August saw the implementation of a new garbage ordinance and began a possible new era of garbage service in McCreary County.
After a deal to extend the last contract with Scott Solid Waste was put in to effect the prior December, the Fiscal Court strengthened the ordinance, putting more emphasis on mandatory collection – a provision that had been in place for more than 20 years but never enforced – and began the process to solicit bids for a new provider.
Poff Carting eventually won the bid to take over the service and will begin at the first of this year. In December Citizens voiced their displeasure over the ordinance and protested the mandatory aspect of the law.
A McCreary County Transport Officer made headlines after being indicted by a Leslie County Grand Jury after he allegedly had sex with a female prisoner en route to taking her to jail. Wesley Stephens has a January Court date for a pre trial conference in the case.
McCreary County was witness to a relatively rare event on August 21 when a solar eclipse passed across the United States. Just off the path for totality, McCreary Countians still were able to see the eclipse at about 98 percent of full coverage.
September saw revelations that McCreary County School’s Assistant Superintendent Aaron Anderson had been reprimanded by the Education Professional Standards Board for reportedly having a sexual encounter on a school bus while at an elementary basketball tournament. The incident reportedly occurred several years prior to the reprimand and had come to light after a discrimination complaint was filed against the school official. Anderson was subjected to a two-year probationary period and ordered to complete ethics training.
McCreary County Schools received good news in October as test scores indicated growth in students testing at proficient and distinguished levels. Due to changes in the accountability system it was difficult to compare this year’s results to previous ones, but Superintendent Mike Cash stated the scores would have been the highest since accountability testing began in 1990.
The McCreary County Rescue Squad underwent a significant change in October as well. The groupof volunteers was officially disbanded and the responsibilities were undertaken by local fire departments as the Squad was experiencing personnel issues.
While 2017 was a busy year for McCreary County law enforcement, with numerous drug busts and arrests, perhaps none was more interesting than the conclusion on a case that began in 2015. 17 suspects in a major drug ring in McCreary and Pulaski County accepted 123 years of Federal jail time collectively in a case that began with a traffic stop and eventually led to a major methamphetamine distribution ring.
As the year wrapped up people began looking toward the 2018 election season. With every County position up for election, political office hopefuls began filing their intention to run in November, with 39 candidates registered so far at the end of the year.
December also featured the return of a fan-favorite – the Christmas Parade. Outgoing Tourism Director Christie Hill organized the festive event, featuring more than 75 participants – returning a parade tradition to downtown Whitley City for the first time in several years.