Fletcher win, Bald Knob flood among local top news stories

By BETH CRACE State Journal Staff Writers Published:

In 2003, Kentucky Republicans had a reason to celebrate - and those in Franklin County could come out of hiding - as the GOP captured the governor's office for the first time in 32 years.

Gov. Ernie Fletcher's campaign to be the Kentucky's chief executive no doubt tops the state's biggest news, but his election also sent shockwaves through the local community. In a town where Democrats outnumber Republicans 5 to 1, Fletcher received ample support from some of Frankfort and Franklin County's most prominent public officials.

City Commissioners Bob Roach, Tracey Turner Thurman and Andy Layson, and Franklin County Judge-Executive Teresa Barton, who stumped for Fletcher around the state, were familiar faces at political events throughout the governor's race. When Dec. 9 rolled around they, along with thousands of other Kentuckians, gathered here to see Fletcher take his oath of office.

But just because Frankfort serves as the seat of state government, doesn't mean there isn't a world beyond Capital Avenue. Looking back, it was a noteworthy year indeed in city and county government, with the ever-present, but never boring Cracker Barrel saga, the search for the perfect library site, and another ousted city manager.

Forces of nature delivered more than one crushing blow to the community, producing a debilitating ice storm and devastating flash floods.

Three murders shocked the community and police discovered what is believed to be the first methamphetamine lab in Franklin County. Meanwhile, Russ Campbell, who served as a constable for over 20 years, has been indicted by federal and local grand juries on charges stemming from alleged child pornography offenses.

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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