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Homeless shelter in trouble
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The local homeless shelter is once again out of money and in imminent danger of closing as it's behind on utility payments.

Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnston is personally calling on residents to donate money to help the shelter pay its $5,320 bill and keep the lights on and water running. He's doing so out of concern for the children staying there.

Concerned citizens can make a donation at any Newton Federal bank branch by making the money payable to the "Covington Homeless Shelter" fund.

Sadly, the center has been in this situation several times before, but local churches, nonprofits, business and generous individuals have always saved the day with large donations previously.

We hope you'll support our mayor, who has been putting in a yeoman's workload this year in an effort to the move the city forward. However, we realize that these last-minute donations are not sustainable, and the mayor does too.

That's why he's meeting with the shelter's board of directors, which is filled with respected local businessmen. The hope is that the center's operations can be reevaluated and a path forward can be found that will keep the shelter's account in the black. We're fully in support of an extensive look at the shelter's operations.

The shelter has struggled to collect existing grants or find new grants, and its director the Rev. Clara Lett has put out the call for a volunteer grant writer. We hope she finds someone, but if she can't, the shelter is going to need someone to take charge and lead it forward or else one day the funds may finally dry up completely.