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Louisa-Lawrence Co, KY

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OCTOBER 6, 2015

Cutline for the John Clark Training Center: Shown at the naming ceremony for the John W. Clark Training Center are, from left, Chair of ACTC’s Board of Directors John C. Stewart, Jr., Rick Clark, Rodney Clark Kentucky State Representative and Majority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins, John Clark, Kentucky State Senator Robin L. Webb, Dr.  Kay Adkins, and Brent Clark.  Rick, Rodney and Brent Clark are John Clark’s sons.


John W. Clark Center Will Serve Area Workforce

The Workforce Solutions building at Ashland Community and Technical College has been formally named the John W. Clark Training Center.

Workforce Solutions provides workforce training, skill assessments, short-term career programs, community education classes and business start-up support through The Entrepreneur Center and the Ashland Area Innovation Office.

“Mr. Clark has been very supportive of college initiatives to enhance college programs and support student learning,” said Dr. Kay Adkins, ACTC President and CEO.  “His gifts are literally helping us build for the future.”  

Clark recently made the first lead gift to the college’s BuildSmart Campaign to renovate the original College Drive building and has committed a total of $233,157 to Ashland’s Workforce Solutions building.

An Ashland area native, he founded and owns John W. Clark Oil Co., a company that has 66 stores in four states. For several years he has helped fund ACTC scholarships and many college activities, including the Young Women Lead Conference and the ACTC Foundation Golf Scramble.

Clark was appointed to the ACTC Board of Directors in 2012. He has served with Foundation Board members on the Selection and Enlistment Committee and the Leadership Awareness Committee for Ashland’s BuildSmart Campaign.

Workforce Solutions unit moved into the building at the Roberts Drive West Campus last spring. The building naming was approved in September by the KCTCS Board of Regents.  The naming request was made by President Adkins and endorsed by both the ACTC Board of Directors and the Community & Technical College Foundation of Ashland Inc.

This is the third ACTC building named for a college supporter and honoree.  Previously named buildings are the Goodpaster Building on the College Drive Campus and the Guy & Lisa Spriggs Child Development Center near the College Drive Campus.

KCTCS President Meets with Business Leaders

Dr. Jay Box, President of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS), visited ACTC September 30 to enlist the help of business and community leaders in planning for the future of the system.

In a morning, he conducted a Regional Innovation Roundtable session where area business and organization representatives were asked to outline their needs for educated employees and other KCTCS services that will help them compete in the national and international economy.  Their input will be incorporated into the goals and expected outcomes of the KCTCS 2016-2022 Strategic Plan.

The Roundtable session was supported by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help plan for change and innovation in education to meet future needs.

In an afternoon session, Dr. Box introduced the Fuel the Force Advocacy Campaign to increase state support for the KCTCS colleges in the state’s next biennial budget. KCTCS has lost $38.5 million in state funding since 2008 and has dropped from 3rd to 11th place in funding among the 16 Southern Regional Education Boards’ two-year colleges. 

The Advocacy Campaign asks “Business Champions” to help legislators understand the critical role that community colleges have in the supporting the success of businesses and organizations in their communities.  Information on the Campaign is at:

ACTC was the first in a series of visits by Dr. Box to all 16 KCTCS colleges this fall.

Ghost Story Authors Will Be at ACTC

Kentucky authors Roberta Simpson Brown and Lonnie E. Brown will be at ACTC Tuesday, Oct. 20, from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. to talk about their latest book, Holiday Hauntings: Twelve Months of Kentucky Ghosts.

For some time, the Browns have been collecting holiday ghost stories during their travels around the state, and the results were published August 28, 2015 by University Press of Kentucky.

Many of the stories were experienced by the Browns firsthand or were told to them by family and friends. Others were collected from people they met.

From a ghost abiding by the pinching rules of St. Patrick’s Day to a brokenhearted spirit on Valentine’s Day, the book brings to life local tales of paranormal activity every month of the year.

Each section of the book includes a brief history of the holiday under discussion. From Martin Luther King Jr. Day to Veteran’s Day, there are few holidays that are unrepresented.

In addition to tales of haunting, the Browns reveal many Appalachian legends and their importance to the storytelling tradition. For the Browns, sharing these stories is about more than the excitement of being spooked. Stories bring people together, and ghost stories can do this all year long.

Roberta Brown is a retired teacher and the author of many books including The Walking Trees and Other Scary Stories, Queen of the Cold-Blooded Tales, and Scared in School.

Lonnie Brown is a musician and author of Stories You Won’t Believe. He also coauthored Spooky, Kooky Poems for Kids and Spookiest Stories Ever: Four Seasons of Kentucky Ghosts with his wife Roberta.

The free reading and book signing will be in the Mansbach Library at the College Drive Campus in Ashland.  The event is sponsored by the Library to recognize Kentucky writers, and it’s scheduled in time to set the mood for Halloween. For more information, contact Director of Library Services Pam Klinepeter, 606.326.2254 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

ACTC Grad Honored by KY Veterans Hall of Fame

ACTC graduate John T. Kimpston was one of 12 Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) students recognized by the Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame (KVHOF) on September 26 in Frankfort.

The KVHOF was established to honor Kentucky military veterans and to educate others about their outstanding accomplishments.  KCTCS students were recognized for the first time this year.

Kimpston graduated from ACTC last May with an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Nursing with distinction.  He was nominated by the college for this recognition based on his accomplishments in service of his country and his achievements as a student. 

He enlisted in the Air Force right out of high school in Nebraska. After serving four years, he joined the Coast Guard and served from 1984 to his retirement in 2002 as a Chief Petty Officer (E-7).  He and his wife Patricia S. Kelley then moved to this area to be near her mother. 

He was working in a maintenance job when his own mother became ill.  While helping with her mother’s hospice care, he was told that he had the skills to become a nurse. He took this advice seriously and came to ACTC to work on a nursing degree.A Russell resident, he is now working as an RN at Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital. 

Kimpston is enjoying his new career thanks to the G. I. Bill.  “The G.I. Bill makes a world of difference,” he said.  “It is a great benefit that all veterans should use, even if they think that their current job is okay.  A college degree gets you in the door – and helps you stay there.”

This semester, ACTC has 63 veterans and reservists and 24 dependents enrolled as students.  For more information on veterans benefits for college, contact Craig Pleasant, advisor and Coordinator of Veterans Affairs, 606.326.2275 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

School staff visits Rotary.....Septembefest a success...recent visit by District Governor

Standing L to R:  Joey Cecil, Dr. Robbie Fletcher, Cassandra Webb, Stuart Cook.  Sitting L to R: Mary Hall, Ed Dixon, Debbie Delong, Rhonda Colvin, Tommy Castle, and Shaun Jennings

Louisa, KY -- Steve Montgomery, President of the Louisa Rotary Club, opened the Oct. 1st meeting Thursday after the Pledge, Prayer, and the club's Four Way Test were read.

Superintendent, Dr. Robbie Fletcher who was present along with several Lawrence County school administrators, spoke to the group about the school's recent test results. "Drive up Bulldog Lane and see our banners" he said proudly.

Five years ago the Lawrence County School District was near the bottom compared to the rest of the state in test scores. "In 2012, changes started to be seen" Fletcher said. He applauded former Superintendent, Mike Armstrong, for setting things in motion for improvement. "He got the first letter," referring to state notification of improved rankings.

Fletcher thanked teachers, administrators, students, parents, and staff at the central office for getting them to where they are now, mentioning Rhonda Colvin, Vernon Hall, Edris Humphrey, Sharon Parsons, and Cassandra Webb, Chief Academic Officer who spearheaded the grant which became a model for the state, initiating successful changes in programs used for improvement.

Fletcher reported results for each school beginning with Fallsburg Elementary (Stuart Cook, Principal) which went from a 17th to 30th percentile, Louisa Middle School (Tommy Castle, Principal) increasing to a 42nd percentile, Blaine Elementary (Principal, Shaun Jennings) which increased into the 57th and 59th percentile from two years ago, Louisa East Elementary School (Mary Hall, Principal) which increased from the 28th to the 78th percentile. At Louisa West Elementary (Debbie Delong), 1/3 of the readers were behind two years ago with 44% reading at grade level. Last year they increased to 66%, and now 89% of students are reading at grade level.

Of over 700 elementary schools in the state, the Lawrence County District had the 23rd highest gain in scores. Of high schools that increased rankings, Fletcher said only three were higher than us; Lyon County, Knox County, and Bullitt County East.

Fletcher saved the best for last he said, announcing that LCHS ranked in the 90th percentile, and is now a 'distinguished school.' "We beat every team in the district, we are district champs in state testing, higher than Boyd, Greenup, Raceland, Sheldon Clark, and Johnson Central.

Fletcher said Lawrence County is right behind the two schools that always stand out in our area; Paintsville City School and Paul Blazer (Ashland). "We are .2 points away from Paintsville and .4 points away from Ashland." Overall, Lawrence County scored in the 80th percentile in 172 districts, with the 8th highest gain.

Again, Fletcher thanked everyone who got the district to where it is now. He also mentioned they would have the opportunity to get trainers, free of charge, to help students become "globally career ready." "We want to make sure every kid has the same opportunity for quality education, no matter where they live, whether it's up Yellow Creek, Webbville, or downtown Louisa."


Recently, Rotary District Governor, Cindy Legg, visited the Louisa chapter, member Joyce Burton celebrated a birthday, and Steve Lycan, with Lycom Communications, suggested the club start a Facebook Page and Twitter account.

Sales from the Rotary's Bahama Mamas and hash at Septemberfest yielded around $6,000. A special thank you went out to all members who helped with the booth, and especially to Willa Cook who oversees the fundraiser. Money raised goes back into the community for a variety of projects.

Announcements at Thursday's meeting included the upcoming Nightmare in the Square event Oct. 30-31 in downtown Louisa, and the LCHS 'Pink Out' football t-shirts for breast cancer awareness now available; $12 short sleeve, $18 long sleeve.

The meeting then adjourned. The next Louisa Rotary Club meeting will be Thursday, October 8, at 12:00, at the First Baptist Church.

Take the Pledge: Learn About Mental Illness

October 4 through October 10, 2015 is Mental Illness Awareness Week.

It is also a perfect time to take the “StigmaFree Pledge” launched by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) earlier this year. The pledge involves three basic steps that can be found at

* Learn about mental health and educate others

* See the person not the illness—strive to listen and understand

* Take action, spread the word, raise awareness and make a difference

Mental illness is a medical condition, but one that often is surrounded by silence or stereotypes that discourage people from getting help if they need it. 

One in five adults experiences a mental illness in any given year. Those problems can contribute to onset of more serious long-term conditions such as major depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. 

Approximately one-half of chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14 and three-quarters by age 24.  Unfortunately, long delays−sometimes decades−often occur between the time symptoms first appear and when people get help. 

If nothing else during Mental Illness Awareness Week, please learn to recognize early symptoms of mental illness and the importance of talking with a doctor about any concerns. Early identification and treatment can make a big difference for successful management of a condition.

For example, major depression is a mood disorder that is more serious than “feeling blue” or temporary sadness. Be alert to any combination of the following symptoms:

* Depressed mood (sadness)

* Poor concentration

* Insomnia

* Fatigue

* Disturbance of appetite

* Feelings of guilt

* Thoughts of suicide 

Bipolar disorder involves cycles of both depression and mania.  It is different from normal “ups and downs” that many people experience. It involves dramatic shifts in mood, energy and ability to think clearly. Symptoms also are not the same in everyone; some people may experience intense “highs,” while others primarily experience depression. Mania involves combinations of the following symptoms:

* Euphoria

* Surges of energy

* Reduced need for sleep

* Grandiosity

* Talkativeness

* Extreme irritability

* Agitation

* Pleasure-seeking

* Increased risk-taking behavior

Schizophrenia is a different type of mental illness, but can include features of mood disorders. It affects a person’s ability to think clearly, manage emotions, make decisions and relate to other people. Untreated, it also may include psychosis--a loss of contact with reality. Symptoms include: 

* Difficulty with memory

* Difficulty in organizing thoughts

* Lack of content in speech 

* Emotional flatness 

* Inability to start or follow through with activities 

* Inability to experience pleasure 

* Delusions

* Hallucinations

Other types of mental illness include attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety disorders (including posttraumatic stress disorder) and borderline personality disorder. Mental Illness Awareness Week is a time to learn about them all.

NAMI offers information through its website and HelpLine 1-800-950-NAMI (6264). With affiliates in hundreds of communities nationwide, NAMI also offers free education classes and support groups.

Anyone who experiences symptoms of mental illness should see a doctor to discuss them and be checked for physical conditions to which they may be related. The next step might be referral to a mental health specialist. A range of treatment options exist.

Three Rivers Medical Center in Louisa offers both inpatient mental health treatment (606-638-1222 or 1-800-249-3602) and outpatient services (606-638-1154).

During Mental Illness Awareness Week, please take the first step by taking the StigmaFree Pledge. Help yourself, your family, your friends and your community. Help make a difference by saving lives and supporting recovery.