Feud has been ongoing for nearly ten years...
WAYNESBURG — A Waynesburg woman who claims her neighbor has terrorized her for years with frequent shooting from a multitude of guns has gotten officials talking about whether Lincoln County could benefit from limits on gunfire in residential areas.Wyonia Miller has been to Lincoln County Fiscal Court meetings twice this month, asking magistrates to consider implementing an ordinance that would prevent her neighbor from firing his guns close to her house.Miller, who has been in an on-and-off feud with her next-door neighbor Oral Bryant for close to a decade, alleges Bryant regularly shoots huge amounts of ammunition into an adjacent field, using many different kinds of guns, including a "50-caliber."Miller also alleges Bryant has intimidated her with guns and made a habit of waiting for her to come outside and then firing a gun to startle her. Sometimes the gunfire is as close as 50 feet from her house, she claims."If I come out of my house or my son comes out and he (Bryant) is home, he will come out and shoot a shot," she told magistrates. "I feel like our lives are in danger, either by accident or intent. I'm a nervous wreck; I can't sleep."But Bryant's wife, Leta, said it's Miller who is harassing them."It's always something with this woman. I don't know what's wrong with her," Leta Bryant told a reporter in Bryant's kitchen Friday. "She comes out her back door and starts cussing every time she hears him out there shooting. And honey, this lady can cuss — I kid you not."Leta said her husband and his friends shoot from a gun table located in their backyard, much farther from Miller's house than Miller claims. And her husband doesn't shoot very often unless he's purchased a new gun or scope that he wants to try out, she added."Everybody that comes to my house, she takes a picture … this lady (Miller) has harassed us," Leta said. "We've just been trying our best to ignore her. I have no idea why she does it."Regardless of who's right or wrong when it comes to the feud between Miller and the Bryants, Miller's visits to fiscal court have gotten county officials to agree to at least a cursory examination of potential gunfire regulations for Lincoln County.Judge-Executive Jim Adams has reviewed nuisance and noise ordinances from multiple Kentucky counties, including Garrard County, but said what he's seen so far has been written too broadly to be acceptable in Lincoln County.Adams said any ordinance in Lincoln County would need to be "narrowly tailored" to target specific behaviors. The ordinances he's seen would leave too much up to interpretation, he added."It'd be like having an 'ugly' ordinance," he said. "Who's the judge? Your wife?"County Attorney Daryl Day said he has emailed all 120 Kentucky county attorneys, asking them to send him any ordinances they have that might pertain to Lincoln County's situation.So far, he hasn't received any response, but if he does, he'll let magistrates know, he said.Day said what makes Miller's situation tricky is that even if Oral is doing what she claims he's doing, his actions wouldn't allow any criminal charges to be brought."For criminal charges, you have to find a hole that (the action) fits in and it has to fit perfectly in that or you can't charge somebody with something," Day said. "I've tried to find something where I can get some charge to at least get them in court and see if there's some solution that we can work out for this, but I can't just charge him because I want to bring him to court."Day said one of the only solutions to a situation like what Miller describes would be a narrowly written ordinance that avoids violating anyone's constitutional rights."I think (an ordinance) is possible. It would take a lot of work to make sure that it's constitutional," he said. "I don't know that there's a solution. … I understand her when she says it's annoying. To say it's illegal is a whole 'nother story."Magistrate David Faulkner said he's unsure what the fiscal court might be able to accomplish to remedy the neighbors' feud."I think the whole court — we're very sympathetic," he told Miller earlier this month. "I don't know exactly what we have the power to do at this point."From Leta Bryant's perspective, an ordinance regulating gunfire in a community like downtown Stanford could make sense, but out in Waynesburg, she doesn't think it would work. Even though the homes are zoned residential and relatively close to each other, it's just not the same as living in a city, she said."Everybody around here shoots because most everybody around here is hunters," she said. "That's one of the reasons we kind of moved into the country."Miller said she doesn't want to stop anyone from legitimately using their guns — she just wants some peace and quiet in her living room."You have a right to have a gun; you have a right to fire a gun. But you should not have the right to fire a gun within 50 feet of someone else's home," she said. "We're not anti-gun, but we feel that we should have a right to live in peace on our piece of property."
By Ben KleppingerThe Interior-Journal
LOUISVILLE, KY. — A mild-mannered western Kentucky farmer who never turned away a stray cat left a portion of his estate to every county-run animal shelter in the state.
County officials received checks earlier this month for $1,432.47 from a man they never met, a Muhlenberg County dairy farmer named Bland Hardison.
A spokesperson in Lawrence County Judge-Executive John Osborn'e office confirmed today that Lawrence County received its check last Friday and Osborne immediately delivered it to the Humane Society, which has had has had financial difficulties for the past year and is in the midst of a fund raising drive.
Louisa city council voted earler this month to donate $400 to the effort. The Lawrence Fiscal Court pays $22,500 each year to the Humane Society.Lawrence Co. Animal Shelter
Hardison died in 2008 at the age of 86 and had set up in his will a gift for the state's animal shelters, said his widow, Jonell Hardison. In total, Hardison set aside nearly $1 million in donations to various charities upon his death, and the estate took years to settle.
Jonell Hardison said Wednesday that her husband loved his pets and even the strays that would wander onto the farm."We often would take in any stray cats that came along, we'd water and feed them," Jonell Hardison said. "He loved his pets."
Bland Hardison would often take pet food to the local animal shelter, though he sometimes needed a hand lifting it because of his age, she said.
The donations were a much-needed windfall for county-run shelters around the state that often struggle with overcrowding and small budgets.
Rusty Newton, who runs Shelby County's animal shelter, said the money from Hardison would be used to buy new equipment such as carriers used to transport animals for veterinarian visits. The shelter has had a no-kill status for the last four years.
"I was surprised, but at the same time we were thrilled that someone would care enough to leave money for all the shelters," said Newton. The shelter, which houses about 140 dogs and cats and has a $147,000 annual budget, depends on donations from the public, he said.
Even small rural counties with no facility for stray animals received the donation, including Fleming County, which sends its strays to neighboring Lewis County.
"That was a big surprise," said Fleming County Judge-executive Larry Foxworthy. "It's a wonderful gesture that someone would be that caring."
The county's animal control program, which runs on a $42,500 annual budget, will use the money to feed animals kept overnight before they are transported to Lewis County, Foxworthy said.
Hardison worked with a local bank for several years on the details of his donations, which included gifts to The American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and the Arthritis Foundation, said Kathy Gish with Sacramento Deposit Bank in Calhoun.
He also left $2,590 to each of 235 cemeteries around Kentucky for maintenance and upkeep, Gish said.
By DYLAN LOVAN — Associated Press
Lazer Publisher Mark Grayson contributed to this story.
Legislators reached a last-hour deal Tuesday to pass a bill to license Kentucky farmers to grow hemp.The deal between House Democrats and Sen. Paul Hornback, R-Shelbyville, will allow hemp licensing by the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission under the control of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.Who would do the licensing had been a big snag for House Democrats, who apparently buckled under public pressure.Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said the bill will leave the hemp commission with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. The research functions will be performed by the University of Kentucky.The House voted 88-4 and sent the bill back to the Senate where it passed 35-1.The last-minute deal came after a day of negotiations between Hornback and Rep. Rocky Adkins, D-Sandy Hook, as well as other House Democratic leaders.The bill appeared hung up on who would administer hemp-growing licenses to Kentucky farmers.Despite widespread public support, the bill faced several hurdles, including initial opposition in the Senate and in the House Agriculture committee. But it eventually passed both handily.Hornback negotiated until virtually the last minute of the session to get it to the floor of the House.The bill would license Kentucky farmers to grow hemp if federal restrictions were lifted. Most of Kentucky's congressional delegation, except for Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Somerset, are sponsors of federal legislation to distinguish between hemp, which has very low levels of THC, and marijuana. Currently, the DEA doesn't recognize any difference; both crops are illegal.Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Louisville, signed on as a sponsor of the federal hemp bill. U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Bowling Green, U.S. Reps. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, and Thomas Massie, R-Vanceburg, said they would lobby the DEA either for a permit for Kentucky or for a waiver to let the state be a pilot project.Comer said that would position the state to attract several hemp-based industries, with several businesses prepared to invest in hemp-related facilities in Kentucky if the state was successful.In opposing the bill, House Speaker Greg Stumbo had cited concerns of Kentucky State Police and drug enforcement officers that legal hemp would be hard to distinguish from illegal marijuana.Gov. Steve Beshear also has expressed similar concerns. It is unclear whether the governor might veto the bill.Comer said that he will be calling Beshear Wednesday to urge him to sign the hemp bill.He said he has not spoken to the governor about it "but I will be." If Beshear does sign it, Comer said he plans to join Kentucky delegation led by Yarmuth and Paul in Washington to push for a waiver.Comer said he believes the state has a strong chance of getting it."We'll walk in there with a lot of credibility," Comer said.
By Janet PattonLexington Herald-Leader
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