Thursday, August 17, 2017

Emergency management activated for eclipse

Kentucky Emergency Management (KyEM) will activate the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Frankfort and a Regional Response Coordination Center (RRCC) in Hopkinsville in support of the upcoming 2017 Solar Eclipse which will occur on Monday.

The SEOC, in conjunction with the RRCC, will activate on Saturday at 8 a.m. to coordinate local, state, federal and private sector partner operations during the much-anticipated global event. The Eclipse is scheduled to cross 14 states in the U.S., with ground zero running from near Carbondale, Ill., to Hopkinsville.  Hopkinsville will experience a total solar eclipse lasting up to 2 minutes and 40 seconds, one of the longest periods in the U.S.

The RRCC will be staffed with local, state, federal and private sector partners who will track status reports from all critical infrastructure sectors in the region.   Should the need arise, the RRCC will be ready to assist with resource requests within the 21 county event area. 

“This event is a premier opportunity for Kentucky and our many local first responder groups to showcase the most exciting two-minutes, forty-seconds in astronomy, welcoming visitors to a safe and enjoyable environment," said Michael E. Dossett, Director of KyEM. "Hundreds of thousands of people will visit our great Commonwealth seeking the viewing opportunity of a lifetime. It is our mission in preparedness to ensure their safety and provide support to our local communities in making that happen.”

Job opening at PDHD

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Public health officials urge eclipse safety

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The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) is warning the public not to directly look at the upcoming solar eclipse Monday without the proper equipment and techniques.

People from all over the world will converge on the U.S. to witness the eclipse. While the solar eclipse will occur across the continental U.S., those within an estimated 70-mile path labeled “Path of the Total Solar Eclipse” which includes Hopkinsville, Paducah and the Land Between the Lakes will experience a total solar eclipse, lasting up to 2 minutes and 40 seconds. Outside of this path, observers will witness a deep partial eclipse, which will partially block the sun’s light. The last time a total solar eclipse occurred across any part of the contiguous U.S. was in 1979. Following the 2017 solar eclipse, the next total solar eclipse will not be visible over the continental U.S. until April 8, 2024.

“Looking at an eclipse without proper eye protection can cause permanent and irreversible eye damage including blindness”, said Hiram C. Polk, Jr., M.D., commissioner of DPH. “We encourage everyone to enjoy this special celestial event, but urge the public not to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun without special purpose solar filters such as eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers.”

There are several ways to safely view a solar eclipse and avoid permanent eye damage:
  • Eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers that meet the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 12312-2 international standard for eye and face protection products intended for direct observation of the sun may be used. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun.
  • Telescopes with solar filters can also be used. Never look through a telescope without a solar filter on the large end of the scope. Never use small solar filters that attach to the eyepiece as found on some older telescopes.
  • Pinhole projectors and other projection techniques are a safe, indirect viewing technique for observing an image of the sun and can be constructed using paper or cardstock.
Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars or other optical device. Similarly, do not look at the sun through a camera, telescope, binoculars or any other optical device while using your eclipses glasses or handheld solar viewer. The concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury. Seek expert advice before using a solar filter with a camera, telescope, binoculars or any other optical device.

In addition to eye safety measures, the following additional public health safety tips are recommended for people who participate in outdoor activities while viewing the eclipse:
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Increase your normal fluid intake regardless of your activity level. You will need to drink more fluids than your thirst level indicates. This is especially true for people age 65 and older who have a decreased ability to respond to external temperature changes. In addition, avoid drinking beverages containing alcohol, because they will actually cause you to lose more fluid.
  • Wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen. Choose lightweight, light colored, loose fitting clothing. In the hot sun, wear a wide-brimmed hat that will provide shade and keep the head cool. Sunscreen should be SPF 15 or greater and applied 30 minutes before going out into the sun.
State health officials will deploy portable medical tents at an upcoming eclipse event in Hopkinsville to ensure first aid services are available to participants through coordination with local and state agencies. The first aid tents will be staffed by Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteers and public health staff. Public health environmentalists will also inspect food vendors in the region to help prevent foodborne and waterborne illnesses.

Video footage related to eclipse eye safety is available at https://goo.gl/QoRT44. A video for eclipse eye safety for children is available at https://goo.gl/X6i5x9. Video footage for an eclipse safety kit is available at https://goo.gl/bFNLYj. For more information on safe viewing of eclipses, visit Eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Eclipse closings mounting

All courthouse offices, save the judge-executive's, will be closed Monday for the Great American Eclipse. This includes the sheriff's office.

Marion City Hall will be shuttering at noon, and Crittenden County schools have cancelled classes.

Some local businesses will also be closing for the day or for a period during the eclipse.

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


Even before 1800, a ferry was serving travelers crossing the Ohio River between Kentucky and what what would become Cave In Rock, Ill. Fast forward to 2017, and the Cave In Rock Ferry is as vital as ever, offering a direct link for goods and services between two rural communities on opposite sides of the river, a shortcut for commuters and a unique experience for sightseers.

For an in-depth look at the ferry and the following headlines, pick up a copy of this week's issue of The Crittenden Press:
  • Hospitals mull joining efforts
  • School tax vote
  • Eclipse closings now include schools
  • set for Sept. 12
  • Local optometrist: Eclipse blindness very real
  • Shopko building, land bought for $274,000
  • CCEDC wants to move on three-county group
  • Report: CCMS mold spore count ‘elevated’
  • Evidence leads man accused of rape to plea to lesser charge
  • Massey to be county attorney in Caldwell
  • 2 women turn 100 on same day
  • SPORTS: Football, fall sports preview
  • SPORTS: Rocket offense maturing in time for Rebels
  • SPORTS: Purvis, Gilchrist earn state All A golf berths
  • SPORTS: Runners gear up for 3.1-mile fall feature races
  • VAUGHT'S VIEWS: Let’s take a look at UK’s colorful characters

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Country Club Drive reopens

The City of Marion has completed its repair work on Country Club Drive and it is reopened and ready for tomorrow's school traffic.

Crittenden canceling school Monday

Crittenden County School District is canceling classes on Monday due to concerns the administration has with potential issues surrounding the eclipse.

The district had said for about a year that it planned to have school and use it as an educational opportunity. It had even purchased glasses for students to safely view the eclipse.

Several other school districts in the area had announced earlier that they'd be closing. Some Crittenden parents had gone to social media protesting the school being in session.

In the end, Supt. Vince Clark said a number of concerns prompted school officials to decide to close on Monday.

The glasses will be sent home with children on Friday and teachers will be educating students this week about the eclipse.

Comer town hall Thursday at Smithland

Congressman James Comer (R) will host a town hall forum in Smithland at 2pm Thursday. The event will be in the circuit courtroom.

The Congressman has already held town hall events in 23 counties so far this year.

Bright Beginnings Kickoff tomorrow

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Wireless 911 calls may not work

AT&T has told Marion Police Department and Crittenden County's central dispatching center that wireless calls to E-911 may not go through today due to problems with AT&T's communication system.

Marion Police Chief Ray O'Neal says anyone who dials 911 and does not get an immediate connection should hang up and call the local emergency number (270) 965-3500.

"They tell us that AT&T is working to resolve the issue," O'Neal said.

Woman's Club celebrating 97th year

It started out as a public restroom for women in the early part of the 20th century. Since then, the Woman’s Club of Marion has been an integral part of the community.

The club was honored recently by the Crittenden County Chamber of Commerce, recognized as its Member of the Month.

The Woman’s Club of Marion was an outgrowth of a small literary club, first forming in 1920.  The original club building was built in 1926.

The Woman’s Club Building on East Carlisle Street is used for a number of community activities, perhaps most recognizably as the venue for an annual Cake Auction and Election Day luncheons. The current clubhouse was constructed in the 1950s. Fire had destroyed the original building in 1947 and Ethel Tucker was president when a major fundraising effort was initiated to build the new clubhouse.
“Just like club women before us, we are currently fundraising for the repairs to the building due to water damage from the roof,” said President Nancy Hunt.

In earlier days when women came to town on a horse-drawn buggy, they needed a place to change into more appropriate attire for Saturday shopping and visiting in town.

“So they built the Woman’s Club as a place for them to stop and change into nicer clothes,” said Susan Alexander, a Woman’s Club member and president emeritus of the state federation for women’s clubs.

“And, originally it was a  public restroom for women,” Alexander added.

Hunt said the club has about 26 members. At the highest enrollment, there were almost 70 several years ago. This is the 97th year of the Woman’s Club activity in Marion.

“We will be observing the anniversary of the club in September with a membership recruitment event called Wonder Woman was a Clubwoman,” Hunt said.

In addition to Woman’s Club events, the club can be rented for receptions, showers and reunions.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Help sought to find missing Marion man

UPDATE: Richardson has been located in Cedar Hill, Tenn., about 20 miles east of Clarksville. Although he'd been involved in an automobile accident, he was okay, according to authorities.

Original Post: A 77-year-old Marion man is missing and his family and local authorities are asking for the public’s help to find him.

Jack Richardson of North College Street was last seen early afternoon Saturday driving a gray 2008 four-door Chevrolet Impala license number 448-MBV.

Authorities say Richardson suffers from dementia.

He is described as a white male, 5-foot-11, 165 pounds with gray hair and blue eyes.

If you have seen him, call Marion Police dispatching center at (270) 965-3500.