Daviess County

Kentucky LRC

A state Senator from Owensboro who serves as co-chairman of Kentucky’s Public Pension Oversight Board won’t seek another term in office later this year.

Joe Bowen is a Republican who has represented Kentucky’s 8th Senate District since 2011, and who also served for two years in the state House. Bowen said he wanted to announce his retirement now so that candidates interested in the seat can make plans.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

An elementary school in Owensboro is launching a program that uses a student’s fingerprint to keep count of meals served for breakfast and lunch. 

Sutton Elementary is piloting the program of finger image recognition technology called Biometrics.

Kaitlyn Blankendaal is the food service supervisor for Owensboro Public Schools and said the goal is to give students more time to eat.

State To Drop Rape Case Against Billy Joe Miles

Jan 9, 2018
Kate Howard

The state attorney general’s office has dropped its prosecution of Daviess County businessman Billy Joe Miles, just a week before he was scheduled to go to trial to face charges of rape, sodomy and bribery.

Prosecutors on Monday evening asked a judge to dismiss the case against Miles, who was indicted after a home health aide reported he raped her in July 2016. In the motion, assistant attorneys general Jon Heck and Barbara Maines Whaley said the alleged victim decided not to testify, and the case could no longer proceed.

www.ice.gov

New details have been released about five people arrested in Owensboro, Kentucky last week by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.

Four of the five people arrested in Daviess County are from Mexico and one is from Guatemala. They range in age from 20 to 35.

A spokeswoman from the Chicago office of ICE said the arrests in Owensboro on Sept. 28 were part of a “targeted routine enforcement operation.”

Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Daviess County Fiscal Court has unanimously passed a resolution that supports separating the County Employees Retirement System, or CERS, from the Kentucky Retirement System. A vote at Thursday night's fiscal court meeting in Owensboro.

There are 250 Daviess County employees enrolled in the County plan. The resolution doesn't result in any change in law, but calls on the state legislature to break CERS away from KRS.

mapio.net

An Owensboro man is leading an effort to move a Confederate statue off the Daviess County Courthouse lawn.

Twenty-two-year-old Jesse Bean started a petition on the website Change.org to convince local leaders to act.

Bean says he was inspired to take on the issue following the weekend violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and efforts in Lexington to move a pair of Confederate statues away from that city’s downtown.

Bean says the local statue should be displayed at the Owensboro Museum of Science and History.

Daviess County Animal Shelter

The Daviess County Animal Shelter has declared a “code red.”  That means the shelter is stepping up efforts to reduce the number of animals so it doesn’t have to euthanize healthy, adoptable pets.

There are currently 69 dogs, 83 cats and four rabbits.

Shelter Director Ashley Clark says there are several ways to avoid unnecessary euthanization.

“If we could have rescues and fosters and adopters to come in and help with the animals, it’s not going to one avenue that solves the problem. You know, we can’t adopt our way out of it, and we can’t foster our way out of it.”

Alorica Owensboro Facebook

The California-based customer service company that opened its Owensboro office in July is putting down roots as a major corporate citizen.

Alorica already has 200 employees working in Owensboro in the former BB&T building that it’s renovating.

Company spokesman Ken Muche said 500 employees will be in the Owensboro offices by the end of this year and employment will reach 840 in three years.

Muche says the company is dedicated to having a long-term positive impact in every community where it locates. That’s done by partnering with regional nonprofits and encouraging employees to participate in the partnerships.

Daviess County Public Library

The Daviess County Public Library could become the first library in Kentucky to employ a full-time social worker. The social worker would train and support library staff, as well as refer people in need to the appropriate agencies.

 

The Messenger-Inquirer reports the Daviess County Public Library board approved a budget for the fiscal year starting July 1, that allocates a $37,000 starting salary for the position.

The social worker won’t provide counseling services, since they will not be working in a health-care facility. Treasurer Rodney Ellis told the paper that he’s wary of a decision that could open the library up to legal liabilities.

Islamic Center in Owensboro Vandalized With Paint

Nov 14, 2016
Facebook/Islamic Center of Owensboro

The Islamic Center of Owensboro has been vandalized for the second time in less than a year.

Dr. Aseedu Kalik, treasurer for the center, tells local media that paint was thrown at the Islamic Center sign sometime over the weekend. The center filed a police report on Sunday.

Kalik says the Owensboro Police Department assured him they would be making extra patrols in the area.

The act of vandalism follows a January incident in which someone squirted ketchup on the center's sign. According to a sheriff's department report at the time, the damage was not permanent.

Kalik says he doesn't want people to get frustrated about the acts of a few individuals, because "that is not what the bigger community is about."

Yager Materials

A high school career coach in Daviess County is making sure students are aware of job opportunities created by the Ohio River. 

About 50 students from Apollo and Heritage Park high schools will go to the Owensboro Riverport and to Yager Materials, a company that builds and repairs barges.

Jeremy Camron  is the college and career readiness coach at Apollo High School. He says the Nov. 9 field trip called “Who Works the Rivers?” gives students a close-up look at, “…what it’s like to be a deckhand or a crane operator, or how you can become an electrician or an engineer on barge motors. All of those jobs may start in the $20,000 range, but their top end wage range is somewhere close to $100,000. You know, a riverboat captain is making $150,000 a year.”

The field trip includes a career fair at the Owensboro Museum of Science and History, where about a dozen companies will speak to students about river-based jobs. Camron says opportunities for river jobs are right in the students’ backyard.

“We’re fortunate that we’re located right on the Ohio River and we have a massive river port that’s developed, as well as Yager Materials that does a lot of work with barges. So there are a lot of high quality jobs for kids who just have a high school diploma want to go straight to work.”

The field trip is sponsored by RiverWorks Discovery, a program based at the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque, Iowa.

Daviess County

Daviess County is expecting a record turnout on Election Day that could go as high as 70 percent of registered voters.

Daviess County’s chief election officer, Richard House, says the anticipated high voter turnout is due to a combination of national, state and local races that are generating a lot of interest.

“I think both sides are really polarized as far as the presidential race is concerned. We have several State House races here in Daviess County that are competitive. We’re going to have a new mayor. We’re going to have new city commissioners. So we have a lot of local interest in this race.”

Lots of candidates have stepped up to the plate in Daviess County. Five are running for mayor of Owensboro. Ten people are running for four seats on the Owensboro City Commission.

“We also have our first family court judge and there are four candidates running really competitive races,” said House. “That’s a non-partisan office and it’s the first time we’ve ever had a family court judge. So that’s been drawing a lot of attention.”

Expectations of high voter turnout are leading Daviess County to add 30 poll workers for the Nov. 8 election. The county is estimating that 50,000 voters could cast ballots on Election Day.

House said the voter turnout in previous presidential election years was about 68 percent in 2008 and 63 percent in 2012.

Nicole Erwin | Ohio Valley ReSource

Mount St. Joseph in Daviess County, Kentucky, may appear calm with the Green River flowing past  homes that dot the farmland here. But there is trouble in the air and it comes along with the smell of a large hog farm.

Sixty-three year old Jerry O’Bryan was born and raised on a farm in Daviess County. By the time he was 22 he had lost both parents and was left 150 acres to support his family.

“Back when I started there was two things that a young man with very little money could do to get started in agriculture, one of them was tobacco and the other one was hogs,” explained O’Bryan.

Now he produces more than 200,000 market hogs a year. Recently, he built a hog truck wash, Piggy Express LLC., to sanitize five semi trucks used a day to transport hogs to market. The facility upset local residents. They’ve formed  a group called CAPPAD, or Community Against Pig Pollution and Disease. Don Peters, a retired engineer, is a member.

Minor League Hockey Team Will Not Move to Owensboro

Oct 2, 2016
City of Owensboro

The owner of a minor league hockey team says he will not move the team to Owensboro because it would cost too much to renovate the city's arena.

The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer reports IceMen hockey team owner Ron Geary sent a letter to city officials saying the up to $6 million cost to renovate the Owensboro Sportscenter was not feasible. The city had announced earlier it would not build a new arena for the team.

The IceMen were located in Evansville, Indiana through the end of the 2016 season. In January, the team signed an agreement with city officials to move the team to Owensboro. The city had agreed to sell the team the Owensboro Sportscenter for $1 if the team would renovate it. But the contract was never finalized.

Institute of Southern Jewish Life

A synagogue in Owensboro, Kentucky is preparing to hold services for the High Holy Days that begin at sundown on Oct. 2. 

The synagogue was built in 1877 by 13 founding families. There are currently seven member families, as well as a few non-members who participate.

The effort to keep the synagogue functioning is led by two Jewish members who open the doors for a Friday evening study session. Through those open doors have come several non-Jews drawn to the Jewish teachings.

“Come let us welcome the Sabbath. May its radiance illumine our hearts as we kindle these tapers,” said synagogue President Sandy Bugay, as she recently lit the candles that mark that start of the Jewish Sabbath that begins at sundown Friday and ends at sundown Saturday.

Bugay led the Hebrew blessing for the half-dozen people gathered around a table in a meeting room at the synagogue:

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