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APRIL 13, 2015

Kenneth C. (Trey) Smith, III, a trial attorney at Kirk Law Firm, was sworn in Thursday, 
April 9, 2015 for the admission to the practice of law in Ohio by Judge Charles Cooper of the 
Lawrence County Court of Common Pleas, as shown in the accompanying photo.

Trey is a 2004 graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law and has been counsel 
at Kirk Law Firm (kirklawfirm.net) since 2005, representing many people with work injuries, 
road injuries and social security disabilities. 

Trey lives in Ashland, KY with his wife, Shawnda Smith, and children, Marianne, Phoebe, 
and Paul. 

"Trey Smith, his wife Swawnda and their beautiful children, Marianne, Phoebe and Paul, 
are a wonderful family and my wife, Loyce, and our personal and legal family are very proud to 
know them and work with Trey, a gifted lawyer and a caring person," John Kirk, senior partner 
at Kirk Law Firm, said in the firm's news release.

APRIL 12, 2015

SMARTS 

SMARTS grads: Front Row seated L to R: Tina Jackson, Mark Jackson, Tonia Nesser, Dylan Frazier, Rose Marie Morgan, Kelly Secrest, Susan Ferro  2nd row L to R: Jerrie Cossett, Jamie Bryant, Kelly Allred, David Salisbury, Christy Cooper, Teresa Jobe, Jennifer Patrick, Catrina Vargo, Kimber Skaggs  3rd Row: L to R:  John Roy Raulerson, Brad Skaggs  Not in photo: Dawn Haynes

 

Louisa, KY -- Earlier this month, 20 East Kentuckians graduated from an intense 12 hour business course entitled Entrepreneurial SMARTS: Simple Methods And Reality-based Training for Success – which is based on a nationally recognized training program called Core Four® Business Planning Course. The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has provided funding support for these training sessions.

The four-session, 12-hour course is designed to provide entrepreneurs with the knowledge and resource materials they need to get a new small business off the ground. This training also provides owners of existing small businesses the skills they need to become more successful and grow their businesses.

The Louisa session was held at the Lawrence County Extension Office, and most students were from Lawrence County, however, one student drove from Olive Hill to attend the class. Tonia Nesser took the course to give her farming business an edge. “After this class, I am more secure about my business and excited to succeed.” she said.

Jerry Cosset, owner of Kentucky Roots, a Lawrence County 1800's farmstead that specializes in herbs, among other things, said her business plan needs to be revamped and after taking the SMARTS class, she now has a better understanding of what she needs to do.

John Roy Raulerson, owner of Sunrize Productions in Louisa, a business that offers all types of sound systems for special events, took the course to learn more techniques to increase his business.

Lawrence County Economic Development Coordinator, Catrina Vargo enrolled in the Entrepreneurial SMARTS course to gain knowledge on a couple business ideas she had. By the third class, she and partners, Anglea McGuire and Cathi Blair catered the SMARTS class dinner, as an opportunity to “test the waters” of the catering business to see if it is something they wish to pursue. SKED Small Business Training Specialist Amanda Kelly said the course needed a caterer, and these girls were willing to step up and give it a go. " I was extremely excited to have their first event be the SMARTS class. They provided the food for the third and fourth class, they did a fantastic job!"

Brian and Kimber Skaggs, took the course to learn all about small business, as they will soon be taking over B&C Market in Blaine. The market which has been in business since 1966, and is a very important fixture in the Blaine community, was going to shut down due to the owner retiring. "We wanted to learn everything we could" they said. The market will now be called Kimber's Country Market.

Jennifer Patrick of Louisa, has already started a new business; Lakeshore Camp Store at Lawrence County Park, that will service all campers in the park and Yatesville Campground. She attended the class to learn all aspects of operating a small business, and found the course to be very helpful.

Other graduates include: Tina Jackson with Jackson Peg Tube Stands in Louisa; Mark Jackson with Jackson Peg Tube Stands in Louisa; Dylan Christopher Frazier of Louisa; Rose Marie Morgan with Helping Hand in South Ports; Kelly Secrest of Hot Properties, LLC. in Ashland and Susan Ferro of Louisa, Jamie Bryant with Antler Point in Rush; Karena Harmon of Webbville; Kelly Allred of Louisa; David Salisbury of Louisa; Christy Cooper of Louisa; Teresa Jobe of Louisa; Brad Skaggs of Skaggs Farms in Martha, and Dawn Haynes, of Louisa.

Today, a total of 403 aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners have completed entrepreneurial SMARTS training in 32 sessions held across the 45 counties in the Southeast Kentucky Economic Development (SKED) service area. Participants have included owners of existing small businesses, folks working to open their own small business in the near future, entrepreneurs seeking some direction on the basics of starting and managing a small business, retirees, college students, employees of nonprofit organizations seeking education and training to more effectively assist their constituents and people who are unemployed and seeking an alternative to the traditional job market. Anyone interested in learning about starting and successfully operating a small business is encouraged to participate.

Amanda Kelly, SKED small business training specialist, conducts the Entrepreneurial SMARTS classes. Kelly is a certified Core Four® Business Planning Course instructor and is among more than 200 trainers from over 80 organizations across the country who have been certified as Core Four® Business Planning Course instructors.

At Entrepreneurial SMARTS training sessions, entrepreneurs and small business owners areinstructed in how to create a business plan including basic knowledge about starting, financing and operating a business and planning for success. Class participants are also given the tools needed to determine if business ownership is for them.

Existing small business owners receive the support they need to advance the growth of their business and operate a solid, reliable investment. Upon successful completion of this training, participants receive a certificate recognizing their achievements and are eligible to apply for business startup or expansion funding from SKED’s loan funds.

This nationally recognized course is valued at $250 per student. However, due to financial support through a grant from the ARC, combined with financial support from SKED, participants pay a mere $25 per person. In addition, each participant receives a valuable Core Four® Business Planning Course manual and numerous resource materials.

For more information, contact Amanda Kelly at 606-416-2008 or email
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

APRIL 06, 2015

(Department of Labor photo: A personnel carrier at the Kentucky Darby mine was left crushed and twisted by a 2006 explosion that left five workers dead)

 

Investigative Reporters and Editors announced the winners of its IRE Awards, given to the best investigative reporting in print, broadcast and online media. We've highlighted some of the winners that might be of interest to rural journalists.

The radio/audio award went to a joint investigation by NPR and Mine Safety and Health News that found that 2,700 American coal- and mineral-mining companies had for years failed to pay nearly $70 million in delinquent mine safety penalties. 

Howard Berkes, Anna Boiko-Wyrauch and Robert Benincasa reported for NPR that the top nine delinquents each owed more than $1 million; mines that don't pay penalties have injury rates 50 percent higher than other mines; and delinquent mines are more likely to continue receiving more violations. The stories "led the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration to cite a major delinquent mining company for failure to pay its fines and then shut down the mine when the operator failed to meet a deadline for payment," IRE said.

The IRE Medal, the top award, was given to The Weather Channel, The Investigative Fund and Telemundo for an immigration report called "The Real Death Valley." The documentary, about the plight of illegal immigrants making the dangerous trek across the Mexican border into the U.S., also won the broadcast video category for large outlets.

A special medal was given to the Gannett Co. newspapers, mostly community papers, for stories on fugitives from justice. Stories examined how more than 180,000 fugitives easily escaped the law by simply crossing state lines. A USA Today story by Brad Heath included a search tool showing where state and local agencies stood on the issue, and on non-extradition warrants.

The FOI Award went to the Wall Street Journal for “Medicare Unmasked” that included a database of "Medicare’s payments to more than 880,000 medical providers in 2012" and discussed "how doctors and other providers compare with their peers in their region, state or nationwide," the Journal reports. The story was a finalist in the large-print/online category. The finalists in this category included several Gannett TV stations for stories about the safety of school football helmets.

The Arizona Republic, a Gannett paper, won the medium-size print/online category for stories on delays at Phoenix facilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs, “which propelled this story into a national scandal,” IRE said. The story opened up information that any news outlet can use to report on this issue, which is one of rural interest because 40 percent of the nation's military comes from rural areas. Here is a timeline of the scandal.

The Seattle Times won the investigation triggered by breaking news category for uncovering “state negligence and cover-ups in the wake of the deadly landslide that killed 43 people” in Oso, Wash., IRE said. “Reporting that would have taken others months produced five deep stories in just days. The state has adopted new rules for timber companies and procedures for evaluating unstable slopes.”

The winner of the small-print/online category was Willamette Week for a story on Oregon’s first lady that led to the resignation of Gov. John Kitzhaber. The Charleston Gazette was a finalist in the category for its coverage of the Freedom Industries chemical spill that tainted water for 300,000 residents in West Virginia.
Written by Tim Mandell Posted at 4/06/2015 02:52:00

APRIL 09, 2015

 

After years of losing jobs and population, Appalachian coal country in Eastern Kentucky is beginning to see an influx of young people returning to the area to open businesses in an attempt help revitalize the region, Alana Semuels reports for The Atlantic. (Semuels photo: The Treehouse Cafe, a gathering place started by an entrepreneur in Hazard, Ky.)

It's a far cry from recent years when young people were fleeing from a region hit hard by poverty from the loss of 7,000 coal jobs, Semuels writes. Ada Smith, who grew up in Whitesburg, told Semuels, “For people who grow up here or have roots in this place, parents and grandparents who know there’s not a lot of opportunity here encourage their loved ones to go and find jobs elsewhere. It’s not that anybody hates this place, it’s just that they don’t want to see their family suffer.”

But young entrepreneurs have begun returning to the region in recent years, opening businesses such as a record store, a tattoo parlor, a cupcake store and a vape store, Semuels writes. Plus, when Whitesburg voted in 2007 to begin allowing establishments to serve alcohol, two new bars opened. Three years ago the town voted to let stores sell alcohol, and last fall the city council approved a permit for a moonshine distillery to open in a historical building downtown.

Tattoo parlor owner John Haywood, who left the area for Louisville before recently returning, told Semuels, “I knew I wanted to be in Whitesburg. There was what was to me a real grassroots movement here, still very early in its infancy, of just a lot of individual people trying to make stuff happen.”

The movement has been helped by Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR), an initiative started by Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and Rep. Hal Rogers—a Republican from the nation's poorest and most rural county in Eastern Kentucky—to help solve the economic struggles in the region.

"Many of the people returning to the region say that any lasting, successful economic program is going to have to be home grown," Semuels writes. Ethan Hamblin, 23, who has stayed in the area, told Semuels, “How do we move forward as a region? The way that we do that is from within the region. It’s not seeking outside funding; it’s getting the people on the ground working together across county lines, across state lines, and thinking about how we do that work together.” (Read more)

Written by Tim Mandell 

APRIL 06, 2015

(Department of Labor photo: A personnel carrier at the Kentucky Darby mine was left crushed and twisted by a 2006 explosion that left five workers dead)

 

Investigative Reporters and Editors announced the winners of its IRE Awards, given to the best investigative reporting in print, broadcast and online media. We've highlighted some of the winners that might be of interest to rural journalists.

The radio/audio award went to a joint investigation by NPR and Mine Safety and Health News that found that 2,700 American coal- and mineral-mining companies had for years failed to pay nearly $70 million in delinquent mine safety penalties. 

Howard Berkes, Anna Boiko-Wyrauch and Robert Benincasa reported for NPR that the top nine delinquents each owed more than $1 million; mines that don't pay penalties have injury rates 50 percent higher than other mines; and delinquent mines are more likely to continue receiving more violations. The stories "led the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration to cite a major delinquent mining company for failure to pay its fines and then shut down the mine when the operator failed to meet a deadline for payment," IRE said.

The IRE Medal, the top award, was given to The Weather Channel, The Investigative Fund and Telemundo for an immigration report called "The Real Death Valley." The documentary, about the plight of illegal immigrants making the dangerous trek across the Mexican border into the U.S., also won the broadcast video category for large outlets.

A special medal was given to the Gannett Co. newspapers, mostly community papers, for stories on fugitives from justice. Stories examined how more than 180,000 fugitives easily escaped the law by simply crossing state lines. A USA Today story by Brad Heath included a search tool showing where state and local agencies stood on the issue, and on non-extradition warrants.

The FOI Award went to the Wall Street Journal for “Medicare Unmasked” that included a database of "Medicare’s payments to more than 880,000 medical providers in 2012" and discussed "how doctors and other providers compare with their peers in their region, state or nationwide," the Journal reports. The story was a finalist in the large-print/online category. The finalists in this category included several Gannett TV stations for stories about the safety of school football helmets.

The Arizona Republic, a Gannett paper, won the medium-size print/online category for stories on delays at Phoenix facilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs, “which propelled this story into a national scandal,” IRE said. The story opened up information that any news outlet can use to report on this issue, which is one of rural interest because 40 percent of the nation's military comes from rural areas. Here is a timeline of the scandal.

The Seattle Times won the investigation triggered by breaking news category for uncovering “state negligence and cover-ups in the wake of the deadly landslide that killed 43 people” in Oso, Wash., IRE said. “Reporting that would have taken others months produced five deep stories in just days. The state has adopted new rules for timber companies and procedures for evaluating unstable slopes.”

The winner of the small-print/online category was Willamette Week for a story on Oregon’s first lady that led to the resignation of Gov. John Kitzhaber. The Charleston Gazette was a finalist in the category for its coverage of the Freedom Industries chemical spill that tainted water for 300,000 residents in West Virginia.

Written by Tim Mandell Posted at 4/06/2015 02:52:00