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LOCAL NEWS Archives for 2022-04



Liberty City Council held a special called meeting yesterday with two items on the agenda.

First, to appoint a new Council member to fill the seat vacated by Andy Lawhorn, who resigned following the last regular meeting. That item was tabled so that the Council may interview prospective candidates at another special meeting, tentatively set for Wednesday, May 4th at 6pm.

The second item on the agenda was to advertise for bids for video work on the City's sewer lines...

The motion was approved.

Again, the Council will host another special meeting next week, and hopes to have a new Councilperson in place before the next regular meeting, which will be Monday, May 9th.




A disturbing video has surfaced, showing an incident involving several students at Casey County Middle School.

The seven second video shows one boy being held in a choke hold by another student, as several others watch, and another records the altercation on his phone.

School officials issued a statement on their facebook page saying, they are aware of the incident, which took place Friday. It says school administrators took immediate action with the support from a Liberty Police Officer who serves as the School Resource Officer (SRO).   

Parents of the students involved have been made aware of the investigation. No further information can be released due to all parties involved being juveniles.

The statement goes on to say, "CCMS is committed to our core values and school-wide expectations instilling in our students to be respectful, show integrity, have a safe learning environment and excellence in every aspect of being a successful student in our school."


Superintendent Barry Lee added, “The behavior that occurred in the video will not be tolerated.”

The accused attacker has been charged with strangulation and assault and police say the investigation is on-going.



SOMERSET, Ky. (April 20, 2022) – The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) District 8 advises motorists that roadside mowing season is underway, which runs from April to October. State and contract crews will complete three mowing cycles, including litter removal on interstates, parkways and other primary routes throughout the state.


KYTC officials ask Kentuckians to do their part by keeping the state right of way clear of temporary signs and other obstacles that can obstruct the path of mowers and pose a hazard for mowing crews and motorists.


Kentucky law and Transportation Cabinet policy prohibit the placement of non-official signs of any type – for campaigns, yard sales or other advertising – on state highway right of way, utility poles, fences and guardrails or on road signs. Depending on size and construction, illegally placed signs are a distraction and can be a safety issue for motorists when blocking the view of oncoming vehicles.


Illegally-placed signs also can disrupt or endanger right-of-way operations such as mowing, ditch cleaning and litter removal, and can pose a direct safety hazard to motorists who run off the roadway – particularly when installed with large wooden or metal stakes.


Campaign signs and other signs placed on state right of way that restrict sight distance or interfere with mowing and maintenance operations will be removed by KYTC crews. Signs that are removed will be held at the state highway garage in each county of KYTC District 8 and kept for two weeks. Unclaimed signs will be discarded.


The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet asks that motorists use extra caution when traveling through these work zones.


Traffic information for the District 8 counties is also available at or by following us on Twitter at  




Casey County Fiscal Court met in regular session Monday.


Local resident Bill Brown addressed the court with a petition of 70 signatures regarding poor conditions on Long Hollow Road...


Bart Woodrum is the magistrate for that district...


No action was taken, however, some representatives from the Court agreed to meet and review the road and discuss options to repair it.


The magistrates voted to approve a resolution to amend the Health Reimbursement Plan...


That motion was approved.


Casey County Sheriff Chad Weddle gave his monthly report for March...


The next regular meeting of the Casey County Fiscal Court is scheduled for Monday, May 2nd.




According to RSPD Police Chief Tim Pierce, on April 14, 2022, Lt. Bobby Pritchard received a theft complaint of a catalytic converter from one of Bennett's Carpet work vehicles.
Bennett's Carpet had posted still images of the vehicle involved in the theft on their Facebook page and this post was shared by several people. The circulation of the post resulted in tips being called in to Bennett's Carpet of possible vehicles matching the description and possible individuals that could have been in the vehicle at the time of the theft.
Based on the tips, an investigation ensued that led Lt. Pritchard to the location of the stolen converter and video footage that confirmed the vehicle and individuals involved in the theft.
As a result, Austin Passmore, 18 of Russell Springs, was arrested on a warrant for the theft, taken in to custody and lodged in the Russell County Detention Center by Kentucky State Trooper Jacob Harper.
Additional arrests are pending as the investigation is still on-going by RSPD Lt. Bobby Pritchard.




On April 14, 2022- Kentucky State Police Post 11 London Troopers located James Ray Allen JR. has been located safely in Berea. The Ambert Alert has been cancelled.


A Golden Alert has been issued for a missing person in Wayne County.

Kentucky State Police say 38-year-old James Ray Allen Jr. was last seen in Monticello at Dishman’s Personal Care Home.

He has been missing since roughly 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

Allen is a white man, 5′9″ tall, around 175 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes.

He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a blue suit jacket, and gray and white tennis shoes.

According to police, Allen has disabilities.

Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of James Allen Jr. can call Kentucky State Police at 606-878-6622 or 1-800-222-5555.




The Pulaski County Fiscal Court met in regular session this week.

Jeff Henderson covered the meeting...




Sheriff Greg Speck reports that on April 11, 2022 at 1:29 AM, Deputy Tan Hudson arrested Lester Turner, Jr, age 52 of Shoopman Lane in Ferguson, Kentucky for trafficking in illegal drugs.  


Deputy Hudson was patrolling East Hills Estates when he observed a Nissan Altima that had an expired license plate on it from 2021 and a broken taillight.  Deputy Hudson stopped the car on Garner School Road.  There were three passengers in the car.  The driver of the car was Dee Sumpter, and the passengers were Lester Turner and another adult male.  


Deputy Hudson checked the occupants for warrants through Pulaski County 911.  Dee Sumpter, the driver, and Lester Turner, who was sitting in the back seat, both had warrants on them.  At this time, Sergeant Branson Patterson arrived to assist with the investigation.  


During a search of the car, Deputies found approximately 84.2 Grams of suspected Methamphetamine and 3.2 Grams of suspected Heroin.  There was an additional 5.2 Grams of suspected Methamphetamine laying in the seat near where Lester Turner was sitting.  


Lester Turner was arrested and charged with the following:

• Trafficking in Controlled Substance 1st Degree 1st Offense over 2 grams (Methamphetamine) • Trafficking in Controlled Substance, 1st Offense (Heroin) • Drug Paraphernalia Buy/Possess

Deputy Noah Wesley, who had also arrived to assist in the investigation, served warrants on Lester Turner for the following:

• Probation Violation (For Felony Offense) out of Pulaski Circuit Court for a previous conviction of Possession of Methamphetamine in 2020.
• Pulaski County District Court Bench Warrant for Failure to Pay on previous traffic related charges and a Possession of Controlled Substance (Methamphetamine) • Pulaski County District Court Bench Warrant for Contempt of Court.
• Pulaski County District Court Bench Warrant for Failure to Pay on previous traffic related charges.  
• Wayne County District Court Warrant for Failure to Appear on a Misdemeanor Shoplifting • Pulaski County District Court Bench Warrant for Failure to Pay on previous traffic related charges.
• Pulaski County Circuit Court Warrant for Violation of Probation from an earlier conviction of Possession of Methamphetamine


Lester Turner was transported to the Pulaski County Detention Center where he remains lodged as of this press release.  


Dee A. Sumpter, age 52, Circle Point in Nancy, Kentucky was arrested by Deputy Noah Wesley on warrants charging her with the following:

• Contempt of Court from Pulaski County on a Misdemeanor Shoplifting Charge • Indictment Warrant out of Wayne County for Burglary, 3rd Degree and Theft over $500.  

Dee Sumpter was transported to the Pulaski County Detention Center where she remains lodged as of this press release.  


As a result of the investigation, the other male in the vehicle was identified but not arrested.  


The investigation continues by Deputy Tan Hudson and the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office.  The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Kentucky State Police Trooper Adam Childress.  


Sheriff Greg Speck asked that if you have any information about drug activity or any crime to contact our office at 606-678-5145.  You can remain anonymous.   If you go to the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office website at, it gives you three options on how to submit anonymous tips.  




Somerset City Council met in regular session this week.
The local Wrestling Team was recognized for their State Championship win!

Jeff Henderson reports...




A Liberty man is facing charges after trying to force his way into the residence of his former girlfriend.

Casey County Sheriff Chad Weddle responded to the 911 call, shortly after 3:30pm Monday, in reference to a man attempting to gain entry at 5736, Lot 2, about six miles east of Liberty on KY 70.

The citation states, Edward Alan Torress, age 40 of Singletown Dr., Liberty, struck the door of his ex-girlfriend with his knuckles, causing damage. The victim had went to a next door neighbor's, where Mr. Torress kicked and damaged the door in an attempt to get in.

Torress is charged with Criminal Trespassing-3rd degree, Criminal Mischief-2nd and 3rd Degree. He was lodged in the Casey County Jail.

Deputies Grider & Pruner assisted.




The Kentucky State Police is investigating a two vehicle fatal collision that occurred on April 11, 2022 at approximately 6:13 PM south of Liberty, on US-127 near Walnut Hill Rd.


Preliminary investigations indicate that Keith McQueary, age 21, of Russell Springs, KY was operating a 2007 Scion passenger car north on US-127 when he lost control of his vehicle and he crossed the centerline and struck a south bound 2008 Mercury passenger car head on.


The Mercury was operated by Tom McClendon, age 63 of Russell Springs, KY. McClendon was entrapped in the vehicle, life-saving measures were attempted by Casey County EMS however McClendon succumbed to injuries sustained in this collision and was pronounced deceased by the Casey County Coroner.


McQueary was transported to Casey County Hospital by EMS.


This incident remains under investigation by Trooper Matt Brumley. Tpr. Brumley was assisted on scene by other KSP personnel, Casey County EMS, Casey County Fire department, and the state highway department. 




The Casey County Board of Education met in regular session last night, recognizing three teachers for Excellence in Teaching Awards. They were Jenny Godbey at the High School, Rachel Bernard at the Middle School, and Lisa Sears at Walnut Hill Elementary...

Superintendent Barry Lee gives some highlights...




Liberty City Council met in regular session Monday.

There was a 1st Reading of an ordinance related to Electric Franchise in the city. Abdul Akeel, area manager for Kentucky Utilities, addressed the council about a 20 year agreement. The fee remains unchanged at 3%, and is adjustable every five years...

The 1st Reading was approved.

The Council discussed a resolution supporting a study for the National Park Service. The issue was tabled with no action taken.

A group of Citizens questioned the council with concerns of a possible 1% Occupational Tax. Brian McDonald lives in Russell County, but has ties to Liberty...

Mayor Steven Brown explained the City is in dire need of revenue to help bolster basic infrastructure like much needed repairs to antiquated water lines...

Several employees of the Casey County Hospital returned from the last meeting to express their dissatisfaction at the prospect of what they are calling an unfair tax. Mayor Brown said he intends to issue an open records request from the Hospital at their meeting this evening...

There were some heated exchanges between the crowd and some of the council members.

The next regular meeting of the Liberty City Council is scheduled for Monday, May 9th.


Listen to the full meeting here ...




Norfolk Southern Railroad will temporarily close the railroad crossing at the intersection of KY 635 and KY 2308 (mile point 0.1) in Pulaski County beginning Tuesday, April 12, for maintenance work.


A signed detour will be posted.


The closure is expected to last three days.


The dates and duration of work may be adjusted for inclement weather or other unforeseeable delays. 


Motorists can access travel and traffic conditions at or contribute their own reports at or via the Waze mobile application.


Traffic information for the District 8 counties is also available at or by following us on Twitter at  




The Kentucky State Police (KSP) Electronic Crime Branch located and arrested Donald Ray Gilbert, 59, on charges related to a child sexual abuse material investigation.


Gilbert was interviewed and arrested as the result of an undercover Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) investigation. The KSP Electronic Crime Branch began the investigation after discovering the suspect distributing sexually explicit images online.


The investigation resulted in the execution of a search warrant on Bluegrass Road, East Bernstadt, on April 7, 2022. Equipment used to facilitate the crime was seized and taken to KSP’s forensic laboratory for examination. The investigation is ongoing.


Gilbert is currently charged with 10 counts of distribution of matter portraying a minor in a sexual performance. This charge is a Class-D felony punishable by one to five years in prison. Gilbert was also charged with 10 counts of possessing matter portraying a minor under the age of 12 in a sexual performance. This charge is a Class-C felony punishable by five to ten years in prison. Gilbert was lodged in the Laurel County Detention Center.


The Kentucky Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force is comprised of more than twenty-six local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. The mission of the ICAC Task Force, created by the United States Department of Justice and administrated by the Kentucky State Police, is to assist state and local law enforcement agencies in developing a response to cyber enticement and child sexual abuse material investigations. This support encompasses forensic and investigative components, training and technical assistance, victim services, prevention and community education. The ICAC program was developed in response to the increasing number of children and teenagers using the internet, the proliferation of child sexual abuse material, and the heightened online activity of predators searching for unsupervised contact with underage victims.


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