The McCreary County Record

Local News

December 11, 2012

State DOC officials survey local jail

County officials expect recommendation this week

WHITLEY CITY — County officials are awaiting the fate of the local jail after meeting with the Kentucky Department of Corrections on Thursday.

    DOC Commissioner LaDonna Thompson, Deputy Commissioner of Community Services Paula Holden, Director of Local Facilities Jeff Burton and Jail Services Specialist (inspector) Mike Coomer met with McCreary County Jailer Tony Ball, Judge-Executive Doug Stephens, KACo (Kentucky Association of Counties) attorney Rich Ornstein, and other county officials to tour the aging facility and discuss the state’s concerns about its physical structure and management.

    In August, the county received a report prepared by Burton outlining an array of violations dating back to the first of the year. Judge Stephens told The Record that the DOC scrutiny stemmed from multiple escapes and, most recently, an unflattering county audit. While he has not been notified of any formal decision, Stephens confirmed that he had been advised recently by DOC officials that Commissioner Thompson could possibly recommend closing the McCreary County Jail.

    “We should know something this week,” Judge Stephens said, describing Thursday’s meeting as cordial.

    Jailer Ball said that he feels optimistic after the meeting but acknowledged that he, too, doesn’t know what DOC will finally recommend.

“It’s come to the point where you can’t put any more Band-Aids on a broken leg,” the jailer said.

    Ball said that while Commissioner Thompson appeared to like the corrections which had been implemented since the breakouts, there were concerns about the building’s condition — particularly plumbing, lighting, paint and graffiti.

    He added that his staff had also worked to correct certain forms pertaining to jail operations.

    “I look for [DOC] to leave it to the [fiscal] court to fix the jail as best we can and strive toward building a new jail in the future,” the jailer said.

    Both Stephens and Ball understand the impact that a possible shutdown could have on the county. In addition to the loss of some 15 jobs, Ball called the cost of housing local inmates elsewhere “astronomical.” While Ball would be reclassified as a “Transport Officer,” his salary (which tops $100,000 when including benefits) would not likely change as he is an elected official. The jail’s main source of revenue — a projected $245,000 this fiscal year for the housing of state inmates — would also be lost.

    “If the jail does close, it will be a great burden on the county,” Jailer Ball said.

    Judge Stephens has also expressed concern for the potential loss of state inmates who have worked with the county’s recycling program and other community projects.

    Whatever the final decision, Stephens said he is hopeful that DOC officials will work with the county as they plan for the future.

Text Only
Local News
  • Hatfield Lane 22 marijuana plants Call for aid leads to marijuana discovery

    WHITLEY CITY — A bizarre turn of events led to the arrest of three individuals and the discovery of nearly two dozen marijuana plants Saturday evening.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Charles Rose.jpg County facing new federal lawsuit

    LONDON — Six years after a $3 million judgment for the wrongful death of Alice Rose and her 10-year-old daughter Ashley, McCeary County has once again been sued by the family — this time involving

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Timmie J. Parriman Parriman sentenced to 189 months in federal penitentiary

    LONDON — A local man has been sentenced to more than 15 years in federal prison for his role in a conspiracy to distribute oxycodone.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • BSF Scoping Tourism to Big South Fork Creates $16 Million in Economic Benefit

     ONEIDA —  A new National Park Service report shows that 565,063 visitors to Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area in 2013 spent $16.3 million in communities near the park. That spending

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Federal judge extends dismissal deadline in Ivey suit

    LONDON — On Monday, a federal judge issued an order extending by 30 days all pending deadlines in David and Rhonda Ivey’s harassment suit against McCreary County.

    July 23, 2014

  • Brandi S. Stephens Pine Knot woman jailed after brandishing gun

     REVELO — A Pine Knot woman was taken into custody last Wednesday evening after officers were called to a residence off Pig Skin Road.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • KY Economic Regions Bouncing Back from the Bottom

    FRANKFORT — Most regions of Kentucky are adding jobs, but most of those jobs don’t pay very much, according to a recent analysis of the state’s economy by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

    July 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • McCreary County 911 Dispatch Center 911 Center to move within Ambulance HQ

     WHITLEY CITY — In launching a new fiscal year, McCreary County Fiscal Court accomplished a great deal for a meeting which lasted about a half an hour.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Payroll tax down

    WHITLEY CITY — The June occupational tax report released last week confirms that revenues are down significantly from prior fourth quarters.

    July 9, 2014

  • Farmers Market ribbon cut Farmers’ Market offers something for everyone

     STEARNS — One of the many events taking place over the holiday weekend was the grand opening of the McCreary Farmers’ Market on Saturday.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo