The Manchester Enterprise: Community News

Red Bird Watershed Restoration work continuing

 Local community groups, agencies and individuals are continuing to work together to form a water quality improvement plan for the Red Bird River Watershed Restoration project.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 February 2012 13:20

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Fugitives being brought back to Clay

After more than four years on the lam, two Clay County fugitives are on their way back home thanks to Facebook.

Clay County Sheriff Kevin Johnson said last week that his office received a tip that Jerry Lee Callahan and Rebecca Callahan had a Facebook account, and that it showed they were living in Texas.

Johnson said he followed up on the lead, and found it to be true.  He then contacted police in Victoria, TX, a community between Houston and Corpus Christie, and asked that the pair be arrested.

Johnson, and his wife Angie, flew to Texas to bring the Callahans back.  They were to arrive Wednesday.

According to court documents, Jerry Callahan, 44, and Rebecca Callahan, 40, of 5268 N Hwy 11, were arrested in August 2007 on several sex-related charges.  However, Judge Renee Muncy released them on October 29 because no indictment had been returned within 60 days.  Indictments against the two came down November 1 of that year, but by then they had disappeared.

The indictments charge that the alleged crimes occurred between sometime in 2004 through September 6, 2007.

Jerry Callahan is charged with two counts of rape in the first degree.  He is alleged to have had sexual intercourse with a person under 12 years of age.  He is also alleged to have had forcible sexual intercourse with another victim.

He faces a charge of rape in the third degree for allegedly having sexual intercourse with another person less than 18 years of age.

He is also charged with three counts of incest, two counts of sodomy and three counts of sexual abuse in the first degree.

All of the charges concern three victims.

Rebecca Callahan is charged with complicity in the three rape charges.  She also is charged with two counts of incest, two counts of sodomy and two counts of sexual abuse in the first degree.

The charges concern the same victims as those in Jerry Callahan’s case.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 February 2012 13:25


Healthy Clay plans coming together

Is Clay County’s glass half full or half empty?  The answer differs, of course, according to whom it is asked.

A group of about 20 community leaders and concerned citizens, members of the Health Clay Coalition, gathered last Thursday, and their response is a definite half full.

After breaking into small work groups, they were asked, “What are you proud to say that Healthy Clay Coalition has accomplished?”

Their responses included: the Manchester smoking ban, McDonald’s changing its menus, crosswalk signage by the state Highway Department, safer walking with citations for drivers who ignore pedestrians, public safety ads with children, recycling, and a tripling in membership of the fitness center.

They were then asked to, “Imagine Clay County as you would like it to be in 10 years.  Describe how it will be different.”

They responded with: stay in Clay (population increase), better educated population that takes ownership, more safe areas for walking and running, continue county-wide beautification, promote the good, health is contagious (a healthy environment for a healthy us).

Other responses included: increase convenience factor at local parks, decrease obesity rate, have food service move from compliance to leadership, have ambulances posted in different parts of the county, move from a sense of entitlement to “I’m earning.”

More responses were: improvement of access to healthy foods, have Clay County in 10 years seen as a progressive place (the kind of community in which people would want to stay and move to), have adventure tourism, have the smoking ban be county-wide and have the county be drug-free.

The group was asked, “What do you see as the strengths and assets of Clay County that can be mobilized to make Clay County a ‘Healthy place to live, work and play’?”

Some responses were: existence of hiking trails, natural beauty, local media, good schools, lots of hard-working people who will rally together, history, athletic excellence and artistic people.

They were then asked, “Who needs to be involved in defining goals and objectives for the Healthy Clay County strategic plan?  How can we engage them in this process?”

Responses included: the entire community, the faith-based community, the Historical Society and leaders of local communities.

The group is going to get together again March 2, according to Health Department Educator Rhonda Bowling.  Goals are to be defined, and a strategic plan is to be compiled.  It, then, will be presented to the community.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 February 2012 13:24


Clay hit hardest by snow

Clay County was hit hardest by Sunday’s snowstorm, according to Jackson Energy spokesperson, Karen Combs.

In a press release, Combs said that 1,300 outages were reported in Clay County, far more than any other county.  She said a main power line serving the Oneida area was hit by damage, causing a loss of power to over 140 homes Sunday night.  There were smaller outages throughout the rest of the county.

Crews were expected to have all power restored by noon on Monday.

Kentucky Utilities, which serves part of the Manchester area, reported six outages affecting 36 customers.

KU spokesperson Cliff Feltham said that 15 customers were without power from approximately 5 p. m. Sunday to 5 a. m. Monday because of trees on lines and broken poles.  The other customers were in the Chadwell Road area.  Trees on lines caused loss of power from approximately 9:40 p. m. to 5:30 a. m.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 February 2012 13:23


Meds-for-meth bill moves

In the face of a strong lobbying effort by makers of over-the-counter cold medicines, a state Senate committee narrowly approved a bill last Thursday (February 16) that would require a prescription for most products containing pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient used to make methamphetamine.

Senate Bill 50, approved 6-5 by the Judiciary Committee, is sponsored by Senate Majority Floor Leader Robert Stivers, R-Manchester,left, but he said he isn't sure of its chances in the full Senate, reports Jack Brammer of theLexington Herald-Leader. A similar bill got out of committee last year but never came to a vote on the Senate floor because it lacked the votes to pass. This year's bill would not apply to gelcaps, which are more difficult to use in meth making.

The Kentucky State Police recorded about 1,200 meth labs last year, and former meth addict Melanda Adams, from Clay County, told the committee she believed the bill would "cut the burgeoning number of dangerous home-made meth labs in the state." The Consumer Healthcare Products Association, a non-profit that represents the over-the-counter medicine industry, argues that requiring a prescription would "create a hardship for legitimate consumers," reports Jessie Halladay of The Courier-Journal.

Only Oregon and Mississippi have passed such laws, so Kentucky has become a firewall for the drug makers' lobby, which has bought many radio commercials urging people to contact senators in opposition to the bill, contending it would "punish Kentucky families" and pushing an alternative measure that would bar people convicted of meth making from buying the medicines. Opponents of that bill say meth makers would continue to use surrogates to buy the medicines for them. Sen. Ray Jones, D-Pikeville, who voted for SB 50, called the radio ads "scare tactics."

As of Feb. 3, the group had spent more than $72,000 running ads on Louisville and Lexington radio stations owned by Clear Channel Communications Inc., the nation's largest radio operator, according to public-inspection files at those stations. In 2011, CHPA paid the Kentucky Association of Radio and Television more than $93,000 to run ads, according to public-inspection files from Cummulus Broadcasting, another major owner of stations in Kentucky.

The drug makers' ads have been running uncontested for two months, but this week a group headed by Knox and Laurel County's Commonwealth's Attorney Jackie Steele, Real Facts About Meth, offered a counter ad, describing the impact of meth on communities. The group does not appear to be well funded; its website solicits contributions.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 February 2012 13:21


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