• The auditorium at the Whitney M, Young Jr. Job Corps campus held nearly a packed house Friday as about 300 friends and family members from all over the nation turned out for commencement exercises for the center's 27 graduates.

  • Jeanne Kemper of Bagdad has been so busy cooking and baking for the past month that she has been going nonstop, getting her 45 entries ready to enter in the Kentucky State Fair.

    And as usual, she really cleaned up after all the cooking, earning 33 ribbons in the honey cookery and bread categories – 21 were blue ribbons – as well as the sweepstakes prize for each of those categories.

    But this year – her 28th for competing in the state fair – she said something strange happened that really shocked her.

  • On Thursday night, Steven Lee Cook will do something he has done hundreds of times. He will walk onto a stage, grab a microphone, stare into the lights-hidden faces of thousands and unleash The Voice. He will break into a song you likely have heard and maybe even loved, and he will perform with only one knee-knocking difference from all those other stages and microphones: Cook is now 60 years old, and he hasn’t been part of a big-time performance in two decades, since, well, his voice was his life.

  • Shelby County trainers, riders, breeders and owners have had a hand in dozens of World Champions during the Kentucky State Fair World’s Championship Horse Show, and on Sunday when the 2013 show begins, county representatives will not only be competing for titles but selecting the winners as well.

    For the fourth time, Kim and Fran Crumpler will step into the show ring as judges for the World’s Championship show. The Crumplers, Kim said, take the judging as an honor.

  • Much to the dismay of friends and co-workers, Debbie Lee isn’t entering any of her award-winning cakes in the Kentucky State Fair this year.

    After taking the 2012 Cake Sweepstakes Prize, Lee has set aside cake baking this summer.

    “This summer has seemed a little odd, since I’m not baking cakes,” Lee said.

    She will be back with her needlepoint, though, having won the 2012 Needlepoint Sweepstakes as well. But there is a good reason she has curtailed her cooking.

  • Young visitors to Red Orchard Park on Saturday left no stone unturned in their quest for the perfect way to adorn their new "pets" with colorful stripes, dots and even a pair of bobble eyes.

    "His name is going to be Rocky," said 5-year-old Maggie Martinez, proudly holding up her rock pet for the group of about 10 children to inspect.

    The children, accompanied by parents and, in many cases, grandparents, attended a rock-painting activity at the Miller Education Center, sponsored by Clear Creek Trailblazers.

  • A client recently taught me a helpful little verse:

    Feel your feelings,

    and talk them out.

    Believe your beliefs,

    and act them out.

    I can think of three ways we often violate this helpful little guideline:

  • MOUNT EDEN – This 70-year-old pastor cocked his rifle, aimed and missed.

    Undeterred, he cocked it again, aimed and broke into a huge grin when the BB ricocheted off his mailbox on Cat Ridge Road.

    The preacher is Roy “Junie” Temple Jr., who during last week’s 127 Yard Sale bought something he said he had wanted since he was a child but had never purchased: a BB gun.

    To be specific, a Daisy BB gun that he found for sale at one of the churches along U.S. 127 in Franklin County.

    It cost him all of $5.

  • In conducting research for my first book, Kentucky and the Bourbons: The Story of Allen Dale Farm, it was necessary for my wife, Susanne, and me to travel widely. In the United States, we visited Columbia, Tenn., and Nashville, St. Louis, Defiance. Mo., Columbia, Mo., Cumberland Gap and Davie County, N.C. We also made several trips to France to speak to Charette cousins and to visit museums and archives there.

  • From 1956-1959, Peter Palmer practically lived in the fictional town of Dogpatch as the star of both the Broadway and Hollywood productions of Li’l Abner, based on the popular comic strip that ran from 1934-1977.

    Now, more than 50 years later at the age of 81, Palmer lives in Shelbyville and can most often be found at a different kind of dog patch – the Red Orchard Dog Park.

    “I’m not retired,” Palmer says with a laugh. “The calls just don’t come anymore.”

  • Home is where the heart is – and in David Biagi’s case – where the house is.

    “I wanted to build a place I could always come back to,” he said.

    “Also, we get to see a lot of wildlife, because we can see them from inside the house. The kids really love that.”

  • When Walter Herd s retired from the military and returned to Kentucky from Afghanistan in 2007, he noticed a trend that concerned him – few people at home, even his friends, seemed to understand what the military was all about.

    “They learn about soldiers from Hollywood movies,” said Herd, who lives in Simpsonville.

  • The human back and spine comprise a complex system that impacts your entire body. Keeping your spine in proper alignment, which is the specialty of the Doctor of Chiropractic, is essential to the smooth functioning of your other parts.

  • Several months before the amphibious assault of Bougainville in November, 1943, by the Third Marine Division, Naval intelligence services had decoded an intercepted message regarding the plans of Admiral Yamamoto to visit three bases near that island. The information provided was so exact that on April 18, 1943, the Army Air Corps’ 339th Fighter Squadron, flying P-38’s based on Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, was able to intercept and destroy Yamamoto’s plane in the air over Bougainville.

  • Imagine a 10-day, all expenses paid trip to Alaska, filled with fishing, hunting, grilling and grizzly bear watching.

    It sounds like the trip of a lifetime, and it was made a reality for nine veterans this summer thanks to one Shelby County resident and his work with the Kentucky Wounded Warriors project.

  • Brenda Woods knew right away that this snake was different.

    While clearing away some brush behind her yard in Fairway Crossing – just south of Interstate 64 at Exit 35 and near Weissinger Hills Golf Course – to construct a play area for her children, Woods and her husband, Shannon, came upon a small snake that just seemed different.

  • “And I asked him why he came to America, and he said because he had always heard the streets were paved with gold!”

    Achille Biagi drew applause as he concluded his narrative of stories about his father to a captive audience of more than 150 relatives who gathered Saturday in a spacious back yard on Magnolia Street for a family reunion in Shelbyville.

    Achille was the coordinator of the event, which was as much of social phenomena in Shelbyville as it was a reunion.

  • One of Shelbyville’s own has hit the international stage.

    Shelbyville native Marissa Raisor, 20, earned the Miss Hooters International crown in a swimsuit competition against 60 other contestants from Hooter restaurants across the country. The pageant was held June 27 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and will air on FOX-Speed TV on July 17 at 9 p.m.

  • When a couple of friends took Walt Wagner, 80, to Metzger’s Country Store in Simpsonville to try to convince him to adopt a pet, Wagner said he wasn't sold on the idea. The last time he had owned a pet was decades ago, when his kids were young, and he said he was concerned he wouldn't be able to take proper care of one.

    So he decided to sleep on the idea.

    The next day he decided owning a pet would be good for him. He returned to Metzger's ready to adopt a cat by the named of Cappuccino, also known as “Cappy”.

  • South Pacific, the next performance at the Shelby County Community Theater, will open on July19. I recall seeing this highly popular musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein on Broadway shortly after its opening in April 1949. Manhattan was an easy subway commute from my duty station at the Naval Training Center on the Throggs Neck Peninsula in the Bronx.