Coroner reviews 2022 death statistics

Published 10:06 am Friday, February 24, 2023

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STANFORD – There were 13 overdose deaths recorded in Lincoln County last year, according to a report given by Lincoln County Coroner Farris Marcum.

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Marcum reviewed the 2022 death statistics with the Fiscal Court during the Feb. 14 regular meeting.

In 2021, there were 14 overdoses reported and in 2020 there were 16 overdoses.

The Lincoln County Coroner’s Office reported a total of 100 cases in 2022. Of those 100 cases, 60 were male, 39 were female and one was an infant.

There were 10 of the 100 cases pronounced dead at Fort Logan Hospital in Stanford, Marcum said, and 66 were pronounced dead at a residence in Lincoln County.

“The ‘other’ is construed as like an accident scene or other than a residence,” he said. “So we had 10 at the hospital, 66 residences and eight ‘other.’”

There were 81 natural deaths recorded in 2022.

“Unfortunately we had 13 overdoses in Lincoln County last year. Those 13 overdoses are attributed to fentanyl and methamphetamine as the primary opioid substance in these overdose cases,” Marcum said.

Of those overdoses, there were seven males and six females. The average age for the males was 43 years old. The average age for female overdoses was 35.

“The youngest individual was 17 years old and the oldest was 55,” he said.

The youngest and oldest were both white females.

There were four suicides recorded last year, including three male subjects with gunshot wounds to the head. The average age of the men was 46 years of age.

There was a 28-year-old white female who died of ligature asphyxiation.

“She hung herself in the garage,” Marcum said.

Marcum said there were two motor vehicle accident deaths, including one that originated in Garrard County but was brought to Lincoln County’s hospital. There was also a motorcycle versus a truck that resulted in death.

Out of the 100 cases, Marcum conducted four autopsies and ran 16 toxicology tests.

“Those toxicology tests refer back to the 13 overdoses,” he said. “We use the toxicology report as a fail-safe, a safety net, if we think there may be drugs involved.

Marcum said already this year a 66-year-old white male has died of a fentanyl-methamphetamine overdose.

“This overdose business doesn’t just target middle-aged people, it goes from young to the old,” he said.

The Lincoln County Coroner’s Office signed 60 cremation authorizations in 2022. The office reported five mutual aid calls, including two in Boyle County and three for Garrard County.

As of now, for 2023, the coroner has reported 13 death cases.

Marcum reviewed previous year statistics: In 2019 there were 68 deaths reported; in 2020 there were 85 deaths; and in 2021 there were 132 cases.

“We care for the deceased and try to be respectful to the families we serve in Lincoln County,” Marcum said as he wrapped up his report. “This is the reality. This is what happens in Lincoln County and just be in prayer for the families that lose loved ones here in Lincoln County.”

Marcum not only serves as Lincoln County Coroner, but is also the Chairman of the Kentucky Coroner’s Association Board. He’s served on the board for 10 years.

Magistrates also heard from other department heads during the Feb. 14 meeting.

Lincoln County EMA Report

Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Ashley Powell gave an activity report and update to magistrates.

Powell said the Local Emergency Planning Committee has been established. The Chairman is Scott Maples. The Vice Chair and Secretary is Brian Jenkins and the treasurer is Ashley Powell.

Powell said EMA uniforms have also been ordered and received.

There have been five incidents requiring EMA response since the beginning of the year including:

• a water supply disruption at Fort Logan Hospital on Jan. 12;

• smoke and evacuation of 25 residents and three staff members at Waynesburg Manor on Jan. 23 (no injuries);

• gas main break without evacuation of residents on Feb. 6

• residential power shut off upon return from hospital, Community Action paid and power was restored; and

• boil water advisory on Bowen Road and Bowen Spur for Hustonville Water Department.

“Those are the calls that we’ve done so far,” Powell said. “We’re trying to get the EOC (Emergency Operations Center) up and running.”

Lincoln has utilized Garrard County’s EOC in the past but Powell said he believes Lincoln County needs to establish its own EOC.

Powell said he is required to complete 12 mandatory training modules within his first year as EMA Director and he has completed three of those so far this year.

Jailer’s Report

According to the Lincoln County Jailer’s Office, 45 inmates were transported during the month of January.

The inmates were transported to the following facilities:

• Boyle County Detention Center – 2

• Casey County Jail – 13

• Rockcastle County Detention Center – 3

• Pulaski County Detention Center – 25

• Hardin County Detention Center – 1

• Adair County Regional Jail – 1

There were 14 inmates transported for the Stanford Police Department in January; 15 for the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office; five for Crab Orchard police and 11 court transports.

The Lincoln County Jailer’s Office traveled 1,481 miles with an average of 4.5 hour spent on each transport.

All agencies within Lincoln County arrested about 80 people in January.

Sheriff’s Office report

LCSO Chief Deputy Brandon Curlis gave a report on the Sheriff’s Office activity for the month of January.

The Sheriff’s Office answered a total of 893 calls for service.

“I think it’s important to note that doesn’t count the individuals that walk into the office or call the ladies up front,” Curlis said.

There were 41 cases opened in January and a total of 166 citations were written.

“Those citations included all sorts of criminal activity. We had one citation of assault-third on one of our deputies,” he said.

There were 11 drug and narcotics-related arrests, which includes trafficking and possession charges.

“We had one robbery last month at the Hwy. 501 Shell down in Kings Mountain that our guys are still working on,” Curlis said.

Deputies made a total of 73 arrests in January, he said.

Curlis said the numbers are approximate.

“We worked a total of 139 accidents in the county, both injury and non-injury. We had seven burglaries,” he said. “I know they performed CPR three times in one week on different individuals.”

There were 23 theft reports and deputies made 133 traffic stops.

“We’ve been working hard, with your all’s generosity, which has allowed them to get out and utilize those computers. They have been a huge asset, so we thank you very much for that. It’s really stream-lined the process. It’s been able to keep them out in the field instead of having to come back to the office which has been a very, very big help,” Curlis said.

In other business, the fiscal court:

• passed the first reading of a budget amendment to include the Lincoln County Senior Citizens Center expansion project;

• approved the hire of a part-time worker at the recycling center;

• approved a county road resolution for Bluegrass Area Development District;

• approved the E-Poll Books grant for the Lincoln County Clerk’s Office. The county will be reimbursed for the $42,000 cost.

• approved the purchase of two Durangos with equipment from Don Franklin for the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office for $102,372. Sheriff Shawn Hines said the addition should bring the LCSO fleet to a manageable state;

• approved the repair of fencing at the recycling center on Ky. Hwy. 698 by Patriot Fencing for $11,058.97;

• heard a request from Coroner Farris Marcum and Emergency Management Agency Director Ashley Powell to renovate the Coroner and EMA office, which is shared on Main Street in Stanford;

• approved the purchase of a used Tahoe for Emergency Management for $23,500. EMA’s current F250 truck will be used by the road department;

• approved the former Sheriff’s 2022 tax settlement of $8.5 million and excess fees of $40,000.