Last updated: February 26. 2014 8:36AM - 669 Views

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As I was reading my Harlan Daily Enterprise yesterday, I noticed Senator Brandon Smith’s article concerning the legislative happenings in Frankfort. In his piece, Sen. Smith said nothing about House Bill 70, the automatic restoration of voting rights for former felons.

I’m an eastern Kentuckian with a son who is a former felon. He works hard supporting his family and paying state and federal taxes, but like 180,000 other Kentuckians who have served their time, he is still is not entitled to vote. Kentucky’s outdated constitution permanently takes away a person’s right to vote when convicted of a felony, unless he or she receives an individual pardon from the Governor.

Senator Smith deserves appreciation for being on the right side of this issue, believing voting rights should be restored. However, his Senate colleagues have taken a wrecking ball to the legislation, adding a waiting period and other harmful restrictions that weaken our democracy. Now isn’t the time for Sen. Smith to become silent. There’s still time for Sen. Smith to urge fellow lawmakers to come to their senses and undo the damage that was done to HB 70 in the Senate.

Kentuckians believe in second chances, redemption and fairness. We want a healthy democracy where everyone has the right to participate. These are the values HB 70 was built upon in the House. I urge all readers to contact Sen. Smith today at 1-800-372-7181. Ask him to strengthen our democracy by supporting and passing the House version of HB 70.

Carl Shoupe



I have heard that you were the one that wrote “Our Viewpoint: Has Harlan County been kicked out of the state without us knowing?”

I live across Pine Mountain (U.S. 421) and couldn’t agree with you more. We need something in Harlan County and our officials are the ones that can help if they would. I for one am proud to say that Harlan County is home, but sometimes I wonder if we have been forgotten.

My hat goes off to you and my appreciation to the eye-opening. If you need someone to help rally, please let me know.

Marsha Cook



I enjoy reading the Harlan Daily. I look forward to Saturday’s edition, especially the inspirational section.

On Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, I went down memory lane when I read John Ditty’s article about the voice of Jesus. I never expected to read about a street my family and I lived on in Chicago — Walsted Street in the 1950s.

I appreciate John Ditty for being obedient in your ministry. My daughter and I go to the Harlan ARH every Monday and pray with the sick.

On Monday, Jan. 20, 2014, I was reminded how the Lord knows our voice and how we know His, as we entered a patient’s room. Her daughter said she knew it was us, she recognized our voices from other times. That was an uplifting feeling. I appreciate all who contribute inspirational stories to the Harlan Daily.

Jackie Hensley



Information is needed on William Henry Harrison Creech and Fannie Smith Creech, born in Harlan County, Ky., died in Paint Lick, Ky. in the late 1920s and buried in Berea. Send information to: Lloyd Dean, 6770 U.S. 60 East, Morehead, Ky. 40351; or call 606-784-9145.

Lloyd Dean



In November of 2013, there was a call to action for our leaders in Washington to come together and create a budget which included funding for Alzheimer’s research and funding of related programs.

With the help of over 600,000 Alzheimer’s Advocates across the nation, our voices were heard. With the bipartisan passage of the 2014 funding bill, Congress and President Obama’s administration included a historical $122 million in funding for Alzheimer’s research, education, outreach and caregiver support. I appreciate Congressman Hal Rogers for conveying the needs of families like mine in eastern Kentucky and securing this increase in funding. We are grateful for your leadership.

We are now at a critical juncture in research and now have a comprehensive road map and strategy for the first time to fight Alzheimer’s. This funding will help maintain that momentum, but we need to continue to increase funding to levels comparable with the magnitude and urgency of the Alzheimer’s crisis. We now urge President Obama and Congress to continue to address the Alzheimer’s crisis in the fiscal year 2015 budget and reach the goal of the National Alzheimer’s Plan by 2025.

Visit alz.org/napa to learn more about the National Alzheimer’s Plan and how you can become involved with the fight against Alzheimer’s.

Greg Gilbert, RN


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