Speaking of People catches us up on busy Logan Countians
By Jim Turner

Posted on March 11, 2019 7:29 PM

It probably is not the compliment a Democrat wants to hear, but I recently told Justin Crocker that his work for Logan and Todd counties last year is comparable to what Gerald Ford did for America over 40 years ago.

Ford performed a great service for the United States in the early 70s when he assumed the presidency after President Richard Nixon resigned under adverse circumstances. Ford had not run for either president or vice president, but was appointed VP when things didn’t work out well for Spiro Agnew and Nelson Rockefeller.

Something akin to the Designated Survivor television show, Gerald Ford held the country together in the post-Watergate days,

Justin Crocker didn’t run for assistant commonwealth’s attorney. That’s not an elected position. But when the elected commonwealth's attorney, Gail Guiling, faced legal problems (which were later dropped), Crocker handled the Special Prosecutor duties of the office with class and a calm demeanor for 14 months.

Neither Ford nor Crocker was elected when they asked voters to keep them in the office they had filled on an interim basis, but both served the public admirably.

Now a great honor has come Justin Crocker’s way. He was named Outstanding Assistant Commonwealth Attorney of the Year by the Kentucky Commonwealth’s Attorney. He received the award at the group’s winter conference in late February.

The Logan County High School graduate served Logan and Todd counties for seven years. Now he’s doing the same job again, only in a different venue. When former Russellville attorney Corey Morgan was elected commonwealth’s attorney for Simpson and Allen counties in November, he tabbed Justin Crocker to be his assistant.

The Crockers live near the Simpson County line at Middleton. He has a number of relatives in Simpson County.

Justin has opened his own private practice in Russellville as well.

The LoJo

When the College Heights Herald, WKU’s student newspaper, put together a Valentines special edition recently, three couples with Logan County ties were among those featured by writer Rose Remeter.

She learned that Logan County High graduate Laurel Heidel met her future husband, James Thornbury, on a study abroad program to the Yucatan Peninsula in 2008. They met on their second day of studying abroad in Merida, Mexico. Seven years later they married, and last year their daughter Quinn was born.

Also featured was another LCHS grad, Ethan White, who met his future wife, Jordan Coffman, during Greek activities at the 2012 WKU Homecoming. It was at Homecoming three years later that Ethan escorted Jordan in Homecoming ceremonies on Feix Field while she was representing the Student Alumni Ambassadors. They were married last summer.

Under the title Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind: a love tale from the Hill, Remeter tells about the romance of Amy Carver and Joe Ross, which began at Cherry Hall in 1999. She thought he was staring at her, not realizing he was legally blind. As has often been documented, Joe overcame blindness through surgery in his senior year. They graduated in 2003, married two weeks later, and eventually moved to Logan County. Joe Ross began his third term as Logan County Attorney in January.

To read the complete stories, visit http://alumni.wku.edu/s/808/index-wide.aspx?sid=808&gid=1&pgid=4472

The LoJo

Former Russellville High School math teacher Dr. Wanda Weidemann and her sister, Joyce Weidemann Young, established a scholarship to honor their mother and father who were unable to go to college but made sure their children were able to pursue higher education.

Their parents, Joe and Martha Arney Weidman, were Simpson County farmers who worked public jobs to support their farming habit. Mr. Wiedman served as Simpson County PVA for 29 years and Mrs. Weidman worked with the Simpson County Schools as a cafeteria manager.

Dr. Wanda Weidemann was a professor of mathematics at WKU for many years after leaving RHS.

The Joe Henry and Martha Arney Weidemann Scholarship Fund was established to support full-time WKU students who graduated from Franklin Simpson High School or have been residents of Simpson County for at least two years.

Neither of the sisters has children, and they saw a scholarship as a way to help people and keep their parents’ names alive.

From the annual endowment earnings, four $1,000 renewable scholarships will be awarded to students, with an incoming freshman selected each year. The first Simpson County recipients of the Joe Henry and Martha Arney Weidemann Scholarship were Grace Beecher, a senior who is majoring in History and Social Studies with a concentration in Teacher Education, and Brooklyn Holder, a freshman who is majoring in Mathematics with a concentration in Teacher Education.

I taught both of these girls as Dual Credit students at SKYCTC and consider them good choices.

The LoJo

Logan County High School student Rachel Taylor placed second in the Composition Essay Contest, part of Western Kentucky University’s Second Annual Essay Contest Feb. 6. She received $100 in cash and a $300 scholarship to major or minor in English at WKU.

The LoJo

For the fifth consecutive year, a culinary arts student at Southcentral Kentucky Community & Technical College (SKYCTC) has been named the Kentucky Restaurant Association’s 2018 Culinary Student of Year. He is Eric Long, who is studying all types of cooking on his way to becoming a chef. The coordinator of SKYCTC’s culinary arts program is Tammy Inscoe of Lewisburg. She is a graduate of the program herself.

The LoJo

Russell Springs First Baptist Church has welcomed RHS graduate Christian Naylor as its interim youth pastor. A graduate of Campbellsville University, Christian will be working with sixth through twelfth grade students at the church, which is located in the Lake Cumberland area. Christian, of course, is the oldest of the three Naylor brothers who have been outstanding athletes at Russellville High School about half of this century.

The LoJo

On Feb. 12, Tim Haley received the Auctioneer of the Year award at the Kentucky Auctioneers Association Convention. Tim Haley is Principal Auctioneer and Principal Broker for Haley Auctions and Realty in Russellville and is experienced in conducting professional auctions. He is a graduate of Missouri Auction School and has achieved the CAI designation as well as Certified Estate Specialist. 

The LoJo

The latest inductee in the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame with a Logan County Connection is Tom Caudill, a Franklin native who is the brother of Donna Birdwhistell of Lewisburg. He was a newspaperman for 46 years, the last 36 with the Lexington Herald-Leader. He held a number of editorial positions, including managing editor of the state’s second largest daily newspaper.

A graduate of Western, he has served on two Kentucky student publication boards—the College Heights Herald at WKU and the Kentucky Kernel at UK. Former Russellvillian Ryan Craig is now the advisor to the Kernel.

The Hall of Fame includes Don Neagle of WRUS and former Logan Countians Al Smith, Al Cross and the late Alice Allison Dunnigan, Larry Craig and Jack Lyne.

The LoJo

The following RHS students were selected for the Quad State Band Festival at Murray State University:

Madison Hyams, MyDuyen Tran, Jennifer Wilkerson, Brandy West, Allison Tatum, Laura Mullen, Rilee Boisseau, Kyran Williams, Zach Baker, Noah Brown, Carson Kash & Ethan Paul.

The LoJo

Shane Howard was honored by the Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame this winter in Lexington. Howard was selected as one of three recipients of the 2018 Emerging Entrepreneur award. Shane is the founder and CEO of Custom College Recruiting in Elizabethtown.

Custom College Recruiting helps athletes across the world find scholarships to U.S. colleges and universities. It has helped international athletes earn about $65 million in scholarship funds.

The former Bowling Green High basketball standout is the son on Logan County High School Athletic Director Greg Howard.

The Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame celebrates the stories of Kentucky’s most successful entrepreneurs, with a mission to raise awareness around the impact entrepreneurship has made and to encourage others to pursue similar ambitious endeavors.

The LoJo

LCHS graduate Rosemary Cundiff Brown and her close friend Katy Blair Cecil have been honored by Louisville Tourism for their work during the NCFL Grand Nationals in 2017. “The Rose Awards at the Kentucky International Convention Center was a fabulous event!” says Rosemary, who sings annually in Russellville for fund-raising causes.

Cundiff Brown is the former speech coach at North Oldham High School while Cecil coaches her alma mater, LaRue County High School, where her late dad, Garland Blair, was the legendary coach.

Rosemary is the daughter of J.R. and Zelma Cundiff of Russellville and a graduate of LCHS.

The LoJo

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College recognized six alumni for exemplary service to their professions and communities this year at the Profiles of Excellence celebration. They were inducted into the college’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni.

Logan County Schools Superintendent Paul Mullins was one of them. Joining him were Rebecca Farris Allen, Executive Director of the Elizabethtown Community Health Clinic; State Rep. Jim Duplesis, who is chief engineer for ChemTreat; Major (Retired) Alejandro Ramirez, who retired as a combat army officer after 22 years of military service; Patsy Whitehead, Communications Manager for Nolin RECC; and nursing educator Carol Withrow.

Mullen’s biography (which doesn’t include his being principal of Lewisburg Elementary and Caverna High schools) is detailed in this ECTC press release:

·         Paul Mullins is the Superintendent for Logan County Schools. He began his educational career in Elizabethtown, became Principal of LaRue County High School, and served as Superintendent of Garrard County Schools. Paul completed his Associate Degree at Elizabethtown Community College in 1992 and went on to receive a Bachelor’s, Master’s and Rank 1 Certification in Education from Western Kentucky University. Paul has improved academic outcomes across in the districts in which he has served and led technology, academic, and professional development initiatives.

His proudest accomplishments including building a $20 million Career and Technical Center for Logan County Schools, receiving a $935,000 grant from the Kentucky Workforce Cabinet for new equipment, and being awarded a Youth Work Skills Grant to expand career opportunities for students.

Paul’s achievements include being named Kentucky Administrator of the Year, President of the Kentucky Association of School Administrators, LaRue County Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Citizen. Paul and his wife Tonda live in Russellville and have three adult children.

The names and photos of this year’s honorees will join others in ECTC’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni on the first floor of the RPC building.


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