Eric Monroe Jones, age 39, of Knowlton Ridge Road, Stanton, KY passed away at his residence on Monday, May 4, 2020. Born in Richmond, KY he was the son of Claudie Ray Jones and Glenda Combs Jones of Stanton and was a member of the Church of God at Knowlton. He was preceded in death by his uncle, Henry Lee Jones. In addition to his parents, Eric is survived by two daughters, Tori Jones of Winchester and Kacey Jones of Clay City; one grandchild, Sophie Grace Cunningham; two brothers, Glendon Ray (Mandy) Jones and Jackie Jones; one sister, Virginia Jones; one uncle, Donald Jones; four aunts, Anna Gay Wise, Linda Jones, Connie Townsend and Nola Morefield; four nieces; two nephews; one great niece; two great nephews and three very special friends: Sabrina Elkins, Skip Foster and David Congleton. Private funeral services officiated by Bro. Kenny Wasson were held at Hearne Funeral Home, Inc. on May 6, 2020. Burial was in Rose Cemetery with Skip Foster, Marcus Jones, D. J. West, Jacob Cunningham, Tori Jones and Kacey Jones serving as active pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers are Dave Congleton, Dillon Jones, Noah Morefield, Ed Morefield, Ray and Amanda Fraley. Arrangements by Hearne Funeral Home, Inc.
By: Madison Fugate
It’s official, the world has gone mad, or more particularly, some locals in Powell County may just be seeking a little extra enjoyment and entertainment amid this pandemonium. Locals had to take a second-look when they noticed there was what appeared to be some sort of UFO parked just along the roadside of Hardwicks Creek in Clay City. Some even had to get a closer look and snap a few pictures in front of the large metal concoction for their own safe-keeping. After the word spread of this mysterious and comical landing, the county lit up with amusement and folks were traveling and bringing their children out to take a peek at the mystery.
This invention featured several noticeable details including images that appeared as if aliens were peeping outside at the beauty of Powell County. One local, Cory Graham, even summed the situation up to say, “everybody is just like, ‘Well, look at that, an alien.’” This was something no one expected to see outside their car windows. Although the invention has since been vandalized and an arrest was made to penalize that behavior, it still leaves everyone with a mesmerizing question. That question is, “What will be next?” Maybe it’s time for everyone to strap on their seat belts and embrace the journey and, of course, be prepared for impact. Laughs definitely help the situation and make everyone’s time stuck in quarantine far more enjoyable. To Powell County and beyond!
By: Lisa Johnson
On Sunday, April 26th, just before 3 in the afternoon, a house fire was reported at 9750 Winchester Rd. here in Powell County. Units from Clay City, Hargett, Stanton, and Middle Fork responded. Firefighters were heartbroken when it was discovered that one cat and three dogs had perished in the fire. The fire was found to have started in the rear of the structure which is considered a total loss. Clay City Fire Assistant Chief, Eric Strange, called in Red Cross to assist the homeowner. The cause of the fire is still unknown. We would like to thank all firefighters yesterday for coming out and helping. The rain was cold and windy. Officer, Bonnie McIntosh, Stanton Fire stood in the cold and rain with her pink helmet on, handling the traffic. These volunteers worked hard and long hours, never feeling the cold. They are all proud members of one family.
By: Madison Fugate
On Tuesday, April 14th, the Powell County Fiscal Court was able to safely conduct their meeting through means of technology that allowed each magistrate to join in via video call. The meeting began with a message from Stacy Crase of the Powell County Health Department. She gave updates on how the health department has successfully worked with other important groups in the county such as Emergency Management teams and local media in order to provide updates and education. She confirmed that despite what information you may have heard so far, to date, there has only been one COVID-19 case reported in Powell County and this case has since recovered. The health department would indeed be notified of any additional reported cases. Executive Judge, James Anderson, showed his gratitude to Crase for all of her diligent efforts during this pandemic.
To follow there was discussion regarding a budget amendment involving an energy conservation project in the amount of $1,125,527.00. As soon as the money is there, the Fiscal Court will approve this amendment. Revisiting some unfinished matters- the fiscal court also needed to make a few clarifications to the budget for Powell County Jail. The biggest implication on the budget for the jail was the Governor’s signing to lock in the current retirement rate. The jailer also needed to include in the salary lines of his deputy to insure those amounts were being considered. Anderson wanted to make sure all necessary changes would be considered and included in the budget.
Anderson wanted to make a point to encourage the citizens of Powell County to log in to my2020census.gov and complete a census. He advises this process will be brief and is crucial step in order to ensure that the county will be properly funded. He then addresses the census checks could be considered as potentially worrisome for a small community with several local businesses such as Powell County. To support this notion, he expresses his concern that most of the monies will be spent at larger franchises and he warns recipients to be cautious of where their dollars are spent and to shop locally whenever possible.
He then led a word of honorable mention to honor our local faith communities and their efforts to provide a positive experience during the Easter holiday season. When considering our local churches, Anderson remarked, “We are just so very proud of the way that they represented Powell County.” He also sent praise to Powell County Clerk, Jackie Everman and team in their accommodations to best serve Powell County. Everman would like to remind everyone that restoration and renewals have been extended for (90) ninety days and you can still renew online at drive.kentucky.gov or by mail, P.O. Box 548, Stanton, KY 40380- the $2.00 fee will be waived for this service. The window service is available on Wednesdays from 9 a.m until 4 p.m. at the Powell Counwty Clerk’s office. Marriage licenses are by appointment only. Your fishing and hunting license can be done online, there are still some retailers offering this service as well. Anderson then uttered his appreciation to our local businesses and community partners. The Powell Valley Millwork was certainly implemental as for their abundant donatiowns in hand sanitizer to the county. Later, he expressed a few lines of appreciation for the first responders and dispatch staff and his understanding of their sacrifices during this time. These were just a few of the appreciated and valuable contributions that were mentioned.
The next item for discussion was the progress in effort to open the Clay City Industrial Park- just located right off the main Clay City exit. Powell County received a grant to have the utilities facilitated. In order to finish this particular need, a request for engineering had been made. The submissions for this job were then acknowledged and are as follows: Nesbitt Engineering, Inc., Blake Adams Engineering, and Palmer Engineering. However, the Fiscal Court will still need to meet with the industrial authorities in order to make their decision based upon their recommendations.
After some detailed discussion of Powell County’s duties as well as some past experiences, a motion was made to maintain the contribution and leave the soil conservation the same as the year before. Anderson informed the magistrates he would be in communication with County Attorney, Robert King, in order for the two to dictate a response that meets the criteria.
By: Lisa Johnson
On Wednesday, April 8 just after ten o’clock in the morning a man driving on Hardwick’s Creek, fell asleep at the wheel. The Maysville man’s vehicle came to rest under a telephone pole just feet from plunging into the creek. He was alert and out of the car when first responders arrived.
He is lucky to be alive, driving while drowsy is incredibly dangerous. According to the CDC The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths in 2013. However, these numbers are underestimated, and up to 6,000 fatal crashes each year may be caused by drowsy drivers.
The Sleep Foundation says that drowsy driving is extremely dangerous. Sleep deprivation can have similar effects on the body as drinking alcohol. Being awake for 18 hours or more essentially has the same effect as a blood alcohol level of .05 (for reference .08 the legal limit). Someone who has been awake for a full 24 hours and driving is similar to driving with a blood alcohol level of .10.
It’s important to recognize the signs of drowsiness before getting behind the wheel of a car. If you are yawning or blinking frequently, having difficulty remembering the past few miles driven, have missed your exit, keep drifting from your lane or hitting a rumble strip on the side of the road it may be a good idea to pull over for a quick nap or to stop somewhere for a cup of coffee.
Being fifteen minutes late to your destination is better than not arriving at all.
By: Lisa Johnson
Wednesday, April 1st, author, former US Forestry Service worker and founder of the Red River Gorge Mountain Rescue, Don F. Fig passed away at his home here in Stanton. Born in 1937 in Big Stone Gap, Virginia Don graduated from the University of Florida at Gainsville. Don and many others created the Red River Gorge Mountain Rescue in 1962. He and his team members are responsible for more than 1,600 searches and rescues. Don received a Presidential Citation, a USDA Honors Award, a Congressional Award Of Merit, an award for Heroism and a Kentucky Senate Award of Merit. Don also authored six books one of our favorites is Tales Of The Red River Gorge, copyright 2016. Tim Eling US Forest Service states ” Don was an amazing man and dedicated public servant. Don and the Red River Mountain Rescue Team saved countless lives over his long distinguished career with the US Forest Service”. Don is survived by his loving wife Susie Fig, his brother Frank Fig and several nieces and nephews. Don and Susie deliver an example of a successful life and marriage at its best, through service to others. I will share with you our readers in review- words extracted from the Saga of an Arch found in Tales Of The Red River Gorge in Don’s own words. “After many years of being exposed to the elements, I am aging. I have grown old and I am in the winter of my life. A few rare times I am alone with my memories. During my final time, I can only hope that people will once again respect the land. So I am here, overlooking the valley below and the Red River. I am told the rivers sometimes rejuvenate themselves and become young again. I sometimes wish this could happen to me. I dimly remember someone saying one windy day, words over which I have pondered. ” As for man, his days are as grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone, and the place thereof shall know it no more. Is this all there is for man? Will it be thus for me? I Wonder,”. A memorial service is planned at a later time and a ribbon-cutting by Powell County Search and Rescue for the ‘Don F Fig” Aid Station in Natural Bridge in celebration of the life of a great man who has given so much of himself to others in their time of need. Thank you Don Fig, you will be missed.
Here in Powell County, we have an advantage that most communities do not. We have leaders in our school systems that have genuine care and consideration for each student and staff. They realize that what goes on outside of school walls can sometimes be just as important as what is provided and taught inside of school walls. Especially in times like this where we are faced with uncertainty and discouraging circumstances. However, through the triumph, our school leaders have managed to maintain vital roles and responsibilities for teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria workers and more while providing free meals to their beloved students and streaming videos via social media.
During the pending of this pandemic, Dr. Orr has expressed his goal to provide breakfast and lunch to the students of Powell County throughout the weeks to come. On March 17th, PCS provided 1,812 meals to students. He has also managed to create a system that will keep the students and staff of Powell County safe while continuing to learn from their homes. Teachers and principals throughout the county have been committed to their students and engaged through means of technology in order to assist in their anchor day assignments. He has reciprocated an uninterrupted relationship with the health officials of the county and praised their efforts in reaching out and communicating their solutions and guidelines. The Superintendent and BOE are confident in their current state that we will overcome this situation and come out even stronger than before.
Powell County High School FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) placed in twenty-two events on Friday, March 6th, 2020 at the Regional Leadership Conference. This group of young leaders achieved 13 first place victories, 4 second place victories, and 1 fifth place award. Needless to say, these admirable students left with a lot of gold and self accomplishment. Fantastic job to all who were a part of the success, both to students and leaders.
By LISA JOHNSON
On Sunday, February 16, a car rolled down the boat ramp and sank into the depths of Mill Creek Lake at Natural Bridge. The fisherman had pulled onto the boat ramp facing downhill and got out to unload his fishing tackle when the incident occurred. Several fire departments responded and Search And Rescue attempted to recover the vehicle.
The edge of the lake from the ramp has a shallow berm for the first twenty yards then terraces down steeply. When the car floated for a few seconds it passed over the edge of the under water bank plunging nearly 40 feet to the bottom. Rumor has it Mill Creek Lake is 100 feet deep, but the deepest point is within 30 feet of the far bank and is only 50 feet deep.
The following Friday a diver swam to the depths of the lake to hook a tow cable to the submerged vehicle. Unfortunately the tow chain broke sending the car and diver back into the depths. After nearly a week the car is now high and dry and will be cleaned inside and out. No trout were reported injured in the incident.
By: Lisa Johnson
Due to the spread of the virus and the mass amounts of people coming in and setting up large camps the forestry service has temporarily suspended travel in the Red River Gorge to induce some form of crowd control. For now, State Parks are open but may close depending on people’s compliance with the protocol. Many are coming from out of state, ignoring protocol and people are spreading the virus into our state. Most people have followed the rules to prevent the spread and others think its a time to go on as usual and have lots of fun and show their disregard for others. The President and Governor have been more than a helping hand in this time of need, but sadly many Americans represent selfish attitudes and will cause this Virus to spread and last for months as America now becomes its Epicenter. This behavior will damage our entire economy for years to come and humanity will pay its own price.
Tim Eling from US Forest Service added that the Red River Gorge contains only 400 thousand plus acres but doesn’t include the remaining 300 thousand acres still open to the public. The common areas that include family campsites were closed the prior week and the developed areas including restrooms and people from Kentucky and other states congregating in parking lots of trailheads not complying with social distancing. From Natural Bridge Park Manager Tim Hibbard (Keeper of the Lodge) the park is open and rooms are available but carry out is only available from the dining room, you can still purchase unopened drinks but the bar is closed no mixed drinks are available. There will be only parking at the lodge and Hoedown Island. These changes will help to control the visitors on the trails.
Powell County Officials are working hard to help with everyone’s safety and health. Judge Anderson, Tim Hibbard- Hemlock Lodge, Forestry, Health Dept, and Rescue and Fire are working to keep hikers and visitors are safe.