MADISON COUNTY —
2012 was a year of highs and lows for Madison County, with Mother Nature, violent crime, the election, economic changes and government spending all grabbing headlines.
Readers of the Richmond Register were asked earlier this month to complete an online survey to select the top 10 local stories of the year from a list of 15 choices. During the 11 days of voting, 82 people voiced their opinions about what has affected them, and their community, the most during the past year.
Today’s edition features the top choices for spots 6 though 10. On New Year’s Day, the Register will list the top five local stories of 2012.
6. A $4.6 million Madison Central High School athletic facilities upgrade approved by school board
In a 3-1 decision, the school board voted in March to upgrade the school’s outdoor athletic facilities, which included artificial surfaces for the football field and running track, a new stadium to seat 4,000, concession stand, two restrooms, press box, weight room, three ticket booths and other amenities.
Board member John Lackey, the single nay vote, repeatedly expressed his belief the money would be better spent on a new elementary school in northern Madison County.
Madison Central had its first home game Aug. 31 at the new facility, winning a 19-13 victory over Mercer County in double overtime play.
7. Summer drought affects gardens, water levels and July 4 celebrations
A winter with lower-than-usual precipitation preceded a summer of high temperatures and little rain, causing drought conditions throughout most of Kentucky.
The potential for a dry summer in Madison County was apparent early on with rainfall dropping from 5.17 inches in May to 0.27 inches in June (only three days of precipitation were reported), according to the Kentucky Mesonet weather monitoring website.
Madison Countians were asked to voluntarily conserve water while Richmond and other area cities banned fireworks for fear of starting fires during the dry conditions.
8. Summer thunderstorms cause flooding in Richmond
In the space of 34 days, Richmond saw two thunderstorms that dumped large amounts of water on the city in a short time, causing flash flooding. Downtown Richmond, Boggs Lane and EKU were among several areas that were affected.
The first storm on Aug. 3 dumped 3 inches of water on Richmond in two hours. The city’s fire/rescue and police departments were kept busy during and after the storm as they responded to accidents and reports of flooding.
City officials blamed much of the flooding on old infrastructure. Storm-water improvements, such at the current Sunset Avenue project and the future Water Street project, are designed to help alleviate the problem in those areas
The next deluge occurred Sept. 5. The Madison Lot, a residential-student parking lot at Eastern Kentucky University, had nearly 2 feet of flooding, damaging several vehicles parked there. The lot is near a construction site, and the filters places near the storm-water inlets to catch sediment runoff had clogged.
9. Construction continues on US 25
Drivers have faced some headaches as the project to widen U.S. 25 near the Eastern Bypass continues. The first phase of the project, which began near Kroger, will end just past Pumpkin Run (South Pointe subdivision). The second phase will go to the Duncannon Lane intersection, and the last phase will continue to the US 421/US 25 split.
State highway department officials have said the project is progressing well with work continuing into the winter months. Once finished, the road will be have five lanes – two lanes in each direction and a center turning lane.
Sidewalks and bike lanes also will be installed on both sides of the road.
The Berea end of the project, which is the widening of US 25 North from the Berea Bypass to Ellipse Street, will start in the summer of 2013.
10. Pattie A. Clay becomes Baptist Health in Richmond
Starting Sept. 1, Richmond’s Pattie A. Clay Regional Medical Center became Baptist Health in Richmond. The 120-year-old hospital is the oldest facility to join the Baptist Healthcare System, which includes hospitals in Corbin, Lexington, Louisville and elsewhere.
The move wasn’t completely unexpected as Central Baptist had been managing the Richmond hospital for the previous two years.
The not-for-profit facility will continue to be called The Pattie A. Clay Campus on directional signs, a portrait of Pattie A. Clay hangs inside the entry of the hospital and the historical signs that have been above the doors at each Pattie A. Clay facility have remained above the hospital’s emergency room entrance.
The new partnership will help bring new services and strengthen existing services the hospital provides, according to hospital officials.
MCHS athletic field, extreme weather rank 6 through 10
MADISON COUNTY —
- Local News
‘Etta May’s On Her Way’ for Model Lab benefit
Laughter will fill Eastern Kentucky University’s Keen Johnson Ballroom June 8 when southern comedienne Etta May comes to town for Model Laboratory School’s first annual fundraising event.
Half of the ticket proceeds will be donated to help five Model programs: Scholarships, gifted programs, the arts, athletics and extended field trips or exchange programs, said school psychologist Ellen Rini.
Court hearing reveals errors in trafficking case’s investigative file
A discrepancy in police records led to an unusual hearing in a drug trafficking case Thursday in Madison Circuit Court.
The attorney for 49-year-old Carla Rae Clontz made a motion earlier this month for a bill of particulars hearing. Both the prosecution and defense attorneys had noticed problems with the file numbers in Clontz’ case, and there also were different reports of the number of pills sheriff’s deputies allege were found in her home.
Man charged in theft of cash, skates from Sonic
Richmond police charged Isaac Hamilton, 20, of South Killarney Lane, with two counts of theft by unlawful taking under $500 Tuesday after he allegedly stole from his employer.
Hamilton, a former employee of Sonic on Big Hill Avenue, left the drive-in restaurant May 15 with $273.84, a change dispenser and a pair of roller skates and did not return, the business reported to police.
Grand jury indicts man on DUI, endangerment charges in injury accident
A February car crash in which one person suffered a broken arm led to the indictment this week of an Irvine man on four wanton endangerment charges.
Zachary C. Goosey, 20, was was traveling eastbound Feb. 18 on the Eastern Bypass when his vehicle crossed the median and struck a westbound vehicle stopped at a traffic light, according to a Richmond police news release.
Judge: Health exchange suit can proceed
Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd will allow a suit challenging Gov. Steve Beshear’s constitutional authority to establish a Health Benefit Exchange — a key feature of federal health care reform — to proceed.
On Thursday, Shepherd denied Beshear’s request to dismiss the suit brought by tea party activists David Adams, Dawn Cloyd and Sarah Durand.
Board eyes cost-cutting options
In a special-called work session Tuesday, the Madison County School Board looked at ways of reducing a projected $2.84 million draw from its reserves to fund the 2013-14 budget.
‘Berea’s Unsung Heroes’
A group of Bereans were honored Tuesday night at the Berea Community School Board, many of which had never been in the spotlight before.
Berea relaxes yard sale ordinance, may restrict fireworks
The Berea City Council adopted a new yard sale ordinance Tuesday, but only after it was amended twice.
Items stolen, but no one injured in home invasion
Berea police are looking for a man who broke into a First Street home Monday and threatened a resident with a knife.
Madison County veterans to host Memorial Day ceremonies
The Madison County Veterans Association, which includes a number of local veterans’ organizations, will be hosting two Memorial Day ceremonies Monday.
The first will take place at the Richmond Cemetery near the flagpole at 10 a.m., and the second will follow at noon in Madison County Memorial Gardens on Berea Road.
Everett King of the American Legion, which is coordinating this year’s events, said U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Sixth District, will be present at the morning ceremony.
Every year the Memorial Day event has a theme. Last year’s theme was honoring Vietnam veterans, King said, while this year’s theme is honoring all American soldiers.
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