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Image 1 of The Independent April 7, 2012

Part of The Independent

The Independent W W W . D A I LY I N D E P E N D E N T . C O M SATURDAY, APRIL 7, 2012 ASHLAND, KENTUCKY 41101 © 50 CENTS DAILY/$1.50 SUNDAY ‘Teen Mom’ marries in Catlettsburg Cameras were rolling as reality TV star ties the knot at Wedding Chapel By SHANNON MILLER The Independent CATLETTSBURG Wedding bells rang and cameras rolled when Leah Messer of MTV’s “Teen Mom 2” and her fiance, Jeremy Calvert, tied the knot in Catlettsburg Wednesday. The Rev. Marty Gute, an Ash- land city commissioner and minister at the Catlettsburg Wedding Chapel, said he received a phone call from an MTV producer Tuesday asking him to sign a waiver allowing the network to film in the chapel. “When I asked what was going on, they said it was for the Leah Simms wedding, and that name didn’t ring a bell at first,” Gute said. But when he mentioned it to his wife and daughter, they knew exactly who he was talking about. It was a casual wedding with close friends and family, Gute said. The mothers of the MESSER bride and groom served at witnesses. Including the cameramen and producers, about 15 to 20 attended the wedding. Also in attendance were Messer’s 2year-old twin daughters, Aliannah and Aleeah. The camera crew followed Messer and Calvert to the Boyd County Courthouse to get their marriage license and rings before wedding. Although it was scheduled for 3 p.m., the wedding didn’t get under way until about 4:30 p.m. because of a holdup getting the rings, Gute said. “Everybody was happy and joyful and took a ton of pictures,” he said. Gute did some research of his own and found Messer had made it public that she wants to have a big wedding later. He said he thinks the couple will still have a large wedding, but chose to initially marry at the chapel, not so far from their home town of South Charleston, W.Va., so they could enjoy a quiet celebration with their families. “I think they wanted to keep it out of the news, but the producer See MESSER / Page A10 Good First Friday CARRIE STAMBAUGH / THE INDEPENDENT PHOTOS BY KEVIN GOLDY / THE INDEPENDENT Michael Garvin and Janet Thompson play their instruments outside the Ashland Convention and Visitors Bureau office during First Friday Artwalk and Downtown Live. Downtown Live returns as event packs Winchester By CARRIE STAMBAUGH The Independent ASHLAND Music echoed down Winchester Avenue again Monday night as Downtown Live kicked off its 2012 season. Hundreds of cars lined the blocks for the first car show of the spring and the shops, restaurants and galleries overflowed with patrons out for the First Friday festivities. Bands jammed onstage as well as inside establishments and a trio of musicians played acoustically along the sidewalk. Main Street Director Danny Craig said the Downtown Live event is bursting at its seams as it enters its fifth year complementing the First Friday art walk. “It’s jammed down here. There are a ton of people and vehicles down The Independent Sunshine reflects off a car show entry along Winchester Avenue during the First Friday Murder victim’s relatives sought GREENUP The Greenup Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office is looking for relatives of a woman who was murdered in her home nearly 36 years ago. Prosecutors need to speak to Hattie Darnell’s family members because one of her killers is up for parole later this month. Darnell, of South Shore, was slain on June 9, 1976, by her grandson, Charles W. Darnell, and an accomplice, Michael Nickell. Both were sentenced to life for the murder, and to additional 20-year terms for robbing George Darnell, Hattie Darnell’s husband. Hattie Darnell’s body was discovered by a neighbor, who’d stopped by her home to dop off some medication. George Darnell had been shot in the head and in the hand, but was still alive. George Darnell was taken to Ohio State University Hospital. He was able to Page designed / edited by Scott Parsons To subscribe to The Independent call 326-2674 or (800) 955-5860 Your Hearing Loss Team of Experts.. Year 116 No. 112 20 Pages INDEX The Independent Church group makes sleeping mats from plastic bags By CARRIE STAMBAUGH See FIRST / Page A10 Artwalk and Downtown Live event in Ashland. By KENNETH HART Karen Felty demonsrates how to prepare the plastic bags that are crocheted into sleeping mats. Felty attends First Baptist and has completed one sleeping rug. B. Joseph Touma, MD Ear & Neurotolgy Specialist Joseph B. Touma, MD Ear & Balance Specialist provide authorities with the names of the two suspects. Charles Darnell and Nickell both fled to Florida following the murder. They were arrested there and extradited back to Kentucky for trial. Charles Darnell, now 57, is also serving time for crimes he committed in Oldham and Shelby counties. According to the Kentucky Offender Online Lookup System, he has been incarcerated since Oct. 16, 1976, and is an in- BUSINESS......................A5 CLASSIFIED ................B6-9 COMICS..........................B7 DEATHS..........................A3 NATION ......................A4-5 mate of the Kentucky State Reformatory at Lagrange. The state Parole Board has agreed to review Charles Darnell’s case for the purpose of granting him early medical parole. The hearing is scheduled for April 18 at the prison. Any members of Hattie Darnell’s family are asked to contact the commonwealth’s attorney’s office at (606) 473-7978. KENNETH HART can be reached at or (606) 326-2654. REGION ..........................A2 OPINION ........................A8 SPORTS........................B1-3 TV/ADVICE ....................B4 WORLD ..........................A5 Marie Divita • Complete Hearing Evaluations Graziani Au.D., CCC-A, Doctor of Audiology Barbara Danford Au.D., CCC-A, Doctor of Audiology • Medical Treatment • Hearing Aids • Surgical Treatment • Balance & Inner Ear Lab ASHLAND Plastic bags are being transformed into portable sleeping mats for needy Haitians by members of a local church group. The Grayson First Baptist Church’s Hands of Dorcas ministry formed and began making the crocheted mats early this year after a member read an article in a Christian magazine about how to make the mats, said Sue Relaford. “They had suggested making them for homeless people but they also mentioned the people in Haiti who are sleeping in tents or on the ground,” said Relaford. “These mats will keep them off the ground and they can be hosed off if they do get dirty.” Relaford is a long-time church member and one of the founding members of Hands of Dorcas, which consists of female church members who have handiwork skills like sewing and crocheting and wanted to use those for the greater good. She said the group hopes to make as many of the sixby-three-foot mats as possible to send with a group visiting the island nation in June. At least a half dozen have already been completed. “We sort of have a soft spot in our hearts for the people in Haiti,” said Sandy Felty, a church member and another Hands of Dorcas participant. She explained the church has ties with Children’s Lifeline, which does frequent mission work there. Sunday school classes at First Baptist also sponsor children through the charity, which gives them a strong personal connection to the country. “They still have not gotten over the terrible earthquake they had and the loss of life and their possessions,” Felty noted. “Everything down there was pretty much destroyed. Even though a lot of people have gone down there to help there are still a lot of people living in tents,” she said. The mats, made from plastic bags are cut into strips, looped together then crocheted, are lightweight and can be cleaned and dried easily. Each mat takes approximately 30 hours of work to complete and contains between 500 and 700 plastic bags. Relaford said the project is low-cost and provides a See MATS / Page A10 TODAY’S WEATHER HIGH ....69 LOW ....41 FULL FORECAST, PAGE A10 1290 MONTGOMERY AVENUE ASHLAND, KY • (606) 329-8400 1616 13TH AVENUE • SUITE 100 HUNTINGTON, WV • (304) 522-8800 800-955-3277 • We are a proud provider of Phonak Hearing Aids.

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