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  1. Kentucky Golf Trail Cards Available for 2015
    The best golf in Kentucky is now available at the 16 courses operated by the Kentucky Department of Parks. For 2015, the Kentucky Golf Trail is again offering a “trail card” that provides unlimited paid green fees for the cardholder.

    The trail cards make excellent holiday gifts for the golfer in your family.

    The unlimited paid green fees trail cards are sold at all state park golf courses and are valid Jan. 1, 2015, through Dec. 31, 2015.  Cards start at $500 for senior players (62 and older).  An unlimited single card costs $750. For more information on the trail card, visit http://parks.ky.gov/golf/golf_trail/trail-cards.aspx

    Kentucky State Parks also has its “Stay and Play” package, which includes golf and overnight accommodations at 10 golf courses. For more information, visit www.ky.parks.gov/golf/discounts_packages/stay-and-play

    Kentucky State Resort Parks feature full-service lodges and restaurants, along with other recreational opportunities such as hiking trails, tennis courts and picnic areas. For more information about state parks and golf courses, visit www.parks.ky.gov

  2. Eagle Scout Project Enhances LBL Experience

    Jordan Abernathy with Boy Scout Troop 200 in Paducah completed his Eagle Scout project on November 15 at Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area. Completion of an in-depth, public service project is required to attain the highest rank in the Boy Scouts-an Eagle Scout. Jordan designed, built and installed an arbor with a bench in the Nature Station's Backyard Native Gardens and hummingbird feeding area.

    “Visitors now have great vantage point for observing, enjoying, and photographing our hummingbirds and other wildlife,” says Aviva Yasgur, a Naturalist at the Nature Station. “We’ll grow Trumpet Vine and Crossvine which produce large red flowers that attract hummingbirds in spring and summer. The Nature Station staff is very proud of Jordan and excited for our visitors to use and enjoy his arbor next season!”

    Since May, Jordan carefully designed and constructed the arbor to endure the elements and integrate with the surrounding environment. Jordan recruited and led his fellow scouts to help install the arbor. The 8-foot tall structure, with its 6-foot bench and hangers for hummingbird feeders, allows flowering vines to grow up the latticework and provides visitors a place to sit and enjoy the natural scene.

    Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area manages more than 170,000 acres in western Kentucky and Tennessee as part of the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of Agriculture’s public lands program. Land Between The Lakes offers outdoor recreation, lake access, land management, and environmental education to over 1.4 million visitors annually. The Friends of Land Between The Lakes works in partnership with the Forest Service providing program services, funds development, and volunteer support.

    To find more information about Land Between The Lakes, log on to the official website at www.landbetweenthelakes.us or call toll-free at 1-800-LBL-7077 or local at 270-924-2000. For more information on the Friends of Land Between The Lakes, log on to www.friendsoflbl.org.

  3. New Drone Video Captures Paducah Floodwall Murals
    Curt Stewart, owner of EMP (Emerging Media Productions) captured the magnificence of Paducah's Floodwall Murals last week. The riverfront had a light coating of snow and that, with fall-colored leaves, puffy white clouds and downtown Christmas decorations, made the view extra inviting. Here's Paducah Wall to Wall's gift to the community this Thanksgiving and Christmas season. www.PaducahWallToWall.com.  ENJOY!

    The amazing 19-years in the making project, beautifully portrays the story of Paducah's interesting history. This year the project was picked by AAA's Trip Advisor as the best public art project in the state of Kentucky. 24/7 anyone can enjoy public art at its finest and experience Paducah's history as it seems to come to life when standing in front of the life-size images. Bronze interprtive panels tell the story for each panel vividly painted on the floodwall.

    Robert Dafford and Herb Roe, along with other Dafford muralists, have created 54 subjects/images along three-blocks of the floodwall in downtown Paducah. The copyrighted images may be photographed but not sold for profit without written consent from Dafford or the Paducah Wall to Wall organization. A book with all images and history of the project may be purchased for only $10 at several locations in Paducah www.paducahwalltowall.com. Proceeds from the sales of mural merchandise go toward future maintenance of the Dafford Murals.
  4. City Trash Collection Thanksgiving Schedule
    Below are the changes to the Engineering-Public Works Department’s trash collection schedule for Thanksgiving 2014 and the day after Thanksgiving (Thursday and Friday, Nov. 27 and 28). As a reminder, place your trash container at its designated collection point no later than 4 am on the scheduled day of pickup. 

    There will be no residential trash collection on Thanksgiving or the day after. Thanksgiving’s routes will be done on Wednesday, Nov. 26 along with the normal Wednesday routes. Friday's routes will be done on Monday, Dec. 1. There will be no leaf or brush collection on Monday, Dec. 1. 
    The City of Paducah Compost Facility located at 1560 North 8th Street will be closed on Thanksgiving and the day after Thanksgiving. It will reopen Saturday, Nov. 29, 7 am to 3 pm. The regular operating schedule for the Compost Facility is Monday through Saturday, 7 am - 3 pm.

    If you have a question about the Compost Facility or trash collection, contact the Engineering-Public Works Department at 270-444-8567.

    City Hall will be closed Thanksgiving and the day after Thanksgiving.

    Information provided by Pam Spencer, City Information Officer. 


  5. High-speed Chase on I-24 Leads to Five Arrests
    Five Nashville, TN men were arrested Sunday morning following a high-speed chase on Interstate 24 in western Kentucky. According to Kentucky State Police, a trooper was stationary on I-24 at the 38-mile marker, when he observed a car traveling east at 88 miles per hour in a 70mph zone.

    When the trooper attempted to catch up to the car, it traveled off exit 40 in an attempt to elude police. The trooper caught up with the car and attempted to stop it on Days Inn Drive, just off exit 40, but the car fled eastbound on US 62, into oncoming traffic.

    After a short distance, the car made a U-turn on US 62, and traveled back onto I-24 at Exit 40. Traveling east, the pursuit continued until troopers deployed spike strips at exit 65 and disabled the car.

    Five men exited the car and fled on foot. All five subjects were apprehended a short time later. The driver, 23-year-old Quintez Williams, was arrested and charged with speeding, wanton endangerment, reckless driving, two counts of fleeing and evading, DUI, receiving stolen property and other charges.

    The four passengers, 19-year-old Darius Hogue, 25-year-old Kejuan Shaw, 19-year-old Trey Walker and 18-year-old Corey Moore, were arrested and charged with receiving stolen property, two counts of fleeing and evading, possession of burglary tools and possession of drug paraphernalia.

    All five were lodged in the Christian Count Jail.

  6. Safe Shopping Tips for 'Black Friday' and Holidays
    Nearly 40% of Americans are expected to go shopping on Black Friday.  With all of the excitement, it is easy for family members to become separated and for people to become vulnerable to crime.

    “A distracted shopper is the prime target for opportunistic holiday criminals,” says Ann M. Harkins, National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) President and CEO. “You can keep the Grinch and other cunning crooks away by following ten simple shopping safety suggestions.”   

    AlertID and the NCPC (home to McGruff the Crime Dog) share these tips to help keep you and your family safe on Black Friday and throughout the busy holiday season:

    •Be informed about your surroundings. Use the free McGruff mobile app available from AlertID™ to receive alerts about registered sex offenders living and working in the vicinity of your shopping venue as well as crime alerts for thousands of cities.

    •Deter pickpockets. Carry your purse close to your body or your wallet inside a coat or front trouser pocket.

    •Tell a security guard or store employee if you see an unattended bag or package. The same applies if you are using mass transit.

    •Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle. Check the back seat and around the car before getting in.

    •Do not leave packages visible in your car windows. Lock them in the trunk or, if possible, take them directly home.

    When shopping with children:

    •If you are shopping with children, make a plan in case you are separated from each other.

    •Select a central meeting place.

    •Teach them to know they can ask mall personnel or store security employees if they need help.

    •Have them memorize or keep your cell phone number handy.

    •Keep up-to-date photos and accurate descriptions of each child electronically with AlertID’s My Family Wallet™ located in the AlertID app. Should they go missing, this information can be sent quickly to law enforcement when every moment counts.

    “Malls are extremely busy places on Black Friday and throughout the holidays,” said Keli Wilson, mom of three and founder of AlertID. “By keeping these safety tips in mind, families can help ensure not only a fun shopping experience, but also a safe one.”

  7. Paul Balances Immigration Order, 2016 Prospects
    U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said his opposition to President Barack Obama's executive orders changing the country's immigration law will not hurt his efforts to reach out to the nation's minority communities ahead of a possible 2016 run for president.

    Obama has issued an executive order delaying the deportation of up to 5 million people who are in the country illegally. Paul, like most Senate Republicans, has opposed Obama's order in the strongest terms and has pushed to take the president to court.

    But Paul said his opposition is about a president abusing his power, not about opposing immigration reform. Paul said if Obama had issued an executive order lowering taxes, he would have opposed that, too. Paul said he believes voters understand the real issue.

  8. Shop With a Cop Fundraiser in Mayfield Monday
    The Graves County Sheriff's Office will be participating in another Shop with a Cop fundraiser Monday.

    The fundraiser event will be from 5-9pm at Carr's Steakhouse. Sheriff's office employees will be cleaning tables and serving guests for tips. Also part of the restaurant's proceeds from that night will go to the sheriff's office.

    All money raised will go to the Shop with a Cop program. Carr's Steakhouse is located at 213 West Broadway in Mayfield.

    The Shop with a Cop program takes place in December when underprivileged children from Graves County get to shop with a deputy for toys and clothes for Christmas at the Mayfield Wal-Mart.

  9. Families of Fallen Soldiers Get New Home
    The oldest surviving structure on the Fort Campbell Army post is now being used to help a different kind of survivor: family members of fallen soldiers.


    Fort Campbell dedicated the Parrish House as the Survivor Outreach Services building as part of Military Survivor Appreciation Week.

    The structure was built in 1833 and is a plantation-style farmhouse that has been home to all commanding generals of the 101st Airborne Division since 1947.

    The Leaf-Chronicle reports the house was condemned when the sprawling post along the Kentucky-Tennessee border was constructed, but fate has intervened to save it time and time again.

    Suzy Yates of Fort Campbell Survivor Outreach Services says she hopes it will be "a place of new beginnings and of hope" for families who use it.

  10. Baptist Health Paducah Celebrates Home Care Month
    Baptist Health Paducah is celebrating National Home Care Month for services that allow people to stay in their homes while receiving appropriate medical attention.

    Baptist Home Care began in 1995 in a one-room office. Today it serves approximately 1.325 patients a year in McCracken, Marshall, Graves, Hickman counties in western Kentucky and Massac, Johnson, Pope, Pulaski, Alexander and Hardin counties in southern Illinois.

    "We meet the needs of our patients in their homes so they can stay in their environment where they are comfortable,” said Melanie Hamilton, director of Baptist Home Care. “But we also enhance the Baptist mission by providing education and health screenings to help keep our community healthy.”

    The staff includes registered nurses, certified nurse aides, physical, occupational and speech therapists, therapy assistants, social workers, a dietitian and clerical support team.

    "The service the Home Care team provides is an important part of the full spectrum of healthcare services needed to keep our community healthy," said Baptist Health Paducah president William A. Brown. “Our goal is to provide the care needed in the least restrictive environment, so people can go about their normal activities whenever possible.”

    A celebration honoring Home Care employees took place earlier this month in the Baptist Heart Center.


  11. Dickins of a Christmas Small Business Saturday
    Historic downtown Paducah will be bustling with holiday shoppers and Christmas cheer on Saturday, November 29 during the Dickens of a Christmas Small Business Saturday event organized by Paducah Main Street.  From 10 am until 5 pm downtown Paducah will be transformed into a Dickens atmosphere with free Victorian carriage rides, dancers, carolers, and characters in costume.

    Downtown Development Specialist/Paducah Main Street Director Melinda Winchester says, “Small Business Saturday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year, and our local small businesses look forward to greeting customers and helping them find those perfect holiday gifts.” 

    “Small Business Saturday fits perfectly with the goals of Kentucky Main Street because our focus is local, independent, small business owners,” said Kitty Dougoud, Kentucky Main Street Program state coordinator. “Supporting friends, neighbors and local artisans keeps dollars in the community and creates a thriving downtown.”

    At the November 18 City Commission meeting, Mayor Gayle Kaler issued a proclamation in support of Small Business Saturday which urged citizens to shop at local small businesses on November 29 and throughout the year. 

    Winchester adds, “I encourage everyone to come to historic downtown and enjoy the atmosphere on November 29. People will be singing, dancing, and wearing costumes to get you in the Christmas spirit. Also, after making a grand entrance to downtown by carriage from the Grand Lodge to the gazebo at 10 am, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at the Santa House near the gazebo at 2nd and Broadway to hear Christmas wishes until 5 pm.”

    Other activities on the 29th include free gift wrapping stations, free hot chocolate, wassail, coffee, and popcorn. There will be roasted nuts, bake sales, and s'mores at the fire pit near the gazebo. Stop at Kirchhoff’s Deli and Bakery for a Holiday Market that includes gift items such as honey, bread mixes, and jewelry from local vendors.

    Paducah Improv will act out favorite Christmas movies, and Maiden Alley Cinema will be showing some of your favorite Christmas movies later that afternoon.  There will be a special photo session with Santa and your favorite pet at Hooper's Outdoor Center from 1 to 3 pm and Christmas story-time from noon until 5 pm at Courtyard East Antiques and Books. The McCracken County Public Library also will be at Courtyard East to provide free Christmas books. 

    Toys for Tots will be set up at 217 Broadway to collect toy donations. The Knights of Columbus annual Christmas tree sale also is underway on that date from 9 am until 8 pm at the Farmers’ Market pavilion located at North 2nd and Monroe Streets. 

    Small Business Saturday was created in 2010 in response to the need for small business owners to have more demand for their products and services.  Falling between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Small Business Saturday is a day to celebrate and support the small independently-owned businesses that help boost local economies across the country. According to the United States Small Business Administration, there are 23 million small businesses in the United States which employ more than 55 percent of the country’s working population.

  12. Waters: Fear Not Criminal-Justice Reforms
    Politicians often opine about how the latest election results indicate that “the people want us to get something done.”

    In that spirit, I offer an issue that a Democratic House, Republican Senate and lame-duck governor can – and should – come together on: further reforms to Kentucky’s criminal-justice system.

    I say “further” because we’ve made some significant progress in this policy area since Gov. Steve Beshear signed House Bill 463 into law in 2011 while commenting that the legislation proves the possibility of being “tough on crime while being smart on crime.”

    Yet there’s more for legislators to do – especially if the $400 million in estimated savings from passage of HB 463 is to fully materialize.
    The General Assembly clearly expected passage of HB 463 to result in reducing Kentucky’s prison and jail populations – which, historically, have been among the nation’s highest. However, that’s not happening.

    Between 1985 and 2012, Kentucky’s overall crime rate fell by 6 percent while violent crimes dropped by 27 percent. Yet the commonwealth’s incarceration rate soared by a whopping – and very costly – 281 percent.

    While HB 463 has resulted in a slowing of prison-population growth, Kentucky Public Advocate Ed Monahan believes it has a glaring weakness by allowing prosecutors, judges and parole officials – who, as is a well-known fact, generally aren’t the law’s biggest fans – to continue using their discretionary powers to improperly put and keep low-level offenders behind bars.

    Monahan is offering a 10-step program that a politically diverse legislature could largely accept to bring the reforms intended by HB 463 to full fruition, including Step No. 6: “Substantial savings from presuming parole for eligible low-risk offenders.”

    A palatable policy change in a politically purple state would result in legislators finding ways to encourage parole board members to parole more of the nearly 30 percent of low-risk offenders refused conditional release in 2012, and which increased to nearly 36 percent in the just-completed fiscal year.

    Just the failure to parole more than 600 low-risk offenders costs taxpayers nearly $28,000 per day – $10.2 million per year – in totally unnecessary costs.

    A common sense, taxpayer friendly approach to criminal justice policy that releases low-risk offenders instead of keeping them locked up in prison would not only save taxpayers the $46 per day it costs to house and feed a prisoner, but it can be done safely as parole boards use the highly effective risk-assessment tools available to them.

    Lawmakers need to be able to politically walk and chew their gum at the same time on this issue by differentiating between low-level nonviolent and high-risk violent people.

    “Locking up more people longer does not reduce crime; locking up high risk violent people does reduce crime,” Monahan said. “Locking up low and moderate risk people longer does not reduce crime and can have the reverse effect, and it is a very costly waste of taxpayers’ money.”
    His is a strong argument supported by what’s actually happening both inside and outside the commonwealth.

    Texas’ crime rate, for example, is at its lowest level since 1968 even as the incarceration rate has plunged by nearly 12 percent just since 2005.
    Interestingly, while Texas has been a national leader on criminal-justice reform policy, not a single politician in the state has suffered defeat at the polls because they were perceived as going soft on crime.

    But the best evidence in support of Monahan’s position comes from Kentucky’s own experience. As both adult and juvenile sentencing reforms and alternatives have been introduced here, the Bluegrass State’s crime rate also has dropped.

    Shouldn’t that allay fears that implementing further reforms would somehow erode the safety of our commonwealth and its citizens?

    Jim Waters is president of the Bluegrass Institute, Kentucky’s free-market think tank. Reach him at jwaters@freedomkentucky.com. Read previously published columns at www.bipps.org.
  13. Paducah Parks Services Awarded KY Outstanding Dept
    During the Kentucky Recreation & Park Society’s annual conference held November 12-14 in Owensboro, the Paducah Parks Services Department was honored with the Outstanding Department Award. 

    Parks Services Director Mark Thompson says, “I would like to thank the Kentucky Recreation and Park Society for this recognition as the Outstanding Class 1 Department in Kentucky for the third year in a row.  Each member of the Parks Services Department is dedicated to providing the best parks and programs for the citizen of Paducah and the region.  We are always looking to challenge ourselves to improve the City’s parks system and enhance the recreation experience for everyone.”

    Paducah Parks Services is a department of 24 full-time staff with one director, two superintendents, one special events coordinator, one maintenance supervisor, two recreation specialists, 14 maintenance workers, and a busy clerical staff of three. In addition to maintaining more than two dozen parks and facilities in Paducah and organizing the downtown Farmers’ Market, the Parks Department hosts a variety of events including parades, Bikes on Broadway, LIVE on the RIVER, the Riverfront Concert Series, Concerts in the Park, Movies in the Park, and the Independence Day Celebration. 

    This year the department expanded the Greenway Trail to include the stretch between U.S. 45 and Noble Park.  The City now offers more than 4.5 miles of trail for walkers, joggers, and cyclists.  Also just completed is the first phase of the Noble Park Lake Bank Stabilization Project which involves the placement of metal sheets along the bank to stabilize the erosion.  New sidewalks and a new foundation for the renovated Duck House were also included in this project. 

    For more information about the award-winning Parks Services Department, visit www.paducahky.gov.  For more information about the Kentucky Recreation & Park Society, visit www.kyrps.org.

    Information provided by Pam Spencer, Paducah Public Information Officer.

  14. Family Favorite Holiday Cook-Off at bbQ & More
    If your family has some favorite holiday dessert or appetizer recipes, here's an opportunity to show them off  and share during the “Family Favorites Holiday Cook-Off” at bbQ & More on Saturday, Dec. 6th at 3 pm.

    Hosted by the McCracken County Cooperative Extension Office and BBQ & More, the cook-off is being organized as a way to support a local charity, have fun, and of course, prove your family favorites are the best.

    The entry fee is $10 or a new toy valued at $10 per category entered. Toys and money will be donated to the George Wilson Safety Foundation Toy Drive. All contestant recipes will be shared with other participants via a complete recipe booklet awarded at the end of the cook-off.

    For the entry form visit http://mccracken.ca.uky.edu or http://www.bbqandmore.biz/

  15. Golden Pond Planetarium Presents Holiday Shows
    The Golden Pond Planetarium celebrates the holiday season with several holiday shows – Let it Snow, Season of Light, and Laser Holidays -- from November 28 to December 23.

    The newest show, Let it Snow, features a variety of high resolution scenes and artistic animations suitable for all ages. Season of Light traces the celestial reasons behind many of our holiday traditions that involve light: yule logs, lighted trees, luminaries, and menorahs. Laser Holidays features lasers dancing to popular holiday music and songs by Bing Cosby, Burl Ives, and many others.

    The final laser shows of the season will take place December 27 at 5 pm and 6 pm, and will include Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall. Pink Floyd laser shows are $7 per seat, per show. “Our programs include astronomy education on popular winter constellations,” explained Ross Workman, planetarium manager. “These seasonal shows also explain why we have seasons and teach us about the earth’s tilt and orbit around the sun.”

    Admission to the Golden Pond Planetarium is $5 ages 13 and up; $3 ages 5-12; free for ages 4 and under.Groups of ten or more may schedule shows after hours and receive group rates. Call 270-924-2020 for more information.

    Evening shows continue in December on Saturdays only. The Planetarium will be closed Thanksgiving Day, December 24, 25, 29, 30, and 31, and New Year's Day. The Golden Pond Planetarium will reopen on January 2, providing shows seven days a week.

    For more information on planetarium shows visit www.landbetweenthelakes.us/, click on See and Do, Attractions, and Planetarium Theater Shows. For Holiday laser shows click on Calendar and search for “Holiday laser shows.”

    To find more information about Land Between The Lakes, log on to the official website at www.landbetweenthelakes.us or call toll-free at 1-800-LBL-7077 or local at 270-924-2000.


    Information provided by LBL.

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