Graves County ‘got milk’ thanks to the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farmers to Families Food Box Program has distributed over 50 million food boxes in support of American farmers and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic across the U.S. In Graves County, Ky., more than 1,000 were fed with the help of the USDA multi-billion dollar coronavirus program on Thursday.
Families in Graves County drove away with free dairy boxes and produce from the distribution event at the Mayfield-Graves County Fairground yesterday. The Kentucky Dairy Development Council and the Purchase Area Development District (PADD) partnered together and with the help of other agencies planned the event.
The distribution yesterday took place during a mostly rainy day but that didn't stop Graves County residents from showing up. Some even showed up several hours before distribution started.
Cars were lined up and they never stopped, according to one of the volunteers. Members of the community were ready for their dairy boxes and produce.
There were volunteers from different local agencies as well. All were busy throughout the day moving boxes around and packing up cars with the goods. Boxes were filled to the top with dairy products and produce.
In order to get the produce, PADD partnered with Feeding Kentucky and the Farm to Food Banks program. Kentucky has a ‘seconds’ program where farmers that aren’t able to send products to market can sell to agencies like Feeding Kentucky for distribution. Communities across the state of Kentucky are able to receive food items purchased for free.
Feeding Kentucky is an organization that works toward ending hunger for the one in six Kentuckians, including 200,000 children, who don’t always have food for the table. They provide fresh, healthy products to Kentuckians in need while reducing losses to farmers.
The Kentucky Dairy Development Council is the agency helping to distribute products throughout the state. Mayfield/Graves is the 14th distribution site across the state of Kentucky since starting in late June.
Dairy farmers have seen the need first hand during their travels and realize the effect they’re having on people’s lives and in turn, how people's lives affect the dairy farmer’s life. Since the pandemic, the dairy industry has struggled. This new program is giving them a much needed boost.
Both the needy and the dairy farmers are helping each other. The farmers need consumers and consumers need the dairy.
The boxes weigh approximately 30 pounds each. There were 1,320 dairy boxes distributed yesterday and 20,800 pounds of produce. The boxes contained two gallons of 2% milk, two pints each of strawberry and chocolate milk, cream cheese, cottage cheese, and french onion dip.
The USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box Program is divided by region. In the South, there are two main processors - Prairie Farms and Borden Dairy. Both got a government contract to purchase and process milk. Thanks to the program, the government paid for all of it.
If you missed the event, either contact the PADD or your local food bank.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing mandates, all members of the Paducah Board of Commissioners participated by video conferencing. The summation of the meeting provided by Public Information Officer Pam Spencer
Lose Agreement Suspension and Further Due Diligence - Design Pause for Indoor Recreation and Aquatic Center
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved a municipal order to continue the suspension of the agreement with Lose & Associates, Inc. regarding the design and construction management services for the Indoor Recreation and Aquatic Center and direct the City Manager to continue due diligence on the project. This municipal order pauses the agreement until January 2021. At the previous Commission meeting, the Board approved adding amendments to this municipal order directing the City Manager to continue due diligence related to the project including
1. The creation of a conceptual build-out for prospective tenants.
2. The creation of community focus groups for the project with an emphasis on inclusion and programming.
3. Research on financial assistance and facility naming rights.
4. Research on facility costs with an emphasis on understanding the impact of COVID-19 on the project Pro Forma.
This municipal order was adopted with a 3-2 vote with Commissioner Richard Abraham and Commissioner Gerald Watkins voting no. Commissioner Abraham and Commissioner Watkins stated they are in favor of pausing the design but not in favor of the amendments that continue the due diligence related to the project which may have associated costs. Prior to the vote, Commissioner Abraham made a motion to rescind the amendments to the municipal order and include only the pausing of the design until January. By a 2-3 vote (Commissioner Abraham and Commissioner Gerald Watkins voting to rescind the amendments), the Board did not approve Commissioner Abraham’s motion.
The City entered into an agreement with Lose for the design of the indoor recreation and aquatic center in August 2019. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City paused the design of the facility beginning May 1 for a period that would have ended this month. For more information about the Center including the conceptual drawings, visit http://paducahky.gov/indoor-recreation-and-aquatic-center.
City Block Development Agreement (vote August 11)
The Paducah Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance to approve a development agreement between the City and Weyland Ventures Development, LLC for the City Block project. This project includes the development of a hotel, parking, open space, and mixed-use residential buildings located on the 2.88-acre city-owned block bounded by Second Street, Broadway, North Water Street, and Jefferson Street. Bill Weyland and Barry Alberts with Weyland Ventures provided an overview of the company and its various projects including several projects completed in Louisville, Kentucky, and Dayton, Ohio. Alberts stated that Weyland Ventures likes Paducah and would like to do more projects after investing $21 million in the City Block project.
In April 2019, the City and Weyland entered into a pre-development agreement for each party to undertake various site due diligence for the project including numerous stakeholder meetings, market and financial analysis, project development and design, environmental review and geotechnical analysis, and parking analysis.
Under this development agreement, the project is divided into two construction phases. The city-owned block is divided into three tracts with Weyland purchasing the two smaller tracts (Tract 1 and Tract 3). The middle tract (Tract 2) is the largest which will remain under city ownership for parking and open space.
The first phase includes Weyland purchasing Tract 1 for $141,000 for the construction of a 4 ½ story boutique hotel, with the final site plan showing 84 rooms, along Jefferson Street. Weyland will invest a minimum of $12 million in the hotel. The City will review the design of the hotel to ensure the design fits the fabric of the historic downtown. Also, during this first phase, Weyland will provide improvements to Tract 2 (the middle tract) to create green space, open space, and parking with the final site plan depicting 172 parking spaces. At this time, this parking lot offers 213 spaces. The City will retain ownership of Tract 2 and will reimburse Weyland for the development expenses.
The second phase of this development is the construction of two mixed-use commercial and residential buildings along Broadway on Tract 3. Weyland will purchase Tract 3 for $155,000 and will invest a minimum of $9 million into this phase. Phase 2 could include approximately 18,000 square feet in commercial space with up to 48 upper-story residential units.
After the presentation and public comments, Commissioner Gerald Watkins made a motion to table this ordinance for the development agreement until after the coronavirus pandemic. The motion failed by a 2 to 3 vote with Commissioner Watkins and Commissioner Abraham voting to table the project.
First Amendment and Extension to Right of First Refusal Agreement with Riverfront Hotel LP (vote August 11)
The Paducah Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance to amend and extend the agreement with Paducah Riverfront Hotel, LP for the city-owned property located at 501 North 3rd Street. This is vacant property located adjacent to the City’s floodwall and the Holiday Inn Paducah Riverfront. A nursing home was the last structure that was on the site before being demolished. In 2015, the City approved an agreement with Paducah Riverfront Hotel (LinGate Hospitality) for a right of first refusal and an option to purchase or lease the property. That agreement expired this month. This ordinance would extend the agreement for two more years with an expiration date of July 15, 2022, and amend the agreement to allow the developer more flexibility in the type of accommodations to be developed on the property. In 2015, the City entered into a development agreement with Paducah Riverfront Hotel to bring the 123-room Holiday Inn Paducah Riverfront which is located next to the convention center complex.
Jane and Oscar Gamble of Paducah are sharing their ‘love’ for the game of tennis by building on an idea first heard through the United States Tennis Association (USTA) meeting, according to a Facebook post. Jane Gamble, President of the Paducah Tennis Association, stated that a similar idea was first conceived in East St. Louis and she hoped that the concept would spread in our community.
The idea ‘in play’ is to provide any adult or child without access to rackets, the ability to have access to rackets. Through donations to a local tennis pantry, any passerby would be able to borrow a racket and ball for spontaneous play.
The East St. Louis Community Tennis Association (CTA) is a non-profit charitable organization driven by the purpose of developing youth through the sport of tennis. They provide tennis lessons, equipment, and education designed to build skills and character in life on the tennis courts.
A ‘drop-off’ location at a local tennis shop encourages players to donate their ‘slightly-used’ tennis equipment to be recycled and utilized by the local tennis programs. Rackets are used by local tennis players, including an East St. Louis high school team that don’t own their own rackets. The donated equipment gives these kids the ability to learn the game of tennis, grow with the program, and learn valuable life lessons.
The spring 2020 tennis clinic in Paducah for children K - 12 was cancelled this year due to COVID-19. The clinic was sponsored by the Paducah Tennis Association and the Parks and Recreation Department and was to be held at the Paducah Tilghman Chad Gamble Tennis Courts.
The summer clinic is currently in progress. Play takes place on Sunday’s at Bob Noble Park in Paducah and ends on August 2nd.
Jane Gamble has asked that rackets be left on her side porch located on Buckner Ln. in Paducah. If you’re interested in finding out more, contact the Paducah Tennis Association at 270-559-3039 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Respect and Admiration for the field of talent this weekend at the 84th Irvin Cobb Championships
Pictured: LPGA rising star Emma Talley and the first woman to play in the Irvin Cobb Championships
Paxton Park Golf Course and Course Map
It’s not by chance that one of the most prestigious and historic golf tournaments in the state of Kentucky was named after American author, humorist, editor and columnist, Irvin S. Cobb. Cobb, a native of Paducah, was an accomplished author of 60 books, a high-paid journalist, a radio star, and motion picture celebrity. In fact, his writing is so prolific that he has been compared to Mark Twain. With that kind of resume, respect and admiration was earned and deserved.
‘Respect and Admiration’ doesn’t stop at Cobb, it continues in this year’s field of contenders at the 84th Annual Irvin Cobb Championships. There’s no other tournament, in recent memory, that has such an array of star-quality talent.
The three winners from 2019 are back. John B. Williams of Danville, KY. who won the Professional Division shooting 134 (eight under par). He has a 1:15 pm tee time at the Pro-Am today.
Aaron Ingalls of Jackson, TN is defending his title as the Amateur Division Champion shooting 135 (five under par). And Jay Nimmo of Benton, KY is defending his Junior Division Champion title with a 145 (three under par).
The Cochran's are playing. Russ Cochran, aka ‘Dad’ or ‘Uncle Russ,’ joined the PGA Tour in 1979. He’s had numerous PGA victories and has won the Irvin Cobb Golf Tournament five times as a professional and once as an amateur in 1979. Cochran’s nephew Rick Cochran III started his professional career in 2009. Case Cochran, Russ’ son, turned professional in 2013. Case Cochran and his group will tee-off at 10 am today. Right behind him is his dad, Russ Cochran, teeing-off at 10:15.
Lest not forget one of the true highlights of the tournament. Along with these Paducah legends is the first woman to play in the Irvin Cobb Championships, Emma Talley. It’s a history-making tournament. In the midst of the turmoil and chaos of the pandemic, a bright beacon of light is shining from above onto the greens and fairways at Paxton Park.
The Princeton, KY native, University of Alabama star player, and a 2013 title of NCAA Division 1 Women’s Championship, Talley turned professional and joined the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) in 2018 and has ranked in several tournaments. She will play on Saturday.
The Irvin Cobb Golf Championships is a two-day Saturday/Sunday tournament with the Pro-Am played on Friday. It’s always been played the third full weekend of July and will remain so this year.
Before the tournament was played at Paxton Park in 1940, it originated at Lake View Golf Course in 1937. Lake View Golf Course later became known as Rolling Hills Country Club.
In addition to a different location, the tournament bore a different name, ‘The Tri-State Amateur Tournament.’ The name changed four years later to the Irvin Cobb Championships.
This year’s event will host 44 professionals and 88 amateurs. As mentioned, the Pro-Am is played on the Friday before the two-day tournament. This year, changes have been made to the tournament’s structure in order to keep participants and fans safe.
Changes such as more dispersed tee times to discourage large fan gatherings. There are 102 golfer’s this year, and fan expectations are high. Even though there are fewer players than previous year’s play (as of Tuesday, there were 30 golfers on a waiting list), the tournament is expected to draw a crowd.
Danny Mullen, PGA Golf Professional and Director of Golf at Paxton Park Golf Course said the course isn’t in as good of shape as he had hoped. COVID-19 has played a major role in staff restrictions. There’s not been much activity, March through May, resulting in a budget crunch. There have been equipment issues and without a staff, normal protocol has been hampered leading up to the event.
The weather for the tournament should be much like every other tournament held in July. Hot with a possibility of rain. Mullen said that if the rain holds off, the greens and fairways should be hard and fast. The rough is another story. Several weeks ago, the city experienced tumultuous rain leaving the rough thicker and more challenging.
The 84th Irvin Cobb Championships are rolling into western Kentucky at the perfect time. Kentucky is known for its sports enthusiasts and the pandemic has caused some withdrawal. Golf is a strong, socially-distanced sport that’s played outdoors with plenty of ventilation. The only drawback is human behavior. If fans maintain social distancing and wear a mask if necessary, it should be an incredible three days.
Picture: The Moors Resort and Marina beach located on Kentucky Lake in Gilbertsville, KY. Photography by Lauren Emery
Summer 2020 isn’t what we expected. As late as January/February 2020, summer vacations were booked by local travel agents. Destinations included tropical islands, trips to ‘the happiest place on earth’ and international adventures. However, in four short months, everything changed. The coronavirus sabotaged our best-laid plans and the world as we knew it disappeared.
One of the hardest hit industries since the pandemic began has been travel. Half of all Americans say they’ll postpone their travel plans until 2021. According to AAA, 98% of those that are taking a vacation, will travel by car. What that means for the travel industry is shorter trips and staying closer to home.
Each mode of travel within the industry has its own set of unique challenges. The airlines have been making accommodations since the pandemic shuttered America. In many cases, people have been afraid to fly.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other medical experts have advised against extended exposure in small, enclosed spaces without proper ventilation. The idea of flying in an overstuffed tin box without the ability to retreat may cause the imagination to spiral out of control and view this type of travel as a coronavirus 'hotspot'.
Because of these fears, the airlines have been blocking-off seats to accommodate social distancing and in return, selling fewer tickets. It makes one wonder as airline travel begins to pick-up, will the airlines turn away business or will ticket prices go up.
According to Destination Analysts, the ‘frequent flyers’ will continue to travel. The demographic for this typical traveler is young, male, urban, and affluent. Analysts predict this will remain the trend throughout the pandemic. It's a trend worth watching. (Destination Analysts is an independent company that surveyed 1,200 plus travelers about their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors since the coronavirus outbreak).
The cruise industry could be a sinking ship for a while. There will be a number of changes made in order to set sail once again. The Norwegian Cruise line is the largest in the industry and they just released new protocols for future voyages. The first is the installation of medical grade air filters that remove 99.95% of airborne pathogens. Also, guests will undergo pre-embarkation health screenings, constant monitoring throughout the trip, and temperature checks.
The beneficiaries of this travel trend will be the destinations that are within a day’s drive. Western Kentucky residents and surrounding state neighbors hit the jackpot. In our little corner of the world, there are two beautiful lakes with plenty of activities for the family.
Both Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley are close enough to most within the four state areas to enjoy a three-day weekend or longer. Residents in Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, and Tennessee can pack-up the car with the kids, grandparents, and even the family pet, to enjoy all the activities the lakes have to offer.
In a recent Harris Poll survey, the most missed activities by Americans was dining out, family and friend gatherings, and shopping in stores. Since the family gatherings have been addressed in this article, it’s time to think about dinner plans.
Most resorts have great places to eat. Green Turtle Bay has Docker’s Breakfast on the Bay, Moors Resorts and Marina has Ralph’s Harborview Bar and Grill, Buzzard Rock Restaurant is located at Buzzard Rock Marina Resort, and that’s just to name a few.
Each town in the lakes area has great dining too. Grand Rivers, KY. is situated in the middle of the lake experience. The famous Patti’s 1880s Settlement Restaurant is located in this quaint little town. Other popular restaurants are Harbor Lights Restaurant at Kentucky Dam, T. Lawsons, Echo Charlies, Cypress Springs Restaurant and more.
Antique shopping is a favorite pastime around the lakes. The community of Hazel, Ky boasts 12 antique shops with collectibles. Cadiz, KY. has antique malls with quilts, antique toys, pottery and more. Other towns to shop include, Aurora, Paris, Tn., Grand Rivers and Benton, KY.
When looking for beauty, often one only has to look to either side. Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley are wonderful places to spend a holiday. COVID has taught us to appreciate the small things and to look from within. After all, life’s what we make it.
Watercolors by Holly Roberts Walker
Connecting with the visual arts, physically, has been missed since the shuttering of all non-essential businesses due to the pandemic. As of July 1, the Yeiser Art Center opened its doors to the public, after being closed since mid-March, to enjoy the latest works of art by local, regional, and national artists. As a special treat, the Yeiser Art Center will exhibit the Paducah Wastelanders Summer Show 2020 through July 25.
This summer’s show is featuring local artists interestingly named Paducah Wastelanders. When hearing ‘wastelanders’ a memory comes to mind about the song incorrectly referred to as ‘Teenage Wasteland’ written by Peter Townshend and performed by the Classic Rock Band “The Who”.
The song refers to teenagers that sit around and waste their life and their time. In no way, do the Paducah Wastelanders waste their life or time. Many of the artists are very accomplished in many different areas of the arts.
One of the ‘Wastelanders’ is Curtis A. Grace. Grace is the son of the late Norma and Curtis Grace, owners of the Ninth Street House and House of Grace restaurants. The Ninth Street House, formerly located in Lowertown, was Paducah’s first four-star restaurant. Grace is one of the newest board members at the Yeiser Art Center. In addition to his artwork, Grace has curated a number of shows at the 1857 Hotel in downtown Paducah.
Another artist that is multi-talented is Mark Donham. In addition to his paintings, drawings and prints, Donham is a singer/songwriter and plays several musical instruments. In one of his recent Youtube videos, Donham sang and played guitar to a tune called “Taking it Day by Day”. More of his music can be heard at markdonhammusic.com.
Other ‘Wastelanders’ appearing in the summer show are Jason Hargrove, a graphic artist, sculptor, muralist, and certified blacksmith. Sandra Pfeifer, photographer, LaNelle Mason who recently participated in a women’s art challenge, and Juanita Gilliam, Jane Viterisi, and Ben Walker.
The guest artist for this month’s show is Holly Roberts Walker. Walker will be showing some of her watercolor paintings. She is the daughter of one of the original ‘Wastelanders’ E.J. Roberts.
The group was founded in 2007 by area artists prior to the ‘Artist Relocation Program’, a program promoted by the city to renovate the old Lowertown area of Paducah into an artists’ community.
The late Sara Roush, a pioneer artist, helped form the group and was at the forefront of the renovation of Market House Square. Her art is well-known in the area and the tile and ceramic work that adorns two storefronts in downtown Paducah still attracts visitors today.
The buildings, on Market Street and Broadway, display various designs on glazed ceramic tile. The enchanting facade is beautiful. Roush lost her decade-long battle with breast cancer in 2010. She is greatly missed.
The Yeiser Art Center is a non-profit corporate 501(c)(3) established in 1957 as the Paducah Art Guild for the ‘purpose of promoting the appreciation of the visual arts and further creation’. The center started small with a handful of volunteers and now has a permanent exhibition space with a permanent collection, and a supporting membership.