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Harlan County Teacher chosen for Presidential Academy for American History and Civics

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Rosspoint Elementary School Teacher Debbie Napier will be in class this summer, not as a teacher but as a history and civics student. In fact, she will participate in an intense 18 days of classes that will take her to unique classroom settings in Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Gettysburg.

Napier has been selected as 1 of only 60 teachers from across the country to participate in the Presidential Academy for American History and Civics administered through the Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs at Ashland University.

“It is a dream come true,” said Napier, who has been a teacher for 16 years.

Harlan County Schools Assistant Superintendent Brent Roark said “This is an amazing accomplishment for Mrs. Napier personally, for her school and for the Harlan County School District. Most importantly, however, is the knowledge and enrichment opportunities she will be able to bring back into her classroom for our students.”

The academy will lead teachers in a careful study of the three turning points in American history: The American Revolution, the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement. The study is framed by the three famous documents that “memoralize” these important periods in American history: the Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address, and the ‘I have a Dream’ speech.” Participants will spend over two weeks in the three cities.

Studies take place in each of the cities surrounded by the streets and halls, the battlefields, public places and private lodgings where the history took place.

 “The academy is full of history,” said Napier. “Every minute is something historical.”

Napier shared that an impressive lineup of presenters adds to her excitement about the experience. Professors conducting the academy are among some of the finest scholars of American history and government.

“Dr. Gordon Lloyd is an expert on the constitutional era. Our forefathers come alive through him,” said Napier.

Lloyd is a professor at Pepperdine University.  Other presenters are David Hackett Fischer of Brandeis University, Allen Guelzo of Gettysburg College, Gary Gallagher of the University of Virginia, Christopher Burkett of Ashland University and Juan Williams of Fox News.

The first academy was held in 2006. Funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, it is part of the History and Civics Act of 2004 originally introduced by Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander.  The program supports the establishment of Presidential Academies for the Teaching of American History and Civics that offer workshops for both veteran and new teachers of American history and civics to strengthen their knowledge and preparation for teaching these subjects.

Napier said she had participated in training at the University of Louisville and learned about the academy and how to apply. She put off the application process for a year or so because of the competition.

 “One day my husband, Ralph, asked me if I was going to write the essay and apply and encouraged me to do it,” she recalled. “I did and was selected.”

School guidance counselor Terri Kelly said, “The Academy couldn’t have chosen a more deserving recipient.  Mrs. Napier has an incredible passion for teaching history.  The information and resources that she will be able to bring back to our students will be invaluable.  We are so excited for her. We couldn’t be more proud of her.”

Principal Bryan Howard agrees.

“I have never worked with an individual more passionate about the subject they teach,” said Howard. “She works tirelessly to ensure that her students gain a thorough understanding of both historical and current events.  I am very proud of her selection for this honor and blessed to have her on staff.”

Napier teaches American history and social studies to sixth through eighth graders, as well as reading in the content areas.

She said she hopes to bring her experience into the classroom to share with students who may never have the opportunity to visit these historical sites.

Napier attended Southeast Community College and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Lincoln Memorial University. She holds a Rank I from Union College.

She and her husband have two children, Kaitlin, a sophomore at Harlan County High School, and Damon, a seventh grader at Rosspoint Elementary.

While she is excited about the Academy, she hasn’t packed her bags yet. Prior to class she has a list of homework assignments to complete. These include reading several books and studying various documents.

 “I am reading the Federalist Papers right now,” she said with a huge smile. “They are driving me nuts.”


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J.D. Shelburne Information

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011


The Grand Ole Opry Backstage Experience with Steve Wariner

Over the weekend Opry Member Steve Wariner invited Country Rocker J.D. Shelburne to attend the Grand Ole Opry with him.  It was the most amazing experience of his career.  JDTV filmed the entire backstage footage on camera and it has been edited for your viewing pleasure.

Click on link below to view:

 Thanks for tuning in.
Nashville Recording Artist

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Triangle Talent Inc. – Louisville, Kentucky
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New “In God We Trust” license plate offered for 2011

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Kentucky motorists given choice of standard-issue plates for first time

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 17, 2010) – For the first time, Kentucky motorists registering passenger vehicles will be able to choose between two standard-issue license plates in 2011, Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock announced today.

 The two designs are otherwise identical, but one will include the national motto, “In God We Trust.”

“The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is pleased to offer this choice to Kentucky motorists,” Secretary Hancock said.  “As a standard-issue plate, there is no extra fee.”

New plates will be available in county clerk offices in early 2011. Vehicle owners purchasing a standard-issue plate at registration renewal time will be able to choose between the two designs. The fee for a standard-issue plate is $21.

 The Legislature, through KRS Chapter 186, has given the Transportation Cabinet responsibility for registration and regulation of motor vehicles.

The statute sets minimum requirements for a standard-issue plate – the Kentucky name, county name, three letters and three digits – but does not dictate design. It has been five years since Kentucky’s last license plate design change.


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Fines begin Jan. 1 for those texting while driving

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 14, 2010) – A reminder to all Kentucky drivers:  Fines begin Jan. 1, 2011, for anyone caught texting while driving and for those under 18 who use a cell phone while driving.  Violators will be liable for fines of $25 on a first offense and $50 on each subsequent offense, plus court costs.

“Safety is a top priority of this administration,” said Gov. Steve Beshear.  “I am convinced that this new law, which many people worked with us to pass, will reduce crashes and fatalities on Kentucky roadways.”   

In Kentucky last year, there were more than 57,000 crashes – and more than 200 fatalities — attributed to driver distraction, inattention and cell phone use.   

Gov. Beshear signed House Bill 415 into law on April 15, 2010.  The law bans texting for drivers of all ages while the vehicle is in motion.  For drivers over 18, it allows the use of global positioning devices and reading, selecting or entering a telephone number or name for the purpose of making a phone call.  Texting is allowed only to report illegal activity or to request medical or emergency aid. 

For drivers under 18, no use of personal communication devices such as cell phones and pagers is allowed while the vehicle is in motion.  The use of a global positioning system is allowed, but manually entering information must be completed while the vehicle is stopped.   

Emergency and public safety vehicles are exempt when the use of a personal communication device is essential to the operator’s official duties.   

“We believe the law will encourage drivers to stay focused on the task at hand,” said Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock.  “And with tighter provisions for those under 18, our new drivers will automatically be educated on this important safe driving practice.” 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driver distraction and inattention contributes to 25 percent of police-responded traffic crashes nationwide.  Inexperienced drivers under 20 years old have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes. 

Kentucky was the 22nd state to ban texting while driving. Currently, 30 states and the District of Columbia ban text messaging for all drivers. Twelve of these laws were enacted in 2010 alone.        Information on distracted driving is at and

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Scotia Coal Ceremony

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

On Tuesday, March 9, 2010, there was a commemoration / dedication ceremony in honor of the 26 men that died during the Scotia Coal Mining disaster on March 9 & 11, 1976.  The ceremony began at 10 am at the Scotia Employees Association building on Hwy 119 at Ovenfork (approximately 12 miles north of Cumberland).  During this event, a historical marker was placed at this site adjacent to the former Scotia Coal Company property. Approximately 300 people attented. 

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Arthur Johnson Obiturary

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Arthur H. Johnson, 81, of Cumberland passed away Tuesday, April 21, 2009, at his home.

Arthur was a native of Totz and lived in Harlan County most of his life. He attended school in Blair before moving to Lousiville to attend the kentucky School for the Blind where he graduated.  Arthur was a piano tuner, musician, local historian, and columnist. Arthur was very proud of the article he contributed weekly to the Tri City News “From Gap Ridge to Flat Gap”.  He began this tradition on February 2, 1994 and had 791 consecutive articles. He was president of the local chapter of AARP, member of Tri-City Chamber of Commerce, fifty year member and past president of the Lions Club, Master of Ceremonies for the Kingdom come Swappin’ Meetin’ in Cumberland for the past thirty years; and a member of Cumberland Missionary Baptist Church.

He was preceded in death by his parents, William Henry and Nancy McCreary Johnson and one brother, Robert McCreary Johnson.

Survivors include a brother Claude Johnson and wife Anna Sue of Lynch; a sister, Phena Ruth Fleig and husband, Joseph E., Louisville; several nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews and a host of friends.

Visitation will be held 4-9 pm Friday, April 24, 2009 at Cumberland Missionary Baptist Church. Funeral services will be conducted at 11 am Saturday, April 25, 2009 at the Church with Rev. Dennis Williams officiating. Interment will follow in Gilliam Cemetery in Cumberland.

Tracy Turner, Harold Cornett, Bruce Ayers, Roland “Pee Wee” Cornett, Michael Corriston, Joe Carruba, Al Cornett and Herbert Creech will serve as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers will be the Cumberland Lions Club and friends.

Tri City Funeral Home in Benham has been entrusted with the arrangements.

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A Note to our Listeners/Visitors

Monday, December 8th, 2008

The family of Shirley Bibb would like to Thank all those who have expressed sympathy to us at this very hard time.  Your kind words, gifts of food, flowers, plaques and windchimes will all hold a special part of our hearts as we have been able to see the strong feelings the community has had toward her.  We’d also like to take this time to thank those that helped out the day of her wreck in October.  From the emergency personnel, to the friends and neighbors that came by to lend a helping hand and to show their concern. Shirley was truly blessed with many good friends and neighbors, and we will never forget the kind gestures and offers of help during that day.

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Owner of WCPM-AM Passes Away

Saturday, November 15th, 2008

Shirley Estes Bibb, 67, of Cumberland, passed away Monday, November 10, 2008 at University of Kentucky Hospital in Lexington of complications from injuries sustained in an automobile accident.

Shirley was a native of Rosspoint and had lived in Cumberland most of her life. She became an employee of Bowers Department Store in Cumberland in 1967 – 1981, then co-owner and operator of George’s Department Store in 1982 until its closing in 1997; and current owner of WCPM Radio Station in Cumberland since 2003.

She was a homemaker and loving mother. She believed in the Christian faith and was a member of First Christian Church in Cumberland.

She was preceded in death by her husband, J. George Bibb; and her father, Alonzo Estes.

Survivors include three daughters: Paula Stevens and husband, Danny, Lexington; Sandra Hightower and husband, Julian, Mayking; Susan Burton and husband, Mike, Partridge; her mother, Pauline Baker Estes, Rosspoint; three grandchildren: Michael P. Burton and wife, Miranda, Partridge; Brandon George Burton and wife, Wendy, Partridge; Sierra Stevens, Frankfort; one great-granddaughter, Shelby Burton; three brothers, Richard Estes, Randall Estes, and Bill Estes; three sisters: Rita Bishop, Karen Mosley, and Eulala Ann Milby; her fiancé, Bill Lile, Louisville; and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.

Visitation will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, November 12, 2008 at Tri-City Funeral Home in Benham. Funeral services will be conducted at 1 p.m. Thursday, November 13, 2008 in the Chapel of Tri-City Funeral Home with Minister Robert Warren officiating. Interment will follow in Monte Vista Cemetery in Cumberland.

Family and friends will serve as pallbearers.

Online condolences may be left at

The family has entrusted Tri-City Funeral Home in Benham with the arrangements.

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