Barren County

Kentucky State Police have arrested a man they described as "extremely dangerous" after requesting the public's help in finding him. Thirty-three year old Thomas Upton of Glasgow was arrested Sunday night at 9:30 on Boatman Road in Barren County without incident.

He's being held at the Barren County Jail.

Upton is described as a suspect in as many as eight auto thefts around Barren, Hart, Larue and Warren Counties. State police put out a warning to the public not to leave their vehicles running while unattended. That included warming up the vehicle in driveways in the morning or while inside service stations. They were also warning not to leave keys in an unattended vehicle as that's how many of the car thefts Upton's charged with occurred.

A police investigation is still ongoing.

Barren County Government

Barren County Judge-Executive Davie Greer will not seek re-election to a fourth term. Judge Greer says her family had a lot to do with her decision to retire.

"My family doesn't want me to run again, so I just gave in and said okay," admits Greer. "I've loved what I've done and if I was 20 years younger, I wouldn't think twice about running again and again."

During her three terms heading Barren County government, Greer tells WKU Public Radio that the highlight was building the correctional center. 

Greer's retirement leaves no shortage of potential successors. 

Barren County Magistrate Chris Steward is seeking the judge-executive post, as well as five others. They include Brian Taylor, W.R. Tarry, David Honeycutt, Don Gossett, and Rob Strickland.

Kentucky’s third annual sandhill crane hunting season wrapped up Sunday, and Fish and Wildlife officials are calling it a success.

The most recent numbers show 87 birds were killed in this year’s sandhill crane hunting season, mostly in Barren County. That’s slightly lower than last year, when 92 birds were killed. But both years, the actual hunt fell far below the quota of 400 birds the Department of Fish and Wildlife set.

Wildlife Biologist John Brunjes says nearly 400 people got permits to hunt sandhill cranes this year, but many weren’t successful.

"They’re an extremely difficult bird to hunt, they’re extremely wary," Brujes said. "It’s a challenge. The biggest limiting factor is there are only a few places where they occur in the state."

When Kentucky first began allowing sandhill crane hunting in 2011, it was controversial. Opponents argued the birds aren’t overpopulated or damaging the environment, and should be protected.

This year, Brunjes says there were about 68,000 birds in the sandhill crane’s eastern population. If that number ever fell below 30,000, that would trigger an automatic halt to the hunting season.

www.glasgow-ky.com

If a Barren County organization has its way, an unoccupied building on Glasgow's downtown square will be turned into a year-round farmers' market.

Sustainable Glasgow has applied for a matching grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund to pay for half of the cost of renovating the building.

"It could be our permanent home, it would be on the square, we could have an indoor food court, and we could market more local farm products and farm-to-table prepared foods," Sustainable Glasgow President Jerry Ralston told WKU Public Radio.

The group's plans for the facility would also include a full commercial kitchen and cold storage for produce that could be sold by vendors in the building and wholesaled to local restaurants, schools, and hospitals.

Ralston says he hopes to hear within the next few months whether Sustainable Glasgow's grant application has been approved.

A federal judge is allowing former Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton to remain free while he appeals his conviction on two counts of witness tampering.

U.S. District Judge Joseph H. McKinley concluded that Eaton has raised two reasonable issues that could result in his winning a new trial. Eaton had been scheduled to report to a federal prison in Oakdale, La., by Sept. 30 to begin serving an 18-month prison sentence.

He was convicted this year in federal court of directing two deputies to write false incident reports for the FBI. Federal investigators were probing accusations of civil rights violations during a 2010 arrest. Prosecutors had sought to force his immediate surrender, but McKinley noted that Eaton has complied with all pre-trial release conditions and is not a flight risk.

The ex-wife of a former Kentucky lawmaker serving life without parole for murdering another woman is launching her book Wednesday.

Tracey L. Damron was married to former Rep. Steve Nunn, the son of the late former governor Louie B. Nunn, while he served in state government. A news release says the book, "Trail of Feathers," covers "love, death, murder, political power, deception, the supernatural and ultimately spiritual consciousness."

Nunn pleaded guilty to the 2009 death of his ex-fiancee.

The release says Damron, who lives part-time in Pikeville, now practices as a medicine woman, conducts spiritual retreats and attends spiritual workshops.

She is announcing the book's launch Wednesday morning on the steps of the Capitol in Frankfort and will attend book signings at bookstores in Frankfort and Glasgow on Wednesday and Thursday.

Lisa Autry

When Barren County Judge-Executive Davie Greer began looking for a new sheriff, she didn't have to go far.  She choose Kent Keen, who retired from the Glasgow Police Department and joined the sheriff's office a year ago as a school resource officer.  

Monday's announcement attracted a standing room- only crowd inside a Barren County circuit courtroom.  A full contingent of uniformed officers stood behind him as Keen pledged to run the department by the book.

"I have three guidelines that I operate off of, and that's the KRS (Kentucky Revised Statues), the Barren County Sheriff's Department policy manual, and the Bible, just to be honest with you," explained Keen. "Some God-given common sense may go a long way, folks."

Noticeably present at Monday's announcement was Deputy Aaron Bennett, who stood trial in May alongside former Sheriff Chris Eaton. Bennett was also accused of using excessive force on a suspect in 2010 and lying about it to federal investigators.  Bennett was acquitted on all charges. He told WKU Public Radio that seeing Keen sworn in felt like the beginning of a new era at the sheriff's office.

Kent Keen has been named the new Barren County Sheriff.

Barren County Judge-Executive Davie Greer made the announcement to a standing-room only crowd at the county courthouse Monday afternoon.

Keen worked at the Glasgow Police Department before joining the Barren County Sheriff's Department as a school resource officer. He has over 20 year of experience in law enforcement.

Keen takes over from Chris Eaton, who resigned the position last week before being sentenced to 18 months in prison for witness tampering.

New Barren County Sheriff to Be Named Monday

Aug 3, 2013

There's going to be a new sheriff in town Monday in Barren County.

Judge-Executive Davie Greer told the Glasgow Daily Times that's when she plans to announce her appointment for the position.

Former Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton resigned Wednesday, and was sentenced the next day to 18 months in prison for persuading two deputies to write false incident reports in an FBI investigation of an alleged beating during an arrest.

The 42-year-old Eaton, of Glasgow, was acquitted during his trial in May of using excessive force but convicted of witness tampering.

Greer told the newspaper that she had narrowed her selection "to four or five" people.

Former Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton will spend a year and a half in prison related to his trial on civil rights violations. Eaton was sentenced Thursday in federal court in Bowling Green. 

In a courtroom packed with family and friends, Eaton wept as he talked about all the things he could no longer do as a convicted felon, such as coach Little League and volunteer in schools. He told U.S. District Court Judge Joseph McKinley that he felt like a “child predator."

“My life is over as I know it,” sobbed Eaton.

Judge McKinley replied that by all accounts, Eaton was a model citizen, but his punishment must reflect the seriousness of the convictions and the former sheriff's position of authority. 

“The buck stops with you”, said McKinley. “You were in charge that day.”

Judge McKinley strayed from the prosecution's recommendation of at least seven years and ordered Eaton to serve 18 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.

Steve Nunn Apologizes to Ex-Fiance's Family

Jul 25, 2013

Facing a team of attorneys, imprisoned former Barren County lawmaker Steve Nunn apologized to the family of the ex-fiancee he was convicted of killing but declined to say he shot her, complained of health problems and refused to answer questions about her death, according to the transcript of his deposition.

Nunn, the son of former Kentucky Gov. Louie B. Nunn, also repeatedly said in the brief July 11 deposition that his heart was racing and he didn't feel comfortable talking about the September 2009 death of Amanda Ross until he consults with a lawyer.

"My mind is sputtering, I guess, at best," Nunn said during the questioning at Green River Correctional Center in Central City. Nunn was sent to prison for life without parole after he pleaded guilty in June 2011 to first-degree murder with an aggravating circumstance in the shooting of his ex-fiancee.

On Tuesday, Fayette Circuit Judge James Ishmael ordered Nunn to "fully and completely" answer queries from attorneys in a lawsuit over Ross' death.

Governor Steve Beshear joined Glasgow and Barren County leaders Wednesday for a ceremony honoring a new facility that will offer long-term care for those with mental illnesses.

Residents will begin moving into the new Glasgow State Nursing Facility in early September. Glasgow mayor Rhonda Trautman says residents at the facility require a higher level of care than those at most long-term care facilities in the state.

"These are people who are primarily suffering from mental problems who need counseling. They have a variety of issues, and there is a large group of patients there who suffer from Huntington's Disease."

The new facility in Glasgow replaces another state-run long-term care facility in Barren County that had become antiquated.

"The older center has been part of our community for decades. The original building used to be the state tuberculosis hospital," said Mayor Trautman.

The new nursing center will employ 167 people.

A former Barren County lawmaker has been ordered to answer questions about the shooting death of a woman that landed him in prison for life.

Fayette County Circuit Judge James Ishmael on Tuesday ruled that 60-year-old Steve Nunn cannot avoid questions about the day 29-year-old Amanda Ross died outside her Lexington home.

Nunn has been found liable in civil court for the death of Amanda Ross. Nunn pleaded guilty to shooting and killing Ross four years ago. Nunn is serving life in prison.

He faces a civil trial in August in which the Ross family is seeking damages from him. The owner of the townhouses where Ross lived, Opera House Square, is also a defendant in the case.

Nunn refused to answer questions on July 11 during a deposition.

Ahead of his August 1st sentencing, Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton will resign from office at the end of the month. WKU Public Radio learned of the resignation in a sentencing memorandum filed in federal court. 

In May, Eaton was convicted on two felony counts of witness tampering relating to the alleged beating of a suspect and a cover-up that followed.  

U.S. District Judge Joseph McKinley last week denied a motion to overturn the verdicts or grant the sheriff a new trial.  Prosecutors are asking for a prison sentence of seven to nine years, while the defense is hoping for ten to 16 months. 

With his resignation, Barren County Judge-Executive Davie Greer says she will have to appoint a new sheriff to serve out the remainder of Chris Eaton’s term, which ends next December.

Kevin Willis

Two women from Barren County who played significant roles in the fields of flight and education are being honored this weekend. The Kentucky Historical Society will dedicate markers in honor of Nettie Depp and Willa Brown Chappell.

"Chappell was the first African-American woman to earn her pilot's license in the U.S., and that was in 1937," said Becky Riddle, with the Kentucky Historical Society. "She also was the first African-American officer in the Civil Air Patrol, and the first American woman to hold both a mechanic's license and commercial pilot's license."

Chappell was co-founder of the National Airmen's Association of American, which worked to get African-Americans into the U.S. Air Force. In 1940, she co-founded the Coffey School of Aeronautics, which trained black pilots. Some of those pilots went on to be Tuskegee Airmen.

Nettie Depp in 1913 became the first female public official in Barren County, and served as superintendent of county schools from 1914 to 1917. Depp helped lead efforts to unify local schools and create Barren County's first four-year high school, housed in the former Liberty College.

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