- Associated Press - Saturday, December 12, 2015

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) - When Warren County Sheriff’s Deputy Chris Shelton pulled over Heather Widner on Louisville Road on Wednesday afternoon, she assumed a ticket was in her future.

Instead, she received a crisp $100 bill.

“You gotta be kidding me,” Widner said to Shelton when he told her he pulled her over to give her money. “Can I hug you?”

For the second year in a row, anonymous Warren County Presbyterians gave the sheriff’s office thousands of dollars to hand out to people Wednesday and Thursday, Warren County Sheriff Jerry “Peanuts” Gaines said. The donors are challenging people of other religions and denominations to also give to others.

“That’s what it’s all about,” Gaines said. “We all got to stay together and work together.”

Gaines said the donors trust deputies to get the money into the hands of people who need it.

“They know we’re all over the county,” Gaines said. “The sheriff’s department belongs to the people, and that’s where we operate from is the people.”

Widner, who works at a Bowling Green McDonald’s, has a car in desperate need of several repairs, but also needs money to provide Christmas gifts for her 3-year-old daughter.

“I’m hurting for Christmas money,” she said. “My car can wait.”

Wednesday was a great day on patrol for Shelton.

“That’s why I like this,” Shelton said. “She put her own needs aside. That’s the ones I want.”

Shelton carefully scoped out cars before pulling them over to hand out the $100 bills. He had five to distribute.

In the next car was Beth Sholar, a substitute teacher who has been off work due to illness. She just left the doctor’s office when Shelton stopped her.

Her bank account was getting low and she said she planned to use the money to buy a tank of gas, get an oil change and pick up a few Christmas gifts for her nieces and nephews.

When Shelton stopped Deborah Beach on Louisville Road, she burst into tears as he explained why he pulled her over.

“You don’t know how bad I needed it,” she said. “My husband passed away in July and I haven’t had any income at all. The kids have been helping me. It’s probably going to go to the electric bill.”

Heather Cannon of Bowling Green was driving on Louisville Road with her 5-year-old son strapped into his car seat when Shelton stopped her.

She didn’t know why she was being stopped, but she figured it would cost her money.

The stay-at-home mom of two boys was overjoyed to receive $100, which she said she will use to start shopping for Christmas for her children.

“We pay the bills, and we survive,” Cannon said. “That’s pretty much what we do. We’ve had some deaths in the family. It’s been a rough year for us.”

Shelton had a good time handing out money instead of tickets Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s fun,” he said. “Instead of people being upset with us, they get money, so it’s good. Most of the people are happy they’re not getting a ticket, and then you give them $100 and they’re excited.”


Information from: Daily News, https://www.bgdailynews.com

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