Hopkinsville

Courtesy of Markeeta Wilkerson

A celebration of the Afro-centric holiday, Kwanzaa, is coming back to Hopkinsville, Ky., for the second year.

Activities begin on Dec. 26 with a Kwanzaa Festival at the Old Christian County Middle School, and run through Jan. 1.

The community celebration, which is open to people of all races and cultures, started in Hopkinsville last year when Markeeta Wilkerson decided her city needed a boost.


Cory Sharber I WKMS

Former Hopkinsville High School Band Director Jordan Seth Peveler has been indicted on four counts of rape, four counts of sodomy and unlawful transaction with a minor.

The charges are Class D Felonies. According to the indictment, the alleged acts involved a minor and occurred between June 2017 and May 2018.

The indictment describes incidents as taking place in a school instrument closet and in his home. The unlawful transaction involves providing marijuana to a minor.

Casey Jones Distillery

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour is welcoming its 20th member.

Casey Jones Distillery in Hopkinsville has been added to the craft tour, which is made up of smaller boutique distilleries across the commonwealth.

Casey Jones President Peg Hays says while her distillery is known for making moonshine, it will also soon sell Kentucky’s signature spirit.

“Actually, we are making bourbon now, and we have bourbon laid up in barrels and racks, and we’ll be having our first bottling and we’ll have it on the market this December.”

Suspect in Kentucky Officer's Death Killed in Tennessee

Mar 30, 2018
Kentucky State Police

A man wanted in the fatal shooting an off-duty police officer in a small Kentucky city was found and killed by law enforcement officials in Tennessee.

James K. Decoursey, 34, of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, "had a brief encounter with law enforcement" officials in Clarksville, Tennessee, where he "was shot and died from his injuries," Kentucky State Police Trooper Rob Austin said in a statement released early Friday.

Kentucky State Police said Decoursey fatally shot 38-year-old Hopkinsville officer Phillip Meacham Thursday afternoon, then fled on foot and drove away in a stolen pickup truck. The details about his final encounter with law enforcement in Tennessee later Thursday weren't immediately released. Austin said the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating.

Kentucky Mesonet

The Kentucky Mesonet dramatically increased data collection at its 68 weather and climate monitoring stations during the solar eclipse. 

Melissa Griffin is responsible for data quality for Kentucky Mesonet, which is based at Western Kentucky University. She says the data that came in during the eclipse provides almost a real-time collection of atmospheric conditions.

Lisa Autry

Every first Saturday in May, Kentucky is home to the most exciting two minutes in sports.  On August 21, the state will be home to the most exciting two minutes in astronomy…two minutes and 40 seconds to be exact. 

Hopkinsville, Kentucky will be the epicenter of the first total solar eclipse to sweep across the United States in 99 years.  For a town of just over 30,000 people, it’s a really big deal.

Dubbed "Eclipseville,” at least 50,000 visitors from around the globe are expected to descend on Hopkinsville.  Local parks will become campsites.  The National Guard will mobilize for crowd control.  Schools will close.

Jonell Edwards has lived in Hopkinsville since 1953 and has never seen her hometown this excited about anything.

"People from overseas are coming. I think everything is going to be crowded," stated Edwards.  "It’s only going to last a few minutes, but everybody’s coming to see it.”

NASA

A total solar eclipse will race across the U.S. this month from Oregon to South Carolina, offering a once-in-a-lifetime celestial show. 

On Aug. 21, the moon will pass in front of the sun, casting its shadow across all of North America.  All of Kentucky will see a partial eclipse, but many places in the commonwealth will experience a total eclipse. 

With two minutes and 40 seconds of totality, Hopkinsville is considered the best viewing location in the world, but an astronomy professor at Western Kentucky University says other cities in Kentucky are attractive viewing spots, as well.  Dr. Richard Gelderman says, for example, Franklin will have totality for two minutes and 25 seconds.

Hopkinsville Police Dept.

A Hopkinsville police officer is in jail on child sex abuse charges. 

Ian Levi Damber, 32, was arrested Friday morning and is charged with five counts of first-degree sexual abuse. 

KSP Capt. Brent White says that on August 17, troopers began an inquiry into a complaint from a local church.  Upon learning that the subject of the complaint was a Hopkinsville officer, they accelerated the investigation which led to the arrest Friday.  

HPD says Damber has been an officer at the department since 2013 and that he chose to “terminate his own employment” Friday morning.

 

Hopkinsville High School has refused to run three students’ senior yearbook quotes that reference their LGBT lifestyles, and one of them has filed a petition against the school board saying its discrimination.

More than 1,500 western Kentucky and northwestern Tennessee residents gathered at Fort Campbell Tuesday night to share concerns about potential cuts.

Kentucky State Senator Whitney Westerfield,a Republican from Hopkinsville, might put his name in the currently unopposed race for Kentucky Attorney General. Westerfield said he doesn’t want current candidate Democrat Andy Beshear to be Kentucky’s only option.

A state Senator and Representative from Hopkinsville are among a small group of lawmakers working to craft new legislation aimed at curbing the state’s rising problem with heroin.

Senate Judiciary Chair Whitney Westerfield and House Judiciary Chair John Tilley are helping to create a bill they hope can pass the 2015 General Assembly. A bill introduced in this year’s session failed because of concerns over a part of the measure that would have allowed prosecutors to charge heroin traffickers with homicide if someone they sold to died from an overdose.

Speaking to CN2’s Pure Politics, Senator Westerfield said a bipartisan group from both the House and Senate believes something needs to be done to strengthen the state’s heroin laws. The Christian County Republican says he wants to see a bill that cracks down on dealers while also increasing treatment options for addicts.

A recent report from Kentucky’s Office of Drug Control Policy showed deaths caused by heroin increased by more than 12 percent in 2013.

Lisa Autry

A bill allowing the use of cannabis oil for treatment of certain medical conditions is one step from becoming Kentucky law. 

The oil, extracted from marijuana and hemp plants, is giving a Hopkinsville family hope for their infant daughter.

Six-month-old Clara Gilliam was born a healthy, nine-pound, nine-ounce baby girl.  But at three months, her behavior started to baffle her parents, Jerry and Julie Gilliam."She started to have what appeared to just be constipation or stomach aches, but her eyes were deviating to the sides, and as a mom, you just know when something's not normal," explained Gilliam.

There was something more to the strange postures and facial movements.  Baby Clara was diagnosed with Aicardi Syndrome, a rare disease affecting only 800 people in the U.S., and all of them females. It turned out that Clara was having seizures.

Julie Gilliam sat in her Hopkinsville home last week, rocking Clara and giving her a bottle.  Her contentment was cut short. 

"She's starting to have a seizure right now.  It looks like it will be a mild cluster," Gilliam remarked.  Sometimes in between the spasms she's crying and all you can do is hold her and comfort her, but it doesn't get any easier as a parent."

A company that aims to manufacture steel tubes for the energy industry is expanding its operations and employment in Hopkinsville.

PTC Seemless Tube Corporation announced Thursday that it plans to create nearly 300 jobs and invest over $100 million  in a new manufacturing facility. It’s a return to the Hopkinsville area for the company, which previously closed its Christian County facility in order to move closer to its customer base.

PTC Seemless now says it wants to return to the region by retrofitting and expanding its former facility. The new manufacturing operation will involve 256,000 square feet of building area.

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority has given preliminary approval for $12 million in tax incentives for the project.

A longtime western Kentucky senator has conceded his loss in the race for the 3rd District seat. Democratic Sen. Joey Pendleton told the Kentucky New Era that he congratulates Republican Whitney Westerfield, a Hopkinsville attorney, on his win and wishes him "the best of luck" during his service in the legislature.

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