October 13, 2009,
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Council sets property tax rates,
Trick or Treat - Seasonal flu vaccine readily
available - October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
- LCHS is recipient of literacy grant - Work
underway on US 60 at Olive Hill
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sets property tax rates and Trick or Treat
By Dennis Brown
Vanceburg City Council met in regular session
last week, setting property tax rates and the date and time for trick-or-treat
Tax rates for Vanceburg property owners will
remain unchanged from last year pursuant to the ordinance adopted by council.
The rate on real estate is 13 cents per $100 valuation while the rate on
tangible and personal property is 14 cents per $100.
Trick-or-treat in Vanceburg was set for Saturday,
October 31 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. The same date and times are observed
City Attorney John Holder presided over the
meeting in the absence of Mayor Angie Patton. Also absent last week were council
members Roy Lawson and Ed Taylor.
Patty Kennard, who is the administrator for the
city’s recently enacted zoning ordinance, informed council that the ordinance
calls for five members on the board of adjustments. The board hears appeals made
concerning ordinance guidelines.
Kennard pointed out that there have only been
three members named to the board and recommended the appointments of Lisa Sartin
and Tony Gaydos. Council confirmed the appointments.
Kennard said copies of the zoning ordinance are
available at $10 each and added that city maps showing the zoning areas are also
available for purchase.
Marty Nemes, a marketing agent with the Kentucky
League of Cities, addressed council and reviewed contacts the agency has had
with city officials during the past several months.
Nemes said there were seven on-site visits, 27
telephone calls and six e-mails with local officials. He urged council members
and city officials to contact the agency with any questions on matters they were
dealing with and said that generally someone at KLC would be able to assist with
Nemes said KLC was organized by the University of
Kentucky in 1927 to represent cities in Frankfort. He said at that time counties
had representatives who lobbied lawmakers and many of the smaller cities could
not afford to have their own lobbyists.
Nemes said KLC worked on recent legislation which
benefitted Vanceburg to the tune of some $35,000 toward the retirement fund for
city workers and the return of about $79,000 in citation fees to the city.
Nemes presented a check in the amount of $601 to
the city which is a refund on the workers compensation insurance premium. He
said the city became eligible for the discount when it became certified as a
He added that another benefit provided to the
city through KLC was a recently delivered computer based firearms simulator
training module for officers with the Vanceburg Police Department.
Electric Plant Board Superintendent Eric
Bloomfield also addressed council, his first meeting with council since being
named superintendent of the local utility company in January.
Bloomfield introduced himself and distributed
information to council members concerning recent compliance reporting to various
federal and state agencies.
He noted many current challenges facing business
and families, as well as municipalities and utility providers. One of the
biggest challenges now, he said, is the economy.
Bloomfield noted that utility customers are
reducing consumption and businesses are cutting back on the usage of utilities
to conserve money. He noted the idle operation at Moore
and White Lumber Company and said that two of
the ten largest commercial users for the Electric Plant board have closed.
He told council members that many costs the
utility company has are fixed and noted that costs of maintenance and
repairs are increasing. The cost of electricity and natural gas from
wholesalers is also on the rise.
Bloomfield also briefed council members on
progress being made separating the storm sewer system from the sanitary
sewer system. He noted that a consent judgment gave the city five years to
fix the problem and that the cost will be about $5 million to $6 million.
He stressed that the expenditure will not add
any new customers to the existing 650 sewer customers in the city and said
the cost can not be immediately passed along to so few customers. He said
the utility company had been working to apply for grants and stimulus
funding to help pay for the upgrades and added that stimulus money for such
projects was very limited.
Bloomfield told council members that he had
applied for $500,000 in ARC funding and $2 million in EDA funding. He said
that $300,000 had been approved in funding from the EPA.
“We are going after every dollar we can
potentially go after,” he said.
He said the utility company will be asking
the state for $500,000 to $600,000 in assistance and would be working with
Congressman Geoff Davis to see what federal funding could be available for
Bloomfield said he was asking the city to
apply for a $1 million Community Development Block Grant to go toward the
project and said the grant could be applied for when the current grant
project is 80 percent complete. The city’s current CDBG project is a
firehouse/community center which is just getting underway.
He said he had also worked with the Kentucky
Department of Transportation to reschedule their planned repaving of
portions of Main and Second Streets in Vanceburg. He said the sewer project
will require those streets to be excavated to allow for the removal of old
lines and the installation of new ones.
Rather than repaving the streets twice, he
said, the funding allocated by the state for repaving the streets will go
into the project to allow for the streets to be paved over after the
excavation and new line construction.
Bloomfield also explained to council members
that the utility company is going into the winter season with about a
$450,000 cushion to cover any expenses associated with damages caused by
winter weather. This year, he said, there will only be about $42,000 on
He said that cushion has been depleted since
the utility company had to pay a “true-up” to the electric supplier. He
said a true-up is the amount paid each year after the supplier assembles all
the costs and then bills utilities for the amounts above what was paid each
month, as called for in their contracts.
He said the true-up paid to AEP this year was
about $460,000, up from about $40,000 in previous years. He added that the
utility company is now paying above market rate for power.
Bloomfield outlined some of his goals and
said he would continue to improve and maintain the plant board systems, keep
rates as affordable as the market will allow, supply new customers and
maintain the high level of service that customers have come to expect.
Council members approved the minutes of the
previous meeting before adjourning.
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Seasonal flu vaccine supplies plentiful
By Dennis Brown
Department for Public Health officials expect plenty of seasonal influenza
vaccine to be available over the months ahead, but have received reports of
temporary shortages in some areas due to early, increased demand.
"We encouraged individuals not to delay getting their annual seasonal flu
shots this year, with vaccine arriving earlier than usual in many places around
the state," said William Hacker, M.D., commissioner of DPH.
we're experiencing now are some spot shortages due to increased uptake earlier
than normal, but at this time we expect those to be temporary. Flu vaccine
manufacturers typically keep shipping vaccine into November and December, or
even later, and the federal government says an adequate supply of seasonal flu
vaccine will ultimately be available this year. At this point, we are not yet
seeing the seasonal type of flu circulating, so there is still plenty of time
for Kentuckians to get their flu shots and be protected," Hacker added.
The increased demand for the seasonal flu shot is thought to be tied to
increased awareness about the flu season due to widespread activity of 2009 H1N1
influenza (swine flu).
nasal vaccine against the 2009 H1N1 influenza strain began arriving last week in
Kentucky in limited quantities, and will be initially targeted primarily to
health care workers. The H1N1 shot vaccine should be available later this month,
with H1N1 vaccination clinics and greater availability for the general public
likely to begin in early November. Vaccination against 2009 H1N1 influenza
does not protect against seasonal influenza.
flu vaccine is highly recommended for: children age six months to 19 years
old; pregnant women; people 50 years old or older; people of any age with
chronic health problems; people who live in nursing homes and other
long-term care facilities; health care workers; caregivers of or people who
live with a person at high risk for complications from the flu; and
out-of-home caregivers of or people who live with children less than six
Individuals may also want to talk to their health care provider about
whether they should receive the pneumococcal vaccine. This vaccine protects
against pneumococcal pneumonia, a relatively common complication of the flu,
and there are no current shortages of it.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Committee on Immunization
Practices (ACIP) now recommends this vaccine for all people 65 years and
older and for persons two to 64 years of age with certain high-risk
single revaccination at least five years after initial vaccination is
recommended for people 65 years and older who were first vaccinated before
age 65 years as well as for people at highest risk, such as those who have
no spleen, and those who have HIV infection, AIDS or malignancy.
for information on seasonal flu and 2009 H1N1 flu in Kentucky, or follow
KYHealthAlerts on Twitter. Kentucky's toll-free influenza hotline number is
877-843-7727, and operates from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily.
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October is Domestic
Violence Awareness Month
month of October has been named “Domestic Violence Awareness Month” and
April Burke, Counselor/Advocate for the Women’s Crisis Center in Vanceburg,
said victims’ advocates are taking this opportunity to promote public
awareness of domestic violence by providing information to the general public,
the media, battered women and their children, agencies and organizations.
said purple ribbons are being worn to bring national awareness to issues faced
by battered women and their children.
defined domestic violence as the use of power and control over another person
through fear and intimidation. She said it usually includes the threat or use of
are generally three categories of domestic violence: physical battering, sexual
abuse, and emotional/mental abuse.
said it is important to note that domestic violence is the leading cause of
injury to women in this country, and four women are killed every day by their
to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, between 30
percent and 50 percent of all marriages will at some point involve the use of
said that this is an important statistic to make mention of because it allows
victims who may not have come forward to tell their stories know they are not
Violence is a crime that can happen to anyone, people that we all know, Burke
large amount of relationships that have violence present go through a cycle,
Burke said. This cycle has been named the “Cycle of Violence” by Lenore
Walker, a world renowned psychologist. This cycle consists of three different
first phase is called “Tension Phase”. During this phase the victim may feel
as if they are being controlled in every aspect. The arguments between the
victim and her abuser tend to escalate, accusations are usually made towards the
victim, and the abuser tends to shift the blame to the victim.
two, the “Acute Battering” phase, is when the actual physical or sexual
abuse takes place.
three may be called the “Calm” phase or the “Honeymoon” phase. This
particular phase may include apologies from the abuser, flowers, cards, or other
gifts with promises to change.
you, or someone you know, are a victim of domestic violence, there are services
available to help you.
Women's Crisis Center offers services to victims of domestic violence and sexual
assault. Walk-in services are available to serve non-residential clients through
counseling and referrals to appropriate agencies.
Advocates are on staff to provide support for court appearances and police
interviews. A victim may also choose to come to shelter where she can have a
safe environment to receive all services and reach informed decisions while
rebuilding her self-esteem and independence.
said the Women's Crisis Center also has a public education program which
conducts age appropriate programs on child sexual abuse, dating violence, and
programs are offered to school age children along with informational programs to
the public at no charge.
The Women's Crisis
Center serves victims in Fleming, Mason, Lewis, Robertson, and Bracken counties
along with Adams and Brown counties in Ohio. Counselors
can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 564-6708 or 1-800-928-6708.
All services are free of charge.
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LCHS is recipient of literacy grant
Lewis County was
among nine counties in Kentucky that will share in grants to help improve the
literacy skills of struggling adolescent readers, according to a release from
the Kentucky Department of Education.
with seven other states, will share in $6.6 million in Striving Readers grants.
The program is a
multi-year, $17 million initiative administered by the U.S. Department of
Education and the purpose of the program is to raise reading achievement in
Title I-eligible middle and high schools where significant numbers of students
are faced with the challenges of poverty and reading below grade level. Kentucky will receive more than $645,000 in funding for the program
"Striving Readers," which will be divided up among schools selected
for the grant.
to the release the grant will pay for the salary of an intervention teacher and
professional development training for other teachers at the schools.
receiving the funding had to meet certain guidelines, including being a Title
I-funded high school. Title I schools are based on the percentage of students
receiving free or reduced lunch and high school students are less likely to sign
up for that than elementary students.
recipient schools must also have a minimum of 75 struggling readers in the ninth
grade and must not be served by any other statewide literary initiative.
of the recipient schools are required to collect data on the program and track
the progress of students.
For fiscal year
2010, Kentucky will receive $645,359 in funding for the program. The other
states and their grant amounts are: Illinois ($727,359); Louisiana ($1,002,022);
Michigan ($945,052); New York ($782,461); Virginia ($594,891); Washington
($628,952); and Wisconsin ($1,286,966)
funded by the Striving Readers grants include a range of research-based
adolescent literacy projects serving diverse populations. Each program includes
a rigorous evaluation conducted by independent researchers.
use the Striving Readers funds for interventions for middle and high school-aged
students to improve basic reading skills, motivation, vocabulary, fluency and
comprehension using research-based programs; for professional development
aligned with scientifically based reading research; for valid and reliable
reading assessments; and for the design and implementation of a rigorous
Cognitive Literacy Model (KCLM), a partnership of the Kentucky Department of
Education, the Collaborative Center for Literacy Development
and nine high schools, will receive funds from this year’s grant allocation.
KCLM provides a supplemental literacy intervention for struggling readers
through a year-long course that focuses on motivation and engagement, strategic
processing, instructional strategies for content learning and communication
The nine Kentucky high
schools participating in the KCLM project are George Rogers Clark High, Clark
Co., Clay County High, High, Covington Ind., Garrard County High, Jackson County High, Knox Central High, Lewis County High, Lincoln County High and Pendleton County High.
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underway on US 60 at Olive Hill
spokesman with the Kentucky Department of Transportation said motorists should
watch for traffic changes on US 60 near Olive Hill over the next two weeks as
paving takes place on a newly-built section of the highway east of town.
Blair, with the department’s district office in Flemingsburg said motorists
should watch for flaggers during paving operations.
added that travel lanes may change while construction of the roadway’s final
alignment continues. Motorists should be prepared for traffic delays, especially
as contractors work past intersections, and should remain aware of work zones at
$12 million highway improvement project is on schedule for completion this fall.
The project is a major realignment of a
mile-and-a-half of US 60 between Interstate 64 and downtown Olive Hill to
eliminate several dangerous curves in the “Rock Crusher” area.
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