News from June 10, 2003 issue

Carter will continue as principal
Steve Carter, 30, who served as interim principal the last year at Crittenden County High School, has been hired to fill the position permanently.

The CCHS Site-based, Decision-Making Council (SBDM) asked acting Superintendent Janie Tomek for the names of six finalists, which the council screened and/or interviewed.

The SBDM met Sunday and recommended that Carter be hired on a permanent basis. Tomek notified Carter Monday that he would be hired as principal.

Carter is the fourth principal in eight years to head the local high school and one of seven principals over the last dozen or so years. He has a bachelor's degree in history and math from Western Kentucky University and completed his master's degree in administration in 2001.

A native of Meade County, Carter has worked in the local school system for the last eight years and has served in various capacities including history teacher, football coach, softball coach and assistant principal.
"I look forward to continuing working with the people of Crittenden County and the faculty and staff at CCHS to provide the best education possible for our children," said Carter.

Carter has been the defensive coordinator for the Rocket football team the last three years. He resigned his coaching position earlier this week after learning that he had been hired as full-time principal.

Airport gets $1.8 million for paving runway
Motorists and residents along Ky. 91 North and Crittenden Springs Road have certainly noticed the movement of big piles of dirt and construction that's underway at the local airport.

The Marion-Crittenden County Airport will soon feature a paved 4,400-foot runway, perhaps by this fall. From one end of the pavement to the other will be almost one mile. The new airport runway will extend virtually all the way from Ky. 91 to Ky. 1668. Current dirt work can be seen from both highways.

U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Hopkinsville) was in Marion Friday to leave a check for $1.8 million which will pay for paving the airstrip. The money is from a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grant. Local and state governments are also kicking in money for the project, which will have cost $4 million at completion. The FAA has and will have contributed about $3.5 million.

Once complete, the Marion airport will be a state-of-the-art landing facility, capable of handling small jets and turbo prop airplanes.
It will be among only a handful of airports in western Kentucky capable of accommodating corporate aircraft.

"I think this airport is one of the main ingredients in economic development," Whitfield told the crowd gathered at the Crittenden Courthouse Friday for the check presentation to Marion-Crittenden County Airport Board members and local leaders.

Whitfield said the proposed expansion of U.S. 641 and the local Ed-Tech Center are signs of progress in Crittenden County.

"I do believe you have tremendous potential here," he said.
The congressman praised local airport board members and other leaders who made trips to Washington D.C., more than two years ago to meet with FAA officials and other federal office holders.

"The fact that your group came to Washington and met with Kate Lang (deputy assistant administrator for airports) made a big impression," Whitfield added. "It has made the FAA much more willing to work with Crittenden County."

Jim Johnson, the local airport board chairman who has spearheaded much of the effort to raise funding for the expansion project, said it is nice to know that Washington is willing to listen.

"We would have never received this money if we hadn't have gone up there. We made two trips to Washington to secure funding for the project. It simply would not have happened without that type of effort," said Johnson, who pointed out that more than 90 percent of the funding for the project is FAA money earmarked only for airport construction projects.
Johnson said the local airport project was free of many of the issues and stumbling blocks that can kill such plans.

"We owned the land, had an ideal location that's aligned with prevailing winds and runs along a ridgetop," he explained. "And we have three different roads for access to the airport."

The latest funds will be used to continue construction of the new runway and should be complete by late this fall, Johnson said. The airport currently had a 2,700-foot turf runway. The funding is awarded by the FAA through its Airport Improvement Program discretionary account based on direction it receives from Congress.

Of the $1.8 million received last week, $800,000 Whitfield secured through the appropriations process.

Once paving is completed, Johnson said more work will be done to add lighting, an instrument landing system for bad weather operations and perhaps administration building and a fuel center.

Lt. Carlson graduates from West Point
Crittenden County native Brandon Carlson made history on his college graduation day. He is the first person from Marion to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Carlson, the son of Lee Carlson of Marion, concentrated his studies in American history and was commissioned a second lieutenant trained heavily in field artillery.

The 2000 Crittenden County High School graduate will attend Officers Basic Course at Fort Sill, Okla., this summer and in December will join an active Army unit and work alongside soldiers currently fighting the global war on terrorism ­ most likely in Afghanistan or Iraq.

The prestige of graduating from West Point speaks for itself, but Carlson graduated in the top one-fourth of his class.

While on breaks from the rigors of West Point over last four years, Carlson didn't slack off when he reached the comforts of his Crittenden County home. No matter the temperature or time of year, Carlson's feet hit the pavement for runs most wouldn't tread in their vehicles on a cold winter's day. Staying in top mental and physical condition is imperative for a cadet, he said.

The application process just to get into West Point was as rigorous as the daily schedule. Carlson's admission process required a Congressional nomination from U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield.

"I cannot think of a more important job laden with responsibility than being in charge of soldiers, both career noncommissioned officers and newly enlisted privates," Carlson told The Press for a previous article.
While at West Point Carlson was a member of the regimental staff and a platoon leader, both of which are positions coveted by cadets.

The mission of West Point is to educate, train and inspire the corps of cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of duty, honor, country; professional growth throughout a career as an officer in the U.S. Army; and a lifetime of selfless service to the nation.

Carlson will leave for Fort Sill later next month. Coincidentally, his grandfather, the late Thurman Lee Berry of Mattoon was in field artillery at Fort Sill.

Hill captures 2 state titls in track
For Tim Hill, whose athletic accomplishments are piling up year after year, Saturday's two state championships in the 100 and 200 meters rank right up there at the top of his career highlights.

"It's kind of funny because I don't think it has sunk in yet," said Hill Monday morning, two days after he swept the two most coveted sprinting prizes at the Class A Kentucky High School Track and Field Meet at Lexington.

Hill's first-place finishes were the first in Crittenden County's track and field history and the Rockets' sixth-place finish as a team is the best overall performance by a track team in school history.

"It's quite an accomplishment," said track coach Angela Starnes, who herself is a state record-holder and former state champion sprinter. "I am very proud of Tim and proud for the rest of the team's accomplishments. They have worked really hard this year and deserve the success they achieved at state."

Along with Hill's hardware, the Rocket runners came home with several other lofty performances including senior Shawn Steele's two fourth-place finishes in the 110 and 300 hurdles, senior Sean Thompson's seventh-place finish in the discus, Hill's 14th-place showing in the triple jump and a fourth-place and eighth-place finish in the 4x100 and 4x200 relays, respectively.

Hill, just a junior, said he felt good about his chances as the team left Marion last week and headed to Lexington's UK campus where the events are held annually at Shively Field.

"On the way back was the hard part," he said. "I didn't sleep on the bus at all. It feels kind of funny knowing you're the state champion."

A standout in basketball, Hill has often been awarded big honors such as placement on All District teams and MVP recognition, but these state titles ­ the first in school history ­ shine brighter than anything he's ever earned.

"Yeah, going to state is a big thing and when you go and win that's something special. You know you've accomplished something," said Hill.

As for track, however, it started out more or less as a way to stay in shape and keep his competitive spirit sharp between basketball seasons.

"I just ran track as a second sport because I needed something else to do," he explained. "I just took it for fun, but now it's become addictive ­ the winning."

Hill holds school records in the 100 and 200 meters. He had never qualified for the 200 meter race at the state level, but had run in the 100 the past two years.

After finishing seventh last spring, Hill figured that with some hard work he would be back in good position to compete for a crown this time.
"Most of the guys who finished ahead of me in the 100 last year have graduated," he said. "But the 200, I really didn't know about because this was the first time to make it in that event."

The 100 meters is generally held early in a track meet and Saturday was no different. The race was Saturday morning. Although it's one of the first events to be run, it's also like the main event, the feature of the entire day. The shortest of all the sprints, the 100 meters is considered by many observers as the most coveted prize in all of track and field.

Hill, who is undefeated this year in the 100-meters, won the state sprint in 11.13 just a fraction of a second ahead of a Bardstown runner at 11.14. Times calculated on the electronic clocks during the state meet are generally slower than those on hand-held stop watches. Hill actually holds the school record for the 100 meters at 10.8.

His 200 time at Lexington was 22.6 just off his school record time of 22.4
Steele set a new school record in the 300 hurdles at the state meet. He eclipsed the old mark which he also held by more than one second, finishing the race in 40.69 and earning one of his two fourth-place medals.

Brianna Cozart, just an eighth grader, and Jeremy Sorina also qualified for the state track meet, but did not place.