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Wednesday, January 26, 2022
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Truck crash closes Industrial Parkway

FLEMINGSBURG (12:30 PM Jan. 3, 2022) – A truck crash on the Industrial Parkway (KY 67) near the Carter-Greenup county line has blocked access to eastbound I-64 today.

The crash occurred on the Industrial Parkway’s on ramp to eastbound I-64 shortly before noon. It’s likely that the on ramp to east I-64 will remain blocked throughout the afternoon, and possibly into the evening hours.

All motorists traveling from the parkway (KY 67) to east I-64 toward Ashland and Huntington should seek alternate routes, or detour using westbound I-64 to Grayson Exit 172 to turn around.

Real-time traffic information in Kentucky is available online at http://GoKY.ky.gov, or via the Google Waze app.

Hall hits career milestone as Lady Eagles knock off West Virginia Tech

PIPPA PASSES – Grayson native and Lady Eagles senior guard Haley Hall earned her 2,000th career point last week when she and junior guard Hannah Kash used their marksmanship to help defeat the West Virginia Tech Lady Golden Bears, 86-78, scoring a combined 52 points for the homestanding Alice Lloyd College team. The River States Conference matchup took place Thursday, January 20.

In the opening period, ALC played solid ball that saw Hall come out and knock down eight points to propel her squad to a 25-12 advantage after ten minutes of action. In the second quarter, despite Hall adding nine more points to her tally, Tech would heat up to the tune of 27 points. Still, the score read 47-39 ALC at intermission. As the third period began, the two clubs would match buckets. Kash would pump in half of her team’s 18 points and the Lady Eagles would maintain a 65-56 cushion heading into the final stanza.

In the last ten minutes, any hopes the Golden Bears had of a big comeback were thwarted. Forced to foul, they witnessed perfect 12-12 free throw shooting from the home team as Coach John Mills saw his club hold on for the important victory.

For Alice Lloyd (12-5; 5-3 RSC), Kash drained 9-10 free throws and 4-10 bombs to lead all scorers with 27 points, with 22 coming in the decisive second half. She added three rebounds, two steals, and four assists to the tally as well. Hall performed brilliantly also as she drained 5-8 trifectas and 8-11 free throws to finish with 25 points. She also led everyone with five assists and added five rebounds. Freshman forward Madison Thompson contributed 11 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks while senior center Alexandria Clifton chipped in with ten points and eight boards.

The Caney Club finished shooting 41.7% (25-60) from the field and 35.7% (10-28) from long range. They connected on 81.3% (26-32) from the charity line, while adding 43 rebounds, 19 assists, and two steals.

WVT (8-13; 6-4 RSC) was paced by Brianna Ball with 22 points. Her squad finished shooting 36.8% (27-71) from the field and 23.8% (5-21) from behind the arc. They sank 73.1% (19-26) from the foul line., and added 42 rebounds, 12 assists, and six steals

Kentucky State Police charge Carter County resident with strangulation

Jimmy Sturgill (submitted photo)

GRAYSON – On January 23, 2022 the Kentucky State Police received a call of a physical domestic that occurred on KY 1910. Trooper Moore and Trooper Daniels responded to the scene and spoke with the victim Stephanie Moore. Ms. Moore stated that during an argument, Jimmy Sturgill began to choke her to the point of passing out and was unable to call for help. Troopers learned that Mr. Sturgill had left the residence and of a possible location to where he may have gone. Upon arriving at the second location, Mr. Sturgill ran from the residence. During the search, Fish and Wildlife located Mr. Sturgill running across a field and was able to place him under arrest without incident. Mr. Sturgill was lodged in the Carter County Detention Center and charged with the following: STRANGULATION 1ST DEGREE, CRIMINAL MISCHIEF 3RD DEGREE, FLEEING OR EVADING POLICE, 2ND DEGREE (ON FOOT), FLAGRANT NON SUPPORT and FAILURE TO APPEAR. The case remains under investigation by Trooper Moore.

Supply chain woes now can be easily explained to unhappy shoppers

person walking on empty aisle on grocery store
Photo by WeStarMoney on Pexels.com

By: Keith Kappes
Columnist
Carter County Times

Long before the pandemic drove so many of us to online shopping, U. S. merchants had developed a list of plausible reasons (or excuses in some cases) why the goods we wanted to buy were not available. 

Sometimes, we were told that the particular item had been back-ordered and would be available within a few days. Or that it was a “loss leader” to draw us into the store but only a limited number were available and they already were sold out. 

Even more creative was the storekeeper who said the factory workers were on strike and all production had stopped on the item we desired. Folks who sold clothing were likely to tell you they were out of your size. 

My goal today is not to criticize those who sold or continue to sell their goods in those disappearing brick-and-mortar stores in shopping centers or the neighborhood convenience store. 

I suspect that dealing with manufacturers, distributors and shippers has been a challenge since the first merchant sold the first store-bought goods to the first shopper. 

But I learned recently that there is a trendy explanation for late delivery or no delivery of merchandise, especially if it comes from overseas. This new alibi grew out of the worldwide supply chain problems that we hear about almost daily.

National TV news shows us those hundreds of container ships anchored at seaports, waiting to be unloaded or the shortage of trucks and truck drivers to deliver the cargo to customers.

A furniture store manager confided in me that the six-week delay in getting my new recliner was due to a factory backlog in Arkansas. However, the furniture did arrive within that timeframe.

My informant said he would not insult my intelligence like some of his competitors were doing in trying to explain frustrating shipping delays to their customers.

He gleefully told me that those other furniture folks were blaming their delays, even for American-made goods, on the international supply chain issues.

He claimed that he would never tell anyone that their merchandise was “still on the boat”. That phrase resonated with me and I found it useful when my wife inquired about a small, American-made kitchen appliance she had asked me to order.

You guessed it! Without missing a moment of the game on TV, I told her it was “still on the boat”. 

Keith Kappes can be reached at keithkappes@gmail.com

Guest Editorial: The fourth estate free press check on government

gray concrete building
Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com
By: The Dominion Post Editorial Board

The news media is often called the Fourth Estate. It is not an official part of government, but it is an important element of our country’s system of checks and balances. The Founding Fathers knew this well enough to provide protection for a free press in the First Amendment.

Which makes it all the more galling that a state government would seek to prosecute a journalist for alerting it to a mistake a government agency had made.

In October 2021, Josh Renaud at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch found that a Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website was “misconfigured,” as an FBI agent later said, so that the Social Security numbers of 100,000 educators were visible in the site’s HTML, or source coding. The reporter called three of the educators and confirmed that the nine-digit numbers were indeed Social Security numbers.

HTML is a coding language used to build and design websites. Virtually all web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge) have an option to allow the browser’s user to see the source code for a website. It took us only three clicks in Firefox to see the source coding for the Monongalia County Schools staff directory. (Don’t worry. We didn’t see anything that looked like sensitive personal information in the code.)

Most reports of the incident refer to Renaud as a reporter. While he does write for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, he is also a developer and news designer for the Missouri paper. We don’t know Renaud personally, but given his specialty, we imagine it’s as natural for him to take a look at a site’s coding as it is for a car enthusiast to examine a vintage car.

After Renaud found the security flaw, he reported it to the state and even held his story until after the problem had been fixed. Instead of thanking him for pointing out the defect — as emails from the DESE suggested the agency was prepared to do — Missouri’s Gov. Mike Parson attacked Renaud as a “hacker” and instructed Missouri State Highway Patrol (interesting choice for a possible cyber security threat) to investigate Renaud and the Post-Dispatch for criminal activity. As mentioned earlier, an FBI analysis of the situation determined it “is not an actual network intrusion.”

If Renaud and the Post-Dispatch had not found the HTML vulnerability and alerted the DESE, would the problem ever have been fixed? If they hadn’t published the story, would Parson’s administration ever have told educators that their personal information had been exposed?

As late as December, Parsons was doubling down on his accusations of hacking, and this month, he asked Missouri legislators to introduce policy that would charge exorbitant fees for accessing government documents through the Freedom of Information Act.

Though this fight over journalistic freedom and integrity is taking place halfway across the country, what happens in Missouri could set precedent for other battles between government and media throughout the U.S.

Where government can successfully accuse and prosecute the media for uncovering and revealing government malfeasance or ineptitude, the government creates an environment where it can get away with regularly duping and defrauding its constituents.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Though this issue is occurring in Missouri, as our colleagues at the Dominion Post note, we’d be naive to believe it couldn’t happen here in Kentucky as well. In fact, our friends and neighbors at the Greenup Gazette, in Greenup County, were recognized in Louisville last week for their efforts to shine light on activities that local officials would rather remain in the dark. 

Cathie Shaffer, editor of the Gazette, was awarded the Associated Press Jon Fleischaker Freedom of Information Award during the Kentucky Press Association’s annual meeting for her work to inform the public of steps taken by the mayor of Raceland to evict their senior citizens group from the space they were using. The mayor used a technicality – the group had changed one word in their name decades ago – to void their contract. 

Though they had been operating in the new space with their new name for well over a decade, the mayor stuck to the letter, not the spirit, of the contract to justify his eviction and use the space for personal gain. 

Shaffer’s work to uncover and report on this exemplifies the reasons sunshine laws and a free press exist. 

It happened there. It could happen here. And you deserve to know if it does. The free press protects that right

Pet of the Week: Meet Bear

Bear is a one-and-a-half-year-old male mixed-breed. He’s a very happy, friendly boy and he is all go! If you’re looking for a new fur baby that can keep up with an active life, then he’s your man! Bear has a free adoption with a donation of dog food, which includes rabies vaccination and being neutered. Stop by the Carter County Animal Shelter and meet him or call 475-9771 for more information. 

Shelter hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Saturday by appointment.

Fresh Start receives federal government certification for its Grayson health clinic

Fresh Start Health held a ribbon cutting at their new facility in Grayson last week. The facility offers a variety of healthcare services with a full staff of healthcare professionals to meet your medical needs by appointment. The facility will host a Workforce Wednesday event today and next Wednesday, October 27, from 10 a.m. to Noon each day. The event will include information on career exploration, preparing for employment, connecting with employers, and locating educational and financial assistance. This is a free service for any Fresh Start Health clients. For more information, contact Fresh Start at (606)225-8200. This event is presented in conjunction with Lori Baier of the Fletcher Group. (Photo by Jeremy D. Wells, Carter County Times)

Frankfort – Fresh Start Health Clinic in the Carter County community of Grayson is now a designated Rural Health Clinic (RHC). This new certification is from the federal government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). As an RHC Fresh Start Health Clinic can increase its array of services to patients and expand its operating hours thus increasing healthcare access and improving health outcomes for its patients. The Grayson clinic has been open for about six months. 

“Our mission is to close the gaps in the healthcare system by ensuring that we can support the changing needs of our community,” said Kristina Holtzapfel, Operations Director at Fresh Start. “Our Grayson location offers primary care, along with a full range of addiction recovery services and resources, including counseling and psychiatric services. Having all of this under one roof, with a team of compassionate, caring, and trusted providers, sets up the patients, and our clinic, for success.” 

Fresh Start has been successfully treating patients from its Ashland location, about thirty minutes away from Grayson, for more than three years. The new Grayson RHC gives Fresh Start the opportunity to expand its services to new patients and families. 

“They are always there for you, and they support you 100%. They don’t make you feel uncomfortable. They want to see you succeed,” added Phillip Bell, who is in the Fresh Start recovery program. “When I started the program, I was in a bad spot in my life. Once I trusted the services, they’ve helped me rebound from where I was. Now I’m raising my daughter, there for my stepson, and my family and I’m going to college. They just put me in a much better place.”

Around 400 residents receive care at Fresh Start including immediate outpatient and Telehealth access to MAT, family medicine, opioid addiction treatment, counseling, Hepatitis and HIV treatment, peer support and case management services. All patients and clients receive quality treatment regardless of the reason for their visit. 

“Our goal is to reach the patient at their time of need and provide them with services that will improve their quality of life,” continued Freda Elaine Fields, APRN, CARNAP, Director of Addition Services at Fresh Start. “We are providing services based on what the patient needs. The patients have come to trust us and allow us to guide them in services that will promote health and improve their outcomes.” 

Fresh Start is affiliated with, and works with, the following organizations:

  • Kentucky Primary Care Association (KPCA)
  • University of Kentucky
  • The Fletcher Group (Governor Ernie Fletcher’s non-profit organization)
  • Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services
  • Kentucky Opioid Response Effort (KORE)
  • Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL)
  • Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation 

“Our members make up a quality network of essential health clinics that provide excellent holistic care to patients in their community,” concluded David Bolt, Chief Executive Officer of the Kentucky Primary Care Association (KPCA). “High quality, local clinics, like the new RHC in Grayson, help break down barriers to care, increase access, and improve health outcomes.” 

The KPCA produced a video profile story on the Grayson Fresh Start RHC. You can view it online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rokvkeWn9qk&t=107s

Fresh Start Health accepts Kentucky insurance plans including Commercial, Medicare, Medicaid and Medicaid HMO plans. Ohio Medicaid, Caresource and Molina plans are also accepted. Additional program fees are not charged. More information can also be found online at: freshstarthealth.com

Legislative Update: 1/26/22

By: Robin L. Webb
for Carter County Times

FRANKFORT- Lawmakers returned to Frankfort on Tuesday following a prolonged holiday weekend to honor the decorated life of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Even though it was a short legislative week, members in Frankfort continued meeting with various agencies and stakeholders to discuss significant legislation as it makes its way through the process. 

In the first week of the 2022 Regular Session, the House and Senate passed several bills dealing with redistricting. Following the 10-day veto deadline period, Governor Andy Beshear chose to veto House Bill (HB) 2, the Kentucky House of Representatives map, and Senate Bill (SB) 3, the congressional map. Both were returned to the General Assembly and ultimately overridden by a majority in the legislature. The measures will likely go into effect pending any legal challenges.  The Senate map has not yet received action from the Governor. 

A bill designed to increase literacy for thousands of Kentucky’s children received approval from the Kentucky Senate on Wednesday. The Kentucky Read to Achieve Program was enacted in 2005 to support schools in implementing a reading diagnostic and intervention program for struggling readers. Senate Bill (SB) 9, known as the Read to Succeed Act, would amend the existing Read to Achieve Act by creating a comprehensive system of supports, interventions, and evidence-based learning to enhance early literacy outcomes in public schools. It includes specifications and requirements for the Kentucky Department of Education and local school districts. 

One provision in the bill would establish the Read to Succeed Fund. The appropriations to the fund could be used to train educators on strategies to improve K-3 reading skills and provide statewide professional learning academies in reading. The funds could also be put toward creating a literacy training program. SB 9 also clarifies the intent for all elementary schools. Evidence-based reading instruction would be provided by designated “qualified individuals” to emphasize phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. 

It also calls for more collaboration with the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood, Kentucky Educational Television, and the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives. The Kentucky Department of Education estimates that implementing the requirements would cost between $15 million to $20 million in the fiscal year 2024, but education officials anticipate federal pandemic relief funds could help cover the cost. 

The Read to Achieve Program has been in existence since 2005, and gets high marks in our district. It exists in high-performing schools as well as those that are not performing as well. I am all for efforts to boost reading comprehension; however, I fear that the Read to Succeed Act may compromise the existing successful programs. Hopefully, we can get more information, and the House will consider stronger language to preserve those programs. SB 9 now heads to the House for further consideration. 

Other bills passed in the Senate this week:

SB 11 aligns Kentucky’s Assisted Living social model with that in many other states. It calls for classifying Assisted Living as licensed long-term care and allows existing Personal Care Homes to convert to licensed Assisted Living. The bill passed in the Senate by a vote of 30-2. I voted yes.

SB 43 intends to streamline the duties of the Child Welfare Oversight and Advisory Committee through the Legislative Research Commission. The measure passed unanimously.

SB 55 seeks to clarify the name of a primary stroke center to a certified stroke center. The bill also adds thrombectomy-capable stroke centers to the required list of certified acute stroke ready hospitals. It passed in the Senate with unanimous consent. 

SB 56 defines an opioid antagonist as any U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medication designed to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Kentucky has been severely impacted by the opioid epidemic, which has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. I applaud and proudly support any effort put forward to negate the effect of opioids in our communities. It passed by a vote of 35-0. 

SB 100 creates an “essential compassionate caregiver” designation to visit a resident in-person at long-term care facilities, assisted living communities, and state mental hospitals. The purpose is to enhance a patient’s physical, mental, or social well-being. SB 100 passed 35-0. 

Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 20 creates the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CFHS) Organizational Structure, Operations, and Administrative Task Force to oversee procedures within CHFS. The adopted resolution passed with unanimous consent.

Some heartbreaking news in the district as we lost a street department city employee due to a fire in Grayson this week. Everyone should be proud of our city and work as hard to make it better as Timmy Herron did. He loved his family and worked hard on everything he took on. From his day job to side jobs, Timmy was dependable and honest. He did some work for our family, and I will miss his messages and him. Please hold his family in your heart and prayers. The other folks that lost everything will need them too. Also, a big thank you to our first responders at the scene, we had great neighboring departments that came to assist Grayson.

Grayson Fire Department had three firemen that required medical attention and I am happy to report that all have recovered and they are our hometown heroes!

I want to give a huge thanks to our state and local road crews, who exceeded expectations in the weather events of the past few weeks! We appreciate all your work.

We are now three weeks into the 2022 Regular Session. I expect budget deliberations to soon become a significant issue in the coming weeks. Please stay engaged! I will do my best to keep you updated and informed about what is happening in Frankfort throughout the session.

If I can ever be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me. To share feedback on an issue, you can email me at Robin.Webb@lrc.ky.gov or call the General Assembly Message Line at 1-800-372-7181. Kentuckians with hearing loss can use Kentucky Relay by dialing 711. 

Gallery celebrates first show of 2022

Tom Whitaker Untitled2 Watercolor

The Grayson Gallery & Art Center, Inc. will kick off the new year with an outstanding solo exhibit featuring works by the late Tom Whitaker, one of the most prolific and well-known artists hailing from Kentucky. An opening reception, free to the public with donations accepted at the door, will take place from 6 – 9 p.m. on F!nal Fr!day, January 28. Art will be on display until the middle of February. 

Whitaker was extremely proud of his roots in Eastern Kentucky. Per his website: “Being a native of the head of a holler in Magoffin County, Kentucky was an asset for me”. Growing up among the sights and sounds of rural Appalachia, Whitaker has said that he was greatly influenced by those childhood experiences. His remaining body of work, now owned by his family, was first shown at the Salyersville Renaissance, located in Salyersville, KY. After his death in 2020, the life celebration and showcase of Whitaker’s art & music was organized by arts activist Jessica Salyer and the Whitaker family. An artist herself, Salyer, along with her husband Greg Salyer and fellow artist Erin Conley, began the process of accumulating, organizing and cataloging Whitaker’s life work for a successful exhibit in his honor. 

There will be dozens of original pieces on display at the GGAC, primarily in watercolor and mixed media, with a wide range of subject matter. From his well-known landscapes and still lifes to portraiture (including self portraits) there will also be a little of the unique-to-Tom’s own character; works that really make you think. To see more of his work available for purchase, be sure to check out the website, as it remains active: http://www.tomjwhitaker.net/index.html. In addition to his unique talent in visual arts, Whitaker was also an accomplished musician and performed many times with his band, “Creeker.” Their CDs are still available (while they last) via the website noted above. 

Due to this being a one-man show, only the monthly “People’s Choice” award will be given in January. Visitors will be asked to cast one vote for their favorite piece and a $50 cash award will be given to the Whitaker family during the announcements, planned for approximately 7:30 p.m. Artists, art teachers, collectors, curators and arts organizers are encouraged to attend the showing. Many will remember Tom Whitaker as not only an artist and a quite unforgettable person, but also as an exceptional and experienced art teacher, often selected as a Judge and/or Juror for a multitude of art competitions across the region for years. 

During delivery of the work to the Gayson Gallery (brought there by the late artist’s son Mike Whitaker) GGAC Board member Tim Preston, who was a former student of Whitaker’s at Paintsville High School, was able to share some personal anecdotes about whom he called his “favorite teacher of all time.” Director Dan Click, along with arts organizer Jessica Salyer and input from the Whitaker family, hopes to make the Grayson Gallery the first stop among many other venues under consideration for a “traveling exhibit’ across the Commonwealth. 

Another special treat for the opening will be entertainment by the latest iteration of musicians David and Teresa Prince as “Laid Back & Honey” as well as Luna of Luna & the Mountain Jets. Quite serendipitous, Laid Back’s “Magoffin County Cadillac” tune is a favorite of the families as well as all involved in this presentation. Refreshments will be provided by Sheila Sobra. Weather is expected to continue to be very cold so those who plan to attend should dress warmly on Friday evening. 

Contact Dan Click, GGAC director via email: graysongallery@gmail.com or by Facebook for questions and more information

Weekly arrests report: 1/26/22

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.

  • James Brown, 36, of Grayson, arrested by Carter County Sheriff, on two counts of failure to appear, two counts of failure to appear on citations for misdemeanors, and non-payment of court costs, fees, or fines, arrested and booked January 17.
  • Leonard Danner, 49, of Grayson, arrested by Kentucky State Police, for failure to appear, arrested and booked January 18.
  • Bruce Sexton, 48, of Carter City, arrested by Kentucky State Police, on charges of violating a Kentucky emergency protective order/domestic violence order, and third degree terroristic threatening, arrested and booked January 19.
  • Ronald Carroll, 36, of Grayson, arrested by Kentucky State Police, on a charge of failure to appear on a citation for a misdemeanor, arrested and booked January 19.
  • Ryan Myers, 28, of Olive Hill, arrested by Grayson PD, on a charge of fourth degree assault (domestic violence) with minor injury, arrested and booked January 20.
  • Johnny Hall, 50, of Greenup, arrested by Kentucky State Police, on charges of failure to appear, and non-payment of court costs, fees, or fines, arrested and booked January 21.
  • Shawn Brown, 32, of Olive Hill, arrested by Kentucky State Police, charges unavailable, arrested and booked January 22.
  • Sandra Smith, 35, of Vanceburg, arrested by Kentucky State Police, on a charge of failure to appear on a citation for a misdemeanor, arrested January 22, booked January 23.
  • Michael Smith, 37, of Olive Hill, arrested by Kentucky State Police, on charges of contempt of court, libel/slander, and/or resistance to order, and failure to appear, arrested January 22, booked January 23.
  • Daniel Conn, 50, of Morehead, arrested by Kentucky State Police, on charges of failure to appear, no registration receipt, failure to maintain required insurance, failure to wear seat belts, careless driving, vehicle a nuisance/noisy, rear license not illuminated, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, trafficking in a controlled substance (heroin), first degree trafficking in a controlled substance (two grams or less of methamphetamine), and first degree possession of a controlled substance (drug unspecified), arrested and booked January 23.
  • Jonathan Phillips, 32, of Olive Hill, arrested by Kentucky State Police, on two counts of failure to appear, arrested and booked January 23.
  • Jimmy Sturgill, 37, of Grayson, arrested by Kentucky State Police, on charges of flagrant non-support, failure to appear, first degree strangulation, third degree criminal mischief, and second degree fleeing or evading police (on foot), arrested and booked January 23.
  • Kenneth White, 32, of Grayson, arrested by Grayson PD, for failure to appear, arrested and booked January 23.
  • Robert Carroll, 32, of Olive Hill, arrested by Kentucky State Police, on charges of first degree possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of marijuana, arrested and booked January 24.
  • Tiffany Cyrus, 41, of Catlettsburg, arrested by Kentucky State Police, on charges of no registration receipt, no registration plates, failure to register transfer of motor vehicle, improper display of registration plates, failure to notify department of transportation of address change, rear license not illuminated, failure to wear seat belts, operating a vehicle with an expired operator’s license, failure of owner to maintain required insurance – second offense, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and first degree trafficking in a controlled substance (two grams or less of methamphetamine), arrested and booked January 24.
  • Joshua Porter, 30, of Olive Hill, arrested by Kentucky State Police, on charges of failure to appear, rear license not illuminated, careless driving, no registration receipt, failure to maintain required insurance, failure to wear seat belts, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance, first degree possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) second offense, and probation violation for a felony offense, arrested and booked January 24.

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.    

 Netting, drainage, and fields

field sport ball game
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times

 The Grayson Sports Park is going to have to pay someone to have their fallen backstop netting fixed. But park manager Grant Harper is confident the park can takes those funds out of retainage held out on the contractor who installed the fences and netting. 

Harper explained to a joint meeting of the park board and tourism commission that backstop netting which recently fell in the park did so because it wasn’t installed properly. According to instructions from the manufacturer the netting is supposed to be zip-tied into place, then it’s supposed to be lashed to the fencing with special cordage. According to Harper the fencing contractor that installed the netting used zip-ties, but failed to install the lashing. Though they obviously didn’t follow the directions for proper installation, Harper said, the fencing contractor is refusing to redo the work without further compensation. 

So, Harper said, he plans to take the cost for the installation out of an approximately $15,000 retainage the park has not yet remitted to the contractor. 

The company who manufactures the netting typically does the installation for around $14,000 per backstop. But, he said, after explaining the park’s situation and what went wrong, they agreed to come do the work for less than half that cost. 

While the original contractor said they didn’t have any further instructions for the netting installation, and claimed they weren’t able to reach representatives with the company, Harper said he was skeptical of those claims. He said he found the netting manufacturer’s representatives to be friendly, helpful, accessible, and responsive. 

Harper also gave an update on the drainage project at the park, which was successfully completed and is working to drain the park and adjacent properties. 

“It’s been tested well,” Harper said, noting the recent heavy rains. 

While the ditch does fill quickly when the rains are heavy, he said, it also drains quickly. He said there was still some cosmetic concrete work to be done, but that would have to wait until things had dried up, and the drain was functional as it is. 

He also reported on work to clear acreage in the area where the walking trail around the park will be located, as well as work on the back parking lot. That lot, he said, will be a staging area for the astroturf installation, which should have “boots on the ground” by February 15. 

While they’re still waiting on a water meter for the splash pad, they have been moving forward with installation and hookup of water features, so it will be ready to turn on when all work is complete. 

He also discussed work on the area where football and soccer fields might be located. To have them leveled properly, he said, the board would be looking at a cost of around $100,000 per field. His concern with investing that kind of money was when, not if, the fields inevitably ended up covered by flood waters. 

“It will flood at some point,” he said. 

He said the fields could be made playable for less, even if it didn’t have a pristine playing surface. Because of the risk of flooding, though, he recommended going with the cheaper options. 

“We really just want an area that is somewhat level and manicured,” he said.

Harper also discussed the use of land and water conservation grant funds for the purchase of an amphitheater cover, and talking to donors about funding for basketball courts. 

They also discussed blacktopping options for the park’s parking and driving surfaces, and further concrete work that would be needed for curbing. 

The board approved a motion to hire a concession manager for the park too. 

In other action the tourism commission noted that based on their December totals, the restaurant tax had raised around $100,000 more than it had in the previous year, with December bringing in $51,000 in collections and an additional $16,000 outstanding. Hotel taxes have been paid, with late fees collected through September, tourism’s Maggie Duncan noted. The hotel owners told Duncan they expect to be completely paid up on late fees by the end of this month. 

Tourism also discussed possible uses for the Brown building and attached lot, and upcoming projects with the Olive Hill Historical Society and other organizations, such as a county-wide play. 

The park board and tourism will continue to hold joint meetings moving forward, with the park board moving to monthly reports and bi-monthly meetings, eventually moving to quarterly meetings, while the tourism commission sticks to a monthly meeting schedule. 

Contact the writer at editor@cartercountytimes.com

 School board seeks another new member

Lisa Ramey-Easterling (left) and Rachel Fankell (right) were reappointed as chair and vice-chair. (file photo by Jeremy D. Wells, Carter County Times)
By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times

 The Carter County Board of Education is seeking another school board member to fill the vacant seat in District 5. 

The seat was vacated by long-time board member Kirk Wilburn late last year, when he accepted an appointment to a vacant seat on the Olive Hill city council. The board moved to fill the seat in their December meeting, appointing Deborah Brown to complete the unexpired term. However after initially accepting, Brown has now withdrawn herself from the role as well. Board chair Lisa Ramey-Easterling said Brown told the board she decided now was not the best time for her to serve in that capacity, so they were accepting her resignation and re-advertising the position. 

The board also moved to organize the board for the year, moving to reappoint Ramey-Easterling as board chair and Rachel Fankell as vice-chair. 

The board, meeting remotely due to inclement weather, also heard an update from new director of districtwide programs, Dr. Jennifer Carroll. 

Carroll was brief in her remarks, noting that she had “hit the ground running” with non-traditional instruction (NTI) in her first week with the district due to the inclement weather. 

Superintendent of schools, Dr. Paul Green, also discussed the impact of recent snows on the district, discussing school cancellation, NTI days, and the possibility of further cancellations. 

“So far, I’ve felt like we’ve made the right calls,” Green said of the cancellations. 

Green also discussed the recognition of school staff that he had initially planned for the meeting, noting he would be postponing those recognitions until a future date when more staff could be present. 

The board also skipped communication items for students, school staff, and citizens due to the remote meetings circumstances. 

In other action, action items by consent were approved as a block. These included receipt of personnel action reports, consolidated school improvement plans, approval of board member travel to the KSBA annual conference, use of district property requests, and the 2023 school needs assessment – among other items. 

They also approved financial documents and the 2022 board of education meeting schedule. 

Following an executive session to discuss personnel issues, with no action taken, the board moved to adjourn. 

Contact the writer at editor@cartercountytimes.com

 ACTC offers workforce development opportunities

Director of Workforce Solutions, Robin Harris, addresses the Grayson Chamber of Commerce. (Photo by Jeremy D. Wells, Carter County Times)
By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times

 No matter what industry you work in, there will inevitably be some innovation that changes the way your work is done. New tools. New regulations. New techniques. Sometimes you make changes because it benefits you and your business. Sometimes because it’s required. But regardless of why you make them, changes can often require new training. 

Because of this, Robin Harris explained, Ashland Community & Technical College offers customized employee training through their Workforce Solutions program. 

Harris, who serves as the Director of Workforce at ACTC, spoke to the Grayson Chamber of Commerce this month to help make them aware of the program and discuss different ways it could help with their specific training needs. 

Harris explained that her department offers everything from short term training, which can be wrapped up in as little as two week, to apprenticeships which can last a great deal longer. The lengths of each program varies, she said, depending on the needs of the individual and the requirements of the course load. None of the trainings or continuing education programs take as long as a traditional college education. But, they are sometimes based in specialized fields and can take intense and focused training. 

For instance, they offer a CDL program that can be completed in four weeks, with sessions beginning every two weeks. It’s 160 hours of intensive training, but participants leave ready to go to work. They’ve trained over 42 drivers since July of last year Harris and apprenticeship project coordinator Kevin Harrison explained. While the pay for drivers can vary – depending on a variety of factors – pay for certified linemen can start at around $65,000 a year. Everyone who goes through ACTC Workforce Solutions lineman program leaves with that certification and their CDL. 

Certification programs are also offered for nursing aides and other short-term healthcare training. 

Harrison noted that they also offer over 26,000 types of apprenticeships, which Harris added, “can be in any industry.” 

But the services Chamber members might be most interested in, they said, were the short-term trainings and customized trainings. 

“Short term training is really our focus,” Harris said. 

So, if you want to migrate your team from PC to Mac, or vice versa, or switch to a new piece of software, Workforce Solutions can help you with that training, she explained. And, they can even help with some costs through a KCTCS training grant with as few as five people enrolled. 

What if you only have two people to train? 

They can help with that too. Harris gave the example of a pair of nursing homes where one employer had three employees to train, another had two, and they joined together to share the training. Harrison gave another example of a pair of electricians who each sent three employees to share training. 

Employees can also do some of the training in their spare time too. 

Harris noted that they have added more self-directed, online classes through their ed2go.com portal. 

“There’s training for everything,” she said, with programs usually taking around three months to complete. 

It’s grown even more after the pandemic, she said, explaining that because of COVID they had to rethink the way they did things. 

“Everything went virtual,” she said, noting their program, “(tries) to keep up with what the needs are.” 

As part of that she solicited feedback from Chamber members, noting they are not alone in requesting more soft-skills training and courses on interpersonal skills and customer relations. 

Harris and Harrison said anyone interested in furthering their own training and opportunities, or in help with continuing education and training for their employees, can find information online at https://ashland.kctcs.edu/workforce-solutions/ or search online classes through the ed2go.com portal. 

You can also find them on Facebook at actcworkforcesolutions or reach out via email at AS_Workforce@kctcs.edu. 

In other chamber news, Chamber president Jill York noted that the Grayson and Olive Hill Chambers reached more than 71,000 people through their Merry & Bright promotions, and would do more joint promotions in the future. She said the Chamber had received several new memberships following the event – including KLM Electric, Smoker Friendly, and At Home Care – and that Smoker Friendly noted they joined specifically because they were impressed by the cooperation between the Grayson and Olive Hill Chambers. 

On top of the promotional reach of the livestreams, York said, they had more than 4,000 link clicks through to the sites of featured businesses. She said she didn’t know the numbers for each business, but she hoped those increased clicks and attention translated to an increase in contacts and sales for member businesses. 

Contact the writer at editor@cartercountytimes.com

Letter to the Editor: Promise without a plan

close up of apple on top of books
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For the first time in two years, the Local Planning Committee for Carter County Schools held a meeting to hear information regarding consolidating high schools, building a career and technical center, and athletic complex.  Those who attended that meeting learned that with ESSER funds, bonding capacity, and a tricky grant granted by the state, the district can afford ground, a new consolidated high school, but nothing else.  The district has a budget of roughly $68 million, $30 million for which it can get bonding.  Given the cost of construction, that $68 million won’t go far towards a consolidated school, let alone toward the most promising build–a new vocational school. 

The promise is that the vocational school can come later after high school, from grants that could, somehow, come later. Later MIGHT be three years, or . . . later.   However, the board has long since determined that a new career and technical center is the true need for our district. Dr. Green sees the career center as the greatest opportunity for our students. However, the money grab for time-stamped funds has distracted the decision-makers from their original purpose, which was ensuring more career paths for our students.

This plan is too bare and poorly thought out to even be a sketch. This plan, if sent to the board for approval, will mean this:  students will consolidate, have longer bus rides so they can have new hallways and floors, and possibly a new club or class, but little else.  This so-called opportunity is little more than hype–it’s a cluster of promises that have no proof of fruition.  The cost of consolidation to the Olive Hill community alone–for a broken promise– is dire enough.  However, it’s our students who will suffer the greatest cost. Our middle and elementary students have lost much of their education during COVID. To lose their community, to lose the vocational school promised to them (let alone the athletic complex)–well, that’s just unforgivable. 

Let us hope the LPC votes no to consolidation.  After all, they will have had only two meetings in which to make up their minds,  on very little information.  The board itself will have no trouble voting yes to promises that have no proof of being made good. We can only hope the committee votes no. 

Justin Tackett
Olive Hill

Extension Notes: Soil sample early this year

close up photo of person holding sand
Photo by Krisp Cut on Pexels.com
By: Rebecca Konopka
Carter County Extension Agent

Soil tests are the only way to ensure your ground has the nutrients it needs for the upcoming growing season, and with the current high input costs, it could help you save money. We are encouraging producers to submit these samples to us as early as possible this year to ensure your results are back before you need to make your first spring application. The University of Kentucky is down a soil testing lab due to the Dec.10 tornado that destroyed the Research and Education Center in Princeton. UK’s Lexington Soil Testing Laboratory will be analyzing all samples until further notice. As March is expected to be extremely busy, earlier submission of samples to the lab is highly encouraged. 

Depending on what you plan to produce, you will need to take different kinds of soil samples. Production agriculture fields, lawns, gardens, fruit trees and ornamentals all have unique fertility and soil pH requirements. Collect at least 10 soil cores in small areas. Larger fields may need at least 20 soil cores. Soil samples will also have different depths depending on the tillage system you use. Samples from tilled areas, gardens, ornamentals and fruit trees, should be taken at least 6 to 8 inches deep. Collect soil samples about 4 inches deep in no-till fields and home lawns. 

Extension agents can help you collect the proper samples and may even have sample bags and soil probes that you can use. Submit soil samples to UK through your local extension office. Agents will send the samples to UK for testing and can help you interpret the results. More information on soil samples is available at the Carter County office of the UK 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

  • Northeast Area Livestock Association Meeting – January 25th @ 6:00 PM – A Cattle Market Update and Implications presentation will be provided by Dr. Kenny Burdine, UK Agricultural Economics.    
  • Floral Care & Arranging Workshop – January 26th @ 12:30 PM – Think you might receive fresh flowers for Valentine’s Day?   Come learn some tips to keep them looking great longer.   Participants will also make a small arrangement to take home with them.   Preregistration required by calling 474-6686.   
  • Estate Planning Basics – January 27th @ 6:00 PM – Call 474-6686 to register.  
  • Ag Advancement Council – January 31st @ 6:00 PM 
  • Ag Development Board – January 31st @ 7:00 PM 
  • Little Sandy Beekeepers Association – February 1st @ 6:00 via Zoom.  Call 474-6686 to request the zoom link.  Joni Nelson will be speaking about the KSU Small-Scale Farm Grant program.    
  • Rootstock – Now is the time to order pear and M7A apple rootstock for spring grafting.   All rootstock is $1.50 each.  This program enables small fruit producers to group orders and purchase the rootstock at a cheaper price.   Grafting demo sessions will be held to help those who order learn to graft their own rootstock.   Grafting tools will also be available for checkout for those that order.  Orders will be taken until February 1st or until sold out.  Call 474-6686 to place your order.   Checks can be made payable to the Carter County Agriculture Council and mailed to the Extension Office.   
  • Private Pesticide Applicator Training – February 3 @ 9:00 AM – Call 474-6686 to register.   
  • Extension Building Committee & District Board Meetings – February 7 @ 10:00 AM 
  • Berry Plants – The Extension Office is also accepting orders through February 25th for strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry plants.   Call 474-6686 to request an order form.  

David Ray Collins

Mr. David Ray Collins, age 69 of Olive Hill, Kentucky passed away Monday, January 24, 2022 at St Claire Health Care in Morehead, Kentucky.

He was born Monday, May 12, 1952 in Welch, West Virginia to the late Oscar and Virginia Holbrook Collins.

David enjoyed playing music, fishing, hunting and spending time with his friends.

In addition to his parents, he is survived by two sons Tim Collins of Grosse Ile, Michigan and Vernon Collins of Wyandotte, Michigan, two daughters, Sally Collins of Mansfield, Ohio and Tammy Hudson of Flat Rock, Michigan, twelve grandchildren, four great grandchildren and one brother, Sidney Collins of Olive Hill, Kentucky and a host of other family members and friends who will sadly mourn his passing.

Funeral services will be held 2 p.m., Sunday, January 30, 2022 at Globe Funeral Chapel, 17277 US Hwy. 60 West, Olive Hill, Kentucky with Brother Jason King and Brother Michael King officiating. Burial will follow in Elliott County Memorial Gardens in Sandy Hook, Kentucky.

Friends may visit after 12:30 p.m until 2 p.m., Sunday, January 30, 2022 at Globe Funeral Chapel in Olive Hill, Kentucky.

Family and friends will serve as pallbearers.

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

Velda “Judy” Rose Biggs

Mrs. Velda “Judy” Rose Biggs, age 82, of Olive Hill, Kentucky, passed away Monday, January 24, 2022 at Community Hospice Care, in Ashland, Kentucky.

She was born July 11, 1939, in Carter County, Kentucky to the late Vinson and Dorothy Keaton Rose.

Judy enjoyed going to estate sales, working puzzles, reading and playing on her iPad and spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren.

In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her loving husband, Roy Biggs. Two brothers, Ivan Rose, Hubert Rose; and one sister, Juanita Carter.

Judy is survived by two sons, Daniel (Libby) Clark of Ashland, Kentucky, Ronald (Linda) Clark of Olive Hill, Kentucky; two daughters, Brenda (Randy) Moore of Olive Hill, Kentucky, and Penny (Mike) Burton of Carter City, Kentucky; nine grandchildren; seventeen great-grandchildren, along with a host of other family members and friends who will sadly mourn her passing.

Funeral service will be held 11:00 a.m. Thursday, January 27, 2022 at Globe Funeral Chapel in Olive Hill, Kentucky, with Brother Elijah Wagner and Brother Johnny Moore officiating. Burial will follow in the Rose Cemetery in Olive Hill, Kentucky.

Friends may visit 6;00 p.m. until 8;00 p.m., Wednesday, January 26, 2022 and until the service hour on Thursday, at Globe Funeral Chapel, 17277 West US Highway 60, Olive Hill, Kentucky.

Christopher Keeton, Phillip Henderson, Jake Henderson, Joseph Webb, Chace Clark and Scott Clark will serve as pallbearers. Kylar Porter and Benjamin Bommarrito will serve as honorary pallbearers.

Globe Funeral Chapel, in Olive Hill is caring for all arrangements for Mrs.Velda “Judy” Rose Biggs

Condolences may be sent to the family at www.globfc.com

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