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FEBRUARY 14, 2014;

Lawrence County EMS Seeks Donations, and Other

Support From The General Public Via Online Solicitation;


by WADE QUEEN

The Lawence County Emergency Management Agency is seeking financial support and donations for its search and rescue unit, via an online funding site set up by the agency.

THE LCEM has set up a website: http://www.gofundme.com/g69qqw, to raise money for one of its division group's, the Lawrence County Search And Rescue, which the LCEM says is all 'volunteer' organized group.

The website was set up on October 22, 2014, but has gotten extra attention in recent days due to stepped up activity by both the LCEM & LCSAR in the last couple of weeks.

According to the site's message: "Lawrence County Search and Rescue is a division of Lawrence County Kentucky Emergency Management. Lawrence County SAR is responsible for search and rescue activities within Lawrence County and provides assistance to other area counties. The team is made up of all volunteers and is in need of funding for training and purchasing equipment and resources for the team. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated".

The site originally had an asking goal of $10,000, but recently that was amended to $1,000 for specific item equipment sets.

And though the website has been up and running for over 3 1/2 months, the donation amount stood at $0, until the site made the said alteration, and in the pre-dawn hours of Friday 13th, an anonymous donor contributed $50.

In a message update in mid Nov. 2014, the site asked: "In need of funding to purchase rescue helmets and other basic SAR equipment".

Earlier this week on Tuesday Feb. 10; a new message update further stated: "Lawrence County SAR is in need of a large amount of equipment ranging from small items (hand tools) to larger items (ATV / UTV). Any help that you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Lawrence County SAR is an all volunteer organization".

A more informative message update the very next day, in which a photo for a piece of equpment was included (and the $ goal amount was trimmed down as well) asked: "The majority of search and rescue equipment has a high cost per item. One example is search and rescue helmets to be worn in rough terrain conditions. The less expensive helmets still cost over $100 dollars each. We understand times are still hard but we need your help to help others. Thank you again for any and all help".


Petzl vertex, price $110

(Helmet that Lawence County Emergency Management Agency is asking for money donations on its funding website.)

A new message on Friday Feb. 13 further added: "We are in need of raising $1,000 dollars to purchase safety helmets for the SAR Team. Every penny helps, if you are unable to donate to the page but would still like to make a donation no matter how small few free to contact us via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and thank you for your support".

Lawrence Co. Judge/Executive John Osborne could not be reached for comment on whether or not the solicitation has been approved by his office or the fiscal court. it is not known if other EMS departments in the state use online solicitation for raising funds.

Monitoring of the LCE/LCSAR fundraiser website will continue. 

February 11, 2015;

Council votes 4-1 to pass alcohol ordinance; mayor announces

plan to hold city/county 'summit'...

Council members L to R Mitch Castle, Ron Cordle and Gloria Johnson took a last minute look at the agenda before last night's meeting. Lazer photo by Mark GraysonLOUISA, Ky. -- The Louisa City Council voted 4-1 last night to pass the second reading of an ordinance setting up the local laws on the sale of alcohol which passed by nearly a 2-1 vote in a December 2014 special election.

The only 'nay' vote on the new ordinance, prepared by city attorney Eldred Adams, was cast by council member and Louisa United Methodist youth leader Mitch Castle who said he could not in good conscience vote for it mainly because the ordinance allows for Sunday alcohol sales from 3:00pm to 12:00 midnight, much like surrounding counties such as Boyd and Pike have voted recently.

"It's not that I'm against alcohol sales as much as it is the Sunday sales," Castle said. "This is just my personal belief, and I can't cast a vote for it." Castle was also the only 'nay' vote in Monday night's first reading of the ordinance.

Mayor Harold Slone offered a written statement to the press, which with the ADI and WSAZ-News in attendance, outnumbered the audience. 

“ I’m glad we got this behind us and we can move on to bigger projects that I’m excited about," Slone said. "Remember, the people in the city chose to put this on the ballot, voted on it, and passed it by a large margin which left this council to do the best they could with an ordinance that’s reasonable for the citizens, businesses and visitors of Louisa."  (See summary of ordinance HERE)

Louisa mayor Harold Slone answers a question from council member Lisa Schaeffer during the regular February meeting last night."They went through the ordinance, made changes they felt necessary and passed the ordinance," he added. "In order for the city to issue licenses, collect fees, and regulate the sale of alcohol we had to have this done by Feb 15th. and this council made the deadline. I respect everyone's vote and decisions on this matter and anxious to move on.”

He also said he has not decided on who will be hired as the city's ABC commissioner, a job that will pay approximately $24,000 per year.

"The person I thought would be right for this job decided that he didn't want it just today so I don't have anyone else in mind right now, Slone said. "The biggest thing was to get this ordinance passed before the deadline and we've now done that," Slone said. "Now I will find the best person I can to fill the position." 

The appointment of the ABC commissioner is made by the mayor and requires no council approval. "But," Slone said, "I want you guys to agree with the person I choose and I will listen to your suggestions. In the end it is my decision and it's an important one."

Council member Lisa Schaeffer, who arrived late and did not cast a vote on the ordinance but did vote for it at Monday night's special meeting, asked Slone if there are any particular qualifications for applicants. Slone said there are the usual age requirements (21) and the person cannot have a felony on his/her record and other state requirements but there are no added local requirements for the job like having to live in the city and there are no requirements the person has law enforcement experience. 

A 'united effort' towards progress

When the mayor, who took office only last month, talked about bigger projects he wasn't just whistling Dixie.

Louisa city council members Tom Parsons and Angie McGuire.“I am working on a concept that would restructure some of the city boards and commissions and bring them together to create a master plan for projects in the city," Slone said. "We would also include input from non profit and government groups that have interest like the  tourism commission, and city and county government."

Slone said it's time that city and county governments work together in Lawrence County and Louisa.

"This will make downtown revitalization a collaborative effort where we are all working toward a “master plan” for revitalizing and developing our downtown area. The other agencies I have spoken with are excited and ready to get to work, Slone said. "I am still doing some of the necessary paperwork and plan to bring everyone together in a 'summit like' meeting and roll out the new concept to the board members and interested citizens in the community soon. You will receive a press release announcing the meeting and more details of the concept."

The council unanimously backed the mayor in his request to be allowed to apply for an up to $10,000 Flex grant from the Brushy Fork Institue in Berea that helps pay for planning efforts for municipalities. He said the new master plan the city and county will be producing and plans for a Riverwalk in Louisa could be at least partially funded by the grant money which does require a 20% in kind contribution from the city. Council member Angie McGuire asked it the local Master Gardener program and other similar projects would qualify for some of the grant money. Slone answered that there will be other grants down the line that he is going after that would include that and several other programs in the city, but not this one.

He said the deadline for application is Feb. 23 and asked the council to go ahead with it and the council agreed 6-0 to apply.

The Council also:

* Approved minutes for Jan. 20, 2015

*Approved Resolution 2015-01, “A Resolution of the City of Louisa, Kentucky Authorizing the Mayor of the City of Louisa to Execute the Necessary Documents for the Execution and Delivery of an Equipment Lease/Purchase Agreement and Related Instruments”. This was approval of the purchase of a new police cruiser which had been approved before the present council took office. There was no mention of a price for the new police car. The city police dept. is now running on all cylinders with six full time officers.   

* Mayor Slone said the city street crew will try to fill all the remaining pot holes today (Wednesday) that were not fixed before the cold weather set in. "We purchased $900 of material to fill the holes the best we can to get us through the cold weather," Slone said. "Then we can begin on the resurfacing that is planned for the city streets."

* In a non agenda item Slone asked council to approve the leasing of a space in the community center that is not being used to the Community Sharing group, a state sponsored organization that works on various projects to enhance life in Lawrence County (see recent Lazer stories). Community Sharing leader Tina Jackson asked mayor Slone for the space and has agreed to pay $275 on a monthly basis for the small office. Slone said the city has the space leased out to FIVECO but that he has checked with them and gotten their approval for the sublease. City Atty. Adams asked council for time to draw up the lease and check with FIVECO himself but Slone said Ms. Jackson is anxious to have an office and council agreed 6-0 to lease the space to them and Adams can write the lease as soon as possible. Slone said it will be on a month to month basis. "We're not using it for anything right now and that might generate eenough funding to help fix up the kitchen at the community center which, he said, is badly in need of repair.

* The council also agreed unanimously to ask for bids for surplus property which is in disrepair and includes about seven old trucks, police cruisers a lowboy and a trailer.

The meeting adjourned without the executive session which was on the agenda. 

 

 

 


February 8, 2015;

17 charges filed against Webbville man

by Wade Queen

BurtonA 21 year old Webbville, Kentucky man is still incarcerated in Johnson County nearly 2 weeks after being transferred from the Carter County Detention in Grayson, where he was earlier arrested after a dangerous police chase.

In the late evening hours of Monday, January 26, 2015, Carter County deputy James Frint of the Carter County Sheriff Office attempted a traffic stop in the Hitchens-Willard area on a speeding vehicle driven by an individual, later identified as Eric S. Burton, 21, of Webbville Ky.

Burton refused to comply and pull over for Frint, leading him on a vehicle pursuit for several miles through southeastern Carter County, at speeds reaching around 100 MPH, before finally ending when Burton losing control of his vehicle and crashing.

Burton fled from his vehicle, causing deputy Frint to pursue Burton on a lengthy foot chase before he was finally apprehended following a brief struggle,

Following his arrest, a total of 17 charges and citations were filed by deputy Frint against Eric Burton, and later after he was in custody, it was learned that there was a no-bond Bench Warrant for Burton in Lawrence County, which may have been the reason for his running from the law.

Eric Burton was charged in Carter County with:

WANTON ENDANGERMENT-2ND DEGREE; SPEEDING 26 MPH OR > SPEED LIMIT; DISREGARDING STOP SIGN; RECKLESS DRIVING; FAILURE TO OR IMPROPER SIGNAL; FLEEING OR EVADING POLICE, 1ST DEGREE (MOTOR VEHICLE); FLEEING OR EVADING POLICE, 1ST DEGREE (ON FOOT); OPERATING ON SUSPENDED OR REVOKED OPERATOR LICENSE; FAILURE TO SURRENDER REVOKED OPERATORS LICENSE; NO REGISTRATION RECEIPT; NO REGISTRATION PLATES; IMPROPER DISPLAY OF REGISTRATION PLATES; FAILURE TO PRODUCE INSURANCE CARD; FAILURE OF OWNER TO MAINTAIN REQUIRED INSURANCE/SECURITY, 1ST OFFENSE; RESISTING ARREST; FAILURE TO WEAR SEAT BELTS; IMPROPER EQUIPMENT.

His bond was set at $340,000 cash only.

On Friday morning, January 30, Eric Burton was served a Bench Warrant at the Carter County Detention Center by the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office, where his bond was lowered to $40,000 and he was taken into custody by Lawrence deputies and brought back to Louisa and then transported by the Lawrence County Jailer's office to the Big Sandy Detention Center in Paintsville, where no bond was ordered.

It is unknown what charge Burton faces in Lawrence County, but it makes the sixth time in the last 18 months he has been arrested in Kentucky.

Besides his recent Carter Co. arrest and later arrest/transferal to Lawrence County:

On September 13, 2013, he was arrested in Lawrence County for Theft Of A Firearm & Criminal Mischief, 1ST Degree.

On March 6, 2014, Burton was arrested in Carter County on a Court Ordered Bench Warrant.

On June 26, 2014, Burton was taken into custody by officer Billy Slone of the Kentucky Corrections Division of Probation and Parole for a Probation Violation (For A Felony Offense).

And on November 6, 2014, Burton was taken into custody by deputy Scott Hazellette of the Johnson County Sheriff's office for Contempt Of Court Libel/Slander Resistance To Order.