March 26, 2002, News Headlines.
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Flash Flooding - Lions Auction - Top Umpire - Tobacco Grading
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Region hit by flash flooding
|Sustained and heavy rains early last week
resulted in some local and regional flooding Wednesday when heavy rains fell on already
saturated ground and ran off into creeks and streams.
Streams overflowed their banks and
hundreds of home and businesses were inundated as flooding caused by steady rain spread
throughout eastern Kentucky.
Up to 70 percent of the homes in businesses in Olive Hill were damaged when the usually
placid Tygart Creek turned into a raging torrent. Severe flood damage also was reported in
Morehead, Rush and Cannonsburg. Officials in 12 counties declared emergencies and have
asked for state and federal help in the cleanup.
The National Weather Service issued flash flood watches and warnings for Lewis County
about every two hours beginning Tuesday and continuing through noon Wednesday.
The rain began to let up early Wednesday afternoon as residents along the Kinniconick
Creek anxiously watched as the creek inched up on their properties and toward homes and
Sheriff Bill Lewis, whose home was damaged in 1997 when nearly eight feet of water
entered the lower level, enlisted some friends to help remove furniture and other items
from the lower level as the earlier warnings were issued.
|The water level reached the lowest corner of
the home and ultimately did not result in any damage to the home.
responded to calls of an auto, which had been abandoned by the operator in the middle of a
stream after he had attempted to across the stream and water caused the auto to stall.
Classes at Lewis County Schools were cancelled early Wednesday as water began to cover
portions of Big Salt Lick, Quicks Run and Lower Kinney Road.
No injuries were reported in Lewis County and damage was held to a minimum largely due
to the buyout of properties flooded in 1997.
Rain had stopped in much of the Appalachian region by late Wednesday afternoon, leaving
a toll since the weekend of seven deaths and hundreds of damaged or destroyed homes.
See more photos on our special March 20 flood photo
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Lions Radio Auction next week
|The annual Vanceburg Lions Club Radio Auction
has been scheduled for next Monday through Friday on WKKS-FM.
Auction Chairman Sam
Howard said the auction will feature several big ticket items as well as small items
donated by area businesses.
Howard said he expects a number of food and grocery items along with savings
bonds, tools, lawn and garden items, electronics and added that an automobile will also be
offered on the auction.
|Businesses who have not yet been contacted
and would like to donate items for the auction may contact any member of the Vanceburg
The auction will begin at 6:00 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday,
and at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday following Doc Talk.
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Kidwell named Top Umpire
|At the Kentucky High School Athletic Association High
School Officials banquet on March 16, Gary Kidwell of Vanceburg was selected as the top
umpire in the state of Kentucky in fast pitch softball.
He was awarded a wristwatch and
a clock with his name on it by KHSAA Commissioner Louis Stout.
Kidwell has umpired three state tournaments, 10 district championships and eight
regional tournaments. He was umpire in chief for all three state tournaments and serves as
training officer and umpire in chief for the Northeastern Kentucky Umpires Association.
|He is married to Alice Nelson Kidwell, a retired teacher
and coach in the Lewis County School System. They have three children, Merle, Stacy and
Tai. Merle is married to Krista McAdams Kidwell and they have two children, Carson Gary,
14 months, and Kathryn McCrae, six weeks old. Merle is an English teacher and coach at
Russell High School. Stacy is assistant principal at Breckinridge Elementary in Lexington
and Tai attends University of Kentucky.
Kidwell is the driver's education teacher at
Lewis County High School and serves as athletic director. He is also sports editor of The
Lewis County Herald and sports director of WKKS Radio in Vanceburg.
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Tobacco producers favor mandatory
|Growers across tobacco country have voted to make federal
graders mandatory at all tobacco sales, whether at tobacco warehouses or contracting
Preliminary results of a referendum, announced by the US Department of
Agriculture on Thursday, indicate that 56 percent of the flue-cured tobacco producer and
75 percent of burley tobacco producers voted in favor of having mandatory federal graders
present at all tobacco sales. Final results are expected to be announced early next month.
The referendum was conducted March 11-15 in tobacco-producing states including
Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina.
A vote by a simple majority of eligible producers in favor is necessary for mandatory
grading to become effective for the 2002 and later marketing years.
Preliminary results released Thursday by the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service will
be verified by state farm service offices before the final result is released in April.
When tobacco companies began contracting directly with farmers to purchase their crops,
the number of pounds going to warehouses dropped. In 2001, contracting accounted for 80
percent of the flue-cured tobacco sales and 66 percent of burley tobacco sales.
With fewer growers paying the grading fee, the number of USDA graders declined.
|A tobacco grower must have his tobacco graded by a USDA
grader to be eligible for price supports. Under the price support system, graders assign a
"grade" to each type of leaf with a minimum sale price attached to each grade.
Tobacco cannot be sold at auction below the minimum price.
But the referendum does not
mean that federal price supports will be available in contracting stations, said Dan Syke,
director of the Daviess County Farm Service office in western Kentucky.
In contract sales, tobacco companies will continue to set prices based on their company
graders' recommendations, Syke said. If a grower receives a higher grade from the USDA
than from a tobacco company grader, the grower will have the option of taking his leaf to
a tobacco auction.
Having USDA graders in company receiving stations will offer growers a measure of
security, said Rod Kuegel, former president of the Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative. A
USDA grader will be able to give a grower at a receiving station a second opinion on the
value of his crop, Kuegel said.
"Our Kentucky growers voted 85 percent in favor of mandatory grading," Kuegel
said. "I'm real proud of our Kentucky growers understanding the importance of the
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