Most local residents are familiar with the traditional political debates held each election season by the League of Women Voters at the Bradford Square Mall, but there will be an additional forum next month for General Assembly candidates in the southern Pennyrile.
The League of Women Voters, Economic Development Council, Southern Pennyrile Chamber Alliance and other entities are hosing a state candidates forum at the Murray State University Hopkinsville campus on October 25th at 11:30.
Every candidate running for the General Assembly in Trigg, Christian and Todd County have been invited to attend. They include State Senator Joey Pendleton and challenger Whitney Westerfield, and the two men running for the state senate in the first district—Trigg County Judge-Executive Stan Humphries and former Congressman Carol Hubbard.
Eighth District State Representative John Tilley and challenger Max Sturdivant, Jr. have also been invited, as have 15th District State Representative Brent Yonts and challenger Doctor Marshall Prunty. Sixteenth District incumbent Representative Martha Jane King and challenger Chris Hightower have also been sent invitations. Ninth District Representative Myron Dossett has been invited to speak—though he is unopposed in the election.
Officials say the purpose of the event is to allow local candidates for state office the opportunity to share their vision and plans with the Chamber of Commerce and business leaders across the three county area.
The Todd County Career Path Institute is another step closer to becoming a reality after Fiscal Court approved a resolution this morning to apply for another federal grant.
Todd and Christian County will likely apply for an Economic Development Administration grant together, with Christian Fiscal Court to vote on a resolution next month. Amy Frogue of the Pennyrile Area Development District says Christian County’s help is needed for Todd to get the grant money for the technology center because there’s a maximum on the amount one entity can receive in that particular program.
The tech center would be staffed by Hopkinsville Community College and would be on the campus of Todd County Central High School. Total cost of the project is estimated at 2.5 million dollars and Ms. Frogue says two federal grants would pay for the whole deal if approved.
Todd Juge-Executive Daryl Greenfield has said he’s optimistic the two million dollar block grant will be approved and Fiscal Court has agreed to pay the half million match if the economic development grant doesn’t go through.
In other action, Todd Fiscal Court had to spend over 12-hundred dollars last month to replace stolen and damaged stop signs. Sheriff Joey Johnson said a person could face manslaughter charges if a motorist is killed because a stop sign had been stolen. Police in Todd County have placed an extra emphasis on finding those responsible.
A dedication ceremony for the new Todd County Judicial Center will be held next month—nearly two months after the building opened.
Judge-Executive Daryl Greenfield says the dedication will be Friday, October 26th at noon at the building on West Main Street across from Food Giant. The spacious building opened August 27th and features many luxuries the Todd County Courthouse couldn’t provide such as a second courtroom and much-needed space for court records.
The new Judicial Center is also much more secure than the courthouse, as residents must go through a metal detector at the door much in the same way as they do in Christian County.
The Kentucky Public Service Commission is once again seriously considering an area code change of some kind for western Kentucky.
A news release says the 270 area code will run out of phone numbers by the third quarter of 2014 if something isn’t done and that’s why they are considering either splitting the current area code region or doing an overlay of one region with two codes that would require hitting 10 digits every time you make a phone call.
A 2006 proposal would have split western Kentucky at the Christian-Todd line, meaning Elkton would have kept its 270 area code and Hopkinsville would be 364. The Public Service Commission says there is no assurance that dividing line would be kept and they are also seriously considering the overlay option where only new phone numbers would receive the new area code.
It is the second time in six years the new area code is being considered after the project was shelved a few years ago as more numbers became more plentiful again.
Public hearings will be held across the region next month, with dates and times to be announced later.
August rainfall has improved the outlook for farmers this fall, but forecasts are still well below last year’s yields.
The Department of Agriculture forecasts corn production in Kentucky to be at 104.3 million bushels, which would be up eight percent from the August forecast, but 42 percent below the 2011 level.
Yield was forecast at 70 bushels per acre, up five bushels from the August forecast, but well below last year’s yield of 139 bushels per acre. If the forecast holds true, it would be the lowest yield since the 1983 crop.
Soybean production by Kentucky farmers was forecast at 46.9 million bushels, up 17 percent from the August estimate, but 19 percent below last year’s final tally. Yield is estimated at 34 bushels per acre, five bushels above last month’s forecast, but five bushels below 2011 numbers.
The historic drought of June and July is almost completely to blame for the extremely low yields, but Ag officials say an August with plenty of rainfall helped improve on what could have been a much worse year.