Business briefs, Feb. 28

Published 8:53 am Wednesday, February 28, 2018

New Kiwanis members

Kiwanis Club of Danville welcomes two new members – Angela Frisby, mortgage lender with Farmers National Bank and Steve Becker, Danville Independent Schools board member. Kiwanis looks forward to the contributions they will be making.

Email newsletter signup

Hammons speaks during Kiwanis program


Press release 

The program this past week for Kiwanis was by Milton Hammons, coach of the fishing team at Burgin Independent School.

Milton Hammons

Hammons, who is in his fifth year as fishing coach at Burgin Independent Scdhool, shared about the many positives that have come with the tremendous growth of competitive bass fishing in Kentucky high schools.

Bass fishing programs began in Kentucky high schools around eight years ago, and it has been very positive for small schools like Burgin to be able to compete more evenly against larger schools than they may be able to do in some other sports.

Not only has this additional activity exposed students to something they otherwise may not receive exposure to, but it also keeps them away from negative influences or bad habits. 

Hammons said that schools are now seeing how great of an opportunity the fishing teams are for positive student participation — including for those youth with physical conditions that do not allow them to participate in other sports or activities. 

Further, college scholarships are available, which allows students the flexibility to pursue an education that, otherwise, might be much more difficult for them to pursue.

Like most school groups, they do a wide range of fundraising and sponsorship solicitation because schools simply aren’t able to help much with funding. To further help, most coaches — as far Hammons knows, he said — put any stipends they might receive for their coaching back into the programs.

Coach Hammons has high expectations of students in their academics in order for them to be able to participate in the fishing program. With the growth of tournament opportunities, it has been important to keep on top of students’ program in the classroom, and that collaboration has also helped with the awareness of the teams and their schedules.

To learn more about Kentucky High School Bass Fishing, visit

To learn more about Kiwanis Club of Danville, email or


Press release 

The Kiwanis Club of Danville program earlier in February was by Destiney Richards, regional program manager; and Andrea Ooten, president and CEO with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass.They gave background about how, since 1957, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass has provided professionally-supported mentoring relationships to countless children and their adult mentors.

Photo contributed
Andrea Ooten, president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass, recently presented at Kiwanis with Destiney Richards, regional program manager.

They make meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 6 through 13, in communities across Central Kentucky. By partnering with parents/guardians, volunteers and others in the community they are accountable for each child in their program achieving:

• higher aspirations, greater confidence, and better relationships;

• avoidance of risky behaviors; and

• educational succes.

Studies have shown that Littles are more confident in school, get along better with their families, are less likely to begin using drugs and alcohol, and so much more. In fact, 83 percent of former Littles said their Big instilled values and principles in them that have guided them through life. 

There are hundreds of children waiting for a Big. There are so many ways to get involved — from school-based mentoring to Bigs in Blue, they have a variety of programs to fit your schedule and lifestyle. 

For just a few hours of time each month, volunteers can give a child the simple, yet invaluable, gift of your friendship by playing a board game, making fun crafts, hanging out at the park, helping them with their homework or taking them to a place they’ve never been. 

Anyone interested in volunteering can download the application at, fill it out and return it to Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass by email at, or by mail to Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass, 436 Georgetown Street, Lexington KY 40508

And it was shared about the 2018 Bowl for Kids’ Sake fundraiser.  Sponsorship information is available at Or, for those who want to sign up a team, contact so she can reserve lanes at the March 25 event in Danville. To learn more about this year’s event, visit learn more about Kiwanis Club of Danville, email or

Governor participates in HAAS eKentucky Advanced Manufacturing Institute grand opening


Kentucky Press News Service

FRANKFORT — Gov. Matt Bevin Tuesday joined Eastern Kentucky workforce development representatives, elected officials, and business leaders for the grand opening of the HAAS eKentucky Advanced Manufacturing Institute (eKAMI) in Paintsville.

The new 40,000-square-foot workforce training facility will offer 16-week training programs aimed at building a skilled workforce to attract advanced manufacturing to the state and Appalachian region.

“This is an exciting day,” Bevin said in a statement. “For Kentucky to remain the center for excellence in America for engineering and manufacturing, we need a steady supply of the most qualified and highly trained workers. The opening of HAAS’ eKAMI, as well as its partnership with the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute, will provide the next generation of Kentucky’s skilled workforce with training opportunities in both HAAS CNC machines and robotics.

“Graduates of eKAMI will attract advanced manufacturers to Johnson County and the surrounding communities. Across the Commonwealth, in every region, Kentucky is moving forward and the future is very bright for our economy.”

eKAMI’s first class began in November 2017, with students ranging from age 18 to 55. The program utilizes state-of-the-art HAAS equipment for positions such as computer numerical control (CNC) machinist, as well as machine building and tool maintenance technicians in aerospace and advanced manufacturing industries.

Bevin was joined at the ribbon cutting by eKAMI director Kathy Walker, Johnson County Judge-Executive R.T. “Tucker” Daniel, and Gene Haas, founder of Stewart-Haas racing and Haas Automation.

“We’re thrilled to bring modern manufacturing to the mountains,” said Walker, who worked for 30 years in the coal industry before establishing the institute. “This is about diversifying the region’s economy and finding sustainable answers, about taking our hard-working Appalachian workforce of today and preparing them for the jobs of tomorrow.”

eKAMI was initially funded by a $1.5 million grant from the Gene Haas Foundation. Subsequently, it has received a $2.5 million grant from the Kentucky Division of Abandoned Mines, in addition to donations from the private sector.

Public and private grant funding provides students with scholarships covering the $11,000 tuition. The program is open to any individual seeking advanced manufacturing training and is expected to draw students from across Eastern Kentucky and surrounding states.