A fugitive who was being sought by the Monticello Police Department was apprehended in Pulaski County on Friday, June 7.
Donnie Jason Lair, 33, was arrested following a pursuit by Somerset Police that ended in a crash. He had been sought on several theft and robbery charges in Wayne and McCreary counties, along with several counties in Tennessee.
Police stated that in one case, Lair choked a robbery victim so badly the victim had to seek medical treatment. Police also stated that Lair stole six cars from used car lots.
Lair is facing local charges that include possession of a forged instrument, receiving stolen property, theft by deception and evading police.
The chase began in Pulaski County, after a Somerset officer saw a truck make a U-turn on North U.S. 27 and spin its tires. Lair reportedly drove south on U.S. 27, then went on the KY 80 Bypass.
Lair failed to observe that the bypass, a former section of the Cumberland Parkway, ended at the intersection with KY 914 and he struck an earth embankment on the west side of the intersection, according to the police report.
Also taken into custody was a passenger in the Lair vehicle, Tiffany Keen, 32, of Deer Lodge, Tennessee. The 1994 Chevrolet pickup the pair were traveling in was reported stolen from S and S Auto Sales in McCreary County on May 24.
Pulaski County officials have charged Lair with first degree fleeing and evading police, receiving stolen property, driving under the influence and operating a motor vehicle on a suspended license. McCreary County charges include first degree robbery and theft by unlawful taking.
Keen was arrested and charged with alcohol intoxication and having a prescription controlled substance not in the proper container.
Both were lodged in Pulaski County Detention Center.
Members of the Monticello Independent Board of Education approved the first reading of an early graduation policy during a special called meeting Monday evening, June 10.
According to State Manager Jim Hamm, approval for the early graduation policy came after several emails and conversations with the commissioner of education. He noted that the commissioner reviewed the early graduation policy and agreed that if the Monticello School Board passed it then he would concur with it as well.
Hamm noted that students hoping to graduate early had to meet benchmarks for the state to be either college or career ready. They also had to have met the GPA requirement as well.
Students who meet the early graduation requirements have been notified, Hamm stated. He also added that there are approximately three students who qualify for early graduation.
The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office has received several complaints from residents in the county that they have received letters or phone calls from Check Systems demanding payment. The caller threatens that the person will be arrested or summoned to court without payment.
These are not legitimate calls. Owing money for a debt is not a criminal matter and is not something that an individual can be arrested for. The Sheriff’s Office stated that residents should not send any money or give any personal information over the phone.
Kentucky Department of Education Associate Commissioner Hiren Desai updated members of the Kentucky School Board regarding the merger effort between Wayne County and Monticello schools, during the organization’s regular meeting on Wednesday, June 5.
Desai said that with the leadership of Wayne County Superintendent John Dalton and State Manager James Hamm the effort has been relatively smooth.
He called the effort a “phenomenal job” on the part of all the officials involved, as well as the community. Desai said school officials in the districts have reached an agreement regarding school configuration, which incorporates use of the Monticello Elementary School building. That was one of the issues discussed at the state board meeting in April.
Desai also provided the state board with an update regarding Monticello personnel.
He stated that all tenured staff at Monticello School, both certified and classified, have received contracts from Wayne County. There are approximately 23 non-tenured staff members who do not have jobs in the county district at this time, but he said he expects there will be a need for about six more staff members at Wayne County by the start of the school year.