Thursday, July 03, 2008


After 101 Years Dawahares To Go Out Of Business

The Lexington Herald Leader has reported that Lexington based Dawahares will close its twenty -two remaining stores this fall ending the family owned company after 101 of service.

The announcement came Thursday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The company recently closed seven stores after filing for bankruptcy protection in May.

Company officials said that it had to make the difficult decision because the business is expected to run out of money by the end of October.

Dawahare's expects the liquidation of the stores to begin by July 14th and to end by September 30th.

It is estimated that 400 people will be effected.

Dawahare's operates two stores in Pike County with one in Pikeville and the other located at Goody.


Unemployment Benefits Extended In Kentucky For Thirteen Weeks

Kentuckians who have filed their unemployment insurance claim on or after May 7, 2006 and have exhausted those benefits and are currently unemployed may be eligible for up to 13 weeks of extended benefits, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, an agency in the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.
More than 36,000 Kentuckians may be eligible for the additional unemployment benefits, said Division of Unemployment Insurance Director Tony DeName. Individuals who are potentially eligible for the federally funded extended benefits program will be notified by mail.
The weekly benefit amount for extended benefits will be the same as the person received for regular unemployment compensation during the original 26-week period. The maximum amount of benefits is $415 a week and depends on the person’s prior earnings. Potential candidates may apply until March 22, 2009.
“Governor Beshear signed the agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor on July 1, 2008. Kentucky was one of the first states in the nation to return the agreement to Washington. The program is effective with the week beginning July 6, 2008. You may file your claim for benefits on line at beginning Wednesday July 9, 2008, or you may use the call center 859-547-3362 to file. However, this is not at toll-free call,” said DeName.
OET helps individuals prepare for, secure, and maintain employment; assists employers in locating and selecting the best qualified workers for their job openings; and provides income maintenance to ease the financial burden on individuals who are out of work through no fault of their own.
The Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet coordinates learning programs from P-16, and manages and supports training and employment functions in the Department for Workforce Investment. For more information about our programs, visit or, or call 502-564-6606.


Pikeville Man Sentenced For Stealing Air Conditioner.

A Pikeville man pleaded guilty in Pike County Circuit Court to stealing an air conditioner. 42 year-old Danny Gibson of Pikeville will be incarcerated for two years.


Lenore Native and Her Husband Remain Missing In South Carolina Lake.

A married couple formerly from West Virginia remain missing in a South Carolina Lake.

A DNR official from Lake Murray told us That Kimberly and Randy Adkins remain missing. Kimberly is a native of Lenore while her husband is formerly from Putnam County.

Officials told us that they are still searching by air and water. They told us that nothing looks suspicious. The couple was last seen last Saturday laving the levy on there boat. Two hours later there boat was found along the shoreline without the Adkins’ on board.

Officials say that one theory that they have come up with is maybe the couple went swimming and there boat drifted. The depth of the water where they believe the couple went missing ranges anywhere between 150 to 200 feet.

The couple has lived in South Carolina for many years.


Williamson Fire Department Receives Funding To Purchase Equipment

The Williamson Fire Department has received a $ 25,578 Department of Homeland Security grant. Chief Jerry Mounts says that the money will be used for purchasing an air compressor refill station to re-fill self contained breathing apparatus. The current compressor that the station has takes about 25 minutes per bottle to fill. The new apparatus will fill one tank in five minutes.


There Is Reason To Stay Home This Holiday

There will be plenty of activities for residents throughout the region to partake in on the fourth as Williamson, Delbarton and Kermit will host events.

In Williamson the pool will open at 11 a.m. there will be a brief ceremony honoring veterans and a ribbon cutting for the new playground. Musical entertainment and various games will also occur.

Delbarton will celebrate the holiday with a free picnic which will begin at 6 p.m.. The annual fireworks display will take place at 9:30 p.m.
Kermit is planning to have free watermelon and free ice cream beginning at 7 p.m. The fireworks show will start at 9:30 p.m


Pike County Fiscal Court To Release Year Long Energy Study

On Thursday, July 10, Pike County Judge/Executive Wayne T. Rutherford will be giving the final results of an energy study to Dr. Len Peters, Secretary of the Kentucky Department of Energy Development and Independence, at 1 p.m. at the Office of Energy Policy in Frankfort.

The study was funded through the Kentucky Department of Energy and the Appalachian Research Commission (ARC). It explores the feasibility, potential locations and processes of a coal-to-liquid plant in Pike County, and also explores the feasibility and design of an American Energy Research Center in Scott Fork.

On Monday, July 14, at 2:30 p.m., Judge Rutherford will be hosting a press conference regarding the energy study at the entrance to the Pike County Courthouse, in Pikeville.


Virgie Bridge Dedicated To Korean War Veteran

Virgie – The Pike County Fiscal Court in conjunction with the Kentucky Department of Highways District 12 dedicated a bridge located in Virgie, on Highway 610, adjacent to the Pike County District 2 Magistrate’s Office, to former Virgie resident Lin Milam on Wednesday, July 2.

Pike County Judge/Executive Wayne T. Rutherford, Pike County District 2 Magistrate Vernon “Chick” Johnson, state Senator Ray Jones, District 12 Information Officer Sara George, Pike County Attorney Keith Hall, and the friends and family of Lin Milam all participated in the ceremony.

“Almost 6 million Americans served in the Korean War, and 50,000 of them, like Lin, died fighting. We should never forget a single one of those soldiers who gave their lives, especially our own. Those from our communities,” said Rutherford, at the ceremony.

“This means so much to our family,” said Milam’s brother, Ray Milam.

Milam was born in Virgie, September 7, 1931.

As a boy, he loved to hunt and fish, and the older he got, the better athlete he became. Lin was especially good at aiming a ball, which made him a standout baseball and basketball player at Virgie High School. Aside from being a great athlete, he was friendly, outgoing, and was always wearing a smile.

In February of Lin’s senior year, he joined the army. The skill that made him a good ballplayer in high school made him an expert marksman in the service. However, it was this skill, combined with Lin’s helpful personality, that ultimately led him to die fighting for his country.

As a BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle) gunner, Lin served on the front lines during the Korean War and was a top-priority target for the enemy. One day, as Lin left the front lines for rest and relaxation time, he passed the sergeant who had trained him. The sergeant urged him to go back to the front lines and serve as his gunner. Lin acquiesced, and was killed shortly thereafter. Lin died in September, thirteen days after his 19th birthday.

By those who knew him, Lin will be remembered for his warmth, his smile, and for all he accomplished during his short lifetime. For those who did not know him, the bridge in Virgie that bears his name will serve to testify that, though he died young, he lived to be a great man.


Pike County Officials Looking To Address Housing Problem

Pike County Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford says that there is a shortage of affordable housing in Pike County in an attempt to address this problem last week officials met with Pike County Supt. of Schools Roger Wagner about the possibility of purchasing the property of the former Turkey Creek Elementary School and turn that into housing units.

The county is also looking into add housing units at Peter Creek and Elkhorn City.


Mingo County BOE TO Meet Monday

The Mingo County Board of Education will be in regular session Monday night at 6p.m.

Topics on the agenda include out of state trips, personnel and the budget.


UNITE PIKE TO Hold Four Basketball Camps.

UNITE PIKE will be conducting four free basketball camps for kids in grades K – 8. Shoot To Be Drug Free will be held July 21 though July 24 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.. Registration will begin at 9 a.m. the first 275 at each location will be allowed to attend.

Pikeville College basketball coach Kelly Wells will teach youngsters the fundamentals of basketball.

The following is a list of locations :

July 21 at Pike Central High School

July 22 at Phelps High School

July 23 at East Ridge High School

July 24 at Pikeville YMCA

Each camper will receive a t-shirt, drinks and food will be served.

For more information contact 606-432-9189

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Pike County Board of Education Receives Money From Westcare

Pikeville –William J. Baird,III, Co-chairman of the WestCare Kentucky Board of Directors presented a $92,000 check to Pike County Board of Education Superintendent Roger Wagner on Wednesday, July 2, at the board’s headquarters in Pikeville.

The money was granted to WestCare Kentucky by the Pike County Fiscal Court, through single county coal severance taxes. The money will be used by WestCare Kentucky to finally purchase the former Lookout Elementary School from the board of education. WestCare Kentucky will be transforming the site to a “family friendly” women’s drug rehabilitation treatment center.

Several leaders in the battle against drug addiction in Pike County spoke at the check presentation ceremony, including Pike County Judge/Executive Wayne T. Rutherford; District Court Judge Kelsey E. Friend; Dr. William Fannin, drug treatment director at Pikeville Medical Center; Pike County Jailer Rodney Scott; Pike County Deputy Judge/Executive John Doug Hayes, and HUD’s Director of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives Anna Maria Farias.

At the ceremony, Judge Rutherford presented Ms. Farias with a certificate naming her an Honorary Pike County Judge/Executive. Ms. Farias left her position as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Grant Programs in HUD’s office of Community Planning and Development in 2007 to become HUD’s Director of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. She said the new position brought her life “full circle.”

Ms. Farias grew up in government housing in Texas, and went on to graduate college from Boston University and obtain a law degree from Temple University. She has also attended Harvard University’s JFK School of Government Programs.

WestCare Regional Vice-President Jenifer Nolan brought Ms. Farias to Pikeville to show her what the area’s concerned citizens were doing to fight drug problems. The WestCare Kentucky Board of Directors is eager to work with Ms. Farias in the later phases of its women’s treatment center.

In his opening remarks, Judge Friend thanked Superintendent Wagner and the Pike County Board of Education members for their patience in waiting for funding of the Lookout property.

“They’ve been very patient with us in our efforts to secure funding, and we’ve been long past our deadline to pay, but they believed as we did that the treatment of women drug addicts is crucial to the health of this community,” he said.

“We’re going to educate our kids—that’s the easy part. The toughest part is to change the climate of the community,” said Superintendent Wagner, after accepting the check.

“And our common goal is to rid the county of its problems with drugs,” he added.


Pike County Grand Jury To Hear Evidence In Deadly Shooting.

The Kentucky State Police is continuing there investigation into the shooting death of 39 year-old Philip Hickman of Forest Hills.

Hickman was gunned down beside of a firework stand Monday morning along US 119 at Goody.

Trooper Scott Hopkins told us that no arrests have been made, however the KSP will be presenting evidence that they have gathered to a future Pike County grand jury.

Authorities interviewed a person of interest on Monday.


Pike County Grand Jury Indictments.

Fifteen people were recently indicted by the Pike County grand jury.

Dustin Morley , 19, of Elkhorn City : second degree burglary and theft by unlawful taking.

Paul Christopher Hayes , of Langley : theft by unlawful taking

Sheala D. Justice , 23, of Pikeville : theft by deception

Edison D. Garrett , 52, of Whitesburg : first degree possession of controlled substance, third degree possession of controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Joseph E. Williams , 30, of Williamson, West Virginia : theft by unlawful taking. Williams is accused of taking more than $ 300 from the Pikeville Pizza Hut.

Norman T. Blevins, 37, of West Van Lear

Ashley R. Weaver, 22, of Salyersville

Theft by unlawful taking, first degree criminal mischief, third degree criminal mischief, theft by unlawful taking and second degree persistent felony offender.

The duo are accused of taking audio and video equipment and causing damage to three vehicles.

Ransom Wolford, 44, of Phelps : theft by unlawful taking

Rodney Johnson, 28, of Virgie : second degree possession of controlled substance, prescription drug not in proper container, carrying concealed weapon and operating a motor vehicle without an operators’ license.

James T. Hunt II, 26, of Feds Creek : first degree criminal trespass

Jamie D. Varney , 35, of Forest Hills : receiving stolen property

David Noe , 18, of Hatfield : receiving stolen property


Pike County To Go After Funding For Energy Project.

The Pike County Fiscal Court approved a measure to seek a $ 75,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission to see if it is feasible to build a Coal Gasification Plant in the Shelby Creek area. The plant would capture carbon dioxide and make our energy resources clean.

Pike County officials say that a plant is ideal for our region due to the abundance of shale. Research has shown that carbon dioxide is preferentially absorbed onto the organic matter in the shale which makes it attractive as a possible sink for carbon dioxide storage.

Research has shown that the Devonian shale in Pike County is 500 feet thick, the thickest in Kentucky.

Data has shown that the Devonian shale in the Big Sandy Region has a carbon dioxide storage capacity of approximately seven billion tons.

The total cost of the feasibility study is $ 225,000. The remainder of the money will come from the business sector.


Mingo County Native Still Missing.

A spokesperson with the Lake Murray South Carolina DNR told us that they are still searching for Randy and Kimberly Adkins. The couple was last seen last Saturday afternoon boarding there boat and taking it out on the lake. Two hours later the craft was found washed ashore.

Authorities tell us that they have worked a few leads but they have come up empty.

Rescue workers are concentrating on a two mile square area near the dam. The depth of the water which ranges anywhere from 150 to 200 feet is making it difficult to put divers in the water.

Kimberly Adkins has family members in our region as she is a native of Mingo County.

Lake Murray is located near Columbia, South Carolina.


Kentucky Attorney General Accepting Grant Applications

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 2, 2008) - Attorney General Jack Conway announced that his Office of Victims Advocacy is accepting applications for its FYI 2009 Victim Advocate Grant Program. Seven grants of up to $28,000 per agency will be awarded to qualified Kentucky applicants. The grants will fund the salary and other related employment costs for a legal advocate.

“Advocates are a shoulder to cry on and a rock to lean on for Kentucky crime victims, and I am pleased that we can provide funding from this office to help provide these advocates in communities across the Commonwealth,” General Conway said.

Legal victim advocates provide the following services:
Accompany victims to meetings with law-enforcement officers or prosecutors and attend court procedures;
Educate victims about the criminal justice system;
Assist victims with writing victim impact statements;
Refer victims to needed services; and
Notify victims of upcoming court appearances or other significant events relating to the prosecution of cases.

Applicants must clearly demonstrate how legal advocacy is provided in one or more of the following categories: sexual assault, domestic violence, child victims, violent or serious crimes, and geographically underserved victims.

The deadline to apply for the grant is July 23, 2008. Applications are available online at For more information about the grant program, please contact the Office of Victims Advocacy at (502) 696-5300.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Eastern Kentucky Football Coach Has Football Contract Nullified.

A spokesperson with the Jenkins Independent School system told us Tuesday that the football contract of Lincoln Shane Bentley has been nullified and that Jenkins High School is currently searching for a new football coach.

Bentley was chosen a few weeks ago to become the football coach of the Jenkins Cavaliers effective July 1st.

Bentley worked as a teacher and assistant football coach at East Ridge this past year.

However he was charged with two counts of official misconduct.

Last week Pike County District Court Judge Kelsey Friend Junior declared a mistrial.

Judge Friend has rescheduled a new trial for August 25th.

Bentley has denied the allegations.

The spokesperson with the Jenkins School System told us that last Friday then Superintendent John Shook informed Bentley of the decision. The spokesperson told us that the administration wanted Bentley’s legal problems settled by July 1st.

Football practice begins July 15th.


Magoffin County Has Second Highest Unemployment Rate In Kentucky.

The unemployment rate for eastern Kentucky counties took a sharp increase in the month of May.

Pike , Martin, Magoffin, Johnson and Letcher counties jobless figure went up by at least one percent from the previous month.

Pike County has a jobless rate of 6.3 %, Martin 8.7 %, Magoffin 10.6 % , Johnson 7.2 % and Letcher 7.4 %.

Jackson County has the highest unemployment rate at 11.6 %, Lawrence is eighth at 9.2 %.

Woodford County’s rate of 4.6 percent is the lowest.


Energy Market Reason For West Virginia's Surplus.

West Virginia Tax Department Revenue Spokesperson Mark Muchow says that state’s economic growth is due to the gas and natural gas market.

Muchow says that over the last six months energy severance tax collections increased by twenty-three percent.

Muchow says that the price of coal has gone from $ 45 to over $ 100 per ton.

Corporate Net Income Tax collections are down nine percent the last three months and Interest Income Tax accounts are down more than thirty-eight percent the last four months.

Muchow says that state ended the fiscal year with approximately $ 3.9 billion in overall tax collections, which is nearly $ 109 million above original estimates.


Wayne County Woman Sentenced In Federal Court.

A Wayne County resident was ordered to serve two and a half years in prison and repay $ 1.5 million in restitution to the Huntington Emergency Physician’s Group and the IRS.

Diann Richmond of Fort Gay was convicted in federal court for embezzlement and tax evasion.

Richmond was a bookkeeper for the insurance company. The crime happened in 2003.


No Arrests Yet In Floyd County Drive By

No arrests have been made in a Floyd County shooting that happened Monday afternoon.

Highlands Regional Medical Center in Prestonsburg notified the Kentucky State Police after 30 year old James Isaacs walked into the emergency room after he suffered a gunshot wound to the back.

The Prestonsburg man was transferred to St. Mary’s Hospital in Huntington. Hospital officials told us Tuesday that Isaacs’ injuries are not life threatening.

The KSP says that Isaacs had been walking on KY Route 1101 in Floyd County when suddenly a vehicle drove by and someone fired the gun.

If anyone has any information contact the KSP at 606-433-7711

Monday, June 30, 2008


West Virginia's Food Tax Drops One Percent.

West Virginia’s state sales tax on food is now three percent. Yhe one percent decrease went into effect today.

It’s the last reduction in a process lawmakers approved in 2005, when the state food tax was six percent.

The final cut is expected to save West Virginia taxpayers about $ 25 million next year.

West Virginia’s food tax remains higher than Virginia’s 2.5 percent. Other surrounding states Kentucky , Maryland, Ohio and Pennsylvania don’t have a food tax.


Kentucky's Minimum Wage To Go Up Tuesday.

If you are a worker that makes minimum wage in Kentucky, congratulations you have earned a seventy cent on the hour raise.

The minimum wage has increased to $6.55 per hour.

The next minimum wage pay increase will be in January as the pay rate is scheduled to go up an additional seventy cents on the hour.


Delinquent Pike County Property Tax Tickets Purchased By The Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth of Kentucky purchased approximately $ 900,000 in delinquent property taxes from the Pike County Sheriffs Department.

Sheriff Fuzzy Kessee told us that a lot of the delinquent tax slips came from unpaid solid waste bills.

Kessee says that the effected property owners will be notified within 30 days of Monday’s action.

Kessee added that the property owners will have one year to acquire the property back.


Pike County Fatal Shooting.

A Pike County man was fatally shot Monday morning at a firework stand on US 119 at Goody.

The victim has been identified as 39 year-old Phillip Hickman of Forest Hills.

The suspect fled the scene . The KSP received several hundred leads from listeners of East Kentucky Broadcasting that saw a male subject operating a green 1999 Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck with tinted windows

The case then took an interesting twist. A person related to the person of interest contacted the Pike County Sheriffs Department to turn himself in. Sheriff Fuzzy Kessee met the subject in Pikeville and then was transported to the Kentucky State Police Post 9 for an interview.

No arrests have been made at this current time.

The shooting remains under investigation.


Congressman Rogers Secures Additional Fundingf For UNITE

Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) announced today that a key committee in the U.S. House of Representatives has approved $4.45 million for Operation UNITE to continue its flourishing counter-drug initiative in southern and eastern Kentucky. UNITE employs a successful multi-pronged strategy to tackle the scourge of drug abuse throughout the region using cooperative law enforcement efforts, treatment, and education.
“Operation UNITE’s innovative tactics have received accolades at the local, state and national level, and Congress’ continued endorsement of this successful program is an indication that we are well-poised to continue the fight against drugs,” said Rogers. “Our community has come together like never before, and the numbers speak for themselves. By uniting the manpower and resources of law enforcement officers, citizen groups and medical professionals and educating our young people on the serious dangers of drug use, Operation UNITE is truly making a difference in the battle against drugs.”
Operation UNITE, which stands for Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment and Education, serves 29 counties in southern and eastern Kentucky. The region-wide program has three main tasks: creating regional drug task forces for interdiction, confiscation and undercover operations; organizing local citizens’ groups and coordinating drug treatment programs; and working with educators to expand drug awareness and education programs in local schools. With this funding, Rogers has directed over $41 million for UNITE.
To date, UNITE detectives have confiscated over $8 million worth of drugs off the street, including more than 73,300 prescription pills, nearly 20 pounds of cocaine, and over 11 pounds of methamphetamine. Their efforts have led to the arrests of 2,550 drug dealers and a 98% conviction rate. Operation UNITE also provides non-violent offenders and those grappling with addiction with a second chance—over 1,590 non-violent offenders have participated in UNITE drug court programs, and more than 1,170 individuals have received vouchers for treatment. Finally, Operation UNITE continues to educate our youth about the dangers of drug abuse; to date, 64,595 counseling sessions have taken place with UNITE substance abuse counselors. For more information on UNITE, visit file:// or call 866-678-6483.
These funds are included in the FY09 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which was approved by the House Appropriations Committee on June 25, 2008. The bill is slated to be considered by the full House of Representatives later this summer. Rogers works to secure valuable funding for important initiatives in the Fifth Congressional District.


RAM Successful

Hundreds of people in Pike and neighboring counties are feeling and seeing better today, thanks to the first Pike County Remote Area Medical (RAM) Expedition, which took place at Pike County Central High School last weekend.
“This year’s event was very successful—so successful that RAM has already agreed to come back to Pike County next year,” said Pike County Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford.
Nearly 500 doctors, dentists, opthamologists, nurses, and other volunteers worked tirelessly Saturday and Sunday, distributing $124,430 worth of medical, vision and dental services to those in the area who needed it.
“I appreciate all of the medical professionals and volunteers who ‘stepped up to the plate’ to help distribute medical care to those in need,” said Pike County Social Services Commissioner and RAM Coordinator Carol Napier.
The clinic first opened its doors Saturday at 6 a.m., but by 7:15 a.m., volunteers had to begin turning people away, as they entered the high school. In less than an hour and a half Saturday morning, almost 800 people had signed up to participate in the free clinic. Officials had planned to provide services to 500 each day.
Some of those who participated in Saturday’s clinic arrived as early as Friday evening, to be sure to get a spot first in line, since services were done on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The most successful portion of RAM was in the area of dental services, where a congregation of dentists, hygienists and dental students, coordinated by Pike County dentist Bill Collins, gave free care to 435 adults and 6 children. Over the course of two days, the dental team made 520 extractions, filled 211 cavities, made 20 sets of full and partial dentures, and gave 122 cleanings.
According to Collins, the dental services provided would not have been possible without the aid of dental students from the University of Louisville School of Dentistry or dental hygienist students from Big Sandy Community and Technical College.
Collins said Dr. Dixon, from dental hygienist school at BSCTC was the first to sign up to volunteer for the event.
Collins said the University of Louisville’s community dental health director, Dr. Lee Mayer, the dean, Dr. John Sauk, 16 faculty members and 38 dental students worked tirelessly during the course of the weekend.
“I thought the weekend was successful not only for the patients but also as an educational experience. It was a great community outreach experience for our students,” said Mayer.
Mayer added the event was a good collaboration between “town and gown,” meaning the event was a good example of a union between members of the community and members of academia.
University of Louisville dental students also said they enjoyed the experience.
“It’s been rewarding,” said second year student Jeff Broadbent. “I’ve had so many people I didn’t even know come up and give me a hug after I worked on them. One guy who I removed a tooth for even came back the next day to thank me again,” he added.
Drew Steel, another second year student, agreed. “It’s great to see how appreciative they (participants) are. I glad to know that I helped people who came in with excruciating pain feel better and be able to have better lives because of it,” he said.
While the dental services provided by RAM were extraordinary, the vision services that RAM was able to provide were limited, due to an obscure Kentucky law. Only days before RAM’s kick-off Saturday morning, RAM volunteer optometrists and the event’s coordinators discovered the existence of a law that blocks optometrists from performing volunteer vision services outside of their offices.
Because of the law, several area optometrists who had volunteered for the event were unable to come, which limited the number of people who could receive vision services to less than 60 each day.
Nearly 1,000 people came to RAM to receive services over the weekend, but many left when they discovered they would not be able to receive vision care.
However, of those limited participants who were able to receive vision services, 95 percent left with new glasses, said Pike County opthamologist and RAM volunteer Keith Ison.
“Almost everyone we’ve seen gets a pair of glasses. We’ve given out about 100-115 pairs (over the weekend),” he said.
Ison added that he was glad he could help with RAM because there are people in the area who cannot afford to see an eye doctor. By volunteering, he said he felt he was giving back to his community.
Pike County Judge/Executive Wayne T. Rutherford has already begun working to change the laws before next year’s Pike County RAM Weekend.
“I feel that the legislation that blocks optometrists from giving free vision care to those who need it is degenerative. I will be working with Senator Ray Jones, who attended the event on Saturday evening, to pass legislation to make it easier to hold these types of free clinics in the Commonwealth,” he said.
“Kentucky is the only state we know of, at present, that has barriers to free clinics,” Rutherford added.
Despite the Kentucky regulations that limited RAM’s ability to provide vision services, the weekend was still a great successful. Some 624 people received 722 medical, vision, and dental services.
Besides the vision and dental components, there were many other free services provided. People were given diabetes screenings and education, cholesterol screenings, skin cancer screenings, specialist exams, and women were given pap smears.

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