The Richmond City Commission voted to hire two police officer candidates Tuesday night, and dismissed another officer.
Zachary David Stokes and Carl Brandon Roark were hired and are expected to enter the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training’s police academy in January, said Police Chief Larry Brock.
Also during Tuesday’s regular meeting, the commissioners voted to terminate the employment of another officer, Jason Spalding, who had been on the force for about five years. The commission conducted a closed hearing to consider administrative charges against Spalding. The reason for his dismissal was not disclosed.
Earlier this year, Spalding shared a departmental lifesaving award with Cpl. Jason Adkins. The two were credited with using CPR in October 2011 to revive a woman who had stopped breathing as the result of a seizure.
In June 2008, Spalding fatally shot Richard L. Henderson, 44, after he had reportedly stabbed his mother and sister, then advanced toward the officer with a large military-style knife, refusing to halt and drop the weapon as ordered. A Madison County grand jury ruled Spalding’s actions in that incident were justified.
According to past Richmond Register stories, Spalding had served four years with the Eastern Kentucky University Police Department before joining RPD.
The police department currently has five cadets in the police academy, the chief said, and three of them are due to graduate next week. Two others have already been approved to enter the academy in November. If the five in the academy and the four approved to enter all complete their training, the department will have 57 officers, Brock said. The department’s budgeted strength is 60.
After officers graduate from the academy, they must successfully accompany other officers on “ride alongs” for 18 weeks before fully joining the force, the chief said. The new cadets will begin earning $16.41 an hour when they enter the academy, according to their hiring order.
The commission promoted three members of the fire department to captain and two others to lieutenant. One fire fighter’s resignation also was accepted.
Greg Farthing, Sam Kirby and Richard Tate were promoted to captain, a position that pays $12.53 an hour.
Dave Bletscher, at $11.63 an hour, and Patrick Tudor, at $11.75 an hour, were both promoted to lieutenant.
The resignation of Timothy S. Buchenroth from the fire department was accepted. Fire Chief Buzzy Campbell said the firefighter had obtained a position with the Lexington Fire Department.
His departure leaves the department with 62 firefighters, two fewer than the goal of 64 anticipated in the city’s 2012-13 budget.
Personnel actions dominated the commission’s Tuesday agenda.
Tracy Bryant was hired as a desktop support person in the information technology department at a salary of $40,000.
Betsy Lynn Milburn was hired as the city’s community development director at a salary of $28,000.
The retirement of Carolyn Jennings from the Richmond-Madison County Recycling Center after 14 years of employment was accepted. Most members of the commission and many city employees attended a farewell cookout luncheon for Jennings earlier in the day.
When her retirement was accepted, City Commissioner Robert Blythe said Jennings’ cheerful attitude and enthusiastic promotion of recycling had made her “the face of recycling” in Richmond. City Attorney Garrett Fowles called her “a treasure.”
Aaron A. Cantrell was hired as an environmental technician for the recycling center at $8 an hour.
The resignation of Jason McCoy from the planning department was accepted. City Manager Jimmy Howard said McCoy was leaving for a position with a private employer.
The resignation of Joni Fields from the Architecture Review Board was accepted. Her changing work schedule would not allow her to continue service, Fields stated in her resignation letter.
See Friday’s Richmond Register for more about the city commission meeting, including public comments.
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EKU wins OVC tourney
The Eastern Kentucky University Colonels are OVC champions and are headed to the Big Dance.
Hot early shooting propelled EKU to a thrilling 79-73 win over defending champion Belmont Saturday in the championship game of the OVC Tournament.
The Colonels receive the OVC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The win gave EKU it's sixth OVC Conference Tournament title.
The Colonels hit four consecutive three pointers to open the game and led by as many as 15 points in the first half.
Corey Walden led all scorers in the game with 29 points, including 10-of-11 free throws. Glenn Cosey finished with 23 points on 5-of-8 shooting on three-pointers and Tarius Johnson added 15 points and five rebounds.
Veteran certification officer fired from EKU
Accusations of cheating on an online test led to the firing of an 18-year Eastern Kentucky University employee Wednesday.
Retha Sandlin, formerly a veteran certification officer in the Burnam House for EKU’s student veterans, said the decision resulted from a misunderstanding on the part of Jaime Roberts, the house’s interim office manager.
Proposed bill takes aim at heroin problem
Proposed legislation before the Kentucky General Assembly aims to combat the state’s growing heroin problem using three strategies – education, treatment and law enforcement aid.
Sen. Jared Carpenter, R-Berea, is one of the sponsors of Senate Bill 5. The bill was passed in the Senate earlier this year, 36-1, and is waiting to be heard by the House Judiciary Committee.
New kid at the market
A three-day old black-and-white goat named Ellsa was the star Saturday morning at the new Richmond Downtown Farmers Market.
The Nubian goat mix was brought to the weekly market by Four Sisters Farm. Located off Four Mile Road in Madison County, the farm specializes in goat products.
Hundreds turn out for fishing team’s fundraiser
Madison Central High School’s bass fishing team got a boost Saturday when its first-ever Fishing Tackle Swap turned out to be a huge success.
About 500 buyers showed up to check out what the 38 vendors had to offer. At least 17 of the vendors were from outside Madison County. There were even a few boats for sale.
Pets of the Week from the Madison County Animal Shelter
The Madison County Animal Shelter is located at 1386 Richmond Road in Berea. Shelter hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Animals available for adoption can be seen from noon to close Monday through Saturday.
Feds deny giving OK to selenium standards
When lawmakers wrestled last year with new standards for releasing selenium into streams by coal mines and industry, they were assured by state officials the proposals were based on sound science and approved by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials.
Eastern students practice fire fighting in burning building
Thick barrels of smoke rolled out of the room as nearby observers could feel the fire’s heat on their faces. Furniture and drywall fueled the blaze. Flames licked the top of the door frame and the flat ceiling.
Airport planning mock disaster drill
Madison Airport officials and Eastern Kentucky University are making plans for a mock disaster drill tentatively scheduled for August.
Prior 'bad acts' to be allowed in Marcum murder trial
A Madison Circuit judge ruled Friday that prior “bad acts” of murder defendant Christina Marcum may be admitted during her upcoming trial.
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