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Louisa-Lawrence Co, KY

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Armstrong says weather can't be controlled;


LOUISA -- Tuesday’s downpours send Lawrence County Sophomores scrambling to seek shelter.

Due to the Juniors participating in the Kentucky Core Content Test, the Freshman class was in the gym, the Senior class was on a field trip and the Sophomores were outside at the football field.

We’ve had more than our fair share of Spring Showers this year.

The Sophomores were “yo-yoed” from the football field to the school and back during yesterday's downpours.

While it may not have hurt any of them to get a little wet, some children have health issues and caused concerns with some parents.

Amber Swafford, parent of a Sophomore, stated “I was seriously ticked off about it, my son has suffered with severe asthma and has had pneumonia several times over his life, and it is easily set off by weather changes.”

Assistant Principal Jerry Whelan stated “No comment. Talk to Mr. Cook” Principal JR Cook was unavailable and phone calls were unreturned. However, Superintendant Mike Armstrong provided the following statement:

“Some high school students were indeed caught in a sudden “downpour” yesterday while returning from the high school football field to the high school,” Armstrong said. “When it became obvious that rain was imminent, students were provided shelter at the Board of Education/Athletic Complex ground floor.“

“Some students, however, elected to “make a run for it” by returning to the high school.  Unfortunately, Mother Nature opened-up the sky and the rain, while brief but intense, soaked a few students.The rain this spring has been especially burdensome and continues to be a real nuisance.  Not only have outdoor physical education classes been interrupted, but the rain has also ill-impacted tennis, softball, and baseball games."

"And on several afternoons it seems that the perfect time for a cloudburst is just at school dismissal time!  In addition, a few bus routes have had to be rerouted due to the impact the excessive rain has had on our county roads.”

“I appreciate everyone’s cooperation and understanding during this especially wet spring.  Let’s just hope that all of these “April showers” bring plenty of May flowers.”

Another concern for parents was the lightening and thunder. “That wasn't just a hard rain today. That was a lightning/thunderstorm, and lasted for about an hour.” one parent stated who wished to remain unnamed.

Hopefully this uncontrollable situation can be avoided in the future and allow school officials to decide on a Plan B for the next time the situation arises.


‘Build a Home Projects’ -- teaching and learning environments;

Paintsville, KY (April 27, 2011) – The Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) Carpentry Program is immersed in the construction of another teaching and learning project in the Cross Creek Community of Johnson County, Kentucky.

Known for its excellent teaching curriculum, the BSCTC Carpentry Program prepares students with the skills necessary to sustain competitive careers in residential and construc tion carpentry.

Spearheaded by BSCTC Assistant Professor Michael K. Froman, the Program provides technical and general education studies that encompass classroom and practical experience in field projects.  Program criteria includes, blueprint reading, site layout, foundation work, rough framing, roofing, finish work, cost estimation, material list preparation and practical experience.

“The Cross Creek projects provide continuous teaching and learning environments in living laboratories.  This allows students to study and refine skills in real-time with hands-on experience,” explains Instructor, Mike Froman.  Froman further elaborates, “BSCTC has constructed ten (10) homes in the Cross Creek area.  These homes sell well and have high resale values.  This makes the construction of these homes profitable, viable enterprises while providing superb teaching and learning environments for students at BSCTC.”

The Cross Creek projects are funded by a non-profit committee.  Big Sandy CTC provides the instructors and students for the building of these homes as teaching and learning environments for students in the Carpentry, Masonry and HVAC Programs.  Homes are sold to the highest bidder via a realtor or direct sale when completed.  Any monetary gain is applied toward the building and construction of other learning enterprises for BSCTC students.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Carpenters are employed throughout the country and make up the second largest building trades occupation.  In 2008, carpenters held about 1.3 million jobs.  About 32 percent work in the construction of buildings and industry and about 22 percent work for specialty trade contractors.  Most of the rest work for manufacturing firms, government agencies, retail establishments and a wide variety of other industries.  About 32 percent of all carpenters are self-employed.1

In May 2008, median hourly wages of carpenters equaled about $18.72.  The middle 50 percent earned between $14.42 and $25.37.  The lowest 10 percent earned less than $11.66, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $33.34.  Median hourly wages in the industries employing the largest numbers of carpenters are: 2

  • Nonresidential building construction              $21.08
  • Building finishing contractors                          19.37
  • Residential building construction                     18.24
  • Foundation, structure and building exterior     17.67
  • Employment services                                        15.81

For more information about the Carpentry Program at Big Sandy CTC, contact Assistant Professor, Michael K. Froman at (606)789-5321, ext. 82842 or e-mailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

Big Sandy Community and Technical College offers academic and educational programs that provide valuable opportunities to the communities of Eastern, KY. BSCTC advances excellence and innovation in teaching, learning and community service.

Information about the many academic and technical programs offered at BSCTC is available by visiting or by calling (606) 886-3863.


ACTC Update for May 2, 2011;


The Business Administration Program at Ashland Community and Technical College emphasizes the knowledge and skills needed to operate businesses in today’s global economy,

“Students are taught the hard skills, such as finance, accounting and marketing, that are necessary to succeed, but we also teach them the soft skills such as group work, communication skills and creative problem-solving.” said John M. Davis, Associate Professor and Business Program Coordinator.

Reasoning, thinking and teamwork skills are as important as academic skills, according to the 21st Century Workforce Commission of the National Alliance of Business.

“Students learn that books are just a part of their education,” Davis said. “They learn that they can’t just memorize things because this is not a marketable tool. They are taught to think and question all aspects of their environment, to research all views and form their own opinion.”

“Instructors like John Davis, Molly Webb and Don Frailie really care for their students,” said ACTC graduate Jessica Lucas. “They exposed me to  real-world, real-life applications of business principles and gave me the knowledge and confidence to aggressively pursue my dreams after college.”

An Ashland resident and Boyd County High School graduate, Lucas is the owner of The Zone, a fitness studio in Ashland, and she is also the ACTC Workforce Solutions Specialist. “ My experience at ACTC really prepared me for small business ownership as well as for transfer to Morehead State University.” At MSU, she earned a bachelor’s degree in business and information technology.

Many students like Lucas choose ACTC because of the combination of quality instruction, low cost and the flexibility of scheduling classes to fit work and family obligations.

Starting close to home is one reason why Samantha J. Smith chose ACTC. “I wanted to stay close to home for a start. I got a scholarship to go here and I can start here and work my way up.”

“I want to learn about the field that I plan on pursuing, and I also want to learn about myself. Part of the college experience is growth as an individual,” she said.

An Argillite, KY resident and 2010 graduate of Greenup County High School, Smith plans to get a degree in the business - accounting option. After that, she expects to transfer for a bachelor’s degree and perhaps become a C.P.A.

Some students like Lucas and Smith are preparing for a first career. Others, like Winston E.  Leadingham, are looking for a new career. “After two former employers closed their doors without warning, I decided that not having a degree had me at the mercy of employers and the only way to empower myself was to return to school,” he said.

A Flatwoods resident, Leadingham earned his business degree from ACTC in 2003 and is Work and Learn Case Manager for ACTC’s Ready to Work Program.

The Business Administration Program serves those who seek entry-level business jobs, self-employment or career advancement.  The option of earning an associate degree and transferring to a four-year institution for the last two years of a bachelor’s degree is a bonus for many students.

“An associate degree allows a quick start for those seeking or needing technical training / education to become employed in a shorter amount of time,” Davis said.  “With the associate degree, students have the option of working or going on for a bachelor’s degree either full time or part-time while working.”


Business Options

The program offers certificates and diplomas that focus on specific business skills, and an Associate of Applied Science Degree that includes a broader range of fundamental business courses.  Associate degree  students select an option in Accounting, Finance, Management or Real Estate to help them develop career-focused skills.

Diplomas are offered in Organizational Leadership and Small Business Management.

Certificates are available in Basic and Advanced Business Administration, Business Transfer, Finance Perspectives, General Business, Leadership, Management, Pre-licensing Real Estate, Small Business Management and Supervisory Management.


Business Transfer Programs

Many business students plan to transfer for a bachelor’s degree, and ACTC has 2+2 transfer agreements with Marshall, Morehead State and Shawnee State Universities.  The agreements allow students to complete the first two years of a bachelor’s degree program at ACTC and the last two years at a specific university.

The Marshall transfer program leads to a BA in Business Administration, with options in Accounting, Economics, Economics with International Economics Concentration, Finance, Management, Management-Health Care Concentration, Management Information Systems, Marketing, and Marketing with a Business Logistics Concentration.

The Morehead transfer program for a BA in Business Administration has options in Accounting, Business and Information Technology Education, Computer Information Systems, Economics, Finance, Management, Marketing and Real Estate.

The Shawnee transfer program for a BA in Business has options in Accounting, General Business and Health Management.

Business students may also transfer to the University of Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky University and other universities and four-year colleges. By working with an advisor, students can select courses that will transfer to their chosen institution.


Connection to Business Careers

There are area jobs available for business graduates, according to Davis. “Our graduates have jobs in the banking industry, with local governments and in accounting firms, and some are entrepreneurs and are running their own businesses.”

“At ACTC, I received a quality, practical, real-world education close to home and one that was easy on the wallet,” Jessica Lucas said.” I feel that my 2-year experience at ACTC prepared me more for small business ownership than my total undergraduate experience did, as a whole.”

“ACTC provides students an opportunity to get a quality education that is clearly linked to the human resource needs of business and industry,” said Dr. Larry A. Ferguson, ACTC Dean of Community, Workforce and Economic Development .

“ACTC graduates typically rank much higher on initial screening processes for positions we offer for hire,” Ferguson said.  “They also tend to perform very positively during the interview process and are solid performers once in the position.”

The business environment is constantly changing – and the program must keep up.  “We have a great advisory board and its input is invaluable,” Davis said. “The advisors keep us abreast of skill sets that are in demand so that we can incorporate these skills into our teaching.”

“Businesses can always use good employees,” said Terry S. Kidd, President/C.E.O. Bluegrass Community Federal Credit Union and an Advisory Board member.  “In order to accomplish this, we provide a link between good students that would make good employees and the employers.”  The Board helps keep the program updated on the ever-changing environment.

“I would recommend the Business Administration program to anyone who wants to make a change,” said Samantha Smith. “Not only do I learn about how businesses and management work, I also learn how to make any and everything I do a successful endeavor.”

“ACTC has inspired me to become involved in my education and my community as well as with other students,” Smith added.  As part of the college’s peer mentoring program, she helps other students with the information and skills that they need to succeed.

New students can start on their general education classes this summer. For more information on business program options, contact John Davis, 606-326-2498, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..