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2005 Year In Review

December 29, 2005
(Page 2 of 3)

Thomas Michael Roberts pleaded guilty in June to the wanton murder of Lexington resident, 15-year-old Jessica Hines. He and another man, Jeremy Blake Routte, had also attempted to rob a woman at the Nicholasville Wal-Mart the same night as the murder.

July

The Jessamine County School District's Career and Technology Center, which is scheduled to open next fall, will provide Jessamine County students a long-needed opportunity to get their vocational training locally while saving on driving time to Lexington. The $7.6 million project will include a two-story, 50,000 square-foot facility built next to East Jessamine Middle School and behind the school district's central office.

On July 7, four bombs exploded in London's underground railway system during the morning rush hour, killing 52 people. British immigrants in Jessamine County watched in horror as their beloved homeland struggled with many of the same problems and doubts as America after Sept. 11, while some here waited for word about their loved ones across the pond.

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August

Lexington resident Ruben Rios Salinas was granted a new trial in August on an appeal from the Kentucky Supreme Court.

Salinas was convicted of murder and kidnapping in the shooting death of former firefighter Aubrey Nuckolls in 1999, receiving life in prison without parole. After the shooting, Salinas had wrapped Nuckolls' body in a tarp and put his body into the trunk of the dead man's car, adding lime to speed decomposition. He drove the car to Jessamine County, where he parked it in a rural area, where it was discovered a month later by sheriff's deputies. At his new trial in August, Salinas was convicted of first-degree manslaughter, for which he was sentenced to life in prison. He was also sentenced to theft by extortion for trying to obtain ransom money from the man's wife and mistress, even though Nuckolls was already dead, unknown to the women. But in spite of his efforts, Salinas was unable to get any money from either of them. The wife told Salinas he could throw her husband off a cliff, and the mistress hung up on him.

September

As Hurricane's Katrina and Rita ravaged the Gulf Coast, their effects were also felt close to home as soaring gas prices and countless Gulf Coast residents seeking shelter made their way to Jessamine County. In one of the most costly natural disasters in our nation's history, Jessamine Countians responded as many church and civic organizations organized supplies deliveries to the regions affected by the hurricanes. Overall, several truck loads of supplies and hundreds of volunteers from Jessamine County made their way to Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi to help those who so desperately needed the help.

October

With the publication of the Jessamine Journal on Oct. 20, the largest annexation in Nicholasville history was made official. The 992.17-acre addition that will become the Brannon Crossing shopping center and a new residential development stretched Jessamine County to the Fayette County line, signaling the end of scenic agricultural landscape that separated the two. The proposal had been under consideration, in one form or another, for more than three years.

The shopping center is said to house a Kroger supermarket, a Goody's department store, a multi-screen movie theater and about 20 smaller stores. The residential development will consist of nearly 1,600 homes.

Developer Jim Hughes, along with partners Kenny Angelucci and Joe Coons, offered the city a number of incentives, including a $1,500-per-lot incentive fee for the residential units, $1 million earmarked for public safety expenditures.

Hughes said that the development will bring in millions of dollars in payroll and property taxes, according to his calculations, however, the adjoining residential development is expected to displace more than 100 residents in a nearby mobile home park.

The scheduled opening for the first stores in Brannon Crossing is expected on March 1.

November

Kentucky State Police confiscated 800 pounds of marijuana on Nov. 3 in rural Jessamine County, in what is believed to be the biggest drug bust in the county's history.Buddy Messer, 34, of Jessamine County, was charged with trafficking in marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Police found seven pounds of pot in Messer's 2003 Dodge pickup truck during a traffic stop, and 72 bundles of marijuana, each weighing approximately 11 pounds, inside a horse trailer at Messer's home at 1581 Mount Lebanon Road. The pickup, the trailer, $3,200 in cash, and various drug paraphernalia, was confiscated. The bust was not only the county's largest, but was also in the top 10 percent of processed marijuana seizures ever made by KSP. The street value of the pot was estimated to be about three quarters of a million dollars.

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