The conditions of a father and daughter who were the only survivors in a Muhlenberg County house fire that killed nine family members have been upgraded.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center officials said Monday that 36-year-old Chad Watson and his 11-year-old daughter, Kylie, are both in stable condition. Hospital spokesman Craig Boerner said the two had been in critical but stable condition since they arrived on Jan. 30 but were upgraded over the weekend.
Police say the fire started when a combustible material fell against an electric heater in a bedroom overnight in the home in the community of Depoy near Greenville, Ky. The blaze killed La Rae "Nikki" Watson and eight of her children, ages 4 to 15.
The funeral for the nine family members was held Saturday.
The Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park is planning special events to celebrate the 205th birthday of the nation's 16th president.
Park Superintendent Bill Justice told The News-Enterprise that a wreath will be placed at the symbolic birth cabin, a newly donated item will be unveiled and a documentary film about Yosemite National Park will be shown.
Lincoln's birthday is Wednesday. The events at the park in Hodgenville will begin at 2 p.m.
Justice said everyone is invited to join the park in remembering Lincoln and his legacy.
Kentucky State Police have arrested a man they described as "extremely dangerous" after requesting the public's help in finding him. Thirty-three year old Thomas Upton of Glasgow was arrested Sunday night at 9:30 on Boatman Road in Barren County without incident.
He's being held at the Barren County Jail.
Upton is described as a suspect in as many as eight auto thefts around Barren, Hart, Larue and Warren Counties. State police put out a warning to the public not to leave their vehicles running while unattended. That included warming up the vehicle in driveways in the morning or while inside service stations. They were also warning not to leave keys in an unattended vehicle as that's how many of the car thefts Upton's charged with occurred.
Several hundred mourners filed into Muhlenberg County High School Saturday to remember a mother and her eight children who died in a house fire.
Among them was Charlotte Groves, who had a firsthand account of the tragedy.
“I lived next door to them, I’m the one who called 911,” she said.
Charlotte Groves was awakened in the middle of the night on January 30 to screams coming from her neighbor’s home engulfed in flames. Chad Watson and his 11-year-old daughter Kylie escaped the burning home, but his wife Larae and his eight other children did not.
“He kept it together for his daughter. He kept saying 'God is a good God, they're in a better place.' He was remarkable,” said Groves. “He tried to go back in there three times but he told us the fire was so hot every time he tried, he got burnt.”
Inside Muhlenberg County High School, nine closed white caskets were lined up on the stage of a packed auditorium. Propped up on easels behind the caskets were large pictures of each family member: 36-year-old LaRae Watson, and her children, 15-year-old Madison; 14-year-old Kaitlyn; 13-year old Morgan; 9-year old Emily; 8-year-old Samuel; 6-year-old Raegan; and 4-year-old twins Mark and Nathaniel.
“In the 27 years I’ve been in the ministry, I’ve never had anything that has devastated me and touched me anymore than this,” said Tim Burden.
A Muhlenberg County town is preparing to bury a mother and eight of her children who died in a house fire.
Members of the Watson family died Jan. 30 when police say a combustible material fell against an electric heater in a bedroom on a sub-freezing night in the community of Depoy near Greenville, Ky.
Killed were 35-year-old LaRae "Nikki" Watson, 15-year-old Madison Watson, 14-year-old Kaitlyn Watson, 13-year-old Morgan Watson, 9-year-old Emily Watson, 8-year-old Samuel Watson, 6-year-old Raegan Watson and 4-year-old twin brothers Mark and Nathaniel Watson.
The father, 36-year-old Chad Watson, and 11-year-old Kylie Watson, escaped the blaze and were at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. The funeral service is being held at the Muhlenberg County High School's west campus Saturday afternoon.
This week’s snowfall and ice across parts of Kentucky are taking a toll on the Transportation Cabinet’s salt supply. Spokesman Chris Jessie says District 4 – which includes Hardin, Hart, Larue and eight other surrounding counties, has had to order reinforcements and borrow from the reserve stock in Louisville.
“We’re keeping close watch on the forecast through this upcoming week,” said Jessie. “So while we have salt on hand in our District 4 counties, if we continue to get these rounds of snow and ice as we’ve had over the past week, our situation will become more critical.”
He says crews are currently using salt “wisely”, but if supplies continue to diminish they may have to resort to conservation efforts. He says that means treating only main routes and those roadways with the highest volume of traffic.
“We want to be sure motorists understand this potential conservation method before we have to implement it,” said Jessie.
As of last week, the Transportation Cabinet said that crews had spread more than 220,000 tons of salt across the state this winter.
Army officials have moved up the timetable for the departure of Fort Knox's only fighting brigade.
Maj. Gen. Jeff Smith tells the News-Enterprise the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division will fully deactivate by the end of the year.
Last summer, the Army announced that 12 brigade combat teams, including Knox's, would be deactivated by 2017 as part of a force reduction of about 80,000. Fort Knox's brigade has more than 3,000 members.
Smith said many soldiers in the unit have already received new assignments and soon will depart.
The general says the "greater part" of 2,000 soldiers and their families tied to the unit will leave in the next six to eight months. Soldiers nearing retirement or who are exiting the Army will remain at Knox.
A tight-knit community in western Kentucky is preparing to say goodbye to a mother and eight of her children who perished last week in a house fire.
Thirty-six-year-old Chad Watson and his 11-year-old daughter Kylie were the only ones who made it out of the house alive, but they won't be at the funerals. They are still being treated for lung damage and severe burns.
A spokeswoman for Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville said Thursday that both remained in critical but stable condition.
Jimmy Rager is a deacon a Calvary Baptist Church in Central City where the family attended. He says that dad and daughter are improving daily.
"Kylie has been able to write on a white board with a marker, she's been asking questions on the board," states Rager. "Chad hasn't been able to talk at all because he's been sedated and has tubes in him, but hopefully he'll get to speak just any time."
Rager says the father and daughter are aware that the rest of the family is gone.
"I know Kylie asked a question on the board 'Is my dad and myself the only ones remaining?' Chad was aware of that even at the fire. He made the statement at the fire 'My family is now in the hands of a loving God.'"
The funeral for Larae Watson and her children will take place Saturday at 1:00pm at the west campus of Muhlenberg County High School.
A proposed statewide smoking ban at work and in public has sailed through a Kentucky House committee.
Supporters said the bill would protect nonsmokers from the dangers of secondhand smoke. The measure was approved by the House Health and Welfare Committee on a 10-3 vote Thursday.
Committee Chairman Tom Burch says nonsmokers shouldn't have to suffer from being in the same place with smokers willing to endanger their own health.
Opponents include Republican Rep. Tim Moore. He says the bill would restrict personal freedom to use a legal product.
The measure drew bipartisan support. Republican Sen. Julie Denton says she hopes the spread of information about the risks of secondhand smoke will give the bill enough momentum to get through the General Assembly.