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Louisa Rotary hears from new United Way Director; 

By Catrina Vargo

Jerri Compton, United Way DirectorJerri Compton, United Way DirectorLouisa, KY -- Rotary Secretary/Treaurer, Bill England, presided over Thursday's meeting, January 30, in the absence of President Aaron Sink, and after asking if there were any announcements, member Debbie Handshaw passed around an invitation to the Leadership Recognition Banquet that will be held Tue, Feb. 4, at the LC Extension Office, recognizing leaders in the community.

Member, Susie Chambers, announced the guest speaker, Jerri Compton, Executive Director, United Way of Northeast Kentucky. Compton, who just came on board as Director in April of last year, spoke to the club about United Way, giving a little background on the organization, what they do, and how you can get involved.

United Way originally began in Denver Colorado, when the need for local charities, emergency assistance, and other services was recognized by a few leaders.  What started out as 'community chest' programs that provided assistance for their residents, caught on, and grew into a movement that eventually was formed into a national organization that became known as United Way.  Now, over 125 years later, Compton said the main focus is still "making a difference in people's lives."

Compton explained that through a membership process, local chapters can use the United Way name as a way of branding their services, making people aware of the non-profit organization through more recognizable means.  "This allows us to partner with companies such as Walmart, J.C. Penny, Belk, and others to raise money for much needed services" said Compton.

She explained that even though they partner with big companies, they also work with local organizations and that the money raised in a community stays in that community.  Compton said when someone gives money to United Way and they want to know where that money goes, "you can rest assured it stays in that area and is used for such things as scholarships,  food pantries, education, finances, workshops, literacy programs, services for the elderly, employment help, and much more" she said.

The ultimate goal of United Way is to improve people's lives.  That is done by raising money for programs that teach people how to make a difference in their own lives and to better themselves. "We give a hand up, not a hand out" Compton said.

Currently there are 22 chapters of United Way in Kentucky.  Compton is the Director over the FIVCO area which include the counties of Lawrence, Carter, Boyd, Greenup, and Elliot.  Such programs supported by United Way are Meals on Wheels, Boy Scouts, and 4-H, just to name a few.

Compton explained that there are several ways to support United Way. A workplace campaign is where an employer is set up to donate to the organization through automatic payroll deduction, corporate gifts, or fundraisers.  You can also donate individually, be a sponsor, and for small businesses, a program called 'Live United 365,' is available, where a donation of $365 is made which equals out to $1 a day for an entire year.  Every donation is tax deductible.

For more information, and to find out how you can help, call 606-325-1810 or email  Visit their website at

Member, Daniel Greider, former General Manager of Ignite Radio, informed the club that he is still involved with the radio station, but not as general manager. He has taken the lead of affiliate business, Red Dress Marketing Solutions, as a marketing consultant.  Red Dress Marketing Solutions is a regional marketing company servicing Eastern Ky, WV and Ohio.

Majority floor leader will have no opposition in either party;

Rocky will run in Elliott, Rowan (part), Lewis district (99th);

As majority floor leader, Adkins has the ear of top state offcials such as Speaker of the House Greg StumboAs majority floor leader, Adkins has the ear of top state offcials such as Speaker of the House Greg StumboAccording to Secretary of State website long time Lawrence County state representative Rocky Adkins has kept his old 99th district but lost Lawrence County after redistricting forced the legislature to even out the numbers in the districts last year.

Adkins is again running unopposed in the 99th which now includes his home county of Elliot, Lewis and part of Rowan, but not Lawrence.

He has been a regular at Lawrence County events and helped local officials obtain grants during his 25 years and Lawrence Countians in general did not want to lose him.

State Rep. Adkins currently serves as House Majority Floor Leader after being chosen for the post by his Democratic colleagues in November, 2003. A long-time veteran of the Kentucky House of Representatives, he is now serving in his 25th year as a legislator.

He is a powerful force for the mountains.

Lawrence County is now part of the new 96th District with Jill York, R-Grayson, running against two democrats, Barry Webb D-Webbville and Derrick E. Willis (D) Grayson, Ky. Lawrence and Carter Counties make up the 96th.

See this week's Legislative Report from Ms. York HERE



Job Club director Bonnie Conn says 100% of participants had jobs;

Local agencies meet with positive news...good things going on in Lawrence County...

Interagency Meeting on Jan. 23Interagency Meeting on Jan. 23

By Catrina Vargo

Louisa, KY -- The Interagency Meeting which is held monthly by various local agencies met on Jan. 23 to discuss the latest happenings within those agencies.  The purpose of the meeting is to find out what is going on with each organization within the community, and determine how services and aid can be delivered the most efficiently and how each individual group can work best together.

One of the most positive announcements came from James Ellis,  Director of the Lawrence County Adult Learning Center in Louisa. According to Ellis, LCHS is up 33 places in the public range of high schools, moving from an underachieving 'school in distress' to a much higher ranking position. 

Ellis said this is due in large part to college and career ready programs in place within the school's curriculum and more commitment by students. 

"There just seems to have been a breakthrough. Students have really buckled down and adhered to standards set forth by these programs" said Ellis.  LCHS was previously targeted as a school that needed state assistance. That no longer seems to be the case.  Ellis said when you walk by a classroom, you can see the students participating in discussion and much more engaged in learning than ever before.

Facilitator and Career Advisor at the Lawrence Co. Job Club, Bonnie Conn expressed how important it is to make yourself marketable when you are seeking employment.  That is what happens at the Job Club. 

Conn explained that their goal is to streamline employment services including resumes, cover letters, job training information, job leads, and general skills to help secure employment. Conn said the program has been very successful. 

"By the end of our last twelve week course, everyone in the program was employed" she said.

Conn said they work with local employers to hire people from the Job Club first. They also network with employers across Kentucky as well as surrounding states.  At the Job Club there is also access to fax, copier, and computers.

"We try to remove all barriers for the job search process" said Conn.  Weekly job club sessions start up again this Wed., Jan. 29.,  beginning at 10:00am, and is located in the LC Community Center.  For more information, call 606-638-4949.

County Judge Executive, John Osborne, also had some positive news. 

Plans are in the works for potential college classes to be offered in the old circuit court clerk facilities of the downtown courthouse, as well as space for a potential site for Kentucky Teleworks.  The project is still in the early stages, and more information will be posted as it becomes available. "We are working hard to get Lawrence County prepared for new business and industry" Osborne said.

Noel Goble, Resource Director for LES East and West Resource Center shared some great programs they have coming up:  Parent Academy and Kiddie College Feb. 11, Coupon Classes Feb. 18,  Shopping Matters March 11. For a complete list of upcoming programs, call 606-638-3514. 

"You don't have to have a child in LES to attend these classes, everyone is welcome" Goble said.  She also reminded everyone that donations are always accepted for their backpack program as well as children's clothing.

Kentucky Homeplace was represented by Community Health Advisor, Angela McGuire. The Homeplace helps with such things as reduced or no cost prescriptions, eye exams and glasses, reduced dental fees, and hearing aids at reduced rates and diabetic shoes.  "We are moving more into the field of research and preventative care in light of the Affordable Health Care Act"  McGuire said.  For more information and a complete list of services, call 606-638-1079.

Sister Pat Cataldi with St. Jude's Cathlolic Chruch was present also at the meeting and said she was there just to see if the church could help the community in any way.

Carolyn McGuinn, Nutrition Director with the LC Health Dept. announced the popular Health and Wellness Expo that is scheduled  for April 12. McGuinn explained that leading up to the Expo, the health dept. is conducting a 'passport to health,' a program for all the schools in the district concerning health matters. 

"We are also working with a Diabetes and Colon Cancer grant from the state" she said.  Programs offered include free screenings, diabetes support group, flu vaccines, pre-natal classes, and HANDS, a home visitation program.  For more information on these and other services, call 606-638-4389.

Father Beiting Appalachian Mission Center (FBAMC) was represented at the meeting by Outreach Coordinator, Catrina Vargo.  Some of their programs include home repair projects in which volunteers come in and complete the jobs.

"This spring, we have college volunteers coming from Va Tech and Ball State in Indiana" said Vargo.  The Attic Store continues to be a great resource at the  Mission Center.  Donations received help needy families with things like clothing, furniture, household goods and appliances.  Anyone can shop at the store.

"Wednesday is quarter day, all clothing is just a quarter each" said Vargo.  A project in the works is Guardian Angels, which is an emergency housing facility, that will be a short term shelter for people due to emergency situations such as a house fire or other situation.  It is expected to be open sometime this spring.  Vargo said "If you have things you want to donate, please let us know.  You will receive a tax deductible receipt.  We can use mattresses,  furniture, housewares, building materials and as always, monetary donations are very much appreciated."

FIVCO First Steps Director, Lisa Potter, was present and spoke about an Autism program for children 0-3 years.

"We are seeing an increase in Autism, showing up  in children as young as 18 months" said Potter.  She went on to say that this program is not just for Autism, but any health care need of a child, and is open to anyone, regardless of income, and anyone can make a referral if they are concerned about a child. The First Steps program works with such organizations as county health departments,  Shriners, and UK, etc. For more information, call 800-650-1329 ext. 17.

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