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
  • Hurd Escort Coming Home

     WHITLEY CITY — Emergency responders from more than 15 agencies escorted LaDonna Gibson Hurd back home to McCreary County Friday afternoon.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • 2014 Judge-Executive Candidates PRIMARY PROFILES: Judge-Executive

    This week, the McCreary County Record concludes our survey of candidates vying in the May Primary with Part 2 for the McCreary County Judge-Executive race.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local road projects make budget

    FRANKFORT — The 2014-16 biennial highway construction plan passed last week by the Kentucky legislature includes just over $31 million for two projects in McCreary County.

    April 23, 2014

  • Map the Meal 2014 Map the Meal Gap Study Uncovers State Food Insecurity Rates

    BEREA — The Kentucky Association of Food Banks announced that the annual Map the Meal Gap results released Monday show that food insecurity continues to remain high in Kentucky. According to the newly released data,

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • KyndalPatrick09.jpg Bravery

     PINE KNOT — Kyndal Patrick appears to be like any other little girl on the verge of turning five.
        She’s talkative, full of energy and obsessed with the Disney movie Frozen.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 2014 Judge-Executive Candidates PRIMARY PROFILES: Judge-Executive

    This week, the McCreary County Record is featuring survey responses from all six candidates running for McCreary County Judge-Executive.
        Due to its length, the survey will be published as two halves, with the

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Payroll tax bounces back in 3rd quarter

    WHITLEY CITY — McCreary County’s one-percent occupational tax garnered $341,533.21 in the third quarter of the 2013-14 fiscal year, according to the latest figures released by the Judge-Executive’s Office.

    April 16, 2014

  • Fiscal Court approves road revisions

     WHITLEY CITY — Friday night’s McCreary County Fiscal Court meeting was rather brief but nevertheless covered several departmental issues.
        Topping that list was the approval of a county road list first accepted in

    April 9, 2014

  • 2014 Sheriff Candidates PRIMARY PROFILES: McCreary Co. Sheriff

    This week The McCreary County Record is featuring all six candidates in the race for Sheriff. Survey responses, edited slightly for space, are printed in order of receipt.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Clean Sweep signups start Monday

     WHITLEY CITY — When informed last month of a delay in the release of PRIDE funding, local solid waste officials were concerned how the Spring Cleanup traditionally held in April would be affected.

    April 9, 2014