Archive for December, 2009
A Camp Dick house caught on fire Saturday, and a passing stranger was able to assist a woman in escaping. I was able to talk to several people involved for the story, which can be read here.
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I’m working on an update for everyone concerning the judicial center construction. John Wilson told me this morning that everything is on schedule. I’m attempting to get in contact with the construction site manager to get more specifics.
Hopefully everyone had a good Christmas. I spent the day after Christmas chasing down information on a Christmas day shooting in Casey County. It’s not Garrard County news, but the story, compiled by Todd Kleffman and myself, is the most complete story of the incident currently available out there, if you’re interested and haven’t read about it yet.
It’s a slow time of the year, but things should be picking up after we get into January. I’ve got a few things coming down the line…
- I’m profiling Russ White’s special UK pickup truck for the Cool Rides segment that will run Jan. 4 (Two days after UK crushes UofL).
- I’m going to be looking into the impact of having a large number of unoccupied houses in Lancaster for a bigger story that will run Jan. 10.
- We’re about a week away from the Lancaster City Council’s January meeting, where Mayor Rinthen has promised to present more specifics about the city’s financial situation.
A story about the grievance filed by Jeff Buchenroth concerning the city layoffs is here.
On a completely different note, a bunch of mailboxes along Old Danville Road were vandalized last night. Someone apparently used a vehicle or a four-wheeler to break some mailboxes off along the post and rip others completely out of the ground. At least 11 mailboxes were damaged, according to the sheriff’s office, doing an estimated $1,000 in damage.
It’s a mildly slow day today, but I am still looking into the situation with the city’s layoffs.
Jeff Buchenroth, one of the maintenance employees who will be laid off at the end of December, has filed a grievance with the city because he says it did not follow its own regulations when it comes to layoffs due to a financial emergency.
While city employees do work at the will of the city — the mayor doesn’t have to have a reason to fire someone — Buchenroth says there is a process required by the city’s personnel manual that requires the city council to vote on layoffs in a financial emergency.
The layoffs, as they have been termed in the Advocate and as I am continuing to call them here, were indeed explained by Rinthen as a financial necessity. However, the letters sent to the laid-off employees were termination letters, and Buchenroth says City Attorney Justin Genco sent him a letter back explaining that what’s been called layoffs are actually just terminations.
It might just be arguing semantics, but I’m going to dig a little deeper today and see what I find.
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According to the Herald-Leader, Dwayne Nave requested shock probation for the second time today, and a judge turned him down.
Nave got five years in prison after he collided with another vehicle while intoxicated, killing the other driver, who was also intoxicated. Nave, a former Garrard County emergency director, was driving a county-owned vehicle at the time.
Nave requested shock probation the first time three months into his sentence on Oct. 2.
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UNRELATED UPDATE: Thomas Shelton had his pre-trial conference on Friday, and nothing much happened, according to our court reporter Todd Kleffman. He has another pre-trial conference Jan. 15.
While only Dana Hensley has filed to be a candidate for Garrard County circuit court clerk, two other people took and passed the required test on Dec. 12 and are eligible to run in Garrard County:
- Bethany Denny
- Bridgett Sebastian
That means three people could be competing in 2010 for the circuit court clerk position.
The Advocate IT staff had some technical difficulties over the past few days, the result of which was my blog being down for several days. Sorry about that. Catching things up to speed:
Pre-trial conference in Garrard EMS morphine case today
Thomas Shelton is having a pre-trial conference today — in fact, right now, probably. Todd Kleffman, the Advocate’s court reporter, is covering it, so he will have a story for Sunday’s paper. I will also find out some information from him when he gets back to the office and post an update here. Shelton is the Garrard EMS employee accused of 21 counts of stealing morphine from the Garrard County Ambulance Service.
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Allen Weston declares candidacy for sheriff
Lancaster police officer Allen Weston filed for sheriff on Thursday. He’s running against sheriff Ronnie Wardrip, who’s been sheriff since 1999. Weston wants to start 24/7 patrols from the sheriff’s department and improve call response times. The story is in today’s Advocate.
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Lancaster layoffs number goes back up to 5
Mayor Rinthen told me Tuesday that there was an additional sewer department employee who was laid off along with the two maintenance department employees and two police officers. Kind of old news at this point, but the story about that is here. And here’s another story where Chief Ronnie Lamb analyzes the impact of losing the equivalent of three full-time officers.