Rolling Hills Christian Camp

Anonymous writes “Rolling Hills Christian Camp is a ministry of the Rolling Hills Church of Christ. The camp is located at the end of Rolling Hills Drive which is about 1/4 mile north of I-64 on Maysville Road. We provide camp opportunities for children – regardless of religious affiliation – from 4 yrs. old through high school. Information is available by calling Rolling Hills Church of Christ at (859)498-1013 or on the website at http://rollinghillschurchofchrist.org/camp.htm.

Day Camp is for the younger children who are not yet old enough to participate in overnight camp. Day Camp begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. The children are grouped and each child participates in singing, Bible lessons, crafts, organized recreation, and story time every day.

The overnight camping experience is offered for children from 3rd grade through high school (see schedule). The children participate daily in age appropriate singing, Bible lessons, crafts and organized recreation, as well as plenty of free time for socializing and playing. We have 4 clean, comfortable cabins, each of which can sleep about 20 girls or 20 boys.

We have split the age groups differently this year in order to accommodate more campers (see schedule). The grade levels refer to the grade just completed. Rolling Hills Christian Camp is fully staffed by members of area churches of Christ.
Click “more” below to see the camp schedule. See you at Rolling Hills camp!! “

A Legislative Perspective

I am happy to report that my fellow legislators and I accomplished our major priority for the 2003 annual session of the Kentucky General Assembly – we approved a solid spending plan for the Commonwealth that protects funding for schools, health services, and public protection programs.

The $14 billion budget, which funds state government through mid-2004, does not include any tax increases, which both the House and Senate were determined to avoid. It is a solid spending plan that will keep many state programs financially fit until a new budget is enacted next year.

Teachers and classified employees at elementary and secondary schools were foremost in our minds when we set out to complete the budget in conference committee last week. The budget provides $14.7 million in one-time payments to local school districts for fiscal year 2002-03 that will be distributed according to the state’s Support Education Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK) formula.

Other schools funding highlights include an estimated $82 million to increase SEEK per-pupil funding from $3,081 in fiscal year 2002-03 to $3,191 in fiscal year 2003-04 — an increase of 3.6 percent. Also, teachers will receive a $1,080 raise and classified employees — such as custodians and cooks — will receive a 2.7-percent raise in fiscal year 2003-04 in the budget.

Family Resource and Youth Service Centers are funded in the budget with $51.9 million each fiscal year. In the area of health services, there were no cutbacks for the Cabinet for Families and Children which funds many programs including child and adult protection, food stamps, foster care, child support and cash assistance to needy families. The budget provides an additional $5 million for child care for poor families provided by the Cabinet.

In the Cabinet for Health Services, the Medicaid shortfall for 2004 was reduced by $47 million while funding for existing services to 633,000 Medicaid recipients was preserved. The budget also continues funding for the Kentucky Children’s Health Insurance Program, or KCHIP, and provides funds to allow an additional 250 mentally retarded persons to live in a community setting.

Early childhood education initiatives enacted three years ago were held harmless in the budget, including universal newborn hearing screenings, vision screenings and the First Steps program, an early intervention program that helps newborns to three-year-olds with developmental delays.

The Justice Cabinet — which oversees juvenile justice, state police, corrections and criminal justice training — received funds to increase the salaries of state troopers, dispatchers and bomb and arson investigators who make less than $60,000 a year by $1,000 next year. Funding for educational services for state inmates was also protected. Additional funds of $3.5 million in fiscal year 2002-03 and $5 million in 2003-04 were provided for local jails. The budget also prohibits further mass early releases like those ordered this winter by the Governor’s Office.

State colleges and university budgets will be trimmed back this fiscal year by 2.6 percent, but an additional $18.9 million in state funds will be provided to the schools next fiscal year to accommodate increased enrollments. Bond funding totaling $120 million is included in the budget for the Bucks for Brains research trust fund, and the budget fully funds the Kentucky Excellence in Education Scholarship program, or KEES, which gives scholarship money to students based on their academic performance.

The budget also provides bond funds totaling $54.8 million for water and sewer development in tobacco counties, $54.8 million in bond funds for water and sewer development in coal producing counties, and provides $25 million in bond funds for the Kentucky Pride Fund which pays for litter cleanup and environmental education.

In addition, the budget gives state employees a raise of $1,080 for fiscal year 2003-04 while specifying that state government can furlough employees temporarily due to a budget shortfall. Employees would, however, still receive state-paid benefits if furloughed and could appeal their furlough if it lasts for more than 10 consecutive working days.

This is an overview of some of the more notable budget provisions and by no means is a complete summary of the budget, which also makes cuts to highly-paid political employees, orders a reduction in state personal service contracts and cuts other areas including the number of state vehicles, state travel and energy costs.

The budget is not perfect. Yet it does protect important programs while helping Kentucky meet its spending limits in these tough economic times.

The next budget cycle will begin next July. We will write a budget for that two-year cycle in January when we return for the 2004 regular session. We hope that by that time, the economy will improve and we can increase funding for the many important programs that are constrained by this budget.

Council For The Arts Summer Salon Event

Admin writes “The Arts Council’s Summer Salon on July 24th was an excellent event for Mt. Sterling. Hosted at the home of Cay and Richard Lane, the Broadway and Opera Salon presented music from all genres of Opera as well as several beloved showtunes and Kentucky favorites.

The pianist and singing voices were lent to us from the University of Kentucky. The pianist, Tedrin Blair Lindsay is arguably the best performance pianist in the entire state and probably this region of the Eastern US. The vocalists consisted of Amy Teft, an AMAZING Soprano, Sherri Phelps, a lively and brilliant Contralto, Mark Huseth, a Baritone of infinate skills and our own Christopher Conley, a magnificent Tenor from right here in Mt. Sterling.

The evening was one to remember and well worth the small admission, which included the meal and drinks. This was a bargain anywhere! Congratulations to the Arts Council for bringing such talented entertainers to our locale and in such personal surroundings. All those who attended were truly lucky and very well entertained. “

In This Time Of Tension…Let Us Pray

As tensions escalate between nations, they do also in the lives of many right here in Mt. Sterling. Beyond the general fear of not knowing what tomorrow will bring, many in our community have family stationed around Iraq preparing to go to war. We have many questions, doubts, feelings of inadequacy and concerns about not being able to do anything ourselves.

There are things we can do. We can come together in our communities to support and encourage those most needing the strength of others. We can put our differences of opinion behind us and give our leaders and military our support in this time of crisis. We can pray to God for His protection of our soldiers and our homeland. He has not abandoned us in spite of our slackness of trust in Him. He knows everything that is going on both in the hearts of men and on the battlefield. While He doesn’t promise exemption from the suffering of this world, He does promise to stand with us, giving us comfort and strength to endure.

To these ends our church will hold a special Prayer meeting tomorrow, Wednesday, March 19th at 6:30 p.m. and will be open as long as people want to stay. We will continue daily prayer vigils from Noon – 1:00 p.m. and 6:30-7:30 p.m. for the days to come. If we can be of help in between time, please call anyone on our staff – (859) 498-3876.

Citizens Throughout State Will Benefit From 2003 Legislative Session

When voters decided several years ago that the General Assembly should meet every year, it was determined that the new sessions held in odd-numbered years would last only half as long as the normal 60-day sessions. The thinking was that these short 30-day legislative sessions would allow lawmakers to deal with housekeeping matters and other issues while putting off larger decisions on matters like the budget for the longer sessions.

But since budget disagreements prevented a budget from being approved last year, lawmakers were faced with the difficult task this year of creating and finalizing our largest piece of legislation – the state budget – over the course of only 30 working days. I’m pleased that we were able to do so.

Of course, it took a lot of work and concentrated effort to get a budget in place during the short session, especially since the lean times we’re in created budget challenges unlike any our state has seen in recent years.

Perhaps the best thing about the budget we approved, however, is that we’re not going to raise taxes a penny to make it balanced. Instead, we’re cutting the fat, looking for ways the government wastes money or can use it even more efficiently to serve the people better.

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