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Florence to Hand Off Two Police Cruisers to Gallatin Co., Welcomes New Fireman

Florence City Council agreed on Tuesday night to release two retired police cruisers to the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office.
The cruisers were set to be auctioned but Police Chief John McDermond told council that Gallatin Co. Sheriff Josh Neale spotted the vehicles one day and said he might be able to put them to use. Each vehicle has more than 160,000 miles on them according to Mayor Diane Whalen.
"It is nice that we can reach out to our neighbor," said Councilman Mel Carroll. "I am very pleased and supportive of the effort."
Mayor Whalen told the chief that next time Neale came up he should stop in and say 'hey' since he was a police officer at Florence once, before moving south to Gallatin Co.
J.D. Chaney, Deputy Executive Director of the Kentucky League of Cities, came to the meeting to present a Friends of Kentucky Cities award to Senator John Schickel, since they make it a point to give the award to the recipient in their home district. Chaney said that Schickel is the League's go-to guy for law enforcement matters, and told council that whenever they have had occasion to approach Schickel, he always asks, what is Florence going to say?  Chaney said that he is being given this particular award for his help in getting Senate Bill 11 passed, which contained several KLC alcohol-related measures such as eliminating the population requirement for local option elections, Sunday sales, election day sales and after-hours sales in cities.
"Sometimes we hitch our wagon to his star," Chaney said.
Schickel thanked the League of Cities for the award.
"You know, this is like coming home," he told the council. "I remember coming before council, not in this building, but as a patrolman, forty years ago, and three people are still here. Mayor Whalen was a secretary, and her dad was the mayor, and Hugh O. Skees was here, and Councilman David Osborne."
Mayor Whalen also offered some news about the roads: on Sunday, from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., the southbound entrance to I-75 from Kentucky 18 will be closed, as will the northbound entrance to I-75 from Mall Road. This is so that workers can tie in the new entrance to I-75 south from Mall Road. That new entrance will stay closed for two more weeks so that the new truss sign can be installed, but the other older entrances will reopen at 6 a.m. Monday.
Whalen administered the oath of office to Brendan McHugh, who joins the Florence Fire Department from the Burlington Fire Department. Chief Kelly Aylor presented McHugh with his helmet.
The meeting began with the fourth grade class from Florence Elementary singing the Star Spangled Banner and a song about the fifty states. The class is studying the states in social studies class and came to visit their city government.  Mayor Whalen thanked the class and its principal and teachers for the presentation. She also mentioned that her son and daughter both learned the same song at Florence Elementary and still know the states in alphabetical order.
Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor
Top photo: Brendan McHugh is welcomed to the Florence Fire Department by Chief Aylor and Mayor Whalen
Slideshow Images & Captions: 
4th grade students from Florence Elementary visit city council