Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

September 13, 2013

Sex offender registered riverfront as address; move to end camping

ASHLAND — A sex offender that registered his home address as an Ashland park has prompted city officials to prohibit overnight camping in all city parks.

Ashland City Commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to give initial approval to prohibit overnight camping without prior special permission in city parks. The amended ordinances will need final approval to become law.

According to Ashland Police Chief Rob Ratliff, the move was prompted in part by a sex offender who had listed his address on the Kentucky State Police registry as Ashland’s Riverfront Park.

“This is not someone we want staying in our park,” said Ratliff. He declined to name the individual.

A search of the registry Thursday revealed there was no longer anyone registered at that address. There are more than 80 sex offenders registered in Boyd County, including 58 whose addresses are listed in Ashland.

The KSP’s phone systems were experiencing problems on Thursday and a public information officer could not be immediately reached. According to its website, the KSP “do not evaluate or approve particular locations for compliance with sex offender residence restrictions.” It is illegal for registered offenders to live within 1,000 feet of a high school, middle school, elementary school, preschool, publicly owned playground or a licensed day care facility.

Ratliff said the man was not the only individual spending the night in city parks. The ban, he said, will protect both the parks and citizens.

“If you allow any camping you open the door to people camping. Under certain circumstances you don’t want that in our parks,” he said.

In recent years, especially during the warm summer months,  there have often been transients who have camped along the riverfront.

“It is just a place for them to go, now with it being developed, it’s inviting for them to go down there. They have some resources there. It is just a good spot for them, not necessarily us,” said Ratliff.

 City Attorney Richard “Sonny” Martin said officials believed camping was previously banned under the ordinance but the amendments were needed to ”clarify that it is not a permitted use.” He confirmed the request to change the ordinance had come from APD, which had a “reoccurring problem with transients,” including folks with “felony backgrounds.”

Ashland Parks and Recreation Director Sean Murray said he felt the change was in the best interest of citizens and Ashland parks. Groups and individuals, he said, can still apply to the city to hold an overnight event. That request would then need to be approved by commissioners.

CARRIE STAMBAUGH can be reached at (606) 326-2653 or by email at cstambaugh@dailyindependent.com

1
Text Only
Local News
  • The historical significance of city directories

    Before the Internet and the telephone, there has been a need for businesses to be able to find someone living within the city. 

    July 26, 2014

  • Inmate leaves work detail in Ashland

    An inmate at the Boyd County Detention Center walked away from a work detail today near Holy Family School.

    July 26, 2014

  • 0727exonline.jpg Finding a healthier take on cooking out

    Grilling is a favorite part of summer, but it doesn’t always have to involve hamburgers, hot dogs and barbeque. There are plenty of creative ways to grill that can be healthier for you.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • 07/26/2014 — Reunions

    Local news

    July 26, 2014

  • Highway naming ceremony set

    State leaders will join Kentucky Adjutant General Edward W. Tonini in Morehead next week to name a Kentucky highway in memory of a Rowan County native and member of the United States Air Force with 12 years of service who died last year while serving in Afghanistan.

    July 25, 2014

  • Package liquor sales begin in Grayson

    It took more than a year, an investment of about $750,000, and a lot of paperwork but packaged liquor went on sale last Thursday in Grayson.
    Grayson Beverage Center received its license last Tuesday and was able to begin sales as soon as the shelves were stocked.

    July 25, 2014

  • Lemonade stand is paying off of 12-year-old

    During most of the past week, drivers traveling down 13th Street have been seeing a young man selling lemonade on the side of the road for 75 cents a cup.
    That would be Lucas Gillum, a kid who has a heart for helping others.

    July 25, 2014

  • 0726FairFri0306.jpg Friday fantastic day for fair activities

    Among the many smiling faces along the midway at the Boyd County Fair Friday evening, Jesse Cline’s excited grin stood out in the crowd as he prepared to perform for his home-county crowd.
    “I go to Idol Wednesday,” said Cline, who made it to Hollywood during last year’s season of American Idol.

    July 25, 2014 4 Photos

  • Manchin being sued by brother for $1.7M

    U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III faces a $1.7 million civil suit filed by a brother over a lifeline to save a family carpet business in the late 1980s.

    July 25, 2014

  • Good deed done: ReStore returns cash to owner

    Staff of Huntington WV Area Habitat for Humanity ReStore recently discovered a large sum of money in a donated piece of furniture.

    July 25, 2014