Morehead man among 18 people honored with Carnegie Medals for heroism

Carnegie Medal

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (AP) – A Morehead, Kentucky man was among the winners of Carnegie Medals formally announced Tuesday for his role in saving a jailer who was being assaulted by a prisoner during a transport last year.

The Carnegie Medals are named for Pittsburgh steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. He was inspired to endow an award in his name by stories of heroism during a coal mine disaster in 1904 that killed 181 people, including a miner and an engineer who died trying to rescue others.

- Advertisement -

The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission awards medals and cash several times a year.  Here is a list of the winners announced Tuesday:

— Christopher Brooks King, 29, of Roswell, New Mexico, rescued a 38-year-old woman from a burning home in January 2014.

— Martin V. Hohenstein, 51, of Dakota City, Nebraska, rescued a 40-year-old from a burning vehicle that crashed in May 2014.

— Lester J. Trafford III, 55, of Hampton Bays, New York, saved a 42-year-old man from drowning and attempted to save an 85-year-old man when their commercial fishing boat capsized in the Atlantic Ocean in May 2013.

— Craig Randleman, 50, of Bend, Oregon, and Thomas Joy, 28, of Spokane, Washington, rescued an 8-year-old boy from attacking pit bulls in Spokane in April 2014. Joy and Jason Connerley, 28, also of Spokane, then rescued Randleman.

— Robert A. Pritchard Jr., 13, of Jacksonville, Florida, rescued a 6-year-old girl from a burning mobile home in June 2014.

— Michael D. Campbell, 30, of Hamilton, Ohio, rescued a 21-year-old man from a house that exploded and burned because of a natural gas leak in June 2014.

— S. Alexander Smith, 16, of Aloha, Oregon, drowned trying to rescue his 13-year-old brother from drowning in the Row River in Dorena, Oregon, in July 2014.

— Cheryl A. Crecelius, 46, of Gaston, Oregon, saved a 25-year-old man and helped save another from a crashed burning vehicle in March 2014.

— Jamison S. Koczan, 38, of Winter Park, Florida, and Kimberly Lynn Groves, 52, of Winter Springs, Florida, saved a woman from being assaulted at gunpoint in a parked vehicle in Winter Park in June 2014.

— Meghan O’Reilly-Green, 31, of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, helped save a 26-year-old man from drowning in the surf at Hatteras, North Carolina, in July 2013.

— Clinton D. Blackburn, 44, of Morehead, Kentucky, saved a 56-year-old jailer from assault by a prisoner he was transporting in Bardstown, Kentucky, in March 2014.

— McKenzie McKay Guffey, 39, of Gainesboro, Tennessee, saved a 45-year-old man from burning in a crashed vehicle in Rye, New York, in July 2014.

— Ryan Thomas Nelson, 21, of Egan, Minnesota, saved a 21-year-old man from burning in a home in Grand Forks, North Dakota, in March 2014.

— Alan Cavener, 54, of Nampa, Idaho, rescued an elderly man from an out-of-control vehicle in Meridian, Idaho, in August 2013.

— Bryon Snyder, 36, of Topeka, Kansas, saved a 44-year-old woman from an armed assault in June 2014.

Previous articlePolice: Gunshot killed man found in wooded area
Next articleGroup asks court to delay Louisville’s minimum wage increase
Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at You can also follow Tom on Facebook and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.