Tyler Eschberger Daily News

County Attorney Neil Ward (left), John Williams of Fish and Wildlife (center) and Judge-Executive Albey Brock pose for a photo as Williams receives his Recognition of Service Award.

Court honors public servant

The audience participation portion of the Sept. 11 Bell County Fiscal Court is a time for the community to address the court with any topic they see fit. It is also a time for local people to recognized.

First, before the meeting was held in proper, the court took the time to honor an individual who has helped shaped fun and memories for the children of Bell County with his dedication to his work.

Judge-Executive Albey Brock invited County Attorney Neil Ward to introduce John Williams — a retired fishery biologist for the Department of Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.

Ward spearheads the annual Fish Fest, where trout are dumped into the canal in Middlesboro for local children and families to spend a day outdoors fishing for them. The event has been a staple of the community for 11 years and Ward wanted to honor Williams’ integral involvement in the project with a Recognition of Service Award.

The award read as such “The Bell County Fiscal Court hereby recognizes John Williams for his outstanding service to the youth of Bell County, Ky. For over a decade, Williams’ commitment to the Fish Fest program has taught and inspired thousands of children to go fishing. By sharing his love of the outdoors, Williams has helped a younger generation appreciate the importance of being outdoors.”

“I can tell you that is the truth,” he said. “I have seen so much joy on the faces of kids over the years. It does your heart good.”

Ward also stated that Williams would always stay behind after the fish were deposited to hang around and help teach the children how to fish.