February 17, 2004, News Headlines.
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Helen Rayburn - Arson Charges - Fiscal Court
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Helen Rayburn honored
|By Al Owens
95-year-old Helen Rayburn was the Kentucky Library Association's honored guest in
Frankfort on Wednesday, February 11.
The association celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Kentucky Public Library
Bookmobile Program with a day of parades, events, bookmobile tours and meetings with
members of the Kentucky General Assembly. Citations were given to 83 bookmobile librarians
on the floor of the House and Senate chambers.
Rayburn was invited to be the guest of honor because she is the state's oldest
bookmobile librarian and wife of the sponsor of the Porter-Rayburn Bill that began the
Kentucky Public Library Bookmobile Program in 1954. Mrs. Rayburn's husband was the 24-year
veteran State Representative Hobart Rayburn.
In September of this year Mrs. Rayburn will celebrate 50 years of service to the Lewis
County Public Library.
As a child reared on a farm her access to books was limited and she dreamed of a place
where children could have a shelf of books to read. Her dream became reality in 1953 when
the United Garment Workers of America donated a small bookmobile. The Lewis County School
Board agreed to sponsor its operation and Mrs. Rayburn quickly volunteered to drive it.
That volunteer job became permanent when she was named librarian.
The bookmobile was supported by donations from the Lewis County Fiscal Court, the Board
of Education, various civic clubs, PTAs and private individuals. A "reading
room" where books could be stored for the bookmobile was set up on the third floor of
the courthouse. That room became the first formal library.
It soon outgrew the reading room and in 1957 was moved and then relocated again in
1960. At that time the voters of Lewis County agreed to a library tax. A new library was
built in 1967 but grew so fast a second floor had to be added in 1973.
Rayburn served as librarian from 1954 to
1983 and as assistant until 1986 when she was forced to retire because her husband was
ill. Since retirement she has served two four-year terms on the library board and
currently serves as the treasurer.
Rayburn served as librarian from 1954 to 1983 and as assistant until 1986 when she was
forced to retire because her husband was ill. Since retirement she has served two
four-year terms on the library board and currently serves as the treasurer.
In nearly 50 years she has seen many changes in the library. She has always been eager
to encourage new ideas to aid its patrons.
She has seen the library grow from 800 books to over 30,000 volumes. The original
"reading room" has become a modern facility with a meeting room, children's
room, computer lab with automation now in the process of installation. Present plans call
for the children's room to be moved to the adjoining building to make more room for the
The Kentucky Library Association's 50th Anniversary Celebration saw 70 bookmobiles from
across the Commonwealth on hand with about 350 librarians, trustees and friends attending
the festivities at the state capitol. Activities began at 7:30 a.m. with bookmobile tours,
information, interviews and photo ops. From 10:00 a.m. until Noon individual meetings were
held and pictures were taken with the legislators in front of the Capitol Annex. A parade
around the Capitol grounds began at Noon with more interviews from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
From 2:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. citation awards were presented to bookmobile librarians in the
House and Senate Chambers.
The event was held to build awareness and support for the important contribution
bookmobile programs make to Kentucky and its educational aspirations.
(Library employee Margie Moore contributed to this article.)
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|Two Vanceburg men have been charged in
connection with a fire Sunday afternoon at Black Oak.
Deputy Dwayne Stone said the Black
Oak Fire Department received a call at about 12:40 p.m. Sunday informing them of a fire at
a mobile home owned by Kenneth Hyrne near Sand Branch, east of Vanceburg on Ky. Rt. 8.
Stone said the Black Oak firefighters, along with firefighters from Vanceburg and
Garrison departments, responded to the fire and learned that someone had been see walking
around the mobile home about the time the fire was spotted.
Stone said the sheriff's office was notified and he and Deputy Tom Polley were
dispatched to the scene.
Stone said the individual was located a short time later walking along Ky. Rt. 8 near
the asphalt plant.
Stone said that he and Polley questioned Jeffrey Osborne, 18, of Vanceburg, and were
told that Osborne's brother-in-law, David Thompson, had allegedly given Osborne a
cigarette lighter, pointed out the mobile home and dropped him off a short distance away.
Stone added that Osborne was also reportedly told that he could have a pair of boots
that were inside the mobile home.
|Stone alleged that Osborne entered the rear
door of the mobile home, located the boots, went into a rear bedroom and, using, the
lighter, ignited a piece of paper and then set the curtains on fire. Stone said a pair of
boots were later recovered a short distance away from where Osborne was picked up on Ky.
Thompson was later picked up and he and Osborne were each charged with second
degree arson and lodged in the Lewis County Detention Center.
Stone said Thompson is a probationary member of the Black Oak Fire Department and has
been under investigation for some time in connection with other fires in the are that were
thought to have been intentionally started. Stone added that Thompson had responded along
with other Black Oak firefighters to battle the blaze.
Stone said deputies and other members of the Black Oak Fire Department had been working
together on the investigation.
He said the mobile home, which was unoccupied, was destroyed in the blaze.
He said the investigation into Sunday's fire and other suspicious fires is continuing.
He urges anyone who may have information concerning any of the fires to contact the Lewis
County Sheriff's Department.
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Fiscal Court hears more road
|By Al Owens
Meeting in regular session last week
the Lewis County Fiscal Court heard a request from a Willim Branch resident.
Randy Thornton told the court that he was speaking not only for himself but also on
behalf of his neighbors. He said that the road is breaking off in places, and the school
bus can barely get past.
Thornton alleged that the tires on one side of the bus hang over the edge of the narrow
road. He said that about one-half mile of the road is nothing but mud.
Lewis County Judge Executive Steve Applegate told Thornton that he would have Road
Foreman Dane Howard make an assessment of that situation and get on it as quickly as
The court adopted an ordinance amending the budget after giving the ordinance its
second reading. The amendment recognizes reception and expenditures of unbudgeted receipts
of $14,778.97 from a Homeland Security grant.
Magistrates quickly approved a $250 donation to the Lewis County Relay for Life for
cancer research through the American Cancer Society.
Lewis County Sheriff William D. "Bill" Lewis presented his department's Year
2003 fee settlement. The court accepted the excess fees of $1,190.71.
Lewis County Clerk Shirley Hinton followed suit and presented the County Clerk's fee
settlement of $22,870.47, also accepted by the court.
Hinton reported that last fiscal year the county clerk's office had receipts of
$1,806,272.17 with expenditures of $1,783,401.70.
The excess fees from both of those departments are annually turned over to the fiscal
|The magistrates accepted a bid of $24,485 from RJ
Construction, Inc., Vanceburg, for the renovation of the men's and women's restrooms on
the first and second floors of the Lewis County Courthouse. The renovation calls for new
flooring, new drop ceilings, hot water and replacing the toilets and urinals.
moved to accept the adoption of Lynn-Wood Place at Tollesboro into the county road system
pending preparation of the deed. The road foreman told the court that the roads met all
the criteria set by the county for acceptance into the county system.
The court approved the treasurer's report and all the claims and transfers for the
general, road and bridge, and jail fund accounts.
Applegate announced that the next regular session of fiscal court would be on Monday,
March 8, at 9:30 a.m., in the third floor courtroom of the Lewis County Courthouse. The
meeting is open to the public.
He also reported that Commonwealth Cleanup Week will be held March 21-27. The court's
goal is to become a certified clean county.
Applegate said that several illegal dumpsites were cleaned up last year but 31 still
remain to be cleaned up.
He also lauded local Solid Waste Coordinator John Teager for his work. Applegate noted
that Teager is considered one of the best solid waste coordinators in the state.
Applegate announced that the annual audit was completed. Ross & Co. reported a
clean audit, and it will be published locally.
First District Magistrate Milt Stanfield requested that letters be written seeking
funding to replace the low water slab on Simmons Road and also asked that work be done to
patch the many potholes that always appear at this time of year.
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Renovation nears completion
|By Al Owens
Last week's regular session of the
Lewis County Board of Education began with an inspiring tour of the renovation at the
Lewis County Middle School.
Superintendent Maurice Reeder Jr. conducted the tour and told board members and staff
on the scene that the work was 98 percent complete. He said that the goal is to have the
renovation completed by the time the school hosts this year's District Basketball
The renovation sports a new lobby, complete with television monitors so folk attending
sporting events in the gymnasium can keep up with the action while going to the concession
stand, also new. The new classrooms are well lighted with computers and outlets for more
The new nurse's station, dressing rooms and restrooms are impressive as are the trophy
cases built into the lobby walls.
The meeting was conducted in the new lobby.
Barbara Kennedy, head of federal programs, informed the board about Reading First
grants coming to Garrison and Central Elementary Schools.
Garrison Elementary will receive $150,000 per year for the next six years, and Central
will garner $170,000 per year for the next six years. That totals $1,920,000.
Garrison chose the Nation's Choice Reading Program while Central will get the Success
for All Program.
Kennedy praised Belinda Forman, Johna Hord and Loretta Dixon for their work in
preparing the large stack of paperwork required to apply for the grants.
Reeder told the board that 300 schools were eligible for the grants but only 200
applied. Of the 200 that applied only 72 schools received the grants, and Garrison and
Central were two of them.
Richard Anderson, principal at Central, and Paula Lewis, principal at Lewis County
Middle School, presented their reports on the CATS Data Analysis that helps pinpoint
strong points and weak spots in their respective educational programs.
Anderson expressed his gratitude to Forman for solving a frustrating problem concerning
the results of the test scores. Seven students received scores of zero on their tests.
Realizing that had to be a mistake, Forman compiled the records and sent them to the
When the scores were factored in, Central's score was
adjusted from 65.9 to 66.7. That put the school .1 over its goal and increased the
district's goal by a like amount.
The data analysis helps the educators adjust their teaching plans and to acquire
programs to retain the students' academic strengths and to improve in the areas of
Overall this approach is leading to great educational progress in all the local
In a matter of routine business, the board approved the Family Resource and Youth
Services Assurance Certificate. Reeder explained that the action simply means that the
school system is doing what it should be doing in the area of those services.
The board also approved the annual KISTA Lease and Security Agreement. That enables the
school to purchase its school buses through the KISTA program.
Forman serves as the Evaluation Committee Contact Person for the system. John Cordle,
now superintendent of Augusta schools, previously served as the alternate contact person.
The board appointed Kevin Duff to fill that position vacated by Cordle on his departure to
In private conversation Forman explained that every certified employee is evaluated
constantly. Teachers serving less than four years are evaluated every year. Those after
that are evaluated every four years, except in the high school where Principal Jendra Enix
has every certified employee evaluated every year. The superintendent evaluates the
principals, and the board annually evaluates the superintendent. Based on these
evaluations teachers are notified about what they can do to improve and what professional
development they need to grow as educators.
Forman explained that an alternate contact person is needed in case she was unable to
perform that duty for any reason such as illness or being scheduled on an out-of-town
The board approved a change order in the amount of $76,444 for the Middle School
renovation. The money comes from the contingency fund and will be used to purchase a new
chiller for the air conditioning system. Reeder told the board that the old one has been
there for 20 years and will no longer function correctly in spite of continually adding
parts and having engineers from the state and elsewhere work on it.
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