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Features

  • This year Shelbyville’s Celebration of Lights will shine a little brighter than did the first one 25 years ago.

    The downtown event, sponsored by SMART (Shelbyville Merchants of Retail Trade), to kick off the Christmas shopping season, was not always the spectacular event it is now, said those who set the wheels in motion more than two decades ago.

    Kathy Yount was executive director of the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce when what was then known as Light Up Shelbyville began.

  • After a career that has spanned nearly 40 years, Shelby County Parks and Recreation Director Clay Cottongim announced this week that will retire at the end of the year.

    Cottongim, 58, said there’s no special reason he has chosen this time to retire; he just feels it’s time.

    “It’s been thirty-eight wonderful years, and I’ve seen some goals come true, and I just want to retire and go on from there,” he said.

  • John Ellis hits the gym six days a week.

    A picture of fitness – he jogs, does some weight training, plays golf every weekend – he’s dedicated to a routine and diet that keeps him healthy and in shape.

    That focus and routine propelled Ellis, 60, to a banner run in his first Kentucky Senior Games in Murray last month, earning him gold medals in doubles tennis and the 50-, 100- and 400-meter sprints and the long jump. He also added a bronze in singles tennis and silvers in the discus and javelin.

  • Jim Miller would be the first to tell you that his well-plotted path from boy journalist of Shelby County to adult author took a few side trips, the last of which ultimately if unwittingly landing him at his destination.

    Miller, who grew up in the Clark Station area of Shelby, became Author James W. Miller as the result of a devastating hurricane that swept away his life and blew him forward and into the pages of his first book, Where The Water Kept Rising.

  • You don't see many homes that display as much family history as the stately old mansion on Cropper Road, where four generations of the Thomas family have lived, and that begins in the spacious foyer where a wooden cradle holds a doll near the winding staircase.

    "My father slept here," Ben Allen Thomas III, 92, said, lovingly running his hand over the cradle's dark wood.

  • LEXINGTON – Claire Kelly of Bagdad doesn’t make a habit of scaling tall buildings, but she had a superhero reception while rappelling from the top of Lexington’s tallest skyscraper on Wednesday.

    People all along Main Street craned their necks way back to watch Kelly as she began her 410-foot descent from the top of the 30-story Lexington Financial Center.

  • A client told me recently he could still feel the impact of his grandfather saying to him now and then: "The onus is on you, Boy."

    Onus is a word I used to hear a lot, so I looked it up. It is the Latin word for burden, an old-fashioned word for responsibility. Who these days does not need a little help drawing the lines that define where their responsibility begins and ends?

  • A woman of music, a woman of Christ, a woman of community.

    Betty Jean Chatham has been described in all these ways by many in Shelby County.

    Chatham, who is set to retire after a 60-year musical career of much distinction, with a last concert on Sunday at First Baptist Church in Shelbyville, has been an inspiration to so many people in the community, and not just musically, said former student John Shannon, who was also her assistant director of the longstanding Life Singers choir.

  • With this column, my 96th, the number of all my columns written for The Sentinel-News finally has equaled my age. I shall continue to write, subject to the editor’s tolerance, in order to reach 100 columns before my 100th birthday, hopefully well before.

    We all are reminded about the inconsistency, in fact utter unreliability, of recent memory. A typical example is opening the refrigerator door to get a dish out of the microwave.

    However, long-time memory seems to have an indelible quality. Once recorded, it can be forever recalled.

  • A Shelby County woman is recovering from Lyme Disease that she contracted during what she expected to be a peaceful walk on a nature trail in Jefferson County in August.

    But in an instant, her mood turned from tranquil to terror, when she glanced down and saw hundreds of ticks climbing up her body; many of them had even made it up past her waist when she spotted them.

  • It’s the time of year to take a moment to enjoy the beautiful autumn colors, but if you’re going to slip on an old pair of shoes you left on the porch before heading outside to admire your colorful trees, you’d better not – you could end up dead or scarred, experts said.

    That’s because along with an abundance of beautiful fall foliage, the spider population has really exploded this year, and two extremely poisonous varieties could be lurking in unlikely places.

  • Twinning is a phrase many of today’s youth use to describe the act of dressing alike.

    In Shelby County it can also be used to describe several of the fall sports teams.

    That’s because twins contributed to five of the varsity sports teams at Collins and Shelby County high schools.

    And in several cases those squads weren't just twinning, they’re also winning.

  • Members of Beechridge Baptist Church have seen a lot of changes in its 200 years, including moving indoors and a name change.

    This Bagdad-area church, located on Benson Pike about 3 miles east of the intersection with KY 395, started nearby its current location when parishioners would gather in the woods on log benches with lanterns hanging in the trees.

    But it persevered, and by 1888 what was then the Baptist Church of Jesus Christ at Beech Ridge had its own building.

  • “We are one hundred years old as a club, but not one of us is one hundred years old!” said Mary David Myles, secretary/treasurer of the Shelbyville Chautauqua Club.

    She was addressing a group of past and present members of the club and local dignitaries who gathered Thursday at Science Hill Inn to mark 100 years since the founding of this women’s club.

  • As he heads out to Louisville International Airport on Saturday morning to begin a trip to visit three war memorials at the nation’s capital, John Miles of Bagdad said he will be remembering a day he lived through 68 years ago.

    A day he lived through, but so many of his friend didn’t – D Day.

    “It was like time had no meaning, with what was happening around us,” he said. “I was scared; we all were. If you were breathing, you were scared.”

  • SIMPSONVILLE – “The neighbors have all been calling, wondering what in the world is going on,” said Bruce Pearce, gesturing around his sprawling yard at dozens of people bustling around, setting up lighting, cameras, sound equipment, and even a wardrobe tent and dressing room.

    “I told them, ‘Don’t tell me you’ve never seen a film crew making a movie before!’” he said with a chuckle.

  • “I just had a baby three months ago, so this is a piece of cake compared to that!”

    Those were the words of Tristan Stansfield, a fitness instructor, as she wriggled out from under the last strand of barbed wire in a sand pit.

    “Hey, I think I ripped my pants,” came a comment from behind her.

    The “sands of time” was only one of 23 activities set up on a 10K obstacle course set up for adults during the Swamp Tromp at Clear Creek Park on Saturday. A course for kids had 16.

  • Whether you’re an athlete, a stay-at-home mom or an ironworker, don’t skimp on the quality of your footwear.

    The most important factor with shoes is how they function, not how they look.

  • Does caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s sometimes seem frustrating or overwhelming?

    If so, there is a new organization in Shelbyville that provides a support group for caregivers of people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

    The group, headed by Lisa Claire, former chaplain at Baptist East Hospital in Louisville, will meet on the third Wednesday of each month at 10:30 a.m. at First Christian Church on Eminence Pike.

  • A two-legged dog named Jenna may not have a back end, but her heart more than makes up for what she lacks, animal rescue officials said.

    The small, terrier mix was hit by a car last year and had to have both back legs amputated, said Vicki Moore, spokesperson for 5rescues.org.

    The dog, which belongs to Denise Jones of Woodstock Animal Foundation, was scheduled to be put down, but homemaker Robin Kenyon said, “They just couldn’t do it.