By PJ Martin
2023 started with a lot of frozen pipe damage. Although the freezing temperatures that burst so many pipes occurred on Christmas Eve 2022, the repairs lasted long into 2023.
The Metcalfe Health Care Center was forced to evacuate 62 residents to other facilities after multiple water lines burst and even caved in the ceiling in some areas of the facility. Residents were relocated to other care facilities and some families chose to take their loved ones home with them.
The Metcalfe County Coloring Book project became reality when the coloring books were delivered to residents of both nursing homes, the homeless shelter at Bowling Park, and inserted into each welcome basket ready for new Metcalfe County residents. The project was made possible thanks to the many sponsors and the artwork of Elyda Hicks.
The topic of animal control in the county was once again the issue in the first months of the year. A new contract with the shelter and veterinary care providers, a new website to promote animal adoptions, and a fostering program were just a few of the changes that took place.
March brought great news for the Hornets and Lady Hornets basketball teams as both were crowned the 16th District Champions for the third time in history (1997, 2021, and 2023).
A state of emergency was declared after strong devastating winds whipped through the area on March 3rd causing damage to buildings and trees, and power outages throughout the area. Despite the great efforts of power company workers, some residents didn’t see their power returned until days later.
April saw some political turmoil at Frankfort as Governor Andy Beshear vetoed Senate Bill 150 sponsored by Senator Max Wise to strengthen parental choices in their children’s education. The veto was overridden.
Another big move in April came when the governor signed House Bill 551 allowing gambling on live sporting events and similar online betting sites.
The Chamber of Commerce announced the 22nd recipient of the 2023 Educator of the Year as Lynn Hawkins a teacher at MCHS. The Chamber also announced the 16th recipient of the 2023 Educator Idol of the Year as Lenita Hughes
In May, the efforts began to immortalize a prominent citizen of Metcalfe County, Judge Tom Emberton. The decision was made to create a sculpted statue to be placed in the courthouse after the tragic loss of the judge in a house fire in October of 2022.
The Edmonton State Bank branch in Center had an attempted bank robbery. The robbery suspect was not successful and was last seen riding a motorcycle with white fenders away from the bank.
The 6th annual Founder’s Day was held on May 13th in Summer Shade with the second year of a cruise-in and the yearly parade. The voters selected the 2023 honorary mayor Tommy McMurtrey.
August saw the opening of MyDefense, the first martial arts studio in Metcalfe County. The owner and operator Michael Arnold is well trained in many forms of martial arts.
The Edmonton-Metcalfe Chamber of Commerce began fundraisers for the process of building a stage in the historic courthouse yard. A stage committee was formed and public questions and concerns were addressed at a public meeting. The planned stage will be 24 ft. x 16 ft. and cost an estimated $40,000.
Butler’s Funeral Home was purchased solely by John Horan, of Denver, Colorado and new staff began operating the historic business. The new managing Funeral Director is Dennis McWhorter. The new owner traveled to Edmonton to speak with Donnie and Judy Butler in a meeting to discuss the past and present, and make plans for the future.
The 97th Branstetter Park Homecoming and Music Festival occurred in August and so did the Sulphur Well Homecoming. There was a change in the Sulphur Well event this year. Every event was scheduled on Saturday instead of the past Saturday and Sunday of events.
September saw the start of the Metcalfe Shoebox Mission, which is part of Samaritans Purse Operation Christmas Child, with the goal of 1,300. (2022 total was 1,150) When all was completed and packed to ship the final count of shoeboxes hit 1,472, beating the goal by 172 boxes.
The Metcalfe County High School Golf team competed in the region tournament and finished 6th out of 16 teams in the region. Member Ben Shirley shot a 78 qualifying him for the state tournament. Ben was the first golf team member to qualify in the twenty years of the golf team.
October began with a search for a missing Barren County man John Price whose car was found in the Center Community of Metcalfe County abandoned in a rural area. Sadly, just days after the car was found his body was also found nearby.
The end came for the Carol and Susan Unscripted radio program in October after a 10-year run on 99.1 The Hoss radio station. The program featured retired teachers Carol Perkins and Susan Chamber who discussed the happenings in Edmonton and Metcalfe County and included stories of growing up there. The show featured many local people doing interviews and became quite popular.
The long-time Emergency Management Director Emory Kidd was terminated suddenly on September 28th to the surprise of many. Kidd had held the position for 17 years. As a result, two EM Assistants also resigned. The county has fought with FEMA issues which run back as far as 2010 and the Judge/Executive and magistrates decided to hire a consulting company EUDS to resolve the FEMA problems. The knowledge of a federal investigation dating back to 2018 came to light. The investigation despite being stalled, is ongoing.
Community Medical Care (CMC) made the announcement that it is plans to expand to Metcalfe County opening an office in 2024. CMC has joined with TJ Community Mission Foundation (TJCMF) and plans to offer services through the Senior Program, Working Adult Program, Volunteer Program, and the Barrier to Care Program offering assistance to qualifying individuals with medical, medicine, hearing aids, dentures, and mastectomy supplies.
The recipients of the 29th Annual Jim C. Coleman Award were Clay and Janice Turner a well-known couple who volunteers their time for many fundraisers, church events, Branstetter Park Homecoming, nursing home patients, visiting the sick, and help the Summer Shade Volunteer Fire Dept.
The 4th quarter Achilles award went to Bill and Chris Lagermann who attend and help many community and Chamber events throughout the year.
In December, police began an investigation into a burglary that occurred at the Edmonton IGA. On December 10th at approximately 1 a.m. two white males entered the store and took a large amount of cash and several tobacco products.
For the second year, Edmonton’s Christmas Parade was held at night with large crowds gathering to watch. The parade grew substantially from last year and seemed to be a big hit with those watching. Look out Glasgow, you may have competition next year!