Harlan County Round-up: Tip of the Hat to Harlan Rotary Club

Published 5:00 pm Wednesday, March 16, 2022

A round-up of all things Harlan County…

Congrats to the cheerleaders competing this week in the Harlan County Elementary and Middle School Cheerleading Championships.

To find out who won Monday’s competition, see page 10. There will be a follow-up story in next week’s edition for Friday’s event.

All for a good cause, the event serves as a revenue source for various academic programs such as county spelling bees, student hall of fame and college scholarships.

I don’t know much about cheerleading, but I do know it is a serious sport that involves a big time commitment that often starts early in life with dance and/or gymnastics lessons.

In other news, Harlan County children 5 and under now have access to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, courtesy of the Harlan Rotary Club.

Tip of the hat goes to Rotary Club Co-Chairperson Connie Fields and her husband, Harlan ARH Hospital CEO Donnie Fields, for organizing this venture. This is an excellent program that encourages reading and spending time together as a family.

Our family received these children’s books when our kids were younger. I remember when we lived in a tiny 700-square foot apartment, my wife or I would read the books to our small children most nights before they went to bed. I think my son Robert may have taught himself how to read from these experiences — he’s always been smart.

Snowed a bit this weekend — some places more than others. I don’t mind winter in the mountains. It’s pretty, peaceful and you get to spend time with family since travel can be perilous. Spring is around the corner on Sunday, March 20. And I’m glad for the extra hour of daylight from the recent time change.

County Librarian Richard Haynes told me that long ago, Jeff Phillips, who works with the county school system, brought over some of the archives from the Harlan Enterprise to the library. This is a good thing — preserves history.
On that note, here’s a blast from the past — Dr. John Newdorp. Contributing writer Mark Bell wrote a story about Newdorp in March of 1998.

According to Bell’s story, Newdorp, who worked many years as the chief medical official of the Welfare and Retirement Funds for the United Mine Workers of America, began his medical career in Benham.

Newdorp devised a medical care plan for the coal miner’s union. His work was profoundly influential in the way that medicine and insurance organized have operated since.

As a medical executive for the union, Newdorp was responsible for many of the activities involved in creating and overseeing innovative health projects that were a hallmark of the UMWA’s efforts to improve medical conditions for their fund beneficiaries. Newdorp had quite an impact on local healthcare facilities.

Very thorough article by Bell that I’m going to have dedicate proper reading time too.

In other news, gas prices have gone up to around $4 a gallon. I know this hurts a lot of people in Appalachia, many of whom tend to travel sometimes long commutes to work. Inflation is making things tough too particularly for senior citizens and folks on fixed incomes.

Having traveled to DC on occasion, I don’t think the folks there care or have any clue as to what life is like in rural America. If they did,

I don’t think we’d be in this mess. Solutions to our problems and pathways to success are going to have to come from home, not DC.

We’ve got a strong spirit, intelligence, and work ethic that can transform the nation, the world.

Anyway, if you have any news tips, send them to miles.layton@winchestersun.com or call at 252-302-1288.