May 10 In Adair County History

The following is a summarization of stories that originally appeared in The Adair Progress, The Adair County News, Columbia News, and The Columbia Statesman. All names appear as they were originally published.

2010: The 2.2 inches of rain that fell on the Saturday of the Kentucky Derby provided a welcome sight to local farmers, but the 7.4 inches that fell the next day were anything but welcome.

The weekend downpour resulted in the worst flooding in Adair County in more than three decades. Small branches and creeks became raging torrents, and larger streams turned into roaring rivers. The flood damaged bridges closed roadways and led then-Gov. Seve Beshear to issue a “state of emergency” executive order.

1999:  Columbia News (and Adair Progress) editor Paul B. Hayes reported that tourism provided Adair County’s second-largest income generator in 1998, trailing only agriculture.

Referencing data from the state Tourism Development Cabinet, Hayes wrote that tourism expenditures in Adair County increased more than $130,000 from the previous year, totaling almost $12.2 million ($18.4 million in 2018 dollars).

1968:  West Lake Cumberland’s summer Headstart Program was approved by Congress, according to a telegram from John S. Cooper and Rep. Tim Lee Carter to The Adair County News.

The federal share of the program was listed as $165,394, while the local share totaled just more than $34,000. The program was to serve Adair, Casey, Cumberland, Green, and Russell counties – made up of 629 students across 41 classrooms.

1952:  F.X. Merkley and Alvin Willis announced that their newest business venture, the Adair Drive-In Theatre, was set to open May 21. The drive-in was located on Burkesville Road, approximately two miles south of Columbia.

The film “Annie Get Your Gun,” starring Betty Hutton, was advertised as the theatre’s debut showing. The business included space for more than 300 vehicles.

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