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Sanders edges Buttigieg in NH, giving Dems 2 front-runners

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Bernie Sanders won New Hampshire’s presidential primary, edging moderate rival Pete Buttigieg and scoring the first clear victory in the Democratic Party’s chaotic 2020 nomination fight.

In his Tuesday night win, the 78-year-old Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, beat back a strong challenge from the 38-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Ind. The dueling Democrats represent different generations, see divergent paths to the nomination and embrace conflicting visions of America’s future.

As Sanders and Buttigieg celebrated, Amy Klobuchar scored an unexpected third-place finish that gives her a road out of New Hampshire as the primary season moves on to the string of state-by-state contests that lie ahead.

Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden posted disappointing fourth and fifth place finishes, respectively, and were on track to finish with zero delegates from the state.

The New Hampshire vote gives clarity to a Democratic contest shaping up to be a battle between two men separated by four decades in age and clashing political ideologies.

Sanders is a leading progressive voice, having spent decades demanding substantial government intervention in health care and other sectors of the economy. Buttigieg has pressed for more incremental change, preferring to give Americans the option of retaining their private health insurance while appealing to Republicans and independents who may be dissatisfied with Trump.

Their disparate temperaments were on display Tuesday as they spoke before cheering supporters.

“We are gonna win because we have the agenda that speaks to the needs of working people across this country,” Sanders declared. “This victory here is the beginning of the end for Donald Trump.”

Buttigieg struck an optimistic tone: “Thanks to you, a campaign that some said shouldn’t be here at all has shown that we are here to stay.”

Both men have strength heading into the next phase of the campaign, yet they face very different political challenges.

While Warren made clear she will remain in the race, Sanders, well-financed and with an ardent army of supporters, has cemented his status as the clear leader of the progressive wing of the party.

Meanwhile, Buttigieg must prove he can attract support from voters of color who are critical to winning the nomination. And unlike Sanders, he still has multiple rivals in his own ideological wing of the party to contend with. They include Klobuchar, whose standout debate performance led to a late surge in New Hampshire and a growing national following. While deeply wounded, Biden promises strength in upcoming South Carolina. And though former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg was not on Tuesday’s ballot, he looms next month when the contest reaches states offering hundreds of delegates.

After a chaotic beginning to primary voting last week in Iowa, Democrats hoped New Hampshire would help give shape to their urgent quest to pick someone to take on Trump in November. At least two candidates dropped out in the wake of weak finishes Tuesday night: moderate Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet and political newcomer Andrew Yang, who attracted a small but loyal following over the past year and was one of just three candidates of color left in the race.

The struggling candidates still in the race sought to minimize the latest results.

Warren, who spent months as a Democratic front-runner, offered an optimistic outlook as she faced cheering supporters: “Our campaign is built for the long haul, and we are just getting started.”

Having already predicted he would “take a hit” in New Hampshire after a distant fourth-place finish in Iowa, Biden essentially ceded the state. He traveled to South Carolina on Tuesday as he bet his candidacy on a strong showing there later this month boosted by support from black voters.

Still, history suggests that the first-in-the-nation primary will have enormous influence shaping the 2020 race. In the modern era, no Democrat has ever become the party’s general election nominee without finishing first or second in New Hampshire.

Sanders and Buttigieg were on track to win the same number of New Hampshire delegates with most of the vote tallied, with Klobuchar a few behind. Warren, Biden and the rest of the field were shut out, failing to reach the 15 percent threshold needed for delegates.

The AP allocated nine delegates each to Sanders and Buttigieg and six to Klobuchar.

The action was on the Democratic side, but Trump easily won New Hampshire’s Republican primary. He was facing token opposition from former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld.

With most of the vote in, Trump already had amassed more votes in the New Hampshire primary than any incumbent president in history. His vote share was approaching the modern historical high for an incumbent president, 86.43 percent set by Ronald Reagan in 1984. Weld received about 9 percent of the vote of New Hampshire Republicans.

The political spotlight quickly shifts to Nevada, where Democrats will hold caucuses on Feb. 22. But several candidates, including Warren and Sanders, plan to visit other states in the coming days that vote on Super Tuesday, signaling they are in the race for the long haul.

Grace Ramey / Grace Ramey  

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office investigates a scene in the 400 block of Plano Richpond Road, where the suspect in a shooting was arrested on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. (Grace Ramey/photo@bgdailynews.com)

Man arrested following shooting in Plano

A Bowling Green man was arrested Tuesday following a shooting in the 400 block of Plano Richpond Road that injured another man.

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office arrested Edward Wayne Bowden, 52, on Tuesday evening and charged him with one count of first-degree assault and one count of first-degree wanton endangerment.

Deputies believe Bowden shot the victim, Marvin C. Russell, 24, who was taken in a private car to Bowling Green Fire Department Station 6 off Scottsville Road and airlifted to a hospital in Nashville, according to information released by the WCSO.

As Russell was being driven to get medical care, Bowden called Kentucky State Police, according to the WCSO. Troopers and deputies met with the suspect and took him into custody at his residence in the 400 block of Plano Richpond Road.

According to an arrest citation, Bowden also shot into a vehicle occupied by Bryanna Green.

The arrest citation states that the offenses took place just before 4 p.m. and said Bowden was a neighbor to the victims.

Bowden was booked into the Warren County Regional Jail just before 7 p.m., according to the jail’s website.

He was set to appear Wednesday for arraignment before Warren District Court Judge John Brown.

This is the second time Bowden has been arrested in connection with gunshots, according to court records.

In 2016, the sheriff’s office arrested Bowden after responding to a shots fired complaint and learning that he and his son, Keith Williams, had been involved in an argument.

According to an arrest citation in that case, Bowden fired a shot at his son, who took the handgun from Bowden and left Bowden’s residence, only for Bowden to retrieve a rifle and fire at Williams’ truck as it was leaving the area.

A grand jury indicted Bowden on two counts of attempted murder, and online Kentucky Court of Justice records indicate that the case remains open.

Grace Ramey / Grace Ramey  

A car that was involved in a shooting Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020, is towed away near Cherry Farm Lane in Bowling Green. The shooting occurred at a nearby apartment complex and left a person injured. (Grace Ramey/photo@bgdailynews.com)

Guilty plea entered in BG overdose case
 Justin Story  / 

Damone Bell

A man tied to the fatal overdose in 2018 of a Bowling Green woman pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to two drug trafficking charges.

Damone Bell, 23, of Louisville, pleaded guilty to a count of distributing a controlled substance and possessing a mixture of heroin and fentanyl with the intent to distribute.

Bell was to face a jury trial next week in U.S. District Court on allegations that he sold about a half gram of fentanyl-laced heroin that led to the overdose death of Kaitlin McKinney, 23, on July 30, 2018.

Had he been found to have directly caused McKinney’s death, Bell could have faced a life sentence.

A plea agreement subject to approval from U.S. District Court Chief Judge Greg Stivers recommends Bell spend 14 years in prison.

Bell was taken into custody at the end of the hearing.

During Tuesday’s hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jo Lawless recited the facts of the case that supported Bell’s guilty plea.

Bell met with McKinney and Logan Cesler at Huck’s on Morgantown Road, and Bell arranged a heroin sale with Cesler for $60, with the two exchanging phone numbers, according to federal court records.

At some point after the exchange, Cesler and McKinney were picked up from Huck’s by a friend after Cesler and McKinney lost the key to their car, Lawless said.

The friend took them to a location on the U.S. 31-W By-Pass, and Cesler and McKinney prepared and ingested the heroin while the friend was away from the car.

Lawless said the friend found McKinney and Cesler passed out in the car when he returned and was able to rouse Cesler. The group traveled to a Park Street location where Cesler administered Narcan – a medication that counters the effects of a heroin overdose – to McKinney.

Cesler called 911 after being unable to revive McKinney, and she was pronounced dead at The Medical Center.

Lawless said a medical examiner’s report found that McKinney had died from fentanyl intoxication, with an amount of the synthetic opioid in her system above therapeutic levels.

Law enforcement obtained surveillance footage from outside Huck’s that showed the drug transaction, and Cesler confirmed Bell’s identity to investigators after selecting his picture from a photo lineup, court records show.

Cesler agreed to contact Bell on his cellphone to arrange another heroin purchase for $110 on July 31, 2018, and provided an area for them to meet.

Bell was stopped on that date by Kentucky State Police on Russellville Road.

Troopers detected an odor of marijuana coming from Bell’s vehicle, and a subsequent search turned up two small bags of what was later confirmed as heroin.

During a police interview, Bell acknowledged that he met two men and a woman at Huck’s the previous day and sold them heroin for $60.

“When asked about the heroin located inside his vehicle, Bell stated he was going to sell it to someone but was unclear who he was going to sell it to,” David Hayes, special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said in the criminal complaint. “At this point, Bell stated he didn’t want to talk anymore.”

Stivers set Bell’s sentencing for June 9 and told Lawless to prepare arguments regarding sentencing in this case compared to another recent case involving a fatal overdose.

“I would like to hear about the comparison and contrast between this case and Damir Zlatovic,” Stivers said, referencing a Bowling Green man who pleaded guilty in federal court to distributing oxymorphone and possession of firearms while an unlawful user of a controlled substance.

Zlatovic was charged following the 2017 death of Kiloisha Holley, who had taken an Opana pill sold by Zlatovic.

Stivers sentenced Zlatovic to 18 months in prison last year.

Fiscal court approves renovation of Public Works building
 Don Sergent  / 

Warren County Public Works and its related agencies are getting some upgrades to their headquarters building at 1141 State St.

Warren Fiscal Court, meeting Tuesday, approved the $563,585 bid of Miller & York LLC of Bowling Green to renovate both floors of the building that now has more space available after the City-County Planning Commission moved to new quarters at 922 State St.

The renovation, to be paid for out of stormwater management funds, will allow Public Works Director Josh Moore to move his department’s offices from the second floor to the first-floor area that had been home to the planning commission.

Upgrades are planned for the 6,500-square-foot first floor and for the same amount of space on the second floor, which will continue to be home for the Contractors Licensing Board and Operation PRIDE.

“We’ll be replacing windows with more efficient types, and we’ll do work on the flooring and painting and also get some new doors,” Moore said. “We’ll make some improvements such as adding bathrooms that are compliant with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).”

Moore said the building got upgrades to its heating and air conditioning and new water heaters through the county’s energy savings project. This renovation, slated to begin next week, will complete the upgrades to a building constructed about 60 years ago.

The upgrades will also involve reconfiguring the office space in ways that Moore hopes will make it easier for local residents who need building and electric permits, contractors licenses or other items from his staff.

“It’s disjointed now,” Moore said. “We’ll have a new layout that will change where some doors are and allow us to operate more in pods. It will be easier for us to communicate with each other, and it should make it easier for the general public.”

Moore said the renovation is a cost-effective alternative to finding or constructing a new building for Public Works.

“It will cost less than $43 per square foot,” he said. “We couldn’t build a new building for anywhere near that.”

In another item on Tuesday’s agenda, the magistrates approved spending $124,476 to purchase a 2021 Kenworth dump truck for use by the county road department. According to Public Works documents about the purchase, the new truck will have a larger dump bed, snow plow connections and a salt box.

Moore said the truck will replace a 1994 model that has more than 300,000 miles. It will give the road department a total of 11 trucks for use in maintaining county roads.

“The engine was blown on the truck that’s being replaced,” he explained. “The cost to fix the engine would be more than the value of the truck.”

The magistrates also voted to grant authority to Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon to sign the County Road Cooperative Program Agreement involving the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the Department of Rural and Municipal Aid and fiscal court.

Under the agreement, Warren County will receive $1,801,116.51 in county road aid funds for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Other items approved by fiscal court Tuesday:

  • An expense of $3,450 to Sprouse Container for an 8-foot-by-20-foot storage container for BG OnStage.
  • An expense of $2,850 to Toadvine Enterprises for two aluminum benches for the inline hockey rink at Basil Griffin Park.
  • Purchase of two John Deere utility vehicles from Wright Implement for the county Parks and Recreation Department at a total cost of $23,127.44.

Damone Bell

Kaitlin Jo McKinney