Friday, January 30, 2015

Board hears food service udate, make up days planned

J-E Editor
Webster County Food Services Director Valerie Knight made her first official report to the school board on Monday since taking over the position vacated by former director Shane Bosaw during summer break.
“We’ve had an exciting first six months,” Knight said. “I don’t think I realized how involved school nutrition really is. It’s worse than healthcare, but it’s been enjoyable because of our kids.”
Knight broke down the annual food services report card. The elementary schools scored 100%, while the middle and high school program scored 98.2%. The slight loss of points was in the category of ‘promote community physical activities.’

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

WC: Behind the Badge - Frankie Springfield

J-E Editor
Everyday the people of Webster County are served by the members of our various local law enforcement agencies. From the city police departments to the Sheriff’s office and Fish and Wildlife officers, these men put their lives on the line every day so that we can be safe.
During 2015 the J-E will look to honor each of these officers by telling their story in the pages of our newspaper. Please, join us in thanking these officers for what they do.
Frankie Springfield

Being in law enforcement was never a goal for young Frankie Springfield when he was growing up in Sebree. When he was old enough he went to work as a volunteer at the Sebree Fire Department (SFD), eventually working his way up to serving as Assistant Fire Chief.

Fiscal court approves 2015 road priority list

J-E Editor
Webster County Fiscal Court meet with Gina Boaz of the Green River Area Development District (GRADD) on Monday to discuss the prioritization of items on the county’s list of road needs.
GRADD works as an intermediary between the five counties in it’s region and the state on many projects, helping to secure state funding. In the case of road prioritization, GRADD takes the prioritized lists each county government develops, and then uses that data to complete a regional priority list. Both lists will ultimately go the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC), where they will help determine how funds are spent on projects that are currently unfunded by the state.

Leak could hasten water tower’s demise

J-E Reporter 
Providence City Council met last night with all members present except for Scott Frederick.  
After opening with the invocation, the previous meeting minutes were read and approved. There was no new business on the agenda, but the continuing discussion of the old water tower was front and center with Mayor Gooch reporting that a new development has occurred that will likely hasten the tower’s ultimate demise.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Boil water advisory lifted

The city of Providence has notified The J-E that the Boil Water advisory issued on Thursday was lifted today by the Division of Water for the City of Providence at 12:55pm. All bacteriological samples came back negative for any contaminates.

Friday, January 23, 2015

KYTC working on roads across region

Ambient temperatures across the eastern and southern counties of KYTC District 2 have been hovering around the 32 to 33 degree range. Several heavy bands of snow within an area of mostly flurries have allow snow to accumulate to a point where it is having an impact on driving conditions in several counties.

Muhlenberg County was the first to report substantial accumulation. Rural secondary roads are reported as lightly covered. They have 5 trucks out salting and they are plowing in some areas with heavier accumulation.

Christian County reports rural secondary roads have become lightly covered with snow. They have five trucks out spreading salt. Main highways with ample traffic have remained mostly clear with occasional slushy spots.

Ohio County reports roadways are becoming slushy due to some light accumulation. They have trucks out spreading salt at this time.

The Hopkins County crew has just reported in the last hour. They have put 5 trucks on the road treating bridges, overpasses and potential trouble spots.

District 1 reports trucks are on the road in Trigg County where the snow bands have also generated enough volume for it to accumulate on road surfaces..

Motorists are asked to adjust driving speed to meet localized conditions. When heavy bands of snow start streaming over an area snow can accumulate fairly quickly, creating varied driving conditions mile by mile. Appropriate caution is required.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Boil Water Advisory for parts of Providence

J-E Editor
Providence Public Works has issued a notice that residents who live in Greenbrier Apartments and in any residence on between Cemetery, North Willow and Marlin Streets and the intersection of North Broadway are currently under a boil water advisory.
Crews working to locate waterlines tied into the Big Hill Water Tower constructed in 1928 accidently ruptured a 10 inch main line that feeds drinking water to that area. The advisory is a precaution until bacteriological test results come back.
This advisory will remain in effect until further notice. According to Water Plant Superintendent Mark Pharris, that could be as late as Saturday.
For more information, contact the city office at 270-667-7332.
 at 270-667-2068 or

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Clay council meets

J-E Editor
Clay Director of Public works Paul Stone appeared before the city council last week to request the purchase of a new hand-held unit for reading meters.

State DCBS offices consolidated

J-E Editor
The Kentucky Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) spent last week consolodating their two branches in Webster County into one centralized location in a move to cut state spending. According to DCBS, the move also creates efficiencies for staff and enhances convenience for clients. 
The Webster County protection and permanency office, which was at the corner of Broadway and Cedar in Providence, has moved to the same building as the county’s family support office in Dixon, across the street from the courthouse.
DCBS, part of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, has social services offices in every county in the commonwealth. The staff provides both protection and permanency services, like child and adult safety casework, and assistance for families in areas such as food benefits and Medicaid eligibility screenings.
“With the lease to the Providence office expiring, we were fortunate to have the opportunity to renovate a space next to our existing Dixon family support office for our protection and permanency staff,” said DCBS Commissioner Teresa James. “This is a positive change for our staff and customers.”
James said the office in Dixon is closer to the Webster County courthouses and many offices of DCBS’ community partners.
Six staff members were moved to the Dixon location, bringing the total number of DCBS employees in that location 15.
DCBS customers and partner agencies have been notified of the office move.
Family Support contact information will remain the same, and protection and permanency contact numbers will change. Here are the current phone and fax numbers:
Division of Protection and Permanency
•Phone: 270-639-9337
•Fax: 270-639-5792 
Division of Family Support 
• Phone: 855-306-8959
• Fax: 270-639-9125

The address for both offices is 26 US Hwy 41A South, Dixon KY 42409.

 at 270-667-2068 or

Sunrise girls home to close doors in Dixon

 The JE learned last week of the rather abrupt closing of the Sunrise Children’s Services residential center for Girls in Dixon.  The Dixon Center has served adolescent girls since 1983 in the Webster County community, but last week Sunrise announced that it would close. 
Calls to the local center were referred to Sunrise’s corporate office.  John Shindlebower, Associate Director of Communications acknowledged the change and provided additional information that emphasizes a new direction for Sunrise in Western Kentucky, primarily their intent to increase services to families as the nonprofit closes the residential program for girls in Dixon. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Local woman celebrates 100th Birthday

J-E Editor
On Friday, Mary Shoulders celebrated an early birthday with the ladies at Adrena’s Beauty Shop in Clay, where she has been getting her hair done for almost half of her life. That’s not all that unusual a fact, until you consider that on Monday she turned 100.

i3 grant to benifit special needs kids

Special needs students in Webster County Schools will soon be reaping the benefits of Investing in Innovation (i3) grant from the US Department of Education. The $3 million grant was awarded to the Green River Regional Educational Cooperative (GRREC) last week.
Over the past two years Franklin-Simpson High School has made dramatic improvements in the levels of student academic success and College and Career Readiness, in particular making significant gains among students with disabilities and earning the school accolades statewide.
GRREC will seek to replicate that program in nine districts within it’s area.
“The focus will be on special needs kids as they try to make the transition from high school to work,” said Webster County Superintendant Dr. Rachel Yarbrough. “I will allow us to get a college and career coach for those kids, and it will allow us to utilize more partners for our special needs students.”
The $3 million, award over four years, will impact some 900 identified students with disabilities at Breckinridge County High School, Clinton County High School, Cumberland County High School, Edmonson County High School, Marion County High School, Muhlenberg County High School, Ohio County High School, Russellville Junior/Senior High School, and Webster County High School. 
“We’re excited,” said Kim Saalwaechter, Director of Special Education/Early Childhood for Webster County Schools. “We’ve needed and looked for something like this for years. It’s finally come our way.”
In addition, the project could develop systems and practices to improve student learning nationally.
“College and Career Readiness has been a focus for our districts for many years, but it has continued to be a challenge,” said George Wilson, GRREC Executive Director. “Just like the i3 program itself, we are constantly on the look-out for what’s working in schools. This project will give us an opportunity to take what we know is working in our region, build upon that, and in the process improve the educational outcomes for kids. That is what it’s all about.”
The premise of the project - entitled Get the Picture?! Guiding & Engaging Exceptional Teens – is based in the growing body of research on the development of self-determination within exceptional learners. In these rural, high-poverty communities, targeted students will receive frequent, one-on-one guidance and support; they will develop the skills to set and achieve individual, personalized goals focused on their post-high school aspirations.
Each student will meet one-on-one each week with a Career Strategist – a professionally trained special educator, counselor, principal, or district administrator. Together, they will work to develop students’ self-determination skills, which are proven to empower students as they make key decisions around specific learning and career goals.
Career Strategists will monitor each student’s Individual Career Plan (ICP), which is tailored to the student’s aspirations and aptitudes.  Courses will be aligned to the student’s ICP to increase engagement and students will have time each day to focus on their plans and goals. 
Adults and students will jointly address barriers as they arise, including late homework, extra support needed, and lagging grades that might limit career-building opportunities.  Schools will establish incentives for students to stay on track, meet benchmarks, complete certification, and raise a course grade.
According to Saalwaechter, Webster County’s part of the grant process involved raising $100,000 in in-kind donations from area businesses. Three of the biggest partners were Planter’s Bank, Alliance Coal and the Hugh Edward Sandefur Training Center.
The Sanderfur Center, is a Community Rehabilitation Program (CRPs) based in Henderson. The center works with those who have a diagnosed physical, mental or emotional disability that could prevent gainful employment.
GRREC’s proposal was one of 21 selected from 434 applications, representing 14 states and the District of Columbia.  i3 grants support the development and initial evaluation of promising practices and help to identify new solutions to pressing challenges.
The Green River Regional Educational Cooperative is a nonprofit educational service agency serving 42 districts and their 150,000 students, teachers and administrators. We design and implement needs-based solutions, including consortium projects that address the shared challenges of our small, rural districts.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Road Crews hard at work

Daviess, Henderson, Union, and Webster county highway crews have been treating roads since early this morning.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

KYTC prepares for snow

Highway crews in Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 2 are prepared to respond to an area of light snow that is expected to move across the 11 county region on Thursday morning.

While accumulations are expected to be minimal, weather conditions created the possibility of icing of bridges and overpasses.

Crews plan to report at 6:00 a.m., Thursday, and may be called in earlier, if required.

Crews expect to initially focus on treating bridges, overpasses and potential trouble spots. As temperatures and weather conditions allow, crews may move to pre-treating roadways to prepare for humidity and temperatures overnight Thursday into Friday that may be conducive for formation of road frost or black ice.

Motorists should be prepared to adjust driving speeds to meet localized weather conditions as the snow moves through on Thursday. Extra caution will also be required during the overnight hours Thursday.

County sees a reduction to tax collections in 2014

J-E Editor
On Monday, Webster County Clerk Valerie Newell reported to the Fiscal Court that the county had seen a sizeable reduction in tax collections in 2014. Her office took in $105,000 less in 2014 than in 2013.

County native finish in top 16 in national event

J-E Editor
Onton native Cameron Edwards spent the weekend in San Diego, California, where he represented the state of Kentucky in the national Discussion Meet competition at the 96th American Farm Bureau Federation annual convention.

First meeting for new Mayor of Dixon

J-E Reporter
As the first regular meeting of the year was called to order, new Mayor Carolyn Townsend opened the session by welcoming new commission members Terry Webb and John Ramsey, and acknowledged the returning commissioners Junior Little and Jennifer Stone.  While not suggesting any big plans for the new term, Mayor Townsend expressed her excitement of working with the commissioners in achieving worthwhile small steps that will turn into big steps to benefit the residents of Dixon.   

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Region pulls together to support Patriot miners

by Matt Hughes
J-E Editor
      In the weeks since Patriot Coal announced the closing of two area mines, organizations from around the region have pulled together to help those out of worker miners take the next step. Earlier this week Kentucky Career Center’s Green River office announced it would present Rapid Response meetings on Friday, January 9, for Patriot Coal Corp. employees affected by recent layoffs. Today it was announced that there would we a job fair on Friday, and laid off miners would be eligible for discounted internet service.

Electioneering costs reach all new highs

Candidates spent over half a million 
dollars on three local and regional races

J-E News Editor
They say that the price of everything is going up, and running for political office is no exception. The astronomical cost of running for national political offices is old news, but 2014 saw the cost of some local and regional campaigns reach all-time highs.

I-69 Update

J-E News Editor
Tuesday afternoon work crews began blasting in the area around the Sebree Interchange of the Pennyrile Parkway as part of the I-69 upgrade project.
Dumey Contracting, Inc., of Benton, MO, the prime contractor on the $10 million Pennyrile Parkway/KY 56 Interchange reconstruction project, began doing ground work in the area in October, but the nature of the land surrounding the interchange made blasting inevitable.

Sebree water project less than 50% complete

J-E News Editor
After an all too eventful 2014, Sebree Council members held their first session of 2015 on Monday with hopes of a calm year. It was the first official meeting for newly elected council members Jana Forker, Debbie Stull and Billy Smith.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Kentucky Career Center to assist Patriot Miners

  Staff from the Kentucky Career Center’s Green River office will present Rapid Response meetings on Friday, January 9, for Patriot Coal Corp. employees affected by recent layoffs.
      The company announced last week that it would idle its two Union County mines—the Highland Mine near the Henderson County line and the Dodge Hill Mining Complex near Sturgis—which employee a total of approximately 670 individuals.