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Monday, November 28, 2022
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Non-partisan race filings released

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By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times

Candidates running with one of the two major political parties had to be registered prior to the primary elections in May. But those running as an independent, or in one of the non-partisan races – like city council or mayor – had a little longer to file. That window has closed now too, and the final list of candidates running in the general election has been released. 

“If they want to run now, it will have to be a write-in,” county clerk Mike Johnston said. 

Joining Republican Brandon Burton and Democrat Dustin Howard in the race for Judge Executive is Grayson city clerk Duane Suttles. In addition to serving as the current city clerk for Grayson, Suttles served for several years as a Grayson city councilman, and in various administrative capacities and leadership roles for the Grayson Volunteer Fire Department. 

City councilman Troy Combs has a challenger for the role of Grayson’s mayor too. Fred Miller has also registered to run for that office. 

Whoever wins the race will be working with a mix of new and veteran city councilpersons. Running for that office are incumbents Terry Stamper, Sudy Walker, and Bradley Cotten, as well as former councilperson Jennifer Scott McGlone. They’re joined on the ballot by Michael Harper and Dustin Burchett. 

Over in Olive Hill, city councilman Justin Dixon has filed to run against incumbent Jerry Callihan in the city’s mayoral race.

Even with Dixon hoping to move into the mayor’s seat, there is a real race for council in Olive Hill, with seven candidates filing to fill one of the six seats on council. Incumbents Wayne Russell, Eric Rayburn, Chris Bledsoe, Shannon Shutte, and Kirk Wilburn, who stepped in to fill an unexpired term last year, are joined on the ballot by Stevie Clay and Shane Tackett. 

In the soil conservation district, voters will choose between Mike Sexton, of Willard, Lois Barber, of Grayson, and Barry Shaffer, also of Grayson. 

In the school board races, Miranda Tussey is running unopposed in District 2 while Chris Perry is running unopposed in District 5. Both Tussey and Perry were appointed to fill unexpired terms, with Perry filling the seat vacated when Wilburn left the school board for the open city council seat. 

Contact the writer at editor@cartercountytimes.com

Orby Paul Hargett

Mr. Orby Paul Hargett, age 88, of Olive Hill, Kentucky, passed away Friday, November 25, 2022 peacefully at his home.

He was born January 1, 1934, in Carter County, Kentucky, to the late William Russell and Artie Carpenter Hargett.

Orby was a member of the Soldier Church of God for 64 years and served as a deacon and was a Standing Committeman of the Church of God Conference. He was well known and a well respected carpenter for over 50 years. He enjoyed family gatherings, cookouts and spending time with his children and grandchildren and sitting on his porch with his wife.

In addition to his parents, Orby was preceded in death by five brothers, Ollie Hargett, Colonel Hargett, Allie Hargett, Baker Hargett and Jimmy Hargett; one sister Marie Davis.

Orby is survived by his loving wife of 69 ½ years, Glenda Roseberry Hargett, whom he married on May 29, 1953; two sons, Orby Keith Hargett and his wife, Kim, Byron Eugene Hargett and his wife, Jacqueline Hargett all of Olive Hill, Kentucky; one daughter, Debra Kay Hicks and her husband, Gary of Olive Hill, Kentucky; five grandchildren, Mary Beth Waugh, Shawn Hatton, Michael Hatton, Carrie Varney and Timothy Hargett; nine great-grandchildren, Aiden, Novaleigh, Christian, Ava Grace, Shawn Amos, Evelyn , Ansley Faith, Maggie and Alayna; one brother in law and his wife, Paul and LaVerne Roseberry of Jacksonville, Florida; two sister in laws, Elsie Gay Hargett and Oveda Hargett both of Olive Hill, Kentucky, along with many nieces, nephews. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and church family.

Funeral services will be held 11 a.m., Tuesday, November 29, 2022 at Soldier Church of God in Soldier, Kentucky with Brother Clifford “Tippy” Price and Brother Steve Madden officiating. Burial will follow in the Hargett Cemetery on Greasy Creek in Carter County, Kentucky.

Friends may visit from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, November 28, 2022 at Globe Funeral Chapel, 17277 West Highway US 60, Olive Hill, Kentucky and after 9 a.m., Tuesday, November 29, 2022 and until the service hour at Soldier Church of God.

Shawn Hatton, Michael Hatton, Timothy Hargett, Dennis Hargett, Kevin Brown and Donnie Waddell will serve as pallbearers.

Paul Roseberry, Darrin Hargett, Bruce Jessee, Aiden Duff and Danny Waddell will serve as honorary pallbearers.

Globe Funeral Chapel in Olive Hill, Kentucky is caring for all arrangements for Mr. Orby Paul Hargett.

(www.globefc.com)

Kenneth Ray Swint

Mr. Kenneth Ray Swint, age 86, of Olive Hill, Kentucky, passed away Friday, November 25, 2022 at Kings Daughter Medical Center in Ashland, Kentucky.

He was born Monday, May 11, 1936 in Carter County, Kentucky to the late V. H. and Hazel Felty Swint.

Ray was a member of the First Baptist Church of Grayson, Kentucky. He enjoyed gardening, fishing, doing mechanic work, watching baseball, mowing grass and spending time with his family and friends.

In addition to his parents he is preceded in death by his loving wife of 59 years, Wanda Fay Holland Swint; one son, Brian Keith Swint; two brothers, Cecil Swint and Walter Swint; one sister, Darlene Flanery.

Ray is survived by one son, David Swint of Grayson, Kentucky along with many other family members and friends who will sadly miss him.

Funeral services will be held 11 a.m., Wednesday, November 30, 2022 at Globe Funeral Chapel in Olive Hill, Kentucky with Brother John Napier officiating. Burial will follow in the East Carter Memory Gardens in Grayson, Kentucky.

Friends may visit from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 29, 2022 and after 9 a.m. until the service hour on Wednesday, November 30, 2022, at Globe Funeral Chapel Kentucky, 17277 West Highway US 60, Olive Hill, Kentucky 41164.

Family and Friends will serve as pallbearers.

Globe Funeral Chapel in Olive Hill, Kentucky is caring for all arrangements for Mr. Kenneth Ray Swint.

(www.globefc.com)

James Owen Shaffer

James Owen Shaffer, age 76, of Grayson, Kentucky passed away Tuesday, November 22, 2022 at King’s Daughter’s Medical Center in Ashland, Kentucky.

He was born Friday, February 8, 1946 in Carter County, Kentucky a son of Dolores Owens Shaffer of Grayson, Kentucky and the late Clifford Earl Shaffer.

James was a member of the First Baptist Church of Grayson, Kentucky. He enjoyed trading cars, telling stories, and spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren.

James is survived by his loving wife of 28 years, Mary Jane Castle Shaffer; two sons, Brenton Shaffer and his wife, Frances of South Point, Ohio, Steven Earl Shaffer and his wife, Lynn of Georgetown, Kentucky; one stepson, Donald Easterling; five grandchildren, Chad, Tyler, Madison, Brianna and Sydney; two brothers, William Earl Shaffer and Norman Allen Shaffer both of Grayson, Kentucky along with many other family and friends who will sadly miss him.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, November 26, 2022 at Grayson Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 49 McCoy Road, Grayson, Kentucky with Brother Gordon Burgess officiating. Burial will follow in the East Carter Memory Gardens in Grayson, Kentucky.

Friends may visit after 11:30 a.m. and until the service hour at Grayson Funeral Home.

Family and friends will serve as pallbearers.

Grayson Funeral Home and Cremation Services are caring for all arrangements for Mr. James Owen Shaffer.

(www.graysonfh.com)

Governor’s marijuana plan a step in the right direction

37211042 - dry medical marijuana buds

When Kentucky’s Senate Republicans refused to take up a medical marijuana bill earlier this year – even though it was brought by a member of their own party and had passed the House with bipartisan support – it seemed the issue was dead in the water.

Kentuckians, it seemed, would not have legal access to a medicine that can be used to treat a broad range of pain and stress related issues – from taming the nausea of chemotherapy, to helping with the pain of fibromyalgia, easing the seizures of epilepsy, and even calming the anxiety of PTSD.

However, an executive order from the governor will now give Kentuckians a path to legal use of marijuana and marijuana derived products for these and several other serious medical issues.

Sort of.

The governor’s executive order doesn’t legalize the use of medical marijuana; rather it grants a pardon, in perpetuity, to anyone accused of marijuana possession after January 1, 2023, if they meet a specific set of criteria.

Those criteria include legally purchasing the medical cannabis in a state where marijuana sales are legal and keeping a receipt to indicate this purchase, keeping the amount within the legal limits of the place where it is purchased and not bringing more than eight ounces back into the state, and having a letter from a healthcare provider indicating that you experience one of the qualifying conditions and might benefit from cannabis based therapy.

This pardon applies only to the criminal offense of possession of marijuana, so it wouldn’t protect anyone who brought marijuana back into the state with intent to sell it.

It’s going to be tricky to procure your medical marijuana as well. Though you could technically buy your medicine in Colorado, Michigan, or another state with recreational sales – the executive order states “lawfully purchased in a jurisdiction within the United States of America but outside the Commonwealth of Kentucky” – you’d have to transport it back through another state. In doing so, you might be violating the laws of that state.

Illinois is currently the only state touching Kentucky that has recreational marijuana sales – though that list may increase in the future, with Virginia working out a plan to implement their recreational marijuana law and Missouri doing the same.

But none of those states are nearby. Here in northeastern Kentucky, our closest neighbors with dispensaries, Ohio and West Virginia, only authorize medicinal sales, and they currently only authorize those for residents of the state with approved medical uses.

So, while the move by Governor Beshear is a step in the right direction, Kentucky still has a long way to go before all Kentuckians who can benefit from cannabis based medicines will have access to them.

The state could work on reciprocal agreements with neighboring states with medicinal dispensaries to allow sales to Kentucky patients – though such a system would inevitably require a medical marijuana patient card or other permit to prevent fraud and abuse. At that point, the Commonwealth would probably be better off to just go ahead and allow Kentucky based companies to provide the service inside the state. This would create jobs and keep revenue within the state, generating income tax revenue even if the state didn’t tax medicinal sales.

But the state could really benefit financially if they went ahead and approved recreational and medicinal sales, charging sales tax on any sales without an approved medical condition.

The sky hasn’t fallen in other states to legalize recreational marijuana sales, and an overwhelming majority of Kentuckians support legalization – at least of medical marijuana – according to various polls and surveys.

The governor, for instance, noted in his executive order that of the more than 3,500 public comments received by his Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee, more than 98 percent (98.6%) were in favor of legalizing medical cannabis.

That advisory panel, which held public meetings across the state to solicit feedback, consisted of health care professionals, including those involved in addiction and recovery care, and law enforcement officials.

The governor also quoted studies that found medical marijuana could provide a viable pain relief option for those suffering from a variety of conditions with less risk of dependency and addiction than currently legal opioid based medications, and with none of the overdose death risk associated with those drugs.  

Gov. Beshear has more courage than Kentucky Senate’s GOP bunch

low angle photography of building
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By: Keith Kappes
Columnist
Carter County Times

Gov. Andy Beshear, who has endeared himself to many voters as a man of compassion in his handling of disasters, again has placed people ahead of politics with his decision to allow use of medicinal marijuana. 

With public opinion polls showing that 90 percent of Kentuckians favor controlled use of the drug by those dealing with chronic pain, the governor simply grew tired of waiting for the Kentucky Senate to pass a medical marijuana law. 

The Kentucky House twice passed such a bill in recent legislative sessions, but the Republican-dominated Senate never brought it to a floor vote. If and when passed and signed, such a law would make Kentucky the 38th state to decriminalize pot for a humane purpose. 

Beshear issued an executive order last week to legalize its possession and use, under certain circumstances, starting Jan. 1. Republicans in the Senate were outraged, claiming overreach by the executive branch. 

In my opinion, their objections more likely were based on fear of losing the votes next year of the families and friends of those suffering with no other relief from pain. Handing such an advantage to an already popular governor surely concerns the dozen individuals who want the GOP nomination to run against Beshear. 

The governor said he would gladly rescind the executive order once the new law is in place. Again, showing himself to be a creative problem solver, he based the executive order on the governor’s constitutional authority to issue pardons to wrongdoers. 

Frankly, we thought it was an impressive maneuver by a former attorney general who obviously is keeping his lawyer skills at the ready.  

Politicians in both parties acknowledge that medical marijuana is popular in the Bluegrass State. Beshear’s exercise of his executive power to protect sick Kentuckians who use cannabis from being prosecuted as criminals certainly looks like a good horse to ride, so to speak. 

Finally, the House Republican who twice sponsored the bill to legalize marijuana for medical purposes has accused the governor of an “unprecedented power grab”.  Perhaps that’s something you say in politics when you get outsmarted. 

(Contact Keith at keithkappes@gmail.com.) 

District 9 Road Report: State Highway Work Zones for This Week, Nov. 21-23

FLEMINGSBURG, Ky. (Nov. 21, 2022) – The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet reminds motorists to watch for lane closures, delays, and traffic changes across the Commonwealth this week.

In addition to providing real-time traffic information online at GoKY.ky.gov or via Waze on your smartphone, the Kentucky Department of Highways District 9 updates road work on social media at Facebook.com/KYTCDistrict9 and at Twitter.com/KYTCDistrict9.

The following major work zones and traffic changes on state highways in northeast Kentucky are being reported for the Nov. 21-23 work week. Offices are closed, and state maintenance operations suspended, Nov. 24-25 for the Thanksgiving holiday. However, work zones will remain and traffic impacted before and after the holiday as follows:

BATH COUNTY

  • US 60 and KY 1331 (Peeled Oak): Contractors are trimming brush and trees along these highways, Monday through Wednesday, Nov. 21-23. Expect flagged traffic, delays.

BOYD COUNTY

  • I-64: While barrels and lane closures have been removed on the I-64 rehab project between Cannonsburg and Catlettsburg exits (mile markers 184 to 191), work is not scheduled to be complete until Nov. 30. Lane closures possible.
  • US 60 (Coalton to Cannonsburg): Road reconstruction taking place on 4 miles of US 60 between I-64 at Coalton and the Cannonsburg intersection. Lane shifts from Princess to Coalton, and a KY 5 detour via Princess Drive and temporary US 60 intersection through winter. Watch for intermittent flagged traffic, narrow travel lanes, speed limit changes, blasting daily as needed. Expect delays.

CARTER COUNTY

  • KY 7/KY 1 (Carol Malone Boulevard): A widening project along 1.5 miles of KY 7/KY 1 at downtown Grayson has all traffic shifted into a new three-lane configuration – one lane each direction with a center turn lane – between Academic Parkway and the Little Sandy River. Side streets and entrances closed at times. Use caution. Speed limit reduced to 25 miles per hour.
  • US 60 East of Grayson: Repair work finishing up along five miles of US 60 east in Carter County from Wilson Creek Road (milepoint 30) to nearly the Boyd-Carter county line (milepoint 34.8). One-lane, flagged traffic in work areas as needed.

FLEMING COUNTY

  • KY 111: Coming soon, this week or in the next few weeks, paving along six miles of KY 111 from KY 1515 to KY 32 (milepoint 7.2-13.2).

LEWIS COUNTY

  • KY 57 North of Tollesboro: Contractors are applying rock to shoulders on KY 57 from KY 10 at Tollesboro to KY 984 (milepoint 5.1-10.5). Blacktop paving is complete. Watch for flagged traffic in work areas. Expect delays.

MASON COUNTY

  • KY 10: Coming soon, this week or in the next few weeks, paving from the Bracken-Mason line at Germantown to the AA Highway (KY 9), mile markers 0-4.

ROWAN COUNTY

  • KY 377 at Cimmaron Road: Occasional intersection traffic changes possible for bridge construction project on Cimmaron Road. Use caution.
  • KY 2522 (Old 60 at Farmers): Contractors are trimming brush and trees along the highway, Monday through Wednesday, Nov. 21-23. Expect flagged traffic, delays.
  • KY 32 (near I-64): A private contractor is working on KY 32 westbound (outbound from Morehead) at the Kroger shopping center intersection. Lane closures, flagged traffic possible.

Motorists should also watch for lane closures and flagged traffic where crews are performing daily maintenance activities such as paint striping, pothole patching, ditching, mowing, and other roadway repairs in District 9’s service area of Bath, Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Fleming, Greenup, Lewis, Mason, Nicholas and Rowan counties.

Road work schedules are subject to change depending on weather conditions. Motorists are asked to heed all warning signs, slow down in work zones and remain aware of workers and construction equipment when traveling.

WORK ZONE TIPS

  • Slow down, buckle up, and expect the unexpected.
  • Stay alert, and avoid distractions.
  • Don’t tailgate. Keep a safe braking distance between you and the vehicle ahead, and between construction workers and equipment.
  • Obey road crew flaggers, and pay attention to message boards and warning signs.
  • Plan ahead: Visit ky.gov or use Waze to see where road work is taking place. Or visit your highway district’s social media accounts. Find your district at https://transportation.ky.gov/DistrictPages.

Kentucky to allow medical cannabis use for severe medical conditions

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FRANKFORT – In an effort to reduce Kentuckians’ reliance on addictive opioids and to provide them relief from pain, Gov. Andy Beshear today said that, starting next year, Kentuckians with certain severe medical conditions and who meet specific requirements will be able to possess and use small amounts of legally purchased medical cannabis to treat their medical conditions. 

In an executive order, the Governor outlined conditions that Kentuckians with at least one of 21 medical conditions, which include cancer, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, muscular dystrophy or a terminal illness, must meet to access medical cannabis beginning January 1, 2023. These conditions include: 

  • Cannabis must be bought in the United States of America in a state where the purchase is legal and regulated. Kentuckians will need to keep their receipt. 
  • The amount a person can purchase and possess at any one time must not exceed 8 ounces, which is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony in Kentucky. 
  • Each Kentuckian must also have a certification from a licensed health care provider that shows that the individual has been diagnosed with at least one of 21 medical conditions. A copy of the certification must be retained. 

“Kentuckians suffering from chronic and terminal conditions are going to be able to get the treatment they need without living in fear of a misdemeanor,” Gov. Beshear said. “With 37 states already legalizing medical cannabis and 90% of Kentucky adults supporting it, I am doing what I can to provide access and relief to those who meet certain conditions and need it to better enjoy their life, without pain.” 

Read the executive order for the complete list of conditions. 

The Governor said that guidance is being created for law enforcement to determine quickly and accurately who does and does not qualify. 

He added that today’s actions are not a substitute for much-needed legislation to fully legalize medical cannabis. The Governor stated that he will work with lawmakers this upcoming session to push for full legalization of medical cannabis once again, which would further provide relief for those suffering, fuel job growth and support Kentucky’s farmers. 

The Governor also announced that the state will regulate the sale of Delta 8. Delta 8 contains THC, but at a lower level than marijuana. It is not a controlled substance in Kentucky nor under federal law, and a court has ruled that it is legal in Kentucky. 

“Right now, there are no checks on how it is packaged and sold. We must establish a regulatory structure to ensure that Delta 8 is sold and purchased safely in the commonwealth,” Gov. Beshear said. “The structure can and will also serve as a template for when the General Assembly fully legalizes medical cannabis. That means we can learn in real-time, train our people and be ready to go.” 

The executive orders come after Gov. Beshear formed the Team Kentucky Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee in June to travel the state and listen to Kentuckians’ views on the topic after the state legislature failed to pass legislation earlier this year. On Sept. 30, the Governor released the summary from the committee that proved Kentuckians agree that it is past time for the commonwealth to take action on legalizing medical cannabis. 

Kerry Harvey, co-chair of the committee and secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet said, “Our committee met good people all across the commonwealth who are suffering from terrible chronic conditions that are relieved by medical cannabis. This is real-world experience, not conjecture. The Governor’s action will improve the quality of life for these Kentuckians, but more should be done in the coming legislative session.” 

“It took bravery to overcome anxiety and often physical pain to stand up at a town hall meeting, but people did it to make sure their story was heard. Not only for themselves, but also for the benefit of family members, friends and others facing a similar condition,” said Ray Perry, co-chair of the committee and secretary of the Public Protection Cabinet. “Each story made it clear that people are finding real relief from chronic conditions with medical cannabis.” 

Military veterans attending the town halls emphasized the benefits of cannabis in reducing PTSD symptoms. Some described the inability to sleep because of the disorder, while others reported being prescribed numerous medications to ease pain, treat anxiety, sleep or move their joints fully. 

A veteran from Northern Kentucky, Jared Bonvell, who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, described his daily struggle after being prescribed 13 medications that weren’t effective, which left him contemplating suicide. 

“Within a year, I didn’t drink and was off 12 of the 13 medications,” said Bonvell. “I still have all those injuries and disabilities, but I can function. I can live. I can have friendships and conversations again.” 

Craig Manley, a small business owner from McCracken County, said “Medical marijuana is a way to ease pain without messing with your body. Prescription pain killers and alcohol are dangerous in the construction business, like mine. However, if someone takes THC at night for the pain, they come to work rested and ready to work. I am very conservative and both sides should want to help people. This should have nothing to do with your views politically.” 

In addition to the town hall meetings, the state’s medical cannabis website allowed Kentuckians to submit their opinions online. The website received 3,539 comments, 98.64% of which expressed support for legalizing medical cannabis in Kentucky. 

Visit medicalcannabis.ky.gov for a list of advisory team members, which includes Kentuckians with experience in health care, treatment of opioid use disorder and other diseases of addiction, law enforcement, criminal justice and advocacy for medical cannabis.  

“Providers should be able to offer medical cannabis as a therapeutic option, which would potentially decrease the use of narcotics and opioid epidemic in Kentucky,” said Dr. Linda McClain a Louisville OB/GYN and addiction specialist, who served on the advisory committee. “I applaud the Governor’s actions taken today and strongly believe that many Kentuckians will now be able to find relief. I previously managed a clinic in Georgia where I saw first-hand the efficacy of medical cannabis. Those patients were not interested in getting high, they simply wanted to feel better.” 

A total of 37 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands allow cannabis for medical use by qualified individuals. In May 2021, Alabama legalized medical cannabis. This year, Mississippi and Rhode Island did the same. Kentucky’s neighboring states of Ohio, Illinois, Missouri and West Virginia have legalized medical cannabis. 

Gov. Beshear said, “This is not a red or blue issue. It is about our people and helping those who are in pain and suffering.” 

Allowing Kentuckians diagnosed with certain medical conditions and receiving palliative care to purchase, possess and/or use medical cannabis would improve the quality of their lives and may help reduce the abuse of other more dangerous and addictive medications, such as opiates. 

One recent study showed a 64% reduction in opioid use among chronic pain patients who used medical cannabis. These patients experienced fewer side effects and improved quality of life. Unlike opioids, cannabis does not cause respiratory depression leading to lesser mortality rates, and medical cannabis is far less addictive. 

Upcoming events at the Grayson Gallery 

The Huntington Blues Society

There will be something for everyone in November at the Grayson Gallery & Art Center, Inc.  

For their F!nal Fr!day event this Friday, November 25, the organization will host a duo-show of original pieces by life partners and artists Tina Howard Ousley and Tim Smith, with over 50 pieces of their works on exhibit and for sale.  

Ousley resides in Prestonsburg and studied Biology at Morehead State University. She is Professor of Biology at Big Sandy Community and Technical College. Smith, also a resident of Prestonsburg, is an Art Professor at BSCTC. He studied Sculpture for his BFA from Eastern Kentucky University and has a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from UNC Greensboro. 

In addition, ”Postcards for Eastern Kentucky,” will feature art from Morehead Art Students, in the form of postcards and prose on display via the Eastern Kentucky Arts Project. This project aims to send words of encouragement and support for those who are still in need due to flooding across the region.  

Entertainment for the evening will feature the Huntington Blues Society All Stars & Friends. This will also be an opportunity to help build regional membership and raise funds for sending local winners to the annual International Blues Competition in Memphis.  

The live music by The HBS All Star Band will be a part of their annual fundraiser and Membership Drive.  

The Huntington Blues Society, established in 2013 was formed, per HBS President Karen Combs, “for lovers of all things blues; all regions, all styles, old and new.”  

They meet at Black Sheep Burrito & Brews in Huntington, WV every third Saturday from 7 – 9 p.m. for an open blues jam and everyone is welcome to join them. In addition to these music jams, the organization hosts the ”HBS Annual Affiliate Challenge” to select winners to compete in Memphis at the International Blues Challenge. There, over 200 musicians from across the world will be in competition in different categories with more than 20 clubs, such as HBS, hosting the challengers.  

Funds raised from the gallery event will be earmarked to support two categories of competitors: singer/songwriter Doris A. Fields (“Lady D”) of Beckley, WV as their solo/duo act, and the band “Generation Gap” whose members also hail from West Virginia.  

The HBS also presents the annual Diamond Teeth Mary Blues & Arts Festival at Heritage Station//Huntington Visitors Center each summer in Huntington, WV as part of their charitable organization’s work. 

Catering by Laura will provide refreshments.  

While the event is free as always to the public, visitors will be encouraged to make donations to the various causes, including the GGAC, so the community non-profit can keep on bringing these arts events to the area. 

 The GGAC Artist Market will also be open during the evening with special “Colorful Fr!day” sales of up to 50% off and discounts on artworks including paintings, photography, ceramics, jewelry and more.  

All individuals who make a purchase that evening will be eligible for a door prize, which will be awarded on December 15, 2022. This date has been set for a special community celebration which will take place from 6 – 8:30 p.m. that evening.  

The Grayson Gallery and the Grayson Creative Community will host those who have made this past year so successful in Grayson’s community development. Invitations to that event will be sent in the coming weeks to individuals and organizations for their ongoing support of the arts.   

Contact Director Dan Click for information: graysongallery@gmail.com and look for them on Facebook. 

Closing streets and burning buildings 

Smoke rises from the remnants of a controlled burn, conducted by the Olive Hill Fire Department last week for training purposes. The city plans to burn more properties like this soon, including one home they paid more than $100,000 for. (Photo by Jeremy D. Wells, Carter County Times)

By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times

If you use Gearhart Street to cut between Railroad Street and US 60 in Olive Hill, you might not be doing so much longer. City Council voted last Tuesday to grant the mayor authority to permanently close the street, which includes a pair of homes as well as the First Baptist Church and an adjacent property, which once served as the Oney-Henderson Funeral Home.  

This was just one of the many big decisions reached at council’s regular November meeting. Council also voted unanimously to offer the old Olive Hill Airport property for sale. That property, located on Ben’s Run Road, has not been used as an active airstrip for more than a decade. 

Council also considered an offer to purchase a piece of property along Jessica Lane. That property, which includes the old Stamper Trucking business and buildings, is located on nine acres of property that are zoned general business.

Mayor Jerry Callihan noted that the location, which includes living quarters, would be an ideal spot for the fire department to relocate to, offering access along Jessica Lane to both Route 2 and US 60. Access could also be extended out to Mason’s Circle on the backside of the property.  

This consideration comes after the city spent $110,000 on another property, near the city park and police department, for the construction of a new fire department building. That location was hotly contested by residents who lived in the area around the park, however.  

Callihan asked council to consider a proposal to burn that property, noting that in addition to providing a training opportunity for the fire department, it would save the city money on demolition costs. Instead of building a new fire department there, Callihan said, the land would be added to the city park property.  

The measure passed with councilpersons Shannon Shutte, Eric Rayburn, and Justin Dixon voting aye, and councilmen Wayne Russell and Kirk Wilburn abstaining from the vote. Councilman Chris Bledsoe was not present.  

In other action council moved to approve a payment to Trane on the water plant project, with Rayburn and Wilburn voting no and Russell, Shutte, and Dixon voting aye.  

Council also heard updates on Trail Town’s lake trail project, the FIVCO grant plan for smoking and repairing sewage lines, and a proposal from Olive Hill Center for Arts & Education to install solar power cells and explore opportunities for net metering.  

In most instances, the CFAE explained, the power meter would simply slow as solar fed the electricity in the buildings instead of power lines. In instances of low use and high sunshine, they explained, any surplus could be added back to the grid and would create a credit on the utility account – not a payment back to the center.  

While the city said they weren’t sure if their agreement with AEP would allow such net metering, the solar representative speaking for the CFAE said AEP and Kentucky Power were bound by federal regulations, such as the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, which required them to offer such a credit among other actions aimed at energy conservation.  

Contact the writer at editor@cartercountytimes.com 

Judge Executive injured in accident 

Judge Executive Mike Malone. (File photo by Jeremy D. Wells, Carter County Times)
Staff Report
Carter County Times

Carter County Judge Executive Mike Malone was injured in an accident last Wednesday that took the life of his wife, Rose Malone.  

The Rowan County Coroner’s office reported on Wednesday afternoon that Morehead police dispatch received a call of a single vehicle accident on I-64 just before 7 a.m. that morning, approximately one mile east of Morehead.  

First responders on the scene reported a single pickup truck off the roadway, and over an embankment, around the 138 west bound mile marker.  

The male driver of the vehicle, now identified as Mike Malone, was extricated by the Morehead Fire Department and transported to the St. Claire Health Care Helipad for flight to UK Medical Center.  

Malone is reported to be in serious, but stable condition.  

The female passenger, Rose L. Malone, age 74, of Grayson, was pronounced deceased on scene by Rowan County Coroner John Northcutt, according to the coroner’s release. 

The investigation into the accident is ongoing by the Rowan County Sheriff’s Department and the Rowan County Coroner.   

Contact the writer at news@cartercountytimes.com 

Letter to the Editor: From the family of Brent King

Submitted Photo of Brent King

This is one of the hardest thank you letters I will ever have to write. Trying to find the words has been so hard, because there are truly no words to express how thankful and grateful we are to anyone and everyone who has helped us through this time; and are continuing to help us.  

I want to thank the Lord Jesus Christ for giving me the 17 years I had with Brent.  

As a parent, the one thing you want for your child is for people to love them. To see how many people loved my son was truly humbling. For people to stand in line for hours to pay respect during visitation, and then having nowhere to sit during the funeral, this tells me my son was loved so much; which makes me so proud of him.  

For people to love him the way they did, he had to love them.  

Everyone that talks to me tells me what a great person Brent was. How he loved people. How he helped. How he always had a smile on his face.  

I’m so proud to have been chosen to be his mom. Brent’s families want to thank each and every one of you.  

To anyone who has prayed for us, or continues to pray for us, thank you so much. We need every prayer we can get.  

I want to thank anyone who brought food, or cooked, or anything you have done to help us. Thank you so much.  

To anyone and everyone who has donated, or helped, or volunteered during the benefits they had for Brent, we want to thank you so much.

Thank you so much for making the hardest time we have gone through a little less stressful.  

Thank you so much for obeying your hearts and reminding us how proud we are to live in the little community of Olive Hill.   

Thank you all so much.  

I want to send a special thank you to Amber Conn for everything you have done to help. You watched Brent grow from a baby, and your family did so much to help us, I couldn’t ever thank you enough.  

We want to thank the schools my children attend for being patient with them through this difficult time.  

We want to thank the West Carter football team and the coaches for everything they have done for Brent. I can never truly tell you how thankful we are. But, from the bottom of our hearts, thank each and every one of you so much. 

Sincerely,

Jessica Salyer-Leadingham and the Brent King Family

Staying equipped 

John Brooks demonstrates the new air tank filling station at the Carter County Emergency Ambulance station in Grayson. (Photo by Jeremy D. Wells, Carter County Times)

By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times

The Carter County Emergency Ambulance Service just made a huge upgrade in their oxygen refill system. The new system, which includes its own generator and is housed in an enclosed trailer for transport, will allow the ambulance service to once again fill their own tanks. In addition to saving time and money currently spent refilling the tanks in West Virginia, the new system refills tanks much quicker than the service’s old system.  

That old system was plagued with problems, requiring frequent repairs. Even when it did work, though, they couldn’t fill as many tanks as quickly as the new system can. In addition to the bay with explosion shielding built into the system, the compressor supports an exterior line that can be used to fill tanks as well.  

Executive director Rick Loperfido said the system will fill ten of the large, medical, N size containers in 24 hours. It will fill the smaller portable containers in as little as ten minutes, and the larger portable containers in about an hour.

Those larger portable tanks – the ones the new system fills in an hour – would take up to 24 hours with their old tank system, Loperfido said.  

The entire refill system, including the trailer and generator, were covered by ARPA funds procured through the Carter County Fiscal Court. Loperfido extended his thanks to the court for their help in procuring the new system.  

In related news the board accepted the first $105,000 of a $610,000 equipment loan from Commercial Bank of Grayson.

Those funds are going to be used to purchase a number of items for use on trucks, including chest compression units, monitors, lift stretchers, and other items. But because of supply chain issues they can’t take delivery of all items at once.

Some items, Loperfido said, may take as long as six months to arrive. Because of that Commercial Bank President Mark Strother said, they were providing the loan in installments. By structuring the loan this way, the ambulance service won’t be paying interest on the full amount while waiting to make the payment and take delivery. It also allows them to lock in their interest rate at a time when rates are expected to continue rising.  

Commercial Bank is offering the loan at 4.25% interest, where the financing company for the manufacturer would have charged 9 % interest.  

In other action Loperfido reported on an increase in calls to Carter Nursing and a possibility of picking up another dialysis patient.  

Loperfido also reported on repairs to trucks, and issues with space.  

With receipt of the new oxygen trailer, he said, they didn’t have room in the bay for one of their trucks. He requested the board consider the purchase of a covered carport area behind the building for vehicles that can’t fit inside the bay.

That would allow them to keep snow and ice off the vehicles, he said, while keeping them heated with supplemental heaters, so they were ready for use.  

Moving the vehicles or the oxygen system to the Olive Hill branch isn’t feasible, he said, because of even more limited space there.  

Loperfido said he would price different cover options and return to the board with prices.  

The board also discussed the possible purchase of another truck to haul the oxygen system, should there be an instance where the service would need to fill bottles remotely in an emergency situation.

Judy Roark made a motion to begin looking for a truck, which the board voted to approve.  

In the financial report Valerie Nolan noted that payroll was down for the first time in recent history, coming in $10,708.31 under budget for the month of October.  

Nolan also said the county has a higher than average number of refusals, up to a 20 percent refusal rate, which they cannot bill for. She said she is going to attempt to track the reasons for those refusals in the form of patient surveys, to determine why.  

Contact the writer at editor@cartercountytimes.com 

Indictments: 9/23/22

The following indictments were returned by the Grand Jury of the Carter Circuit Court on September 23, 2022. An indictment is not a determination of guilt or innocence. It is simply a charge that an offense has been committed and indicates that a case is pending on the charges listed. All defendants have the presumption of innocence until found guilty in a court of law.   

Though it is a part of the public record, the Carter County Times does not make a habit of printing the names of minor children or the victims of alleged crimes, except under exceptional circumstances.  

  • Jared Binion, 40, of Olive Hill, on or about August 7, 2022, committed the offense of assault in the first degree, by intentionally assaulting his victim, stabbing him with a knife, causing him to suffer serious physical injury, a Class B Felony.  
  • Thomas Boggs, 50, of Grayson, on or about August 24, 2022, committed the offenses of possession of a controlled substance, first degree, first offense, when he possessed a Schedule I or Schedule II narcotic, a Class D Felony; and resisting arrest, by using physical force against peace officers who were effectuating an arrest, a Class A Misdemeanor. 
  • Zachary Boggs, 30, of Olive Hill, on or about April 30, 2022, committed the offenses of operating a motor vehicle under the influence, first offense, by operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway while intoxicated under the influence of alcohol or another substance, a Class B Misdemeanor; possession of a controlled substance, first degree, first offense, when he possessed a Schedule I or Schedule II narcotic, a Class D Felony; and possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class A Misdemeanor.  
  • Carl Burnett, 60, of Grayson, on or about January 1, 2022, through June 2022, committed the offense of sexual abuse, first degree, by having sexual contact and committed sexual acts of fondling with a female less than 12 years of age, a Class C Felony.  
  • Kevin Carroll, 35, of Grayson, on or about August 2, 2022, committed the offenses of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance, fourth offense, by operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway while under the influence of a controlled substance, while also having three prior convictions for DUI in the last ten years, a Class D Felony; and operating on a suspended operator’s license, by operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway while having a suspended license, a Class B Misdemeanor. 
  • Scott Garvin, 53, of Tollesboro, on or about September 4, 2022, committed the offenses of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of a substance, first offense, by operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway while under the influence of drugs, a Class B Misdemeanor; possession of a controlled substance, first degree, first offense, when he possessed heroin, a Schedule I narcotic, a Class D Felony; and possession of marijuana by knowingly and unlawfully possessing marijuana, a Class B Misdemeanor.  
  • Charles Henderson, 37, of Olive Hill, on or about August 6, 2022, committed the offenses of operating a motor vehicle under the influence, fourth offense, aggravating circumstance, by operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway while intoxicated, while also having three prior convictions for DUI in the last ten years and under an aggravating circumstance, a Class D Felony; possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class A Misdemeanor; and possession of a controlled substance, first degree, third offense or greater, when he possessed methamphetamine, a Schedule II narcotic, while also having two or more prior convictions for possession of a controlled substance, a Class D Felony. 
  • Cotey Henderson, 33, of Grayson, on or about September 3, 2022, committed the offense of receiving stolen property, valued at over $1,000.00 but under $10,000.00, by being in possession of an ATV belonging to another, and knowing it to be stolen, a Class D Felony. 
  • Jeremiah James, 19, of Olive Hill, on or about July 25-26, 2022, committed the offenses of rape, first degree, by having sexual intercourse with a minor female, age 17, by forcible compulsion, when she was incapable of giving consent and was physically helpless, a Class B Felony; sodomy, first degree, by having deviant sexual intercourse with a minor female, age 17, a Class A Felony; sexual abuse, first degree, by having sexual contact with a minor female, age 17, a Class C Felony; unlawful transaction with a minor, third degree, by knowingly giving an alcoholic beverage to a minor, a Class A Misdemeanor; and sexual crimes against animals, by engaging in sexual activity with a dog, a Class D Felony.  
  • Eric Justice, 41, of Grayson, on or about August 13, 2022, committed the offense of theft by unlawful taking of property of another, valued at over $1,000.00, with intent to permanently deprive them of their property, a Class D Felony. 
  • Austin Kilgore, 20, of Olive Hill, on or about April 26, 2022, committed the offenses of possession of a controlled substance, first degree, first offense, when he possessed a Schedule I or Schedule II narcotic, a Class D Felony; and possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class A Misdemeanor. 
  • Kelly W. Lewis, 52, of Olive Hill, on or about August 10, 2022, committed the offenses of trafficking in controlled substance, first degree, first offense, two or more grams of methamphetamine by knowingly and unlawfully trafficking in a Schedule II narcotic, a Class C Felony; possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class A Misdemeanor; and possession of marijuana by knowingly and unlawfully possessing marijuana, a Class B Misdemeanor.  
  • Derek Lowe, 29, of Olive Hill, on or about August 7, 2022, committed the offense of assault in the first degree, by intentionally assaulting his victim, striking him with an aluminum bat, causing him to suffer serious physical injury, a Class B Felony. 
  • Jonathan Meade, 22, of Olive Hill, on or about August 8, 2022, committed the offense of theft by unlawful taking over $1,000.00 by taking multiple property items from a sawmill valued at over $1,000.00, with the intent to permanently deprive them of their property, a Class D Felony. 
  • Travis Parsons, 43, of Olive Hill, on or about August 7, 2022, committed the offenses of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of a substance, first offense, by operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway while under the influence of drugs, a Class B Misdemeanor; possession of a controlled substance, first degree, first offense, when he possessed methamphetamine, a Schedule II narcotic, a Class D Felony; and operating on a suspended operator’s license, by operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway while having a suspended license, a Class B Misdemeanor. 
  • Ryan Porter, 26, of Grayson, on or about August 14, 2022, committed the offenses of wanton endangerment, first degree, by wantonly engaging in conduct which created a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to a child, age six, a Class D Felony; wanton endangerment, first degree, by wantonly engaging in conduct which created a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to a child, age nine, a Class D Felony; operating a motor vehicle under the influence of a substance, first offense, by operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway while under the influence of drugs, a Class B Misdemeanor; fleeing and evading police, first degree motor vehicle, when, with intent to elude, he disregarded an officer’s directions to stop, creating a substantial risk of serious physical injury or death to the officers, a Class D Felony; fleeing and evading police, first degree on foot, when, with intent to elude, he disregarded officer’s directions to stop, creating a substantial risk of serious physical injury or death to the officers, a Class D Felony; trafficking in a controlled substance, first degree, first offense, heroin by knowingly and unlawfully trafficking in a controlled substance, by distributing, dispensing, selling, transferring, or possessing with intent to distribute, dispense or sell heroin, a Class C Felony; and trafficking in controlled substance, first degree, first offense, two or more grams of methamphetamine by knowingly and unlawfully trafficking in a Schedule II narcotic, by distributing, dispensing, selling, transferring, or possession with intent to distribute, dispense or sell two or more grams of methamphetamine, a Class C Felony. 
  • Tina Waughtel, 36, of Olive Hill, on or about June 13, 2022, committed the offenses of possession of a controlled substance, first degree, first offense, when she possessed methamphetamine, a Schedule II narcotic, a Class D Felony; tampering with physical evidence by throwing/tossing physical evidence which she believed would be in an official proceeding, a Class D Felony; and fleeing and evading police, first degree on foot, when, with intent to elude, she disregarded an officer’s directions to stop, creating a substantial risk of serious physical injury or death to the officers, a Class D Felony.  

Weekly arrests report: 11/23/22

Handcuffs and wooden gavel. Crime and violence concept.

The following individuals were arrested and booked into the Carter County Detention Center over the past week. This list includes local arrests only. It does not include federal inmates being housed at or transported through the detention center.  

  • Michael Cook, 35, of Olive Hill, arrested by Carter County Detention Center, on charges of driving on a DUI suspended license (aggravating circumstances), operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol (aggravating circumstances), and failure to produce insurance card, arrested and booked November 13. 
  • Brendan Deluca, 32, of Grayson, arrested by Kentucky State Police, on charges of failure to maintain required insurance, third degree possession of a controlled substance (drug unspecified), theft by unlawful taking or disposition of property (automobile valued at more than $10,000 but less than $1,000,000), fourth degree assault (domestic violence with no visible injury), and non-payment of court costs, fees, or fines, arrested and booked November 14. 
  • Devan Burchette, 31, of Grayson, arrested by Grayson PD, for failure to appear, arrested and booked November 14. 
  • Gregory Davis, 45, of Rush, arrested by Boyd County Jail, for failure to appear, arrested November 13, booked November 14. 
  • Emily Manning, 29, of Sandy Hook, arrested by Grayson PD, on a charge of second degree assault (domestic violence), arrested and booked November 15. 
  • Caitlin Fraley, 33, of Grayson, arrested by Grayson PD, for public intoxication with a controlled substance (excludes alcohol), arrested and booked November 15. 
  • Ernest Wagers, 52, of Richmond, arrested by Carter County Sheriff, on a charge of contempt of court – libel/slander – resistance to order, arrested and booked November 15. 
  • Chase Burchett, 22, of Olive Hill, arrested by Carter County Sheriff, on a charge of fourth degree assault (domestic violence with minor injury), arrested and booked November 16. 
  • Chelsea Willis, 32, of Grayson, arrested by Grayson PD, for failure to appear, arrested and booked November 16. 
  • Patricia Sullivan, 49, of Grayson, arrested by Grayson PD, for non-payment of court costs, fees, or fines, arrested and booked November 16. 
  • Davina Middleton, 43, of Olive Hill, arrested by Olive Hill PD, on charges of failure to appear, first degree possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), and first degree promoting contraband, arrested and booked November 16. 
  • Crystal Gibbs, 46, of Grayson, arrested by Elliott County Sheriff, for non-payment of court costs, fees, or fines, arrested and booked November 17. 
  • Charles Preston, 42, of Olive Hill, arrested by Kentucky Department of Insurance, for failure to appear, arrested and booked November 17. 
  • David Stallard, 46, of Olive Hill, arrested by Carter County Circuit Court, on a charge of contempt of court – libel/slander – resistance to order, arrested and booked November 17. 
  • David Phillips, 35, of Olive Hill, arrested by Carter County Sheriff, on charges of failure to appear, and non-payment of court costs, fees, or fines, arrested and booked November 17. 
  • Ashlee Matthews, 31, of Olive Hill, arrested by Olive Hill PD, on charges of two counts of probation violation (felony offense), and non-payment of court costs, fees, or fines, arrested and booked November 17. 
  • Robert Dickerson, 51, of Olive Hill, arrested by Carter County Jail, on a charge of possession of handgun by a convicted felon, arrested March 29, booked November 17. 
  • Chase Burchett, 22, of Olive Hill, arrested by Carter County Sheriff, on a charge of first degree unlawful imprisonment, arrested and booked November 18. 
  • James Stevens, 45, of Grayson, arrested by Greenup County Sheriff, serving three warrants for other police agencies, arrested and booked November 18. 
  • Craig Hardesty, 51, homeless, arrested by unlisted agency, for non-payment of court costs, fees, or fines, arrested November 10, booked November 18. 
  • Otis Estep, 51, of Olive Hill, arrested by Carter County Jail, weekender, arrested and booked November 18. 
  • William Kitchen, 45, of Grayson, self-surrender, for drug court, arrested and booked November 18.  
  • Nathan Carver, 30, of Vanceburg, arrested by Fish and Wildlife Department, for failure to appear, arrested and booked November 18. 
  • Ricky Rose, 46, of Grayson, arrested by Olive Hill PD, on charges of alcohol intoxication in a public place, menacing, second degree assault on service animal, fourth degree assault (minor injury), and second degree disorderly conduct, arrested and booked November 19. 
  • Chad Dunn, 42, of Grayson, arrested by Grayson PD, on charges of alcohol intoxication in a public place, and two counts of non-payment of court costs, fees, or fines, arrested and booked November 19. 
  • Eric Hall, 44, of Olive Hill, arrested by Olive Hill PD, on charges of second degree fleeing or evading police (on foot), and non-payment of court costs, fees, or fines, arrested and booked November 19. 

All of the charges listed are arrest charges only, and do not indicate an indictment or a conviction for the charges in question. All subjects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.  

Information is compiled from publicly available sources, but may not be comprehensive. Individuals who are released or post bail shortly after arrest may not be listed. 

Legislative Update: 11/18/22

close up photo of a wooden gavel
Photo by Sora Shimazaki on Pexels.com

Submitted by: Senator Robin L. Webb
Senator, State of Kentucky

FRANKFORT ⎯ The commonwealth is one step closer to joining 37 other states who realized the benefits of medical marijuana. On Tuesday, Governor Andy Beshear announced an executive order to establish conditions for Kentuckians with at least one of 21 medical conditions to access medical cannabis beginning January 1, 2023. The requirements for possessing cannabis in Kentucky include:

  • The product must be bought in a state where it is legal and regulated, along with proof of purchase;
  • The amount a person can purchase and possess must not exceed 8 ounces, which is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony in Kentucky; and
  • A certification from a licensed healthcare provider that authorizes the individual’s diagnosis must be present.

You can view more information about the Governor’s executive order on medical marijuana online at www.governor.ky.gov.

Lawmakers have begun conversing with various cabinets and agencies to hear their priorities and needs as we gear up for the 2023 session. I recently participated in a roundtable with the Kentucky Educational Development Cooperation (KEDC) to hear from education officials and stakeholders around the state. A recurring issue echoed by our educators is the need to address the teacher shortage coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Numerous ideas brought forward ranged from loan forgiveness programs to paying for student teaching time. Another idea was investing more in teacher salaries to help offset all the tasks teachers are now responsible for in the classroom.

Regardless of how the Kentucky General Assembly proceeds, this is a timely matter we must handle.  It is also worth noting that the 18th district was represented well by Superintendent Larry Coldiron of Raceland and Superintendent Jamie Weddington of Lewis County. Hearing firsthand from those on the ground is how we, as legislators, get the wheels turning to find the best policy solutions moving forward. I was proud to have been a part of this necessary conversation, and want to thank KEDC for including me.

The Kentucky General Assembly wrapped up the last round of 2022 interim joint committee meetings this week. Now, the legislature prepares for the upcoming regular session, while back home, we are preparing for the holidays. As I return to the district, I count my blessings and remind myself of what it means to be thankful.

I think of the many oppressed who are living in daily fear of imprisonment or death. I join many of you in being grateful to have a warm home and food on the table, as many do not have even a roof over their head or nourishment for their body. Thankfully, in Kentucky, we help our neighbors in times of need. I am thankful for the generosity of the many charities, programs, and individuals that assist our elderly, disabled, and less fortunate.

I appreciate having a public school system in Kentucky that allows every child to receive an education, which is the foundation of their future. We are fortunate to have teachers who want to see every child succeed. I am thankful for the military, first responders, and those on the front lines that protect the health and safety of our citizens. Most of all, I am thankful for my loving and supportive family. I would not be who I am or where I am without them. 

I hope during the upcoming holiday season, you, too, will reflect on the many blessings and what being thankful means to you. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

We are now less than 50 days from the 2023 Regular Session. For more on the Kentucky General Assembly, visit legislature.ky.gov. On the website, you can see the weekly schedule, watch live and archived coverage of committee meetings, search legislator contact information, learn about the legislative process, view informational materials, and request to testify at committee meetings. 

To share feedback on an issue, you can email me at Robin.Webb@LRC.KY.GOV. You can also leave a message for me on the Legislative Message Line at (800) 372-7181. Citizens with hearing impairments can use the Kentucky Relay Service at 711.

-END-

New Traffic Patterns for US 60 Widening Project in Boyd County

traffic cones in row on road edge
Photo by Mike van Schoonderwalt on Pexels.com

FLEMINGSBURG, Ky. – Continued work to widen US 60 between Coalton and Cannonsburg will require new traffic patterns – including a KY 5 detour – this winter in Boyd County.

Beginning at noon on Monday, Nov. 21, contractors will make the following traffic changes along the US 60 corridor:

  • All US 60 traffic will shift to new pavement east of I-64 at Coalton, from the BP station to Princeland Estates. Eastbound traffic coming from the interstate will be diverted right into new travel lanes. Westbound traffic coming from Cannonsburg will be diverted left just past Princeland.
  • All KY 5 traffic will be detoured slightly west using Princess Drive and a temporary US 60 intersection while the existing intersection is closed for reconstruction. Motorists should use caution as the temporary KY 5-US 60 intersection will be smaller with narrower lanes.
  • Princess Drive will be reconnected to US 60 with a new bridge, and will follow the same traffic pattern as the KY 5 detour. (The Princess Drive intersection had been closed since spring.)

In case of inclement weather or construction issues, the traffic changes could be delayed.

All traffic changes will remain in place through this winter and into spring as construction continues along US 60 from I-64 at Coalton to the KY 180 intersection at Cannonsburg.

Motorists should also watch for intermittent flagged traffic, narrow travel lanes, and speed limit changes, as well as lane shifts and width restrictions. Large commercial vehicles or those over 11 feet wide should detour using KY 180 and I-64 at Cannonsburg (Exit 185). Please use caution and watch for construction vehicles and equipment entering and exiting the highway.

IMPROVEMENT PROJECT

The work is part of the Transportation Cabinet’s $45.7 million upgrade of US 60 that will transform four miles of the old, narrow road between Cannonsburg and Coalton into a straighter, three-lane-style highway.

Improvements include two wider thru-traffic lanes, center and right-turn lanes, and paved shoulders as well as better KY 5 and KY 180 intersections, and replacement of three aging bridges.

Once complete, the project will improve safety, relieve traffic congestion, and enhance regional connectivity along the heavily traveled route, which feeds 12,000 vehicles a day into downtown Ashland as well as to and from shopping centers, the local landfill, and the Paul Coffey Industrial Park.

Scorecards rate rural electric cooperatives in Kentucky

transmission tower under gray sky
Photo by Pok Rie on Pexels.com

November 16, 2022— Today, Mountain Association and Kentuckians For The Commonwealth released scorecards assessing Kentucky’s 24 rural electric cooperatives on their governance practices and types of programs offered to co-op member-owners. In Kentucky, these co-op utilities provide power to 1.5 million people in 117 counties. 

The scorecards are intended to support Kentuckians to engage with their local utility and speed the transition to affordable and clean energy. By rating the performance of cooperatives in relevant areas, this tool can provide member-owners and co-op management a roadmap for reform. 

As a whole, Kentucky’s co-ops averaged just 34.1 out of 100 possible points, with 20.6 out of a possible 50 for services and 13.5 out of 50 points. Jackson Energy ranked highest overall with a score of 48, while Meade County Electric earned just 16 points out of 100. 

Locally, Grayson Rural Electric earned an overall score of 36 out of 100 possible points, including 15 out of 50 for governance and 21 out of 50 for member services. Grayson RECC received high marks for allowing medical exemptions for disconnections. Key areas for improvement include fixed fees, energy efficiency program availability and election procedures. 

Established by the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, co-ops have brought electricity to rural communities that private corporations did not find profitable to serve. The unique, member-owned structure of co-ops as nonprofit utilities means that they are intended to be governed by their members and aligned with principles outlined by the National Rural Electric Cooperative. 

“Until learning about this project, I did not know that as member-owners our community actually has a say in how our electric co-op operates. This project has empowered us to do more about our electric usage than just turning off the lights,” stated Kathy Curtis, Prioress of a Benedictine monastic community in Floyd County served by Big Sandy Rural Electric. “People in my area are suffering from high electric bills and catastrophic flooding. We urgently need our co-ops to partner with communities to deliver widespread, affordable, and clean energy solutions.”       

The scorecards evaluate each of Kentucky’s 24 cooperatives in two broad categories: member services and governance. Each co-op can earn up to 50 points for offering programs like inclusive financing for home weatherization, community solar options, fair compensation for energy generated by rooftop solar, broadband internet, the ability to opt-out of right-of-way spraying, and the ability to protect medically vulnerable households from disconnections due to non-payment. In the governance category, co-ops can earn up to 50 points for making board meetings and documents open and accessible, providing clear and accessible ways to communicate with the board, posting bylaws and IRS 990 forms on their website, and having accessible and democratic board election procedures.     

“With skyrocketing electric bills and the climate crisis at our doors, these scorecards give Kentuckians the tools they need to engage their co-ops to make the changes they deserve,” said Chris Woolery, an energy specialist at the Mountain Association. “In the past few months, the federal government has allocated unprecedented funding to help co-ops pay for the changes that will move us to a clean energy future. Now is the time for us to help our co-ops take advantage of this moment to make our homes and communities healthier and more resilient, create good local jobs, and lower our bills.” 

The Southeast Regional Electric Cooperative Scorecard is hosted on the website EnergyDemocracyYall.org, where visitors can find all the specifics about their co-ops’ score. 

CONTACT & MEDIA INQUIRIES
Ariel Fugate
Communications Manager
(859) 302-3868; ariel@mtassociation.org


About the Mountain Association: 

The Mountain Association invests in people and places in Eastern Kentucky to advance a just transition to a new economy that is more diverse, sustainable, equitable and resilient. The Lending team offers loans to existing and startup businesses and organizations. We are a Community Development Financial Institution and a non-profit, so we can offer greater flexibility and lend to those who may not otherwise qualify. Our Business Support program connects business owners and nonprofit leaders to consultants who can help them succeed. Our Energy experts help businesses, nonprofits, public agencies and homeowners find much-needed energy savings through utility bill analysis, on-site energy efficiency and solar assessments, financing and grant application support. The Mountain Association also engages in research, communications and advocacy for policy and narrative change, and works with partners on a variety of projects to demonstrate what’s possible in Eastern Kentucky. For more information, visit www.mtassociation.org

About this project: The scorecard release is part of a joint effort between Appalachian Voices, Shareable, Partnership for Southern Equity, Energy Alabama, One Voice, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth and Mountain Association via the Advancing Equity and Opportunity Collaborative. Scorecards were released on November 16, 2022 for rural electric co-ops in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. 

Meet the Mako on Dec. 5

King's Daughters orthopedic surgeons Brock Johnson, M.D., Felix Cheung, M.D., and Gerry Trinidad, M.D., with the Mako System

ASHLAND, Ky. — King’s Daughters is pleased to now offer total knee replacements using Stryker’s robotic-arm assisted Mako System at its main campus in Ashland. This latest advancement in joint replacement surgery transforms the way total knee replacements are performed.

Community members are invited to learn about the robotic-arm assisted surgery system at a Meet the Mako event, hosted by King’s Daughters Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5. The event will be in the King’s Daughters Outpatient Surgery Center lobby, 617 23rd St. (Building C), Medical Plaza Circle, Ashland.

Orthopedic surgeons Felix Cheung, M.D., Brock Johnson, M.D., and Gerry Trinidad, M.D., will give an informational talk about the Mako and answer questions. Participants will also get a first-hand look at the surgery system. Light refreshments will be served.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to learn all about this surgical system that really transforms the way total and partial knee replacement procedures are performed,” said Megan Tilley, King’s Daughters Orthopedics and Sports Medicine practice manager. “Mako is a game changer for these procedures and we are excited to share more about it with the community.”

Through CT-based 3D modeling, Drs. Johnson, Cheung, and Trinidad use the Mako Total Knee application to create a personalized surgical plan and identify the implant size, orientation and alignment based on each patient’s specific diagnosis and unique anatomy. During surgery, the surgeon can validate that plan and make any necessary adjustments while controlling the robotic arm.

“This is a patient-specific procedure. Everybody’s different. By using the Mako, we’re able to make the knee fit the patient as opposed to the patient fitting the knee,” said Ryan Ison, vice president, King’s Daughters Integrated Practices. “We’ve seen great success with the Mako System at King’s Daughters Ohio in Portsmouth and are excited to extend this highly advanced robotic technology to Ashland. This addition to our orthopedic service line further demonstrates our commitment to provide the community with outstanding healthcare.”

To RSVP for the Meet the Mako event, please call (606) 408-9751. For more information on the Mako, visit KingsDaughtersHealth.com/Mako


Brock Johnson, M.D., and Felix Cheung, M.D., see patients at King’s Daughters Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, 613 23rd St., Medical Plaza B, Suite G30, Ashland. Dr. Johnson also sees patients in Russell and Portsmouth, Ohio. Gerry Trinidad, M.D., sees patients in Jackson and Portsmouth, Ohio.

Extension Notes: Make Winter Green-Thumb Friendly with an Indoor Garden

green leaved plants
Photo by Huy Phan on Pexels.com
By: Rebecca Konopka
Carter County Extension Agent

Gardening is often thought of as a spring and summer pastime, but you don’t have to give up your gardening hobby just because winter is approaching. Continue working your green thumb this winter with an indoor container garden.   

Container gardening refers to planting in containers rather than a traditionally tilled plot of land. Container gardening is a great way to bring your plants in from the cold and utilize small spaces such as windowsills and tabletops.   

While the variety of crops you can plant in container gardens isn’t as vast as traditional gardens, there are still a variety of planting options. Here are some easy plants to grow indoors this winter:  

  • Scallions: For scallions, also known as green onions, you can cut off the tip with the roots and place it in a glass with about an inch of water. When the roots are 2-3 inches long, plant them in potting soil in a shallow container. You can either harvest the green tops and let the plant continue to grow or use the entire green onion.  
  • Garlic greens: Plant a garlic clove in a few inches of potting soil mix for garlic greens.  You won’t be able to grow bulbs, but the green portion tastes garlicky and serves as a good substitute, either raw or sauteed.  
  • Microgreens: Microgreens refer to small edible greens grown from the seeds of vegetables and herbs such as broccoli and beets. Make sure the seeds you use are labeled for use as microgreens so there is no coating that may contaminate the plant. Sow the seeds thickly in new, clean potting soil in shallow containers like disposable aluminum pans with one to two inches of potting soil. Microgreens typically mature after 12-14 days or closer to 21 days for larger seeds and reach an average height of 4-5 inches tall. These can be used in salads, wraps or garnishes once fully grown.   
  • Carrots: Small carrots are easy to grow in potting soil. Sprinkle the seeds on top of the soil in a pot or long window box, lightly cover with damp peat moss and water well. And don’t throw away those carrot tops. They’re edible and nutritious and can be used in soups and sauces and even smoothies.  
  • Herbs: Basil, chives and parsley are extremely easy to grow indoors. Parsley demands more humidity, so misting the plants will help them flourish. Use organic fertilizer to help your herbs reach their full potential.  

One of the biggest challenges with indoor gardening is the lighting limitations. While you should utilize as much natural light from windows as possible, some plants may need additional light from grow lights. Grow lights come in all price ranges and styles, from full-spectrum fluorescent lights to LED plant lights that are a bit more expensive but use less electricity than fluorescent lights. Incandescent bulbs do not emit the right spectrum of light for plant growth.  

Another issue you may come across is ensuring your containers have proper drainage. You should use potting soil, which has better drainage, rather than garden soil. Be sure your containers have a hole for drainage and are placed atop a detachable saucer or in a tray to catch extra water. After the water has drained into this catching device, empty excess water to lower the risk of root rot.   

Even though you are using clean, presumably ”sterile” potting soil, you should wash any plant parts thoroughly before consuming, especially if you are using them raw.  

For more information about indoor gardening, contact the Carter County office of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.  


Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expressions, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.   

Upcoming Events: 

  • Farm Estate Planning (Topic: Life Insurance & Funeral Expenses)– December 1st @ 6:00 PM via Zoom – Call 474-6686 to register.   
  • Ag Development Board Meeting – December 5th @ 6:00 PM  
  • Little Sandy Beekeepers (Speaker: Dr. Tom Webster, Topic: Digestive System of the Honey Bee) – December 6th @ 6:00 PM  
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