Newspaper Archive of
Bath County News - Outlook
Owingsville, Kentucky
December 4, 2003     Bath County News - Outlook
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December 4, 2003

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/ The Bath Coun This award-winning newspaper is invited into homes in Bath, Rowan, Montgomer3; Menifee, Nicholas, and Fleming Counties 19 Your Hometown Newspaper (045260) (606)674-2181 FAX (606)674-9994 ] 2003 P.O. Box 577, Owingsville, KY 40360 swesr$--Vearl Pennington, center, newly-elected school board member and a former board member, takes the oath Wednesday night at the regular board Jng. At left is Bath County Schools Superintendent Nancy Hutchinson, and at right is Gail central office secretary. Pennington was elected to the post in the November 4 gen- election. serviceman trades in combat gear to fight Montana Fish Creek Complex fires By Jim Hughes Mont.--When of two area residents word that he needed to up immediately deploy to American lives and in a hostile environ- the soldier was not sur- when Army Staff Sgt. W. Garrett, son of John W. Sr., Sugargrove Lane, :sville, "and Darlene E. 8th St,, Paris, trad- his assault rifle, bullet- and desert camou- uniforms for an axe, a bright yellow fireproof and an all-expense trip to Montana, he was a back. ' Nature's volatile mix iAugust 9 lightning strike, Winds and 90-plus degree resulted in the Creek Complex fires-- separate fires in an area 30 miles west of south- city. When the started to get out of hand residents in the woods asked to evacuate, the Interagency Fire called in the cavalry-- than 500 members of 1st Cavalry Division Fort Hood, Texas. a crash course in fight- keeping safe out on sites, the field artillery chief spent three weeks hter, working to keep om spreading. was quick, but to the point," said the graduate of Bourbon High School. "Once we going out to the fires, we mostly assigned to mop- gging trenches, out hot spots and cutting trees--to keep the fires to other areas." The soldier joined a group of about 700 civilian firefighters in a rancher's pasture that served as the home camp for this out- of-the-norm version of Homeland Defense. The sol- diers slept in two-man tents, worked long hours and worded little about off-duty activities since they didn't have much down time. While living in a tend in the middle of a field isn't that much different of an experi- ence for Garrett, trudg- ing through mountainous terrain, swing- ing an axe and chain sawing trees made for a unique depar- ture from his normal soldier- ing. "As a how- itzer section chief, I manage the actions of six soldiers," he said. "It's our job to up put artillery fire into the enemy. We help eliminate threats to the infantry units and also help them achieve their objectives." The Fish Creek Complex fires raged through 35,623 acres of the Lolo National Forest. When the soldiers pulled out in mid September, the fire was 75 percent contained and was total- ly contained by late September. And the local populace expressed their appreciation for the soldiers' efforts throughout the operation. School children sold their bicycles to buy care packages, people sent baked goods, and store owners and people on the street had nothing but good things to say about the work the soldiers were doing and their professionalism while out on the town during their scarce days off. "I feel great about helping these people out," he said. "We are soldiers and, as soldiers, it is Army Staff Sgt. John W. Garrett, of Bath County, readies his axe for battle before heading out to the fire lines in the Loto National Forest in Montana recently. Garrett, a field artillery section chief, spent three weeks fighting the 35,623-acre Fish Creek Complex fires. (Photo by Gregory Kobashigawa) our duty to protect the country, whether that is by facing down an armed enemy or keeping out fellow citizens safe from fire." While Garrett and his fellow soldiers were a little surprised to find themselves battling Mother Nature in a forest rather than terrorists in a desert, they know they the work they did was just as important. These soldiers fought to protect their fellow countrymen and they prevailed. ............ e Elementary Consolidation Committee gives four options regarding future of 5th-grade move to elementary level By Kirby Haskins News-Outlook staff writer With a good crowd on hand, the Bath County Board of edcu- ation swore in newly-elected board member Vearl Pennington, on a night where the future of Bath County's 5th- grade was under scrutiny once again. During the board's September 24 meeting, board members approved the creation of yet another committee to look into the possibility of relocating of the county's 5th-grade classes. The board requested this panel submit options if such a move was warranted. This panel of 16, known as the Elementary Consolidation Committee, consists of parents, teachers and faculty members throughout the school district. Members of committee were in attendance Wednesday night to present their findings to the board. James Mitchell, spokesperson for. the group, addressed the board and informed them that after extensive research into the matter, the committee lound overwhelming support for the relocation of the 5th-grade back to the local elementary schools. Mitchell then presented four options to the board regarding the proposed relocation. These options were designed Io pro- vide room for 5th-grade classes, prevent overcrowding at BCMS as well as OES, while maintain- ing consistent enrollment at the county's other elementary' schools. The first option would allow current fourth graders to remain at their current elementary schools as upcoming 5th- graders. This option also calls for an expansion of OES. The expansion would involve the addition of six classrooms at OES, addition of needed desks and chairs, the hiring of an assistant principal, and transfer- ring one cook from Bath County Middle School to OES. The second option discussed, called for drawing and enforc- ing district lines to ensure Bethel Elementary School, and Salt Lick Elementary, have enrollments of approximately 200 students, therefore, elimi- nating overcrowding at OES. When district lines are drawn, some students may need to be transferred from OES to either BES or SLE. The committee's third option calls tot a renovation of the annex building (located between the middle school and Board of Education). Alter the renovation, OES preschool stu- dents would be relocated to the site. The final option was the cre- ation of a new elementary school. Once a school is con- structed OES enrollment will need to be divided between OES and the new facility. A principal and other staff would have to be hired as well. Regardless of which option is chosen, an itinerate art teacher will be needed tbr all elemen- tary schools, as well as a music teacher for BES and SLE. After the presentation, Board chairperson Sandy Crouch informed Mitchell the commit- tee's options would b under consideration. Later in the evening a few audience members expressed their views on the 5th-grade issue and desire for a legitimate solution. Tinker Ray voiced his concern on this subject's continuous debate. "People have given a lot of time and effort to this. I don't want to see us have to form another committee," he said. Gayle Crouch agreed, "I don't want this put off again and then say we can't do it because its too late." Board member Pennington reminded members of the com- mittee and audience, the board must have sufficient time to look over the proposed options. "It (a decision) couldn't be done responsibly without all the hard work you all did. But we can't make such a decision tonight," Pennington said. Mike Ray who was also in attendance later commented, "I assure you no one wants you to make an irresponsible decision. But it seems like we are spin- ning our wheels and there is no direction." No action was taken on this matter during the evening. The issue is scheduled for further discussion at the next school board meeting, December 23. Earlier in the evening, OES teacher Teresa Jordan Carpenter was on hand to ask for approval to seek a federal initiative grant aimed at improving student reading skills. This grant, known as the Reading First Grant, would provide $170,000 per year for six years towards an elaborate reading program at the school. --Turn to ELEMENTARY, page 16 Ministerial Assoc. seeking help in area food drive The Bath County Ministerial Association is urging area citi- zens to take part in a canned food drive Sunday, Dec. 7. 2(X13. The BCMA in cooperation with the Angel Tree Christmas Project, is seeking canned items such as fruits and vegeta- bles, as well as dry goods, tis- sues, and toilet paper. Monetary donations will aslo be accepted. All items collect- ed during this drive will be dis- tributed to needy families throughout Bath County dur- ing the holiday season. Anyone wishing to donate items to the food drive is urged to take their donations to their local church or the Owingsville Christian Church on Dec. 7 between 12 and 10 p.m. Holidays are upon us... Saturday annual Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade in Owingsville The annual Christmas par- ade, sponsored by the Owings- ville Chamber of Commerce, will be held Saturday, December 6, 2003, at 6:30 p.m. The fine-up for the parade will be at 6 p,m, at the BCMS. You can sign up for the parade until 6:30 p.m. There will be no motorcy- cles or 4-wheelers allowed in the parade. Santa Claus will try to visit the open houses in town, including Miller Furniture, the Bath County Memorial Library and the florist shops. The Owingsville Banking Company will have its open house that day, at the new OBC branch in Miller Plaza. Also, the Christmas tree lighting will be judged some- time before Thursday, Dec- ember 11, with the results being published in the News. Outlook in the December 24th edition. The Owingsville Woman's Club will judge the outside decorations only, of each home chosen by the club. pilot Kevin Stewart, found a skill he loves and to make a carreer out of it flying various types of for hire. Stewart is the son of Terry Stewart of Professional pilot, Kevin Stewart, recognized his passion for flying and ultimately turned it into a successful career By Kirby Haskins "Flying is so peaceful. There's Stewart followed his calling to Worldwide Equipment News-Outlook staff writer no traffic. You're surrounded by ......... nothing but air and blue sky," he of: Eastern Kentucky University Prestonsburg, transporting the There is an old saying, "If man were meant to fly, God would have given him wings." This old adage urges us to acknowledge our natural limita- tions, but for airplane pilot Kevin Stewart, the desire to tame the sky is far too strong for mere words to hinder. Stewart, 32, who currently resides in O.wingsville, has taken his life-long passion for flight, and molded it into a suc- cessful and fulfilling career in aerial surveying. Flying is not only Stewart's job, but his hobby and liveli- hood as well. explains. Though he never really flew until his early twenties, Stewart's infatuation with flight began during his childhood. "I've always talked about fly- ing. When 1 was little, I wanted to fly helicopters," he says. Stewart was 21 years-old when he and his uncle, Burnsy Stewart, made a tri p to the Morehead-Rowan County Airport. It was there he paid $15 to take 'a half hour flight. When it was over he realized he want- ed to pursue a career as a pilot. "I loved it and I found out I had a knack for it," he says. were he took part in the school's aviation program. He soon learned all tricks-of- the-trade and was eager to put his newly-acquired talents to the test. Upon graduation from EKU, Stewart began working for companies top officials in pri- vate jets. It was with this company he spent the next six years, gaining valuable experience and fine- tuning his skills. --Turn to PROFESSIONAL, Page 16 The jet that Stewart flew when he worked for Worldwide Equipment.