Times Journal

Posted June 12, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Four people have been arrested in connection with the armed robbery of Russell Springs businessman Theo Branscum last Thursday evening, May 30, in the rear parking lot of Branscum Storage on Lakeway Drive, according to Russell Springs Police Chief Joe Irvin.

After an extensive investigation, Russell Springs Police have charged William Patton, 43, Bobby Beard, 42, Eric Burton, 38, and Vincent Lynch, 29, all of Russell Springs, with first degree robbery.

All four individuals are accused of conspiring to rob Branscum of money just after Patton met and paid Branscum money he owed him two weeks ago last Thursday.

Patton was arrested and charged a short time after the robbery while Beard and Burton were arrested last Saturday night, according to police. Lynch was arrested around 1:30 a.m. on Monday, June 3. All were arrested by RSPD Officer Nathan Bradshaw and lodged in Russell County Detention Center.


Three individuals were arrested early Sunday morning, June 2, for allegedly making methamphetamine, according to Russell Springs Police Chief Joe Irvin.

Japeth Miller, 23, of Jamestown, Patricia Norris, 31, of Russell Springs, and Crystal Richmond, 37, of Jamestown are each charged with manufacturing methamphetamine.

All three were taken into custody at a home on C. Weston Rd. around 7:30 a.m. Sunday, June 2 by members of the Russell Springs Police Department and Russell County Sheriff’s Department.

Miller was also charged with tampering with physical evidence and fleeing from police.

All were lodged in the Russell County Detention Center with RSPD Officer Nathan Bradshaw listed as the arresting officer.


Craig Pippen, Russell County High School girls’ basketball coach, resigned two weeks ago from his position as head coach of the Lady Lakers.

Pippen was hired before the 2007-08 season to guide the Lady Laker program that had just gone 4-23 during the 2006-07 season. In his six years as head coach, Pippen compiled a 105-63 record, winning the 16th district championship four times and making five 4th region appearances at E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green.

“Words cannot describe how I feel right now,” Pippen said after announcing the news. “There is never a right time to resign, especially when you walk away from something you have done for 23 years, 16 of those as a head coach,” Pippen, who had 225 wins as a head coach in those 16 years, said basketball has been a big part of his life and will continue to be, but just in a different context.

“I feel like it is time to shift my focus toward my family,” he said. “I have spent the past 23 years coaching other folks’ kids, now it’s time to spend more time with and coach my own.”

Pippen has been an assistant coach at Lexington Catholic under Danny Haney, Marion County under Tim Davis, Dunbar under Frank Watson and Henry Clay under Greg Holt. He was the boys’ coach at Model from 1997 to 2002 and at Danville from 2002 to 2007 before taking over the girls’ program at RCHS.

He said he had made a lifetime of memories associated to coaching basketball throughout his career.

“I have many on-court memories such as championships and heart-break losses but the ones I will relish the most are the off-court experiences,” he said.

“I remember taking one of my Danville teams to Florida for a team camp and one of my players fell to his knees with tears running down his face from seeing the ocean for the first time. Now that memory is worth a thousand words.”

The former Laker coach said the hardest part about stepping down was telling his seniors-to-be.

“That was the hardest part of my decision,” he said.

“They are great young women who are class acts. There is no doubt in my mind that these four, Rachel “Smiley” McFall, Madison “Mad Dawg” Loy, Danielle “Ginger” Walters and Baylee “The Real Deal” Hadley will lead next year’s group to a championship season. These girls are family to me.”

Pippen said the Lady Laker basketball program will be in good hands with whoever they decide to bring in as the new head coach in the month’s ahead.

“The youth league is in good shape, there are a lot of talented young players coming up from the middle school and the varsity will be guided by four excellent leaders,” Pippen said.

“Anytime you step away you want to leave the program in great shape. I feel like our coaching staff and players have done that.”

Pippen said next year he will continue to teach Health and P.E., coach boys’ golf and remain a huge part of Lady Laker basketball.

“I have decided to coach our varsity through the remainder of the summer program in June,” he said. “I really want this to be as smooth of a transition for the girls as possible. I didn’t want to leave without making sure they had a solid summer program to look forward to and to improve from.”

Pippen said he appreciated the support he received from all the school administration and named Scott Pierce, Kenny Pickett, Darren Gossage, Keith Ellis, Rita Branscum and Willie Feldhaus specifically, during his six years as head coach.

“I was very fortunate to have the support of my assistant coaches as well. I am a big believer in ‘you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with.’ I was very blessed to have had the opportunity to work with a great coaching staff these past six years. I also want to thank the previous 11 players who played for me and went on and graduated from Russell County. I enjoyed our time together and will enjoy the memories.”

He said a lot of what goes into being a head coach goes unnoticed for the most part.

“Most people see the game part of it but I have spent many a night on the road scouting other teams, many a day watching film in my basement and many a weekend preparing for the week ahead,” he said.

“It definitely was worth it but now I can use that time to better a different program, my family.”

Pippen said, as for now, he is going to concentrate on having fun with the little time I have left this next month with the current Lady Laker team.

“I am going to enjoy each and every player, moment and possession with my team,” he said.

“I wouldn’t have it any other way.”