A1 A1
Woman accused in Smiths Grove shooting sentenced to 15 years
 Justin Story  / 

Candy ANN Moss

A Smiths Grove woman who shot her boyfriend after an argument over the thermostat setting in their home was sentenced Monday to 15 years in prison.

Candy Ann Moss, 53, was sentenced by Warren Circuit Judge Steve Wilson after pleading guilty to first-degree assault, tampering with physical evidence, two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and fraudulent use of a credit card (less than $500).

Moss was arrested after Steve A. Flynn, 64, was shot Nov. 28, 2018, at their residence on College Street in Smiths Grove.

Flynn suffered wounds to the lower left part of his chest, his left hand and near the left side of his neck from two shots fired from a handgun.

Moss told Kentucky State Police investigators she “went crazy” and shot Flynn after an ongoing argument over her adjusting the thermostat in the house, an arrest citation said.

Police searched the residence and found a .38-caliber revolver under the dresser in the master bedroom and two spent projectiles from a Bible bag in a separate bedroom, according to prior court testimony.

Police determined the shooting happened early Nov. 28, 2018, with KSP responding the next day after receiving notification from the Barren County Sheriff’s Office.

At a 2018 court hearing, KSP Detective Joe Gregory testified Moss had been in touch with a friend who worked with Flynn and who then contacted law enforcement.

Flynn was found sitting in the recliner, which Gregory said had been stained with a “substantial amount of blood.”

“(Moss) stated that she didn’t remember (shooting Flynn), but she shared a number of details,” Gregory said at the 2018 hearing. “She seemed to be in a state of regret ... as though she couldn’t believe what she had done.”

Gregory went on to testify that Moss described Flynn as being verbally abusive and controlling in their relationship.

Last year, a grand jury indicted Moss on the forged instrument and fraud charges.

Flynn was named as the victim in that case as well, with Moss accused of possessing forged checks drawn on Flynn’s account Nov. 26-27, 2018, and using a credit card belonging to Flynn the day after the shooting.

Parker-Bennett-Curry student selected for Space Camp scholarship
 Aaron Mudd  / 

Stepping up to the microphone in Parker-Bennett-Curry Elementary School’s gymnasium Monday, fourth grade math teacher Kendra Lowe had a surprise announcement for a student who’d received one out-of-this-world experience.

“Guess what, you guys,” Lowe said, hyping up students as they gathered for a morning assembly before starting the school day. “One of our students from Parker-Bennett-Curry gets to go to space this summer. For free.”

“Congratulations and welcome to Space Camp to our very own fourth grader, MK Hudson!,” Lowe declared as MK stepped up to be recognized with a chorus of cheers and applause from students and school staff.

“I was actually surprised,” MK told the Daily News afterward, adding he’d hoped to get an award during the school’s morning assembly, but wasn’t counting on that.

MK enjoys solving problems, which is what makes math one of his favorite subjects in school, but he recognizes the answers don’t always come easily for other students. You have to study and work hard at getting better, he said.

“It takes lots of practice,” MK said.

MK was one of only 50 students to win a Passport to Space scholarship from Space Camp USA thanks to a partnership between Scholastic and LEGO City.

The announcement was also somewhat of a surprise for Lowe. She’d submitted a few student names months ago when the call for nominations went out, forgetting about it as time went by without any news. That changed recently when she opened her email and got the news: MK was going to Space Camp.

“MK was just a student who automatically kind of stood out because he just excels in mathematics and excels in science,” Lowe said.

This summer, MK will make the trip to Huntsville, Ala., to train like an astronaut in a 1/6th Gravity Chair, learn how to pilot a rocket spinning out of control, build and launch his own model rocket and more.

Lowe put the cost of a weeklong space camp experience at about $1,000, meaning the experience might otherwise be out of his reach.

“I feel pretty great,” Lowe said. “I know that we have some amazing kids at Parker-Bennett-Curry, and I’m just beyond excited that one of them gets to be recognized.”

WCPS' special ed population climbs to 14 percent of enrollment
 Aaron Mudd  / 

Warren County Public Schools spends millions of local tax dollars each year on its special education program, which is supporting 2,416 students with disabilities – about 14 percent of the district’s overall enrollment.

“Ten million dollars out the general fund goes to support that program,” WCPS Board of Education Chairman Kerry Young said at the group’s regular meeting Monday. His comments came in response to a report from Michelle Blick, who directs the WCPS Special Education Department.

Blick’s presentation showed that more than half of those students, 1,675 to be exact, are between kindergarten and the eighth grade. From students with autism, developmental delays or those with visual impairments, the catch-all term “disability” can refer to a broad set of educational needs, she said.

Blick outlined a slew of support services the district offers, including a classroom at Plano Elementary School devoted to students with autism and a workforce transition program for students with disabilities.

Following the report, school board Vice Chairman Garry Chaffin said the program was another example of a service the district provides with too little funding from the state and federal government.

“That’s why we spend another $10 million. … That’s what it takes,” he said.

In other business, the completion of a $5.5 million auxiliary gymnasium at Greenwood High School is facing a delay of a few months as the district works to remediate two sinkholes that were discovered on the project site at the rear of the school, which first opened in 1990.

The school board discussed the “unforeseen obstacles” during their meeting and also heard updates on renovation and construction projects at Warren Central High School and the new Cumberland Trace Elementary School.

At Greenwood, workers have already remediated one sinkhole, an extensive process that requires digging down to the bedrock, WCPS Chief Financial Officer Chris McIntyre said. He added that old utility lines embedded in concrete will also need to be relocated.

Because of that, McIntyre anticipates that the gym will likely not be completed until fall break of the next school year. The plan is to have it ready for students before basketball season starts, he said.

Showcasing the progress at Warren Central, where extracurricular spaces are being overhauled, Sherman Carter Barnhart architect Justin McElfresh shared images of a freshly-stained gymnasium floor.

The new band and choral rooms are also progressing.

“Both of those spaces are very near completion now,” McElfresh said.

Workers are also making progress on the replacement for Cumberland Trace Elementary School, despite some unfortunate weather lately.

“They have been battling the weather,” McElfresh told the board. “The rain has not been kind to them.”

The new school is slated to open in August 2021.

Justin Story / Submitted 

Candy ANN Moss

Counseling service moving to Community Action building
 Don Sergent  / 

Don Butler was looking for a cash infusion. Cynthia Mackey was looking for a growth opportunity for her fledgling counseling service. They both found what they needed at 901 Beauty Ave. in Bowling Green.

Mackey will soon move her Balance Therapeutic Care Co. to that address, thanks to a purchase made by one of her interns, Jennifer Powell, that will give a quarter-million-dollar boost to the cash-strapped Community Action of Southern Kentucky that Butler leads.

The 5,000-square-foot building, which is next door to Community Action’s headquarters building at 921 Beauty Ave., was up for sale by CASK when Mackey discovered it by chance.

A former employee of the Community Action Head Start program, Mackey said she noticed a “for sale” sign in front of the building while dropping off materials at the CASK offices.

“I looked at the building, and the way it’s divided is perfect for our needs,” said Mackey, who started Balance Therapeutic four years ago. “That space will allow us to do more group therapy. This has been a vision of mine for a while.”

Volunteers from Franklin Community Church and Hillvue Heights Church are renovating the building now, and Mackey hopes to set up shop there in “a couple of months.”

Mackey has been operating her company out of 1,600-square-foot offices near Lehman Avenue and U.S. 31-W By-Pass, so the Beauty Avenue location will be a significant upgrade.

“We’ve run out of space here,” Mackey said of her current offices. “This will more than triple our size.”

She said Balance Therapeutic is already advertising for positions to add to its staff of seven therapists and four interns.

One of those staff additions will be Powell, who is on track to finish her master’s degree in mental health counseling this summer and then make the transition from intern to therapist at Balance.

A Monroe County native, Powell said she was moved to make the $250,000 purchase and then lease the building to Balance because of the experience she has had working with Mackey and her staff.

“I was looking for a place to do my internship, and I came here for an interview,” Powell said. “They were like family from day one. I talked to my husband first, and he backed me 100 percent.

“One of the reasons I want to be a part of it (Balance Therapeutic) is Cynthia. I hope I can be as good as she is as a therapist.”

Powell’s excitement at helping Mackey find new quarters for her company may be exceeded by that of Butler, hired as CASK’s interim executive director in April 2018 and tasked with returning the nonprofit agency to financial solvency.

Butler, who worked at CASK from 1985 until his retirement in 2005 and was executive director for much of that period, inherited a balance sheet heavily in the red from the tenure of former executive director Melissa Weaver.

CASK, which oversees the GO bg Transit bus service, assistance on energy bills, the Head Start preschool program and senior centers throughout a 10-county region, had a $970,494 deficit on a budget of about $14 million for the 2017-18 fiscal year and is on track for more red ink this year.

As part of a strategy to right the ship, Butler succeeded in getting all 10 counties to sign off on a $500,000 loan from the Kentucky Association of Counties. Now he has liquidated an asset that was once home to CASK’s transportation and weatherization programs but has been vacant for the past four years.

“We needed the cash to help overcome some of the difficulties we’re dealing with,” Butler said. “I think this will be a good partnership. We’ll be working with our Head Start staff on referring some families to them (Balance Therapeutic).”

Butler hinted that the sale of the Beauty Avenue building might not be the only asset liquidation the agency will pursue as he continues trying to beef up its bottom line.

For now, his loss of some real estate is seen as Balance Therapeutic’s gain.

Mackey said her company serves 86 children and adults now. She thinks that number has room to grow.

“We currently do individual counseling,” she said. “Now we will be able to add group therapy.”

Mackey also wants to increase her utilization of Western Kentucky University students as mentors for children served by Balance Therapeutic, and she wants to start what she calls a “restoration room.”

“It will be a place for anyone who wants to restore themselves,” she said. “They can come to a quiet place and meditate.”

Butler is excited to hear Mackey’s plans, which include utilizing a large backyard as a playground for children.

“This partnership probably is an act of God,” Butler said. “When you get the right people together, good things happen.”