Jan. 16, 2013 — OLIVE HILL — Kieara Judd thinks the grownups are listening.
Kieara, a 17-year-old senior at West Carter High School, was one of about 225 people at Thursday’s “A New Beginning” at the Army National Guard Armory, in which Olive Hill residents asked God to heal their town of the scourge of drugs and other evils.
“It shows people are trying to make the community better,” Kieara said. “The drugs need to be gone … I believe Olive Hill needs a change, every way possible.”
There were other teenagers at the meeting. Hailey Collins, 14, is part of “Street Smart for Jesus,” a youth ministry of the Limestone Apostolic Church on Lawton Road.
“I wanted to learn some stuff,” Hailey said. “I’d like to see more things for teenagers to do instead of hanging out downtown.”
Olive Hill Councilwoman Angela Johnson advertized last night’s meeting on Facebook for at least a week, and she produced a five-minute video, five-minute video, “New Beginning for Olive Hill,” but she said the idea for it was Olive Hill Mayor Kenny Fankell’s.
“One thing was on his heart,” Johnson said. “He had the title and everything.”
The Rev. David Gee, pastor of the First Christian Church of Olive Hill — which was condemned after the 2010 floods that wiped out most of downtown (the church has since build a new sanctuary on Caleb Powers Lane) — opened with a prayer. Jerry Sparks of the Three Pine Freewill Baptist Church offered the benediction.
There were people at least two generations older than Hailey and Kiera at the nearly 30-minute meeting.
Calvin Wells, 71, of Soldier, has noticed added state police patrols. He thinks law enforcement is cracking down on the drug dealers.
“It’s a lot better than it was,” Wells said. “I think it’s all of our concern.”