News from June 17, 2003 issue

Crittenden trying to get rest of Dam 50
Crittenden County is trying to secure ownership of the rest of the former Dam 50 area on the Ohio River, according to Judge-Executive Fred Brown.

"We completed an application to have the property transferred to us and are sending it to Atlanta this week where it will be processed by the National Parks Service," Brown said Tuesday after revealing his plans during a Crittenden County Fiscal Court meeting.

Brown said the county has for several years held title to 47 acres at the Dam 50 site, but the U.S. Corps of Engineers retained ownership of the parking lot area and boat ramp. The property had been under the control of Kentucky Department of Fish hand Wildlife Resources.

The Corps of Engineers recently declared the property ­ some 26 acres ­ surplus and turned it over to the U.S. Parks Service.

Brown said the county should be able to get a deed to the remaining area within a few weeks. He said the Parks Service will be turning over the property at no cost.

"Once we get it, we're going to see what we can do to develop it," Brown said.
As part of the deal to have the rest of the Dam 50 property turned over to the county, the Parks Service is requiring a long-range plan for the area. Brown said the county will create a broad committee to look at ways to improve the riverfront property near the mouth of Crooked Creek.

"We will be creating a Dam 50 Development Authority that will involve the city, county, Chamber of Commerce, economic development group and other interests from throughout the county," Brown said.

The development authority will be charged with implementing the plans the county is submitting to the U.S. Parks Department for development of the Dam 50 site. Among the short-term plans are an RV Park complete with power and water connections and a primitive camping area.

Brown said that some longer range plans will include restrooms and a bath house at the location.

Percy Cook, who is magistrate for the district that includes Dam 50, is also working on the project.

Resident probably saved woman's life
Kathy Grimmett says she did what anyone would have done following an accident near her Deanwood home last Thursday, but Kentucky State Police Trooper Brent White says Grimmett saved the accident victim's life.

Grimmett, 45, was working in her garden when she heard a car wreck in the sharp curve on Ky. 120 near her house. She couldn't initially find the wreck, because the car was below the roadway in a fast-rising creek.
White says if Grimmett wouldn't have been outside working, Stephanie Carder, 21, likely would have drowned. Instead, she escaped the accident with a broken back. She was transported by Crittenden EMS to Regional Medical Center in Madisonville.

Carder was traveling on Ky. 120 toward Shady Grove when she failed to make a curve ­ an area prone to accidents. She ran off the left side of the road, down an embankment and into Little Piney Creek.

"I heard the wreck and went running into the house and grabbed the phone and ran toward where I heard the wreck," said Grimmett. "From the road I couldn't see anything but I knew there was a wreck.

"Then I saw some tracks on the left side of the road and ran that way.
"She told me she was hurt, but I told her to be still."

Grimmett's cordless phone would not work so far from her house, so she left Carder momentarily while she ran back toward her house and called 911.

Grimmett said the water in Little Piney Creek had crept into the vehicle floorboard when she got back to Carder's car. Rescue workers say 15 minutes after Carder was extracted from the vehicle by Shady Grove Fire Department volunteers, her car was completely submerged by the rising creek. In fact, the current was so strong, it carried the vehicle about 10 feet downstream.

While it had rained earlier in the afternoon Thursday, it was not raining at the time of the accident, according to White.

He said Carder's car overturned before landing upright in the creek.
"She was trying to move and trying to get out, but she couldn't," White said, noting that Carder would have been unable to get out of the vehicle alone and would likely have been swamped by the rising water.

"I've never witnessed a creek rise to that extent," said Grimmett. "It scares me to think what could have happened."

"All the credit goes to Bobby Travis," she said. "He was the first to arrive and got in the creek with her."

Since Grimmett moved to the Deanwood House in 1998, she counts five accidents that have occurred in the curve, some more serious than others.

Crider is Chamber Person of the Year
Three Marion residents were recognized by the Crittenden County Chamber of Commerce Tuesday night for their community pride and volunteerism.

Rose Crider, Director of Marion Main Street, was named Woman of the Year; Thom Hawthorne received the Community Pride Award; and Steve Cosby the Chamber's Unsung Hero Award.

Crider, who was selected in recognition of her commitment to the Main Street Program, said the award was not the result of her work but that of the people who support her.

Crider currently is coordinating a streetscape project for downtown Marion that will help spruce up Main and a few side streets with new sidewalks and period lighting.

"This is not for me, it's for the people behind me who listen to me and encourage me," she said. "I've been called a street walker ­ jokingly I hope, but it tickles me to death, because I'm (walking the streets) of the greatest community."

Hawthorne, who received the Chamber's Community Pride Award six years ago, was again selected as a result of his efforts to revitalize shopping in Marion. Most recently Hawthorne purchased and remodeled one of the old Cochran buildings on Main Street and plans to turn it into an antique mall.

"When I came back here I had a dream to make the town look more like it did when I was a kid, with more shops downtown," he said.

While he wasn't at the banquet to accept the Chamber award, board members say Steve Cosby is fully deserving of the community's Unsung Hero Award.

"He's probably out helping someone," outgoing vice president Sheryl Watson said of Cosby's absence.

Cosby is the man behind the scenes of many community activties including American Legion events like hanging American Flags on utility poles during holidays and assistance with Relay for Life festivities.

White said the accident was the result of excessive speed, and said Carder's injuries might have been less severe had she been wearing a seatbelt.