Etherton recalls public service work
A desire to shorten his commute to work was the main incentive for Kenney Etherton to begin his leadership role at Fulton County Transit Authority in 2002.
“I wanted to come back home to work,” Etherton explained during a recent interview. “I was driving to Calvert City daily, and I wanted to shorten my drive. I wanted to be able to spend time with the twins (who were toddlers at the time) and the other two kids, too.”
In Calvert City, Etherton was part of a fire/rescue and hazmat team. He also served as the county DES (now Emergency Management) director.
“I became familiar with government operations and how to work within the system of government,” Etherton explained.
During the first days of employment at FCTA, Etherton called his former boss in Calvert City and requested he hold the job open there for about a week just in case Etherton opted to return.
“We had a fleet of 20-25 vehicles at FCTA then. I didn’t have a vehicle with under 250,000 miles on it. Duct tape and baling wire were a true statement of keeping them together,” Etherton said.
FCTA’s finances were being held together by the kindness and cooperation of local bank officials.
“Transit was deep in debt with local banks,” Etherton recalled. “All were great to work with once we talked about a plan of what we thought we could do and where we could go.”
The agency’s liability and other insurance coverage was in limbo at that time, too.
“My very first conversation with our insurance carrier was at a ‘meet and greet’,” Etherton explained. “We talked about Transit, the weather, and my past. Just your basic small talk. During this conversation, he mentioned if we didn’t come up with $10,000 in a two-week period, our insurance would be cancelled.”
A stunned, rookie transportation leader looked at the insurance official and said, “Wait a minute! I don’t know which key opens my office door and you tell me this? It’s gonna put us out of business!”
The insurance official went on to tell Etherton that it wasn’t his company’s decision but was an insurance board decision.
“I knew we had just finished payroll and had $500 in the bank,” Etherton recalled.
Instead of panicking, Etherton called Harold Garrison who was then Fulton County Judge Executive and told him about the situation.
“Judge Garrison assured me and reassured me that it would be OK. He said that Transit was an important service to the county, and he would se what he could do. Thanks to Judge Garrison and the Fulton County Fiscal Court, we overcame that hurdle at that time.”
According to Etherton, the next hurdle for him came quickly after the insurance payment was worked out.
“We got a notice that our federal funding would be cut by a substantial amount,” Etherton said. “Once again, I called Judge Garrison and he told me, ‘Let me work on it.’ About an hour later, I got a phone call and Judge Garrison said, ‘Meet me at the PADD Office in Mayfield this afternoon at 3 o’clock’.”
As Etherton recalled, he drove to Mayfield, walked into the PADD Office, and Judge Garrison met him at the door.
“In his loving, gruff voice he said, ‘Come on. Go with me!’ He drug me into a small office behind the reception area at the PADD Office and introduced me to Senator Jim Bunning’s field representative; Congressman Ed Whitfield’s field representative; and Senator Mitch McConnell’s field representative. He told me, ‘Tell them your problem,’ and then walked out of the room. I explained to the three field reps what the problem was, where we were, and where we wanted to go. They were all very cordial and understanding. After some worry and grief, several months later our funding was restored. Once again, Fulton County’s Judge Executive came through in helping the agency survive,” Etherton recollected.
The early part of Etherton’s tenure at FCTA wasn’t as bad as the beginning, but it wasn’t all good times yet either.
“We had 12 to 15 employees and struggled to make payroll and pay the bills,” Etherton said. “I had to call our fuel vendor and ask to extend our time to pay the bill because the money hadn’t come in yet. Our reputation for being on time delivering clients wasn’t the best. But with a supportive Board of Directors and local, elected leadership in all four counties we served, we slowly started making some turns.”
One positive included obtaining newer vehicles.
“We were able to turn that high-mileage fleet over in just a year’s time,” Etherton said. “Ridership started increasing as we got better, more reliable vehicles in the fleet.”
Although the Transit system isn’t set up to be a money-making entity, it should, instead, break even. Theoretically the more rides you provide the more federal money you receive. Etherton explained the early struggles – and quite possibly the ones throughout his career – were caused by the way funding goes and flows throughout the system.
“I’ve always said there’s been just enough money to run the place at times, but the cash hasn’t flowed at the right time,” Etherton said.
According to the FCTA leader, agency funding was, and still is, like a swinging pendulum.
“If the pendulum ever gets to the middle, it doesn’t stay there long,” Etherton said. “It’s either fully to the right or fully to the left. That’s the nature of the beast. The funding cycle, how Congress funds grants is rural versus urban. There are a lot of reasons for that swing. It’s simply not designed to be a for-profit agency.”
Within a few years, the Fulton City Manager’s position became open and Etherton opted to take that job. He remained involved with FCTA as a member of the Board of Directors.
“We were able to establish a level of credit with one of the area banks when cash wasn’t flowing as it needed to,” Etherton said. “Our ridership was improving, and we were making money when we needed to.”
Etherton served as city manager for almost six years.
“I don’t know that I ever saw myself coming back to work at Transit,” Etherton recalled.
Leaving the city manager’s office, Etherton wasn’t sure where he was going to work next. FCTA Executive Director Paul Maxwell had taken another job and, as Etherton said, “it dovetailed into me going back to FCTA.”
During the time Etherton worked in city government, FCTA had continued to grow.
“FCTA got new vehicles while Paul was executive director,” Etherton said. “We got this office building. Lots of good things were happening during that timeframe. It was still in that pendulum swing where we had to fight for every dollar. We did have some leftover grant money and were quickly able to build the current shop facility that we have.”
Etherton believes the maintenance department may well have exceeded their early vision.
“I don’t know that we envisioned it to be turning out the amount of work it does today when we built it,” the FCTA leader said. “As some of the local vendors retired or went out of business, we saw we were going to have to do much of our own maintenance which has turned out to be a blessing with the cost basis. It took a little while, but we were able to hire a mechanic who had past experience working on our vehicles from a vendor we had used.”
FCTA Building and Grounds Maintenance Supervisor Chris Brown and Mechanic Kenny Patterson kept the shop going and detention center trustees helped with the mowing.
“That building and those personnel have saved us millions of dollars with oil changes and light maintenance,” Etherton said. “We were able to do a much better preventive maintenance program which expands the life of our vehicles and were able to turn our vehicle down time around much faster. If a vehicle is in the shop for more than 24 hours, we are waiting for a part. This turns our vehicles back into revenue making vehicles quickly.”
According to Etherton, building the shop wasn’t a planned accomplishment, but ended up being one anyway.
“Building that shop and what we have done with it is probably one of the things I’m most proud of in my tenure here,” Etherton added.
During his second stint as FCTA top leader, the agency moved into providing a service to Amtrak customers.
“I knew and understood the liability to City of Fulton was carrying by transporting people back and forth to the station,” Etherton explained. “It turned out to be one of our signature services.”
One of the challenges Etherton said he has had during both stints as executive director has been educating the public on the various benefits of riding with FCTA. Although numerous people use public transportation, some don’t really understand it.
“People in the urban areas understand public transportation; people in rural areas sometimes don’t understand what public transit can do for them. They think of it as a ‘doctor bus,’ and in a way it is,” Etherton said. “Public transit benefits seniors and helps their families who are caregivers. They can still go to work, and their family members can make it to their doctor appointments.”
One of Etherton’s favorite stories about his years working at FCTA is a personal one.
“My mother was in a nursing home here in Fulton,” Etherton recalled. “At that time, she was pretty much confined to a wheelchair because her mobility was gone. I didn’t have a vehicle to transport her. Then I thought, ‘You run a transportation agency.’ We got her to her appointments and back safely.”
In addition to helping older citizens get to medical appointments, Etherton said FCTA helps them continue to take part in life.
“We are able to make sure they can get to the local drug store and pay bills. We give them the ability to carry on day-to-day life without burdening family members and friends,” Etherton said.
Slowly over time, Etherton said, people of all ages in the four counties FCTA serves have realized how the agency can become a large part of their daily lives.
“People have learned over the years that we are an efficient way to get them to work on time,” Etherton added. “For many years, we carried children to school. We have provided charters for governmental agencies and industries as well as for area holiday parties so employees and others could get to an event and home safely.”
For some unknown reason, Transit agencies tend to fail to tell people the good things they can do.
“I hope during this stint as executive director, I have changed that and helped others realize what we can do and how we can meet their needs,” Etherton said.
Improving FCTA’s technology was also a major goal in Etherton’s second term.
“Our technology was way behind. Even doing simple, every day tasks proved our technology was not up to par,” Etherton explained. “We applied for grants, and we would get a little money here and there to help improve our systems, but nothing significant. We just kept continually picking away. We were also taking small bits to improve our technology out of what we could afford within our yearly budget.”
An international pandemic ironically provided a huge boost to FCTA’s technology needs.
“Where we made leaps and bounds with out technology is when COVID-19 hit,” Etherton admitted. “That may sound odd, but with CARES, ARPA, and others, it freed up some money within the state with a short turnaround. Where we are today is simply amazing. We are better able to communicate with our drivers and better able to track the vehicles for the safety of drivers and clients. Internally, our phone system is amazing, and being able to use the cloud and have in house storage for documents. We are working toward a paperless workspace although I don’t think you can every achieve that in a governmental agency.”
Etherton was careful to admit that with all the achievements that have been made, FCTA hasn’t totally arrived at the place he and others have dreamed it would be.
“We’re much further down the road than we were, but we still have miles to travel. Overall, I feel good with where we are,” Etherton said.
Operating a Transit agency during COVID-19 was actually like turning off a light switch according to Etherton.
“We, as a team – past employees and present – have worked so hard at building the ridership up. I think we had built a trust with the elected leadership and citizens that we were reliable and efficient. We were at just over 60 employees and were moving 500 to 600 people a day,” Etherton reflected. “COVID hit and we went to moving less than 100 clients a day and were down to 20 employees in a 30-day period. Not knowing what was going to happen, changes hit us every day – sometimes hour to hour – with new regulations we had to follow.”
Etherton admits he wasn’t sure if the agency could survive COVID-19.
“I didn’t know where we were going to go, what we were going to do, and if we could sustain this,” Etherton said. “I couldn’t see us sustaining this for a long period oft time. I never dreamed COVID would last this long and, as time passed, I realized it was a long-term thing. Do I personally agree with everything the government did with CARES and ARPA? No, I didn’t, but the good may outweigh the bad. Not only did those two acts save FCTA, but many other Transit agencies across the Commonwealth. I’m sure the country, too. We wouldn’t have survived and that would have been devastating to this part of the Commonwealth.”
Looking back over his tenure, Etherton was careful to recall who could very well be considered the “father” of Fulton County Transit Authority - former Fulton County Judge Executive James Everett.
“We need to be thankful to Judge Executive James Everett for having the vision to create FCTA,” Etherton said. “I hope I’ve done my part to keep James’ vision alive and that it has grown beyond what he had ever envisioned. Having known James, I think he would be proud of what we’ve done.”
With a little more than a week left in his time at FCTA, Etherton finds himself doing lots and lots of reflecting.
“As I see this chapter of my career closing, I look back and I have a lot of people to say ‘thank you’ to. I’ve had a good staff who really care about the citizens we serve. From administrative staff, to drivers, to maintenance workers, to groundskeepers everybody has been making this a better place,” Etherton said. “I leave knowing there will be a new addition constructed at this facility here to more efficiently run the administration. New vehicles are ordered. Another year’s grant has been filed. I leave knowing we’ve done a good job. The challenges here will never end, but FCTA will always be ‘going and coming your way’.”
FCTA gets new VoIP phone system
Fulton County Transit Authority completed their “technology puzzle” recently by putting a new phone system online. Literally.
Called Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), the system literally uses the Internet for voice communication and multimedia sessions including fax and voice-messaging.
Basically, the communication system is no longer what Alexander Graham Bell had in mind when he invented the telephone.
“It doesn’t really function any differently than a landline,” explained FCTA Manager of Information Systems Nikki Hamrick. “Unlike the old landline system, though, we do not have multiple phone lines. All calls come in and go out over fiber lines.”
FCTA has one phone number, Hamrick further explained, and with that number is the option to have 16 calls going on at one time on that same line.
In addition to new phones, dispatchers and call takers now have the ability to use wireless headsets to make answering calls more efficient for them. One difference the users have had to take into consideration is the three-second delay between answering the call and the caller being able to hear their voice over the Internet. This time frame gives the system the opportunity to change the human voice into
The system will allow FCTA employees to be flexible with work sites as well. The two recent inclement weather episodes in the Fulton area allowed employees to work from home while using the FCTA phone system as if they were working from the Eastwood Drive office.
Employees who have an agency cell phone have downloaded an app that allows the new phone system to be used anywhere the employee might need to conduct FCTA business – from home, in other areas of the Commonwealth, or even hundreds of miles away from the Fulton area. Although the employees could use the Internet to conduct FCTA business, having the VoIP system allows their calls to be more recognizable on caller ID and gives them access to caller lists stored within their desktop phone. It also allows them to immediately answer questions and concerns from callers rather than forcing them to leave voicemails and wait for return calls.
As with any new technology, the system has been a learning curve at FCTA. Hamrick and FCTA IT Tech Ryan Henderson have been helping their coworkers understand the basic principles of the new system as well as become familiar with all the functionality of the new phones.
Other parts of the technology puzzle include updated computers, Driver tablets and cradles, and an improved vehicle tracking system.
Call Taker Rebecca Barnes, Dispatcher/Call Taker Christy Snow, and Dispatcher Allyson Brooks field phone calls from clients for rides on a recent work day. In addition to getting new phones to make their jobs easier, the trio were also given wireless head sets to make answering calls more efficient for them and hearing the callers more simple. The new phone system allows up to 16 calls at once on one line.
Group brings food, funds to tornado area
Photos by Marketing Director Kim Jobe
PROJECT PARTICIPANTS - Fulton County Transit Authority provided transportation for delivery of meals recentlly to those affected by the December 10, 2021, tornadoes. United By Barbecue, Southern Boyz Outdoors, Bruce Mitchell and Ronnie Adams from History Channel’s “Swamp People,” Albany, Louisiana’s Fire Chief and Police Chief, and other volunteers from the Hammond, Louisiana, area among those in Fulton preparing the meals January 28-30. Hosted by Fulton’s First United Methodist Church, the group was joined by many Fulton and South Fulton area residents to help cook the meals and fill the plates. The goal of the group was to share love, hope, and food. By Sunday, the entire group of people had prepared and delivered 3,121 meals. On Friday, a FCTA driver delivered lunch to law enforcement and first responders in the Mayfield area while two other drivers delivered meals to Cayce and Clinton. Shortly before noon on Saturday (January 29), several members of the group from Louisiana boarded a FCTA bus after it was filled with 600 meals to take to the Mayfield-Graves County Fairgrounds. Included in the group were Mitchell, Adams, Albany Police Chief Boyd Wild, and Kinion Bankston, owner of Southern Boyz Outdoors. Those travelling to Mayfield spent over an hour visiting with people at the fairgrounds including those affected by the tornado and volunteers who were working at the fairgrounds that day. “Swamp People” and Southern Boyz Outdoors fans took numerous photos with Mitchell, Adams, and Bankston. Then the group travelled around downtown Mayfield to view the damage for themselves that they had seen on TV newscasts and other areas. Walking around downtown, Mitchell, Adams, and Bankston went live on their respective Facebook pages to show their followers the damage there and encourage them to consider aiding residents of the area. The Transit driver made a couple of stops in the downtown area for the passengers to disembark and talk with those in the vicinity. During one stop, the group visited with some individuals who had been providing food and other items to people since a few days after December 10. Prior to reboarding the FCTA bus, the group presented the volunteers with several Walmart gift cards to give to some of those who stop by and seem to need a real monetary blessing. The gift cards were provided by students in the Albany, Louisiana, area who collected money at their schools to send gift cards to Kentucky and Tennessee storm victims. The students collected around $4,000. FCTA employees who helped load and deliver meals throughout the weekend included Executive Director Kenney Etherton; Marketing Director Kim Jobe; and drivers Tonda Casey; Shaun Destratis; Jenny Evans, Armeta Johnson; Kim Rust; and Goldie Taylor. More photos from the event may be viewed on the Photo Albums Page on this website.
BGCAP Driver Rebecca Hafley (left) and RTEC Driver Michael Dixon (above) were among those who kept free relief rides going in the Mayfield/Graves County area.
Commonwealth 'cavalry' helps keep FCTA's tornado relief program going
By Kim Jobe
Fulton County Transit Authority Marketing Director
Just like in the old TV Westerns, Fulton County Transit Authority put out a call for help and the “Transit cavalry” showed up.
On December 17, a week after a tornado tore through portions of Western Kentucky, FCTA Executive Director Kenney Etherton sent out a call to members of the Kentucky Public Transit Association for assistance – in the form of 10 vehicles and 10 drivers - to help with relief efforts in Cayce and Mayfield/Graves County.
KPTA answered quickly and largely.
Later that day, the FCTA Leadership Team put together a plan of action for the tornado relief transportation utilizing FCTA personnel and the visiting drivers from across the Commonwealth. That weekend, drivers from Paducah Area Transit System (PATS), Murray-Calloway Transit Agency, Audubon Area Community Services, Inc., and Pennyrile Allied Community Services Organization, Inc. arrived in Mayfield to work.
Under the leadership of FCTA Operations Manager Rachel Cook and FCTA Driver Supervisor Frank Glisson, the volunteer drivers transported those displaced residents from local hotels and shelters to seek assistance from state and governmental agencies as well as food and supplies from donation sites around the area on Saturday and Sunday. Some of the drivers transported those assigned to the area Kentucky State Parks, with what belongings they had gathered up, to their temporary shelter.
Sunday evening, three vehicles and three drivers from Bluegrass Community Action Partnership, Inc. arrived in Fulton to go to work in the Mayfield area Monday morning. Throughout the week before Christmas and the next week, drivers from Federated Transportation Service of the Bluegrass (FTSB), Rural Transit Enterprises Coordinated, Inc. (RTEC), Frankfort Transit System, and Transit Authority of River City (TARC) also arrived ready to do what they do best – moving people from place to place.
Transit Authority of River City (TARC) also brought a Louisville city bus loaded with supplies and employees to the area to help make certain water, baby formula, diapers, and other items were available for those needing them.
When asked, many of the drivers said they really didn’t know what to expect from their assignment.
“I took a guy over to his apartment building near downtown Mayfield,” said Rebecca Hafley, a driver from Bluegrass Community Action Partnership, Inc. in Frankfort. “He had lived on the third floor. The whole upstairs was gone.”
The man, Hafley said, told her that he heard a tornado was headed their way and attempted to get his neighbors to evacuate to the building’s basement with him. One refused, Hafley recalled the man saying, and was found later under a fallen wall where she perished.
“You can see his belongings and his clothes still hanging in the closet there,” Hafley said, pointing to the apartment building and the area where the man had once resided.
Driving through a neighborhood near downtown Mayfield where cleanup had yet to begin, Hafley said the devastation was amazing and weighed somewhat heavily on her emotions.
“I’ve been through downtown way too many times,” the driver added. “It’s very sad.”
Hafley also said seeing the Mayfield/Graves County area in person gives you a better perspective of the power of the storm than seeing it on TV.
“You’re more desensitized sitting at home,” Hafley explained.
Driving a woman from a church in Mayfield to a hotel in Paducah, Hafley said the woman began sharing about her experience during the tornado.
“She said during the storm she fell on her knees and began praying, ‘Lord, Jesus, save me!’,” Hafley recalled. “And he did.”
Hafley also recalled transporting a woman who was at home in a Mayfield housing project prior to the storm.
“She said her apartment is the only thing still upright there,” Hafley said. “She opened the front window and a back window and locked her and her doggie in the bathroom. She believes that saved them.”
The kindness and goodness of humanity made a real mark on the BGCAP driver while in the Mayfield/Graves County area.
“People from everywhere have come to Mayfield and are making a difference,” Hafley said. “I took some people to Mayfield High School. When we pulled up, some volunteers asked one man how many children he had. When he told them two, they gave him two gift cards with $500 each on them – one for each child – and age-appropriate toys for the children as well.”
Given the widespread damage and the amount of people forced from their homes because of the tornado, Hafley thought she would be busier.
“We have transported quite a few people, though,” she added.
Her last day spent volunteering in the area had Hafley driving to and from Mayfield and two of the state parks housing area residents which did keep her from being idle too much.
Hafley admitted the only thing she didn’t know what to expect about the area was what was available and what wasn’t for herself, her husband – who is also a BGCAP driver – and their coworker.
“I was worried about what would be available to eat,” Hafley admitted. “So, we went to the store and got Pop Tarts, honey buns, dry cereal, instant oatmeal, peanut butter and crackers – “snacky” stuff we could eat on if we had to. But we really haven’t needed it.”
Michael Dixon, Operations Manager for Rural Transit Enterprises Coordinated, Inc. (RTEC) in Mount Vernon was another driver who was impacted by his time spent helping those who were displaced by the December 10 storm.
“I had a few thoughts in my head on what the City of Mayfield would look like once we got there,” Dixon said. “It’s safe to say the pictures and media didn’t do it justice on what it looks like in person. I was overwhelmed.”
The destruction of all the buildings and houses are a memory that Dixon said would always be with him.
“One of the ladies I took to the high school to get supplies, she and her daughter were in the candle factory that night. She said she was on top of her daughter covering her up and they were trapped for five hours,” Dixon recalled. “They were unhurt, but their friend was five feet from them, and she passed away. That’s sad.”
A veteran of the United States Navy, Dixon said he has joined in relief work oversees in other countries.
“This was by far the worst destruction I have been a part of,” Dixon said. “Hopefully they will be able to build back this beautiful town soon.”
Other volunteer drivers may not have openly shared their experiences with the tornado relief, but many left visibly changed from their time spent in Mayfield/Graves County. One driver left Mayfield in tears as she was heading towards home. Several others told Glisson, their FCTA guide in the area, that the time spent driving those residents displaced by the storm gave them a more heartwarming and profound definition of the “spirit of giving” during the holiday season.
FCTA drivers were not absent during the early part of the tornado relief in the storm damaged areas. Several spent their workday staged near First Baptist Church in Cayce assisting those in need of transportation or ready to move volunteers from one place to another. Other FCTA drivers spent time between their medical or other calls shuttling displaced residents from sites to receive federal, state, or local assistance to churches and other areas to get supplies or a hot meal. Much of the time the drivers were someone to listen as survivors recalled their personal stories of December 10 and how the storm affected them.
“This really helped put a purpose to why we exist,” FCTA Executive Director Kenney Etherton said. “It’s about helping people and providing for their needs no matter the situation. We are more than taking people to the grocery store or to medical visits. Helping people in disasters is part of our mission as well.”
The agency leader has had a mantra of sorts during his years of service to the community.
“I have said many times when I lay my head on the pillow at night that I know we helped people that day,” Etherton said. “We proudly serve four counties. We are a part of every community we serve. We are there for them no matter what even in the day-to-day transportation.”
Etherton knows FCTA is fortunate that the foresight was there 35 years ago when it was established.
“We are an asset to these four counties,” Etherton added “We are truly going and coming your way, no matter what the way is.”
FCTA Executive Director Kenney Etherton, Operations Manager Rachel Cook, and Driver Supervisor Frank Glisson helped Transit Authority of River City employees deliver donations they gathered in Louisville for area tornado victims. The group delivered about $7,500 worth of supplies via a city bus.
Transit agency delivers supplies via city bus
Area residents who thought they saw a large, gray city bus traveling on I-69 and Purchase Parkway recently weren’t seeing an optical illusion. It was, indeed, a city bus.
Transit Authority of River City (TARC) sent one of their newer buses to Western Kentucky from Louisville. Signs on the bus stated the vehicle was on a tornado relief mission. Aboard the bus were employees of the agency and a large quantity of supplies including bottled water, diapers, baby formula, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and other necessities for residents of Mayfield and Graves County.
“The collection of supplies was greatly appreciated,” said Fulton County Transit Authority Executive Director Kenney Etherton. “This shows that every walk of life in the Commonwealth is coming together where other Kentuckians are in need.”
Driving an FCTA vehicle, Operations Manager Rachel Cook and Marketing Director Kim Jobe led the TARC bus to the Mayfield/Graves County Fairgrounds. FCTA Driver Supervisor Frank Glisson met the group at the fairgrounds to assist with the delivery of the items. The employees of both agencies joined the volunteers at the “infield” to help place the donations on wooden pallets so they could be distributed to the sites within the area for pickup as needed.
This was not the first Transit agency to send assistance to the area damaged by the December 10 tornadoes.
“We’ve had agencies supply us with drivers and vehicles,” Etherton explained. “We’ve provided over 300 rides to displaced residents in Fulton and Graves counties from the volunteer drivers over the past two weeks. Without the help of our partner agencies, we would not have been able to perform the services needed at this time.”
The FCTA leader is extremely grateful to those who have helped.
“Thanks is a small word for the assistance we have received,” Etherton said. “When the tornado hit the Mayfield/Graves County area on December 10, we lost 11 vehicles from our fleet at our office on North Ninth Street. That’s why our partners’ help was so greatly valued. The overall support has been almost emotionally overwhelming at times and proves there is still a lot of goodness in mankind with neighbors helping neighbors.”
TOP EMPLOYEE - Kenny Patterson has been named Fulton County Transit Authority Employee of the Year for 2021. The annual honor is chosen by secret ballot voting by FCTA employees. Patterson, a resident of Clinton, has been FCTA Mechanic for five years. “Kenny is a valued member of our maintenance team,” said FCTA Executive Director Kenney Etherton. Pictured (left to right) are Patterson and Etherton.