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A NewsJournal for 21st Century West Kentucky

Vol. 6  No. 1 January 2015 (c)

FrontPage News

Overpass collapse kills Kentuckian in Cincinnati

I-75 was shut down this weekend by an overpass collapse.
Overpass collapse kills Kentuckian in Cincinnati

An overpass collapsed in Cincinnati over the weekend shutting down southbound I-75 while chunks of concrete were cleared away. A Kentucky man, construction worker Brandon Carl, 35, of Augusta, was killed in the collapse. Another man was injured.

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SB 1 - Right to Work legislation is first Ky Senate bill | Kentucky, General Assembly 2015, Legislature, right to work, labor, union,
SB 1 - Right to Work legislation is first Ky Senate bill

On the first day of this short session of the General Assembly, Republican leaders filed SB 1 - a right to work bill that looks very much like local ordinances.

Co-sponsors are Senate President Robert Stivers II, Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer, President Pro Tem David Givens, Majority Caucus Leader Dan Seum.

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Mary Potter, West Kentucky Journal

Right to Work Ordinance passes in Fulton County | Fulton County, Kentucky, union, right to work, Jim Waters, AFL-CIO

Fulton Fiscal Court: Magistrate James Black, Fulton County Attorney Rick Majors, Judge David Gallagher, Magistrate Bill "Bubba" Nelms met to pass right to work ordinance on Dec. 29th.
Right to Work Ordinance passes in Fulton County

(Hickman, KY - December 30, 2014) - In less time than it took to walk into the meeting, all Fulton County Fiscal Court members present voted unanimously to pass right to work ordinance...

The reason repeatedly cited - jobs for Fulton County.

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Mary Potter, West Kentucky Journal

Sen. Paul Urges General Assembly to Pass Amendment to Restore Voting Rights in Kentucky | Rand Paul, US Senate, voting, civil rights, Kentucky, General Assembly 2015,

Sen. Rand Paul
Sen. Paul Urges General Assembly to Pass Amendment to Restore Voting Rights in Kentucky

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Sen. Rand Paul today urged the Kentucky General Assembly to pass a constitutional amendment to restore the right to vote for many nonviolent felons in the Commonwealth who have completed their sentences.

"Restoring voting rights for those who have repaid their debt to society is simply the right thing to do," - Sen. Rand Paul

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Daniel Bayens - Sen. Paul's office press release

Fulton County - far from the Capitol - takes risk on RtW ordinance | Fulton County Kentucky, right to work, Tennessee, government, Frankfort

Fulton County, shaded, is farthest county in Kentucky.
Fulton County - far from the Capitol - takes risk on RtW ordinance

Why would Fulton County Kentucky pass a right to work ordinance that legal experts say is illegal?

A desperate need for jobs and attention...

 See the full story ...
Mary Potter, West Kentucky Journal

An Even Dozen of Top Stories of 2014 | McConnell, Alison Lundergan Grimes, politics, Murray, government, Paducah,

The building collapse in Murray - infrastructure loss was a story in 2014.
An Even Dozen of Top Stories of 2014

Who needs 10 top stories when 12 will do? Here are our picks for the big stories we saw in 2014:

From politics to the polar vortex to building collapses, 2014 shook up the status quo in the Jackson Purchase.

 See the full story ...
Ivan Potter & Mary Potter

Saudi Arabia plays oil poker  | oil prices, gasoline, Saudi Arabia,

At the Pocket's store in Murray, 1/5/15 gas prices below $2 a gallon.
Saudi Arabia plays oil poker

Saudi Arabia last decided to teach the world a lesson in oil politics in 1973 through 1976. The lesson was you don't mess with the oil producers if you want energy.

The 2014 version of the lesson is that Saudi Arabia is only one nation can play the oil card. There will be no room for upstarts and no tolerance for alternative energies...

Where will they go from here?

 See the full story ...
Ivan C. Potter, Publisher West Kentucky Journal

Governor's Race the TOP story for 2015 | James Comer, governor's race, Kentucky, Jack Conway

Is this James Comer's year?
Governor's Race the TOP story for 2015

Right next to Kentucky's mania with UK Sports is the mania for electing our constitutional officers. Normally, the race for Governor is the big show every four years. But in 2015, several new factors are at play in West Kentucky and across the state...

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Ivan C. Potter, Publisher West Kentucky Journal

Attack on Unions...Right to Work Strategy - 2015 Trend

A national right wing Republican friendly money campaign has targeted Kentucky as the next political ideological landscape to increase profits of large corporations.

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Ivan C. Potter, Publisher West Kentucky Journal

General Assembly 2015...End of Federalism and Era of New Taxes- Trend for 2015

New local taxes, embattled within the new Home Rule laws, will be fought at the state and local levels. Local government will have to scramble to cover loss funding from the state and feds.

 See the full story ...
Ivan C. Potter, Publisher West Kentucky Journal

Regionalism...East KY vs. West KY- Trend Continues in 2015

Now, in the 15th year of the 21st Century, a new brand or concept of regionalism is taking shape in Kentucky. This new perspective towards economic development leaves behind the emphasis of federal-state-regional-local strata for a compressed regional-state-private model.

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Ivan C. Potter, Publisher West Kentucky Journal

Restructuring of Higher Education Regionalism
Restructuring of Higher Education Regionalism

...Currently, there are too many regional schools for higher education in Kentucky and its high levels of poverty. Add another regional university like U. of Pikeville and the money pot for higher education gets smaller..

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Ivan C. Potter, Publisher West Kentucky Journal

Restructuring of TV Watching - 2015 not to be a banner year for packaged television

The old satellite direct TV viewing is in a lot of pain. Costs for ESPN programming has become the primary costs for satellite TV viewing. This model is losing millions of potential viewers as new generations of TV watchers are turning to NEXFIX, pod casts, and computer movie streaming.

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Ivan C. Potter, Publisher West Kentucky Journal

Community and Regional News

Arts Council celebrates 10th year with a birthday party | Dorothy Nell Harper, poetry, Hickman County Arts Council, Kentucky,
Arts Council celebrates 10th year with a birthday party

The Hickman County Arts Council, Inc. will celebrate its tenth year with a birthday party.

A potluck dinner complete with birthday cake will be held at the Young Center in Clinton on Tuesday, January 13th at 6:00...

The program for the evening will be a tribute to the Council's oldest member, Dorothy Nell Harper.

 See the full story ...
Mary Potter

Jailers without jails earn full salaries in some counties

Forty one counties in Kentucky have jailers with no jails.
Jailers without jails earn full salaries in some counties

The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting looks at the costs of jailers without jails. Four far western counties, Carlisle, Trigg, Lyon, and Livingston, have jailers with no jails. Carlisle pays its jailer a modest $24,500 a year.

...Counties without a local jail either put arrestees in a regional jail or else transport them to a neighboring county jail that has agreed to house them. All 41 no-jail counties still have an elected jailer, which in Kentucky alone is a constitutional office.

Those counties are scattered around the state but generally are rural and among the least populous. More than a third are in eastern Kentucky, and many of those are financially strapped, periodically grappling with the possibility of cutbacks in basic services while paying thousands of dollars to jailers who, in the eyes of many, don't earn their keep.

"More than 80 percent of the nation's jails are run by sheriffs," said Michael Jackson, a program specialist with the National Institute of Corrections in Washington, D.C. "Kentucky's the only state that has elected jailers."

For the full report, follow the jump.

 See the full story ...
R. G. Dunlop and Jacob Ryan, KYCIR

Editorials

Gas Pump Blues

Moon Pie goodness. A man, a dog, an empty gas tank and a $5 bill.
Gas Pump Blues

Editor's Note: A recollection of when gas prices first spiked. Mr. Potter began singin' the gas pump blues. For the whole sad story, follow the jump.

Gas Pump Blues
August 2005


Hot August day,
Sweat pouring down my brow
As me and my old dog, Blue
Set in the Chevy truck, thinking about how
George Bush done stuck it to me.

I came to town with $5.00 in my pocket,
Enough for a gallon of gas,
A Dr. Pepper, and two Moon Pies,
One for me and one for old Blue....

 See the full story ...
Ivan Potter

Low Road Economy No Path to Prosperity in Kentucky

...Proponents promise these laws will open the floodgates to new employment, but states that are right-to-work are not more effective at growing and attracting jobs. In fact, seven of the 11 states with the highest unemployment rates are right-to-work states, and 12 of the 15 states with the highest poverty rates. After Oklahoma passed right-to-work in 2001, its trend of growing manufacturing employment in the decade prior to the law was reversed.

 See the full story ...
Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, Jason Bailey Director

New Year - New Challenges - New County Judges

Hickman County Judge Kenny Wilson chairs his first fiscal court meeting.
New Year - New Challenges - New County Judges

The new year of 2015 must be a real new year for our region.

The most recent report on state growth puts the Purchase behind other areas of Kentucky in growth...

...New county judges from McCracken to Fulton have a chance to change the economic down hill slide. It's going to take a commitment that mirrors, but does not imitate SOAR, (Save Our Appalachian Region).

 See the full story ...
Mary Potter, West Kentucky Journal

Right to Work a Crap Shoot

Those prospective employers/businesses who state they do not want to come because of the lack "right to work" protections are the very ones we wish would go somewhere else. Businesses expecting a "permit" to hold employees in perpetual poverty should each and every one be rejected because WE RECOGNIZE OUR RESPONSIBILITY LIES WITH THE CITIZENS OF FULTON COUNTY NOT CORPORATE PROFITS.

from Nettles' Letter to Fulton County Magistrates December 24, 2014

 See the full story ...
Gene Nettles

Education

Students spend day learning ins and outs of Ag | agriculture, Hickman County High School, farming,

Students learn about corn storage at grain bin.
Students spend day learning ins and outs of Ag

Hickman County Chamber of Commerce Leadership students spent December 11th learning about the major industry of their rural county - agriculture.

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Baylee Estes, HCHS photos by Melissa Goodman, UK Cooperative Extension Agent

Three in a row: Graves County High School Academic Team wins district Governor's Cup championship again in 2015

The Graves County Eagles Academic Team came away with top honors once again at the high school District Tournament recently at Mayfield High School
Three in a row: Graves County High School Academic Team wins district Governor's Cup championship again in 2015

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Paul Schaumburg, Community Relations Director, Graves County Schools

Travel & Tourism

 A Romanesque Revival: First Christian Church, Clinton, Kentucky   | First Christian Church, Clinton, architecture, art, travel, tourism
A Romanesque Revival: First Christian Church, Clinton, Kentucky

This story begins, as good ones often do, unexpectedly. My decision to take a random string of back roads from Memphis to a family reunion in central Illinois was driven by an urge to explore and treasure hunt the off-the-beaten-path antique stores that dot rural America. After a number of interesting stops, I found myself northbound on US Route 51, a highway with its own unique history, with the sun setting. As I pulled into the small town of Clinton, two thoughts came to mind; first, even if there are any antique stores they are bound to be closed by now and second, I need to keep moving anyway because, at the rate I am going, central Illinois may as well be central Wisconsin. However, logic and reason quickly went out the car window once I caught a glimpse of what looked to be an interesting piece of architecture...

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Daniel Keith Patterson

About Us

Publisher and editor of West Kentucky Journal bring decades of experience to writing

Meet the husband and wife team responsible for West Kentucky Journal.

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Mary Potter & Ivan Potter, West Kentucky Journal


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