first-degree wanton endangerment, a charge stemming from an incident that happened Aug. 25 when two children ages 2 and 3 years who were in the care of the adults were found in the middle of Helena Road near the stockyards.
Fleming County Council for the Arts held the Herman Chittison Celebration of the Arts, a festival of jazz and blue music to honor native son Chittison.
The Fleming County Judicial Center Groundbreaking Ceremony was held.
Fleming District Judge Todd Walton was named Kentucky CASA Judge of the Year. CASA is the Court Appointed Special Advocates, a group of volunteers trained to help children within the court system.
A high profile case in Kentucky has landed in the hands of the Fleming County grand jury. Monday the grand jury indicted Derrick Miller on two counts of theft by deception. The former University of Kentucky basketball star has been indicted in Fayette and Clark counties on similar charges.
Two shops opened last week that offer everything from frills to antiques. Downtown Girls opened on the corner of Main Cross and Water streets. The shop is owned by Jennifer Harrington and is stocked with everything every girl needs. In downtown Ewing in the building where the flower shop was located is Antiques to Applesauce, an antique mall that boasts 13 vendors opened. Owned by collectors Danna Mitchell and Lloyd Duncan, the shop offers antiques, collectibles and hand painted gourds.
Julie Wallingford and Harrison Miller are named Homecoming Queen and King.
The hard work of some Fleming County students has paid off in many ways. One, they have restored an old landmark, the Poston School. Two, they are the focus of RFD TV’s Bluegrass and Backroads program. Agriculture construction teacher Charles Berry began the renovation project on Poston School more than a year ago. His students shored up the foundation, patched the roof, scrubbed the floor, installed desks, built outhouses and put up a pot bellied stove to make the school look like it did 50 plus years ago.
The Fleming county Health Department recently received 100 doses of the H1N1 nasal vaccine. According to HD Director Stephanie Fryman, the vaccine is for people 2 to 49 years old.
Fleming County Public Library holds Haunted Library with teenagers and other playing famous authors.
Hillsboro Volunteer Firefighter Christopher Dean Royse, 18, was charged with two counts of second-degree arson. He was arrested Oct. 23 at the Fleming County Sheriff’s Office.
A stellar season for Simons Middle School’s seventh grade football team ended with one player being named to the First Team All State. Derrick Goodman, who plays defensive end, received the award Nov. 1 at the MVP Awards ceremony held at Lexington Catholic School. Three other players, Tyler Carpenter, Quentin Humphries and Wilder Williams were given honorable mentions.
It has been many years since pies were auctioned to raise money for Poston School. Saturday evening former classmates and those who worked on the building hled a pi social.
The Fleming County Book Fair was more like a reunion than a book fair for many of the authors. Held Oct. 31, the fair had 25 authors, several from Fleming County and one special guest, David Dick.
Task Force Omega members work each year to bring a little Christmas to these forgotten heroes at the Homeless Veterans Center at Leestown Veterans Administration in Lexington. This year TFO members are organizing a tea party to raise money to buy items for Christmas stockings for the veterans.
The Fleming County Panthers traveled to Pikeville Friday night and lost in the first round of the playoffs to Pike County Central 74-50. The game, reminiscent of a shootout at the OK Corral, saw 11 touchdowns by passing, seven on the ground, and a total of 995 yards of offense.
Dwayne Price accepted a plaque and other memorabilia regarding PFC Franklin Sousley from Tom Gant. Price is Sousley’s nephew. Sousley, who was one of six flag raisers on Iwo Jima during World War II worked in Dayton at Frigidaire. Gant worked there for 40 years. He found the job application of Sousley and gave it to Price.
Flemingsburg Police Department has reported the escape of a 13 year old boy who was arrested for speeding and other charges. According to Chief Randy Sergent, the male had been transported from the Ashland Juvenile Detention Center to Flemingsburg for a hearing Monday afternoon.
Amber Choate, 13, who played basketball at Simons Middle School, died after being struck by pickup truck in front of her home.
James Hay, Chairman and President of Peoples Bank of Kentucky recently announced that Mr. Stephen Miller has been named Chief Executive Officer of the Bank. Effective January 1, 2010, Mr. Miller will assume responsibility of the day to day operations and activities of the Bank. Steve has served on the Board since January of 2006 and joined the bank staff full time in August of 2008.
Jonathon A. Hickerson, 26, died after his pickup collided with a delivery truck, according to the Ashland post of the Kentucky State Police.
Flemingsburg Police Department has reported the surrender of a 13 year old boy who was arrested for speeding, receiving stolen property and other charges. Chief Randy Sergent said the boy surrendered to Flemingsburg Police on his 14th birthday, which happened to be Thanksgiving day.
State Rep. Mike Denham has announced his candidacy for re-election in the 2010 May primary for the 70th District which includes Mason, Bracken and Fleming counties.
Locally those who have filed:
Judge-Executive–LarryFoxworthy, Republican; Judge-Executive – Tim Stamper, Republican ; Sheriff–ScottyRoyse; Jailer–RandyHunt, Democrat; Jailer – Andrew “Andy” Allen, Democrat; Jailer – Mark T. Hendrix, Democrat; Coroner – Gary Workman, Democrat; Property Valuation Administrator -- Connie Crain, Democrat; Magistrate, District 3 – John Sims Jr., Democrat; Magistrate District 1 – Doug Bowling, Democrat; Magistrate District 2 – David DeAtley, Republican; Magistrate District 4 – James Smoot, Democrat
FES Art Teacher Gretchen Bainum and student design calendar.Dec. 16
Lauralee Crain has been chosen to be a United Nations delegate for the Sierra Student Coalition (the student branch of the Sierra Club) at the UN Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen.
The corner of Main Cross and Water streets is full activity as work continues even in the coldest temperatures on the new justice center.
A setback discussed at the December meeting of the project development board has led to more drilling. According to board chair and Fleming County Judge-Executive Larry Foxworthy the unsuitable soil conditions will cost about $175,000 more than expected.
Every year the doors of classrooms at Hillsboro Elementary don a festive cover to celebrate Christmas. This year the theme was Winter Wonderland.