(Letter to Editor by Ron Hamblin)
Recently a “newspaper” in Breathitt County published a story called, “Bad Road of the Week”. This article was a bashfest towards Breathitt County Judge Executive Jeff Noble. The problem with this far fetched article is, it was full of misinformation and obviously written as an attack on Judge Noble during election time.
Let’s begin with the info in the article. It states the road is off Quicksand Road and called Shucky Bean Hollow/Stamper Drive. The name is misleading as it is two different roads. Shucky Bean Hollow, a County Road and Stamper Drive, a Private Driveway.
The article goes on to quote residents of Stamper Drive saying the road is impassable for those on this Drive, when it rains. It goes on to say these residents called the Judge because their Magistrate, Ellis Tincher, couldn’t do anything without the permission of the Judge, whom they claim said he was going to replace the drain pipe causing the issue at hand. I contacted Judge Noble and he stated unequivocally that he never told anyone he would replace this pipe since it was on a private drive.
The “newspaper” article goes on to say the road in question was searched on the Department of Transportation website and it shows the road is a County Road and has been for 20 years according to local residents. This information contradicts actual documents concerning this road.
Now, here are the facts as I found them to be, with a little Journalistic investigation.
1) Stamper Drive is a private drive and IS NOT listed with the Department of Transportation according to their road maps, and documents outlining roads in Breathitt County. No-one I talked to at the Department of Transportation, could substantiate the claim that their website showed anywhere, Stamper Drive being a county road in Breathitt County. The driveway is not listed on any county road list nor does it have a CR# signifying it as a County Road. In Fact, the Department of Transportation website clearly shows this Drive as a PRIVATE DRIVE.
2) Judge Noble did issue a letter in February stating all road decisions must go through his office. This was after several complaints on social media about a Magistrate plowing private driveways and salting them. Several citizens questioned if the salt was used out of county salt inventory. APPCV is looking into this matter.
3) Judge Noble stated that Stamper Drive WAS NOT a County road and would not work on this driveway due to this fact. He did say he talked to a representative who claimed ownership of this drive concerning putting the Road on the County Road list and going through the process of making it a County Road, and the representative declined, meaning this private Drive could not legally be repaired by the County.
4) Until February 1st 2022, when Judge Noble made the declaration that all work goes through his office, Magistrates controlled what roads were submitted for work. The Magistrate for this district had 3 years to submit or repair this Driveway if it was truly a County Road. HE DID NOT.
Roads in Breathitt County are in terrible repair and everyone on the Fiscal Court has their share of blame to shoulder. That being said, to falsely run a story blaming the Judge for not repairing a private drive after he has been vilified in the past, is, in my opinion and simple put, poor Journalism. It is funny that articles have been written over and over about the Judge’s alleged illegal work on roads, yet this newspaper is completely negative towards Judge Noble for NOT ILLEGALY fixing a private road.
If you have a question of whether or not a road is in the County Road system, you can view the Department of Transportation map at Local Roads (ky.gov). Just click on the + or – buttons to enlarge map to see the road you want to see. County Road information can be viewed by clicking on road on map. You may also contact your districts Magistrate or contact Judge Noble.
As Paul Harvey would say, “Now you know the rest of the story”.