Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Friday, February 13th, 2015

On February 22, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) and each of its 16 colleges will partner with churches statewide for Super Sunday, an annual student recruitment initiative specifically targeting African-American and Latino students. This year marks the fifth anniversary for the information fairs that enable KCTCS advocates to connect with prospective college students and their families.

“Super Sunday helps to eliminate the roadblocks many students face when pursing their higher education goals,” said KCTCS President Jay Box. “Through our partnerships, we are able to encourage youth to pursue their dreams directly from the pulpit. Higher education begins at KCTCS for most Kentuckians, and so it is a vital part of the KCTCS mission to increase the educational opportunities for people of color.”

On Super Sunday, thousands of prospective college students and their families are expected to attend services and college fairs. Many will take place at African-American and Latino churches, and each church service will be followed by a fair with college representatives on hand as advocates to assist with college planning, admissions, scholarships and financial aid.

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College will sponsor a local Super Sunday event beginning at 11 a.m. Feb. 22 at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church in Middlesboro. The historic church is located at 314 North 19th Street. During the service three congregations will come together to worship. Joining the churchgoers of Mt. Moriah will be members of St. Paul Baptist Church and the Hamilton Chapel Baptist Church, both from Barbourville. Ministers from each church, Rev. Sam Wansley of the host church, Rev. Charles Tinsley of St. Paul and Rev. Andrew Baskin of Hamilton Chapel, will speak during the Super Sunday service. Also slated to speak will be Dr. Lynn Moore, president of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College and Carolyn Sundy, SKCTC vice-president for diversity and inclusion.

As an added feature Regina Edwards, 2015 Southeast Hall of Fame inductee and an assistant United States attorney for the Western District of Kentucky, will address the congregation. Ms. Edwards is an alumnus of SKCTC and is a native of Harlan County. She holds degrees from Southeast, the University of Kentucky and Vanderbilt University.

Vice president Sundy noted the importance of the Super Sunday initiative as it has received much national acclamation since its beginning in 2011. “It is so very good to be able to motivate young people to attend college and to make them aware of what is available as they pursue their educational dreams,” she said. “By having Super Sunday in an environment where people feel comfortable, they are much more receptive to the message of getting a college degree. This also allows parents and grandparents to learn more about Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College and to how to explore ways to fund one’s education.”

Following the service, the college fair will be held in the church basement with SKCTC recruiters, faculty and staff on hand to provide information about the many programs available for study and news of financial aid opportunities, including scholarships. Additionally, a free meal will be served to all participants.

For further information about Super Sunday, contact Ms. Sundy, SKCTC Cumberland, at 589-3052 and Samuel Coleman, Jr., Middlesboro campus, at 589-0572 or go online at

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Saturday, November 29th, 2014

Harlan County Christian School is excited to announce that it will again present and maintain the “Harlan County Celebrates Christmas” Light Display at the Putney Fairgrounds during the Christmas season.  The display will be open to the public, except Wednesdays and Sundays, through Tuesday, December 23rd, from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm nightly.  The light display will be open to the public on Wednesday, Dec. 17th, to give youth groups and church groups an opportunity to visit the display as part of their church services.  The Harlan County Shriners will be giving free rides from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm on Dec. 12 & 13, and Dec. 19 & 20.  In case of rain, the train will be cancelled but the light display will remain open.  Enjoy candy canes and sipping hot chocolate as you drive around the display.  Feel free to sit around the campfire and roast marshmallows.  What an awesome way to celebrate the Christmas season!  Admission is free. Donations will be accepted to benefit the Harlan County Christian School.  This light display is sponsored by local individuals, businesses and professionals.  To sponsor a light display, please call 606-574-1900.

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Saturday, November 15th, 2014

(The Empty Stocking Fund is done in Memory of Tony Turner)  

This year marks the 34th year for the Empty Stocking Fund.  The unemployment rate in our county has not improved.  It has, in fact, raised from 16% to 18%.  More coal mines are having to close down and lay off hundreds of workers, affecting both families and businesses in the Tri-City area. That being said, we have lost a significant amount of money that was to be donated to us by these coal companies.   

It will be difficult this year to raise sufficient funds in order to feed the 600 families we have assisted for many yhears now. Each family receives one food basket weighing approximately 100-110 pounds, containing items such as two loaves of bread, canned food, fresh fruits, one 5 lb.  bag of potatoes, and a canned ham along with many other items. The Tri-City Empty Stocking Fund provides each child ages birth to eighteen years two gifts each.  Through our Home Alone program, each person receives a food basket and one gift each.  

If you are interested in donating items for our annual auction, they can be dropped off at Access Cable in Cumberland or brought to the SKCTC Cumberland campus the night of the auction. Financial contributions are accepted at BB&T Bank in Cumberland,or mailed to P.O. Box 534, Cumberland, KY 40823.

Our live auction will be held on Wednesday, December 3rd and Thursday, December 4th, 2014 from 7:00pm-11:00pm nightly.  It will take place at the Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical Community campus in Cumberland.  Donations are much appreciated.  

We will begin assembling the food boxes on Friday, December 19 at 5:00pm at the old Cumberland Middle School.  Volunteers are always needed and appreciated.  Delivery will take place on Saturday, December 20 at 8:00am at the same location.  If you are able, we encourage you to join in delivering the food boxes and gifts.  This is a chance to see gratitude and joy in the families faces.  

Your contributions and assistance will be a tremendous help, especially since this year will be a tough one for us financially.  We look forward to hearing from you and know that any help you give will be a step toward making our 34th year a success!   If you need any more information or  have any questions, please feel free to contact Jim “Muggins” Bennett, Chairman, at 606-589-5310.  December 8-12, Applications can be filled out at Club 180 on Main Street in Cumberland, from 9am-noon and 1pm-3pm daily for Tri City Empty Stocking Fund boxes.


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Tri-City Christmas Parade Info.

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

Tri-City Annual

Christmas Parade Committee


RE:            Christmas Parade


  • Annual Tri-Cities Christmas Parade, Friday, December 5, 2014 Downtown Cumberland, KY.
  • Lineup is at 4:00 p.m. with the parade starting at 5:00 p.m. Starting along Hwy 119 at the Red Light and ends at The Family Dollar Store. This year’s parade theme is The Greatest Gift.
  • If you are interested in entering a float or participating in the parade please call Cumberland City Hall 606-589-2106 and give them your name and address.

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Swappin’ Meetin’ Contest Winners

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

Swappin’ Meetin’ Contests Results

Various contests were held during the 50th Kingdom Come Swappin’ Meetin’ recently held at Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College at Cumberland.

Winners include:

Quilt Contest:

Best of Show – Patty Davis; Novelty – First place, Terry Ryan; Second place, Kathy Cook; and Third place, Terry Ryan. Baby – Kathy Cook; Pieced – First place, Patty Davis; Second place, Kathy Cook; and Third place, Catherine Ryan. Wall Hanging – First place, Pat Scopa; Second place, Carrie Billitt; and Third place, Pat Scopa. Beginner – First place, Marsha Monroe; Second place & Third place, Ora Lewis.

Baked Good Contest 

Cakes – First place, Whitney Barger “Nanner-nut Cake”; Second place, Leah Coots, “Triple Chocolate Ho Ho Cake; and Third place, Charlotte Lockaby, “Blackberry Wine Cake”. Pies – First place, Kim Roark, “Pumpkin pie”; Second place, Judy Caulder, “Pecan pie”; and Third place, Lamborghini Holcomb, “Butterfinger pie”. Best of Show – Kim Roark, “Butterfinger Pie’. Breads – First place, Dianne Corriston, “Yeast Rolls’. Pastries – First place, Lamborghini Holcomb, “Blueberry Buckle”.

Pickles, Jams & Jellies 

Best in Show – Lyna Jo Cornett, Squash relish; Jellies – First place, Kathy Cook, Zucchini Apricot; Second place, Billie Noe, grape; and Third place, Lyna Jo Cornett, Red Pepper Jelly. Salsa – First place, Donna Dixon; Second place, Faith Clark; and Third place, Candy Boggs. Peppers – First place, Donna Sexton; Second place, Sue Keith, Hot Banana Peppers; and Third place, Woody Hartlove. Relish – First place, Lyna Jo Cornett, Squash relish; Second place, Billie Noe, Green tomato; and Third place, Dianne Corriston, Chow-Chow. Pickles – First place, Lyna Jo Cornett, Bread & Butter; Second place, Woody Hartlove, Kosher dills; and Third place, Dianne Corriston, Bread & Butter. Jams – First place, Billie Noe, plum; Second place, Candy Boggs, Strawberry; and Third place, Kathy Cook, Tomato preserves. Apple Butter – First place, Kathy Cook. Miscellaneous – First place, Donna Sexton, Pickled Beets; and Second place, Candy Boggs, peaches.




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Harlan Co. Public School meals FREE for all students

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

HARLAN COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS today announced an amendment to its policy for serving meals to students under the NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH / SCHOOL BREAKFAST PROGRAMS, AT RISK PROGRAM FOR AFTER SCHOOL SNACK AND SUPPER, AND FRESH FRUIT AND VEGETABLE for the 2014-2015 school year. All students will be servedFREElunch,FREEbreakfast,FREEsnack,FREEsupper andFREEfruit and vegetable at no charge under CEP, Community Eligibility Provision, at the following sites:

HARLAN COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL – 4000 N. Hwy 119 Baxter, KY 40806            606-574-2020

BLACK MOUNTAIN ELEMENTARY- 1555 Hwy 215 Evarts, KY 40828                  606-837-2214

CAWOOD ELEMENTARY- 51 Nola St. Cawood, KY 40815                                     606-573-2502

CUMBERLAND ELEMENTARY- 322 Golf Course Rd. Cumberland, KY 40823     606-589-2511

EVARTS ELEMENTARY- 132 Keister St. Evarts, KY 40828                                      606-837-2386

GREEN HILLS ELEMENTARY – 123 W Hwy 221 Bledsoe, KY                                  606-558-3533

JAMES A. CAWOOD ELEMENTARY – 279 Ball Park Rd Harlan, KY 40831           606-573-1950

ROSSPOINT ELEMENTARY 132 Hwy 522 Baxter, KY 40806                                  606-573-4600

WALLINS ELEMENTARY- 993 Hwy 219 Wallins, KY 40873                                    606-664-3444


For additional information please contact: HARLAN COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS Attention: SCHOOL & COMMUNITY NUTRITION, 251 BALL PARK ROAD HARLAN, KY 40831, 606-573-5687.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or if all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

 If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email

 Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (in Spanish).


USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.”


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Former NOVO Theatre Gets New Owner/Name

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Rushing Wind Ministries Inc. and Director Freddie Terry is proud to announce the opening of Main Street Auditorium, formerly the Novo Theatre, at 401 W. Main Street in Cumberland.  The auditorium and dining hall next door will be the sight of many exciting upcoming events.

Please join them for a Ribbon Cutting and Open House from 5:00 to 7:00 pm on Thursday, February 27, 2014.  Then at 7:00 pm a Dedication Service will be held with worship being led by Trinity Holiness Tabernacle, Hiran and special guest speaker Pastor Perry Fouts of Faith Trinity Pentiecostal Church, Shelbyville, IN.  Stick around afterewards for a time of fellowship where refreshments will be sold after the service in the dining hall.

Friday, February 28 and Saturday March 1 will be the 7th Annual Rushing Wind Ministries Youth Retreat.  Friday night’s youth rally begins at 7:00 pm with guest speaker Pastor Timothy Fouts of Lola Pentecostal Church, Lola, KY.  Saturday morning worship servie at 10:00 am with attending young ministers followed by age appropriate classes and recreation and meals throughout the day.  Daytime class teachers/speakers will be Scott Adams, Hickory Grove Pentecostal Church, Broadhead, KY and Colleen Fouts, Faith Trinity, Shelbyville, IN.  The final service will be held at 7:00 pm in the Main Street Auditorium with Pastor Timothy Fouts.

We look forward to sharing these and many more opportunities with our community for years to come.

Find additional information and kepp up with current events on Facebook.  Like our page “Rushing Wind Ministries Inc.”

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Ky Division of Abandoned Mine Lands Announces Phase III of Payne Gap Waterline Project in Letcher County

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Residents along Route 119 and 3406 will soon receive access to potable water supply 

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 27, 2014) Access to potable water will soon be available to 137 households in northeastern Letcher County.

The Department for Natural Resources’ (DNR) Division of Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) announced Friday the award of contract and start of construction for Payne Gap Phase III AML water supply project.

“This project will be providing potable water to the residents of northeastern Letcher County, many of whom have been dealing with mine-degraded well water for years,” said DNR Commissioner Steve Hohmann.

AML has found that agency-eligible pre-1982 mining has impacted much of the groundwater along state routes 119 and 3406 at the head of the North Fork of the Kentucky River and Bottom Fork, making these areas eligible for AML waterline assistance.

This phase of the project includes the following side roads: Bill Lewis Road, Webb Branch Road, Sharies Drive, Bill Moore Branch, Animal Drive, Heavens Valley, Gose Hollow, Richard Adams Road, Log Cabin Drive, Bilvia Drive, Cook Branch and Mountain Laurel Trail. The project also includes a replacement line and booster pump to an existing water storage tank that will be refurbished. This, as well as 40 percent of the cost of the filter bed repair in the Jenkins water treatment plant, will ensure long-term and sustainable municipal water to the citizens of Letcher County.

The project, with a memorandum of agreement between the City of Jenkins and AML totals $3 million. The project will be operated by the Letcher County Water District and the City of Jenkins. Packs Inc. of Morehead was awarded the waterline contract with a low bid of $1,793,040. Herrick Company Inc. of Lawrenceburg was awarded the filter bed contract at $336,387. Welding Inc. of Charleston, W.Va. was awarded the tank rehabilitation contract at $272,000. Nesbitt Engineering of Lexington will provide engineering services.  

The entire project will involve the installation of approximately 12.04 miles of water main in various sizes from 10 in. to ¾ in., one duplex booster pump station, rehabilitation of an existing 300,000-gallon water storage tank, replacement of one of the two filter beds at the Jenkins Water Treatment Plant, valves and the installation of water meters at 137 residences.

AML is authorized under Kentucky law (KRS.350) to abate hazards to public health, safety, and the environment from abandoned mine lands. To date, AML has expended more than $112.8 million for waterline improvements and has provided more than 15,069 households with potable water supply in 24 coalfield counties in eastern, southern and western Kentucky.


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KSP Urges Parents To Be Aware of Internet Predators

Friday, January 10th, 2014

The Kentucky State Police used their latest episode of KSP-TV to warn parents about the dangers of Internet predators.  The video shares an inside look at the agency’s Electronic Crimes Branch and the intricate work that takes place to protect children from online predators. 

KSP spokesman Tpr. Paul Blanton says the Internet has become an important part of everyday life – for information, communication and entertainment.

“The most technology receptive segment of our population is young people,” says Blanton. “It’s an unfortunate fact of life that along with the many resources the Internet provides there are also online predators stalking our youth.”

Blanton says the problem with the Internet is we can’t see the predators that may be after our children. That’s why he says it’s important for parents to talk to their children about what can happen with strangers on social media.

“Parents need to be open and honest with their teens. They need to tell them about the dangers that are out there. Sometimes we don’t think our teens listen to us, but they do.”

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), there are nearly 750,000 registered sex offenders in the United States. An increasing number of those individuals are utilizing the Internet to find their victims.

 KSP Detective Josh Lawson works in the Electronic Crimes Branch and says a majority of victims of Internet-initiated sex crimes are between the ages of 13 and 15 years old.

 “The key to safeguarding your children is an open line of communication.  You want to know who your children are talking to face to face. You wouldn’t let them talk to any stranger on the street, especially about intimate things,” says Lawson.  “Why would you let them talk to someone on the Internet about even more intimate things?”

 In 82 percent of online sex crimes predators used the victim’s social media site to gain information about the youth. Only 18 percent of youth use chat rooms but a majority of the internet sex crimes are initiated in chat rooms.

 Blanton says parents need to set ground rules with their children.

“Have the computer in a common room. Know your children’s passwords on social networking sites and talk to your children about what they are doing online,” adds Blanton.  “If parents won’t, someone else will and that person could be a sexual predator hiding behind a computer.”

Blanton hopes the KSP-TV video segment will be a tool used by parents and teachers to create an open dialogue with young people about the dangers lurking beyond their computer screens.

 The NCMEC recommends the website  as another valuable resource for parents and educators to utilize when talking to youth about Internet safety.

To view the KSP-TV Electronic Crimes episode, please follow this link:

 KSP-TV consists of short videos in documentary style format that highlight the inner workings of the agency, giving the public an opportunity at a unique look inside of the agency.

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Prevent pipes from freezing, bursting

Saturday, January 4th, 2014

Kentucky Division of Water offers cold weather water pipe protection tips 

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 2, 2014)– With frigid temperatures and wind chills expected in the coming days, the Kentucky Division of Water reminds citizens to protect the water systems in their homes and businesses from freezing.

When water freezes, it expands. When water freezes in a pipe and expands enough, the pipe bursts, water escapes and serious damage results. Pipes in attics, crawl spaces and outside walls are all vulnerable to freezing, especially if there are cracks or openings that allow cold outside air to flow across the pipes.

To keep pipes from freezing, wrap hot and cold water pipes in insulation or layers of newspaper, covering the newspapers with plastic to keep out moisture. Allow a trickle of water to run from a cold faucet that is farthest from the water meter or one that has frozen in the past. This will keep the water moving so that it cannot freeze and will help relieve pressure should ice form in the pipes. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes.

If pipes freeze, remove the insulation, completely open all the faucets and pour hot water over the pipes or wrap them with towels soaked in hot water, starting where they are most exposed to the cold. You may also use a hand-held hair dryer or electric heating padif there is no standing water. Apply heat until full water pressure is restored.

Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove or other open flame device to thaw a pipe. A blowtorch can make water in a frozen pipe boil and cause the pipe to explode. All open flames in homes present a serious fire danger, as well as a severe risk of exposure to lethal carbon monoxide. If you are unable to locate or reach the frozen area, call a licensed plumber.

When away from the house for an extended period of time, consider draining the water system completely. To drain the system, shut off the main valve and turn on every water fixture (both hot and cold lines) until water stops running. When returning to the house, turn on the main valve and let each fixture run until the pipes are full again.

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SOAR Summit Announces Agenda

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

More than 1,100 have registered to participate in Dec. 9 meeting 

FRANKFORT, Ky.  (Nov. 22, 2013) – Job creation, entrepreneurship, tourism, lifelong learning, and leadership development will be among the topics discussed at the upcoming “SOAR: Shaping Our Appalachian Region” summit next month.   

Governor Steve Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers released the daylong conference agenda today. Already, more than 1,100 people have registered to attend the summit, which will be held on Monday, Dec. 9 at the East Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville.   

In an effort to focus on the future success of southern and eastern Kentucky, Gov. Beshear and Rep. Rogers organized the summit to gather ideas and recommendations about how to move Kentucky’s Appalachian region forward.    

The summit will be moderated by Chuck Fluharty, President of the Rural Policy Research Institute. Sessions will focus on a number of topics, including how to encourage regional innovation, the importance of infrastructure, and developing youth engagement.   

One part of the day will be dedicated to the story of the Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board, which channeled the collective energies and ideas of the people of the iron-mining region of northeastern Minnesota to forge a new and successful future. 

The SOAR Summit will host hundreds of attendees from across southern and eastern Kentucky with varied occupational backgrounds and interests– including individuals representing education, business, nonprofits, arts, finance, tourism, local government and more.  The summit is open to any Kentuckian with an interest in the strength and future of Kentucky’s Appalachian region. Interested individuals are invited to attend the SOAR Summit by registering at   The agenda is available on the website.

Kentuckians can also participate in SOAR by following the latest updates through social media:  “Like” the Official SOAR Facebook page at and follow SOAR on Twitter @SOAR_EKY, using the hashtags #SOAR and #SOARSummit.



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Don’t Touch Trees in Wires

Saturday, September 14th, 2013


It’s shocking how many homeowners are injured trying to trim trees near overhead electrical wires. Do-it-yourself satisfaction! Successfully tackling a project on your own that may otherwise cost a lot certainly can be gratifying. But do-it-yourselfers who attempt to work with trees near overhead electrical wires often underestimate the danger potential. Terrible accidents can happen when a homeowner uses pole-mounted cutting tools and/or metal ladders to trim backyard trees and shrubs. Too often, an energized overhead wire is not noticed and is touched by pruning tools, causing injury or death. Two recent examples include: 

  • A Florida resident was hospitalized after attempting to cut palm branches while standing on a ladder. One of the branches made contact with a power line and severely shocked the man. The local fire department had responded to four similar incidents during the previous year.
  • A homeowner climbed a ladder to trim a tree branch that was dropping leaves into his above-ground swimming pool and causing a nuisance. A branch came in contact with the power line, shocking the man with a jolt of electricity and sending him into cardiac arrest. He fell 20 feet to the ground, but was revived by medics at the scene. 

These are not freak accidents, they are preventable. 

Tree limbs can conduct electricity. When trees grow near overhead electrical wires, they can contact the wires and become energized. Trees and wires are dangerous, full of electrical power that can injure or kill humans.

There are several things that can go wrong for do-it-yourselfers trying to trim tree branches. For example, if proper tree cutting techniques are not understood, the cut branch can swing in unpredictable directions as it falls and could easily land on an energized wire. 

Don’t be fooled by the voltage of the lines. You may think that working on the trees or shrubs near your home’s service line is safer than working near the high voltage secondary distribution lines on the pole by the street, but that’s simply not true.

There are three-wire (called “triplex”) lines connecting the power lines on the pole to your house (meter).Service wires leading from the pole to the house can pack a punch. The type of shock you might have received (and survived) when changing a household light switch is not the same type of shock you will receive if you contact a low-voltage utility wire. 

A common house switch carries 120 volts but the electric flow is usually limited to 10, 15 or 20 amps. A common “house drop” (service wire) contains 240 volts and up to 20 amps or more. Given the right set of circumstances, even the shock a person gets from a common light switch can kill, but at the same time, it is easier to break electrical contact while standing inside a house. If a person is climbing a ladder or is in the tree, it may be more difficult to break contact with the energized wire. This means that the service line over a typical yard could easily kill a person. 

Here are a few tips to avoid trees in wires:

  • Look for power lines before pruning trees and large shrubs. If lines are anywhere near the tree, don’t attempt any tree work. Professional tree climbers have the training and equipment needed to perform these tasks safely.
  • Never climb a tree in order to prune it. Even if the wires aren’t currently touching the tree, remember that the trees branches will shift once you begin climbing or removing limbs.
  • Wearing rubber-soled shoes or rubber gloves while tree pruning will not protect from a fatal shock.
  • Never extend long-handled saws or pruners into a tree without checking for power lines. Electricity is always trying to go somewhere, and it will easily travel through metal, water, trees, and/or the ground.
  • Don’t move ladders or long-handled pruning tools around the yard without first looking up. Always read and heed ladder-use safety labels.

More importantly, hire an insured, tree care professional with the experience, expertise and equipment to safely take down or prune trees in wires. Require proof of liability insurance, and check to see if the cost of the work is covered by your insurance company.


Find a professional

Contact the Tree Care Industry Association, a public and professional resource on trees and arboriculture since 1938.An easy way to find a tree care service provider in your area is to use the “Locate Your Local TCIA Member Companies” program. You can use this service by calling 1-800-733-2622 or by doing a ZIP Code search


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Check KEES accounts

Monday, July 29th, 2013

URL       :

Date      : Monday, July 29, 2013
Issued By : Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority
Summary   : Students should check their KEES account for accuracy

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 29, 2013) – Kentucky high school students and 2013
graduates should check their Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES)
accounts for accuracy.

KEES allows students to earn money for college by getting good grades in high
school and for qualifying scores on the ACT or SAT. Students eligible for free
or reduced lunches may also earn awards for good scores on Advanced Placement
and International Baccalaureate exams. KEES is administered by the Kentucky
Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA).

To check awards and personal information, students need to use the MyKHEAA
function on If they do not already have a MyKHEAA account, they
can easily set one up from the KHEAA home page.

Students may verify their KEES GPA is correct by taking the letter grade for
each course taken during the year and converting it to a 4.0 scale on which an A
= 4.0, B = 3.0, C = 2.0, D = 1.0, and F = 0. AP and IB course grades receive one
extra point of weight in the calculation, making an A = 5.0, B = 4.0, etc. The
GPA is calculated by adding all the points together and dividing the total by
the number of credits earned during the year.

Students who need to have GPAs or other information corrected should contact
their high school’s counselor.

If students experience problems with their MyKHEAA account or cannot see their
KEES information, they should call the KHEAA College Access Team at

Students do not have to apply to receive their KEES awards. If they attend an
eligible college or university, KHEAA will send their award to their college
once the college verifies enrollment.

To learn how to plan and prepare for higher education, go to For more information about Kentucky scholarships and
grants, visit; write KHEAA, P.O. Box 798, Frankfort, KY 40602; or
call 800-928-8926, ext. 6-7372.

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FLASH (Flood Info)

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

With heavy rains and potential flooding predicted for the coming days, the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)® reminds residents to Turn Around, Don’t Drown®.  Just six inches of flowing water can knock a person off of their feet.  Eighteen to 24 inches of moving water can wash an SUV off of the road.  More deaths occur due to flooding each year than from any other thunderstorm or hurricane related hazard. Many of these casualties are a result of careless or unsuspecting motorists who attempt to navigate flooded roads.  FLASH and the National Weather Service warns anyone who comes to a flooded roadway, “Turn Around…Don’t Drown”!

Follow these safety rules when flooding occurs in your area:

  • Get to higher ground. Stay away from flood-prone areas, including dips, low spots, valleys, ditches, washes, etc.
  • Avoid flooded areas or those with rapid water flow. Do not attempt to cross a flowing stream. It takes only six inches of fast flowing water to sweep you off your feet.
  • Don’t allow children to play near high water, storm drains or ditches. Hidden dangers could lie beneath the water.
  • Flooded roads could have significant damage hidden by floodwaters. NEVER drive through floodwaters or on flooded roads.  Water only one foot deep can float most automobiles.
  • Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, particularly when threatening conditions exist.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
  • Monitor NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio or your local media for vital weather related information.

For more information on protecting your home from flooding, visit For mobile flood warnings, flash flood warnings and mitigation tips, download FLASH Weather Alerts at

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Lightning Safety

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

In light of recent lightning strikes in the news and in recognition of Lightning Safety Awareness Week (June 23 – June 30), the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)® offers the following tips to keep families reduce their risk of lightning injuries:

Before the Storm

  • Stay alert and listen carefully for the first signs of lightning or thunder. Remember, “If Thunder Roars, Go Indoors™.”
  • Seek shelter. Lightning often hits before the rain begins, so don’t wait for the rain to start before leaving.

If Outdoors

  • Avoid water, high ground and open spaces.
  • Stay away from metal objects including wires, fences and motors.
  • Find shelter in a sizable building or in a fully enclosed metal vehicle like a car or truck. Completely close the windows and don’t lean on the doors.
  • Don’t get under a small canopy, small picnic shelter or near trees.
  • If you cannot take shelter indoors, crouch down with your feet together and place your hands over your ears to minimize hearing damage from the thunder.
  • Stay at least 15 feet away from other people.

If Indoors

  • Avoid water and stay away from doors and windows.
  • Do not use landline telephone or headsets. Cell phones are safe.
  • Turn off, unplug and stay away from appliances, computers, power tools and televisions sets as lightning may strike exterior electric and phone lines inducing shocks to equipment inside.

After the Storm

  • Don’t resume activities until at least 30 minutes after the last lightning strike or thunderclap.
  • Call 911 immediately if anyone is injured and use first aid procedures.
  • Lightning victims do not carry an electrical charge, so it is safe to administer medical treatment.

For more information on protecting your home and family from dangerous lightning strikes, visit For severe weather alerts and mitigation tips, download FLASH Weather Alerts at

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Harlan Co EMA & E-911 CodeRED & CodeRED Weather Warning

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Harlan County has recently updated its account with Emergency Communications Network, providers of the CodeRED high-speed notification solution and the CodeRED Weather Warning service. This no-charge update will allow message recipients to easily identify calls coming through the systems. Message recipient’s Caller ID will read Emergency Communications Network or 866-419-5000 for CodeRED calls. And for CodeRED Weather Warning calls, either Emergency Communications Network or the number 800-566-9780 will appear on Caller ID displays. 

David McGill, Harlan County Emergency Management Director, cautioned that such systems are only as good as the telephone number database supporting them. “If your phone number is not in the database, you will not be called.” One of the reasons the CodeRED system was selected is it gives individuals and businesses the ability to add their own phone numbers directly into the system’s database, this is an extremely important feature.

 The CodeRED system provides Harlan County officials the ability to quickly deliver messages to targeted areas or the entire county. No one should automatically assume his or her phone number is included. If you are not sure that you are included in the database, simply log onto the Harlan Online website,, or the Harlan County Emergency Management’s Facebook page, and follow the link to the “CodeRED Community Notification Enrollment” page. It is recommended that all businesses register, as well as all individuals who have unlisted phone numbers, who have changed their phone number or address within the past year, and those who use a cellular phone or VoIP phone as their primary number. Those without Internet access may call the Harlan County Emergency Management & E-911 Office, Monday through Friday, (9AM-5PM) to supply their information over the phone. Required information includes first and last name, street address (physical address, no P.O. boxes), city, state, zip code, and primary phone number, additional phone numbers can be entered as well. 

CodeRED Weather Warning is an opt-in only weather warning product that taps into the National Weather Service’s Storm Based Warnings. CodeRED Weather Warning automatically alerts affected citizens in the path of severe weather just moments after a warning has been issued. 

About Emergency Communications Network

Emergency Communications Network Inc. (ECN) provides affordable high-speed notification solutions capable of reaching millions of citizens in minutes. ECN’s sophisticated network supports a web-based product suite featuring CodeRED® which enables local government officials to communicate time-sensitive, personalized messages via voice, email and text messaging; CodeRED Weather Warning™ which provides automated alerts to citizens in the path of severe weather just moments after a warning has been issued by the National Weather Service; CheckUp Call™ for scheduling calls to check on at-risk individuals, including the elderly, infirm and latchkey kids; and CodeED® for use by school systems to improve communications with their communities. For more information about Emergency Communications Network, visit

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KSP Playing Cards

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – Kentucky State Police (KSP) is renewing their effort to solve unsolved cases by asking the public for assistance with leads.  In 2010, KSP distributed over 8,000 decks of playing cards to prisons across Kentucky depicting unsolved case information.   
The deck of cards highlighted 52 unsolved Kentucky homicide or missing person cases.  Since that time, three of those cases have been solved.
KSP hopes that sharing information with the public again will provide fresh leads that can help solve these cases and bring some closure to families.
Tpr. Michael Webb reviews the leads as they come in and disseminates the information to local posts.
“We have received hundreds of tips in the past two years that we hope will lead to more cases being solved,” says Webb.  “Not only do these tips assist with solving cases, they sometimes provide additional information about other criminal activity taking place.”
KSP has placed copies of the complete deck of cards on its website at
They have also established a toll free tip line where tips can remain anonymous at 1-877-735-2648.  The public can also submit tips via email at

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KSP – Operation R.A.I.D.

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

- Kentucky State Police kicks off a six-month fall, holiday, and New Year enforcement campaign called Operation R.A.I.D. (Remove Aggressive, Impaired and Distracted drivers from Kentucky Roadways).  The effort was developed by KSP Commanders across the state to target driving behaviors that cause most crashes in Kentucky.  Operation R.A.I.D. begins Nov. 1, 2012 and runs through April 30, 2013.

KSP Director of Operations, Lieutenant Colonel Jack Miniard says the unique aspect about Operation R.A.I.D. is that although it will have the same objectives, each post will have a different operational plan based on crash activity in that region.

“Many times, law enforcement will participate in a blanket campaign that may or may not work well in certain areas,” says Miniard.  “Operation R.A.I.D. allows each post to identify targeted areas based on real time crash data and mapping systems for more effective results.”

Miniard says the campaign will have both an enforcement and educational component to assist in getting the message out to motorists.  “We will have more visible enforcement in crash corridors, more roving patrols, and an increase in safety checkpoints across the state,” adds Miniard.  “Posts will utilize best practices for which they have had the most success and combine current crash data to identify targeted enforcement zones.”

“Each post will be challenged to utilize their Public Affairs Officer’s as an outreach tool to the community,” says Miniard.  “Through media and education we can get our message out while providing the public with safe driving resources.”

Miniard says the campaign focus is on reducing the loss of life on Kentucky highways. “This program is not about writing tickets, it is about enforcing traffic laws and bringing awareness to dangerous driving behaviors that cause crashes,” adds Miniard.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as occurring when “an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.”  NHTSA studies show that aggressive drivers cause two-thirds of all fatal crashes and 35 percent of all crashes.

For more information about Operation R.A.I.D. in your area, please contact your local post or call the KSP Public Affairs Branch at (502) 782-1780.

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KSP Premieres Documentary Style Project Called ‘KSP TV’

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

This Video includes some of Harlan & Letcher County ”local boys” from Classes 89 and 90. 

(FRANKFORT, KY.) – Kentucky State Police (KSP) rolled out the red carpet today at the Kentucky Theatre in Lexington as they premiered their inaugural episode of ‘KSP TV.’  KSP TV will consist of short films in documentary style format that will highlight the inner workings of the agency, giving the public an opportunity at a unique look inside of the agency.

 KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer debuted the first episode, ‘A Day in the Life of a Cadet’ on the big screen at the theatre and said it was available for public viewing on the agency YouTube© page (see link at the end of this release).

“These segments will feature the multitude of talent and programs inside the walls of KSP,” says Brewer. 

“Each show will be five to seven minutes in duration and will be linked to our agency website.  Not only will the show generate an incredible amount of public interest, it will act as a catalyst for our recruitment efforts in every section of our agency,” adds Brewer.

Brewer says the topics are endless:  a day in the life of a cadet, what is DNA?, Trooper Island, commercial vehicle truck inspection process, preparing for a murder case, prepping a state police cruiser to be road ready, traffic crash reconstruction, capabilities of our canines, dynamics of the driver testing process, combating internet based crimes, marijuana eradication, and much more.

“With limited advertising dollars we are utilizing social media platforms to get these programs out to the public.  Social media has become a crucial part of how we interact with each other and an important tool for law enforcement.”

Brewer believes the agency’s strong social media following will be a catalyst in promoting KSP TV.  The agency has over 46,000 followers on Facebook©, 3,800 followers on Twitter©, over 46,000 hits on YouTube© and a healthy following on Blogspot© and Flickr©.


 “Social Media is not a fad,” says Brewer.  “It will continue to evolve and it is important for agencies to recognize this in order to stay ahead of the curve.”

If you are interested in checking out the KSP social media sites, you can click on the following links:


KSP Facebook page:



KSP Blog “Did You Know That?”

KSP Website:


For more information about Kentucky State Police social media sites please contact the Public Affairs Branch at (502) 782-1780.

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Mandatory motor vehicle insurance notices to begin statewide in June

Friday, May 18th, 2012

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 17, 2012) – As mandated by the Kentucky Legislature, uninsured motorists across the Commonwealth will begin receiving notices in June that registrations for their personal vehicles will be canceled if they do not obtain required insurance or show proof of existing insurance.  Registered owners of personal vehicles shown to have been without insurance for more than 60 days will receive the notices. The owners will have 30 days in which to obtain or present verification of coverage.   “It is against the law in Kentucky to operate a motor vehicle without insurance,” said Commissioner Sharon P. Clark, of the Kentucky Department of Insurance. “Vehicle owners who abide by the law are too often victimized in crashes involving uninsured drivers. The Legislature recognized that this was unfair and mandated this new enforcement initiative.”  The mandatory insurance initiative is aimed at plugging an enforcement gap that enables drivers to skirt the law by dropping coverage once their vehicles have been registered. It will be administered by the Department of Vehicle Regulation, of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.  Though simple in concept, the mandatory insurance initiative required extensive technology and testing. Working together, the Department of Insurance, of the Public Protection Cabinet, and the Department of Vehicle Regulation, of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, conducted a pilot enforcement program that grew to include eight Kentucky counties – Anderson, Ballard, Boyd, Bullitt, Christian, Laurel, Pike and Pulaski.  Each month, insurance companies licensed to do business in Kentucky submit to the Department of Vehicle Regulation the vehicle identification numbers (VIN) of the vehicles their policies insure. A database compares the VINs with those of vehicles registered to Kentucky owners.  Vehicles for which there is no corresponding personal insurance policy are identified, and owners are notified that if they do not obtain insurance or provide proof of insurance within 30 days, their Kentucky registration will be canceled without further notice.  Based on results of the eight-county pilot program, the two Departments estimate that 30,000 to 35,000 uninsured notices will be issued each month. Each notice will identify the vehicle in question by make, model, license plate number and VIN. A notice will be issued only once per individual case.  If a notice has been generated in apparent error – such as in cases of a mismatched VIN or a commercial vehicle erroneously listed as a personal vehicle – the notice instructs the owner to contact the county clerk or the Division of Motor Vehicle Licensing to get the matter resolved. However, owners who fail to take necessary action will be subject to citation for driving without valid registration. “It is vitally important that vehicle owners who receive an uninsured notice follow the instructions on the notice and contact their county clerk or the Division of Motor Vehicle Licensing,” said Tom Zawacki, Commissioner of the Department of Vehicle Regulation. “They may also have to contact their insurance company, but that should not be the first step. They must take action. The notice cannot be ignored.” 

The Transportation Cabinet has a wealth of information about the Mandatory Insurance initiative on its website:

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Seven water treatment systems selected for special assistance funding

Monday, February 27th, 2012

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 27, 2012) – Seven small drinking water treatment systems in Kentucky will receive financial assistance through a new program designed to improve their technical, managerial and financial capabilities to ensure production of safe drinking water in a consistent, cost-effective manner. Small systems are those that serve fewer than 10,000 customers.

 The seven facilities selected for funding through the Capacity Development Assistance Program for Small Systems include Bronston (Pulaski County) Water Association, Calhoun (McLean County) Water Works, Horse Cave (Hart County) Water Company, Monroe County Water District, Morgan County Water District, Wallins (Harlan County) Water System (managed by Black Mountain Utility District) and Williamsburg (Whitley County) Water Department.

 The funding program, which is in its first year, is a cooperative venture of the Kentucky Division of Water and the nonprofit Community Action of Kentucky (through the Rural Community Assistance Program). The two agencies worked together to identify small drinking water systems in need of capacity development assistance based on factors that are not regulated, such as equipment, training and office management.

 “Many small water treatment facilities are at a disadvantage because of their budget and personnel limitations, yet they face the same challenges as larger plants that have more money and specialized staff,” said Julie Smoak, supervisor of the DOW Drinking Water Capacity Development Section. “The goal of this funding program is to allow the smaller plants to complete critical, but non-regulatory projects they might not be able to pursue otherwise.”

 John Thompson, manager of the Horse Cave Water Company, said the grant will enable the city to make critical infrastructure repairs.

 “In our older communities there is little record of where pipes were placed as homes and businesses were built,” said Thompson. “This grant will allow us to map our distribution lines, which in turn will allow us to perform preventive maintenance and make repairs promptly when leaks occur.”

Project Awards

 Bronston Water Association – $3,200 for interior and exterior tank inspection.

Calhoun Water Works – $2,000 to perform two tank inspections using a remotely operated vehicle to evaluate interior condition, corrosion areas and other deterioration problems.

Horse Cave Water Company – $25,000 to perform mapping of the distribution system to locate all lines and valves to enable effective leak detection.

Monroe County Water District – $16,985 to purchase leak detection equipment for locating leaks within the distribution system.

Morgan County Water District — $18,700 to purchase leak detection equipment for locating leaks within the distribution system.

Wallins Water System — $19,200 to obtain assistance with leak detection within the distribution system.

Williamsburg Water Department — $18,500 to develop procedures to identify and repair water line leaks and to identify and monitor unmetered water usage.

 Funding for the Capacity Development Assistance Program for Small Systems is made possible through funds set aside by the Commonwealth of Kentucky from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) capitalization grant. The DWSRF program was established by the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996 to provide low-interest loans to public water systems for infrastructure improvements needed to produce safe drinking water. The program emphasizes the prevention of drinking water contamination by allowing states to reserve a portion of their grants to fund activities that encourage enhanced water system management and source water protection.

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KSP Offers Trick or Treating Safety Tips

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – Before you know it ghosts and goblins will be running in the streets to trick-or-treat and Kentucky State Police want to make sure your kids stay safe this Halloween.

Lt. David Jude, Spokesperson for KSP, says the agency wants the children to have a fun but safe trick or treating experience.

“Halloween is traditionally a time for children to have fun, but most often it is the children who can be injured by situations that are avoidable,” says Jude. “Be sure your child’s costume does not obstruct their vision and is not so cumbersome that they can trip over it.”

“On Halloween evening, we’re placing our children in probably some of the most dangerous traffic situations you could imagine,” adds Jude. “Our children are outside after dark, they walk along and cross unfamiliar streets and they often wear dark colors which are difficult for motorists to see.”

Below are some safety tips for adults and youngsters so you can enjoy this special night:

    • Make sure your child carries a flashlight, glow stick or has reflective tape on their costume to make them more visible.
    • Younger children should be accompanied by an adult or older sibling.
    • Instruct your children not to eat any treats until they have been checked by an adult.
    • Make sure your child is able to see out of their mask properly and can walk in their costume without tripping.
    • Remind kids not to enter a strange house or car.
    • Inspect your child’s candy before they eat it. Discard any unwrapped or suspicious looking goodies. If your child does get sick, call your doctor or the hospital emergency room immediately and save all wrappers. It is also helpful to determine what he or she ate and where it came from.
    • Talk to your children about ‘stranger-danger’ and the safety precautions when around someone they do not know.

The KSP also wants to remind those driving on Halloween to be extra cautious of our small pedestrians.

For more information about safe trick or treating please contact Kentucky State Police at (502) 782-1780 or

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Road/Bridge projects jeopardized in Southeast

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Absence of federal transportation bill jeopardizes necessary road and bridge projects throughout Southeast

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Aug. 23, 2011) – Highway construction and repairs across the Southeast would have to be canceled or delayed if Congress allows the nation’s federal surface transportation funding program to expire, Kentucky Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock said today.

Hancock is president of the Southeastern Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (SASHTO), which concludes its annual meeting today in Louisville. He joined other state transportation CEOs, including Susan Martinovich, of Nevada, president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), in calling on Congress to act before the nation’s surface transportation program, known by the acronym SAFETEA-LU, expires Sept. 30.

Funding to states will cease if Congress fails to extend SAFETEA-LU or to pass comprehensive legislation to reauthorize the program. 

“We urgently need for Congress to pass a reauthorization bill – one that sustains funding at current levels and adjusts revenues for inflation,” Hancock said in a news conference. “States need certainty. Effective planning is impossible otherwise.”

Federal highway funding is actually a reimbursement arrangement. States first put up their own money, and then are paid back by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) from the Federal Highway Trust Fund. If the federal program is allowed to lapse and reimbursements cease, state-funded road work – not just projects that would receive federal dollars – also will be in jeopardy, Hancock said.

The expiration of SAFETEA-LU also would result in the loss of funding for public transportation systems on which many the nation’s most vulnerable citizens depend.  Public transit programs collectively employ 1,200 Kentuckians.

“It would be devastating to communities large and small throughout the southeastern U.S. to lose those public transit programs,” Hancock said.

AASHTO President Martinovich said 500,000 jobs and countless transportation projects nationwide are at stake.

“We’re here today to sound the alarm,” she said., “Congress must take action by September 30th, or the federal highway and transit programs that support thousands of jobs in every state will shut down.”

In Kentucky, 2,200 federal-aid projects are currently under way – projects to give motorists smoother and less congested roadways, and modern or refurbished bridges.  Hancock said the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet had tentatively scheduled to take bids on 33 federal-aid projects, totaling $447.2 million, from September through December. The bid letting for Sept. 23, a week before the expiration deadline, will go on as scheduled, but the cabinet could be forced to hold off on awarding contracts, he said.

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Monday, June 27th, 2011

(Harlan County, KY)—The Cumberland Tourist Commission and Harlan Tourist Commission are pleased to announce that Harlan County is featured prominently on the Travel Kentucky application for iPhone, iPad, iTouch and Google Android smartphone technologies.

Created by Kentucky Monthly magazine, Travel Kentucky showcases statewide tourism destinations through a combination of themed tours, searchable category directories, and real-time, GPS-triggered, turn by turn directional routing.

The app is available now on iTunes and the Android Marketplace as a free download. 

Harlan County is featured in the app’s “City Guides,” providing users with a full directory of all Harlan County’s attractions, restaurants, shops, lodging, and much more.

Cumberland and Harlan Tourism’s participation on the app provides a new and unique way for Harlan County to be marketed to visitors, as the app works to connect users to destinations that they are interested in by topic, what is nearby, and by themed tours.

“Our goal for Travel Kentucky is to help visitors find and explore destinations that they may never have heard of before,” said Kentucky Monthly publisher Steve Vest.  “By exploring themed tours and searching for subjects of interest on the app, we hope to expand visitors’ awareness of the communities and attractions we have here in Kentucky.”

For more information about Travel Kentucky, or to have your destination listed, please contact or call 888-329-0053.

About Kentucky Monthly Magazine

Founded in 1998, Kentucky Monthly celebrates the people, places, events, and culture of the Commonwealth, reaching more than 132,000 readers.  Our slogan is “Uniting Kentuckians Everywhere” focusing on Kentucky today, while not forgetting the people and events that shaped our heritage.   Kentucky Monthly has partnered with BarZ Adventures for app development within the state.  Connect with Kentucky Monthly through or call 1-888-329-0053.

Cumb. Tourist Commission, 506 W. Main St, Cumberland, KY. 40823, 606-589-5812

Harlan Tourist Commission, 201 S. Main St., Cumberland, KY. 40831, 606-573-4495

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New Law Takes Aim at Metal Theft in KY

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 8, 2011) –   Attorney General Jack Conway announced that a new law takes effect today to deter the growing problem of metal theft in Kentucky. House Bill 242 unanimously passed both houses of the Kentucky General Assembly during the 2011 legislative session and was signed into law by Gov. Steve Beshear on March 16.“Near-record prices for copper, platinum, aluminum and other metals have fueled the theft of common items such as copper wiring from utility lines, tornado warning sirens, coal mines and even foreclosed homes,” said General Conway. “Metal theft is not only taking a heavy financial toll on businesses, it is endangering lives and putting communities at risk.”

Metal theft costs businesses nationally around one billion dollars each year, including hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage. It can also affect public safety by compromising communications or emergency response capabilities, such as 911 service.

Kentucky’s metal theft laws are designed to deter this growing problem by targeting thieves who steal and then resell secondary metals.  House Bill 242 prohibits anyone from buying or selling metal that has been smelted, burned or melted. 

“Metal theft is a major concern across the Commonwealth,” said Rep. Mike Denham, Vice Chairman of the Agriculture and Small Business Committee and sponsor of House Bill 242. “I am hopeful this new law will help stop these thefts and better protect our communities and our businesses, both large and small.”

Kentucky businesses, like AT&T, also welcome the new law and attribute the increase in metal theft to a number of factors, including the ailing economy.

 “The steady rise in the market price of copper and the state of the economy have led some people to extreme measures, including stealing copper cables from houses and telephone poles,” said Mary Pat Regan, President AT&T Kentucky.  “This new law will help us prevent the theft of copper wire from AT&T telephone poles, work centers and cell sites, which puts our customers and sometimes entire communities out of service.”

Kentucky and other states require scrap-metal dealers to keep detailed and extensive records of their transactions in an electronic format, including the seller’s photograph, signature and their vehicle’s information.  In addition, penalties for damaging a communication or utility facility or interrupting services can include a felony conviction carrying prison time and heavy fines. 

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