December 13, 2013

• Photo of slain officer’s dog honored by NBC’s Today Show

• Southern Gospel songwriter honors his hometown (Irvine) newspapers

• KPS welcomes Shirre Smith as Statewide/ARK Coordinator

• Regina Catlett to serve on KPA/KPS Board

• Kentucky: The Bluegrass State or The Reality TV State?

• Fun time in Frankfort: 2014 Legislature returns January 7

• We hope your New Year’s Resolution is to abide by these deadlines

Newspapers live by deadlines. There’s the one for news stories and all the ones for advertising. There’s the deadline to get to the press and for those who mail, the deadline to get to the Post Office. But when it comes to meeting deadlines, well I can’t say you live by them, often times not even abide by them.

But here are some deadlines coming up that you need to meet:

Today — the deadline for newspapers in the Statewide Classified program to apply to be a 2014 Host Newspaper for a KPA intern.

January 8 – the deadline to reserve a room at the Hyatt Regency, Lexington, for the 2014 KPA Winter Convention. Go to to connect directly to the Hyatt online reservation

January 10 — the deadline for KPA Associates members to apply to be a 2014 Host Company for a KPA Associates PR intern

January 10 — the deadline for newspapers participating in the KPA Legal Defense Fund to file an application for legal fee reimbursement with KPA’s Central Office

January 17 — the deadline to register for the 2014 KPA Convention program. For the latest information and a registration form, go to

Okay, now that those are out of the way and you’ve met all those deadlines, we can continue…

A ‘feel-good’ article about community weekly newspapers in Irvine

Editor’s Note:   Mark Bishop, a native of Irvine, KY., is one of the nation’s leading Southern Gospel singers/songwriters. In a recent commentary in Singing News magazine, Mark used the space to talk about his two hometown newspapers — the Citizen Voice and Times and Estill County Tribune, without specific reference — and the importance of community weekly newspapers.

Used by permission. Originally appeared in the January 2014 issue of Singing News Magazine, a flagship publication of Salem Communications, Inc.Mark’s Americana Corner

All The News That Is News

Mark Bishop

Mark Bishop

By Mark Bishop

Courtesy of The Singing News

I am sitting in the office today, enjoying the peace and the quiet I seem to rarely find these days. Remember, I still have kids at home—and they have lots of friends who think they live here, too; so peace and quiet is a luxury that I indulge to the utmost when the opportunity arises.

But I am at peace with my place in life. I enjoy the noise of a full house and of laughter and antics. I also enjoy the placid moments. It’s all good.

I took a few minutes this morning to sit by the fireplace and read the local papers. Here in Irvine, Kentucky, we have two different newspapers that both come out only once a week. There isn’t enough that happens in our county to merit a daily paper, so we get our news in weekly blocks.

Truth is, as small as our little county is, most folks know what is happening in the county well before the paper comes out. But still, it’s nice to have a paper to read.

Some of you who live in small towns like ours might know what I’m talking about when I tell you that my favorite regular articles to read in the paper are the regional reports from different areas of the county. It’s where a “local reporter” will write and tell you what is going on in that part of the county, and usually it’s not very much!

But that’s the charm of it all. For those who have never seen it, let me tell you how much fun it is to read that the Millers just got back from a vacation to Pike’s Peak, or that so-and-so family is welcoming a baby home, or that the potholes on the road down to the creek got filled this week. You know…important stuff!

After watching the national news on television and seeing how things are in such a mess, it is refreshing to see that close to home, people are living their lives and things are going along just fine. I’m glad to hear that the Browns have a new baby calf in the barn or that there is going to be a neighborhood yard sale on the Saturday after next week. It is the ebb and the flow of our little part of the world that has the greatest effect on us anyway.

It’s great to have some of the conveniences we have today I guess; but there is a lot that I miss about my growing-up days too, like keeping up with what’s going on in my neighborhood. But thanks to my local newspaper, I can know that Mr. and Mrs. Pendlebrook had a better-than-expected crop of tomatoes this summer.

What’s more important than that?

Viewers overwhelmingly choose Figo photo No. 1 in ‘Today’ show voting

By Janet Patton, Lexington Herald-Leader,

A touching photo of the dog Figo and the coffin of his slain partner, Bardstown police officer Jason Ellis, was voted the favorite pet story of the year on the Today show.

The Figo photo, taken by freelance Lexington photographer Jonathan Palmer, won by an “overwhelming vote,” according to According to the results, the photo received 45 percent of the 62,309 votes.

untitledPalmer captured a picture of Figo extending his paw onto Ellis’ coffin. The photo, first published on, the website of the Lexington Herald-Leader, quickly went viral and received worldwide attention.

Figo and Ellis worked together to sniff out drugs in Bardstown. In the early morning of May 25, as Ellis was driving home, he was shot by an unknown assailant at an exit off the Blue Grass Parkway. Ellis, 33, was shot multiple times with a shotgun, and investigators suspect that he was ambushed. Figo was not in the car at the time of the shooting.

Figo was retired to spend the rest of his days with the family of Officer Ellis — his wife, Amy, and two sons, Hunter and Parker.

Read more here:

Regina Catlett to represent District 3 on KPA/KPS Board



Regina Catlett

Regina Catlett

Regina Catlett, who with her brother Tony own and operate the Sturgis News and Sebree Banner, will be representing District 3 on the KPA/KPS Board of Directors.

Her term begins immediately, since David Dixon’s retirement is already in effect and she’ll serve a full three-year term.

KPS welcomes Statewide Classified coordinator Shirre Smith



Shirre Smith joins KPS as Statewide/ARK Coordinator

Shirre Smith joins KPS as Statewide/ARK Coordinator

Shirre Smith, former account executive for the Lexington Herald-Leader, joined KPS January 2 as Statewide Classified and ARK network coordinator. A PR graduate of Western Kentucky University with related coursework in journalism, communications and graphic design, Shirre was with the Herald-Leader and LexPress from October 2011 until early 2013. She had been an account executive with Sampler Publications in Lexington since March.


Shirre has four years of recruiting and staffing experience in additonal to six years of sales/marketing experience and her advertising background in print media. She is involved with the children’s ministry at Consolidated Baptist Church in Lexington and is a co-leader for the Girls Scouts of Kentucky.

Her email account — — should be operable Monday. In the meantime, if you have questions, ideas about potential clients for Statewides or ARK, give Shirre a call at 800-264-5721.

Legislature opens 2014 session on Tuesday

capitol-3The 60-day 2014 Kentucky General Assembly convenes Tuesday, January 7 and will continue through Tuesday, April 15. The schedule calls for the working part of the session to end March 31 with a 10-day veto session then taking place. The legislature returns to Frankfort April 14 and 15 for a Veto Override period, if needed.

I plan for an On Second Thought/Friday Update throughout the session, except for Friday, January 24 when we’ll all be in Lexington for the KPA Convention. However, the weekly reports could be later on Friday, depending on the legislature’s Friday morning agenda and any meetings that might be necessary for me to attend.

I hope to use much of the On Second Thought to give you reports on legislation we’re following, updates as those continue through the process and all Calls to Action for you to make contact with legislators while they’re back home.

Really? In front of the Governor’s Mansion?

I know the Cabinet for Health and Family Services is vital to many Kentuckians and no doubt in some or even most areas, it does a good job.

Transparency, though, is not one of its accomplishments.

Monday morning, a vehicle parked in front of the Governor’s Mansion had this bumper sticker plastered on it:

I (Heart) CHFS

I started to go up to the Cabinet for Self-Protection parking lot to see if these are on most employee cars but figured there’s no use getting into that. Just suffice it to say. there’s a yellow and black Mini Cooper driving around Frankfort with I (Heart) CHFS on the rear bumper.

Jan. 26 Postage Rate Increase will be three times inflation; NNA Calls USPS Decision Flawed

The Postal Regulatory Commission handed everyone who uses the mail a lump of coal on Christmas Eve: approval of the U.S. Postal Service’s proposal to raise postage rates by more than triple today’s inflation.

The new rates will likely go into effect Jan. 26 if USPS elects to accept the PRC’s decision.

The PRC did disagree, however, with the Postal Service’s justification for a proposed “exigency” rate increase that it lost more than 53 billion pieces of mail because of the Great Recession. Rather the PRC continues to blame Internet diversion as the principal reason for Postal Service losses. The PRC only credits the recession with less than half the USPS financial loss — but granted the increase anyway — noting USPS needs the money.

National Newspaper Association President Robert M. Williams Jr., publisher of the Blackshear (GA) Times, said NNA respectfully disagrees with the Postal Service’s request as well as the commission’s decision. He insists a lack of action by Congress to enact postal reform is at the root of the problem.

“We are whistling in the dark,” said Williams. “We cannot avoid the fact the Postal Service is operating in a new world. We all are. The longer the Postal Service and lawmakers avoid reducing core costs for the delivery network, the more pain will be inflicted upon all who use the mail. Fewer and fewer customers will be paying more and more. This approved postage increase solves nothing.”

The Postal Rate Commission said it expects USPS to wean itself of the increase over time. Although USPS said it expects the effects of the recession to go on for an unforeseeable period, the commission declined to allow the additional $1.8 billion it expects USPS to receive in contributions to overhead to go on forever. The ruling requires USPS to provide a plan by May for eliminating the extraordinary increase over a two-year time period.

Unless USPS can achieve serious reductions in operating costs without critically diminishing services, Williams is not optimistic this can happen.

“This latest action by the PRC only makes the Postal Service’s survival challenge tougher and scarier. This decision opens the door to perpetual steep postage increases for American businesses, including ours, which strives to fill a deep desire by readers to receive a hard copy newspaper, even if they also read online.”

NNA Postal Committee Chair Max Heath said he is also disappointed the exigency rate increase is granted. Heath notes that although USPS certainly has been impacted by the recession, so has its customers and raising postage rates now is ill-advised.

“We calculated increases up to 7 percent for some of our critical newspaper mail categories. To the extent that USPS suffered from the recession, so did our business,” said Heath. “It is too bad the law doesn’t allow for an “exigent decrease” in postage so we, who must respond to market realities, could be made whole as well.”

Williams said NNA will renew its efforts to seek prudent postal reform legislation during the annual Newspapers Leadership Summit March 13, 2014, when publishers visit Capitol Hill to urge action.

The National Newspaper Association is a 2,200 member organization of community newspapers. Founded in 1885, it represents newspapers in every state and encompasses weeklies and small daily newspapers providing local news and information to their communities. More about NNA:

Gleaner editor/KPA Board member looks ahead to retirement without retiring

‘DAVID DIXON: The road ahead …. keep trying to get it right’


David Dixon, retiring after 37 years at The Henderson Gleaner

David Dixon, retiring after 37 years at The Henderson Gleaner

High time, some would say, as this Tuesday is my last official day at The Gleaner.Well, I finally did it. I cleaned off my desk.

After more than 37 years in the newsroom here, I’m going to retire. Retired but not retiring, I’ll be looking for other ways to stay involved in this community that I love and with the people who make this such a great place to live, work and raise a family.

In 1976 when I first sat down at a keyboard at The Gleaner, I was the greenest greenhorn that could be. I was an English major from Indiana University who had taken one college journalism class. But I had worked at my hometown newspaper, the Mount Vernon (Ind.) Democrat, during a couple of summers, and former Gleaner editor Ron Jenkins took a chance on me.

More than once.

The first big assignment I got was to cover a meeting of Henderson Fiscal Court. A local gentleman made a lengthy presentation to the court. Throughout my story I said his name was Williams. The guy’s name was Nelson.

When RJ came back to earth, he took a chance on me — again. I kept my job. Almost four decades later, I’m happy to call Henderson my home and proud to have served its newspaper and its readers as best I could.

I still wish I’d gotten that man’s name right.

Since I don’t plan to disappear into the Cash Creek woods and will be doing whatever the heck it is I’m going to do, I don’t want to make a big deal out of this.

But I can’t let this column go by without giving credit where credit is due.

No success I might have had here would have been possible without the many co-workers past and present who helped me along the way. Whether the smallest favor or the biggest assignment, they have stepped up whenever asked.

I can’t imagine a better group of people to work with. We hear sometimes about the “media elite.” I’ve never found any of that tribe at The Gleaner. There are no ivory towers on Klutey Park Plaza.

The people who work here are your friends, your neighbors, fellow church members, school parents or charity volunteers. They’re regular people who work hard every day to serve our customers.

If you think they do a good job sometimes, please tell them so. A simple compliment about a good story or photo or advertisement or assistance of any kind goes a long way toward balancing out the rough spots in the day.

We’ve got a lot of people who do that, and I’m grateful to them as well. They’re among another group I’d like to thank. I call them “friends of The Gleaner.” They are our loyal readers, our advertisers, our tipsters and constructive critics. They value their community and want to participate in it. They value what a small-town newspaper does to create and spread that sense of community.

I’ve often said there are two kinds of people in the world: Those who want to get their names in the paper and those who don’t. I haven’t been able to always make them happy and the next person in this chair won’t be able to either. But as friends, even if we don’t always agree, we keep on talking to each other.

To the many people who have had a kind word for me personally since my retirement was announced, I am especially thankful. There have been many more of them than I ever expected.

And there’s one more group, a much smaller, behind-the-scenes group, that I must thank: My family.

Why a smart, beautiful young woman with a good job at a big company in another town moved to Henderson to set up shop with a rookie newspaper reporter at the low end of the pecking order is a wonderful mystery that I am thankful for every day.

My years on the late night shift, working on Saturdays and holidays, phone calls and emails at all hours and general venting about the stresses and strains of the day made it hard on my wife and sons. They stick with me. Again, a wonderful mystery.

One of my favorite things to do is drive home on a Friday at dusk or a little later, the sky deep blue but night not yet completely fallen. My favorite time of day (especially when the weather’s warm and the window’s down). I cruise along through the countryside in no rush, the radio on, rethinking the week. A column in the can. A sense of a good day’s work. Maybe I helped somebody somehow.

I hope I got more right than I did wrong. What I didn’t get right, I tried to learn from.

That’s what I want to keep doing.

Other News and Links

Roger Alford

Roger Alford

At age 56, Roger Alford has retired from the Associated Press and becomes communication director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention. One of Roger’s first jobs was with The Daily Independent and the Ashland paper did a story on Roger’s career and retirement:

With the 2014 Kentucky General Assembly convening its 60-day session on Tuesday, January 7, here are some links to follow and share to keep up with the goings on in Frankfort.

For the complete calendar for the session,  14RS_calendar

For daily committee meetings, go to

To read legislation filed, go to

For contact information and background on Kentucky State Senate members, go to

For contact information and background on Kentucky House of Representatives members, go to

For toll-free contact numbers, go to

To contact a House or Senate member by email, go to

Advertising off to a good start

It’s just the third day of the year but KPS advertising totals are already off to a good start. Placed or in process, we have $153,309, just $70,000 short of all of January 2013’s placement.


J.T. Hurst, former publisher of the Middlesboro Daily News who spent more than 50 years in the newspaper business, passed away New Year’s Eve. J.T. served a term on the KPA Board of Directors prior to his retirement.

(J.T.) Hurst, age 76, Middlesboro, KY passed away Tuesday, December 31, 2013 at Middlesboro Appalachian Regional Hospital. He was born on October 23, 1937 in Highsplint, KY, the son of the late Roy and Gracie Vanbever Hurst. In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his brother, Walter B. Hurst.

At the age of eight, J.T. became a news carrier for the Middlesboro Daily News, spending his free time watching the presses roll. By the time he entered high school, he had learned to set type by hand, an unusual accomplishment due to typesetters’ general unwillingness for other to learn typesetting skills. During his senior year, he worked full time for the Middlesboro Daily News as assistant circulation manager.

After graduation, J.T. entered the U. S. Army and went to Germany to serve from June, 1955 to March, 1958. During this time he learned photolithography and after his discharge J.T. returned to Middlesboro and served as stereo typist and hot metal technician, as well as job printing department manager from 1958-68 at the Daily News.

Between 1968-1974, J.T. served as production superintendent of Daily News. From 1974-81, he was advertising director and then became production superintendent, mailroom supervisor and equipment and supplies superintendent. He began writing for the New York Times in the early 80’s as safety director of the northeast and southeast properties. He wrote safety material for planning and safety operations according to the Occupational safety and Health Administration. The New York Times bought the Daily News in 1983 and he became responsible for the adopting of computerized typesetting and layout method of print in 1985. He retired from the Middlesboro Daily News in 2005 as publisher after over 51 years of service. He then worked as publisher of the Barbourville Advocate for a short time.

Although he admitted he had an exciting and colorful career with small hometown newspapers, J.T. said two moments were his proudest receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Journalism from Union College in Barbourville in 1985 and being named Publisher of the Year in 1994 by the American Publishing Company of 340 newspapers.

J. T. is survived by his loving wife, Deloris Hurst; his daughter, Debbie Hurst; his best friend, Mike Marcum; and host of nieces, nephews, family and friends.

All services were private.

Shumate Funeral Home is entrusted with all arrangements.

Light a candle and register on the guestbook at

Ben McCullough, uncle of Somerset Commonwealth-Journal publisher Rob McCullough, passed away December 19. Ben was the Chief Photographer until 1972 and then Vice President and Production Manager of the Ashland Daily Independent until his retirement several years after the newspaper was sold to Ottaway in 1979.

Jeopardy’s jackpot question

Radiant Orchid

Radiant Orchid

If you’re ever on Jeopardy and Final Jeopardy’s answer is “Radiant Orchid,” you can write down, “What is Pantone’s color of the year for 2014?”

Believe it or not, Pantone does have a color of the year and you can see it at

So can we expect to see more pages, more ads with Radiant Orchid included in ads?

And while you’re on that website, KPA likes to stay ahead of the game and if you check out 2013’s color of the year, you will notice it was Emerald. And then check out KPA’s logo from the Strategic Plan process in 2009 and 2010, and you’ll find the logo is now that color.

Kentucky: The Reality TV State?

Okay, so it’ll never replace The Bluegrass State as Kentucky’s motto but it could run a close second. Consider all the focus on Kentucky with reality TV shows.

Of course, there’s ‘Turtleman,’ whose popularity continues to soar despite claims of “set up” animal rescues. He’s from down in the Greensburg area. Sorry, can’t give you his real name because he’s known just as “Turtleman.”

Not far away of two other locations where reality shows are based, wholly or partially.

In Columbia, ‘Backyard Oil’ follows drilling for oil on some Adair County properties. The show might have been in limbo for a second season with the unexpected death of Jimmy Reliford, one of the show’s stars. He died of an apparent heart attack in August at his Columbia home.

‘Moonshiners’ has been located throughout Appalachia but if you travel through Lebanon, KY., chances are you’re going to pass Limestone Branch Distillery. You can’t miss it as it sits right along the road and the sign proclaims its most famous product, Tim Smith’s Climax Moonshine. Distillery owners have one of the most famous last names in bourbon — Beam. Steve and Paul Beam have moonshine in their blood.  In fact, the Beam’s great-great grandfather, Joseph Washington Dant, began distilling sour mash whiskey in 1836 a few miles down the road from where Limestone Branch Distillery sits today. The Beam’s great grandfather, Minor Case Beam, continued the spirit-making tradition, crafting Old Trump and T.J. Pottinger brands of fine sour mash and rye whiskeys.

Family lore says that the first Master Distiller in the family, Jacob Boehm, came across Cumberland Gap in 1788 with a pot still strapped to his back. He promptly changed his surname to “Beam” and sold his first barrel of whiskey in 1795.

Even though Prohibition ended the family’s ownership of the distillery, grandfather Guy S. Beam carried on the family’s heritage as a Master Distiller for many of Kentucky’s finest distilleries.

Today, Limestone Branch produces small one-barrel batches of the finest spirits possible from their 150-gallon hand-hammered copper pot still. Visitors can tour the distillery, experience firsthand the unique taste of Moon*Shine and Sugar*Shine, and tour the gift shop and grounds.

Then from Southeastern Kentucky, you can follow the drug crime in Harlan County on ‘Kentucky Justice.’

Here’s information from National Geographic, the network hosting ‘Kentucky Justice:’    Harlan County, Kentucky, is no stranger to violence. Its long mining history means it’s seen its fair share of corruption, moon-shining, and murder. The coal mining wars may be over, but with a depressed economy, including the closure of many mines, the County is facing a new crime wave: a growing prescription drug problem.

Sheriff Marvin J. Lipfird is determined to get the drug problem under control, and he’s spent the last six years building a team of skilled deputies to help him do it. These men chose policing, but many of the people they know have chosen the wrong side of the law. Each has arrested someone they know—sometimes even kin. Sheriff Marvin and his deputies survive shoot-outs, arrest drug dealers, and bring down corrupt city officials in an effort to reduce crime in their beloved Harlan County.

It’s not mandatory til February, but if you’re in the 270 Area Code you can start now

Here’s a suggested New Year’s resolution from the Kentucky Service Commission (PSC) for anyone living in area code 270: start dialing the area code with every phone call you make in 2014.

“This is a resolution that will be much easier to keep than those annual promises to exercise more or eat healthier,” PSC Chairman David Armstrong said. “And beginning in February, you won’t have a choice anyway.”

Mandatory 10-digit dialing for local calls begins Feb. 1, when area code 364 is added to the same geographic area as the current area code 270.

That means there is less than a month left in the “permissive dialing” period during which customers can dial either seven or 10 digits when making local calls in area code 270.

“With mandatory 10-digit dialing just a few weeks away, it makes sense to get into the habit of using the new dialing pattern,” Armstrong said.

All of us here at KPA/KPS hope that you have had a

Great Holiday period and we wish you a

Happy, Prosperous and Successful 2014.

We will see you January 23-24 at the 2014

KPA Winter Convention.

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