Some historical perspective on the Whitley County Sheriff’s race
To the Editor:
Cock fighting is not allowed in Whitley County but every four years we have a reasonable substitute, local elections.
Normally the Judge-Executive race is where the serious action is but it appears that Pat White’s basic competence is too intimidating this time so all eyes are on the race for Sheriff.
Adding a little extra heat to this fire is some kind of antagonistic stance between our two local papers with Sheriff Hodge in the middle. From what you read it appears that Sheriff Hodge has done a poor job of running the department. I think some historical perspective on the office of Sheriff might be in order.
My folks bought a piece of property in Whitley County in 1949. It was used as a vacation retreat for 20 years and sat vacant for 11 months out of each year. It was broken into EVERY year and EVERYTHING was stolen, the appliances, dishes, furniture…pictures off the wall. So from the time I was five I got to meet the current Sheriff every August. The only one who ever made an arrest was Dick Vermillion.
I also got to see the Sheriffs at my Uncle’s house. Uncle Charley and Aunt Carrie ran a bootleg & gambling joint at the mouth of Brown’s Creek. Whenever we would visit in the evenings there would always be a group of men, judges, lawyers, sheriffs, the pillars of the community, setting around a big table, drinking & playing cards. As a child I was fascinated by this. These things didn’t happen at home. Uncle Charley got arrested a couple times a year & his lawyer, Bill Rose got him out in the morning. Bill Rose was a regular. I have stories!
Anyway, it wasn’t too long ago that if you needed help after dark or on the week ends you didn’t call 911 or the Sheriff, you called the State Police & a Trooper would eventually show up. Sheriffs tended to be opportunistic politicians not law enforcement professionals. Some were mean. I think one of the reasons why H.D.Moses was so popular was because you could feel pretty sure that he wouldn’t break your door down in the middle of the night or jerk you out of your car along some lonely stretch of road & try out his new flashlight on your skull.
Not until Ancil Carter did we get something approaching a 24/7 Sheriff’s Dept. Sheriff Hodge has built on that & now if you live in the county you can call 911 with a very good chance that a deputy with professional bearing will be on the scene promptly. We’re a quantum jump from where we were.
I’m not an accountant and have little idea of how the taxes are handled. I assume that when I write a check to Lawrence Hodge people other than him are delegated to handle the deposits. Presumably they are bonded and a professional accountant periodically audits the books. We should be able to get to the bottom of a misappropriation of funds if there is one.
As for the latest break-in at the Sheriff’s office, a quick reading of the headlines leaves the impression that we need a new Sheriff, BAD!
However, digging a little deeper reveals a number of peculiar circumstances. As I understand it the thieves apparently had a key to the courthouse & seemed to know particulars of how things worked in the Sheriff’s Dept. They only stole some of the guns & some of the records. It’s also interesting that they knew just which drawer of the unlocked filling cabinet to pry open so that they could steal only the log book that showed which guns had been returned while leaving the log that recorded ALL the guns that had been confiscated over some period of time. They left some of the guns, why? What was their motivation? As my old Mom would have said, “The whole thing stinks to high heaven.”
I’m sure there are MANY folks who would like to see Lawrence Hodge fall down & hurt his knees. His offices have been broken into twice before & those crimes were solved. This time we have the BATF&E and the Kentucky State Police on the case in addition to the Sheriff. You can be sure SOMEONE knows and things have a way of coming to light. My hope is that whoever did it and anyone who might have conspired with them are found & prosecuted quickly. I also hope any discrepancies in the taxes or other monies handled by the Sheriff’s office are sorted out well before the election.
I’ve been taking an informal poll of my friends and it seems to be about an even split for and against Hodge. Many folks have unflattering stories to tell of one candidate or the other but of course I have no way of independently verifying any of them. I find it amazing how politics turns us against each other. I’ve never seen a cock fight but surely what takes place in the cock fighting pit is nobler than much of what happens in the political arena.
If we do change Sheriffs in the upcoming election I hope that the next Sheriff will continue to improve the Department and retain the best of the Deputies now serving. As for Lawrence Hodge, it appears to me that he’s been a better Sheriff than others I have witnessed.
May the best man win.
Everyone needed in fight against sexual assault
To the Editor:
March is Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Kentucky and provides an opportunity to highlight year-round efforts to aid those affected by sexual violence and work to prevent future sexual assaults. Through local and state events and campaigns, Sexual Assault Awareness Month highlights sexual violence as a preventable problem.
You probably know someone who has been a victim of sexual assault. Maybe it is a family member, a friend, a co-worker, a church member or a store clerk with whom you have made small talk. You might not know this about them; they might not ever tell you. We know that there is a sexual assault committed in the United States every two minutes. We also know that on in three girls and one in six boys under the age of 18 have been victims of sexual assault. Additionally, one in six women and one in 33 men will be victims of attempted or completed sexual assault at some point in their lives. Many believe that these crimes are committed by people who are strangers to the victims when in fact two-thirds of sexual assaults are committed by people who are known to the victims.
When we think of the people who we care about, these numbers are too high. Sexual Assault Awareness Month focuses on educating both victims and the general public that sexual assault is a crime that has long lasting emotional effects, physical effects, economical effects to both the victim and to society, and can be prevented with everyone’s involvement. Cumberland River Rape Victim Services is the local rape crisis center and provides groups, and education to schools and community groups.
We would like to thank the community for its support in assisting us with our education and prevention efforts. Further information can be gained through the national hotline at (800)-656-HOPE or the regional center at (606) 528-5286.
Cumberland River Rape Victim Services
Inmates aren’t being cared for properly at Whitley Jail
To the Editor:
This is my second attempt at writing my thoughts. The first attempt was so horrid it wouldn’t have been published.
My concerns last voting time was about Ken Mobley taking our inmates snuff and cigs. I am no physician but I do know that sensitive people could go into seizures and die from going cold turkey.
Now let’s discuss this 18-year-old child (Bobby Hubbard) who died while in our jail system. First off, the paper says he eluded the police. Our jail officials have made jail so bad, who would not try to elude the police if they knew they had to go to the Williamsburg jail?
Secondly, he had drug paraphernalia and had a known history of drug use. That tells me right there that this child should have been watched for withdraw symptoms. I am not excusing what the young man did, I am questioning his treatment in our jail. Evidently he wasn’t being cared for as needed. So he complained of flu symptoms, shouldn’t that have called for a more careful watch, or was this young man put into isolation for complaining that he was sick and then forgotten about?
I’ve heard lots of talk about this jail being cold — too cold. Mr. Mobley I pay taxes and I want these inmates to have enough heat. There’s also supposed to be monies for rehab for people with drug problems. You know the place where they send you to get you off drugs with a physician handy in case you code. I believe its called a hospital.
Mr. Mobley, you have proven yourself unfit to care for these inmates and I am calling for you to resign this post. I believe in my heart that this staff of yours set on their behinds and let this young man die. If you knew ahead of time that he had problems with drugs, it was your responsibility to see that he was treated humanely. This literally makes me vomit the way I have heard that these people are treated and I am calling for a full investigation and I would love to see you Mr. Mobley and your so caring faculty brought up on murder charges. You have a job Mr. Mobley, it is to care for the people put in your CARE.
I fully intend to call every legislature and I will write to our president. I’ve had it up to my throat with your mistreatment of our inmates. They might be inmates but they are human beings! Do you not know this?
I hope this boy’s parents sue you and your staff until you don’t have two pennies to rub together but I do as God that when you all leave this life to have mercy on your souls. Maybe you didn’t know any better.
Some things are more important than basketball
To the Editor:
For eight years I have been playing basketball in the Whitley County School system. This year, I signed up to play again in my freshman year of high school. I was prepared for the rules to be different from my grade school and junior high school years. I love to play basketball and do everything I can to support my team.
This year my coach made the rule that we were to practice on Sundays from 3:00 p.m. to 5 p.m. This created a conflict for me. I have been going to church for a long time. The church my family and I attend holds their services on Sunday, with Sunday school beginning at 5:00 p.m. My church is on the opposite side of the county from the high school campus. There was no way I could make it to practice and attend church also.
I choose to attend church because church is very important to me. When I went to basketball practice after school Monday afternoon, I found I was to be punished for missing practice the previous day (Sunday). My punishment was to be, run up the stairs, around the top of the gym, down the stairs and back to the beginning 15 times. It took me over an hour of hard running to do my punishment. Part of my family was waiting for me as they always do at the end of scheduled practice. The rest of my family at home was frantically calling around; worried that something had happened to us. This was because I went to church the previous day.
I had explained my absence from practice. My coach said that did not matter, I would still have to run my laps anyway.
Two weeks later my coach again called for Sunday practice from 3 to 5 p.m. I had already explained to him that those practice hours conflicted which my church schedule. Monday after school but before practice I went to my coach and told him that I did not want to be punished for going to church the previous day. My coach said, “Then, the best thing for you to do us just go clean out your locker.”
In today’s world, when we young people are facing so many choices that could easily lead us down the wrong road, I have felt my commitment to my church has been one of my strengths in helping me make the right choices. I feel it was wrong of my coach to punish me for choosing to attend church over basketball practice. Six days a week I will give my best effort in support of my basketball team. I had never refused to do anything asked of me by my coach, until he asked that we give up our church attendance for basketball practice. I felt this was totally unfair.
My father called our school board member and talked to him about the situation. He also talked to Superintendent Lonnie Anderson about it. Mr. Anderson said that the 15 laps was not a punishment for going to church instead of practice, but was to help keep me in shape. That is not what my coach said at the time. He said, “Because you missed practice on Sunday you will have to runt he 15 laps.”
Both my family and I have made many sacrifices for the opportunity for me to play basketball. The sacrifice was very worthwhile until we were asked to give up our Sunday family time and church time. Any other of the six days of the week, I would have made every effort to be at practice and could have accepted any punishment my coach deemed necessary. I truly feel that Sundays are the Lord’s days and the school system should not force us to choose between our religious expression and school expression.
I may look at things a little differently than most people in our community. Basketball is a great sport, for those of us who like it. But we should make church and family our #1 priority.
Whitley County High School.