Chief Terrill Riley Cave City Kentucky


WBKO announced on September 13th that Cave City Kentucky now had a new Police Chief.  His name is Terrill Riley, and was formerly an Officer with the Police Department.

Terrill Riley, who’d been filling in as interim Cave City police chief, following the retirement of former Chief Jeff Wright, was appointed Monday to the position of chief.  LINK

Per WBKO: 

GLASGOW, Ky. (WBKO) — Last night, Chief Terrill Riley was appointed to Police Chief by Cave City Mayor, Dwyane Hatcher.

Although Chief Riley officially accepted the new position on Monday, he’s already starting to meet his goals during his time as Cave City’s Police Chief. ​ “One of the things I’m really looking forward to right now, and obviously it was one of my goals taking over as Chief is getting the D.A.R.E. program back in to Caverna Schools System up here.”  Chief Riley says the D.A.R.E. program will come back to the Caverna Schools System this October.


On the same day, this discussion was posted on TOPIX.Com


Elizabethtown, KY

#1 Monday Sep 12

I may be not up to date on laws and such but i do know that there are certain qualifications that have to be met to be chief and while i respect the man that received the position he did not possess all of the qualifications required to no fault of his other than just not enough time on the job to provide the training and experienced which he would have later. My point is that in order to be appointed chief the council had to vote to completely change the requirements of such which as they had other applicants fully qualified who had applied for the position and who were not even given the respect of an interview was very low and completely in my way of thinking not only disrespectful to the standing rules and city regulations with no concern for the people of the city and the fact that they deserve the very best that the other applicants weren’t even called in for interviews after being told they had a fair change, illegal!! Therefore each and everyone on the council and the mayor and everyone else concerned should be impeached and or fired from their positions since they use their power not for the better of the community but to fulfill their own pettiness and make up the rules as they go!! So so sad to have to abide in a place where the people who are supposed to be running our town and keeping our streets safe are the biggest crooks of them all as i said no disrespect to the chief but if he is the man i think he is, i believe he would agree that the existing requirements should stay in place and not be bent to play favoritism even to him knowing that he is young with plenty if time to be qualified by the existing rules which would be the only honorable and fair thing to do.   LINK

The links below are to several forum posts on TOPIX about Terrell Riley.

3/9/2012 Chief Minton Hires Terrill Riley

8/24/2011 Tire slasher Terrill Riley takes council

1/11/11 – Apparently someone did not care for him as their Landlord!  TERRILL RILEY

Terrell Riley

1/7/2010  where did terrill riley post go?

wheres terrill

Apparently, this story sums up how Terrill Riley was slipped into the role of Police Chief of Cave City after Police Chief Jeff Wright announced his retirement on May 27 after an incident report was filed, dated Feb. 17, stating the city has received a written complaint against Wright and Capt. Chris Edwards from Stacy Estes Monroe, owner of Learning Tree Day Care.  In her formal complaint, Monroe said Wright and Edwards “used professional tactics of power and control to intimidate and harass me and my staff. I was also threatened by Chief Jeff Wright that he would contact the state police and the media over this issue and I would lose kids.”  LINK TO STORY HERE

Chief Riley has said that getting the D.A.R.E Program back into Caverna Schools is a priority. 

New Cave City police chief will bring D.A.R.E. to local school

As far as the D.A.R.E. Program is concerned, here is an article which seems to say that it just did not work. 

Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates, who believed that “casual drug users should be taken out and shot,” founded the DARE program, which was quickly adopted nationwide.  LINK

Additionally, there is this article published by TIME in February of 2001:  Just Say No to DARE

How Police Chief Riley does during his first year in this position will remain to be seen.  People change and this is a small town with everyone knowing most everyone else, or at least having heard about them!  Chief Riley may turn out to be a good choice for Cave City.  We will see how it plays out. 

Comments on this post are welcomed!

Following a unanimous vote Monday night by City Council members, Cave City accepted a land donation of 40 acres, located beside the Cave City Convention Center



On December 16th, it was announced via WBKO Television News that the Gaunce family had donated a piece of land adjacent to the Cave City Convention Center, to be used for an Industrial Park for the City.

The land was valued at $650,000, a price Smith said the city never would have been able to afford on their own.

Cave City did purchase a small section of land that joined the portion the Gaunce family gave them in hopes of building a nice  entrance to the industrial park, as well as fulfilling some requirements set by the State Highway Department.

Robert Smith stated in that article that, “Cave City has always been known as a tourist town and up until this point that’s been really good for us; however, tourism industry has changed. We need an everyday tax base for us, we need jobs that people can go to without having to travel so far,”

I would beg to differ with that argument because everywhere I look I see “help wanted” signs around the area.  There seems to be plenty of employment opportunities available for that type of work.  They do seem to be having a hard time filling those positions judging from the signs and advertisements that are all over the road and in the media as well.  One of the reasons for that is that every job is requiring a “drug test” be submitted before employment which, we all know, is biased against anyone who smokes Cannabis for any reason.

So why do we need an Industrial Park sitting in the main area which is the “entrance” to the town of “Cave City”?  A place which has always been a tourist town and the place to go to see small town life and Nature as well?  A place that can’t fill all of the industrial type of jobs that it currently has, let alone more?  Doe’s anyone living in the Cave City area see a reason to build this Industrial Park for more jobs?  We need small shop owners and café’s to reopen in the area, as well as some types of agribusinesses, not factories or other monstrous businesses. 

Per the report,  in a unanimous vote on December 14th, by the City Council members, Cave City chose to accept a land donation of 40 acres, located beside the Cave City Convention Center.  This gift was donated by the Gaunce family, who, incidentally , SOLD Cave City a small parcel of land adjacent to this property to be used for the “Entrance”.

The City Council includes the following six members, according to the Cave City official website: Gary Hogan, Seaborn Ellzey, Gary Minor, Kevin Houchens, Denny Doyle and
Steve Pedigo.  The Cave City Council Meeting is the second Monday of the Month, so the next meeting will be January 11th, 2016*. 

The Glasgow Times reported that the property is actually owned by Wayne Gaunce, according to his son, Patrick. 

“I guess if anything that should be said it should be that Cave City has been good to our family, and this is a small way that we can be good to Cave City,” said Patrick Gaunce.

Additionally in the Glasgow Times,  Mayor Dwayne Hatcher said, “The main purpose I feel of government is to provide for the needs of the citizens,” said Mayor Dwayne Hatcher. “I feel like we have done that. Have we done everything that needs to be done?  No, but I think we have made progress and will continue to do so.”

According to the same article in the Glasgow Times, in February, the city received a $100,000 grant from the Industrial Development Economic Authority of Glasgow-Barren County to use for the purpose of acquiring property and developing it into an industrial park.

Why couldn’t the Gaunce family donate this land to Cave City ‘just because’?  In other words, why must it be used for an Industrial Park in the middle of a Tourist town?  Why does everything have to ‘progress’ to industrial?  How about we use the donated land and grant money to plant and promote ‘industrial Hemp farming’ on that property?  And the unoccupied property at the corner of 101 Broadway can be turned into a ‘Cannabis Café’ and by Spring of 2017 we will have a boom town in Kentucky with plenty of jobs for all of the people…even the ones that occasionally smoke Marijuana!

Coming from a large city I have seen first hand the damage an industrialized zone does to residential areas.  It is not a pretty site to see.   The pollution is not wanted or needed here, (we get enough of Louisville’s already),  and even if the ‘business’ produces little to even no pollution of it’s own (which is doubtful), the extra exhaust from the traffic will be noticeable to say the least.  We need to protect the environment, the agricultural heritage and the people of Cave City. 

Put some cow’s and Hemp on that land…. and keep the Industry out!

Also of note,

Posted: Friday, February 13, 2015 11:52 pm

By JAMES BROWN / Glasgow Daily Times

The IDEA board entered closed session to discuss property. The Infrastructure Committee of the Glasgow-Barren County Chamber of Commerce has identified property that could be developed for industrial needs. The committee members were on hand to give a presentation of those properties in closed session. LINK



*Anyone interested in attending the Cave City Council Meeting on January 11th, 2016 please email me at or contact me thru Facebook at THIS LINK.



Information obtained from these links:

A year to remember for Cave City

Donation sets Cave City on track for new Industrial Park

Development Economic Authority of Glasgow-Barren County

Glasgow/Barren Co. IDEA

Incentive Programs

Floyd Collins, Wayne Gaunce are inducted into Hall of Fame

Gaunce Management Inc.

Houchens Industries Inc.

Barren County Property Valuation Administrator

Cave City receives $100K grant

KY: Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program now taking applications for 2017

Image result for KENTUCKY HEMP

New measures set to enable sustained growth of the program

FRANKFORT (October 11, 2016) Kentuckians interested in participating in the industrial hemp research pilot program in 2017 are invited to submit an application with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

“The pilot research program will continue to build on the successes of the previous administration by developing research data on industrial hemp production, processing, manufacturing, and marketing for Kentucky growers,” Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said. KDA’s objective is to expand and strengthen Kentucky’s research pilot program, so that if the federal government chooses to remove industrial hemp from the list of controlled substances, Kentucky’s growers and farmers will be positioned to thrive, prosper and ultimately prevail as national leaders in industrial hemp production.”

The KDA operates its program under the authority of a provision of the 2014 federal farm bill, 7 U.S.C. § 5940 that permits industrial hemp pilot programs in states where hemp production is permitted by state law. Participants planted more than 2,350 acres of hemp in 2016 compared with 922 acres in 2015 and 33 acres in 2014, the first year of the program.

Applicants should be aware of important new measures for the 2017 research program, including the following:

· To strengthen the department’s partnership with state and local law enforcement officers, KDA will provide GPS coordinates of approved industrial hemp planting sites to law enforcement agencies before any hemp is planted. GPS coordinates must be submitted on the application. Applicants must consent to allow program staff and law enforcement officers to inspect any premises where hemp or hemp products are being grown, handled, stored, or processed.

· To promote transparency and ensure a fair playing field, KDA will rely on objective criteria, outlined in the newly released 2017 Policy Guide, to evaluate applications. An applicant’s criminal background check must indicate no drug-related misdemeanor convictions, and no felony convictions of any kind, in the past 10 years. Staff with the KDA’s industrial hemp pilot project program will consider whether applicants have complied with instructions from the department, Kentucky State Police, and local law enforcement.

· As the research program continues to grow, KDA’s hemp staff needs additional resources and manpower to administer this tremendously popular program. The addition of participant fees will enable KDA Hemp Staff to handle an increasing workload without needing additional taxpayer dollars from the General Assembly. Program applicants will be required to submit a nonrefundable application fee of $50 with their applications. Successful applicants will be required to pay additional program fees.

Grower applications must be postmarked or received by the KDA marketing office no later than November 14, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. EST. Processor or handler applicants are encouraged to submit their applications by November 14, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. EST.

For more information, including the 2017 Policy Guide and a downloadable application, go to


Bayer and Monsanto: a marriage made in hell

US agriculture giant Monsanto has agreed to a US$66 billion takeover by German chemical and pharmaceutical company Bayer. If the deal is approved by international regulators, Bayer-Monsanto will become the world’s biggest agribusiness, controlling 29 percent of the global seed market and 24 percent of pesticides.

The companies have dismissed widespread concern about the deal among farmers and environmentalists as fear mongering. Separately, they claim, their products have contributed to a significant boost in crop yields over the past few decades. Together, they’ll be able to increase investment in research and development, driving the agricultural innovation necessary to meet the demands of a growing world population.

We can only imagine what kind of new health and environmental threats may lurk in the “step change” a company like Bayer-Monsanto will make in an effort to restore profits.

In assessing the claims and counterclaims, we would do well to heed the words of radical US historian Howard Zinn: “If you don’t know history, it is as if you were born yesterday. And if you were born yesterday, anybody up there in a position of power can you tell you anything, and you have no way of checking up on it”.

Monsanto’s horrible history

Monsanto is one of the world’s worst corporate criminals.

Founded in 1901 in St Louis, Missouri, as a producer of artificial sweetener for Coca-Cola, Monsanto had its first big break in the 1930s, when it established itself as the sole US manufacturer of polychlorinated biphenyls, otherwise known as PCBs.

Monsanto’s profits soared. Evidence quickly mounted, however, that the chemicals were highly toxic and carcinogenic. As early as 1955, an internal document acknowledged, “We know Aroclors [PCBs] are toxic but the actual limit has not been precisely defined”. Nevertheless, the company continued producing PCBs until they were finally banned by the US government in 1979.

During World War II, Monsanto partnered with the US government on the Manhattan Project to produce the world’s first nuclear weapon, turning over one of their labs to the manufacture of polonium – a highly radioactive substance composing part of the ignition mechanism for the bomb.

In the 1960s, Monsanto was one of the main producers of Agent Orange – the chemical used by the US military to defoliate vast swathes of jungle during the Vietnam War. It contained a highly toxic dioxin by-product, exposure to which is associated with reproductive and developmental problems, immune system damage, interference with hormones and cancer. Millions of Vietnamese people, and many US and allied country veterans, including Australians, continue to suffer the consequences to this day.

When it wasn’t busy with chemical warfare overseas, Monsanto was waging it at home. From the 1940s, it joined a number of other companies in producing vast quantities of the powerful insecticide DDT, the environmental and health effects of which – powerfully documented in Rachel Carson’s 1962 book Silent Spring – led to it being banned in 1972.

In more recent times, Monsanto’s negative press has come mainly from its status as producer of the widely used herbicide Roundup. Roundup was first sold by Monsanto in 1974. However, until the mid-1990s its use was limited due to the fact that it killed many crops as well as weeds. This all changed after 1996, when Monsanto introduced its genetically modified “Roundup Ready” soybeans, followed by corn in 1998. Now farmers’ fields could be sprayed with herbicide without damaging the crop.

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is now history’s most widely used agricultural chemical. In 1987, around 5 million kilograms of it were used on US farms. Today, that figure is 136 million. A 2015 study in the journal Environmental Sciences Europe calculated that, globally, 8.5 billion kilograms of it have been sprayed onto fields. Monsanto’s revenue from Roundup and associated products was nearly US$5 billion in 2015.

This is bad news for human health and the environment. As with PCBs, DDT and Agent Orange before it, it seems glyphosate may be another Monsanto contribution to the “cancer industry”. In March 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer declared glyphosate a probable human carcinogen, and the company is currently defending itself against numerous lawsuits from farmers with cancer.

Given the widespread, and increasing, use of Roundup in Australia and around the world, this may be just the start.

Bayer: heroin and Nazis

Bayer may not boast quite the array of crimes of its US counterpart, but the sheer depravity of those it has committed is unmatched.

The company was founded in Barmen, Germany, in 1863. From its original line of business – making dyes from coal – it expanded into a chemical and pharmaceutical giant. In 1897, Bayer developed aspirin, which became the world’s first mass-market drug.

Two weeks later, it stumbled across a new “wonder drug” – a stronger version of opium which it named “heroin”. For the next 15 years, heroin was freely marketed and sold around the world as “a sedative for coughs”. Ironically, it was also often prescribed by doctors to patients struggling with morphine addiction.

During the severe economic crisis that followed World War I, Bayer merged with a number of other chemical and pharmaceutical companies to form the giant conglomerate IG Farben. In the early 1930s, IG Farben was among the biggest corporate donors to the Nazis – helping them consolidate power.

During World War II, the company was rewarded for its support with contracts for the supply of synthetic rubber, fuel and explosives to the Nazis and other Axis powers. One of its main centres of wartime production was Auschwitz. There and elsewhere, it made ample use of the slave labour of prisoners in the Nazi death camps.However, this wasn’t the darkest chapter in its alliance with Nazism. Not only was it profiting from the forced labour of Jewish and other prisoners in the camps. It was also profiting from their murder. IG Farben owned a 42 percent stake in another company, Degesch, which manufactured Zyklon B – one of the main chemicals used in the Nazi gas chambers.

After the war, the IG Farben conglomerate was broken up, and Bayer emerged again as an independent entity. Was it sorry for the direct role it played in the holocaust? Evidently not.

In 1956, Bayer appointed Fritz ter Meer as its new company chair, a role he continued in until his retirement in 1961. During the war, as a member of the IG Farben board, ter Meer played a leading role in the planning and construction of the forced labour camps at Auschwitz. On the stand at the Nuremburg IG Farben trial in 1948, he claimed that no specific harm was inflicted on workers in the camps as “without this they would have been killed anyway”.

In a particularly grotesque touch, following ter Meer’s death in 1967, Bayer established the Fritz ter Meer Foundation (later renamed as the Bayer Science & Education Foundation), to provide scholarships to German chemistry students.

Neither did Bayer hesitate at the prospect of getting involved again in the chemical warfare industry. In the early 1950s,it established the US-based Mobay Chemical Corporation, a joint venture with – you guessed it – Monsanto, that went on to supply one of the key, dioxin-contaminated, ingredients of Agent Orange.

Finally, in the 1980s, it was one of a number of companies selling plasma-based haemophilia treatments that infected thousands of people with HIV.

Should we trust Bayer-Monsanto with the future of global agricultural production? On balance, probably not.

Concentration of capital

The Bayer-Monsanto deal is just one among three proposed mergers among the “Big 6” global seed and pesticide giants, which also include BASF, DuPont, Dow Chemical and Syngenta. Dow Chemical and DuPont announced a US$130 billion merger in December, and earlier this year Syngenta agreed to a US$43 billion sale to China National Chemical Corporation.

In 1994, the four biggest global seed companies controlled 21 percent of the market. If all the proposed mergers currently on the table are approved, just three giant companies – Bayer-Monsanto, ChemChina-Syngenta and Dow DuPont – will control 59 percent of the global seed market and 64 percent of pesticides.

In Capital, Karl Marx wrote about this process of concentration and centralisation. In the short term, it can spur technological development and productivity gains. In the long term, however, it’s part of the capitalist system’s inherent tendency to crisis.

The agricultural industry shows the contradiction. The current rash of mergers isn’t a sign of health. Rather, like the heady rush to agglomeration in the banking and financial sector in the run-up to the 2008-09 global financial crisis, it’s a sign of an industry stumbling towards its destructive limits.

Past innovation has helped boost yields to the point where the world is now experiencing a glut of many products. Prices have declined, and farmers are struggling to stay afloat.

The total income of US farmers has dropped from US$123.8 billion in 2013 to just $71.5 billion in 2016. This, in turn, has put the squeeze on the profits of companies like Monsanto, as farmers simply can’t afford to pay the high prices demanded for their products.

At the same time, it’s clear that a new wave of innovation is necessary for yields to continue to grow in the decades ahead. The possibly devastating long term health and environmental impacts of Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer aren’t its only problem. It also, increasingly, doesn’t work. Weeds are developing resistance, and new products will be necessary to address this.

There is a kernel of truth in the Bayer-Monsanto PR spin: to sustain its business model, it needs to innovate. Innovation, however, is expensive. According to Monsanto’s chief technology officer, Robert Fraley, “Fifteen years ago, we spent $300 million on R&D. Today we spend $1.5 billion … To realise a step-change, agricultural companies will need to invest more”.

We can only imagine what kind of new health and environmental threats may lurk in the “step change” a company like Bayer-Monsanto will make in an effort to restore profits. Given the history, we can, unfortunately, expect that it will come at a high cost to human society and the environment on which we depend.


On 23 Acres of hillside placed in the Appalachian Mountains…



Image result for appalachian farmstead


If I Never Farm Another Day: What ‘Sometimes’ Farming has Given Me. . .

Maybe I am A ‘Sometimes’ Farmer, frankly.

I love a fancy heeled shoe, flash and traveling around for food I didn’t prepare.

For six long and short years, I have dreaded drought and snow. I have carried milk up and down my little mountain in both – 9 and 102 degree weather. I have said goodbye to cows and goats I’ve loved. I’ve raised and cared for what fed my sons. I’ve felt forlorn, like a massive failure. I’ve struggled with being a 20 year vegetarian and raising animals for meat and dairy. I’ve laid that struggle to rest. I’ve researched, used trial and error and learned how to do better. I’ve wondered if it is worth it many times. I’ve pondered if pushing this degree of work on a husband that works off the farm and taking this much time up that could be spent running my boys around to parks and lessons or play dates instead is selfish, ludicrous, even.

I’ve heard from folks that cannot understand the reasons to keep dairy goats, chickens, meat rabbits and cattle when we do not have to do this. It isn’t as if we raise enough to make “life off the land,” after all.

That is true enough.

We do not depend on farming to earn an income, to support us economically. We work to allow us to farm, and while we often break even in monetary investment or make a couple bucks now and again, we have never attempted to survive solely working off the land.

On 23 Acres of hillside placed in the Appalachian Mountains, sustainability from this place would prove improbable, but in so many ways, it has sustained us in mind and body, though not through primary sustenance.

Oh, to be sure, it has provided a purpose beyond all I could have imagined.

It is fashionable to try one’s hand at the land these days. It seems every twenty years or so, based on my reading of archaic Mother Earth Magazine volumes, a generation of younger folk give the homestead life a try. Few turn their attempts into an occupation, yet I venture to say, far fewer leave the life without deep lessons that stay with them forever.

I admit I’ve struggled with being a farmer or homesteader when so much of what I do and enjoy is still so conventional.

Then I realized what I’ve learned seems of no less importance. . .despite my “sometimes” farming. . . .

and I believe if I never “Sometimes” farmed another day in my life, the lessons I’ve learned are the most priceless of my lifetime and will endure long past my body’s ability to play “Sometimes FarmHER.”

1. Fortitude

Even a year of raising livestock or growing vegetables will change a person’s version of sticking “with it.” Nothing except parenting could rise to the level of commitment raising a garden that flourishes, milking a cow through winter or hauling the first home grown steer to be processed requires. You dig in your heels, you refuse to give up and it begins to carry over in all areas of your life outside of the land.

2. Hope

If you tend to seeing a glass half empty, you will find yourself revolutionized while delving into your farm. You will not last 3 months if you can’t dig up hope somewhere. Over and over and over again. You will hope that cow took when you hauled her 2 hours to a bull after chasing her around your property before finally coaxing her into that trailer, hope the rain comes for your heirloom corn’s sake doesn’t wither and for your children when they lament ever having a farm and when you hope your dairy goats do not give you another buck kid crop of 20 or more. You find hope all over the place, in the most unlikely spots, and you will become a person able to cling to the smallest shred of optimism when no one except a farmer could see the glimmer.

3. Sadness

I’ve laid in a stall with a dairy doe I loved greatly waiting for a vet we called too late in January when my hands turned blue, but I was too lost in grief to realize it. I’ve ran out to aid pig farmers when a sow couldn’t farrow only to see the sow and most of the piglets lost at 4am. Little will render you broke and broken in shorter order than a farm venture. You will face that moment your first pig or calf, loved and made into a pet, is old enough be part of circle of feeding your family and finally realize what farming costs. You will wonder how you will make ends meet now and again when winter approaches and hay stores are low or a hay season ran too short. You will watch a cow carry a calf for 9 months only to slip the calf and need to wait another year to see offspring from her. Loss comes in waves, and you stop and consider how you can ever get past it all, and through tears, you do.

4. Perspective

I know what it takes to produce food, so I really know what food should cost. I know good food verses poor quality food. I take little for granted. My children learned the facts of life the old fashioned way. They know food comes at great cost, that no matter where we it comes from, labor and life went into the making. I have learned all the ways food arrives to us: the ethical way, the ideal but unattainable way and the cruel way. I work incredibly hard to make sure some of what we have is from our own hands, land and kindly produced, even though I do not have to do so. When you do not count on your farm to produce your sole income, you know at any moment, you can give it all up. You stay thankful for the milk machine your grandmother wouldn’t have had when milking a cow giving 8 gallons of milk a day, too. You work even when your regular job is done to avoid the fast, cheap and easy lifestyle American has become known for all around the world. You want to be faced with giving up only to opt to keep on because the rewards for the soul are still too valuable to miss.

5. Skill

I know how much land it takes to give quality care to cattle, goats and poultry. I know how much water growing and raising livestock consumes. I know how hard a garden is to maintain. In so many ways, few of us know how to do anything useful when removed from land. Removed from electronics, a car and a grocery store, we have no idea how to do much of anything. I know what has to go into soap to make it lather. I can AI a goat and give IM/IV and SQ injections to animals 10 times my size. I understand how vital moderation in medication, vaccinations and antibiotics are across the board. I see the power of selective breeding, survival of the fittest and how we have ruined so much by making a soft environment. We lack the most basic skills. I discovered what children will do, even in a modern home of video games, phones and apps when you turn them out on 20 acres to be just boys. . .they learn to build forts, to ride ponies, to milk goats. They know when to yell, “Mom, Dutchie is in heat. Time to bring out a buck,” and they know when to note a horse is off feed and needs a second look to make sure all is well. We can pull calves, piglets and goats when labor is amiss I know what minerals the soil lacks in my area. I can milk goats and a cow for an hour straight without breaking a sweat, and I can turn that milk into butter, cheese and yogurt. A short time with livestock and growing your food will give you more useful skills than you would find in an entire modern life lived without this connection.

6. Community

Prior to farming, I had no real sense of community, not in a positive light. But a year into farming, I saw how people on a similar walk in life came together, lent / loaned / labored to help another in a way I figured had died out a century ago. If you need a pressure washer, a bull, tractor and an arm smaller than your own to pull out piglets, your local farmer has that for you. In the Snow. At 4am. Twice.

7. Connection

Taking the land or animal lives for granted ever again is not likely. You look at the ground with a new consideration. You think about your impact. The impact of others and mull this over everywhere you go. At night. In bed, You think about how the Livestock Guard Dog works to earn his keep, you think about how the dairy goat produces 8 lbs of milk a day to earn hers. You see this huge portrait where everyone gives their part to make the place run, and it is gives a whole new respect for everything that grows, be that children, hay or goat kids. Your kids talk constantly about how eggs end up on their plate and what it means to not waste sausage when it is served.

8. Strength

You’re strong. . .I’m talking a strength that comes from inside and outside. It isn’t the type we gain from 45 minutes a day in a Gym we pay a membership fee to, it is not the kind to sculpt a body for visual appeal; true enough. It is the kind that makes the body a functional, strong machine that can carry 100lb bags of feed up a mountain in the snow when you only weigh 138lbs yourself. The type of strong that lets you swing 75b hay bales up on a trailer 100 times while working on your natural “tan.” I’m also talking about emotional strength. The small stuff suddenly is just that: Small. You are too busy with things worth your while to worry about the nonsense that creates personal drama, thankfully. And if the drama makes it to you, your response is usually going to be: “Meh, whatever. I have goats to milk.” You realize what makes the world go round isn’t snarky nonsense or failing to have a clean floor or even clean children. You are better able to deal with real crisis, think fast and ignore the nonsense.

9. Family

Without farming, I’d still have a really great spouse and good kids, but with our ‘sometimes’ farm, life is such a team effort where skills and experiences will last a lifetime and apply across the board, it takes everything a step further. I need my oldest to feed the goat kids while I milk. I need the little ones to gather eggs because I forget. I depend on them to see the things I miss, a chicken who limps, a goat gone wandering to the neighbors or whatever else that I fail to note. They know that the heavy responsibilities here mean time is short and of great value. We have learned life isn’t about just Us, by a long shot. We are conscientious caregivers, and we are Thankful all of the time.

In a world where so little is real, where almost no work is required and the spirit is left void and wanting. . . even producing or nurturing one thing that, in turn, feeds you or otherwise nourishes you is of more value than I ever expected those 6 years ago when I began a ‘Sometimes’ farm that requires work all of the time.

The idea of walking away leaves me feeling blank and desolate, even though there isn’t a lot of tangible reason as to why.

But one day, if I find myself without cows, chickens and goats in my yard, the lessons I’ve learned, the values and skills my children will have, will always make every single moment worth it. I’ve finally become very sure.…/if-i-never-farm-a…


Sheriff consulting FBI, Homeland Security on NKY creepy clowns case

Attendance cut in half after threat

T.J. Parker, WCPO Staff

1:31 AM, Sep 27, 2016


WARSAW, Ky. — The Gallatin County Sheriff is consulting the FBI and Department of Homeland Security on its recent “creepy clown” threat, which frightened students and parents enough to cut attendance in half Tuesday.

Gallatin County Schools stepped up security Tuesday after receiving a “vague threat of violence” on Facebook the day before. The name used in the Gallatin County messages have been used in other, similar threats across the country, according to Sheriff Josh Neale.

“The threat does not seem creditable (sic), but in order to ensure the safety of students and staff we take all threats seriously,” a district representative wrote on Facebook.

Attendance on Tuesday was down to 48 percent — typical attendance is 95 percent, according to school officials.

Michelle Murphy, whose children attend Gallatin County Schools, said the source of the threat was a pair of Facebook accounts with clowns in their profile pictures.

In screenshots Murphy sent to WCPO, “Bobby Daklown” and “Michael Daklown” threatened to shoot students at area high schools.

“Creepy clowns” on Facebook threatened to shoot students at Kentucky schools, according to Michelle Murphy, whose children attend Gallatin County Schools.

Although this threat is not considered credible, creepy clowns have made a splash across the country recently, with reported sightings of sinister individuals in clown costume in Pennsylvania, South Carolina and now Kentucky.

“Bobby Daklown” and “Michael Daklown” are names used in other threats, but Neale said it’s uncertain if the names indicate a connection in the cases or a copycat. Neale has contacted the FBI and Homeland Security and said the person or people making the “clown threats” could face local charges of inducing panic and terroristic threatening.


New exhibits place Mammoth Cave’s history in perspective

  • Aaron Mudd
  • Sep 24, 2016
  • New exhibits place Mammoth Cave's history in perspective

    CAVE CITY — Two new exhibits at the Mammoth Cave Area Welcome Center in Cave City are revealing what life was like before Mammoth Cave National Park was founded. 

    The exhibits tell the story of fierce competition among cave owners during the 1920s, popularly known as the “Cave Wars,” and the death of cave explorer Floyd Collins, whose entrapment in Sand Cave became a national sensation. 

    Sharon Tabor, who heads the Cave City Tourist and Convention Commission, said the exhibits are meant to show the link between both stories and “tell a story before it’s forgotten.”

    “There’s a whole generation that’s dying out that remembers the Cave Wars,” Tabor said. “We’re just trying to convey the rest of the story.” 

    The exhibits are tucked into two corners of the welcome center and feature historical photographs with lengthy captions, old documents and newspaper clippings and a “lamb leg”-shaped rock said to be similar to the rock that trapped Collins, among other artifacts. 

    Exhibit hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays through October. Admission is free. 

    “You can’t hardly tell one story without telling the other,” Tabor said while pointing out objects on display. “The Cave Wars are very integral to the story of Floyd Collins.” 

    Formal guided tours began in Mammoth Cave as far back as 1816, according to an information pamphlet available at the exhibit. Reportedly the world’s biggest cave, it was privately owned for 125 years and became quite lucrative. 

    Its success tempted rivals to seek out their own caves to make their own fortunes. Rivals would place misleading signs for tourists, pose as policemen to divert visitors and heckle rivaling tours, among other ploys. A popular tactic involved “cappers” who would stand by the road and flag down automobiles with their hats, ultimately aiming to lead them away from Mammoth Cave to their own attractions. 

    It was this promise of fortune that got Collins into caving, Tabor said. 

    “His whole goal was to make his family rich,” she said. 

    The family cave, called Crystal Cave, was too far from the main road and didn’t bring in much money. That pushed Collins to find a more profitable “show” cave, so he explored Sand Cave in 1925. 

    Collins became trapped in the cave after knocking over some stones while climbing back out. Collins, who went alone without telling anyone, was eventually found by family, and the rescue effort stretched into an 18-day publicity circus. Rescuers tried digging, hacking and drilling a new shaft, but a second collapse sealed Collins in his tomb. His body was later put in a glass-topped coffin in Crystal Cave for display, only for it to be stolen and later recovered, missing one leg. 

    David Kem, a former Mammoth Cave guide, found a passion for studying history after finding the name of a relative carved on a cave wall. 

    “The history of Mammoth Cave is definitely what makes it special,” he said. “The marks that they’ve left on the cave are preserved forever.”

    His interest prompted him to write “The Kentucky Cave Wars.” He recently did a book signing at the exhibits. 

    “It’s nice that they’re taking effort to not only tell the story of Floyd Collins … but they’re also tying in the story of the lesser known Cave Wars, which explains what Floyd was up to.”

    Mammoth Cave’s unique history, he said, only makes it more worthy of preserving. 

    — Follow education reporter Aaron Mudd on Twitter @BGDN_edbeat or visit


    Green is the new orange: Barren County’s sustainable jail garden

    • Sep 22, 2016

    Jail garden project

    GLASGOW – With the sun beating down on their faces and fresh air filling their lungs, Barren County Detention Center inmates Melissa House and Andrea Borgemenke shoveled dirt into a wheelbarrow.

    When it was full, they wheeled the dirt over to a large mound in the new addition of the BCDC garden.

    House and Borgemenke were among eight female inmates participating in the first public workshop of the Breaking Ground: A Sustainable Jail Garden/Food Justice Project on Thursday. Community members and college students joined the inmates in creating the new garden beds.

    “We’re all pitching in helping to get this built so we can go ahead and plant the vegetables and everything else that needs to be planted in the beds,” Borgemenke said. “I’m excited about it.”

    House said the gardening project has been a really good experience.

    “I come to jail and I come out an environmentalist,” she said. “I didn’t know anything about gardening and I’m gonna’ grow my own vegetables and go from there.

    “I know I can get it right when I go home. I don’t have to second guess or question anything.”

    The jail garden project began in January after Nicole Breazeale, assistant professor of sociology at Western Kentucky University-Glasgow, approached Barren County Jailer Matt Mutter about starting it.

    “It’s an educational project,” Breazeale said. “I’m teaching undergraduates and incarcerated women together inside the facility, teaching them about food and food injustices.

    “And then there’s a little bit of outside work where we’re learning about agricology as one way to get more control over our food system.”

    Breazeale said her Food, Community and Social Change students and the inmates are learning different types of sustainable agriculture techniques from local farmers in the region.

    The BCDC inmates have already been eating vegetables produced from the garden.

    Borgemenke said they “get to take the vegetables that are out here and mix them in with the food they serve in the jail.”

    The BCDC currently has 30 garden beds, and on Thursday they were working on adding an additional hugelkultur mound, which has wooden logs underneath dirt, leaves, manure and hay. The wood acts as a sponge that retains rainwater.

    “You don’t have to water these raised beds and they’re way more productive,” Breazeale said. “And you don’t have to add fertilizer or anything.”

    Permaculture designer Timothy Kercheville stood on a huge mound of dirt and shoveled it into a wheelbarrow while he wore a giant smile. He said they use experimental techniques and standard raised beds and that this garden project has influenced others in the region.

    “The success of this project has already outgrown into the SOKY Community Gardening Initiative,” he said. “There’s a series of 10 community gardens in the Barren River counties that were funded by the Barren River Health Department.

    “So this community garden over here at the jail has spread already across the 10 counties. And that’s just after one semester.”

    Sierra Morris, a sophomore nursing major at WKU-Glasgow, said she attended the workshop so she could learn more about hugelkultur and use the techniques in her own garden in Logan County.

    “I’ll probably end up coming back because everyone is so nice,” she said. “And it’s just really fulfilling whenever you do hard work.”

    WKU-Glasgow junior Chloe Hurt was in Breazeale’s initial class that started the project during the spring semester.

    “I don’t think anyone really knew what it was going to turn into,” she said. “We just kind of started from a great idea. We had tremendous community support and it was really amazing to see how many different parts of the community came together to support.”

    BCDC chief deputy Tracy Bellamy said the project has made a positive impact on the inmates.

    “It’s taught ’em a resource that they can use,” he said. “It’s something being productive versus them sitting inside the cells.

    “We encourage everyone (in the community) to be a part of it and see what they’re doing.”


    U.S. Attorney General Admits Marijuana Is Not a Gateway Drug

    Top federal official crushes this popular anti-legalization argument.

    One of the most popular arguments against the legalization of marijuana is that pot is a “gateway” drug with the potential to turn the great American populous into a nation of dope fiends. But today the country’s leading law enforcement official denounced this common misconception by admitting that the consumption of marijuana does not lead to the use of harder drugs.

    As part of what President Obama has declared National Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week, U.S Attorney General Loretta Lynch appeared at town hall meeting this morning in Richmond, Kentucky to discuss the dangers of opioid abuse with a group of teens.

    In her opening statement, Lynch was adamant that the leading culprit behind Kentucky’s heroin epidemic was the use of prescription drugs.

    “When you look at someone that, for example, has a heroin problem, it very often started with a prescription drug problem. Something totally legal. Something in every medicine cabinet. Something you can have prescribed to you in good faith by a doctor,” Lynch said before taking questions from the audience.

    It did not take long before the discussion turned to the issue of marijuana.

    Tyler Crafton, a student at Madison Central High School, took the opportunity to ask Lynch whether she thought the recreational use of marijuana among high school kids would lead to opioid abuse.

    Shockingly, Lynch, the top dog at the U.S. Department of Justice, did provide the young man with a response straight out of the federal government’s propaganda handbook.

    “There a lot of discussion about marijuana these days. Some states are making it legal, people are looking into medical uses for it, and I understand that it still is as common as almost anything,” Lynch replied. “When we talk about heroin addiction, we unusually, as we have mentioned, are talking about individuals that started out with a prescription drug problem, and then because they need more and more, they turn to heroin. It isn’t so much that marijuana is the step right before using prescription drugs or opioids.”

    For a moment, it sounded as though the Attorney General was preparing to backtrack on her statement to some degree, adding that, “if you tend to experiment with a lot of things if life you may be more inclined to experiment with drugs.”

    But then Lynch followed up with what should be considered one of the most important statements a federal official has made in 2016.

    “It’s not as though we are seeing that marijuana is a specific gateway,” she said.

    The attorney general’s admission that marijuana is not a gateway drug is fairly consistent with the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which finds “the majority of people who use marijuana do not go on to use other, “harder” substances. Yet many of marijuana’s opposing forces are going up against ballot measure in several states this election season by trying to convince the general public that legal weed will cause the opioid epidemic to spin further out of control.

    Interestingly, an investigational report published earlier this week by the Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity found that lobbyists for the drug makers responsible for the same prescription drugs that Attorney General Lynch says is responsible for the opioid epidemic have spent $880 million legally bribing state representatives and senators to vote against legislation concerning the restricting of opioid use. It stands to reason that these lobbyists are also responsible for getting federal lawmakers to turn a blind eye to marijuana.

    Attorney General Lynch will be speaking at more than 250 events this week in support of Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week. It will be interesting to see if she offers additional comments about the safety of marijuana.


    U.S. Attorney General addresses opioid, heroin addiction during Richmond town hall



    RICHMOND — U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch spoke to a crowded auditorium at a Town Hall meeting in Richmond as part of the Obama Administration’s newly designated National Prescription Opium and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week.

    The audience, mainly consisting of young people, was addressed on the dangers of heroin and opioid addiction, the pathways that lead to destruction, and the redeeming hope that help is available.

    “I want to hear your questions, I want to hear your comments, I want to hear your ideas about how we can solve this (crisis), and about how we can prevent this,” said Lynch on Tuesday at Madison Central High School. “It’s not just putting people in jail, its about stopping it before it happens. And making sure people that do have a problem get treated.”

    In her opening comments, Lynch asked the nearly 500 students if they had been considering where they would go to college, what careers they had planned for their futures, whether as journalists, doctors, law enforcement, teachers or fashion bloggers.

    Then, Lynch told the students to look around at their classmates and friends and asked them to consider that last year, in Kentucky, approximately 12,000 died from opioid and heroin abuse overdoses.

    “Imagine if all of you and others who fill these chairs were suddenly gone,” said Lynch. “And then that each of you had a friend, just one of your friends each, all gone. That’s what happened last year in Kentucky. That’s why this is so important.”

    The chief law enforcement officer in the U.S. spoke about not only the problem of substance abuse and how to stop it, but also how to prevent it from even starting.

    Lynch also put out a call to action to the students.

    “We are talking to young people like you, because you have a role in this effort,” she said. “We want you to understand the issues, we went you to understand how serious it is, and we went to give you the information you need to make good choices in your own life. We also need you to look out for each other.”

    During a question and answer session with local high school students, Kayla Greene, who lost her son to overdose, Tonya Snyder, MCHS social worker, Alex Elswick, a recovered addict, and MCHS student Julia Rahimzadeh, joined Lynch onstage.

    Later in the day, Lynch traveled to make remarks at the University of Kentucky. Both events were part of the awareness week and the President’s Cabinet and Federal agencies’ focus on work being done/new efforts to address the national prescription opioid and heroin epidemic, according to a release by the Office of the Press Secretary.

    The release also noted that Federal agencies are currently taking actions such as:

    Expanding substance abuse treatment in the TRICARE system so that it includes intensive outpatient programs and treatment of opioid disorders with medication-assisted treatment.

    Working with the Chinese government to combat the supply of fentanyl and its analogues from entering the U.S.

    Increasing patient limits from 100 to 275 for practitioners prescribing buprenorphine to treat opioid use disorders.

    Support programs that increase access to healthcare, substance abuse treatment, and educational opportunities in rural areas, such as telemedicine and distance learning.

    Currently, the President is seeking $1.1 billion in new funding to combat opioid abuse.

    During a press conference following the town hall meeting, Lynch told The Register, that one of the ways the Department of Justice funding specifically would assist communities on a local level would be through a grant making process that provides assistance to law enforcement through grants for additional officers, resources to help states improve their prescription drug monitoring programs and provide examples of programs that are working efficiently and consistently.

    Lynch reiterated that administration wide, when treatment is spoken of, they are referring to improving and increasing the availability of treatment facilities and also treatment within local hospitals.

    Critley King writes for The Richmond Register.


    Mike Lewis and the Growing Warriors

    By Andrew Baker  – Sep 20, 2016



    One of the things I love most about our industry is that it’s constantly being shaken up. Everywhere you look, there’s an individual or a company taking things to a previously unprecedented level. What’s even more amazing is the pace at which things are moving; a pace that’s only going to increase in speed as the industry becomes more open and recognized.

    To help illustrate what I mean, think about this: If you have kids that are, say 5 years old or younger, there is a good chance that you won’t need to teach them how to drive. At least not the way you or I learned. It’s entirely possible that our kids will never have to grab a steering wheel or press a gas pedal.

    Don’t worry, I’ll wait while you go ahead and put your brain back together.

    But you see, these types of technological advancements aren’t being made in exclusivity. Strides like what I described above aren’t possible simply because the automobile industry is so advanced. The technology that would go into a self-driving car could be repurposed, tweaked just a little bit, and put to use in something like virtual reality. It can, and often does, work the other way around as well.

    The cannabis industry is no exception, as we’re starting to see. I really enjoy tech — and I’m obsessed with entrepreneurship — so the flood of cannabis startups is an exciting thing to watch. Typing all this out makes me realize two things. One, I haven’t tackled this sort of topic in any of my previous posts. Two, I’m eager to do so for you guys.

    But that’ll have to wait.

    What? You thought all of that was to lead up to me covering some sort of futuristic weed tech? Nope. I just needed a good segue to what I’ll be talking about in today’s post. Who, actually, not what.

    His name is Mike Lewis and he’s shaking things up in a simple but powerful way and he’s doing it with just his hands and his voice.

    Mike Lewis! Who? Mike Lewis!

    Aside from any readers I have out of Houston, who got the song reference?

    In all seriousness though, Mike Lewis is a name you’ll come to know quite well if you don’t already. We’ll start with the basics. Mike is a proud husband, father, veteran of the United States Army and Kentucky farmer. In 2012, he established Growing Warriors, the first veteran-oriented food security organization. 

    There are about one million veterans and active duty military personnel receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), more commonly referred to as food stamps. It’s also no secret that the unemployment rate among veterans is unacceptably high. (To be fair, it is declining at a considerable rate.)  Mike’s answer to this issue? Teach them how to grow and preserve their own food while banding together within their communities. This was accomplished by forming partnerships with cities, veteran hospitals, educational institutions, and community based organizations in order to provide veterans with hands on, curriculum-based learning opportunities. Since it’s inception, Growing Warriors has been able to help dozens of veteran families produce tens of thousands of pounds in organic produce.

    Keep in mind that I’m just giving you a brief introduction. Mike’s, and the Growing Warriors’, efforts extend across multiple states and I could easily fill out the rest of this post by diving deep into everything they’re doing. For today, though, I want to bring your attention to what Mike and the Growing Warriors are doing for our industry, specifically the industrial hemp side of things.

    Harvesting Liberty With Growing Warriors

    If you haven’t seen it yet, check out this short documentary film, Harvesting Liberty. Backed and presented by Patagonia, this film aims to address and shed light on the legalization of industrial hemp in the United States. Seriously, stop reading this, open that link in another tab, take the next 12 minutes of your day to watch it, then come back here to finish up and talk to me about what you think.

    A couple of years ago, President Obama signed the Agriculture Act of 2014 — the Farm Bill — into effect. There’s a section of this act titled Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research. Basically, this section allows for universities and state departments of agriculture — in states where hemp is legal to grow — to grow hemp for research or pilot programs. Back in the 1800’s, Kentucky dominated the industrial hemp market. So, it’s quite fitting that a group of Kentucky farmers, Mike and the Growing Warriors, were given permission to cultivate 5 acres. 

    As soon as they got their seeds, Mike “threw ‘em the ground really quickly before anybody changed their mind.”

    American Hemp Flag

    I found two things to be really interesting while watching that documentary and doing further research afterward.

    First, the way Mike and his team go about processing the harvested hemp into useable materials. Get this: it’s done entirely by hand. When you think about it, that actually makes sense. Industrial hemp hasn’t been cultivated in America since it was listed as a Schedule I controlled substance, so of course there’s no hemp processing machinery just laying around waiting to be used. Even if there was, Mike wanted to use traditional methods to weave what he had in store. More on that in a moment, though.

    They begin by using a process known as retting. Put simply, retting is the natural process of allowing moisture and microorganisms to remove the sugars in the stalk that hold all the fibers together. Once the plant has been retted completely, it’s moved to the barn for drying. What follows is called breaking, or decorticating. The hemp stalk is run through a hand powered machine that crushes the stalk and separates each of the fibers. Once separated, the fibers are spun together using spinners that are, once again, hand powered.

    The second thing that really caught my interest (and by that I mean it had me grinning from ear to ear) is what they decided to make with the materials that came from this first harvest.

    An American Flag. (Not sorry if I’m spoiling anything because I told you to stop and watch the documentary!)

    “We made this American ingenuity with people from all walks of life. Life and society are not uniform or standardized in any way. This flag represents the bumps and ridges in our society and the great things that happen when we accept differences and work to solve problems. It represents all of us and our future.”

    Nationwide Legalization of Industrial Hemp

    On the 4th of July, Mike delivered that flag to Congress along with a speech in support of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015/2016. This act proposes the nationwide legalization of industrial hemp cultivation, something I’ll be digging into in a later article.

    Mike takes a stance that you don’t see often in this industry and its activists. While he’s obviously in full support of legalization and bringing industrial hemp farming back to America, he also recognizes the need to take it slow. There’s a lot of mistakes left to be made and we need to let those kinks get worked out before attempting to blow up the market. Not only that, but there’s a ton of misinformation out there when it comes to hemp. Most of the public still doesn’t understand that hemp isn’t the same as its THC-laden counterpart cannabis.  

    There’s a lot that can be said about Mike Lewis and all the work he’s putting out into the world. If I had to pick one thing, it would be that he’s solid proof that you don’t have to be a high tech startup out of San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, or Denver to effect real change on the cannabis industry. Those types of businesses have their place and I’m rooting for them. I just think it’s important that you don’t forget that there’s a place for you outside of an office space, if that’s where you’d rather be.

    Interested in growing hemp or getting involved? You can learn more over at the National Hemp Association and the Hemp Industries Association.