Ohio County

The Environmental Protection Agency has discovered high levels of arsenic on a property in Ohio County.

Signs have been posted and a gate put up to keep people away from the site on Shinkle Chapel Road.  Ohio County Judge-Executive David Johnston says a former property owner initiated the probe.

"The lady who lived there became sick and her animals became sick.  She was a dog breed," Johnston tells WKU Public Radio.  "She started asking questions and reported it to the federal EPA."

While he only learned of the contamination two months ago, Johnston says the poison had been on the site since the 1940s.

"Someone brought in several drums of arsenic.  We don't know what the purpose of it was, but it was stored in a barn, which burned down seven years ago or so," Johnston adds.  "It wasn't a threat until then, but it got into a large area and killed all the trees on a few acres of land."

Soil samples revealed extremely high concentrations of the toxic element.  The poison hasn’t contaminated any water supplies. The federal EPA will be overseeing the cleanup.

Jonathunder, Wikimedia Commons

Two former Ohio county officials are alleging illegal activity by Judge Executive David Johnston. 

Purchase Area Avoids Major Storm Damage

Oct 14, 2014

The Purchase Area avoided major damage from a large storm system that proved fatal in other parts of the Southeast yesterday.

Straight line winds caused damage to structures in Obion County and downed trees and power lines were reported in Ballard, McCracken, Ohio, and Union Counties, but no injuries have been reported in the WKMS listening area.

Yesterday’s storm system spawned tornadoes in Arkansas and led to the death of one person in Arkansas, one in Alabama.

Fiscal Courts in Coal Counties Get Refunds

Aug 7, 2014

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear announced Wednesday that 34 fiscal courts in the Commonwealth will receive refunds from mining permit and acreage fees.  Eight counties in our region will receive refunds totaling $58,377.

Wikimedia Commons

A court fight over the name of legendary bluegrass musician Bill Monroe isn't over yet. The Ohio County Industrial Foundation has filed a petition with the Kentucky Court of Appeals seeking a rehearing on whether a nonprofit organization can use Monroe's name to promote The Jerusalem Ridge Bluegrass Music Festival and for tours of the musician's home place in western Kentucky.


Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Crews are reporting several accidents in the area due to icy conditions. KYTC spokesperson Keith Todd says highways through Hopkins, Muhlenberg and Ohio Counties have glazed over. An accident involving three semi trucks on Western Kentucky Parkway at the 84 mile marker in Ohio County is blocking all but one eastbound lane. Tow trucks are having diffuculty with the accident due to icing conditions.


A western Kentucky teacher is among the three chosen for the Gov. Louie B. Nunn Kentucky Teacher Hall of Fame. Juanita Park began teaching in Ohio County in 1944 and worked with student teachers from Western Kentucky University until 2012.

Marcus Obal, Wikimedia Commons

A Greenville woman whose 4-year-old daughter died in a fire 13 years ago and a family friend have been charged with murder in the girl’s death. Kentucky State Police officials say an Ohio County grand jury indicted Virginia Whitfield of Greenville and Tony Lear Tuesday after finding new evidence. They were also charged with two counts of first-degree assault and one count of first-degree arson. Police say the child died in October 1999 from injuries she suffered in a fire a month earlier in Beaver Dam. Two other children escaped but did suffer smoke inhalation.

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An Ohio County festival honoring bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe was successful despite a legal battle over using the music icon’s name and likeness. Festival Organizer Campbell Mercer says around 15,000 fans attended the Jerusalem Ridge Bluegrass Celebration last weekend. A court had stopped Mercer from using Monroe’s likeness or name in promotions. Campbell is in a dispute with Ohio County and the county industrial foundation. Both groups lay legal claim to Monroe’s name and image since they bought the rights from Monroe’s sons 13 years ago.