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March 3, 2005     The Ohio County Times News
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March 3, 2005
 

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Serving All of Ohio County Since 1865 HARTFORD AND BEAVER DAM, KENTUCKY v ww.octimesnews.com SPORTS I II II Illllllll Illl Two OCHS wrestlers medal at state ALSO: Eagles, Lady Eagles will ptay for 12th District title SEE 1B 140-- NUMBER 9 MARCH 3, 2005 2 SECTIONS -- 36 PAGES -- 50 I I I I I I teaching positions will eliminated next year WILKINS at a $1.4 million for the 2005-2006 the Ohio County Board has been faced drastic finan- which could include of 17 classroom districtwide. Soretta said the cuts were an "emotional" call meeting last ai rnoon. "We've been working on this for the last four to five weeks and this wasn't an easy decision," Ralph said. "We didn't have any other options." Along with Brian Decker, the school systems financial officer, Ralph explained that the cuts were due to the state reducing the Support Educa- tion Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK) funding $95,000 and losing $352,000 in transpor- tation money that also had been coming from the state. The rest of the deficit came from a state mandate to give a 2 percent pay raise in 2004, a 1 percent raise in 2005 and another 3 percent raise in 2006. Decker said the lack of state funding, the salary hikes and the increasing op- erational costs have put the school district in a financial choke hold. "We're sitting here with- out a state budget and giv- ing 3 percent pay increases on the same budget we had three years ago," Decker said. "Over the last 18 months, our diesel fuel costs have gone up from $8,000 to $13,000 per week." The school board was forced to make its cuts before the March 1 deadline, the day that every school's site based council has to know its allocations for the next year. According to Ralph, the school board went by pro- jected enrollments and went above the state's require- ment for teacher to student ratio by 12 percent to deter- mine its staffing require- ments. To overcome the deficit, 17.5 teaching positions won't be filled next year, saving $7OO,OO0. No new school busses will be purchased, saving $300,0oo. Separate preschool trans- portation for 3- to 5-year-olds was cut, saving $160,000. "All of our teachers have their letters of intent. That will tell us which ones are going to retire or move to other dis- tricts. Depending on those letters, we may only lose a few teachers. But right now, we just don't know." -- Soretta Ralph, school superintendent . Preschoolers will now ride a regular bus with other stu- dents while having an onboard monitor. Material funds for the maintenance department was cut 10 percent and the after school activity bus runs for Western, Horse Branch and Fordsville elementary schools were cut from two per school to one per school. Ralph said if no teachers retire or move to another school district 17 teachers won't have a job in Ohio County. And all teachers must know their employment status by April 30 for the fol- lowing year. See DEFICIT, page 2A March brings its lion's roar donation "in 1995 MCBRIDE staff writer an economic col- equal in scope to the the Ohio school system will enviable scholarship as long as there is a will exist in Part due to the gener- of the Glen Wells fam- started in 1995 ) fund 'into one that school systems dream about. Glen Wells, a re- $990,000 to the the interest used for one-year scholarships to Western Kentucky Univer- sity and Kentucky Wesleyan College for deserving stu- dents. Those scholarships, ac- cording to specifications in- cluded in the agreement drawn up by Wells and Hart- ford attorney Chuck Hagan, would primarily go to stu- dents with grade point aver- ages suitable for higher edu- cation goals but still less than the 4.0 averages accu- mulated by some students -- students that qualify for other scholarship offers. It was further stipulated that students receiving scholarship help from the Wells fund would have to " maintain an acceptable grade point average after the first semester of college or the scholarship would be ter- minated. See WELI~, page 2A Dustin Bratcher/7imes-News photo March cgme In like a lion on Tuesday morning, bringing blinding snow to motorists traveling down Bill Monroe Memorial Boulevard. Ohlo County schools were canceled due to slick road condltlona. The wlndchlll on March 1 dropped the mercury into the lower 20s. music Dustin Brawher/Times-News photo and Kenny James stand together Inside their where they spend time recording songs. his keyboard to create the music. "! tell people I'm a hillbilly playing 100 Japanese instruments." '. -- Kenny James, gospel musician BY DON WILKINS Times-News Editor editor@octimesnews .corn enny and Mary James are still malting music to- gether some three decades after saying their wedding Vows. "We've been singing, preaching' and worshipping since the day we met," Kenny d mes sai. And as ey approach their 31st wedding anniversary in May, the Hartford couple has not allowed health problems and a family business slow down their love of each other or their love of gospel music. "We met at Nickel Ridge Pentecostal Church at a New Year's Eve service in 1973," ,t recalled Kenny James. "I was lookin' at the time for someone to settle down with." After getting to know each other over "mom's fried chicken," Kenny and Mary James got engaged, three weeks after meeting and married three months later. "I knew right after we met that Kenny was the one," Mary James said. "We're as about as compatible as you can get." For Kenny James, his at- traction came from his wife's devotion to God. "I wanted somebody who was dedicated to church, somebody who was locked in to the Lord," Kenny James said. "Mary was definitely locked in when I met her." See LOVE, page 2A BY SAM FORD Times-News staff writer The Beaver Dam Caf4 will be featured on a special "Din- ner Cruise" program to be aired on WKYU-PBS Friday at 8 p.m. The premiere of this spe- cial program will feature a tour of local restaurants, fo- cusing on some of the unique family-owned dining desti- nations in Western Ken- tucky. To promote the show's air- ing, several personalities in- volved in the program will be at Beaver Dam Cafd from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday to help serve lunch. Producer Cheryl Beckley and WKYU-PBS staff mem- bers Terry Reagan; Julia Johnson and Marilyn Greer will be present at the restau- rant Thursday to get feed- back from local residents and to encourage everyone in Beaver Dam to tune in to See PRS, pRge 2A Fiscal Court estimates $28,000 for countywide wet-dry vote BY DON WILKINS ". Times-News Editor editor@octimesnews.com The Ohio County Fiscal Court approved to publish a public notice at its Tuesday meeting that would give the estimated cost of a countywide wet-dry election. Judge-Executive Wayne Hunsaker said taxpayers would be out between $26,000 to $28,000 for a ]ocal option election. "This is unbudgeted tax funds," Hunsaker said. "It doesn't mean we're for it or against it. We just think the taxpayers need to kfiow about this." On Jan. 18, three precincts in Beaver Dam vot against going wet, costing the county $3,200. See VOTE, page 2A U.S. Congressman Ed Whitfield visits OC Senior Center SEE page 2A News...8-9B Classifieds... 12-19A Opinion...5A [ Sports...1B Those Were the Days...6AI Deaths/Records... 3-4A Movies..'.14B i Society...lO-15B . Weather... 20A ] For N.s Tips: 270-298-7100 or Emaih editor@octimesnews.c?m' I