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Louisa-Lawrence Co, KY

In God We Trust - Established 2008


America Needs Mentors and Life Coaches

By Dr. Glenn Mollette

A growing career industry across the country is life coaching. People are actually going into private practice opening offices and spending hours every week giving direction to people and a listening ear. We have had psychiatrists and other mental health workers for years but now people are training to help others with just the most basic types of problems and questions.

We live in an age where people are more desperate than ever for somebody to talk to. People have problems from spiritual, financial, to making daily decisions. People wonder about what to do with their lives. They don't know how to get a job or what opportunities might exist for them. Millions of American kids pass through twelve grades of school and graduate clueless about what to do next.

More than ever people need to know that their lives are not in vain. They do not exist to just create social media postings in hopes that a few people will "like" them. They need to know that if they do not make a television reality show that they are still okay because every day they exist in their own reality show. The reality is that each American has an opportunity to have a real life. Life is never free from hurdles, work, challenges and usually grit and grind. However, there are ways to navigate the maze of living life.

Bad things happen to people. People are brought up in broken homes, by single parents, in poverty, and surrounded by domestic violence. The scenarios are endless. This is why more than ever we need everyday life coaches who can help people with the simplest of life's quests.

Young adults up to old age seniors need guidance. You can find a lot of answers on Google but often people don't know the right questions to ask.

How do I write a resume'? What do I put on a resume'? How do I dress for a certain job interview? Where do I start to find a job? What are my career choices? How do I choose a career? How do I know what I am good at doing? How do I save money? How can I make my life better? How can I avoid trouble? How do I start a business? How do I obtain financial aid for college? What do I have to do to be a schoolteacher, a lawyer, a doctor an engineer or other professional? My life is bad how can I change my life? I am unhappy with my physical condition what can I do to be a healthier person?

I understand that not every counselor has an immediate answer to every person's questions. However, answers are available and often a steady mind with a listening ear can help someone find an answer.
Some people need help from a medical professional. Some need help from licensed clinical counselors. Many today just need some basic common sense direction.

Churches today are utilizing Life Coaches. Sometimes it's a trained minister but other occasions exist where there is a trained Life Coach connected to the church whose job is to help those in the community to find direction and guidance.

Chicago, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Memphis and every city in America struggling with violence would be well served to plant guidance coaches, mentors or life coaches throughout these troubled communities.

In reality, it's the job every parent should do. Unfortunately parents have either dropped the ball, flown the coup or just cannot pull their own lives together. Sadly in America we have so many dysfunctional families that life coaches are needed to help mom and dad as much as the young teens struggling in these scenarios.

More law enforcement, more police dogs and more curfews are not going to solve the hurt being felt by so many lost young adults in America. More than ever these young men and women need community leaders, mentors and coaches with a listening ear and commonsense advice for living and achieving a better life.


Glenn Mollette is a syndicated columnist and author of eleven books.
He is read in all fifty states. Visit
Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Like his facebook page at



Legislative Report

Rep. Jill York, 96th District

February 17, 2017


York’s bill would set standards for structural steel welding

This past Friday, the clerk’s desk in the House chambers was flooded with activity as the final bills and resolutions for the short session were filed.

So far, this thirty-day session has been short on time but large on action as it appears that well over 700 different ideas have been hammered into bills, from which a few will be finding their way onto committee schedules and fewer still to the floors of their respective chambers for votes.

Several of those bills originated from ideas or issues raised by folks just like you who contacted me and I was able to research and get them ready for filing and up for consideration in the House.  

Back in the summer, my legislative work began with the filing of House Bill 44, which would make the counties of the Fifth Congressional District, eligible for business tax provisions that would allow a portion of dollars normally sent to the state as sales and use tax to remain in the district for use growing the business or hiring more workers.

Since January, I’ve been working with the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet in crafting a bill that would bring some subtle but important tweaks to the Tourism Finance Authority. My House Bill 425 reorganizes the TFA’s board to include the expertise and insight of a representative from the film industry and a representative with economic development or financial management skills. Why add film to the mix, you might ask? A quick perusal online of the Kentucky Film office will show you how often Kentucky locations are being used in films and television. Fans of the series “The Walking Dead” know that Cynthiana, Ky. is home to much of the action in that popular show.

House Bill 444 brings gets to the heart of seeing to it that structural steel welders are properly certified and in turn, it would ensure safety, quality and integrity of the jobs on which they work. Current certification procedures are too lax making jobsites and the stability of the structures being built questionable.

I was pleased to join neighboring legislator, Rep. Dan Bentley from Greenup County in a House Joint Resolution that would designate a bridge in our area as a “Korean War Veterans Memorial” to honor all those who served in that conflict. 

There’s another House Joint Resolution in the mix as well which will celebrate a successful talent in Lawrence county, that was happily requested by the Lawrence County Tourism Commission.  

My House Bill 496 takes on the problems of contraband in our detention facilities and would basically stop any hope of parole, probation or release for someone who is convicted of bringing anything they shouldn’t inside the jail until they have served 85% of imposed sentence. 

Finally, filed just under the wire, comes a bill suggested by my friends from Carter County Youth Leadership. The teenagers from West and East Carter were visiting the capitol and they described how among their service projects, they were tutoring younger students at area elementary schools. According to the tutors, cursive handwriting was a big deal and requested by the students. The CCYL students felt that moves to abandon instruction of cursive handwriting was a bad idea and offered many reasons why.

That led to House Bill 495, which would insure that cursive handwriting remain a course of study in Kentucky elementary schools. 

Elsewhere during the week we passed House Bill  designed to educate Kentucky students on the dangers of opioid abuse. The bill would require elementary, middle, and high school students to be educated on the hazards of prescription opioid abuse and on the connection between prescription opioids and addiction to heroin and other drugs. Kentucky continues to face a serious epidemic in regard to drug abuse and overdose deaths. This bill would ensure that our youth are educated on the impacts of drugs, hopefully leading to its prevention. I was proud to strongly support this legislation. 

Also on the move legislatively are other plans of attack against drug abuse -- specifically for the drug fentanyl, as launched by the House beginning with committee approval of a bill to strengthen penalties against trafficking fentanyl and related drugs. House Bill 333, passed by the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, would make it a felony to illegally sell or distribute any amount of an extremely deadly drug called carfentanil and drugs derived from fentanyl. It would also increase penalties for trafficking of fentanyl, already a felony. Additionally, the bill would create the felony offense of trafficking in a misrepresented controlled substance for those who pass the drugs off as actual pharmaceuticals like Xanax or Percocet, among other provisions.

We are nearly to the halfway point of this year’s legislative work schedule and many other issues are sure to come before us for consideration.

You can contact me by e-mail at jill.yorkThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call our toll free number at 1-800-372-7181 to share your thoughts about what is important to you.  If you are following a particular piece of legislation, you can use the Bill Status Line 1-866-840-2835 to track its progress or dial 1-800-633-9650 to check meeting schedules if you want to come and sit in on testimony.


Senator McConnell attends the President’s signing ceremony at the White HouseSenator McConnell attends the President’s signing ceremony at the White House

‘I am grateful for President Trump’s support, and I look forward to continuing to work with him to protect coal families and communities’

Ky. Sen. Mitch Mcconnell attends Trump announcementKy. Sen. Mitch Mcconnell attends Trump announcement

WASHINGTON D.C. -- Today, President Donald Trump signed a measure, championed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in the Senate, to overturn the “stream buffer rule,” an anti-coal regulation that President Obama filed in the final days of his term.

Senator McConnell was joined by Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and 28 of their colleagues in filing the resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) in the Senate. The companion resolution, which was first passed by the House, passed the Senate with bipartisan support on February 2, 2017.

Senator McConnell said, “The Obama Administration’s Stream Buffer rule was an attack against coal miners and their families. In my home state of Kentucky, the Stream Buffer Rule would have threatened coal jobs and caused major damage to communities. The legislation the President signed today will stop this disastrous rule and bring relief to coal miners and their families. I am grateful for President Trump’s support, and I look forward to continuing to work with him to protect coal families and communities.”

Providing relief from this regulation — and the many others that have targeted coal workers – has long been a top priority for Senator McConnell and one of the goals he outlined in a letter to President Trump earlier this year.


President Trump - Keep Us Out of Syria

By Dr. Glenn Mollette

President Trump must not authorize troops on the ground in Syria. Once our troops are moved to a country they never leave. Iraq and Afghanistan are cases in point. Part of our economic despair in our country can be traced to the trillions of dollars we've spent on foreign soil the last sixteen or so years. This doesn't include all the countries where we have troops and billions of dollars invested in military bases. America is scattered out around the world.

Our soldiers go and are killed or are maimed for life. We reverence all they do for America but in the meantime our government continues to send thousands of troops overseas.

There is now a buildup of troops in Poland on the Russian border. I am sure Poland does not appreciate Russian aggression against them. Is it America's job to send thousands of troops to this region of the world? More is now being said about troops on the ground in Syria. Once we start we will be there for years and maybe forever.

What will be the defining moment that stops our country from making every world problem and conflict our problem? Will it be when all Americans are poor and hungry? Will it be when we no longer have bridges that we feel safe crossing or roads in such shambles we can't drive on them? Will it be when we are so drained from spreading ourselves around the world so thinly that we can no longer defend ourselves?

Inside of our own nation we are spread too thin. We have welcomed the world to come here for many years. Many of our major cities are beyond recognition, as thousands of internationals have become a major presence in our country. They need money, medical care, housing and on and on. In the meantime we have hungry Veterans and homeless Americans sleeping in cars, under bridges and in city parks. I see it all the time and it's not pretty.

I understand life is not pretty in Syria or many other places on the planet. We cannot fix them all. ISIS is a threat to America and destroying their oil refineries, bridges, communication abilities and airports is something we can do from the sky. That doesn't require military bases and thousands of troops stationed in Syria. Plus, we can't kill them all. There is not a silver bullet that will eliminate the entire ISIS cell groups scattered in Syria and now in other parts of the Middle East.

Please President Trump, do not put our troops on the ground in Syria. We don't want to lose another thousand American lives, spend another trillion dollars and try to police another nation that we will later have to rebuild.

Glenn Mollette is a syndicated columnist and author of eleven books.
He is read in all fifty states. Visit
Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Like his facebook page at


By Ron Daley
Special to KyForward

Rural communities miss great opportunities when their leaders and citizens do not dream big enough.

One of our problems in not making “Appalachian Kentucky Great Again” has been thinking too small and scaling down our dreams and expectations. Congressman Hal Rogers has had a big vision for bringing the digital economy for nearly 10 years but, often our organizations and citizens have been slow to implement this transformation in our economy.

The plans for expanded broadband enables this vision to become reality.

After a year or so when Congressman Rogers used the term ”Silicon Holler” I hosted the New Economy summit in East Kentucky on Oct. 20, 2007 at Hazard Community and Technical College (HCTC). Over 150 people attended, many of them key decision makers, to listen to Rep. Rogers’ keynote and participate in the planning sessions.

As director of the University Center of the Mountains, I generated a summit report which included over 80 recommendations to enable the New Economy. After reading the report in 2008 HCTC President Allen Goben had the idea to create the Distance Earning Initiative in which people would be trained to work from their home or in business incubators using broadband to work remotely (tele-work) for firms around the nation and world.

We followed President Goben’s charge to make it a reality by building a team of college faculty and staff. We essentially created a plan of action in 2008-2009 using a grant application to the U.S. Department of Labor to flesh out our thinking and get funding. We then engaged the local workforce investment board to participate. Our application was not approved because the Department of Labor would only fund grants to train existing workforces in your region…we were ahead of their thinking.

Our vision was to create and train a new digital workforce focusing on jobs with annual salaries exceeding $60,000. We were aware that we could land remote jobs in customer service or call center type with salaries ranging from $10 to $15 per hour, but we knew if we were to transform the region we needed the higher paying wages. We would take the “low hanging fruit” lower wage jobs while remaining focused on the better ones.
Our plan had five key components: publicize, attract, and build a talent pool; find the gaps in the talent pool and train them for high paying jobs; recruit companies desiring remote workers; connect our local talent to these firms or individuals; and locate affordable or free spaces for the persons to work remotely.

A local bank endorsed our vison and gave $50,000 for an endowment fund to support incubator space for the Distance Earning Initiative, other banks and businesses offered space and our college made plans for incubator space on campuses.

Kudos to the local workforce investment board (East KY Concentrated Employment Program (EKCEP) which awarded us $150,000 to launch the project and hire a director. This was an excellent example of a community college and a workforce investment board collaborating.

We hired a young Eastern Kentuckian who had the ideal skill set which included marketing. Our college team gave him support, but, he was essentially a one man show. He hosted winter evening meetings in counties throughout the mountains to job seekers and attract talent while also visiting and calling firms employing remote workers. He and the program exceeded our expectations. We were accomplishing something in a broad, rural area that was bold and had not been attempted before. Our big dreams were becoming realized.

We passed the East Kentucky Distance Earning Initiative on to the local workforce investment board after we had new leadership at the college. He continued to excel in the work but took on new duties at another community college. The program has continued with success and changed its name to East KY Teleworks and now to Teleworks USA.

Our communities need to learn more about the digital economy and not let others lessen their expectations for job growth if Teleworks and other digital job initiatives maximize their potential. We need to understand what the emerging and new jobs will become. For instance coding is a good example of jobs in the New Economy. However, there are many job beyond coding and with greater financial reward.

Natasha B. Watts, the program coordinator and instructor in Visual Communication at Hazard Community and Technical College encouraged us to think more expansive in coding at the “Big Ideas Fest in Education, Workforce and Economic Development,” hosted by the KY Valley Educational Cooperative in Hazard in September, 2016.

Watts said, “What use is a tool if you cannot understand what it is, or how it works? Those who build websites do just that, they get it working, put a structure in place, and they make it exist in a physical way. From there someone else has to make it usable and appealing for a mass audience. Creating a sea of coders will only cause us to produce 1,000 hammers that no one understands how to use. Creating a river of coders, and a stream of designers will allow us to form an ocean of people who can create end-to-end business facing projects”.

We need to grow our digital talent pool and have a “talent density” for innovation hubs for creative people working together, cooperating in tech start-ups, creating new jobs, and working remotely. While doing this, all of us who have contacts in Silicon Valley or with major employers should collaborate and recruit these firms to hire our people. Our educational systems need to encourage and empower more students into entrepreneurism and we need to revisit our workforce training systems. We must train for jobs of the future…many times for jobs that does not exist now or that our kids will be creating for themselves.

Telework is a hot economic remedy now in our region which has lost many high-paying coal and coal related jobs. It needs to be supported by our communities and officials along with entrepreneurial tech start-ups, incubator spaces, and actions to keep our bright millennial talent at home which will drive the New Economy. Each county needs to form “New Economy” planning teams and work regionally with other teams. Communities need to be the leaders and not sit back and wait for other groups or organizations to do the work. We need to embrace entrepreneurial thinking and help people start new businesses or expand existing ones.

We are very fortunate that our school teachers understand the changing economy and have embraced the role of being mentors for the New Economy workforce. They need to be supported in their efforts.
Let us think big, dream big, and not be afraid of the extra work to create better opportunities to bring Congressman Rogers’ vison of Silicon Holler to full fruition.

Ron Daley is the strategic partner lead for the KY Valley Educational Cooperative, a consortia of 21 K-12 school districts. He has been working in the 16 counties of their service area to secure KY Work Ready Community status and form New Economy work groups in those counties.