Pulaski County

Kentucky Explorer

A bluegrass musician buried in an unmarked grave in Somerset is going to receive a proper grave marker this weekend.

Leonard Rutherford was a popular bluegrass artist in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, and performed as part of the Burnett-Rutherford Duo.

But Rutherford fell on hard times and was found dead along a Somerset road in 1951 at the age of 53.

Somerset Cemetery manager Tricia Neal says Rutherford's grave site was only recently identified when a local historian began asking about the long-forgotten musician.

"I started looking and I couldn't find him anywhere,” Neal told WKU Public Radio. “And I ended up just finding a penciled-in name on the back of an old index card. It had a note where he had been buried in this grave, and I went out to the cemetery and found it."

Clean-up is continuing nearly two weeks after a tanker truck spilled thousands of gallons of fuel in Pulaski County, Kentucky.  

The fuel has also gotten into a local cave system.

An 8,000 gallon fuel spill would cause problems no matter the location. But the accident on January 30 was in the midst of the Sloans Valley cave system near Somerset, and early tests showed that at least some of the fuel entered the cave.

Kevin Strohmeier is an emergency response coordinator with the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection. He says since Friday, air tests for volatile organic compounds at cave entrances have been negative. This could mean that all of the fuel that got into the cave has volatilized and evaporated, but Strohmeier says there are still environmental concerns at the spill site.

"I think probably just making sure that we try to maintain control of the source and if we can remove it, we do that," he said. "If we can’t remove it, we monitor it and recover as much of it as possible.

Strohmeier says he doesn’t yet know if there was any permanent damage done to the cave system by the spill.

Caves are very sensitive environments, and wildlife officials have also been monitoring the local bat population.

Federal investigators have spent time at the scene of a small plane crash in southern Kentucky that injured two men.

WLEX-TV in Lexington reported that the Federal Aviation Administration arrived in Pulaski County on Tuesday morning and spent the day trying to determine why the aircraft went down. The plane crashed Monday about a quarter of a mile from where it took off near Bronston.

The FAA took pictures, examined the wreckage, and walked around the large field where the plane went down. A spokesman for the FAA says the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the cause within a year.

The pilot, 54-year-old Gary McGothlin of Lexington, was in fair condition at the University of Kentucky Hospital. The passenger, 55-year-old Charles Jackson of Winchester, has been discharged.

SERVPRO of Pulaski and Laurel Counties will establish its headquarters in London, create ten new, full-time jobs and invest $666,500 in the area.

The company specializes in in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial properties after fire, smoke or water damage. SERVPRO, in London since 2005, has constructed a 15,000 square foot facility to serve as its regional headquarters.

To encourage the investment and job creation in London, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved tax incentives for the company of up to $300,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program.

Forty-year-old Jennifer "Melissa" Turpin of Monticello is lodged in the Pulaski County jail in lieu of $25,000 full cash bond.

A Pulaski County grand jury indicted Turpin on one count of forgery, Second Degree, a Class D felony, and one count of being a persistent felony offender, First Degree, a Class B felony.

The charges against Turpin follow an attorney general's investigation that began last August. Turpin, the office manager and title clerk for Somerset Auto Auction, is accused of forging the signature of Pulaski County Clerk Ralph Troxell on a title for a 2008 Toyota Highlander sold on Craigslist to a Maryland resident.

Turpin is also currently on probation in Franklin Circuit Court for filing false returns and failure to pay tax and in Wayne Circuit Court for abuse of public trust over $10,000.

Here is a list of the top performing schools in the Pulaski County and Somerset Independent school systems that are rated either Distinguished or Proficient in Friday's release of Unbridled Learning statewide test results:

Distinguished:

Nancy Elementary

Northern Elementary

Shopville Elementary

Southern Elementary

Southwestern High

A series of suspicious fires in the Ferguson community has raised worries among residents. Ferguson Fire Captain James Kriege to WYMT-TV that at least nine vacant homes have been destroyed by fire there over the past year which has concerned residents and officials.

Two Somerset residents have been sentenced in connection with a plan to try to bribe a prosecutor. Attorney General Jack Conway's office prosecuted the case because the local prosecutor was a witness. Conway's office said 46-year-old Dormus "Bubby" Dalton and 45-year-old Virginia "Carol" Hampton entered pleas Wednesday in Pulaski County Circuit Court.

Tru-Check Incorporated has built a new national headquarters facility in Somerset, and is announcing  plans to create ten new jobs. The company, which provides meter services to gas, water, and electric utility firms, is investing about $1.2 million in the new facility.

A woman is dead and a man in the house in Nancy has been shot after a standoff with state police. Kentucky State Police say 44-year-old Mary Amanda Hislope of Somerset was pronounced dead at the scene west of Somerset in the Nancy community Thursday.

The next public forum over Kentucky's upcoming health insurance exchange is being held Wednesday in Somerset. The federal healthcare overhaul calls on each state to create its own marketplace in which residents can compare and purchase insurance plans, or sign up for Medicaid.

Pages