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Letters to the editor

Care at the wheel Editor, The Sun: Each year an astounding number of lives are lost on Kentucky roads due to some form of distracted driving. According to the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety, distracted driving was noted as a factor in 43 percent of crashes - 58,000 collisions - on Kentucky's roadways in 2015. That same year, driver distraction contributed to 182 fatalities in the Bluegrass State. Kentucky Farm Bureau is taking steps to bring attention to this situation by way of a media campaign that features television, radio and print messages along with social media postings in an effort to help all Kentuckians understand the impact distracted driving has on each and every community in our state and across the country and steps that can be taken to prevent these accidents. Every county in Kentucky, including ours, has felt the tragedy of someone being involved in an accident that could have been prevented had someone taken measures to pay attention to the road. We urge drivers to remove temptation. Put your phone on silent while driving; make music playlist selections and plug in GPS coordinates before hitting the road; secure children and pets in their seats before you leave. If they need your attention, pull off the road and put the vehicle in park; and please don't send or read texts while your car is in drive. We want motorists to be aware of the hazards of distracted driving at the same level of knowing they should buckle their seat belts and if we all follow these simple steps, it could make the difference between having an accident or not and most importantly, it could save a life. We ask those in our community and citizens across the state to help us create a change in attitude surrounding this on-the-rise social ill. Behind the wheel, take a break from technology. Make Kentucky's roads a safe place to be. Melissa Lippert Tomblin, president Woodford County Farm Bureau Coal to China Editor, The Sun: Kentucky has the opportunity to lead the world with foreign policy assistance through the production and export of coal to China. One of North Korea's main exports is coal and China is its main customer. America should sanction North Korea by negotiating with China to stop buying North Korean coal and buy Kentucky coal instead. This new arrangement would further open the way for more Chinese companies to look closer at Kentucky economically. Now that Kentucky is open for business thanks to Governor Matt Bevin and our new Republican-led legislature, we should reach out with even more foreign trade. The increased sale of Kentucky coal to China would also offset many of the hardships suffered by our fellow Kentuckians under previous Democrat rule. Of course, liberals and the bitter media will oppose relief for our working families, but that's okay - they're no longer in power. We have the ability to greatly increase our exchange with major global partners such as China, Japan, and the rest of Asia. Kentucky coal can help lead the way and be our great cost-effective energy ambassador to both growing and established economies. Kentucky is ready for more international trade, and the world is ready for Kentucky coal. Bill Marshall Midway

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