As Halloween 2020 comes to a close, it's time to sit and reflect. The plan this year was to proceed with Halloween door-to-door trick-or-treating but with rules to help keep families safe.
Neighborhoods across the state of Kentucky and in other parts of the country had established certain rules and guidelines for this year's Halloween gatherings. For instance, distributing candy was to be a 'no touch, clean, and sanitize' scenario. In one Paducah neighborhood, approximately 10% of homes followed 'no touch' candy distribution, 40% of the candy givers wore masks and social distanced, leaving the remaining neighbors sticking to the traditional 'trick-or-treat' approach...according to one of the trick-or-treating families.
Jefferson Street in Paducah is typically overrun with trick-or-treaters. It's the Halloween 'hot spot'. The beautiful scenic street located in the heart of the city is lined with brick two story homes built in the 1800s. Many of the homes were built for riverboat captains and those that worked on the Ohio River.
Due to COVID-19, the Jefferson Street Neighborhood Association decided week's ago that the regular Halloween celebration that attracts 1,000s of trick-or-treaters each season would be altered. They wanted to encourage families to stay in their own neighborhoods in order to follow CDC guidelines regarding large gatherings. That being said, there were no elaborate decorations, no creepy displays of horror, and fewer homes providing candy. In fact, one of its residents donated the usual money spent on candy and decorations each year to local charities.
As the world is experiencing the effects of COVID-19 once again, now is the time to follow local, state, and CDC guidelines to mitigate the spread of the disease.
If you've paid attention to world news, Europe is shuttering businesses for the second time since the pandemic began. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson said England will enter its second lockdown now through sometime in December. "The virus is spreading even faster than the reasonable worst-case scenario of our scientific advisors, whose models ... now suggest unless we act, we could see deaths in this country running at several thousand a day," Johnson said in an address to the nation.
Halloween 2020 had a COVID-19 plan to help keep everyone safe. Seeing the actions of many in our neighborhood...it's no wonder McCracken County is in the red zone.
Now is the time to act and keep your family safe. As it stands, school districts in our area are in the process of returning to virtual learning, hybrid instruction, or are keeping a close eye on incidence rates. They are alerting parents that students should be ready for in-person classes to be disrupted.
Halloween is a fun time. It's full of laughing children, delicious chocolates, creative costumes, and family fun. Saturday night's free-for-all was disappointing and shocking. If we're unable to follow a few sensible rules during a Halloween event, what's going to happen over the holidays? Be sensible America.
Caldwell County is seeing its ‘fair share’ of COVID-19 positive cases. The Pennyrile District Health Department reported 120 cases on Thursday, October 29, involving school students and staff that had been in contact with a COVID-19 positive person and were quarantining. As it stands, four of the students have tested positive. According to the Pennyrile Health Department two cases were confirmed Thursday, one on Tuesday, and one on Monday. All ages 5 -18.
Caldwell County Interim Superintendent Heath Cartwright posted a letter to the school district website informing the public about the quarantine. This particular quarantine began on Tuesday, October 21.
In a release from the superintendent’s office, it said, “Due to an increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases and the number of staff and students being isolated/ quarantined, please be prepared for a possible change to virtual or hybrid instruction for a period of time. At this time, we have 19 staff members and 82 students being isolated/quarantined (Approximately 30 of the 82 students are from two primary school classrooms where contract tracing determined the need for each class to be quarantined by the health department). The superintendents news release may be read in its entirety below).
The release also stated that the rise in cases is a cause for concern and for students and parents to be prepared for the possibility of a return to virtual learning.
The Executive Director of the Pennyrile District Health Department said that those who are contacts to the positive cases shouldn’t be confused with those who actually test positive for COVID-19. Positive cases are isolated for 10 days of their positive test or as they start to show symptoms. Contacts of positive cases are isolated for 14 days from their last day of the contact with a positive case.
A possible reason for the higher contact numbers in a primary care classroom is due to the amount of circulation an instructor has to make with the little ones. Their needs require more personal contact as opposed to a middle or high school classroom instructor.
The health department is working closely with those in the school district trying to determine those that have been in close contact with an infected person. The district is being cautious translating into a larger number of quarantined individuals. This is Caldwell County Primary School’s third classroom to be under quarantine.
The number of contacts prompted Cartwright to send out parent communication sharing with parents what needs to happen in order to remain on an in-person schedule.
As it stands, there have been no plans to change to a hybrid or all virtual learning schedule but there is the potential. Caldwell County is back in the red zone with 44.8 confirmed cases per 100,000 people over the last seven days.
It's the battle of the petitions 'to keep' or 'dismiss' Paducah Public Schools Superintendent Donald Shively
Photo of Paducah Tilghman High School property in Paducah, Kentucky
It’s the battle of the petitions on change.org. After the blackface Halloween photo of Paducah Public Schools Superintendent Donald Shively circulated on social media more than a week ago, a petition started calling for the ‘Immediate Removal of Superintendent Donald Shively and Elected Members of the Board.’ Now, there’s a petition ‘To Keep Dr. Donald Shively as Superintendent of Paducah Public Schools.”
The photo that was taken in 2002 pictured Shively in blackface, Paducah Tilghman shirt and a gold chain around his neck. The other person in the photo was a woman in blackface, Afro hairstyle, and a padded bottom. Since the photo’s release on social media, there has been an outcry from Paducah Public Schools parents, students, and the Paducah-McCracken County NAACP calling for the superintendent’s resignation.
There have been student walk-outs and parent protests demanding Shively be fired. Students of Paducah Tilghman High School had a meeting with Shively only days ago. Parents weren’t allowed in the meeting. No word on the content or mood of the meeting.
The local chapter of the NAACP met with Shively for several hours a few days ago. Their minds are made up...they want him gone along with members of the Board of Education.
As it stands, The ‘Immediate Removal’ petition has nearly 1,700 signatures. The ‘Keep Shively’ petition is getting closer to 1,000 signatures. What does all this mean for the school district? Time will tell.
The ‘To Keep’ petition states: Dr. Donald Shively has maintained the legacy and the Academic Excellence that the Paducah City Schools have accomplished over the years. Please sign our petition to keep Dr. Donald Shively as the Superintendent of the Paducah City School System. Your signature will be greatly appreciated. The students and the people of Paducah need the guidance that he is able to provide to allow our students in Paducah to compete as they move forward in their lives.
The “Get rid of’ states: A picture has surfaced of Superintendent Dr. Donald Shively and his ex wife Heather Knott Shively dressed in blackface displaying themselves lampooning African-Americans. It is unfitting that someone in his position or any learned member of our community display such racially insensitive actions towards the demographic of humans that he has been assigned to lead. We feel that immediate removal of Dr. Donald Shively and board members is the only appropriate measure to move forward and begin the healing process, this is a violation of EPSB standards of behavior that governs educators. These actions must be held accountable, the board has blatantly disregarded the voices of the community and we call for immediate removal of all seated members including Dr. Donald Shively.
Superintendent Shively has shared with students, parents, the school district, and the community just how sorry he is about his 2002 decision to dress in such a fashion. He said the photograph is terribly offensive. In an interview with another news service, Shively apologized and stated that he knows there’s a lot to be done to help the community heal.
In a statement, Shively wrote, “My goal is that this extensive process not only will help me to grow as a person and as a leader, but that it also will serve as a catalyst for improved understanding, sensitivity, and racial harmony in our community.”
Both sides are fighting for what they believe is right. No one is a winner here. We know the goal of both parties, it’s very clearly stated on the petitions.
This Sunday is a planned protest asking for Shively and the board members’ jobs. The protest is to take place in front of Paducah Tilghman High School at 1 pm. The organizer has been speaking with a group from Louisville regarding their participation in Sunday’s protest.
There’s much more to take away from this incident than a photo from a party almost two decades ago. Communities are hurting. The racial divide is as wide as a river and deep as an ocean. Keeping a dialogue open will help. The protest planned for Sunday is said to be a peaceful demonstration. Let’s hope so.
Changes taking place due to red zone COVID-19 positive cases in western Kentucky
McCracken, Calloway, Marshall, and Hickman counties are in the red zone for COVID-19 meaning they have 25 or more average daily cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents. Today, the Purchase Health Department (PDHD) reported 37 new cases in McCracken County, Marshall County reported 11 new cases, Calloway County reported 16 new cases on 10/29, and Hickman County reported 2 new cases on October 29.
For these reasons, western Kentucky businesses and school districts are changing operating procedures and teaching instructions.
The McCracken County Public Library is returning to curbside service. The library said the decision was made to return to curbside service in keeping with recommendations from Governor Beshear. Curbside services will begin October 31and will remain curbside through at least November 6. At this time, the library will assess the county’s COVID-19 status.
Curbside will be available: Saturday 10 am to 5 pm; Sunday 1 pm to 5 pm; Monday through Friday 10 am to 7 pm. With curbside service, library patrons can place items on hold and have them brought to their vehicles by the library staff. The news release further stated that the library will also offer curbside printing for documents.
Paducah Public Schools will continue with in-person instruction. In the news release today, the school district said though the county is in the red zone, the incidence of infection and related quarantines for Paducah students, faculty and staff has decreased as of late.
The district intends to make these types of decisions on a weekly basis. Families should get prepared for virtual learning. As always, if you’re running a fever or have been around anyone that’s tested positive for COVID-19, stay home.
Murray-Calloway County Hospital is limiting visitors due to the surge in positive COVID-19 cases. Calloway is one of 68 counties in the red zone in Kentucky. Starting Monday, the hospital will allow one visitor per person during the hours of 4 pm to 6 pm daily.
In their news release, the hospital said the policy change is being made based on the state’s recommendations and the hospital will reevaluate the status each Thursday based on the rate of incidence.
Murray Independent and Calloway County Schools will transition to NTI until November 13. Both school districts will go to non-traditional instruction due to the increase in COVID-19 increases.
Starting November 2, all extra-curricular activities will be suspended in both school districts. Starting Wednesday November 4, all students in both districts will transition to online learning only. On November 13, both school districts will reassess the status.
Murray Independent School District Superintendent Coy Samons says preschool and head start centers in the district will remain online through November 30. The school district will continue to provide meals to children ages 0-18. More information is available on their website.
Submitted by the City of Paducah
PADUCAH – The west side of Market House Square will reopen to vehicular traffic on Monday, November 2 in time for holiday shopping. This weekend, City crews will be removing the picnic tables currently located on the edge of the roadway.
The street reopening is in time for the annual Holiday Open House which is set for November 7 and 8. During those two days, local merchants in downtown and other parts of Paducah will preview holiday goods and hold-in store promotions. Visit the Paducah Main Street Facebook page for more information about the participating merchants.
Paducah Main Street Director Katie Axt said, “We are opening up the streets to facilitate take-out dining and curbside pickup for holiday shopping. This year, there is No Place Like Local for giving the perfect gift. When you shop local, you can feel good knowing that unique present also helps sustain the small businesses that hold up our community.”
The west side of Market Square has been closed to vehicular traffic since May 22 to allow the expansion of outdoor seating for the restaurants. Since dine-in services were offered in limited capacity due to the State of Kentucky’s Healthy at Work Guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19, the City assisted the restaurants by closing the roadway to vehicles and providing picnic tables for use by the designated restaurants.
Paducah Main Street, in partnership with the City’s Public Works and Parks & Recreation Departments, worked with the businesses and restaurants on the Dining on Market House Square! initiative and has received positive feedback.
Axt added, “We are glad that the project helped our local food establishments at a critical time, and we look forward to offering Dining on Market House Square again next spring. Paducah Main Street knows that during these times, flexibility and continuing excellent service are of utmost importance.”
If you would like to provide your feedback regarding the closure of the roadway to vehicular traffic, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paducah Tilghman High School is the location of the planned protest this Sunday
A planned protest is scheduled for Sunday, November 1, outside Paducah Tilghman High School in Paducah, Kentucky, according to another news report. The protest is in response to a Halloween photo from 2002 of Superintendent of Paducah Public Schools Donald Shively in blackface. The picture circulated on social media one week ago.
According to a news report, the protest is being organized by a group, 'Paducah Marches for Justice'. This group is a private Facebook group and may only be accessed by joining the group.
A few days ago, a petition was published on the Paducah-McCracken County NAACP Facebook page asking for residents to sign the petition to remove Shively and members of the Board of Education. That post is no longer up on their website. The originator of that post lives in Louisville, Kentucky and has the petition available to sign on their Facebook page.
The expectation for the protest is said to be peaceful. Most of the information regarding this particular protest is coming from the WPSD website. The organizer Martaj Marks is the administrator on the 'Paducah Marches for Justice' social media page. She's expecting a large turnout and is speaking with her Louisville contacts about participating in the march.
As this story continues to unfold, the Paducah-McCracken County NAACP is still demanding Shively stepdown as superintendent of Paducah Public Schools.
The events that have transpired since the time the story broke last week are continuing to snowball. More information will be forthcoming. Stay tuned and stay informed.
Paducah - McCracken County NAACP Facebook page profile picture
Members of the community are in the process of signing a petition for the immediate removal of Superintendent Donald Shively and elected members of the Board of Education. The petition, posted on the Paducah/McCracken County NAACP Facebook page, set a goal of 1,500 signatures. After posting the petition Tuesday morning, 1,140 signatures have been collected.
The petition, started by Savvy Shabazz, is in response to a photo that circulated on social media last week. The photo was a picture of Shively in blackface wearing a Paducah Tilghman shirt and gold chain around his neck. He was accompanied by a woman in blackface with an Afro hairstyle and padded bottom. The picture was taken in 2002 while Shively was a teacher at Paducah Tilghman High School.
According to reports and posts/tweets on the petition, students and parents of the Paducah Public Schools believe their voices aren't being heard. The group of petitioners believe the removal of Shively and the board is the only way for healing to begin.
Some of the comments posted on the petition include:
"When he made the decision to dress as black face he was already in an education system by 2006 he was already teaching at Paducah Tilghman High School as a chemistry teacher and football coach, he was teaching the very kids you made a mockery out of. How does he expect us to respect him and accept you apology? During this time in 2006 or 2002 whenever the photo was taken, he knew it was wrong!" India Broady
"His behavior was not only highly offensive but violates the code of ethics by having on school apparel while promoting alcohol use.' Brendae McClure
There are a number of comments like this on the petition website. If you're interested in reading more comments, go to the Paducah/McCracken County Facebook page.
President JW Cleary released a statement earlier today:
Today members of the Paducah McCracken County NAACP met with Dr. Donald Shively. Among those present were the NAACP President, NAACP members, a retired educator, community member, and parent representative. We met for approximately two hours to discuss the superintendent's blackface photo incident. Our stand has not changed, we are still calling for the resignation of the superintendent. During the course of the meeting, Dr. Shively gave no indication the he intends to resign. We have requested to meet with members of the Board of Education as soon as possible to discuss the matter further.
Eighteen years ago at a Halloween party, Superintendent of Paducah Public Schools dressed in blackface along with a female friend. At the time, Shively was a teacher at Paducah Tilghman High School in Paducah, Kentucky.
Fast forward to 2020, Shively is at a crossroads. He's been an advocate for the students at the Paducah Publics Schools and has been supported by many in the community that have said he's done more good than harm.
Monday afternoon, October 26, Shively released a statement regarding his action plans to move forward following the events that transpired after the photo circulated on social media.
Trunks, glove boxes, and even the front seat...it's First Responders Educational virtual 'touch-a-truck' style day Oct. 28
Have you ever wanted to see the inside of a police vehicle...without REALLY seeing the inside of a police vehicle? Here's your chance along with other first responder vehicles on First Responders Educational Day. Great educational experience for young children that love to play with their police cars and fire trucks.
(PADUCAH, KY) – The Paducah Parks & Recreation Department is partnering with the Paducah Fire and Police departments for the first-ever First Responders Education Day. The event will be held virtually on Wednesday, October 28, which coincides with National First Responders Day.
During the day on October 28, videos will be posted on the Facebook event page that showcase Paducah firefighters and police officers as they give virtual "Touch-A-Truck" style tours of their vehicles and the equipment they use on a daily basis. These educational videos are for all ages but specifically for preschool and elementary children. The Facebook event page link is https://www.facebook.com/events/843621713050771/.
In 2017, Congress designated October 28 as National First Responders Day to honor firefighters, police officers, EMTs, and others who are first on the scene in stressful or dangerous situations.
If you have a question about First Responders Education Day, contact Recreation Specialist Zachary Boyarski at email@example.com. For more information about other Paducah Parks & Recreation activities, visit www.paducahky.gov or call 270-444-8508.
PADUCAH –Paducah-McCracken County and Calvert City are two of the fifteen Tennessee River communities selected for the inaugural cohort of the Tennessee River Towns Program. They are the only Kentucky communities in the Program.
Each of these two communities is beginning its journey to become an official Tennessee River Town and part of the Tennessee River Line, North America’s next great regional trail system incorporating a continuous system of paddling, hiking and biking experiences along the Tennessee River’s 652-mile reach.
Paducah Mayor Brandi Harless said, “Paducah's involvement in the Tennessee River Towns Program is a game changer. The opportunity to enhance recreational use of the natural resource we've been given has the potential to make Paducah an even better place to live and visit.We are excited to have our neighbors in Calvert City join us on this endeavor.
"McCracken County Judge Executive Craig Clymer said, “Through the River Towns.Program, McCracken County is proud to join with Paducah and all our upriver neighbors in promoting and celebrating our mutual fortunes to be located on the great Tennessee River.”
To celebrate being selected for the Tennessee RiverTowns Program, join representatives from the City of Paducah, McCracken County, River Discovery Center, and Calvert City on Wilson Stage located on Paducah’s riverfront at 2 p.m. on Friday, October 23.
Attendees are asked to wear facial coverings and maintain social distancing during the celebration. If rain is in the area, the event will be moved indoors to the River DiscoveryCenter located at 117 South Water Street
Kentucky Department of Education Commissioner Jason Glass
After the racially-charged Halloween party photograph surfaced on social media two days ago, members of the Paducah Board of Education have no current plans to fire Superintendent Donald Shively. The photo of Shively and a friend in blackface has sent outrage throughout the community calling for his resignation from Paducah/McCracken NAACP President J.W. Cleary.
Board Chairman Dr. Carl LeBuhn, member Dr. James Hudson and board vice chairman Dr. Felix Akojie would like to see Shively continue at the Paducah Public Schools as Superintendent. Under Shively’s watch, black students have made academic advancements.
According to the Kentucky Department of Education 2019-2020 report, the four year graduation rate for African American students has increased overall. The report shows Paducah Tilghman High School’s college and career readiness rates are one of the highest in the region.
After the reveal of the 2002 photo, Shively asked for forgiveness from the African-American community in both a statement and a pre-recorded interview. Shively came forward with the existence of the photo to the Board in February of 2019. He said that he did so after the national media exposed two other prominent figures in blackface namely Virginia Governor Ralph Norman and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The three board members, Dr. LeBuhn, Dr. Hudson, and Dr. Akojie spoke with Shamarria Morrison, a local reporter. During the conversation, both LeBuhn and Hudson said they do regret not reporting the photograph to the public in 2019. Both said they believed it was a mistake that had been made almost two decades ago. In hindsight, things could’ve been handled differently. All three board members felt the photo was wrong and they believe it was one act from a man that has contributed so much more to the school system.
The Kentucky Department of Education was made aware of the photo yesterday. In a statement from the Commissioner of Education Jason Glass he said, “The use of blackface is highly offensive and unacceptable for any person to use. I, the Kentucky Department of Education and the Kentucky Board of Education condemn such actions and the detrimental effects they have on our communities and schools.”
The Education Professional Standards Board will be charged with reviewing all complaints against certified educators for possible discipline against an educators certificate including this particular action.
In order for the Paducah Board of Education members to fire Shively, there needs to be a vote of 4 of the 5 members in favor of dismissal. Both LeBuhn and Hudson are up for re-election.
Paducah Superintendent interviews with local television station about racially-insensitive Halloween photo
Paducah Public Schools Superintendent Donald Shively
This afternoon, Wednesday, October 21, Superintendent of Paducah Public Schools Donald Shively spoke with reporters from WPSD regarding a blackface picture of Shively and a woman at a Halloween party in 2002. Both were dressed in caricature figures; Shively with a gold chain around his neck and a Tilghman football shirt and the women with an Afro hairstyle and padded behind.
After the Halloween photo surfaced Tuesday morning, it didn’t take long for social media to reach 270 shares on Facebook. Shively reached out to the television station asking to be interviewed in order to create a dialogue to discuss the picture and to apologize and ask forgiveness.
The interview was approximately 45 minutes in length and may still be available on WPSD’s website. During the interview, Shively stated that indeed the photograph is from a Halloween party from the early 2000’s while a teacher at Paducah Tilghman High School. He said, “What you see is horrible, racially insensitive, and hurtful to our African American community. For that, I want to sincerely apologize for that decision.” He continued, “It happened two decades ago and I ask for forgiveness, and I hope and pray for grace.”
Shively said that every aspect of how you live your life can show up. He said “that’s not where my heart is or where my heart has been.”
It was revealed that Shively reported the photograph to the board members of Paducah Public Schools in February 2019, almost two years ago. He said, “things in the national media” was what spurred him on to disclose the presence of the picture. “It was one instance...I had gone to a Halloween party dressed like that.” National media (regarding racist photos) jogged his memory that he had made that same mistake.
Paducah Public Schools Board Chairman Dr. Carl Lebuhn released a statement today saying that the board was notified by Shively in February of 2019 that the photo existed. Though the board didn’t condone the use of blackface and found it deeply offensive, they ultimately decided that Shively’s commitment to ensuring equity to all students is more telling than an incident that happened almost two decades ago.
(See Dr. Lebuhn's statement at the bottom of the article).
Shively said, “I hope to not be judged on one photo but are judged on a lifetime of actions of how you treat other people and of what you do to make other people’s lives better.”
In a school system with a student population that’s 40% black, the question on everyone’s mind is how will this play out for Shively? Shively said he wanted to create a dialogue about the incident, that’s the reason why he contacted the television station. He is asking for forgiveness and wants to continue to do what’s best for each and every child. He would like the students, administration, and the public to “weigh in on what they’ve seen for 24 years when they look at that photo.”
Paducah/McCracken County NAACP President J.W. Cleary is calling for Shively’s resignation. Cleary said he realizes the photo was taken in 2002 but, “Racism, however, has no expiration date.”
J.W. Cleary’s statement:
We have been made aware of the recent surfacing of a disturbing image of the Paducah Public Schools Superintendent dressed in blackface. The NAACP has long been committed to fighting discrimination and this situation is no different. We are aware that the superintendent has offered an apology and that the photograph in question was allegedly taken in 2002. Racism, however, has no expiration date. We are deeply saddened and discouraged by this. This is a terrible representation of leadership and a horrendous breach of the trust of students, parents, and staff.
Blackface is a deplorably racist and offensive characterization of African-Americans. Paducah Public Schools has a student body that is largely African-American. What message does this convey to employees, students, and their families? We acknowledge that a public apology is necessary, but in an era of such racial animus it is important that we hold accountable those who are in leadership for such a disregard of racial sensitivity and respect for African-Americans. We therefore call for the immediate resignation of Dr. Donald Shively as superintendent of Paducah Public Schools. It is unfortunate that in 2020 we still have to deal with such an offense, and we hope that going forward Paducah Public Schools will select leadership that is understanding and sensitive to the diversity of it’s student body.
Before the television interview, Shively did release a statement Tuesday evening apologizing to the African American community. But he went on record today during the interview saying, “I didn’t just want to give a statement or hide behind a piece of paper...I wanted dialogue.” Shively continued, “I wanted to be honest and lead with my heart.”
Shively’s career began as a science teacher at Paducah Tilghman High School and continued from 1997 to 2004. He also served as assistant principal, athletic director and an assistant football coach during this period. He was Ballard Memorial High School’s principal from 2004 to 2011. He became assistant superintendent for Paducah Public Schools in 2011 and Superintendent in 2014 to present.
Dr. Carl Lebuhn's statement:
Spread the Word: Biologists will set block nets in the #JonathanCreek embayment of #KentuckyLake at U.S Highway 68 and in the Northwest Arm, Nov. 2-13 for Asian carp research. Nets will be marked by buoys and yellow flags. Boaters should use caution while passing over nets in those areas, during this period.
Biologists with the U.S. Geological Survey, in conjunction with Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and the Tennessee Valley Authority, are working to inform the public that parts of the Jonathan Creek embayment will be blocked to fish passage for 12 days.
The research team will be evaluating a new technique to herd silver carp to desired locations. This work will provide information that will help researchers and managers be more efficient during mass removals of Asian carp. Biologists will capture silver carp, tag them with an internal telemetry tag, and track these fish during herding efforts to determine their response and movements. While the work will block fish from passing between the bay and other parts of Kentucky, boat passage will be manageable with some care.
Block nets will be at two locations shown on the map below and will be marked. To pass over the nets in a boat, first turn your motor off. Trim your outboard motor up while passing over the net. If your motor cannot be trimmed, you may push the net down as your boat passes over. Please take care while going over the nets. Thank you for your cooperation in helping to battle the spread of Asian carp.
For questions, please contact: Robin Calfeefirstname.lastname@example.org (573-228-1062), Rip Shivelyemail@example.com (573-875-5399), Kevin Kellyfirstname.lastname@example.org (502-892-4414), Dennis S. Baxter, email@example.com (865-632-6404).
The month of October is a 'shout out' to life's simple pleasures. The kids are in school, if not on a COVID-19 quarantine break. Many hard-working folks have taken their summer vacations (although a fall trip sounds much more appealing as we continue to battle coronavirus concerns). A family trip to one of the pumpkin patch farms puts life into perspective...It's the little things that matter.
If you live in Paducah, October is the month to visit places like Wurth Farms. There are several pumpkin patches in the area, but this particular weekend, it was a Lone Oak pumpkin patch adventure.
Over the years, Wurth Farms has expanded it's pumpkin patch fun. This season activities included the pumpkin patch, petting zoo, bales of hay maze, photo ops, food and drink, selections of painted pumpkins, flowers, and other fall items for sell.
The day we made the trek to the farm, it was sunny and hot. The place was super busy and Wurth Farms used their rear parking (which I didn't even know existed until last weekend). Most activities observed social distancing protocols. The petting zoo was the most fun. The children really loved it. There were shorthorn cows, rabbits, goats, donkeys, horses, and a camel. Yes, a camel...a bit odd and out of place but we went with it.
We arrived shortly after lunch and by this time, the majority of animals had their bellies' full. They either turned their noses up at our handfuls of food or just didn't bother to get up...all except the goats, they were quite eager to lick the corn out of our palms. Everyone was respectful and waited their turn to pet or feed the animals. Tip: If you go to the petting zoo, be prepared to spend $12 for a family of four.
There wasn't the traditional hayride to the pumpkin patch. I'm sure it would be difficult to social distance on a crowded trailer. Even if it was an option, it would take all day to pick out a pumpkin and make the ride back to the car.
This year, there was a field of pumpkins right around the back corner of the farm. Children were able to run through the rows of pumpkins to fetch their favorite shape, size, and color melon.
All in all, it was a good way to spend an hour or so breathing some fresh air, being around other people, and enjoying the sunshine. I hope you make time to visit Wurth Farms or another pumpkin patch on your short list.
Here's a few listings for pumpkin patches in our area and across Kentucky. Links are highlighted for direct connection.
Kentucky Family Fun
The 10 Best Pumpkin Patches in Kentucky
Wurth Farms - Paducah
Huyck Farms - Paducah (Facebook Page)
Cayce's Pumpkin Patch - Princeton, KY
A-Maize-ing Farms - Mayfield, KY (Facebook Page)
Bring magic into YOUR home with The Wizards of Oakwood Drive! October 17 - 1:30 PM & 3:00 PM via Zoom!
The Wizards of Oakwood Drive
October 17, 2020
Performances at 1:30 PM & 3:00 PM via Zoom
$30 per household. Limit 8 households per performance
To purchase, call the Box Office at 270.444.6828
The Wizards Of Oakwood Drive is a live, interactive, online performance for young audiences taking place on Zoom.
Two sibling wizards perform spells in a winner-take-all contest, and with a little help from parents in advance of the show, magic will happen in your own home. A short list of items and simple instructions on where to place them will set the stage for the sorcery, and during the performance, the battling wizards perform magic which send kids on a treasure hunt. The panel of kid judges then vote to determine—once and for all—who the best wizard is on Oakwood Drive!
Up to eight children at a time participate from all over the world…all you need is a wifi connection and a few household items to make the wizardry happen.
PARENTS, YOU ARE ACCOMPLICES TO THE SORCERY!
You’ll hide everyday items around your home that will bring this magical adventure to life. Most or all of these you’ll probably already have, and specific instructions will be provided for the setup. Remember, shhhhh. After purchasing your ticket, you will be emailed instructions on items you'll need, what to do with the items around your home, and the Zoom link for the show.
Copy and paste the link below in your browser and get a direct link to purchase tickets.
Mark your calendar...the Paducah Christmas Parade will be a 'one-night only' event.
Mark your calendar for the 2020 City of Paducah Christmas Parade. This year, it will be different. The Parks & Recreation Department is planning a reverse parade also called an inverted parade. The floats will be stationary and parade attendees will drive by to enjoy them.
The “Christmas in the Trees” Parade at Noble Park will be one night only: December 5 from 5:30 until 9:30 p.m. Attendees will enter the park at the H.C. Mathis Drive entrance, continue along the road observing the floats, and exit at Cairo Road.
Presentation of BUILD Grant Excursion Boat Landing Concept Drawings
City Engineer Rick Murphy presented to the Paducah Board of Commissioners concept drawings for the riverboat boat landing facility that would be funded by the BUILD grant. Last November, the City received news that we would be receiving $10.4 million in Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) funds. The City’s approved application includes building a riverboat excursion pier and plaza. The concept drawings presented at the meeting show the riverboat landing facility parallel to the riverfront. This fixed construction facility would provide a safer and easier docking area as we continue to grow our tourism economy as a destination. Murphy also showed artistic concepts for the two concrete foundations located along the riverfront. Those structures are remnants of a conveyor system to offload materials from barges. To view BUILD grant information including the concept drawings, visit http://paducahky.gov/build-grant-2019.
Greater Paducah Economic Development (GPED) Update
Greater Paducah Economic Development’s President/CEO Bruce Wilcox updated the Paducah Board of Commissioners on GPED’s activities since mid-June. Wilcox outlined several of GPED’s accomplishments including the negotiations for the sale of the Genova building, the installation of new signage at Industrial Park West, the brokerage and option agreements for several properties at the Triple Rail site, discussions with the Riverport regarding container-on-barge initiatives, the launch of a new website, and work with local partners including the Industrial Development Authority and Sprocket. Wilcox says GPED is working with 20 projects in various stages of development.
Employee Benefit Plans Briefing
Benefits Advisor DJ Story with Peel & Holland provided an overview of the City of Paducah’s 2021 health insurance plan through Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield as the City’s third-party administrator. Those who participate in the City’s health plan will have no change to their health insurance premiums as compared to this current year. The City has maintained the same health insurance premium rates for nine consecutive years which is quite unusual and an indication of the good management of the health plan and the City’s dedication to employee wellness. The City of Paducah has a self-insured health insurance plan which means the premiums paid into the plan by the employees are used to pay the claims. Story commended the City for focusing on health and wellness and being able to keep the rates flat. Story said, “What the City has been able to do is remarkable. It shows a financial focus on wellness.”
Actions taken by the Paducah Board of Commissioners regarding health insurance are as follows:
Paducah City Commissioners Sandra Wilson, Gerald Watkins, Mayor Brandi Harless, Commissioners Brenda McElroy and Richard Abraham
Commission Meeting in Paducah, Tuesday, October 13 at 5:30 pm
BUILD Grant Boat Landing Concept
Update from Greater Paducah Economic Development
Employee Health and Insurance Benefits
Tuesday’s Paducah Board of Commissioners meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. and will be conducted entirely by video and/or audio conferencing. The meeting is available on the City’s public access channel, Government 11 (for Comcast subscribers), and will be streamed live for the public’s convenience on Youtube at https://youtu.be/2lF2de2P6ck.
For those who want to comment on an agenda item virtually, submit a Public Comment Card by 3:30 p.m. and a link/phone number to access the meeting will be provided. The agenda, packet, and public comment card can be found at http://paducahky.gov/2020-city-commission.
PADUCAH – The City of Paducah has been reviewing guidelines and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State of Kentucky in order to provide information to the local community about celebrating Halloween safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
First and foremost, those who are sick, have a fever, or are not feeling well should stay home. The City of Paducah asks citizens to limit their trick-or-treating from 5 to 8 p.m. on Halloween and to stay in their own neighborhoods.
City Manager Jim Arndt said, “Halloween is such a fun holiday for all ages, but we want our citizens to be thoughtful about how to celebrate and consider making new, lower risk traditions. Halloween will look different this year as social distancing and the wearing of facial coverings need to be incorporated into the evening’s plans.”
Arndt added, “Traditional trick-or-treating and trunk-or-treating are not recommended due to their higher risk of exposure to COVID-19. But with adaptations, these activities can be modified to lower their risk. Furthermore, as you are planning celebrations, consider the location, duration, and number of people at the gathering. Events that are outdoors with a small number of people pose a lower risk.”
For those who will be driving Halloween evening, please reduce your speed in neighborhoods and watch for children at intersections, on medians, and at the edge of yards. Use extra caution when entering and exiting driveways. Below are various guidelines, information, and ideas for the community to incorporate and consider in planning Halloween activities.
Guidelines for trick-or-treaters:
Guidelines for parents or guardians during trick-or-treating:
Guidelines for homeowners during trick-or-treating:
Guidelines to organizers of trunk-or-treats: Typical trunk-or-treat events are considered to be high risk activities; however, there are ways to reduce the risk.
Ideas for fun, creative, and lower risk ways to celebrate Halloween:
Pictured: Jefferson Street in Paducah will have a Halloween Costume Contest and five winners will receive a Mega-filled pumpkin treat.
Jefferson Street Neighborhood:
City staff have been in contact with residents from the Jefferson Street neighborhood regarding its traditional event that often attracts thousands of trick-or-treaters along several blocks of Jefferson Street. To keep everyone safe during the pandemic by eliminating large social gatherings, the community is encouraged to remain in small groups within their own neighborhoods with their friends and family and not visit the Jefferson Street neighborhood.
In a Facebook post, the Jefferson Street Neighborhood states, “We feel the health risk of our community is more important than risking one night. But we do not want to discourage our neighbors as we love the holiday just as much as you. This was not an easy decision for our street to agree on, but just like other communities who made the same decision, we want to ensure the safety of our children and allow them to be healthy while keeping our schools and businesses open.”
Jefferson Street will be holding a virtual Halloween costume contest in which people are able to share their children’s costumes via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JeffersonStreetPaducah/. Jefferson Street residents will vote and award five mega pumpkins that are full of candy. Plus, the Jefferson Street residents are decorating their homes and encouraging people to drive by the week of Halloween to view the decorations.