Local concert benefits Haitians
By Jared Stepp
The devastation of the recent earthquake in Haiti leaves not only gruesome images of the aftermath, but also a chance for a little town to do something extraordinary.
The Wrens Church of God will host a Help for Haiti and Hometown Concert on Saturday, Feb. 6, to benefit both Haiti and the Louisville Food Pantry. The Food Pantry serves the entire county by gathering canned goods and other foods for the needy in Jefferson County.
The cost for the concert is $5 each or $3 with three canned goods. All money proceeds will go to Haiti. The cans will go to the local food pantry. The concert is from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. The concert will involve four bands, The Front Porch Blues Band, Collision, Risen and Lifeside.
The Front Porch Blues Band will bring their old time country and gospel music to the concert. Collision, the Church of God House band; and Risen, the Louisville United Methodist Youth Band, will both play contemporary Christian music. Lifeside, also known as Mary and the Destination, will play Christian and Rock.
“After the closing of the Bistro I asked God to show me what I was to do next,” said Connie Barrow, organizer of the event. “I saw the inside of the Church of God Youth building with its big stage and comfy sofas and I knew we were to have a concert there.”
Barrow said she was working on the idea of the concert prior to the earthquake in Haiti but was always planning to give the proceeds to a needy cause. She said Haiti would be the best place to send the money.
“This is a way for everyone in the community to get together and have fun while doing a great thing locally and globally,” said Barrow. She said everyone is invited, especially youth groups.
Doors open at 12:30, the concert will be from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Wrens Church of God Youth building. At 1 p.m. there will be a greeting and opening prayer by a Church of God representative. At 1:15 p.m. Risen will play, followed by a presentation of UMCorp’s activities in Haiti. At 2 p.m., The Front Porch Blues Band will play followed by Collision, then at 3:45 p.m. there will be a sing along and announcements. Lifeside will play at 4:30 p.m. and a closing prayer will follow.
Churches are encouraged to organize youth groups to attend and provide transportation. Any groups interested in setting up a table to sell bake goods or other items can contact the hosts.
Snacks, T-shirts, and CDs will be available. Call Connie Barrow at 705-699-2353 for further details and group reservations or call the Church of God in Wrens at 706-547-7200.
Pine Valley fire...
Wrens firefighters work to get gear in place to extinguish the remaining smoldering patches of damage during at fire at Pine Valley Apartments last week. The Wrens Fire Department responded to the call at apartment C8 Thursday, at 11:44 p.m., seven minutes after the alarm. When they arrived smoke was showing and all occupants were out of the apartment. The fire was extinguished in the kitchen where it apparently began on the stove and spread to the counter and walls around stove.
Man arrested for burglary at Fred’s
Officers arrested Tom Ed McKennie III, 17, of Louisville and charged him with an armed robbery that occurred in October as well as a burglary that happened in December.
At the time of his arrest, McKennie was already out on a felony bond for armed robbery, the warrant for his arrest states.
The warrant taken out by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office states McKennie, along with others who are not named in his warrant, robbed a man of about $250 at gunpoint on Oct. 7, 2009.
The warrant taken out by the Louisville Police Department states McKennie entered Fred’s in Louisville on Dec. 21, 2009. The warrant states McKennie broke the front door of the store with a rock, went inside with another man and removed 14 cartons of Newport cigarettes with a value of $651.
Lt. Teddy Jackson, an investigator with the LPD, said the burglary is a felony. Police recovered four of the 14 cartons at a residence inside the Louisville city limits, Jackson said.
The second man involved in the burglary at Fred’s is Gerald Devon Harmon and was already in custody at the time of McKennie’s arrest, Jackson said.
Barrow listens to local concerns
About 45 people attended a meeting Wednesday, Jan. 6, at the county extension office in Louisville.
The meeting was one U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga., holds periodically to allow his constituents a chance to talk with him.
Barrow addressed the group and then gave time for questions.
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The congressman thanked everyone who helped organize the meeting and said he wanted to account for his votes.
“First, I voted against the TARP bill,” he said, referring to the Troubled Asset Relief Program begun in 2008 to assist financial institutions.
“All three times,” he said. “I did it because I don’t write blank checks for $700 billion.”
He said he voted against the budget calls for deficit spending and that although he voted against the energy bill, he was not against the entire bill.
“We have to come up with new forms of energy,” he said, adding those new forms of energy should not rely on people who do not support America’s best interests.
He also addressed the health care bill, saying insurance companies need to get back in the business of insuring people rather than denying service.
He talked about Peach Care, a program for low income families to provide insurance for their children.
It gives families the help they need if they can’t qualify for Medicaid but can’t afford insurance, he said, adding he voted to double Peach Care.
He said there were things in the health care bill that needed doing but he could not support the entire bill.
“I’m for doing things that’ll fix things that are broke,” he said.
He opened the floor for questions, which included the cost of living adjustment for Social Security recipients.
“Under that formula, no COLA is due,” Barrow said, adding the formula should be updated. He also said citizens should know the formula allows only for increases. If the cost of living decreases, the COLA stays the same.
Other issues discussed included clean energy, natural gas and jobs.
Barrow said there is a lot of potential for jobs in alternative forms of energy.
He said current forms of energy or dirty energy have global consequences.
“There are real issues here,” he said.
A citizen mentioned the North American Free Trade Agreement, an agreement involving the United States, Canada and Mexico.
“It is time for congress to reconsider NAFTA,” he said.
Barrow responded by saying government’s job is to create a climate where private enterprise can create jobs, adding that NAFTA and similar treaties look good on paper but do not work when the other party can’t be held to the agreement.
“We’ve incorporated the cost of doing it right here in this country,” Barrow said, adding that increases the cost of doing business in the United States and allows other countries that do not follow the same labor standards to have less overhead.
“We cannot possibly compete when we’ve got an un-level playing field,” he said.
The congressman then mentioned CAFTA, which is similar to NAFTA but is between the United States and Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Costa Rica.
Barrow called this treaty, “NAFTA on steroids.”
A citizen mentioned a recent attempted bombing on a US plane and said security is going to become more invasive.
“It was a very, very big deal,” Barrow said about the event, adding other countries do not always inspect airline passengers to the level performed in the United States.
“Either they do it right, up to our standards or we go there and do it up to our standards or you just don’t fly into our country,” Barrow said.
A citizen asked the congressman why insurance companies are exempt from anti-trust laws.
Barrow said a law enacted in the 1940s said insurance companies would be subject to state anti-trust laws rather than the federal law.
“Have you heard of any state anti-trust laws?” he said. “The few states that have tried to do this have gotten burned bad.”
Barrow said when the state of Kentucky tried to do this, most of the insurance companies stopped doing business there.
“I think we’re going to realize we’re going to have to regulate insurance companies like we regulate Georgia Power,” he said.