Wednesday 5th May 2021


Just days after President Joe Biden granted Gov. Andy Beshear’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration for Kentucky, the Governor requested federal funding to assist more counties severely impacted by the flooding in late February and early March. The Governor has asked FEMA to conduct damage assessments in Calloway County and 25 other counties that also reported significant damage to residences. Residents with questions or additional reports of flood damage should contact their local county emergency management agency. Following the assessment from FEMA, a determination will be made on each county’s eligibility to participate. Once a determination is made, the public and media will be notified.

Benton Police responded to an accident Monday on US Highway 641 near the intersection of Church Grove Road. According to police, Scott Jones of Benton was riding a bicycle on the shoulder of the southbound lane and Adam Darnell was driving south in his vehicle. Police say Jones and his bike drifted into the lane of travel and Darnell could not avoid a collision because there was a vehicle next to him. Marshall County EMS responded but Jones died from his injuries. The accident is still under investigation.

Probable Cause was found during a Wednesday preliminary hearing in Graves Circuit Court on a murder charge for 36-year-old Troy Rogers. Mayfield Police were dispatched on April 18 to an unresponsive man at a home on South 14th Street. 31-year-old Devon Saxton of Mayfield was found on the front porch of the home with a laceration wound to his neck, and was pronounced dead at the scene. An investigation led detectives to Rogers’ home where he reportedly confessed to the crime. The case was sent to a grand jury and no trial date has been set. Rogers remains lodged in the Graves County Jail.

The Haywood County, Tennessee Sheriff’s Department has identified the victims in last week’s deadly plane crash. Officials say the victims have been identified as 55-year-old Charles Chad Wayne Garland and 74-year-old Marjorie Ann Garland of Houston, Texas. The mother and son were traveling to Murray to visit family when the FAA lost sight of the plane late Tuesday night near Bond Ferry Road and Prospect Lane in Brownsville. The NTSB is investigating the cause of the accident.

The Calloway County Health Department reported 2 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the county case total during the pandemic to 3,471. Of that total, 3,412 have recovered, 9 are isolated at home, and 1 is hospitalized. There have been 49 COVID-19 related deaths in the county.

The Murray Independent School District has 1 new student case and 2 students are quarantined. The Calloway County School District has reported no new cases. Murray State University has reported 2 student cases this week.

As of yesterday, 22.9 percent of Calloway County residents have been vaccinated including 59.8% of those 65 and older. Calloway County’s COVID-19 positivity rate as of yesterday was 3.34%.

At Wednesday’s COVID-19 update for Kentucky, 767 new cases and 9 new deaths were reported, raising the total to 6,485 Kentuckians who are listed as Covid deaths. As of Wednesday, there have been over 5.52 million coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky with a positivity rate of 3.11%, which is lower than last Wednesday’s rate of 3.39%. There are 434 Kentuckians hospitalized which is 17 more than last Wednesday, including 119 in ICU, which is 6 more than one week ago. At least 51,295 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.

Governor Andy Beshear announced yesterday nearly $1 million in funding from the Community Development Block Grant program for communities in Western Kentucky. Recipients will use funds to purchase land for the Western Kentucky Regional Training Center in Webster County and to upgrade the outdated Job Corps Sewer system in Union County. Madisonville Community College President Dr. Cindy Kelley says that the training center will help foster economic growth throughout Western Kentucky, adding that with the programs offered at the new facility, the college will be positioned to train students for good-paying jobs that will lead to a better life. Governor Beshear also announced more than $750,000 from the Transportation Cabinet to improve highway safety near Kentucky schools.

Kentucky and other states have been advised by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that full enforcement of the REAL ID Act is being extended by 19 months. The extension will give license issuance agencies time to recover operating capacity that was restricted to abide by health guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before the announced extension, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet was preparing for enforcement to begin this October. The new enforcement date is May 3, 2023.

WASHINGTON DC—Kentucky’s senior U.S. Senator isn’t impressed with President Biden’s American Families Plan. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Republicans stand for principles and policies that unite Americans and expand opportunities for working families. Senator McConnell called Biden’s nearly two-trillion-dollar plan a radical agenda designed to divide Americans. The President detailed the proposal during a speech to Congress last night.

UNDATED—Anti-Semitic incidents are rising in Kentucky. The Anti-Defamation League says there were more anti-Semitic incidents in Kentucky last year than any year since it started keeping track more than 40 years ago. They rose by 850 percent last year compared to 2019. There were just two anti-Semitic incidents in the state in 2019, compared to 19 last year.

OWENSBORO—Kentucky Fried Pickin’ is back in Owensboro. It’s being held today through Saturday at the Holiday Inn Owensboro Riverfront. The annual indoor jam festival wasn’t held last year due to coronavirus concerns. Over a dozen states and the Netherlands were represented in 2019.

OWENSBORO—The Support Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests is calling for transparency from the Catholic church. Father Ed Bradley had been permanently suspended in 2019 following two accusations of sexual misconduct that the Diocese of Owensboro investigators determined as credible. He appealed his suspension to the Vatican and was recently restored to the priesthood. He is restricted from entering any elementary and secondary schools for the next five years. Father Bradley had served in leadership roles during the 1980s at Owensboro Catholic High School, where some incidents allegedly took place.

POWELL COUNTY—The Kentucky Reptile Zoo is recognizing a historic achievement. The Zoo was recently able to successfully breed the Jararaca snake from Brazil at the facility. The Jararaca can grow up to four-feet long and produces up to ten eggs at once. The snake at the Kentucky facility produced one baby. A main reason for breeding the species involves venom research that has saved millions of lives.

LEXINGTON–A caiman is now in the hands of Lexington-Fayette County Animal Care and Control. The South American relative of the alligator was found in a creek yesterday afternoon by a woman walking her dog. The woman first protected her dog, then called her husband and Animal Care and Control. The caiman found is three- feet long and is being picked up by state Fish and Wildlife today to be taken to the Kentucky Reptile Zoo in Slade.

OWENSBORO—An Owensboro nonprofit is giving away over five-thousand pairs of women’s sneakers. The shoes were donated to the Cliff Hagan Boys and Girls Club by Under Armour. Cliff Hagan is contacting local youth-serving nonprofits and other organizations to get the shoes distributed. Fresh Start for Women and Children has already received some of the shoes.

TENNESSEE—Tennessee’s Republican Senators aren’t impressed with President Biden’s proposed American Families Plan. Senior Senator Marsha Blackburn called the nearly two-trillion-dollar plan the largest government takeover in modern history. Senator Bill Hagerty called the proposal “the largest tax hike on Americans in a generation.” Biden detailed the plan last night in a speech to Congress.

TENNESSEE—There are over eleven-hundred new coronavirus cases in Tennessee. The Tennessee Department of Health reported the new cases yesterday, bringing the total since the outbreak began to nearly 845-thousand-380. Several more additional COVID-19-related deaths were also reported, with the total number of coronavirus-attributed deaths standing at over 12-thousand-170. There are over 800 active cases in the state.

TENNESSEE—Governor Bill Lee is expected to sign a bill that would give Tennessee’s schools bleeding control kits. If it becomes law, the legislation would provide nearly two-thousand of the potentially life-saving kits to schools across the state. The kits would include a tourniquet and compression bandages to control bleeding. School staff members would be trained on how to use the kits in emergency situations.

TENNESSEE—The Tennessee Department of Transportation is using Work Zone Awareness Week to ask drivers to slow down and move over. Nearly two-dozen people were killed in work-zone crashes last year. TDOT has lost 112 employees while on duty, but 70 percent of those killed in work-zone crashes aren’t workers.

ILLINOIS—Changes could be on the way after an Illinois judge ruled that the state’s Firearm Owners Identification card law is unconstitutional. The ruling by White County Circuit Court Judge T. Scott Webb stems from a 2017 case involving Vivian Brown. Brown was accused of possessing a firearm without a FOID card. Webb called the card an undue burden on the right to bear arms and on the right to self defense. His full opinion is pending. The U.S. Supreme Court is considering a case with an argument similar to Brown’s that could impact Illinois law.