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Hughes tapped to lead Messenger newsroom
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Longtime journalist and editor of The Journal-Enterprise, Matt Hughes, has been named editor of The Messenger, Publisher Mike Alexieff announced Friday. Hughes replaces former J-E employee Jon Garrett, who resigned after leading the paper for the past two and a half years.

Hughes has been editor and general manager of The Journal-Enterprise in Webster County for the past nine years. He spent three years at the paper covering sports before attending Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro. After college he worked for five years in radio as a DJ, producer and sports director. He spent a few years out of journalism, including a stint in the coal industry, before rejoining The Journal-Enterprise in 2012.

“Matt is a seasoned journalist who knows the job and the area,” Alexieff said. “I’m confident he will continue The Messenger’s tradition of watchdog reporting while celebrating our community’s successes.”

Hughes believes the number one priority of any news agency should always be to inform the public.

“Journalism, to me, is ultimately a community service,” he said. “As the local newspaper, we know how to access people and information. It’s our job to take that information and what we learn from those sources and share it with the people of Hopkins County. It doesn’t matter if that story is about a fall festival going on at the city park or some wrongdoing by an elected official. The public has a right to be informed, and we have responsibility to inform them.”

Hughes, a native of Providence, has called Madisonville home since marrying his wife Shanda in 2006. The two have one child, a daughter named Aleigha who is currently in middle school.

Hughes will continue to oversee the editorial operations of the Journal-Enterprise as well as the Dawson Springs Progress.

“I want to assure our readers that I will continue to be very involved in what goes on with The Journal-Enterprise,” Hughes said. “I’m a firm believer that community journalism is just as important in our weekly papers as it is in our daily newspapers. I plan to continue producing a newspaper that our county can be proud of.”

Clay Days 2021

Bowen and Anwyn Lea were all decked out and ready for the start of Clay Days last week.

Byrum, Martin named Senator Jeff Green Scholars

A pair of recent Webster County High School graduates received good news last week when they were named as recipients of the 2021 Senator Jeff Green Scholars by the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA).

Elijah Byrum and Lily Martin, both 2021 graduates of WCHS, were recognized on Wednesday in an announcement by Governor Andy Beshear.

“My administration will always put education first, and that’s why we’re so proud to celebrate these students for their hard work in the classroom the past four years,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “This is especially true for the 2021 graduates, who earned this honor while spending much of their last two years of high school under new and often challenging learning conditions because of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

To be eligible for this honor, students must achieve a 4.0 GPA each year of their high school career and score an ACT composite of 28. This award is named in honor of the late State Senator Jeff Green of Mayfield, who served in the Kentucky General Assembly from 1992 to 1997.

Byrum and Martin have also earned Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) awards, which they can use to continue their education beyond high school. They are eligible for $2,500 per year in KEES funds for up to four years of postsecondary education.

KEES and other Kentucky student aid programs are administered by KHEAA. KEES awards are funded by net Kentucky lottery proceeds and may be used at most colleges and universities in Kentucky. In some cases, the award may be used at an out-of-state school if the major the student is pursuing is unavailable in Kentucky. No application is necessary for KEES awards.

Contact Matt Hughes at matt@journalenterprise.com or 270-667-2069

Providence Tourism Board Member Jeniffer Gobin gets in on the fun Saturday at the annual Providence Uptown Fall Festival. See more pictures from the event on Page A5.

Cartwright to be honored by KFB

Providence High School graduate J. Keith Cartwright has been named the 2021 winner of the annual Judge Edward H. Johnstone award, given to members of the legal community serving the First Supreme Court District of Western Kentucky. He is only the fifth recipient of this award.

“Keith was selected for the award because of his embodiment of the mission of the Bar Foundation with his spirit of service to the community and his dedication to the legal profession,” the Kentucky Bar Foundation (KFB) said is a press release on Thursday.

Cartwright, a 1976 graduate of PHS, is a partner at the law firm of Frymire, Evans, Peyton, Teague and Cartwright, PLLC of Madisonville, where he has worked for the last 38 years. He currently serves as the board attorney for the Hopkins County Board of Education and is on the board of directors for First United Bank and Trust Company. He previously served as the board attorney for the Providence Independent School District Board of Education.

He and his wife, Rene’, are longtime active members of the First United Methodist Church of Madisonville.

Cartwright will be honored at a ceremony hosted by the KFB on Tuesday, November 30 in Paducah. Those wishing to attend the event can purchase tickets by contacting johnstoneaward2021.eventbrite.com.

Contact Matt Hughes at matt@journalenterprise.com or 270-667-2069

Two graduate from police academy
  • Updated

Providence Police Department added a pair of certified police officers to its ranks last week after officers Eric Elder and Jay Edwards graduated from the Kentucky Police Academy in Richmond following a five month long training program.

“The DOCJT Academy was not only physically and academically challenging for these officers, but also required long periods of time away from their families and friends,” said PPD Chief Todd Jones. “It includes extensive training in Criminal Law, Firearms, Defensive Tactics, Police Vehicle Operations, Physical Fitness, Breath Test Operations, Handcuffing, Verbal Judo, as well as many college level academic classes.”

Edwards and Elder were sworn in as patrolmen for the PPD in October 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, admissions and graduations from the academy were canceled and then delayed. Working alongside with Jones, as well as certified officers Carl Scheer and Isaac Frias, the pair was able to get much needed experience in the field before classes began.

“After completion of a FTO program and successful demonstration of the skills necessary to safely perform the duties required, Officers Edwards and Elder will be working on their own,” said Jones. “These two officers bring Providence Police Department to a total of five certified officers. Providence Police Department would like to personally thank these two amazing young men for following their hearts and wanting to make a difference in our community. We would also like to think the families of both for their influence, support, and understanding as their child, husband, father, or brother has made a giant step toward fulfilling a dream.”

Contact Matt Hughes at matt@journalenterprise.com or 270-667-2069