Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Getting booze and cigs

As the April 1 deadline for the new, and (let's be honest) state budget-saving tax increase on tobacco and alcohol products draws closer there has been a surge in people buying up their vices in the last hours of it being reasonable cheap here versus the states around us.

As an added bonus, about the time people get used to the new prices with the new taxes they can expect another raise during the next General Assembly in January of 2010 when the state is once again the Mayor of Poorville.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sheriff and Grand Jury

Here is some BREAKING NEWS for you.

The Todd County Fiscal Court today asked for the county attorney to set up an audience with the grand jury at the grand jury's next meeting.

Basically, they will be bringing charges of malfeasance against Sheriff W.D. "Billy" Stokes. (Malfeasance means that one is not doing the duties of his office.)

Among the charges will be the sheriff taking money that was withheld from paychecks and the matching portion from the sheriff's department fund and saying he spent that money for other things. Stokes admitted to this last fall at a fiscal court meeting.

Also, other charges will include the sheriff allegedly mishandling money, line items in his budget were created without the court's permission and budget items were over budget. Also, the court has found several inconsistencies with what money is reported as received and what was spent.

We will have more details in the next edition of the Standard.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Fact Book

Here is my column and a list of towns/communites will be at the end.

We live on a little sliver of land on a gigantic planet. We live on a planet in a solar system in a galaxy and a universe that makes our little sliver of land like a single grain of sand on a beach a million miles long.

Datgumit, we might only cling to a wee bit of land, but it is our land. We should be proud and we should celebrate Todd County.
And only those who have the soul of tomorrow, who live in today and possess the knowledge of Todd County’s past can help us.

We need your assistance in a most Herculean task.

Did that seem a little melodramatic?

Good. That’s what I was going for …

Not to be too dramatic, but we are gearing up for something that hasn’t been done in several years in Todd County — we are looking to put together a (mostly) fact book.

And as our mascot, Uncle (Toby) Standard might say, “We need you, the reader, to help us.”

As we started planning for a book about all things Todd County we ran into a most daunting task. How are we going to write a comprehensive (or heck, any) history about such places as Crafts Store, Darnell, Anderson, Everett and Wilhelmina?

For that matter how do we best tell the story of places like Tyewhoppety, Pea Ridge and Bradshaw?

We know what the history books, like Former Historian Marion Williams’ excellent look at Todd County, tell us, but what about the tales and folklore that have been passed down from the people who have lived in the area for generations?

The answer finally came to me like indigestion after an extra-large burrito with a heap of guacamole: Why don’t we let the people tell us what we might not discover in two lifetimes.

We took our list from a map which ran nearly a decade ago in a community book spearheaded by former Standard Publisher Evelyn Boone. The map is perhaps the most accurate overview of the communities in Todd County.

That still doesn’t mean we didn’t miss a place or two so feel free to drop us a line if we missed a place.
What we need from you, dear reader, is your story. We don’t need a novel, but something short, unique and about some of the places on our list.

Also in the (mostly) fact book there will be basic information about Todd County. There will be demographic information, a look at industry, infrastructure, government, agriculture and other basics of life here in the book as well.

Those are solid facts we can handle, the (mostly) part is going to be the “stories” you have that can’t be proven but are no less important to the project.

The fact book will be printed and mailed out in the first part of June to every postal customer in Todd County.

We will also make available extra copies to the county, cities, tourism and the industrial foundation.

Mostly, though, we want to share Todd County with you and with those who might move into our community. We want to give them a sense of place.

That’s why we encourage your participation. If you are uncomfortable with writing something about a place in Todd County then stop by the office and we’ll interview you.

Maybe you don’t know the history of where you live or grew up but would like to tell what it was like to live/grow up in places like Stringtown Road or Claymour?

We need the info, you have it and we feel if we can pull this off our (mostly) fact book might be something special.
So give us a call, drop a letter, drop in the office or slap your words in an E-mail and let’s get going.

Also, if anyone, and I do mean anyone has any old pictures that you think might be of interest, please feel free to drop by with them.

It is time for us to tell our story.

Here is the list:

Allegre and Pilot Rock Allensville Claymour
Clifty and Tyewhoppety Daysville Elkton
Sharon Grove Kirkmansville Trenton
Fairview and Britmart Guthrie and Tiny Town

Here is a rundown of the small places, some which no longer exist:
Crafts Store Ashbury Whippoorwill
Mt. Tabor Mt. Vernon Tabernacle
Antioch Mt. Sharon Tress Shop
Cedar Grove Everett Hermon
Liberty Bethel Anderson
Pea Ridge Wilhelmina Bradshaw
Tress Shop Pinchem Hadensville
Hammacksville Darnell

Posted By Ryan

General Assembly could have put the screws to Todd

We had a call from State Rep. Martha Jane King today warning us that the state House wouldn't be considering any more bills. The reason: A rules change that keeps last-minute bills (and pork) from getting through without lawmakers being able to consider them.

That is a good thing for government and for the taxpayers.

The trouble: When you have a shortened session every other year that means the projects with political will and the clout of leadership will get through first and everyone else can take a back seat. There are some items, such as broadband for Todd County and perhaps some extra funding for industrial recruitment that was either taken out or not dealt with and we won't be seeing any of that money unless King (or State Sen. Joey Pendleton) can finagle some money out of the budget or through grants or stimulus money or lord-knows-where-else ...

Any money they get will be sliced from a pie shrunk down to "pot pie" status from what it was just a couple years ago.

So, baring some epic, political kung fu, Todd County (and a lot of smaller places just like us) are going to come up short. Hey, we are used to being the red-headed step cousin in-law of Kentucky anyway, it's just this time we are looking at real opportunities and some help from the state now could put us in front of the line instead of hanging out somewhere in the middle or in the back when it comes to success.

Sometimes I think that if it wasn't so pretty here, I'd move to Aruba.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Crime fighting

There is a rumor — one we haven't been able to confirm officially, yet — that Todd County has seen a sharp increase in speeding/moving violations and in arrests (especially the drug arrest kind).

The reason we can't confirm that is the total numbers for the month of March aren't in and it will require numbers from the KSP. Those numbers will most likely require an open records request and a trip to Madisonville.

It is likely that there hasn't been a spike in actual crime, but a spike in the amount of resources the state police have put toward Todd County.

Despite budget cuts, the state police said they would answer all of the calls they had here. It now looks like they are way more active (patrolling) than reactive (just answering when called).

How long will this level of law enforcement last? It is hard to say, but it isn't hard to see that Todd County has never had this much coverage before.

Good for public safety, bad for criminals ...

Stay tuned to the Standard in April, maybe May, to see what the results are.