Comer spends most of Monday in Clinton County

Posted September 12, 2018 at 12:51 pm


U.S. Congressman James Comer, taking advantage of a break in the congressional schedule for the past few weeks, has spent some time visiting some of his 35 First District Counties, including a hand full of stops Monday in Albany and Clinton County.

Comer (R-Tompkinsville), was in Albany Monday to visit at least three different sites, including a lunch time stop at Foothills Academy in the Highway Community.

Appearing with his District Field Representative Sandy Simpson, Comer spent a couple of hours touring the Foothills Academy facility with D. Jeff Choate, the C.E.O. of the facility.

During that tour, Choate explained the premise of the goals at the Academy, which is a school/home environment for young males who are in need of positive counseling and direction in hopes of being able to see their lives turned around and become productive adult citizens.

Choate told Comer that with a current staff of about 170 employees with duties ranging from maintenance to teachers to guidance, the institute not only provides a safe place for the students to live and learn, but also steers them toward several possible directions that can lead to them gaining full-time employment in a variety of fields.

Students at Foothills Academy can complete education programs in several areas, eventually learning skills in carpentry, horticulture, plumbing, and electrical, among others.

Choate told Comer that plans are currently being completed that will see a new state of the art welding facility being built, equipped and staffed at Foothills Academy, giving students yet another opportunity to move into the public sector as an a adult with the training and background that will allow them to become productive and successful citizens.

Choate also explained that in addition to the skills training and education process that the Foothills staff is involved with in steering each male student toward becoming successful as an adult, the staff is also involved in other counseling areas with the students.

Because of the environment that the Foothills students have usually been surrounded by before they reach the facility, Choate said that substance abuse, in one way or another, has usually affected an estimated 99 percent of the students at some point in their lives.

While the facility is not staffed to accept students who themselves are currently addicted to illegal drugs, he explained to Comer that most of the students who arrive at Foothills Academy have been surrounded by other family members who were addicted to drugs, in particular opiods.

Comer toured several of the buildings at Foothills, including several of the dormitories, classroom areas and the gymnasium, as well as the cafeteria area, where he ate lunch along with several of the students and counselors.

During the tour of the classroom and office areas, Comer met and talked briefly with Foothills Academy Principal Todd Messer and before leaving, presented Choate with a U.S. flag that had flown over the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

After leaving Foothills Academy, Comer and Simpson traveled to the northern border of Clinton County and met with Tony Sloan and Tom Allen at the site of Lake Cumberland’s Rowena Marina.

While there, Comer toured the still under construction Marina that will include a full lineup of lake related facilities, including boat and houseboat mooring slips, a full service gas and dock store outlet and eventually a full service restaurant, all located just a few miles from Wolf Creek Dam.

Later that afternoon, Comer joined about 50 people from Albany and Clinton County in the Clinton County Courthouse Circuit Courtroom, to honor a local citizen who will soon be celebrating her 95th birthday.

Virginia DeRossett was honored during that ceremony with a framed copy of the speech that Comer had made on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, honoring not only her longevity, but her years of service to the Unites State of America during World War II.

DeRossett spent several years working in Washington, D.C. during World War II, performing top secret duties for the United States within the Pentagon.

DeRossett was introduced to the crowd on hand by her nephew, Clinton County Circuit Court Clerk Jake Staton.

U.S. Congressman James Comer, center, talked with Foothills Academy C.E.O. D. Jeff Choate, right, and Foothills Principal Todd Messer, left, Monday morning during a tour of the facility. On recess from his duties at Washington, Comer has been visiting the 35 counties in his 1st Congressional District. While in Clinton County, he also toured the under construction Marina Rowena on Lake Cumberland and presented Albany resident Virginia DeRossett with a commendation at the Clinton County Courthouse.