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Brylee Spurlin performs the high jump during a meet at Hopkins County Central earlier this season. Spurlin will be in the high jump event at the KHSAA Class A Meet today at UK.


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Investigation into shooting of Dawson Springs teen continues

It has been a week since 16-year-old Dakota Carter was shot and killed at his parents’ home in Dawson Springs. One arrest has been made in connection with the shooting, but Kentucky State Police say the investigation is continuing.

KSP Post 2 Public Information Officer Brandon McPherson said there were no new updates with the investigation and did not offer comment when asked if Carter was the intended target of the shooting.

Michael Roche, 19, of Dawson Springs, was charged by the KSP on June 2 at his home with complicity to murder along with cultivating in marijuana (five plants or more), delivering or manufacturing drug paraphernalia and endangering the welfare of a minor.

McPherson could not confirm if he anticipates more arrests being made.

Roche is lodged in the Caldwell County Jail and, according to Caldwell Circuit Court Clerk Danny Hooks, is set to appear in court for arraignment on the drug and minor endangerment charges at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, June 21, but said the complicity to murder charges would be taken up in Hopkins County.

Hopkins County Circuit Court Clerk Tanya Bowman said Wednesday that Roche’s dates for court in the county have not been set.

McPherson said the complicity to murder charge means that Roche is considered an accomplice in the murder, but said the KSP has not determined if he was the actual shooter or not.

As of Wednesday, Roche remains housed in jail with a total of $105,000 in bonds.


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Dawson's 'BarBQ' Homecoming packed full of fun, food
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The Annual BarBQ Homecoming will be held on Friday, July 23 in downtown Dawson Springs. For 73 years, the “BarBQ,” as referred to by Dawsonians, has been held on the fourth Friday in July as a fundraiser for the Dawson Springs Community Center.

The community center “is operated solely on the revenue from the annual BarBQ and rental fees throughout the year,” said Jennifer Hall, one of the center’s board members.

Each year, the community center’s Board members assemble to plan the events of that fourth Friday in July — lunch, dinner, and the street fair. A group of volunteers, gathered by fellow board member Lindsey Morgan, worked together earlier this week to make the sauce.

Because everyone knows that without the sauce, the BarBQ Homecoming would be impossible to host.

“We made four batches,” Morgan said. “Each batch of sauce yields 25 gallons, so we have 100 gallons to bottle.”

Morgan will call on that same group of volunteers to bottle and label the sauce.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its social distancing protocols drastically changed the format of 2020’s festivities, but those attending can expect things to return to as normal as possible in 2021, with one of 2020’s additions.

“This year we will offer lunch and dinner inside the Community Center, but will also offer drive-thru service outside of the Community Center,” said Hall. “This was very well received last year so we are bringing it back.”

The tables used at the community center for all events throughout the year have seen better days, so Hall is making a plea on the Board’s behalf.

“Over the last few years, the tables have fallen into disrepair and we would like to replace these before the BarBQ next month if possible,” Hall said.

If you are interested in making a donation towards the purchase of new rectangle and round tables, you may e-mail Hall at jennifer.hall@hopkins.kyschools.us or text her at (270)836-3128.

On the big day, lunch and dinner will be served at the community center from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Many volunteers are needed at the center early that morning in order to pull the meat from the bone and shred it to prepare for sales by sandwich and by the pound, so be watching the event’s page on social media at www.facebook.com/73rd-Annual-Dawson-Springs-Barbeque for that call to service.

The street fair will be held that evening from 6 to 9 p.m. in the town square. As in tradition, the street fair features games, giveaways, barbeque sold by the sandwich, and an assortment of vendors. There will also be live music by the Instant Zeal Band.

At the conclusion of the street fair, the winners of the raffle will be drawn. Each year, the raffle has the potential of bringing in the most funds for the community center thanks to the generous donations of prizes by local businesses. The grand prize of $500 cash is sponsored this year by the Hopkins County Tourist & Convention Commission.

Local merchants willing to donate prizes (merchandise or cash) may contact directors Kathy Nichols at 270-836-3959, Darla Adams at 270-841-7299, or Dusty Vinson at 270-339-0156. To be eligible to win prizes, raffle tickets may be purchased on July 23 during lunch, dinner, or the street fair.

There are always other special events such as class and family reunions held over the course of the weekend following the BarBQ Homecoming. Fundraisers sponsored by the community center and already announced for Sat. July 24 are the Dawson Springs BBQ 5K, Golf Scramble, and a Barbeque Festival Car Show.

The Dawson Springs BBQ 5K is organized each year by Donnie Dunbar.

“This is a scenic run through historic Dawson Springs with the best 5K shirt in west Kentucky,” said Dunbar.

The race has a start time of 8 a.m. at the community center. For more information or to register, you may contact Dunbar at 270-836-3466, or follow the 5K’s sporting event page on Facebook.

The deadline to sign up for the golf scramble is Friday, July 16. The golf tournament begins at 8 a.m. at Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park.

There are cash prizes for the three- or four-person scramble, which is “luck of the draw.” The entry fee is $60 per person. Those interested in signing up may call Adams or Pennyrile’s golf course at 270-797-7888.

David Thorp, organizer of the monthly Dawson Springs Cars & Coffee show, has been charged with organizing the festival’s Car Show, which will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the town square with winners receiving a People’s Choice and Mayor’s Choice award.

For more information on the events surrounding the 73rd Annual Dawson Springs BarBQ, you may call Adams at 270- 841-7299.


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Dawson Springs, Madisonville libraries ready for summer

Now that summer is here, the Madisonville and Dawson Springs library locations have their programs in full swing.

Shanna Turner, the children’s and young adults’ services and outreach coordinator, said they kicked off the summer with their Summer Reading Bingo.

“This year, we have decided to go with bingo cards instead of timesheets,” she said. “Just trying to change it up and keep things interesting.”

She said the program is county-wide, so anyone who signed up at the Dawson Springs location or the Madisonville location will be participating in the same program.

“If you sign up at one library, you are signed up at the other, and you can turn the sheets in at either place,” said Turner.

Anyone from newborns to adults can participate in the Summer Reading Bingo program, she said. They have weekly drawings for teens and adults who have turned in their completed bingo sheet, and children can pick something out of a toy box.

Turner said there are several different ways to get a bingo sheet either on the Facebook page, on the library’s website or people can pick one up from the front counter. Because it is summer and people take vacations and go to summer camps, she said there are several ways to turn in the bingo sheets as well, like through Facebook messenger or they can email a photo.

The Summer Reading Bingo program started on May 30 and will continue until June 30. The last day to turn in completed bingo sheets is by 3 p.m. at either library location.

Turner said this month Animal Tales will be visiting Madisonville City Park and the Dawson Springs City Park showcasing different animals.

“They bring animals that we normally wouldn’t see here in Kentucky,” she said. “It is kind of exciting to see what they are going to bring this year.”

In the past, Animal Tales have brought kangaroos and koalas, animals that most people wouldn’t see outside of Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo, she said.

Animal Tales will be at Madisonville City Park at 1 p.m. on June 26 and Dawson Springs City Park at 4:30 p.m. on June 26.

In July, the libraries will be having Parking Lot Book Bingo, which is just like normal bingo, but winners will receive a book as a prize, said Turner.

Dawson Springs bingo will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on July 16 and Madisonville bingo will be from 4 to 6 p.m. on July 17. Both events will have Dibby’s Ice Cream Truck for people to cool off while they play.

To end the summer festivities Dawson Springs and the Madisonville locations will have a joint summer Drive-In Movie Night on Aug. 7 at the Madisonville location, said Turner. Snacks will be available, but people can bring their own.

“We have talked about it a couple of times, if the drive-in movie is a big hit it may be a repeat program,” said Turner.

Starting June 13, both locations will offer grab-n-go craft bags, and each week will feature a different craft for at-home summer fun. Also starting June 13 and every Sunday after, there will be challenges posted to the library’s social media and website for all ages to do.

Turner said since the library has not held its big fundraiser auction for the second year in a row, they came up with the idea to do mini auctions at the library. They started last month with a three-piece lawn set, and this month five items are on display at the Madisonville location for people to bid on.

She said there are two lounging chairs, a glider couch, a beverage cart and a mobile grill.

“People can come in, and there are slips of paper they can write down their name, number and how much they would be willing to pay for that item,” said Turner.

At the end of the month, the employees will go through the pieces of paper and call the person with the highest bid, she said.

Library Director Joel Meador said they are still taking precautions and are not offering any indoor programs currently.

“We are easing back into it at the moment,” he said.

While people are allowed in the library, there are no meetings and no sitting areas, said Meador. The computers are still socially distanced, and he believes they will stay that way for a while.

The library did have a policy of quarantining any materials that came back, like books or movies, for nine days, and then three days, he said. After Friday, when restrictions are supposed to lessen, the library will probably do away with quarantining materials, said Meador.

“Which will be good for our patrons, they won’t have to wait to check something out,” said Meador.

He said the library board is scheduled to meet next week and they will probably discuss what restrictions to keep in place and what can be allowed back.

“For us, I think it is going to be a gradual thing,” said Meador.

The Madisonville branch is located at 425 East Center Street and is open 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. The Dawson Springs branch is located at 103 West Ramsey Street and is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 Tuesday through Friday and from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

For more information on Dawson Springs Library, call 270-797-8990 or visit the Facebook page Dawson Springs Branch Library. For more information on the Madisonville branch, call 270-825-2680 or visit their Facebook page at Hopkins County Madisonville Public Library.

People can also, visit www.publiclibrary.org or email hcmplsrp@gmail.com.


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