2012 remembered in news articles

2012--The-Year-in-ReviewJanuary 2012
•A Columbia Gulf transmission gas line exploded around 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 2, lighting up the sky over most of central and eastern Kentucky. The explosion occurred about 200 yards off KY89, approximately seven miles from Irvine, according to Estill County Fire Chief Derrick Muncie.
•Jerry Burnham and Nina Dunaway asked the Irvine City Council to approve a privilege license for a Suboxone clinic in Irvine.
•Connie and Steve Young opened Picker’s Paradise, a business that sells new and used furniture, at the “Y” in Irvine on Friday, Jan. 6.
•Seven people graduated from the Irvine, Lee and Owsley county Drug Court program, including Darrell and Michelle Estes, a married couple.
•The Estill County Board of Education elected Jami Price to be chairperson and Patti Hood as vice-chairperson.
•Estill mourned the loss of John Paul Tuttle. Tuttle, 93, a Kentucky Farm Bureau agent for more than 60 years, died Jan. 18, after a short illness.
•Physical Therapist Jim Click announced he would retire Feb. 3 after 25 years at Marcum & Wallace Memorial Hospital.
•The Estill County High School basketball teams beat rival Powell County twice in one week. The Engineers beat Powell 52-49 and the Lady Engineers beat the Powell girl’s team 67-56.

February 2012
•Former Irvine business owner Robert Dundon pleaded guilty to charges related to child pornography found in his home and business. Dundon, 57, former owner of Dundon Press, pleaded guilty to first-degree sodomy and first-degree sexual abuse in Estill Circuit Court.
•Deborah Rose, 44, a Powell County teacher, and Tonya Smyth, 33, a substitute teacher in Estill County were both injured in a head-on collision that happened while the women were on their way to work on the morning of Jan. 26.
•The Estill County High School Academic Team took first place at the 53rd District Governor’s Cup competition on Jan. 28 and took first place at the regional competition on Feb. 18.
•The Estill County Grand Jury indicted Gilbert M. Montie, 28, of Fourth Street in Ravenna, on one count of first-degree rape. Montie engaged in sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 12 between May 1 and Aug. 31, 2009.
•The Irvine City Council dedicated its February meeting to the memory of Irvine Police Chief Bob Walker. Walker was killed in the line of duty in February 1986. He was remembered as being hard working, driven and happy.

March 2012
•An Irvine Police Department cruiser was damaged when it was hit by a vehicle driven by George Davis, 20, of Grace Chapel Road. Davis, who exhibited signs of being intoxicated, hit the cruiser driven by Officer Michael Gross while he was trying to turn on the Bypass from Richmond Road.
•Rebecca Bishop, Jeanette King, Ben Cornelison and Lee Hawkins were inducted into the 16th annual Estill Development Alliance Hall of Honor.
•The Estill County High School seniors modeled prom dresses from Crowning Touch in Richmond, tuxedos from Gino’s Formal Wear and Honchell’s and carried flowers from Ravenna Florist and Greenhouse in a fashion show at the school.
•The Estill County Board of Education was awarded a $25,000 GEAR-UP grant to assist with meeting project goals for college and career readiness. The program is part of the Berea College GEAR-UP Partnership.
•Beloved music teacher Rhoda Higginbotham passed away March 12, triggering memories and causing sadness among many of her former students and friends. Higginbotham taught music in Kentucky schools for 35 years.

April 2012

•Michael Raad, 26, was indicted by the Estill County Grand Jury on charges of first-degree sodomy with a victim under 12 years old. Raad’s victim was seven years old. He was also charged with first-degree sexual abuse.
•It took 17 stitches to close a knife wound inflicted on Tony Jordan by 30-year-old David W. Harris, of Harris-Ferry Road.
•Warren F. Toler, Sr., offered a $500 reward for information leading the arrest of vandals who tipped over headstones and stole copper vases from the West Irvine Cemetery.
•Kentucky State Police Troopers and Estill Deputy Sheriff Russell “Doc” Morris recovered a firearm that had been stolen from a KSP trooper in Campbellsburg in 1997. The firearmed was recovered from Deal Pawn Shop after it was pawned by Dillard E. Tipton, 69, of Spout Springs Road. Tipton’s brother, Burton, was also arrested.
•More than 35 residents attended a Kentucky Department of Transportation District 10 meeting to express concern about the proposed expansion of KY 89.
•Five parents of elementary-school aged children were charged with class A misdemeanors in Estill District Court for allowing their children to become habitual truants. Those charged were Michael Agee, Ashlee Agee, Charlie Crowe, Clarissa Harrison and Brandon Stevens.
•The Irvine-Ravenna Kiwanis Club celebrated 90 years with a party at Cedar Village Restaurant in Irvine.

May 2012
•Rachel Robinson, the daughter of Gary and Cindy Robinson, was crowned Miss Mountain Mushroom Festival. Courtney McCoy, the daughter of Heather Bell, was crowned Duchess. Hailey Richardson, the daughter of Larry Glenn and Jennifer Richardson,  was crowned Little Miss Mountain Mushroom Festival.
•Kayla Banks was crowned the 2012 Estill County High School Prom Queen and Clay Case was crowned King at the annual dance in the ECHS gym.
•Sherry Hoover, 50, of Leighton Road, was arrested after police found 143 marijuana plants growing on her property on Leighton Road. Hoover’s live-in boyfriend, Walter McKinney, was also arrested and charged.
•Rhonda Smyth retired from her post as Citizen Voice & Times news editor after 12 years. She plans to spend her retirement babysitting her new great-nephew, Brody, and spending time with family.
•Whitney Leggett was hired as news editor for the CV&T. She had previously worked at the CV&T as a Kentucky Press Association intern. Leggett graduated from Eastern Kentucky University on May 5.
•The CV&T also welcomed its 2012 KPA summer intern, Kyle Woosley.
•167 students celebrated completing high school at the Class of 2012 graduation ceremony at Hoover Niece FIeld.
•Bobby White, 29, of Hudson Avenue, was arrested and housed at the Estill County Jail after he shot his brother, Larry White, because he allegedly stole a bottle of whiskey from him.
•Stephanie Brinegar won the May primary race for Estill County Circuit Court Clerk. She had 921 votes to her opponent, Mattie Spicer’s, 283. She will replace former Circuit Court Clerk Charlene Baker, who is retiring.

June 2012
•Jason Newton, 24, of Church House Hill, was arrested and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine after ECSO Deputy Randy Farthing found a backpack with items needed to make meth along with a notebook with directions on how to make meth.
•Extendicare, the company that owns the Irvine Health and Rehabilitation Center, leased the business to another company because of increased litigation issues in Kentucky. The facility is now called Irvine Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
•Cancer survivors participated in a lap around the track at Hoover Niece Field in celebration of their victory over the disease at the annual Relay for Life event.
•Gregory Morris, 44, of Pea Ridge Road was arrested and charged with first-degree cruelty to animals after police found four Pit Bulls with visible scars and new injuries sustained from dog fighting.
•The Estill Development Alliance partnered with the Center for Economic Development and Technology at Eastern Kentucky University to open an incubator to support small businesses in Estill County called the ICE Box (The Innovation Center) for entrepreneurs.
•Owners Tom and Sharon Whitaker closed the Cedar Village Restaurant on Richmond Road after 12 years. The restaurant has been open since 1949.
•An Estilil County boy was airlifted to the University of Kentucky Medical Center with injuries resulting from an accidental shooting. The boy was shot by a friend after several boys found a .22-caliber revolver in a gravel area off Old Landing Road and Buck Creek Road.
•62 men and women graduated with GEDs from the Estill County Adult Education program.

July 2012
•Morgan Wiseman, the daughter of Chris and Leah Wiseman of Irvine, was crowned Miss Estill County 2012 at the Estill County Fair.
•High temperatures and drought put into question the fate of the 2012 fireworks show. The fireworks show typically caps off the annual county fair.
•Ralden Mansfield, 32, of Stacy Lane, was arrested and charged with first-degree robbery after attempting to rob a home on Sub Station Road.
•The Ravenna Police Department arrested three Estill County residents and three juveniles with 21 charges for crimes that took place in Ravenna in June. Eddy Sizemore, 19, of Walnut Grove; Martina Nunnelly, 18, of Walnut Grove, and Timmy Bishop, 19, of Noland Court were all arrested with charges related to the crimes.
•The Estill County Adult Education Center was broken into over the Fourth of July weekend. A computer, document writer and jar of money were stolen.
•The Estill County Health Department’s H.A.N.D.S program expanded support to mothers in the community. The program extended support that was previously offered to only first-time mothers to all parents, no matter the number of children.
•17 cases of whooping cough were confirmed in the county, according to the Estill County Health Department. Regional Epidemiologist Judy Collins reported the cases as being in “outbreak status.”
•Phillip “Ran” Hall, 35, and Penny Hall, 44, of Pea Ridge Road, were arrested and charged with trafficking in a controlled substance after selling narcotics to witnesses cooperating with the Irvine Police Department.
•A $500 reward was offered for information leading to the arrest of Frankie Scott Young, 43, of Barnes Mountain. Young was wanted on first-degree burglary charges after he stripped a home of thousands of dollars of belongings and all of the copper wiring.

August 2012
•Dana Winburn filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Extendicare, Inc., the company that formerly owned the Irvine Health and Rehabilitation Center. Winburn, administratrix of the estate of Mary Evelyn Arvin, alleged her mother’s 2011 death was the result of negligence and abuse.
•A petition began circulating around the county requesting a vote to approve or deny the sale of alcohol in Estill County. The petition needed 654 signatures to accomplish the special vote.
•A local woman was recovering from injuries she sustained in a mobile home fire on Chestnut Street. Evelyn Brooks, 48, was treated at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn.
•The Ravenna City Council agreed to revise a mobile home ordinance that caused controversy in the city after several homes were cited for being out of regulation according to the old ordinance.
•Daniel Patterson, Jr., 34, of Leighton Road, was arrested after escaping police custody while being transported for a court date. Patterson was arrested at his parent’s home in Knox County after police searched for several days.
•Brian Jones, 41, of Church Street, was arrested by the Irvine Police Department and charged with manufacturing meth. The arrest was the result of several tips from anonymous callers.
•The Estill County Board of Education approved pay raises across the board for its employees and approved a decrease in the property tax rate for the 2012-2013 school year. The new tax rate was set at 43.1 (or $431 for every $100,000 of property value).
•The Estill County High School varsity football team fell to Breathitt County 49-12 during its home opener at Hoover Niece Field.
•Eugene Rawlins, 73, of Sweet Lick Road was arrested and charged with fourth-degree assault,  first-degree unlawful imprisonment and first-degree wanton endangerment of a police officer. Rawlins held his wife, Ethel, captive and would not let her eat. When police reported to the home, he threatened them with a gun.

September 2012
•A fire that was deemed arson at a more than 200-year-old home left only two brick chimneys remaining. The home, located on McKee Road, went up in flames at around 4 a.m. on Sept. 4.
•An unidentified male was severely burned during a meth lab explosion on Church Street. Irvine Police Department Chief Brad Smith said officers responded to the scene where a car went up in flames. They found the male suspect outside the vehicle. He suffered injuries to his arms and chest.
•Estill County Judge-Executive Wallace Taylor confirmed that a petition circulating the county received enough signatures to force a wet/dry vote. 654 signatures were needed to establish the first election of this type in the county in more than 50 years.
•Frankie Scott Young, 43, of Leighton Road, escaped police custody while being transported leading to  a  manhunt by all local law enforcement agencies. He was captured and arrested by Deputy Sheriff Russell “Doc” Morris after police searched the area for approximately an hour.
•The Irvine City Council voted to approve selling the Old City Hall building to Roger Purdy of Gainesville, Texas. Purdy placed a bid for $25,300 for the property.
•Approximately 200 people gathered to celebrate recovery for the 7th Annual One Day at a Time March for Recovery. Those participating made seven laps around the Estill County Courthouse.
•Toni Garrett Hall, a fifth grade teacher at Estill Springs Elementary, was selected to participate in the NBC Teacher’s Town Hall discussion.
•The Irvine Police Department arrested nine local people and issued several warrants to others who were already incarcerated in an early-morning drug raid. Each of the arrests was the result of a year-long investigation into the oxycodone trafficking problem in the city.

October 2012
•The Estill County High School boy’s golf team won the 11th Region Championship at Raven Rock Golf Course in Jenkins. The team, coached by Ricky Joe Benton, advanced to the state competition in Bowling Green.
•The Kentucky State Police investigated a homicide on Ticky Fork Road. Jackie Rogers, 50, of Ravenna, was shot multiple times in the garage of his home on Ticky Fork Road. His body was found by relatives who became worried when Rogers’s employer notified them he hadn’t shown up for work in several days.
•Estill County High School Senior Krana Puckett was crowned the 2012 Homecoming Queen during halftime of the football game against Western Hills.
•Estill County Judge-Executive Wallace Taylor announced a date had been set for the wet/dry vote in the county. He told the fiscal court the special election will be Jan. 15.
•Estill County mourned the loss of former Commonwealth Attorney Mart V. Mainous. He passed away at his home from complications from a long illness. He was remembered by his family and friends as generous and kind-hearted.
•The Estill County Board of Education voted to begin the process of receiving accreditation for the schools in the district. Instructional Supervisor Tonya Isaacs told the board about the program offered through the Southern Association of College and Schools Council on Accreditatation and School Improvement.
•Chris Rader reopened the landmark restaurant under the Irvine bridge. Rader opened the remodeled business, as Rader’s River Grill.

November 2012
•Irvine Fire Department Chief Tony Murphy reported that crews worked diligently for several days to contain a wildfire that threatened several homes. The fire burned  beginning Wednesday, Oct. 24 and was fully contained by crews before it was extinguished completely by heavy rain that same week.
•Dale and Alison Thomas anticipated the day when their 20-month-old son, Garrett, would receive his long-awaited kidney transplant. The Thomas’s were especially concerned considering young Garrett’s new kidney would be one donated by his own father.
•The Kentucky Department of Education released results of the new Unbridled Learning (KPREP) Accountability test. According to the new standards, the Estill County School District was classified as needing improvement. Superintendent Bert Hensley and Instructional Supervisor Tonya Isaacs said these results were expected.
•Sixth District Congressman Ben Chandler (D) was defeated by Republican Candidate Garland “Andy” Barr. Ninety-first District Senator Teddy Edmonds (D) was defeated by Republican Candidate Gary Wayne Herald. The Ravenna City Council will also welcomed two new members, Louis Officer and William “Pig” VanCleve, in January.
•Cases of bed bugs were confirmed at Estill Springs Elementary. Parents became concerned when letters were sent home with students warning of the pests in the school. Superintendent Bert Hensley said the school and administration were taking necessary measures to combat the problem. Environmentalist Kenny Cole, with the Estill County Health Department, confirmed he had been working closely with the staff to ensure the safety and proper handling of the cases.
•The annual Light Up Rivertown event, sponsored by the Estill County High School Future Business Leaders of America, was Saturday, Nov. 17 in downtown Irvine. The courthouse was filled with vendors and shoppers throughout the day. Santa was present for storytime and pictures with the kids and there was a candle and tree lighting ceremony that night.
•Stewart Johnson, a Hargett man convicted in a 2005 Powell County murder, had his case reversed. The case was reversed because Johnson’s defense attorney, John Cornett, did not object to or try to submit lesser included offenses instructions to the jury during the trial. Johnson said his defense was ineffective.
•Bobby Griggs, 35, of Cobb Hill Road, and Joey Kelley, 28, of Barnes Mountain Road, were arrested after trying to run another man off the road with their vehicle. Both men were charged with wanton endangerment and fleeing the scene of an accident.
•District 1 Constable Danny Conrad issued additional charges to two Estill County Jail inmates. Steven D. Lemaster, 49, of Powell Avenue, was charged with promoting contraband. Conrad found a rolled cigarette, a clear bag with tobacco remains, a used cigarette and a lighter under Lemaster’s mattress. Jeffrey S. Henry, 29, of Woodland Estates, was charged with criminal mischief for attempting to knock a hole in the exterior jail wall.

December 2012
•The Ravenna City Council approved a second reading of a revised ordinance pertaining to mobile homes in the city. At the same meeting the council bid farewell to councilmen George Crowe and Danny Crowe. Danny Crowe chose not to run for reelection and George Crowe was defeated in the November election.
•Estill County ushered in the Christmas season with a number of holiday-themed events including the annual Elizabeth Witt Christmas Party, the Estill Arts Council Yuletide Celebration and the Kiwanis Club of Irvine-Ravenna parade.
•Dallis Abney, 71, of Furnace Junction, was released on bond pending results of an appeal in the case of his trafficking charges in Estill County. Abney was arrested in August of 2011 after police found more than $100,000 of marijuana, 6,000 pills and several firearms in his home.
•Circuit Court Clerk Charlene Baker spoke with the Citizen Voice & Times and shared memories as she reflected on her 27 years at the job. At the same time, newly elected clerk Stephanie Brinegar said she was excited to begin her new job in January.
•Newly elected Ravenna councilmen William “Pig” Van Cleve and Louis Officer both cited high taxes in the city as reasons for running for office.
•Students, teachers and staff at Estill Springs Elementary mourned the loss of their friend Larry Barnes. Students and staff remembered him as funny, kind-hearted and generous by nature.
•In the wake of the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., local principals and administration took several days to reassess the safety procedures and measures used in Estill County schools. Principals at West Irvine Elementary, Estill Springs Elementary and the South Irvine Pre-K Center discussed added security features and increased awareness of emergency preparedness plans as major factors to enhancing safety at the schools.
•Larry Glenn Richardson II, 39, of Jodi Lane, was arrested at an Estill County High School basketball game. Kentucky State Police Trooper Jonathen Hall said he was informed an active warrant existed for Richardson. Upon arrest, cocaine and controlled drugs were found in Richardson’s pant pocket.
•Nine-year-old Veronica Tipton collected $1,500 in cash and an additional $1,500 in toys to donate to children at the UK Children’s Hospital in Lexington. She earned her money by placing donation jars at local stores.
•Seven Estill Countians were arrested at the culmination of a year-long investigation of local prescription pill trafficking. Russell Smith, 51, of Broadway; Stevie Lemasters, 25, of Powell Avenue; Steven “Big Foot” Lemasters, 49, of Powell Avenue; Kinea Thompson, 31, of South Irvine Road; Stuart Reese, 25, of Mountain Crest; Elizabeth Wiseman, 43, of Kirby Cemetery Road, and Lauren East, 24, of Kirby Cemetery Road, were arrested on Dec. 19.
•Walter Estes, 48, of South Irvine Road, was arrested and charged with three counts of third-degree burglary, two counts of theft by unlawful taking and one count each of third-degree criminal mischief and possession of burglary tools. Estes admitted to committing two local burglaries after being caught in the process of a third. He was held at gunpoint by the victim.