Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Turkey Season

Conservation Officer
The 2014 spring turkey season is coming up on April 12 with youth season preceding it on April 5th and 6th.  I spoke with our private lands biologist Thomas Young about what we can expect to see this year.  According to reports from around the state last year’s hatch was unremarkable, meaning that we can expect a normal harvest.  Habitat conditions were favorable with the rain, making for an abundance of insects for turkey’s diet.   Thomas did say that this year’s breeding season should be about the time season opens.  For those of you that were frustrated with last year’s early reproduction this is wonderful news.  Maybe ole Tom Turkey will respond to your calls instead of just meandering around ignoring you.

Providence Chamber looking to change course


J-E News Editor

Under the guidance of new president Elizabeth Holloman, the Providence Chamber of Commerce is looking to plot a new course, trying to become a stronger advocate for local businesses.

Audubon Area Weatherization program helping local people

J-E News Editor
For many Webster County residents, the cost of ever increasing utilities has become unbearable, especially when winter is as harsh as the one we are still trying to finish. For some of those people there is some help out there just waiting for them.
Audubon Area Community Services, Inc. has quietly been helping out those in need through their Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). WAP provides services to reduce the energy costs and improve the energy efficiency of the homes of low-income families. Energy audits are conducted to determine which energy efficiency measures are most appropriate and cost effective for each home. The focus is on energy conservation, health and safety.
Tony Lindow with WAP said that it is a lot easier to qualify for the program than most people think. A family of four making less than $47,000 a year, or a single person living alone earning less than $22,980 have already met the income requirement.
“To apply they need to supply us with the past twelve months’ heating and electric bills,” said Lindow. “They also need to bring a deed or title, a social security card for any household members and the past year’s income for anybody over 18.”
Last week workers were at the Clay home of Lisa Ronemous, installing new installation and weather striping throughout her house. She also received a new energy efficient refrigerator.
“I’m tickled to death,” Ronemous said. “I feel like a kid on Christmas!”
She said that she applied for the program over a year ago at the urging of a friend, but she never thought that she would be selected. Ronemous is a renter, and believed that not owning her home would disqualify her from the program. It turned out that this wasn’t the case.
“They called me out of the blue and told me that they had the funding to do my house,” she said. “All the owner had to do was show them a copy of the deed and agree not to raise my rent because of the improvements.”
“It worked great for me,” said property owner Gary Williams of Clay. “All I had to do was sign my name. My renter took care of the rest.”
WAP works hand-in-hand with contractors to identify the needs of applicants, and then carry them out. These improvements include things such as HVAC replacement and repair; air sealing; water heater replacement and repair; insulation; window and door replacement and repair; general electrical; plumbing; general repair and other related services.
AAA Insulation from Whitesville was dispatched to carry out the improvements to Ronemous’ home.
“We do 50 to 100 houses for Audubon Area every year,” said Tony Roby with AAA. “About ten years ago we answered an ad for a contractor, and we’ve been doing this ever since. Before that they were running their own crews, but decided to start subcontracting the work.”
Contractors who wish to work with WAP should contact Weatherization at (270) 686-1670 to answer a Request for Qualified Contractors (RQC). Respondents who meet the minimum qualifications will be placed onto the agency’s Approved Contractor Listing and will be eligible to bid on weatherization projects as they arise. This RQC does not guarantee that any goods or services will be purchased from respondents, nor that any contract will be awarded.
Any Webster County residents who wish to apply for the program should contact Caroline Frazier at 2270-639-5635.

Local girl turns party into charity

J-E News Editor
Today’s youth often have a reputation for sitting at home, playing video games and being generally disconnected from the community, but at least two area elementary school students have stepped up in a big way to help their classmates and their community.
Dixon student Brookelyn Whitledge recently celebrated her eighth birthday with a skating party for her friends and family. When Dwayne and Valerie Whitledge were planning her party, Brookelyn asked if guest could bring shoes rather than gifts.
“I wanted other people to have shoes,” she said. Brookelyn’s mother said that for a little girl, she has a ‘pretty big heart’.
“A couple of Christmases ago our church did a shoe tree program,” Valerie said. “I think that inspired her to do this.”
In all Brookelyn gathered 43 pairs of shoes that she presented to the Webster County Advisory Council last Wednesday. After seeing her success, one of her classmates decided to do the same thing.
A Clay eighth grader has also become active in her school, although she prefers to remain nameless. She met with the Advisory Council on Wednesday to seek their help starting a program that she has named “Project: Pass It On”.
In a prepared statement she wrote, “The idea of Project: Pass It On is to empower. To increase confidence in middle school girls across Webster County.”
The idea of the program is to take gently used clothing that is donated by area middle schoolers and give it to those sixth, seventh and eighth grade girls who might not be able to afford nice named brand clothing.
“When you’re in these pre-teen/teen years, your appearance is important to you,” she told the council. “You want to be yourself, but you don’t want to stand out in a negative way due to your wardrobe.”
According to this young lady’s plan, each school would have a place to make donations. After they were collected, the clothing would then be switched with the clothing gathered at one of the other schools in the district so that no one would be able to guess who was wearing the donated clothes.
Working in cooperation with Advisory Council, she hopes to have the program up and running by the fall semester.