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Investigation of Body Found on Lake Cumberland Continues

Officials continue to investigate a body found in Lake Cumberland.

According to Sgt. Wayne Wilson from the Kentucky Fish & Wildlife, a badly decomposed body was found near Grider Hill Marina in Clinton County.

The body has not yet been identified. It was taken to the State Medical Examiner’s Office.

Wave News will have more details as they're made avaliable. 

Weekend Arrests 10/1/23

The following individuals were arrested over the weekend...
  • Donna Yates, 60, of Columbia - arrested on Saturday afternoon by the ACSO for Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Impersonating a Peace Officer, and Public Intoxication of a Controlled Substance (excluding alcohol).
  • James McClintock, 51, of Columbia - arrested on Saturday by the ACSO for Poss of Methamphetamine, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Rear License Not Illuminated, and Vehicle Headlamp/Tail light Color Violations.
  • Audie Gene Beard, 56, of Columbia - arrested on Saturday by the CPD for Alcohol Intoxication in a Public Place 1st & 2nd Offense.
  • Andrew David Gayde, 25, of Columbia - arrested by the CPD on Sunday for Driving on a DUI Suspended License.
Lodged in the Adair County Regional Jail.
  • Teena Lane, 39, of Russell Springs - arrested Sunday morning by the RSPD for Operating on a Suspended or Revoked License, Failure of Owner to Maintain Insurance, No Registration Plates, Operating a Motor Vehicle without Ignition Interlock Device.
  • Courtney Gray, 30, of Russell County - arrested by the Jamestown Police Dept. on Saturday for the Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle.
Lodged in the Russell County Detention Center.

Columbia Man Arrested on Meth Charges at Local Business


The Columbia Police responded to Magic Market on Burksville Street on Friday afternoon, September 22, 2023 after an off duty Deputy observed a subject on scene known to have active warrants. After being taken into custody, the male was also found to be in possession of suspected methamphetamine.

Christopher Helm, 40, of Columbia was taken into custody with two outstanding warrants and has additionally been charged with possession of methamphetamine.

Officer Joey Keith was the arresting Officer. He was assisted on scene by Chief Jr Murphy and Deputy Chandler Staten. 

Columbia Man Arrested After USPS found Suspicious Package containing Over a Pound of Marijuana

On Friday morning, September 29, 2023 the Columbia Police Department was made aware of a suspicious package through USPS. 

Over one pound of marijuana as well as an unidentified substance was found to be in the parcel. After a brief investigation, the male party the package was intended for, was placed into custody. 

George Willam, 21, of Columbia, KY has been charged with trafficking in marijuana over 8 ounces/under 5lbs (a class D felony). Additional charges are pending identification of unknown substance. 

Officer Joey Keith is the investigating Officer. He was assisted by Assistant Chief Charles Greer and Officer Jared Conover.


More Details on the Governor's Visit on Tuesday from Columbia Mayor's Office


In a release from the Columbia Mayor’s office, Governor Andy Beshear is scheduled to be in town on Tuesday, October 3, 2023 at 2:45pmCT.


Traffic controls will be in place on the Columbia Bypass and on Hudson Street. Parking will be available on Hudson Street next to Franklin Ford. There will be directional signs for traffic & parking in the areas.


Governor Beshear will be making an announcement for the city of Columbia, along with some other funding projects. You are encouraged to arrive plenty of time before the event to ensure you're there when the Governor starts his presentation(s) and announcement(s).


In addition to Governor Beshear, several other dignataries will be in attendance including:

  • State Representative Amy Neighbors
  • Gilbert Mischel, Field Representative for US Senator Mitch McConnell
  • Brian Mills, Field Representative for US Senator Rand Paul
  • Sandy Simpson, Field Representative for US Representative James Comer and
  • Waylon Wright, Lake Cumberland Area Development District Director.


The event will be held at 3211 Adair Veterans Memorial Highway just past the Burkesville Street intersection on the Bypass. The presentation will be set up at the back entrance off of Hudson Street.


For further information, contact the Mayor’s Office at 270-384-2501.


We encourage everyone to welcome Governor Beshear to Columbia. We appreciate the support of projects to benefit our community,” said Mayor Hoots.


Again, there will be traffic controls in place and you're asked to be on time for the event.


4-Vehicle Injury Accident on Hales Highway


UPDATE:  The road has been cleared and is open for traffic.



The Russell County Sheriffs Office is working a 4-vehicle accident with injuries on Hwy 379 (Hales Highway) in Russell Springs at the Cumberland Parkway overpass. The roadway is blocked and it will be a while before traffic flows again, according to Sheriff Derek Polston.




Adair County Woman Arrested on Felony Drug Charges Following Traffic Stop


On Thursday, September 28, 2023, K-9 Deputy Chandler Staten initiated a traffic stop while on patrol in the Feathersburg community, 17 miles east of Columbia.  

During the stop, Deputy Chandler Staten suspected there were illegal substances in the vehicle following a roadside interview with the driver, 42-year-old Amanda Hammond of Columbia, KY. A search was conducted of the vehicle and 5 small plastic bags containing suspected methamphetamine were discovered. 
Hammond was lodged in the Adair County Regional Jail on charges of possession of a controlled substance 1st degree (methamphetamine) and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The Adair County Sheriffs Office is continuing the investigation.

Phillips Tank & Structure To Locate First Kentucky Facility in Adair County Creating 20 Full-Time Positions


FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 28, 2023) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear highlighted new economic growth coming to Adair County as Phillips Tank & Structure (PTS), a nationwide tank construction contractor, announced plans to build a $2.76 million fabrication shop that will create 20 new full-time jobs in the Columbia area.


“Phillips Tank & Structure is a great example of the quality companies that are choosing Kentucky to locate their businesses,” said Gov. Beshear. “Our economy is thriving, and PTS is a valued addition to that momentum. I want to congratulate the company on its new fabrication facility in Adair County and thank its leadership for choosing to invest in the commonwealth and our incredible workforce.”


PTS is acquiring 6 acres owned by the Adair County Economic Development on Development Drive in Columbia, a property previously approved for $460,000 in state support in the first round of the Kentucky Product Development Initiative. The project will include a 15,000-square-foot fabrication shop, a 5,000-square-foot tool house/garage and 5,000 square feet of office space. The project will also include the acquisition of various construction and fabrication shop equipment. PTS and wholly owned subsidiary Steel Valley Fabricators (SVF) will share the space and work together to service their different markets in the region. Construction is expected to begin in March 2024 and be completed by December 2024.


“We have been searching for suitable locations to expand our branch offices,” said PTS Vice President Jeff Sassic. “The available state and county incentives made Adair County, Kentucky, a very attractive option that was difficult to pass up. The Adair County Economic Development representatives were wonderful to deal with and made the process as easy as possible. We are excited to join the Adair County community. We look forward to contributing to the growth and development of the local economy.”


Conway-Phillips Holding LLC, doing business as Phillips Tank & Structure (PTS), is a nationwide contractor engaged in engineering, designing, repairing and constructing above-ground storage tanks in the petroleum, chemical, agricultural, U.S. defense and other industries. PTS has been in business since November 2012 and has grown into a nationally recognized tank contractor with over 16 field crews and 150 employees. PTS is headquartered in Braddock, Pennsylvania, with branch offices in Texas, California and Hawaii.


Steel Valley Fabricators LLC (SVF) is a regional full-service welding and metal fabricating shop that provides custom parts and weldments for customers in various industries. SVF is a wholly owned subsidiary of PTS and was established in November 2019. SVF is also headquartered in Braddock, Pennsylvania, with a branch office in California. SVF employs 38 workers between the two locations.


Adair County Judge/Executive Larry Russell Bryant showed his excitement for the project and spoke on the job opportunities PTS will provide: “I am so very pleased that Phillips Tank & Structure has selected Adair County as the home for their regional hub and will help continue the momentum of economic growth in Green River Commerce Park. PTS will not only be a great addition to the Commerce Park; but they will also provide an excellent workforce pathway to the students who participate specifically in our welding program at Adair County High School. Along with the Adair County Fiscal Court, the Columbia City Council and the Economic Development Authority, Phillips Tank & Structure will be an instrumental partner in making dreams for our Commerce Park become a reality.”


Columbia Mayor Pamela Hoots thanked the partners that made the project possible: “The City of Columbia is excited to welcome Phillips Tank & Structure to our community. We appreciate the work of the EDA Board in administration of this project.”


Columbia-Adair County Economic Development Authority Chairman Larry Walker talked about future growth for Columbia: “On behalf of our entire EDA team, we are excited that Phillips Tank & Structure has chosen to locate in Columbia, Kentucky. PTS’s $2.76 million investment and creation of 20 well-paying jobs furthers the momentum of recent announcements in Green River Commerce Park. As their company grows, we are happy that they have chosen to grow with us!”

PTS’s investment and job creation builds on recent economic momentum in the commonwealth.


Last month, Gov. Beshear reported that General Fund receipts for July 2023 totaled $1.1 billion, marking the 11th straight month with revenues over $1 billion. The Governor also recently announced that his administration secured the largest General Fund budget surplus and Rainy Day Fund, as well as the most jobs filled in state history.


The General Fund budget surplus at the end of fiscal year 2023 was more than $1.55 billion. Nearly all of the $1.55 billion surplus will go into the commonwealth’s Rainy Day Fund, bringing the fund to a record balance of $3.7 billion – a 2,700% increase since Gov. Beshear took office in 2019.


This year, the Governor announced that Kentucky set the record for the longest period with the lowest unemployment rates in state history.


Since the beginning of his administration, Gov. Beshear has announced nearly 900 private-sector new-location and expansion projects totaling over $27.5 billion in announced investments, creating 48,000 jobs. This is the highest investment figure for any governor in state history.


The robust job creation has been accompanied by rising wages across the commonwealth. The average incentivized hourly wage in 2022 was $26.78 before benefits, the second-highest mark since 2010 and an 11.5% increase over the previous year.


The Governor also secured the best two-year period in state history for economic growth and announced the two largest economic development projects in state history. In September 2021, Gov. Beshear and leaders from Ford Motor Co. and SK On celebrated a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs in Hardin County. In April 2022, the Governor was joined by leadership at AESC to announce a $2 billion investment that will create 2,000 jobs in Warren County. These announcements solidify Kentucky as the EV battery production capital of the United States.


That position was strengthened even further in May 2023, when the Governor and leaders at Toyota announced a $591 million investment across multiple projects as the company’s largest manufacturing operation in Georgetown introduced its first battery electric vehicle. Growth within the EV sector continued into June as Gov. Beshear joined INFAC North America to break ground on the company’s $53 million investment to support EV-related production in Campbellsville.


Over a two-month period this year, Kentucky secured two credit rating increases from major agencies. On May 12, Gov. Beshear announced that his administration obtained the first state-level credit rating upgrade in 13 years and the first-ever upgrade from Fitch Ratings. On June 29, Gov. Beshear announced the commonwealth received its first-ever rating increase from S&P Global Ratings. Yesterday, Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Kentucky’s credit outlook from stable to positive.


Site Selection magazine recently placed Kentucky first in the South Central region and top-5 nationally in its 2023 Prosperity Cup ranking, which recognizes state-level economic development agencies for their success in landing capital investment projects. The publication also placed Kentucky second nationwide and first in the South Central region for its annual Governor’s Cup ranking for 2022, which recognizes state-level economic success based on capital investments.


Gov. Beshear announced a new “Supply Kentucky” initiative with the goal of boosting job growth, reducing costs and providing more security in the supply chains of our Kentucky companies.


To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) today preliminarily approved a 15-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $550,000 in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $2.76 million and annual targets of:

  • Creation and maintenance of 20 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 15 years; and
  • Paying an average hourly wage of $23.32 including benefits across those jobs.


By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.


In addition, PTS can receive resources from Kentucky’s workforce service providers. Those include no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job-training incentives.


For more information on Phillips Tank & Structure, visit PhillipsTank.com.


A detailed community profile for Adair County can be viewed here.


Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at CED.ky.gov. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion at facebook.com/CEDkygov, on Twitter @CEDkygov, Instagram @CEDkygovand LinkedIn.

Russell Fiscal Court Special Called Meeting Recap

The Russell County Fiscal Court met Wednesday morning in Special Session with a couple of items on the agenda.


The court approved a bid for the purchase of a used tractor for $45,000 and approved discretionary funds from the state to resurface two roads in the county.


The county will receive roughly $126,000 for resurfacing portions of LaFavers Cemetery Road near Jabez and C Simpson Road off Highway West 80.


Louisville Man Arrested in Adair County on Speeding & Drug Charges...

A Louisville man was arrested early this morning in Adair County on Speeding and Drug Charges…


David Amani, 19, was taken into custody by KSP Trooper Binder just before 1 a.m. Thursday morning. Amani was charged with Speeding 23 mph Over Limit, Failure to Wear Seat Belt, Possession of Marijuana, Drug Paraphernalia – Buy/Possession, Operating Motor Vehicle Under Influence of Substance, Reckless Driving and License to be in Possession. He was lodged in the Adair County Regional Jail.


Governor Beshear Coming to Columbia 10/3/23


In a release from Columbia Mayor Pamela Hoots’ office, Governor Andy Beshear is scheduled to be in Columbia on Tuesday, October 3, 2023. Governor Beshear will be making an announcement for the city of Columbia along with some other funding projects. The event will be held at 3211 Adair Veterans Memorial Highway and is scheduled to start at 2:45pmCT.


For further information, contact the Mayor’s Office at 270-384-2501.


“We encourage everyone to welcome Governor Beshear to Columbia” said Mayor Hoots.


Russell County Grand Jury Indicts Ten Individuals

Lyra Leftwich, 19, and Trevor Johnson, 25, both of Jamestown - Criminal Abuse 1st degree. According to the indictment, the couple intentionally abused a child they had custody of.  Johnson was also indicted for Persistent Felony Offender.
Cortez Lawrence, 32, of Bowling Green - Trafficking in Methamphetamine and Fentanyl, Fleeing or Evading Police, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Resisting Arrest, Failure to Dim Headlights, Failure to Produce Insurance Card, No Insurance, and Persistent Felony Offender.
Jacob Hall, 23, of Jamestown - Burglary 3rd degree, Criminal Mischief 1st degree, Menacing, and Wanton Endangerment 2nd degree.
Bethany Popplewell, 30, of Dunnville - Possession of a Controlled Substance 1st degree (Methamphetamine), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Failure to Produce Insurance Card, and Failure to Notify the KY Dept. of Transportation of an Address Change.
Lindsey Barnett, 31, of Russell Springs - Theft by Unlawful Taking over $1,000 (Auto).
Thomas Elliot, 40 and Hannah Philpott, 19, both of Russell Springs - Burglary 3rd degree (2 counts) and Theft by Unlawful Taking over $1,000. 
Frederick Katon, 30, of Russell Springs - Bail Jumping 1st degree.
Brandon Gadberry, 43, of Russell Springs - Bail Jumping 1st degree and Persistent Felony Offender.
Indictments are legal accusations and do not determine guilt or innocence.

FBI and KSP Make Arrest in Crystal Rogers Case


ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (Sept. 27, 2023)- In coordination with the Kentucky State Police, other local and federal law enforcement partners, FBI Louisville has been laser-focused on our commitment to hold accountable those that were responsible for the disappearance of Crystal Rogers. Today, we take the first step in making good on that promise. FBI Louisville and the Kentucky State Police have arrested Brooks Houck without incident on charges stemming from the Crystal Rogers investigation. The Houck indictment remains sealed and additional details will be revealed during Houck’s arraignment in early October in the Nelson County Circuit Court.


Bail has been set at $10 million cash. Houck is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 5, 2023 in Nelson Circuit Court. As of today, Crystal Rogers’ body has not been found. 


History of the case....

Crystal Rogers, the mother of five children, was last seen on July 3, 2015 at a farm in Bardstown owned by Houck. Rogers’ car was found abandoned with a flat tire on the Bluegrass Parkway a couple of days after she was reported missing. Her cellphone and purse were inside the car.


In October 2015. authorities said Crystal Rogers was presumed dead and Brooks Houck was named a suspect in the case. Nick Houck (Brook Houck's brother) was fired from his job as a police officer with the Bardstown Police Department after he was accused of interfering with the investigation.


Crystal’s father, (Tommy Ballard) was shot and killed In November 2016 while hunting in a field. No arrest has been made in that case.


Adair Man Arrested after Theft at Construction Site

The Adair County Sheriffs Office initiated an investigation on Sunday, September 24, 2023 after receiving a theft call. The victim stated someone had come onto his property on Campbellsville Road where he was having a structure built. Lumber and other building materials were taken from the site.

Chief Deputy Brandon Hitch was able to develop a suspect and confirm positive identification. 
Christopher Foster, 37, of Columbia, KY was arrested by Chief Deputy Brandon Hitch and lodged in the Adair County Regional Jail for Theft by Unlawful Taking over $500 and Criminal Trespassing 3rd degree.

Deputy Derek Padgett assisted in the investigation.


Election Info from Adair County Clerk

We're 41 days from the Tuesday, November 7, 2023, Kentucky General Election. Important dates to remember are below:

  • October 10, 2023: Last day to register to vote in the fall election Register or verify registration at elect.ky.gov



  • October 25, 26, 27, 30, 31, and November 1, 2023: Excused In-Person Absentee Voting Must meet criteria, KRS 117.085


  • November 2, 3 and 4, 2023: In-Person, No-Excuse (Early Voting) Any registered voter in Adair County regardless of their precinct may vote during these 3 days with no excuse. ID required.


  • November 6, 2023: No Voting Anywhere


  • November 7, 2023: Election Day, voting at precincts

Call the Adair County Clerk's Office at 270-384-2801 or visit GoVote.Ky.gov for more information.

Area Arrests 9-27-23


Steven Coomer, 46, of Columbia was arrested by KSP on Tuesday night for Driving on a DUI Suspended License – 2nd Offense, Operating Motor Vehicle Under the Influence of Substance, Failure to Use Child Restraint Device in Vehicle, Possession of Marijuana, Drug Paraphernalia – Buy/Possession, Possession of Controlled Substance 1st Degree, 1st Offense (Meth), Possession Controlled Substance 1st Degree 1st Offense (Drug Unspecified), Possession Controlled Substance, 3rd Degree – Drug Unspecified and Wanton Endangerment 2nd Degree.


Samantha West, 30, of Columbia was taken into custody by the Adair County Sherriff’s Office on Tuesday evening. West was charged with Possession Controlled Substance 1st Degree, 1st Offense (Meth), Operating Motor Vehicle Under Influence Substance – 2nd, Possession of a Controlled Substance 1st Degree, 1st Offense (Meth), Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence of a Substance, and Possession of Marijuana.


Both were lodged in the Adair County Regional Jail.


RCSO Arrests Columbia Man for Impersonating Peace Officer and other Charges


Chance Burton, 24, of Columbia, KY was arrested on Tuesday afternoon, September 26, 2023 by the Russell County Sheriffs Office for Impersonating a Peace Officer, Fleeing or Evading Police 2nd degree (on Foot), Disorderly Conduct, Resisting Arrest, and Giving Officer False Identifying Information. Mr. Burton was lodged in the Russell County Detention Center.


Columbia Police Chief Jr. Murphy to Retire


In an announcement from the City of Columbia’s Mayor’s Office, Columbia Police Chief Jr. has announced his plans for retirement in the immediate future.


Murphy is a 1992 graduate of the Adair County High School. He later attended Lindsey Wilson College and Western Kentucky University. He graduated from the Eastern Kentucky University Department of Criminal Justice Training in 2003 and began a twenty-year career in law enforcement. He started at the City of Columbia under former Mayor Mark Harris. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2013; and, served in the capacity of Assistant Chief until he was promoted to Chief in 2021. He attended the Academy of Police Supervision, received over one thousand hours of continued education in various fields of police training, a Certified Investigator through the Kentucky Law Enforcement (KLEC), a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.


“We appreciate the years of service that Chief Murphy has given to the City of Columbia,” said Mayor Hoots.


The date of retirement will be announced soon.




As Dove hunting season continues through October 26, 2023 DUO Broadband reminds all hunters that damaging utility lines, even if unintentional, is against the law and can carry heavy penalties. In recent days DUO Broadband has had to repair damaged fiber optic cable from shotgun strikes in our service area. Network outages and the expense of repairs affect all DUO Broadband customers. 


Beyond the potential for criminal charges and the disruption of service to you and your neighbors, shooting birds sitting on utility lines is just poor sportsmanship — so please, just don’t.

Adair Fiscal Court Meeting 9/26/23

The Adair County Fiscal Court will meet in regular called session on Tuesday, September 26, 2023 at 6:00pmCT in the basement of the Adair Annex. The meeting is open to the public.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE                              
CALL TO ORDER                              
ROLL CALL                                 
 1.    APPROVAL OF AGENDA                
A.)  Regular Called Meeting - August 22, 2023
B.)  Special Emergency Meeting - August 25, 2023
C.)  Special Called Meeting - September 1, 2023
D.)  Regular Called Meeting - September 12, 2023         
 3.    DISBURSEMENTS                              
 4.    REPORTS
            A.)   SHERIFF’S REPORT 
            C.)   G.R.A.S. REPORT 
            D.)   COMMITTEE REPORTS 
            E.)   JAIL REPORT 
            A.)   TREASURER’S REPORT                      
            A.)   LINE TO LINE TRANSFERS
            B.)   FUND TO FUND TRANSFERS
10.   ACTION ITEMS:                                             

Adair Man Arrested on Fleeing & Resisting Charges after Attempted Warrant Service


On Friday, September 22, 2023 the Adair County Sheriffs Office arrived at a residence off Coburg Lane to serve a felony warrant that included cocaine charges. Upon making visual contact outside of the residence, 68-year-old David Crozier of Columbia, KY fled on foot with Deputies Josh Durbin and Chandler Staten giving chase. Crozier made it back into his house where he turned and attempted to fight deputies. He was subdued and taken into custody without injury. 


Crozier was lodged in the Adair County Regional Jail on the following charges:

  • Fleeing & Evading Police
  • Resisting arrest
  • Menacing and
  • Outstanding felony warrants


The Adair County Sheriffs Office is continuing the investigation.


RSPD Investigates 2-Vehicle Accident


According to the police report, James Polston of Russell Springs was operating a 2011 Chevy Imapala, traveling west on Highway 80, when he turned left onto Hwy 127 and struck a 2009 Honda Motorcycle, being driven by Vernon Dowell, also of Russell Springs, who was traveling eastbound. 


Dowell was transported to Russell County Hospital for minor injuries and was later released. Polston was sighted for Improper Turn and No Proof of Insurance. 


Week in Review: Ag, Budget, Transportation committees continue work

With less than a hundred days until we convene the 2024 Regular Session, I was in Frankfort throughout last week to take part in the discussions which will mold our agenda for the upcoming legislative session. 


As you may know, the 2024 session will be what is considered a “long session,” meaning we have 60 working days to craft the state’s bi-annual operating budget and address the challenges and opportunities facing our state. To do this, it is vital that we take the time to consider the issues surrounding us. This process is long and requires diligence, and I can say with full confidence that my colleagues and I have put our best foot forward in making sure the best interest of the commonwealth has been the goal.


Here are a few brief summaries of the interim joint committee (IJC) and task force work from this week. If you would like more information, reach out or visit the committee section on our website at legislature.ky.gov.


IJC on Agriculture: Lawmakers heard from the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Programs and Projects regarding programs ranging from extension to the diagnostics laboratory, research farms, and 4H camps. According to testimony, the state sees a return of $30 for every $1 budget investment. The committee also heard from the Department of Agriculture about the state’s Raising Hope initiative. This program receives $500,000 a year from the state’s tobacco settlement funds and provides lifesaving outreach services to the state’s agricultural community. Raising Hope strives to help farmers and farm families navigate the countless challenges they face, from unpredictable weather patterns to market instability. The burden of these challenges has, tragically, driven many to the brink of despair.


IJC on Transportation: Members heard five presentations, including a closeout report on the 2023 road fund. According to the report, revenue growth is doing well and is estimated to continue into the road fund of 2024. The second presentation was concerning a review of contracts in 2023 and a forecast of 2024 projects. All projects mentioned were primarily focused on improving roadway congestion, safety, and new construction. Other presentations featured discussion revolving around utility work zone safety and current tools that companies are using to help address concerns. It was reported that there has been a 260% increase in utility work zone incidents over the past five years. Our final presentation addressed the damage caused to roadways by steel wheels and the efforts being made to find a solution to the problem.


IJC on Natural Resources and Energy: Committee members met this week for an update on the implementation of 2023’s SB 241, as well as the current economic metrics of forestry in Kentucky. Currently, stakeholders with the Department of Fish and Wildlife are closing in on a deal to purchase 54,000 acres sprawling over Bell, Knox, and Leslie counties that will be utilized as a conservation easement. This land can be used for tourism, lumber research, and outdoor recreation. As we continue to work towards effectively using our state’s natural resources, I anticipate seeing more conservation easements of this nature appear across the state. Additionally, the committee considered a report that gave up-to-date information on the economic impacts of the forestry industry in the commonwealth. As of today, the economic impact of just one acre harvest in Kentucky is roughly $22,000. 


IJC on Education: Members heard testimony regarding computer science opportunities for Kentucky students in the state’s public schools and got to see firsthand how students are learning about coding during demonstrations. The panel heard from the Association of Scholars who expressed their concern about the political bias of Kentucky’s public higher education institutions. The last discussion was led by KCTCS and Huron Consulting as they presented plans to improve the KCTCS system with changes in courses to space utilization at the 70 campuses.


IJC on Appropriations and Revenue: The Interim Joint Committee on Appropriations and Revenue met to discuss important issues with stakeholders across the commonwealth, featuring an update from the University of Kentucky on their academic, facility, cost, and debt conditions. Additionally, the University of Louisville and Murray State University presented on their cybersecurity programs and role in cybersecurity for the commonwealth. Representatives from the Teachers Retirement System and the Kentucky Public Pensions Authority provided updates on Kentucky’s pensions.


Certificate of Need Task Force: Committee members met this week to continue their discussion on the Certificate of Need program in Kentucky. The panel learned that Kentucky has the third most CON requirements in the nation, and that has proven to be a hinderance for rural health. Free standing birthing and scanning centers top the list of services that go underserved because of our stringent laws. 


School and Campus Safety Task Force: The task force heard from mental health professionals and advocates on ways to better meet the needs of Kentucky schools and their students. The Bounce organization recommended improvements in trauma informed education plans (TIEPs), their usage, and suicide prevention programing. The advocates recommended that the TIEPs be collected and analyzed on an annual basis so that school districts can better utilize the plans and their information. Representatives from 12 of Kentucky’s 14 community mental health centers (CMHCs) discussed their involvement in Kentucky’s schools, their regional prevention staff, and the success of the CMHC’s programming on Kentucky’s youth. 


As always, I can be reached anytime through the toll-free message line in Frankfort at 1-800-372-7181. You can also contact me via e-mail atamy.neighbors@lrc.ky.gov. You can also keep track of committee meetings and potential legislation through the Kentucky legislature’s home page at legislature.ky.gov.

Area Arrests 9-25-23

A Florida man was arrested on Lake Cumberland on Drug and other charges over the weekend.

Joshua Arnold, 40, was arrested by Fish and Wildlife Officer Cottongame on Sunday evening. Arnold was charged with Alcohol Intoxication in a Public Place (1st and 2nd Offense), Possession of a Firearm by Convicted Felon, Possession of Marijuana and Drug Paraphernalia, Regulations Necessary to Implement KRS 150 Purpose, NonResident Fishing without a License Permit and Drinking Alocoholic Beverage in Public Place 1st and 2nd Offense. He was lodged in the Russell County Detention Center.


A Columbia Man was arrested on Theft and Trespassing Charges, late last night in Adair County.


Christopher Foster, 36, was taken into custody by Sheriff Deputy Hitch on Sunday night. Foster was charged with Theft by Unlawful Taking or Disposition all other greater than a thousand dollars and Criminal Trespassing – 3rd Degree. He was lodged in the Adair County Regional Jail.


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