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Mammoth tower

Guest Opinion: A vote that matters

Studying homeland security

Co-op Postcard: Learning a new career


Mammoth tower

Mammoth Cave National Park completed a unique fixer-upper project this year—replacing the Mammoth Dome tower and stairs.

The 53-year-old, 65-foot tower is a connector route between the lower-Historic cave trail and the upper-Historic cave trail, allowing the 2-mile, two-hour historic tour to be a loop route with minimal retracing. The new stainless steel structure serves the same purpose, but is broader and more visitor-friendly.

“Mammoth Dome is an awesome room,” says Mike Adams, chief of interpretation at the park. “The old tower was merely a conveyance. The new tower provides an amazing view of the cave. It will ‘wow’ our visitors. The larger staircase was designed with safety in mind, too. Previously, if we had to carry someone out of the cave, we had to haul a stretcher up the steps with the head or foot extending beyond the handrail. A stretcher will now fit between the rails.”

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Guest Opinion: A vote that matters
by Paul Krey

Will you vote November 4?

Within a month we will have another presidential election deciding the direction of our country and the influences it will have on the world. The U.S. Census Bureau indicates that fewer than 64 percent of registered voters actually voted in the 2004 election, or six out of every 10 registered voters. The numbers decrease as the elections become more intimate at the state, county, and city levels.

Why so few? Can our vote make a difference?

Yes.

For example, think about our local school boards. This elected position may be our most important vote each election. Your vote could be the difference in the direction, culture, and future of the local educational system. Local school boards control the vision, standards, accountability, assessment, budget, and curriculum of what our children learn from grades K-12. Even for people without children in the school system, each vote expresses how we want to incorporate thoughts and ideas in our educational system.

Though our Kentucky educational standards are rising, we are becoming less competitive compared with the rest of the nation or the world. Today’s growing trends of new innovations, patents, and technological advancements are coming from Europe and the Far East. Countries like China and India realize the value and importance of skilled and educated people to sustain their growing economies.

In this fast-paced global economy, where information changes continuously, we must raise the educational bar to increase creativity and innovation. Nine states have formed an educational partnership to infuse 21st-century skills and creativity back into their educational systems, and the results indicate a higher quality student.

Graduating seniors and K-12 students will require real-world abilities to rapidly process information, work together in teams, learn other languages, communicate with each other, and be creative in addressing and resolving future challenges. It would be optimal for us to develop a competitive philosophy that successfully prepares our children for employment and/or higher education in the world of tomorrow, be it 2008 or 2018.

Your vote does count, your voice can be heard, and enough voters can turn any election. Become involved, ask tough questions, attend meetings, and follow up on your issues. It’s only a vote—one vote—but it can make a world of difference. Mark the calendar, remind a neighbor and make an impact.

We have fought many wars for our freedoms; remember to exercise yours November 4.

Paul Krey is a Springfield business owner, school board candidate, and former Air Force officer.

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Studying homeland security

Campbellsville University is offering a minor in homeland security­—making the university the only private college in Kentucky offering such a minor.

Max Wise, assistant professor of political science who is the lead professor with the program, says, “In a post 9-11 world, the academic discipline of homeland security is starting to grow in popularity on college campuses nationwide, as well as with the abundant employment opportunities in this area.”

Wise says the homeland security minor will provide the student basic subject knowledge for a possible career in security of government facilities, private sector security, state and local police officers, federal law enforcement agents, Intelligence Community intelligence analysts, state and local government positions, public health and public safety administrators, counterterrorism professionals, or community leadership.

Students can pursue careers in government agencies, public policy, international organizations, nongovernmental organizations, as well as thousands of private sector companies, Wise says.

“Many people think that the only employment in this field would be the federal government, but today each state has an Office of Homeland Security dedicated to homeland security awareness and protection, as well as many metropolitan cities and large business corporations who are looking for someone with an understanding of terrorism and natural disaster prevention,” Wise says.

A degree with a minor in homeland security requires the successful completion of 24 credit hours of coursework. A sample of courses to be taken include: Introduction to the Criminal Justice System, Fundamentals of Homeland Security, Government and Homeland Security, Terrorism Studies, International Relations, Critical Infrastructure Protection, Victimology, Intelligence and Intelligence Analysis, and World Religions.

For information on the homeland security minor, contact Wise at gmwise@campbellsville.edu or (270) 789-5283.

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Co-op Postcard: Learning a new career

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