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Sun, Dec 21, 2014 11:04 AM
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.

Search the Letters to the Editor:
click to submit a letter

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

Youth group says ‘thank you’


On Wednesday evening, Oct. 8, our church youth group was able to experience something that we know we will not forget. We were given the opportunity to ride a fire truck around town. Not only were we able to ride a truck around town, the fire department brought the adults and children that were riding the trucks to our church to let them get off the trucks. What a sight to see our adults and children on three fire trucks with their lights flashing lined up in front of our church.

We extend our thanks to the Louisa Fire Department for their sacrifice of time and effort to afford our youth group this once in a lifetime opportunity. Also, for the men and women that volunteer for the department, a heart felt thanks for your service and sacrifice for our community.

Again, thank you, Louisa Fire Department, for an exciting evening and your willingness to serve our community.

Greg McCoy, Katie Ward and Don Ward
City, State: Youth Leaders Lighthouse Freewill Baptist Church, Louisa
November 04, 2014

Hospital committed to region


The Affordable Care Act has dramatically impacted the delivery of health care services across the country and this region. The impact has been both good and bad for Eastern Kentucky's doctors and hospitals. One thing that hasn't changed is community based organizations like Highlands Health System, which remains committed to meeting the health care needs of our region.

It is great so many more Kentuckians have access to Medicaid coverage but if payment practices of the managed care organizations do not improve soon, our region risks losing skilled doctors and essential services. In Kentucky, rural hospitals and doctors have been negatively impacted by Medicaid managed care organizations that claim they manage care of their members. The truth is, there is little care management occurring in our region. Instead, local doctors and hospitals have to fight for timely and appropriate payment for their services. Often, patients are unaware of this dynamic. Patients can make a difference as some plans are more conscience about paying providers appropriately than others. People should carefully consider their choice of plans and take into consideration the long term impact their selection of plans has on our regional health care system. Open enrollment in the Medicaid program will begin in October and November.

The pressures on our local hospital and doctors are very real. Recently, Highlands completed negotiations with its union. To the credit of Highlands' employees, they recognized the pressures caused by the state's new Medicaid program and our distressed local economy. The employees of Highlands demonstrated great insight and sacrifice by increasing their out-of-pocket expenses for health coverage. This was done in part to preserve jobs and also to assure this region continues to have a vibrant hospital that delivers low cost and high quality care. Highlands employees come primarily from Floyd, Johnson, Martin, and Magoffin counties. They know firsthand the important role a hospital plays in the overall health of our economy. It is important our region support their sacrifice and choose to use their local not-for-profit hospital. Our 600 employees and 250 doctors are committed to you and the vitality of the region.

Harold C. Warman Jr.
City, State: FACHE Highlands Health System President & CEO
November 04, 2014

Civil War commemoration a success


The Johnson County Public Library recently celebrated the end of its two-year-long 150th Anniversary Civil War Commemoration as Judge John David Preston led a very well-received discussion of the book "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln" by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Those who have attended the events that have been a part of the commemoration regret seeing it come to an end, but we would like to assure our patrons that the library will continue to offer quality programming on a variety of topics.

Also, for those interested in the Civil War, we will be scheduling discussions of a few more books concerning important people of the era and reconstruction per the request of those in attendance at the "Team of Rivals" discussion. We are also in the process of scheduling speakers and Chautauqua performers through the Kentucky Humanities Council. We will have a wide variety of offerings from KHC, which will include a couple more Chataquans representing characters from the Civil War Era. Visit the library to obtain a copy of our calendar or check our website,, or like us on Facebook to stay up-to-date on all of our library happenings.

The library would like to thank all those who helped to make our commemoration a success. We applied to receive a traveling exhibit titled "Civil War 150" and, though we didn't receive it, we were awarded a $500 stipend from the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History in partnership with the Library of America and the National Endowment for the Humanities. This was a nice addition to the funds we had already budgeted to conduct the Civil War programming we had planned.

The Kentucky Humanities Council, Inc., in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities, provides funding so that nonprofits like the library can host Kentucky Chautauqua performers and speakers from Kentucky Humanities Council Speakers Bureau. We took advantage of this funding almost monthly as we presented programs at the library in the evenings and daytime programs for fifth graders studying the Civil War for the first time as part of their curriculum. The Kentucky Humanities Council is also supported by organizations statewide, such as Morehead State University, Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, and Cralle Foundation. The National Endowment for the Humanities receives federal funding and, for that, we have our legislators to thank: Congressman Hal Rogers, Senator Mitch McConnell, and Senator Rand Paul.

Our local media and Family Resource/Youth Service Center directors have played a key role in getting the word of these events out to the public, and for this we thank Hometown TV, Paintsville Tourism, WKLW, WSIP, The Paintsville Herald, The Big Sandy News, and the FRYSC director from each local school. These are Tama Ramey, Karen Salyer, Anita Cantrell, Elizabeth Bruner, Lynn Wilcox, Joanie Daniel (retired), Belinda Meek, Pam Tackett, Kathleen Burchett and Jason Hurt.

We give most honorable mention and thanks to all the local scholars, authors, educators, and general Civil War enthusiasts who contributed to our programming by speaking on related topics, leading book discussions, and/or helping us brainstorm: the Honorable John David Preston, Dr. Donald Barlow, Dr. Douglas Herman, Dr. Thomas Matijasic, Jimmie Epling, J.R. VanHoose, Dorothy Lewis, Bryan Auxier, Dirk Cook, Christie Cook, and Denny Dorton.

A special note of gratitude is given to Dirk Cook for loaning us his personal collection of Civil War era art. We didn't get the traveling display, so we made our own! This collection is on display for a short time longer at the library as the "Scenes of the Civil War" art gallery. We give thanks to Christie Cook for editing the Historical Walking Tour of Paintsville to create a second "Civil War Walking Tour" and conducting it for fifth grade classes and other interested groups. To Greg Swartz and his team of Civil War reenactors who joined us for our Civil War Family Fun Days, we also extend a special note of appreciation.

Last but not least, I must mention that none of these programs would have been possible without the vision, unfailing support, and passion for community education of the director of the Johnson County Public Library, Karen Daniel, and the support of the JCPL Board of Trustees. These board members are Ben D. Tackett Jr., president; Frank Heaberlin, vice president; Rhonda Pack, secretary; Bryan Auxier, treasurer; Zella Wells, member; and Robert Conley, director emeritus.

One of the best parts of the Civil War Commemoration has been knowing that the participants of each program have looked forward with anticipation to the next offering. Emphasizing that every program we present is free and open to the public, we hope that each person in our community will find a future offering that will be just as exciting to him or her.

Christy Terry
City, State: Program Director
October 21, 2014

KET series to premiere


In conjunction with National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, I want to share about an important effort underway in the commonwealth.  

It's reported that in Kentucky, more than 750,000 adults don't have a high school diploma or GED credential.  Nearly one in five Americans lack a high school diploma, and every year, 1 million more students drop out.

The statistics are sobering.  People without a high school diploma or GED are twice as likely to be unemployed.  They are likely to live in poverty, to become teen parents, to abuse alcohol and drugs.  Three out of four prison inmates are dropouts.

Further, the gap between what our economy demands and the qualified workforce needed by the business community is vast and continues to widen.

Why do people drop out of school?  And, why are some dropouts successful in returning to school and continuing their education against all odds?

As public media's leader in adult education service for more than four decades, these are questions KET wanted to explore more fully.

As part of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting( CPS)'s American Graduation initiative, KET was selected to produce the inspiring stories of Americans who had quit school, but are "dropping back in" and achieving success.

"Dropping Back In," a series of four, half-hour documentaries, premieres Oct. 6 at 9/8 p.m. on KET and will broadcast on PBS member stations nationally.

Through the programs, we come to understand the challenges faced by those who drop out.  And, we learn about the individuals and institutions helping lead adult learners on the

path to college and career success.

Every community in America faces the challenge of adult drop outs and the need to improve college and career readiness.  Each of us can play a role in helping individuals continue

their education, making our communities and our state stronger.

To find out about "Dropping Back In," or KET's new Fast Forward online study course for the national GED test, visit

Diane Porter
City, State: Friends of KET Board Member
September 16, 2014

Safe Harbor Event a success


On Saturday, Aug. 23, Safe Harbor celebrated its seventh annual Lobster Fest. Thank you to Safe Harbor's Board of Directors, Boyd County Medical Alliance, Susan Fried and her committee and our staff for a great event. A special thank-you also goes to our sponsors, whose continued support has helped Safe Harbor meet the growing need across the FIVCO ADD for domestic violence services.

This fundraiser will help us continue to meet the growing need for domestic violence services across the region. Again, thanks to all our supporters.

Ann Perkins
City, State: Executive Director
September 16, 2014

'Story Patch' thanks sponsors


On behalf on the Rt. 23 Cultural Heritage Network, OSCAR, and "The Story Patch" committees, I would like to thank the following businesses, organizations, and individuals for their various sponsorships of "The Story Patch":

Paintsville Kiwanis (Platinum);

Pack & Butcher Law Office and McDonald's of East Kentucky (Gold);

Paintsville Funeral Home, Foothills Rural Telephone Cooperative, Inc., State Farm Insurance, Century 21 Unlimited Realty & Auction Services, Oil Springs Homemakers, and Johnson County Family and Consumer Sciences Council (Bronze); First Choice Realty, Hon. J. Kevin Holbrook, Junior Wright Auto Sales, and Han Dee Mart (Friend/Patron); Johnson County Extension Service, The Historic SIPP Theater, Paintsville Tourism, Kentucky Cooperative Extension Fine Arts Program, Appalachian Community Theater, The Paintsville Herald, Floyd County Times, K-Lite 94.7 WKLW, WSIP 98.9, Johnson County Chamber of Commerce, TOUR SEKY, and Debbie Tuggle Pendley, (In Kind).

Also, Michael Hall, Steve Sexton, Almeda Childers, Terry Salyer, Sandra Hall, cast, parents and grandparents of the cast and all other volunteers. We couldn't do it without you.

This play series made up of stories from local people helps preserve our local history and culture as well as to promote and support the arts. In addition, we hope to boost local tourism and fund community and economic development efforts by creating a new source of revenue earmarked exclusively for those goals. We intend to continue this play series annually, creating a new play using new stories each year.

You are in luck! A final run of"The Story Patch: Just Like Family" will be this week, Sept. 19 and 20 at 7 p.m. and Sept. 21 at 3 p.m. at OSCAR (old Oil Springs School). This will be a great opportunity to see the encore performance of this very entertaining play.

Vicki M. Rice
City, State: OSCAR Secretary/Story Patch Board Member
September 16, 2014

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