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.
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.
The Aug. 1 sentencing of Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton remains on schedule after a federal judge rejected a motion for acquittal or a new trial.
In May, Eaton was convicted on two counts of witness tampering during a trial in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green. The sheriff and two other law enforcement officers were accused of beating a suspect in handcuffs and trying to cover-up the incident to federal investigators.
The witness tampering convictions stem from Sheriff Eaton asking two deputies to lie in reports to the FBI about what they saw at the scene of Billy Stinnett’s arrest. U.S. District Judge Joseph McKinley this week issued a ruling upholding the jury’s verdicts.
“Ultimately, based on evidence presented at trial, a reasonable juror could believe that while there was not sufficient evidence to convict Eaton on the unreasonable use of force charges, there was sufficient evidence to believe that Eaton engaged in witness tampering," McKinley wrote in his order.
When he is sentenced next month, Eaton faces up to 20 years in prison, though under federal sentencing guidelines, he is likely to receive a much lighter sentence.
A lawsuit filed against TJ Samson Community Hospital in Glasgow seeks to seat a new board of trustees at the hospital.
The Bowling Green Daily-News reports the suit was filed Thursday in Barren Circuit Court by Warren County attorney Alan Simpson. The suit claims that the original agreement incorporating the hospital in 1926 called for a board of trustees to be elected by those who had contributed more than $25 to the establishment of the hospital.
Those suing say a change to the articles of incorporation in 1968 disenfranchised those original shareholders.
An attorney for TJ Samson says the lawsuit is baseless and without merit, adding that the way the governing board is selected has never before been challenged.
A group of Barren County citizens has mobilized to challenge recent changes at the hospital, including a 2011 decision that only one corporate member, TJ Regional Health, would act and vote through its board of directors. The lawsuit says the for-profit TJ Health Partners was later formed and is thought to be a subsidiary of TJ Regional Health.
Many local doctors’ practices have recently been purchased by the Health Partners, a growing trend nationally as the health care environment undergoes fast changes.
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.