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|Lee County Man dies in Motorcycle Accident 6-10-04
Lee County, 18 year old Jesse Davis, of Primrose, Ky. in Lee County, was pronounced dead at the Ky. River Medical Center in Jackson Ky., by Breathitt County Coroner, Bobby Thorpe Jr. at approx. 9:30pm 6-9-04. Mr. Davis was involved in a motorcycle accident in Lee County on June 9Th, 2004. He was wearing a helmet. Mr. Davis apparently lost control of his motorcycle, striking a tree. Mr. Davis was transported to KRMC ER in Jackson where he was pronounced dead at 9:30pm. Toxicology is pending in this case and is still under investigation by the Breathitt County Coroners office and the Richmond Post of the Ky. State Police.
Kentucky Labor Force Releases Unemployment rates. Breathitt Has Worst Rates in Region 5-20-04
Jackson Ky. The March 2004 Unemployent rates were released and Breathitt County has the worst unemployment in the Kentucky River Region. While the rates are lower than March of last year, Breathitt County was the only County in the Kentucky River Region, over 10%. Below is the breakdown of each region.
COUNTY Labor Force Employed Unemployed March '04
Breathitt 4,241 3,813 428 10.1%
Wolfe 2,888 2,647 241 8.3%
Perry 11,784 10,837 947 8.0%
Letcher 7,732 7,116 616 8.0%
Lee 2,666 2,463 203 7.6%
Leslie 4,311 3,992 319 7.4%
Owsley 1,783 1,656 127 7.1%
Knott 6,006 5,621 428 6.4%
KY. River 41,411 38,145 3,266 7.9%
Averages 5,176 4,768 408 7.9%
Only 9 other counties in the state of Kentucky had as high or higher unemployment rates, than Breathitt County.
Soldier's View From Iraq Sent: Thursday, July 15, 2004 8:53 AM
Happy 4th of July!!
Another holiday in Iraq, but it wasn't that bad. While we did not have any bottle rockets or sparklers, we did have a little shot to celebrate the day...150 tons of Saddam's ammunition destroyed in one big bang. Better than any firework we could buy back home!! The civilians who set up the shots built this with white phosphorous and illumination rounds all around the outside and top of the blast. Not only did we have a big blast, but there were (to use the first Pres Bush's language) a thousand points of light in the air. You will see what I mean when you look at the picture I have attached.
We also got to have a feast like we haven't had for a while: hamburgers, hot dogs, baked beans, corn on the cob, watermelon and cake. For army food, this is about as good as we could expect. It made for a good holiday for everyone. Even the cooks, who sweat it out in our kitchen twice a day, loved serving food that everyone liked.
I was still missing a few things that are a normal part of this holiday; family, friends and baseball. So, after chatting with my wife, and listening to the Sioux Falls Canaries on the internet, it's time to update my friends. (Sioux Falls split a doubleheader with the St Paul Saints, for those of you who were interested.)
Since my last email, this country has really changed...and definitely for the better. In the course of 4 days, this country witnessed the transfer of power back from the coalition 2 days earlier than promised, and Saddam facing his country and the charges levied against him. WOW!!! And the most amazing part of the week, this country was quieter than anyone expected. Yeah, a few bombings and attacks occurred, but certainly not on the level that was expected. Maybe W's trickery paid off. Maybe we gave too much credit to the insurgents. Maybe, just maybe, the Iraqis are starting to pick up the pieces on their own. I guess we will see.
June 28 started out like any other day...our security was in their positions around the site, we had a convoy on the road hauling ammunition out of this area. Just another day in Iraq. That changed at 10:30 am.
Our front gate overlooks the tent city that our Iraqi laborers call home while they work on this site. We had no idea at first why cheers were coming from their tents. Finally, one of their bosses invited a couple of our soldiers into the tent where their TV was showing a news story on Al Jezeera. He translated the story telling us that Iraq was once again a sovereign nation and that the transfer of power was complete. Now the cheers made sense. But not only were there cheers, but tears of joy flowed as they hugged each other and tried to hug and kiss any of our soldiers that they could. Every Iraqi we saw that day was smiling while they worked and thanking us for helping them and their country.
Even our convoy experienced a change in how they were greeted on the road. Normally, on convoy, we have little kids waving and begging along the roads, but, for the most part, adults we pass act indifferent to our being on the roads. This is especially along the roads near Karbala that we travel. On this day, we saw more waves, thumbs up, horns honking and lights flashing than we had ever seen. Some Iraqis were even blowing kisses at our boys driving by. This may be the only day that I wish we would have had a reporter with us to record the real story in Iraq.
All of us were happy with the early turnover. While the June 30th date was mainly symbolic, it was still the magic date on the calendar and the date we all expected would be the big day for the terrorists. To steal the thunder away from the insurgents was a great coup. Watching the smile on Bush's face as he shared the news with Tony Blair was a classic moment. I was never happier to hear that the journalists around the world were mad; that he stole a shining moment away from them. I guess that just proves that journalists can see the cloud in every silver lining. I'm glad I got to see more Iraqis that day than anchormen.
July 1st turned into the next big day for this country as Saddam Hussein was paraded into the courtroom and was allowed to respond to the charges against him. This was a day of mixed emotions for the Iraqis. All the Iraqis I talked to were happy to see him on trial and want to see him punished for his crimes. They have no doubt of his guilt and fully expect him to be executed. The biggest complaint was Saddam's appearance. They did not think it was right that he was clean, wearing a suit with no shackles or handcuffs. A criminal should be treated as one. I tend to agree.
The Iraqi's are glad that Saddam is being put on trial, and not just executed. They want answers...how many were killed, what happened to them all and why. As a people, the Iraqis were tortured, beat down and made to feel fear...they want the same for Saddam. His coming forth with answers and being forced to face what he has done is a torture that is appropriate. I am sure the inevitable execution will be welcomed as well. As long as this is an Iraqi affair and it does not look like an American show, this trial will prove to be a positive event for this country.
On a personal level, I am still working the nightshift and we are still in a remote site in Iraq where only camel spiders, scorpions and mice dare go. Don't worry, those are killed as fast as we see them. It isn't so bad out here...the food, while I may complain about it, is hot, the water is chilled, the internet is fast and the enemy has yet to be seen. The farther we feel we get from civilization, the better off we have it.
I do thank everyone who responded to my spaghetti request last week...sounds like a lot is headed this way. We were joking tonight that maybe we will get sick of spaghetti if we get too much, but I really don't see that happening. I can't wait to get the mail in a couple of weeks to see just how much we get!!
I hope everyone has a fun and safe 4th of July. Please celebrate our great country...no matter how it is portrayed by the media, it is still the best place on earth. Trust me. The people in this country seek only a portion of what we have. What we take for granted, they have never experienced. Forget the bickering and finger pointing for a moment, and thank God you live where you do...The United States of America...the shining beacon of freedom.
Keith J Voss 1LT, Army A Btry 2-147 FA
KSP Exhibit At State Fair Has Something For Everyone 8-20-04
(FRANKFORT, Ky.) - If you're looking for a place to cool off at the Kentucky State Fair this year, stop by the Kentucky State Police exhibit in the air-conditioned south wing of the Fair and Exposition Center. There's no cost and you'll find something of interest to everyone including:Safety Town---A unique learning experience where small children learn safety tips and rules of the road while navigating tricycles through simulated city streets under the supervision of KSP troopers. It's a great photo opportunity. Vehicle Rollover Simulator---A dramatic device that graphically demonstrates the importance of using seat belts. It's a "must-see" for visitors of all ages. Very memorable and it might just save your life. KSP Mobile History Center---A quick look at the long and successful heritage of the Kentucky State Police and its efforts to protect the citizens of the Commonwealth. If you're considering a career in law enforcement, talk with a trooper about the rewards and benefits of Kentucky's Thin Gray Line. It's a challenging lifestyle that provides unending opportunities for positive contributions. Vintage KSP Cruisers---Car enthusiasts can get an up-close look at a collection of historic vehicles used by KSP throughout the years. Classic models and styling you'll appreciate. They don't make them like this anymore. Motorcycle Raffle---Get a first-hand look at the 2004 Harley-Davidson Road King® motorcycle that KSP is raffling off to support its Trooper Island summer camp for disadvantaged children. Tickets can be purchased at the exhibit for $10.00 each and only 15,000 tickets will be sold. The winning ticket will be drawn on August 29, the last day of the fair. You don't need to be present to win. It's a worthwhile cause and an offer you can't afford to pass up. Talk To A Trooper---Have a question about law enforcement? Vehicle safety? Drug interdiction? Driver licensing? Public safety? Reckless or impaired driving? Child safety seats? Ask a trooper for the facts. You'll get straight, informative answers that could save you time and trouble. Or just stop by to say hello and chat. "No matter what your age or interest, we encourage you to stop by and visit the Kentucky State Police exhibit at the state fair," says Capt. Brad Bates, commander of the KSP Community Relations Branch. "We're always glad to meet the citizens we work to serve and protect. It puts a human face on law enforcement and helps our efforts to make local communities throughout the state safer."
Schools chief might be candidate BREATHITT SUPERINTENDENT MULLS RUN FOR RIVAL BOARD
By Lee Mueller From Lexington Herald Leader 8-5-04
For the first time in Kentucky history, maybe, a superintendent of a county school system is running for a seat on a rival independent city school district's board -- maybe. Breathitt County Schools Superintendent Ron Eden said yesterday he is "just responding" to public requests and will decide this weekend whether to file next week as a candidate for the Jackson Independent School District board in November's election. The filing deadline is 4 p.m. Tuesday. "It puts an interesting twist on things, doesn't it?" Eden asked yesterday. "I've got a hard decision to make this weekend." News of Eden's possible candidacy yesterday puzzled and, to some extent, angered Jackson city school officials. The Breathitt and Jackson districts have been locked in a high-stakes competition for students and state money that in June reached the state Board of Education and, last month, Frank-lin Circuit Court. "Both of these districts have a history of being at each other's throats," said David Story of Jackson, a local newspaper editor. Eden, 54, a former Madison County official beginning his third year as Breathitt superintendent, conceded yesterday that his candidacy would be controversial. "But if I decided to run, it would be to bridge these differences so these two districts can co-exist," he said.
Two seats on the Jackson board are at stake. Incumbents, including chairman Marty D. Hayes and Terri Halsey, have picked up candidacy documents at the Breathitt County clerk's office along with Eden. Both appeared to question Eden's stated good intentions. "I don't know what his motivation is, but this matter is far too serious to risk becoming a farce," Hayes said. Halsey questioned the ethics of Eden working in both systems.
"When you go into executive session, he's going to know everything," Halsey said.
O. Taylor Collins, the Jackson city superintendent for 11 years, described Eden's possible candidacy as bizarre.
"I guess he's not satisfied with the hurt he's caused our children thus far," Collins said. "Personally, I don't think he would stand a chance, but it's just a shock." State Department of Education spokeswoman Lisa Gross said she was not aware of any superintendent ever serving on another school board, although Eden said Breathitt County teachers had served on the Jackson city school board. Eden's candidacy, however, appears to be legal.
"We don't know of anything that would prohibit a superintendent in one district from serving on the board of another district," said Brad Hughes, a spokesman for the Kentucky School Boards Association, which did not take a position on the issue. "Now, clearly, Breathitt County and Jackson Independent are not just any two school districts and there would be a significant, overwhelming challenge for one person to attempt to serve two masters. Any time that an issue came up that would involve an agreement or dispute between the two districts, the individual would have to recuse himself or herself." Eden said he would recuse himself in any discussions of Collins' contract. "This is a board issue; it's not a superintendent's issue," he said.
The issue between the two districts now, however, appears to be money. The Breathitt County school district, with 2,150 students, is in a dispute with Jackson Independent, which has 604 students in a single building that houses preschool through grade 12. Breathitt County's federal No Child Left Behind scores improved dramatically this year, but have typically lagged behind Jackson Independent.
Nearly two-thirds of Jackson's students live in the Breathitt County district. To staunch the flow of transfers, the county district last year refused to renew an agreement to let Jackson Independent receive state funding -- about $4,900 -- for the county students it accepted. In June, the state school board temporarily settled the fight, allowing the Jackson district to collect state money for the 314 Breathitt County students who had attended the city school previously, but not for 78 new transfer students. Without an agreement between districts to let state money follow the student, the state does not pay for students attending school outside their district. Neither does the home district get the money. Collins said the state board's decision to deny funding for the new students cost the system about $400,000. "We're just barely operating right now," he said.
The Jackson school board has challenged that ruling in a lawsuit filed in Franklin County on July 2. It sued the state board, Education Commissioner Gene Wilhoit and the Breathitt board to overturn the June ruling.
"My goal is to get funding for every child in the Jackson city schools," Collins told the KSBA. "We're going to fight the good fight. That's what the parents want. That's what the community of Jackson wants."
Eden also sees this lawsuit as potentially having a larger impact. "This isn't just about these two school systems. There are 56 independent and 120 county districts, and I think this may affect the whole state," he said.
Kevin Noland, deputy commissioner of the Department of Education and the agency's chief attorney, thinks the lawsuit is the first court challenge on the non-resident contract process since passage of the Kentucky Education Reform Act.
Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee Making Progress In Medicaid Savings Expanding Drug Classes For Rebates
FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 13, 2004) - Kentucky's Medicaid program is making progress in bringing more cost savings to its pharmacy program with more rebates from drug makers. This is being done by expanding the number of drug classes eligible for supplemental rebates, meaning that the Medicaid program is able to negotiate for better prices for prescription drugs. Medicaid spent more than $700 million for drugs during the 2002-2003 fiscal year. Medicaid's Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee is expanding the number of drug classes eligible for rebates from 12 to 53. The Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, in keeping with Governor Ernie Fletcher's commitment to modernize Medicaid, serves in an advisory role to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
The committee selects drugs to be on Medicaid's Preferred Drug List by evaluating the drugs based first on their clinical effectiveness and if therapeutically equivalent then on price. Drug products selected for the Preferred Drug List have enhanced access for use in treating Medicaid patients and their providers. The expansion is projected to save $32 million a year based on results from similar efforts in other states. The 53 classes are being phased in and will be evaluated on a yearly basis. The drug classes are based on the disease the drug treats. For example, there are classes of drugs used to treat high blood pressure, diabetes and mental illnesses. "The committee is proud of its efforts to date, but we feel that there is a lot more that can be done to optimize the care that Medicaid recipients receive while at the same time insuring that Kentucky is optimizing the value that it receives for its expenditures," said Dr. Robert C. Hughes, a Murray physician who is chairman of the committee. "The committee is pleased with the support and encouragement that we have received from this administration." As part of the changes, the committee will start meeting on a monthly basis instead of every other month.
Drug makers already pay Medicaid rebates through a federal program. With Kentucky's Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, supplemental rebates are negotiated for drugs that can then be placed on the Preferred Drug List. The committee is made up of physicians and pharmacists who examine the effectiveness of the drugs and makes recommendations to the cabinet secretary. "The Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee members and especially Dr. Hughes are to be lauded for their selfless donation of time and clinical expertise to ensure appropriate care for our vulnerable citizens," said Matt Basset, the cabinet's chief of staff. "These are not paid positions and are for the most part very thankless jobs."
UPDATE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR 6-10-04
Frankfort, KY: A Kentucky State Police plane carrying Governor Ernie Fletcher to Washington, D.C. experienced equipment problems causing it to inadvertently encounter restricted airspace late this afternoon. Fortunately, it landed safely at Reagan National Airport. The source of the problem was the transponder which malfunctioned shortly after take-off from Northern Kentucky International Airport. The equipment failure meant the plane could not be identified or tracked.
Chief of Staff Daniel Groves said "we are certainly thankful that Governor Fletcher and the crew landed safely in Washington," Groves continued "the pilots were in constant communication with air traffic control and the plane was cleared to land. It is uncertain where the miscommunication occurred that led to this unfortunate incident; however, it appears the pilots properly communicated with all of the appropriate agencies and individuals that protocol in such circumstances require."
Those on board the 1972 Beechcraft King Air 200 included the Governor, two pilots and a Kentucky State Police Trooper assigned to security.
4 car Pile-up in front of Rite-Aide snarls traffic 5-20-04
Jackson, Ky. 4 vehicles were involved in a collision Tuesday afternoon 95-18-04) on Hwy 15 in front of Rite-Aide. Donald Keeton of Hazel Green was driving a 2001 Jeep Cherokee when he stated he applied his brakes to stop and they would not stop his vehicle. He stated that the brakes were hard to push down. His vehicle hit the rear end of a 1994 Chevy 1500 driven by Treva Vires of Chavies. The force of the impact, knocked the Chevy 1500 into the rear of a 1990 Cadillac driven by Marlene Turner of Jackson, this in turn caused the Cadillac to strike a 1988 Ford Mustang, driven by Renza Jones of Bonnyman. Other than the 2001 Jeep Cherokee, all other vehicles appeared to have been stopped in traffic. The accident is still under investigation by Jackson Police Officer, John Marshall.
Juvenile Arson Is Focus Of Arson Awareness Week, May 2-8
(FRANKFORT, Ky.)---Arson is one of the costliest crimes facing the nation today, causing approximately 600 deaths and nearly $2.7 billion in property damage each year. According to FBI estimates, nearly half of those arrested for arson are under 18 years of age, one third are under the age of 15 and five percent are children under 10 years of age.
Accordingly, the theme of this year's National Arson Awareness Week (May 2-8) is "Juvenile Firesetting: The Preventable Arson." During this time, the Kentucky State Police is teaming up with the United States Fire
Administration (USFA), the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) and the Kentucky State Arson Task Force to promote arson awareness throughout Kentucky. Governor Ernie Fletcher has also declared this week Arson Awareness Week in Kentucky.
Children experimenting with fire and juvenile arson are a serious national problem. A November 2003 report by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) indicated that juveniles started 41,900 fire that were reported to U.S. fire departments, causing an estimated 165 civilian deaths, 1,900 civilian injuries and $272 million in direct property damage.
Roughly three out of every four children experiment with fire and four-fifths of associated deaths and injuries involve matches or lighters.
Children also start fires by playing with candles, stoves, fireworks and cigarettes. Just over half of home fires started by children begin in a bedroom. Three out of five involve children igniting bedding, mattresses, upholstered furniture or clothing.
"Arson is not just an adult problem," says David Sneed, president of the International Association of Arson Investigators. "It is our responsibility, as adults, to educate today's children about the perils of fire and the circumstances of being involved in this type of activity."
The most effective way of combating juvenile arson is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Steps that can be taken to reduce the incidents of arson include:
?Store matches and lighters out of reach and sight of children, preferably up high or in a locked cabinet.
?Never use a lighter or matches as a source of amusement for children. They may imitate what you do.
?If you suspect a child is setting fires, notify the proper authorities. It may not be "just a phase" they are going through.
?Keep leaves, firewood, overgrown brush and shrubbery and other combustibles away from buildings. Most arson fires are started outdoors. Don't make it easy for a youthful firesetter or juvenile arsonist to start a fire or easy for an outdoor fire to spread to a building.
?Keep doors and windows locked when a building is unoccupied. But don't use double cylinder deadbolt locks without keeping a key nearby, bars without quick release mechanisms or other security provisions that could trap a person in a building with a deadly fire.
?If you suspect a child is intentionally setting fires or unduly fascinated with fire, get help immediately. Your local fire department, school or community counseling agency can put you in touch with an expert trained to help in these matters.
The price that society pays for youth-set fires is extreme. Most of the lives lost are those of the children setting the fires. In addition to medical expenses of those injured and the cost of damaged property, there isalso the cost to the community of the increasing resources needed to fight the problem.
REMEMBER: Fire in the hands of children destroys - regardless of the child's age or motivation.
For additional more information on arson prevention, call the International Association of Arson Investigators, Inc. (314) 739-4224 or the FEMA National Arson Prevention Clearinghouse at 1-888-603-3100.
If you have information about persons involved in the crime of arson, contact the Kentucky State Arson Task Force's Arson Hotline at 1-800-27-ARSON (1-800-272-7766). Callers may remain anonymous and all information is forwarded to law enforcement for investigation. Should the information provided lead to the arrest or indictment of the individuals named for the crime of arson, the caller may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.
CELEBRATE DRINKING WATER WEEK MAY 2 - 8
FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 4, 2004) --Across the country, Drinking Water Week calls attention to our most precious natural resource, water. For 16 years, Drinking Water Week has been celebrated nationally to raise public awareness about safe drinking water and water conservation. This year, Drinking Water Week is May 2 - 8. It's the annual opportunity for everyone to assess what he or she can do to help your local water utility provide safe and reliable drinking water. Several resources for the public and water utilities for Drinking Water Week are available from the American Water Works Association's Web site, http://www.awwa.org/advocacy/dww/. This is an excellent opportunity for the public to learn about safe drinking water and water conservation. We can help our water utilities provide safe drinking water by becoming "water wise." Just a few water-wise suggestions are:
* Turn off the faucet when you aren't using the water.
* Check for leaks and fix them.
* Fill a plastic bottle with water, seal the lid, and drop it in your toilet tank. This saves approximately two gallons per flush.
* Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator handy for when you want a cold drink of water.
* Never pour toxic chemicals down the drain or on the ground.
* Do not dispose of any medications down the toilet or pour them down a drain.
* Keep junk or litter out of rivers and lakes.
* Water the lawn in the morning or at night and make sure you aren't watering the pavement.
* Place a layer of mulch around trees and plants to help retain water.
* Read your local water utility's Consumer Confidence Report. Contact your local water utility for more information on becoming water wise in your community or visit the Kentucky Division of Water's Web site, http://www.water.ky.gov/ for more information on drinking water and water conservation.
Jailer James Elliott Turner attends training 7-28-04
Breathitt Co. Jailer James Elliott Turner attended the Kentucky Jailers training in Louisville at the Division of Corrections Facility in late January. Several keynote speakers addressed the trainees with information that will be useful in operating county jails, state prisons, etc. Also on attendance were other correctional professionals, law officials, Commissioner of Kentucky Department of Corrections, representatives from the Kentucky Jailers Association and staff from the Kentucky Department of Local Government. Jailer James Elliott Turner annually attends trainings that will keep the Breathitt Co. Jail Staff up to date on new jail procedures, money saving efforts for the jail, technology and general corrections education so the Breathitt Co. Jail can remain an efficient and effective part of Breathitt Co.
July 10, 2004 Rumors of a Death in the South Fork Area
The Breathitt Co. Coroner’s Office has received many calls on Saturday July 10, 2004 about a death in the Southfork Community. We would like to confirm that no one died or was killed on Saturday July 10, 2004 in the Southfork Community of Breathitt Co
July 8, 2004 Death Investigation
On July 8, 2004 at approximately 8am, the Breathitt Co. Coroner's Office received a call of a death at Ky River Medical Center Emergency Room. Upon arrival a 23 year old male identified as Shawn Ocenasek was pronounced deceased at 8:43am. Apparently the family found the victim not breathing in the bedroom of a home in the Quicksand Community and Empire Ambulance responded and transported the victim to the Emergency Room in Jackson. No foul play is suspected and Toxicology results are pending. Breathitt Co.
Coroner's Office continues the investigation into the Manner and Cause of death.
Body Found On Lower Main 6-8-04
Jackson, Ky A local man was found early Monday afternoon at 1244 Main St. The victim had not been heard from for nearly a month. Breathitt County Sheriff, Jackson City Police, along with Jackson Fire & Rescue, all responded to the scene. We will have more as information becomes available. The man has been identified as 59 year old Marion Herald. See Obits for more information
Local Woman Arrested for Prostitution 5-20-04
Jackson, Ky. After months of complaining by local residents, arrests have been made involving 2 woman. The complaints by local residents were that some woman had been running a prostitution ring, on the lower end of town. Breathitt County Sheriff's Deputy Harvey Richardson and Dana Strong arrested Jamie Neace & Sherri Wolfe Calhoun, Wednesday Night around 9:30pm for soliciting prostitution. We will have more on this story as information becomes available.
5-17-04 US Army Staff Sergeant Jesse D. Allen has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal for exceptionally meritorious performance of duty in Operation “Iraqi Freedom”, and for demonstrating outstanding dedication to duty during ground combat operations in Iraq. Allen was cited for leading his Squad with precision on numerous combat raids and for searching over a dozen Iraqi homes without injury to any of his men; for on two occasions bravely leading his Squad as the Quick Reaction Force into an ambush zone and a roadside bombing, and safely extracting American forces under attack in both instances; for successfully leading his Squad in a tactical forward observation mission on two separate nights and accurately observing distance and direction of enemy mortar fire, which materially assisted in friendly counter-fire and suppression of the attacks; and for fearless leadership demonstrated by personally probing for additional landmines in a known minefield when an American tank had been disabled by an enemy landmine, allowing for successful recovery of the tank. Allen is the son of Breathitt County PVA Ervine Allen and Eileen Coen of Lexington; the husband of Crystal Shaffer Allen, and the father of Lauren Elizabeth Allen, both of Russellville, Kentucky.
CABINET DEVELOPS NEW MARKET FOR WASTE TIRES IN KENTUCKY
FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 4, 2004) - Kentucky schools, municipalities, public parks and state agencies interested in protecting their turf may receive a helping hand from the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet (EPPC). The EPPC recently earmarked $1 million in matching grant funds over the next two years for its innovative Waste Tire Market Development Program, a recycling initiative that seeks alternative uses for Kentucky's waste tires. Properly processed, waste tires have several beneficial reuses, including Tire Derived Fuel (TDF), landscaping mulch substitute, equine track dressing, septic system media and top dressing for athletic fields and playgrounds.
In a top dressing application, finely ground tire material, referred to as crumb rubber, can protect the turf's sensitive rhizomes and tender root system under the stress of foot traffic. This actually reduces the yearly maintenance costs of the turf. The material also offers a layer of padding to possibly reduce the risk of injury for athletes and children.
"This new beneficial reuse market for crumb rubber will help keep the 6.5 million waste tires generated in Kentucky each year off of our hillsides and out of our rivers and streams," said EPPC Secretary LaJuana S. Wilcher. "At the same time, the new market will create exciting economicopportunities for Kentuckians." Grant funding for the program comes from the state's Waste Tire Trust Fund, an endowment established in 1998 by the Kentucky General Assembly to receive fees collected from new tire sales. The cabinet is alsoconsidering funding proposals to evaluate the viability of new and innovative practices using waste tires. For more information or to obtain a grant application, visit the Division of Waste Management Web site at http://www.waste.ky.gov/programs/rcla/Waste+Tires.htm, or call Resource Conservation Supervisor Todd McCoy at (502) 564-6716.
B.Y.F. thanks United Way 6-4-04
Jackson, Ky. Brendon and Elizabeth, This is just two sets of Catcher's gear that we bought with funding from the United Way. In total we bought 4 sets this year, along with uniforms and equipment. Thanks for all the help, not only this year, but years gone by. You have been a great asset to our organization and you are greatly appreciated by the Board of Directors, Parents, Fans and especially the Children of the Breathitt Youth Foundation. Without support from people and organizations like yours, the BYF would not survive over the years. Photo here
Fiscal Court Holds Special Session 5-17-04
Jackson, Ky. The Breathitt County Fiscal Court held a special session on Friday May 14th, 2004, to discuss among other things the Budget and PRIDE bids. The session began with the opening of PRIDE bids for cleanups in 9 areas. The first bid was by Hinkle of Jackson, which was for $28,950.00. The second bid was by Tim Bailey of Campton which was for $32,940.00. The final bid was by East Ky. Environmental Services of Jackson, which was for $29,500.00. After some discussion it was agreed to give the bid to East Ky. The Court members then discussed what should be put in the minutes to reflect the reason the bid was not given to the lowest bidder. It was decided that East Ky. had done good work in the past so they would get the bid. East Ky. Environmental came under public scrutiny in the past after they were given bids that the bills were addressed to PRIDE coordinator, Eunice Johnson's address. An apparent conflict of interest. The fiscal court was then asked what a load of gravel cost to take out to fix roads. They stated roughly $100.00 per load. It was noted that the County lost $550.00 on giving the bid to the higher bidder. That is 5 1/2 loads of gravel.
Also in this special session, the 2004-2005 budget was discussed. Breathitt County Coroner, Bobby Thorpe Jr., asked the Fiscal Court what his budget was for the year. He was told around $47,000, $24,000 less than what Mr. Thorpe had asked for to properly run the Coroner's office. Mr. Thorpe then asked what the animal control officer budget would be. County Treasurer, Ken Back, said it was $30,000, at which time Commissioner Arch Turner argued that there was no way the budget for the animal control was that low, as the salary and transporting fees alone were near $40,000. After several minutes of wrangling back and forth on where the money comes from, County Treasures Ken Back said the amount was roughly $60,000 for the Animal Control Budget. Commissioner Arch Turner, said he could not believe it, and asked what could be done to consolidate some jobs and cut salaries.
The budget was tabled until more discussion could be arranged. Commissioner Steve Banks said he wanted a more detailed budget for each District. Meeting was adjourned.
RELAY FOR LIFE OF BREATHITT COUNTY SPIRIT WEEK 5-5-04
In order to increase cancer awareness and community support, the week of May 10th – 14th has been designated as Relay Spirit Week. During this week, all businesses are encouraged to display purple ribbons to show their support.
A ceremony to honor loved ones will be held on Thursday, May 13th at Douthitt Park from 6 to 8 p.m. for the public to attend. Refreshments will be provided.
Friday, May 14th is Purple Ribbon Day. Everyone is encouraged to wear a purple ribbon to show their support
SHAPING OUR NATION By Building Future Leaders…One at a Time 7-12-04
Observing today’s youth and social climate, many parents and community leaders observe a gap the leadership capabilities of some of our young people. One year after assuming the Presidency of Millersburg Military Institute (MMI) Millersburg, KY, I am often asked what does it really take to build a future leader? And how do we as educators instill basic morality and core values along with a sense of self discipline?
The first answer is that the best education starts at home. One of the most important decisions that parents must make is school placement for their child. Living in a world with great pressures and challenges at even earlier ages result in our children needing the very best influences at home and school.
Preparing teens for the responsibilities of tomorrow is the foundation of the military school experience. At MMI, our core values of loyalty, duty, respect, service, honor, integrity and courage are the foundation of all aspects of education.
No school can instill leadership skills better than a military school. Our cadet leaders assume responsibilities and are held accountable. Honor codes are a part of daily life where character is instill by living to “A cadet will not lie, cheat or steal.” Though this code, we live a higher standard.
In our classrooms, that average 10 students per instructor, each student is challenged to reach their highest academic potential. Individualized instruction is not a rarity or extra here, it is part of our daily life.
The students in military schools range from the very gifted and motivated to those who have ability but may lack focus and direction. We have tremendous outcomes for the entire range of students because of the overall experience of rigorous academics, ethical, athletic and leadership development.
The goal of MMI is not to prepare young men to become future military career officers, although some do choose a military career of go on the service academies for their college experience. Instead, our school seeks to instill the basic values and skills that are essential in a successful life.
No greater testament to our success are the alumni who will tell you how the military school environment was essential in their development into leaders in business, law, medicine, the military, or wherever career field their motivation takes them into. These alumni are an example how individual instruction and the military environment lead to college, a successful career, family and community life.
So I tell parents on a daily basis, to take a deeper look at the military school as an option for your son. Here you will find a structured and nurturing environment, continuous supervision, consistently high expectations for behavior and academic excellence and most importantly an insistence on individual responsibility that all leaders need for success in life.
If you would like to learn more, I encourage you to visit or historic campus in Millersburg, Kentucky or call 1-800-MMI-1893 and request a complimentary copy of “A Parent’s Guide to Military Education” a guidebook with more details about how we “Build Future Leaders… One at a Time”.
James P. Carruthers
Millersburg Military Institute
Millersburg Military Institute is “The Military School of Kentucky” and serves young men grades 7-12 in both boarding and day programs.
Unemployment rates down in 98 counties from February 2003 to February 2004 Breathitt Stays in top Ten Worst 4-23-04
FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 23, 2004) - Unemployment rates fell in 98 Kentucky counties between February 2003 and February 2004, rose in 20 and remained the same in Cumberland and Meade counties, according to the Kentucky Department for Employment Services in the Education Cabinet. In February 2004, 15 counties had jobless rates at or above 10 percent, and 38 counties recorded double-digit rates in February 2003. Woodford County's 3 percent jobless rate was the lowest in the commonwealth. Magoffin County recorded the state's highest unemployment rate - 16.2 percent. It was followed by Lewis County, 15.2 percent; Carter County,
13.1 percent; Fulton County, 12.8 percent; Russell County, 12.2 percent; Morgan County, 11.8 percent; Elliott County, 11.7 percent; Breathitt and Powell counties, 11.1 percent each;
School districts look to mediation State board delays getting involved in enrollment flap 4-9-04
Re-Published with the permission of NANCY C. RODRIGUEZ The Courier-Journal
FRANKFORT, Ky. — A long-running dispute between the Breathitt County and Jackson Independent school systems was to go before a committee of the Kentucky Board of Education yesterday. But instead of weighing arguments over students and the state money each student brings in, the committee's chairman asked the districts to work with a mediator in a last attempt to resolve the often-bitter dispute at the local level. Both districts are in Breathitt County, and both have been arguing since last year over renewing a long-standing agreement that allowed students to enroll in whichever district they choose without paying tuition. "These two school systems have both shown the ability in the past to work this out," said Jeffrey Mando, a state board member and chairman of the management committee that was to hear the arguments. "... I'm a firm believer that reasonable people sitting down around a table with a professional mediator ... are going to come to some terms."
Breathitt County Superintendent Ronald Eden and Jackson Independent Superintendent Taylor Collins agreed to recommend to their respective school boards that they try mediation. If that isn't successful, the appeal to the state board will be heard in June. The state board became involved after Education Commissioner Gene Wilhoit ruled in December that neither district would get new funding for students who choose to attend school outside the district where they live. The state would continue to pay for the rest of the out-of-district students until they graduate, Wilhoit said. Jackson Independent, which gets more than 60percent of its 602 students from outside its boundaries, appealed Wilhoit's decision to the state board. Without the money, Collins said, Jackson City School — the district's only school, which has preschool through 12th-grade classes — might have to close in the 2005-2006 school year.
Breathitt County schools, which have an enrollment of about 2,100 students, have only about 50 students who live in Jackson Independent's district. Breathitt County school officials say if they continue to lose students to Jackson Independent, they might have to close Rousseau and Highland-Turner elementaries, meaning some students will have to spend hours each day on school buses. 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. County school officials say that growth has come at the expense of the county, and they have sought to cap the number of students who live outside its district. Before yesterday's committee meeting, about 150 Jackson City School students, parents and teachers gathered for a rally outside the state Department of Education offices in Frankfort. Most wore purple and gold ribbons, the school's colors, and held signs calling for school choice and open enrollment. "It's all about school choice, and it just seems the parents in our county ought to have that option," said Melissa Back, a third-grade teacher at Jackson City School who has three children at the school. "If this school closed, it would just be horrible. It would be a loss for my children. There is no other place they can get as good of an education." Other parents said they liked the school's small size, dedicated staff and upbeat atmosphere. Junior Julie Sygiel, student council president at Jackson City School, said students are really "worried and scared for kids who don't live in the district." "The faculty and staff there are just great. They are so accessible," she said. "I think they'll (the state board) realize we have a great school and there is no reason to shut it down."
3-25-04 There are heros today in our youths, right here in Breathitt county and surrounding counties. My name is Staff Sergeant Charles Henry Miller and I have been the National Guard recruiter here in Jackson for about 6 months. After recruiting for the National Guard in a large city here in Kentucky, I could not be more impressed with the attitudes among many of our young adults (17 to 29 years of age) right here in Breathitt County.
I myself was a military "brat" and was bounced around from town to town all of my life. Upon turning 17 I joined the active military and countinued to bounce. Upon joining the National Guard I find myself settling in the town of Jackson (my home state, and my family roots are from around Breathitt and Lee County). I have had a chance to talk to numerous young men and women about serving their country right here in the National
Guard. In only 6 months I have had over 40 young adults express sincere interest in serving their Nation! I am aware of Breathitt county's history of volunteering, but I had to see it to believe it. In less than 6 months, 11young adults have become soldiers committed to serving their Nation. It really does this soldier, who has served everyday of his adult life in the service good to see today's youths stepping up to except the challenges
faced to our Nation and it's people. Although we might not all agree on some of the things our military is involved in today, we all understand the need of our youths to except the responsibility of protectors of our
country. The soldiers of my generation and generations before cannot serve indefinatley. Without the selfless commitment of these 11 new National Guardsmen that I have had the privledge to met, our Nation would not
prevail over all the adversity facing it today and in the future.
I would like to personnally thank:
* Lincoln Spence of Owsley Co, 18 years old. Combat Engineer Kentucky National Guard.
* Justin Hollon of Wolfe County, 17 years old, Junior at Wolfe Co. High. Combat Engineer Kentucky National Guard.
* Nathaniel Hoskins of Owsley County, 21 years old. Combat Engineer Kentucky National Guard.
* Chase Miller of Breathitt County, 17 years old, Junior at Breathitt Co High. Heavy equipment operator Kentucky National Guard.
* Greg Shortridge of Wolfe County,18 years old Senior at Wolfe Co. High. Chemical operations specialist Kentucky National Guard.
* Josh Neace of Whick, 19 years old. Chemical operations specialist Kentucky National Guard.
* Victor L. Turner of Jackson, 18 years old, Senior at Breathitt Co High. Chemical operations specialist Kentucky National Guard.
* Josh Combs of Breathitt Co, 18 years old. Chemical operations specialist Kentucky National Guard.
* Travis Rudd of Jackson, 17 years old, Junior a Breathitt Co. High, Light Wheeled vehicle mechanic Kentucky National Guard.
* Elvin Patrick of Breathitt Co, 17 years old, Junior at Breathitt Co. High, Infantry Kentucky National Guard.
* Brian Ritchie of Jackson, 29 years old. Chemical operations specialist Kentucky National Guard.
The big cities have nothing on Jackson, Campton, Beattyville, and Booneville when it comes to our youths love and commitment to our country. I salute all 11 new soldiers, all the soldiers in the National Guard here in Jackson, and the parents of these outstanding young men.
Staff Sergeant Charles Henry Miller
Cell Phone: (606) 424-0571 Office Phone: (606) 666-2441 Email: Charles.Miller4@usarec.army.mil
Delta Company "Of the Troops, For the Troops"
Kentucky Senate Passes Same-Sex Marriage Ban 3-15-04 from WYMT
Senate lawmakers have passed a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriages.
The proposed amendment passed on a 33-to-4 vote Thursday. It also would not give legal standing to civil unions. Senator Vernie McGaha who is sponsoring the legislation, says the Bible forbids same-sex marriages. He says the national focus on them has jeopardized traditional marriages. McGaha, a Russell Springs Republican, says lawmakers must take "decisive action." However, Senator Ernesto Scorsone, says politics should not be based on religion. Scorsone, an openly gay lawmaker, says amending the state's constitution to exclude same sex marriages was equivalent to attempts to ban interracial marriages during the early part of the previous century.
Same sex marriages are already illegal in Kentucky.
Fiscal Court Meeting Ends in Confusion 3-30-04
Jackson, Ky Thursday March 25th Fiscal Court Meeting ended up with people shaking their heads. During the meeting tempers flared as Verle Bowman and Commisioner Banks had a heated exchange. The meeting continued with Verle Bowman asking why the fiscal court members were going to the sheriff's training in Tennessee. Commissioner Arch Turner replied, "to get away from you Verle." After different topics were discussed, members from the audience began discussion on county roads. This quickly turned into a heated exchange between Commissioner Banks and County Road Crew Supervisor Randy McCarty. McCarty told Banks he had delivered several loads to his district. On a particular road he said 14 loads were delivered. A resident from that road, Mary Bryant of Bryants Creek, said she counted 10 loads only. Another County citizen, Jeff Thomas of Strongs Branch Road, then approached the court and explained that he personally paid $1,000.00 to have his road graded and graveled because the county would not fix it. He then pointed out that he personally saw Road Supervisor McCarty, fixing his personal driveway with county equipment. He also stated he knew of other private drives being fixed at the County expense. County Attorney, Brendon Miller, asked Mr.Thomas for the names of these driveways as he wanted to invesitgate this.
During the meeting the fiscal court refused to approve the monthly claims lists which includes everything from reimbursements to travel funds. Also included but not explained was different reimbursements to Prisoner work supervisor Greg Hollon. Things in the claims list for Mr. Hollon were: Reimbursement for Solid Waste Training, Hand Held Radio, and CDL license reimbursement. None of these things were explained as none of these reimbursements fall under the job title he holds now.
Also, in the meeting, Coroner Bobby Thorpe Jr. presented a petition of over 300 names to have his salary raised to meet State requirements for his position. It was also noted that the lowest paid job with the County, besides the Coroner's was a janitors position.
Mr. Verle Bowman also questioned what the salary was for the animal control was. He said he called to have strays removed from his property and was told by the animal control man, to catch the dogs himself and the animal control man would come get them. He asked if he had to catch them himself, what was the animal control man getting paid for.
A special meeting of the Fiscal Court will be held to resolve the monthly claims situation.
Annual unemployment rates up in 92 counties in 2003 Breathitt County Climbs to 6th highest in State FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 6, 2004) - Annual unemployment rates rose in 92 Kentucky counties from 2002 to 2003, fell in 27 and remained the same in Clark County, according to the Kentucky Department for Employment Services in the Education Cabinet.
In 2003, 12 Kentucky counties had jobless rates at or above 10 percent, while seven counties recorded double-digit rates in 2002. Seventy-five counties recorded higher unemployment rates than the state 2003
annual average of 6.2 percent, 42 had lower rates than the state annual average and three were the same as the state average. Compared to the national 2003 average of 6 percent, 80 Kentucky counties reported higher
average annual rates, 36 counties had lower average annual rates and four were the same as the national average rate for 2003. The state annual unemployment rate increased from 5.6 percent in 2002 to 6.2 percent in 2003.
Woodford County's 3 percent jobless rate was the lowest in the commonwealth. Magoffin County recorded the state's highest unemployment rate - 13.2 percent. It was followed by Fulton and Letcher counties, 12.3 percent each; Carter and Harlan counties, 11.4 percent each; Breathitt and McCreary counties, 10.6 percent; Morgan and Russell counties, 10.5 percent each; and Lewis County, 10.4 percent.
COUNTY CLEAN-UP TO BEGIN 4-16-04
Breathitt County The Breathitt County Spring Clean-up will begin Saturday Morning, April 17th, 2004 and run through Saturday evening, April 24th, 2004. You may haul your debris to the lot next to the Wal-Mart Shopping Center on Hwy 15 in Jackson. There will be someone there to help sort out the debris as it must go in specific piles. If you are handicapped or elderly and cannot bring your debris to the site, call the County for a pickup. 666-3800, ext. 224. Help make Breathitt a cleaner County, dispose of your debris properly
County Judge Executive Lewis Henry Warrix signs a proclamation 4-20-04
declaring the week of April 19-26
SAFE PROM WEEK at Jackson High School. The Jackson High Y-Club and JHS Student Coalition for
Drug Prevention are sponsoring alcohol, drug and impaired driving awareness activities each day during
the week. The JCS FRYSC is sponsoring Project Prom, the all night after prom party at Fugate's Bowling Center. Ghost Out will be sponsored by Drive Smart Kentucky on Friday.
Man found Dead in Vehicle 4-16-04
Gauge, Ky. 42 year old Will Loper of Magoffin County, was found dead in his vehicle near Lovin's Grocery, on Hwy 542 in the community of Gauge. Breathitt County Coroner, Boby Thorpe, Jr. stated that witnesses called about the vehicle near the store. When the Coroner Office arrived on the scene, Mr. Loper was un responsive. Breathitt County Coroner stated the death appeared to be from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, and the case was pending a toxicology report. We will have more on this when details become available
GOVERNOR ERNIE FLETCHER CHANGES THE COURSE OF STATE GOVERNMENT IN HIS FIRST 100 DAYS
Administration's Accomplishments are Numerous in First 100 Days 3-29-04
Frankfort, KY: In his first 100 days in office, Governor Ernie Fletcher's administration has achieved many of its stated objectives and continues to advance the Governor's plan to provide greater opportunity's for every Kentuckian. Among Governor Fletcher's numerous accomplishments have been to solve the current fiscal year's deficit, present a balanced budget for the state over the next two years and propose a progressive tax modernization plan that will grow jobs in Kentucky without raising taxes. In addition, Governor Fletcher has fulfilled a campaign pledge to end waste and abuse by auditing the former Kentucky Racing Commission and by requesting each Cabinet to identify areas where efficiencies may be realized.
"I am proud of the accomplishments of this administration's first 100 days, but this is only a start," stated Governor Ernie Fletcher. "My administration will continue to provide the leadership that will put an end to the wasteful abuse of Kentucky's tax dollars and will continue to promote economic development and job growth so as to provide greater opportunity for the great people of this state."
Among Governor Fletcher's Accomplishments are:
Governor Fletcher solved the current deficit in this fiscal year less than a month after being sworn into office. He later went on to present a tight, balanced budget for the next biennium which provides for raises in teacher salaries and funding for important economic development and education projects.
Governor Fletcher provided the leadership to present a bipartisan, bicameral plan to modernize the state's antiquated tax code.
The Governor reorganized and streamlined state government by condensing cabinets from 14 to 8, thus saving nearly $500,000. At the same time, the Governor assembled the most highly qualified group of cabinet leaders in Kentucky's history.
The Governor disassembled the Kentucky Racing Commission and created the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority. He not only gave the new authority a new name, but also a new mission to promote the horse racing industry and ordered an audit of certain personnel, procurement and payment practices of the former Commission.
Governor Fletcher signed, as his first piece of legislation, an important fetal homicide bill.
The Governor rolled back the unnecessary, burdensome Medicaid requirements that had kicked people out of nursing homes, thereby changing the number of categories a potential nursing home patient must meet from three requirements to two. The Governor also unveiled a plan to modernize Medicaid which will focus on improvements in care, benefit management and technology.
Completed Brownfield regulations which establish standards that will allow cities, counties and private businesses to redevelop old, contaminated industrial sites into productive areas.
Directed $110,000 in leftover transition funds to be directed to Medicaid (request would mean almost $300,000 in Federal Matching Funds for Medicaid)
Directed each Cabinet Secretary to investigate and reduce the use of procurement cards within their agencies.
Fulfilled campaign pledge by recommending $14.2 million be spent on "Read to Achieve."
Appointed Tierra Kavanaugh Turner as Director of Governor's Office for Minority Empowerment.
Established the Governor's Office of Efficiency, which is identifying and cleaning out waste, fraud, inefficiency and abuse.
Produced greater efficiencies by transferring the responsibilities of the Kentucky Appalachian Commission to the Department for Local Government. This was done because of a great deal of duplication between the duties of the commission and those performed by the DLG.
The Governor signed important fetal homicide legislation.
Created a task force to address blackwater spills in the Commonwealth. The task force is made up of leaders of environmental and coal organizations in Kentucky.
Added nearly 3,000 new jobs; including 1,100 at Magna in Bowling Green and 1,600 at Citicorp in Louisville.
Initiated the Statewide Drug Control Policy Summit, a group which is currently conducting 16 public forums during a 20-week assessment to get public input about drug issues from citizens across Kentucky.
"It is my vision to ensure that every Kentuckian has the opportunity to live a life of promise and prosperity. That is why this administration will remain committed to delivering a more efficient and effective state government that will continue a positive change in the culture of state government and will enable us to provide more value to the taxpayer and greater opportunity for every Kentuckian."
Drug Raids Net 29 in Breathitt County 4-6-04
Breathitt County, The early Tuesday morning chill brought a few surprises this morning for several people in Breathitt County. The Kentucky State Police, along with U.N.I.T.E., Jackson P.D. & the Breathitt County Sheriffs office served several warrants on people suspected of Drug trafficking. The warrants were served in the early morning hours and throughout the early afternoon, Tuesday, April 6th, 2004. These warrants were a result of ongoing investigations by the area law enforcement. Names of the suspects, released by the Breathitt County Sheriff's office include:
Marty Moore 28, Nancy Brewer 45, Tom Allen 39, Brian L. Haddix 41, Williard Robinson Jr. 34, Bill Robinson 52, Taniciah M. Little 46, Michael Getson, Billy D. Stevens 60, Roger 58, & Della Howard 48, Beverly Harvey 43, Allena Jones 50, Shannon Epperson 24, Greg Davidson 33, John Haddix 39, Betty R. Abner 41, Mark White, James Coomer 32, Kelly Spencer 38, Margeret Combs. We will have more on these suspects as details become available.