Wayne County Outlook

Posted November 21, 2012 at 3:42 pm

The precincts were busy in Wayne County on Tuesday, November 6, as approximately 52 percent of local registered voters went to the polls. Voters made decisions in local races, as well as cast ballots for a United States congressional seat and the next president.

Barack Obama was re-elected to another term as president, but it was Republican challenger Mitt Romney who was the big winner in Wayne County. Romney received 5,289 votes in the county compared to 1,855 for Obama.

That was a victory that was echoed across the state, as Romney took Kentucky’s electoral votes on Tuesday night. Romney received about 60 percent of the vote in Kentucky, compared to 37 percent for Obama.

Local voters did have a few races of particular interest as well, including the race for Commonwealth’s Attorney for the 57th Judicial Circuit. Incumbent Matthew Leveridge, a Republican, easily won in Wayne County with 69 percent of the vote. He received 4,722 votes locally, compared to 2,101 for Democratic challenger David F. Smith.

Leveridge received 63 percent of the vote in Russell County, and was re-elected to another term.


Many Wayne County residents felt the earth move just after 12 noon on Saturday, November 10, when an earthquake occurred in far Eastern Kentucky.

No damage was reported locally, but there were some reports of people experiencing the tremor.

The U.S. Geological survey indicated that a 4.3 magnitude earthquake, centered at Blackey in Letcher County, occurred at 12:08 p.m. Eastern Time Saturday. Blackey is located about 10 miles west of Whitesburg.

The trembling lasted for several seconds, and there were some reports of Wayne County residents who heard dishes rattle or felt furniture move. Others said they heard a noise that resembled thunder at the time of the earthquake.

The tremor was apparently felt not only in Kentucky, but in Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia–even as far north as Ohio and as far south as Georgia.

Although fewer earthquakes are reported east of the Rocky Mountains than in the western part of the country, the few that do occur in Kentucky historically occur toward the western part of the state near the Madrid Fault Line, which stretches from New Madrid, Missouri to the Southwestern U.S. Not this time though. There were reports that Saturday’s quake was the strongest to originate in Kentucky since a 5.2 quake that hit Bath County in 1980.


The Wayne County School District has been recognized as the most improved county school district in the state for growth in their College and Career Readiness (known as CCR) score, in the aftermath of the release of Kentucky’s new Unbridled Learning testing system results.

News of the Wayne County School District making such a huge leap in such a meaningful component of the new assessment came from a recent blog from Kentucky Commissioner of Education Dr. Terry Holliday. Dr. Holliday congratulated Kentucky’s top ten districts for CCR percentages, as well as the top ten districts for growth in CCR percentages.

Making the top ten lists for growth in CCR percentages is quite an honor considering there are 174 school districts in the state who would like to be improved at that rate.

While Wayne County showed the highest point increase as a county school district, they tied for second place in the state among county and independent school districts with a 33.7 point increase. Eminence Independent topped the growth list statewide with a 34.7 point increase, while Wayne County tied with Augusta Independent at a 33.7 point increase for second place.


Monticello Independent School will now have the task of hiring a new superintendent, following Superintendent Gary Abbott’s announcement that he will be retiring at the end of next month.

Abbott announced his intention to retire, effective December 31, during the monthly meeting of the Monticello School Board on Monday, November 12.

Abbott noted that much thought and prayer had gone into his decision to retire, and that he thought this was the right thing for him to do at this time. He emphasized that his decision to retire had nothing to do with the situation that is currently going on with the school district, as school faculty and staff strive to improve student achievement following an educational audit last year. He said there were other factors that went into his decision to retire.

“I have nothing but love for this school district,” Abbott stated, following his announcement.

The board authorized Abbott to contact retired superintendents and ask if any of them would be interested in acting as interim superintendent for the school district until a replacement is hired.