Steward Will Run For Barren County Judge-Executive; Greer Not Running

“When I think that there is something going on that I think is corrupt, or I think that is inappropriate, or I think the taxpayers’ dollars are being wasted, then I will be contentious and I will be somewhat controversial.”

BARREN COUNTY, Ky. (WBKO) — Barren County Magistrate Chris Steward is adding his name to the mix to become the next Barren County Judge-Executive.

He said his number one priority is bringing jobs to the county.

“We have the infrastructure, we have the land. We have the work force, and I think economic development is a passion of mine,” said Barren County Judge-Executive Candidate Chris Steward.

Steward joins five other candidates in the race, but will not have to face current Judge-Executive Davie Greer, who officially told WBKO Monday, she won’t seek re-election.

“I just feel like at this time in my life that I want to spend more time with my family. They don’t want me to run either, so that’s mostly the reason,” said Barren County Judge-Executive Davie Greer.

Steward certainly has not shied away from the spotlight.

As a magistrate he was out in front of an investigation of the jail.

“When I think that there is something going on that I think is corrupt, or I think that is inappropriate, or I think the taxpayers’ dollars are being wasted, then I will be contentious and I will be somewhat controversial.”

However, Steward does think he could have handled it better.

“I think I owe some apologies to some people in which I voiced my opinion, perhaps I wasn’t as diplomatic as I should have been in certain areas,” said Steward.

WBKO asked, who are some of those people?

“Jailer Mutter, Judge Greer and others, I’m sure I could have worked with them better. I’m sure they could have worked with me better,” said Steward.

Steward announced recently but he said he will officially file Tuesday.

None of the other candidates in the race are current Magistrates, but the list includes democrats Brian Scott Taylor and W.R. Bud Tarry. Republicans in the race include David Honeycutt, Don “Goose” Gossett and Rob Strickland.



Cave City eyes work on strategic plan in ’14


Cave City 9.28.13 140

By JUSTIN STORY The Daily News jstory@bgdailynews.com

When it comes to planning for the future, Cave City officials are taking the long view.

Cave City’s City Council plans to hold a special meeting with the Kentucky League of Cities soon after the holidays on a date to be determined to learn about the work that will be involved in drafting a strategic plan that will guide the city’s development during the next several years.

The city’s proximity to Mammoth Cave National Park and its location along Interstate 65 have given Cave City a built-in advantage in attracting tourists, but Mayor Dwayne Hatcher hopes a strategic plan developed in consultation with the League of Cities will shine a light on Cave City’s other attractive qualities.

“We can’t put all our eggs in one basket, so to speak,” Hatcher said. “Tourism is a major factor here with our location, but we can’t just build solely on that. We’re working hard on infrastructure and industry here. … We can no longer be so dependent on tourism, although it is one of the major factors. We have so much more to offer, too.”

Two KLC advisers spoke at a recent council meeting about the benefits of a strategic plan and how the process of creating a plan can draw in the involvement of community members.

The KLC has been active as a consultant with other communities in the state that have drafted their own plans.

In 2011, Williamstown developed a strategic plan with input from community leaders, high school students and others that addressed a number of topics thought to be important to that city’s development, including restoration of downtown and diversification of the local economy.

Hatcher said Cave City’s process of putting together its own plan will involve extensive input and could take several months, if not longer.

“It’s a rather slow process, but it’s well worth doing,” Hatcher said. “With something this important, you don’t want to just rush into it. We want input from all of our citizens. … Hopefully, one thing we’ll create will be more involvement. We want people to feel that they are part of the community.”

Though not a member of Cave City government, Jeff Lawson wears many hats in the community as the owner of Cave Country RV Campground and the president of the Cave City Chamber of Commerce.

Lawson said he was aware the Cave City Convention and Tourism Commission has surveyed visitors for the past several months about their impressions of the area.

“Local people say things like they want more restaurants and more things to do, and visitors comment about empty buildings,” Lawson said. “That’s a real detraction because people come in and, instead of people, they see a dying town, and we don’t see it that way. We have a lot to offer, but for people driving in off the interstate they get the opposite impression.”

Lawson came to Cave City from Pennsylvania more than five years ago, leaving the restaurant business there to operate an RV park in the area. When deciding where to relocate, he centered on Cave City for its small-town atmosphere and its convenience to Mammoth Cave.

Lawson said he believes it’s important for as many people to be involved in the process as possible, and he hopes that the different segments of the community can agree on some common goals for the city’s long-term future.

“For the future, if we have a clear direction of who we are and what we want to accomplish, we can achieve it,” Lawson said.

— Follow reporter Justin Story on Twitter at twitter.com/jstorydailynews or visit bgdailynews.com.

Mammoth Cave halts on-site alcohol sales

Tue Aug 13, 2013.


Associated Press |

The campground store at Mammoth Cave National Park will selling beer and wine because of what officials say is an increase in alcohol-related incidents.

Chief Park Ranger Brad McDougal told the Glasgow Daily Times ( http://bit.ly/1cZd1jH) the last opportunity to buy booze from Caver’s will be Aug. 17. At the close of business that day, alcoholic beverages will be removed from the shelves.

McDougal says the sales are causing a problem that park can’t justify trying to handle with the staff on hand.


Information from: Glasgow Daily Times, http://www.glasgowdailytimes.com

Researchers retrace steps of 1938 experiment (at Mammoth Cave)

Posted: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 10:45 am

By CHUCK MASON The Daily News

cmason@bgdailynews.com/783-3262 | 0 comments

MAMMOTH CAVE — Seventy-five years ago, two men researching natural rhythms of the human body spent about a month inside Mammoth Cave.

From June 4 to July 6, 1938, they wanted to see if a body could be configured to an artificial 28-hour day with nine hours of sleep between days.

This past week, modern researchers of chronobiology explored the exact spot in the cave. “These are the scientific descendants and the early discoveries of what we call chronobiology,” said Doug McMahon, associate director of education and training at the Vanderbilt Brain Institute in Nashville. He also serves as director of graduate studies in neuroscience at Vanderbilt University.

Chronobiology, which concerns natural physiological rhythms, is the scientific discipline that was spawned in part by the research of Nathaniel Kleitman and Bruce Richardson from the University of Chicago. It was there in 1938 that the men ate fried chicken prepared by cooks at the Mammoth Cave Hotel and read the newspaper by lantern, living in a constant 54-degree environment. The chill required some clothing layers, according to an old newsreel of the event. The students and researchers who visited the cave are attending the Chronology Summer School at Vanderbilt. 

Till Roenneberg, professor of chronobiology at the Institute of Medical Psychology at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, said it’s the first time a chronobiology summer school, usually in Europe, has been in America since the 1960s. 

Roenneberg said it is amazing, given the nascent state of chronobiology knowledge in 1938, the insightfulness of the researchers who were looking into functions of the human body. Ironically, while Richardson, a man in his 20s, was able to adjust to the new sleep pattern, the older Kleitman had difficulty. Kleitman, because only two subjects were used, didn’t publish his findings immediately, but later wrote a book about early sleep research. When the men wanted to sleep, they simply extinguished the lanterns that lit their rock-walled home. The hotel, besides providing food, also provided the furniture they used. The beds were configured into bowls to keep rats out during complete darkness.

Before venturing into Mammoth Cave’s Rafinesque Hall, not far from the historic entrance to the cave, about 140 feet underground and a 15-minute stroll, the summer school contingent heard from Dr. William Schwartz of the Department of Neurology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, who discussed Kleitman and Richardson’s project and how it relates to modern-day science. Kleitman wrote “Sleep and Wakefulness” in 1939 and is considered the “father of modern sleep research,” Schwartz said.

Besides the cave experience, Kleitman also lived north of the Arctic Circle and spent two weeks in a submarine as he and Richardson explored wakefulness.

The human brain contains a mechanism that actually sets our body clock. Through stimuli by light entering our eyes, a complex series of biochemical reactions occur to affect body temperature and activate the body’s internal clock – the circadian clock. Schwartz said he recently worked with a 74-year-old man in Massachusetts who claimed to have “an upside down circadian clock.” The sleep disorder had continued for two years and was accompanied by anxiety issues.

The man was advised to try light therapy, using a flashing light at night intended to activate and re-set his body clock and a hormone timed to work into his system. The man never tried any of the therapies, but told Schwartz that he felt better simply because the doctor had told him he wasn’t crazy. “I can live with that,” the patient told the doctor.

The clock genes function like a thermostat, measuring temperature and stimuli and adjusting the body accordingly. Chronobiology research has shown that as certain hours of the day, the human body is better prepared for activities. For example, Schwartz said, it is better to go to the dentist in the early afternoon, because the body’s pain tolerance is greater at that time.

The meals from the hotel that the men ate “were their greatest single pleasure” of the experience, noted Colleen Olson, a Mammoth Cave park guide, who has also researched the 1938 sleep experiment. She said in addition to the fried chicken, the men also ate “hickory-smoked country ham.” The cave had not yet come under the purview of the U.S. Park Service, but arrangements were made to conduct the study at Mammoth Cave through Professor J.H. Bretz of the Department of Geology at the University of Chicago.

“This is a real treat for us,” McMahon said of the cave visit. 

Schwartz said the body clock recognizes the time of day like a sundial and measures lapse of time like an hourglass. When sections of a rat’s brain that regulated the animal’s body clock are put under a microscope as a chemical is used to track the electrical impulses that result from the biological reactions, the brain glows in a rhythm.

“We have the same kind of internal clock that the mouse does,” Schwartz said.

Chronobiology is a growing scientific discipline, Schwartz said, and can be applied to studies of obesity and how what people eat can change their body chemistry.

“I love this cave,” said Paula Cormandy, who works for Eastern National and manages Mammoth Cave’s bookstore. “I didn’t know about the sleep study.”

Dr. Rick Toomey, director of Mammoth Cave’s Learning Center, told the visitors that the cave hosts 120 species of wildlife – 40 of those have physiologically adapted to the cave through changes in their bodies and the length of their life cycles. Study continues on the cave’s wildlife contingent.

“This is a perfect illustration of the value of our national parks,” McMahon said of the visit to the site where a modern-day science was born 75 years ago deep below the Kentucky hills.

— To access the newsreel, go to www.weirdexperiments.com/19201939.htm and scroll to the bottom of the page.

— Chuck Mason covers education for the Daily News. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/bgdnschools or at bgdailynews.com.


MCNP needs public input for document

As anniversary dates approach, officials hope to ensure park’s continued vitality

By ROBYN L. MINOR The Daily News rminor@bgdailynews.com/783-3249 | 0 comments


With thousands of visitors each year and millions of dollars in economic impact, Mammoth Cave National Park plays a big role in the economic vitality of the region.

Park administrators want to make sure that continues and are seeking public input for a foundation document about the park’s future.

“This is the very beginning of putting together a general management plan,” Superintendent Sarah Craighead said. “We are really revisiting the mission of the park – what are the stories that we should be telling the American public? What are the threats and what are the opportunities? What this is not is an implementation or an action plan. It may suggest future planning that we might need to do. For instance, someone in saying the conservation corps buildings are important and need care may spur us to remember to do planning about how to care for them.”

Craighead said the foundation document is a building block of strategic thoughts for plans. All national parks are coming up with the foundation plans in advance of the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary in 2016. The same year is also the 75th anniversary of Mammoth Cave National Park and the 200-year anniversary of the cave offering tours to the public. Mammoth Cave was part of a series of show caves in the region before becoming a national park.

Cave administrators are asking the public to help formulate the plan. They are asking:

•What is most important about Mammoth Cave National Park?

•What should the American people know about Mammoth Cave National Park? What are its most important stories?

•What are the greatest threats to Mammoth Cave National Park?

•What opportunities for visitor experiences, recreation, or resource protection efforts would you like to see at Mammoth Cave National Park?

So far, no one has commented for the document.

“Typically what we will find is that people will look at the questions and consider them for a few days before making any comments,” Craighead said. “Generally, when we look at public comments, we will categorize them into (those that) are pertinent to this plan, and we can look at them in context. And others … we might hold onto them for future action plans.

“We are looking for anybody’s thoughts on this,” she said. “And we are more than happy to have as many comments as possible.”

Written comments may be submitted until July 29 through the NPS planning website at parkplanning.nps.gov/MACA.

— Robyn L. Minor covers business, environment, transportation and other issues for the Daily News. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/bowserminor or visit bgdailynews.com.


Furry intruder caught on camera (HERE’S THE BEARS!)


OHIO COUNTY, KY (WAVE) – A furry intruder was caught on camera in Western Kentucky.

A family went outside and found a black bear raiding their deer-feeder.

Wildlife officials suspect the young bear was either forced out of its territory in eastern Kentucky or Tennessee by another black bear and is wandering around trying to find a girlfriend.

In June, there was a bear sighting near Mammoth Cave and on July 12 five people in Daviess County reported they saw a bear near Masonville.

Experts said the bear appears to be a small and estimate he weighs between 100 and 150 pounds.