The Middlesboro City Council signed a proclamation during a meeting on Tuesday for the “War Against Violence” campaign. The campaign encourages and challenges all Kentuckians to voluntarily reduce violence by 10 percent in 2012 within the state.
The campaign is an active attempt to reverse some negative trends of violence in Kentucky. The campaign’s main focus is on Kentucky’s youth. The campaign is said to be educational only and has nothing to do with politics, finance or religion.
The program does not require any legislation or state funding. According to a press release, violent crime in Kentucky increased from 11,656 in 2009 to 37,467 in 2011. According to the release, juvenile detention in Kentucky went from 4,293 in 2009 to 7,981 in 2011.
Several mayors across Kentucky have already signed this proclamation including the mayors of Corbin, London, Williamsburg and Somerset.
The council also approved a resolution supporting a new full service Veterans Hospital in the 5th Congressional District. Middlesboro Mayor Bill Kelley stated the Citizens for Veteran Health Care (CVHC) had sent the letter multiple times.
Originally, the mayor hesitated to show support because it had been stated the hospital was going to be put in the Pikeville or Paintsville area, which would have been a harder drive for local citizens. Now the CVHC states they are looking more toward the Hazard or London area for the hospital.
Currently the closest veterans hospitals are in Lexington and Newport, Tenn.
Halloween hours were also set during the meeting. Trick-or-treating will take place on Halloween from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Originally, there was a motion to change the date to Oct. 30 (the night before Halloween) by Doug Hughes, James Pursifull Sr., and Ronnie and Lucas Carter. The remaining member of the council voted against the motion.
During public comments, Anthony Francis commented on conditions on South 20th Street. Francis stated that there are trees leaning toward the Church of the True Living God of Holiness.
Francis stated he addressed council a year ago about the situation. Kelley stated since the trees are located on private property, there was nothing the city can do.
Dorthy Pratts addressed the board about a collapsed wall that had bricks with names on them. Pratts is trying to get the wall reconstructed and the bricks replaced. She had a brick in the wall in memory of her late husband.
Mayor Kelley stated they have recovered a list with all the names on it that had a brick in the wall. Because there are hundreds of names on the list, financing all the bricks for the project is the main concern.
Other business addressed during the meeting included paying bills, hearing monthly reports and committee reports and approving minutes of the previous meeting.
Anthony Cloud is a staff writer for the Middlesboro Daily News. He can be contacted via email at email@example.com or by phone at 606-248-1010, ext. 208.