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Image 1 of Gallatin County News February 8, 2012

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Boys beat top ranked South Oldham - Page 5 Gallatin County News An Independent Weekly Newspaper Vol. LXXXVI No. 6 Wednesday, February 8, 2012 50 cents McFarland leaves Board of Education after 15 years Seat is on Nov. ballot A good reason to applaud Gallatin County boys basketball coach Jon Jones (left) had plenty to cheer about last week. On Wednesday, he celebrated his 300th win after an overtime victory at Anderson County. Then on Friday, his team beat the region’s top ranked team when South Oldham came to Warsaw. Coach Jones is the school’s all time winningest coach in any sport. He will be honored during the Feb. 17 game against Shelby County. Photo by Kelley Warnick Parking company says it did nothing wrong on race day Kentucky Speedway hired Brantley Securities Services last year to oversee parking at its inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup race. Now, that company disputes a recent assertion that only 84 of an expected 300 employees showed up for work on race day. The track’s owner, Bruton Smith, criticized Brantley Security at a news conference in North Carolina. Smith was discussing changes at Kentucky Speedway to prevent a major gridlock on area roads such as the one that occurred last July. Insufficient parking is thought to be the primary cause of a major traffic jam that prevented thousands of race fans from getting to the track. In response to Smith’s remarks, Jeremy Curran, the head of Brantley Security Services event management division, said his company had more attendants at the track on July 8, than it was obligated to provide. Curran said Brantley contracted with the speedway to provide 96 parking attendants for the Quaker State 400 in July, and 112 showed up on race day.” “The biggest thing for an event management company’s reputation is Unemployment climbs Gallatin County’s unemployment rate rose to 8.0 percent in December, according to the state’s Office of Employment and Training. The rate in November was 7.4 percent while the rate a year ago was 10.1 percent. Although the jobless rate climbed here, it fell in the eight-county Northern Kentucky district in December to 7.8 percent. November’s rate was 8.1 percent in Northern Kentucky. Boone County’s 6.9 percent rate was the lowest in the district during December while Carroll County’s rate of 11.1 percent was the highest. There’s help for cat owners Gallatin County cat owners will have an opportunity to receive low cost spaying for their pets this month. To help reduce the number of homeless cats, Ohio Alleycat Resource & Spay/Neuter Clinic is offering a promotion sponsored by PetSmart where female cats will be spayed for a special rate See Cat Owners, page 3 to make sure they fill their calls for workers,” Curran wrote to the Cincinnati Enquirer recently. “To me that (Smith’s accusation) was a complete lie that I think was made up three seconds before he went on stage.” Brantley’s contract with the Speedway was not renewed after last year’s Sprint Cup race. Speedway officials have not commented on the dispute. Instead officials have emphasized improvements being made to ensure race fans will have a much easier time getting to the track this June. In recent months, Kentucky Speedway has paid $2.2 million for two parcels of land totaling 171 acres along KY 35 that will be used for parking. It’s also clearing 47 more acres it already owns to add more parking areas. The expansion will add between 12,200 and 18,700 parking spots allowing an additional 36,600 to 56,100 fans to park at the track, according to speedway estimates. Gravel lanes have also been installed in the parking fields to assure easy access in wet weather. The Commonwealth of Kentucky has also done its share to help fans get in and out of the speedway. It’s spending $3.7 million to widen the exit ramp from southbound I-71 to KY 35, to widen KY 35 near the track and to build a pedestrian tunnel under KY 35. That tunnel will give fans easy access from the new parking areas to the speedway’s entrance. The work will close KY 35 for about two months. Anita McFarland, who has represented the Glencoe district on the Gallatin County Board of Education for the past 15 years, has resigned. She was in her fourth term that would have expired at the end of the year. “I felt with the constraints on my time, I could no longer be as effective on the board as I would like to be and that’s why I decided it was time to step down,” said McFarland. “It was a hard decision but I know in my heart it was the right one. I want to thank my constituents for the faith they have had in me over the past 15 years and for letting me represent them. It has been an honor to serve them which I have done as diligently as I know how.” McFarland is the wife of Gallatin County Judge/ executive Ken McFarland and runs Almost Grandma’s preschool in Warsaw. In recent years she has been known as one of the few board members to vote against controversial school property tax increases. “It’s no secret, I have been the sole member of the board not wanting to raise taxes,” McFarland said. “That wasn’t always true. In recent years, however, with so many people experiencing tough For the Children Woodworker Jeff Fuehner puts the finishing touches on a hand-crafted tree he created for the new children’s wing at the public library. Fuehner operates FCI Interior Woodworks in Warsaw. Photo by Kelley Warnick economic times, I just couldn’t support tax increases because I thought our people couldn’t afford them. My main concern has always been Gallatin County’s children and its families.” School Superintendent Dot Perkins praised McFarland for her service in a Letter to the Editor this week (see page 2). “On behalf of the Gallatin County Board of Education, I wish to express our sincere appreciation for the 15 years of dedicated service Mrs. Anita McFarland has performed as a school board member,” wrote Perkins. “Her perspective on important board issues will be missed….We may have lost a board member, but Mrs. McFarland is still a supporter of education and an advocate for learning.” The Commissioner of Education, Dr. Terry Holiday, will appoint someone to fill McFarland’s unexpired term within the next 90 days. Whoever is appointed and any other person interested in representing Glencoe on the Board of Education will have to run for a four-year term in the November general election. A school board member must be at least 24 years old, have a high school or GED degree and can’t have a close relative employed by the school district. Their duties include: Adopting a school calendar, setting graduation requirements, adopting a code of discipline, expelling students, levying taxes and attending regular meetings and training sessions. While board members do create general job descriptions, they are not involved in hiring teachers and other staff members. They do, however, hire the superintendent, board attorney, board secretary and board treasurer. School board members receive $75 per meeting plus 45-cents a mile for traveling to and from meeting. There are about 20 meeting a year. “There are many challenges ahead and we are seeking a quality school board member who unSee McFarland, page 3 Yippee, winter will last six more weeks This and That By Kelley Warnick Editor By now everybody has heard the fantastic news. The famous groundhog, Punxsatawney Phil, popped out of the ground last week and saw his shadow. That means we get six more weeks of winter. Yippee! Hand me my lemonade, sunglasses and golf balls, please. Most often, our part of the world is entombed in thick ice and deep snow this time of year. I remember one brutal winter back in the late 1970s I had to hire a bulldozer on Groundhog’s Day. I needed not only to clear my driveway but also to find my car which had disappeared under a mountain of a snowdrift. Not this year. The weather has been so mild that last week I took a walk in the woods wearing sandals and shorts instead of long underwear, insulated boots, mittens and my stocking cap. I was amazed to find wild flowers starting to bloom as though spring had arrived. Of course, there are some drawbacks to this pleasant surprise. Our local library sponsored a contest in November and offered a box full of prizes to the person who could correctly guess the day we would have an inch of snow on the ground. With no snow yet and none predicted for the near future, the contest was canceled last week. It’s not only around here where the weather has been balmy. Up in Syracuse, New York, they usually measure the snow in feet, not inches. Each winter a bunch of good hearted people strip down to their swimsuits, dive into an icy lake and take what’s called a Polar Bear Plunge to raise money for charity. It has been so warm in Syracuse this year, ice had to be trucked in for the event. I received a call over the weekend from a friend of mine who lives in Toronto, Canada, where winter almost always comes early and stays late. Instead of ice fishing, skiing and snowmobiling this February, they are playing tennis, sailing and riding motorcycles. “Our winter this year is like those they usually have in Georgia,” my friend said. “It’s bizarre but we’re not complaining.” Not everyone, however, has been applauding the mild weather. If you sell winter coats, snow shovels or heating oil, you’re watching your bank account bottom out. Life also isn’t so good if you create ice sculptures, plow snow or sell skis for a living. Scientists warn that without a stretch of freezing temperatures, insects and diseases will be a problem for gardeners next summer. They also say because many trees and shrubs have begun to bud out, they may be damaged if severe winter finally does make an appearance. Last fall, the Farmers Almanac predicted a stormy winter for much of the country with heavy snows in February and January. They say that magazine always gets it right. Well, maybe not this time and that’s fine with me. Now, I think I’ll go out to the garden to see if I can get my beans, corn and tomatoes to sprout by Valentine’s Day.

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