Thursday, March 22, 2018

Area death

Charles Kent Gillihan, 81, of Hardin, formerly of Fredonia, died Monday. Arrangements are under the direction of Myers Funeral Home in Marion.

Easter event Saturday at Fohs Hall

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

What's news this week in Crittenden County...

Tires, batteries and oil are coming to the former Shopko store on Sturgis Road. Local businessman Kent Martin has finalized purchase of the building from Kent Withrow and Allied Contracting Group of Madisonville.

For the rest of the story and the following headlines, pick up this week's issue of The Crittenden Press:
  • Council: Gardens property sale not assured
  • Christmas in Marion cancelled after 30 years
  • Rule prohibits commercial traffic on Country Club Drive
  • Waste tires accepted free starting today; cleanup days April 27-28
  • Newsprint delivery issues forcing Press to narrow pages
  • PSC action will cut electric bills
  • Senate OKs state budget with no new taxes
  • SENATE REVIEW: Governor’s remarks not helpful in pension crisis
  • HOUSE REVEIW: Pension bill likely stalled
  • MY 2¢ WORTH: Victory Gardens this year’s public debate
  • Classes begin for Community Christmas STAFF REPORT
  • Freshman Orientation planned for eighth graders
  • OUTDOORS: Spring turkey hunting season preview
  • SPORTS: Track and field results
  • SPORTS: Hodge pleased with findings on CCHS diamond
  • VAUGHT'S VIEWS: Johnson wanted to prove he was elite...and did
  • Rogers picked for judicial council
  • Crop reports affect grain prices
  • PSC strengthens mandatory training for water district boards
  • FORGOTTEN PASSAGES: Crittenden had its share of white lightening

Dunning auction Saturday

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Searches will continue at local schools

A few weeks ago, shortly after Kentucky State Police investigated an alleged threat by a student to kill everyone at the middle school, Crittenden County Schools added another layer of security to keep students and staff safe.

On a day in early March, every student at both the middle and high school was searched before entering the buildings. The searches included belongings like backpacks and a sweep with hand-held metal-detecting wands. This and future inspections will be unannounced, and will include all students at the two upper schools.

“These random security checks are a preventative measure that the district feels will add another layer of security for our students and staff,” said Superintendent of Schools Vince Clark. “Crittenden County School District is committed to their well-being and safety and takes those initiatives seriously. School leaders will critique this morning’s event as they plan additional upcoming random screenings in the future.”

He said the administrative decision to begin conducting searches was not in response to any new threat or single past incident. He believes if the new security offers comfort to students, parents and staff regardless of finding, then it will be worthwhile.

“What more can we do?” he questioned. "I think we all agree this is one thing we can do right now to provide another level of safety."

To conduct the morning searches, students are allowed into school through only two entrances – the middle school gym lobby and front entrance to the middle school. There is no direct access into the high school.

As students arrive, their bags are checked, and the individual is wanded much like at an airport. Girls are searched by female staff and boys by males. Sixteen of the metal detectors will be used to conduct searches.

"This is just to let folks know that we're looking for weapons and other things that don't need to be there," Clark said.

With 700 students to check, he said there will undoubtedly be some kinks to work out with the searches in order to make them more efficient and effective.

"There are a lot of logistics to go along with that," he said. "It's going to take a while to iron out smoothly."

The superintendent said searches will continue to be conducted randomly throughout the remainder of the school year and indefinitely in future years.

"I think these are the times we live in," Clark said. "We continue to have conversations about what more we can do."

A 14-year-old boy at CCMS was charged Feb. 22 by state police with terroristic threatening related to comments he allegedly made earlier that day. The boy reportedly made a threat to all students. The conversation he was having with a student was anonymously reported to administrators by another student, leading to police involvement.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Area death

Ralph H. Morrow, 93, of Marion died Sunday. Gilbert Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Chamber planning more events

Coming off a successful Murder Mystery last weekend, the Crittenden County Chamber of Commerce has begun planning for its next two community events.

The Chamber will host its quarterly Leadership Breakfast on Friday, April 13.

The breakfast is an opportunity for community business owners, civic leaders and residents to mingle and fellowship. There will be a program presented by Pennyrile Allied Community Services.

The breakfast begins at 7 a.m., and the program will last about an hour. Cost is $7 and can be paid at the door.

The Chamber has also set the date for its annual meeting and awards ceremony. The annual event will be Thursday, May 17 at First Cumberland Presbyterian Church’s fellowship hall. Every year, the Chamber recognizes community leaders for their work on a variety of projects.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Chamber survey probes business climate

If not for difficulties in finding and keeping employees, and inadequacies in the local transportation infrastructure, business owners in Marion would be happy as a lark, according to a recent survey sponsored by the Crittenden County Chamber of Commerce.

With professional assistance from the University of Kentucky, the Chamber spent several weeks last fall getting merchants – mostly retail and one restaurant – to respond to questionaries about the area’s business climate. Results of the survey were presented recently during the Chamber’s quarterly Leadership Breakfast at the Marion Ed-Tech Center.

UK’s Kentucky Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky (CEDIK) provided data assimilation and interpretation for the project which had a dozen respondents from the downtown merchant area.

Everyone surveyed said they intend on staying in business in Marion, and a majority plan expansion within the next three years. Overall, 66 percent said Marion was a “great” place to do business.

Luke Ramsay presented the survey figures for CEDIK. He said economic development can be compared to the way UK Coach John Calipari develops his Wildcats basketball program. He said Coach Cal must spend a great deal of time recruiting new talent, but he must also spend a great deal of time and effort building the team he has into a championship-caliber squad.

“You have to balance the two together,” Ramsay said. “You have to pay attention to business recruitment and retention.”

Ramsay applauded the Chamber for its interest in probing the business community for information. Armed with such information, he said the Chamber can take a leadership role in the planning for the future.

Randa Berry, Chamber president, said CEDIK coached Chamber directors along the way and helped it develop the survey questions. The project began last June and surveys were collected in November.
Berry said the Chamber is committed to helping improve the local climate for business and Ramsay told the group that retention and expansion is the first place to look.

“It may not be the most sexy part of economic development, but its where you get the best returns,” he said.

Recruiting new business is time-consuming, expensive and the success rate is low, the UK representative said. Investing in entrepreneurship is a great tool, but it’s risky and slow, he added.

“The Chamber has gone out into the community to see what the needs are,” Ramsay said. “That’s a great step in the right direction.”

Some of the greatest concerns voiced by the respondents were high and outmoded tax structures, drugs in the community and difficulty in recruiting and retaining quality employees who are willing to work.

Perhaps the most common and resounding issue throughout the survey’s findings was the need for a viable workforce. Those who responded indicated that the positions they most often need to fill require a high school education or less. About 40 percent of the respondents said they would provide specific training to new hires.

Transportation and cultural opportunities were among the other weaknesses, according to the findings.

The community received high marks for friendliness, pride and quality of life.

Although the respondents say they would like to see growth in their business, a majority were not marketing the products through advertising or other means. Those who were using advertising found that newspaper and internet were the most effective.

Anyone interested in the complete survey findings may contact the Chamber of Commerce of (270) 965-5015.

Life in Christ service Sunday

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Area Death

Boyce Moodie, III, 83, of Smithland died Wednesday. Boyd Funeral Directors and Cremation Services is in charge of arrangements.