Looking back on 2013

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By Brandon Mattingly

- Spring View Hospital in Lebanon, which serves the people of Washington County,  was one of only 12 hospitals in the state to receive an “A” grade for safety.


- Beth Purdom, winner of the 2013 Washington County Distinguished Young Woman award, competed in the state competition in Lexington.

- Twenty-six crosses were crafted by Rev. James Murray, O.P. and placed around the “Rachel weeping for her children” statue at St. Rose Church in Springfield to honor the victims of the tragedy in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 14, 2012.

- William Woodford, 52, and his mother-in-law Phyllis Tarter, 58, were found shot dead near Willisburg after what investigators said was likely a murder-suicide, with Woodford killing Tarter before turning the gun on himself.

- Ernest William Singleton, 44, owner of Double D farm in Willisburg (not associated with Double D farm in Springfield), was arrested and charged with conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and conspiracy to launder funds.

- A prized three-month-old Senepol calf—estimated by owner Tim Graves to have a mature value as high as $5,000—was found shot and butchered in Springfield.

- Steven Trent, 20, of Springfield, was arrested and charged with auto theft and criminal mischief after authorities said he stole a vehicle, then terrorized a local fast food restaurant, nearly shattering a window and damaging equipment.

- Kevin Newsome, 45, of Springfield, was arrested and charged with wanton endangerment after firing off multiple shots from a .38 Special revolver at a party on Lebanon Hill Road. Newsome suffered a minor self-inflicted wound after firing one round through his foot.

- A Willisburg family’s home was completely destroyed after a fire on Montgomery Lane.

- The Springfield Sun revisited the journey of the civil rights movement from 1963-2013.

- Washington County resident Richard Hardin helped a family to safety following a car accident on KY 555.

- Out-of-state protesters from the LaRouche PAC set up along Main Street in Springfield to encourage the impeachment of President Barack Obama.

- A 161-year-old pre-Civil War plantation home in Washington County burned to the ground.

- Construction of the new Washington County High School suffered delays after high wind gusts caused damage to the site.

- Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Fredericktown was vandalized for the seventh time in seven months after vandals allegedly broke in and partially shattered a window above the main sanctuary.

- Sarah Cocanougher (first time) and April Reinle (third time) prepared for the 2013 Miss Kentucky Pageant.

- Four people were stabbed and wounded after an incident on Eddleman Court in Springfield. Police were on the search for Alejandro P. Ponce following the stabbings.

- Students at St. Catharine College organized a sit-in to express concerns over a lack of communication between administrators and students. The protest resulted in a face-to-face meeting between the sides to discuss concerns.

- Roughly $300 in cash and six cartons of cigarettes, valued at $180, were stolen from a Springfield Chevron on Bloomfield Road.

- Springfield Chamber of Commerce members discussed potential changes for the Kentucky Crossroads Harvest Festival, including the possibility of a new festival—or festivals—altogether.

- Michael A. Barnett, 23, of Springfield, faced as long as five years in prison for a one-vehicle crash that left his passenger dead.

- Daniel Carney, a 2004 Washington County High School graduate was named executive-director of SWEDA (Springfield-Washington County Economic Development Authority).


- United States Congressman Brett Guthrie visited North Washington School and Isaiah House in Willisburg.

- St. Catharine College was the site of the “From Unsettling to Resettling: What Will It Take to Resettle America?” conference, which was hosted by Wendell Berry and the Berry Center.

- The Lincoln Legacy Museum in the 1816 Courthouse building was officially opened to the public after holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

- Dr. David Donathan was approved to fill the constable vacancy in Washington County after some resistance from Washington County fiscal court. Donathan was allowed to assume the position after meeting the $250,000 bond issued by county government.

- Architect Chris Cottongim visited Washington County for community input on the design of the new Washington County Public Library, scheduled to begin construction in late 2014.

- Police continued to investigate a burglary at the home of Sammie Nichols, reporting missing items that included antique chairs and tables, vases, a doll collection, silverware and china, tools and jewelry.

- Alejandro P. Ponce was indicted for the March stabbing that injured four people. Ponce was charged with first-degree assault and one count of second-degree assault.

- The first graduating class of the Commander College—a joint effort of Washington County High School and St. Catharine College—was recognized.


- The bypass connecting US-150 and KY 555 was named after the late former mayor of Springfield, Mike Haydon. A ceremony was held for the unveiling of the sign for Mike Haydon Memorial Highway in front of St. Catharine College.

- Washington County native Samie Burns, who was a recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross for extreme bravery and risk of life in actual combat with an enemy force during World War II passed away in Florida. A service was held for Burns at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Springfield.

- Amanda Cox was named the   2014 Distinguished Young Woman of Washington County.

- Austin B. McBride, 16, of Springfield, passed away after suffering an accidental gunshot wound while preparing to travel to a shooting competition. A memorial service and tree planting was held in honor of McBride at WCHS.

- WCHS was among the first in the state to adopt the new high school dropout age of 18 years old.

- The New Pioneers for a Sustainable Future launched a public awareness campaign at the Springfield Opera House in opposition of Williams Oil Company’s proposed Bluegrass Pipeline.

- Vandalism was reported at the Holy Rosary-St. Dominic Cemetery in Springfield.

- Former Bloomfield Chief of Police Michael Cotton became a member of the Springfield Police Department.

- Jan Fattizzi left her position as director of the Central Kentucky Youth Theatre and Community Theatre after seven years on the job.

- Ernest William Singleton was convicted on 21 counts of drug trafficking, money laundering, opening and maintaining a drug involved premise and conspiracy. Singleton faces up to 20 years in prison.


- Brandon Mattingly was promoted to editor of The Springfield Sun.

- Washington County fiscal court passed a resolution expressing their opposition to the Bluegrass Pipeline being constructed in the area.

- All four suspects wanted in the killing of Paul “PJ” Barber of Springfield in Pleasure Ridge Park in Louisville were arrested for the shooting.

- SCC Executive Vice President Roger Marcum was named chair of the Kentucky Board of Education.

- Congressional redistricting was announced for the second time in two years for the state of Kentucky.

- Ground was broken at the site of the new Washington County Fire Protection Association and Washington County Fire Department building, though engineering delays have since stalled the project.

- Around 300 feet of copper piping was stolen from the new high school site.

- Angela Logan Edwards, a WCHS graduate, was appointed to the University of Kentucky board of trustees.

- John Overby (sports/news writer) and Connie Michalski (news clerk) were hired on to The Springfield Sun.

- The City of Springfield issued concerns regarding the Bluegrass Pipeline.

- KentuckyOne Health officially opened a new medical clinic in Willisburg.

- After an absence in recent years, the Mackville Harvest Festival made its return to the northern end of the county.

- Jason Shouse returned home from a year-long deployment in Afghanistan by surprising his son, Hayden, at St. Dominic School.

- The Washington County Sheriff’s Department looked into a forged check in Springfield Laundry’s name for $9,875.50. Susan L. Becknell of Conyers, Ga. was arrested at the Willisburg branch of Springfield State Bank after trying to pass the check.

- The bridge on Old Fredericktown Road was closed by the Nelson County fiscal court due to deterioration.

- Test scores showed progress across the school district over the last year, including North Washington Middle School students attaining a distinguished rating.

- Upgrades were announced for playground equipment at the park in Fredericktown by fiscal court.

- The WCHS band earned a rank of distinguished at the state semifinals.

- Former SCC volleyball head coach Adam Stevenson was placed on paid administrative leave from the same position at Indiana University East, before stepping down from the position a little over a week later.

- Christopher Grigsby, 32, of Springfield, was sentenced to five years in prison for first-degree sexual abuse in Marion County Circuit Court.

- The determination was made that the bridge on Old Fredericktown Road be closed to traffic, but not removed. Possibilities for the bridge’s future include being turned into a walkway.


- A U.S. Army-issued 1911 Colt .45 handgun was stolen during an armed robbery on Lebanon Hill Road.

- Susan Becknell was indicted, being charged with one count of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument for the check forgery incident in October.

- Nancy Christerson, 55, of Mackville, was killed in a car wreck on the Bluegrass Parkway after overturning along the roadway and being thrown from the vehicle.

- Washington County was listed No. 6 in the state in overall child well-being by the Kids Count report.