|Breathitt Online News
Archives Page # 13 (2-9-04)
|Edythe K. Williams honored 12-16-03
Hazard Community and Technical College Benefactor of the Year for 2003 is Edythe K. Williams, Hazard. Accepting the award is Mrs. Williams daughter, Jenny Williams. Shown above are Dr. Jay K. Box, president/CEO of HCTC and Dr. Michael B. McCall, president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS). EdytheWilliams has been a loyal and tireless supporter of the Greater Hazard Area Performing Arts Series at Hazard Community and Technical College for many years. Besides her monetary support of this program,she served for many years on the Greater Hazard Area Arts Council and Arts Series Advisory Board as well as volunteering her time to help the Performing Arts Series in any way that she was needed. Her love of the arts and Hazard Community and Technical College has been a major plus to the Series. She also supports the College as a major contributor to the Cordell H. Williams, M.D. Memorial Scholarship Fund that was established in 1991 in memory of her husband.
Pine Branch Coal Sales, Inc. honored 12-16-03
Hazard Community and Technical College Benefactor of the Year for 2003 is Pine Branch Coal Sales Inc. of Chavies, David and Susan Duff. Accepting the award is Ryan Duff, son of the honorees, and Vice President of Operations for Pine Branch Coal Sales. Shown above are Dr. Jay K. Box, president/CEO of HCTC and Dr. Michael B. McCall,president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS). Pine Branch Coal Sales Inc. and David and Susan Duff’s love of the Eastern Kentucky region is exemplified by the generosity
that they have demonstrated in their support to Hazard Community and Technical College. They have supported the College in nearly every endeavor. Year after year when asked for donations to meet immediate need, they always respond. In addition to an unrestricted annual gift, they are longtime supporters of the Performing Arts Series, the HCTC Golf Classic Tournament as well as the technical campus heavy machinery program.
Decision called 'death sentence' for Jackson school Small, successful district may lose crucial state funds JACKSON, Ky. 1-20-04 By ALAN MAIMON firstname.lastname@example.org The Courier-Journal
The Kentucky Department of Education has told one of the state's fastest-growing and highest-achieving school districts that it will stop receiving funding for students who live outside its district.
More than 60 percent of the Jackson Independent school district's 600 students live outside its boundaries, Superintendent Taylor Collins said.
He said the funding decision made last month by Education Commissioner Gene Wilhoit is a "death sentence" for Jackson City School, the single school in his district, which has preschool through 12th-grade classes.
"It will be difficult to operate next year — and after that it will be impossible," Collins said.
The immediate impact, he said, is that Jackson Independent will lose $172,000 to pay for 32 out-of-district students who enrolled in the fall. The state, however, will continue to pay for the rest of the out-of-district students until they graduate.
Wilhoit became involved after the Jackson Independent board of education and the board of education in neighboring Breathitt County reached an impasse on renewing a longstanding agreement that allowed students to enroll in whichever district they chose without paying tuition.
School officials in Breathitt County, which has 2,100 students, say Wilhoit simply gave the county what it should have — the 381 students who live outside the Jackson Independent district but go to the Jackson City School.
"Basically, Jackson Independent wants to keep on taking," Breathitt County Superintendent Ron Eden said. "If they keep doing that, I'll have to close some of my schools down."
Collins said Wilhoit's decision will cut $735,000 from a budget of around $2 million in basic state aid for the next school year. He said the school will operate as normally as possible under the circumstances — no teacher layoffs are planned, and no students will be charged tuition — but the school can't continue beyond next year.
Under the old student choice agreement, Jackson Independent's enrollment nearly doubled in the past decade. But while the city of Jackson has grown, the school district's boundaries have remained unchanged since the 1930s.
Eden, who became superintendent in August 2002, said Jackson Independent's enrollment growth has come at the expense of the county. Two county elementary schools, Rousseau and Highland-Turner, have lost a total of about 250 students in recent years, he said.
County school officials sought a cap on the number of Jackson Independent students who live outside its district, but the Jackson board rejected that.
Wilhoit took up the dispute as a mediator. He decided that neither district will get new funding for students who choose to attend school outside the district where they live. They'll continue to get funding for students now enrolled until those students graduate.
Most of the affected students go to the Jackson school; Breathitt County schools have only about 50 students who live in the Jackson Independent district.
Lisa Gross, a spokeswoman for the Education Department, said Wilhoit has made similar rulings in previous situations where neighboring school districts couldn't agree on whether to allow students to choose where to go.
Jackson Independent has appealed Wilhoit's decision to the state Board of Education, and a hearing is set for April7. Meantime, many of its teachers, students and their parents plan to travel to Frankfort on Feb. 10 to stage a protest. The parents of all 381 students who live outside the district sent Wilhoit letters, Collins said.
Malou Mendoza, the mother of three children who attend Jackson City School, said she'd be crushed if the school closed or had to merge with a county school.
"This shouldn't be allowed to happen," Mendoza said. "We should have a say where we send our kids."
"THIS IS A wonderful school," said Heather Sewell, who has attended Jackson City since first grade and will enroll in college later this year. "And they shouldn't take it away."
Jackson Independent was one of 35 Kentucky school districts to meet federal standards in the recently released No Child Left Behind report. Nineteen of 28 graduating seniors from Jackson City — 68 percent — went to college last year, far above the state average of 54 percent in 2001-02, the latest figure available, and 55.3 percent in the county that year.
Breathitt County schools, meanwhile, met nine of 13 federal standards, which range from graduation rates to scores on standardized tests. Half of the county's six schools, including Breathitt County High School, failed to meet the federal standards.
But according to the state Education Department's Web site, in the 2001-02 school year Breathitt County schools had a lower student-teacher ratio at 14-to-1 than Jackson Independent, which was 17-to-1. Jackson Independent spent $5,270 per student that year, compared with the county's $8,026 per student.
According to No Child Left Behind, students who attend schools that fail for a second year will be given the option to transfer to a higher-performing school.
Collins, who has been superintendent of Jackson Independent since 1993, said he has parents "beating our doors down" to get their children into Jackson City.
He said his district has benefited from programs that include teaching students how to use a computer keyboard and Spanish language instruction for primary school students.
Eden said the county's schools are "open to everyone" and that about 80 percent of county students are classified as low income and receive free or reduced-price lunches, compared with about 60 percent in Jackson City.
"I REALLY wonder where (Jackson Independent) would be if everyone had their own students," he said.
Collins, meantime, complained that Wilhoit didn't visit the school district before making his ruling. "He should be down here asking why so many parents are choosing Jackson City School," he said.
Gross, the Education Department spokeswoman, confirmed that. She said Wilhoit prefers to stay out of conflicts between school districts. "This could have been settled locally," Gross said. "When we decide what happens, someone usually ends up not happy."
THE DISPUTE has become intense. At a late December school meeting, Collins led students in a chant directed at Breathitt County students: "That's all right, that's OK, you'll be working for us someday."
Collins admitted he used poor judgment. "I knew immediately I had pitted child against child and apologized to our faculty and staff," he said.
He said his district might try to expand its boundaries by annexing more of Jackson, or make another effort to come to terms with the county. Or, he said, it could just close.
But for next year, he said, he won't turn away any students, even without the state funding.
The dispute has left students like Jackson City fifth-grader Amanda Bennett wondering where she'll go to school. "This is a great school. It's like a family," she said. "I'd be heartbroken if it closed."
Announcing the Release of Automatic External Defibulators through the Rural Access to Emergency Devices Program 1-24-04
The Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services (KBEMS) along with their statewide partners, the UK Center for Rural Health; the Kentucky Hospital Association; the Kentucky Department for Public Health; and the
American Heart Association are proud to announce the placement of the first distribution of automatic external defibrillators (AED) to forty rural communities in Kentucky funded through the Federal government's Rural
Access to Emergency Devices grant program. Automatic External Defibrillators are devices that can be used to attempt to "restart" someone's heart in a cardiac arrest situation.
This grant comes to Kentucky as a part of a federal initiative to provide public access to defibrillators. This placement of these devices will hopefully lower the incidences of individuals that die each year prior to the arrival of emergency medical services in their community. During this initial phase KBEMS will place 193 AED's with fire and police departments that are willing to make medical first response runs and at locations where large public gatherings take place such as court houses, schools, and senior citizens centers. The first round of devices will be placed in the following counties: Anderson, Ballard, Bath, Bell, Bracken, Breathitt, Butler, Carlisle, Carter, Cumberland, Edmonson, Elliott, Fulton, Hancock, Hart, Henry, Hickman, Jackson, Knott, Larue, Lawrence, Lee, Lewis, Livingston, Logan, Lyon, Magoffin, Martin, McLean, Meade, Menifee, Metcalf, Simpson, Spencer, Trimble, Washington, and Wolfe. In addition to this initial distribution, the statewide partnership has
also applied for a continuation grant. Kentucky received the largest grant award in the nation to continue this project through fiscal year 03-04. Those devices will be placed in two phases. In the next phase Adair, Allen,
Barren, Breckenridge, Caldwell, Carroll, Casey, Christian, Clark, Clay, Crittenden, Estill, Fleming, Floyd, Grayson, Greenup, Hardin, Henderson, Hopkins, Johnson, Knox, Letcher, Mason, McCracken, McCreary, Mercer, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Muhlenburg, Ohio, Perry, Pike, Rockcastle, Shelby, Todd, Union, and Webster counties will receive the AED's. In the third phase, Bourbon, Boyle, Calloway, Clinton, Daviess, Fayette, Franklin, Garrard, Graves, Green, Harlan, Jessamine, Laurel, Leslie, Lincoln, Madison, Marion,
Marshall, Nelson, Nicholas, Owen, Pendleton, Pulaski, Rowan, Russell, Scott, Taylor, Trigg, Warren, Wayne, and Woodford counties will receive AED's. Along with placing the devices in local communities, the grant provides monies to insure that proper training is given to the individuals that will be responding with the devices. The American Heart Association, through the training center at Jefferson County EMS in Louisville will provide AED training at no additional cost to the recipients of the devices. Additional information regarding this project may be obtained by contacting:
Brian K. Bishop, Executive Director
Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services
Kentucky Reports First Flu Cases, Department for Public Health Urges People to Get Flu Shots
FRANKFORT, Ky. 11-20-03 - Kentucky's flu season is underway, with the state Public Health Laboratory confirming the first two positive influenza cultures yesterday. Last year, the first flu case wasn't confirmed
until late January. The Department for Public Health reported the results to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which has warned that the flu season may be more severe this year due to the early circulation of a group of influenza viruses that has in previous years caused a lot of people to become ill and to develop complications. The disease kills an average of 36,000 Americans every year. Public Health Commissioner Dr. Rice Leach urges physicians, hospitals, public health departments, and others sponsoring influenza
immunizations to make a special effort to see that Kentucky's senior citizens and other persons at high risk of complication from influenza get protected against flu. He is also encouraging flu shots for Kentuckians 50 and over and children who are 6 months through age 23 months. "It's not too late to get a flu shot to protect yourself and your family from getting sick this year," Dr. Leach said. "It takes about two weeks to develop maximum protection after a flu shot, so we urge people not to delay. The vaccine is safe and effective, and because the vaccine is made with killed virus it will not give you the flu." An annual flu shot is recommended for the following groups of people who are at increased risk for serious complications from the flu:
* persons 50 years old and older;
* residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities that house persons of any age who have long-term illnesses;
* adults and children over 6 months of age who have chronic heart or lung conditions, including asthma;
* adults and children over 6 months of age who need regular medical care or had to be in a hospital because of metabolic diseases (like diabetes), chronic kidney disease, or weakened immune system (including immune system problems caused by medicine or by infection with human immunodeficiency virus [HIV/AIDS]);
* children and teenagers (aged 6 months to 18 years) who are on long-term aspirin therapy and therefore could develop Reye Syndrome after the flu;
* women who will be more than 3 months pregnant during the flu season; and
* health-care personnel, and care givers and household contacts of those who are high risk.
* Because young, otherwise healthy children are at increased risk for influenza-related hospitalization, influenza vaccination of healthy children aged 6-23 months is encouraged when feasible.
Those in the high-risk categories should ask their health care provider about getting a flu shot soon.
The shots can be given to most people, except those with severe allergy to eggs, those who have had a severe reaction to a flu shot in the past and people who previously developed Guillain-Barre syndrome. Anyone
with a short-term illness with fever should wait to get the shot until they feel well. Those who are age 50 or older or at risk due to medical conditions should also be vaccinated against pneumococcal pneumonia if they have not been vaccinated. This shot is usually given just once. Anyone can get the flu - even healthy people. Serious problems from flu can happen at any age. People 50 years old and older, people of any age with chronic medical
conditions, and very young children are more likely to get complications from flu. Pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus and ear infections are three examples of complications from flu. Influenza immunizations are available through many health care providers, including private physicians and local health departments. Kentuckians who plan to get immunized at a health department should call ahead or check their local community events calendar. Most health departments charge on a sliding fee scale. Medicare covers the cost of flu shots, which will help older Kentuckians.
Accident Kills Son; Injures Father 12-16-03
A Breathitt County man is recovering the hospital after an accident that claimed the life of his son. It happened Monday on Kentucky 15 at Watts.
Police say 63-year-old Alfred Fugate Senior was struck by a coal truck after he attempted to turn into a driveway. Mr. Fugate was iin the path of the truck when the violent accident occurred. A passenger, 29-year-old Alfred Fugate Jr. was pronounced dead at the scene. Fugate Sr. was flown to the UK Med Center where he is listed in "good" condition Tuesday. Hwy 15 traffic was tied up for some time as the accident scene was investigated.
A Breathitt County Woman Arrested while Allegedly doing drug with children in car 1-16-04
Quicksand, Ky Tracy Hardesty, 22, of Breathitt County was arrested yesterday, 1-15-04, after a sheriff's officer found her allegedly doing drugs. Breathitt County Sheriff Deputy, Daniel "Shy" Turner was doing a routine patrol when he spotted a suspicious vehicle parked in the driveway of a cemetary off Quicksand rd. Officer Turner pulled in behind the vehicle when he saw Hardesty raise her head. When he approached the vehicle he saw a plate in her lap and a straw in her hand. Upon further inspection, Officer Turner found two young children in the vehicle with Hardesty. Hardesty was taken into custody and the children were taken into protective custody by children services. The incident is still under investigation.
Researchers Estimate Medical Costs of Obesity in Kentucky 1-24-04
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 21, 2004) -- In a paper published today, researchers at RTI International and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide the first state-by-state estimates of obesity-attributable medical expenditures. The paper also provides rough estimates of the cost burden that falls on taxpayers in each state,
through Medicaid and Medicare. Published in the journal Obesity Research, the paper
estimates that national medical expenditures resulting from obesity (excluding overweight) are $75 billion in 2003 dollars. State-level estimates range from $87 million (Wyoming) to $7.7 billion (California).
The prevalence of obesity, based on-self reported data in Kentucky is approximately 24.6 percent of the population age 18 and older as reported in the Behavioral Risk Factor Survey for 2001. Obesity-related medical
expenditures total in Kentucky to $1.163 billion, with $610 million of this total being financed by Medicare and Medicaid. Obesity-related expenditures represent approximately 6.2 percent of Kentucky's annual health care
bill. However, because the prevalence of obesity in Kentucky is higher in the Medicaid population than in the state's general population, the percent of Medicaid expenditures attributable to obesity is 11.4 percent. The
cost is estimated to be $340 million for the Medicaid population in 2003. "This epidemic of obesity is costly now but if it continues unabated its drain on public medical care funds will make it all that much more difficult
to pay for other important activities," said Public Health Commissioner Dr. Rice Leach. "We are fortunate that Governor Fletcher is aware of this issue and plans to address it."
"These estimates of obesity-attributable medical expenditures present the newest available information concerning the economic impact of obesity at the state level," the authors noted. Policy makers should consider these
estimates, along with other factors, in determining how best to allocate scarce public health resources."
The authors caution, however, that because the state-level estimates are associated with large standard errors, the estimates should not be used to make cost comparisons across states or between payers within states.
The complete analysis, entitled "State-Level Estimates of Annual Medical Expenditures Attributable to Obesity", by Erick A. Finkelstein and Ian C. Fiebelkorn, RTI International, and Guijing Wang, CDC, appears in the January
2004 edition of the journal Obesity Research, published by the American Association for the Study of Obesity. Copies of the paper are available from the journal's web site (http://www.obesityresearch.org/). Copies
of the full report may be requested by email to email@example.com.
Breathitt County Teacher Achieves National Board Certification Alonzo Fugate Earns Profession’s Top Honor
Jackson, Kentucky 12-1-03– Alonzo Fugate of Breathitt County is one of the elementary and secondary school teachers nationwide who achieved National Board Certification in 2003, according to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) in Arlington, Va.
Alonzo Fugate teaches computers and economics at LBJ Elementary School. He has been a teacher for 7 years with the Breathitt County School System. In addition to obtaining National Board Certification in teaching, he also holds a Bachelors Degree in Education from Eastern Kentucky University and a Masters Degree in Education from Morehead State University. With National Board Certification, Mr. Fugate will also receive a Rank I, which is the highest rank a teacher can earn in the state of Kentucky.
“I am so pleased to reach this achievement in my professional career,” Mr. Fugate stated. “I feel that I have grown professionally through this process.”
Not only is National Board Certification a tremendous personal accomplishment, it is a true sign of teaching excellence in the Breathitt County School district. Achieving National Board Certification demonstrates accomplished teaching and represents a teacher’s strong commitment to improve their skills and knowledge of their subjects.
“These accomplished teachers will not only strengthen the teaching profession, they will also help our students achieve at higher academic levels,” says the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, “We salute this year’s candidates and our new NBCTs. We want to thank the families, the schools, the school districts, and the universities that supported these teachers in their efforts to achieve National Board Certification.” Founded 16 years ago, NBPTS is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan and nongovernmental organization dedicated to advancing the quality of teaching and learning. National Board Certification is a symbol of teaching excellence. A voluntary process established by NBPTS, it is achieved through a rigorous performance-based assessment
that takes nearly a year to complete. Through this process, teachers document their deep knowledge of the subject matter they teach, provide evidence that they know how to teach their subjects to students effectively, and demonstrate their ability to manage and measure student learning. The National Board’s success in building a
national certification program for accomplished teaching comes at a time when many states are mandating various teacher quality requirements. In addition, the new federal “No Child Left Behind Act” requires that every
classroom have a quality teacher by 2005. Recent research demonstrates that NBCTs bring quality and added value to the classroom. An independent study released by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in the fall of 2000 showed that teachers holding National Board Certification outperformed their non-certified peers
on 11 of 13 measures. NBPTS has engaged in an independent, rigorous agenda designed to examine the impact of the National Board Certification system and the effects of NBCTs on the quality of teaching and student achievement in America’s schools. The findings of this three-year initiative will be widely disseminated to other researchers and the public at large. Alonzo Fugate is the first teacher in the Breathitt County Schools district to achieve National Board Certification.
12-1-03 Members from the Breathitt
Lodge 649 F&AM donated approximately 200 different toys this years to The Interfaith Organization. Interfaith makes Christmas a little brighter for many children in Breathitt County and Breathitt Lodge 649 F&AM are proud to participate in this worthwhile program.
Jackson Holds School Choice Meeting 12-16-03
Jackson City School held a meeting tonight with the Board of Education, PTA and hundreds of parents in attendance. The total crowd of 388 people attended the meeting. The main topic concerned the position JCS has been put in with the recent decision made by Secretary of Education, Mr. Gene Wilhoit. The decision made was that students from the BCS System who were in attendance at JCS prior to School Year 2003-2004, would be compensated for, as would the students attending BCS from JCS during the same time frame. Any student that enrolled for the 2003-2004 year that did not reside in the school district they did not live in, would not be compensated for. In essence JCS lost a total funding of approximately $ 4,500.00 per each of the 128 students that enrolled during this time which comes to a total of $ 576,000.00. The 2004-2005 school year will also have JCS lose a total of $ 750,000.00 due to the ruling. Mr. Collins also stated that the 2.5 Million Dollars that had been approved for renovation by the State Board of Education had also been amended due to this ruling. JCS will now lose 2 Million Dollars of that money.
Also discussed by Superintendant Collins was the annexation process which has been taken place for the last couple of weeks. He stated that it has come along fine and that the JCS System had enough signatures to accomplish their goal. The next step after completion of this list is to forward it to BCS System following verification of signatures. If it is accepted or rejected by the BCS System, it will be forwarded to Commissioner Wilhoit, who will then make a decision. Following his decision, either side can appeal. The annexation properties consist of Lakeside Estates, Brewer's Subdivision, Brewer's Trailer Park, Kings Ridge, Williams Trailer Park, Jett's Subdivision and possibly Panbowl.
The JCS Board Chairman, John Gambill, spoke briefly concerning the matter and rallied everyone in attendance with his thoughts on the situation and reiterated Superintendant Collins' remarks. Mr. Gambill thanked everyone in attendance and was given a huge round of applause.
Next to talk was Principal, Mr. Tim Spencer, who talked further about the annexation and recognized people in the audience who had made long strides in getting many of the signatures. They were Homer Johnson and Rose Wolfe. Mr. Spencer also thanked Mr. Jim Maggard for his efforts in the matter, who has been in contact with the State Legislatures in Frankfort concerning the matter.
Mr. Spencer also talked of school choice and what it meant to each and every child in Breathitt County. He went on to say that he would fight to the last minute of the last day to see that JCS would remain intact. Finally, Mr. Spencer informed everyone that there is a legal law that would allow students outside the JCS District to turn over Educational Guardianship over to a relative who lived within the JCS District. This is in comparison to what the Corbin School System has done in the past, which is one hundred percent legal in the State of Kentucky.
Jackson Independent 12/15/03 by Julie Hamblin
Tonight I attended the Jackson Independent School meeting held at Jackson City School. The meeting was originally supposed to meet in the library but it became apparent after 30 minutes that the library would not hold all the supporters and it was moved to the gymnasium. Superintendent Dr. Taylor Collins informed the crowd of parents, teachers, and students of the decision from the Commissioner of Education, Mr. Wilhoit. The children enrolled at Jackson City in the 2002-2003 school year received funding for the 2003-2004 school year. Mr. Wilhoit's decision in the matter regarding students at Jackson City who live within the county district effected 128 students who were not enrolled in the school for the 2002-2003 school year at Jackson City and a loss of approximately $135,527 for Jackson Independent. This money has been lost to the community and local economy and now goes back to the State Treasurer. Also, Jackson Independent has lost $2 million in funding for construction. For the school year of 2004-2005, Jackson Independent expects to lose funding for approximately 166 students or approximately $744,820.32. Jackson Independent will file an appeal of Mr. Wihoit's decision to the Kentucky Board of Education and has pursued the annexation of Jackson City school district and has received the 75% of required signatures; however, Jackson Independent would like to reach 80-85%. This decision does not hamper Jackson Independent's effort to continue to provide quality education to those students currently enrolled at Jackson Independent for the 2003-2004 school year.
Breathitt Death toll on the rise 12-26-03
Jackson, Ky According to Breathitt County Coroner, Bobby Thorpe Jr. Breathitt County has had around 17 deaths so far this December, with approx. 7 from alcohol or drug related. Breathitt has been averaging 4-6 deaths a month,this year. On December 17th, Ken Turner was found laying face down in a creek near his home, Buckhorn Rd off Hwy 28, in 6-8 inches of water. Mr. Turner was pronounced dead by Breathitt County Coroner, Bobby Thorpe Jr. and the death is still under investigation. Autopsy reports indicate cause of death was drowning.
On December 24th, Lowell Smith, 38, was pronounced dead, according to Breathitt County Coroner, Bobby Thorpe Jr., at 2:40pm, at 670 Railroad St, in Jackson. Cause of Death is still pending. The next day, December 25th, another individual was taken to KRMC, where they are in ICU. This individual was also, allegedly, at the same residence Mr. Smith was found deceased in the day prior.
Yet another Death in Breathitt 12-26-03
Flintville KY. Yet another Breathitt Countian has been found dead. Jaqueline Melson, 41 was found on her couch earlier today. Breathitt County Coroner, Bobby Thorpe Jr. pronounced Melson dead at 12:40pm. The death is being investigated and an autopsy is being done. Source say that drugs were found at the scene. Funeral arrangements will be made by Breathitt Funeral Home. This brings the December death toll to 18.
School choice in Breathitt waiting appeal 1-12-04
Jackson, Ky. According to the Kentucky Board of Education, the appeal filed by Jackson City School should be heard sometime in April. In question is whether or not you as parents should have the choice to send your child to what ever school you choose. Jackson City is in favor of school choice and at this time the two school systems cannot come to a mutual agreement. If you are interested in writing the Kentucky Board of Education to show your concern over not having school choice, you may write here:
Kentucky Board of Education
Attn: Helen Mountjoy
1st Floor 500 Mero St
Frankfort, KY. 40601
WYMT-TV's Valentine Makeover Contest! 1-16-04
Send in your entry before January 23, 2004 and you may win a Valentine Makeover! Send your Name and Address and a short reason you think you need, want or deserve a makeover. Makeover services (including massage,facial,hair, outfit, nails, makeup, etc.) will be provided by several different businesses located in Hazard, KY.
A random drawing will determine our five (5) finalists. In a taped broadcast all five finalists will appear on WYMT-TV and will state the reason(s) they need/want/deserve a makeover. Viewers will get to vote for their favorite makeover story on www.wymtnews.com and the finalist with the most votes will be the WINNER of the Valentine Makeover Contest!
It doesn't stop there! As we near Valentine's Day, the winner will again be video taped as they receive their makeover and the tape will air on WYMT-TV's newscast! Send in your entry NOW!
Life Care Ambulance announces shut down 12-5-03
Jackson, Ky At 3:00pm this afternoon, Breathitt County was temporarily without 911 coverage. This was due in part to Life Care Ambulance, in a written statement, shutting down it's operation. Judge Warrix made arrangements for actual coverage during the time of the meeting so there would be someone to respond if needed. The Breathitt County Fiscal Court had an emergency meeting pusuant to KRS 61.823 Subsection 5. The fiscal court reviewed the letter and immediately voted to have Breathitt Ambulance take over 911 responsibilities. According to Jackson Police, LifeCare responded to an automobile accident at 3:39pm. This is 39 minutes after they were to shut down. We will provide more information as it becomes available. Below is a copy of the Life Care letter to the Breathitt County Fiscal Court.
Congress should use welfare to target the true enemy: poverty By Viola P. Miller Secretary, Kentucky Cabinet for Families and Children 12-1-03
After nearly two years of debate and delay, Congress finally appears ready to move to the next phase of welfare reform. The House has passed an update of the 1996 law that changed welfare from an entitlement to a program
of time-limited support requiring participants to enter the work force. The Senate is expected to act early next year. The delay may turn out to be all to the good, however, provided lawmakers realize, before it's too late,
that they've been fighting yesterday's battle about the value of work over welfare. That battle has already been won. Since President Bush sent his welfare reauthorization proposal to Congress in 2001, the principal debate has been over its requirements that welfare clients work more hours and that states move higher percentages of
welfareclients into jobs. If we continue to frame the next stage of welfare reform in these terms, we risk committing the sort of error military planners often make. We'll be preparing for the last war instead of the next one. In the war waged to end what many called a culture of dependency, the battle cry was, in effect: "Get a job, any job." I propose we wage a new war against what welfare reform has unmasked as the true enemy-poverty. And I propose a new battle cry: "Get a job, get a better job, get a career."
Until 1996, low-income families with children had for decades received government support as an entitlement. The new message that welfare is temporary and that work should be a condition of it was timely, stark and
necessary. And families in Kentucky and around the nation have gotten the message. The number of families receiving welfare has dwindled-in Kentucky, by more than half. Reliance on welfare as a generation-to-generation way of life has all but disappeared. By and large, adults use the Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program
(K-TAP) in precisely the manner intended-as a short-term source of the cash, child care assistance, training and other forms of support they need to bridge rough spots in their lives. Most of those who do not meet
K-TAP's work expectations are struggling with such formidable barriers (among them substance abuse, domestic violence and mental illness) that employment is beyond their reach. Given this makeup of the welfare population, there's little point in insisting, ever more stridently, that work is important, or that children fare better in working families. Everyone, welfare families and their advocates included, already recognizes that. Let's take that issue off
The issue that belongs on the table, front and center, is poverty. We haven't begun to solve that one. We need to start figuring out how to do more than simply move families from welfare into the ranks of the working poor.
Because that's basically what welfare reform has done so far. That's not to diminish its achievement, but we should be clear that what we have achieved is just a necessary first step. By some measures, children and adults in Kentucky families who have left welfare are doing at least as well as those still enrolled in K-TAP. But by
no stretch could we call these families upwardly mobile or self-sufficient. They are still heavily dependent on government aid-in the form of Medicaid, food stamps, and child care assistance. Congress seems inclined to simply do more of what it did in phase one of welfare reform. The House-approved reauthorization plan calls for a higher percentage of welfare clients to fulfill work expectations, and for those who do to work more hours. If Congress clings to that approach, states will have to invest more heavily in minimum-wage, make-work jobs. That will leave fewer dollars for the education, training and child care that can pave the way out of such dead-end employment. It will also siphon funding from the counseling and treatment that the drug-dependent, abused and mentally ill need to even reach the starting line on the road to self-sufficiency. I propose that Congress instead throw down a radical new challenge to the states. Instead of prescribing minimum hours of work and work-program participation rates, let our lawmakers tell us we must improve the well-being of families and reduce their reliance on all forms of government aid. Let them continue to allow states wide latitude in how they spend their
welfare block grants, but let them hold us closely accountable for those things that really make a difference, such as reducing child poverty and food insecurity. Let them require us to prove that, in moving families off the welfare rolls, we are not simply forcing them to trade one inadequate source of income for another equally inadequate source. Let them reward or penalize states based on the number of former welfare clients who get a job at more than the minimum wage, the number who pursue an education while working, and the number of children in welfare families whose school attendance and school performance improve. If Congress can't bring itself to make this bold departure, I'd urge its members to heed the advice a wise physician gave a junior colleague who was considering what to do next in treating a patient's complex condition. "Don't just do something," the older doctor said. "Stand there."
The current welfare law has worked well for Kentucky families. Supplement it with more resources, especially added funding for child care, and I see no reason it can't continue to serve our families well for years to come.
Standing pat on welfare would be far preferable to telling families that our hopes and expectations for them extend no further than a minimum-wage job. Welfare reform isn't supposed to be about upping the ante in some
numbers game. It should be about strengthening families and improving children's lives. Before Congress proceeds further, may its members pause and ponder that.
Thanksgiving Holiday Traffic Deaths Up From Last Year 12-3-03
(FRANKFORT, Ky.) - Preliminary statistics* show that eight people died in eight separate crashes on Kentucky's roadways during the four-day Thanksgiving holiday. The number of fatalities increased from the 2002 holiday period during which three people died in three crashes. Of the eight fatal Thanksgiving holiday crashes, preliminary data indicates alcohol was a suspected factor in three of the crashes. Six of the victims were not wearing seat belts. The single fatality crashes occurred in Barren, Boone, Carter, Hart, Jefferson, Powell, Trimble and Warren counties. The official Thanksgiving holiday period ran from 6 p.m. Wednesday,
November 26 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, November 30, 2003. All statistics are from that time period.
The 2003 Kentucky highway fatality count currently stands at 848. This represents an increase of 11 deaths when compared to this same time in 2002. At the current rate, Kentucky could surpass 900 fatalities for 2003,
making this year one of the deadliest in Kentucky history.
*These statistics are still preliminary as KSP waits for all local law enforcement agencies to report any crashes and fatalities that may have occurred in their areas.
Kentucky Youth Purchasing Tobacco Continues to Decline 12-3-03
FRANKFORT, KY (Dec. 2, 2003) ---The compliance rate for unauthorized sales of tobacco to minors continues to improve, showing a 13.1 percentage point drop since 1999. This information comes from an annual
buying survey conducted by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, which works in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture, and the Division of Substance Abuse within the Cabinet for Health Services to
ensure regulatory compliance. The 2003 survey conducted in late summer revealed a 6.6 percentage
rate for illegal sales of tobacco to Kentucky youth, down from 9.7 percent in 2002. In 2001 the rate was 12.3 percent; 13.4 percent in 2000; and 19.7 in 1999. "A 13.1 percentage point improvement over the past five years
demonstrates excellent results for Kentucky's efforts to reduce the availability of tobacco products to minors," said Ellen Hesen, Acting Secretary of the Cabinet for Health Services. "The collaborative effort by the Department for Public Health, the Division of Substance Abuse, the Departments of Alcoholic Beverage Control and Agriculture, local tobacco control programs in health departments, Kentucky ACTION, regional prevention
centers, local organizations and many other coalitions and agencies help to make this reduction possible."
Federal law authorizes the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) Block Grant and requires states to enact and enforce laws designed to reduce the availability of tobacco products to persons under the age of
18. The states are required to conduct random, unannounced inspections of tobacco vendors to demonstrate compliance with the law. The state must conduct the annual buying survey using a scientific random sample study protocol approved by the federal Center for Substance Abuse Prevention and must demonstrate that its non-compliance rate does not exceed the target of 20 percent for illegal tobacco sales to minors.
Failure to meet the 20 percent target could result in forfeiture of about $8 million of the more than $20 million block grant. The SAPT Block Grant, administered by the Cabinet for Health Services, Division of Substance Abuse, is the single largest funding stream in Kentucky supporting prevention and treatment.
'We got him'; Saddam captured December 14, 2003
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Without firing a shot, American forces captured a bearded and haggard-looking Saddam Hussein in a dirt pit across a river from one of his former palaces near his hometown of Tikrit, ending one of the most intensive manhunts in history. The arrest was a huge victory for U.S. forces battling an insurgency by the ousted dictator's followers.
In the capital, radio stations played celebratory music, residents fired small arms in the air in celebration and passengers on buses and trucks shouted, "They got Saddam! They got Saddam!" After sundown, large explosions were heard in central Baghdad, and flames and thick smoke were seen; a policeman said there were no casualties.
"The former dictator of Iraq will face the justice he denied to millions," President Bush said in a midday televised address from the White House, eight months after American troops swept into Baghdad and toppled Saddam's regime. "In the history of Iraq, a dark and painful era is over. A hopeful day has arrived."
Hours before the capture was announced, a suspected suicide bomber detonated explosives in a car outside a police station west of Baghdad, killing at least 17 people and wounding 33 more, the U.S. military said. Also Sunday, a U.S. soldier died while trying to disarm a roadside bomb south of the capital.
Washington hopes Saddam's capture will help break the organized Iraq resistance that has killed more than 190 American soldiers since Bush declared major combat over on May 1 and has set back efforts at reconstruction.
But Maj. Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of the 4th Infantry Division, which captured Saddam, said the ousted leader did not appear to be directly organizing resistance-- noting no communication devices were found in his hiding place. "I believe he was there more for moral support," Odierno said.
Saddam's capture was based on information from a member of a family "close to him," Odierno told reporters in Tikrit.
The crucial information came after prisoners from raids and intelligence tips led to increasingly precise information, as CIA and military analysts gradually narrowed down their list of potential sites where Saddam was staying, a U.S. official said.
The capture took place at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at one of dozens of safehouses Saddam is thought to have: a walled compound on a farm in Adwar, a town 10 miles from Tikrit, not far from one of Saddam's former palaces, Odierno said.
"I think it's rather ironic that he was in a hole in the ground across the river from these great palaces that he built," Odierno said.
The event comes almost five months after his sons, Qusai and Odai, were killed July 22 in a four-hour gunbattle with U.S. troops in a hideout in the northern city of Mosul. There was hope at the time that the sons' deaths would dampen the Iraqi resistance to the U.S. occupation. But since then, the guerrilla campaign has mounted dramatically.
Saddam was one of the most-wanted fugitives in the world, along with Osama bin Laden, the leader of the al-Qaida terrorist network who has not been caught despite a manhunt since November 2001, when the Taliban regime was overthrown in Afghanistan.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we got him," U.S. administrator L. Paul Bremer told a news conference. "The tyrant is a prisoner."
Some 600 troops and special forces were involved in the raid that netted Saddam-- though not all were aware beforehand that the objective was "High Value Target No. 1," Odierno said.
Troops found the ousted leader, armed with a pistol, hiding in an underground crawl space at the walled compound, Odierno said. Rugs and dirt covered the Styrofoam lid covering the entrance to the hiding place, a few feet from a small, mud-brick hut where Saddam had been staying.
The hut consisted of two rooms, a bedroom with clothes scattered about and a "rudimentary kitchen," Odierno said. The commander said Saddam likely had been there only a short time, noting that new shirts, still unwrapped, were found in the bedroom.
Saddam was "very disoriented" as soldiers brought him out of the hole, Odierno said. A Pentagon diagram showed the hiding place as a 6-foot-deep vertical tunnel, with a shorter tunnel branching out horizontally from one side. A pipe to the concrete surface at ground level provided air.
Saddam didn't fire his weapon. "There was no way he could fight back so he was just caught like a rat," Odierno said.
Two other Iraqis-- described as low-level regime figures-- were arrested in the raid, and soldiers found two Kalashnikov rifles, a pistol, a taxi and $750,000 in $100 bills.
New Ambulance Service to cover Breathitt County 12-22-03
Jackson, KY Empire Ambulance owned and operated by Irene & Steve McIntosh opened for business Wed. Dec. 17th, 2003. Empire will work along side County owned Breathitt Ambulance. What does this mean for Breathitt County? More coverage for the County, 911 coverage when Breathitt Ambulance is not available, and new employees. After the 1st of the year, Empire & Breathitt Ambulance will have a combined 20 employees. Empire is an AOS & BOS service. Breathitt Ambulance has 3 vehicles to work with and Empire has 2 more. With 5 total ambulances to work with from one central location, Breathitt Countians can feel safe knowing the coverage is now there.
Jackson Police Department to Kick Off Project Child Safe 1-16-04
Jackson, Ky The launch of project Child Safe, is a nationwide firearm safety education and gun lock program. Chief Clyde Caudill announces his department will distribute information on gun locks and gun safety to community residents.
This is being done to show the committment to providing Jackson with free gun locks for distribution to local residents. The program promotes safe firearm handling and secure practices among all firearms owners.
Stop by the Jackson Police Department anytime or visit our website at Jackson Police Department
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