Kentucky editorial roundup
Summary of recent Kentucky newspaper editorials:
The Bowling Green Daily News on a beautification project for several exits on Interstate 65:
Anything our city can do to grab the attention of travelers on Interstate 65 and draw them off the interstate into our city should be embraced.
Many cities in Kentucky and other states have beautiful entrances to their cities off Interstate 65, which likely lures many people off the interstate to visit their cities.
We hope our beautification efforts through the years at our I-65 interchanges have been helpful in that regard.
While we believe that those who have worked on these projects over the years have done a good job, we also believe new ideas for our I-65 interchanges are in order.
Operation P.R.I.D.E. has an idea for beautifying these entrances off I-65 that we really like because it would utilize donated funds rather than taxpayer dollars.
The nonprofit is finalizing its design for the Beautif-I65 project, an effort to bring plant-based decor to I-65 exits 20, 22, 26, 28 and 30.
The project will involve planting trees, flowers and shrubs along the interchanges and might also include four-plank wooden fencing and signature branding elements.
Arnold Consulting Engineering Services drafted designs for “Bowling Green, Warren County” signs at exits 20 and 30.
This “gateway” signage will feature 3D letters spelling “Bowling Green” across the top of the stone and Warren County on the stone, which will be lit at night. They’re still considering which colors to use for the letters.
This sounds like a really exciting project that would certainly lighten up and draw eyes to those I-65 entrances to Bowling Green while also bringing a sense of pride to our residents.
The current cost estimate is $2 million to $4 million and was initially predicted at $2.5 million. So far, Operation P.R.I.D.E.’s fundraising committee has gathered more than $1 million for the project, according to Operation P.R.I.D.E. Executive Director Angie Alexieff.
The project timeline has been slower than anticipated. Operation P.R.I.D.E. had to receive approval from state and federal officials on the preliminary design plans and will later have to check another series of boxes for approval of the final design.
While this sounds like a lot of money, it is money that we believe is worth spending because of how it will set Bowling Green apart once it’s completed sometime next year.
We applaud Operation P.R.I.D.E. and former Bowling Green Mayor Johnny Webb for taking the initiative on this and wish them the best of luck on raising money and getting approval for the project.
The News-Enterprise on a couple whose mission has served 42 counties in Kentucky over the past six years:
Joyce Hamilton lived in New York and at one time was homeless. Terriance Hamilton is an Alabama native.
It’s Hardin County where they found a true passion for helping others — complete strangers — to reach hundreds of people.
It has been their calling, they said.
In 2013, the Hamiltons started The Lord’s Supper Soup Kitchen in Radcliff where a doughnut shop and a tattoo parlor once stood. The work was endless, providing warm meals and daily life essentials to young and old. There were some volunteers, but the brunt of the work and planning fell on their shoulders.
Still, the Hamilton persevered.
Exhausted by their efforts, they took a step back, became rejuvenated and began a mobile ministry in 2016.
Their faith and their love of spreading the word of God was at the heart of both efforts, providing a hand-up, not just a hand-out. They provided programs that help toward self-sufficiency, an important cog in their mission to help break generations of struggles.
With the mobile ministry, they would venture into neighborhoods often ravaged by despair, where children were looking for a pair of shoes without holes in them, adults for a winter coat or simply their next meal.
Many just wanted to know someone cared about them. The Hamiltons always were there with understanding, a shoulder to lean on and a message of encouragement and hope.
Their reach expanded to 42 counties in Kentucky, where they served low-income communities by providing hot meals, snacks and drinks, food bags, turkey boxes with all the trimmings, Christmas toys for children, clothing, toiletry items, winter coats, hats and gloves.
Home obviously is where you decide to make it. For Terriance and Joyce Hamilton, being impactful and providing hope to many on the brink of giving up has been important in their mission in Hardin County.
Instead of simply going through life’s many motions, the Hamiltons did much more. They not only embraced Hardin County but the region with their mission.
The Hamiltons, who both are retired military, have hearts of gold and have been true gems in Hardin County.
They are relocating to Apollo Beach, Florida, at the end of the month. It’s a loss that will impact many in Hardin County.
The Hamiltons don’t know anybody in that area but have made several trips south to see where their personal ministry will take them.
“We didn’t see a lot of people worshipping God down there. We didn’t see a lot of it. We didn’t see a lot of churches like here,” Joyce said. “There the need is great.”
So the Hamiltons embark to a new area with the same mission — to help others and to make sure they know the word of God.
The State Journal on a record year for distilled spirits in Kentucky:
Cheers to the state’s distilled spirits industry, which had a banner year in 2018 by shattering two modern-era filling records.
The Kentucky Distillers’ Association announced Wednesday that 9.1 million barrels of spirits are aging and 2.1 million barrels of bourbon were filled last year, giving the commonwealth the highest inventory since records began being kept 52 years ago. The previous record was 8.7 million total barrels in 1968 and 1.9 million barrels of bourbon in 1967.
It is also the first and only time since the late ’60s that distillers have filled more than 2 million barrels of America’s only native spirit, said the KDA, a nonprofit trade group that represents 39 of the state’s distilleries.
The state’s bourbon industry accounts for $8.6 billion and generates more than 20,000 jobs with an annual payroll topping $1 billion. In fact, there are now two barrels of bourbon for every person living in Kentucky, according to the latest U.S. Census numbers that estimate there are 4.5 million residents in the state.
“This is a historic day that cements Kentucky’s rightful title as the one, true and authentic home for bourbon and distilled spirits,” KDA President Eric Gregory said. “It’s also further proof of Kentucky bourbon’s monumental economic impact and ever-increasing demand.”
The bourbon tourism business is also booming. Accounting for 1.4 million distillery stops in 2018, bourbon tourism saw a 370% increase in the number of stops from 10 years ago.
Buffalo Trace, which welcomed more than 230,000 visitors last year — whopping 345% growth from 2010 — is one local distillery that is capitalizing on the boon. Coupled with the distillery’s $1.2 billion expansion investment — including the addition of new warehouses that will hold 58,800 barrels each — the future looks bright for the local distillery as it increases its distilling and aging capabilities.
So raise a glass (or two barrels) to the spirits industry. To quote a popular toast from Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, “Drink today and drown all sorrow, you shall perhaps not do it tomorrow. Best while you have it, use your breath, there is no drinking after death.”