Barren County

Testimony begins Tuesday in the federal trial of Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton and two other officers charged with using excessive force on a suspect in custody and lying about it to federal investigators. 

Sheriff Eaton, Deputy Aaron Bennett, and Barren County Drug Task Force Detective Eric Guffey are accused of civil rights violations in the arrest of a methamphetamine suspect who led officers on a two-county car chase in 2010. 

The defense will argue the suspect, Billy Stinnett, was combative and the use of force appropriate for the situation. Among the expected witnesses is former Deputy Adam Minor who was originally facing the same charges, but pleaded guilty to one charge of making false statements to the FBI.  In a deal with prosecutors, Minor will testify against the sheriff and two other officers.  

The trial in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green is expected to last at least a week.

Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton, a deputy sheriff, and a detective go on trial Monday on charges of civil rights violations and lying to federal investigators.  The case stems from a 2010 arrest in which the three officers were accused of using excessive force. 

Jury selection begins Monday at 9:00am in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green for Sheriff Chris Eaton, Deputy Aaron Bennett, and Barren-Edmonson County Drug Task Force Detective Eric Guffey. 

According to the federal indictment, a 13-year old girl was at a Glasgow church on the night of February 24, 2010, when she looked out the window and saw suspect Billy Randall Stinnett struggling with the local sheriff and several deputies. 

In testimony to the FBI, the girl and four other teenagers present say they saw Eaton and the deputies beating Stinnett to the point where they thought he was being murdered. 

Kentuckians concerned with agriculture, business and education spoke out in favor of the latest federal immigration proposal during a phone conference organized by the Partnership for a New American Economy.

The immigration proposal is being considered in the U.S. Senate, thanks to a compromise by a group of eight senators from both political parties.

The plan would create a 13-year path to citizens, expand work visas and attempts to tighten border security.

H.H. Barlow, a dairy farmer in Barren County, says he supports the compromise because farms like his need more immigrant workers in Kentucky.

The city of Glasgow is joining forces with regional power providers to make better economic and environmental use of methane emitted from local landfills.

Following a vote this week by the Glasgow City Council, mayor Rhonda Riherd Trautman can now open negotiations with Farmers Rural Electric Cooperative and East Kentucky Power Cooperative to create a landfill gas generation project.

Currently, methane emitted from garbage at local landfills is vented into the atmosphere. Under the new plan, methane would be piped into a generator and converted into electricity.

Trautman says the city is trying to act in advance of new federal regulations regarding methane that go into effect in 2016.

The woman found dead in a wood line off of Brock Road in Barren County has been identified as 39-year-old Cassandra Hernandez of Bonnieville, Ky. The cause of death is still under investigation.

Kentucky State Police were notified by Barren County dispatch Thursday, March 28, that a body had been found.

A Barren County felon and nine co-defendants have been sentenced for running a sophisticated indoor marijuana operation. 

Considered the ring-leader of the operation, 70-year-old Dallas Norris of Glasgow, was sentenced this week to nearly 20 years in prison. He was charged with manufacturing and distributing the marijuana, money laundering, and possession of firearms by a convicted felon. 

A tip led Kentucky State Police to Norris’ home in November 2011, where they discovered more than 1,200 marijuana plants. Police learned the indoor grow began in 2008 and had been producing seven to ten pounds of weed every two weeks. Norris was selling it for around $3,000 per pound. 

State Trooper Arrested in Barren County on DUI Charges

Mar 5, 2013

A Kentucky State Police trooper has been charged with drunken driving.

The Glasgow Daily Times cited a citation from the Cave City Police Department in reporting that 27-year-old Casey Joseph Wethington of Columbia was arrested Sunday on the charge. According to the report, Wethington was "all over the roadway" while traveling north on Dixie Highway and an officer pulled him over.

The police report said a breathalyzer test showed Wethington's blood alcohol content to be 0.2, which is higher than the legal limit of .08.

It was unclear whether Wethington had an attorney.

Farmers in south-central Kentucky are discussing a partnership with a state park that would lead to more farm-fresh foods being served at the location.

The Glasgow Daily Times reports farmers around Barren River Lake State Resort Park met recently with chef Rick Lenoir to discuss a partnership in which he would purchase more local goods to serve at the park's Driftwood Restaurant.

Lenoir, who started working at Barren River Lake State Resort Park last summer, said his preference is to use locally produced food.

"I want folks to be more aware of what we have around here," Lenoir said.

Barren County School District Facing Big Budget Cuts

Feb 5, 2013

Education officials in south-central Kentucky say cuts are likely as the school district faces a budget shortfall of nearly $1 million.

The Glasgow Daily Times reports Barren County school district Superintendent Bo Matthews told the Board of Education during a special-called meeting on Monday night that a $900,000 shortfall is expected from the 2012-13 to the 2013-2014 budget.

Matthews said cuts are likely due to the shortfall.

District Finance Director John Stith said one reason for the shortfall is unexpected costs, including a portion of the $50-$60 million Kentucky School Boards Insurance Trust deficit which has to be paid off by school districts across the state.

A judge has declined to dismiss a gated residential community in Lexington from a lawsuit over the death of Amanda Ross, who was gunned down outside her home by former Barren County lawmaker Steve Nunn.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports Judge James Ishmael determined that "there are issues of fact that preclude summary judgment."

Ross' mother, Diana M. Ross, sued Opera House Square Townhouse Association, claiming it allowed Nunn access after her daughter told board members she had taken out an emergency protective order against Nunn.

Opera House Square argued that it wasn't negligent and took reasonable action to accommodate a request from Ross for more security.

Nunn pleaded guilty to murder in 2011 for fatally shooting Ross after she ended their engagement.

Two men associated with a cattle brokerage company have pleaded guilty to a federal charge in connection with a scheme that cost 172 farmers more than $840,000.

The Glasgow Daily Times reports that Thomas P. Gibson and Michael Steven McDonald each entered a plea in U.S. District Court in Kentucky to one count of mail fraud.

They previously pleaded guilty in Metcalfe Circuit Court to charges related to the scheme and agreed to fully repay farmers who sold cattle to Eastern Livestock.

The plea on the federal charge was entered last month. Brian Butler, Gibson's attorney, told the newspaper that his client never meant to hurt anyone, but has taken responsibility for what happened.

Western Kentucky University's Glasgow campus will hold a memorial service Thursday afternoon for a student who died last week. The service for Trina M. Lawson, 36, will be at 2 p.m. in the WKU-Glasgow library. The campus is also collecting donations for her family.

The student who died at the WKU-Glasgow campus Friday was a 36-year-old mother of three. Glasgow resident Trina Marie Lawson was found dead inside a bathroom at the Barren County campus early Friday afternoon.

A WKU student who was found dead at the Glasgow campus Friday afternoon has been identified as Trina Lawson. She was discovered inside a bathroom around 1 p.m. and was later pronounced dead by the Barren County coroner.

No New Details Known on WKU-Glasgow Student Death

Oct 21, 2012

The Barren County coroner has not released the name of the WKU student who was found dead at the school's Glasgow campus Friday.

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