Community

Fayette County: City to pick up Christmas trees to be composted

The city's Division of Waste Management is picking up live Christmas trees beginning this week. Residents must place trees on the curb; they will be picked up and taken to the city's composting station.

Wreaths made of natural greenery and even pumpkins may be placed in Lenny yard-waste containers.

Trees, wreaths and other yard waste are composted into mulch. The mulch is available free to residents on the second and third Saturdays of January, April, July and October at the former city landfill, 1631 Old Frankfort Pike, from 8 a.m. to noon. Residents may receive one free truckload of mulch, distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, call LexCall at 311 or (859) 425-2255.

Classes offer help to quit smoking

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is offering two classes for residents who want to quit smoking. One class will be 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays beginning Jan. 11 at the Public Health Clinic North, 805A Newtown Circle. The other will be 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays beginning Feb. 2 at the Lexington Public Library, Tates Creek Branch, 3628 Walden Drive. To sign up for a class or for more information, call (859) 288-2423.

"Cooper-Clayton classes are one of the most effective methods we can offer a person who wants to quit smoking," said Angela Brumley-Shelton, community education and tobacco coordinator. "They work well because they provide social support and education, and use nicotine-replacement products. These three things work together to give a participant the best chance at stopping smoking for life."

The class requires a $50 registration deposit that will be reimbursed upon completion of the program if the person has completed all 12 classes and has remained smoke-free. Participants will receive nicotine-replacement therapy products, such as nicotine gum, patches and lozenges, at no cost as long as they are smoke-free after the third week of the program.

The health department also uses Kentucky's Tobacco Quit Line, at 1-800-784-8669, and Becomeanex.org, a Web-based cessation program.

For more information, become a fan of the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department on Facebook or follow LFCHD on Twitter.

Help with heating bills

The Community Action Council 2011 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program's crisis program began Tuesday to help low-income residents with high utility bills. The program will provide a one-time benefit to eligible households.

Last year, more than 8,900 households received financial assistance and emergency services totaling more than $1.8 million from the crisis program alone. Community Action Council served more than 21,000 participants and spent more than $3.4 million in energy assistance through several programs, including WinterCare, the Energy Assistance Program, a community services block grant and its Emergency Services Fund.

Eligibility for the crisis program is determined by income, household size, fuel type, geographic location and one of the following qualifications:

■ The household is within four days of running out of fuel, if bulk fuel (coal, fuel oil, propane, kerosene or wood) is the heat source.

■ The household has received a past-due or disconnect notice if natural gas or electricity is the heat source.

■ The household's heating costs are included as an undesignated portion of the rent, and the household has received an eviction notice for non-payment of rent from the landlord.

For all bulk fuels (wood, coal, propane, fuel oil, kerosene), verification of a crisis may be by self- declaration by the applicant, subject to an on-site determination by the Community Action Council.

For households that use natural gas or electricity for heat, the applicant must have a pending or disconnect notice, or must have previously had service disconnected.

Households also must be at or below 130 percent of federal poverty guidelines.

Applicants must bring the following to apply:

■ Proof of income for the previous month for all adults in the household who are 18 or older.

■ The most recent heating bill or an eviction notice, and verification from a landlord that heating costs are included in rent.

■ Birth dates of all household members.

Applications may be taken at Community Action Council offices in Lexington, Paris, Cynthiana, Carlisle or Millersburg. For more information, call 1-800-244-2275.

You can help keep the heat on in someone's home this winter by contributing to the council's local energy funds. Donations are accepted at Commaction.org, or by check, money order or in person at any of the offices in Fayette, Bourbon, Harrison or Nicholas counties. Donations also are accepted to the Wintercare Energy fund as noted on your utility bills.

Checks should be payable to Community Action Council and indicate the donation is for energy assistance. Mail donations to Community Action Council, P.O. Box 11610, Lexington, Ky. 40576.

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