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Fiscal court OK’s road rally with Harlan Co.


Letcher County and Harlan County will host a nationally sanctioned road rally that runs along the Little Shepherd Trail.

The rally is sanctioned by the Sports Car Club of America and NASA Rally Sport, and will feature sprint races all day. The 2020 Raven Rock Rally Sprint is a new opportunity for tourism to provide badly needed funds for Letcher County and Harlan County. It will be held on August 8 and is a joint effort between the two county governments and tourism departments.

The rally will run along 12 miles of the Little Shepherd Trail and is advertised as running along the Eastern Continental Divide. It begins in Cumberland and it will end in Letcher County.

Harlan County Magistrate Paul Browning Jr., who represents the Third District in the Harlan County Fiscal Court, brought the subject of the rally to the Letcher County Fiscal Court at a special court meeting on June 30.

Browning said he believes the rally has the potential to bring tourists and tourist money to the region from all over the country. Browning said he believes that participants and spectators will return for future rallies as well as for the beautiful scenery they will see from Pine Mountain.

Unlike a race, rally participants race against a clock, not against each other.

In other business, inmates at Letcher County Jail had their first meals prepared by CANE Kitchen in Whitesburg on Monday July 6.

The Letcher County Fiscal Court voted unanimously to award the bid for meal service to CANE Kitchen after reading the bids and a lengthy discussion. Although the cost per meal in CANE’s bid was slightly higher than the cost per meal from its nearest competitor, Kellwell, a Beattyville company that provides meals to several area jails, by awarding the bid to CANE Kitchen, the court completed a process that began at the January 2020 meeting when Jailer Bert Slone announced that he would like to look into outside food service providers to serve meals the inmates.

At last week’s meeting both CANE Kitchen and Kellwell submitted bids, along with Trinity Services Group, a Florida-based company.

CANE and Kellwell’s bids had a wider range of prices depending on the number of inmates that would be served. Kellwell had slightly lower costs per meal, Trinity’s bids were higher.

The Jail Committee recommended CANE Kitchen for several reasons. CANE’s bid specified that the meals would be prepared at the CANE Kitchen site by their employees and that locally grown produce and other foods would be used whenever possible.

CANE Kitchen, located at the Old Whitesburg High School on property now owned by Mountain Comprehenisive Health Corporation, is sponsored by Berea College’s Grow Appalachia, which is also one of the primary sponsors of the Letcher County Farmers Market. Brandon Fleming, Director of CANE Kitchen, told the court it buys around $40,000 in locally grown vegetables through the Farmers Market and added that the kitchen has approximately 40 local employees.

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