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Crime Stoppers' donation increases reward to $1K in shooting investigation

Thanks to a donation from the local Hopkins County Crime Stoppers, the Madisonville Police Department has announced an increase in the reward amount for an initial tip that will lead to the arrest and conviction connected to a shooting that injured five individuals on Aug. 30.

The $500 donation raised the overall reward to $1,000, according to MPD Maj. Andy Rush, who said the tips that are given to the department are time stamped so that the department is able to tell which tip was received at what time.

To receive the $1,000, the tip must be the first tip that leads to the arrest and conviction of the shooter, said Rush.

Officers responded to an assault call at 1:28 a.m. on Aug. 30 on Elm Street and Pride Avenue where approximately 100 people were gathered, according to police reports.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact MPD Detective Kyle Dame at 270-824-2121 ext. 2014. Anonymous tips can be left with the Hopkins County Crime Stoppers at 270-825-1111.

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Pennyrile State Park's beach, other attractions remaining open

Days are growing shorter, pumpkin spice lattes are back, and the end of summer is drawing near

However, the Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park is holding on to the last remaining days of the season.

“Our park is so beautiful. We have trails, we have loads of free stuff that you can do in your community, the beach is free to swim at, the trails are free to hike,” said recreations supervisor Haley Joseph. “So it’s just a great opportunity to get back to nature and get outside and really just enjoy the beauty of Dawson Springs.”

The beach is currently open and will remain so until the water temperature drops into the 70s regularly, said Joseph.

Louisville family and park guests Teri and Sidney Brigman and their son, Brady Shafer, said they came to the park last week because they heard it was one of the state’s rare beauties.

“We decided to try to come up here, so we drove two and a half hours,” said Teri Brigman. “It’s very pretty. It’s very quiet. Other campgrounds can be kind of loud. This one up here, it’s nice and quiet. Everybody seems friendly.”

Guests like the Brigmans still have those last moments of summer to swim, boat, and enjoy the scenery in Dawson Springs.

“During this season, we actually still have swimming available, but that’s going to be on a week-by-week basis,” Joseph said. “We still have mini-golf you can play over at the camp store until November.”

Joseph said the horse campground and the park’s golf course are open all year long, but most other attractions close mid-November.

The park host several scrapbooking events, all of which are currently sold out. Joseph said during the second week of October, they are hosting an oil painting weekend event.

“Oct. 9 through 11, I’m doing an oil paint weekend, and masks will be required because it is indoors,” she said. “It’s going to be a limited class size. Only 15 people can be in it. They’ll all have their own table, unless they are a couple that lives together.”

As fall creeps quickly, Joseph said they are planning their Halloween activities now. Park employee Gabby West said they have a site decorating contest each year at the campgrounds, and the winner normally gets a free night at the grounds.

“It’s super fun,” she said.

They are also planning to hold a pumpkin carving contest, where participants carve their pumpkins beforehand at home or at the campground, said Joseph. They are then judged, and the best one wins various prizes. She said they’ll also have a costume contest. Dates for the fall events will be announced on the park’s social media accounts.

As the park has entered its off season, they are running a special for lodge rooms throughout the week — Sunday through Thursday. Joseph said the special is called “The more you stay, the less you pay.”

“If you stay two nights, you get 15% off, three nights 20% off, four nights 25% off,” she said. “We are running a room special in case anybody wants to stay during the week.”

City to pay $12M to Taylor's family, reform police

LOUISVILLE (AP) — The city of Louisville will pay $12 million to the family of Breonna Taylor and reform police practices as part of a lawsuit settlement months after Taylor's slaying by police thrust the Black woman's name to the forefront of a national reckoning on race, Mayor Greg Fischer announced Tuesday.

Taylor's death sparked months of protests in Louisville and calls nationwide for the officers to be criminally charged. The state's attorney general, Daniel Cameron, is investigating police actions in the March 13 fatal shooting.

“I cannot begin to imagine Ms. Palmer’s pain, and I am deeply, deeply sorry for Breonna’s death,” Fischer said, referring to Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer.

At Tuesday's news conference, an emotional Palmer pushed for charges against the officers involved in the shooting.

“As significant as today is, it’s only the beginning of getting full justice for Breonna," Palmer said. “We must not lose focus on what the real drive is and with that being said, it’s time to move forward with the criminal charges because she deserves that and much more."

The lawsuit, filed in April by Palmer, alleged the police used flawed information when they obtained a “no-knock” warrant to enter the 26-year-old woman's apartment in March. Taylor and her boyfriend were roused from bed by police, and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, has said he fired once at the officers thinking it was an intruder. Investigators say police were returning fire when they shot Taylor several times. No drugs were found at her home.

“We won’t let Breonna Taylor’s life be swept under the rug,” said Ben Crump, an attorney for Taylor's family.

Crump said the $12 million settlement is the largest such settlement given out for a Black woman killed by police. He also called for charges against the officers and urged people to “say her name," a phrase that has become a refrain for those outraged by the shooting.

Fischer said the civil settlement has nothing do with the criminal investigation.

Asked about the criminal investigation, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who represents Kentucky, told reporters Tuesday “the investigation seems to have been more complicated than a lot of people felt.” He said he has confidence in Cameron and stands by him.

The Louisville news conference was broadcast over a loudspeaker downtown and protesters listened as they sat around a memorial to Taylor.

Protesters gathered Tuesday at what they have renamed “Injustice Square” to listen to the news conference on loudspeakers. Some had been there every day for 113 days, demanding justice for Taylor. The announcement did not bring them much comfort.

“It’s just not enough,” said Holly McGlawn, who stood calculating how much Taylor might have made had she lived. Taylor could have worked to another 40 or 50 years, she said. “You can’t put a price on a Black woman being able to sleep at night and know she’s not going to get murdered.”

In the time since Taylor's shooting, her death — along with George Floyd and others — has become a rallying cry for protesters seeking a reckoning on racial justice and police reform. High-profile celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and LeBron James have called for the officers to be charged in Taylor's death.

Palmer's lawsuit accused three Louisville police officers of blindly firing into Taylor’s apartment the night of the March raid, striking Taylor several times. One of the officers, Jonathan Mattingly, went into the home after the door was broken down and was struck in the leg by the gunshot from Walker.

The warrant was one of five issued in a wide-ranging investigation of a drug trafficking suspect who was a former boyfriend of Taylor's. That man, Jamarcus Glover, was arrested at a different location about 10 miles (16 kilometers) away from Taylor's apartment on the same evening.

The settlement includes reforms on how warrants are handled by police, Mayor Fischer said. Other reforms seek to build stronger community connections by establishing a housing credit program to encourage officers to live in certain low-income areas in the city. Officers will also be encouraged to perform two paid hours of volunteer work every two weeks in the communities where they serve. The city will also track police use of force incidents and citizen complaints.

The city has already taken some other reform measures, including passing a law named for Taylor that bans the use of the no-knock warrants. Police typically use them in drug cases over concern that evidence could be destroyed if they announce their arrival.

Fischer fired former police chief Steve Conrad in June and last week named Yvette Gentry, a former deputy chief, as the new interim police chief. Gentry would be the first Black woman to lead the force of about 1,200 sworn officers. The department has also fired Brett Hankison, one of the three officers who fired shots at Taylor's apartment that night. Hankison is appealing the dismissal.

The largest settlement previously paid in a Louisville police misconduct case was $8.5 million in 2012, to a man who spent nine years in prison for a crime he did not commit, according to news reports.


Associated Press writer Claire Galofaro in Louisville, Kentucky, contributed to this report.

Fiscal Court approves second reading of 2020 tax rates

The Hopkins County Fiscal Court approved the second reading of the 2020 tax rates at its Tuesday meeting.

During the meeting, Hopkins County Magistrate Charlie Beshears said that none of the rates had increased due to COVID-19.

“These are the same rates that we have had for the last several years,” he said.

Real property remains at 14.5, tangible personal property is at 20.12, motor vehicles and watercraft is at 10.3, the Board of Health Real Property is at 3.9, extension real property is at 2.613, extension personal property is at 3.8731 and extension motor vehicle and extension watercrafts are at 1.45. All tax rates are based on cents per $100 of the taxable value of properties subject to taxation.

The fiscal court also agreed to continue assisting the City of Dawson Springs and the Dawson Springs Independent School District with funding for a school resource officer.

“We entered into this agreement two years ago,” said Hopkins County Judge-Executive Jack Whitfield Jr.

According to the agreement, the fiscal court will pay the city of Dawson Springs a sum up to $20,000 payable in nine monthly installments of $2,222.22 each month.

The city will provide the school district with one retired Kentucky Certified Police Officer. The agreement also states the school district will pay the city of Dawson Springs the sum of up to $20,000 payable in four installments of $5,000 each.

During comments, Whitfield reminded everyone that Breaking Bread Ministries will hold a Tyson Chicken Giveaway today beginning at 9 a.m. at numerous locations including Hopkins County Fairgrounds Ballard Center located at 605 East Arch Street; Hanson City Hall located at 30 Sunset Road; Dawson Springs Town Square, Earlington City Hall located at 103 West Main Street; Nebo City hall located at 100 South Bernard Street; Mortons Gap City Hall located at 102 South Main Street; Nortonville City Hall located at 199 South Main Street and White Plains City Hall located at 106 Northeast Railroad Street.

Chicken will be available until supplies run out.