Current Events

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Members of Pennyrile Area Development District Board of Directors, guests, and staff met on Monday, April 14th at the PADD Office in Hopkinsville. Keynote Speaker, Secretary Thomas O. Zawacki of the Kentucky Education & Workforce Development Cabinet, shared details of four of his twenty strategic initiatives for the next two years which focus on Work Ready Communities, Implementation of Model Career Centers, Training and Development within Career Centers, and developing plans to ensure continuity of the West Kentucky Workforce while increasing production and effectiveness. Commissioner Beth Brinly, Department of Workforce Investment Education & Workforce Development Cabinet, was also in attendance and shared information regarding activity at the Federal level. Staff reports were also given and a report from Board Members who attended the 2014 NADO Washington Policy Conference in March.


Secretary Thomas O. Zawacki                                                                 Commissioner Beth Brinly



The 3rd Annual Regional Entrepreneur Conference was held on March 12th at Hopkinsville Community College with over 100 attendees! Attendees enjoyed Keynotes, Sherman Mohr of Nashville and Lincoln Crum of Louisville, 8 break-out sessions and a fantastic lunch panel of local entrepreneurs telling their stories! If you missed it stay tuned for more information on a 2-day entrepreneur’s conference in Madisonville tentatively scheduled for November 14th & 15th at Madisonville Community College. For more information, contact Sandy Richey, Entrepreneurial Coach at PADD, 270-886-9484.


Local Entrepreneur Panelists L to R:  Tony Kirves,                                             Entrepreneur Conference and Luncheon
Dana Douthitt, Carol Stevens and Greg Batts     


March PADD Board of Directors Meeting

The Pennyrile Area Development District Board of Directors met today, March 10th, at 12:00 Noon at the PADD Office in Hopkinsville. Kentuckians for Better Transportation Executive Director, Ms. Juva Barber, was the keynote speaker. Ms. Barber stated KBT's Mission is to unite leaders and citizens to achieve a safe and sustainable transportation system for improved economic development and quality of life across the Commonwealth of Kentucky. She shared information about the many modes of transportation KY is fortunate to have such as aviation, highways, public transit, railroads and waterways. Ms. Barber also noted that Hopkinsville is home to one of three existing bowling ball manufacturers in the world, Ebonite, which utilizes aviation, highway, and rail infrastructure modes of transportation. Staff reports regarding transportation, entrepreneur networking, and citizen corps activities were also presented.

Ms. Juva Barber, Executive Director, Kentuckians for Better Transportation



General Assembly Members gathered for the 2014 Legislative Breakfast on February 13th at the Capital Annex Cafeteria in Frankfort, KY. The event was hosted by the Kentucky Council of Area Development Districts (KCADD). Legislators were in attendance and met with fellow Kentuckians from across the state. Following the breakfast, a legislative briefing was held where Senate President Robert Stivers and House Majority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins shared their thoughts as to the issues that would be addressed during the legislative session. PADD staff and board members had the opportunity to visit with local legislators and discuss priorities for the cities and counties in the Pennyrile Region.








Gov. Beshear Announces Contract Award to Construct Kentucky Lake Bridge 

Project entails modern, 4-lane bridge to carry U.S.68/KY80 over lake

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 11, 2014) – Governor Steve Beshear today announced the award of a contract to build the first of the much-anticipated twin Lake Bridges in the tourism-rich Jackson Purchase of western Kentucky.

The $131.5 million project, awarded by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) to Johnson Brothers Corp., of Fort Worth, Texas, will result in a modern, four-lane bridge to carry U.S. 68/KY 80 over Kentucky Lake and serve as the western entrance to Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area.

“Replacement of the bridges over Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley has been a priority of my administration because of their importance to the tourism industry of western Kentucky,” Gov. Beshear said. “Land Between The Lakes, and indeed our entire ‘Western Waterland’ region, is not only a cultural and recreational treasure. It also is an economic engine.”

The new bridge will replace the venerable but narrow and functionally obsolete Eggners Ferry Bridge, which was built in 1932 and long ago ceased to meet modern design standards for the amount of traffic it must accommodate. The Eggners Ferry, joining Marshall and Trigg counties, has two lanes, each 10 feet wide, with no shoulders. The new bridge will have four travel lanes, each 11 feet wide, plus 4-foot shoulders and a 10-foot-wide pedestrian/bicycle path.

The larger Lake Bridges Project also includes replacement of the Henry Lawrence Memorial Bridge on Lake Barkley – a near twin of the Eggners Ferry. The KYTC is aiming to award a contract for the second bridge by December 2014.

In the Kentucky Lake region, approximately two miles of U.S. 68/KY 80 will be widened from two lanes to four lanes from Aurora, in Marshall County on the western shore, to just east of Kentucky Lake, where the project will connect to the four-lane roadway in the Land Between The Lakes. In the Lake Barkley area, the project will widen approximately 1.5 miles of U.S. 68/KY 80 from two lanes to four lanes from just west of Lake Barkley to just east of the lake.

Like the Eggners Ferry, the Lawrence Memorial Bridge, also built in 1932, no longer meets traffic demands in the region. Plans for the new bridge over Lake Barkley call for a design similar to that of the new Kentucky Lake bridge – four traffic lanes instead of two, with shoulders and a bicycle/pedestrian lane.

The recent award is the second for the Kentucky Lake project, which consisted of two construction contracts. The first, awarded earlier this year to Jim Smith Contracting, of Grand Rivers, was to construct the fill for the western and eastern causeways in the location of the new bridge alignment. Part of the $25 million project also included a new bridge over a lagoon on the west side of Kentucky Lake, just north of U.S. 68/KY 80 and adjacent to the Kenlake State Resort Park campground. Work still continues on this portion of the project.

Once completed, the Lakes Bridges Project will provide a continuous, four-lane route from Aurora to Cadiz, crossing both lakes and Land Between The Lakes. It also will be part of a four-lane corridor from Mayfield to Bowling Green.

Additional information on the project is available at


2014 Small Business Awards

The Christian County Chamber of Commerce and Hopkinsville Water Authority presented the 2014 Regionalism Award to Pennyrile Area Development District (PADD) at the 2014 Small Business Awards breakfast on February 11, 2014 at the James E. Bruce Convention Center in Hopkinsville.  The award was sponsored by Robinson Construction and recognizes PADD for its economic achievement and civic contribution in the Christian County community.  Mr. Jerod Kaufman of Robinson Construction presented the award to PADD Executive Director Jason Vincent.

(Pictured L to R:  Tom Sholar, Jill Collins, Amy Frogue, Jason Vincent, Sheila Clark, and Cheri Farmer)


3rd Annual Regional Entrepreneur Conference to be Held at Hopkinsville Community College  

Contact:Lea Martin
Hopkinsville Community College Workforce Solutions, 270-707-3895  

HOPKINSVILLE, KY- The 3rd Annual Regional Entrepreneur Conference will be held at Hopkinsville Community College on Wednesday March 12, 2014 from 8:00a.m until 4:00p.m. There is no fee to participate. Refreshments and lunch will be provided along with conference materials. Future and existing entrepreneurs and business owners of all stages are encouraged to attend.


Keynote speakers include Sherman Mohr and Lincoln Crum. Sherman is an entrepreneur and current editor of, a top level Geo Domain. His administration of the Facebook page tied to the site drove 26% of all traffic to in the first six months of 2013 and nearly 80% in the last six months of 2013. Lincoln is a Realtor, Auctioneer and Entrepreneur, who will present lessons that he has learned in life to help people start businesses and become completely integrated within their own community.


Conference participants will choose from eight breakout sessions relevant to all stages of business growth. Topics include business model, sources of funding, marketing research, legal structure, innovation, protecting your business idea, social media, and QuickBooks. Participants will also have the opportunity to hear from successful area entrepreneurs who will share their personal experiences in starting and growing a business.


Additional guest speakers will include Loretta Daniel of the Kentucky Innovation Network at Murray State; Chris Wooldridge, Director of the MSU Small Business Development Center; Tim Barnes of the Pennyrile Area Development District; Tony Kirves of Southern Exposure; Dana Douthitt of Tangy Roots; Greg Batts of Prizer Point; Bob Ison of Ison & Cavanah; Chris Tanner, an entrepreneur and business advisor from Elizabethtown, KY; and Richard Johnson of the Kentucky Innovation Network and Kentucky Space/Exomedicine/Space Tango Chief Strategy Officer.


The event is sponsored by Hopkinsville Community College, the Kentucky Innovation Network at Murray State University, Pennyrile Area Development District, Christian County Cares 2015, Christian County Chamber of Commerce, South Western Kentucky EDC, West Kentucky Workforce and Investment Board, Planters Bank, City of Hopkinsville, and the MSU Small Business Development Center.


To register, call Hopkinsville Community College at 270-707-3750 or register online at     


Commissioner Mike Mangeot, Kentucky Department of Travel & Tourism, was the keynote speaker at today's PADD Board of Director's meeting in Hopkinsville. Commissioner Mangeot provided an overview of the Department's mission to promote Kentucky as a travel destination, marketing strategies, and areas of focus. The FY'13 Audit report was presented and accepted by the Board of Directors and staff reports were provided by Community & Economic Development, Area on Aging and Workforce. 

Com Mike Mangeot 

Commissioner Mike Mangeot
Kentucky Dept of Travel & Tourism


State Issues Grants to Clean Up Illegal Dumps in 24 Counties

Kentucky Press News Service
Published: Tuesday, January 7, 2014 9:05 AM CST
Frankfort – The Energy and Environment Cabinet Monday announced that about $1.36 million in grant funding has been awarded by the Kentucky Pride Fund for cleanup of 129 illegal dumps in 24 counties across the state.

These counties have been awarded grants: Breathitt, Bullitt, Carlisle, Christian, Clark, Crittenden, Cumberland, Elliott, Green, Hart, Henderson, Lee, Leslie, Lincoln, Logan, Madison, Magoffin, Marion, Mason, Warren, Wayne, Whitley, Wolfe and Woodford.

As part of the grant funding, counties must agree to provide a 25 percent match when it costs less than $50,000 to cleanup an individual, illegal open dump. The Energy and Environment Cabinet may waive the 25 percent match on any individual illegal open dump costing more than $50,000 to remediate, according to a state news release.

The Division of Waste Management administers the Kentucky Pride Fund to clean up county dump sites. Funding for the program comes from a $1.75 environmental remediation fee for each ton of garbage disposed of at Kentucky municipal solid waste disposal facilities. This “tipping fee,” authorized by the 2002 General Assembly under House Bill 174, is collected quarterly and placed in the Kentucky Pride Fund.

For grant amounts, call your local solid waste coordinator or Lisa Evans at 502-564-6716. 

Retirement Reception Honoring Chris Sutton

Portrait Unveiling

A Retirement Reception honoring Chris Sutton was held on December 19th at the PADD Office in Hopkinsville.  Well attended by people from around the Pennyrile Region, numerous citations, letters of appreciation, and keys to cities were presented to Mr. Sutton.  Sentimental accolades, soft ribbing, and words of thanks filled the room as the area said farewell to a longtime fixture at the Pennyrile Area Development District.  After 24 years of service, which included the last four years as Executive Director, Chris Sutton retired from PADD on December 31, 2013. He will be missed and remembered as a friend to all. 


Chris Sutton, Executive Director 2009- 2013


The PADD Board of Directors held its Annual Christmas Luncheon on Monday, December 9th at 12:00 N in
Hopkinsville. Keynote speaker, Elizabeth McCoy, President & CEO of Planters Bank and newly elected Board Chair of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, gave an overview of the Chamber’s focus on the State budget for the past five years, findings on State spending, and efforts since 2009 that have successfully led the charge for major reforms to reign in spending in the areas of Corrections, Medicaid and Public Employee Health Care Benefits. 

Ms. Elizabeth McCoy
President & CEO, Planters Bank
and Board Chair, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

 E McCoy


Legislators presented a look ahead to the 2014 Legislative Session stating the most challenging issue will be balancing the budget with other issues to address such as tax reform, KRS plan unfunded liability, 911 infrastructure, AT&T broadband, education funding, juvenile incarceration reform, state parks, new projects, tobacco settlement, decrease in coal severance funding due to federal EPA mandates, wage fraud & abuse, and growing revenue.
 Senator Jerry Rhoads
                Senator Stan Humphries                                                  Representative Lynn Bechler                                               Representative Myron Dossett
                                                                                                               Representative Kenny Imes                                      Representative Martha Jane King                                      Representative John Tilley