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Features

  • “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.

  • Like most young boys, I enjoyed playing with toy soldiers as a kid. Unlike most young boys, I stuck with it, and turned it into much more than a game of “bang, bang, your guy is dead!” or knocking figures over with marbles.

    Even as a youngster, growing up “down under” in New Zealand, I was a bit of a history nut. I wasn’t quite so interested in the mass destruction potential of warfare as the “why did they do it that way?” And the “how could I have done it better?” problem-solving and strategic study aspects.

  • Shelby County Community Theatre next month will debut its 37th season when South Pacific is staged starting July 19th at the facility at 801 Main St. in Shelbyville. The theater features a lineup of five main-stage shows and three more productions in its more intimate dining room upstairs at the theater. Jamie Swindler, recently installed as president of the theater’s board, spoke with The Sentinel-News about the upcoming season and her role.

     

  • Shortly after arriving back at San Pedro in May, 1939, I was detached from the Tennessee and ordered to report to the Marine Corps Base in San Diego. There I joined Company D, the machine gun company of the 1st Battalion, 6th Marines.

    I have been chronicling the early years of a Marine Corps career that began with my commissioning as a second lieutenant in 1937, upon graduation from the University of Washington, including descriptions of the Panama Canal, Bermuda, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Boston and, at some length, New York.

  • Most dads have no idea how big an impact they have on their children’s lives. Let’s look at six ways fathers leave a mark, for better or for worse. None of us does well at all six, certainly not me, my father, or his, but if we just do okay at these missions and maybe excel at one or two, I think we have done a pretty good job:

  • Controlling weight and staying physically active is a daily struggle for many Americans, spawning numerous reality TV shows like The Biggest Loser.

    One University of Kentucky senior is looking to combat the problem with a reality program of her own – “Weight: The Reality Series.”

  • "Shushhhh" was not the usual watchword Saturday at the Shelby County Public Library. It was more like, "Let's scream for ice cream!" as the strains of live Bluegrass music and the laughter of hundreds of children and adults ate ice cream, played games and listened to the band Cottonwood in the Hudson Room.

    The event kicked off the Shelby County Public Library's annual Summer Reading Program, with a possible record attendance this year.

  • Steve Collins has spent a lifetime preserving the history of the state and county he calls home.

    Vice chairman of the Kentucky Heritage Council, member of the Shelbyville Historic District Commission, as well as chairman of both the Kentucky Historic Properties Advisory Commission and the Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation, Collins now is being recognized formally for all of his contributions by the groups he has helped build.

  • Shelby County men turned out by the hundreds for Jewish Hospital Shelbyville's 13th Annual Men's Health Fair on Saturday, surpassing the 300 mark, officials said, and topping the 250 that usually attend each year.

    "It's been a great year," JHS spokesperson Holly Husband said.

    Tony Carriss, who orchestrated the first health fair after a bout with prostate cancer and now chairs the committee that puts on the event, said he was amazed and gratified with the large attendance.

  • A Shelbyville woman may have saved a puppy recently from a horrible death from a condition that includes hemorrhaging, with blood streaming from its eyes, nose or other body cavities.

    No, it’s not some rare disease, but simply heat stroke from being left in a parked car in bright sunlight.

    On a visit to Kroger in late April, on her way into the store, Dawn Hanaway said she saw a puppy locked in a car with the windows cracked about two inches.

  • With his connections to the area, many in Shelby County have a story to share about an encounter with the colorful Col. Harland Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

    But how many of them got to ride in his famed white Cadillac limousine?

    How many got to have dinner with him on a regular basis?

    How many could call him a family friend?

    And how many could say he gave them one of his famous white suits, complete with black bolo tie, for a Halloween party?

    And even more, how many could say the Colonel lived in his home?

  • My 2-part series has been expanded to four parts. In the first two parts of this narrative, I have described my wonder, as a young Marine second lieutenant, upon visiting the East Coast for the first time.

    Upon my completion of officer training and indoctrination at the Marine Basic School in the Philadelphia Navy Yard in May 1938, I traveled to my next duty station, the USS Tennessee, a battleship then anchored off its home port, San Pedro, Calif.

  • Shelby County Extension Homemakers will be marking a special event this Thursday – 75 years of continuous activity in the county.

    The first clubs were established in 1938, but as early at 1912 their foundations began to be put in place, with various contacts and activities involving local farmwomen being arranged through the University of Kentucky College of Education. The passing of the Smith-Lever Act in 1914 saw the scope of Home Economics Extension increase rapidly, and the number of specialists, supervisors and agents increased as funds became available.  

  • This Memorial Day there is one more family in Shelby County family that will remember a beloved son they never again will see but will hold in their hearts forever.

    Sean Cassedy, 31, a Marine who served three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and was horribly wounded, came home to a hero’s welcome in Bagdad in 2003.

    He survived the battlefield, but he could not overcome a battle raging inside him, spawned by memories of those bloody and awful days in combat in the Middle East.

  • Combat is the primary challenge of a Marine, but there are many days when fighting is far from the primary agenda.

    In the first days of a 30-year career in the U.S. Marine Corps, I was dispatched to the Marine Officers Basic School at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, my first trip east from my home in Washington state.

    I got a chance to learn much, and for five years I recorded these memories in a journal that now is part of the Filson Historical Society.

  • This weekend marks the 21st year that Bagdad Baptist Church plays host to Bagdad Days, a rite of spring that calls many former Bagdad residents home to play and reconnect with their roots.

    “We have people come back from out of town and out of state for Bagdad Days,” said Kyle Wiley, pastor of Bagdad Baptist. “Everyone knows that their friends will be back, so they come home, too. even young adults know this is a time to return to their roots. It’s a wonderful weekend.”

  • Sitting well back off of KY 55 just a little south of Finchville is a hidden gem of a home for history buffs. The Greek Revival-style home’s original front was built in 1837, and it became known as Sylvan Shades by its second owner.

    “It was actually built by a man named Newland, and he sold the home to Thomas Doolan,” current owner John Test said. “After that it remained in the Doolan family until we purchased it in 1985.”