Looking back at 2021

Published 8:00 am Friday, December 31, 2021

The past year has been one filled with good news and bad; fun times and hard times. As we look back on 2021, the Winchester Sun would like to share with our readers some of our top stories of 2021 based on visits to our website, https://www.winchestersun.com/

If you want to read this story again, see https://www.winchestersun.com/2021/12/31/looking-back-at-2021/

As of Dec. 28, 2021, we have welcomed nearly 1,205,811 visitors to our site. While there, they have read stories and viewed photographs about local government news, area crime, sports, and more.

Below is a listing of the top 10 stores of 2021, along with the number of visitors who looked at each story on our website, and a brief portion of that story.

1. Shooter killed young mother, then himself
Web Page Visits – 12,477
Publication date: March 31, 2021: https://www.winchestersun.com/2021/03/31/police-investigating-fatal-shooting/

Winchester Police investigated two fatal shootings that occurred at 186 Spruce Court just before 7:35 a.m. Tuesday, March 30.

Detective Steve Charles told the Sun Wednesday morning the initial evidence indicates that the suspect, Kino Kendall, 23, apparently shot and killed Esther Meza 22, then shot himself in a vehicle parked in front of the residence.

Kendall was airlifted from Clark Regional Medical Center to the University of Kentucky Hospital in Lexington, where he died Wednesday afternoon of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to Deputy Coroner Katie Lisle.

Meza, who had multiple gunshot wounds, died March 30.

2. Woman dies in downtown shooting
Web Page Visits – 12,006
Publication date: May 14, 2021: https://www.winchestersun.com/2021/05/14/woman-dies-in-downtown-shooting/

A Winchester man was charged with murder in the fatal shooting of a woman outside his downtown apartment.

Stephen McGuire, of 40-B N. Main St., was still in custody of officers at the Winchester Police Department an hour and a half after the shooting occurred May 14.

Police found Sheila Smith, 34, lying on the hallway floor outside Apt. 2 when officers arrived after getting the call from dispatch around 4:30 p.m., and they had reason to believe the suspect was still in the building, said Capt. James Hall, criminal investigator.

3. Reports of shots fired at Clark County Fair
Web Page Visits – 7,622
Publication date: June 29, 2021: https://www.winchestersun.com/2021/06/29/reports-of-shots-fired-at-clark-county-fair/

Shots were reportedly fired at the Clark County Fair Tuesday evening, June 29.

Clark County Sheriff Berl Perdue has told The Winchester Sun that one person was shot and suffered non-life-threatening injuries to the lower leg, and another suffered a superficial wound to the knee area at the Clark County Fair Tuesday evening.

4. Clark County Judge-Executive Chris Pace dies from COVID-19 complications
Web Page Visits – 3,935
Publication date: Oct. 15, 2021: https://www.winchestersun.com/2021/10/15/clark-county-judge-executive-chris-pace-dies-from-covid-19-complications/
Clark County Judge-Executive Chris Pace died Thursday night (Oct. 14) from health complications arising from a recent battle with COVID-19.
Clark County Coroner Robert Gayheart said Pace was taken to the emergency room at Clark Regional Medical Center Thursday night, where he died.

The coroner said that Pace did not have any underlying health issues.
Pace, 44, was a staunch Republican. He was elected in 2018 and had served in office since 2019.

Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner said he will miss his fellow local executive.

“Judge Pace will be sorely missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Pace family. I would ask all to respect the family and their wishes at this most trying of times,” he said.

5. Schools to remain closed because of COVID
Web Page Visits – 1,053
Publication date: Jan. 8, 2021: https://www.winchestersun.com/2021/01/08/schools-to-remain-closed-because-of-covid/

In January, Clark County Public Schools decide to continue suspension of in-person classes until February, Superintendent Paul Christy announced Friday in a letter to families of students and school employees.

In the letter, which was posted on the school district’s website and social media, Christy said he had hoped for a return to classrooms at the beginning of the new year, but because of a recent increase in COVID-19 cases, he had decided that virtual learning would continue through the first half of the current nine-week period with a plan to return to in-person learning Feb. 22 if the infection rate numbers permit.

“We will continue to monitor the local infection rate daily. A decision regarding the return to in-person instruction will be made during the week of Feb. 15,” he said.

6. Branham appointed judge-executive
Web Page Visits – 1,390
Publication date: Oct. 22, 2021: https://www.winchestersun.com/2021/10/22/branham-appointed-judge-executive/
Gov. Andy Beshear announced in a news release Oct. 22 that he has appointed Henry Branham to serve the remainder of the term of the man who defeated him in the last election for the county judge-executive’s office, Chris Pace.

Branham said that in making the appointment the governor was upholding his responsibility to “all the counties of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and to Clark County to try to assist in making sure that our local governments are run as good as possible.”

Ultimately, twelve years of experience and the ability to run a county government are why Branham thinks he was the right man for the job in the governor’s eyes.

7. BOE votes to terminate services of Grant, Rose & Pumphrey
Web Page Visits – 885
Publication date: Oct. 1, 2021: https://www.winchestersun.com/2021/10/01/boe-votes-to-terminate-services-of-grant-rose-pumphrey/
The Clark County Public Schools Board of Education voted to issue a 30-day termination notice to Winchester law firm Grant, Rose & Pumphrey during a special-called meeting on Oct. 1.
The board’s 3-0 decision to terminate its business contract with the firm for legal services and to approve one with Mount Sterling firm White, Peck and, Carrington was met with controversy. Brian Thomas had represented the board on behalf of Grant, Rose, & Pumphrey, and in February reported the allegations that board member Sherry Richardson’s family overhead door business indirectly benefited from a district project to the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office, which prompted an ongoing investigation. Investigation concluded that Richardson had done nothing wrong.

8. Clark County names new school superintendent
Web Page Visits – 1,415
Publication date: July 27, 2021: https://www.winchestersun.com/2021/07/27/clark-county-names-new-school-superintendent/
Clark County Public Schools announced the hiring of a new superintendent, Dr. Molly McComas

McComas has over 22 years in public education and has served in the Office of Student Services in Scott County Schools since 2017. She also serves as an adjunct professor of Graduate Studies for the University of the Cumberlands. McComas transitioned into the role of Superintendent effective Aug. 2.

9. Kentuckians describe protest, chaos at Capitol
Web Page Visits – 1,571
Publication date: Jan. 7, 2021: https://www.winchestersun.com/2021/01/07/kentuckians-describe-protest-chaos-at-capitol/
What began Wednesday as a rally to show support for President Trump on the day Congress was to certify the Electoral College’s vote count turned violent as demonstrators invaded the U.S. Capitol, smashing windows and furniture and clashing with police.
Some Winchester area residents who were there say that what they witnessed was a mostly peaceful protest.

Wayne Elkins, a Winchester businessman and brother of County Attorney William Elkins, was among those who took part in the demonstration. He said he attended because he thinks the election of Democrat Joe Biden as president was fraudulent, and he wanted to support Trump.

“I believe, quite honestly, that there was so much cheating that took place that I don’t feel like we can honor the election,” he said.
Elkins said he didn’t see anyone climbing the walls of the Capitol building or breaking in because he was about 300 yards away. There were “a million patriots” and a few who “got out of hand in the end,” he said.

10. Former Winchester Sun Publisher Betty Berryman dies; First female Kentucky Press Association president
Web Page Visits – 852
Publication date: Dec. 25, 2021: https://www.winchestersun.com/2021/12/25/former-winchester-sun-publisher-betty-berryman-dies-first-female-kentucky-press-association-president/
Former Winchester Sun publisher Betty Berryman passed away peacefully Dec. 25 at her home.
She was 92. Berryman served as publisher between 1988 and 2006. She also was the first female president of the Kentucky Press Association.