In Dec. 30 Issue
2010 was another year of ups and downs for those living and working in Russell County. Here is a rundown of the year's top local stories, beginning in January.
A house fire severely damaged the home of Arvis Holt after the home's heating system malfunctioned. Holt was not at home at the time of the fire. Local Rep. Jeff Hoover said "painful decisions" were going to have to be made at the 2010 General Assembly to manage the $108 million deficit in the current budget.
The fiscal court approved construction for the $3.7 million building of the new detention center in Russell Springs and local attorney Jeff Hoover took over defense of several county officials named in the "moist" election lawsuit.
Former Russell Springs Mayor "Bocky" Bottom passed away after a lengthy illness. Current Mayor Hollis DeHart said there would never be a better mayor than Bottom.
After the devastating Haitian earthquake, three local missionaries were stuck in the country for some time. Bro. Wendell Roberts, Glenna Hammond and Phillip Marcum of Freedom Christian Church in Jamestown made it safely back to Kentucky following the quake and vowed to help people of the country as the year went along.
U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul made his first of many stops to the area, this one at the former Loy's Midtown restaurant where he met with local Paul chairperson, Sherry Pickett.
A flurry of last minute candidates filed for office in Russell County where several big races were to be held in the fall.
After two meth busts a week earlier, local law enforcement and state police found more meth at a home on J.S. Wilson Rd and made subsequent arrests.
In February it was announced that local guitar hero Steve Wariner won his 4th Grammy for his tribute album to Chet Atkins.
A large snowstorm closed school and canceled events in the area while Laker basketball senior Robby Bell joined the 1,000-point club. Lindsay Ramage was also crowned the RCHS basketball queen early during the month.
The fourth meth bust in a month occurred in the county when deputy sheriffs performed a search at a home on Ky-92.
The Russell Springs City Council held their final regular meeting in the old city hall building before moving to the new municipal building on Main St.
As March began the Russell County High School boys' and girls' basketball teams both captured their respective 16th district championships at Clinton County High School. Both beat Clinton County in the title games. It was the Lakers' third district title in five seasons and the Lady Lakers' first district title in 17 seasons.
Staff at the Russell County Ambulance Service questioned spending and management at the facility. Special Judge Julia H. Adams ruled that the "moist" election results from Nov. 2009 were to be voided and the county remain "dry" as a result. The issue would end up back in court one more time but Adams' ruling remained following the final appeal.
Work on Wolf Creek Dam's Critical Area I were halted for six to eight weeks following indicators inside the dame showing minimal movement and increased water pressure. Work would resume on that area later in the spring.
Jamestown Mayor Brooks Bates said the recently completed Jamestown Water Plant, the city of Jamestown and the Frankfort-based engineering firm Kenvirons, Inc. received an engineering excellence award from the American Council of Engineering Companies' Kentucky chapter.
In April, RCHS student William Chris Brown received an invitation to attend the prestigious Gatton Academy at Western Kentucky University, the first local student to receive the invitation.
Rand Paul paid another visit to the area, this time speaking to many local health care professionals at a luncheon in his honor.
Gail Berry won the Times Journal's inaugural bracket contest after Duke University capped off the NCAA national championship. She received a houseboat weekend courtesy of Indian Hills Resort/Alligator II Marina, a $1,895 value.
McKinzie Henson and Coty Onyon were crowned dancing champions at the Russell County Hospital Auxiliary's third annual "Dancing with the Stars" event, which raised more than $1,200 for the group.
Russell Springs Police Chief Joe M. Irvin urged citizens to use caution as a feared national trend, known as trash meth labs, appeared locally. In another case, Sheriff Larry Bennett said a tip lead to a drug bust at a trailer in Russell Springs were four people were arrested.
In May, a record rainfall in the Lake Cumberland region kicked off the month. The area received nearly a record monthly total of rainfall in just two days, approximately eight to 10 inches. The rains flooded many homes and basements in the area. Amy Passmore, a high ranking RCHS NJROTC senior, received a full scholarship to Vanderbilt University, the NJROTC announced.
Deputy Cary York was shot twice but was saved by a bulletproof vest after he made a traffic stop on Manntown Rd. below Wolf Creek Dam.
In the primary election, Ralph Creech defeated judge-executive Mickey Garner to head to the general election against Gary Robertson. Sheriff Larry Bennett, Tim Popplewell, Kevin Shearer and Bobby Dunbar also came up big winners in the primary.
Russell County Hospital hired the Estopinal Group as the architects for its proposed renovation and expansion. The estimated cost for the project is $15 million.
More than $17,000 was raised countywide for the annual March for Babies event which benefits the local March of Dimes.
In June, the RCHS Laker baseball team repeated as 16th district champions after defeating Metcalfe County 12-0 at Clinton County High School.
More than 1,500 children participated in the 24th annual Catch a Rainbow fishing derby at Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery. The 115th Russell County Jaycees Fair kicked off at Veterans Fairgrounds. Shelby Lynn Bell captured Miss Russell County while Miss Russell County Fair went to Amber Nicole Whittle.
Four-year-old Lila Brizendine was killed in a vehicle mishap at a residence on McClendon Ridge Rd. in Russell Springs.
The Jamestown Police Department introduced several new cruisers into their fleet, according to Chief Derek Polston.
Superintendent Scott Pierce retired from the position after more than 33 years in the county's school system while Kenny Pickett took over the job on an interim basis. Gov. Steve Beshear visited the area to commemorate a $1.1 million expansion that will add 25 new jobs at Stephens Pipe and Steel.
Boxes of prescription drugs and records were seized by the DEA at Grider Drug Stores in Russell Springs. Officials ordered the pharmacies to not sell narcotics or other controlled substances schedule 2 or higher.
Four more people were jailed in July on meth making charged by the local sheriff's department.
The annual Relay For Life netted approximately $62,000 to help fund cancer research and help local folks who are battling the illness.
Jamestown's Lakefest event drew a large crowd after being absent from Monument Square the year before. Country legend Marty Stuart headlined the event, which was called one of the best ever by Lakefest Chair Marcelene Taylor.
Both city councils, the fiscal court and the ambulance board discussed the fate of the county's dispatch service with each entity offering varying opinions on what to do with the service. A clear resolution would not come until later in the year.
Interim Supt. Kenny Pickett confirmed the rumor that a dozen non-tenured teacher contracts were not renewed at the end of last school year. Local man Chris Murphy returned from a 14-day trip from the Gulf Coast where he helped clean up after the Gulf oil spill. Murphy is a biological sciences technician at the local fish hatchery.
Local man Steve Pfoff said his patented cultured-stone concrete block system would be put to use at the World Equestrian Games in Lexington as he would build a barn out of the material at the horse park.
In August, the ever-popular 127 Yard Sale kicked off the month as thousands ventured through the Lake Cumberland area during the multi-day event.
Wolf Creek Dam worker Bertrand Capelle helped to save the life of a local girl. Mia Best had an allergic reaction and lost consciousness and Capelle performed CPR on her until EMS arrived. Capelle was passing by and saw the event unfolding on the side of the road before stopping to help. Capelle was later honored by the Best family.
A "mock shooting" at the local SCC Russell Center helped to train local law enforcement and first responders in the unlikely event of a school shooting, according to Emergency Management Director H.M. Bottom.
Rep. Jeff Hoover emceed the events at Fancy Farm in Graves County, calling it a "once in a lifetime experience."
Kenny Pickett was named the new school superintendant after a 5-0 vote of the school board. Pickett had been serving on an interim basis since Scott Pierce retired.
A number of boaters took part in the Guinness World Record-breaking Lake Cumberland raft-up. A total of $1,651 boats were officially tied together for the event.
Russell County Hospital got a new interim CEO in August as Bernie Zucker took over the role. Local ACT scores took a big jump, according to RCHS principal Darren Gossage. The school's overall composite score improved from 17.5 to 18.6.
Another meth lab was seized by local law enforcement, this one on Old Columbia Rd.'
In September , bedbugs were reported in Russell County, prompting many to wonder why there was a resurgence of the bugs. As a result, Salem Elementary even halted homework and backpacks from entering the school.
Work on Wolf Creek Dam intensified as progress was made in Critical Area I for the first time in months.
Two more were arrested for making meth at a home on Lakeway Dr. in Russell Springs.
Derek Aaron was named the new editor of the Times Journal after former editor Greg Wells left the paper. Aaron, 25, has worked at the Times Journal full-time since 2007 after he graduated from the University of Kentucky.
Gov. Steve Beshear came to town again to tout the Bruss expansion and its impact on the local economy.
Steve Wariner came back "home" as he performed "An Evening with Steve Wariner" at the local schools auditorium. Seven more meth arrests were made by local law enforcement in various cases in the county.
It was announced that the state would close the local jail on Sept. 15 at 5 p.m. after previous violations were not corrected.
Poker Run was huge for Lake Cumberland as the lake and surrounding docks were full for the annual event, according to State Dock President Bill Jasper.
County leaders again bailed out EMS to the tune of $45,000 to meet its payroll for the month at the regular fiscal court meeting.
Terry Hancock was hired as EMS director by the local ambulance board amid all the struggles the EMS was having.
Supt. Kenny Pickett said the school test scores were tops in the region with all schools except RCMS making adequate yearly progress.
In October, senior Donavyn Coffey was crowed RCHS Homecoming Queen as the Laker football team downed Logan County 50-21 at Finley Field.
The first-ever Freedom Fest raised more than $12,000 for drug treatment and the ARC Pregnancy Center raised $3,000 during their pro-life walk with more than 100 people walking.
Superior Battery was awarded this year's Kentucky World Trade Center's Governor's Award for International Trade Excellence, according to Ray Goodearl, the company's vice president of international sales and marketing.
The fiscal court, ambulance board and both city councils all finalized their portion of the EMS agreement with each entity contributing a set amount of money each month.
Grammy award winning artist Ricky Skaggs performed at the Russell County Schools Auditorium for more than two hours with more than 500 people in attendance.
County tax bills, totaling $7,760,204.70, were to be mailed out the following week, according to Sheriff Larry Bennett.
November began with a heavy voter turnout, 57 percent, during the general election. Gary Robertson won the judge-executive's race, Kevin Shearer won the county attorney's race, Tim Popplewell won the PVA's race and Bobby Dunbar won the jailer's race in the more high profile races.
The Russell Springs Fall Festival brought hundreds to Main St. The event was sponsored by the Russell Springs Downtown Revitalization Committee and featured a taping of local magician Aron Houdini's "Burned Alive" stunt. Houdini also directed this year's fall festival. Trevor Bennett, a 17-year-old juvenile who will be tried as an adult, was arrested in the shooting murder of Felicia Eads at a home on Old Eli Rd. Bennett's mother, Pamela, was also arrested and charged in the incident.
New RCMS principal Thomas Reed said he was enjoying his new role at the school and vowed to help raise test scores there.
The Times Journal purchased the Russell Register, a move that will change the presentation and delivery of news to the people in the area. The newspapers will soon form a twice weekly format with the new Russell County News-Register to be published on Saturdays while the Times Journal remains a Thursday publication.
The Jaycees once again hosted their annual Toys for Tots auction event on WJRS and Duo County Channel 2.
December saw the fiscal court begin the hiring process of the new jail staff for the 86-bed facility. The 34th Russell Springs Christmas Parade was held downtown to help bring in the holiday season, according to parade organizer Mia Estes.
A drug related armed robbery took place at a home on Jewell St. in Russell Springs. Two Bowling Green men were arrested for the alleged robbery and held in jail.
An early snowstorm closed schools for the final week before Christmas break and prompted highway crews to dip into the salt early this season.
The hospital selected David Rasmussen as its new CEO after an extensive and exhausting search. A meth lab was busted by authorities at the Lake Cumberland State Park as well as Key Cleaners in Russell Springs.
Local businessman Howard Garner was killed in a wreck and mourned by hundreds who called him "friend."
Outgoing county judge-executive Mickey Garner and outgoing Jamestown Mayor Brooks Bates were honored by their respective court and council on their hard work the past four years.
With the year all but wrapped up we turn the page to 2011 to see what the new year has in store for us all. Happy New Year!