George Bray, the 40th mayor of Paducah, was sworn in Monday to begin his four year term on January 1, 2021. The inauguration of Bray and the 43rd city commission was held at City Hall late in the afternoon with family members and a few special friends. The event was televised and a link to the telecast was provided on the city’s website.
After over a year working on the campaign, Bray is very excited to ‘hit the ground running.’ He said, “Under my leadership the city will provide citizens with more ways than ever to stay informed as we redesign and launch an enhanced communication approach.”
Bray has always touted Paducah as a safe place to raise a family and a great community to live in. He’s said time and time again that he’s proud to call Paducah home.
The 43rd commission was also sworn in on Monday. Commissioners Sandra Wilson, Raynarldo Henderson, David Guess, and Carol Gault all took the oath of office and are ready for new beginnings.
Wilson is mayor-pro tem and will serve for the fifth consecutive year on the commission. Both Guess and Gault have served as commissioners previously. Henderson is the ‘new kid on the block’. This will be his first successful attempt at winning the office. On Henderson’s Facebook page he stated, “I’m looking forward to working with Mayor George Bray and this great team!”
The first city commission meeting will be held on January 12, 2021.
Inauguration ceremony for Paducah's Mayor-elect George Bray and new commissioners Monday, December 28
Mayor Elect George Bray
Commissioners-elect: Sandra Wilson, David Guess, Carol Gault, Raynarldo Henderson
From the City of Paducah's Facebook page
The official inauguration ceremony for the Paducah Board of Commissioners will be Monday, December 28 at 4:30 p.m. in the atrium of City Hall. The oaths of office will be administered to Mayor-elect George P. Bray and Commissioners-elect Sandra Wilson, Raynarldo Henderson, David Guess, and Carol C. Gault.
The ceremony is closed to the public. The media is permitted to attend the inauguration at City Hall, and each elected official has invited a limited number of family members to support them during the ceremony. The public is invited to view the live stream of the ceremony by watching Government 11 (for Comcast subscribers) or Youtube at https://youtu.be/Cgd-5A7yLK4.
The inauguration ceremony includes the posting of colors by members of the Paducah Police and Fire Departments, the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Christopher Shea Nickell, and the invocation by Senior Pastor Nathan Joyce of Heartland Church.
The Board officially begins its term on January 1, 2021.
Psalm 18:28 “You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.”
Funeral services for Robert and his wife Connie Coleman will be Thursday, December 17, 2020. Robert Coleman was 88 years old when he passed away on Friday, November 20. His wife Constance Lee Harris Coleman was 83 when she passed away on November 10. Both were at Baptist Health Paducah.
The Coleman's were members of Washington Street Missionary Baptist Church. Robert served Paducah as a City Commissioner and Mayor Pro-Tem. Connie was an LPN for 50 years retiring from Lourdes Hospital. Both were members of the Paducah/McCracken County NAACP Chapter. Reverend Raynarldo Henderson will be officiating. For more information on the Paducah couple, follow the link: Pettus-Rowland Funeral Home.
Thursday, December 17, 2020
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Washington Street Missionary Baptist Church
721 Washington Street
Paducah, KY 42003
Thursday, December 17, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Washington Street Missionary Baptist Church
721 Washington Street
Paducah, KY 42003
The Peck Education Trail Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Bob Noble Park will take place after the Coleman's Funeral Service.
PADUCAH – The public is invited to a ribbon cutting celebration on Thursday, December 17 at 2 p.m. for the Peck Education Trail in Bob Noble Park. Please note the time change for this event. It has been moved to the afternoon due to the funeral services for former City Commissioner Robert Coleman and his wife, Connie, which will be earlier that day.
There’s a new billboard on Park Avenue by Paducah Ford just before heading across the railroad overpass leading to Kentucky Oaks Mall. The billboard is calling for the termination of Paducah Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Donald Shively.
The billboard shows the photo of Shively in blackface while attending a Halloween party in 2002. In addition to blackface, Shively is wearing a gold chain, gold teeth, a do-rag and a Paducah Tilghman football shirt. At the time the picture was taken, Shively was a teacher at PTHS.
The photograph first circulated on social media in mid-October. Parents, members of the community, and the Paducah/McCracken NAACP Chapter members were very offended by the racially-insensitive photo. In fact, the Paducah School Board members called it ‘shocking’ in a statement released on Friday, December 11.
Less than two months ago, the Board engaged in several closed meetings to discuss Shively's actions. Open meetings were held as well to address the concerns and feelings of the students, parents and members of the community. The virtual meetings were meant to create a meaningful dialogue about racial inequality and injustices and to voice opinions on the matter.
After an executive meeting this past Friday, the Board voted to request that Superintendent Shively take a 40 day unpaid leave of absence and said he must undergo diversity training.
Shively has apologized numerous times since the photo was released. He has asked for forgiveness and has said he realizes the hurt caused to so many. The Board and many others believe in his sincerity and willingness to work hard to make things right.
Some people said it wasn’t enough. On the Facebook page of Andiomo White, he said, “When you go to the mall or Walmart today, look over at the billboard by the Ford Dealership. 40 Days is not enough and we won’t stop.”
The sign said that it's paid for by All of Us or None Louisville in partnership with the Community Coalition to End Racial Insensitivity in Education. In the same post on White’s Facebook page one of the comments asked, ‘Shouldn’t it say paid for by the parents and citizens?’ The billboard cost this group $825 and was placed to get a reaction.
Additionally, one of White’s Facebook friends said they were going to ‘push’ the story. It appears a message was sent to Shaun King, a Brooklyn based writer/activist that focuses on civil and human rights, racial injustice, and other similar matters. He’s the co-founder of Real Justice PAC. King uses social media to promote social justice causes.
On one of the local television anchors Facebook posts, the community is weighing in on the situation. Some have said things like, 'this is embarrassing Paducah, let the legal system handle this matter.' In response to this post, one of the comments said, 'What's embarrassing is having someone in our school system like Shively continue to teach our kids.' Feelings are mixed on this issue and it doesn't look like the pressure will let up anytime soon.
The Paducah Public Schools Board of Education released a public statement Friday, December 11 regarding Dr. Donald Shively and his current state of employment. Before reading the document in its entirety, School Board Chair Dr. Carl Lebuhn said, “Obviously, we’ve been through a lot the last couple of months. I’m going to read a statement from the Board. It’s three pages long.”
Click here to read the statement in its entirety. Paducah Board of Education Statement concerning Dr. Donald Shively.
After an executive meeting on Friday, The Paducah Board of Education voted to request that Superintendent Shively take 40 days of unpaid leave to obtain education, training, and community involvement on racial inequality.
On October 20, 2020 a photo of Shively began circulating on social media that was offensive, inappropriate and shocking (the Boards word). The picture was taken of Shively and a female companion in blackface at a Halloween party two decades ago. Shively was wearing a Paducah Tilghman football jersey, do-rag, and a gold chain around his neck.
Members of the Board were told by Shively in 2019 that the photo existed, however, Dr. Lebuhn read in his statement that none of the board members saw the actual photo at the time. In the statement it said, “The board members had their first opportunity to see the photo simultaneously with the public and the internet community when it was posted on social media October 20, 2020.”
The motion for the leave of absence was made by vice chairman Dr. Felix Akojie and seconded by board member Mary Hunter Hancock. The remaining board members voted yes for the unpaid leave with the exception of Dr. James Hudson who abstained.
This meeting occurred one day after hearing renewed calls from the Paducah/McCracken County Chapter of the NAACP asking for Shively’s resignation. It has been seven weeks since the local NAACP chapter first requested his removal after seeing the blackface photo appear on social media.
On Thursday, president of the local NAACP chapter J.W. Cleary said in a statement, “Since October of this year, Paducah Public Schools has been embroiled in the blackface incident regarding Dr. Shively. The Paducah Board of Education has met several times under closed executive session and has not provided any updates in regard to their decision on this very serious measure matter.”
“While understanding the executive sessions are classified and closed to the public, we are still calling for the resignation of Dr. Shively. We see it as the only viable way the district, its students, and the community can move forward.” The resignation of Shively isn’t the only interest of Cleary’s. The NAACP outlined seven steps it would like to see the Board initiate. (The seven steps are at the bottom of the article).
Around the time of the released statement from Cleary, the board members had announced a special meeting in executive session set for 4 pm on Friday at the Paducah Innovation Hub.
The 40 days of unpaid leave will consist of 20 days to be taken during the current school year and the remaining 20 days to be taken the following school year or 2021-2022.
In the statement from the Board, Shively will remain in his current role, but the Board’s evaluation of Shively should ‘focus more closely on his progress on areas such as cultural and racial sensitivity, empathetic communication, keener recognition of implicit bias, and a deeper understanding of issues concerning minority groups.’
The 40 days of unpaid leave is for Dr. Shively to attend training sessions in these areas determined by the Board, the Kentucky Educators Association, local leaders, and others.
To further assure the community that the Board is working to address equity and diversity issues, a contract is proposed to engage the University of Kentucky’s Education and Civil Rights Initiative to come up with a plan for the Paducah Public School District.
The seven steps requested by the Paducah/McCracken County NAACP Chapter:
Conduct an independent cultural audit of its schools.
Provide annual mandatory implicit bias and racial sensitivity training.
Commit to diverse hiring at all levels.
Conduct an annual review of student practices that demonstrate equity in closing the achievement gap.
Commit to training diverse candidates for leadership positions.
Employ a district diversity and inclusion officer to focus on recruiting minority candidates.
Christmas is a time for bright lights, holiday greetings, shopping, family gatherings, and the list goes on and on. One of the most important Christmas remembrances is that of the baby Jesus and the reason for the season. This year's season is unlike any other. The pandemic has taken lives, livelihoods, and life as we know it.
There’s a Paducah nonprofit organization that's working hard to spread a little cheer this holiday with the project Season’s Eatings. In collaboration with a few area businesses and other nonprofit groups, Project Pomona, a local organization is planning to provide food for those in need by feeding 1,000 people on Christmas Eve.
Owner of Fresh Foodies Mindy Carroll is one of the partner businesses. Carroll said, “We are one of the pickup locations. There are four so we should have around 250 meals. Our goal is 1,000 total meals for the day.”
Bryant Hileman is the organizer of the event and founder of Project Pomona. The nonprofit typically provides free weekly meals at the library. Due to the pandemic, those meals have stopped. Wanting to do something special for Christmas, Season’s Eatings was born.
The meals will be given on a first-come first-serve basis. The four locations are Fresh Foodies at 532 Nroth 32nd Street, the McCracken County Public Library at 555 Washington Street, Paducah Beer Werks at 301 North Fourth Street, and Family Service Society at 827 Joe Clifton Drive. Meals will be available by walk-up or drive-thru. The main thing is to wear your masks and practice social distancing.
Fresh Foodies will be cooking and donating the sides. Carroll said, “I have collected donations to pay for the food and will be serving green beans, cornbread casserole, and rolls. We’ll begin providing the meals at 11 am on Christmas Eve.” Carroll said this is the fourth of fifth time Fresh Foodies has participated in events like this one.
There will be a team of volunteers 'slow-cooking' a variety of meats at Kirchhoff’s Bakery the day before the event. The meat is paid for by funds collected by Hileman’s efforts. Fresh produce will be available at the library and canned goods donated from a Paducah Beer Works donation drive will be given out at the brewery.
The event’s coordinator, Hileman has nearly reached his collection goal of $1,500. If more is donated, there will be more meals to offer on Christmas Eve. If you’re interested in volunteering or contributing to the fund, go to the Seasons Eatings Project Pomona’s Facebook page.
Carroll’s business Fresh Foodies promotes healthy eating and her wish is for everyone to get a tasty, healthy meal. Carroll said, “I want to be a part of any opportunity to help the community with food insecurity.” Fresh Foodies has survived the second round of restaurant closings by thinking outside the box. She said, “We are breaking even and staying open!”
What a treasure it is to find those willing to push a little harder, spend an extra moment, and stretch their dollars and cents to help those in need. After all, that’s the true spirit of Christmas.
Matthew 1:23 "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel." Luke 2:7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
Broadway United Methodist Church in Paducah created a 'live' nativity scene for those who wanted to experiene the 'true' meaning of Christmas. This year's nativity scene was witnessed by drive-thru only due to COVID-19.
As you can see, the 'live' display portrays, Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus surrounded by the barn animals, magi, and shepherds. This year's portrayals of Mary and Joseph are people from the same household. On the church's Facebook page, one couple portrayed Mary and Joseph for 30 minutes and another couple took over for the next half hour and so on.
Tonight's drive thru display took place from 6 pm to 8 pm in front of Broadway United Methodist Church in downtown Paducah.
Tonight's participants included:
6 to 6:30 - Josh and Randa Gooud
6:30 - 7 - Annalee and Ethan Johnson
7 - 7:30 - Bidwell Family
7:30 - 8 Bonnie Atkins
The church sent out a big thank you to all those that participated including the staff, children. youth and congregation. The display is a wonderful way to kick-off the Christmas season. No word yet if the church will have another 'live' nativity this year.