U.S. Rep. Andy Barr visited Saint Joseph Mount Sterling on Wednesday, February 17 and gave a legislative update from Washington, DC. After meeting with Benny Nolen, SJMS President, Congressmen Barr spoke with staff and visitors in the Chiles Café in an open forum. Congressman Barr is a key member of the bipartisan group charged with determining alternate ideas to reduce healthcare spending costs in America. He detailed current focuses, including reduction of defensive medicine and medical liability reform for healthcare entities and providers.
By KRISTY ROBINSON
Special to the Times
Jimmie Caudill orders a cheeseburger with onion rings and a diet Ale-8 at Bruen’s Restaurant in Stanton. Before he takes his seat, he visits for a few minutes a couple tables down the way. One of the folks in his community needs a little extra help and Caudill’s on a mission to find out what he can do to offer direction. His wife, Diana, waits back at the table and exchanges pleasantries with another patron who has just come in the door.
When the food arrives, Caudill makes his way back to the table. They bow their heads and he blesses the meal, the servers and the company. This isn’t a show, this is just the way they do things. They’ve been married for close to 50 years and they’ve settled into a comfortable routine of leadership through service to one another and to their community.
Caudill is the mayor of Clay City, a small town of about 1,200 people just five miles down the road from Stanton in Powell County. He was born in 1947 in the house that belonged to his grandparents.
“That was back when the doctor actually came to the house,” he says. “Now, we’re just a small community that’s changed a lot over the years.”
A Lifetime of Change
Caudill graduated in 1965 from high school and went straight to Eastern Kentucky University. His dream was to become an industrial arts teacher, but Caudill was soon to learn that even the best dreams were the ones that took some time to come to life. When Caudill’s first child was born, he took a break from school to teach second grade, then went back to school and finished his Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Education in 1970. Before the end of that year, he was drafted into the US Army, where he was eventually sent to Korea to serve out his time in the DMZ.
By June of 1972, Caudill was involved in Project Transition, a ‘cranking down’ of the war effort. It was just in time for the new school year to begin back home, and within two years, Caudill’s dream of teaching Industrial Arts at the high school was finally realized.
Yet again, change was in the air and Caudill secured a position with Rockwell International, the company which had also been responsible for building the space shuttle. Caudill moved from apprentice to journeyman in the tool and die industry, then moved into yet another position with the US Postal Service doing maintenance at the main post office in Lexington, as well as traveling all across the eastern part of the state working on maintenance issues for local post offices.
“We worked on anything from electrical to heating and air conditioning, sewage, whatever. We were the ones responsible,” he says. “It was a challenging job and we did something different every day.”
Caudill rose to the maintenance challenge from 1984 until 2008, all the while commuting from his home in Clay City to whichever worksite needed him. It was during that time that Caudill entered into public service through politics.
Called to Serve
“Of course, the political thing,” he says, then he spreads his hands wide and grins. “I never did, and still don’t, consider myself a politician. My wife is a much better politician than I am. She talks to everyone.”
Caudill ran for and won a seat on the city council from 1993 to 1996. He served a three-year term in accordance with a statewide effort to align election years. Caudill said he just felt like the city needed more conscientious, responsible people to step up and participate in government. After his term on the council was up, Caudill put in his hat for mayor of the small town. He ran with no opposition and began his elected term as mayor in January of 1999.
True to his quiet mannerisms, Caudill never approached or decided a matter without giving it full measure of thought. It was a habit that would serve him well for his first four years in office.
Caudill began his term by dismissing the police chief. In addition, he discovered that the city’s general fund had dwindled to under $10,000 and that the city had taken on at least $150,000 in new debt by building a fire station and purchasing police cruisers.
“I didn’t do anything lightly. My first four years were a definite struggle,” he says. “I wasn’t part of the machine or the inner circle. Fortunately, we survived and we tried to institute policies and procedures that were more businesslike. We just tried to treat everyone the same and do what was best for our community and the city.”
At the end of his first four years, he lost a bid to re-election, but within 18 months, was asked to come back on as mayor when his opposition resigned from the position. Caudill rose to yet another challenge and accepted the mayoral appointment.
For Community and County
Since Caudill was appointed Clay City mayor again in 2005, he and the city council have worked diligently to keep the small community alive and well. In addition to paying off immense debt and making improvements on the city office building, they have also just extended a three-year contract for garbage collection at the same price, a move that Caudill says is critical for those who live on fixed incomes.
And, with help from the Bluegrass Area Development District, Clay City, Stanton, and all of Powell County have become the ‘poster children’ for regional cooperation on projects that benefit nearly all the citizens. A little over a year ago, with monies from different departments, the county received around $13 million to form Red River Wastewater Authority. The authority has representatives from both cities and the county and handles all the sewer and wastewater needs in the area. It’s a project that Caudill says might not have happened without the support of BGADD.
“Most people don’t think about our infrastructure. Our pipes and our equipment that have been in the ground for who knows how many years, are one day older and one day more tired due to wear and tear,” he explains. “One thing I’ve learned, in political life especially, the things you anticipate will really cause you problems sometimes do, but it is the things you don’t anticipate that really cause you problems.”
This is one of the reasons why Caudill remains involved with the BGADD. At the annual meeting in January, Caudill received the chairperson reins from Linda Magee, the former two-term chairwoman who helped move the ADD through a difficult transition. Caudill applauds the new sense of transparency and forward movement of the BGADD.
And he gets involved because he believes there is strength in numbers, and there is wisdom to be gleaned from learning where others have been, how they triumphed or failed, and how each community can work together to help the whole.
“You have to be mindful of what is going on, try to determine what your options are and try to choose the correct option. I lean heavily on counsel and I pray,” he says. “You have to believe that if you try to do your best to do what is right, what is best for your community, it will work out.”
Kristy Robinson Horine is a freelance writer in Paris. She wrote this story for the Bluegrass Area Development District.
Justice Cabinet Secretary John Tilley (left) joined Mount Sterling-resident Rebecca Tribby, and Maysville residents, Bob and Pam Tribby on Friday, Feb. 19, at the unveiling of a road sign in memory of Trooper ‘Anson’ Blake Tribby, a Kentucky State Trooper who perished as a result of a vehicle collision on Jan. 22, 2013. Mrs. Tribby is the widow of Trooper Tribby and Mr. and Mrs. Tribby are the parents of Trooper Tribby.
While off duty, Trooper Tribby responded to a motor vehicle collision, struck a wrecker and perished as a result of the collision. The sign will mark Interstate 64, from mile point 95 to mile point 105, which has been designated Trooper Anson Blake Tribby Memorial Highway by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
“From the time a new cadet enters into the State Police Academy, they are told they are never really off duty. These comments are not only made to them in the academy but they are reinforced throughout their careers. These statements reflect our expectations, as a society, that police officers have obligations and responsibilities that are inherent to their positions, not their duty status” retired KSP Captain Brian Bowling said.
By JAMES COOK
Several complaints over time and information obtained led members of local law enforcement to a home at Baker’s Estates. What officers found there after getting a search warrant may have been one of the largest meth bust in recent memory. It had to put a dent into the meth trade, at least for a little while.
“It was a substantial hit,” Sheriff Danny Rogers said. “It was good that we are taking it out of our community. This stuff was probably going to be distributed in Wolfe and Powell counties.”
Officers say they found, unofficially, 160 grams of methamphetamine, crystal meth, during the execution of a search warrant on a home at Baker’s Estates. One estimate put the street value of over $23,000. They also found a stolen ATV, as well other items they believed were bought with drug money.
Tips, complaints and some investigative work led officers to a home that had been on the Powell County Sheriff’s Office Drug Task Force radar for some time. Following more information being obtained last week the search warrants were asked for and obtained.
Powell County Sheriff Danny Rogers, deputies Rex Scott and Marty Tipton, along with Stanton Police Officers Phillip Frazier and Logan Faulkner, as well as Forestry Service K-9 officer Allen Neal, converged on the home after the search warrant was issued. Clay City Police Sgt. Billy Rice also assisted with logistics, running information through the computers and handling other calls while officers searched.
Officers found a camper located at the residence as well and the search began. Inside the residences officers found several people and arrested five on drug charges. Officers say they found David Wayne Fortner, 32, of Campton, he had a glass pipe in his possession. Officers said in the arrest reports that the pipe had residue believed to be from meth, as well as some baggies that had the same type of residue. He was also found to be in possession of a valium, according to the report. Fortner was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance third degree.
Also arrested was Cindy Smith, 46, of Campton. She was allegedly found to have a red straw and a rolled up baggie containing a substance believed to be meth. Smith was found in her vehicle and the items were found at her feet inside the vehicle. Smith was charged with possession of a controlled substance first degree and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Three more people were found in the camper and arrested. Police found the three sitting at a table in the camper where nearly 160 grams of meth were found. The arrest reports also indicate that officers found digital scales, a glass pipe and a medium sized baggie holding several smaller baggies.
Jennifer Marie Campbell, 36, John Wilson, 51 and William White, 58, were found in the camper. Both Campbell and White are from Campton, while Wilson is from West Liberty. The reports indicate that White was found to have a baggie in his pocket with an additional 15 grams of meth.
All three were charged with trafficking in a controlled substance first degree, possession of a controlled substance first degree and possession of drug paraphernalia.
As for the ATV, a 2009 Honda Forman, was found to have been stolen out of Morgan County. “We also found some other items and have confiscated them,” Sheriff Danny Rogers.
Rogers said that officers are tying to get drugs like meth, as well as others, off the streets. The bust last Friday netted a large amount, but “It’s just a drop in the bucket,” Rogers added.
Rogers said that his department, as well as other local departments and state agencies, will continue to work the information and make more arrests.
By JAMES COOK
Another tip and another “knock-and-talk” led local law enforcement to more meth labs. That also led to two more arrests. “This stuff is eating this county up,” Clay City Police Chief James Kirk said following the latest meth lab bust. This one was on Powell Road in Clay City.
The events unfolded last Thursday afternoon when officers acted on some information that a residence on Powell Road had been involved in drug trafficking. Officers from the Clay City and Stanton Police Departments, as well as the Powell County Sheriff’s Office, went to the home just after 3:30 p.m. When they arrived the action began immediately.
As officers pulled in they saw a man, identified as Chris Utterback, standing outside the trailer talking on a cell phone. Police say that when he saw them he tried to run and hide behind a car. Two officers caught him quickly. The officers then asked for and was given permission to search the residence.
Before they could even go inside they found an HCL generator, and a one-step lab lying on the ground. Officers found another one just a feet away from the trailer on the side.
As officers secured the area, Utterback was searched and a bottle of what appeared to be meth was found on him. At the home several items used in the manufacturing of meth were also found. Those items included drain cleaner, filters, lithium batteries and Liquid Fire. Police also found a syringe and a glass smoking pipe.
Officers also found a female at the home. She was identified as Betty J. Campbell, 46, of Clay City. Kirk stated that when she was asked to provide her identification, as she pulled it out of her pocket so did a bag of what appeared to be meth. She was placed under arrest and charged with possession of a controlled substance.
Kirk said that Utterback’s cell phone was confiscated and a search warrant was obtained to check it to see if there were any proof of drug transactions taking place. The evidence found could booster the current case. “We will turn this over to the grand jury,” Kirk said.
Utterback, 33, was arrested and taken to the Powell County Detention Center. He has been charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance first degree, unlawful possession of meth precussor and drug paraphernalia-buy/possess.
Utter back is no stranger to the law. He was arrested and charged with receiving stolen property in 2015. That case was bound over the grand jury on jan. 20, 2015. However, no action to indict was taken and he was released on April 8 of the same year. No other action appears to have been taken on that case.
The grand jury is expected to meet this month.
By GREG MCINTOSH
The Powell County Pirates had a busy week with four games. Powell hosted Breathitt County last Tuesday. Defense was the key to the night. Both teams struggled to score.
Max Hernandez scored all eight points for Powell in the first quarter. The Pirates led 8-7 after the first quarter. Powell extended their lead by out scoring Breathitt, 12-7 in the second quarter. Powell held a six point lead at halftime.
Powell’s defense held Breathitt to just five points in the third quarter. The Pirates led 30-19 with one quarter to go. The fourth quarter was a wild scoring eight minutes. Austin Napier hit a three pointer to start the scoring. Breathitt cut the lead to just nine points with 4:50 to play. Max Hernandez scored five quick points to put the game out of reach. Powell played even for the rest of the game and won 52-40.
Max Hernandez scored 28 points to lead the Pirates. Austin Napier added 17 points for Powell.
Then last Wednesday, Powell traveled to Sheldon Clark. The Pirates trailed 33-26 at halftime. Powell turned the game around with their defense. The Pirates out scored Sheldon Clark 14-1 in the third quarter to take the lead. Powell held off a rally in the fourth quarter to win, 55-52. Austin Napier led Powell with 17 points.
Powell hosted Lee County on Friday night. Powell led 17-6 after one quarter. The Pirates used a 10-2 run at the end of the second quarter to lead 45-25 at the half. Powell out scored Lee for the rest of the game and cruised to a 78-53 victory.
Max Hernandez led Powell with 19 points. Austin Napier added 12 points for the Pirates.
Powell rounded out the week by traveling to Knott Central on Saturday. Powell was able to hang with the four time reigning 14th Region Champs. The Pirates just fell short in the end, 60-52.
Powell now stands at 11-12 overall for the season and 5-0 in district play. The Pirates travel to Owsley County on Tuesday and to Jackson County on Friday.
By JAMES COOK
An attempt to pick up a Stanton man on warrants led to a traffic stop, which then led to a drug arrest. Meanwhile the original suspect is still wanted by police.
The whole scenario unfolded Monday afternoon as officers went to a residence on Martin Hollow Road in Stanton. The case, which began when Clay City Police Officer Kenny Yarber followed up on some information, was an attempt to arrest James E. Anderson, 34, on warrants out of circuit court. (It should be noted that this James Anderson is not the county judge executive). The information also suggested that there was drug transactions taking place at the residence.
Officers from the Stanton Police Department, as well as Kentucky State Police Troopers Britt Rollins and Mike McPherson also assisted.
However, officers say that Anderson took off on them before they could arrest him. Despite a brief foot chase, officers say he got away.
But the day was not done.
Apparently a phone believed belonging to Anderson kept ringing. Officers say that persons calling were wanting to make a drug transaction, so they allowed a caller to come on up to the property.
When a Dodge Durango, driven by Roger D. Lane, pulled onto the property officers made a traffic stop. Lane, 45, of Stanton, gave officers permission to search his vehicle, according to arrest records. Officers found a container which had one methadone, two suboxone, one xanax and several bags that had a powder residue in the container.. The powder is suspected to be meth, and they also reported finding two straws used to possible snort the drugs.
Lane was placed under arrest and charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance first degree, possession of a controlled substance second degree, possession of a controlled substance third degree and drug paraphernalia-advertisement. He was lodged in the Powell County Detention Center.
“What we’ll do is take the evidence we have, send it to the lab and go to the grand jury on Anderson,” Yarber said. The grand jury is scheduled to meet this month.
By JAMES COOK
It is easy sometimes to just take the weather forecast with a grain of salt and hope for the best. Forecasters had started warning Eastern and Central Kentucky residents last Tuesday that a major winter storm was coming by the weekend.
They were not kidding.
Winter Storm Jonas roared through the state dumping as much as 18 to 20 inches on portions of the state. Powell County picked up between eight inches in the western part of the county, to 10 inches in and around Stanton, to nearly 15 inches near Natural Bridge, according to some unofficial measurements.
The wintery blast moved into the area just after 7 a.m. last Friday morning and the snow fell fast. At times it reportedly fell at a rate of nearly two inches per hour. By 9 a.m. most roads were considered slick and dangerous. The Powell County Emergency Operations Center was activated on Friday, as the county officials began to consolidate their efforts to help residents.
Announcements were made on local radio and through videos on social media. A special phone line was opened up to help residents learn more about road conditions. Those conditions were easy to report through most of the weekend, as they were too slick and snow covered for a lot of travel.
Powell County Judge Executive James Anderson issued a State of Emergency Proclamation by 10 a.m. and people were asked to stay off the roads unless it was an emergency.
If nothing else, last year’s Snowmageddon had officials even more prepared for this year’s battle. State and county road crews tackled the storm as quickly as possible. After nearly 11 hours of continuous snowfall, winds blowing and colder temperatures settling in, road crews went to work to try to clear up the same roads they fought to keep clear during the storm.
The county road crews put up a good fight to keep thoroughfares clear for emergency personnel, as well as trying to get roads back to normal where they could. Nine workers worked though the night and on Saturday to help.
The Mountain Parkway was still a mess, as was many state and county roads early on Saturday, but once the snow quit the crews began to get the upper hand.
Businesses ands schools were closed and store shelves were hit pretty hard by the pre-storm crowd. Mail service was reportedly interrupted or slowed down on some roads due to poor conditions. Churches throughout the county canceled Sunday services for the most part.
Kids, young and old, took to hillsides for sledding. Some just decided to drive four wheelers around in the snow and have some fun. A snowball fight in a neighborhood was reported and it appeared that it was all for fun.
The hard work paid off for the road crews as most priority roads were passible by Saturday afternoon. The county roads took a little longer and city streets that were not state or county roads were still covered some on Sunday evening and Monday morning. The State of Emergency was canceled at 8 p.m. on Saturday.
On Sunday anew problem popped up, or actually opened up, in Stanton. A huge hole developed on Church Street as a backhoe was trying to clear some lots. According to reports a backhoe driven by Gary Ashe fell into a hole that opened up on the street. Ashe was not injured and the hole was rather large.
“It looks like the water may have, over time, just washed it out,” Stanton Mayor Dale Allen said
The sinkhole revealed a crack in a main sewer line and city employees repaired it quickly. The hole was being filled in Monday and it was believed the street would be opened back up that evening.
The forecast for this week indicated that there could be a little bit of winter in it, but for the most part a warming trend should be here by the weekend. Kids may not be eager for that, but state, county and city workers could sure use the break.
By TOSHA BAKER
A benefit is being hosted at the Stanton Christian Church to help a family in Powell County with medical costs.
Quintin Roberts, 10, is a Clay City Elementary student. After going to an eye doctor appointment for blurry vision he was diagnosed with Typical Meningioma, meaning he has tumors on his brain and spinal cord.
He and his family have pretty much stayed at the hospital since then.
The tumors Quinton has are benign, so they are slow-growing with low potential to spread. He has gone through four different surgeries. The most recent one was done to remove a big tumor on his spine that was blocking his spinal fluid.
Quintin still has tumors on his brain and on the acoustic nerves in his ears that doctors are keeping an eye on.
He is now at Cardinal Hill recovering from his most recent surgery.
Maud Townsend is with Stanton Christian Church. She heard about Quintin and his family and wanted to help, so she started working on the benefit.
The benefit will have a silent auction and, if there are enough donations, a bake sale. Hot dogs, potato chips and drinks will also be sold.
“People have really been great about donating,” Townsend said.
Live music will be played by bands such as Jessica Begley Hall and her special friends Highway 15, the Ole Stump Kickers and Lanny Rogers.
There will be a charge of $10 for adults and children under 6 will get in for free. All proceeds will go to the Roberts family.
Christina Roberts, Quintin’s mother, said they appreciate everyone who is showing their support.
“I’m glad we have friends and family in the community willing to help us,” Roberts said.
The benefit will begin at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 30 at the Stanton Christian Church.
By TOSHA BAKER
While the holiday season inspires many to open their hearts and give, some stay in the giving spirit all year round.
Roger Whaley is Director of Servants of Our Lord Ministry. He makes the drive from Illinois to a warehouse in Powell County the first week of every month.
With the help of about 10 local volunteers, various food banks and churches, such as the Middle Fork Christian Church in Slade and the Powell County Food Bank in Stanton, are given pallets of food. The pallets consist of items such as cereal, crackers, water, candy, noodles and canned goods.
Whaley said 500 lbs of food every month is split up evenly between 16 food pantries in 12 different counties. He predicted four more pantries by spring.
The ministry has been working out of the current warehouse since last May but they are no strangers to Kentucky. All the food comes from Midwest Food Bank in Bloomington, Illinois.
What started out as a trip made by a church, from Lexington, Illinois to the Appalachian Mountains in 2005, blossomed into Servants of Our Lord Ministry in 2013.
The initial trip was made to help an economically challenged family do home repairs. Since then nearly 100 more trips have been made back to Kentucky. Over the past seven years items such as clothing, furniture, working appliances and tons of food have been delivered.
Whaley said when he first drove a truck to the Appalachian area with the church, he had not fully realized what poverty looked like.
“It’s a whole different world than were I came from,” Whaley said.
Where he is from there are 53 food pantries scattered so close together people have the opportunity to double dip if they want to, Whaley said. Here there are a lot less resources, and people have to drive a further distances to get to them.
Michelle Lacy-Franklin said ministries are a great way to help agencies like food banks and churches and assist low income families in Kentucky with their increasing need for resources.
Franklin is with the Middle Fork Church of God and Appalachian Ministries. She is also one of the local volunteers who does administrative work with Servants of Our Lord Ministry.
“In the last few years the request for food has increased drastically,” Franklin said.
A lot is done during Christmas time, but volunteers and donations are really needed beyond that.
Robin Childers said ministries not only make a difference for the families who receive assistance, it also allows volunteers like the Powell County Detention Center inmates, to give back, and volunteers like herself to pay it forward. Sometimes volunteer work comes full circle. Childers is one of the volunteers who also works with Appalachian Ministries.
As a child, she was in the program that received assistance from the ministry, and they helped her all the way through college.
Now that she has the time to help out, she does.
“Its a good way to give back,” Childers said. “I know how hard it is on some people to make ends meet.”
For those who wish to get involved by donating or become an agency that revives the donations, can contact Servants of Our Lord Ministry through their Facebook page or website. http://www.servantsofourlordministry.com/home.html