Edmonson Voice Staff Report: photos courtesy of ECBOE
Both students and staff members were recognized for outstanding academic performance and work ethic at the March 9, 2020 Edmonson County Board of Education meeting.
ECHS Principal Brian Alexander recognized students Gabe Lindsey and Emma Rose Vincent for being Kentucky Governor's Scholars; not pictured is Nickolas Yusupov.
Staff Members honored were counselors Corentha Cole and Michael Meredith, along with teacher, Angie Smith, all from Edmonson County High School.
Submitted by Boy Scout Troop 597:
Edmonson County Boy Scout Troop 597 has been planning a trip to Ely, Minnesota for a Northern Tier High Adventure canoeing trip for July 2020. Since May of 2019, our troop has been working to earn money to help offset the cost of the trip. The scouts have been participating in bake sales, yard sales, parking cars, spirit nights, selling meat sticks, as well as working on their own to help pay for their portion of the trip. As a troop, we had some fundraising activities that did not work out and that has hurt our efforts.
Now we are turning to the community for help! We have two spirit nights scheduled for this week.
Wednesday, March 11, Blaze pizza in Bowling Green is hosting a night for our troop from 5:00-8:00. All you have to do is bring in a copy of the flyer or show them the flyer on your phone before paying and 20% of the proceeds goes to the troop. For us to get the proceeds, you MUST show the flyer!
Thursday, March 12, Bee Spring Restaurant will be hosting a spirit night for our troop. Please come out and support our scouts!
Our scouts and leaders have worked hard to help earn the funds for this trip. If anyone would like to make a donation to help fund our trip, please contact Scoutmaster Derek Curtis at 270-996-8809.
A Scout is thrifty! From the Scout Handbook - "A Scout is thrifty. A Scout works to pay his way and to help others. He saves for the future. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property."
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Four welding students from Edmonson County High School competed in a national welding competition this past weekend in Jacksonville, Florida.
Students Elijah Mansfield, Nathaniel Woodcock, Logan Lindsey, and Devin Smith traveled with ECHS instructor Brandon Meredith to the Tulsa Welding School in Jacksonville, which is the largest welding school in the United States.
The students competed for tuition coverage and other numerous prizes. It's the first time in several years ECHS has competed in a similar competition.
"We have excellent vocational programs at Edmonson County High School," said Principal Brian Alexander. "There is a high demand for skilled welding and fabrication and I have no doubt our students can excel in those fields. We're very proud of the effort put forth from our kids in this competition."
Tulsa Welding School has campuses in Oklahoma, Texas, and Florida. The school says it has more than 20K graduates.
For Sale: 15 acres, 2 homes, 3 garages, Barn, 2 ponds, Property fronts both HWY 70 and Coates Road.
Options for building Sites. Deer and turkey hunting. 1615 and 1655 Morgantown Road. Asking Price is $175,000. Call 270-286-8014.
Darren Doyle, story:
Sara Hurst, a student at Edmonson County High School, has been selected to represent Brownsville, KY as a National Youth Correspondent to the 2020 Washington Journalism and Media Conference at George Mason University.
Sara is a junior at ECHS, where she is a member of the Beta, Math, and Science Clubs. She holds special interests in both reading and writing and hopes to become an author and journalist after high school.
Hurst joins a select group of students from all over the country for an intensive study of journalism and media. Hurst was chosen based on academic accomplishments and a demonstrated interest and excellence in journalism and media studies.
National Youth Correspondents participate in hands-on, experiential learning through decision-making simulations that challenge them to solve problems and explore the creative, practical, and ethical tensions inherent in journalism and media. The experiential portion of the program is complemented by speakers who are well-known leaders in the media community. Presenters include prominent journalists, CEOs of major media outlets, researchers, and recent college graduates successfully entering the field. Past speakers have included Hoda Kotb from NBC, Brian Lamb from C-SPAN, Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Carol Guzy, and Sonya Ross from the Associated Press.
Sara credited several community businesses and residents for donating to the costs of her trip that included: Rhonda Clemmons, Lensey Collins, C&C Firearms, Dairy Queen, Mutts N Suds Pet Grooming, Jacob's Log Furniture, and Bank of Edmonson County, in addition to family and friends.
"I've already made so many friends through a group chat we created to get to know each other before the conference. I am so excited and can't wait until July," she said.
A statement from the conference said, "With distinguished faculty, guest speakers, and direct access to elite D.C. practitioners, the Washington Journalism and Media Conference offers aspiring journalists and student leaders an unparalleled experience. The week long program, held at George Mason University’s state-of-the-art campus, will encourage and inspire young leaders from across the country who desire a unique experience focused on successful careers in this dynamic industry."
Sara is the daughter of Christina Hurst of Brownsville.
The Washington Journalism and Media Conference will be held July 19 to 24, 2020.
The Lady Cat basketball team is selling commemorative shirts for their third consecutive district championship. For orders, please contact any Lady Cat player or coach. Prices are as follow:
Long sleeve $18
(Sizes 2xl $2, 3xl $3 extra charge)
The Edmonson County Baseball/Softball Board has extended the signups for the 2020 youth league season for Saturday, February 29, 2020.
This will be the final signup day for the 2020 season.
The board will be available at both the Parks and Rec Office at HWY 70 Ballpark and South Edmonson Elementary from 9am until noon, and the EC 5/6 Center from 9am until 2pm.
For more information, please send the board a direct message via their Facebook Page.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
National Park Service fire managers will conduct the Parkway Barrens Prescribed Fire on approximately 260 acres of land within Mammoth Cave National Park in early March, weather permitting. The prescribed fire will take place along two roadways: the Mammoth Cave Parkway (KY-255) from the Park City entrance to the intersection with Mammoth Cave Road (KY-70) and along Mammoth Cave Road from the Cave City Entrance to the intersection with Mammoth Cave Parkway. All cave tours, roads, and visitor access to Diamond Caverns and the Diamond Caverns RV Resort will remain open during the burn operations, but the Mammoth Cave Railroad Bike and Hike Trail will be temporarily closed.
The goal of the Parkway Barrens Prescribed Fire is to promote the growth of native species such as Post oaks, native grasses, and various wildflowers in the eastern tall grass prairie vegetation naturally found within this section of the park. The burn will also reduce hazardous forest fuels such as branches, twigs, and logs that have accumulated over the years which will help protect human life and property from more intense wildfires that could feed off excess fuels.
Mammoth Cave National Park will notify the public and local community leaders of the exact date of the burn once it has been officially determined by fire management officials. The plans for this prescribed fire contain a set of parameters which define, among other things, the acceptable weather and fuel conditions under which the fire can be initiated. Prior to implementing the burn, fire managers will evaluate current conditions and will only ignite the fire if all the prescribed conditions are within those parameters that provide for the greatest safety and best smoke management.
Some short-term smoke impacts to the nearby communities and areas directly outside of the park should be expected during the prescribed burn. Travelers on the Mammoth Cave Parkway from the Park City Entrance to Mammoth Cave Road intersection may experience temporary delays depending on burning activities. Any delay should only last a few minutes.
Specially trained wildland firefighters from the National Park Service’s Mississippi River Fire Management Zone, Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, and Mammoth Cave National Park will manage the prescribed fire.
House Approves Measure to Strengthen Public Assistance Programs
by: Representative Michael Lee Meredith
Throughout my time in the Kentucky House, I have made this district my top legislative priority. When I go to work, I go to work for our families and our future. Throughout my time in Frankfort, I have supported policies aimed at growing our economy, protecting life, defending our most vulnerable, and preserving Kentucky values. This week the House passed legislation that I believe will do just that by making changes to how our public assistance programs serve our most vulnerable friends and neighbors.
Kentucky has one of the lowest workforce participation rates in our nation, which means too many Kentuckians who should be working, are not. The number of people on our Medicaid program adds up to more than twice the number of children we have in our classrooms. Overall, almost 30 percent of our 4.5 million people are on some type of public assistance.
HB 1 is the first step towards turning “benefit cliffs” into true “safety nets”. What is a benefit cliff? It is the term used to describe what happens when public benefits end as household earnings increase. The abrupt loss of benefits can actually set families back because even though household earnings increased, they do not increase enough to keep pace with benefits that are being lost. Many times this leads to a situation where entering the workforce is a negative for the individuals and their families who have been served by these programs.
This measure is based on the idea that if public assistance programs are going to work, there must be accountability – for both the people they serve and the people who fund them. These programs were created to provide temporary assistance to help those in need get back on their feet and reach economic stability. However, over time we have spent billions and yet many of the programs are not reaching those goals. It is time for a fundamental change in how we approach public assistance. We must hold these programs accountable to the taxpayers who pay for them, and the people they serve.
The bill preserves exemptions for pregnant mothers, the elderly, and others who are unable to work. It does, however, tackle drug abuse as a reason for unemployment by emphasizing drug treatment and available funding to pay for it. HB 1 requires Medicaid beneficiaries convicted of a drug-related charge to enroll in substance abuse treatment within 90 days of release from incarceration. This treatment could be paid for by money available through a substance use disorder waiver.
HB 1 also makes decreasing fraud and misuse a priority. A part of the bill places all public assistance payments that an individual receives on one EBT card. This should not only make it easier for a recipient to keep track of the card, but also prevent those who want to take advantage of their benefits from selling or trading it for something. The bill also allows the state to eliminate eligibility for all public assistance programs for individuals found to be trafficking in EBT cards on more than one occasion. It restricts the use of cash withdrawn from an EBT card to only the purchase of goods and services necessary for the welfare of the family. The HCS codifies federal prohibitions on the use of cash benefits to purchase alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, or vaping products; goods or services at a casino or adult entertainment establishment; and services from tattoo or body piercing facilities.
I want to stress that custodial parents who lose benefits because of fraud or misuse can reassign child benefits to another person – we do not want to add to the suffering any child might face due to the irresponsibility of a parent.
I mentioned earlier that the goal for this bill is to eliminate the barriers that keep people from getting and keeping a job. Health insurance is a huge expense for all of us, but many people remain on Medicaid – and unemployed - only to keep their insurance. With HB 1, we are directing the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to explore funding and implementation options for creating a “bridge” insurance plan to provide health insurance coverage to those entering the work force through expanded time-limited eligibility for Medicaid.
In addition to public assistance reform, we addressed several other important issues this week. The House passed a measure that will have a positive impact on roughly 500,000 Kentuckians. House Bill 12 would limit out-of-pocket costs for insulin prescriptions. The legislation mandates the cost of insulin would be capped at $100 per prescription for a 30-day insulin supply. The cap would apply to people with commercial health insurance plans.
HB 136, which would legalize cannabis for medical use, also received approval in the House this week. Let me be very clear, I have never supported the recreational use of marijuana. In fact, I have been reluctant to support prior proposals on medical cannabis. However, research has proven that patients with certain medical conditions can benefit from treatment with cannabis. This particular proposal, along with some of the added amendments, strikes an appropriate balance of serving those patients without going too far. The bill would prohibit the smoking of cannabis but would allow other forms of consumption, such as edibles, oils, and tinctures. The bill requires that patients have a bona-fide relationship with a recommending doctor and they would have to receive consultation from a licensed pharmacist on possible interactions with other prescriptions they may be taking before receiving a card identifying them as eligible for the program. The bill creates a licensing process for producers, processor and those that sell these products. The bill also establishes an electronic monitoring system that would track the sale of these products to prevent misuse. If passed in the Senate, Kentucky will be the 34th state to legalize medical cannabis and we will have one of the most strictly regulated programs in the nation.
As always, if you have any questions or comments about this session, I can be reached during the week from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. (EST) through the toll-free message line at 1-800-372-7181. You can also contact me via e-mail at Michael.Meredith@lrc.ky.gov. You can keep track of committee meetings and potential legislation through the Kentucky Legislature Home Page at legislature.ky.gov.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
The Honda Division of American Honda Motor Co. Inc., recently honored Brownsville resident Ricky Skaggs with Silver-level membership in the exclusive 2019 Honda Council of Sales leadership.
Ricky has been serving Honda customers for 28 years at Gary Force Honda. This is the 16th time he has achieved membership in the Council of Sales Leadership.
Honda recognizes and rewards high-performing consultants in the Council of Sales Leadership program, an annual recognition initiative that promotes excellence in sales achievement, customer treatment, and professional development. More than 15,000 sales consultants participate in the program nationwide and only 2,230 achieved Silver membership.
Optional entry donations go to support local Family Resource Center and Youth Services Center:
by Senator Steve Meredith:
We began the week by remembering our founding fathers and the noble leaders who helped shape our great nation. On Presidents Day, we salute all U.S. Presidents, past and present, especially Kentucky’s son, Abraham Lincoln.
If you’ve visited the Capitol, you may remember the grand statue of President Lincoln in the rotunda. There is a century-old tradition of rubbing his left boot for good luck. Especially popular during the session months, lawmakers and visitors frequently touch the statue as they pass through the rotunda. While the hustle and bustle of the session could always use a little more positivity and luck, the statue serves as a daily reminder of Lincoln’s remarkable leadership and moral courage he displayed as a lawmaker, the type of Kentuckian we should all aspire to be.
Week seven marks the halfway point of the 2020 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly. For the past couple of months, I, along with my colleagues in the Senate and House, have been working diligently to pass legislation on a wide variety of issues facing Kentuckians and our Commonwealth. With a little fewer than 30 days left in the session, we want to make sure that we are maximizing our time here in Frankfort.
There was no shortage of bill movement in Senate committees and the chamber this week. The State & Local Government Committee heard testimony and passed several constitutional amendments including Senate Bill (SB) 58, which would limit the Governor’s ability to grant pardons beginning 30 days prior to a gubernatorial election and ending at that gubernatorial inauguration. SB 62 would grant persons convicted of a felony other than a sex offense, a violent offense, or an offense against a child, the right to vote five years after completion of sentence.
Also passing through the Senate State & Local Government Committee was SB 15, also known as “Marsy’s Law.” This constitutional amendment and national effort is no stranger to the Kentucky General Assembly, having been passed in 2018 with bipartisan support. Similar to the previous bill, SB 15 would require victims of crime to be notified throughout the judicial process. This year’s bill adds in the requirement that victims must be notified in advance of any pardon or commutation of a sentence, which is not currently required by law.
The Senate passed another priority measure this week. SB 4 is a bill that serves to depoliticize the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC). Governors in the past have utilized KYTC as leverage when allocating funding for road projects. SB 4 would codify into law the previous administration's Strategic Highway Investment Formula for Tomorrow (SHIFT) initiative, a data-driven, objective approach to compare capital improvement projects and prioritize limited transportation funds. SB 4 would establish a diverse Transportation Board which would be responsible for recommending the state road plan to the Kentucky General Assembly. However, legislators would still make the ultimate decision on the state's six-year road budget. SB 4 would also provide necessary oversight over the appointment of the Cabinet Secretary. Board members, in coordination with various organizations such as the Kentucky Association of Counties and the Kentucky League of Cities, would nominate three well-qualified Secretary Candidates for the Governor to choose from.
So as to avoid any concerns that the bill was politically motivated, SB 4 was filed last year prior to the 2019 Governor’s election. Any concerns about the bill and proposed changes can and should be discussed in the House. We are all very blessed to be in such a position that we can debate and develop good policy on behalf of the people of Kentucky. It’s a responsibility that I do not take for granted and I know the same is true for my fellow lawmakers.
Passing in the Senate with bipartisan support was SB 50. This is a technical measure regarding pharmacy benefits and seeks to remedy unfair practices by Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) within the Medicaid program. SB 50 tackles many issues including preferred drug lists, reimbursement methodology, and dispensing fees within Medicaid managed care. SB 50 would provide transparency by requiring the contracted PBM to disclose any potential conflict-of-interest with the state Medicaid department, managed care organizations, pharmacies and other groups involved in the pharmaceutical industry. Also, the PBM would have to disclose any fees it imposes on pharmacies.
The amended version of SB 50 would protect a nearly 30-year-old federal arrangement, titled the 340B Drug Pricing Program, which requires pharmaceutical manufacturers to provide drugs to some health care organizations, such as Kentucky’s rural hospitals, at significantly reduced prices.
Other bills moving to the House for consideration are:
SB 91 protects patients and healthcare providers from harmful surgical smoke by requiring licensed health facilities that use energy generating devices (tools using heat, laser, or electricity) to use a smoke evacuation system during any surgical procedure that produces surgical smoke.
SB 103 would exempt some agricultural buildings on farms of five acres or more from certain sewage disposal and plumbing requirements. This would not include residential buildings or structures within a city’s limits. Currently, the farm has to be at least 10 acres or more to qualify for the exemption.
SB 111 would require, upon the family’s approval, the American flag to be draped over the casket of a police officer, firefighter, emergency medical services provider or coroner killed in the line of duty. SB 111 would apply when the first-responder’s body is returned from the medical examiner’s office. The bill also states a coroner should professionally transport the remains according to the family’s wishes.
SB 134 would establish the Optometry Scholarship Program to provide students the opportunity to attend an optometry school and become a certified practitioner in Kentucky. A minimum of one-third of the amount spent on scholarships would be awarded to students attending the Kentucky College of Optometry at the University of Pikeville. The remaining amount could be spent on scholarships to out-of-state institutions. SB 134 would also create a trust fund for the program.
Thank you for your calls, emails, and visits to the Capitol. With more than 30 days of the legislative session behind us, our main focus will continue to be the state budget and road plan as we lay out the Commonwealth’s financial path for the next two years.
If you know a student who would enjoy a day in Frankfort learning about state government and the legislative process, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office at 1-800-372-7181 or email me at Stephen.Meredith@LRC.ky.gov. I invite you to reach out to me on any other matter of importance to you as well. Don’t forget; you can also review the Legislature’s work online at www.legislature.ky.gov.
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Walmart on Morgantown Road donated $2,500 to Edmonson County charity, Santa's Helping Hands, INC., on Thursday, February 13, 2020.
Charity founder Mark Wardlow said the Bowling Green location has continued their generosity to the organization once again.
"We appreciate what Walmart is doing for Edmonson County," he said. "We also want to remind everyone that our charity works all year long, not just at Christmastime. We welcome your help anytime, whether you are an individual or business that wants to donate, or someone looking to volunteer, please give us a call at 270-991-2972."
Santa's Helping Hands, INC., helps provide Christmas gifts and necessities to those in need within Edmonson County each year. It is a non-profit organization which is run 100% by volunteers.