I know it's not easy to stand up against the coal industry's money and power, but that makes it all the more important to do what's right for the future of our state.
Please take a moment today to thank President Barack Obama for protecting Appalachia - and giving us the change we need!
Rapist, killer may be coming to your town
A brutal, dangerous killer/rapist is coming to Kentucky on parole and must be watched.
The State of Mississippi will parole Douglas G. Hodgkin of Winchester, Ky., the convicted killer/rapist of our sister, Jean Elizabeth Gillies, to Kentucky.
Hodgkin beat, raped, sodomized, bound, tortured and strangled Jeannie in 1986 and was sentenced to life in prison.
Our family vigorously opposed this parole for 12 years, including in January of this year. The experienced police officers who investigated the crime have repeatedly testified that Jeannie's murder and rape were one of the most violent crimes they have experienced to this day.
If Hodgkin lives to life expectancy, he'll enjoy more years in freedom than Jeannie's short life when he killed her, and more than he served in prison during his so-called "life" sentence. If Mississippi can rationalize this parole, they can rationalize absolutely any parole. Life sentences and prison terms in Mississippi have lost all credibility.
My family and I are appalled and disgusted. There simply are no words. Having failed by rational argument to keep this dangerous man in jail, we can only appeal to the people of Kentucky to demand that their government vigorously enforce the terms of Hodgkin's parole and apprehend him immediately for any violation. The injustice of his release has been done; vigilance is now required to spare another young woman Jeannie's fate and another family our anguish.
Paul H. Herbert
Editor's note: Hodgkin was to have been paroled and returned to Kentucky on March 23, but Gov. Haley Barbour signed a bill passed by Mississippi's legislature last week that would require those convicted of rape to register as sex offenders before they can be released, so his parole has been delayed.
Winchester doesn't need sports arena; it needs teen center
To the Sun readers:
The sports arena is a waste of money, and, of course, something Clark County doesn't need. Rupp Arena in Lexington is good enough for us and surrounding counties.
We need something for our teens, like a skating rink and a teen center for those 14 to 17 only. The people 18 and older were the reason our last center closed.
The teen center should have strict rules: Check their IDs and stamp their hands, because teens do smoke these days, like it or not, and you have to be 21 to buy cigarettes.
The skating rink would be a success, not only for our children, but maybe parents as well. Why do we have to go to another town to skate and dance?
An arena is different. It's for concerts by the big people: Reba McIntyre, John Michael Montgomery, Jon Bon Jovi, etc.
My opinion probably doesn't amount to a hill of beans, but I do care about my county and our children.
So please consider these projects and keep them in your thoughts.
The movies and bowling alley just aren't enough, and swimming is seasonal. These activities are year-round.
Maybe some of the troubled teens and good teenagers might actually have something they would like to do themselves.
Have you asked the teenagers' opinions on this? Let's hear their voices.
Preserve Kentucky's Civil War history
To the Sun:
The American Civil War was the defining moment in our nation's history. It is through the preservation of sites like the ones at the Battle of Richmond, Ky., that our nation recalls and honors the heritage of its darkest hour.
Millions of Americans visit Civil War parks, monuments and museums every year. Maintaining and keeping them in good condition is rewarding but time-consuming, and there is much work to be done.
Next month, the Battle of Richmond will participate in Park Day, a national event sponsored by the Civil War Preservation Trust and the History Channel, in conjunction with Take Pride in America.
We hope volunteers will come and help keep America's Civil War heritage alive.
If you are interested in helping us, come to the Richmond Battlefield Park just off U.S 421 South at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 18. Please wear comfortable shoes and bring a good pair of work gloves.
For more information, call (859) 624-0013.
Madison County, Ky.