July 6, 2010,
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Police Chief injured in fire
- Three charged in connection with assault on John and Anita
Billman - Trio builds big boat for Bible studies - BOVFD
receives funding for new fire station - Vanceburg
adopts $2.7 million budget
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Chief Joe Billman injured in fire
Vanceburg Police Chief Joe Billman
was injured last week as he was gaining access to a burning house believing his
sister-in-law was inside the home.
Vanceburg Police Lt. Tom Flannigan
said the fire was reported Billman about 9:00 p.m. Thursday as he was checking
on the home of John and Anita Billman off Slate Hollow Road in Vanceburg. John
Billman, who is Joe Billman’s brother, died at the home two days earlier.
Flannigan said Joe Billman believed
John Billman’s wife, Anita, was inside the home and kicked in the front door
resulting in a rush of flames out of the doorway causing second degree burns to
about 25 percent of Joe Billman’s body.
Officer John Ferguson was one of the
first to arrive at the scene. Ferguson checked assisted in checking the house
and it was determined that no one was inside. It was also at that time that Joe
Billman realized the extent of his injuries, Flannigan said.
Firefighters from Vanceburg and
Black Oak Fire Departments responded to the call and soon had the fire
A neighbor said Anita Billman had
moved out of the house earlier in the day.
Jolisa Puente, Joe Billman’s
daughter, transported him to Meadowview Regional Medical Center in Maysville and
he was later transferred to the University of Cincinnati Hospital Burn Unit for
treatment. He was released from the burn unit Friday
afternoon with extensive burns to
his right hand and arm and the right side of his face.
Flannigan said arson was suspected
in the fire and the Kentucky State Police Arson Unit and Kentucky State Fire
Marshall were called in to investigate the cause of the fire. The
investigators arrived Friday afternoon and, along with local officials,
scoured the scene.
Vanceburg Police Officer Joe Paul
Gilbert is investigating John Billman’s death. Gilbert said Anita Billman
discovered that her husband was unresponsive Tuesday morning. He was
pronounced dead by Lewis County Coroner Tony Gaydos.
Gilbert is also investigating an
assault and robbery of John and Anita Billman at about 2:00 a.m. on June 24.
Gilbert said three men dressed in
black and wearing hoods or toboggans forced their way into the home and
assaulted the couple before taking a quantity of prescription medications
and about $900 in cash.
He said John Billman suffered a
broken arm, an injury over his right eye and bruises on his legs and ribs in
the incident. Anita Billman received some lacerations near her hairline, he
Both were taken to Southern Ohio
Medical Center in Portsmouth, Ohio, for treatment.
Gilbert said an autopsy has been
performed on John Billman and results are pending. He didn’t speculate on
whether or not the incidents were related.
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charged in connection with assault on John and Anita Billman
By Dennis Brown
Three Vanceburg men have been charged in
connection with the assault of John and Anita Billman at their home on June 24.
Vanceburg Police Lt. Tom Flannigan said officers
were acting on a tip when they charged Jackie Lyons, 18, Chris Lyons, 21, and
Rodney Butler, 21, all of Vanceburg. Butler and Chris Lyons were in jail on
other charges when they were charged in connection with the assault on Saturday.
Jackie Lyons was arrested Saturday and lodged in the Lewis County Detention
Flannigan said Butler confessed to his
involvement in the robbery.
John and Anita Billman were assaulted and robbed
by three men at their home. The Billmans were taken to Southern Ohio Medical
Center in Portsmouth, Ohio, for treatment. Anita Billman was treated and
released while John Billman was hospitalized overnight with a broken arm and
other injuries. He died at his home on June 29. It is unknown if the death was
connection with the assault.
The robbers took about $900 in cash and
prescription medication, according to Officer Joe Paul Gilbert, who is
investigating both the robbery and John Billman’s death.
Flannigan said Anita Billman, 38, was arrested
three days following John Billman’s death for allegedly trying to cash a
Social Security check made out to John Billman.
He said she allegedly first took the check to
Citizens Deposit Bank where a teller refused to cash it because the payee
was deceased, he said she later also tried to cash it at Lewis County
Anita Billman was charged with first degree
criminal possession of a forged instrument. She allegedly signed John
Billman’s name along with her own on the back of the check, according to
Investigations in to all of the incidents are
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Church volunteers build
Visitors and members of Bivens Chapel Church at
Garrison last week were treated to a taste of the high seas as they walked into
the sanctuary and right up to a large detailed replica of a wooden ship.
The ship was put conceived and put together
primarily by three members of the congregation for Vacation Bible School.
The theme of the event was Vast Voyage: High
Seas Expedition and Director Lisa Dummitt said she and Darrel Armstrong realized
they had the same vision for what they wanted to create for the bible school as
they sat down to discuss decorating for the event.
“We both saw the same thing,” Dummitt said
last week as she stood near the ship which covered the entire stage at the
Dummitt and Armstrong, along with Delbert
Collier, started about collecting materials to construct the ship and its
components and began to assemble them.
Sheets were used for the ship’s sails while
heavy cardboard tubes were given to the group by Carol Lynn Carpet to use as
masts. The tubes had been used as cores for rolls of vinyl flooring.
The ship’s primary component was corrugated
plastic sheeting donated by Coroplast.
Georgeann Kamer recycled some of the components
from the previous bible school to create the ship’s helm.
“We appreciate what everyone has done in
helping out on this project,” said Collier, who added the majority of the work
on the project was completed by Dummitt and Armstrong.
Armstrong painstakingly painted each board and
knothole in the ship and utilized a hot blade to help cut intricate designs for
the spindles and even dolphins on the ship’s siding.
Collier said the length of the ship is about 27
feet and covers the entire stage at the church building. He didn’t convert
that length into cubits.
The group spent numerous hours over four days to
assemble and decorate the themed centerpiece and said it was worth every minute.
Brown/Lewis County Herald
A large ship encompasses the stage at the
Bivens Chapel Church building last week for Vacation Bible School. The prop was
the centerpiece for Vast Voyage: High Seas Expedition, the theme for this year’s
“We’re just glad to be a part of the
community and create a fun learning experience for the kids,” said Dummitt.
“We want to make it fun for them to take home God’s word.”
Attendance for the bible school last week
averaged more than 100 each evening.
Although the ship was scheduled to be dismantled
by Sunday, there are no plans to scrap it.
Dummitt said there has already been interest in
borrowing the ship to reassemble for a church camp conducted by the Kentucky
Christian Conference. Some others have also asked about borrowing the prop for
other church related events.
“We appreciate everyone who contributed and
everyone who helped out on the project,” said Collier. “Everyone has had a
part in it.”
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for Black Oak Fire Department
Work is underway on a new fire station for the Black Oak Volunteer Fire
Department after years of planning and time to secure financing.
Fire Chief Roy Chinn said Black Oak Fire Department began planning for a
new station in 2006 as the demand for equipment storage became evident due to
the limitations of the existing building.
The new 8,000-square-foot, handicapped accessible building will provide
three bays to house six firefighting vehicles, and a community center that will
seat 100-125 people for community events.
Kevin Cornette, Economic Development Director for the Buffalo Trace ADD
said funding for the project has been awarded in the in the form of a $250,000
USDA Rural Development Community Facilities grant, $250,000 USDA Rural
Development Community Facilities loan, $50,000 from the Black Oak Tax Board
Building Fund and a $50,000 land contribution to the project.
Chinn said the Jim Pattison Group, which owns Coroplast in the Black Oak
Industrial Park, donated four acres of land to the
Fire Department for the development of the project. The new fire station site
is located across Industrial Park Road from the existing fire station in the
“We would like to thank Coroplast for their donation and cooperation in
helping to make this project a reality,” Chinn said.
“This project will assist the fire department in its expansion efforts
to lower insurance ratings and provide for the needs of the community.”
The new site will allow for future expansion of the facility as the needs
for services increase in the years to come, he added.
Cornette stated that site work is now being completed to prepare for the
construction of the new facility. The new facility is being designed at this
time and will be ready for bid no later than October. The department plans to
have the building completed by May of next year.
The Black Oak Fire Department is a volunteer fire department.
Chinn said the department is always seeking and welcomes residents of the
community to become volunteers.
The fire department holds its regular meetings at 7:00 p.m. on the second
Tuesday of each month.
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adopts $2.7 million budget
Vanceburg City Council adopted the annual budget
for the 2010-11 fiscal year which got underway on July 1.
Mayor Angie Patton presented the budget to
council members and said total appropriations for the year will amount to
Of that amount, $600,000 is in the Hydro Fund.
The money has been in interest bearing accounts for several years since a
settlement with the city of Hamilton, Ohio. The funds will remain in an interest
bearing account with the interest to go into the general fund.
The sanitation department will have total
estimated revenues and expenses of $132,510 with $20,266 of that amount in a
The projected expenses for the police department
total $397,794 and include a grant of $30,000 which will pay the salary for one
The fire department account was budgeted at
$44,727. Patton said there will also be a Community Development Block Grant of
$500,000 and USDA/Rural Development Grant of $75,000 for a new fire
department/community center building.
The street department has been budgeted $88,391
while general government is showing appropriations of $287,668.
The general fund, which includes general
government, police, fire, streets, sanitation and community development, has a
contingency amount of $110,420.
Patton said sidewalk replacement and upgrades
will be made on Ky. Rt. 59/Fairlane Drive with a Safe Routes to School Grant of
Council adopted the budget following the second
reading on Wednesday evening. The first reading of the budget ordinance was held
last Monday afternoon.
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