Monday, August 18, 2008

Lunsford in Hopkinsville Today

Bruce Lunsford is holding a press conference now at the Old Court House in Hopkinsville and will be speaking to the Pennyrile Democrat Association at 6pm tonight at the Pioneer's Pavillion on North Main.

First Lady Jane Beshear in Area

Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear will be in the area Tuesday to make a few visits. I will not be releasing her schedule of appearances but will share some things about her visit afterwards. I look forward to seeing Jane whereas we share some of the same causes. I'll bring more to you Tuesday night.

Football: Male vs Franklin, TN

I ventured to Bowling Green Saturday to watch Bobby Redman's Louisville Male Bulldogs square off against the Rebels of Franklin, TN. Former Hopkinsville HS Coach Craig Clayton is now head coach of Franklin.

The scrimmage was pretty much one sided with Franklin dominating Male on both sides of the ball. Although no score is kept officially, Franklin's first teamers defeated Male 41-17. Male would score 2 more times against Franklin's second and third team to make the final 48-31.

The good news for Male was their running back #26 Green. Bobby told me that he has already committed to Ohio State where his brother plays. This kid is the real deal and he packed the Male offense.

I road down to Bowling Green with Christian Co. Head Coach Steve Lovelace. Christian Co. plays Male in Week #2. The scrimmage was held at Greenwood HS where former Hopkinsville native Greg Cavanaugh is the Head Coach. Lovelace who had attended the Hopkinsville scrimmage in Paducah on Friday Night said that Hoptown looked very good in the scrimmage.

Football season is finally here and I will be traveling to Vanderbilt Saturday to watch Franklin, TN open up in a Bowl Game.

Appeals Court Judges In Hopkinsville

Kentucky Appeals Court Judges, Shea Nickell, Joy Moore and Janet Stumbo were guest of the Hopkinsville-Christian County Bar Association today for a luncheon. I attended as a guest the guest of John Lindsey Adams. Sitting with Lindsey, John Soyars and our Commonwealth Attorney Lynn Pryor, we enjoyed eating a few slices of pizza while we waited on the Judges to arrive. Each Judge spoke briefly and the Court.

Shea Nickell who joined the Court in 2006 represents the area on the Court. Nickell defeated former Hopkinsville attorney Logan Askew to win the seat. Askew now serves as the Lexington City Attorney. Joy Moore is the wife of Boone County Judge Executive Gary Moore. The group was in town to hear appeals. The Judges commented that they plan to continue hearing cases out in the State so that the people of Kentucky may have a better opportunity to see and understand what the Court does.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hopkinsville Area Athletic Woes

As a coach you learn to take the bad times with the good times. In an area like Hopkinsville with all its social, racial and ethnic diversity you know whether you are a coach or a teacher there are going to many hurdles with dealing with students and athletes.

Coaches not just in Hopkinsville but everywhere spend as much time helping raise kids as they do coaching. Whether it be Hopkinsville HS, Christian Co. HS, University Heights or Fort Campbell, coaches truly believe that athletics is a good tool for helping get kids off the streets, keeping them in school, helping them grow socially & mentally, and above all giving them an opportunity to better themselves.

In recent weeks a former Mr. Kentucky Football and a former Miss Kentucky Basketball have all been in trouble. Curtis Pulley was excused from UK's Football team and is now being considered a fugitive whereas a bench warrant was issued this morning for his arrest for failure to appear. Arnika Brown, a member of Western Kentucky University's Women's Basketball team and the OVC Freshman of the Year, was arraigned in Christian County yesterday for 16 felony counts of using counterfeit money to go on a shopping spree. Arnika Brown is an alumni of Christian Co. HS while Pulley graduated from Hopkinsville HS.

If this was not enough, a few months ago former Hopkinsville QB, Chris Thomas was arrested at Austin Peay State University in a drug bust that was reported as the largest in APSU's history. Thomas had drugs, money and a gun in his dorm room. He had a private room. Another Hopkinsville Player Gabe Ladson was charged with rape on school property. While the issue of rape is in question the issue of her being a minor and having sex on school property is not. Ladson's brother Blake is a class act and a former Hopkinsville QB who went on to West Virginia and Western Kentucky University. Blake graduated and is working on a masters degree in Tennessee.

Usually you can count on a couple of kids doing something dumb every year but the last few months for the Hopkinsville Community has damaged our pride and our reputation. No one likes the bad publicity but maybe one thing has come out of this- We have many concerns among our youth and the latest scandals have forced coaches, teachers, administrators and community leaders to take a step back and re-evaluate what were doing and what we need to be doing.

For me one thing is for sure. We have had more successes than failures and we need to do a better job of reminding kids and propping up those athletes up who succeeded on and off the field regardless of the accolades they received in High School. The Hopkinsville - Christian County Community has extended itself time and time again to help these athletes rebound for a second and third chance only for it to end badly for most of them.

Coaches like to say kids are not bad but sometimes they do bad things. I have to still believe in that but I think we have to look for some better ways and new solutions when it comes to athletics and making kids super hero's as teenagers.

Curtis Pulley- Again!!

As a former football coach I think I have seen and experienced it all during my 21 years dealing with youth. It has been hard to watch Curtis Pulley who is a great player and a kid who did all the right things at Hopkinsville High , fall so far.

Arrest Warrant Issued for Curtis Pulley

Pulley, who made some mistakes was given every opportunity by the UK staff and the court system to correct and learn from his mistakes but NO. A tremendous talent that offered up a possible opportunity to play on Sunday, Curtis just never seemed to get it. Today, a Christian County Judge issued a bench warrant for Pulley's arrest for failure to appear. Pulley I'm told, had been provided every courtesy the court could extend and still be responsible. I'm told that Pulley has refused for weeks to even return his attorney's phone calls. Maybe just young and irresponsible but my gosh what a wasted opportunity to gain a college education and maybe play football for few more years. I'm told that Pulley's attorney, John Tilley, officially withdrew from representing Pulley this morning because he believed that he could in good conscious represent a client who no longer would communicate with him.

I was told by one of Pulley's former coaches that Curtis had scholarship offers on the table from Chattanooga and Alabama A&M to continue his education and football career.

Ward Pleads Guilty, Forced To Resign

Mike Ward resigned his position this morning as Commonwealth Attorney for Marshall and Calloway County. Ward was facing a DUI second offense and has also been struggling with alcoholism and cancer.

Ward had been asked by many within the legal community to step down after his first DUI conviction but had refused. This time, special prosecutors Christian County Attorney Mike Foster and Assistant Christian County Attorney Maureen Leamy, insisted that Ward step down and focus on his health and recovery.

It has not been an easy road for Mike Ward but his judgement or lack of it has taken its toll on the credibility of the prosecutor's office. Mike Foster and Maureen Leamy did the right thing by insisting on his resignation and Ward did the best thing for all involved by tendering it. This is just not political story but also a story about addiction and folks out there should support Mike Ward during this time healing and recovery.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Hollenbach's Moral Dilemma

Todd Hollenbach Jr. finally succumbed to the pressures of the left wing elements of the Democrat Party to renounce Frank Simon. In doing this did Hollenbach help or hurt himself? I guess he probably made a few happy in Jefferson County which is his base and it probably won't hurt him in Rural Kentucky much. Why? Because Frank Simon is not the message only the messenger. There will always be the Frank Simons of the world. We refer to them in Western Kentucky as our Pastors, our Deacons, our Priest and our Elders. We call them the pillars of our communities. We call them respected businessmen and farmers. We call them our elected officials, our legislators, our precinct officials and County Democrat Chairman.

I can understand and even respect Todd's decision given the situation he is in but folks need to be reminded that regardless of who the messenger is, it does not change Todd Hollenbachs position on abortion or gun control. Killing off Simon does not change the beliefs or religious convictions of a single Conservative Democrat in Rural Kentucky. Other than a few Liberals being able to raise a glass a beer in victory at some bar in Louisville or Lexington, it will not gain a single vote for the Democrat Party. In short, a lot of effort to gain nothing.

Todd like the rest of the Democrat Party continue to try to balance our "Big Tent" Party as my buddy Jeff Noble would say. Liberal Democrats have no place to go but home while Conservative Democrats have no problem supporting Republicans on Election Day especially when issues like abortion, gun control and gay marriage are issues. The "Golden Triangle" provides political soil which is ever changing while Western Kentucky and Rural Kentucky have not changed in 150 years and are not going to change anytime soon. The vast majority of Democrats in Rural Kentucky do not subscribed to the "Progressive" view nor have they ever.

Although the renewed activism of the Unions and the KEA folks in Western Kentucky will provide some much needed help it will only help in about 6 or 7 counties. The funny thing about that is, historically Unions folks are kinda of like the rest of the voters and vote their gun and their church first. Even I was a little surprised to see the lack of support for Obama while making the rounds Friday in Paducah, Princeton, and Kentucky Dam. Does this mean that the Liberals in the Democrat Party should call for all candidates to renounce a Union endorsement because a majority of the Union folks in Western Kentucky won't vote for an African American? Think about it. My point is this, when we get into threatening officials to renounce people we need to go take a look in the mirror. The hypocrisy in the Democrat Party is just as bad as the Republican Party and we wonder why people don't vote.

In the end it probably did not make a damn bit of difference as to whether Todd Hollenbach Jr. did or did not renounce Frank Simon. What does make a difference is that Todd Hollenbach Jr. stay true to his convictions, not mine or the Liberals in the Democrat Party.