Jury finds Sons ‘Not Guilty’ on both counts

Sons“Not guilty.”
It was the two words Woodie Sons, Jr. has been saying all along. It was the two words he and his family have waited to hear.
It also was two words that the family of Charles “Chuck” Maggard did not want to hear.
Sons, the former owner of the Universal Fitness Center, was found not guilty by a Powell County jury last Thursday.
Sons had been accused in the brutal beating and stabbing death of Maggard. Maggard’s body was discovered by his mother, Carol Maggard on the morning of Dec. 14, 2010. Sons was also charged with first degree robbery.
Despite the police having an alleged eyewitness, the jury believed the defense’s theory of too many doubts in the case. The defense was able to seemingly punch holes in the notion that Sons was the killer based on the fact that the evidence did not match up with that theory. The jury listened to two and a half days of testimony and deliberated for just over an hour before rendering the verdict.
State police crime lab reports indicated that there was a DNA profile on a tissue found in the back seat of Sons’ car which matched a profile on a toboggan found near Maggard’s body. Sons had told police when he was interviewed after his arrest, when asked if he was missing anything, that he had a cap missing.
However, the profile was just based on alleles found on the tissue and the cap. According to sciencedaily.com and biology-online.org an allele is a viable DNA coding that occupies a given position on a chromosome. It can control things like eye color. However, it is not as definitive as DNA samples that can match up to one particular person.
Based on the testimony of state lab employee Shannon Phelps, the profile was a mixture of other alleles and could match one in 59 people. Defense expert witness, Shanin Lodhy, a former state lab employee who has her own business, that meant a county of Powell’s size could have as many as 100 to 200 possible people that matched the profile in the mixture. Neither one could say for sure if Sons was or was not the person who the cap belonged to.
Lohdy did agree with all of Phelps findings with exception to the wording about the toboggan.
Powell Commonwealth Attorney Darrell Herald did get Lohdy to admit that she never conducted any testing of her own. Lohdy considered reading reports and reviewing pictures, videos and statements as “testing” which Herald scoffed at.
State lab reports had already indicated that Sons fingerprints were not found anywhere in the Maggard home and no blood was found in Sons car.
The eyewitness account was also an area of doubts that the defense wanted to bring out to the jury.
Testimony in the trial from the eyewitness, Paul Weaver, was challenged by public defender Miranda Stevens. Stevens got Weaver to admit on several occasions during cross examination that statements he made to police did not quite go along with what he told the court last Wednesday.
At question was Weaver’s statements about why Sons allegedly had him change his shoes. Stevens stated that Weaver first told police it was because if anyone saw them they could honestly say they were not there.
But Weaver told the jury Sons wanted him to change shoes because he was wearing Nike tennis shoes and “it was too slick” to wear those.
Stevens also challenged Weaver’s accounts as to when Sons allegedly changed his bloody clothes. In one statement to police he stated it was while they were on their way to Lexington. In another and while testifying, he stated it was at a gas station in Lexington. The two men were traveling to Texas so Sons could help his mother and sister with a family problem.
Stevens also went after Weaver’s account of the murder. Weaver said that Sons first struck Maggard with his fist in the head and then placed him in a choke hold. The two then allegedly wrestled to the ground. Sons then allegedly grabbed an Ale-8 bottle and hit Maggard twice in the head, the second time busting the bottle. Weaver said Sons then produced a knife and started stabbing Maggard. He then stated that Sons went through Maggard’s wallet and took some money, about $60 to $70. Weaver had also stated that Sons took some pills Maggard had in a black pouch under a table.
Weaver admitted to seeing Sons hands the whole time and did not know where the knife came from. Police found the knife, a 12 inch long kitchen butcher knife, on the counter. Weaver did allege that Maggard was breathing “real hard” when they left.
Stevens also asked why Weaver why he did not call the police or someone to check on Maggard. He said he was scared of Sons and was afraid “he’d do the same thing to me he did to Mr. Maggard.”
Weaver went to Texas with Sons and Steven was able to produce cell phone records showing that he made 198 calls in the week they were there. “You called your family, a few friends and a girl, but you couldn’t call the police,” Stevens asked Weaver. He stated he was afraid and that Sons was “watching me.”
The defense also attempted to paint the picture that Weaver had made up the story to get the cash reward that was offered after the murder. Stevens said that Weaver had attempted to get a loan for a car after he returned from Texas, but was turned down. Stevens implied that Weaver then made up the story to get the money and knew that Sons had no alibi since they were traveling together at that time. Herald did address the issue when he asked Weaver if head tried to get the reward money or had any intentions to go after the money. Weaver answered no to both questions.
Other witnesses were brought forward on both sides. An inmate that shared a cell with Sons at the Three Forks Detention center in Lee County, Bobby Brewer, testified that Sons told him about the murder. Brewer said that Sons stated he used a lamp and a boot knife. The defense argued that Brewer did not have the right information, had written in a letter that he had information about the murder of “Chuck Gabbard” and that he was up for a probation revocation hearing in March. The prosecutor bringing that hearing was Herald and the defense implied that Brewer was testifying hoping to persuade Herald into some leniency. Herald quickly advised that Brewer knew him and he knew that he would be revoked in March.
Sons’ former girlfriend, Vanessa Durbin, was also called to testify. She stated that she, Sons and her son had gone to Winchester and to church with Weaver after they returned from Texas, despite Weaver’s claims he stayed away from Sons. She also testified that Sons had been living with her since after his gym burned down in October 2010 and that he was a “father figure” to her son.
Durbin also testified that Sons seemed to be surprised and kept asking what was going on when police showed up at the home to arrest him on Dec. 29, 2010. However, Powell County Deputy Robert Mathews, who actually placed the handcuffs on Sons, and Clay City Police Sgt. James Kirk, testified that Sons did not seem surprised. Both men testified that Sons said nothing and was told by the officers why he was being arrested.
Sons’ mother, Judy Howard, was also called to testify about the time her son and Weaver spent in Texas. She said that Weaver did not act like anything was wrong and that he seemed to enjoy his time in Texas. She also testified that Weaver had called her after Sons’ arrest to tell her what he was “supposed to have done and that he used a lamp.” Herald and Weaver denied such a call was made.
Sons did not testify, which is his constitutional right. The jury was advised by Powell Circuit Judge Frank Fletcher not to give any weight to the fact he did not testify as it was his right. Fletcher advised the jury to base their decision solely on the evidence presented.
Both closing arguments were riveting. While defense attorney mostly handled police officers testimony and some experts from the state, Stevens gave the closing argument. She walked the jury through the “doubts” in the case. She claimed that the doubts in the DNA, doubts in Paul Weaver and doubts in the investigation. On the latter statements she told the jury there was other evidence there, including swabs from 13 other potential suspects. Three of them had been at Maggard’s home the day before and there may have been some tension over a relationship among the “friends and associates.” She also brought up how another suspect had blood on his shoe and a cut on his arm, despite pictures being taken and a DNA sample taken, it was never tested.
“The Commonwealth didn’t chase leads, they didn’t care if they had the right man. They had a man,” Steven told the jury, “Has the Commonwealth proved who killed Charles Maggard? No. There is doubt in the DNA, doubt in Paul Weaver and a lot of doubt in the investigation. They have not met their burden of proof.”
Rucker and KSP Detective Shane Barnes, who was called by the defense as a witness, told the jury that the state lab has policies in place only allowing up to 10 items to be submitted for testing. Earlier testimony from lab technicians indicted that if asked more than 10 items could have been submitted. However, both detectives advised that they had run into problems with the lab turning down some requests.
Herald used his closing arguments to try to let the jury see the connection between the profile on the tissue in the back seat of Sons car and it being the same as the profile on the toboggan at the murder scene. He also explained that Weaver, who Sons had allegedly called “mentally retarded,” was “not sophisticated.” But he said that Weaver did not expect to see a homicide that day. “The defense wants a full report,” he told the jury, “Paul Weaver saw something he wasn’t prepared for.”
Herald called the defense’s tactics a “smoke screen.” That included Weaver possibly changing his story, Brewer thought it was a lamp and Howard testifying about a call that Herald said never happened.
“It’s all a smoke screen and I believe your smart enough to see through the smoke,” Herald told the jury. Ass for the defense expert witness, Herald pointed out that she was a paid witness making $175 an hour. ‘The only thing she disagrees with was the thing that matters and that was the toboggan,” Herald said. “If she agrees with the Commonwealth she won’t have a client. She’s in the business to make money.”
Herald reminded the jury they were sworn to decide the case on the evidence, “not a smoke screen or how bad the Commonwealth did.” He also asked them to base their decision “not on a guess or a claim that is contrary.” Herald also told the jury that Sons took more than money or pills from Maggard. “He took something much, much more precious than money or pills, unfortunately that is why we have instruction number four, murder, he took the life of Chuck Maggard.”
The jury seemed to believe more in the doubts raised than what the prosecution was saying. The jury was given the case to deliberate on at 11:35 a.m. After reportedly eating their lunch and discussing the case, they returned with the not guilty verdict at 12:42 p.m.
Sons breathed out with a sigh of relief and thanked his attorneys after the two verdicts were read. Carol Maggard began to sob loudly and sat in her seat for several minutes as members of the prosecution team and her family tried to console her.
Sons was released from custody immediately, after some final paperwork was completed. Meanwhile the Maggard family and friends left the courthouse with expressions of disbelief, anger and grief.
Whisman, the director of the local public defenders office, was pleased with the outcome, but does not diminish the fact that the Maggard family is hurting. “We believed in our client all along, but with a jury trial you never know how it will come out,” Whisman said. “We felt there was doubt in this case.”
Whisman said that her colleagues, all seven of them who work in six counties, were a part of the effort. “Everyone contributed, it was teamwork,” she said. She also believed that Stevens’ closing argument came from the heart. “She said that in this country we have a system where in any case before you take away anyone’s liberty you have to have evidence and plenty of it.”
Whisman also said both sides did a good job and worked hard on the case. “We dealt with what we had, we got to know the family and our client, which is not the case in some lower level (district court) cases because you stay so busy,” Whisman said. “We don’t want to diminish what the other family is going through, but we believed in our client.”
There is no word if the case will be reopened or when as of press time.

Lady Pirates win freshman title

FreshmanThe Lady Pirates could have a bright future ahead, at least when it comes to district titles. The freshmen team took two wins over the weekend and captured the 2012 Freshman District Girls Basketball Tournament.
Powell opened the tournament in Irvine by playing the host team, Estill County. Powell opened up a 21-15 lead and then coasted to the 45-29 win. Shayla Lindon led the way with 15 points and Destiny Peck, back from a recent illness, scored 11. Four other Lady Pirates scored in the contest.
Estill was led by McKenzie Angel with 13 points.
In the championship game Powell took on Lee County. Powell scored 12 straight unanswered points in the first quarter while holding Lee scoreless. That set the tone for the game. Powell cruised to the championship by beating the Lady Cats, 45-25.
Powell was never really threatened and everyone got to play in the lopsided win. Amber Branham led the way with 15 points and Peck scored 10. Sarah Spencer added eight points, Krista Estep tossed in five, Lindon scored three points, Whitney Cook and Savannah Hamilton each had two points in the championship game.
The Lady Pirates freshman team, made up of nine middle school players and just three freshmen, ended the year 11-0.

Accident claims life of Beattyville man who just moved to Powell

A Valentine’s Day accident has turned tragic for a man who had just recently moved to Powell County. Stanton Police Sgt. James Watson said that Howard Chapman died last Thursday afternoon.
According to Watson, Chapman was traveling westbound on West Railroad Street in Stanton heading toward his residence at Brookside.
Chapman, driving a 1998 Toyota Tacoma, apparently ran through a stop sign at the Washington Street intersection. He was struck on the passenger side by a truck driven by Kyle Stacy of Stanton. Stacy was driving a 1994 Chevrolet S-10.
Police say that Stacy could not have stopped in time. A witness, Ben Tipton, told police that Chapman did not appear to slow down or stop at the intersection. Stacy had told officers that Chapman “came out of nowhere.”
Emergency personnel received the call about the accident at 3:13 p.m. and were on scene in a matter of two minutes. Chapman was injured so bad that an attempt to get a helicopter to fly him to Lexington was made. However, due to the weather at the time, the helicopter could not make the flight, according to Watson.
Watson said it looked like Chapman’s head may have hit the driver’s side door. He was not wearing a seatbelt.
Powell EMS crews took him to the UK Medical Center. Stacy, his passenger Brandy Begley and a juvenile they had just picked up from school were all taken to Marcum and Wallace memorial Hospital in Irvine. They were treated and released.
An accident reconstruction officer, Aaron Matthews, of the Clark County Sheriff’s Department was called in. The street remained closed until 7:07 p.m. as officers tried to determine what may have happened.
Watson told the Times that last Thursday he was notified by the Fayette County Coroner’s Office that Chapman, 69, had died that afternoon. According to Watson the coroner’s office found a “brain leak” that may occurred before the accident. “They said it could have been a possible stroke,” Watson reported.
Chapman had just moved to Stanton from Beattyville. There was no word about funeral services at press time.
The Stanton Fire Department and Clay City Police were also on hand to assist at the wreck scene.

Believe it or not we all have a life to live, even newspaper reporters

I'm just saying . . .  James Cook - Times Editor

I'm just saying . . . James Cook - Times Editor

I know we have all heard it before. At one time or another you have either told someone this or it has been told to you. That cute little phrase, “Get a life.”
It can mean that you spend too much time on small, mundane things. It could mean that you waste too much time trying to live vicariously through others. Any way it is used, it basically means to find something else to do.
I have been told this many times in my career. In those cases it usually means that I am writing something that is bothering people. I have been told that my life must be pretty boring if all I have to do is wait to see what kind of bad story I can write this week.
In fact, waiting to see what story I will write each week is my job. Be it a good, human interest story (which is few and far between I am sad to report) or some dramatic event that even those who ask me to get a life call to make sure I covered it. I try my best to balance out the news, good and bad each week.
But occasionally I try to “live my life.” Last weekend was one of those times, at least for a little while.
My wife and I went out on a “date.” We don’t get to do that very often. In fact, she advised me it had been eight years since it was just me and her out on the town. Usually my side kick, my lovely daughter and mini-me, is with us. But on this night she was with friends and we decided to see a movie and get a bite to eat.
Of course, as always, things happen. I received at least six text messages and three calls about various subjects. People wanted me to drop what I was doing and be back in town to cover events that were pre-scheduled. However, no one told me or the paper about the events. Sort of like we were an after thought.
Now I understand that is how it goes sometimes and many of the people understood that I was “out of town.” However, others decided to show a little attitude when I could not be at their beck and call.
So sad really.
I usually try to make it to as many event as I can because I want to portray all that Powell County is and represents. If you don’t believe that ask my family, friends and co-workers about how many hours I put in trying to cover it all.
Of course, I am only human and cannot be everywhere. That is why I really appreciate those who understand this and will provide a picture and some information when I can’t be there. After all, this is the community’s newspaper.
But on more than one occasion I have been told that it was not their job to take pictures and get them to the paper, that is what I am paid to do. I guess basically they are right. But I wonder how many of those people can be in two places, sometimes three or four places, at one time?
I’ll bet none of them can.
Now this may sound like I am complaining, but I love this job. I know what it entails and it can be time consuming. I try to bring you, the readers, all the events and coverage I can. Since I am the only full-time reporter, that can be difficult, but I do my best.
You may ask why Kayla or Sarah don’t cover more things? They actually do more now than their jobs require them to do. I appreciate them a lot.
Now I could have got mad when I was given a little “attitude” last weekend because I could not be in three places at one time. Instead I chose to try to enjoy the rest of my evening and hope people would understand.
I believe we would all be better off if we looked at things from the other person’s point of view before we jumped down their throat. If you do, and they deserve it then so be it. But if they don’t, give them some room. Remember that if we don’t live our lives while we can, we sure cannot live it after we are gone.
I’ve never heard anyone say they wished they had spent more time at work as their days here on earth become shorter. I don’t plan on doing that either. I will work when I can, do my best and live my life to the fullest. We all should strive for that.
I’m just saying . . .

2-23 Obituaries

Porter Brewer, 69
Porter Brewer, 69, of Fife Lick Road, Clay City, passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012 at Clark Regional Medical Center in Winchester.  Porter was born in Wolfe County on Feb. 21, 1942, a son of the late Letcher and Carrie Hatton Brewer.  He was a former carpenter with local carpenter union 1650.  In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by two sisters, Minnie Smith and Maudie Farmer.
Surviving relatives are two sons: Porter Brewer, Jr. and Brandon (Gretchen) Brewer both of Clay City; two daughters: Carolyn S. (Merle Keith) Travis of Irvine and Dana (Jon) Porter of Stanton; five brothers:  William N. (Deloris) Brewer of New Carlisle, OH, Pearl (Clara) Brewer, Harvey Kenneth (Sharon) Brewer, Melvin (Helen) Brewer and George (Louise) Brewer all of Clay City;  three sisters:  Louise (Raymond) Leach of Stanton, Norma (Donnie) Briscoe of Glenwood, IN and Brenda (Tracy) Farmer of Clay City, along with seven grandchildren:  Whitney Brewer, Jacob Travis, Alyssa Travis, Austin Brewer, Morgan Porter, Mallory Porter and Evalee Brewer.
Cremation was selected without any services.  Arrangements by Hearne Funeral Home, Inc.  www.hearnefuneralhome.com

2-23 Church News

Special Bible Study &
Discipleship Service
Friends and neighbors,  Pastor Robert and Sister Shirley Bailey would like to cordially invite you to take part in the Spring Branch Baptist’s  special Wednesday evening Bible Study and Discipleship church service. This service starts at 7 p.m. at Spring Branch Baptist Church just off of Hwy 1261 at 100 Spring Branch Rd. near Bethany. Everyone is welcome and is invited to attend.

Green Meadows
Gospel Music Meeting
The Green Meadows Gospel Music Association will be holding a meeting at the Old Country Inn Restaurant in Jackson on Feb. 25 at 6 p.m. Our featured group will be The McKinneys and other featured singers will be Revelation 411, Bound for Glory, Kenny & Becky Mabry, and Viola Little. Come enjoy some great food and fellowship while you listen to some good gospel music. Please feel free to invite your pastor and other church members to come. For more information contact me at: (270)775-5431 or truesong@mrtc.com

Every fourth Sunday evening at 6 p.m. there will be a Singspiration at Spring Branch Baptist Church.  This service is a special singing service where Spring Branch has some of their singers and singers from other churches share their God given talent for the Lord.  Come and invite your friends to sing praises to the Lord at this friendly Bible Believing church.  Spring Branch Baptist is located just off of Hwy 1261 at 100 Spring Branch Road in Campton.  Pastor Robert Bailey and the congregation invite everyone to attend. If you are gospel singers and you would like to sing at this service let us know. For more information call: (606) 668-6694.

Brush Creek Pentecostal
Brush Creek Pentecostal Church Pastor James Lee Carroll Sr. and family welcome the community and surrounding areas to come and worship with us at 11 a.m. Sunday mornings. We are located at 578 Brush Creek Road, Clay City. 859-355-5775

Prayer Task Force Schedule
The Powell County Christians United Against Drugs (PCCUAD) Prayer Task Force will meet at the Stanton Presbyterian Church located next door to the Powell County Health Department on Main Street. This meeting is for all Christians to come and pray together. We name our prayer concerns, pray and leave. Do you have one hour for God? You will be blessed, everyone welcome! The prayer service starts at 9 a.m.

Prayer Line
If you are in need of prayer or need to leave a prayer request, call (606) 663-6172 or (606) 663-6385.

2-23 Community Calendar

Free Tax Assistance
AARP volunteers will be at the Powell County Senior Citizens Center located in the City Park in Stanton from 9 a.m. until 1p.m.on Feb. 23 to do free tax assistance for any age. For more information, call 606-663-5981.

AmVets Meeting
AmVets Post 67, Clay City, monthly meeting, the first Sunday every month at 2 p.m., Pick ‘n Grin, Bluegrass music free every Friday night!  Bingo every Monday at 6:30 p.m.

Disabled American Veteran Meeting
The Monthly Meeting of the Powell County Disabled American Veteran Powell County Chapter # 103 is held on the second Thursday of each month at 30 Bright Street Stanton at 6 p.m. For info call Joe Neal 663-5895. Visit us online at our Powell County DAV Chapter #103 website at www.dav.org. No password needed, any citizen can view it.

Disabled American Veteran Service
The next Disabled American Veteran Service Officer will be available on Friday Feb 24 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at the DAV meeting Hall 30 Bright Street Stanton. For Info Call Joe Neal 663-5895.

AmVets Rook
A Rook Tournament at the Sons of AmVets Post #67 in Clay City, Saturday, Feb. 25 beginning at 7 p.m.  Pre-entry, early preferred, draw for partners, 50/50 pay-out.  For more information contact Greg Crabtree at 606-569-5030

Low Cost
Spay/Neuter Clinic
The Friends of Powell County Pets will be hosting a spay/neuter clinic at the Stanton Fire Station on March 10. Advance appointments are mandatory and space is limited. Please call 606-481-9430 and leave a message to reserve your appointment/ Prices are: Male Cat $43, Female Cat $53, Male Dog $53 and Female Dog $63. Annual shots are included in the prices. There will be an additional $10 fee for dogs that are more than 45 pounds. The maximum limit is 75 pounds at this mobile clinic.

Little League Softball Sign-ups
The Red River Little League Softball will be holding sign-ups for this year’s softball season. Girls age 4 to 18 are encouraged to come out and play. Signs up will be on the following Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Feb. 25, March 3, March 10 and March 17. Sign-ups will be held at the Stanton Dairy Queen.
The sign-up fee is $40 and there will be a limited number of scholarships available to aid with sign-ups. Birth certificates are required during registration. For more information call Jim Thorpe at 663-2262 or Arlene Scott at 663-6087 or 606-481-0312.

AmVets Cornhole Tournament
There will be a Cornhole Tournament at the Sons of AmVets Post #67 in Clay City, Friday, March 3 beginning at 7 p.m.  Pre-entry, early preferred, draw for partners, 50/50 pay-out, $5 entry.  For more information contact Greg Crabtree at 606-569-5030.

Genealogy Help Desk
The Red River Historical Society and Museum located at 4541 Main Street in Clay City has opened a Genealogy Help Desk. It will be staffed by members of the historical society and members of the Red River Valley Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). If you are researching your Eastern Kentucky roots we hope we can be of some help to you. The hours are 2 to 5 p.m. each Sunday at the museum.

Baseball Sign-ups
The Powell County Little League will be holding sign-ups for t-ball and baseball on Feb. 25 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the AmVets Post #67 in Clay City and the Powell County Senior Citizens Center located at the Stanton City Park. Children ages 5 to 12 who live in Powell County are encouraged to come out. At least one parent or legal guardian must be present with three proofs of residence and an original or state certified copy of the child’s birth certificate. The items will be inspected and returned at the registration. For more information call Wallace Begley at 663-0037 or Eric Briscoe at 663-6763.

Powell County
Tourism Commission
The regular board meetings are held every fourth Wednesday at 1 pm. The meetings are held at the office in Slade (behind the red caboose). For more information call 606-663-1161.

Friends of PC Pets Meetings
Friends of Powell County’s Pets hold their monthly meetings at 6:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month at the Powell County Public Library.  If you have any questions or you would like to volunteer or foster, please stop by.

Brianna’s Sanctuary Meetings
Brianna’s Sanctuary & Rescue monthly meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on the second Friday of each month, at the Powell County Public Library. If you would like to volunteer or find out the requirements for fostering, come by and join us. For questions call (606) 663-2353 or (859) 576-4846.

Valentine’s Pageant
There will be a Valentine’s King and Queen Pageant at 1 p.m. on March 3 at the Breathitt County Seniors Citizen Center in Jackson. The age groups run from birth to 17 years old for girls and birth to 7 years old for boys. There are optional categories such as Hair, Eyes and Cutest Costume. There will be one Boy Supreme winner and two Girl Supreme Winners. Please pre-register by Feb. 27, the entry fee is $50. Call 606-272-2844 for more details.

Mole digging duo

Sarah Bloom, Times Lifestyles Columnist

Sarah Bloom, Times Lifestyles Columnist

It seems a safe bet to say that we have not been witness to very many Kentucky winters like the one we are currently in.  I honestly cannot remember when we have had such a mild and relatively uneventful cold season.  With that being said I am convinced that the animals are confused.

It seems in years past we have not had to bear the unmistakable calling card of the skunk until closer to spring.  Maybe I am choosing to forget, but I don’t recall last January and February as stinky months.  This year, on the other hand, has been horrendous.

I have awoken a few mornings to a stench so thick you can almost taste it in your mouth.  For some reason though, one of my boys seems to think it smells like coffee.

We were driving down the road the other day and passed over one that had met its maker trying to cross the road.  While the rest of us were curling our noses he pipes up, “I smell coffee.”  If my morning coffee smelt like that I would definitely be switching brands.

Since the ground has not been frozen as much I guess the moles that have taken up residence in our yard did not have the added protection of a layer of hard earth to keep the dogs away.  Both of our dogs are certified, professional mole diggers.  As if the burrowing of these pesky moles was not destructive enough to our patch of grass, the removal efforts of our dear hounds finished the job.

Now the moles that inhabit in our yard must be well fertilized because they are the largest I have ever seen.  Matter of fact, at the end of last summer we had a man come over to work on our air conditioner and he just happened to be there when our oldest dog Timber dug up his newest prize.  This man was so impressed by the shear size of this mole he took it home with him to show it off, much to Timber’s dismay.

It seems on a daily basis another carcass shows up on our porch or in the driveway.  You can literally watch these dogs walk across the yard, suddenly freeze and start digging.  A few minutes later they are throwing these poor creatures high into the air…instant chew toy.

One recent morning I heard a thumping noise on the front porch and upon inspection I found that our youngest dog Max had retrieved one of his prizes and was throwing it up and down.  The only problem was that he had killed it the day before and apparently it had frozen solid overnight so he now had a mole popsicle to kick around.

I have noticed that once one of the dogs has laid claim to his mole he becomes very protective of it.  It is actually hilarious to watch these two try to outsmart the other when it comes to hiding their catches.  They sneak them into their doghouses and tuck them away wherever they seem to think the other won’t look.  If by chance their prize is stolen they sit and sulk for the rest of the day.

One day Timber had caught his morning mole and was doing the usual routine of throwing it high into the air, catching it and then rolling on it.  My boys decided to go outside to investigate.  When he saw them coming he thought he would be sneaky and lay on top of it.  He was probably afraid they would take it away from him.

Well his little plan backfired on him when that mole decided to exact some sweet revenge.  Suddenly Timber jumped high into the air bucking and flopping back and forth.  There, swinging precariously from his midsection was that little mole.  It had sunk those sharp teeth right into the tender part of Timber’s underside.  I haven’t seen him try to lie on top of any of his catches since.

When the time for mowing rolls around again, and by the looks of the weather that will be sooner than later, I hope my husband decides to place a pillow in his seat because with the shear amount of holes in our yard it is sure to be a bumpy ride.

Have a blessed week everyone!  “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.”  Jeremiah 17:7

Pirates oust Owsley, move on to championship game

TreyThe Powell County Pirates had just completed the regular season winning their last two games heading toward the 56th District Tournament. Powell, the regular season district champion, faced Owsley County in the first round this past Monday at the Powell County High School. Powell had defeated the Owls both times during the regular season and looked for another victory over the Owls. The winner would play in the 56th District Championship game and be assured a spot in the 14th Regional Tournament as well.
Powell got the tip to start the game but missed on their first shot, Owsley got the ball inside to score the first basket of the game and take a 2-0 lead. That would be the Owls only lead of the game. Matt Pelfrey came down and nailed a three point basket to give the Pirates the lead. Powell extended their lead to as many as five points in the first quarter but the Owls would not give up. Owsley cut the lead to 17-15 at the end of the first quarter.
Powell began to dominate on the inside with Jacob Conner rebounding and Zach Dennis taking up space inside. Trey Marcum benefited from the inside play as the Pirates flashed the ball outside and he drilled two three pointers in the quarter. Powell began to pull away from the Owls, taking a 12 point lead with a minute to play in the first half. Owsley was able to score the final basket in the quarter and trailed the Pirates 36-26 at halftime.
The Pirates once again would build their lead to 16 points in the third quarter only to have the Owls fight back and stay within striking distance. All five of the Powell starters scored at least one basket in the third quarter, as Dennis and Austin Monnett had 11 points combined in the quarter. Powell just could not shake the tenacious Owls as Powell led 56-46 at the end of the third quarter.
The Pirates were one quarter away from reaching the championship game and Owsley would once again claw back in the game. With four minutes to play in the game Owsley hit a three pointer to cut the Pirate lead to 60-51. Powell would get the ball up the floor against the Owsley press but Conner had to save the ball back into play right to Owsley. The Powell big man hustled back and tipped the ball away for the steal.
Conner hit Monnett for what was going to be an easy lay up, but the Owsley County player tripped Monnett. Both teams had to be restrained by the referees and their coaches. After sorting the play out, an intentional foul was called and Monnett got two free throws. Powell also got the ball. The Pirates got a huge emotional boost and closed the door on the Owls for good.
Powell got the ball and spread the floor with three minutes to play, Marcum nailed a three and Powell led, 63-51. The Powell defense stepped up the pressure and got a steal and another basket by Pelfrey to increase the lead. Owsley hit a three but the Pirates got the ball to Monnett, who hit six straight free throws down the stretch to put the game out of reach. Powell won a hard fought game, 77-57 over Owsley County.
All five Pirates starters scored in double figures for the game, the first time all season. Powell was led in scoring by Marcum with 21 points. Marcum hit seven three pointers for the game.  Pelfrey added 15 points and Monnett chipped in 14 points. Conner scored 12 points and added 14 rebounds for the Pirates. Dennis also had 11 points for the victorious Pirates. Joey Grove led the Owls with 19 points off the bench.
The Pirates record now stands at 18-12 for the season. Powell advances to the 56th District Championship game on Friday night against the winner of the Lee County – Estill County game. Game time will be 7 p.m. at the Powell County High School.

Pirates beat Wolfe and Hazard

TaylorThe Powell County Pirates were going into the final week of the regular season having lost three games in a row for the first time all season.
With two quality opponents coming to Stanton to face the Pirates to end the regular season, Powell was in danger of losing two more games heading into the 56th District Tournament. The opponents last week were on Tuesday, the Wolfe County Wolves and on Friday, the Hazard Bulldogs.
Last Tuesday, Wolfe County was in town trying to defeat the Pirates on their home floor. Both team’s offenses struggled in the first five minutes of the game. The score was tied at 7-7 then the Wolves hit two three pointers to take a 13-7 lead after the first quarter.
Powell in the second quarter began to use the inside game to take advantage of the smaller Wolfe County players.
Jacob Conner and Zach Dennis combined for 15 points in the second quarter, as the Pirates stormed back to take a 27-26 lead at halftime. The third quarter saw the lead go back and forth as the two teams traded baskets and steals. The score was tied in the quarter five different times and going into the final quarter it was tied again at 38-38.
The fourth quarter looked to be close right down to the wire. Both teams scored a basket to tie the game at 40-40. Powell then started to run the ball at the Wolves and Wolfe County looked tired trying to respond.
Trey Marcum hit two three pointers in a row for the Pirates to give Powell the lead. Wolfe County began to run as well but they missed five close shots in a row and the Pirates began to pull away leading by 10 points with three minutes to go in the game. Powell hit just enough of their free throws down the stretch and defeated the Wolves by the final scored of 66-53.
Marcum had 18 points to lead the Pirates and Matt Pelfrey added 15 points . Jacob Conner and Dennis both had double-doubles for the game to help the Pirates win the game.
Last Friday, the Pirates hosted Hazard on Senior Night. The Bulldogs in recent years had dominated the Pirates. Powell began the game with five seniors on the floor and the emotion helped the Pirates take an 18-12 lead after one quarter. The emotions finally ran out in the second quarter as Hazard used their bench to get the game close at 27-26 Powell at halftime. The third quarter saw the Pirates and Bulldogs each have runs to take the lead. Marcum and Dennis scored all but two of the Pirates’ 18 points in the quarter. Powell led 45-43 with one quarter remaining.
The fourth quarter was close all the way to the end. Neither team could pull away from the other. With two minutes to go the score was tied at 55-55 and Powell had the ball. Pelfrey drove the ball to the basket and was fouled. He stepped to line at hit both free throws to give Powell the lead.
Hazard missed an inside shot and Powell got the rebound. Austin Monnett was fouled and hit one of two free throws to give the Pirates a three point lead.
After another Bulldog miss, Marcum was fouled and he buried both free throws. Hazard hit a quick basket and Powell played keep away with the ball. Hazard finally had to foul with time running out in the game. Marcum once again hit a pair of free throws to end the scoring.
The Pirates defeated Hazard by a score of 62-57.  Marcum and Dennis each had 20 points in the Pirate victory.
Powell finished the regular season with a record of 17-12. This is the second winning season in a row for the Pirates. Powell hosted the 56th District Tournament this week. The Pirates played Owsley County in the first round on Monday.