Tuesday November 20, 2018
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Credit: KY State Parks

An important bridge for motorists will be replaced at Natural Bridge State Resort Park, Gov. Matt Bevin announced last week.

The project — a joint effort between the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet — will allow for safer and more direct access to the park’s cottages, Woodland Center, swimming pool and Hoedown Island, a public area used for square dancing and other events.

“Today’s announcement is an important collaboration between the Tourism and Transportation Cabinets. This bridge replacement will allow park guests to better enjoy the beauty, fun and adventure of Natural Bridge State Park,” said Gov. Bevin. “This is how state government should work — cohesively and efficiently to deliver results for taxpayers.

“Natural Bridge is one of the Commonwealth’s oldest state parks, and the bridge to Hoedown Island is a well-known and beloved connection point for visitors, offering a link to weekly hoedowns, campgrounds, playgrounds, trails and picnic areas. This bridge replacement project ensures that guests will have an incredible experience for years to come at one of our state’s most popular parks.”

The original bridge, constructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, was closed in January following an inspection by the Transportation Cabinet that showed signs of deterioration to the bridge piers and beams. An alternate route using another bridge at Middle Fork Campground has since been used for park traffic.

“Natural Bridge is one of the most popular parks in our system, and replacing this bridge is of great importance to our valued guests,” Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Don Parkinson said. “I appreciate Sec. Thomas and the Transportation Cabinet for their partnership on this project, and I appreciate the efforts of Gov. Bevin to help make this a reality.”

The Transportation Cabinet is contributing approximately $500,000 and the Department of Parks approximately $200,000 for the replacement bridge, which crosses the Middle Fork of the Red River. Construction is expected to begin next spring.

“Recommissioning this bridge will restore safe access to travelers who visit the resort for business or recreation,” Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Greg Thomas said. “We are pleased to partner with the Tourism Cabinet to support the local economy by replacing this deteriorating structure.”

Natural Bridge State Resort Park at Slade has a lodge, cottages, restaurant, campgrounds, hiking trails and a sandstone arch that is a popular tourist attraction. The park is adjacent to the Red River Gorge Geological Area inside the Daniel Boone National Forest.

Nine grants that will generate investment of nearly $100,000 in historic preservation-related projects have been awarded to seven Certified Local Government (CLG) communities for fiscal year 2018-19 by the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office (KHC). The annual grants are part of a pass-through allocated from the federal Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) for state preservation offices to recognize, save, and protect historic places.

Grants totaling $58,468 went to Bardstown, Bellevue, Covington, Danville, Frankfort, Metro Louisville and Newport, which will require local matches totaling at least $38,980. The awards were approved earlier this year by the KHC board, with applications for the next funding cycle set to be distributed to Kentucky’s 23 participating CLG communities in November.

“October is National Community Planning Month, a good time for our CLG partners to consider how historic neighborhoods add to the overall vitality, livability, and desirability of their communities,” said Vicki Birenberg, CLG program and planning coordinator.

The grants will largely fund training and education initiatives but also be used to revise and update local historic district design guidelines, survey historic resources, and nominate a historic district to the National Register of Historic Places. A portion of KHC’s federal set-aside has also been made available to provide scholarships to local CLG program coordinators and board members to attend the annual National Trust for Historic Preservation National Preservation Conference, and KHC’s Kentucky Main Street Program annual spring meeting.

All grant activities must directly support goals outlined in “A Map Made of Memory: Kentucky’s State Historic Preservation plan, 2017-2021.”

CLG designation offers a way for local governments to develop a comprehensive approach to historic preservation and promote the integration of preservation interests into the planning process. To qualify, local governments must meet five broad standards, including enacting a historic preservation ordinance and appointing a professionally qualified preservation commission or architectural review board. In addition to grant eligibility, CLG benefits include access to technical assistance from KHC and the National Park Service.

City and county-wide historic preservation commissions that have earned CLG designation may apply for the annual grants. Qualifying projects require a local match of at least 40 percent. Grants cannot be used to acquire or rehabilitate historic buildings.

KHC is required to allocate at least 10 percent of its HPF apportionment to CLG grants. Those charged with training and implementing funded projects must adhere to the Secretary of the Interior’s standards and guidelines for the treatment of historic properties. For more, contact Vicki Birenberg at 502-892-3606 or visit www.heritage.ky.gov.

2018-19 Certified Local Government historic preservation grants

Bardstown, Protect and Preserve Workshops (federal share $9,569, minimum local match $6,379), for two educational workshops: one to cover cemetery and monument preservation, the other to teach historic property owners and others how to conduct research to learn the history of a property from deeds and other historic documents, and to understand design review and the Certificate of Appropriateness process for proposed changes to properties located in historic districts.

Bellevue, Window Rehabilitation Workshop (federal share $1,200, minimum local match $800), to plan, market and implement a full-day intensive historic wood window rehabilitation demonstration and workshop for property owners and local contractors.

Bellevue, Northern Kentucky Restoration Weekend (federal share $3,200, minimum local match $2,133), to partner with other Northern Kentucky communities to produce the 8th annual Northern Kentucky Restoration Weekend, a free, multifaceted educational event with sessions on topics of interest to historic property owners. A day is also dedicated to professional development, allowing participants to earn professional credits from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).

Covington, Northern Kentucky Restoration Weekend (federal share $3,000, minimum local match $2,000), to partner with other Northern Kentucky communities to produce the 8th annual Northern Kentucky Restoration Weekend (see above).

Danville, Historic Preservation Workshop Series (federal share $2,500, minimum local match $1,667), to produce three educational workshops to assist historic property owners: one focusing on local historic preservation overlay zones, including how to apply and interpret new historic district design guidelines; one to address the appropriate rehabilitation of historic windows; and a third to explore National Register eligibility and designation, how it differs from local designation, and how one goes about getting a property or district designated.

Frankfort, Historic Property Brochures (federal share $3,000, minimum local match $2,000), to develop, print and mail two brochures to educate property owners living in historic districts about the Certificate of Appropriateness process and existing historic zoning regulations, and about federal and state historic rehabilitation tax credit programs as well as local tax moratoriums and grant opportunities for qualified rehabilitation.

Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government, Survey Project (federal share $24,999, minimum local match $16,677), to survey historic buildings in a large portion (approximately 50%) of the Portland neighborhood, which currently has only a small National Register district with 106 primary buildings, while more than 4,000 resources remain undocumented. This neighborhood is currently experiencing intensive redevelopment due to its attractive building stock and urban location, and this step toward expanding National Register eligibility will assist owners with preservation incentives such as rehabilitation tax credits.

Newport, Design Guidelines Update (federal share $3,000, minimum local match $2,000), for funding to allow staff to revise and update Historic District Design Guidelines, which were originally developed for a single district. The city now has three local districts, each with its own character. The update will address the distinctive elements of each district as well as include sections on renewable energy and use of alternative materials for restoration.

Newport, National Register nomination for the Buena Vista Historic District (federal share $8,000, minimum local match $5,334), to develop a National Register nomination for the Buena Vista Historic District, which will include more than 1,000 primary buildings. The survey work required to develop the nomination was completed with a previous CLG grant.

The North American Championship Rodeo returns to Freedom Hall November 8-10 during the NAILE for the circuit finals of the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association. A part of the Great Lakes Circuit Rodeo, participants represent many states in the region, including Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio.

The event features three nights of excitement as the best in each event compete over all three days to be named champion. There are seven events each night: bareback riding, bull riding, saddle bronc riding, barrel racing, steer wrestling, tie down roping, and team roping. In between events, attendees will be entertained by the rodeo clown and other acts throughout the night.

Tickets start at $10 and can be purchased online ahead of time. Children under the age of 2 are free. Friday, November 9, is Tough Enough To Wear Pink Night. Attendees are encouraged to wear pink to show support for the fight against breast cancer and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Horses and Hope. Ticket prices do not include parking at the Kentucky Exposition Center, which is $10 per vehicle.

The Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, is reminding Kentuckians to get vaccinated against the flu.

“Getting the flu can be debilitating and sometimes life-threatening,” said Jeffrey Howard, M.D., commissioner of DPH. “Vaccination is the best tool we have to prevent the flu and it is also extremely important to take simple preventive steps to avoid the flu and other illnesses that tend to circulate at this time of year – wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze and stay home when you’re sick.”

DPH officials report weekly influenza activity to the CDC as part of statewide flu surveillance efforts. The weekly report is located online at https://healthalerts.ky.gov/Pages/FluActivity.aspx will be updated by noon each Friday. Kentucky currently is reporting 28 laboratory-confirmed cases of flu and one influenza-related death. The state flu activity level is currently classified as “sporadic”. The report consists of laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza that are defined by molecular virus testing and positive virus culture test results. Rapid positive influenza tests are not included in this report, but are used as an indicator of flu-like illness circulating across the state.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends flu vaccine for all individuals six months of age and older. People who are strongly encouraged to receive the flu vaccine because they may be at higher risk for complications or negative consequences include:

  • Children age six months through 59 months;
  • Women who are or will be pregnant during the influenza season;
  • Persons 50 years of age or older;
  • Persons with extreme obesity (Body Mass Index of 40 or greater);
  • Persons aged six months and older with chronic health problems;
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities;
  • Household contacts (including children) and caregivers of children aged ≤59 months
  • Household contacts and caregivers or people who live with a person at high-risk for
    complications from the flu; and
  • Health care workers, including physicians, nurses, and other workers in inpatient and outpatient-care settings, medical emergency-response workers (e.g., paramedics and emergency medical technicians), employees of nursing home and long-term care facilities who have contact with patients or residents, and students in these professions who will have contact with patients.

Adequate supplies of flu vaccine are expected to be available for this year’s flu season. Vaccination can be given any time during the flu season, but providers are encouraged to administer the vaccine as soon as possible.

During the 2016-17 and 2017-18 influenza seasons, ACIP recommended that Flu Mist not be used because of concerns about low effectiveness against influenza A (H1N1). However, ACIP recommends that FluMist once again be an option for vaccination during the 2018-2019 influenza season for persons for whom it is age-appropriate and who have no medical contraindications. The change in recommendation is a result of the influenza A (H1N1) strain being changed in the current FluMist formulation.

Due to the timing of the decision by the ACIP regarding use of FluMist, the Kentucky Vaccines for Children Program (VFC) will not be offering FluMist for VFC or KCHIP patients during the 2018-2019 influenza season.  However, some private providers will offer FluMist this season for their patients.

The flu vaccine is especially important in light of the severe season experienced last year across the U.S. The CDC reports that more than 900,000 flu-related hospitalizations occurred and more than 80,000 people died as a result of flu. In Kentucky there were 333 flu-related deaths, 5 of which were pediatric. Of the pediatric flu deaths reported in last year’s season, more than one-third of these occurred among healthy children between the ages of 6 months and 4 years.

It is especially important for pregnant women to be vaccinated before or during pregnancy.  Antibodies cross the placenta and provide immunity to infants up to 6 months of age, when the infant is eligible to receive their dose of flu vaccine.

DPH relies on sites such as doctors’ offices, hospitals and health departments to help track the level of influenza activity in the state and to identify which strains of the flu are circulating in Kentucky. These voluntary sites collect data and report influenza-like illness (ILI) cases according to age groups each week. This sampling represents only a small percentage of influenza cases for the state, but contributes to the ongoing assessment of flu activity in the Commonwealth and helps determine the weekly level of flu activity.

Infection with the flu virus can cause fever, headache, cough, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing and body aches.  Flu can be very contagious.  For more information on influenza or the availability of flu vaccine, Kentuckians should contact their primary care medical provider or local health department.  Influenza information is also available online at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm.

Following a national search, the Council on Postsecondary Education unanimously selected Dr. Aaron Thompson as its fourth president.

Thompson, who presently serves as the Council’s executive vice president and chief academic officer, will transition to his new responsibilities Nov. 1.

He is the first Kentucky native and African-American to hold the position since the Council was formed 21 years ago.

“We have greatly benefited at the state level by Aaron’s strategic leadership and statesmanship over the past decade. Time and time again, we have relied on Aaron as an essential advocate and leader across many fronts, including the critical areas of college opportunity and student success,” said Council Chair Sherrill Zimmerman.

“We are confident that he will be the innovative, dynamic and transformational leader that will benefit Kentucky higher education and our students,” added Zimmerman.

“I am humbled by the honor of being named the fourth president of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. I love Kentucky, and it has been my life’s mission to add to the Commonwealth’s prosperity through education,” said Thompson.

Thompson is passionate about sharing how education was a catalyst for his own success.

“As a native of Clay County, a son of an illiterate coal miner and a mother with only an eighth grade education, I am not only a first-generation college graduate, I am a first- generation high school graduate. Now, I am immensely fortunate to have an opportunity to represent that great opportunity to all citizens of Kentucky,” he said.

“I want to thank the Council, staff and leadership for this show of confidence,” Thompson added.

Thompson came to the Council in 2009 from Eastern Kentucky University (EKU), where he held a variety of academic leadership positions and was a tenured professor in the department of educational leadership and policy studies. In May 2016, he left the Council for more than a year to serve as interim president for Kentucky State University.

As a nationally respected leader, he has served on more than 50 state and national boards and committees. He currently is board chair for the National Council on Community and Education Partnerships and serves on the Quality Assurance Commons for Higher and Postsecondary Education Advisory Board. He also serves on the corporate board for Baptist Health Care and is the chair of the Committee of Governance Effectiveness.

At the state level, Thompson serves on the Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board (KWIB), KWIB Employer Engagement Committee and KWIB Education Attainment and Completion Committee, the Charter Schools Advisory Committee, the Kentucky Humanities Council, the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board, and the Citizens Action Committee for the Destruction of Chemical Weapons, among others.

Thompson earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science and sociology from Eastern Kentucky University, a master’s degree in sociology and a doctorate in sociology, both from the University of Kentucky.

Thompson will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Robert L. King, who served as president for nearly 10 years.

AGB Search conducted the national search.

Council will negotiate a final contract at its next meeting set Nov. 15-16.

For more information on the search process, and to view Dr. Thompson’s curriculum vitae, visit: http://cpe.ky.gov/aboutus/presidentialsearch.html.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will conduct its fall public auction of surplus and confiscated items Oct. 29 at department headquarters in Frankfort.

Surplus auction items include Triton and Polarcraft boats, Yamaha, Johnson and Evinrude boat motors, four-wheel-drive Chevy, Ford and Dodge trucks, Yamaha and Honda ATVs, side scan sonar units, office equipment, air condition window units, GE washer and dryer, a generator and more. Bidding on surplus items is open to everyone.

Confiscated auction items include shotguns, rifles, pistols, bows, hunting equipment and more. Firearm brands being offered for sale include Browning, Remington, Benelli, Ruger, Winchester, Marlin, Rossi and more. Under state law, only qualified Kentucky residents may bid on confiscated items.

A list of all items to be offered at auction is available online at fw.ky.gov, the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife website. The list also includes the terms and conditions of the auction. All items are sold as is.

Viewing begins at 8 a.m. (Eastern), with bidding to begin at 10 a.m. The auction will be near the Salato Wildlife Education Center, which is on the headquarters campus of Kentucky Fish and Wildlife at 1 Sportsman’s Lane. Visitors may find the headquarters complex off U.S. 60 in Frankfort, approximately 1 ½ miles west of the intersection with U.S. 127. A bronze deer statue marks the entrance.

The North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE) returns to the Kentucky Exposition Center. The annual event takes place over 17 days starting on October 30th, at 9 AM with the North American Quarter Horse Show.

The show features 10 species  (and countless breeds) of livestock from all over the continent, as well as youth skills competitions and educational programs, and the North American Marketplace. The show also features many other exhibition events, including cowboy mounted shooting, where spectators can watch participants hit targets using a single action revolver while riding a horse through an obstacle course, draft horse shows, and the NAILE Wool Show. A full schedule of events can be found here.

While admission to the market place is free, admission to the rest of the event is $6 per person and does not include parking ($10) at the Kentucky Exhibition Center.

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