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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.
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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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Clinton's 'no coal' economy


Hillary and Barack Obama hate coal and have determined to destroy it, and in the process they have savaged the economy of Eastern Kentucky. How can any self-respecting Kentuckian vote for her? She has promised to finish what Obama started by shutting down the coal companies and ending all mining jobs. Her pathetic answer to this is to give them money for more retraining for new jobs which are not here! I will not go into the "save our environment" crusade against coal except to say it is full of poor science and is a faith, not a scientific fact. Like the Big Lie strategy, they have repeated it over and over until people increasingly believe it without questioning. Liberals always have to be engaged in a crusade to change things according to their ideas of what a new society should look like, and they call that progress. Most national Democrats and those in Kentucky have gone along with this destruction of our economy and the families it has destroyed, whether by openly supporting it or failing to really fight their president. Donald Trump has great personal flaws, but he supports the restoration of mining and using coal and so does Senator Paul. I think this vote is a no-brainer.

We have also permitted the "slaughter of the innocents" to the tune of approximately 61 million dead children. That has been done in the name of the freedom of the mother and her right to privacy over her own body. It is legal based on a Supreme Court Ruling and may be done as long as the baby is killed before it is born, including the horrendous partial-birth abortion practice of crushing the head just before birth. Hillary Clinton and almost all Democrats support this practice. How can any self-respecting Kentuckian vote for her or them? I do not have room to mention her criminal offenses, her Benghazi failure and cover-up, her lies leading to the FBI investigation that has just been re-opened.

Donald Barlow
City, State: Staffordsville, Ky.
November 02, 2016

Public invited to Nov. 19 event at Floyd Co. library


Libraries are known as the place to go to share culture in the form of books, music, movies and even technology. But more and more they are becoming a place to gather as a community for the purpose of playing games.

On Saturday, Nov. 19, more than 2,000 libraries across the planet will showcase gaming programs and services as part of International Games Day @ Your Library. Many libraries are planning special programming revolving around celebrating the mutually reinforcing power of play and learning.

These programs could include video game or board game competitions, large scale role-playing game competitions, volunteering as tribute in the International Minecraft Hunger Games tournament, or perhaps a single game of Gossip that will begin in Australia and then pass through libraries around the world before ending in the United States — this particular game has traveled through all seven continents!

A result some participating libraries have reported is an increase in recreational library attendance for all age groups from small children through senior citizens.

The Floyd County Public Library is no longer just a place for books, but also a gathering place for all ages.

We have a host of games we play every Tuesday night, including several card games, a deck-building game, video games, board games, and much more.

Gaming is yet another example of how we are fulfilling the desire to learn, play, and yes, read at your library.

So on Nov. 19, we invite everyone to visit the Floyd County Public Library in Prestonsburg during International Games Day @ Your Library. Bring Grandma and Grandpa and the kids and take a new look at what your library has to offer — it just might surprise you.

Randell Reno, Adult/Teen Services Programmer
City, State: Floyd County Public Librry
November 02, 2016

‘Thanks for supporting our commonwealth’s great treasure’


Today, television is so much more than it used to be.   From the big screens in our living rooms to the smartphones in our pockets,  so much has changed, and yet, through the information and new media age, KET has remained consistent in its belief that learning begin early and never ends.

Embracing changing technologies, KET has expanded its online video and content to better serve the commonwealth, with services from childhood through adult learning.

KET brings our youngest citizens PBS programming and educational resources that are trusted, safe and age appropriate — on air and online.  And, they offer training for early  childhood and daycare providers, along with family engagement opportunities, all aimed at helping our children prepare for kindergarten and beyond.

In classrooms across the state, you'll find teachers using digital content from KET and PBS Learning Media that's specifically designed to enhance teaching and learning.

High school students can even take duel credit foreign languages and other subjects online from KET's certified teachers.

And, for Kentuckians who haven't completed high school, KET's Fast Forward, a high quality adult education learning system, helps adults prepare for the workforce or continue their education.  To find out more about these other programs and services, please visit

Thanks for supporting our commonwealth's great treasure, KET, Where Learning Comes to Life!

Diane Porter
City, State: Friends of KET Board
October 26, 2016

Apple Festival chairman says thank you


On behalf of the Kentucky Apple Festival Board of Directors and myself, I want to send this letter to personally thank the individuals and businesses who supported the 50 non-profit organizations during this year's festival. By doing so, you helped these non-profits meet or exceed their budgets for the upcoming year.

A debt of gratitude to the following: the Johnson County Public Library, Bev Scarberry, Paul Pelphrey, Advanced Auto Parts, Dr. Randall Mann, Dr. Dustin Devers, Bruce Ritz, Danny Hamilton, Williams Floral, Bill Holbrook, Dwayne Price, Rick Ratliff, Gary McClure, Sally Holbrook, Wildcat Adventure Rentals, Paul B. Hall Regional Medical Center and staff, Sandy Daniels, Johnny Lemaster, Joe Collins, W. R. Castle and Rockhouse Volunteer Fire Departments, Maggard's Security, EQT Corporation, U.S. Bank, Citizens Bank of Kentucky, Mike Blevins, The Paintsville Herald, Our Lady of the Mountains School, P.D. Pelphrey, McDonald's of East Kentucky, WYMT Television, EKB Television, Mountain Enterprises, Apple Valley Sanitation, City of Paintsville Sanitation Dept., Kentucky Power Company, BSCTC Skills USA students, Jerry Price, Allen Central ROTC, Pepsi Cola Bottling Group, Kenny Wright, Kenny Mullins, Salyer Law Office, Osborne, O'Bryan and Butcher Law Services, Richard Meek, Paul B. Hall Wound Healing Center and Highlands Foundation.

If you know any of these businesses or individuals, please give them a standing ovation.

The board and I look forward to working with each of you again in celebrating our 55th annual festival in 2017. If there are any individuals or businesses wishing to join this group next year, please feel free to contact me.

Again, I wish to say thank you. We couldn't have done it without your support.

Ray Tosti
City, State: Kentucky Apple Festival, Inc.
October 12, 2016

Questions about cemetery in Lawrence Co.


I am writing because I am concerned about the Greenlawn Cemetery in Louisa.

It is a disgrace for it to be in the shape that it is in. It has been way over a month since it has been mowed. The last time it was mowed, they blew grass up on the monuments and the flowers that were in vases on each side of the tombstones, and left it that way. There is still all kinds of grass on front and back of the tombstones, some stones you can't even make out their names.

I spent two days cleaning Anna Hammond's gravesite and flowers, I also planted grass seed on her grave. It came up really pretty and when they mowed they scalped it right down to the dirt.

When you plant grass, they should give the grass a chance to come up good before mowing like they did. I guess some people just don't care. I have tried calling Jane Branham, who is in charge of the cemetery, but she won't answer the phone, let's her answering machine pick up.

Also, I would like to know if there is a cemetery board for Greenlawn, and if so, who are the representatives?

Bonnie K. Williams
City, State: Louisa, KY
October 12, 2016

Memorial ride organizers say thanks



The organizers for the Josh Ferguson fundraising/memorial ride would like to thank the following for their generous support.  Without them, this would not have been possible.  They are Louisa Tire and Auto, Brown Foodservice, Auto Zone, Randy Thompson-Snyder Chips and Candy, Advance Auto Parts, Do It Best Hardware, NAPA-Phil Carter, Three Rivers Food Mart, Dock's Pizza, Quality Car and Truck Sales, Toro Loco, Ashley's Hair Salon, Giovanni's of Louisa, No Limits Fitness, individuals that gave monetary donations, Robert Waybright, BOTW, David and Tina Ferguson, Doug and Vera Stiltner, Jimmy and Amy O'Brien, Rebecca Muncy, Pam Stiltner, Lisa Fannin, Betty Diamond, Brent Hall, and everyone who participated in the ride. We sincerely thank each of you.

Josh Ferguson Memorial Ride Organizers
City, State: Louisa, KY
August 17, 2016

Allens thank community for help finding lost dog


On June 23, a friend came to the house to put a couple of our dogs inside because there had been tornado warnings and neither my husband or I were home.  Somehow because of the storm one of our dogs, Pebbles, slipped through the door and got away.

We searched the rest of the day and evening and searched morning and everyday until today July 12.  Friends put pictures and information on Facebook where it was shared among many people. We printed flyers and put them in mailboxes.  We also put big banners on the main entrances to town.  Ads were put in the newspapers.

Pebbles was found recently by Jim and Marsha Shannon on their farm on Five Forks.  We are so grateful that they called us after seeing a glimpse of her coming out of one of their barns. 

I went this morning with her brother and she immediately came to us.

We are so happy and thankful for the efforts that everyone in the community made to help us find our dog.

Jim and Leonika Allen
City, State: Louisa, KY
July 26, 2016

Congratulations given to scholarship winners


The family of Billie Jean Osborne and the Mountain Arts Center would like to congratulate the recipients of the 2016 Billie Jean Osborne Memorial Scholarship.

The winners of this year's scholarship were Jacob Thacker of Shelby Valley High School and Sarah McCoart of Johnson Central High School.

The scholarship is now in its second year. The 2015 recipient was Brandon Hatfield of Phelps High School.

Applicants were required to submit an application, an essay and two letters of recommendation. Additionally, applicants must be from the Eastern Kentucky area and have a desire to major in music. It was the dream of "Miss Billie Jean" to keep music alive in the "hills of eastern Kentucky," and with this scholarship we hope that will help to continue her dream.

If anyone would like to make a tax-deductible donation to the scholarship, contact the Mountain Arts Center for information.

Kay Hall
City, State: Paintsville, KY.
June 29, 2016

‘Together, we can be a Community in Action’


For over 50 years, our region has stood at the center of President Lydon B. Johnson's "War on Poverty." For over 50 years, Big Sandy Area Community Action Program has taken up the call to fight against and bear witness to the complicated problems of poverty in our region. In May, our nation celebrated Community Action Month.

We remain steadfast in our belief that Community Action changes people's lives, embodies the spirit of hope, improves communities, and makes America a better place to live. We care about the entire community, and we are dedicated to helping people help themselves and each other. That is our promise.

I would like to take a moment to thank our board members, our employees, our community partners, and our allies for ensuring that programs such as Head Start, the Senior Community Service Employment Program, Weatherization, and job training services are available to our people. Each person on our team and everyone who seeks our services is helping eastern Kentucky beat back poverty and bring the talent and work-ethic present in these mountains to the forefront.

We encourage all of our friends and neighbors to be a light in our communities. Whether it is volunteering, giving a donation to a local cause, or simply offering a few extra vegetable from their garden to a neighbor in need, each of us, no matter our income, can serve another and move our region forward. And, together, we can be a Community in Action.

James Michael Howell, Executive Director
City, State: Big Sandy Area Community Action Program
June 01, 2016

Thanks for Stapleton visit


Wow! What a fantastic week for the people and area of Johnson County and East Kentucky!

As a Ram Nation volunteer, I would like to thank the companies and people that I am aware of who assisted to create and help with the Chris Stapleton visit and concert.

A very heartfelt "thank you" to Ram Trucks for sponsoring this event. I would also like to thank Jeff Summers, head of advertising for Ram Trucks, Christa Shaloub, Ram Brand Advertising, and Eileen Wunderlich, manager of marketing and communications, for their presence and support of our town and this event.

Thank you to Ann Kingston, Coran Capshaw and Zach Peters of Red Light Management for the initial contact in January and their persistence to ensure the event was a success.

Thank you to Andre Gaccetta, Lauren White, and Kristy Marcy of G7 Entertainment Marketing for orchestrating the week's events and ensuring that everything went smoothly.

Thank you to Paul Freundlich and Asha Goodman, who were instrumental in publicizing the activities before, during and after the event.

Thank you to Danny Clinch and associates for photographing Chris and Morgane Stapleton, the crowd, activities and our area.

Thank you to Tricia Steel, program director for Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, for being on hand to present the $57,000 worth of musical instruments which were made possible by Ram Trucks and Chris Stapleton. A special thank you to Martina Lutz, JCHS band director, for introducing Chris before the concerts.

Thank you to Bosch Tools for supplying many of the power tools and equipment used to construct the "Golden Eagle Stage" powered by Ram Trucks. Thank you to Terry Bowling's carpentry students at JCHS for working alongside John Thompson, general contractor, and several volunteers to construct the stage that was built and dedicated in honor of Chris. Subcontractors and suppliers who assisted were Scott Blanton of Blanton's Concrete; Bobby Spradlin of BS Electric; Joe VanHoose of FS VanHoose Lumber Company, and Tim Hall of American Electric Company.

Thank you to Johnson County Schools Superintendent Tom Salyer for his leadership and direction on this project. Thank you to Russell Halsey for coordinating activities at JCHS; to the entire maintenance and janitorial staff for all their help and especially to the students, teachers and administrators for making this such a special homecoming for Chris and Morgane.

Thank you to Jane Streeter from Streeter Film for coordinating the filming locations and to the area businesses that opened up their doors for filming. Thank you to Sheriff Dwayne Price and his staff as well as the Paintsville City Police for the security they provided throughout the week. To Darl Music and the staff of The Ramada Inn for their hospitality. And thank you to Angie's Catering for providing such great food at all events.

Thank you to the following RAM Nation volunteers: Chessi Price, Brandon Pack, Larry Stacy, Mitchell Pack, Jim O'Bryan, Tom Hutchison and Curtis Music.

A huge thank you to the very talented Chris Stapleton and his lovely wife, Morgane, for sharing their time and music, and most importantly, for coming back home and allowing us to share in this event with you.

Last of all, I would like to thank the late Herb Stapleton and his wife, Carol, for raising their three fine individuals (Herb, Chris, and Melanie) and teaching them the value of family, hard work, community and never forgetting your East Kentucky home.

Bob Hutchison, Ram Nation Volunteer
City, State: Paintsville, KY.
April 06, 2016

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