Daviess County

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Some African-Americans in Owensboro are joining a growing call to remove Confederate monuments in the wake of nationwide protests against racial injustice.

The local NAACP is calling for the removal of a Confederate monument on the lawn of the Daviess County courthouse. The bronze statue features a soldier holding a rifle on top of a granite pedestal. It was erected in 1900 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. 

Rhondalyn Randolph, president of the Owensboro NAACP chapter, says Owensboro is no longer a community that would glorify white supremacy.

“We just want to show we need to progress forward from that kind of thinking, and our community demographics, we are changing," Randolph stated.

Beckett Gilmore

With the coronavirus forcing schools across Kentucky, and the nation, to shut down, educators are being pushed into new territory.

A husband and wife, both teachers in Owensboro Public Schools, are expanding the boundaries of the classroom to keep students engaged while they’re learning at home. Sarah and Joshua Sullivan are among thousands of teachers across the U.S. who are creating the new reality for education in this unusual time.

When it became clear that Owensboro Public Schools would close down to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, sixth grade social studies teacher Joshua Sullivan said educators leaped into action. 

The school district actually set up Google Classroom to have special NTI classes,” said Sullivan, who teaches at Owensboro Middle School. 


Lisa Autry

A Fairness Ordinance failed to pass the Daviess County Fiscal Court at its Thursday meeting. 

 

The ordinance would have offered legal protections for members of the LGBTQ population in the areas of employment, housing, and public accommodations. 

 

The ordinance needed three votes to pass. The vote total was 2-2.

 

Daviess County Judge Executive Al Mattingly and County Commissioner Mike Koger voted in favor of the proposal.

 

County Commissioners George Wathen and Charlie Castlen voted against it.

Lisa Autry

A vast majority of Kentucky’s 120 counties are now considered Second Amendment sanctuaries.  Leaders in those counties have re-affirmed their oath to uphold the Constitution when it comes to the right to bear arms, but what’s known as the "2A Movement" has hit the brakes in Daviess County.  

Jason Potts is a certified public accountant, and it’s tax season.  You could say he’s blowing off a little steam at Rock Hill Range in Daviess County.  He brought with him his AR-15, and two semi-automatic handguns for target practice. He says shooting is in his blood.

"I’m 45, and my entire life I’ve been a gun owner," said Potts. "My dad was in the Army, I grew up around it, and I grew up hunting with him.”


U.S. Census Bureau

Kentucky residents can expect notices in their mailboxes beginning next week with information on filling out the 2020 Census questionnaire. There are new options for this census.

The once-in-10-year count of everyone living in the United States is shifting into high gear, with letters from the U.S. Census Bureau expected to arrive in mailboxes across the nation March 12-20.

The letters will have detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census online, by phone, or by mail.


Lisa Autry

Kentucky’s first anti-discrimination law protecting gays, lesbians, and transgender individuals was approved 20 years ago by the city of Louisville, ushering in a new era of LGBTQ rights. 

Since then, more than a dozen communities have passed what supporters call fairness ordinances.

Mark Twain once said “When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Kentucky, because everything there happens 20 years after it happens anywhere else.”

LGBTQ individuals and their advocates are hoping Daviess County joins the national trend of protecting members of the group through a change in local law. Often referred to as a fairness ordinance, it would protect the LGBTQ population in the areas of housing, employment, and public accommodations.  Gender identification and sexual orientation would be added to an existing law barring discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, and age.

Facebook

One of the races on the ballot this year will feature a rematch for a seat in the Kentucky legislature that represents part of Daviess County.

DJ Johnson is challenging incumbent State Representative Jim Glenn in the 13th District House race.

The 13th District election in 2018 was one for the record books.  Democrat Jim Glenn held the seat for a decade before being defeated by Republican DJ Johnson in 2016.  Two years later, Glenn won the seat back by only one vote.  When a recanvass didn’t change the outcome, Johnson requested a recount, which ended in a tie.  That left a special committee of House lawmakers to decide the winner of the race. 

Lisa Autry

The head of Daviess County government says he now supports giving civil rights protections to the LGBTQ population. 

Judge-Executive Al Mattingly says his position has evolved over time and says local government has an obligation to prevent discrimination in housing, workplaces, and other public accommodations. 

Many in the opposition believe that having a so-called fairness ordinance would make them complicit in what they see as sinful sexual behavior, but Mattingly says he doesn’t agree.

Owensboro Regional Farmers Market/ facebook

The Owensboro Regional Farmers Market is showing significant growth in the number of vendors and customers.

One reason for the increase is the new permanent structure.

This first full season with the permanent pavilion offers shoppers a comfortable place to relax and chat with neighbors, as well as an expanded choice of vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, and crafts. The permanent structure opened in late spring 2018, giving roots to the market that began 35 years ago.

Jim Gilles, president of the board of Owensboro Regional Farmers Market, said the market used to have an average of 30 vendors, and now it’s jumped to 40. He said customers like the increased offerings.


Oasis/facebook

Four men and 25 women in Kentucky were murdered by intimate partners between Sept. 1, 2018 and Aug. 31, 2019.  Some of the convicted or alleged murderers were no longer partners to those who died, but were an ex-boyfriend, ex-wife or ex-husband. 

The Oasis shelter in Owensboro will hold a candlelight vigil in honor of victims of domestic violence on Tuesday, Oct. 1 at Bridgepointe Church at 6 p.m. 

Oasis and a Daviess County family are among those reminding people that there is help to get out of abusive situations. 


owensborosportscenter.com

An Owensboro attorney is asking the city commission to reconsider allowing an upcoming gun show in light of the many mass shootings across the country.     

Owensboro attorney Clay Wilkey said he’s familiar with a law passed by the General Assembly in 2012 that prohibits city or county governments from passing legislation that infringes on a Kentucky citizen’s right to purchase or carry a firearm. But Wilkey said he has concerns about what’s called the “gun show loophole.”

“I thought it was perhaps in poor taste that the city would play host to a gun show where anybody that has $6 to buy an admission ticket and has a Kentucky ID can go into the Sportscenter, and walk out with a firearm, without any requirement that a background check be done,” said Wilkey. 


Becca Schimmel/WKU Public Radio

If you live in Owensboro or Daviess County and have thoughts about the area’s transportation needs, now’s the time to sound off.

Residents are being asked to fill out a seven-question survey that will help the local Metropolitan Planning Organization prioritize both short-term and long-term transportation goals.

Some of the questions on the survey involve residents’ opinions on the construction of new roads, bicycle lanes, and public transit options.

Tom Lovett is with the Green River Area Development District, which is overseeing the survey. He said he’s trying to cast as wide a net as possible to ensure he hears from as many residents as possible.

Owensboro Health

Owensboro Health has a model program that tackles two issues of concern to food aid organizations across the nation - hunger and food waste.

The health care organization is part of a collaboration that's bringing frozen meals to some of Kentucky’s homebound senior citizens.

The program recently won the 2019 Rurual Achievement Award from the National Association of Regional Councils.

The program arose from conversations among staff at Owensboro Health, its food service provider, Morrison Healthcare, and those in the Green River Area Development District who work with senior citizens.


O.Z. Tyler Distillery

Part of a bourbon warehouse in Daviess County collapsed during a thunderstorm.

The partial collapse of the O.Z. Tyler Distillery rickhouse in Owensboro was reported early Monday.

Master Distiller Jacob Call says around 20,000 barrels are stored at the location and it appears that about 4,000 were affected. He says it appears most barrels remain intact.

Call says engineers will be out later Monday to try to determine what caused the collapse. It's unclear if weather played a role.

Owensboro Christian Church

World Refugee Day is being celebrated Saturday in Owensboro.

The International Center of Kentucky is hosting the event ahead of the United Nations-celebrated holiday on June 20.

Susann Bartlett, an employment specialist in the center’s Owensboro office, says the goal of the event is to connect refugees with various resources, while honoring their contributions to the area.

“It’s a chance for the public, our general public here in the community, to interact with our international community, and just get a little taste of culture and tradition and see what they can bring to our community.”

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