Whitesburg KY
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Town mourns fallen officer


Greetings to all. I know it has been a long time since my last column, and I apologize.

As I come to you with the news from Bardstown this week, it has been a sad week. Thursday a very well loved police officer was laid to rest after having been ambushed and murdered in the wee hours of May 25. He was off duty and on his way home.

Having grown up in Cincinnati, Ohio, Officer Jason Ellis came to Bardstown and joined the police force exactly seven years to the day that he was laid to rest in his new hometown of Chaplin. He leaves behind his wife Amy and two sons, one of whom is special needs. The age of the boys has been kept confidential, only that they are both under 10 years old.

The motorcade escorting Officer Ellis stopped traffic and put the entire town on hold for two solid hours because of the number of police officers who came from all around. Some people came as far as California and Arizona to pay their respects. There were over 900 cars and hundreds of citizens and many business owners on our main 3rd Street who came out to see Officer Ellis pass by.

The entire route was lined with 2,300 American flags, which volunteers in this town placed there. Storeowners and homeowners alike had either a flag or blue and black balloons displayed in respect to Officer Ellis. This is the first time in the 150-year history of the Bardstown Police Department that an officer has been killed. It has brought this close-knit town even closer.

Also on Thursday, Bardstown City Schools had their last day for students. Seniors went a half day and the buses were held until after the traffic had cleared the roads because of the motorcade with the funeral of our fallen officer, Jason Ellis.

The Bardstown high school graduation was Saturday, June 1, at 11 a.m.

Since I’m writing this Friday night, I can’t tell you if it was in the auditorium because of rain or on the football field. Bernard Rayburn, formerly of Eolia, is graduating this year and has been accepted at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College. His grandparents, Verna and Chester Rayburn, came from Liberty to attend the graduation ceremony. Afterward, there was a small party for him at his dad’s house and Howie and I accepted the invitation to join them. It was nice to see Verna and Chester again. Everyone had a pleasant time despite the spontaneous downpours of rain that came and went.

June 1 was also the ‘Rev n Ride for Autism’ motorcycle run. It started out near Louisville at Bungalow Joe’s and one of their stops was the Bardstown Moose Lodge. There were lots of bikes and some members of the lodge were also participating in the ride. Some of them that I knew of were Rick and Debra Talhamer, Barth Spalding and Colla Luckett.

The past couple of months we’ve had dry weeks and very wet and rainy weekend. I for one am glad for the rains as the lake that is the main source of the city water supply is no longer below its normal bank measurements. The water still has a horrid odor coming out of the faucet as a result of the drought that pulled dead algae from the lake and river that is the backup source last summer.

Now that the kids are out of school, there will be plenty to do. The city pool opens Monday and the parks should all be open by now. Several people have been seen fishing at Simpson Lake. We’ve been driving by checking for an empty spot when the weather is pretty and we might be in the mood to fish.

New Beginnings Baptist Church has been holding its Wednesday “God’s Dinner Bell” for quite some time now. This is a program for the community to come to the church on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. and eat or take a to-go plate to a friend or loved one.

The dinners have been suspended until July. This is so they can prepare for Vacation Bible School on June 24. The dinner program will start back up in July.

A group of people from this area organized by Amanda Simpson took donations to families in Harlan County. What began as Amanda mentioning that she wanted to help after seeing a TV documentary, totally snowballed and grew into so many people that it is now an organization called Caring Across the Counties. They visited Harlan County on Friday, June 1, and enjoyed the visit and delivered the items they had brought to the families who needed them.

They will continue to have fundraisers and collect more donations and visit other counties in southeastern Kentucky and later West Virginia and Virginia areas.

Prayer list this week includes Kathy and Junior Beavers, June Clark, Philip York, Kevin Cheek, Becky Gordon, Irma Livers, Chris Hammons, Chester and Verna Rayburn, Keith Gambrel, Kacky and John Tingle, Lucy O’Brien, Jo Ann Brown, John Rayburn and Geraldine Kennedy.

I guess that is all my news for this week. May everyone have a blessed week.

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