PIKEVILLE — The East Kentucky Leadership Foundation’s 28th Annual Conference is underway in Pikeville.

The event, sponsored by Pikeville Medical Center, brings leaders together to discuss and share ideas.

It began April 23 at the Eastern Kentucky Expo Center, with roundtable discussions on various topics, a reception and an awards ceremony featuring Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen as guest speaker.

The conference continues today in the Record Memorial Building at the University of Pikeville with the following items on the agenda:

•7:30 a.m.: Registration; continental breakfast, Booth lobby

•8:15 a.m.: Welcome by UPIKE Interim President Paul E. Patton, Pike County Judge-Executive William Deskins and Pikeville Mayor Jimmy Carter.

•8:30 a.m.: Opening session, “Youth on the Move: Growing in the Economy, Race to the Top Students,” will be held in the Booth Auditorium

•9:30 a.m.; 11 a.m.: Concurrent sessions on entrepreneurship, alternative job opportunities, tech-based entrepreneurship, health care opportunities and “youthful ideas” on growing the economy

•12:30 a.m.: Luncheon at the Expo Center will feature Shaping Our Appalachian Region Director Jared Arnett as keynote speaker

More information about the conference will be published in next week’s Medical Leader. For details, visit http://eklf.org.

Medical Leader | FILE PHOTO
RAISING AWARENESS: Hundreds of people marched through Pikeville during the 2014 autism walk.

Local residents have the opportunity to walk to raise awareness about autism this weekend.

Pike County Judge/Executive William M. Deskins and the Pike County Fiscal Court proclaimed April 25 as Autism Awareness Day in Pike County during a recent meeting.

The proclamation was read by Deputy Judge/Executive Brian Morris following Irene Sturgeon’s address to the Fiscal Court announcing the 7th Annual East Kentucky Autism Awareness Walk scheduled for 11 a.m., Saturday, April 25, at the East Kentucky Expo Center.

A free Autism Awareness T-shirt, lunch and music will be provided for all participants. The Autism Awareness walk is sponsored by the Pike County Fiscal Court, Pikeville and a large number of other civic groups and individuals.

“Be a voice for the families affected by autism and join in the activities to help raise awareness of this growing problem among our nation’s children and adults,” Sturgeon said. “Autistic children are like snowflakes. They’re all different.”

Autism, a lifelong developmental disorder that affects a person’s brain development, social interactions and ability to communicate, affects children and adults throughout the world.

The most recent study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that one in 68 American children are born with autism, though most people know very little about the diagnosis.

By raising public awareness of the increasing numbers of those diagnosed with autism and to show support for autistic individuals and their families, county and city officials hope to educate residents about what it means to be diagnosed with autism.

Tax deductible donations should be made payable to the Pike County Fiscal Court, 146 Main Street, Pikeville, KY 41501.

For more information, contact Jeanne Robinson at 606-432-6247 or 606-432-6395.

The Class of 2000 ushered in a new era for PHS. 

The district’s board of education, led by Regald Smith, Chairman, Ann Carty, Dr. Tom Hartsock, Dr. Mark Myers and Mike McCoy, worked with Superintendent Howard Wallen Jr., PHS Principal Gilbert Shely and PES Principal Jerry Waddell.

In this year, the PHS library was dedicated to Charles Spears, former principal, who stated that “Education came first.” 

In 2000, there were 16 sets of twins within the Pikeville Independent School District!

In 2001, PHS decided not to have a valedictorian or salutatorian.  Instead, students were grouped in rank of Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude and Summa Cum Laude, and this decision lasted until the end of 2004. 

Pikeville Independent got a new leader in 2002, current Superintendent Jerry Green stepped into his current role that year. 

In 2002, PHS’s Academic Team placed first in the state All “A” Classic Academic tournament.  Coach McNamee was honored as the Appalachian New-Express Pike County Football Coach of the Year, and baseball coach, Chris Lawson was vote the ANE Pike County Baseball Coach of the Year.  

PHS entered the first-ever season on the soccer field on the varsity level, led by Coach Calvin Wheat.  Coach Hillard Howard was honored by the Pikeville City Commission by naming the new artificial surfaced football field, Howard Field. 

Pikeville High School, in 2003, mourned the loss of a former student and football standout, Brent Coleman.  Brent shined on the football field and still holds two school records. A full military funeral was held at the Pikeville High School Alumni Auditorium. His service in Iraq, and to his country, will not be forgotten.

In 2004, the Alumni Association and Pikeville Independent Board of Education, in a joint venture broke ground for the Pikeville Veterans Memorial and Outdoor Classroom at Pikeville High School. The Veterans Memorial was to be erected outside of the Alumni Auditorium and dedicated that same year.  The memorial was constructed in honor of PHS, Perry A. Cline, and Pikeville Academy alumni, faculty, and staff who served America during times of war. 

The girls’ golf team, under first year coach, Karla Corbin, grabbed its first trip to the State Tournament in 2005.  This same year, PHS and PES underwent improvements that updated the look of the buildings and enhanced safety and efficiency.

After 30 years of service to PHS, Wayne Ray retired. He served as head of maintenance for 27 years and then went to buildings and grounds to finish his tenure.  Green described Ray as “Mr. Pikeville High School.”  

That same year, the new administration building, on Second Street, was named for longtime Superintendent John Waddell and Dustin Combs joined Pikeville Elementary as Principal. 

“You can tell this is a work in progress,” says Ann Carty, of the new Maroon and White Room at PHS. The Maroon and White Room is a labor of love to house all things PHS! The souvenirs and memorabilia on display were collected and donated by families and friends of PHS.  

In 2008, PHS was named in the top 1,600 high schools in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report.  Pikeville High School was named Bronze Medal School by the magazine in its 2008 listing.  Twenty one schools in Kentucky received Bronze Medals. 

“We’re proud of both our kids and our staff,” said Principal, Royce Mayo. 

Ernie Johnson was such an important part of PHS and the community as well. Students, teachers and community leaders mourned the loss of Ernie when he lost his life in a car accident returning from a ball game in 2008.

 ABC News brought 20/20 to PES in 2008 to film a segment about the DARE program facilitated by Anthony Conn, a Pikeville Policeman.  

The baseball teams won district titles in 2009 and 2010. The boys’ Varsity cheerleaders won three state KAPOS championships; a record for cheerleaders at PHS!  In 2011, the Varsity cheerleaders won the state title again! 

In 2011, Pikeville Independent became a District of Distinction.  Students must have scored in the 95th percentile or higher on the assessment to qualify. 

Senior class accomplishments for 2011 included: 88 graduates earned $2 million in scholarships, six were Governor’s Scholars, one attended the Governor’s School of the Arts, eight were Booth Scholars, one graduate earned a perfect ACT score, two graduates earned perfect SAT math scores, the district ranked 12th in the state for class ranking and students completed 630 college credit hours completed! 

Lights, camera, action!  The multimedia classes provided students with fundamental procedures in producing a school news show called Panther Power Hour.  This endeavor proved to be one of the most successful and enjoyable outlets for creativity from students. 

Jessica Casebolt, a 2011 graduate of PHS, was crowned Miss Kentucky, a first time honor for a PHS graduate!

2013 brought regional championships to the Lady Panthers soccer team, the Panther boys soccer team, the PHS Boys basketball team All “A” Classic, FBLA teams and Pikeville Elementary Academic Team.

In 2014, the Panther Band, under the direction of Dr. Scott Bersaglia, earned many All District and All County honors.  As a whole, the band received straight distinguished ratings at the performance assessment. 

The PHS Jr. Chef team, under the supervision of Kelly Scott, won the 15th Region title, and the Jr. High Cheerleaders won the KAPOS State title.  

As Pikeville Independent enters the 100th year, the High Schools began the new school year with a new, yet seasoned, principal David Thomas. 

Thomas has been at Pikeville High School for 27 years.  

Just recently, the Pikeville Junior High Cheerleaders won the National Title in Orlando, Florida, a huge accomplishment for all of their hard work. 

Congratulations to all of those Panthers who have brought honor and respect to Pikeville High School.  The story really doesn’t end here. It will be continued.

Editor’s note: Pikeville Independent School will host its 100-year reunion on July 30-Aug. 1, 2015. This is the 10th in a series of monthly articles that explore the history of the school. This article, focused on the school in the 2000s, was taken from articles written by Mary Lynn Linton Hauss for the Pikeville High School history since 1996.

Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class

BELFRY – Future Sailor Jacob Hatfield was the first sailor in the U.S. to join the Navy through Navy Recruiting District Ohio’s Virtual Recruiting Division.

The Navy is utilizing VRDs to reduce travel cost and optimize recruiter productivity, while still providing access to Navy Recruiters in remote areas.

Hatfield, a 2014 graduate of Belfry High School, is scheduled to go to boot camp May 19. From there, he is scheduled to attend Culinary Specialist “A” School.

Hatfield chose the Navy because the opportunities the Navy offered were more aligned with his goals than the other branches of service. These opportunities include the ability to attend college.

Hatfield said, “My family was aware of my choice to join the Navy. They were supportive and proud that I made a choice to better my life.”

Hatfield spoke to Yeoman 2nd Class Lisa Adkins, a Navy Recruiting District Ohio recruiter, who told him about the VRD. NRS Huntington is part of NRD Ohio’s Division 9 which is undergoing the pilot for the Navy’s VRD.

Hatfield said, “I was aware that I was the first future sailor to be recruited in the Virtual Recruiting Division. I think it is pretty awesome.”

Adkins said, “The program (referring to the VRD pilot program) is in the early stages. As with any new program, there are going to be challenges. Once a recruiter has gone through the initial contact, putting together prescreens and getting that person contracted, it seems to be an easy process as far as paperwork is concerned.”

According to Chief Navy Counselor Dominic Robinett, NRD Ohio VRD Leading Chief Petty Officer, the reduction in drive times to remote locations has allowed recruiters to focus on a smaller radius, which has improved recruiters’ morale and time management.

Robinett said, “I met with him face-to-face after he joined the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) to introduce myself and the VRD process and requirements. Mentoring is mainly over phone at least twice a week to ensure he is still getting the same training needed to prepare him for Recruit Training Command (RTC).”

Though contact is primarily over the phone they also use programs such as Skype to maintain contact with the future sailors.

Robinett said, “Navy Recruiting is adapting and taking advantage of the new technological era we live in today. I feel that this is not only going to save money for the Navy, it can increase productivity through more efficient operations.”

Robinett stated that it has been a learning curve to identify best practices and reduce as many shortfalls as possible and that the support of the Chain of Command and the flexibility of headquarters staff personnel has been key to their success.

They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we don’t know where they have put Him (John 20:2).

Today is a day  He has blessed us with, it should be a day of joyous celebration for we Christians.  Why is it we celebrate with such intensity? We should celebrate Easter every day, God has done a great work raising Jesus.

Everyone knows, of course that God has raised Jesus from the dead. It is an historic happening. It is an event that has made all the difference for us ever since it happened. It is, among other things, the sign as well as the means by which God communicates to us the Resurrection Power of His Love. It is our assurance that God is always acting to bring New Life:

That out of our brokenness He brings wholeness; that out of despair He brings hope; that out of  our death He brings New Life. We are still in Easter Sunday. God is always acting. And once you and I get a firm grasp of that reality, deep down at the center of our being, our life will never again be the same.

Praise God the tomb is empty.

PMC Chaplain Kaminski Robinson may be reached at 606-218-3969 or via e-mail at kaminski.robinson@pikevillehospital.org.

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. — A popular riding club event is back by popular demand in Williamson, W.Va.

The fourth annual Rally in the Valley will be held May 1-3, featuring a weekend full of live music from the Jaguars, Sheldon Vance, One in the Chamber, Chad Hall, Victim Eyes, Southern Wind, Plain Jane, Meet Me in the Matinee, Under Surveillance and the Coal Fire Band. Vendors, bike games, contests and activities will also be held.

Hosted by the Williamson Convention & Visitor’s Bureau and the Appalachian Brotherhood, a riding club based in Sidney, Kentucky, Rally in the Valley attracts hundreds of people to Williamson every year.

Coordinator Sabrina Davis of the Appalachian Brotherhood said organizers are planning to have more than 2,500 visitors this year.

“We have seen people from all walks of life come to the rally every year and really enjoy, not only the rally, but everything Williamson and Mingo County has to offer,” she said. 

Big Sexy Memorial Ride

Charles Dotson

For the first time, Rally in the Valley will feature the “Big Sexy Memorial Ride.” This event will begin with registration at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 3, and the ride will start at 2 p.m.

This ride — and the entire Rally in the Valley event — is dedicated to Appalachian Brotherhood member Charles Admiral “Chuck” Dotson II, who was also known by the group as “Big Sexy.” Dotson, a Sidney business owner and musician, died at the age of 45 on Nov. 11, 2014, of complications from ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehri’s disease).

Davis said he didn’t know he had ALS, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, until a week or so prior to his death. The disease is often difficult to diagnose.

The Rally in the Valley stage will be named “Big Sexy” this year, and organizers will host the first Big Sexy Memorial Ride in Dotson’s honor on Sunday.

“Chuck has been with us since the start of it,” she said. “This rally is totally in honor of him. He was a sound guy and our sounding board. Whenever we couldn’t figure something out, we’d go and bounce our ideas off him and he’d help us.”

Dotson was active in the riding club’s outreach program, which helps local families in need with financial assistance throughout the year and provides food baskets on holidays and Christmas presents. Proceeds from the memorial ride will benefit this program.

Registration is $10 per bike, and the first 50 people who register will earn a T-shirt. All proceeds benefit the Appalachian Brotherhood’s outreach program.

The memorial ride will end at the stage and participants will enjoy a cookout and music from Southern Wind, the band that Dotson and his family started more than 10 years ago.

Cruise-in, car show

For the first time, event organizers are welcoming car enthusiasts to Rally in the Valley.

An Antique Cars Cruise-in will begin at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 1. It will feature “Dancin’ in the Street” with the Jaguars performing live on stage.

Participants are encouraged to compete for trophies in the Twist Off at 7 p.m. and the 1950s costume contest at 8 p.m. 

The cruise-in is not the only event geared to lure car enthusiasts to Rally in the Valley.

The first Rally in the Valley Car Show will be held on Second Ave. in Williamson on May 2.

The entry fee is $15, and trophies will be awarded for “Best Rat Rod,” “Best in Show,” “Best Import,” “Best Paint” and “Best Manufacturer.” Car owners will also be honored in the “Dash Plagues” category.

Registration will be held from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Trophies will be awarded at 3 p.m.

For details, call Mingo-Pike Car Club member Peanut Bowen at 606-353-1381 or Butch Leedy at 606-237-8308.

Run for the Rally 5K

The second-ever “Run for the Rally 5K” will begin with registration in front of the Coal House on May 2. The race is sanctioned by USA Track & Field.

Pre-registration is $20 per adult (age 15 and older) and $15 per child (age 14 and under). The registration fees increase by $5 on race day.

The first 50 people who register will receive a T-shirt, and medals will be given to the first 50 race finishers.

Davis said 47 people raced in this event last year.

To register, visit the link at http://webscorer.com or call Davis at 304-475-4928 or 304-928-6272.

Devil’s Triangle guided tours

This year, Davis is also coordinating the “Devil’s Triangle” guided tours, giving participants a chance to visit local tourist attraction affiliated with Hatfield family patriarch “Devil Anse” Hatfield and other Hatfield and McCoy feud locations.

There will be three Devil’s Triangle guided tours, beginning at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 2. Anyone who completes all three rides will receive a Devil’s Triangle patch.

Registration is $10 per bike and any rider who brings a gallon-sized sandwich bag full of pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House will earn a free ride. Riders who bring three bags of pop tabs may take all three tours at no cost and earn the patch.

Sycamore Inn in Williamson offers a special rate to Rally in the Valley patrons, offering rooms at only $59. For more information, call the hotel at 800-446-6865

Miss Rally in the Valley

Four the fourth time, Rally in the Valley will also host a beauty pageant on May 2.

The event is only open to single women who are at least 18 years old. The contest is free to enter, and contestants are required to get Rally in the Valley attendees to vote for them.

The winner will be announced at 5 p.m.

The prize is $250 and a crown presented by Citizens for Coal W.Va. Diamond Queens.

Rally in the Valley sponsors include Riders Insurance, Hatfield McCoy Powersports of Belfry, Sycamore Inn, AEP, Mingo Bottling, Citizens for Coal, Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce and W.Va. Diamond Queens.

For more information about Rally in the Valley, visit the event Facebook page or call Davis at 304-475-4928 or 304-928-6272.

The winding roads and natural scenery in Kentucky make it an attractive place for people who love the freedom of riding on the open road.

And there are plenty of riding clubs organizing rides throughout eastern Kentucky this year.

The Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism recognizes this fact, publishing an online guide, “Bikers Find Back Roads Lead to Unspoiled Kentucky.”

Author Bob Amos reported that Kentucky’s “unspoiled back roads, begging for exploration, beckon to motorcycle riders,” and many of those back roads are located in eastern Kentucky.

Rider groups throughout the state organize a “slew of tours, poker runs and charity rides,” Adams reported.

Most of these groups aren’t just riding to be riding. They are riding away from the stereotypical “biker” image by reaching out and helping local residents in need, supporting charities and promoting local restaurants and businesses they pass along with way.

Here’s just a few highlights of what’s in store for bikers this year.

Ride for Special Olympics

Cryptic Knights #18, the Widows Sons Masonic Riders will host a motorcycle ride on May 2 to raise funds for the Johnson County Special Olympics Team.

Registration begins at 10 a.m. at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park lodge and the ride begins at 11 a.m.

The ride will end at the park’s spillway recreation area, where participants will get to meet Johnson County Special Olympics Team members.

The ride will be postponed until May 16 if inclement weather arises.

For details, call Jim Hall at 606-213-1395 or Gary Compton at 606-205-4709.

Whitesburg Bike Nite

Whitesburg Bike Nite 2015 began April 11 and will continue to be held on the second Saturday of each month through Oct. 10 in downtown Whitesburg.

Upcoming events are set to be held May 9, June 13, July 11, Aug. 8, Sept. 12 and Oct. 10.

The event begins will a benefit ride that starts at approximately noon each second Saturday. Whitesburg Bike Nite participants will be honoring veterans in May, raising awareness about autism in August, raising awareness about cancer in October and raising donations for Shriners, the Letcher County Homeless Shelter and foster children during other monthly events.

Bike Nite continues throughout the evening with live music, activities for kids and families and contest from approximately 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Admission is free and there is no age limit to attend.

For details, email whitesburgbikenite@yahoo.com or visit the group’s Facebook page.

Tug River Riders

Based in Lenore, W.Va., the Tug River Riders RC, a group of local residents who love riding motorcycles, is devoted to helping local families in need.

This club hosts numerous events throughout the year, and most of them raise funds to help local residents. The club hosted its second Penny DeRiso Memorial Ride in March and a ride to raise awareness about autism on April 18.

For details about upcoming events, visit the group’s Facebook page.

Seventh Sons hosts rides

The Seventh Sons rider group based in Letcher County hosts numerous rides to raise funds and awareness for various causes throughout the year.

The group recently hosted an autism awareness ride.

For details about upcoming events, call 606-855-9049.

Brothers of the Wheel

Part of a nationally-chartered club, the Brothers of the Wheel Motorcycle Club hosts numerous events throughout the year to help children and families.

The first Brothers of the Wheel chapter found founded in 1977 in Milton, W.Va., and the club has expanded to areas of West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and other areas.

For details about local chapters and upcoming events, visit http://brothersofthewheelmc.com.

‘It’s What We Do’

The ‘It’s What We Do’ group is a riding club dedicated to helping local charities. It was previously known as Southern Discomfort.

This club actively seeks to help support and/or promote charities and nonprofit organizations that hope to raise funds for various causes through bike rides, races, ATV races, rides and mudding events.

For details, visit the group’s Facebook page.

Carl “King” Addington

Letcher County resident Carl “King” Addington gathers his riding friends together several times a year to host benefit rides for local families, charities and individuals.

This September, he is expected to host his 18th Annual King’s Love Ride fundraiser for the Pikeville Medical Leonard Lawson Cancer Center. It’s held in honor of Addington’s wife, Arminnie, who died of cancer at the age of 42 in 1995.

For details about other rides he coordinates, visit his Facebook profile.

Sturgis Kentucky Bike Rally

Thousands of riders flock to South Dakota every August for Sturgis Bike Week, and a Kentucky community anchored with that name is also reeling in those who love to ride.

The Sturgis Kentucky Bike Rally will be held July 16-19 in Sturgis, located in Union County approximately 370 miles from Pikeville.

It features live music, an indoor motorcycle show, games, contests and other activities.

For details, visit http://kentuckybikerally.com.

Medical Leader | Photo courtesy of HIGHWAY DISTRICT 12
BYPASS PROJECT:  This picture was taken during a stabilization project on U.S. 119 in Sidney in 2002. This technique will be used on Bypass Rd.

PIKEVILLE — The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet started construction on a long-term fix for the rockfall problem on Bypass Road in Pikeville on April 20.

The rock slope stabilization project involves building a soil nail wall along KY 1460 from Chloe Road to just past the Ferguson Creek traffic signals. This construction technique was used once before in District 12, on a section of US 119 near Sidney, so local engineers are familiar with the process and can vouch for its effectiveness.

In addition to providing long-term rock slope stabilization, a soil nail wall also means no negative impact on Dils Cemetery, which lies above the area on the Chloe end of the project, and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Mary Westfall-Holbrook, Chief District Engineer, explained the project parameters. “The most recent rockfall was near Chloe,” she said, “but just a few years ago there was a significant fall at the Don Combs Bridge traffic signals. We were able to secure funding to fix the entire section from Chloe to Ferguson Creek.”

The contractor, GeoStabilization International of Grand Junction, Colorado, has 200 working days to complete the $3.6 million project.

“We will finish the work in sections,” said Paxton Weddington, Section Engineer for Highway District 12, “and open each section to traffic as it is finished. The contractor will start at Chloe Road and work down to Reynolds Market. That’s the first section. When that is finished, it will be opened to traffic and the work will move to the section from Reynolds Market to Don Combs Bridge. The final section will be from Don Combs Bridge to Ferguson Creek, just beyond the traffic signal at the intersection of KY 1460 and KY 1426.”

Weddington said that businesses in the area can remain open during construction. When the first section is finished, access to the businesses will change. Instead of going past Don Combs Bridge to get to Pikeville Medical Equipment or Dorsie’s, for example, access will be from the Chloe Road side.

“We are anxious to get this work finished,” Weddington said. “Our first priority is the safety of people driving and walking along this roadway. We ask people to please be observant of the work zone signs and to stay out of the area when there are people working and heavy equipment moving in and out. Runners and walkers may want to map another route for the time being.”

PIKEVILLE — There’s still time for local residents purchase tickets to see an internationally-known archaeologist who will be visiting Pikeville next week.

The University of Pikeville Alumni Association is hosting presentations by archaeologists Dr. Gabriel Barkay and Zachi Divra, who are overseeing the Temple Mount Sifting Project, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 30 in the Booth Auditorium and 5:30 p.m. on Friday, May 1, in the Crisman Auditorium.

The archaeologists are leading a team of volunteers who have uncovered hundreds of thousands of relics from the Temple Mount — the site of the first and second Jewish temples. Known as one of Jerusalem’s holiest sites, the Temple Mount is mentioned 20 times in the New Testament and was the focus of Jesus Christ’s activities in Jerusalem. It is the site of Solomon’s Temple and another temple that was renovated by Herod the Great. The Shrine of the Dome of the Rock was built there in 691 CE.

Dr. Barkay is traveling to Pikeville at the request of University of Pikeville Alumni Association President Tommy Chamberlin, who volunteered at the Temple Mount Sifting Project when he and other eastern Kentucky residents toured Israel last year.

Chamberlain reported last week that 240 tickets had been sold for the presentation at UPIKE, and several church groups have expressed interest in purchasing additional tickets. The Booth Auditorium has more than 600 seats, but he does not know how many seats will be available on the day of the presentations.

“We’re getting a very good response about this. People are really excited,” he said. “We would encourage anyone who wants to attend to go ahead and get their tickets now. I don’t know how many tickets will be available at the door.”

Tickets are only $10 for each presentation, and anyone who purchases tickets on Thursday will get free admission to the presentation on Friday, which covers a different archaeological topic. People who purchase tickets also have an opportunity to purchase a Dr. Barkay’s book about the Temple Mount Sifting Project for an additional $20 and have it autographed at the presentations. Doors will open at 6:15 p.m. on Thursday for those who would like to pick up their books early and have them autographed.

“There are limited quantities of this book available,” Chamberlain said. “This book is not available in the states. They gave the university the permission to republish it through an independent publisher and we will have limited quantities available.”

All proceeds from the sale of tickets and the sale of the book will go directly to the Temple Mount Sifting Project.

Dr. Barkay is credited with discovering the Silver Scrolls, which date back to 600 B.C. and are thought to be the oldest surviving texts from the Old Testament. He and Divra received a license from the Israel Antiquities Authority to investigate the Temple Mount Sifting Project site.

To date, the project has uncovered items from the First Temple Period (1,000 to 586 BCE), the Second Temple Period (516 BCE to 70 CE), the Late Roman Period (70 to 324 CE), the Byzantine Period (324 to 638 CE), the Early Islamic Period (638-1099 CE), the Crusader Period (1099 to 1187 CE) and the Last Millennium (1187 CE to present day).

Pottery fragments, glass vessel pieces, metal objects, bones and worked stones have been uncovered. The project has also unveiled thousands of ancient coins, jewelry, beads, terra-cotta figurines, arrowheads, furniture decorations, ornaments and other items.

One of the more significant finds was the discovery of a 7th century BCE sealing covered in ancient Hebrew writing that depicts the name “Immer.” The Immer family, a well-known family of priests, is mentioned in the books of Jeremiah and the Chronicles in the Bible. It is the first ancient Hebrew inscription found at the Temple Mount.

Chamberlain encourages all local residents to attend the presentations.

“This is a great opportunity for local residents to see a world renowned archaeologist and learn about the holy Temple Mount,” he said. “Dr. Barkay is known throughout the world for his work. People like this do not come to eastern Kentucky.”

Donations may be mailed to University of Pikeville, Office of Advancement, 147 Sycamore St., Pikeville, Kentucky 41501-1194. Checks should be made payable to the University of Pikeville with “Temple Mount Sifting Project” in the memo line.

For details or tickets, call 606-218-5296.

PIKEVILLE — There’s a new car show in town.

Dana residents Rose and Neil Lester started a new car club, Appalachian Street Rods, about four months ago.

The couple has helped organize Muscle on Main events in Pikeville for years.

Rose Lester said the Appalachian Street Rods is planning numerous events this year. They hope to raise funds to host a “blowout” celebration for underprivileged and special needs children later this year.

“We’re just looking at going all out with this event,” she said. “We want to offer these kids free food, entertainment, access to all the activities at the park and a lot of other fun things.”

The group’s first car show will be held at Giovanni’s Buffet and Game Center in Pikeville on Saturday, April 25, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Several prizes and trophies will be awarded. Registration is $20 and it includes one free sub and a drink at the restaurant.

This 32-member group meets on the first Thursday of every month at Giovanni’s Buffet and Game Center, Pikeville. The members-only meeting begins at 6 p.m., but people interested in becoming a member are welcome to attend at 5:15 p.m.

For details, email appalachianstreetrods@yahoo.com, visit the group’s Facebook page or call 606-226-5616.