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Brett Guthrie

Grace Ramey / Grace Ramey 

Erin Setters of the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce wraps a present for the children at The Family Enrichment Center with other members of the Bowling Green Young Professionals on Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, at the Chamber. The Family Enrichment Center will hand out the gifts to the children of the Center's 20 sponsored families at the annual Christmas party. (Grace Ramey/photo@bgdailynews.com)

Grace Ramey / Grace Ramey 

The Bowling Green Young Professionals wrapped presents for the children at The Family Enrichment Center on Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, at the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce. The Family Enrichment Center will hand out the gifts to the children of the Center's 20 sponsored families at the annual Christmas party. (Grace Ramey/photo@bgdailynews.com)

Guthrie files for reelection
 Wes Swietek  / 

U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Bowling Green, said Monday he will seek reelection to the seat he has held since 2008.

Guthrie, representing the state’s 2nd District, is a deputy whip for the House Republican Conference.

“I plan to run a positive campaign with Kentucky and her people at the center of it. My job is to fight for the values of my constituents, and I’m proud to stand alongside President Donald Trump and the Republican members of Congress who do that every day,” Guthrie said in a news release.

Guthrie serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Committee on Education and Labor.

His Democratic opponent in 2018, Hank Linderman, has also filed to run for the seat. Linderman, a Grayson County Democrat, lost to Guthrie by a 171,700-79,964 margin in 2018.

On the state level, with Rep. Wilson Stone, D-Scottsville, announcing last month that he will not seek reelection in 2020, his Republican opponent in 2018 has filed to run for the seat again.

Brian “Tiger” Gann last week filed to run for the House District 22 seat.

Stone won reelection in 2018 with 7,952 votes to Gann’s 7,178.

Gann, of Franklin, is a retired Kentucky State Police trooper.

Stone said last month he will not run again for the seat he first won in 2008, saying he felt it was time to prioritize his family and health.

No other candidates had filed to run for the seat, which covers Allen, Simpson and part of Warren county, as of Monday.

The filing deadline is Jan. 28.

Former Russellville library now home to senior center
 Don Sergent  / 

Already well-attended at its location in the Russellville Housing Authority, the Russellville Senior Center is now poised for a growth spurt.

Relocated last week from its 2,400-square-foot quarters on Day Street, the senior center and some other programs administered by Community Action of Southern Kentucky now have an 11,000-square-foot location in the former home of the Logan County Public Library.

The building at 201 W. Sixth St. had been mostly vacant since the library moved to a new location on Armory Drive in 2014, but a collaborative effort involving Logan Fiscal Court, the city of Russellville and Community Action revitalized the building.

Because it was built with funding from a bequest by Russellville native Thomas Pritchett deGraffenried Jr., the library building had to be used for an educational purpose.

DeGraffenried, a successful New York attorney, bequeathed about $1 million to Russellville for the education of its citizens upon his death in 1961.

“When the library moved, that building reverted back to the city,” Logan County Judge-Executive Logan Chick said. “We spent a year or two wondering what to do with it. It had to be some sort of educational purpose.”

With exercise classes and other enrichment activities taking place at the senior center, it made a good fit for the educational purpose and was a growing program in need of a larger home.

“Our senior center had high usage,” Chick said. “They would have 30 or 40 people there at a time, getting meals and taking part in activities. This new location has so much more to offer. I look for attendance to really take off.”

Chick said fiscal court pumped $200,000 into the building. The city of Russellville used insurance money to make needed repairs and also provided much of the labor for those repairs. A $25,000 grant from Russellville’s Carpenter Foundation provided furniture for the building.

The end result, according to Community Action interim Executive Director Don Butler, is a building that will house an expanded senior center along with a community services office that will provide such programs as assistance with energy bills, a food pantry and a clothes closet.

Butler said the senior center will provide hot meals on site and also deliver meals to shut-ins. It will be utilized for exercise classes and other recreational and educational activities.

In addition, Butler said the new center will be equipped with five computer terminals that seniors or other residents can use for job searches or electronic communications.

“It really is good for the people of Logan County,” Butler said.

Chick agreed. “The new center is in a good neighborhood with a lot of retired people close by,” he said. “I’m just glad the city and county were able to work together and help our seniors.”

– Follow business reporter Don Sergent on Twitter @BGDNbusiness or visit bgdailynews.com.

Beshear selects Adkins, Coleman for key administration jobs

FRANKFORT – Kentucky Gov.-elect Andy Beshear selected a former rival, state Rep. Rocky Adkins, to serve as his senior adviser as his administration continued taking shape Monday.

The latest round of personnel decisions included an expanded role for Lt. Gov.-elect Jacqueline Coleman.

Coleman will take on the dual role of secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, Beshear said. In another key hiring, ex-Lexington Mayor Jim Gray will serve as state transportation secretary.

The incoming governor, who will take office Dec. 10, filled two other positions Monday.

He selected Col. Haldane B. Lamberton to lead the Kentucky National Guard as adjutant general. Retired Lt. Col. Keith Jackson will serve as commissioner of veterans affairs.

They bring experience and expertise, along with other important intangibles, Beshear said.

“They treat others with respect and decency,” he said at a statehouse news conference. “They have humility. They are the exact type of leaders who are going to set the exact type of example that I was looking for. They’re in it for the right reasons, to make our state better for all Kentuckians.”

Since winning last month’s election, Beshear has stressed the need for civility during an era of divided government in Kentucky. Beshear, a Democrat, will face a Republican-dominated legislature that must craft a new two-year state budget after it convenes in January.

Democrats will lose an experienced legislative leader when Adkins, the top-ranking House Democrat, gives up his House seat in eastern Kentucky to become Beshear’s senior adviser.

Adkins said he’ll be “in the middle” of the action in his new role in the governor’s office.

He said he anticipates working closely with lawmakers in promoting Beshear’s agenda, which includes strengthening public education, providing affordable health care and repairing roads and bridges.

“I believe Rocky is going to be pivotal in helping us deliver for the people of Kentucky,” Beshear said.

It strengthens a partnership that formed after a stretch as competitors. Adkins finished second behind Beshear in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in May. During the fall campaign, Adkins played a high-profile role in promoting Beshear, especially in eastern Kentucky.

Adkins’ new job ends speculation about a possible U.S. Senate bid next year. He was seen as a possible candidate for the seat held by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is seeking reelection.

Coleman, meanwhile, said she wants to make “real, impactful” changes to improve education outcomes for all children in her role as education and workforce development secretary.

“Strengthening our public education system is without a doubt the most important, the most moral thing we can do for our children and families in this commonwealth,” she said.

Coleman was working as an assistant school principal when she became Beshear’s running mate. Beshear capitalized on strong support from teachers in defeating Republican Gov. Matt Bevin.

Meanwhile, Gray returns to public service less than a year after concluding his tenure as Lexington mayor.

Beshear said his incoming transportation secretary was known “for getting things done” as mayor of Kentucky’s second-largest city.

Gray also will tap into his experience as top executive at a large construction company. He promised to run the Transportation Cabinet with integrity and transparency.

As adjutant general, Lamberton will draw upon his long experience in military service – 14 years in the Army and 21 years in the Kentucky National Guard. His service included commands from platoon to brigade level and multiple overseas deployments.

Jackson, who will serve as veterans affairs commissioner, had a 27-year military career in the U.S. Army Reserves and was deployed to Iraq in 2005. He is a former Lexington fire chief.

Grace Ramey / Grace Ramey 

From left, Erin Setters, Beth Noffsinger, Laura Schuette and Raymond Kociolek organize the presents the Bowling Green Young Professionals wrapped for the children at The Family Enrichment Center on Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, at the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce. The Family Enrichment Center will hand out the gifts to the children of the Center's 20 sponsored families at the annual Christmas party. (Grace Ramey/photo@bgdailynews.com)