Thursday November 21, 2013

With job opportunities continuing to dwindle across the region, a record number of Letcher County residents filed for federal bankruptcy protection between October 9 and October 31.  At least 36 county residents are named in Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases filed last month in U.S. District Court in Pikeville. Of that number, eight couples and eight individuals filed for protection under Chapter 7 rules. Five couples and two individuals filed for protection under Chapter 13 rules.

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Letcher County magistrates who seek a partial exemption from the Whitesburg occupational tax were told this week they will probably have to file the necessary paperwork themselves and document the amount of time they spend working in the city in order to qualify. At the November meeting of the Letcher Fiscal Court, County Attorney Jamie Hatton told the court he had spoken with Whitesburg City Attorney James Asher about whether the magistrates could avoid paying the entire amount in light of their claim that most of their work is not done in the city.

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Five more candidates have filed to run for the office of magistrate in Letcher County in the May election. Incumbent Codell Gibson, Woody Holbrook and Leonard Tackett filed papers in the Letcher Court Clerk’s Office to run for magistrate in District Three. Four filed last week. James “Brad” Collie is running for magistrate in District Two and Richard Yonts is a candidate for magistrate in District Five. The deadline to file papers for the primary is Jan. 28.

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A Letcher County man has been named director of the Kentucky Office of Rural Healthat the University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health. Ernie Scott joined KORH in January 2012 as a rural project manager, and assumed his new post on Nov. 1, following the retirement of former KORH Director Larry Allen, who held the position for more than a decade.

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During the next Appalachian Regional Commission funding cycle, The Center for Rural Development will award federally- funded minigrants to advance strategic planning efforts throughout the region. Grant applications from city and county governments and eligible nonprofi t organizations in 37 southern and eastern Kentucky counties including Letcher County will be accepted through Dec. 12. Grants range from $5,000 to a maximum of $10,000.

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Headwaters, Inc. will hold a stream clean-up this Saturday, November 23, on the section of the North Fork of the Kentucky River behind Food City and Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation in Whitesburg. The event will begin at 9 a.m. and will last until noon. Volunteers will meet at the gas station in the Food City parking lot at 8:45 a.m. Trash bags, gloves and drinking water will be provided.