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Hearing in stabbing case rescheduled

A preliminary hearing for a Rockfield man accused of stabbing someone during a shooting incident that left his father dead was postponed because it was uncertain whether the suspect had an attorney.

Bradley Heard, 37, was set to appear Friday in Warren District Court for a preliminary hearing in a case in which he is charged with first-degree assault.

Heard is accused of stabbing Daniel Moore, 35, of Greensburg, with a knife Feb. 14 outside Heard’s home on Galloways Mill Road.

The alleged assault was part of an incident investigated by Kentucky State Police in which Moore is accused of shooting and killing Heard’s father, 74-year-old Russell Heard.

During Friday’s court appearance over video conferencing, Heard said he spoke with attorney Dennie Hardin earlier in the week.

Hardin, who represents Bradley Heard in an unrelated criminal case, was called into the video conference to clarify the issue.

Hardin said he had not been retained to represent Bradley Heard before telling him to get in touch with him after the court appearance.

Warren District Judge John Brown rescheduled the preliminary hearing for Wednesday.

According to court records and prior testimony, Moore had reportedly gone to the Heard property to retrieve a gun.

A witness told KSP that Moore spoke with Russell Heard in an effort to get Bradley Heard to return the gun to him.

At some point, a verbal confrontation broke out, and then Bradley Heard emerged from the house armed with two knives, KSP Detective Courtney Milam testified in a preliminary hearing in Moore’s criminal case last month.

Moore suffered a stab wound in the shoulder and shot Bradley Heard three times, according to court records. Police responding to the scene found Russell Heard dead with a gunshot wound to the chest.

Moore was located by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office traveling on Russellville Road near Interstate 165 and was taken to The Medical Center for treatment of a knife wound. He was then arrested on a charge of first-degree manslaughter.

Bradley Heard remained hospitalized for several days before being served March 16 with an arrest warrant charging him with assaulting Moore.

SOKY Ice Rink to return in November

There will be a fifth season for Bowling Green’s SoKY Ice Rink. It will just come 12 months later than expected.

Warren Fiscal Court, in a meeting Friday held via Zoom teleconference, voted to approve a service agreement with Ice Rink Events of Woodland, Texas, to provide equipment and installation for a 6,000-square-foot seasonal ice rink that will operate from Nov. 12 of this year through Jan. 9, 2022.

The $122,473 agreement will allow the county public works and parks departments to bring back an attraction at the SoKY Marketplace Pavilion on Center Street that saw its 2020-21 season canceled by the coronavirus pandemic.

That cancelation came just as the rink had been gaining momentum and adding sponsors and features. In fact, the 2019-20 season – with more sponsors and extra events such as hockey and skillet curling – was the first time the rink had finished in the black.

The ice rink rang up income of $180,991.78, including $30,000 in sponsorships, and had expenses of $178,676.69.

“We felt very confident that we knew what we were doing, then COVID hit,” said Nikki Koller, the county’s assistant public works director. “It threw a wrench in the works.”

Although no one donned ice skates at the SoKY Marketplace Pavilion this past winter, Koller said enthusiasm for the seasonal rink hasn’t melted away.

“I think it was definitely missed last year,” Koller said. “We’ve had a lot of calls and requests on social media to bring it back.”

With vaccines against COVID-19 reaching more of the population and many of the state’s pandemic restrictions being eased, Koller believes a 2021-22 season can be held safely.

“I think by November we should be able to open up,” she said.

Koller isn’t alone in welcoming the ice rink back.

“We made the difficult decision last year to close it,” said county Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon. “I’m glad we did it. I think it would’ve been a super spreader with people packed in there.

“Thankfully, it appears that we will be past that stage of the pandemic this year. We are getting strong encouragement and support for offering the ice rink again.”

Also at Friday’s meeting the magistrates passed a resolution to issue industrial revenue bonds of up to $400 million to allow Ball Corp. to build a 450,000-square-foot plant on a 40-acre site in the Kentucky Transpark.

Ball Corp. will make payments on the bonds, which will allow the company to build a plant that will eventually employ about 200 people making tops for aluminum cans.

Spending items approved at the meeting include $89,246 from Stormwater Management funds to Victory Sweepers for a street sweeper.

“Stormwater Management purchased a surplus street sweeper a few years ago,” explained Public Works Director Josh Moore. “It’s a very large sweeper. This is a smaller version that’s more maneuverable in subdivisions.”

Among the other spending items approved:

  • $4,118.67 to Stewart Richey Service Group for repairing a large water leak at Basil Griffin Park.
  • $9,638.25 to Boyd Cat Company for repairs to a Cat Dozer used by the county road department.
  • $26,000 to EVAPAR for a two-year contract to provide maintenance, inspection and service on 25 generators used at 23 county facilities.
  • $9,507.96 to Wright Implement for a mower to be used by the county parks and recreation department.
  • $10,982 to Scott, Murphy & Daniel for waterline relocation and other work at the indoor tennis facility being built at Buchanon Park.
  • $7,667.13 to Barren County Business Supply for office furniture for the Public Works Department.

Kentucky Building renamed after former Bowling Green mayor

Former Bowling Green Mayor Charles Hardcastle, a graduate of Western Kentucky University, will have the Kentucky Building renamed after him.

The Kentucky Building routinely showcases artwork from WKU students. Currently, the museum is exhibiting art that represents the history of women in Bowling Green and Kentucky.

Hardcastle graduated from WKU in 1955 with a bachelor’s degree in history. At the time, his tuition was $35 a semester, Hardcastle said.

“I’m a believer in history,” Hardcastle said. “You can’t change history, but you can learn from it.”

From 1984 to 1987, Hardcastle served as mayor of Bowling Green.

His wife, Carolyn Hardcastle, encouraged him to be a one-term mayor, he said.

“She asked me how many Bowling Green mayors I knew came out of their position more liked than when they were elected,” he said. “I told her I couldn’t think of any.”

Carolyn Hardcastle, who graduated from WKU in 1973 with a Master of Arts, served as secretary at Consolidated Paper Group. CPG is a family company that the Hardcastles purchased in 2007.

CPG provides janitorial supplies to schools, industrial manufacturing plants, office buildings and governmental agencies in Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana.

Charles Hardcastle is a member of the Henry Hardin Cherry Society, the President’s Circle, the Cupola Society and is a lifetime member of the WKU alumni association. He has been donating to WKU for 48 years.

Following a recent $1.5 million donation, WKU’s Board of Regents approved the renaming of the Kentucky Building to the Charles Hardcastle Kentucky Building.

“I’ve been very fortunate in my life, and I think you should help people if you’re fortunate,” Charles Hardcastle said.

WKU will also establish the Charles Hardcastle Endowed Fund for Excellence, which will provide annual support for the Kentucky Building. The fund will also support WKU programming, the Kentucky Museum, the Kentucky Library Research Collections, the Department of Library Special Collections and the Kentucky Folklife Program.

“One of the reasons that this gift is so significant centers directly on the Hardcastles’ belief in giving back in such a profound way to WKU, to make sure that this naming endowment can help to lift up the work the Kentucky Museum is doing to share art, history and culture with both students and those in the community,” Kentucky Museum Director Brent Bjorkman said in an email.

Hardcastle’s contributions also go toward creating positions and internships for WKU students, as well as financially supporting student-produced exhibitions.

The renaming of the building is in effect, and the university is still working on updated signage, Bjorkman said.

Lewis sworn in as Warren County's first female PVA

Gov. Andy Beshear didn’t have to look far to find his choice to fill the Warren County property valuation administrator position that opened up when Bob Branstetter retired Feb. 1.

Susan Oliver Lewis, who has worked for the past four years in the Warren County PVA office, was appointed by the governor and sworn in by county Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon to fill the post that Branstetter held for 14 years.

Lewis, 38, the first female PVA in Warren County history, has plenty of experience in property valuation and a familiarity with Warren County.

A graduate of Greenwood High School and Western Kentucky University, Lewis worked in real estate before spending three years on the staff of the Jefferson County PVA office in Louisville.

“I moved straight from the Jefferson County PVA office to come home to Warren County,” said Lewis, one of six Warren County candidates to earn a qualifying score on the PVA exam Feb. 23. “It has been a blessing, to say the least. Warren County has a special place in my heart.”

Lewis said she gained valuable experience by working under Branstetter, who was first elected PVA in 2006 to fill the job previously held for 20 years by Bill Carter.

“Bob was an amazing leader and mentor,” Lewis said. “I’m really looking forward to filling his shoes and taking this office into the future.”

Buchanon, who did the swearing-in as Lewis’ 7-year-old son held the Bible, believes Lewis is a great choice to lead the PVA office that is charged with making the assessments of real and personal property that have an impact on the tax bills of county residents and businesses.

“Bob was always complimentary of her work and knowledge of the market,” Buchanon said in a text message. “She has a reputation for treating everyone fairly and with respect. I believe she’ll do a great job.”

Branstetter led the PVA office during a time of rapid growth that saw the total assessed value of the county’s real properties skyrocket from $5.03 billion in 2006 to $10.1 billion in 2020.

Lewis said her background in Jefferson County helped prepare her for leading a PVA office in a county that only seems to keep growing.

“That’s one thing that sets me apart,” she said. “I have experience in a larger community, and I have learned some things in that environment.”

Although she isn’t planning major changes, Lewis said she hopes to use technology to streamline some processes and make the office more customer-friendly. Eventually, she would like to add to the office’s current roster of seven full-time and one part-time staff members.

Lewis has barely started in the job that Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet Communications Director Jill Midkiff says pays $108,187.73 per year, but she is already looking forward to running for a full four-year term next year.

“For sure I will run again,” she said. “That’s definitely what I plan to do. I really enjoy this work.”

In this Friday March 19, 2021, photo a District of Columbia Fire Boat checks buoys in the waterway next to Fort McNair, seen in background in Washington. Iran has made threats against Fort McNair, a U.S. army base in Washington DC, and against the Army’s vice chief of staff, according to two senior U.S. intelligence officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss national security matters. The threats are one reason the Army has been pushing for more security around the base, which sits alongside the bustling Waterfront district of Washington DC. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)