What were the other top 10 community stories in 2019?
Looking back over the past the year, over 30 major local community and education stories were pulled from the weekly editions of the Falmouth Outlook. The staff narrowed that list down to the top 10 stories of the past year.
#10 Spencer Bay was part of the National Orchestra Institute that collaborated with American composer David Allan Miller for the album, “Ruggles, Stucky, & Harbison: Orchestral Works.” The album was nominated for a Grammy Award. They did not win the Grammy but the honor and experience was special to Bay. “It’s still amazing to have the ability to say that a recording that I was a part of has been nominated for a Grammy Award. Even if we didn’t win, I’ll always be proud of that accomplishment.”
#9 April DeFalco has always had a heart for helping Pendleton County folks in need and as the current Kenton County Detention Center Project Coordinator, she was able to merge her work life and her home life with the Quick Response Team. It will reach out to individuals roughly 24-38 hours following an overdose in order to offer support and resources through a diversion program. “Our numbers are big in this community but the early results have been successful,” she said. The team had already diverted four individuals into the program instead of jail with two having completed the program and is working with local law enforcement and county attorney’s office. The chance for them to turn their life around is there.
#8 Sharp Middle School was entering the 2019-20 school year with a new but familiar face leading the school. Cindy Cummins was hired to be the principal. She had taught at Sharp Middle School for 10 years after teaching at Kenton County. She had been an administrator in Bracken County before accepting the principal job. “I loved my time here at Sharp. It’s an honor to get to go back and lead the building where I worked for so long,” she told Falmouth Outlook’s Carolyn Reid. With almost 50 percent of the staff she taught with still in the building, she saw many familiar faces. “I want staff, students, and parents to come together for the success of SMS. I want students to be at school and excited to be there. I want a staff that is valued and knows it is valued. I want parents who will support their children and the staff as they work with their children.”
#7 Lydia Gosney has traveled the country workign as a member of the Kentucky Livestocking Judging team and at the 2019 North American International Livestock Association competition, they were selected as the national champions. As a result, they will travel to Ireland and Scotland to represent Kentucky in an international competition.
#6 Seeds were planted in January for the Falmouth High School building to spring back to life with the purchase of it by Vertigrow and their request from Pendleton County Fiscal Court and City of Falmouth to rezone the grounds from school to business. Ross Shively told an assembled crowd “I’m absolutely thrilled and excited to bring an innovative and progressive farming project to this town. Upon completion, this will be the only thing like this in the entire state of Kentucky. The building along with corresponding greenhouses will grow vegetables that will be sold to local restaurants. Upon completion, this will be the only thing like this in the entire state of Kentucky. The building along with corresponding greenhouses will grow vegetables that will be sold to local restaurants. Falmouth Outlook has reached out to Shively on several occassions for updates on the project but have not had a reply. The status of the project is unknown and will be a story to watch in 2020.
#5 Born in 1926 and spending his early days in Pendleton County, the social issues of the time limited John Ayers Merritt’s education choices. He had to make the decision to leave Pendleton County and attend Central High School in Louisville. From there he played collegiate football and became a collegiate football coaching legend. Pendleton County honored his legacy with the Kentucky Department of Transportation renaming the bridge leaving Falmouth on U. S. 27 as John Ayers Merritt Memorial Bridge.
#4 Pendleton County will have a “Night to Shine” on Friday, February 7 at Stonewood Gardens via the Tim Tebow Foundation’s program. Trinity Southern Baptist Church will host the prom experience for special needs guests from 14 ages and up. It is a celebration and an opportunity for people across the world to come together on one night each year to love, honor, and shower our community people with special needs. There will be many fundraisers and lots of planning for the event and it too will be a story to watch in 2020. Their next fundraiser is a Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, January 4 from 9-11 a.m. at Trinity. Cost is $5 per person and 100 percent of the sales go towards the event.
#3 Farmers Market has put down roots with a new home for 2020. A new structure will be constructed on the edge of the Fairgrounds along Woodson Road. “The market pavilion is a long-awaited dream come true for market members. It will increase our ability to be open regardless of the weather and extend our season. This will increase revenue for our members and encourage growth of their agri-businesses,” said Pendleton County Farmers Market President Jeff Pettit. By keeping the location near U. S. 27, that important lifeline of constant traffic and exposure still exists. The location also brings an added benefit of being a high traffic location due to the many events that take place at the athletic park.
#2 The Kentucky Traveling Vietnam War Well visited Pendleton County during the days leading up to the July 4 festivities in the county. Not all Vietnam War veterans recieved a welcome home that was positive, and the Wall allows the 120 Kentucky counties to bring them home to each of their communities in the manner they deserved for their sacrifice. Don Wells “humbly and with distinct honor” read off the names that were from Pendleton County.