• State budget to be ‘brutal’

    State Senate President Pro Tem Jimmy Higdon told constituents in a meeting at the Old Courthouse Monday that this year’s legislative session would be intently focused on the budget, pensions and roads.

    But almost immediately, discussion turned to the underlying issue — how to get more revenue.

    For about an hour, Higdon, R-Lebanon, and state Rep. Chad McCoy, R-Bardstown, answered questions in the crowded courtroom during the first of their coffee klatches, hosted by the Nelson County Economic Development Agency.

  • Metcalf says old charges were not why he was fired

    Brad Metcalf of Bardstown, who was fired New Year’s Day as chief clerk of the Kentucky House of Representatives, was told his termination was because of criminal charges from 14 years ago that surfaced during an investigation of sexual harassment allegations against former House Speaker Jeff Hoover.

    However, in an exclusive interview Monday, Metcalf told The Kentucky Standard those charges were just an excuse. The real reason he was fired, he said, was because of testimony he gave an investigator for the Legislative Ethics Commission.

  • Thrasher files for judge-executive

    There will be an election for county judge-executive in November.

    Don Thrasher filed his papers Friday with the county clerk as the only Republican candidate so far. If no other Republican files before the Jan. 30 deadline, he will challenge the winner of the May 22 Democratic primary in the Nov. 6 general election.

  • Harper files to run for sheriff as a Republican

    A former Nelson County Sheriff’s Office deputy and current Louisville Metro Police officer filed to run for sheriff on the Republican ticket Friday morning.

    Todd Harper of Cox’s Creek is the only GOP candidate in the race.

    He served as a deputy in Nelson County from 2002 to 2008 before leaving for the Louisville force.

    “When I left in 2008 it was bittersweet,” he said.

    He left for better pay and benefits, a decision he made for his family, he said.

  • Higdon sworn in as president pro tem

    Nelson County’s state senator, Jimmy Higdon, was sworn in as president pro tempore of the Senate Tuesday as the 2018 regular session of the Kentucky General Assembly got underway.

    Higdon, of Lebanon, who had been the Republican whip, was replaced in that role by Sen. Mike Wilson of Bowling Green.

    The pro tem stands in for the Senate president in presiding over the chamber when the president is unavailable or wants to speak on legislation. At some time on almost any day of the session, the pro tem will preside, Higdon said.

  • Finalists for fire chief recommended to mayor

    The city of Bardstown’s fire chief selection committee has interviewed candidates for the city’s next fire chief and forwarded its top three choices to Mayor Dick Heaton.

    Heaton is expected to interview the finalists and make his choice from among them.

    The process is the same that was used recently to hire Police Chief Kim Kraeszig.

    The committee met Tuesday at City Hall behind closed doors.

    “We did our interviews and submitted three names,” Greg Ashworth, the city’s human resources director, said Wednesday.

  • Magistrates approve clerk’s budget



    The Nelson County Fiscal Court approved a $12.8 million spending plan for the County Clerk’s Office Tuesday.

    The budget, which is $2 million more than the office’s budget two years ago, includes total revenues of $13.2 million and more than $350,000 in excess fees.

    The magistrates also approved, and County Judge-Executive Dean Watts signed, a pay order setting the maximum amount to be spent for salaries and fringe benefits for the deputy clerks and other staff. That amount is $693,600.

  • Metcalf fired as chief clerk of Kentucky House

    Brad Metcalf of Nelson County is no longer the chief clerk of the Kentucky House of Representatives.

    Metcalf, 45, of New Haven, was fired Monday, a year after he took over that position under the new Republican majority.

    Daisy Olivo, the House leadership’s communications director, confirmed Tuesday afternoon that Metcalf had been dismissed by the general counsel for the human resources director for the Legislative Research Commission, the administrative arm of the legislature, but it was done at the direction of House Republican leadership.

  • 5th District race to replace Hahn is on

    At least one seat on the Nelson County Fiscal Court will be contested in the 2018 election.

    Eric Shelburne, 45, of 241 Arnold Lane, has filed for the 5th District seat being vacated by longtime Magistrate Jerry Hahn.

    He filed for the office the Friday before Christmas, a week after Hahn announced he would not seek re-election.

    The same day Hahn said he wasn’t running, David M. Williams II, 46, of 2540 Simpson Creek Road, filed as a Republican.

  • Heaton, Watts hopeful for solution for theater

    Bardstown Mayor Dick Heaton and County Judge-Executive Dean Watts are hopeful they and state officials can come up with a solution to allow “The Stephen Foster Story” to have its 60th season at the J. Dan Talbott Amphitheatre this summer.

    Last Thursday, Heaton, Watts, and state legislators, Sen. Jimmy Higdon and Chad McCoy, met with representatives of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet after the theater was closed following a state safety inspection.