New medical examiner to have major impact on Hopkins Co.

Cincinnati native Greg Wanger will take over the new position, and local officials say that'll have a major impact on not just Hopkins County, but all of Western Kentucky.
Cincinnati native Greg Wanger will take over the new position, and local officials say that'll have a major impact on not just Hopkins County, but all of Western Kentucky.

HOPKINS CO., KY (WFIE) - A new medical examiner is coming to Hopkins County.

The position was vacant for over a year, and there were talks of possibly shutting the office down.

However, Cincinnati native Greg Wanger will take over the new position, and local officials say that'll have a major impact on not just Hopkins County, but all of Western Kentucky.

For more than a year, authorities from all over Western Kentucky have traveled to Louisville for autopsies. Hopkins County Coroner Dennis Mayfield says sometimes results take weeks, and traveling just added to that.

"With their workload already there, it just doubled their workload. It took us a while longer to get reports back," Mayfield said.

The state debated closing the Madisonville office for good because of budget cuts and a lack of qualified candidates, but Madisonville Police Chief Wade Williams says he is glad to see it stay.
"It helps us perform our job better, so it really helps us and we appreciate their efforts in keeping that in the budget," Williams said.
"It's going to be in our own backyard now. Hopefully, we'll get the results quicker and the investigations will go along much smoother," Kentucky State Trooper Stu Recke said. 
Recke says over the past year, there's been no shortage of crimes requiring a medical examiner.
"As you can see, there is a need for it in Western Kentucky, and with this, it's going to be beneficial for everyone involved," Recke.
Mayfield says the quicker a body can be identified also benefits the victim's family.
"That the most important part is the family and not knowing, so it's very difficult for them," Mayfield said.
Dr. Greg Wanger brings 28 years of experience to Western Kentucky, along with one credential certain to help law enforcement.
"He's the only pathologist in the United States that has went to the FBI Academy, so that will help us out a great deal, too," Mayfield said.

Wanger will transfer to the Madisonville office January 1st.

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