Debate over Confederate statue in Owensboro picks up as meeting approaches

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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) – As the future of the confederate statue in Owensboro returns to the spotlight, the push from both sides on the debate continues near the statue and online.

Daviess County commissioners are expected to decide the fate of the statue this week.

More than a month ago, Daviess County Commissioners voted to delay their vote on an original plan to move the statue, adding more community input was needed. Since then, support on both sides has picked up in person and online.

“It’s past time for it to be gone,” said Nancy Henry, who started an online petition calling for its removal. More than 2,600 people signed it as of late Monday afternoon.

“Even southern states that were considered Confederate are getting theirs removed, and we were a neutral state so it should have never been up here before,” she said.

People wanting the statue to stay started their own petition getting about 1,400 signatures as of late Monday afternoon. It follows a ‘Save The Confederate Statue’ rally this past weekend, where they argued removing the statue is removing a part of history

“This memorial is for the relatives and the others that want to remember their kinfolk and we believe it should be left in place, and not be taken away,” said Dale Roberts, who organized the rally in front of the statue this past Saturday.

The original plan that was supposed to be decided earlier this summer involved moving the statue to land owned by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. But questions are being raised about whether the county has the authority to say where the statue may go. Some say the county doesn’t own it. But Daviess County Attorney Claud Porter says the county does since the statue listed as publicly owned in the national register of historic places.

“They sent something indicating think they own it because it was erected by them originally, but they provided no other indication of ownership. All the other indications of ownership belong to the county,” Porter said.

Henry says if it’s moved, she wants to see it go to a place not funded by taxpayer dollars.

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(This story was originally published on August 3, 2020) 

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