To the Editor:
Last week, our family experienced a devastating fire. We are so thankful to the volunteer firefighters from all over the county (and the 911 dispatchers) who repeatedly responded to our calls for help throughout the night and the following day as the blaze reignited. Their multiple acts of kindness went above and beyond the call of duty. We will be forever in your debt. God bless you all.
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Darren Doyle, Founder, Director:
There are a number of reasons that the Edmonson Voice is the leading source for local news and information in our county; one of those reasons is that we concentrate heavily on just local information, and we do our best to keep our opinions out of our platform.
With that being said, my office receives multiple calls and messages on a regular basis from local residents that complain about two major issues: internet service and the trash pickup service we are forced to use, provided by Waste Connections (also still known to some as Scott Waste).
This past Monday at an Edmonson County Fiscal Court meeting, Judge Executive Wil Cannon summarized the many complaints his office had received over the last few months that were directed at Waste Connections. Also, a few residents in attendance brought up additional issues. Mr. Pete Reckard, a rep for Waste Connections, gave several excuses and a few apologies as responses to those issues.
As a response to those many complaints that we also receive, and from my own experience as a Waste Connections "customer" and tax payer, I'd like to write this open letter to Waste Connections, the same as anyone else might submit a letter to the editor. It seems like I never get to share my opinion publicly, so here it is, in open letter form.
Dear Waste Connections,
Letter to the Editor: High School Students: Check Out Perks From AmeriCorps KY Colleges Coaches Program
ECHS AmeriCorps Kentucky Colleges Coaches program is geared up for another great year! We still have limited space for 9th-12th grade first generation students (students whose parents do not have a FOUR year degree) that may qualify for free/reduced lunches.
On Oct 1, 2021 the FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid) opens up for those who are planning on attending college during the 22-23 school year. All high school seniors are encouraged to fill out the FAFSA even if they are not one hundred percent sure they will be going to college. Most colleges require the FAFSA for admission. Filling out the FAFSA may also qualify students for scholarships. We are hoping to see an increase in FAFSA completion statewide this year.
KHEAA (Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority) offers a guide to help with FAFSA completion (https://www.kheaa.com/pdf/pubs/FAFSA_Completion_Guide.pdf?main=1) as well as many other tips and information about preparing and paying for college.
ECHS KCC will offer a Family FAFSA Night October 21 from 5-7 in the school library for families wanting help filling out the application. November 4th will be College Application Day. Area college admission counselors will be in the library to assist ECHS (in person or virtual) students in filling out college applications. More information will be posted on their Google Classrooms.
For more information about the FAFSA, college and career information, or the Kentucky College Coaches’ Program feel free to contact Carmon Hughes at email@example.com or call 270-597-2151.
ECHS Americorps Kentucky College Coach
The Kentucky Higher Education Authority (KHEAA), along with other educational organizations has kicked off #FAFSAFebruary in an effort to encourage Kentuckians who are going to college in the fall to fill out the FAFSA(free application for student aid).
According to the Form Your Future FAFSA Tracker, Kentucky has seen a 19% decrease in completion for high school students. Edmonson County High school has also seen a significant decrease in completion compared to a year ago.
Many students do not fill out the form because they feel their family makes too much money, but that is not always the case. In addition to federal and state grants and loans for those that qualify, the FAFSA is also used by many colleges to determine scholarship eligibility. Billions of dollars set aside for student federal aid goes unused due to lack of FAFSA completion.
If you have questions or concerns regarding the FAFSA you may contact Mrs. Culbreth or Ms. Hughes at ECHS. For other high schools contact your school counselor or any of KHEAA’s outreach counselors (https://www.kheaa.com/website/kheaa/counselors?main=6).
ECHS AmeriCorps Kentucky College Coach
OpEd From State Treasurer Allison Ball: Governor's Overreach of Power, Disregard For First Amendment
OpEd by Kentucky State Treasurer Allison Ball:
Every statewide elected official takes an oath to uphold the constitutions of the United States and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. As your elected State Treasurer, I have the added responsibility of watching all state expenditures, billions of dollars every year, and making sure that your taxpayer dollars are not being used in a way that violates the Constitution.
In recent weeks, there have been stories circulating nationwide about the efforts of the Archbishop of San Francisco to overturn the punitive limits imposed on churches by the mayor of San Francisco. The last few days have seen a resurgence in the targeting of Orthodox Jewish communities in New York, as well as other houses of worship, by imposing hard caps of 10 and 25 people per service, regardless of the size of the church or synagogue. As efforts to protect civil liberties in those areas moves forward, we must remember that the targeting of religious exercise by state and local officials is not limited to the coastal “blue” states.
Kentucky, whose politics will never be confused with New York or California, has itself seen multiple federal courts strike down executive orders issued by Governor Andy Beshear, on the grounds that the orders limiting religious services, travel, or protest, violated the fundamental, constitutional rights of Kentuckians. In any other time in our history, a series of defeats of this magnitude would have been met with much greater attention and demand for accountability.
Due to my role as a watchdog of public spending, I directed my office to review the way taxpayer dollars were being spent to enforce the administration’s questionable executive orders relating to First Amendment activities. Protecting our Commonwealth and its great citizens need not be done at the expense of the First Amendment. It is possible to protect the Commonwealth while respecting, and adhering to, a principle upon which this country was founded. My office requested information from a number of health departments around the Commonwealth, and received responses from several departments, as well as the Kentucky State Police.
Our investigation uncovered numerous instances of law enforcement being used to monitor or shut down faith-based services; derogatory or confrontational comments made about religious exercise by those in leadership; and selective, targeted enforcement of mass gathering prohibitions, in violation of the First Amendment. The actions taken at a local level seem to be directly correlated to the decisions made, and the tone set, by the Governor’s administration in Frankfort, which itself has too often used daily briefings and press releases as opportunities to disparage or threaten any person or institution that questions the legality and appropriateness of the administration’s orders.
On October 22, I will be presenting my office’s findings to the Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary in Frankfort. This will be an opportunity for legislators to consider what we have uncovered in relation to executive actions during last few months, and for the public to learn more about how taxpayer dollars have been spent to enforce arbitrary government orders.
Kentuckians have established a constitution and laws that demand respect for the First Amendment rights of all citizens, regardless of their religious or political beliefs. During the 1930s, as our nation was trapped within the economic catastrophe of the Great Depression, and facing the rise of dangerous forces around the world, Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes reminded the country that “[t]he Constitution was adopted in a period of great emergency.” He astutely noted that “[e]mergency does not create power” and that “[e]mergency does not increase granted power.” The extraordinary challenges presented in 2020 do not provide justification for expanding the Governor’s powers, or for ignoring the fundamental tenets that separate our democracy from failed and oppressive autocratic states arounds the world.
The First Amendment must be vigorously defended by all elected officials, particularly in times of emergency, when it is the easiest for the government to justify unconstitutional restrictions. I encourage every Kentuckian to continue to demand that our government adhere to the constitution and laws of the Commonwealth, and I look forward to continuing to serve the Commonwealth as your State Treasurer.