Appalachia is Dying. Pikeville is Not.
Lyman Stone

Lyman..Love your post..Pikeville is indeed growing and providing a stable work and living enviroment to many …Three People have been responsible for this growth..

1- Dr. William Hambley who was the mayor of Pikeville for years..Dr. Hambley had a vision of Pikeville and the “Cut Through” was his baby and he was chastised about this project and it was at one time called “Hambleys Folly”..Well the river, the railroad and the highways now “bypass” Pikeville and a significant amount of land has become avaliable for housing and growth…Dr. Hambley was also responsible for Pikeville becoming “wet” in the mid 1980’s which brought in many businesses and people who otherwise may not have moved here…He always said that we couldn’t recruit physicians from outside of our area without restaurants and places to socialize other than a drive-in.He was correct..The tax on alcohol, among other things,has assisted Pikeville to go from a part time police, fire and rescue departments to full well trained and skilled officers.Dr. Hambley was a renaissance man and his vision of Pikeville led to the other two individuals shaping Pikeville into what it is today.

2- Paul Patton who was the former County Judge and 2 time governor of Kentucky who came back to Pikeville and through his vision of education turned Pikeville College, a small liberal arts college into The University of Pikeville. UPike and its called has become the leading university of central appalachia…..The Medical School and Optometry School along with the Graduate School and School of Business Administration have added to the already outstanding undergraduate programs .Paul Patton had a vision, just as Dr. Hambley did, and knew how to get things done in education and most importantly ,knew where the money was…

3- Walter May , Pikeville businessman ( radio and TV) who became the CEO of the former Pikeville Methodist Hospital and turned it into a Level II trauma center right in the middle of appalachia….The hospital employees several thousand people in well paying and full benefit jobs….People in the area may not always agree with Walter, just as the don’t with either Paul Patton or Dr. Hambley, but his vision of what the Pikeville Medical Center has become has transformed this area…

We have 2 statues in Pikeville, Dr. Hambley and Paul Patton and should erect another to Walter May as these three men and their visions have truned Pikeville into the cit it is today…Modern ,Progressive and clean…

I know this was long but when you look at all the small towns along the Big Sandy River ,Pikeville is the only one thriving and growing…The three legged stool for success is: Great local ( k-12 ) schools, a thriving University and a solid growing Medical Center….

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