The executive director of the Pennyrile Area Development District announced on Monday that, given the ongoing threat of the coronavirus, his agency won’t host its annual recognition for industries in the region.

“We did make a difficult decision of not moving forward with our Pride of the Pennyrile Industry Appreciation Event,” Jason Vincent told the board of directors during a virtual meeting of the group.

He said officials felt it was not a good idea to host the event right now, although they hope to do so “when things settle down with COVID,” possibly in the spring.

The development district hosted its 31st annual Pride of the Pennyrile Industry Appreciation Event last year at Lake Barkley State Resort Park, with representatives of 35 companies from the nine-county region attending.

An article in the district’s PADD Press newsletter noted that the annual event is a means of saying thank you to companies for their contributions that help improve communities and spur growth in those communities.

Monday’s development district meeting also featured comments from Kentucky Secretary of State Michael G. Adams, who spoke about the different methods that people can use to vote in the upcoming general election.

He noted that voters may choose an absentee ballot and either mail it back or put it in the drop box at their county clerk’s office, vote in-person early or vote in-person on Election Day, which is on Nov. 3 this year.

Adams noted that voters liked having options in the primary election and being able to vote at home, although he said absentee voting has been scaled back for November in hopes that people will vote in person.

The secretary said people may visit govoteky.com to register and can do other things at the site including updating their names, for example. Voters who request an absentee ballot at the site will be able to track their ballot and know if it’s been received by the county clerk.

They may also sign up to be poll workers, who have become a rarity in the age of the coronavirus since many are senior citizens and worried about their health.

Adams said no COVID-19 cases have been tied to the primary election, however, and he vowed to keep both poll workers and voters safe in the upcoming election.

He noted that there will be more places to vote than there were in June, and Adams said the November general election will be the first time for Saturday voting.

It will also provide results on election night.

The secretary estimated that 70% to 80% of votes will be counted that night, including absentee ballots that have been received by that point.

“My guess is we’ll be able to count the vast majority of votes on election night,” Adams told the PADD board.

The secretary credited Congress with the success of the upcoming election, noting that federal lawmakers have provided money that is being used to upgrade election equipment and provide personal protective equipment.

In other business

  • Field Representative Morgan Alvey of U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s office congratulated Todd and Logan counties for receiving a $13.5 million road grant that will be used for improvements to U.S. 79.
  • PADD Director Vincent noted that the development district has been designated a COVID-19 compliant workplace by the Christian County Health Department.
  • PADD Board Chairman Perry Newcom reminded officials that a formation meeting for the Western Kentucky Coalition is slated for 10 a.m. Sept. 23 at the Ballard Convention Center in Madisonville. The group is intended to provide a combined voice for the region.
  • Workforce Programs Coordinator Juliet Allen said 18-to 24-year-olds are being recruited for workforce youth programs that will help them return to the workforce.
  • Payton Kidd, the district’s participant directed services coordinator, said the three home and community based waiver programs have a combined 307 active clients and 104 who are pending.
  • Jill Collins, director of the Pennyrile Area Agency on Aging and Independent Living, said the agency has 437 people on its waiting list for home-delivered meals in the region as of Sept. 9, 245 on its waiting list for homemaking and 90 on its personal care waiting list.
  • Collins also noted that 51,856 COVID-19 home-delivered meals have been served to 748 clients between March 16 and Sept. 4. There are currently 615 clients for the COVID-19 home-delivered meals, she added.
  • PADD Regional Planning Coordinator Craig Morris gave a presentation on State Physical Activity and Nutrition Grants that are providing funds for communities to establish multi-use trails for biking, jogging and walking.

Reach Tonya S. Grace at 270-887-3240 or tgrace@kentuckynewera.com.

Reach Tonya S. Grace at 270-887-3240 or tgrace@kentuckynewera.com.

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