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Courtroom may help preserve historical information

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By Molly Haines

The Owen County Courthouse may someday help the public get back in touch with their roots.

During a recent meeting of the Owen County Fiscal Court, members of The Owen County Historical Society approached the magistrates about making historical information more available to the public.

Margaret Murphy, a founding member of the historical society, said she would like to see a history research center in Owen County.

Murphy said less than 32 percent of the counties in Kentucky have research centers, but because of Owen County’s rich history there is a need for a center.

“Everyone wants to be remembered, whether they admit it or not,” Murphy said.

Murphy said her home is filled with Owen County history and genealogy and she would like for residents of Owen County to have access to it.

Owen County Judge-Executive Carolyn Keith said she could see the current courtroom being the home of a research center once the new judicial center is completed.

The projected ground breaking for the new judicial center is set for January 2010.

In other action at the court meeting:

A new Ford Explorer and police cruiser will soon be seen on the roads in Owen County.

The Owen County Sheriff’s Office will be receiving two new vehicles after several of their cruisers became surplus items due to being older models with high mileage.

Keith said the county will be leasing the vehicles until they are paid off over a four-year period.

Keith said the sheriff’s office is already in possession of one vehicle but it cannot be driven yet because all paperwork has not been completed.

The total cost of the Ford Explorer is $23,819.75 and the cruiser is $23,946.

Owen County Dog Warden Deanna Wolfe was present at the Oct. 13 Fiscal Court meeting to discuss her county-owned cell phone with members of the court.

Wolfe said she could receive phone calls and place calls, but she could not receive messages that were left on her phone.

The cost of replacing the phone would have been more than $150. Due to the county’s recently implemented cell-phone policy, the county was unable to replace the phone.

Keith said the county gives each county employee with a county cell phone $40 to go toward their bill each month.

“At the end of the year, the phones are on their W2s as a taxable benefit,” Keith said.

Keith said a surplus phone was later found and given to Wolfe.