OLIVE HILL —
J.D. Rayburn had a dunk tank full of braggadocio.
“Ain’t nobody over here can hit me!” the owner of Scenic Hills Realty screamed as he sat on the plank above the water.
A few minutes later, 13-year-old Graham Stamper of Morehead soaked Rayburn’s raving — a strike on the first pitch. “It was a fastball. I knew he was wrong,” Graham said.
An unrepentant Rayburn countered, “That was a lucky shot!”
Organizers hope Saturday’s Freedom LIFT (Love, Inspiration and Faith Together) homecoming festival at the Depot on Railroad Street — the parade on U.S. 60 and Railroad, the bands, eating contests, food and quilting exhibits — united, at least for a day, the 1,600 or so residents.
Saturday was the sixth LIFT event. The Olive Hill Chamber of Commerce and All Things Ministries, an Olive Hill faith-based agency, were the sponsors.
Event co-organizer Curtis Owens said it’s too soon to know how many attended. “In the past they’ve estimated 3,000, 3,500,” he said. “It seemed (yesterday’s total) what we’ve experienced in the recent past.”
Owens also said there were differences in the parade participants — fewer baseball and softball teams, beauty queens and Shriners members. He was grateful for the mid-80-degree temperatures and no rain.
“There were a lot more floats,” Owens said. “All week long we heard (meterologists) predict rain; it turned out the weather’s great.”
Brenda Porter sent Rayburn into the water again when she ran up and smacked the bullseye with her right hand, the result of some simple, sneaky subterfuge.
“Half the girls wanted me to,” said Porter, who said she’d pay the $1 cost to throw a ball. “I was acting like I was going to ask him a question.”
The reasons people came seemed diverse.
Brenda Blakeney grew up in Olive Hill but now lives in Mize, Miss. Saturday was the first time she’d made it to Carter County in 18 years for the Fourth of July holiday.
“It brings back a lot of good memories, seeing family I haven’t seen,” Blakeney said. “It’s what it’s all about.”
At least one man didn’t seem so serene. Jim Conn of Globe thought Olive Hill still struggles from the 2010 floods that sent Tygart Creek over its banks and wiped out much of downtown.
“It’s about gone downtown,” Conn said. “There ain’t nothing here; it all got washed out.”
Owens, meanwhile, points to recent business openings: a check cashing store; Scenic Hills adding a second location to its Grayson office; the Olive Hill Times newspaper returning nearly two months ago after its consolidation with the Grayson Journal-Times.
Rayburn said returning to Olive Hill in January made sense.
“It’s our hometown,” Rayburn said. “We’ve spent a lot of money in Grayson and Olive Hill. We love our community.”
Grateful and concerned both seemed good ways to describe how Marietta Westbrook feels. She moved to Olive Hill from Dawsonville, Ga., 14 years ago.
“I’m not crazy about the drugs,” she said. “I’d like to see more business and to punish the offenders. There are some good people in this town, and they don’t deserve this. I have it good here. I have a good job; people could do good here if they tried.”
Proceeds from the games and contests went to two Olive Hill organizations: I-FARM — Integrating Faith, Agriculture to Renew Mission — which wants to teach people to grow sustainable, organic and affordable fruits and vegetables; and a widows home repair project All Things Ministries is sponsoring.
As far as anyone knew, just one person was tired of seeing the parade. Trish Davis cradled her sleepy grandson, 10-month-old Kenneth Barker.
“He’s missing his first parade; he’s sleeping through it,” Davis said. “At least we got him his first (stuffed) monkey.”
OLIVE HILL —
J.D. Rayburn had a dunk tank full of braggadocio.
- Local News
Judge denies renewed motion to dismiss Rosen lawsuit
A judge has refused to dismiss a former Boyd district and circuit judge’s lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a law that affects his ability to run for re-election this fall.
In an order entered on Friday, Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas D. Wingate denied a renewed motion to dismiss by current Boyd Circuit Judge George W. Davis III, an intervening respondent in the suit filed in January by Marc I. Rosen.
Ashland football players join special-needs students for prom
The purple chiffon gown and the sparkling tiara are back in the closet four days after the big dance, but Karina McBride still hasn’t stopped talking about Saturday night — the decorations, boys bringing her cups of punch, her first kiss (on the cheek, her mother hastens to interject), and dancing the night away at her first prom.
“She’s been flying high since that night,” said Michele Woods, who is Karina’s mother and who brought together friends and volunteers to organize a prom for special needs students.
Concrete pouring at Putnam
Workers are pouring concrete foundations at Putnam Stadium and once those are dry and cured will be ready to install seats at the historic arena.
The workers are putting in 12-hour shifts to keep on schedule to complete the stadium’s reconstruction in time for this fall’s football opener, said site supervisor Craig Chinn of Trace Creek Construction.
The most visible work is happening on the home-team side of the stadium, where workers Tuesday were setting forms for the cylindrical concrete piers that will support the seats. Once those are poured, cured and inspected they will add the seats.
Unique races for Carter magistrates
Carter County magistrate ballots are full of candidates eager to represent constituents in each of the five districts that make up the county’s fiscal court.
Of the five seats available, three magistrates are seeking re-election: Clarence “Sonny” Fankell, D-Grayson, District 2; Clifford “Sodbuster” Roe, D-Olive Hill, District 4; and Brandon Burton, R-Olive Hill, District 5.
The incumbents will each have to battle as many as three opponents in their district primaries next month before they can focus on reclaiming their magistrate titles in the November general election.
This year’s magistrate race will host a total of 22 candidates, with 11 from Grayson, nine from Olive Hill and two from Denton.
Martin County marks 50 years since LBJ visit
Today marks 5o years since former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson visited Inez resident Tom Fletcher and promised to end poverty in America on April 24, 1964. On Friday, Inez will be commemorating the occasion with a special event.
Trail Town trial run to be in Olive Hill this Sunday
Olive Hill will participate in a trial run this Saturday in the city’s push to become a certified Kentucky Trail Town.
Some area farmers may be eligible for LIP program
The Grayson Farm Service Agency, (Boyd, Carter, Elliott and Lawrence) is having registration for the Livestock Indemnity Program to eligible producers who suffered losses beginning Oct. 1, 2011, and subsequent years.
News in brief, 04/24/14
The King’s Daughters Pregancy and Infant Loss Support Group invites families who have experienced the loss of an infant during pregnancy or following birth to participate in a butterfly release and prayer ceremony at 2 p.m. May 10 at the Ashland Central Park fountain.
Garner hosting National Day of Prayer activities
The Garner Missionary Baptist Church will be hosting day long events at the Kyova Mall to commemorate the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 1.
Flatwoods mayoral debate set for Tuesday
A public debate among the candidates seeking to become the next mayor of Flatwoods will take place next week.
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- Judge denies renewed motion to dismiss Rosen lawsuit