FAIRVIEW — Pikeville saw a late lead against Fairview slip away as the Lady Panthers fell 8-5 in the regular season finale played on May 16.

Alexis Stanley had two hits and Emily Hughes added one hit and drove in one run as Pikeville dropped to 16-16 heading into district play.

Erika Conn took the loss.

At Fairview

SCORE BY INNINGS:                               R-H-E

PHS (16-16)…........................110  001  2 – 5-8-1

FV (14-15)……......................004  004  x – 8-7-1


WP – Sarah Dunn

LP – Erika Conn

Hitting: Alexis Stanley 2h; Emily Hughes, 1h, 1 RBI, Pikeville.

Sheldon Clark…........................6


GOODY — Sheldon Clark pushed across four runs in the top of the third inning and went on to knock off Belfry, 6-3, in a game played at Massey Energy Field on May 16.

The Lady Pirates, who finished up the regular season 19-13, managed just six hits, including an inside-the-park home run off the bat of Alix Young. Kendra Gannon tripled and scored while Hannah Bailey singled and drove in one run. Alex Smith scored.

Candice Gilman took the loss.

At Goody

SCORE BY INNINGS:                              R-H-E

SC (11-15)…...........................004  100  1 – 6-9-5

BHS (19-13)............................100  110  0 – 3-6-2


WP – Carla Mullins

LP – Candice Gilman

Hitting: Alix Young IP-HR; Kendra Gannon 3b, 1r; Hannah Bailey 1b, 1 RBI; Alex Smith 1r, Belfry.

Central, Va…….........................9


GOODY — Central (Va.) hurler Kailtyn Stratton allowed only three hits as Belfry fell 9-0 in a game played at Massey Energy Park on May 16.

Kenna Maynard, Alix Young and Kyra Stafford each singled as the Lady Pirates fell to 19-12.

Kendra Gannon suffered the loss.

At Goody

SCORE BY INNINGS:                              R-H-E

CHS (7-8)…...........................004  010  4 – 9-7-2

BHS (19-12)............................000  000  0 – 0-3-4


WP – Kaitlyn Stratton

LP –Kendra Gannon

Hitting: Kenna Maynard, 1b; Alix Young 1b; Kyra Stafford 1b, Belfry.


Betsy Layne…...........................7


STANVILLE — Betsy Layne capped off its most successful regular season in school history with a 7-4 win over Buckhorn in a game played on May 15.

With the win, the Lady Bobcats finished 15-10.

Megan Newsome tripled and drove home two runs while Chloe Johnson doubled and batted in one. Alex Sisco doubled and scored. Summer Johnson and Emily Kidd both singled and knocked home one run each.

Brandy Morrow was the winning pitcher.

At Stanville

SCORE BY INNINGS:                                        R

BK (3-18)…...................................000  040  0 – 4

BL (15-10)….................................202  102   x – 7


WP – Brandy Morrow

Hitting: Megan Newsome 3b, 2 RBIs; Chloe Johnson 2b, 1 RBI; Alex Sisco 2b, 1r, Summer Johnson 1b, 1 RBI; Emily Kidd 1b, 1 RBI, Betsy Layne.

Harlan County…......................11

Letcher Central…......................0

ERMINE — Letcher Central managed just five hits as the Lady Cougars fell 11-0 to Harlan County in the regular season finale played on May 15.

Emily Johnson had one hit and walked as Makaley Johnson took the loss.

LCC finished 18-8.

At Ermine

SCORE BY INNINGS:                               R-H-E

HC (26-6)…...........................010  334 – 11-15-1

LCC (18-8)….........................000  000 –   0-  5-2


WP – Destinee Jenkins

LP – Makaley Johnson

Hitting: Emily Johnson 1h, 1-bb, Letcher Central.


Pike Central.............................1

PIKEVILLE — Pikeville used a seven-run, third inning to pull away and beat Pike County Central, 12-1, in a game played at Myers Field on May 15.

Catie Rowe had two hits, scored one run and drove in three as the Lady Panthers improved to 16-15.

Cassidy Lowe had a pair of doubles, scored twice and batted in one run while Kenzi Hale collected two hits, scored two runs and nocked home two.

Mollie Huffman had two hits and drove in the lone PCC run as the Hawks fell to 20-14. Kaylee Vance scored.

Megan Cochran was the winning pitcher while Haley Howell took the loss.

At Pikeville

SCORE BY INNINGS:                               R-H-E

PCC (20-14)..............................000  01 -   1-  5-3

PHS (16-15)..............................017  22 - 12-13-2


WP - Meagan Cochran

LP - Haley Howell

Hitting: Molli Huffman 2-1b, 1 RBI; Kaylee Vance 1 RBI, Pike Central; Cassidy Lowe 2-2b, 2r, 1 RBI; Catie Rowe 2-1b, 1r, 3 RBIs; Kenzi Hale 2-1b, 2r, 2 RBIs; Camryn Slone 1b, 3r; Olivia Whitfield 1b, 2r, 1 RBI, Tori Gayheart 1b, 1r, 1 RBI, Pikeville.


Betsy Layne...........................…5

PIKEVILLE — Pikeville erased an early one-run deficit and the Lady Panthers rolled to a 12-5 win over Betsy Layne in a game played at Myers Field on May 14.

Emily Kidd had three hits for the Lady Bobcats (14-10), including a home run and double. She scored twice while losing pitcher Brandy Morrow had two hits, scored and knocked home one run. Chloe Johnson and Mercedes Martin each added a pair of singles and one RBI apiece.

Savanna Nunemaker had three hits, including a triple, and scored twice as Pikeville improved to 15-15. Erika Conn doubled, singled, scored twice and knocked home three runs while Emily Hughes singled, scored and batted in four. 

Catie Rowe doubled, singled, scored two runs and knocked home one while Cassidy Lowe doubled, scored and collected an RBI.

Meagan Cochran was the winning pitcher while Brandy Morrow took the loss.

At Pikeville

SCORE BY INNINGS:                               R-H-E

BL (14-10)….......................040  000  1 –   5-12-7

PHS (15-15)........................128  010  x – 12-12-2


WP – Meagan Cochran

LP – Brandy Morrow

Hitting: Emily Kidd HR, 2b, 1b, 2r, 1 RBI; Brand Morrow 2-1b, 1r, 1 RBI; Chloe Johnson 2-1b, 1 RBI; Mercedes Martin 2-1b, 1 RBI, Betsy Layne; Savanna Nunemaker 3b, 2-1b, 2r; Erika Conn 2b, 1b, 2r, 3 RBIs; Emily Hughes 1b, 1r, 4 RBIs; Catie Rowe 2b, 1b, 2r, 1 RBI Cassidy Lowe 2b, 1r, 1 RBI, Pikeville.


Prestonsburg…....................3-  6

PRESTONSBURG — Phelps took a doubleheader from Prestonsburg, rolling to a 22-6 win in the nightcap after taking the opener 6-3 in games played at StoneCrest Field on May 14.

Hannah Layne had three hits in game two, including  double and scored three runs while Carli Dotson added two hits and scored three times. McKenzie Bentley and Lakyn Dotson both had a pair of hits and scored three times.

Sierra Sincell singled and scored three runs to back the pitching of winner Hannah Layne.

Jana Jarvis tripled and scored while Elizabeth Prater tripled, doubled and added a pair of runs as the Lady Blackcats fell to 2-17.

Phelps is now 11-12.

In the opener, Lauren Briggs and Carli Dotson each singled and scored and Hannah Blankenship added two runs.

Bekka Turner was the winning pitcher.

At Prestonsburg

(Game 2)

SCORE BY INNINGS:                                        R

PHS (11-12)..................................….194  18 – 22

PB (2-17)…...................................….105  00 –   6


WP – Hannah Layne

Hitting: Hannah Layne 2b, 2-1b, 3r; Carli Dotson 2-1b, 3r; McKenzie Bentley 2-1b, 3r; Lakyn Dotson 2-1b, 3r; Sierra Sincell 1b, 3r, Phelps; Jana Jarvis 3b, 1r; Elizabeth Prater 3b, 2b, 2r, Prestonsburg.

At Prestonsburg

(Game 1)

SCORE BY INNINGS:                                        R

PHS (10-12)….....................................014  10 – 6

PB (2-16)……......................................003  00 – 3


WP – Bekka Turner

Hitting: Lauren Briggs 1b, 1r; Carli Dotson 1b, 1r; Hannah Blankenship 2r, Phelps.

East Ridge….............................5

Haysi, Va……............................4

LICK CREEK —  East Ridge’s Britney Elswick had three doubles and drove home two runs to lead the Lady Warriors to a come-from-behind 5-4 win over Hurley (Va.) in a game played at the Reservation on May 13.

Kailee Slone scored one run and drove home two other runs while Alli Slone singled and scored.

Hannah Coleman was the winning pitcher as East Ridge improved to 13-13.

At Lick Creek

SCORE BY INNINGS:                               R-H-E

HHS (8-9)..........................….000  400  0 – 4-4-3

ER (13-13)..........................…300  000  2 – 5-9-3


WP – Hannah Coleman

LP – Jessica Deel

Hitting: Britney Elswick 3-2b, 1r, 2 RBIs; Kailee Slone 1r, 2 RBIs; Alli Slone 1b, 1r, East Ridge.

East Ridge….............................6

Grundy, Va….............................3

LICK CREEK — East Ridge’s Mia Irick scored once and drove home a pair of runs to help the Lady Warriors to a 6-3 win over Grundy (Va.) in a game played at the Reservation on May 13.

Britney Tackett and Cianna Stewart both singled and scored while Paige Potter singled, scored and knocked home one run.

Hannah Coleman was the winning pitcher as East Ridge improved to 12-13.

At Lick Creek

SCORE BY INNINGS:                               R-H-E

GHS (4-11)….........................000  020  1 – 3-8-3

ER (12-13)…...........................021 002  x – 6-7-1


WP – Hannah Coleman

Hitting: Paige Potter 1b, 1r, 1 RBI; Britney Tackett 1b, 1r; Cianna Stewart 1b, 1r; Mia Irick 1r, 2 RBIs, East Ridge.

Magoffin County…....................8


GOODY — Magoffin County’s Jazzy Howard had three hits and drove home three runs to power the Lady Hornets to an 8-0 win over Belfry in a game played at Massey Energy Field on May 12.

Leslie Howard added one hit and knocked home two runs to back the solid pitching of winner Laylee Burchell.

Belfry’s Kendra Gannon took the loss as the Lady Pirates fell to 19-11.

At Goody

SCORE BY INNINGS:                               R-H-E

MC (11-11)….........................004  004  0 – 8-8-0

BHS (19-11)…........................000  000  0 – 0-2-0


WP – Laylee Burchell

LP – Kendra Gannon

Hitting: Jazzy Howard 3h, 1r, 3 RBIs; Leslie Howard 1h, 2 RBIs, Magoffin County.



JENKINS — Jenkins erased a one-run deficit by scoring three times in the bottom of the sixth inning to beat Hazard, 4-2, in a game played on May 12.

Whitney Creech and Rachel Spangler each doubled to back the solid pitching of winner Caitlynn Estevez.

At Jenkins

SCORE BY INNINGS:                                        R

HZ (14-14)…................................100  001  0 – 2

JHS (22-5)…..................................000  013  x – 4


WP – Caitlynn Estevez

LP – Chandler Maggard

Hitting: Whitney Creech 2b; Rachel Spangler 2b, Jenkins.

Betsy Layne…...........................9

Knott Central….........................5

STANVILLE — Betsy Layne built a six-run lead and held on to beat Knott County Central, 9-5, in a game played on May 12.

Eddi Akers and Mercedes Martin both doubled while Emily Kidd added a pair of singles as the Lady Bobcats improved to 14-9.

Summer Johnson doubled and singled to help support winning pitcher Brandy Morrow.

At Stanville

SCORE BY INNINGS:                                        R

KCC (13-17)…..............................100  040  0 – 5

BL (14-9)……................................040  032  x – 9


WP – Brandy Morrow

Hitting: Eddi Akers 2b; Mercedes Martin 2b; Emily Kidd 2-1b; Summer Johnson 2b, 1b, Betsy Layne.

Letcher Central......................…6

Pike Central…….......................5

ERMINE — Letcher Central scored twice in the bottom of the seventh inning to rally past Pike County Central, 6-5, in a game played on May 12.

Taylor Sowards had three hits and losing pitching Beth Reed added two as the Lady Hawks fell to 18-13.

Keylee Coleman added an RBI.


Belfry bounces PCC; Lady Hawks top Lady Pirates

Medical LeaderPhoto by TEDDY PAYNTER

DISTRICT TOURNAMENT ACTION: Belfry baserunner Jacob Francisco hurries back to first base as Pike County Central’s Mac Justice waits on the ball to arrive from pitcher Charlie Coakley during the 60th District Tournament game played at PCC Field on May 19. The Pirates advanced and eliminated the Hawks with a 7-1 victory.


Staff Writer

BUCKLEYS CREEK – Belfry is going back to the 15th Region Tournament next week.

The Pirates pounded out 11 hits to back the solid pitching of starter and winner Keaton Taylor in a 7-1 win over Pike County Central in the 60th District Tournament opener played at PCC Field on May 19.

The game was suspended from Monday night until Tuesday following heavy rains.

Jacob Francisco had three hits, scored twice and drove home one run as the Pirates improved to 13-11.

Taylor added two hits and scored twice while Garrett Fannin blasted a two-run homer over the leftfield fence in the sixth. Jordan Scott added an RBI single.

Pike Central’s Aaron Scott doubled and scored the Hawks lone run in the third.

Charlie Coakley took the loss as PCC finished its season 18-12.

At Buckleys Creek

(60th District Tournament)

SCORE BY INNINGS:                                R-H-E

BHS (13-11)...........................101  003  2 - 7-11-0

PCC (18-12)...........................001  000  0 - 1-  5-4


WP - Keaton Taylor

LP - Charlie Coakley

Hitting: Jacob Francisco 3-1b, 2r, 1 RBI; Keaton Taylor 2-1b, 2r; Garrett Fannin 2r-HR; Jordan Scott 1b, 1 RBI, Belfry; Aaron Scott 2b, 1r, Pike Central.

58th District Tournament

Allen Central…….....................11

Betsy Layne………......................1

DRIFT — Allen Central erupted for seven innings in the bottom of the sixth inning to finish off Betsy Layne and advance with an 11-1 win in the 58th District Tournament opener played at Johnny Turner Field on May 19.

Dustin Johnson was the big stick with two hits, including a double and four runs batted in. He scored a run. Cameron Blevins singled, scored three times and drove in one run while Brett Samons added a pair of singles and scored once.

Dillon Lawson added a base hit and scored twice to support the pitching of winner Steve Howard as the Rebels improved to 20-12.

McKenzie Akers had a pair of hits for the Bobcats, who finished up 6-15. Peyton Case took the loss.

At Drift

(58th District Tournament)

SCORE BY INNINGS:                                R-H-E

BL (6-15)…….............................100  00 –   1-3-3

AC (20-12)…..............................112  07 – 11-7-2


WP – Steve Howard

LP – Peyton Case

Hitting: McKenzie Akers 2-1b, Betsy Layne; Dustin Johnson 2b, 1b, 1r, 4 RBIs; Cameron Blevins 1b, 3r, 1 RBI; Brett Samons 2-1b, 1r; Dillon Lawson 1b, 2r, Allen Central.

60th District Tournament

Pike Central……......................10


BUCKLEYS CREEK — Pike County Central managed just two hits but the Lady Hawks built a five-run lead and went on to eliminate Belfry, 10-4, in the opening round of the 60th District Tournament played on May 19.

Winning pitcher Haley Howell finished with 10 strikeouts and scattered six hits as the Lady Hawks improved to 21-14.

Taylor Sowards singled, scored twice and drove home two runs while Hailey Lester singled and scored. Beth Reed had a pair of RBIs. Kaylee Vance scored twice and knocked in one run.

Alex Smith doubled and drove in two runs for the Lady Pirates, who finished up 19-14. Taylor Maynard added a pair of hits and had an RBI while Hannah Bailey and losing pitcher Kendra Gannon both singled and scored.

At Buckleys Creek

(60th District Tournament)

SCORE BY INNINGS:                               R-H-E

PCC (21-14)……..................100  411  3 – 10-2-3

BHS (19-14)……...................000  300  1 –   4-6-4


WP – Haley Howell

LP – Kendra Gannon

Hitting: Taylor Sowards 1b, 2r, 2 RBIs; Hailey Lester 1b, 1r; Elizabeth Reed 2 RBIs; Kaylee Vance 2r, 1 RBI, Pike Central; Alex Smith 2b, 2 RBIs; Taylor Maynard 2-1b, 1 RBI; Hannah Bailey 1b, 1r; Kendra Gannon 1b, 1r, Belfry.

59th District Tournament


Shelby Valley…….......................0

PIKEVILLE — Pikeville freshman pitcher Kevin Justice tossed a no-hitter against Shelby Valley as the Panthers advanced to the championship game with a 10-0 win in the 59th District Tournament opener played at Davis Park on May 18.

Justice struck out five and allowed only a pair of walks as Pikeville improved to 23-12. Shelby Valley’s season ends at 8-19. The loss snapped a six-game winning streak to end the regular season.

Peyton Hamilton had two hits, including a triple, scored a run and batted in one while Michael McDonald added two hits, including a triple, scored two runs and knocked home another.

Andrew McNamee doubled and scored twice and Cade Byers doubled, singled, scored and drove home one run. Clay Slone had one hit, scored and batted in a pair. Connor Risner had a pair of RBIs and scored.

Jacob Beverly took the loss.

At Pikeville

(59th District Tournament)

SCORE BY INNINGS:                                R-H-E

SV (8-19)…..................................000  00 –  0-0-3

PHS (23-12).................................051  4x – 10-8-0


WP – Kevin Justice

LP – Jacob Beverly

Hitting: Michael McDonald 3b, 1b, 2r, 1 RBI; Peyton Hamilton 3b, 1b, 1r, 1 RBI; Cade Byers 2b, 1b, 1r, 1 RBI; Andrew McNamee 2b, 2r; Clay Slone 1b, 1r, 2 RBIs; Connor Risner 1r, 2 RBIs, Pikeville.

60th District Tournament

Lawrence County.....................16


BUCKLEYS CREEK — Lawrence County pounded out 10 hits and starting pitcher Eric Salyers limited Phelps to just two as the Bulldogs eliminated the Hornets, 16-1, in the 60th District Tournament opener played at PCC Field on May 18.

Josh Cantrell had three hits and drove in two runs to help LC reach the finals against the winner between Belfry and Pike County Central. Zach Keesee added two hits while Brock Turner and Peyton Cyrus knocked home two runs apiece.

Phelps’ only hits came off the bats of losing pitcher Dylan New and Kyle Sneed.

Lawrence County improved to 19-15 and punched its ticket to the 15th Region Tournament while the Hornets finished up at 6-16.

At Buckleys Creek

(60th District Tournament)

SCORE BY INNINGS:                                R-H-E

PHS (6-16)…........................0      00  10 –  1-  2-1

LC (19-15).......................….2(10)2  2x – 16-10-1


WP – Eric Salyers

LP – Dylan New

Hitting: Josh Cantrell 3h, 2 RBIs; Zach Keesee 2h; Brock Turner 2 RBIs; Peyton Cyrus 2 RBIs, Lawrence County.

53rd District Tournament

Letcher Central…....................18


HINDMAN — Letcher Central erupted for 13 runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to finish off Cordia, 18-0, in the 53rd District Tournament opener played at Knott County Central on May 18.

Jordan Rose had two hits while Logan Gibbs added one hit and drove home a pair of runs. Winning pitcher Andrew Fields knocked in two runs as the Cougars improved to 14-21.

Gregory Kinzer had one hit and Jordan Boggs batted in one run.

At Hindman

(53rd District Tournament)

SCORE BY INNINGS:                                R-H-E

CHS (5-24)….........................000       00 – 0-2-11

LCC (14-21)...........................122  (13)x – 18-7-2


WP – Andrew Fields

LP – Carlos Cruz

Hitting: Jordan Rose 2h; Logan Gibbs 1h, 2 RBIs; Andrew Fields 2 RBIs; Gregory Kinzer 1h; Jordan Boggs, 1 RBI, Letcher Central.

PIKEVILLE — Thousands of people will travel to Pikeville to honor their loved ones at the Annie E. Young Cemetery this weekend.

Thacker Memorial Funeral Home hosts several events for the Memorial Day weekend annually.

For the first time, the observance will include a motorcycle ride to honor those who passed.

“I ride motorcycles and wanted to do this to honor my son, who is deceased, and I have others who want to ride to pay their respects to those they’ve lost,” Thacker Memorial owner Larry Thacker said.

The ride, coordinated by Hillbilly Christmas in July, will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 23, at Annie E. Young Cemetery, and registration will be available prior to that time. Registration is free and T-shirts will be provided to the first 150 people who sign up.

Thacker said the group will ride from the cemetery to Johns Creek, Grapevine and Fishtrap Lake before returning to the cemetery for refreshments, lunch and live music.

At 4 p.m. on Saturday, the Old Regular Baptist Memorial Day service will be held at Shelter 1.

The cemetery’s Memorial Day observance will continue on Monday, May 25,  with a service by Primitive Baptist ministers at 10 a.m. and a salute offered by the Johns Creek Disabled American Veterans Chapter 166 at 11 a.m.

For details, call 606-432-1800.

Medical Leader | Photo by MARY MEADOWS
WELL DONE: U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers commends Gov. Steve Beshear for working with him to initiate Shaping Our Appalachian Region during the annual summit held May 11 in Pikeville. Rep. Rogers, a Republican, and Gov. Beshear, a Democrat, exemplify the bipartisan effort behind SOAR.

PIKEVILLE — Local, state and federal leaders were among 1,300 attendees at the second Shaping Our Appalachian Region Summit, held May 11 in Pikeville.

The day-long summit featured several sessions focused on strategies that could help grow eastern Kentucky’s economy, which has struggled through the loss of more than 7,500 coal mining jobs in the last few years.

SOAR was founded in 2013 by U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers and Gov. Steve Beshear. After the first summit, SOAR established working groups and an executive committee specifically focused on key areas of needs and possibilities in the region and hired Jared Arnett as executive director.

SOAR also issued a report last year, detailing suggestions made by members of those working groups and committees. This week’s summit focused on helping community members and leaders implement plans that have been proposed.

Rep. Rogers called it “planning your work and then working your plan.”

Both he and Gov. Beshear expressed enthusiasm for what SOAR has accomplished and what it plans to accomplish in the years to come.

Gov. Beshear said, “It’s amazing when I look back at the last year and a half — and Congressman Rogers and I were talking about this just a minute ago — and see how far we’ve come and how much has happened. I tell you the thing that’s impressed me more than anything, it’s the commitment of the people of eastern Kentucky in this effort. People are coming out of the woodwork to help.”

He said that collaboration is the key to SOAR’s success.

“We knew from the beginning, that’s the only way that this is going to succeed is if the people of eastern Kentucky take ownership of it, make it their own and go at it because this is not a one-day deal, a one-year deal or a five-year deal. This is a long-term commitment that folks have to make. It’s been exciting to see people step up and get involved,” he said.

Since the first summit, several announcements about projects and programs that are expected to help eastern Kentucky have been announced, including the Promise Zone declaration by the White House, a Strike Force initiative geared to provide federal funding for programs, the Mountain Parkway expansion project and the establishment of the Kentucky Appalachian Regional Development Fund, a program that will be managed by SOAR to spur economic development in eastern Kentucky. 

Beshear and Rogers spoke highly about the possibilities brought forth through another major announcement, a public-private partnership between the state and an Australian company to bring high speed broadband internet to Kentucky.

“This is the biggest public-private partnership this Commonwealth has ever seen,” Beshear said. “It’s going to be $250 to $350 million when it’s all said and done and it will bring high-speed broadband to every part of Kentucky, starting with eastern Kentucky. It’s going to be a transformative event.”

Utilizing that high-speed broadband to build eastern Kentucky’s economy was one of many topics explored during SOAR summit sessions. Panelists with diverse backgrounds shared their expertise about entrepreneurship, health, recruiting industries and tourism.

Rogers described it as the “cross-fertilization of ideas,” noting that there is no one answer that will solve eastern Kentucky’s issues.

“There is not going to be one silver bullet to solve our problems,” he said. “There are going to be a thousand silver bullets, perhaps small ones.” 

Beshear said it will take 15 to 20 years for eastern Kentucky to see the full success of SOAR, although progress will be made with the effort annually. 

“It’s a long haul, but, you know, when we get there, it’s going to be not only beautiful landscape, it’s going to be a beautiful economy,” Beshear said.

Rep. Rogers talked about the importance of a united effort.

“It’s going to take all of us working together. It’s not going to all be fun times. It’s going to be hard work. It’s a lot of brain power. It’s a lot of muscle power. But mainly, it’s the heart and that passion,” he said.

Several speakers said SOAR is getting noticed on the national level. Arnett reported SOAR is becoming a model in other states where leaders are seeking ways to revitalize the economy.

“We have caught the imagination of this country with this effort,” Gov. Beshear said. “We’re the buzz all across Washington…People there see a real effort to take a very rural America that is suffering economically and turn the situation around.”

“Washington knows what’s going on here. This country knows what going on here. They are watching us and they are watching our success go far, and we’ve just got to make sure that we continue to build on that effort,” Gov. Beshear said.

Jay Williams, assistant secretary of commerce for economic development in the U.S. Economic Development Administration, said eastern Kentucky can capitalize on the popularity of SOAR.

“I think there is an opportunity to take advantage and capitalize on the brand you’ve created in SOAR, the ‘buzz’ that was referred to earlier,” he said. “This is an opportunity to reintroduce eastern Kentucky to the rest of the country and places beyond.”

Williams, the former mayor of Youngstown, Ohio, shared a story about how that community rebuilt itself after steel mills closed in the 1970s, causing 10,000 people to become unemployed. He asked local leaders to not make the same mistake Youngstown did in dealing with the problem, explaining that the community waited 25 years for someone else to fix their problems before taking it upon themselves to find ways to revitalize the community in a 2002 meeting similar to the SOAR summit.

Earl F. Gohl, federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission explained that revitalizing eastern Kentucky will help the country as a whole.

“America is not going to reach its potential without including everybody,” he said. “That is really the key to this effort.”

Arnett said the most important thing about SOAR is what it has inspired, the collaboration of people of all walks of life who want to improve eastern Kentucky. He encouraged participants to move forward in that effort.

“It’s about united work and the implementation of those strategies, and it happens at the local level,” Arnett said. “We’re going to provide the strategies and the resources, and the overall vision to get us there.”

The summit ended with numerous business and organizational leaders stepping up to promise their “SOAR Solution.” Their comments followed an announcement earlier in the day by U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, who reported that eastern Kentucky will receive $35.5 million in funding through the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) program. These grants will be distributed to government agencies and community organizations to diversify the economy and retrain the workforce.

Wendy Spencer, CEO for the Corporation for National and Community Service, committed $1.2 million to provide 56 Americorps Vista workers for eastern Kentucky. Jeff Whitehead of the East Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program committed to continue to help people find jobs in eastern Kentucky. Kathy Allen, director of the Floyd County Chamber of Commerce, committed to create a database of available properties in the county that could be expanded into other communities. Letcher County Economic Development Director and tourism director Joe Depriest committed to create an economic development team to represent eastern Kentucky.

“This is part of the big picture, the big solution, for eastern Kentucky,” he said. “You know, I have a dream for eastern Kentucky and that dream is that families that live in eastern Kentucky or want to move to eastern Kentucky will have good paying jobs to support the family. And I know you all have the same dream.”

Numerous other federal, state and local leaders also spoke and led sessions at the summit, which was sponsored, in part, by Pikeville Medical Center.

Last week, PMC pledged $300,000 for SOAR, and PMC administrators will participate in the corporate partner roundtable, a group that will meet regularly and advise SOAR’s executive committee, and the SOAR action committee for health and wellness.

For details, visit http://soar-ky.org.

Precincts will be open on Tuesday, May 19, for the Primary Election.

Democrats and Republicans are coming to polls to qualify candidates for several state offices.

The Republican ticket features a crowded race for Governor and opposing candidates seeking to be elected as state treasurer, attorney general and commissioner of agriculture. The Republican ticket for secretary of state and state auditor has no opposition in the Primary.

The Democratic ticket features two candidates for governor, a crowded state treasurer’s race and opposition in the secretary of state’s race. The Democratic ticket has no opposition in the races for attorney general, state auditor and commissioner of agriculture.

Two local judges are also seeking votes in a nonpartisan Supreme Court Justice race.

Below is a complete list of all candidates on the ballots.

Governor/Lieutenant Governor:

In the Democratic primary, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway is seeking office of Governor with running mate Sannie Overly. He faces retired Lexington engineer Geoff Young, who is running with Johnathan Masters in the race.

The Republican ticket is quite full in the Primary race for governor. Candidates include Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, running alongside Chris McDaniel of Taylor Mill; Matt Bevin of Louisville running with Jenean Hampton of Bowling Green; Metro Councilman Hal Heiner running with KC Crosbie of Lexington; and Pikeville resident Will T. Scott, who resigned from his Supreme Court Justice seat to seek the office, running alongside Rodney Coffey of Pikeville.

Attorney General:

Andy Beshear, the son of Gov. Steve Beshear, is the only Democrat seeking the attorney general’s seat. He will face off with the Republican winner of the Primary in the fall.

Republicans Whitney Westerfield of Hopkinsville and Michael T. Hogan of Louisa face each other in the Primary.

State Treasurer:

The most heavily crowded election will be for State Treasurer — there are five Democrats, including two current state representatives and one former representative, and three Republicans, including one current state representative, that are running for the office.

Democratic candidates include Neville Blakemore of Louisville, Jim Glenn of Owensboro, Daniel B. Grossberg of Louisville, Richard Henderson of Mt. Sterling and Rick Nelson of Mt. Sterling.

Republican candidates include Allison Ball of Prestonsburg, Kenneth Churchill Imes of Louisville and Jon Larson of Lexington.

Secretary of State:

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes will face Charles Lovett in the Primary election.

The winner of the race will face Republican Stephen L. Knipper of Independence in the fall.

State Auditor:

State Auditor Adam Edelen is seeking re-election, and has no primary opponent. He will face state representative Mike Harmon in the November general election.

Commissioner of Agriculture:

Only one Democrat entered the race for Commissioner of Agriculture, Jean-Marie Lawson Spann. However, two republican state representatives will face off in May, Ryan Quarles and Richard Heath.

Justice of the Supreme Court:

Two local residents are seeking election to the 7th Justice of Supreme Court seat in the Primary. Court of Appeals Judge Janet Stumbo faces Letcher County Judge Sam Wright in the Primary.

Medical Leader | SUBMITTED PHOTO
HONORED FOR COMMUNITY SERVICE: Pikeville-based East Kentucky Broadcasting earned the Floyd County Chamber of Commerce’s Community Service Award for its commitment to the community.

Medical Leader | Photo courtesy of RIVERVIEW
IN HONOR: Riverview Health Care Administrator Missy Allen poses with Floyd County Judge-Executive Ben Hale following a National Day of Prayer service held at the facility on May 7, the same day Riverview was honored as the Business of the Year by the Floyd County Chamber of Commerce. Other people honored during the ceremony are pictured below.

PRESTONSBURG — The Floyd County Chamber of Commerce honored several local businesses, individuals and organizations during its annual awards banquet and installation ceremony on May 7 at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park.

Riverview Health Care earned the Business of the Year honor, in recognition of the growth of the business, its appearance, service to the county and participation in the Chamber. The 121-bed nursing facility started utilizing the “Eden Alternative Model” three years ago and has since changed the facility to make clients feel more “at home.” Changes include creating “neighborhoods” inside the facility and opening Mugg-z-Café for the community and elders, its own post office and the Fred Harris Memorial Library. Riverview also offers free wi-fi and is teaching elders how to use social media. 

Kathy Stumbo, president of St. Joseph Martin Hospital, earned the Business Person of the Year Award for her civic leadership, involvement in the Chamber, the respect she earned from her peers and service to the county. Stumbo was recently elected to serve on the Kentucky Hospital Association Board and Shaping Our Appalachian Region’s Corporate Partner Committee.

Floyd County Board of Education Chairman Jeff Stumbo presented the Community Service Award to East Kentucky Broadcasting for its community service contributions that impacted the lives of Floyd County residents. Stumbo emphasized the development of EKB TV this year and the station’s efforts to keep people informed during flooding that threatened the region in March.

“Many broadcasters worked 24- and 36-hour shifts in order to bring listeners and viewers the latest information,” he said.

Kindra Horne Baker earned the Chamber Excellence Award for her “outstanding support and contribution” to the Chamber. Baker, the Chamber’s Board Treasurer, owns Daffodils Boutique and participates on several Chamber committees. She earned the Chamber’s Business Person of the Year Award last year. 

“Her leadership and character throughout the year has been a great asset,” Chamber Board of Directors Chairperson Misty Jenkins said.

The Chamber honored Tommy Hall with the Hall of Fame honor, recognizing him for his “long-term positive impact” on the lives of residents. Hall is co-owner and operator of Hall Funeral Home, a member of the First Guaranty Bank Board of Directors and co-owner of Pop’s Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac of Prestonsburg.

Award presenter Elmer Hamilton called him “a tireless advocate for our community and a friend to all.”

Big Sandy Area Development Director Sandy Runyon presented the Floyd Countian of the Year honor to Wayland Mayor Jerry Fultz, a former teacher who founded the Wayland Historical Society and is working to restore the Wayland Gym into a sports museum and fitness center. Runyon noted several accomplishments Fultz has overseen during his time as mayor, including an emergency watershed protection plan implemented in 2013, a walking trail that is under development and the designation of Wayland as a Main Street Community.

 Big Sandy Health Care earned the Partner in Education Award for its “outstanding leadership and service in education.” The organization has participated in the county’s Oral Health Coalition since 2006. It helped 2,500 students this year.

Brookside Dental earned the Chamber’s Horizon Award, which recognizes new business growth, expansion, county service and Chamber participation. Owner Dr. Brian Griffith hosted a grand opening of the facility in November.

Prestonsburg City Council Member Freddie Goble presented a Special Tribute to the family of Billie Jean Osborne, who championed music education and founded the Mountain Arts Center and her Billie Jean Osborne Kentucky Opry, in which Goble plays the comedian “Munroe.” 

The Chamber presented a “Special Thanks” honor to the Floyd County Rescue Squad in recognition of its “outstanding support and contribution” to the county. The squad opened its new facility last year and offers assistance in natural disasters, wrecks and emergencies. It also offers training programs to individuals and groups.

The Chamber also recognized Floyd County Chamber of Commerce Chair Misty R. Jenkins for her leadership, guidance and dedication to the Chamber over the past year. New Chamber board members were installed during the event.   For pictures of the event, visit the Chamber’s Facebook page.

I have always been fascinated with hummingbirds and thought it would be neat to see one up close.

I had that opportunity one Saturday afternoon after mowing my lawn.

As I was putting the lawnmower up, I noticed a hummingbird inside the garage desperately trying to get out.

I tried every way I knew to get the hummingbird to fly out through the open garage door. The little bird did not trust me or understand my desire to help. I thought if I could communicate that I had its best interest in mind he would trust me. Finally, exhausted, he gave up his fight and allowed me to scoop him up and set him free.

That reminded me that on a far deeper level God has sought to communicate his love and grace to us with our best interests always in mind. Eugene Peterson expressed it this way “the Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one–of –a–kind glory, like father, like son, generous inside and out, truth from start to finish.”

I am so thankful that Jesus did move into the neighborhood full of grace and truth that we might know – He is for us, always! Give yourself to God and be set free.

~PMC Chaplain Sam Crawford may be reached at 606-218-3969.

FRANKFORT — Tourists spent nearly $300 million to visit attractions and participate in events in Pike, Floyd, Letcher, Johnson, Knott, Martin, Magoffin and Perry counties last year, and that amount is just a portion of the revenue generated by the tourism industry statewide.

Gov. Steve Beshear announced this month that tourism has an economic impact of $13 billion in Kentucky.

The Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet released that estimate in a report detailing the economic impact of Kentucky’s travel and tourism industry from 2013 to 2014.

The report, conducted by Certec Inc. of Versailles, studied nine regions in the state and detailed direct travel expenses by tourists, total tourist expenditures, the change in tourism-related jobs, tax revenues from the tourism industry and other statistics.

Statewide, the tourism and travel industry contributed nearly $13.1 billion to the state’s economy, with more than $8.3 billion in direct expenditures and $4.8 indirect, or total, expenditures by tourists.

Gov. Beshear reported that the tourism industry generated nearly $1.4 billion in tax revenue for the state and provided more than $2.9 billion in wages to employees.

“The economic impact from tourism in Kentucky has increased by more than $2.2 billion and 13,000 jobs over the last five years,” Beshear said in a press release. “That translates to more spending and jobs in small and large communities across the state. I’m proud that our work with the tourism industry has been so successful.”

All nine tourism regions showed gains in revenue from 2013 to 2014, according to the report, and there were slight increases in most local communities.

That comes as good news to eastern Kentucky leaders, who have been working for several years to increase and improve tourism attractions as a means of re-building an economy that has been damaged by the loss of coal mining jobs.

The importance that tourism plays in economic development was one of many topics discussed at the East Kentucky Leadership Conference held in Pikeville last month and, again, during the Shaping Our Appalachian Region summit, held this week at the Eastern Kentucky Expo Center.

Statewide, the largest gain in revenue from tourism came to the Caves, Lakes and Corvettes region, which saw an increase of 6.7 percent in direct tourist expenditures over the year studied.

Locally, the largest gain was in Pike County, where direct travel expenditures by tourists increased by more than $1 million and total tourist expenditures increased by more than $1.6 million.

Decreases were reported in Letcher and Knott counties.

What tourists spent locally

Kentucky Appalachian region

In the Kentucky Appalachian area, which includes Floyd, Pike, Magoffin, Johnson, Lawrence, Martin and other counties, the economic impact of tourism increased 2.5 percent from more than $381.5 million in 2013 to more than $391.2 million in 2014. 

The numbers reported for local communities include:

Direct expenditures by tourists from 2013-2014

Floyd:  $44.5 million to $44.9 million
Pike: $64.6 million to $65.6 million
Johnson: $28 million to $28.2 million
Magoffin: $3.9 million to $4 million
Martin: $4.3 million to $4.3 million (slight increase)

Total expenditures by tourists from 2013- 2014:

Floyd: $70 million to $70.7 million
Pike: $101.6 million to $103.2 million
Johnson: $44 million to $44.3 million
Magoffin: $6.3 million to $6.3 million (slight increase)
Martin: $6.7 million to $6.7 million (slight increase)

Kentucky Daniel Boone region

In the Kentucky Daniel Boone Country region, made up of Letcher, Knott, Perry, and other counties, the economic impact from tourism increased 2.1 percent over the past year, from more than $306.2 million in 2013 to $312.7 million in 2014.

The numbers reported for local communities include:

Direct expenditures by tourists from 2013-2014:

Knott: $3.2 million to $3.2 million (a decrease of more than $34,000)

Letcher: $8.9 million to $8.9 million (a decrease of more than $26,000)

Perry: $30.6 million to $30.7 million

Total expenditures by tourists from 2013- 2014:

Knott: $5.1 million to $5 million (a decrease of nearly $54,000)

Letcher: $14 million to $14 million (a decrease of $42,000)

Perry: $48.2 million to $48.3

Employment available

Statewide, more than 4,200 tourism jobs were added during the year studied.

The report shows that 85 tourism jobs were created in the Kentucky Appalachians region, with 6,047 jobs in 2014, and 131 tourism jobs were created in the Daniel Boone Country region, with 7,676 jobs in 2014.

The regions with the largest tourism job gains over the past year were the Bourbon, Horses and History region, which added more than 1,000 jobs, the Caves, Lakes & Corvettes region, which added 470 jobs, and the Northern Kentucky River region, which added 414 jobs.

Details about tax revenue and employee wages were not reported for individuals counties.

Medical Leader | Photo by TEDDY PAYNTER
KEYONTE SPEAKER: Former Kentucky Governor Paul E. Patton, who currently serves as interim president of the University of Pikeville, told KTIA members that tourism will play a key role in helping move the state’s economic growth forward.

PIKEVILLE — The Kentucky Travel Industry Association hosted its 2015 Spring Travel Forum in Pikeville this week.

The two-day event attracted KTIA members, media representatives and others from across the state. It featured a “Trail Town Roundtable” with the Kentucky Office of Adventure Tourism and workshops on research-driven tourism, the motorcoach market, marketing to millennials and a discussion on how the travel industry impacts the economy.

Betty Tackett, owner of Dreamz Stables in Pikeville, joined Jill Malusky of Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill to offer a presentation on transformative tourism development at the forum.

Dreamz Stables, created through a public-private partnership with the city of Pikeville, hosted a field visit for advanced certification from KTIA prior to the event. KTIA members complete advanced certification to become a Kentucky Certified Tourism Professional.

Paul Patton, the interim president of the University of Pikeville and former governor, provided the keynote address on Thursday.  KTIA Chairman  Jerry Summers and KTIA President/CEO Hank Phillips also spoke.

Patton said tourism is key to the future of Pike County’s growth.

“We’ve lost a number of coal-related jobs in eastern Kentucky and we must look at other ways to improve our economy. Tourism can and will play a big role in us moving forward,” Patton said.

Patton added eastern Kentucky has “great people living here.”

The Pike County Tourism Commission offered a series of tours for attendees of local Hatfield & McCoy Feud sites and the city of Pikeville showcased downtown shopping, the White Lightening Zip Line and horseback riding at Dreamz Stables. City officials also hosted “Pikeville’s Party on Main” on the Expo Plaza on Wednesday evening.

The conference ended Thursday with the KTIA Shark Tank, modeled after the ABC program “Shark Tank.”

The KTIA ‘sharks’ were a panel of travel journalists who critiqued pitches for stories on tourist sites by travel industry volunteers. 

MATEWAN, W.Va. — Hundreds of people will make history in the town of Matewan this weekend.

The West Virginia Mine Wars Museum will host its grand opening on Saturday, May 16. The grand opening coincides with Matewan Heritage Day festivities.

Museum doors will open at 10 a.m. and visitors may watch the first of two Matewan Massacre Outdoor Drama reenactments at 11 a.m.

United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts will be in attendance and Union Local 1440 will provide free lunch to attendees at 12 p.m. The grand opening ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. Another Matewan Massacre reenactment will be held at 3 p.m. and the union will provide free dinner at 5 p.m.

The museum is housed in a building that still bears the scars of bullet holes left there during the Matewan Massacre shootout in 1920. Formerly known as Chambers Hardware, the building was once owned by the father of Sid Hatfield’s deputy sheriff, and is believed to have played a part in an ambush of the Baldwin Felts in Matewan.

According to articles published online by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, the Matewan Massacre happened when Mingo County Sheriff Albert C. Felts and 12 of his Baldwin-Felts Detectives went to Matewan to evict about half a dozen men who were unlawfully in homes belonging to the Stone Mountain Coal Corporation. 

When Matewan Police Chief Sid Hatfield intervened, a gunfight broke out that left seven detectives and four local residents dead. Hatfield’s death incited the largest armed uprising in America since the Civil War. He and several other massacre participants are buried in the Buskirk Cemetery on Radio Hill across the river from Matewan.

The Matewan Drama Group will host two reenactments of the gunfight in front of the United Mine Workers of America Hall 1440 on Main Street every May during Matewan Heritage Days.

The museum offers exhibits about the massacre and exhibits about life in coal mining camps, the Paint Creek-Cabin Creek Strike of 1912-1913, the Miners’ March and the Battle of Blair Mountain. These interactive exhibits utilize audio, video, artifacts, maps to help visitors understand more about coal mining life back in the early 1900s.

Museum project organizers — a history professors, UMWA representative, local historian, teacher, architect and descendent of a UMWA ‘hero’ — raised $45,000 in grant funding and an additional $18,000 from community members to complete the project.

Project sponsors include Turn This Town Around, National Coal Heritage, West Virginia Humanities Council and the UMWA.

For details, visit http://wvminewars.com or call 304-663-2202.

Schedule of Events

10 a.m.: West Virginia Coal Mine Museum opens
11 a.m.: Matewan Massacre Outdoor Drama
12 p.m.: Free lunch
1 p.m.: Grand opening ceremony
3 p.m.: Matewan Massacre Outdoor Drama
5 p.m.: Free dinner

If you live in Magoffin, Johnson, Floyd, Pike or Mingo counties and you step outside this weekend and see 18 Model A Ford cars breezing down the roadway, don’t be alarmed. You have not stepped back in time.

Those historic vehicles will be transporting approximately 38 members of the Central Kentucky Model A Restorers’ Club on one of their tours.

“We’re a really diverse group of folks,” tour organizer Vickie Caudill said. “Some of us are retired. Some of us work. One couple coming out of Michigan will have their little four-year-old boy with them. My husband and I live in Clark County and we’ll have drivers from Lexington, Nicholasville and other places. We just enjoy getting out and having a lot of fun. And we don’t mind if people gawk at the cars.”

Caudill makes one thing clear, however.

“We don’t do car shows,” she said. “We ride. We’re like those motorcycle clubs that go riding. About every month, we’re out on some tour somewhere. It’s all about having our cars and driving, having fun and meeting new people.”

They plan to do plenty of that when they come to eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia this weekend.

There is no set schedule for the tour, but Caudill provided a tentative list of arrival times at local venues so residents will know about when and where to look if they want to “gawk,” at these Model A vehicles.

The group will depart from Powell County and Clay City at approximately 9:30 a.m. on Friday, May 15, make a few stops along the way and eventually end the trip with a concert at the Mountain Arts Prestonsburg on Saturday evening.

Caudill expects the club to arrive in Salyersville for lunch at approximately 11 a.m. on Friday. They will travel to Paintsville and visit the Mountain Homeplace and the Country Music Highway Museum in Paintsville sometime after 1 p.m.

Club members will then drive to Jenny Wiley State Resort Park to settle into their rooms and/or camps. They also drive to the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg to watch, “Hansel and Gretel” a fairytale opera that is free and open to the public at 7:30 p.m.

Caudill said club members plan to take an elk tour with Jenny Wiley State Park officials early on Saturday, May 16, and that event will last through the afternoon.

After the tour, members plan to travel to the Red Robin Heritage Museum in Stone, tour the former mansion home of Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford, visit Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Coal House in Williamson, check out the Cut Through overlook in Pikeville and see other local tourist attractions.

Their day will end Saturday at the Mountain Arts Center, where members will watch the 8 p.m. performance of Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers.

The visit with Stone — where Henry Ford operated a coal business — isn’t the only time the Central Kentucky Model A Restorers’ Club has visited a Kentucky site associated with the Ford Motor Company founder. 

Last year, the National Forest Service permitted them to tour and learn the history about 100,000 acres of land in the Daniel Boone National Forest. In the 1920s, Ford harvested timber from this property — which is normally closed to the public — to make wooden spokes for his vehicles. KET host Dave Shuffet accompanied the group on the tour to film an episode of Kentucky Life.

“When we were traveling around Manchester, it was so funny,” Caudill said. “We were rolling along and people were sitting out on their porches to watch us. These cars have this old, what I call ‘uga’ horns. Whenever we see kids out, I tell my husband to blow the horn. They love to hear it.” 

For details about this club or to view pictures of vehicles that belong to club members, visit http://ckmarc.com.