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Mon, Mar 02, 2015 04:31 PM
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 Issue

Letters to the Editor

The Big Sandy News welcomes letters to the editor. To have your letter published, please follow these guidelines: Letters should be limited to 300 words.
Letters- except those written to thank individuals-should focus on public issues, not on either private disputes or the individual religious beliefs of the writers.
Letters should not promote hate and bigotry. Neither should they be obscene or libelous or make personal attacks on individuals.
Letters must be signed and include a verifiable address and telephone number of the writers.
Letters should be delivered to our office at 115 Louisa Plaza, Suite 4 in Louisa Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m., mailed to us at P.O. Box 766, Louisa, KY 41230 or faxed to us at (606) 638-9949. Letters may be e-mailed to
We reserve the right to edit letters for length, grammar, spelling and clarity.
Letters to the editor are the opinions of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Big Sandy News.

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click to submit a letter

Lent offers 'superb' opportunity


Wednesday marked the beginning of Lent, the 40-day period before Easter, when many Christians abstain from animal foods in remembrance of Jesus' 40 days of fasting in the desert before launching his ministry.

But meat-free Lent is much more than a symbol of religious devotion to Christ. It helps reduce the risk of chronic disease, environmental degradation, and animal abuse. Dozens of medical reports have linked consumption of animal products with elevated risk of heart failure, stroke, cancer, and other killer diseases. A 2007 U.N. report named meat production as the largest source of greenhouse gases and water pollution. Undercover investigations have documented farm animals being beaten, caged, crowded, deprived, mutilated, and shocked.

Lent offers a superb opportunity to honor Christ's powerful message of compassion and love by adopting a meat-free diet for Lent an beyond.

After all, it's the diet mandated in Genesis I-29 and observed in the Garden of Eden.

Our supermarket offers a rich array of plant-based meat and dairy alternatives, as well as the more traditional vegetables, fruits, and grains. Entering "vegan recipes" in our favorite search engine offers more products, recipes, and transition tips than we can use.

Braydon Sumner
City, State: Louisa, Ky.
February 18, 2015

Harless issues thanks to residents


I, Nathan Harless, would personally like to take the time to say thank you to all the constituents of District 1 in Martin County for their support and prayers in this endeavor. Our mindset was always focusing on our people and not for personal gain.

As I began the journey to pursue a political position here in Martin County, it was very enjoyable from the sit down table conversations to holding hands and to pray over many different situations.

As this journey continued, I found myself being elected as Martin County magistrate of District 1. I was extremely humbled by the outcome. Being faced with many tough decisions over the last few weeks, my family and I spent time in prayer, asking God for direction. There were a lot of sleepless nights and heartfelt conversations with different people from all over this county. My goal was to never hurt, make life harder, or bring hardship to any family.

It has been made clear to me what God has for my life. The Bible teaches us that we know we have passed from death unto life because we love the brother. My family and I love Martin County, especially our people, and we hope for the best outcome for all. However, at this time, I believe it is in the best interest of our family to resign as your magistrate. Our ultimate goal in life is to share God's love and to tell people about Jesus and his amazing grace.

Nathan Harless
City, State: Inez, Ky.
January 27, 2015

Webb: Floud district in good hands


Each January, the Commonwealth of Kentucky observes School Board Recognition Month as a way to thank school board members for the many hours they devote to our communities and schools. Board members make a positive impact on the education of our children by establishing sound management policies and making the difficult but necessary decisions that ensure our students learn the knowledge and skills they need to be successful.

Our district is most fortunate to have Jeff Stumbo, Linda Gearheart, Rhonda Meade, Dr. Chandra Varia, and Sherry Robinson serving as members of the Floyd County Board of Education. These individuals are truly dedicated to doing what's best for our children.

Members of the Floyd County Board of Education stay focused on continued progress for our school system by monitoring our District goals: *Top 10 School District; *College and Career Readness rate of 90%; *Remain fiscally solvent and efficient; *American College Test- district score of 19.5; *KREP-district score of 76; *Attendance for Students Districtwide-96%.

The leadership of our board members has helped fuel our impressive climb from 145th among 176 Kentucky public school districts in 2005 to 12th in 2014. Other important achievements have been the implementation of our ambitious Digital Conversion, which is on pace to provide every student in grades five through twelve twenty-four hour personal use of a high quality technology device, the Floyd County Early College Academy, which this year is expected to graduate twenty-one of our students with high school diplomas and associate degrees and the implantation of a facility plan that will eliminate the last remaining Category 5 schools in our district. All of these successes required tough decisions by our board members and we appreciate their willingness to stand up for all Floyd County KIDS every day.

I am very pleased to tell the citizens of Floyd County that our educational system and our kids are in good hands with our Board of Education and that the board members deserve our support and our thanks during School Board Recognition Month and throughout the year.

Dr. Henry Webb
City, State: Floyd County School Superintendent
January 20, 2015

Samons thanks members


The students and teachers, the administrators and the service workers of the Paintsville Independent School System deserve praise for working hard in their roles. But equally deserving of praise are the members of the district's Board of Education, not only for their work but for their leadership.

Eddie Hazelett, Ken Fuller, Joe Porter, Marvin "Butch" Walker and Matt Williams are more than just elected officials. They are the link between the school districts citizens and its schools. They make some tough decisions, set policy for their district and create the conditions that enable students to succeed. When it comes to devotion to what's in the best interest of our students, no community has a finer group of citizen leaders than these five gentlemen.

As the demands of high-stakes accountability have increased for our schools, the job of our local board members has likewise become increasingly complex, requiring more time, training and knowledge. They also must ensure the safety and maintenance of school buildings and buses, support teachers by making sure they have adequate professional development, lead the charge for programs that help students of every ability level and closely monitor the finances of the school system. There is not a single aspect of overall district operation that isn't tied to the work of our board members.

I, along with the students and staff, am pleased to join with other community members in thanking the members of our Paintsville Independent Board of Education this month for what they do on behalf of our children.

Coy D. Samons
City, State: Paintsville Independent School Superintendent
January 20, 2015

Johnson school chief expresses appreciation


The members of the Johnson County Board of Education work daily to ensure our district's ability to educate our children and provide improved educational programs while monitoring finances and meeting more difficult and complex training requirements. This responsibility involves complicated assessments and considerate decision making while at the same time unselfishly burdening themselves with improving test scores, school facility safety concerns and countless other issues. Board members are involved in all aspects of district operation and their knowledge and leadership to make Johnson County Schools one of the best school districts in our state.

These are just a few reasons the Johnson County Board of Education members deserve our thanks during Kentucky's January observation of School Board Members Recognition Month.

I, along with the students and staff of the Johnson County School System, wish to express appreciation and gratitude to Bob Hutchinson, Melvin VanHoose, James Doug Wright, Bruce Aaron Davis, and William Fraley for their years of dedication and service and I urge all residents of Johnson County to join us in expressing appreciation to these outstanding public servants.

Thomas Salyer
City, State: Johnson County School Superintendent
January 20, 2015

Being board member means sacrifice


The students, parents, and staff of Lawrence County Schools prove each day that they are "All In" when it comes to being competitive in the classroom, on the field, and on the court. Hard work and dedication are integral parts of our goal to be a proficient district.

Thankfully, the Commonwealth of Kentucky sets aside the month of January to recognize another group of individuals that give that same hard work and dedication: the local Board of Education. The students of Lawrence County are blessed to have Mr. Jim See, Ms. Barbara Robinson, Ms. Garnett Skaggs, Mr. Heath Preston, and Mr. John Goble serve in this capacity. These individuals are "All In" and prove it through the time they devote to kids of Lawrence County. Their decisions make the vision of "Every Child College and Career Ready: A Community Involved and Informed" possible.

Also, being a board member requires sacrifice. High-stakes accountability, student safety, maintenance issues, and complex financial budgets require more time, training, and knowledge than ever before. Every aspect of the overall district operation is tied to the work of our board members. In short, our board members play a vital role in our student's accomplishments.

I am pleased to join with our community members in thanking the members of our Lawrence County Board of Education this month for their dedication to our students. They help define what it means to be "All In."

Robbie Fletcher
City, State: Lawrence County School Superintendent
January 20, 2015

Organization says 'thanks'


Lovejoy Ministries, Revival Fire Outreach, and the "Country Christmas" Committee sends a very special "thank you" to all the ministries, churches, and businesses who setup at the event, or donated toys, money, food, or their time to our community event.

This year's "Country Christmas" Committee were Pat Kincaid, Christina Kincaid, Gary Kincaid, Shirlene Hardwick, Darlene Hardwick, Cheryl Perry, and Carreen Arrington.

Ministries and Churches participating were: Christ Temple Church, Saltpetre Church, Oak Grove Church, Silver Creek United Baptist Church, Louisa Church Of God, Cornerstone Christian Counseling, Community Fellowship Church, New Life Outreach Church, Louisa Ministerial Association, and a host of other volunteers shared in the giving.

The businesses that donated were: Louisa Walmart, Cuttin' Up With Dovie, Arby's, The Texas Road House, Louisa Peoples Security Bank, Wendy's, Food City, Simple Treasures, Three Rivers Mart, Save-A-Lot, Dave's Auto Sales & Service, Down Home Grill, Toro Loco The Mexican Restaurant, The Louisa Coke Plant, Jackson Brothers, Hatfield's Grocery, Creative Ceramics, Louisa Giovanni's, and Appalachian Outreach.

We would also like to express our thankfulness and gratitude to all the ministers, and entertainers that took the stage. Christ Temple Church's Michelle Scaggs, Nacole Matthews, and Angie Caserta, The God Girls, The Louisa Church of God Children's Church, The Silver Creek United Baptist Church's Hope Puppeteers, The Troubadours, New Life Outreach's Youth Drama Team known as "The Outcast For Christ", and Community Fellowship Church Band. Mr. and Mrs. Santa Clause, and their faithful elf were also there to bless the children.

Everyone who participated are so important to us our thanks also goes out to all those who helped in various booths, ticket registration, food preparation, sound setup, and event clean up. There were so many other unnamed people who gave and supported in so many different ways. We couldn't do it without the help of everyone joining in on our vision of unity in our community with the Love of Christ.

This year's "Country Christmas" was the biggest turn out that we have had to date, we estimated 500+ people, in attendance through out the day, Praise God!! We are looking forward to next years "Country Christmas" scheduled for December 12, 2015, mark your calendars. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas. Remember, Jesus is the reason for the season!

Patricia Kincaid
City, State: Fort Gay, WV
December 16, 2014

Willing Workers say 'thanks'


The Willing Workers at Belles Chapel Freewill Baptist Church would like to thank everyone who made our annual auction a huge success.

We would like to thank all the local businesses in Louisa and Paintsville for their donations or the items that were given to be auctioned off. Proceeds will be used to help those in need this Christmas.

Thank you and God Bless.

Karen Ferrell
City, State: Belles Chapel Willing Workers, Louisa
December 02, 2014

New veterans program being offered


Are you a veteran who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in the next two weeks? Are you unemployed or underemployed? Did you actively serve in the military and receive an honorable or general discharge? If you answered yes to all three questions, you are invited to participate in the Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program that serves your area.

Mountain Comprehensive Care was awarded the Homeless Veteran Reintegration grant through the Department of Labor to assist homeless veterans reintegrate back into the work force while also helping veterans to overcome complex challenges that hinder sustainability. Each participant will be assessed by an employment coordinator to work out an individualized employment plan that meets the participant's short-term and long-term employment goals and immediate housing needs. Collaboration and referrals are made with other service organizations as needed. Financial assistance may also be available for job related expenses.

If you are interested in the Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program, please call or text Candy Goldie, Employment Coordinator at 606-615-1489.

Candy Goble
City, State: HVRP Employment Coordinator, Prestonsburg
December 02, 2014

itizens have tool to help make vulnerable adults safer


Kentuckians now have a tool to help make vulnerable adults safer.

Sentate Bill 98 took effect on July 15 and created the Kentucky Adult Protective Services Caregiver Misconduct Registry. This registry will help families and employers in the adult care profession learn if an applicant has a record of substantiated adult mistreatment. The registry is maintained by the Department for Community Based Services, and will include a list of employees who have cared for vulnerable adults either in a facility or a private home and who investigation has identified as a perpetrator of a "validated substantiated finding of abuse, neglect, or exploitation." The registry will not include self-neglect or vulnerable adult maltreatment that is perpetrated by a non-compensated caregiver. The person's name will be placed on the registry only after they have exhausted all appeal rights or waived the right to appeal.

A free, searchable web portal can be accessed 24 hours a day at Registry queries are based on the individual's Social Security number. Search results are immediate. For those without Internet access, a paper-based query process is also available free of charge.

Learn more about adult and elder abuse prevention online at Learn more about the Caregiver Misconduct Registry at

Angela K. Rigsby
City, State: FIVCO District Ombudsman, Ashland
November 11, 2014

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