On Monday, the Jessamine County Historical Society pitched an idea to the Nicholasville City Commission to help with an effort to spruce up the city-run Maple Grove Cemetery. The gist of the proposal is this: The society would donate signage to assist those looking for grave sites. In addition to the signage, the society has also asked that the city review its language on the cemetery rules signs and replace the old faded-out signs in favor of more visible ones. The society has also indicated that it would help in an effort to restore broken headstones in the cemetery. A big kudos goes out to Ernestine Hamm and the members of the historical society for stepping up to the plate and offering the donation and assistance. Also, kudos to city leaders for being receptive to their ideas.
Jessamine County schools rank near the top in most statewide data that comes out — or at least in the top half. So it’s alarming to see the Kids Count report that says 44 percent of students are out of school for 10 percent or more of the school year, but it highlights an attendance problem that has plagued the district for years. As superintendent Lu Young pointed out, 94 percent sounds like a good number until you get out the calculator and realize how many days the average student would miss.
The district has put a focus on addressing unexcused absences and truancy in the past several years — and seen gains in attendance from those efforts — but the recent revelation from the Kids Count report means it’s time to figure out why kids in Jessamine County are missing school and missing instruction, excused or unexcused. Parents have a right to be in charge of their children, but schools also have a right to make sure kids are in chairs for mandatory education.
It was a dark day in Jessamine County’s history when on Jan. 2, 1993, two men lost their lives while serving their community. Last week, the community took time out to remember the sacrifices of the late Jessamine County Fire Chief Mike Wheeler and firefighter Cecil Fain with a 2-mile memorial walk from the old fire district location on Oak Street to the current JCFD location on South Main Street.
It was a gut-wrenching scene as many people remembered and shed tears in memory of Wheeler and Fain. While their families will always remember their fallen loved ones, oftentimes, other people’s memory of the fallen fade quickly as ink dries on a newspaper.
It’s good that, as a community, we remember the sacrifices of Wheeler and Fain as well.
The mess that is Kentucky’s pension shortfall will once again grab many headlines during the 2013 short session. According to state Sen. Tom Buford, R-Nicholasville, if the worst-case scenario happens, the state would be in a pickle to come up with $30 billion to cover the cost if every state employee decided to retire all at once.
While that scenario isn’t likely, the crisis is real, and unless lawmakers come up with a way to defuse the time bomb, it will be a big mess if the bomb goes kaboom.
A task force appointed by Gov. Steve Beshear last year has indicated that the state should contribute an additional $300 million annually to the pension fund beginning in 2015. What it didn’t identify is the source of those funds.
Buford’s idea of putting in between $125 million and $160 million seems more plausible, but again the funding is the big question mark.
Odds are increased taxes are likely if lawmakers are going to solve the problem.
Hard and probably unpopular choices will have to be made if the state is going to right the sinking ship that is the pension system.