A mother’s understanding leads to help for BES and Autism Awareness

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Autism affects 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys. It seems that the numbers are growing, and it is considered the fastest-growing developmental disorder in the United States. Worse of all, there is no real medical detection or cure for autism. It will affect them their entire lives and they will need help along the way.

Imagine having a child with this disorder, as a few in Powell County do. Now imagine sending them to school. Fortunately Powell County schools do a good job of helping autistic children. But if you are a parent of such a child and you see that the staff is trying, would you like to help them too?

Tonya Nolan did just that.

Tonya and her husband Mike have a son, Kaleb. He is five years old and has the non-verbal form of autism. He attends Bowen Elementary School. Tonya and Mike have poured their lives into helping Kaleb. So when they saw an opportunity to help the school staff they seized it.

Tonya started a side baking business, Sweet Pieces, back in November. She makes cakes and reportedly some of the best cupcakes around. The money she makes from baking and selling these goods, she decided to give to help with autistic students. She even decided to order some t-shirts that could be sold for autism awareness.

“At first we got a few shirts to sell, the proceeds go to helping autism awareness,” Nolan said as she waited outside the Bowen Elementary School last Thursday. The school was set to have a balloon release for Autism Awareness Week. “But now we have our third order and have sold over 300 shirts. Add that to the money from Sweet Pieces and we were able to raise $1,000,” she added.

Nolan donated that money to the school to help the special needs students.

Bowen students had been learning all week about autism. Some of the bulletin boards in the hallways were decorated with puzzle pieces, a symbol of autistic children fitting into the puzzle of life. To cap off the week, the students were set for a balloon release. All of the students met outside in the bus lane and let go of their balloons. The fast winds blew the balloons out of sight quickly. It had to cross the minds of Nolan and the special needs instructor Missy Case, how great it would be if a cure could be found just as quick.

“We are so happy that Tonya was able to do this,” Case said. “It is just wonderful.”

As for how the donation can help, Case was excited at the possibilities. “We want to be able to get I pads or items that can really help with communication,” she said, smiling from ear to ear. “Communication is very important to our students and we want to be able to help them more. This will help. I just want to thank Tonya so much.”

Two of a kind classics

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Talking about some classics. Above we have 91 year old Edward Allen Blackmore with his 95 year old Sears & Roebuck bike.

City council hears about legislation; audits caught up

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The Stanton City Council meeting settled a few business items, and the mayor made a major announcement about audits, but the meeting began with a visit by State Representative David Hale. Stanton Mayor Dale Allen introduced Hale

“It’s a great honor to serve in Frankfort as your representative,” Hale told the council. “Some 800 bills were introduced and it seemed like a long session was crammed into a short session.”

Hale spoke about bills that dealt with the statewide heroin issue. Many counties have been affected and there have been many over doses. Monies have been earmarked for helping drug users. Hale did not agree with the needle exchange program. Under the plan a person that was using heroin could go to their local health department and get a clean needle to reuse.

Hale said he was against this because it was “promoting drug use”. The legislature  went back to the bill and allowed counties to opt in or out of the needle exchange program. Hale said that this compromise “allowed” him to vote for the bill.

Another major bill was the gas tax. Gas tax calculation can only go up 10 percent each year. In recent months the state has lowered the gas tax and that has cut monies counties get for their roads.

Hale began to talk about how the tax would effect it. “I drive about 40,000 miles a year,” Hale said. Then he figured out how much gas he would use, and then added the cost/tax price of that gas. Hale said it would cost him $80 to $100 more. He then said, “I think I can sacrifice $80 to $100 dollars to keep our roads safe.”

Teacher retirement was also discussed by Hale, who represents three counties,  Powell, Montgomery, and Menifee. In Powell and Menifee the number one employer is the school systems, which means teachers and school personnel make up a major part of the work force.

According to Hale, teacher’s retirement is almost done, only having funding for seven years. Hale is disappointed that nothing has been done for the teachers.

The last topic Hale discussed with the council of local interest was the open sales tax. That tax would be decided for certain projects that the local government or city would vote to impose. It would be in addition to the state sales tax. Powell already has a version of this under the restaurant tax paid by those who purchase restaurant or deli prepared foods.

The bill did not pass, though Hale said it will be discussed again next year.

In other business, Ethan Witt, the field representative for Congressman Andy Barr, was at the meeting and was telling the council about the resources and grant money that was possible for the area.

The council also discussed some development projects dealing with the sewers.

Local resident Vera Patterson asked the board if she could reserve the park pavilion for church music, and maybe a couple movies. They would need to have the pavilion every Sunday from May to October from 6-8 p.m.

The event would be open to the community and they will pass out handouts for AA meetings, as well as have hotdogs, and pizza. It would be a non-denominational meeting but would be Christian-based.

The motion was carried as long as a pre-scheduled event does not conflict with it.

The city entered into a contract with the Powell County Schools for using the city park’s large baseball field. The contract is reportedly for $5,000 and runs during the high school season.

The council also discussed the possibility of a baseball and softball scholarship which would help local kids. And they decided they could pay the scholarship at the next meeting for $1,000.

Due to some vandalism over the past few months, security at the park was discussed. The council suggested police officers walking the parks. There are also cameras in place that are being watched by dispatch.

The council also voted to accept the health insurance rates even though the rates rose some five percent. However, many municipalities are seeing the same increase in health care benefits.

To close out the meeting Allen wanted to give a little shout out to the staff and auditors. “The City of Stanton will be caught up on budgets,” Allen announced. “Nine years ago when I was elected, Stanton was seven budgets behind. They [the office staff and auditors] were doing two audits a year to catch up.” The mayor continued, “The next audit will be so easy we wouldn’t think it was an audit.”

Signs of Spring: Tent caterpillars, weed control and Farmer’s Market

 

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Eastern Tent

Caterpillars hanging out in Local trees

While out visiting a few homeowners this week, I have seen several trees with many small Eastern Tent Caterpillars.   Eastern tent caterpillars can devour the leaves of apple, cherry, plum, wild cherry, eve3n your prized rose bushes and can be seen crawling up your house and sidewalk.  They are generally a “yucky” nuisance worm. If tents are evident in your trees, spray with an insecticide such as Sevin, Malathion  or Bt to kill the creepy crawlers before they defoliate  your tree. Do not burn or torch these creatures out of these trees, as the fire will burn or damage branches.

A few years ago the eastern tent caterpillar population was so large that they were crawling everywhere. On top of their nuisance status, they were also blamed for MRLS which caused many mares to abort their young, leaving the thoroughbred and saddle-bred industry without a colt crop for the next spring.  This was a major blow to the industry.

It is believed that the mares ate the worms or defecated wild cherry tree leaves out in the field as they grazed grass.  Once this entered their digestive systems, the horses became ill and many aborted their colts.  While this was a “once in a lifetime” situation, we certainly do not want this to happen again. For this reason, it is recommended that all horse producers have all their wild cherry trees cut out of the fence rows and fields to prevent this problem from happening again. If trees cannot be taken out now, at least, take out the horses from any pastures which are lined with these trees.

Another downfall of wild cherry trees is that, in the wilted stage, are very poisonous to cattle.  Wilted leaves contain cyanic acid, which is basically cyanide and will kill a cow in a heartbeat. During this time of year when storms are eminent, fallen branches, or fallen cherry trees can wipe out a herd in minutes. For this reason, cattle producers need to take out all cherry trees where cattle graze.

Garden Class Next Monday Night

The Powell County Extension Gardening Class will be in its third session next Monday night, April 20 at 7 p.m.  The topic for next Monday’s class will be “Garden Art”.   The garden class will be held at the Powell County High School cafeteria.  During this class we all will be making something to add color or useable art work to your home, lawn or garden. All of Powell County is invited to attend.  Class fees for this session will be $5 per person or per garden art idea selected. Contact the Extension Office at 663-6405 for more details.

Pasture Weed 

Control must start early

For many livestock producers across this part of the state, keeping weeds out of their pastures is a non-stop process.  Once one weed is taken out, it seems another weed may take its place.  This has been an ongoing problem with such weeds as thistle, ironweed and multi-flora rose.  With these weeds this time of year is the best time to take action against them, as they are tender and quickly growing.  For thistle, the primary chemical weed control option is 2-4D.  This chemical will curl up each thistle in short order, but keep in mind that any 2-4D product can drift to and kill other plants that are welcomed and wanted in the field. Spot spraying would be necessary in most fields since this chemical that kills thistle will kill clover as well.  Again, spray early while plants are tender and actively growing.

Multi-flora rose plants seem to pop up overnight in a pasture field.  Most of the mature plants will be  in full bloom soon.  From this point on, they will spend most of their energy toughening up and producing seed.  If possible, chemical spray attack procedures need to be in place now-the sooner the better.  If chemicals can be applied while plants are actively growing, your chances of killing the plant will be greater.  For Multi-flora rose consider products containing glyphosate (Roundup) or the chemical called Crossbow.  Roundup is trans-located throughout the plant, so spray coverage is not as important as it is for Crossbow.  Crossbow kills what it hits, but if you only spray ½ of the plant, only that half will be killed.

Both Crossbow and Roundup are approved for use in fence rows and pasture fields.

Ironweed is another major pasture pest in Kentucky.  Both Crossbow and Roundup products are labeled for ironweeds in pastures, but there is a 14 day grazing restriction on all roundup products.  Other pasture control chemicals are available on the market as well for ironweed.  Another product sold under the trade name of Redeem R & P seems to do well with ironweed  as well.  Both Redeem R & P and Crossbow contain the active ingredient Triclopyr which seems to show the greatest reduction in ironweed in a pasture situation. Both these chemicals, however show considerable damage/death to white or red clover stands, so in many cases it has to be a trade-off. For the best approach to ironweed control, specialists tell us to mow the pastures in June, cutting all weeds down to size, then, going back with Crossbow or similar products later on in the summer and spot treating all ironweed in the field.

Only in a few days we will start to see some beautiful sights in our local pasture fields.  This beautiful yellow flowered weed would look pretty in a flower bed, but not so good in the pasture.  Buttercup is one of the newer weeds in our area and is completely taking over pasture fields in the state!  Buttercup is a non-native plant of European origin.  You’ll notice that livestock will not eat the plant.  Actually the plant contains a nasty-tasting enzyme that can be poisonous to livestock.  Basically the plant tastes bad and luckily, the animals will not eat it. Although poisonings are rare, they can take place when other forages are in short supply.  Buttercup cut up in hay will usually not cause a problem with livestock as the toxins dry up during hay curing.

Again the chemicals that may kill buttercup will kill clover, so in instances where buttercup takes over pastures, complete removal of all plants may be necessary. Research has shown that the application of 2-4D products at the rate of 2-4 pints per acre provided good control.  Plants need to be sprayed as early in the season as possible-before the plant blooms and goes to seed, which insures a new and even healthier crop next May. Weed control in pastures can be a trying and expensive experience. Contact the Powell County Extension Office at 663-6405 for additional details.

 

Last Call for Farmers Market Members

While we will accept new members at the Powell County Farmer’s Market just about any time during the season, if any member wants to accept WIC vouchers or Senior Coupons, you will have until  next Monday, April 20 to stop by the Extension Office and fill out your proper paperwork. This will enable those market members to accept these vouchers from customers this summer. Senior coupons probably will be made available in mid-June,  WIC coupons probably in May. The Market will probably not have anything to sell until mid to late June. Powell County Farmers Market Membership dues are $20 per family per year.

Contact the Powell County Extension Office at 663-6405 if you have additional questions.

Water, water, everywhere

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Times Photos by Cory Graham, Brenda Kiernan and Jimmy Crase

The new bridge site near Slade (top), Hardwick’s Creek near the Vaughn’s Mill Church and a view from the Pompeii side into Clay City, indicates just how quick the flash flooding was last week and the problems it created.

Honoring one of the first patriots

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Times Photos by James Cook

Two of the things a veteran of the U.S Armed Forces is guaranteed by their country for their service is to receive a headstone for their final resting place and a flag to honor them. It took a while but American Revolutionary War Sergeant Beverly Daniel received his marker last Saturday. A great-great- great grandson, John Lyons, from Arizona started the pursuit to find where his relative was laid to rest. Daniel came to Kentucky after serving in the war to make America a free nation.

RW-Veteran-3With some help from the various Sons of the American Revolution chapters and the Red River Daughters of the American Revolution, Daniel’s grave was found in the Conlee/Maxwell Cemetery on Cat Creek Road. The marker was placed with full military offers, placing of wreaths and representatives of various SAR’s in full Revolutionary War attire.

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Clay City woman dead, husband arrested in Easter shooting

A Clay City woman is dead and her husband is now facing charges following an early Sunday morning shooting..

Kentucky State Police arrested Jimmy Hood, 48 at his home on Echo Hollow Road just north of Clay City. He has been charged with shooting his wife, Rosena Hood, 42.

Powell County 911 Dispatch received a call just after 5:30 a.m. Easter morning about a shooting at a residence on Echo Hollow Road. Police and ambulance personnel were sent to the area. But due to high water, emergency responders had to get to the Pompeii area road by going the back way through Paint Creek and Stanton. Upon their arrival they found Rosena Hood had been shot by what appeared to be a .380 semi-automatic pistol, according to calls on the emergency radios.

Ambulance personnel requested extra help from the Clay City Fire Department to assist with CPR. Hood was taken to the Saint Joseph Mount Sterling hospital. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.

State police began an investigation into the incident. Court sources and records indicate that officers had been to the Hood residence several times over verbal confrontations between the husband and wife. But nothing seem to indicate, according to the sources, that a shooting was a possibility.

State police say that there appears to have been a party at the home earlier in the evening and that they will look to see if alcohol was a factor. They also believe that the shooting may have been part of a domestic issue. Police would not comment any further. However, the case is still open and under investigation. The lead detective on the case is KSP Detective Virgil Rucker.

James “Jimmy” Hood was charged with second degree manslaughter and lodged in the Powell County Detention Center. He was reportedly due in court earlier this week.

Family camping trip turns fatal

By JAMES COOK

Times Editor

What started out as a spring break get back to nature getaway turned tragic last Friday morning after strong storms ripped through Powell County. A Lexington woman was killed and her husband was seriously injured after a huge tree limb fell on their tent near Natural Bridge State Park.

Emergency units were called to Middle Fork Campground after the tree limb struck the tent with five people inside. Three children were also in the tent. None of them were injured. Upon arrival rescue personnel found Catherine Carlson, 45, and her husband, Brian Carlson, in a tent with a large tree limb laying in the middle of the tent. Three kids were also inside, the oldest child being 14 years old. Catherine Carlson was pronounced dead at the scene, Brian Carlson had suffered what appeared to be a broken hip and pelvic injuries.

According to Powell County Coroner Hondo Hearne, strong winds associated with a strong storm and hail, toppled over the tree limb. Hearne guessed the limb was about 10 to 15 feet long and rather large. A strong storm did rake the area just after 3 a.m. with the report of the incident coming in around 3:20 a.m.

Hearne believes that Carlson died immediately. “She appeared to have severe trauma to the thorax, chest area and abdomen,” Hearne said. “The husband looked to have a broken hip.”

Brian Carlson was taken to Clark Regional Medical Center and then rushed to the UK Medical Center to be treated for a fractured pelvis.

The storms continued in Powell County. Hours of heavy rain before the tragedy, coupled with the deluge the deadly storm brought rapid moving flood waters into the campground. Park rangers quickly moved to evacuate low-lying areas and other campers.

Meanwhile emergency workers had to act quickly to gather evidence, remove Carlson, get the husband to a hospital and everyone out of the way. The flood waters reportedly took over the scene a mere 15 minutes after everyone cleared that part the campground.

The high waters closed Middle Fork Campground and nearby Hoedown Island. In fact, many parts of the state park and Powell County saw some flooding issues for the rest of the weekend.

According to press reports out of Lexington news agencies, Catherine Carlson was a teacher at the Beaumont Learning Center on Lane Allen Road. The Learning Center is a Christian preschool associated with the Beaumont Presbyterian Church.

Carlson also was reported to have been a past board president of the Fayette Cooperating PreSchool and Kindergarten, a nonprofit, independent school.

At last report Brian Carlson was considered to be in serious to critical condition. No arrangements have been announced for Catherine Carlson as of press time.

Gwen’s Guardians: Friends helping a friend in need

Gwen-&-kidsBy SARAH BLOOM

Special to the Times

A year ago this month, Gwen was preparing to take her family on a much needed beach vacation.  At a visit to the tanning bed she discovered a knot on the left side of her stomach.  She thought it may be a blocked intestine so she made an appointment with her regular physician and was quickly referred to UK for a scan.  Due to a miscommunication she was told when she reached the hospital that there was no referral for her in the system.  Not to be deterred she decided to go through the emergency room.  In the ER they did an internal ultrasound instead of a regular scan.  This was, in Gwen’s eyes, God intervening on her behalf because through that scan they were able to detect a large cyst, equivalent in size to a 20 week pregnancy, called a cyst complex.

Doctors went ahead with a complete hysterectomy. Gwen mentioned a lump in her breast that she had been concerned about after a previous doctor had told her it was only a fibroid cyst.  During this time the doctors also performed a breast biopsy.  The results were life altering.

For a year now she has been receiving treatment for Triple Negative Breast Cancer at Markey Cancer Center and The University of Kentucky. Gwen’s unique type of breast cancer had spread to her liver and her ovaries.  After a complete hysterectomy she began a series of chemotherapy treatments.  The chemo worked well at shrinking the cancer and by the end of November she was able to go off of the treatments.  Tests at that time showed the cancer was “barely visible”.

Throughout the Christmas holiday she began to have major discomfort in her right shoulder.  Doctors originally thought she had torn a ligament working on her Christmas tree but the pain became so severe more tests were performed.  At the beginning of March 2015 she returned to her cancer doctors for tests to see how things were going.  The results she received were not good.  Her cancer had grown, tripled in size.  She was told that she would have to fight for the rest of her life against this beast.  Chemotherapy was effective on her type of cancer, but she would have to take it from now on.  Adding insult to injury, the pain she had been experiencing in her shoulder was a result of the cancer invading and destroying the bones of her shoulder.  She is now facing a complete shoulder replacement to rid her body of the diseased bone.

True to her feisty personality, Gwen was and is determined to fight and as her friend I am determined to help her in any way that I can.  About a month ago I posted on Facebook that we were going to start fundraising so that Gwen would be able to travel to other states and different facilities in search of the best treatment for her unique type of cancer.  She is a fighter and she deserves a fighting chance.

The immediate response from this amazing community was overwhelming.  Even as I write this my heart is overflowing with appreciation to each and every person who has stepped up and offered to help and plan.  This past Saturday we hosted our very first fund raising event in the form of a Bake Sale.  Ladies from all over the county donated delicious pies, cakes, candies, cookies, and cupcakes.  The Middle School Soccer Team had also planned a bake sale on Thursday, April 2, but unfortunately was rained out.  They brought the wonderful things they had and added them to the bounty of our bake sale.  The entire day was a huge success.

Businesses have stepped up, churches have graciously given love offerings, and individuals have given out of the pure kindness of their hearts.

On Sunday, April 12 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Lion’s Club Park another fund raising event has been planned to add to Gwen’s cancer treatment fund.  Jeanette Burns is organizing an Auction and Bluegrass Singing.  There will be great entertainment, food, and an auction with Richard Henderson serving as auctioneer.  Numerous businesses and individuals have graciously donated items for the event which is sure to be a great success.

All proceeds raised will go into a special fund for Gwen.  A Facebook page, Gwen’s Guardians, has been set up to keep everyone informed of her treatment and any events that are being planned.

My heartfelt thanks go out to everyone who has donated time, money or items to this worthy cause.  Above all I thank you for your prayers and ask that you continue to pray for Gwen.  Please pray for her family, for her beautiful children, her husband and for every person affected by this monster called cancer.  God has big plans for my friend and with the continued support of this community we will all see those plans come to light.  May God bless you all!

Creech wins Miss Indiana Festivals 2015

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Jennifer Morgan Creech, a senior at Powell County High School, was recently crowned Miss Indiana Festivals 2015. She has had several opportunities for personal appearances so far. She was invited to the Bracketology Dinner at Freedom Hall benefiting Spaulding University in March where she met Joe B. Hall and Former UK great, Jack “Goose”Givens.

Jennifer will also be attending the Oaks Breakfast on May 1 with Miss America 2015 on behalf of Boys Haven. On May 2 she’ll get to walk the red carpet and attend the derby. There will be many more opportunities for personal appearances and community work for her the rest of the year.

She will compete in Nashville in July with the other state title holders from around the country in Amerifest Nationals.

Jennifer will also be trying out for the University of Kentucky cheerleading squad by invitation only on May 8-10. The final day of tryouts are open to the public at Memorial Coliseum please come out and support her.  She is also being recruited by the University of Hawaii and Morehead State University for cheerleading.

We are wishing Jennifer the best of luck in all her future endeavors.