U.S. Rep. James Comer, Republican congressman representing Kentucky's First District, has received the Outstanding New Member of Congress Award from the American Farm Bureau Federation. The award was presented at the organization's 100th annual convention in New Orleans. Kentucky Farm Bureau endorsed Comer for the award because of his commitment in Congress to issues important to farmers and ranchers. In addition to serving on the Agriculture Committee, Comer serves on the Small Business, and Oversight and Government Reform Committees. Comer, a first-generation beef cattle and crop farmer, previously served as Kentucky's agriculture commissioner and in the Kentucky General Assembly. He supports new, alternative crops such as industrial hemp, which is especially important now, as U.S. farm income is at the third-lowest level in the past 20 years. AFBF's Outstanding New Member of Congress award is presented to one first-time representative or senator, regardless of party affiliation, whose philosophy and record demonstrate a commitment to the private enterprise system, sound agricultural policies supported by AFBF, fiscal conservatism and reduced federal regulation of business and individuals.

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Blake Summarell and Becky Bowers have accepted limited partnerships with Edward Jones. The company currently employe 45,000 associates in all 50 states and through its affiliate in Canada. This is the financial services firm's 17th limited partnership offering in its 97-year history.

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Felisha Dowdy has been promoted to vice president, senior community banking and treasury management relationship manager, at Paducah Bank new Louisville office. Dowdy joined Paducah Bank in August, 2018, and has previously worked for the Bank of Louisville, and then BB&T after it acquired Bank of Louisville in 2001. She has most recently worked with Commonwealth Bank & Trust, and has had roles in retail banking, private banking, treasury management and business lending. She has a BA in corporate and organizational communication with a minor in business from Eastern Kentucky University.

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Premier Fire & Security, Inc., Paducah, has announced its acquisition of Owensboro-based Ohio Valley Sprinklers, LLC. Premier Fire's acquisition of Ohio Valley Sprinklers will enhance the company's ability to provide professional fire protection services by increasing the size and geographic reach of its skilled workforce. Ohio Valley Sprinklers has been managed by Tom Hardesty, Donna Hardesty and Jeff Minor since 1998. They will continue to manage operations of the Ohio Valley Sprinklers location after the acquisition is complete.

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Bryce Rudd, Benton, has been hired as a sports reporter at The Times Leader in Princeton. In addition to covering all Caldwell County school sports and local athletes who are continuing their careers at the college and professional levels, he will also provide coverage in Lyon County for the paper's sister publication, The Herald Ledger. He comes to The Times Leader after nearly four years as a sportswriter for the Murray Ledger & Times, where he covered the gamut of high school sports in that area, including multiple KHSAA and All 'A' state tournaments, as well as collegiate athletics with the Murray State Racers. Rudd graduated from Freed Hardeman University in Henderson, Tennessee, in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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Janis Underwood, RN, recently retired after 17 years of service at Murray-Calloway County Hospital and the Anna Mae Owen Residential Hospice House. She was recognized by her co-workers during a retirement celebration.

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Jessica Hammonds, EA, has joined LA Miller CPA, PSC as bookkeeping department manager. She has been in the accounting field since 2012, and was recognized as an enrolled agent by the IRS in 2015. Her accounting experience includes payroll, payroll taxes, sales tax, income taxes and small business set up.

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Laura Kerr Hill, Ph.D., conductor and orchestra director at Graves County High School, has received the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award from Marquis Who's Who in America. Hill holds a bachelor's degree in music education from Butler University, a master of arts degree in secondary education from Murray State University, and a doctor of philosophy from Ohio State University. She has contributed to "Top Ten Violin Method Books," which was printed in the American String Teacher's Journal, where she is also a reviewer. Hill has also earned the Ledder Award for outstanding music graduate student, and the John R. Wooden Excellence in Education award, among other recognition.

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John Carey, M.DIV, MS. MAJOR, USA (retired), has joined Murray-Calloway County Hospital as its newest chaplain, joining Rev. Kerry Lambert, coordinator of pastoral care at MCCH. Carey served 22 years in active duty in the U.S. Army, serving as chaplain for over 16 years as battalion chaplain, brigade chaplain, and more than three years in major deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kuwait. He also served in the special task force medical Afghanistan chaplain during Operation Enduring Freedom VII, in 2012. He holds a master of divinity degree from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis and a master's degree in marriage and family counseling at Texas A & M University of Central Texas in 2013.

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Bobbie Ann Wrinkle, adult services librarian at McCracken County Public Library, has been elected to serve on the Kentucky Humanitites board of directors. She will assist the board in setting policies, award project grants to community organizations, and participate in fundraising to help the council meet the growing demand for programs. Based in Lexington, Kentucky Humanities and its community partners across the commonwealth invest more than $1 million annually in support of public humanities programs throughout Kentucky. Wrinkle is a long-time member of the American Library Association and has served as project director for the Smithsonian Institute Traveling Exhibition, The Musical Genius of Duke Ellington. She is a graduate of Murray State University, with a bachelor of arts degree in library science and English literature.

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Noreen Gibbens, AuD, has joined Baptist Health Medical Group Purchase ENT. Gibbens earned a master's degree in audiology from Vanderbilt University in Nashville and a doctoral degree in audiology from Central Michigan University. She has more than 30 years of clinical experience as a practicing audiologist.

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Shelby Riley, of Hickory, has joined River Valley AgCredit as a branch assistant to its Lone Oak branch. Riley is a 2013 graduate of Westview High School in Martin, Tennessee. She brings experience in real estate and mortgage banking to her new position.

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Allen Dossey, owner and head winemaker of Purple Toad Winery, Paducah, has been elected president of the Kentucky Winery Association. Steven Dossey, owner and head winemaker of Big Blue Winery, Paducah, was named secretary of the association. The Kentucky Winery Association is the sole organization for the wineries and vineyards of Kentucky. The KWA directive is to raise the knowledge, expertise, sales, visibility, tourism, and legislative directives of the state's wineries and vineyards.

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Steve Jones, Shelter Insurance Companies agent in Mayfield, has been recognized for sales achievement based on overall 2018 agency. The Champion designation recognizes Shelter agents who demonstrate excellence in insurance services and meet corporate standards of agency operation during the previous year. Jones has represented Shelter since June 1998, and has earned Champion recognition 10 times.

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Reis Driver has been named director of business development for oncology at Baptist Health Paducah. Driver was the practice administrator for Oncology Associates of West Kentucky for nearly seven years. He has a bachelor's degree in economics from Murray State University and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Kentucky.

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The Emerge Kentucky Class of 2019 includes four members from McCracken County. Entering its 10th year, Emerge Kentucky is a candidate training program for Democratic women. Its goal is to increase the number of Democratic women in public office. The four McCracken County members include: Christa Dubrock, Tracy Jones, Maurie McGarvey and Tara Wise Sawvel.

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Lorne Childress, MT (ASCP), has been named director of the clinical laboratory, anatomic pathology, at Baptist Health Paducah. He has worked at Baptist Health Paducah for nearly 30 years in the laboratory, most recently serving as microbiology supervisor. He holds a bachelor's degree in biology, with a minor in chemistry, from Murray State University. Childress is also owner of Crash Comics in Paducah.

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Jason Dean Crockett, West Paducah, has been appointed by Gov. Matt Bevin to the Kentucky Board of Barbering. Crockett, a broadcaster, will represent citizens at-large and serve a term expiring Feb. 1, 2022. The board conducts periodic inspections of barber shops and barber schools. It determines whether each individual and business has the required license, follows up on complaints regarding those individuals working without licenses and investigates other violations of the law.

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Dr. Manuel Caceres has joined Baptist Health Medical Group Cardiothoracic Surgery. Caceres earned a medical degree from Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Lima, Peru. He completed a general surgery residency at Louisiana State University in New Orleans, a cardiothoracic surgery fellowship at the University of Tennessee in Memphis, a surgery fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and a mechanical circulatory support and heart/lung transplant fellowship at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Caceres is board certified in surgery and thoracic surgery, and is a member of the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery.

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