by: Senator Steve Meredith
As we draw to the close of week 8 of the 2022 Regular Session, we passed significant legislation to help people across the commonwealth.
The Senate rolled out a tax rebate plan this week by way of Senate Bill 194 in response to inflation hitting a 40-year high. Under the Senate's plan, introduced during a special Appropriations and Revenue Committee meeting yesterday, each single working Kentucky taxpayer will receive up to $500.00, each household up to $1,000.00. This tax rebate is possible because of the conservative budget of the commonwealth; unexpected and exceptional revenue growth is expected to yield over $1.94 billion in excess funds that rightly belongs to Kentucky taxpayers. This plan will keep more money in taxpayers' pockets and empower them with the tools to make appropriate choices for their families.
SJR 150 Senate Joint Resolution 150 (SJR 150), sponsored by Senator Donald Douglas (R - Nicholasville) aims to end the COVID-19 State of Emergency declared by Governor Andy Beshear on March 6, 2020, and was voted favorably out of committee and off the Senate floor this week.
Prior to the legislature’s involvement in COVID-related decision making in 2020, the governor imposed widespread damaging mandates across the state; all elective medical procedures were halted, statewide mask mandates were imposed, schools were shut down, churches targeted, businesses were forced to close their doors and travel was restricted. Since the onset of the pandemic, overdose deaths, suicides and child abuse rates have skyrocketed. If lawmakers do not repeal this current State of Emergency by March 7, it will expire on April 15, and the governor will have the ability to file another extension. The General Assembly would then be unable to curtail the extreme actions our governor has shown he is inclined toward, stoking additional fear in the constituency and further damaging our economy.
While the General Assembly recently passed Senate Bill 25, extending a limited state of emergency, the COVID-19 positivity rate for the Commonwealth is significantly lower than it was in January. Until a House Committee Substitute was added to SB 25, it was originally a clean bill providing flexibility for COVID mitigation in schools. The Senate had to decide whether to pass that bill or leave schools without mitigation funding and thus, in-person funding. We ultimately determine the good of SB 25 outweighed the bad.
SJR 150 is a thoughtful approach to end the Kentucky State of Emergency, as it gives the executive branch time to determine whether to file administrative regulations based upon existing statutory authority. What’s does this really mean? This encourages the governor to engage the legislature as opposed to unilaterally dictating policy. If the governor chooses not to include the General Assembly in legislating, it will be clear to the residents of the Commonwealth he is playing politics with their lives and livelihoods. With COVID-19 here to stay, it is finally time for Kentucky to return to normal and declare COVID an endemic, no longer a pandemic.
Below is some notable legislation that I would also like to bring to your attention:
SB 138, also known as the Teaching American Principles Act, extends existing elementary social studies standards to both middle and high school. It encourages a study of United States historical documents and uniting students around our nation’s history, not dividing it.
SB 138 preserves classroom discussion of controversial aspects of history and the historical oppression of a particular group of people. It also maintains a teacher's ability to teach current events on controversial subjects and help students draw their own conclusion. It supports civic learning in settings that students may encounter in their lives, such as the legislative process. The bill also allows teachers to choose whether to engage in diversity-based training programs.
It does not circumvent the established standards adoption process or diminish employee professional growth and development, nor does it inhibit frank conversations about past injustices done. It prohibits homework assignments, projects or extra credit on political, social-policy or lobbying activities to which a student or their family objects.
SB 138 was drafted in response to the growing concerns from parents, students and teachers alike, that our nation’s history is being rewritten in the academic setting. This has been a growing trend nationwide, causing division and angst amongst parents and school boards. SB 138 sets out to unify these groups in the Commonwealth by the inclusion of our nation’s primary source historical documents that embrace the good, the bad and the ugly of the authentic American story.
SB 124 allows CDL license holders to renew expired licenses less than 5 years old without taking both the knowledge and skills tests. This only applies to CDL license holders whose license was not suspended, revoked or disqualified. Drivers must submit medical clearance, self-certification, a criminal background check, a review of driving history and a vision test. Any former CDL license holders whose license was suspended because of a failure to submit medical evaluation, may renew their license. Finally, it allows drivers to keep their hazardous materials endorsements if they retake the required examinations.
SB 80 Requires when a post-mortem examination is needed, the exam shall include genetic testing. If the genetic test results determine the cause of death, the notice of the death must be reported to the state registrar of vital statistics, which shall record the cause of death on the death certificate. Information about the deceased person or the genetic test results cannot be released without written, signed and acknowledged consent of a spouse, or, if no spouse, the next of kin, or, if none, whoever assumes responsibility to dispose of the body.
As always, it’s an honor to represent the residents of the 5th district here in our Commonwealth’s capitol. If you have any questions or comments about these issues or any other public policy issue, please contact me toll-free at 1-800-372-7181 or email me at Stephen.Meredith@lrc.ky.gov . You can also review the Legislature’s work online at www.legislature.ky.gov.
A ribbon cutting for Hometown Roots Salon will be held on Saturday, March 5th at 11 AM. Owner Ashleigh Cline has moved the salon to her new location, 2878 Otter Gap Rd, Bowling Green, KY. 42101. She encourages everyone to come out and celebrate with "a day filled with snacks and prize drawings."
The event is sponsored by Edmonson County Chamber of Commerce.
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To My Dear Friends,
We have officially crossed the halfway point of the 2022 60-day Regular Session. It has been an action-packed week with major legislation getting passed through the Senate. Three primary matters I want to update you on are motor vehicle taxes, legislation to address the state’s nursing shortage, and SB 138, the Teaching America’s Principles Act, which cleared the Senate Education Committee on Thursday.
As the Senate unanimously passed Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 99 on Friday, February 11, members of the chamber strongly pressured Governor Andy Beshear to do what was right and exempt Kentucky taxpayers from increased motor vehicle taxes. We identified state law allowing his administration to exempt taxpayers from the artificially inflated taxes. For over a month, he denied he had the authority. In fact, his administration sent out a memorandum acknowledging and detailing the reason for the tax increase. SJR 99 was prepared to force him to take the action he was refusing to.
Fortunately for Kentucky taxpayers, the Governor finally relented from his weeks of assurance that he could not do anything, and finally did as he signed an executive order that is essentially a copy/paste of SJR 99. Thanks to the public pressure placed on the Governor by the state Senate, Kentuckians will now be relieved from their inflated vehicle taxes, and those who have already paid will be issued a refund.
Senate Bill 138 is a positive, landmark piece of legislation to preserve alignment of middle and high school instruction with American principles of equality, freedom, and personal agency. It sets out to be inclusive of historical topics, giving a list of “ingredients” which must be taught, but does not exclude. This allows educators the autonomy to create the “recipe” for teaching American History.
One of the most headline dominating topics since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has been education, primarily deriving from parents' concerns about the quality of their child’s education and fears that students are being taught what to think rather than how to think. The behavior of special interests to not only ignore parents' concerns, but even mock and ridicule has heightened attention on school curriculums and educational standards. The groundswell from the public has been so strong, even places like San Francisco are recalling school board members. Elections across the nation, most notably the gubernatorial election in Virginia, are demanding lawmakers take seriously the concerns of parents. The senate has identified a way to positively adhere to the desires that the public demands.
The key tenets of SB 138 are to teach the value of American democratic principles of equality, freedom and individual rights: the understanding that in America, regardless of race, sex, or socioeconomic status, personal agency and resilience afford citizens the power to succeed; and lastly, the understanding that although slavery and post-Civil War laws and discrimination were contrary to our founders’ original intent for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, that defining racial disparities solely on that legacy is destructive to our nation’s unity. It’s noteworthy that teaching these principles does not exclude the teaching of controversial aspects of our history.
One of the most important aspects of SB 138 is the requirement to instruct students using core primary source historical documents and speeches, including but not limited to the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Gettysburg Address. Through studying the original documents, students are able to get a window into the minds of our country’s founders and the ideals that make America the country she is.
SB 138 also sets the parameters for teacher training, allowing them to choose whether to engage in diversity-based professional development. It prohibits assignments, projects or extra credit on politics, social-policy or lobbying activities for which a student or their family objects.
As a career hospital administrator and life long patient advocate, I’m extremely pleased with the introduction of Senate Bill 10. For decades, our rural hospital systems have been strained by lack of resources and the ability to hire personnel.
SB 10 has been designated priority legislation and will address the ongoing nursing shortage that stresses Kentucky’s healthcare system.
The nursing shortage is not a new challenge to the Commonwealth, but the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the problem. SB 10 aims to alleviate the shortage by tackling several issues within the profession, making it easier to accept nurses from other states and expedite licensing while not sacrificing quality of care.
One area of focus includes the removal of arbitrary caps on nursing education programs. This codifies and extends provisions of the governor’s executive order. SB 10 would also restructure the KBN to be more reflective of Kentucky’s geographical diversity and most importantly bolster the voices of practicing nurses by requiring 10 board members be a practicing nurse. Additionally, the bill implements legislative oversight of nominations by requiring Senate confirmation of members.
Two significant provisions of the bill include reciprocity so more nurses from other states can practice in Kentucky. The Commonwealth currently has a compact with 24 states for reciprocity, but SB 10 opens possibilities for nurses in states beyond the compact. Those from non-compact states who are in good standing can get an immediate temporary work permit to go straight to work. The bill would recognize out-of-state licenses and create a process for foreign trained nurses who pass the National Council Licensure Examination test or a Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools test to practice in Kentucky.
Please be aware, I am here in Frankfort fighting for the best interests of our commonwealth’s rural communities. As I do with every vote that I cast, I always keep what is best for the 5th district at the forefront of my mind. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or comments about these or any other public policy issues. You can contact me toll-free at 1-800-372-7181 or email me at Stephen.Meredith@lrc.ky.gov.
Edmonson Voice Report:
On January 25th, Edmonson County FFA Executive Committee met with County Clerk, Kevin Alexander to promote the Kentucky Ag Tag Program. By making a $10 donation when renewing your Ag Tag, local drivers can help fund 4-H, FFA, and Kentucky Proud programs.
"Donations are divided equally between these organizations and go directly back to our county," said Danyale Atwell, Edmonson County FFA President. "We appreciate your support."
From the Edmonson County Extension Office: 10 Things You Should Know About Cockroaches
From the Edmonson County Extension Office, David Embrey, Agent:
Source: Zach DeVries, UK assistant professor of urban entomology:
Cockroaches are one of the most common pests to infest homes and apartments. They get into homes by hitching a ride on items such as grocery bags, food cartons and furniture and by using their flat, brownish bodies to slip in through crevices and cracks in buildings. While large cockroaches may seem the most frightening, it is the smaller ones that pose the biggest concern to human health.
Here are 10 things you should know about cockroaches:
Squirming or itching yet?
More information about cockroaches is available in the University of Kentucky Department of Entomology’s ENTFACT 614. It is available online at https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef614 or by contacting the Edmonson County office of the UK Cooperative Extension Service.
Edmonson Voice Report:
On January 25th, Edmonson County FFA Executive Committee met with Edmonson County Judge Executive Wil Cannon in the Edmonson County Courthouse for the signing of the National FFA Week Proclamation.
National FFA Week has been declared for Edmonson County for the week of February 19-26, 2022, the week of George Washington’s birthday. National FFA Members participate in National FFA Week to promote citizenship, volunteerism, patriotism, and cooperation to the organization.
Left to Right: Emma Sackett, Danyale Atwell, Taylor Atwell, Dalton Curtis, Judge Wil Cannon, Evy Bolton, Kay Belcher, and Jonathan Vincent.
by Senator Steve Meredith:
To my dear friends,
We are quickly approaching the halfway mark of this year's 60-day legislative session, and Frankfort was granted several days of pleasant weather. However, there was little time to enjoy the sunshine and warmer temperatures as lawmakers continued to work on policy that benefits our commonwealth’s rural communities.
The state legislature is the representative branch of state government. In each chamber in the state capitol is a voice representing you. Perhaps no piece of legislation in the 2022 Legislative Session exemplifies your voice being heard more than Senate Joint Resolution 99, a measure identified by the state Senate to bring motor vehicle tax relief to Kentucky taxpayers. Unlike a bill, a joint resolution does not modify law but carries the force of law.
Not every bill proposal impacts you at your dinner table or directly in your pocketbook, but a potential 40 percent increase in taxes on your car or truck is something many find directly in their mailbox and can understand is an injustice.
Because the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the global supply of automobiles, the assessed value on vehicles has been artificially inflated. Since motor vehicle property taxes are connected to the standard value of a car or truck, the tax burden has followed. That burden equates to nearly $70 million. The good news is, existing state law provides the executive branch with authority to right this wrong (KRS 132.485). The bad news is, Governor Andy Beshear has chosen not to utilize that authority and exempt Kentuckians from this pandemic-driven tax burden.
Given the Governor's enthusiasm for exercising executive authority — in some cases acting unconstitutionally and being admonished by state and federal courts — it is unclear why he would not exercise a statutory authority actually granted to the executive branch. Since his administration has chosen inaction, Senate Joint Resolution 99 would make the decision for him and require him to order the Department of Revenue to exempt taxpayers from inflated tax burdens. It would also grant immediate refunds to anyone who has already paid their motor vehicle tax this year.
As diligent review of the Governor and state House of Representatives budget proposals continue, please know my priority is not the state's bottom line, but yours. Because of billions of dollars in federal spending making its way into Kentucky, state revenues are at record levels. In the more extensive tax reform discussion, I am committed to finding other ways to keep more money in your pocket. Not a single penny of state funds came from anywhere other than hardworking taxpayers. You do not work for your government; your government works for you.
Senate Bill 42, which I personally sponsored, serves to cut food waste and aid in Kentucky's goal of providing nutritious food to those in areas with little access to food options. It allows local public agencies to contract or purchase through noncompetitive negotiation when the contract is for perishable foods such as meat, fish, poultry, egg products, vegetables, and more if the label specifies sale or consumption by a specific date. Contracts over $30,000 would have to be published in the local paper for bids.
Included below are some additional measures we passed in the state Senate in Week 6 of the session:
Senate Joint Resolution 72 directs the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services to apply for a Medicaid waiver from the federal government, providing additional services and support to improve the lives of individuals with severe mental illness. Joint resolutions, unlike bills, do not modify state statutes. They do, however, carry the force of law.
Senate Bill 101 makes it a misdemeanor for first responders—including coroners, EMTs, firefighters, rescue workers and police—to take a photograph or video of a deceased person at the scene of an accident or crime for any purpose other than those related to their official duties. Penalties would be set for no less than $500 and not more than $2,500. The bill also requires forfeiture of the device used to capture the photographs or videos.
Senate Bill 106 requires that every incorporated city operating as a public corporation and a unit of local government file with the Department for Local Government before September 1. Failure to do so timely could lead to dissolution.
Senate Bill 111 gives local governments the ability to save money and put taxpayer funds to use in ways they may identify as more beneficial. It loosens restrictions for local governments to use an independent consultant or financial advisor to determine if a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) has an economic value optional instead of required. In cases where a city or county elects to use an independent consultant or financial advisor, it requires the consultant or advisor to work with the city or county's budget office to develop the report and determine the methodology the report is prepared by.
Please be aware, I am here in Frankfort fighting for the best interests of our commonwealth’s rural communities. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or comments about these or any other public policy issues. You can contact me toll-free at 1-800-372-7181 or email me at Stephen.Meredith@lrc.ky.gov.
Note: Senator Stephen Meredith (R-Leitchfield) represents the 5th Senate District, which includes Breckinridge, Butler, Grayson, Ohio and Meade Counties. He serves as chair of the Budget Review Subcommittee on Human Resources and vice-chair of the Senate Standing Committees on Health and Welfare and Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection. Senator Meredith also serves as co-chair of the Government Contract Review Committee and Medicaid Oversight and Advisory Committee. Finally, he is a member of the Senate Standing Committees on Education and Appropriations and Revenue. For a high-resolution .jpeg of Sen. Meredith, please visit: https://legislature.ky.gov/Legislators%20Full%20Res%20Images/senate105.jpg
by Representative Michael Lee Meredith:
The pace shows no signs of slowing down as committees continue to send legislation to the full House for consideration, and members put the final touches on bills as the deadline to file legislation is less than three weeks away. While we worked on legislation, I also enjoyed seeing another sign that we are returning to normal as several school groups toured the Capitol, and we visited with folks from our Family Resource and Youth Services Centers (FRYSCs), county officials, and other groups in Frankfort to advocate for their issues.
In addition, we spent a great deal of time this week on the House Floor, and I thought I might update you on some of the measures that cleared the chamber this week:
Putting the brakes on the skyrocketing car tax: I am glad to report that we voted to pass HB 6, legislation that would require the Kentucky Department of Revenue to use the average trade-in value as the standard measure for assessing a vehicle’s value for tax purposes. Earlier this year, the Office of Property Valuation issued a notice that 2022 motor vehicle tax valuation increased an unprecedented 40 percent. Under current law, PVAs must use a standardized measure when assessing the value of motor vehicles for tax purposes, defined by statute as the “average trade-in value.” However, since 2009, the Department of Revenue has defined “average trade-in” to mean a higher valuation of “clean trade-in.” HB 6 would first require that the 2022 motor vehicle tax due by Kentuckians be based on the 2021 amount, rather than the increased amount the administration levied. The bill also provides refunds to anyone that has already paid their tax for this year. Provisions of the bill also prevent this from happening in the future by requiring Property Value Administrators (PVAs) under the Kentucky Department of Revenue to use the average trade-in value as the standard measure which is far more realistic and accurate. HB 6 now moves to the Senate for passage.
Unlocking the door to early childhood literacy: We also approved HB 226, which establishes Read to Succeed an early childhood literacy program that we provided $11 million for in the budget. Under the provisions of the bill, Read to Succeed implements the use of evidence-based reading strategies, a reading universal screener, reading diagnostic assessments, and training for all K-3 teachers. HB 226 would ensure that those beginning a career in education have the tools to apply Read to Succeed strategies by requiring all Kentucky public post-secondary institutions to include them in curriculum for students pursuing careers in K-3 education. The bill also includes language providing local school districts with funds to assist in hiring reading interventionist specialists for students in need of additional support. Study after study shows that early childhood literacy plays a massive role in how successful children are, and I am pleased to see us make this investment.
Retooling the unemployment insurance program: The House approved HB 4, which provides a necessary and long overdue retooling of the state’s unemployment insurance (UI) program. The measure aims to increase employment and preserve the availability of benefits by strengthening work search requirements, limiting the maximum amount of time a claimant can receive benefits, making UI taxes more equitable, and offering employers an alternative to laying off part of their workforce. The unemployment insurance program was created to ensure Kentuckians have a safety net, but we also need to ensure that the focus is getting participants re-employed in a timely manner. Between 2009 and 2019, Kentucky claimants received benefits for an average of 19 weeks – longer than any other state in the nation. In addition, Kentucky currently ranks in the bottom three in the nation for workforce participation. The state’s workforce participation rate has dropped steadily from 64% in 2000 to 53.8% in June of 2021, when more than 1.5 million Kentucky adults were neither employed nor looking for work.
Providing tools to enforce DUI laws: HB 154, a measure that tightens driving under the influence statutes cleared the House last Wednesday. The bill clarifies that law enforcement officers may obtain a search warrant when a suspect refuses a request for a blood test after a Kentucky Supreme Court decision made the step necessary. Law enforcement still relies heavily on breathalyzer tests for incidents involving those suspected of being under the influence of alcohol. However, there is no field test like a breathalyzer that can identify the presence of medication.
As always, I can be reached here at home anytime, or through the toll-free message line in Frankfort at 1-800-372-7181. Feel free to contact me via email at Michael.Meredith@lrc.ky.gov. If you would like more information, please visit the LRC website www.legislature.ky.gov.
NUISANCE WEED SPRAYING PROGRAM: Kentucky Department of Agriculture:
This program consists of weed spraying demonstration plots. The department will provide the sprayer and enough chemical for the treatment of 10 acres of agricultural land or 100 gallons of spot spraying mix to be used on agricultural land. The department’s representative will demonstrate proper mixing and application techniques. A number of nuisance weeds can be treated under this program depending on the needs of the participant. This program is limited to broadleaf weeds. This program is designed to target weeds that have a negative impact on the participant’s agricultural production. There will be an annual online application period to participate in this program. You may submit an application using the on-line services from February 1 to February 28 of each year. The application can be submitted by calling the Edmonson County Extension Office at 270-597-3628 or online at: https://www.kyagr.com/consumer/nuisance-weed-spraying-program-application.aspx
If you submit online, please contact the Edmonson County Extension Office to make us aware of your application.
Any farmer participating must supply a tractor, tractor driver, and have access to a water source for mixing. If you have participated within the past 3 years, you are not eligible. If it has been over 3 years, you can apply. Applying is not a guarantee. The program is limited to the first 7 people in Edmonson County who apply and qualify. If you are selected to participate, you will receive a call from the Edmonson County Extension Office with details and scheduling information. Spraying usually occurs late March to mid-April. Please contact the Edmonson County Extension Office if you have any questions at 270-597-3628.
Educational programs of Kentucky Cooperative Extension 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 expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability. UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY, KENTUCKY STATE UNIVERSITY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, AND KENTUCKY COUNTIES, COOPERATING.
Friends of Mammoth Cave National Park Receives National Park Foundation Grant for Overnight Teacher Workshops
Mammoth Cave, KY (February 7th, 2022) - The Friends of Mammoth Cave (FOMC) received an Open OutDoors for Kids grant from the National Park Foundation (NPF). This grant will enable 20 Kentucky teachers to attend an overnight workshop that focuses on the history of Mammoth Cave National Park. Teachers will learn about early settlers to the area, history of the enslaved guides who first explored and led tours in Mammoth Cave, and ways the national park supports the community present day.
“The park is very excited and honored to be awarded this grant from the FOMC and NPF,” said Jennifer Shackelford, Education Specialist for Mammoth Cave National Park. “The money they are providing will help our Environmental Education team teach valuable skills to teachers and provide opportunities for hundreds of students from our local communities and across the Commonwealth to learn about the history of Mammoth Cave National Park.”
The grant will directly fund accommodations for each teacher during the overnight workshop, pay for hands-on manipulatives to use upon return to their classrooms, and will assist with the funding needed for field trips to the park for the students of each teacher. At the end of the workshops, teachers will return to their classrooms with a new knowledge of Mammoth Cave National Park and have the tools needed to guide their students in their newly learned lessons.
If you are interested in attending one of the overnight workshops please email Maca_Environmental_Ed@nps.gov to learn about available workshop dates. Workshops are open to 4th-8th grade teachers and will be offered March 16-17, 2022 and July 13-14, 2022. Teachers will be selected on a first come, first served basis from emails received. Educational trips for each classroom will take place in late spring 2022 or fall 2023.
Since 2011, NPF has engaged more than one million students in educational programs connecting them with national parks across the country. NPF’s goal is to connect another one million students to parks by the end of the 2024-25 school year.
“National parks are America’s largest classrooms, and Open OutDoors for Kids seeks to connect as many kids as possible to them,” said National Park Foundation President and CEO Will Shafroth. “With parks, learning is fun, memorable, and hands-on. Parks open kids’ eyes to the wonder and complexities of nature and history, sharing diverse perspectives that offer a wider understanding of our country’s progress and struggles.”
The NPF Open OutDoors for Kids program is made possible by private philanthropy, including support from Youth Engagement and Education premier partner Union Pacific Railroad, and supporting partner GoGo squeeZ. Additional funding is provided by Alicia and Peter Pond, Apple, Columbia Sportswear, Sierra, Parks Project, Humana, The Batchelor Foundation, Inc., and many other donors.
Learn more about NPF’s efforts to engage students with national parks as classrooms.
ABOUT THE FRIENDS OF MAMMOTH CAVE NATIONAL PARK
Friends of Mammoth Cave National Park is the non-profit partner of Mammoth Cave National Park and works to fund projects and programs that protect, preserve, and enhance the natural and cultural resources and visitor experience at Mammoth Cave. For more information about Friends or to become a Friend of the park, please visit www.friendsofmammothcave.org.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION
The National Park Foundation works to protect wildlife and park lands, preserve history and culture, educate and engage youth, and connect people everywhere to the wonder of parks. We do it in collaboration with the National Park Service, the park partner community, and with the generous support of donors, without whom our work would not be possible. Learn more at www.nationalparks.org.
Darren Doyle, story: photos submitted:
Edmonson County High School's local FFA Chapter hosted the national officers of the FFA on Wednesday, February 2nd, in an event called the National Office Experience (NOE).
National FFA Officers, along with KY state and national FFA staff traveled across Kentucky this week where thy met with two schools per day.
The National Officers were elected at the National FFA Convention that occurred in October, 2021 in Indianapolis, and different officers are selected each year.
"The NOE allows the National Officers to practice giving speeches and workshops while touring our state," said ECHS FFA Advisor Matthew Lindsey. "Our school did not apply for this opportunity, we were offered this and agreed to host. I don’t believe this has ever occurred at our school; it is not likely it will ever happen again. FFA members sometimes get to meet one National Officer, especially if we have one from our state, but very few FFA members ever get to meet all six National Officers. This is a very rare opportunity."
FFA National Secretary Jackson Sylvester from Lake Forest FFA in Delaware gave the keynote address in the ECHS auditorium. Afterwards, the group split up into classrooms for workshops led by the National Officers.
Edmonson County High School FFA Chapter Officers are: Danyale Atwell, Morgan Vincent, Dalton Curtis, Taylor Atwell, Kay Belcher, Evy Bolton, Emma Sackett, and Jonathan Vincent.
Mr. Lindsey said the day was a positive experience for all those involved.
"Our students did a wonderful job of organizing and operating the activities," he said in a statment. "Our school’s administration and staff provided all the help and support we could ever ask for. We had over 60 FFA members from other schools in our region who were excited to join us and were having fun while engaged in the workshops. Having the National FFA Officers at our school gave our students an excellent opportunity to learn leadership skills. We received numerous expressions of appreciation and compliments on our set up and operation of this event; I am confident we have represented Edmonson County in a positive light. I am thankful we were able to take part in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
Bank of Edmonson's Michelle Coleman Named To Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Council
Coleman Among One of Four New Members Named To Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council
Edmonson Voice Report:
Michelle Coleman, CEO of Bank of Edmonson County has been been appointed to the Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council (CDIAC) by The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, along with three other new members, which advises St. Louis Fed President James Bullard on the credit, banking and economic conditions facing council members’ institutions and local communities.
Mrs. Coleman was asked her thoughts on being named to the prestigious council.
“I felt like this was a fantastic opportunity to bring very specific everyday economics and what small town consumers and businesses face to regional Federal Reserve Bank board members," she said. "My goal is to make a positive impact on financial policies that are hampering local economies. This council helps those voices to be heard and hopefully ease burdens that prevent consumers and their communities from being effectively served in rural America.”
The other new members who will serve three-year terms starting in 2022 are:
Established in 2011, the St. Louis Fed’s CDIAC comprises 12 executives of smaller financial institutions headquartered across the Federal Reserve’s Eighth District. The council meets twice a year at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, with this year’s meetings scheduled for March 17-18 and Oct. 18-19. The chair of the CDIAC also has the responsibility of reporting twice yearly to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington, D.C.
Madison Doyle, photos:
ECHS senior Hallie Cassady was named the 2022 Edmonson County High School Homecoming Queen at the annual event last night in Brownsville. Hallie is the daughter of Kyle and Steffane Cassady. She was escorted by Gage Bramer, son of Billy and Beth Bramer.
It's the first basketball homecoming since January of 2020, as last year's ceremony was cancelled due to a shortened season and COVID restrictions.
The Homecoming Court was comprised of Freshman Princess Jenna Cook, daughter of J.R. and Susan Cook. She was escorted by Gavin Alexander, son of Kevin and Nadina Alexander.
The Sophomore Princess was Mia Cris Holland, daughter of Jay and Alison Holland. She was escorted by Ty Brantley, son of Robbie and Andrea Brantley.
Junior Princess was Claire Burklow, daughter of Leroy and Michelle Burklow. She was escorted by Seth Baker, son of Jonathan and Tiffany Baker.
The Little Miss Wildcats and Mr. Wildcats from South Edmonson Elementary were Isla Childress, daughter of Jarrid and Sarah Childress and Easton Webb, son of Chris and Amber Webb. Also Rebekah Faye Murley, daughter of Ryan and Krys Murley, and Levi Renfro, son of Seth and Taylor Renfro.
Crowing the winners was the 2020 Homecoming Queen Madison Harrison, daughter of Glendal and Jackie Decker. She was escorted by Brock Stethen, son of Mike and Leita Webb.