Packets Appear To Have Originated From China, Could Pose Danger
LEXINGTON, Ky., (July 28, 2020) — Recently, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture was notified of several Kentucky residents receiving unsolicited seed packets through the mail. The packets appear to have originated in China. The types of seeds are unknown and may pose a threat to Kentucky agriculture and the environment through the introduction of invasive plants or diseases.
Anyone who receives an unsolicited package of seeds should not plant them or throw them away. Instead, they should immediately contact the Kentucky Department of Agriculture for instructions.
“The purpose of these seed shipments is unclear at this time, but we need to get the message out that it’s important that people not plant them,” said Ric Bessin, extension entomologist in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “These packets could potentially contain invasive species or plant diseases, so do not throw them in the trash either. Instead, seal them tightly and send them to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s office in Northern Kentucky.”
Residents of other states have received the seed packets as well. The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, APHIS, is working closely with the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection, other federal agencies and state departments of agriculture to investigate the situation.
“At this point in time, we don’t have enough information to know if this is a hoax, a prank, an internet scam, or an act of agricultural bio-terrorism,” Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said in a press release issued by his office. “I want to reiterate; do not plant the seeds. We don’t know what they are, and we cannot risk any harm whatsoever to agricultural production in the United States. We have the safest, most abundant food supply in the world, and we need to keep it that way.”
Individuals who have received the suspicious packages should put them in an airtight bag and ship them and the packaging in which they arrived to the USDA APHIS division of Plant Protection Quarantine at USDA-APHIS PPQ, P.O. Box 475, Hebron, Kentucky 41048. Include this form.
People can contact the Kentucky Department of Agriculture at 502-573-0282 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joe Collins, senior nursery inspector in the UK Department of Entomology, is available to answer questions. Contact him at 859-257-5838.
Edmonson Voice Report:
Ella Lindsey, a student at Kyrock Elementary, was named the Edmonson County winner in the Jim Claypool Conservation Art Contest, according to a statement from the Edmonson County Conservation District Office. The contest was produced as a partnership between Kentucky Farm Bureau and the Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts, and themed: “Things That Fly.”
Students in grades K-12 from across the Commonwealth used the theme to create 18,249 art entries. Judges from local conservation districts, along with county officials and the UK Ag Extension office chose county winners, whose entries then moved on to the state level competition.
"A distinguished panel of judges with diverse environmental backgrounds selected statewide winners in both writing and art categories," a statement from the conservation office said.
Individual School winners included 1st place Ella Lindsey, 2nd place Madison Duvall, and 3rd place Savanna Detweiler, all of Kyrock Elementary, and 1st place Taya Watt, 2nd place, Bryson Wheat, and 3rd place Jackson Roney, from South Edmonson Elementary. There were 277 entries in the Art Contest in Edmonson County.
While the winners were not able to be together in person, the EC Conservation District was able to scan their artwork so the art could still be shared.
"The District deeply appreciates the Art Teachers who take time in their busy schedules to teach the material and assist the students in entering the contest," the conservation office said. "Please join us in our appreciation of Ms. Nan Raymer and Ms. Jessica Doyle."
Edmonson County High School had made the following announcement regarding caps, gowns, and yearbooks for 2020 ECHS seniors:
Caps, Gowns, & Yearbooks
On the following days:
July 28 8:00am-12:00pm
July 29 2:00pm-6:00pm
We will be set up on the front porch of ECHS and will allow students to drive by and pick up their items.
We do ask that 1 person/representative for each student do the pickup.
Yearbooks can be picked up and/or purchased for $60.
Please make checks payable to: ECHS
Edmonson Voice Report:
Submitted article and photo:
Meredith Hennion, an incoming Junior at Edmonson County High School, has been named a UK Rising Scholar.
Meredith is among an elite group of rising juniors from across the Commonwealth who have been selected for this recognition. Meredith was chosen to represent her school and receive this award based on her academic success and demonstration of leadership and service.
The University of Kentucky Rising Scholars Program is a way for the University to recognize the top student leaders from across the state, while showing them the opportunities that could lie ahead for them at UK.
Meredith is the daughter of Anthony and April Hennion of Park City.
The Edmonson County Youth Soccer League is now accepting sign ups for the 2020 season. Please see the forms below, available for download.
By: Katie Pratt
The Asian longhorned tick, which preys on a variety of hosts including humans and wild and domestic animals, has been found in Kentucky. This new tick is known to attack animals in large numbers and will be a concern to livestock producers, wildlife enthusiasts and pet owners.
“This tick is an aggressive biter and frequently builds intense infestations on domestic hosts that can cause stress, reduced growth and severe blood loss,” said Jonathan Larson, UK extension entomologist in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “One reason for their rapid buildup is that the female ticks can lay eggs without mating. It only takes a single fed female tick to create a population of ticks. Potentially, thousands can be found on an animal.”
The tick has been found in small numbers on elk in Martin County and black bear in Floyd County. It was found in large numbers on a bull in Metcalfe County in the south-central part of the state.
“The Metcalfe County ticks were submitted by a veterinarian who answered a call about a bull so infested that it was showing signs of severe fatigue,” said Anna Pasternak, UK entomology graduate student who manages the Kentucky Tick Surveillance Program. “The tick samples that the veterinarian submitted for identification to the UK Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory contained Asian longhorned ticks.”
Pasternak and Monica Cipriani, a student in the UK College of Public Health, sampled the Metcalfe County field and found more Asian longhorned ticks.
“With the first two findings being in Eastern Kentucky, the Metcalfe County finding is particularly troubling as it means the tick may have already spread farther across the state,” Pasternak said.
A native of Asia, the tick was first found in 2017 in the United States. In addition to Kentucky, it has been confirmed in Arkansas, Delaware, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. In addition to cattle, black bear and elk, it preys on deer, raccoons, opossums, cats, dogs, coyotes, foxes, sheep, goats, groundhogs, horses, Canada geese, chickens, cottontail rabbits, red-tailed hawks and skunks. As it gets further established in the state, the tick is expected to have adverse effects on the state’s deer and wildlife population. Humans also are a host.
The tick is small and reddish-brown with no distinctive markings to make it easy to identify. Making detection more difficult, unfed Asian longhorned adults are smaller than other common adult ticks found in Kentucky. It is also a known or suspected vector of several important livestock viral, bacterial and protozoan agents. Scientists are conducting tests on ticks collected in the United States, and it is likely that some ticks will contain germs that can be harmful to animals.
Individuals who find a usually large number of ticks on their pet or livestock should contact their local veterinarian. Those who find single ticks they think might be an Asian longhorned tick should work with their county extension agent for agriculture and natural resources to submit the sample to UK entomologists for positive identification.
Additional information on tick bite prevention and proper tick removal is available in UK entomology’s ENTFACT 618: Ticks and Disease in Kentucky. It is available online at https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef618 or by contacting a local extension office.
Local School Supply Drive To Help Edmonson County Students
Edmonson Voice Report: photos submitted by Troop 597
Local Boy Scouts from Edmonson County Boy Scout Troop 597 and Butler County Boy Scout Troop 208 enjoyed a canoe/camping trip along the US/Canada Boundary Waters of Minnesota through the Boy Scouts of America, Northern Tier High Adventure Camp.
The Scouts arrived at Northern Tier High Adventure Camp in Ely, Minnesota on July 4, 2020 and began receiving their gear for a 6-day/5-night canoe trip though the Boundary Waters. The Scouts departed the Northern Tier base camp on July 5, 2020 with all their supplies for one week.
During the trek, the Scouts relied on the outdoor skills they had learned and developed through the scouting program. The Scouts prepared their meals and conducted primitive camping. While conducting the trek, the Scouts saw numerous Bald Eagles, Loons and Beavers along with other animal species. The Scouts also participated in a conservation project reporting the water clarity of the lakes they traveled. The Scouts returned to base camp on July 11, 2020, having experienced the beauty of the northern woods of the United States along with the fierce storms that are accustom to the area.
Troop 597 Life Scout Dakotah Curtis stated “Northern Tier was an experience of a lifetime." While on the trip, the Scouts canoed 76 miles of the Boundary Waters.
Edmonson County Boy Scout Troop 597 is chartered by the Edmonson County Lion’s Club.
First Ever Scholarships From Edmonson County Archery
by: Donna Engel
The Edmonson County Archery Boosters would like to congratulate Samantha Massey and Dillon Webb on receiving the first ever EC Archery Scholarships. They each received $500 to assist with their future college endeavors. We would also like to thank our sponsors for this year's scholarships; State Farm Insurance - Josh Roney, Sun Valley Feed Mill - Jim Lodgson, Engel Woodcrafts - Kevin and Donna Engel, and Jacobs Home Furnishings - Jeff and Laura Jacobs.
Applications for Summer Cooling Subsidy and Crisis Components Accepted Through October 31, 2020
Edmonson Voice Report:
Community Action is now accepting applications for the new Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Summer Cooling Program. Designed to help offset the cost of higher electric bills due to rising temperatures, the program is the network’s latest resource to help families during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Applications will run through October 31, 2020, or until funds are depleted.
The LIHEAP Summer Cooling Program is separated into two components, Subsidy and Crisis, to assist with electric costs. Eligible households can apply for one or both components and participation in prior LIHEAP programs will not affect a household’s eligibility. Households must meet income eligibility requirements, including income guidelines. Benefits are only available to assist with electric costs.
The Subsidy component provides households one-time benefit ranging from $50 to $200 depending on income levels and housing category. The Crisis component is available to eligible households who demonstrate a home energy crisis situation. Crisis benefits will cover the minimum needed to alleviate the crisis not to exceed $600. Households can reapply each time they experience a crisis situation until they reached their maximum benefit. Applicants are encouraged to contact their local Community Action outreach office for specific application instructions.
Community Action administers LIHEAP in partnership with Community Action Kentucky and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services who receive the funding as a pass-through block grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. More information about resources provided by Community Action and a listing of LIHEAP outreach offices can be found at the Community Action website at www.casoky.org.
2020 Cram The Cruiser Event Off To Huge Start Thanks To Donation
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
Just over a month ago, the Edmonson Voice first reported about young Parin Patel, a Chalybeate resident who will be going into the third grade at South Edmonson Elementary and his newly found painting skills. Parin's father, Manish Patel, told the Edmonson Voice that he and his family had recently encouraged Parin to find other hobbies besides video games. That's when Parin took up painting after watching several how-to videos.
Parin's paintings were impressive from the start and he and his family began to discuss what they were going to do with all the artwork. The family decided to try to sell the paintings for a local cause, which would eventually be Edmonson County Community Education and the EC Family Resource/Youth Services Centers.
After we published the story, all of Parin's paintings were sold basically in the same day and he began taking orders for new artwork. His dad said Parin had over 100 orders and would've had more; however, a shortage of canvas material during the coronavirus pandemic caused Parin's fundraiser to end a bit early.
Today, Parin and his family donated $1500 to local schools, which will be used to kick off the 2020 Cram the Cruiser event that is currently being organized to be held in a few weeks.
"We appreciate everyone who bought the paintings and made the orders," said Manish. "Without the community's support, there would be no fundraiser. We credit the people of Edmonson County for helping the schools."
Parin said he did about 4-5 paintings on the days he worked on them and didn't get tired at all.
"I painted them when I wanted to and it was ok," he said.
Parin's new passion has been featured on an art YouTube Channel that you can see below.
Manish and his family own Chalybeate Food Mart and is known not only for his popular business but also for giving back to the local community in different ways.
"I am glad that the money was raised for a good cause, but it's also a good teaching lesson for Parin," he said. "I told him that he can work hard to make money and that's good, but it's also important to help others. It's important to support the people that support us. We should help each other."
For more information about Parin's work, you can visit his father's Facebook Page.
Editor's Note: the photo of Parin and the check was edited to hide sensitive account and personal information.
Two Individual Members Named State Champion, State Runner-Up
by Morgan Vincent, Edmonson County FFA Chapter Reporter:
Six members of the Edmonson County FFA Chapter qualified to compete at the Kentucky State Convention in various Impromptu speaking competitions on June 23rd, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, each of these competitions took place virtually.
The members that competed were:
Hayley Lindsey in Beef Impromptu
Maggie Brewer in Floral Impromptu
Danyale Atwell in Goat/Sheep Impromptu
Morgan Vincent in Horse Impromptu
Grant Merideth in Small Animal Impromptu
Mia Jones in Swine Impromptu
In addition to the great achievement of competing at state level, there were two members that placed. Grant Merideth won FFA State Champion Small Animal Impromptu and Morgan Vincent achieved FFA State Runner-up Horse Impromptu.
By exercising leadership, critical thinking, and speaking skills, these six members have further educated themselves in how agriculture affects the world around us in every way.
Brycen Daniels Constructs Safety Barrier For Edmonson Center
Editor's Note: As part of Brycen Daniels' Eagle Scout-requirement Communications Merit Badge, he is required to send an article to a local news outlet. His family contacted us and asked if we would allow his article to be published in the Edmonson Voice and we were thrilled to do so. He has submitted the following article and above photo:
By Brycen Daniels:
My name is Brycen Daniels. I have been in scouts since the first grade, and I am currently a Life Scout working towards my Eagle Scout in Boy Scout troop 597 in Edmonson County. I will be a Freshman in the fall.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had many diverse effects across communities in America. In my community, our nursing home has been heavily affected by the pandemic due to its residents being at higher risk from the virus. The target demographic for Covid-19 is anyone over the age of 60 or anyone with pre-existing medical conditions. The residents at the nursing home often fit into both of the categories.
During the pandemic there have been no visitors allowed. Not being able to see their families can be detrimental for some of the residents. Many of the residents have conditions that could affect their ability to understand why their families stopped going to see them in person. This causes many of the residents to become depressed and possibly have a decline in their health. Lack of visitation also deeply saddens the family members of the residents. With visitation reopening soon, they will need a way to shield the residents from potential exposure to the virus.
As a service project for Boy Scout Troop 597, I wanted to do something to help the residents. I first contacted the administrator at the Edmonson Center and found out the type of barrier and dimensions of the barrier they needed. Second, I contacted Mr. Michael Mills of Mills Creations to work with him on constructing the barrier to help prevent the spread of the virus between residents and their visitors. Mr. Mills generously donated all of the materials for the project as well as his time in helping construct the barrier.
I finished the project off by filling in the screw holes with wood putty, sanding the barrier frame, and painting the frame to make it look nice for the residents and the visitors. The barrier has a sturdy wooden frame with a plexi-glass window so the resident can see their visitor. The barriers will also be mobile so that the staff can easily move the barrier inside or outside to accommodate for different situations. The barriers will be placed over a table so both parties can sit while they visit with their families. The table will also further separate the visitor from the resident.
The virus can be spread by respiratory droplets, thus a physical barrier and distance between residents and their visitors is key for their safety. We delivered the barrier on July 3rd to the administrator, Chris Swihart.
The nursing home is a large part of the community in Edmonson county many people have loved ones and family members in the nursing home. The Boy Scouts are always looking for ways to help out the community in any way we can.
So far, we’ve had a great response to the Free COVID testing at A Plus Family HealthCare. We are highly satisfied with the turnout and the process is working very well, which is quick and convenient. For patients worried about this process, we want everyone to know that this testing takes place behind our office. We advise that our patients park in the dedicated spots behind our building and either call or ring the doorbell to notify us of your arrival. A staff member will come out to check the patient into their appointment and a medical assistant will come out to complete the swab.
A Plus Family HealthCare staff is still taking every precaution necessary, which includes:
● Wearing the appropriate protective equipment thanks in large to the Barren River Health Department and grants that we have received by the Health Resources and Services Administration.
● Cleaning multiple times daily and in between each patient
● Screening patients before they enter our facility for COVID symptoms
Even though A Plus Family HealthCare is a Primary Care Office, you do not have to be a Primary Care Patient of A Plus Family HealthCare to get tested. We just ask that you call to schedule an appointment ahead of time for the test so that our process remains efficient.
Many things have changed due to COVID-19, but our passion for taking care of this community has not.
-Ashley Graham, Clinical Director and CAO.