Meet Honey! She was the furry firefighter of Scott County from 2009 until January 1st of this year when she retired. The county first acquired dogs in 2004 when the Scott County Fire Department received a grant from State Farm Insurance sponsored by Steve Woodrum to receive an accelerant detection canine from Maine State Police’s Specialty Dogs. The county’s first dog, Smokie, worked for the department until August 2009 when he retired and Honey took over. Smokie lived with Jim Kanavy and his family until he passed in 2013. Honey is a yellow Labrador retriever and has been working for the county since Sept 11, 2009 and has served the county for over 10 years. Honey has been nominated and competed in the American Humane Societies Hero Dog Awards and has traveled to Washington D.C. for that nomination. All the dogs work and live with Jim Kanavy, their certified handler. Jim Kanavy is certified through the Maine Criminal Justice Academy as a Canine Team. He is also certified by the International Association of Arson Investigators and the National Association of Fire Investigators as a Certified Fire Investigator. He is currently on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Arson Investigators which is a worldwide organization with over 10,000 members that covers over 80 states and countries. Lastly, he represents the public fire agencies with National Fire Protection Association’s Fire Investigation Units Committee. He trains them by giving a food reward with a passive alert signal. This means that the dogs sit when they find the source of odor and are rewarded for their good work by being given a treat. The dogs live with Kanavy when working and when they retire. They are trained daily 365 days a year, and they go on family vacations and trips when he goes.
Honey retired from duty on January 1st, and State Farm has given Mikey to the county to replace her. Mikey is a 6 year old Black Labrador, and he was received in October. Mikey is also going through his training requirements daily to prepare for the job and fill Honey’s shoes. Both Kanavy and Mikey will be traveling to Maine in a couple months to complete the certification training.
All the canines, with the support of the Fire Chief and the Fiscal Court, have been a huge asset for the County and the State. Up until last year, Honey was the only accelerant detection Canine in Kentucky. The dogs will often be called into other agencies to detect the crime of arson with their keen sense of smell.
Kara Oliver has lived in Scott County for her entire life. After Graduating from Scott County High School, Kara went to nursing school for a while until making her way back to Scott County to start working in the court house. She is now the Personnel Officer for Scott County Fiscal Court. She is in charge of payroll, retirement, benefits, sick and vacation time, and the wellness program for all county government employees. People are always coming in and out of her office to ask for help regarding their paychecks, benefits, or anything in between, and she always leads them to the right place with a smile. Kara enjoys her position because she gets to meet and talk with so many different people, and when she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her daughter.
Kara has always been a dedicated employee, but with all the
recent changes with payroll and benefits, she has been working extra hard to
make sure all employees are happy and accounted for.
The Legacy and Legends Scholarship applies to any graduate of Scott County High School or any resident who has lived in Scott County for over one year. It is a full tuition scholarship which only leaves a student to cover the costs of room, board, and any fees. This scholarship is the only scholarship that can be given by the college to a student, but the student can cover their additional costs with outside grants and scholarships that they may receive. The total cost of attendance for a year at Georgetown would be approximately $11,600 for a student receiving this scholarship making college highly affordable for eligible students. Each student still has to meet all the normal requirements for entrance into Georgetown, live on campus, and remain on good standing in their 4 years of enrollment. The money for this scholarship comes from the same place as all other scholarships: the generous gifts of donors and alumni.
Scott County is not the only county receiving the Legacy and Legends Scholarship. Just this week, it was announced that Owen County will also be able to apply. There are actually four other counties that will be able to receive this full-tuition scholarship, but at the current time the other two counties cannot be disclosed. All four of the counties have a deep historical connection to the college. Scott County being the home of Georgetown for all these years, and Owen County for having a strong connection to the family of former President Mills. They decided on these four counties also due to financial reasoning. The goal was to reach students of counties who do not usually come to Georgetown. Dr. Jonathan Sands Wise, VP of Enrollment Management, says “It doesn’t help us to simply give a much bigger scholarship to students we were already getting. We need to get new students by doing this; that is how we help our current student body.” The current students enrolled at Georgetown that are from each of these counties will be receiving free housing equivalents to the dual occupancy standard housing cost once the scholarship is installed. Georgetown hopes that these students will see that this is a big scholarship coming their way that they had not originally planned on, and that they could not be grandfathered in because it would not help the current student body nearly as much due to real money that would be lost. Frustrations from these students are understood and recognized, and Georgetown hopes that this significant scholarship for them will help with potentially $15,000 being given to each county’s currently enrolled students.
The college had gone through a
rough patch of declining growth in previous years, and they have now hit a
point where growth is stable. They just enrolled the largest freshman class
since 2011, but there is still major growth that needs to happen in order to develop
Georgetown to the standard they wish to achieve. Sands Wise speaks on the
necessity of this scholarship saying, “We need to grow to begin to do the other
things we want to do and to begin living up to what student expect when they
come here in terms of housing, food, class options and trip options, and that
requires growth.” Sands Wise and the other members of the board project that
they will have enough beds to house the immediate effects of the scholarship
considering that the historic enrollment had been around 1300 students and
currently there are just over 900. Long term, having new students coming to
campus will allow the college to begin working on housing facilities that are
shuttered, like Knight Hall, and potentially building new housing facilities.
These options will be further discussed once the new students are enrolled.
This scholarship came about with the new president of Georgetown College, Will Jones. He had experience with a scholarship like this with his previous college, Bethany. He came in with plans to implement the same thing for Georgetown. In one of the faculty’s earliest meetings with President Jones, he asked Dr. Sands Wise to begin crunching the numbers and seeing if it was a real possibility for the college. They had to calculate the current number of enrolled students from these counties, what kind of scholarships those students already receive, and what it would look like for the college if they did this. They also had to make estimates of how many students it would bring in and what kind of reach they could get with counties and students that normally would not come to Georgetown. Efforts to communicate with the current students and their families are being discussed currently, and town hall meetings will be had in order to have their questions answered. Meeting times and sign ups will be announced this week.
“We really wanted to make sure that we did a program that was good for every student,” says Sands Wise, “We have been able to talk through what this would be able to do for all our students, and most of them are able to see ‘This is good for me too.’” Dr. Sands Wise and those developing the scholarship say that there will be major growth for the college allowing them to begin working on existing facilities immediately that need updates and renovations and give them the ability to control cost of attendance. Next year, they will be able to freeze tuition and keep it at the same rate for all returning students. There will be a fee applied to all students’ bills (even those receiving the scholarship) of $990 which is considerably less than they have raised tuition in recent years. Tuition for next year will not go up, but other costs will for every student. These costs will not increase more than they have historically, but it will increase by 2-3%. Without the influx of new students to Georgetown, tuition would have been raised, but thanks to this scholarship, tuition will stay the same. By bringing in these new students that would not have come to Georgetown in the first place, the college will actually be able to charge current students less. The goals of this scholarship are large, but the faculty behind these decisions are confident that they will be accomplished.
Scott County is getting into the Christmas spirit down on Main Street! Every year, a tree is donated to be displayed in downtown Georgetown and decorated for Christmas by several departments of the county. This year’s tree was donated by a citizen on Bunker Hill Drive and it is currently being assembled and decorated outside the court house. The Scott County Road Department, Georgetown Public Works, and Georgetown-Scott County Tourism Commission come together every year to put on an amazing Christmas tree display for citizens and visitors alike. This year, the Georgetown-Scott County Parks and Recreation also assisted with ornaments to be put onto the tree.
Kayla Moses is a Deputy Jailer for the Scott County Detention
Center. She grew up in Scott County and went to SC High School before going off
to Ohio where she studied and played basketball for the University of Dayton. After
graduating, she came back to Scott County and has been here for 6 years working
in the jail. She has several responsibilities as deputy jailer such as intake
of inmates which includes fingerprinting, medical scanning, taking pictures,
and making sure they do not have any sort of contraband on them. Once inmates
are taken in by the jail, Moses ensures the safety and security of all inmates
making sure there are no fights or unusual activity and by doing searches of
the area for contraband.
The job can be dangerous, but Moses always stays on her toes
and is prepared for anything that might come her way and says that she likes
the unpredictability that comes with the job. She deals with so many inmates in
a day and never knows what they could be thinking or feeling in that moment. Some
might be combative while some might be very emotional and scared. She knows how
to communicate with the different types of inmates saying, “you’ve got to give
respect to get respect… it’s all about how you talk to people.” She says that
some people just have a bad day, get caught up in the wrong things, and make
mistakes, but that doesn’t mean they do not deserve the same respect or that
they are all bad people.
Moses says that she has grown a thick skin working in her
field, and she enjoys almost all aspects that come with the job. She works the
12 hour night shift most days of the week; 7pm-7am. The hours can be tough, but
she still enjoys what she does in serving Scott County. She is excited for new
challenges and goals she has set for herself and hopes to continue up the
ladder in her field to possibly work in the Federal level.
The final design process of the Weisenberger Mill Bridge has officially begun and the project team is moving forward with the single lane bridge alternative after 6 years of planning and preparation. Magistrate Chad Wallace has stood behind the citizens of his district (District 3) to work in voicing their concerns and developing their plans for this new bridge. The delays were due to the federal funding process, environmental reports, and historical preservation. The purpose of the project is “to provide a safe structurally sound crossing on Weisenburger Mill Road over the South Fork of Elkorn Creek, while limiting impacts to the surrounding environment.” This project will also improve response times for emergency services for these citizens. The new bridge parts were built in a factory in Chattanooga, TN and brought to Woodford to be assembled. The new bridge was moved into place this afternoon.
Scott County Fiscal Court is excited to see the effects this project will have in improving the quality of life for both Scott County and Woodford County Citizens.
Expanding Broadband Internet is an important issue for
all citizens whether it is for farmers in our rural areas, students trying to
submit homework, or anyone trying to do work from home. Adequate internet is
important to our county, and the Scott County Fiscal Court is working to bring greater
access to Broadband to a wider range of our community.
Judge Covington has made it a priority to meet with
several Internet Service Providers over the past months trying to expand access
to broadband in the rural parts of our county.
In 2007, the Green River Area Development District
(GRADD) in Western KY formed a public private partnership with an Internet
Service Provider (QWireless) and seven counties from the GRADD. The partnership
was developed to provide high-speed internet to residents of the seven counties
focusing on the rural areas in these counties. The project is now called
ConnectGradd and covers some 2,660 square miles and has approximately 2000
Judge Covington initiated a meeting that was hosted on
November 20th with representatives from the GRADD and local elected
officials from the BGADD. Jiten Shah of the GRADD shared their story of how
they have expanded options for Broadband connectivity in their communities by
using a Direct Wireless solution for providing connectivity. Direct Wireless
uses existing structures (water tower, 911 radio towers and other existing infrastructure)
to transmit a signal to provide broadband to the home.
Judge Covington has spearheaded the push with the BGADD
to create a similar project in Central Ky and Scott County.
Leadership at the Bluegrass Area Development District
intends to propose at the Dec. 18th Board meeting to advertise a Request for
Information “RFI” from Broadband companies to propose plans to
provide Broadband in the Rural areas of our BGADD counties.
Amber Hoffman is the Elections Coordinator for Scott County. She has lived here with her family for as long as she can remember and has called Scott County home her entire life. After high school, she applied to work in the County Clerk’s Office, and she has now worked in Scott County government for almost 18 years.
As Elections Coordinator, Hoffman oversees every election
process each year. She supervises the voting department and voting registration
making sure that all records are maintained and updated. A lot goes into the
election process including absentee votes, evaluating and repairing any voting
materials, and supplying all 46 Scott County precincts with the supplies and
staff that is needed for election day. The months leading up to an election are
used for making sure voters are registered and for state board elections to
prepare each county for any rosters or reports they need. Hoffman’s goal for
every election is to ensure that the election day runs smoothly and everyone is
able to have a quality voting experience.
These elections happen only twice a year but require the
entire six months ahead of time to plan and prepare. As soon as one election is
completed, Hoffman begins preparations for the next. She says that holding this
position means a lot to her since voting is such an important factor in our
country’s values. Though it can be stressful at times, it is all worth it for
her in the end. She says, “When you get through an election day, and it was
successful, and everything was ran smooth, and even when there are a few bumps…
it just makes you feel good to be a part of that process.”
Though this recent election just passed, Hoffman has already
begun the planning process for May 2020 elections.
This week’s employee highlight is Sheriff’s Deputy Jon Wilson. Wilson moved to Scott County in January of 2018 and is coming up on his 2-year anniversary of being a Scott County Deputy. He had always been interested in working in law enforcement and says that he has wanted to be a police officer for as long as he can remember. Since the law required officers to be 21 years old, Wilson decided to enlist in the military as a police officer so that he could begin his law enforcement career earlier. He now serves the Scott County area as deputy by responding to both emergency and non-emergency calls and transporting prisoners to the Scott County Judicial Center. He also enjoys doing traffic control for the schools in the mornings. Wilson was nominated by Sheriff Tony Hampton for always doing his job with excellence and integrity. Hampton says that Wilson is always smiling when he is both on and off duty, and everyone loves having him around to bring even more smiles to coworkers and citizens alike. Wilson’s goals for his position are to continue to work hard and prove himself to citizens as a leader and protector. Eventually, he would like to become a supervisor for the department by continuing to serve as best as he can in every new position he is put in. He says that it is an honor and a privilege to serve Scott County, and it means everything to him to be able to do so. Wilson says that serving as deputy for our county “…gives [him] purpose and a reason to get up every morning. There is nothing else [he] would rather do.”