Thursday, March 29, 2012

Georgetown incident may have stemmed from prior conflicts; fan labeled red says he bleeds blue too

The nationally noted incident between two basketball fans, one of the University of Kentucky and the other represented as a fan of the University of Louisville, "may actually have stemmed from ongoing hostility" between the two, Dan Adkins reports in today's edition of the News-Graphic in Georgetown (which had a Midway edition almost 30 years ago). And the supposed U of L fan says he's a UK fan.

Charles Taylor, 71, punched Ed Wilson, 68, right, after Wilson gave him the finger and told him to stop "running his mouth" and saying Louisville would beat Kentucky in" the national semifinals of the NCAA men's basketball tournament Saturday.

“Listed witnesses stated that Mr. Wilson antagonized Mr. Taylor, and that they attempt to keep them apart during their visits,” says a Georgetown Police Department report quoted by the newspaper. “We were advised that the apparent victim of the assault had antagonized the apparent perpetrator, and that this sort of behavior has been on-going.” (Images from WKYT-TV, Lexington)

Taylor, left, told the paper that he is a Kentucky fan, too, but arrived at the clinic with "a Louisville fan, with whom he was discussing the upcoming game," Adkins reports. He said Wilson gave him the finger three times and he told him, ‘If you do it again, I’ll break that finger off.”

"There is some dispute about the blow that was thrown," Adkins reports. "A police report says Wilson 'reports that Mr. Taylor came over to his chair and stood over him ... (and) struck him on the left side of his face.' The report also said Taylor 'stated that he struck Mr. Wilson in the head.' . . . Taylor told the News-Graphic that he 'hit (Wilson) in the chest.' In any event, Wilson did not appear to have been injured, the report said. No charges have been filed." Wilson declined to discuss the incident in detail.

"Taylor said he’s come out on the worst end of the incident – and not because he has been inaccurately labeled a U of L fan," Adkins writes. "Officials at the dialysis center told him he has been suspended from receiving the life-saving treatments there, Taylor said. He must now travel to Lexington for treatments. 'They’re saying it’s going to cost me $18 for a ride to Lexington,' Taylor said."

All but the first two paragraphs of the News-Graphic story are behind a pay wall, so it will cost you $6 to read it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

House passes bill that would let Heirloom restaurant serve liquor; Rollins says Senate will agree to it

Liquor could be served in Midway restaurants with at least 50 seats, rather than 75, under an amendment to a bill passed by the state House today. Rep. Carl Rollins, D-Midway, who sponsored the change to Senate Bill 40, told the Midway Messenger that he expects the Senate to agree with the change and send it to Gov. Steve Beshear for his signature into law.

The bill was sought by the Heirloom restaurant, right, which has 58 seats and does not qualify for a liquor license under current law, which requires 75 seats in smaller towns. Mark Wombles, the manager of the restaurant, said his need to sell liquor was driven home by requests for bourbon from visitors to the 2010 World Equestrian Games, who couldn't understand how a product made in Woodford County couldn't be sold in some places in the county.

Wombles got a sufficient number of signatures on a petition for a local-option election to allow liquor by the drink at any bar or restaurant in Midway, but withdrew the petition because of legal questions and the prospect that Rollins would be able to get the law changed.

Rollins' amendment would give priority to another law, which allows liquor licenses for establishments that have at least 50 seats and are in commercial districts listed in the National Register of Historic Places, such as Midway's downtown. Rollins said the sponsor of SB 40, Sen. John Schickel, R-Union, supports the amendment and will get the Senate to agree to it.

Rollins said he was lucky to get the amendment passed, because SB 40 had been the source of disagreement between Schickel and other House members who had tacked other amendments onto the bill. In the end, the other members backed off, and the House defeated the House committee substitute to the bill, an unusual procedure. The original bill, with Rollins' amendment, passed 48-37.

"I was kind of caught in the middle," Rollins said. "Since I was just collateral damage, they let me get what I needed."

Rollins had filed House Bill 241, to generally lower restaurant-seating thresholds to 50 seats, but it went nowhere. He said the preference of legislators is to pass only one alcohol bill in each legislative session, so he worked with Schickel to clear the way for the amendment.

Rollins sees progress in bid to raise dropout age

Rollins, left, was a busy legislator today; he was a key player in House passage of a bill that would gradually increase mandatory school attendance age from 16 to 18.

The House Education Committee, which Rollins chairs, changed Senate Bill 109 on Tuesday to require all school districts to raise the age to 18 once 40 percent of them (70 districts) had done so. Originally, the bill would have allowed school districts to increase the age to 18 if they had programs for students whose lack of interest in school might make them disruptive.

For years, Rollins and the House have passed bills to raise the age to 18 over four years. Senators have resisted the change, saying too few districts had alternative programs for at-risk students.

Rollins told the Messenger that he will probably have to raise the 40 percent threshold in final negotiations with senators, but has some leverage because his Senate counterpart, retiring Republican Ken Winters of Murray, has a bill that he wants to get through the House.

UPDATE, April 1: The attempt to compromise was rejected by the Senate, which killed SB 109. Rollins said some House leaders had doubts about the constitutionality of his approach. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dog ordinance, property maintenance on city agenda

The preliminary agenda for the next Midway City Council meeting, at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, April 2, includes first reading of a new dog ordinance. Mayor Tom Bozarth indicated at the last meeting that an ordinance would be coming, based on recommendations from the county animal control officer.

The council will continue its discussion of a property maintenance code, perhaps being informed by discussions at a Property Maintenance Committee meeting scheduled for tomorrow night. Other items on the agenda include the annual report of the Versailles Police Department, which patrols all of Woodford County; a funding request from Joe Graviss for Woodford Tomorrow; and an appearance by Grayson Vandegrift of the Midway Merchants Association, which will announce its summer schedule of events.

The agenda can be revised up to 24 hours before the meeting. All council and committee meetings are open to the public.

National sports columnist makes mistake of looking for Louisville Cardinal fans in Midway

The dateline on USA Today sports columnist Mike Lopresti's piece was "Somewhere in Kentucky," but he had more from Midway than any other place, after a trip from Lexington to Louisville on Interstate 64 to test local loyalties as Kentucky and Louisville prepare to face off Saturday in the semifinals of NCAA basketball tournament.

Perhaps misled by Midway's name, Lopresti, left, asked Assistant City Clerk Diane Shepard "if this is a Kentucky or Louisville town," and she replied, "You should see the bank" -- United Bank, with "blue on the walls," Lopresti writes. "You don’t know who they’d rather less see come in, a bank robber or a Louisville fan."

At least he mentions the 1937 state high school basketball champions.

At Railroad Drug, Lopresti noted owner Ken Glass wearing UK gear and asked, "Do any Louisville fans dare live in this town?" Kimberly Witt replied, "We have one that we know of." Lopresti concludes his report from Midway with this: "Glass mentions some recent Rick Pitino quotes. 'It’s like he says things that egg it on. Unfortunately, there are a bunch of us that all fall into it.'" (Read more)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Robert Vogel steps in as interim college president

The Midway College Board of Trustees has named Dr. Robert Vogel interim president to fill the vacancy created by last week's resignation of Dr. William B. Drake Jr. Vogel began his duties today, meeting with faculty, staff and students, college spokeswoman Ellen Gregory said.

“Dr. Vogel has the board’s full support and the authority to make all decisions for the college until a permanent president is selected through a national search, which will begin immediately,” board Chairman James J. O’Brien, chairman and CEO of of Ashland Inc., said in a news release.

Vogel retired in 1988 as president of Wartburg College, a Lutheran college in Waverly, Iowa, his alma mater, where he had been president since 1980. Since then, he has been interim president at four Lutheran colleges: Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, Texas; Grand View College in Des Moines, Iowa; Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa; and Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kan., where he is a director. He conducted a presidential search for Finlandia University in Michigan. Originally from Phillipsburg, Kan., he lives in Denver, Colorado, with his wife Sally. They have two children and four grandchildren.

Property Maintenance Committee to meet Wed.; will consider anti-blight ordinance from Richmond

The Property Maintenance Code Committee of the Midway City Council will meeting Wednesday, March 28, at 6:30 pm at the Woodford County Library's Midway Branch, located at 400 Northside Drive.

The purposes of the meeting are to review the City of Richmond ordinance and offers of assistance of properties. All council and committee meetings are open to the public. For a PDF of the Richmond ordinance, click here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Idea of raising taxes on vacant, abandoned property meets resistance from city officials

By Cody Porter
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications

Monday’s Midway City Council meeting presented council members with a list of 20 recommendations from the Midway Property Maintenance Committee, aimed at speeding up the process of renovating or removing abandoned buildings.

The recommendation for much higher taxes on vacant, abandoned property sparked the liveliest discussion, with mixed opinions.

The proposal would raise the tax on abandoned properties to 75 cents per $100 worth of value, to encourage property owners to bring them into compliance with the building code.

“I’m not so sure about the accelerated tax provisions,” Mayor Tom Bozarth said. “If that’s really going to be a benefit, we can step up the enforcement part of it in a timeline of six months to 60 days.”

Council Member Sharon Turner, chairman of the Ordinance and Policy Committee, to which the recommendations were delivered, was on the same page with the mayor.

“Like the mayor, the accelerated tax thing – I kind of agree,” Turner said after the meeting. Still, Turner said needed more time to look over the recommendations. “We definitely need to do something,” she said. “We’re headed in the right direction, I think.”

City Attorney Phil Moloney also questioned the tax proposal, saying, “If people aren’t fixing up their building, then they’re probably not paying their taxes.”

But Council Member Dan Roller, chairman of the committee, replied that of the 25 properties currently listed, 18 were vacant, and only three of the 25 had unpaid tax bills.

“We talked to the deputy chief of police and there’s not a large homeless problem here, so we don’t have squatters or vagrants breaking in or living in them,” Roller said.

Following the discussion of higher taxes, Bozarth said he wanted the city to establish its own property maintenance code to aid enforcement of the ordinance. Moloney noted that there is a uniform, international code for property maintenance, but Roller noted that the committee’s recommendation was for adoption of its own code.

The proposed ordinance, included in the recommendations, comes by way of Ordinance No. 2011-32 in Versailles. The recommendations also include the creation of the Midway Property Review Commission, which would hear appeals from property owners.

The committee also recommended that Midway have an anti-noise ordinance. Bozarth said he would have an assistant police chief discuss that with the council. For a PDFof the recommendations, click here. For one on the current inspection process, go here.

Rotarians seek funds for needy kids

The guest of the council at the meeting was Sandy Jones of the Versailles-Woodford County Rotary Club.

Jones said that due to the Family Youth Resource Service Center funds being depleted, the club is attempting to raise money for children as part of the Helping Hands Helping Kids "Spring Break Back-Pack Program." Of the 150 children in the county’s program, 35 live in Midway.

She said the goal of the Back-Pack Program is to raise $25 for each child that will be put towards a gift card to be mailed to their home that will provide food for them during the week of spring break.

The program enough money to feed children during Christmas break. “It’s the holidays, it’s the downtime,” she said. “We need to step up and take charge.”

Jones said the Rotarians have a week remaining to raise $3,700 and have only raised $600. “You may see us out on the bypass,” she said. “At this point it’s okay, we may be out there on Saturday if we don’t reach our goal by then.”

Other business

The council unanimously gave second reading and final passage to the revised parking ordinance, which can be downloaded here.

Business owner Libby Warfield opened the meeting by expressing her interest in the city adding licensed businesses to the Meet Me in Midway website. The inclusion of such businesses would allow locals to see that they are getting a certified contractor, such as a licensed plumber, Warfield said.

After saying Warfield had a good idea, Bozarth said he wanted to take time to mention the incident that occurred Saturday evening in Midway. An 11-year-old boy wandered from the care of his grandmother and became lost for a lengthy amount of time.

Bozarth said that after a Lexington police helicopter and a prison’s bloodhounds were brought in, the boy was found sometime after nightfall, around halftime of the Kentucky-Iowa State basketball game.

In addition to mentioning the contributions by the Lexington Police Department and the prison, Bozarth thanked the 40-plus volunteers and three members of the Versailles Police Department, Sgt. Michael Fortney, Officer Carlos Carcamo and Officer Nathan Craig, for their efforts.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Drake resigning as president of Midway College

Midway College President William B. Drake Jr. is resigning, the college announced in a press release this afternoon.

"In 2002 I accepted the presidency of Midway College and the Board of Trustees' very aggressive goals related to enrollment management, fundraising, development, capital improvement and other long-term priorities to insure the viability and academic excellence of this historic institution," Drake said in the release. "After 10 years, I have largely accomplished those major goals. Only the pharmacy-school project remains, and with the shift of that project to now become a partnership with another institution, I feel my work on this initiative from concept to date is complete and now is the time to move on."

The college announced in January that its planned pharmacy school in Paintsville, in Eastern Kentucky, would be largely run by the University of Charleston, in West Virginia.

The press release cited many accomplishments during Drake's term, including doubled student enrollment, achieved with the help of online courses and co-ed campuses in Lexington, Somerset and Radcliff; accreditation to grant master's degrees, including MBAs; the largest capital and planned gifts in the college's history; doubling the size of the main campus, with another 100 acres; and construction of the Anne Hart Raymond Center and the Learning Resource Center.

"It has been a privilege to work alongside a staff and faculty unselfishly invested in the mission of the College," Drake said. "It has been an inspiration to witness the determination and achievement of our diverse student body and it has been humbling to advance the legacy of Midway College with the support of alumni, friends and donors."

The release concluded, "Dr. Drake is committed to a seamless transition of responsibilities to insure the college's continued success."

The college is Midway's leading employer and thus the primary generator of payroll taxes for the city.

UPDATE, March 21: In tonight's edition of The Woodford Sun, Mayor Tom Bozarth writes, "I look back on the last 10 years and I see a different college today than what it was when he took over. His vision and direction really transformed our college into one that is well respected and reached new heights. The relationship between the college and the city has never been better. The college has been a great corporate partner with the city. Whenever we asked for help or support Dr. Drake always answered the call."

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Property maintenance panel to propose steep tax hike for properties city designates as abandoned

Story and photos by Morgan Rhodes
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications

Properties the city deems abandoned would face steep tax increases, under a plan a special committee drafted Tuesday evening for the consideration by another committee and the city council. (Photo: 317 Second Street)

The recommendations of the Property Maintenance Code Committee are aimed at expediting the process of fixing or removing vacant, run-down homes in Midway.

The committee examined property maintenance ordinances from Versailles and Covington. Those ordinances define “abandoned urban properties” as “any vacant structure or vacant or unimproved lot or parcel of ground in the city which has been vacant or unimproved for a period of at least one (1) year.” (Covington property maintenance ordinance is posted on a special Property Maintenance page of the Midway Messenger, here.)

Under the plan for Midway, each year city officials would identify and inspect abandoned properties before increasing their tax rate to 75 cents per $100 worth of value, more than seven times the normal rate of 10.2 cents.

The high rate is meant to encourage property owners to fix deficient properties so they are code-compliant, sell the property, or demolish the structure on the property, said Dan Roller, chairman of the committee and a council member.

Later last week, Roller circulated via email a 2007 Richmond ordinance that created a Vacant Property Review Commission and uses condemnation rather than high tax rates for blighted, vacant properties. He said he would “include it in the options presented to city council.” (Photo: 321 Second St.)

Many of the properties currently classified as abandoned by city officials are vacant because of foreclosure or the death of the owner, or are unfit to be sold, Roller said. A list of those is posted on the Property Maintenance page.

In order to be effective, committee members agreed the current ordinance needs to be more direct and provide consequences rather than encouragement. “We need to recommend an ordinance to expedite the process and then follow through to condemnation,” said Joy Arnold, a council and committee member.

The Property Maintenance Committee will make recommendations for accelerated taxes on abandoned properties to the council’s and Ordinance and Policy Committee at Monday’s council meeting, set for 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.

The committee also wants to place strict time restraints on the inspection process, which now has no time limit. There is no final deadline for owners to get their properties up to code.

The process to identify blighted and vacant houses in Midway began in December 2010. Mayor Tom Bozarth and Council Member Doris Leigh identified a group of houses that appeared to be out of compliance, Roller said. The properties are seen as a hazard to police and firefighters and unsightly to view, he said.

The mayor then sent letters to the county Planning and Zoning Commission requesting inspection of those properties. The commission sent letters to property owners to request contact with inspectors. If the owners contacted P & Z, inspections were set up at the property in question. If deficiencies were found, owners were given a specific amount of time to get those deficiencies fixed. (Photo: 112 Oak St.)

However, if a property owner does not get his or her property up to code by some deadline, Roller said, additional time is often given before another inspection. “Somewhere along the line, nothing changed with these properties,” he said.

One goal of the new ordinance will be to clarify the inspection process and make sure there are definite time limits and set consequences for noncompliance.

To ensure the inspection process is done correctly, the committee will recommend that letters to owners be sent using certified mail. Arnold said this would keep property owners from using the excuse that they did not get the letter. “We want to tighten up that process,” said Roller.

One change already made to make the inspection process easier is a separate file on each property instead of piling everything into one file. A first draft of the list of recommendations is posted on the Property Maintenance page. Roller said he and Arnold would “get together and tough it out” to produce a final version.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Final parking ordinance on council agenda Monday

The preliminary agenda for Monday night's Midway City Council meeting includes only one substantive act, final passage of the revised parking ordinance. However, as the agenda notes, it can be revised until 24 hours before the meeting. Anyone wishing to address the council is supposed to make the request and submit information by noon Wednesday (today).

All council and committee meetings are open to the public. The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Property Maintenance Code Committee to discuss recommendations at meeting Tuesday evening

The Property Maintenance Code Committee of the Midway City Council will meet Tuesday, March 13, at 6:30 p.m. in the Woodford County Library Midway Branch at 400 Northside Drive.

The meeting has been called to prepare recommendations on the inspection process and office procedures, proposed legislation, and citizen offers of assistance with Main Street properties.

All council and committee meetings are open to the public. The committee chairman is Council Member Dan Roller.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Alfred Nuckols exemplifies small horse farmers worried about lack of legislative support for industry

By Al Cross, publisher, Midway Messenger
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications

The plight of small horse farmers is the subject of my column in The Courier-Journal today, thanks to the serendipitous scheduling of an interview with Midway farmer Alfred Nuckols, left, by one of my student reporters, Cassidy Herrington. I was able to take part in the interview, and left Hurstland Farm knowing what my column subject would be. Cassidy asked the right questions and took this photograph, which illustrates the piece in the Louisville newspaper. I assigned a story on Midway's horse business before the state Senate killed the industry's proposal for casinos mainly at racetracks; that was the proximate cause of the column. To read it, click here.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Council gets new parking ordinance moving again; one Eagle Scout project done, another scheduled

By Patrick Thompson
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications
Disagreement over the proposed ordinance concerning parking in Midway may have been resolved as the city council voted to revise the ordinance at Monday night’s meeting.

Among other business, the council heard reports on one Eagle Scout project and the scheduling of major work on another.

Council members discussed amending sections of the parking ordinance, which is intended to harmonize with the ordinance in Versailles to ease enforcement by Versailles police, who patrol all of Woodford County. Its first reading had been delayed because of questions raised by Council Member Joy Arnold.

Gratz Street was the primary focus of the meeting, and the council members made it clear that there needs to be a change on the street to fix a parking problem.

Motorists parking diagonally on Gratz can create a problem because they partially block the two-way street if they are reluctant to pull up to the curb.

“The problem on Gratz Street is that the cars, because they’re larger than the space or they don’t pull all the way up,” Council Member Dan Roller said. “The space itself meets the requirement, but because of the way people park it doesn’t meet the requirement.”

The curb in question is too high for a vehicle’s bumper to pull over it, so drivers risk damaging their vehicles if they pull up too far. However, if the vehicle isn’t pulled up far enough, it blocks the path of drivers on the street.

The council members debated suggestions to fix the situation.

Arnold said, “I think we need to maintain the requirement that there needs to be 10 feet from the center of the street to the end of the parked car. Also, I think we need to address the problem that currently exists not by removing that requirement in the ordinance, but by requiring that only compact cars park in those spaces.”

Arnold said erecting signs or painting stencils allowing only compact cars to park in those spaces would eliminate the problem because those vehicles would fit in the spaces. Large SUVs and trucks extend over the 10-foot mark, clogging traffic on the two-way road.

Roller agreed, but also suggested that the sidewalk on Gratz Street be reconstructed because it is larger than other sidewalks in the city.

City Attorney Phil Moloney suggested painting a line across the street end of each space. This would make it clear if a vehicle was parked in violation of the ordinance.

Arnold agreed with Moloney’s suggestion, and made a motion that stated, “The council will instruct the correct person to line the diagonal parking places on Gratz so that compact cars fit within the parking spaces.”

Mayor Tom Bozarth suggested that the corner of Gratz Street be marked with a “no parking” sign, so a parked vehicle wouldn’t obstruct a motorists’ line of sight.
Arnold agreed to add Bozarth’s suggestion as a friendly amendment, and the council voted unanimously to approve the motion. The revised ordinance is expected to get second reading and final passage at the next council meeting.

Other business

Eagle Scout William Borland was the guest at the meeting, and talked about his recently completed project for the community.

Borland cleaned nearly 400 headstones at St. Rose Tabernacle Cemetery and Sons and Daughters Cemetery. 

Borland said he used Dawn soap so that it wouldn’t damage the headstones, and scrubbed each grave by hand. When he was finished cleaning the headstones, he mapped out each grave for both cemeteries, and he took before and after pictures of the grave sites.

Council Member Doris Leigh, head of the council's Cemetery Committee, said it was special what the Eagle Scouts are doing for the community, and their efforts are appreciated.

Eagle Scout candidate Tim Hagan will build a dog park as his project. For the Messenger's earlier story on that, click here.
A work day for the dog park is scheduled for March 24 at 9 a.m. If it rains on that day, it will be rescheduled for the same time on March 31.

The dog park has received over $500 in donations so far, and volunteers are encouraged to come out to help construct the park by setting posts.

Council Member Sharon Turner presented a proposed new format for the monthly Midway Matters newsletter, which would contain information about the issues discussed at the council meetings, deadlines to submit information for discussion at each meeting, and other going-on in the city. A volunteer has offered to create the design.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Christian Church's monthly community dinner is less than two years old, but is becoming a tradition

Story and photos by Justin Wright
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications

The Midway Christian Church played host to a community dinner last Monday night that is becoming a monthly tradition. Since August 2011, the church has served a free meal the last Monday of each month for anyone in the community who wants to attend.

The theme of last month’s dinner was a chili cook-off in which anyone who wanted to participate could mix up their own style of chili and bring it out for the community to try and to be judged by a panel. It generated a crowd of 175, and the atmosphere at the dinner was like a family reunion where no one was a stranger and everyone helped themselves.

The Rev. Heather McColl, pastor of the Disciples of Christ church, said only eight to 10 food entries were from members of the church, while the rest came from other people in the community. There were 28 entries, with church member Phil Burchell’s batch taking home the top prize.

The dish at this month’s dinner was burgoo, prepared by member Rick Caudle. The turnout wasn’t quite as large this time, but the welcoming nature was still there. Barbra Devers, a church member who has been to every one of the dinners, said that “This is a beneficial thing and it gives back to the people of the community and shows that the church cares about the people here in Midway.”

Whether you have been in the community for years or are new to Midway like Bruce Skeeter, a Lexmark engineer who recently moved in from Colorado Springs, the dinner is something that welcomes anyone and encourages people to attend.

“I just heard about the dinner today from one of my neighbors and thought that it sounded interesting so I dropped by to see what it was,” said Skeeter, at left in photo with Brenda Rollins. He said the giving spirit that everyone has shown him in the community was reflected in the dinner. “The atmosphere and levels of kindness that people show in Midway are really reflected in this dinner,” he said. “I think the dinner is a great idea and is a gesture that you don’t see very often.”

Although the community dinner has become a popular event for the people of Midway, the idea did not originate there, but at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Versailles, which had been hosting a similar event and having good turnouts from the community. After deciding to adopt the idea, the leaders of Midway Christian Church had to get their kitchen and dining hall certified by the health department in order to serve food to the public.

Once the kitchen passed inspection and became certified, Midway began this event for the community, which is made possible by the community in more ways than one.

Kroger donates all of the meat that is served at these events and the Woodford County Jail donates vegetables that are grown in its garden. Boy Scout Troop 40, play a key role in this monthly tradition by helping to wash all the dishes, and aspiring chefs from Woodford County High School come in to help prepare the food and receive guidance and learn techniques about culinary arts from the head chef of the event, Ouita Michel of the Holly Hill Inn.

The average turnout for these events is around 100 people, and the church delivers about 10 to 15 meals each time to people who “aren’t shut ins but just really don’t like to get out of the house,” McColl said.

Benita Goldman said, “I only get to come to a few of the dinners because of my health, but whenever I couldn’t make it I always knew that I could rely on the church to bring me a meal if I wanted it.”

McColl said the dinner is a good chance for people to meet people in the community who are new to them. “The older generations seem to be the majority of the crowd that attends these events,” Phillip Burchell said, but sometimes after a meal they feel they owe the church something, so many of them will write checks. The money is put back into the kitchen to buy supplies.

The church’s average cost for a dinner is $80 McColl said, adding that people from the church are free to donate if they feel that they can help. 

McColl said the church hopes to continue the dinners on the last Monday of every month even if it is on a holiday, for the sake of regularity, and so those who worry about meals have this to look forward to.

Those involved in the dinner are already calling it a tradition. “Although this has only been going on a little over a year,” Michel said, “it feels like we’ve been doing it for 10.”