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Fiscal Court votes on mobile command post bid
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The Christian County Fiscal Court met Tuesday morning for a regular meeting to vote on the acceptance of a bid to create a mobile command post and officially approved the second reading of the Fiscal Year 2021-22 tax ordinance, which slightly decreases real property tax.

Christian County Deputy Emergency Management Director Cecilia Cloos attended the meeting to explain to the fiscal court that the mobile command post would be used in a variety of ways and by multiple departments within the county.

“This command post will be used for searches, weather events, major law enforcement activities, community events, such as Western Kentucky State Fair, Summer Salute, etc. and any other type of emergency we deem necessary,” Cloos said.

Cloos and Christian County Judge-Executive Steve Tribble also explained that in acquiring a 38-foot travel trailer for the command post, the trailer had to be put out for a bid. The project had only received a single bid.

After receiving the lone bid, Emergency Management Director Randy Graham and his team conducted comparisons to determine if the price of the single bid was competitive and fair before moving forward in presenting the bid to the fiscal court.

“We’re requesting a bid over a 38-foot travel trailer and the bid came in for a Mastercraft at $38,490 — the only bid that was received,” Cloos said to the magistrates.

“After comparison pricing, Randy (Graham) and our team feels comfortable that the bid price is following the comparison and (Graham) is comfortable with it.”

Cloos and County Treasurer Walter Cummings added that as part of acquiring the command post, Emergency Management applied for a 50/50 matching grant from the state, meaning if the county provides half the amount of the total cost of the project, the state will provide the other half in grant funding.

Cummings shared with the magistrates that the state had already approved the county’s application for the 50/50 grant for the project.

However, before the command post project could move forward, the fiscal court would have to approve the single bid that the project received.

Ultimately, the magistrates voted to approve the acceptance of the bid unanimously.

The fiscal court also voted on the second reading of the Fiscal Year 2021-22 tax ordinance.

Tribble explained at the previous fiscal court meeting on Aug. 24 to the magistrates prior to the ordinance being read that the ordinance proposes a slight tax decrease, moving from 18.7 cents per $100 of real property value down to 18.6 cents per $100.

“I’m happy that on this particular one, I’m recommending that we do a real property tax rate of 18.6 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, which actually is a reduction from our current rate of 18.7,” Tribble said previously. “So, one tenth of a penny down.”

Tribble added that the state’s tax rate will also be decreasing.

“I also like to point out that the state tax rate is going to decrease from 12.2 cents to 11.9 cents, that’s included in our tax bill — it’s not in this ordinance, but it would be on our tax bill from the county,” Tribble also previously said.

Under the ordinance the homestead exemption rate is increasing, allowing those who qualify to benefit from the uptick.

“The homestead exemption has increased a little bit from $39,300 to $40,500,” Tribble said at the last meeting. “So, this would result in a lower tax bill for some taxpayers.”

With the increase, Kentucky’s homestead exemption allows residents aged 65 and older to deduct $40,500 from the taxable value of their property.

Tribble noted no other changes from last fiscal year’s tax ordinance and no discussion was had prior to the vote.

At this week’s meeting, the magistrates did not have a discussion before moving right into voting.

Magistrates voted to approve the second reading of the ordinance unanimously. The ordinance will officially go into effect once it is published.

In other fiscal court news:

  • The court voted on a Community Development Block Grant for COVID-19 utility assistance agreement, allowing the county to accept the grant funding the state has awarded following the county’s application back in February. The grant was applied for in order to receive funding to assist Christian County residents who were not able to afford utility payments due to employment loss because of the COVID pandemic. The county was awarded $200,000 for the utility assistance program. The magistrates voted unanimously to approve the agreement, allowing Tribble to sign the agreement and receive the grant funding.
  • The fiscal court also approved a franchise renewal agreement with Charter Spectrum Communications. The court held a brief public hearing in July to receive input from county citizens regarding the possibility of the county renewing its contract with Spectrum for its cable television franchise agreement. No public input was given at that meeting and the magistrates voted to move forward with renewing the agreement Tuesday morning.
  • Magistrates voted to accept an ad valorem tax incentive for Martinrea Hopkinsville, LLC for its expansion in Hopkinsville.

There will be a festival of hope in downtown Hopkinsville this week. On Tuesday a stage was erected to host “Hope over Kentucky” in the new Justice Center parking lot. The three-day event will be Wednesday through Friday, at 6:30 p.m. nightly. There will be worship, preaching and giveaways.

Hope over Kentucky

ENT specialist added to Jennie Stuart roster

One of the most sought-after healthcare specialties now has representation under the Jennie Stuart Health umbrella, following the addition of Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist Dr. Joshua Horton, MD to a dynamic roster of providers.

Dr. Horton, who began practicing Sept. 1 in the Blue Creek South facility on the Hopkinsville Bypass, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience. His arrival provides much-needed ENT care to Christian, Todd and Trigg County areas, as well as surrounding communities. Dr. Horton possesses a special interest in treating the full breadth of adult and pediatric ENT conditions, and has additional training in minimally invasive balloon sinuplasty and salivary endoscopy.

“I love the field of ENT and I am excited to bring this sorely-needed specialty to the patients in this community,” Horton shared. “I plan to treat the full spectrum of Ear, Nose, and Throat conditions so that patients will no longer have to travel long distances to receive this care. Raised in a small rural town in southern Indiana, Dr. Horton developed a passion for science, the outdoors, and sports at a young age. After securing a 4.0 GPA and Highest Distinction while studying biochemistry at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Dr. Horton obtained his MD at New York University School of Medicine, which is now ranked the No. 2 medical school by U.S News and World Report. “Being from a small town in a rural part of Indiana, the Jennie Stuart service area reminds me of home,” Horton said. “I am looking forward to taking care of the patients that make up this community and region.”

In addition to his studies, Dr. Horton spent a significant amount of time during medical school conducting high impact scientific research. Following medical school, he completed his Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery training at the Medical University of South Carolina, regarded as one of the top-ranked programs in the country.

“The addition of Dr. Horton to Jennie Stuart Health’s experienced medical community is exceptional, and we look forward to introducing our region to an ENT specialist of his background and training”, said Jennie Stuart Health CEO Eric Lee. “Dr. Horton’s much anticipated arrival brings modern Otolaryngology specialty services to Western Kentucky, as our health system continues to strive in providing local, customized and comprehensive care at Jennie Stuart for our area’s patients.”

A member of the American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery, Dr. Horton acted as primary surgeon on nearly 3,000 procedures during his residency, while continuing to participate in medical research and authoring numerous publications. In 2019, he received prestigious grants from AAO-AHNS Section for Residents/Fellows Leadership and AAO-AHNS CORE. In April of that same year, Dr. Horton received the Conquer Cancer Foundation Merit Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Additionally, Dr. Horton’s repertoire also includes surgical management of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). For those patients who cannot use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), Dr. Horton can offer alternative treatment options. OSA affects more than 20 million Americans, over half of whom are not able to tolerate CPAP.

When left untreated, OSA can cause vehicle and workplace accidents, worsening mood and memory, stroke, heart attack, and even death. It occurs when the airway collapses during sleep and blocks the flow of oxygen to the brain. Dr. Horton has several surgical options to open the airway and improve airflow during sleep, including surgery in the nose and throat as well as newer technologies of implantable upper airway stimulation therapy.

Dr. Horton will be available for appointments Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Blue Creek South’s Suite 201, located at 10755 Eagle Way in Hopkinsville. Call 270-807-5430 to make an appointment and visit www.JennieStuartHealth.org for more information.

— Submitted to the New Era.

Communities join to celebrate veterans
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A partnership between Visit Clarksville and the Oak Grove Tourism Commission will host the sixth annual Welcome Home Veterans Celebration beginning Thursday and running through Sunday in both towns.

The highlight of the celebration will be a concert by country music star Lee Greenwood on Saturday night in Oak Grove.

“We are beyond thrilled to be partnering with Visit Clarksville to celebrate and welcome home these amazing veterans,” Traci Cunningham, Executive Director of Oak Grove Tourism & Convention Commission, said in a press release. “We taste freedom every day because of the sacrifices and dedication they made to our country. I look forward to meeting these heroes and welcoming them to Oak Grove. Visit Clarksville has an amazing team and I look forward to partnering with them on future events.”

The five-day event includes a variety of free exhibits and activities.

All exhibits, including the American Veteran Traveling Tribute Wall, Field of Honor-Veterans Tribute flag display, General Tommy Franks Mobile Classroom & Road Show, and Cost of Freedom Tribute will be on display at Oak Grove Gaming, 777 Winners Way in Oak Grove.

All exhibits are free and open to the public from 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 16 through 9 a.m. on Sunday, September 19. Ticketed events for meals and concerts will be available to show appreciation for the service and valor of America’s veterans.

“We are always excited to welcome visitors to the great City of Clarksville, and we are always excited to honor America’s military veterans, so this event is the perfect opportunity to say, ‘Welcome to Clarksville’ and ‘Thank you for your service.’ Have a great week and enjoy all our area has to offer,” said Clarksville mayor Joe Pitts.

A series of events unfold during the week, a Hero Breakfast Thursday morning September 16, 2021 at First Baptist Church in Clarksville will be paired with JROTC cadets, veterans and active-duty soldiers for a guided discussion and meal. Later that evening veterans and their families are invited to join the celebration for a picnic at 5 p.m. at War Memorial Park in Oak Grove.

Following the picnic, at Oak Grove’s Gaming, a remembrance ceremony & wreath laying at the American traveling tribute wall honoring the names listed on the tribute wall, Korean Memorial and Cost of Freedom Tribute will take place at 6:30 p.m.

On Friday September 17, Dave Carey, former U.S. Navy pilot will share his story at the Valor Luncheon and Recognition. Carey will remind his audiences of the power of the human spirit to triumph over adversity and that we always have choices.

“We’re excited. It’s a bit challenging put everything together in the midst of a pandemic but we are very hopeful. This is our first year partnering with Oak Grove which we’re thankful for. We look forward to all the events taking place this week and we’re praying for good weather,” said Frances Manzitto, Director of Tourism of Sales in Clarksville.

On Saturday morning September 18, at 10 a.m. downtown in Clarksville, JROTC cadets, marching bands, military vehicles and floats will gather to honor our veterans with a very special Welcome Home Celebration. During the parade, five brothers who each survived tours in Vietnam: The Miller Brothers from Decatur, Ala., will serve as Parade Marshalls.

A closing dinner at Oak Grove Gaming on Saturday evening will take place in a beautiful room overlooking the racetrack.

Later that evening at the Oak Grove Gaming Amphitheater, local favorite Music for Mercy will open the concert at 6 p.m., followed by CMA Male Vocalist of the Year and Grammy Award Winner Lee Greenwood, who will close out the show 7:30 p.m.

Tickets starting at $15 are available on Ticketmaster.com or may be purchased at the gate.

To see details, keep up to date, and register for events online check out: welcomehomeveterans