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Features

  • Tom and Ruth Hodge own both Its Convenient stores located on U.S. 60, and for the past few decades, they have been known for their efforts in treating their customers like family.

    The Hodges make it a point to help out people in need in the community, and their most recent effort was collecting thousands of dollars for Bill Pearson, an elderly man who lost his home on Henry Clay Street in a fire that killed his brother. 

  • Gary Walls is a man with a mission: Nothing too big, just working to raise thousands of dollars to help people change their lives, that’s all.

    Walls is the co-founder and past president of Shelby County Community Charities, an organization that he and some others started in 1996 to raise money for families who have children or young adults in serious need of surgeries they can’t afford.

  • Mary Marshall spent 40 years coaching youth sports, ever since graduating from high school in the early 1950s.

    A single mother, Marshall, who found herself divorced at an early age, raised 7 children on her own, which in itself is no small accomplishment.

     “And they all went to college,”  she said with well-deserved pride.

    Marshall, who was quite athletic herself, had a passion for sports at an early age, coaching softball, soccer and baseball even before graduating from the Lincoln Institute in Simpsonville in 1952.

  • You see it all year round: Shelby Countians continuing to support their own like no other, raising thousands and thousands of dollars for dozens of organizations, charities and families in need.

    But maybe you don’t quite understand until you hear a special story that has all the earmarks of a script for a holiday movie on the Hallmark channel.

    This is one such story of Christmas angels in Shelby County.

  • Even in the midst of tough economic times, the giving spirit of Shelby Countians shines this holiday season through its support of local charities.

    So says leaders of several charitable efforts, including Bonnie Roberts, volunteer chairwoman of the local Salvation Army service unit.

  • No. 1:


     

    No. 2:

    Shelby County Magistrate Mike Whitehouse, whose district includes Finchville, holds his granddaughter, who was really taken with the Christmas program.

     

    No. 3:

    The Grinch was very popular with the children because of his innovative dance moves.

     

    No. 4:

  • Tracy Coffee Gayle says she has always loved to write and listen to stories.

    "When I was little, I wanted to be John Boy Walton because he got to write," she said. "I've always loved to write and listen to my parents’ stories and my grandparents’ stories."

    About 10 years ago Gayle, a fifth-grade teacher at Wright Elementary School, started working on a short story about a young girl named Vera, and, along with Gayle’s own family, Vera has grown.

  • When Jim Robinson arrived in Simpsonville to serve as the pastor of Simpsonville Christian Church 11 years ago, he saw children and families who were left out of Christmas gift-giving festivities.

    Many of his neighbors did not have the means to buy the extra goodies that make Christmas celebrations special. They had just enough to get by.

    The next year, Robinson and members of his Disciples of Christ congregation, started “No Child Left Behind,” so no one living in the 40067 zip code would be left behind at Christmas time.

  • Oh, the holidays, decking the tables and countertops and computer desks and, yes, even the bedside table, with platters and trays and candy dishes with yummy treats.

    Everyone has a favorite holiday dish, and many of you probably bring some of your best efforts and gifts to work to share with coworkers.

    Like Patricia Ann McKinney, for example, a clerk at the Shelby County Sheriff’s office, who made Haystacks  and almond bark cookies.

    “These recipes have been around for a long time,” she says.

  • Jeanne Kemper’s Jam Cake

    5 eggs, lightly beaten

    2 cups sugar

    3 cups flour

    1 cup butter

    1 cup buttermilk

    1 teaspoon soda

    ¼ teaspoon salt

    2 teaspoons cinnamon

    ½ teaspoon cloves

    ¼ teaspoon allspice

    ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

    1 cup raisins

    1 cup chopped pecans

    1 ½ cup seedless raspberry jam

     

  • Searching far and wide – from the knobs to the horse farms, from Pleasureville to Finchville – and soliciting suggestions from readers, we've boiled down the biggest Christmas trees in the county to two.

    Why two?

    Well, a real and a fake, of course.

    Just east of Simpsonville sits Al Smith's spread on the corner of Fields Lane and U.S. 60. Although probably more famous for the giant arrow (made from a telephone pole) that adorns his yard, Smith always drapes his flag pole in lights, forming a towering, 40-foot tall cascade of lights.

  • The weather wasn’t quite delightful, but neither was it frightful Saturday at the Christmas Parade, an event that had a specific theme this year.

    Touted as the Red, White and Blue American Christmas, the parade down Main Street featured 20 floats, up a few from last year, many of which featured patriotic themes, a couple of them depicting Ground Zero on Sept. 11, 2001.

  • Maj. John W. Thomason was perhaps the first Marine to gain prominence outside military circles as an artistic and literary figure. As a major at the San Diego Marine Barracks in 1939, he was highly respected and greatly admired.

    We second lieutenants had enjoyed his stories of marines in combat, including those in his popular book Fix Bayonets, which were based upon his experiences in combat with the Marine Brigade in France in 1918.

  • For about 60 years the Mount Eden Ruritan Club has been a mainstay in the community, and for about 20 of those years its members have been responsible for bringing the community together around Christmas to celebrate the town’s good fortune.

    Small community celebrations, whether its Bagdad Days, Cropper Days or Labor Day in Waddy, are getting more and more difficult to maintain, organizers say, because of the urbanization of American life.

  • Judy Young said she realized late in life that her boots were made for more than just walking – they were made for hiking long-distance trails.

    Young, 66, has by her estimation trail-hiked more than 3,000 miles since retiring in 1997 as a teacher from the Shelby County school system. Her foot-trips, some of which she has done by herself, have taken her coast-to-coast in the United States and to several overseas destinations.

    But before she could take her first journey, she had to avoid stumbling over the loving objections of family and friends.

  • What young dancer doesn’t dream of dancing a part in The Nutcracker? Performing in this season’s Nutcracker in a Nutshellis a dream come true for two Shelby County girls.

    Marlee Pettit and Emily Allen will take the stage with other young dancers for a weekend run at the Louisville Palace, Dec. 1-3 (with public performances Dec. 3 at 2:30 and 7 p.m.).

    This is the second year Marlee and Emily have enjoyed dancing their dreams. Last December, both girls danced as mice in the familiar holiday story.

  • Steve Miller lay in a hospital bed for one of the many days he spent there, drifting in and out of consciousness, enduring debilitating pain and distress, surrounded by family, friends and coworkers who shared the question that reverberated around his mind and pulsed through his veins: Am I going to die?

    His boss, U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, was there to hold his hand. His wife, Donna, kept after the doctors and nurses as the pain and disorientation that followed what he thought would be a rather simple heart procedure slowly but assuredly overwhelmed him.

  • Version:1.0 StartHTML:0000000194 EndHTML:0000021007 StartFragment:0000002860 EndFragment:0000020971 SourceURL:file://localhost/Users/stevedoyle/Desktop/GENvanstockum_preludetowarPart1.doc

    Van Stockum Collection, Filson Historical Society, Louisville

     

    USS Panay sinking after Japanese attack on Dec. 12, 1937

     

    Van Stockum Collection, Filson Historical Society, Louisville

  • Just being able to sit up with minimum assistance and to pay attention when something is being read may not seem not a big achievement at all for a teenager.

    But for the family of 17-year-old Robbie Phillips, it’s something to be extremely grateful for this Thanksgiving.

     “I am just elated,” said Debbie Phillips, Robbie’s mother.

    You know the story about Robbie Phillips, a boy who was left with a severe brain injury in November 2008 when he tried to commit suicide by hanging himself at the age of 14.