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Aviette Bioprocessing celebrates grand opening

The Franklin-Simpson Industrial Authority announced in early March that Aviette Bioprocessing was bringing Canadian-technology and its Kentucky Honey CBD label to Franklin. Monday, Nov. 1, nearly eight months after the location news, the company celebrated its grand opening with the community headlined by guest speaker US Senator Rand Paul.

The facility takes biomass grown by area farmers and processes it into distillate that is then passed on to a Kentucky company that formulates the product into CBD items such as creams, gummies and oils.

“I’m glad to be here to support Aviette. They’re taking hemp a product our farmers make in Kentucky and making it into CBD oil to help various ailments that people have. It has become very popular across the US. We wish them all the luck in the world. It’s great for southcentral Kentucky,” Senator Paul said. “From a government’s point of view, I think my job is to stay out of their way, try to keep their taxes low, their regulations low. [...] There are a lot of controls on what they make here and what comes out and that’s fine but I think we should leave the farmers alone.”

Paul noted that Aviette Bioprocessing’s owner and founder Mark Loik is a first generation American.

“There are some of you in the crowd who are first generation Americans and it’s wonderful to see people bringing their expertise to our country, opening businesses and thriving,” Paul said. “Some people in politics think this is just automatic — you just open a business and businesses thrive. We tend to see the businesses that thrive we don’t see the ones who don’t thrive. About half of businesses that start don’t make it so it’s extraordinary when a business makes it and we wish Aviette the greatest success in their ventures.”

Paul said it is important to know why people come to the United States.

“They come to this country because of freedom, the freedom to succeed, the freedom to open a business,” Paul said. “[…] It is important what kind of economic system we have. We succeed in this country and Aviette will hopefully thrive because of capitalism because of the economic system our ‘founding fathers’ enshrined in our country.

Realize that small businesses in America are the backbone of this country, but it isn’t easy. It will take hard work and we wish them the best of luck.”

Loik offered a special thank you to the company’s partners in Canada — extractX Inc. — who he noted gave Aviette Bioprocessing the ability to utilize the latest technology to compete in the marketplace.

“In seeing this project to reality, I would like to thank the shareholders who are here today in addition to the support of the vendors and partners that constructed this facility to make sure that the plant can support the products that we make,” Loik said. “The bags of biomass to the left of me are supplied by some of the best farmers in Simpson and Warren County.”

Loik added that the mission is “to create what we feel is a company that is dedicated to making Kentucky Honey a household name for wellness in this ever growing marketplace of CBD. Our pride and our hard work are aligned to bring Kentucky to the front of the marketplace, and in fact, leading the marketplace.”

Loik said when creating Kentucky Honey, quality was “paramount.”

“We picked a great facility, we picked a great town and we picked people who wanted to support us,” Loik said. “It has been less than a year and already we have established a brand, we’ve established a following within the community, we have established a following within Mexico and throughout the United States. It hasn’t been without the support of our friends, our shareholders, our vendors and people who wanted to see this through with us.”

Simpson County Judge/Executive Mason Barnes expressed his gratitude to Loik and his team for choosing Simpson County for their facility.

“I like that you said first processing facility because that tells me that this man has visions for doing more and beyond where they are currently at and we’re excited to hear that,” Barnes said. “To the Aviette team, I want to say I wish you the greatest success and if there is anything I can do for you here on a local level, I will be glad to do so and I know we will be seeing some great things coming out of Mark and this team at Aviette.”

The company is the third CBD-based company to locate to the county.

“It appears to me that the world is finding something out about Franklin and Simpson County that we’ve all known for a long, long time. It is a place to open a business, to live, to work and to raise a family,” Franklin-Simpson Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Steve Thurmond said. “We are so excited to have Aviette as a business in our community, employing people in our community and bringing recognition to our community.”

Aviette Bioprocessing operates in a 12,000 square-foot building at 121 Brown Road in Franklin.

“Our team couldn’t be happier in choosing Simpson County to establish our first production facility as our brand grows, so will the opportunity to establish good jobs in our facility but that also means that we need more farmers growing quality biomass and creating additional opportunities within Simpson County and the surrounding areas,” Loik said.

Simpson County DEM Palmer discusses earthquake safety

Although Simpson County is usually not associated with the occurrence of earthquakes, a quake along the New Madrid Fault Line, that runs through eight states including a portion of western Kentucky, could have an impact in this area of the state.

Prior to the annual International Shake Out Day on Oct. 21, (held each year to educate the public about the importance of taking immediate action in case of an earthquake) Simpson County Director of Emergency Management Robert Palmer discussed earthquakes and earthquake safety during an interview that aired on WFKN radio.

Palmer started the interview by talking about what causes an earthquake.

“When there’s two blocks of rock, or granite, whatever the material is deep in the earth’s surface, deep underground, those things are under tremendous pressure from within the center of the earth and there’s pressure against each other and after a certain amount of time that pressure slips and those plates will slip against each other and one goes up and one goes down.” Palmer said. “When that happens the energy from that comes through the ground up towards the surface and then we get it in the form of shaking and movement of the ground. When those plates shift it creates a fault plane and once that plane is created you can expect that to happen in the future as well.”

Palmer also talked about after shocks.

“An after shock is nothing more than another earthquake on that same plane, Palmer said. “It happens after the original earthquake and it happens in the same place.

Normally after shocks have less strength to them, but there have been times when the after shocks are actually stronger than the original activity.

I’ve been educated to the fact that regardless of how strong it is the first episode at that time is considered the earthquake itself and then anything that occurs after that are the after shocks.

Again, typically they are not as strong as the original earthquake, but sometimes they are stronger. After shocks can continue for weeks, or months or sometimes even years after the original earthquake takes place. After shocks can be as destructive as earthquakes because when that quake hits it can weaken our water lines, electrical systems, bridges, roadways, structures, our homes, that kind of stuff. So any further after shocks, even though they may not be as strong as the original quake can still do pretty major damage because everything around there has already been weakened.”

Palmer said some things can be done to prepare in advance for an earthquake.

“If you have a gun cabinet, or a China hutch that sits up against a wall, just take the time to get you a little strap and a couple of screws and strap it to the wall so it won’t fall over during an earthquake.”

He also suggested that locks be put on cabinet doors and other places where items are stored to keep such things as plates and glasses from falling out during an earthquake.

“The same thing can be said about a water heater,” Palmer said. “We worry a lot about water heaters because most of them are gas, a lot of them are gas and if that water heater falls over and breaks the gas line then you have a gas leak inside your home, which can be pretty devastating.

Those are a couple things you can do to make your home and your environment safer. Stuff you can do before the quake hits that makes it safer for you afterwards.”

“I really emphasize that pre planning is the best way to go. Failing to plan is planning to fail. There is a lot of truth to that,” he added.

The website www.ready.gov provides information about how to preparing a safety kit and other information to prepare for an earthquake.

Palmer said an earthquake can happen anywhere.

“There is no place that is not susceptible to an earthquake. No place is immune to them. Any place on the globe can experience an earthquake,” he said. “But, they more commonly occur where there has been one already.”

Palmer talked about what impact(s) could an earthquake along the New Madrid Fault have on this area of the state.

“It’ll definitely have an impact here,” he said. “Kentucky, along with I believe the seven other states that are impacted by the New Madrid Fault, have spent a lot of time creating extensive plans for a New Madrid event. According to seismologists its well over due to get active again. The expected size of that event would definitely impact our area. In Simpson County we’re not going to see the liquefaction where buildings sink into the ground and the dirt acts like water and becomes completely unstable and that kind of stuff that you expect right there on the fault. So we’re not expecting those large problems. But, there would definitely be some minor structure damage. Definitely cracks in brick and block structures. I would think that the brick façade on some building fronts could possibly collapse, that kind of stuff. Maybe some underground utility problems, minor road issues. The kinds of things that we’re going to see are not necessarily going to stop us from functioning completely. But will definitely be something we’ll have to deal with.”

“A bigger problem is, the Bowling Green area is going to be a staging point for FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) equipment and stuff like that to come in and deploy into that area further west of us. So in this area we will probably see a lot of activity from FEMA staging. With roads and bridges in western Kentucky not useable, we can expect to see people walk to get out of that area and after a few days we would expect to start seeing people showing up in our area looking for shelter and some place to go that is safer than where they came from. When it happens (earthquake along the New Madrid Fault) we will definitely be impacted in some form or fashion.”

And, Palmer talked about how to protect yourself during an earthquake.

“Remember three things — stop, drop, and hold on,” he said. “Once you realize that you are in an earthquake and there could be some danger. You want to stop whatever you are doing, drop to the floor so you don’t get thrown off your feet or something else that could cause injury to you, avoid falling injuries.

Then seek shelter under a sturdy table, or a desk, or in a doorway or something strong to keep things from falling.

Similar to tornadoes we want to protect our head and our neck area to keep books, maybe light fixtures, things like that from falling.

But, the short answer is stop, drop and hold on.”

Additional earthquake safety tips can be found on line at the International Shake Out Day website, www.shakeout.org.

Franklin BPW annual award winners announced

Jennifer Atkins was named Woman of the Year by the Franklin Business and Professional Women’s Club.

The Franklin BPW celebrated Kentucky Professional Women’s Month in October. The third week in October is designated as Kentucky Professional Women’s Week. Each year during October the Franklin BPW recognizes and honors women in the community with special awards.

Other BPW awards this year included Woman of Achievement — Salita Hogan, Businesses Promoting Women — Caring with a Smile/ LeKesha Matthews, Volunteer of the Year — Judy Cothern and Business/Boss of the Year — Squeeze the Day/Christie Finn.

The eight Woman of the Day awards went to Alice Bailey, Amber Huggins, Kim Caudill, Bonnie Borth, Kristin Crafton, Margie Dodson, Sheila Stovall and Margie Dodson.

The three BPW scholarship recipients were Ally Clay, Liz Stanley and Kaitlyn Vaughn.

For more information about Franklin BPW, visit the Franklin Business and Professional Women Facebook page.

Simpson County's unemployment rate remains at 3.4 percent

Simpson County’s unemployment rate was unchanged from August to September.

Kentucky Labor Force Estimates place Simpson County’s September unemployment rate at 3.4%, the same as in August.

September’s rate was the lowest in the Barren River Area Development District and sixth lowest in the state.

The September 2021 rate was 1.6% lower than the September 2022 rate of five%.

During September 2021 Simpson County had a civilian labor force of 8,851 people of which 8,547 were employed and 304 were unemployed.

Simpson County’s September unemployment rate was lower than the district’s 3.6%, lower than the state’s 3.9% and lower than the nation’s 4.6%.

Along with Simpson County, Allen and Logan counties also had the district’s lowest and state’s sixth lowest unemployment rate in September at 3.4% each. Warren County had the district’s second lowest rate at 3.5%. Barren and Metcalfe counties had the highest at 4.3%.

Unemployment rates rose in two Kentucky counties between September 2020 and September 2021, fell in 116, and stayed the same in two.

Cumberland, Oldham, and Woodford counties recorded the lowest jobless rates in Kentucky in September 2021 at 2.8% each. Magoffin County recorded the highest rate at 11.1%.

Unemployment statistics are based on estimates and are compiled to measure trends rather than to count the number of people who are working. Civilian labor force statistics include persons who are actively seeking employment, not those who have not looked for work during the past four weeks.

Central Standard Time returns Sunday at 2 a.m.

Central Standard Time returns Sunday, Nov. 7, at 2 a.m.

Clocks should be moved back one hour Saturday night in order to be on the correct time Sunday morning.

It is also recommended by fire officials to change batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors when changing times on clocks.