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Opinion

  • 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of inequity, a new and ugly demonstration of why the law must be rewritten, redefined or – best of option of all – repealed.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.

  • When does Thanksgiving arrive at your house? Does it show up with family on your doorstep on Thursday morning, at an airport in a far-off place, in the atrium of a restaurant or in the car as you drive over the river and through the woods to you-know-who’s house?

    Maybe it arrives several times, with a lunch feast at one home and dinner feast at another on Thanksgiving Day, or at a meal with one family on Thursday and another on a different day. Maybe you have three or four feasts.

  • Today we pause to shake our heads sadly at the woman in Arizona who, saying she was frustrated by the re-election of Barack Obama, tried to drive over her husband because he had neglected to vote. I’m guessing she was expecting him to vote for someone other than Obama.

    Think about that for a moment. You live in Arizona, where you knew who had won the election before the last bites of early bird specials had been gobbled at your neighborhood Denny’s, and you are so irate at one vote not cast that you are trying to injure your beloved.

  • The stunning retirement announcement last week by Shelby County Parks Director Clay Cottongim has left us as startled and grasping at the future as we are sure it has those on the county’s parks board and its foundation.

    Mr. Cottongim, it would seem, is the Shelby County Parks system. There are hundreds of people  who contribute to the success of an admirable system, but this program has at the very least has been Mr. Cottongim’s foster child if not his actual baby.

  • The holiday spirit was alive and well in Shelbyville on Saturday night, and we’re not referring specifically to the Celebration of Lights, although the 25th anniversary of that festival was widely attended and a wonderful success.

    We speak, no, of the fabulous example of giving that was the presentation of a wheelchair-accessible van to Margaret Hall and her son, Glenn, during that celebration.

  • You have to love someone who sets a lofty goal and then, by golly, goes and accomplishes that goal. Our most recent example of that is from Gabriella Karas, a freshman cross-country runner at Collins High School.

    Ms. Karas’s surname is nothing new to our congratulatory notes. Her sister, Caterina, two years ago won a state cross-country title and set a course record at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. She also won several track titles.

  • I’m 46 years old, and I have never been more disheartened or discouraged by an election than I was last week. Just typing that produces a bit of guilt however, as I’m reminded that as Christians, our hope is in Christ, and we can’t let the affairs of this world distract us to the point of depression. So I’m struggling.

  • On Oct. 10 the 2012-2013 Class of Leadership Shelby embarked on our first educational adventure together as a team. I don’t think it was any coincidence that our first day trip was planned as “Agriculture Day.” After all, our county began as a booming agricultural land, and even though most of us do not get to see it every day, our county still thrives on agriculture, which has taken many different shapes.

  • We always feel this way after an Election Day on which a president is chosen: It’s time to get started to work, but can anything really be accomplished?

    We have had month upon unending month of points made, refuted, remade, refuted and other infinite cycles. Nothing really was accomplished except to create a truly contentious election season, and, truth be known, until the Electoral College votes, we really haven’t decided anything.

  • Like most everyone else, we are continuing to try to digest the results we read last week from the state’s new accountability tests for public schools.

    Like Shelby County Superintendent James Neihof, we “continue to feel challenged” by what we saw.

    Whether you think standardized testing works or whether this particular set of processes is appropriate, this is the system through which we for the foreseeable future will educate our students and evaluate our teachers and administrators.

  • Election Day means the end of the debate for a couple of men I respect very much. Unfortunately, neither of them was on the ballot.

    To be sure, though, their views are aligned generally with those of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, which is to say the bubbles they filled almost certainly weren’t on the same side of the ballot.

    It’s understandable, really. One of them has worked in the auto industry, and the other is a Marine.

  • In early August of this year, I noticed a small ad in the Sunday Louisville Courier-Journal concerning upcoming concerts at the old Grand Theater in Frankfort. Since I have performed as an entertainer, beginning at the age of 4, this quickly got my attention.

    After going over the rather long list as well as the dates, my focus centered on a guitar player on the evening of Sept. 25, knowing this would also be a pleasant surprise for my wife, Iris, and we would in all likelihood also enjoy dinner at a nearby Frankfort restaurant.

  • Many candidates have lined up to serve you, and on Tuesday you will have a chance to choose among them, which is a far from simple process. Both candidates and voters have much responsibility on Election Day.

    These candidates have presented themselves to you, shown you in many ways who they are and the issues and principles that have formed their candidacies, and now it’s up to you to sort through all those messages and make the choice that best serves your needs.