Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

February 17, 2013

Student leaders get legislative experience

FRANKFORT — Student leaders from Boyd and Greenup County got an upclose view of their state legislators in action last week.

More than 20 members of the Ashland Alliance Youth Leadership program traveled to the state Capitol in Frankfort on Tuesday to take in a legislative session.

“We’ve been doing this for 20 plus years now,” said Ann Perkins, executive director of Safe Harbor and a Youth Leadership leader. “We want them to know about government and how it runs. Since these are our future leaders for our community, we are trying to get them up to speed and educated.”

The program is comprised of around 40 students from seven high schools in Boyd and Greenup counties. Students are juniors and meet once monthly for seven months. Many come back the next year to serve as senior representatives, helping to guide the new crop of leaders forward. Only half were able to make the Frankfort trip.

 After touring the Governor’s Mansion, the students attended morning legislative committee hearings. They met with Sen. Robin Webb, D-Grayson, and with Rep. Kevin Sinnette, D-Ashland, before taking in a session of the Kentucky House of Representatives from the gallery.  At the end, they were granted an opportunity to come on to the House Floor, where they had their picture taken with Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, and House Majority Leader Rocky Adkins, D-Sandy Hook.

After attending the afternoon House session, Emmalynn Edmonds, a senior at Paul G. Blazer High School, said she found this year’s trip even more exciting than her previous trip.

“It was a lot more interesting this year,” she said. “I noted through the building that there was a lot of KEA (Kentucky Education Act) discussion, which is fun for me because I’m planning on being a teacher. It’s was very interesting to observe.”

Sydney Shoemaker, of Greenup, also enjoyed taking in the legislative process. “I love sitting in and listening to the sessions. Other places I’ve gotten to pretend I was a part of it. It’s cool to see it when you aren’t pretending to be part of that system, when you are just watching and listening.”

Bo Wampler, a junior at Greenup High School, was on his first trip to the Capitol and was most impressed with it’s size “and how many people are here, and how crazy it is,” Wampler said.

“It’s pretty hectic around here, that’s my overview,” agreed Josh Barney, also of Greenup. He noted the artwork in the halls of the building was “pretty good.”

Following Tuesday’s House session, Adkins spent some time with the students in his office educating them on his role in the process.

The former college basketball player and high school coach compared his job to being a point guard. “It’s my responsibility to be the coach on the floor. It is my responsibility to control the tempo of the game. It’s my responsibility to be in full communication with the membership of the house with legislation they are interested in, helping them with the process, what may be in committee, where they need a little push or direction,” he explained.  

The former educator praised the program for giving students a first-hand view of democracy in action. “When I was elected, on my 26th birthday, I had only been here twice in my life,” said Adkins, who is now serving his 26th year in the House.  

“It is so important for our youth to be here and see how the process of our government works. It is so important to have an understanding that this is an open process. It is a process they can be a part of and participate in with legislation coming up. ... To understand that this process is their process. It is not mine. I’m just a part of it,” he said, adding, “It’s important for them to understand that our government works best when they understand and are involved in it.”

CARRIE STAMBAUGH can be reached at cstambaugh@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2653.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • jeremymccombs.jpg Jeremy McComb enjoys Tri-State's limelight

    Jeremy McComb’s career has been a wild ride, especialy in the last week.
    The lead single from his latest album was released on iTunes last week and it was a huge success right from the start.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Festival to showcase new plays

    The ACTC New Play Festival will feature 10 student and faculty written plays (short scenes, monologues, ten-minutes, one acts) that will premiere at 8 p.m. April 25 and 26 and at 2:30 p.m. April 27 at J.B. Sowards Theater on campus.

    April 17, 2014

  • 0420mongol1.JPG A ride to remember

    Riding 50 miles a day is no big deal to Amy Whelan.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0418melodies.jpg Melodies & Masterpieces returns Friday

    Anyone strolling through downtown Ashland at lunchtime Friday will have a chance to enjoy the artistry of one of the area’s most-respected guitarists as Chris Kitchen kicks off the return of the Melodies & Masterpieces series on Judd Plaza.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418odell.jpg MSU professor appointed state geographer

    Dr. Gary O’Dell, a professor of physical geography at Morehead State University, was named state geographer in January.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bill to benefit AK Steel

    During the 11th hour of the General Assembly, a bill extending important sustainable incentives for AK Steel’s Ashland Works was pushed through for approval Tuesday night.
    House Bill 483 was created to extend the plant's incentives provided by the Kentucky Industrial Revitalization Act in 2004.

    April 16, 2014

  • Pathways begins autism services

    Pathways has extended its community outreach in a big way by providing services for families facing autism.
    Lena Harmon, central director for the company's Kentucky Impact Youth Council, said these services can save families the trouble of being added to long queue lines in Cincinnati and Louisville.
    Harmon said she has heard some families testify having to wait up to 12 months for appointments in faraway cities.

    April 16, 2014

  • Russell academic new dean at OUS

    Nicole Pennington chose a two-year community college degree track in 1991 because she wanted to enter the nursing work force with as little delay as possible.

    April 16, 2014

  • 1936 Indian lasting wedding gift

    When it came time to present his future wife with a symbol of his undying devotion, Virgil Erskine gave her a 1936 Indian motorcycle instead of a diamond ring.
    “I’ve always called it my wedding present. It’s my diamond ring,” said Charlene Erskine, explaining she and her husband were married at Sturgis, S.D., in 1983, found the antique Indian Sport Scout in 1984 and had it restored and on the road in 1985.

    April 16, 2014

  • Boyd Democrats take floor at Elks

    Boyd County Democrats met at the Elks Lodge for a matchup between candidates for two of the hottest primary races in Boyd County: sheriff and judge-executive.
    The candidates, sponsored by the Boyd County Democratic Women’s Club, each took to the podium to face the crowd Tuesday night and discuss the candidacy and platforms for the race that is still over a month away.

    April 15, 2014