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Opinion

  • Here is our annual report card for the community, when we evaluate our performance against the goals and objectives we listed last January.

    We have undertaken this process since 2009, and we believe that it is the newspaper’s goal to establish goals and lead the focus and discussion on issues that are of primary importance to all of us.

    As we look back at 2012, at an agenda that was modest by most standards, we can grade our county with an A in several important categories, but we are more unsettled by how many Incompletes we must hand out.

  • Gov. Steve Beshear joined entrepreneurs and educators across Kentucky to announce the creation of the Governor's School for Entrepreneurs. Speaking alongside him, on behalf of high school students across Kentucky, was Taylor Nash, a sophomore at Collins High School.

    When Taylor first heard about the program through a meeting at school, he said he was excited, “This is definitely a path to careers that would work for me because I want to start my own business and make a difference in the community.”

  • Unlike the rest of the world, Americans believe that everybody needs to be armed for self protection. How is that working?

    The mass murderer in Connecticut killed his mother, who logically wanted a gun for protection. Most people who carry concealed weapons are paranoid, feeling that they could be shot, robbed or beaten up.

    The problem is not gun control, but People Control.

  • As we have sat and watched our worst nightmare emerge as reality in Newtown, Conn., we are left with only one question that truly matters now:

    Are our students safe?

    When we put on their coats to protect them from the weather, when we place them in vehicles built for safety, when they are delivered into the buildings where they will spend their days, are they truly protected?
    Before Friday, isn’t that a part of life we took for granted? The safest place for a child would be his or her home. Next on that list would be their schools. Right?

  • Thanks to some smart work by Leon Mooneyhan and the folks at the Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative, Shelby County students are about to have a chance to be a bit smarter themselves.

    Mr. Mooneyhan and OVEC partnered with the Green river Regional Educational Cooperative to earn $40 million in federal Race to the Top grants for 23 school districts.

    That’s a wonderful accomplishment in a state that had missed out entirely on earning a piece of one of those grants in 2011. The cooperatives’ cooperation worked well.

  • There was a quiet negotiation going on in the back seat. I caught the words slowly but the meaning very quickly.

     “So,” said the 5-year-old to her 11-year-old brother, “why don’t you ask for a basketball goal, and I’ll ask for crafts?”

    Me to the 5-year-old: “You mean you want your brother to ask Santa for a basketball goal so you can have something else on your list?”

    Her: “Yes, crafts.”

    Me: “Crafts like material to create stuff, like at school?”

  • We as a community are down to the last Christmas seals of approval for the proposed outlet malls for Simpsonville.

    Next Wednesday the Simpsonville City Commission will consider on second reading of an ordinance that signs off on zone changes and site plans submitted by Trio Property and Paragon Outlet Properties, which have partnered on the 64-acre parcel south of Interstate 64 and east of Buck Creek Road.

  • We only can be ashamed that this took so long, but the inclusion in the Shelbyville Christmas parade of a group of former Vietnam War veterans was a wonderful holiday gift for these men and for our community.

    The concept of the parade ride, coordinated by Janie James at Shelbyville VFW Post 1179, means that these veterans finally received a public thank you for the sacrifices they endured to serve in the jungles of Vietnam.

  • Leadership Shelby is an organization sponsoring an annual group of individuals from the county who have demonstrated leadership qualities and a deep commitment to the community and who are likely to assume greater responsibility in the future.

    On Nov. 14, the class of 2012-2013 completed a full-day overview of the industry in our county. We toured the operation of four businesses, and reviewed a wealth of data on the trends in population and employment opportunity, as well as the economics behind the numbers.

  • While the United States is obviously becoming more secular and less religious, Christian church life is very much alive and well in Shelby County.

    That’s the conclusion that Mae Peniston, Greg Biagi and I reached after conducting a series of book signings at more than 20 churches spread all over the county…from Graefenburg to Simpsonville and from Elmburg to Waddy.

    The book is Shelby County, Kentucky 2011 – A Living History, which debuted in June.

    We also visited with Ruritans at all five of their clubs in the county.

  • The other night, as I was tucking my 5-year-old into bed, I felt a cool draft of air and, being a dutifully protective father, started feeling around to see if her window had been left open or a seal was letting in a breeze. But then the draft hit me (literally) on the head, and I realized what I was feeling was the air conditioner kicking on. In December.

    We interrupt this holiday season for – what – golf season?

  • The absurd incongruity of the state’s application of shock probation has added a new twist of the sword of inequity, a new and ugly demonstration of why the law must be rewritten, redefined or – best of option of all – repealed.

    Exhibit 1: Tonya Nicole Brown delivers a baby in a restroom of a restaurant in Shelby County, puts that living baby into plastic bags and shoves them into a trash receptacle, gets back into her vehicle and drives home to Lexington.

  • Everyone loves a parade, and the Shelbyville Christmas parade on Saturday was certainly lovable.

    Those lining Main Street in spring-like weather certainly seemed thrilled with a long and colorful processional that helped Shelby County greet the holiday season.

    We like that so many groups put together floats, marched or walked or simply just rode along the roughly 2-mile course. We even applaud that members of Shelby County Fiscal Court, Shelbyville City Council and Simpsonville City Commission saved public money by sharing a “float” in the parade.

  • It’s beginning to look a lot like Friday Night Lights out at Collins High School.

    The TV cameras are on the sidelines, reporters are sticking notepads and microphones into the faces of guys who barely shave and Coach Jerry Lucas is trying to keep everything in perspective, even if he’s not married to the principal and no auto dealer is looking over his shoulder or whispering into his ear (that we know of).

    Thus is the world of teams playing for state football championships. We may not be Texas, friends, but this is Texas-sized terrific.

  • The case involving Susan King and the murder of Kyle “Deanie” Breeden of Shelbyville continues to produce new briefs and chapters that introduce many questions and educate us at each stop through the legal system.

    As you may recall, Ms. King last summer had appealed to the courts to grant her a new trial based on new evidence but was turned down by Circuit Judge Charles Hickman because, as he wrote in his opinion, there had been no trial in the first place.

  • A football team from Shelby County once again is playing for a state championship.

    It has been a long time between drinks of water, so to speak, for football teams from Shelby County, but what a great moment this is for Collins High School, in its third year, to be playing venerable Fort Thomas Highlands for a championship on Friday night in Bowling Green.

  • Debby Sowell is thankful she is able to buy food... she has a home... she is a teacher.

    Sowell, the art teacher at East Middle School, overcame obstacles to achieve her goal and is proud to share her story.

    “I grew up poor,” she said. “My Mom had her GED. My Dad had a high school diploma. He wanted me to go to college and harped, ‘Medicine is the way to go’ because he wanted me to have money...something we never had.”

  • A study completed last week by state Department of Criminal Justice has come to a conclusion we addressed two years ago: We no longer need constables as part of the law enforcement structure.

    We agreed in 2010 when Shelby County Magistrate Michael Riggs, a former member of the law enforcement community, raised the question to Shelby County Fiscal Court about these elected members of the police community, and we encouraged Mr. Riggs and his fellow magistrates to move toward eliminating these positions.

  • We are not surprised that the death one year ago of Trey F. Williams now will become part of the civic legal process as his family seeks to understand and accept his death at the hands of a Shelbyville Police officer.

    Last Nov. 19, Mr. Williams was in his grandmother’s house when officers Suzanna Marcum and Frank Willoughby found him there while investigating a call about a potential prowler. A struggle ensued, and Ms. Marcum fatally shot Mr. Williams, 18.