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County OKs $14 million budget on first reading
  • Updated

Trigg County Fiscal Court has approved a $14 million budget for its 2022-2023 year.

Magistrates approved the budget, a $14,201,661 budget that reflects a 6% increase from last year’s $13,311,616 budget, on first reading during the court’s meeting on May 2 at the Trigg County Courthouse.

“Most of it is pretty much the same as it was last year,” Judge-Executive Hollis Alexander said as he pointed out highlights of the budget.

Alexander said it includes a 3% raise for all employees as well as $10,000 for Genesis Express Inc., a rescue truck and two sets of battery-operated jaws at a combined cost of $190,000, $75,000 for a per diem for the Trigg County Rescue Squad, $5,000 for Planning and Zoning and $10,000 for Campbell Strong, the defense alliance that supports Fort Campbell and military success in the region.

Additionally, it includes the possibility of purchasing $35,000 more in election equipment for the Trigg County Clerk’s Office, $300,000 for improvements to the rescue building and up to $125,000 in matching funds for improvements to the concession stand at the Trigg County Recreation Complex.

The judge said one employee who oversees 911 is the only employee who received more than a 3% pay increase in the budget.

That employee had an employee making more money than she was, Alexander said.

He noted that retirement actually decreased in the new budget, from 26.95% to 26.79%.

Alexander said some of the increase in the budget is due to the cost of housing inmates.

Trigg County Treasurer Lucy Kyler said the second reading of the new budget will take place at the court’s first meeting in June.

In other business:

  • The fiscal court approved a list of expenditures that totaled $46,984.03.
  • Magistrates also approved on second reading an ordinance that decreased the speed limit on a 1.8 mile portion of Old Hopkinsville Road from 55 to 35 miles per hour. The portion of road is from its western terminus at Oliver Road to its intersection with North Montgomery Road.
  • The court approved a County Road Aid Cooperative Agreement and an accompanying resolution for road improvements totaling $1,510,114.32, a figure that Alexander said is about $160,000 more than what state official Michael Oliver had noted earlier.
  • Magistrates approved a memorandum of agreement from the state for mosquito spraying. Alexander said the Kentucky Department of Agriculture provides the spray, the machine and the maintenance on the machine, while the county provides the gas and the labor to spray the mosquitos.
  • The judge-executive said six tractor-trailer loads of tires were collected during the recent tire roundup.

Reach Tonya S. Grace at 270-887-3240 or

Youth learn about K-9s
  • Updated

“He’s fast,” quips Sgt. Ronnie Macdonald, observing the speed of his K-9 Harry as he talks with youngsters recently about the work the dog, a Belgian Malinois, does for the Stewart County, Tennessee, Sheriff’s Office.

Standing in the gym of The Way Christian Youth Center, Macdonald asked the students if they wanted to see Harry do a back flip.

But Harry did not move an inch; instead, he continued to lie on the floor of the gym.

The dog and his handler were among the featured guests during a six-week program on law enforcement offered at the youth center.

Sessions took place each Wednesday.

The effort was a part of Wildcats at The Way, an educational program for youth made possible at the center through a federal grant.

Twenty youth enrolled in the law enforcement offerings, representing the largest class to date to participate in Wildcats at The Way, said Carl Heckmann, the youth center director.

Sixteen have graduated from the program.

Heckmann said the recent program, which took place in March and April, addressed multiple aspects of law enforcement, from the types of law enforcement careers to the dangers of drug abuse and an overview of the equipment that departments use.

But he said its most important benefits were the relationships being forged between the officers and students and the kids’ understanding of law enforcement’s role “to protect and serve.”

“The main purpose for me, and I think for the schools, (was) we wanted the students to understand and appreciate and respect what law enforcement does,” Heckmann noted.

The program was coordinated by Shawn Young, an officer with the Cadiz Police Department who also is a school resource officer with Trigg County Public Schools.

Young said he wanted to share information with the youth about all the different roles available in law enforcement, everything from forensics and information technology to positions in homeland security, in federal government and with the nation’s parks.

“I wanted them to know certain things about the job we do,” said Young, noting that he saw sparks of interest among the youngsters.

“I think the kids were very intrigued about it.”

He said there are not many young people applying for police jobs right now, and a lot of people don’t know much about the work.

But the youth at The Way really seemed to enjoy the gear and tools shared during the presentations, Young said, and several of them were interested in law enforcement careers.

He said he liked seeing the youth enjoy the sessions on law enforcement, and he was glad to see them get a different perspective about the job than what they see on television.

“I enjoyed the kids enjoying it,” Young said.

As he spoke to the youngsters during his K-9 team’s recent visit to Cadiz, Macdonald satisfied one youth’s curiosity about just how fast Harry and a second Belgian Malinois named Boris are able to run.

“They’re) lightning fast,” he said, explaining that the two dogs can run faster than he does and are faster than the youngsters as well.

He dispelled a misunderstanding about a dog’s sense of smell for the youth, telling them that, no, pepper cannot neutralize the animal’s sense of smell because its nose is so fine.

He said his K-9s, who begin training at a year old, are able to jump over cars and climb walls.

Harry once saved the life of a woman who has dementia, locating her after she had wandered off, Macdonald told the youth.

He described the dog as his best friend and revealed that Harry goes everywhere he goes.

“It’s one of the best jobs I’ve ever had, because who gets to go to work with their best friend?” Macdonald observed to the students.

Young noted that the Stewart County department’s session on K-9s taught the youth about jobs with K-9 units, touching on things like cadaver dogs, military and police dogs.

The K-9 class and the program’s other sessions helped pique the interest of the youth, Young said, recalling one young man in particular who is now interested in pursuing police work as part of a military career.

Young noted that youth who want a law enforcement job have a variety of options.

While a degree in criminal justice is a good start, it’s not mandatory; those interested may also visit the police department, do ride-alongs and start applying to departments.

“Stay physically fit,” Young continued.

“Keep your nose clean.”

The school resource officer organized the recent law enforcement program but says he had the help of numerous other people.

“I didn’t do it on my own,” Young said.

Also contributing to the endeavor were the staff at the youth center, Cadiz Police Chief Duncan Wiggins, Deputy Zackary Young and the K-9 team of the Stewart County Sheriff’s Office and counselor Denise Young of Trigg County Primary School, among others.

Reach Tonya S. Grace at 270-887-3240 or

Primary gets under way this week
  • Updated

Next week’s election includes both Democratic and Republican primaries in Trigg County, including several magisterial seats up for grabs, the office of the property valuation administrator, seats in the state Senate and House of Representatives and a bid for the 56th Judicial District.

The 56th Judicial District judge seat is vacant with former District Judge Jamus Redd now serving as judge for the 56th Judicial Circuit following the retirement of Circuit Judge C.A. Woodall.

Early voting in the county is slated for 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Trigg County Emergency Operations Center at 39 Jefferson St., in Cadiz. Voters must bring identification.

Residents may also vote on Election Day, May 17, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and this year for the first time, they have a choice of seven voting centers and may choose where they’d like to vote.

The voting centers include the Emergency Operations Center; The Way Christian Youth Center, 197 Lafayette St., Cadiz; East Golden Pond Fire Department, 4286 Canton Road, Cadiz; Cerulean Fire Department, 150 Turner Rawls Street, Cerulean; Trigg County Complex Convention Center, 303 Complex Road, Cadiz; South Road Fire Department, 101 Oakland Church Road, Cadiz; and the Trigg-Lyon Fire Department, 8811 Rockcastle Road, Cadiz.

Those voting should bring identification such as a driver’s license, Social Security card or credit card.

Trigg County Clerk Carmen Finley said voters no longer have to cast their ballots in a designated location, but she encouraged people to vote early at the Emergency Operations Center on Thursday, Friday or Saturday to keep the lines down.

Anyone who is not sure where to vote may call the clerk’s office at 270-522-6661.

Candidates running for office in the primary election include the following for those registered Republican, according to the clerk’s office: Arnold Blankenship, Valerie “Dr. Val” Fredrick, Paul V. Hamilton, Rand Paul, John Schiess and Tami L. Stainfield, for U.S. Senate; Larry Curling and Walker Wood Thomas, for the District 8 House of Representatives seat; Jon Goodwin, Lauren Fowler and James Kyler, for property valuation administrator; Joshua Dale Adams and Cameron Sumner, for District 3 magistrate; Kenneth Wayne Cherry and Alana Baker Dunn, for District 5 magistrate; Will Ezell, Lucas Hale, Patrick Bush, Michael Todd Anderson and Billy Hop Calhoun, for District 6 magistrate; and Brandon Knoth, Jennifer S. Nelson and Matt Schalk, 56th District Judge.

For individuals who are registered Democrat, the ballot includes Joshua Wesley Blanton Sr., Charles Booker, Ruth Gao and John Merrill, for the U.S. Senate; and Knoth, Nelson and Schalk, for 56th District Judge.

Additionally, for those registered “Other,” the ballot includes Knoth, Nelson and Schalk, for the 56th District Judge.

There is a portal available for disable voters, and special assistance will be available at the polls for those who need it.

The county clerk said all precincts are required to have a voting machine that accommodates a person with a disability to cast a ballot privately and free of outside assistance.

If an eligible voter requires assistance due to physical disability, blindness, or inability to read English, the eligible voter may have assistance, as long as it is not by their employer, agent of their employer, union officer, or agent of that voter’s union.

If you have any questions about these services, call the clerk’s office at 270-522-6661.

Reach Tonya S. Grace at 270-887-3240 or

Speeding an ongoing problem in the community
  • Updated

Speeding has been an ongoing issue in the local community, Cadiz Police Chief Duncan Wiggins told members of the Cadiz City Council during the group’s meeting last week.

“Our officers are writing more speeding tickets than they have in a year,” the chief noted as he spoke in regard to reports of excessive speeding on Wharton Road.

Wiggins said the Cadiz Police Department occasionally receives complaints about Wharton but hasn’t heard anything recently.

A survey of vehicles traveling that road revealed maximum speeds of 32 miles per hour, the chief said, but he pointed out issues with excessive speeding on other roads.

“We have bigger problems,” he said during the meeting on May 3. “We have people driving as fast as 123 miles an hour on the (U.S. 68) bypass.”

“That’s a real problem,” he continued.

The chief shared how one of his officers stopped two vehicles drag-racing on the bypass at speeds of 123, and he said that is particularly a concern for him, both personally since he has family members in the community and in terms of an impact on the public.

He encouraged people to contact his office about any instances of speeding, including information such as when the speeding is taking place and possibly even providing descriptions of the vehicles involved.

The chief said there are several ways law enforcement can address the issue, from issuing speeding tickets to utilizing electronic speed and traffic counting systems.

The counting systems sit on utility poles and count the vehicles and their speeds as they pass through, but they cost anywhere from $1,700 to $2,000, the police chief noted.

He said his department doesn’t really want to write tickets and cost drivers a fine, especially when those drivers may only be going a few miles over the speed limit, and installing speed bumps — another solution to the problem — could damage vehicles and leave the city liable for those damages.

The police chief noted that speeding has been an ongoing struggle for the community.

“We’ve always had stretches of road that were problem areas,” Wiggins told the council.

He urged residents to call the police department and report the speeders they see.

Wiggins can be reached at 270-522-8369, extension 5, and callers may leave a message.

In other business:

  • On Main Director Ryan Clark said singer Olivia Faye from American Idol will perform a free concert from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. May 13 at the Renaissance Stage as a part of the Summer Concert Series. Additionally, Take Kids Fishing Day is slated for June 4.
  • The council reappointed Charlotte Brown to the Pennyrile Regional Council on Aging.
  • Cadiz City Clerk Barbie Johnson conducted first readings for several ordinances related to lots at East End Cemetery, water rates, an amended budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year and the budget for the 2022-2023 year.
  • Public Works Director Craig Oakley said the street department is pressure washing road signs that are dirty and painting others. He said 25 lots were recently sold in East End Cemetery at a combined cost of $10,000.
  • Johnson also noted that Oakley has received a $161,000 sewer and water grant.
  • The police chief said his department’s 2022 Ford Interceptor vehicle is now in service.

Reach Tonya S. Grace at 270-887-3240 or