- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Recent editorials from Kentucky newspapers:


Oct. 14

The Daily Independent, Ashland, Kentucky, on EastPark industrial:

Soon after EastPark opened some two decades ago, AT&T; and Cintas announced plans to build in the industrial park on the new Northeast Kentucky Industrial Parkway linking Interstate 64 and U.S. 23, and those two companies continue to provide good-paying jobs. AT&T; has announced several major expansions since its opening, a rather clear indication it is satisfied with the quality of the region’s workforce.

Not long after the arrival of Cintas and AT&T;, Ashland Community & Technical College constructed its beautiful Industrial Drive campus in EastPark in hopes it would help attract more industry. However, it has been many years since AT&T; and Cintas have located in the industrial park funded by the FIVCO counties of Boyd, Greenup, Carter, Lawrence and Elliott in a rare and positive move toward a more regional approach to economic development. Those involved in the early years of EastPark will at least privately admit they have been disappointed at how slowly the huge industrial park that is in Boyd, Carter and Greenup counties has developed.

Ashland Alliance President Tim Gibbs hopes to end the lull in the development of EastPark by making the improvements intended to make the property even more attractive to companies looking for a place to build. If all goes according to plan, Gibbs and a team of partners, including American Electric Power, will have the entirety of the EastPark Industrial Park certified and guaranteed ready for business within six months. Gibbs said the team has a year to accomplish the goal, although they are determined to build on the momentum already rolling at the expansive industrial park.

“It’s going to be a big part of what we do for the next year,” Gibbs said, explaining the area must find ways to distinguish itself from the 14,000 other government entities also trying to lure new and expanding companies to their own industrial parks.

Once the final phase (a detailed review of the first two phases) is approved, EastPark will be the only AEP Quality-Site within the power company’s considerable service area, including all of eastern Kentucky. In simplest terms, it would make EastPark the first place a site consultant would visit and consider while researching possible locations for a new or expanded facility.

“It means you’re ready. If a site consultant is sent your way, you know your dirt. You know your geotech,” Gibbs said, explaining site consultants and the companies they represent are not generous with their time and are extremely objective about their requirements. “You don’t have a month to respond. You have a day to respond. They can’t wait for you to build a road, or run a water pipe or expand plant capacity. They need all of that in place.”

Having certified or “shovel ready” sites across all of EastPark would “put us on plateau above others,” Gibbs added, noting, “We’re doing the entire park. We started off to do a single parcel.”

Gibbs said another program, to establish a “Work-Ready Community,” will be one of the next components of the certification process, involving local industries, elected officials and education professionals to assess current resources and establish goals to meet the needs of prospective corporate clients. That’s important because there is no question the high number of adults in the five counties without a college or even high school education is a major obstacle to economic development - an obstacle only residents of the five counties can eliminate by improving their level of education

The timing of the renewed effort to promote EastPark is ideal. With the U.S. economy slowly improving, more and more companies are looking to expand. Indeed, one of the major reasons EastPark and other industrial parks have been slow to develop is the “Great Recession” that impacted the entire country, not just this region.

Located near two four-lane highways - Interstate 64 and U.S. 23 - two major railroads and the Ohio River, we continue to have confidence that EastPark is ideally situated to attract industry. Making the entire park “shovel ready” is no guarantee industry will locate there, but it certainly makes the industrial park that much more appealing.

We continue to be impressed by Gibbs, who in just the few months as head of what serves as this region’s chamber of commerce has sparked new enthusiasm and a deeper commitment to helping northeast Kentucky grow and prosper.




Oct. 15

Daily News, Bowling Green, Kentucky, on influenza:

Anyone who has ever had the flu knows how horrible it makes you feel.

For days and sometimes up to a week, you can be bedridden with fever and in general have no appetite of any kind and your main source of any hydration is soft drinks or water.

The flu season, which typically begins in Kentucky in October or November, is once again upon us, and the first case already has been reported in Jefferson County. People should remember that the flu can be spread by contact with another person by shaking hands, being sneezed on or simply with the flu.

There are precautions people should take to avoid getting the flu coming into close contact with someone.

One of the most important is getting a flu shot. Doctors recommend that anyone 6 months or older get a flu shot. Shots can be given at your local physician’s office, at drug stores or at the Barren River District Health Department, which charges $28 for a shot. Shots will be offered at all county health departments in the region. The offices are open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, and some offices also have evening hours. People are encouraged to get their flu shots once their health care provider has them - it takes about two weeks for immunity to develop and offer protection against the flu.

We strongly encourage people to get their flu shots in a prompt manner. Doctors and health officials will tell you that getting the shot greatly reduces the risk of catching the flu. Many health care plans cover the full cost of flu shots.

Another flu precaution is washing your hands. And cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough, using your sleeve instead of your hands. If your child is sick, don’t send him to school and don’t have kids come over to play. When adults stay home from work with the flu, they shouldn’t be out shopping or making other trips.

Be aware of the symptoms associated with the flu, including fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, body aches and headaches.

We encourage people to take all necessary precautions to avoid the flu.

It certainly beats the alternative.



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