Ohio County

Hartford Voters to Decide Whether to Allow Alcohol Sales

Nov 21, 2016
Rick Howlett

Voters in Hartford will be the next Ohio County community to decide whether to allow alcohol sales.

The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer reports the city's wet-dry election will be held Jan. 24. Voters must live in the city limits of Hartford.

Ohio County Clerk Bess Ralph says two precincts will be voting in the election. A petition submitted in October had enough signatures to call a special election on the issue.

It will be fourth-such election the county has seen in the past year.

Beaver Dam held its local option election in February, with voters passing the measure. In Ohio County, a majority of residents voted against going wet in April.

In October, the city of Rockport held a wet-dry election that failed with a majority of "No" votes.

Ohio County Schools

Three Kentucky school districts are sharing a $450,000 state grant to expand preschool programs.

Owensboro, Daviess County and Ohio County will each get $150,000 to upgrade preschool offerings, especially for at-risk children.

Cheston Hoover is director of district programs for Ohio County Schools. He says the school district is partnering with Audubon Area Head Start to give more children a solid educational foundation.

“We’re a very large county and in some of the communities within our county, the child care, preschool, early education services are pretty limited.  And so we’re looking to expand one of those from a half-day to a full day.”

That expansion will be at the Horse Branch Elementary preschool program. Hoover says part of the funding will be used to add a staff member in the classroom and a recruiter to identify more eligible children.

“There’s lots of research that shows that full day Head Start and preschool benefits the child academically and socially. It’s also a benefit for parents to where their child can receive those services throughout the school day and not have to find another service for either the first or second half of the day.”

Owensboro will add a new full-day preschool class at Estes Elementary.

Daviess County Public Schools will partner with the Owensboro Family YMCA to expand preschool services to children who don’t speak English at home and those in foster care.

Art Smith, EPA

Thousands of tons of arsenic-contaminated material have been removed from a site in Ohio County.

The state dug up contaminated soil and replaced it with dirt and loose stones.

Kentucky inspectors believe that containers of arsenic were dumped in a wooded area of Ohio County between 50 and 60 years ago.

The arsenic leaked out of those containers, made its way into a culvert, and showed up on two residential properties.

John Mura, spokesman with the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, says the state removed the contaminated soil.

“You have to dig up the ground that is contaminated. And we have very sophisticated measuring devices that we can tell when we’ve removed enough. In total in the site, we removed 4,833 tons of material.”

The state doesn’t know who is responsible for dumping the arsenic containers in Ohio County decades ago.

Ohio County Economic Development Alliance

Ohio County is launching an innovative business center with the goal of bringing  new jobs that have most of the commuting done online.

Chase Vincent is executive director of the Ohio County Economic Development Alliance. He says the business incubator is a way to offset the expense of bricks-and-mortar for startups.

“The concept of an incubator is that they come together and share experiences and advice and learn together. It dramatically increases their rate of success for becoming a long-standing business in the community.”

Vincent points to the increasing popularity and viability of remote work as confirmation of the timeliness of the Ohio County project. He says all the pieces are in place for the incubator. 

“We were recently approved for $100,000 from the Ohio County Fiscal Court to purchase property in Hartford to be used as an incubator, training center and co-work space.”

Ohio County Native Wins Miss Kentucky

Jul 14, 2014

Ramsey Carpenter took the crown over the weekend in Lexington and will compete in the Miss America Pageant in September. The 23 year old Hartford native is a University of Kentucky graduate. Her platform as Miss Kentucky is raising awareness of multiple sclerosis, which she was diagnosed with in 2010.

Carpenter competed against 32 other hopefuls Saturday night at the Singletary Center for the Arts at UK.

She'll head to the Miss America Pageant with her fiddle and renditions of bluegrass classics like "Orange Blossom Special", which she played in the talent competition.

City of Owensboro

Leaders in five Kentucky counties are gauging public support for an 80 mile trail that could be used for hiking, biking, and horseback riding.

The proposed trail would begin in Audobon State Park in Henderson County, and run through Daviess, Ohio, and Grayson counties before ending at Rough River Dam State Resort Park in Breckinridge County.

Daviess County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly told WKU Public Radio that local leaders are taking the idea to the public.

"All the county judges and mayors are going back to their communities to set up meetings where they can gauge the support in their communities,” Mattingly said. “We've kinda formed a loose coalition of the counties involved, so that we can apply for a federal grant."

Mattingly says the federal grant would fund a study that would look at the direction the trail would follow.

The Daviess County Judge-Executive cautions that it would take decades to plan and create an 80 mile trail. Mattingly says it took 25 years to finish the 15 mile greenbelt that rings Owensboro.

The Kentucky Supreme Court has denied a request to review a case over how the name of legendary bluegrass musician Bill Monroe can be used.

The Messenger-Inquirer reports that means a court of appeals ruling stands. The panel concluded that county officials meant to grant the festival the legal right to use Monroe's name but failed to formalize the agreement in writing before a falling out occurred in 2004.

The battle isn't quite over yet, though.

Jerusalem Ridge Bluegrass Music Foundation of Kentucky Inc. Director Campbell Mercer said the Ohio County Industrial Foundation and Bill Monroe's son, James Monroe, obtained a temporary injunction in Tennessee to prohibit him from using the name.

Mercer says he hopes the Kentucky court rulings will help his case in Tennessee.

Fight Over Bluegrass Music Legend's Name Continues

Feb 17, 2013

A court fight over the use of the name of legendary bluegrass musician Bill Monroe isn't over yet.

The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer reports the Ohio County Industrial Foundation has filed a petition with the Kentucky Court of Appeals seeking a rehearing on whether a non-profit organization can use Monroe's name to promote the Jerusalem Ridge Bluegrass Music Festival and for tours of the musicians home in Rosine.

The appelas court decision in favor of the nonprofit pranization was a reversal of a lower court decision that found Ohio County held the intellectual property rights to Monroe's name and could stop the festival from using it. The Ohio County Industrial Foundation voted unanimously this month to seek the re-hearing.

Campbell "Doc" Mercer is throwing an annual festival celebrating the life and music of Bill Monroe but without the name of the "Father of Bluegrass Music" to promote it. Mercer, the head of the Jerusalem Ridge Foundation, is locked in a legal fight with Ohio County, Ky., and its industrial foundation about whether he was ever given the legal right to use Monroe's name for commercial purposes.