January 3, 2006, News
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- Cabin Creek Bridge - Scam
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What were the top stories?
By Dennis Brown
Plenty has happened here in the Lewis County area in 2005.
Looking over the past 52 issues of The Lewis County Herald for 2005, several stories vie for inclusion in the top rankings. We need your assistance. Help us rate the top stories for 2005.
What stories would you rank at the top of the list?
While we didn't have one hands-down event like the ice storm in 2003, we did experience a lot of good news and some not-so-good news.
For a recap of what appeared on the front pages, check out our on-line news archive or pages seven through nine of our print edition this week. Using either or both as a base, put together a list of how you would rank the top ten Lewis County stories of the year, and if you like to tell us how any of them impacted you. We'll use some of the comments when we print the results on February 7. We won't use any names.
Briefly looking back at last year's headlines, the possibility of a power plant being constructed at Carrs was included several times starting with the January 11 edition and continuing through the December 20 edition.
Police and sheriff's departments around the area were busy most of the year working on reports of telephone scams and counterfeiting rings.
Natural gas and other heating fuel costs were the topics of many stories. Gasoline prices topped $3 a gallon in many locations in September in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Other events over the past year included expansion of activities at the Boys and Girls Club, a push to remove junk food from schools, Northern Contours purchasing the former shoe factory buildings, the sheriff's department's first meth lab arrest, a new extension agent, a new 20-year electric power contract for the city, a state personnel investigation, $29,000 raised for Relay for Life, renovations at Tollesboro Elementary, renewals of cable TV franchise agreements, three decades of Saturday Morning Sports on WKKS, the Cabin Creek Covered Bridge restoration project, the Commercial Hotel renovation project, candidates filing for political office, and Ronnie Hord being honored by Campbellsville University.
Lots more happened in Lewis County and elsewhere last year. Let us know how you would rank the top stories. If you like, send us two lists, one specific to Lewis County and one for everywhere else. Or combine them it's up to you.
Send your list(s) to The Lewis County Herald, 206 Main Street, Vanceburg, KY 41179. You can also email to
firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 606-796-3110.
Entries must be received by January 28. The compiled lists will be published in the February 7 issue of the Lewis County Herald. A name will be drawn from those responding and a free one-year subscription will be awarded to that person.
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Cabin Creek Covered Bridge restoration history
By Paula Franke
The current plans underway for the restoration of the Cabin Creek Covered Bridge are not the first in its more than 130-year history.
There is no official documentary history of the construction of the bridge. A 1997 study of the bridge indicated that it is generally assumed the bridge was built in 1867. On the other hand, Dr. William Talley has correspondence, dating to the 1970s, from a descendant of William Henderson with detailed information that he built the bridge in 1875, as well as the adjacent house.
Some of the confusion may arise from the fact that there was another covered bridge elsewhere on Cabin Creek, of which there is almost no recorded information publicly available. However, there was mention in the March 15, 1917, issue of the Vanceburg Sun (in the Poplar Flat community news column) that "the roof of the Cabin Creek Bridge at Halbert's Ford fell in Saturday on account of the heavy snow". Dr. Talley would appreciate hearing from any reader who is aware of the location of Halbert's Ford, as well as anyone with information about this second covered bridge. He believes it was somewhere in the area of Ribolt, possibly on Route 10.
According to the study done in 1997 of the current Cabin Creek Covered Bridge, it is believed that the original bridge was sided with horizontally-oriented wide yellow poplar siding. That siding has since been replaced with vertically-oriented 1"x8" pine. The original roof consisted of white oak shingles.
During restoration work in 1914, Louis Bower (of the Bower Bridge Company) replaced the siding, flooring and roof, and also restored the trusses, adding iron tension rods and arches.
In 1925, the oak shingle roof was replaced with galvanized sheet metal. It was at that time that the Kentucky Department of Highways began removing siding and wood shingle roofs from covered bridges in an attempt to increase their carrying capacity.
In 1947, the bridge floor was replaced and in 1951 the bridge approaches were re-graded.
The original bridge abutments (much of which can still be seen) are constructed of dry-stacked flat limestone pieces. In 1965, Bowers' son, L.S. "Stock" Bower of Flemingsburg, re-enforced the east abutment with concrete. He also repaired trusses.
In 1977, a steel bent was added near the east abutment to provide support to the rotting lower chords and falling arches, "a condition unknowingly created when KY 984 and the bridge approaches were re-graded in 1951" (according to the 1997 report). Since that time, the eastern end of the bridge has collapse and is now solely supported by the steel added in 1977.
During a 1977 restoration effort, concrete piers were added near both abutments and structural steel was added to the east abutment.
The concrete piers were a source of concern to several area residents attending the December 15 public meeting in Tollesboro. It was pointed out that during times of flooding, debris from upstream piled up at those abutments, posing a potentially serious threat to the bridge itself.
The Cabin Creek Covered Bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in the US Department of the Interior on March 26, 1976. It is only one of 12 covered bridges still remaining in Kentucky, half of which still requiring restoration, including the Goddard Bridge in Fleming County, which is currently undergoing restoration
In November, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet solicited Letters of Interest from Design/Build teams for the Cabin Creek Covered Bridge restoration project. Qualifying teams must include a timber frame bridge builder and a timber frame bridge designer. When the team is selected, a follow-up public meeting in Tollesboro will be scheduled to let members of the community meet the team and discuss specific ideas and concerns about the project.
Patrick Kennedy, restoration project manager with the Kentucky Heritage Council, has asked that people go through their old photographs and family papers so they can be used in restoring the bridge as close as possible to the original. He can be contacted at 502-564-7005, extension 138, by email at
email@example.com or by mail at State Historic Preservation Office, 300 Washington Street, Frankfort, KY 40601. Photos and documents can also be brought to The Lewis County Herald, during regular business hours, where they can be scanned and returned to the owners and we will forward the digital copies to the State Historic Preservation Office (and also keep copies locally at the Vanceburg Depot Museum).
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Sheriff warns of another potential scam
Sheriff Bill Lewis is warning residents of yet another potential scam in the area.
At least three residents have been contacted by a man claiming to work for the Social Security Administration. He told them that there is a way to increase their $255 Social Security death benefit and he made appointments to visit them in their homes on Friday.
One of the residents became suspicious and called the Social Security office to verify the man's identity.
She was informed that the man is not employed by Social Security and the telephone number that showed up on her Caller ID was determined to be from a pre-paid calling card. She then alerted the sheriff's office.
A Straight Fork resident told the sheriff that a similar incident occurred to her few months ago when a man claiming to work for Social Security was in fact selling a variety of insurance policies.
The Sheriff urges residents to be careful about sharing their personal information and allowing strangers into their homes. Report any suspicious activity to the Sheriff's office by calling 796-2912.
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Phase II undeliverable checks list available
In June 2005, Kentucky sent out more than 164,000 checks to certified recipients of the Phase II Tobacco Settlement program. As of December 2005, there remain over 5,000 checks that did not reach their intended recipients, including more than 70 in Lewis County alone.
The reasons for the undeliverable checks include: no forwarding address left; expired forwarding address; the recipient is deceased; the recipient is not known; or the P.O. Box was closed.
In an effort to locate the rightful recipients of these checks, the Governor's Office of Agricultural Policy (GOAP) has made available a comprehensive list of those who were issued a check, but had it returned for various reasons. You can find this list on the GOAP website at
The list is sorted by the last name within the county in which the farm was registered according to USDA Farm Service Agency. If a payee should locate their name as a certified recipient, they should contact our call center toll-free at 877-549-2537. The representative taking their call will verify some personal information, and then collect the correct mailing address information in order to mail the check.
In addition to the name of the recipient, the list also contains the claimant ID number, farm number, and check number. Please have this information available when speaking to a call center representative.
Call quickly because these checks will expire on June 20, 2006.
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