• Sitting at ease in his Shelbyville home, retired Shelby County High School teacher and coach Roland Dale, or "Coach Dale" as he's known to former students and athletes, shares his own history and some thoughts on the history of the county's black community; how it was, how it is now, how it ought to be, and his family's part in it all....

  • Today we conclude a list of prominent individuals who each have been discussed in 100 previous columns.

    Each has contributed in his or her own way to the development of Shelby County, but this is not to be seen as a compilation of all the important – or the most important – contributors.

    Shelby County has been around nearly 221 years, and this is simply an alphabetical skimming of those who made it what it is today – which includes how it became my home.


    McMakin, Major Ben (1912-1945)

  • A Shelby County family is proud that feathers from their pet peacocks will be donated to charity, with a little help from a friend.

    Feathers from “Opal,” “Junior” and “Petie” have been incorporated into a child’s Halloween costume that will be auctioned off Saturday night at the annual fundraiser for the Shelbyville Rotary Club.

  • Writers hate it when they miss an opportunity to write a timely story, and that is what happened to me last fall. I had done some research on the 100th anniversary of the opening of Lincoln Institute in October 1912, and planned to write a story about it. However, in the midst of selling one book, nudging a literary agent along on a second and writing a third, I dropped the ball.

  • The African-American community has a rich history in Shelby County, but it’s often difficult to uncover. This also makes that history difficult to appreciate.

    “Many of our stories come out when we’re sitting around talking with our parents and grandparents,” says Sanda Jones, a member of the Shelby County Historical Society. “Most of the time, our history wasn’t written down because it didn’t seem like something to write about. It’s just how it was. We lived the way we lived.”

  • This is the 100th column that I have written for The Sentinel-News during the past six years, and during that time I have introduced readers to a long list of characters in Shelby County’s history.

    I thought it might be an appropriate time to look back over that list and revisit those individuals’ contributions to Shelby County’s development in the past 221 years.

  • Could you imagine an earthquake so powerful it could make the mighty Mississippi River to flow backward?

    Pat Murphy said he can.

    Murphy even has been fishing at Reelfoot Lake in Tennessee, the body of water created by that quake in 1812.

    “It’s a strange looking lake, and you can drive along the highway near the lake and see the upheaval that it [the earthquake] caused,” Murphy said.

  • A new specialty plate that will be on sale Monday promotes family values and even carries the national motto.

    But the ROCK Cares, In God We Trust special plate, with its American flag and patriotic red, white and blue colors, should not be confused with the Unbridled Spirit In God We Trust plate that was released by the Transportation Cabinet in 2011.

  • “If you’re good, you’ll come off the stage sweating!”

    That’s how Cook Farmer, a Shelbyville resident of 8 years, views his avocation of acting in community theater, a “hobby” he said he has pursued since he was a lad of 12 years old.

    Now, 48 years later, having performed in “so many plays I can’t remember them all,” he is preparing for his latest role in Harvey at the Shelby County Community Theatre.

  • It seems timely to return from the wars and focus once again on Shelby County.

    I have reviewed my 6 years of columns, almost 100, in The Sentinel-News, and picked out a few local individuals who have stuck out in the history and development of Shelby County.

    This is not a listing of the all the prominent individuals in our county’s history, although many are included. It is merely a selection from those about whom I have written and whose contributions have made a difference.

  • Tired but happy and still relishing the excitement of taking part in an event that will be forever recorded in both the history books and in their hearts, a bus load of Kentuckians headed home Monday night from Washington D.C., where they attended the second inauguration of President Barack Obama.

    The charter’s 40 passengers included about 10 people from Shelby County who had journeyed to the nation’s capitol to attend the festivities, an experience some of them said they would never forget.

  • Shelby County School Board member Brenda Jackson said she was ready to applaud the student who was going to be recognized by the state for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Citizenship Award.

    “And then I realized that he [Superintendent James Neihof] was talking about me,” she said of a moment during a recent meeting. “It was really kind of funny, I was ready to clap for the student.”

  • One way to improve or maintain your health is to eat right. Here are some tips on eating from the American Chiropractic Association:

  • You can count this accomplishment in many ways: 178 days, 2,184 miles, 25 bears, 8 rattlesnakes, 2 copperheads, 1 porcupine, and one monumental feeling were some of the things Dustin Abild covered, discovered and gained when he completed his hike along the Appalachian Trail last fall.

    Starting out April 17 from Springer Mountain in northern Georgia, Abild journeyed on foot across 14 states, finishing Oct.11 on Mount Katahdin in northern Maine – a trek that took him just shy of 6 months.

  • Shelby County doesn’t have a large market for firearms, with only a few establishments that sell them, but people involved in the industry say public interest in firearms has been soaring in the four weeks since 20 children and seven adults were killed by a single shooter in Connecticut.

    That tragedy has really hit home for a lot of people in Shelby County, said Stewart Shirley, a former Shelbyville Police Chief who is a shooting instructor and teaches classes for conceal-and-carry permits.

  • One of the leading causes of a headache is tension in the muscles of the neck. And in this time of layoffs, foreclosures and shrinking retirement funds, who among us is without stress?

    Spinal manipulation, the primary art of the chiropractor, has been shown to be effective in easing the problem of tension headaches. Results of a Duke University study released in 2001 showed that spinal manipulation created an almost immediate improvement in headaches that originated in the neck.

  • What motivates Chandra Heath to get up every morning hours before dawn to run five miles?

    Her love for her family, she says.

    “I want to be there for them, and I always want to be healthy enough to give them a good quality of life,” she said.

    Heath and her husband, Jeremiah, have two young children, ages 2 and 3 years old.

  • Shelbyville rang in the New Year on Tuesday with a familiar face in a new place, when Mayor Tom Hardesty swore in Danny Goodwin as Shelbyville Police Chief at City Hall.

    Goodwin replaces Robert Schutte, who retired Monday after heading up the Shelbyville P.D. for the past 8 years.

    Schutte had recommended that Goodwin, his major, be promoted to chief, saying that Goodwin was not only well-respected in the community but had done a good job of serving as his assistant during his entire term as chief.

  • Tony Carriss

    Magistrate, community leader

    Many in the county know Tony Carriss, a lifelong Shelby Countian, as the longtime magistrate of District 6, which encompasses Waddy and Mount Eden along with much of the southeastern portion of the county.

    Many recognize Carriss as leader in the county, for instance his willingness to step up and organize some informational meetings about the late-November and early-December animal attacks in the Waddy area. Most also know him as a big sports fan and memorabilia collector.

  • What did you do to celebrate Christmas? Do you have long-standing family traditions? Did you begin new traditions this year? Did you spend the holiday with family? Or did you take an excursion to a far-off place?

    Not every family celebrates Christmas Day as Norman Rockwell might have painted it. Although, there are a number of families whose celebration center around a feast. Where Shelby Countians celebrate, and how they celebrate, may come as a surprise.


    The Waffle House?