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Letters to the Editor
Trump wins

Dear Editor,
On November 8, 2016, America avoided a landfill.  A “basket of deplorables” defeated the me-first politicians in Washington and the arrogance that had presumed their continuation.
Moreover, the election unveiled the “only real threat” to America.  Over 65 million voters knowingly voted for an ethics-challenged candidate.  During her 12 years on the public payroll, she and Bill earned $163 million in speaking fees plus her tax-paid salary, $2.1 million.
Capitol Hill has apparently become an ethics-free zone.  The majority of long-sitting politicians in Congress became millionaires in Congress.  Consequently, America is $19.9 trillion in debt, her integrity is compromised in every Cabinet, and 43.1 million of her citizens live in poverty.  Word limit prohibits listing the multitude of her other problems attributable to their me-first leadership.
Enter Trump with an idea that was originated and carried out by our founding fathers.  They were the first to put America first, to the chagrin of King George III.
From day one, Trump opponents were “sickened” by him.  Since the electoral-vote tally, their sore-loser examples, which taint impressionable youth, confirm they are still nauseated.  Hopefully, for America’s sake, an 8-year regimen of “America first” will cure their nausea and neutralize the “only real threat.”

Shafter Bailey
Lexington, KY

Letters to the Editor
Terry Ward

To the City of Paintsville (the one it concerns),
Terry E. Ward served his country for 20 years in the National Guard, also as a city policeman for Paintsville and a deputy sheriff, EMT, paramedic and fireman, to which he was proud.
In the blizzard of 1994, he save a baby’s life and was honored and presented with a medal for this deed.  He also helped a lot of people around here.  He was from and raised in the city of Paintsville, and lived here all his life until the last few years.
Thanks to you, the City of Paintsville (you know who you are), you ran him out of his home town.  He was always there when someone needed him for help in any way with a smile on his face.  
I give you a “NO THANKS!!!”
After taking care of his step-dad with cancer until he died in Terry’s arms; going to his baby brother after he was shot in the head (only to see him die);  sent him to do a check on his sister only to find her dead; and losing his friend Christa as well as others, his problems began.  You turned your backs on him.  He needed help and reached out, only to be railroaded out.
Now for all of the ones who worked with him, side by side, and paid their respect; to you I have the utmost respect.  EMT, paramedics, firefighters, rescue squad and city policemen.  Thank you for his final call of #113 - all the family wasn’t asked and wanted it.  The same for his military rights.  Terry earned them, but didn’t get them.
It is so sad what Paintsville has come to.  You, City of Paintsville, were the reason he gave up on himself.  He was railroaded out of Paintsville to a place where no one knew him for who he was and did not care and would not give him any help.  You should be happy now, for he is dead and he took your secrets to the grave with him, and can no longer tell on you.  
You know who you are.  When you lay your head down to sleep, I pray you dream of what you have done to him as well as others.
His last job as a constable for District 2 took him down.  Now his family has no closure, for as you know, he was cremated.
Toby Ward on behalf of the Ward family

Letters to the Editor
Thank you

Dear Editor,
The 12th Annual Johnson Central Hall of Fame ceremony was held January 14 at the high school.  It was a wonderful evening of uniting past and present Hall of Fame members.  
I would like to extend a special THANK YOU to Bob and Tom Hutchison and McDonald’s of East Kentucky for their sponsorship of the Johnson Central Hall of Fame and the annual induction ceremony. Without this generous support, it would be impossible to have such an outstanding evening of recognition.
I would also like to express gratitude to the numerous staff members and students who worked tirelessly to plan such a fantastic evening.
Finally, I would like to thank all of the people who took time to gather information and nominate staff members, coaches and former graduates for the Hall of Fame.  This reflects our main goal of connecting former graduates with the school community and to recognize individuals who have made significant accomplishments either during high school or after graduation.

Noel Crum
CTE/Innovation Coordinator
Johnson County Schools

Low Wages Cost All Kentuckians

Dear Editor,
Last week, the Kentucky General Assembly passed several “emergency” measures that will surely lower wages for Kentucky workers. One of these, known as a “right to work” law, prohibits the requiring of union membership as a condition of employment. The other repealed the prevailing wage provision that helps keep construction wages strong. Defenders of these moves, Governor Matt Bevin first and foremost, praised them as measures that “will be transformative in the way Kentucky competes economically.” But Bevin’s assertions display more a devotion to a damaging ideology, rather than a commitment to fact or broad economic understanding about the many ways low wages hurt all Kentuckians.
Bevin and his cohort maintain that low wages attract businesses, which want to maximize profits by paying as little for labor as possible. Let’s look at his evidence. Bevin cites the creation of 20,000 more jobs last year in right-to-work Tennessee than in Kentucky. Frankly, that’s a breathtaking misrepresentation. Tennessee has a population 50 percent greater than Kentucky’s. Kentucky has come closer to recovering jobs lost in the recession of 2007 than any of its right-to-work neighbors, according to a report from the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy ( In a recent ranking of all 50 states’ economies, six of the bottom ten were right-to-work states.
Consider how low wages hurt the economy. A healthy economy needs consumers—people able to buy the cars, gas, beauty salon visits, restaurant meals, clothes, and furniture that businesses sell. But the working poor can barely afford to meet the basic financial obligations of life—housing, food, and utilities. They have nothing left to contribute to the cycle of production and consumption that characterizes a thriving economy. The shuttered downtown buildings in many Kentucky communities bear witness to the impact of local incomes already insufficient to support small businesses.
Governor Bevin cites a savings to taxpayers, through repealing the requirement to pay the prevailing wage on public projects, of as much as $136.8 million. Perhaps—but that savings comes with other costs that the Governor ignores. $136.8 million amounts to a little more than $1 million, on average, in each of Kentucky’s 120 counties. That is $1million in lost wages to hard-working Kentuckians. The loss will hurt not just those families, but their larger communities as well. How many of our counties, already desperately in need of economic stimulus, can afford to lose another $1 million in purchases of restaurant meals, clothes, or family outings? And this raw economic cost doesn’t include the price in human denigration.
But the high cost of low wages multiplies much further. What taxpayers save in workers’ wages, they may spend on assistance programs to help those low-wage workers survive. The working poor often require public assistance in the form of food stamps and other aid; the medical bills they incur but cannot pay drive up the price of healthcare for everyone else. Furthermore, when corporations and manufacturers pay low wages, selling us the line that they can’t possibly pay more and remain profitable, they effectively ask the rest of us to shoulder their obligations to their workers. Taxpayer dollars should fund roads, schools, and local law enforcement, not subsidize that profits of corporate America.
The cascading effects of low wages can’t all be described in this short piece. But consider one more: low wages hurt public education. Studies demonstrate conclusively that children raised in poverty start with huge disadvantages in school. ACT and SAT test scores correlate more consistently with parental income than any other factor. Poverty negatively impacts children’s ability to learn, and America’s high poverty rates lie at the core of its poor educational showing against other developed countries. The most reliable strategy to improve school performance is simply to support Kentucky’s families with the security of an adequate and dependable living.
Governor Bevin could take a lesson in job creation from the work of former Kentucky governor Martha Layne Collins. Collins lured a Toyota assembly plant to Scott County in 1985. One of the state’s biggest economic boons of the last 30 years, Toyota has created thousands of good-paying jobs, generated increased revenue for the state, enticed one hundred more Japanese-owned companies here, and returned 35 percent on Kentucky’s initial investment. Collins’ enormous accomplishment required substantial hard work by her administration. It did not rely on a magic-bullet economic theory that hurts ordinary workers.
Unfortunately too many of us accept the ideology that low wages and poverty are a necessary—even American—fact of life. It’s an ideology with little evidence to support it. But it does serves the powerful while hurting everyone else. Don’t be fooled.

Carolyn Dupont
Associate Professor of History, Eastern Kentucky University

Letters to the Editor
Soaking in prayer

Dear Editor,
What is soaking prayer? Well, it is “marinating with God.” It is a time of complete surrender to Jesus Christ and to be saturated by the presence of the Holy Spirit. This is one way of communion with God; others are worship service time, intercessory prayer time, and even our service to others.
Why should we have soaking prayer? First is to have more intimacy in your love for your heavenly Father. A quote says, “You will never know the Lord intimately until you discover that quiet and still place of God within you and practice His living presence inside of you in that very stillness until you have continual and unbroken fellowship with your Lord.” (Dr. Bill Stephenson)
If you are spiritually dry, soaking can revitalize your spirit. Soaking can help you hear God clearer. If you are looking for fresh vision and direction in live, soaking can bring it. If you are hurting inside, soaking can ease the pain. If you are starting something new and need the Lord’s strengthening, soaking can refresh you. If you are searching for an answer to a problem/situation, soaking can help you find the way. If you carry responsibilities, soaking can give you new resources of grace, patience and love. If you have someone placed upon your heart for healing, soaking will take that person into the presence of the Lord for His healing grace.
Is soaking prayer biblical? “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still water. He restores my soul.” (Psalm 23:1-3)
“Meditate within your heart on your bed (pew) and be still.” (Psalm 4:4)
“Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” (Psalm 37:7)
“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
And of course, we know that Jesus gave us a model of quiet prayer as he should go often to a quiet place for prayer.
We are “tarrying” in the Lord as we soak. That is an old-time word: to tarry, but that is where we spend time waiting. The Lord desires to pour His spirit upon us. As we tarry or soak there is an emphasis on rest and receiving by faith, as opposed to striving and crying out to God. As we soak, we take on God’s flavor as we are saturated with Him, we are transformed. As we soak in His presence, we begin to behold Him; we become like Him. We are transformed to be more like Him.
“But those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with winds like eagles they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31) This verse reveals that something happens when we wait upon God. There is divine exchange of His strength for my weakness and His ability instead of my inadequacy.
In soaking prayer, we often play a worshipful or instrumental CD softly in the background. Those involved are encouraged to become comfortable in order to listen and to receive. It normally takes a few minutes to quiet your mind, focus on Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to bring a restful sense to your heart.
As you come into soaking prayer, pray and ask God to search your heart, surrender everything to Him and invite Him to be exalted in your worship as you focus on Him. Expect to receive, as your issues are put aside and you are open to His love and guidance for yourself or for those you have lifted up to God.
As you soak in His presence, scriptures or images may come to mind as He wants to renew areas in your life. Prayer ministers may also receive images or scriptures as they pray and may share with you those offerings.
In Romans 12:2, we are told not to conform to the world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. We are doing just this in the deepest part of our hearts as we sit and soak in prayer during this time.
Prayers are prayed in silence. Often, the result of soaking prayer is revelation. The Lord delights in revealing the secret counsel of His heart, dealing with issues that need to be addressed and bringing wisdom and healing to our situation and needs. Soaking prayer is an adventure that takes you deep into the realm of God’s heart – a place of communion where two devoted hearts, yours and His, meet.
To learn more or attend a service, call Brother Jerry Walker at (606) 789-9080 or e-mail

Jerry Walker

Letters to the Editor
Smith doing fine job

Dear Editor,
State Senator Brandon Smith is doing a fine job representing your region of the state. I know this personally because I had the opportunity to work with him in Frankfort the first week of the 2017 legislative session. Sen. Smith sponsored a bill to ban late-term abortions. You would think this was already outlawed. Sadly, it wasn’t. Sen. Smith was the lead sponsor of this bill. He was also the biggest target by pro-abortion groups and hostile media.
I testified on behalf of SB 5, the Pain-capable Unborn Child Protection Act, with Sen. Smith in front of two legislative committees. He presented a compelling case as to why the law was needed. He spoke respectfully and persuasively to the issue and remained calm even while opponents rudely interrupted him. As a result of his leadership, the bill passed both the state House and Senate by wide margins and was signed into law by Gov. Bevin. I and my organization consider Sen. Smith a friend of life and a friend of the Commonwealth.

Sincerely yours,
Richard Nelson
Executive Director
The Commonwealth Policy Center

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