Take note: Fundraiser to benefit preacher’s family; paving updates

Fundraiser to benefit preacher’s family

GNAW BONE — A local restaurant will conduct a fundraiser benefitting the family of a local preacher who died in a June car crash.

Gnaw Bone BBQ and Original Tenderloin will donate all of the money made serving up food July 29 to Ernest Martin Jr.’s family, owner Roger Sharp said.

The restaurant also will be accepting monetary donations for the family, along with donating money made from food purchases.

Martin, 36, died protecting his family the night of June 25 when he swerved to avoid a head-on collision.

His pregnant wife, Linda, and two daughters were riding with him at the time of the crash.

Linda and their two young daughters, Abigail and Lydia, were able to escape with the help of passers-by, a witness reported. They were taken to Columbus Regional Hospital and released with no serious injuries.

Ernest Martin was pronounced dead at the scene.

He had been the pastor at Gnaw Bone Wesleyan Church for seven years.

Martin also worked as a family support specialist at Centerstone in Nashville, and worked in Brown County Schools with the district’s Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports program. He used to be a classroom assistant at the junior high.

When asked why he is hosting the fundraiser for the family, Sharp’s answer was simple.

“Because we may need it next week,” he said. “We just need to help other people.”

The restaurant, 4974 State Road 46 East, will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“We just want everybody to come out, eat, make a donation, whatever they want to do,” Sharp said.

A GoFundMe page is still collecting donations for living expenses for Martin’s family. As of July 20, $11,896 had been raised out of the $25,000 goal.

The page is at: gofundme.com/rev-ernest-martin-jr-memorial-fund.

Where do county paving projects stand?

On July 21, Commissioner Diana Biddle announced on Facebook that paving of Valley Branch Road was complete. Brown County Highway Superintendent Mike Magner reported during the July 19 Brown County Commissioners meeting that work had began on the project.

Crews began wedging the road ahead of paving July 18, Magner said during the July 19 Brown County Commissioners meeting.

Magner said in the meeting that once Valley Branch Road was complete the plan was for crews to switch to paving Salt Creek Road and Sweetwater Trail.

Salt Creek Road is being funded by the Community Crossings grant along with projects on Sweetwater Trail, T.C. Steele Road and Crooked Creek Road.

Crews were out wedging Salt Creek Road on July 7-10 preparing it for paving.

The hope is to have all of Salt Creek Road and as much of Sweetwater Trail finished as possible before school starts on Aug. 9, Magner said.

Paving 4.75 miles of Valley Branch Road is being done by contractor Milestone.

E&B Paving finished paving 4.75 miles of Carmel Ridge Road on July 18.

Paving Nineveh Road has been delayed because water lines are still being repaired in that area, Magner said.