John Michael MontgomeryCountry-Fest draws thousands to Winchester
Country came to town in September with the inaugural John Michael Montgomery Country-Fest. The two-day concert event took place at Lykins Park Sept. 23-24 with artists including Montgomery Gentry, Jake Owen, Exile, Colt Ford and the festival’s namesake.Event organizer Brian Thomas estimated crowds at 8,000 the first day and 10,000 the second day, despite heavy rains early Sept. 23. Ticket sales were enough to cover the cost of staging the concerts, with Thomas declaring the event a success.
Local non-profit organizations including Clark County Community Services, Boy Scouts, Clark County Homeless Coalition, New Beginnings Pregnancy Center, the Clark Middle School girls softball team and the Conkwright Middle School boys baseball team received profits from parking permit sales.
A 2012 festival date has not yet been set because of John Michael Montgomery’s touring schedule, but Thomas said organizers still plan to host the event.
Local World War II¿veteranshonored with trip to D.C.
Thanks to the Bluegrass Chapter of the Honor Flight Network, 19 local veterans received a trip to Washington, D.C., in October.
State Rep. Donna Mayfield (R-Winchester) worked in conjunction with Honor Flight officials to make the trip available to all interested Clark County World War II veterans. The trip included stops at the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial and the United States Marine Corps War Memorial.
Honor Flights are free to veterans, including airfare, transportation to and from memorials and food. Mayfield was organizing a bus trip for veterans from Clark County, paid for by local donations, when she learned about the Honor Flight Network. Money raised for the bus trip was instead donated to Honor Flight, to help cover costs for care givers and local volunteers traveling with the veterans to provide assistance.Veterans were flown from Louisville to Baltimore, then driven to Washington, D.C., where they spent the day touring the memorials with fellow veterans.
More than 100 veterans from throughout the state made the trip.The Honor Flight Network is a national non-profit organization created to thank veterans for their service and participation is open to all World War II veterans. Applications for veterans and care givers are available at www.honorflight.org.
Elaine Farris finalist for Fayette County Superintendent position
The announcement in early June that Clark County Superintendent Elaine Farris was one of three finalists for the vacant Fayette County superintendent position caused quite a stir in the community.
Farris, a Clark County native who spent much of her early career working in the school system, returned to Clark County as superintendent in 2009.During her tenure, the district has made improvements in student performance. It has also moved forward with facilities upgrades, with progress on construction of the new high school and ground broken for a new elementary school to replace three older schools.
Farris was a late entry for the Fayette position, but said she applied after being urged to do so by several people within the Fayette County district, and said the opportunity to lead the second largest district in the state was “a good career move.”
The Fayette County Board of Education ultimately chose Daviess County Superintendent Tom Shelton to replace the retiring Stu Silberman.
Ground broken for newelementary school
In December, just a year after Clark County Public Schools broke ground on the new George Rogers Clark High School, the district had groundbreaking ceremonies for a new $13 million elementary school.The new elementary school will replace Central, Fannie Bush and Pilot View elementary schools, all identified by the Kentucky Department of Education as among the 14 Category 5 schools statewide needing to be replaced.
The school, which is scheduled to be completed and ready for occupancy in 2013 at the same time as the new GRC, will provide larger classrooms and updated technology to enhance student learning, according to school officials.
Funding for the new elementary school is part of a $19 million earmark the district received in 2010 from KDE’s School Facility Construction Commission.The remainder of the earmark is to be used for the renovation of Conkwright Middle School to house elementary students.The projects are all part of the district’s four-year facilities plan.
Homeless shelter opens on Wainscott Avenue
The Clark County Homeless Coalition finally achieved its goal of opening a homeless shelter in Clark County in October when the first families moved in at 25 Wainscott Ave. The shelter is designed to be transitional housing for families, though some single adults also will be considered for residence. The average stay is expected to be 90 days and applicants must be Clark County residents who currently are homeless, or will be evicted within seven days and do not have another place to stay.