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Opinion

  • The mission of our school district is reflected in our ultimate Big Goal – graduate by 2016 all students meeting college and career readiness benchmarks. I would like those in the community to be able to discuss the goals with students, friends, family and neighbors.

    But I also hope that understanding the goals helps you to gain insight into the purpose of our work in Shelby County Public Schools this school year.

  • Shelby County Fiscal Court is moving quickly this week to close the Who Da Thot It Bridge – commonly called Jail Hill Bridge – that historic span connecting downtown Shelbyville north from 5th Street. In fact, even as you read this, the bridge already may be closed.

    Shelby County Judge-Executive Rob Rothenburger cited a recent inspection of the bridge by the state as his basis for asking magistrates on Tuesday morning for an executive order to close the bridge immediately as a matter of public safety.

  • Another successful Shelbyville Horse Show has finished its run, and by all accounts its 22nd edition may have been the biggest and best ever.

    Certainly large crowds turned out during the four days, despite sweltering heat, and the number of horses entered grew significantly, bringing in vans from as far away as Texas to compete against the best.

  • There was a woman with whom I once worked who had a phenomenal phobia about bridges, which, living in Florida as we did, was something not easily managed.

    She had a Golden Rule about bridges: Don’t go unto them, and they can’t do unto you. She would drive to great lengths to avoid a span of any size greater than, say, a 2-lane culvert-crosser.

  • How many times has it been you? Awaken early, pile into the car and head down the road on a family vacation, excited, weary from a long preparation time, plotting a shortest-possible course across perhaps foreign territory to arrive at your destination.
    Your anticipation is racing through your veins, adrenalin pushing it like a chemical locomotive, and you keep your eye on the ever-larger dot on the map as you dash toward its fullness, following that beacon to a place of joy and wonder and happiness.

  • The problem with the redrawing of magisterial districts in Shelby County would seem to be one of simple geometry that anyone can appreciate:

    No matter how you slice it, you can’t create seven truly equal pieces of a pie.

    Yet, that’s the problem facing fiscal court as it goes through the suggestion/review process required every 10 years to ensure that each magistrate represents a nearly equal number of residents.

  • We were extremely pleased to see how significantly Shelby County’s graduation rates have surpassed those of other school districts in the state, based on the new formula adopted for federal No Child Left Behind program.

    We understand that statistics can be misconstrued and misleading, but clearly Shelby County High School was getting students through the receiving line on graduation day. We marveled, too, at the large percentage of African-American and female students who had earned diplomas. These were standard-setting percentages.

  • It was my pleasure and honor to work with Mr. and Mrs. J. Edward Moore as the chairman of the O. L. Moore Memorial Scholarship Committee for the last 19 years of its 25-year existence.  It was one of the most rewarding experiences in which I participated in my 43 years of educational work.

  • Law school’s loss is East Middle School’s gain. Because Myron Montgomery decided to become a teacher and not a corporate attorney, the Missiles now have a new assistant principal who said, “I knew this was something I wanted to do for a long time....This is an industry where everyone is invested in improvement of the product, and our product is a kid that we want to be successful.”

  • The Board of Directors of the American Saddlebred Horse Association would like to respond to the article (“Saddlebred group has a bumpy ride,” July 27), which pertains to current litigation pending between the ASHA and a small group who refer to themselves as “concerned members” of the ASHA. We are a volunteer group of passionate and dedicated horsemen and women elected by our members to provide leadership and governance.

  • Those black-and-white lessons we learned from our devotion to the scriptures of the Andy Griffith Show typically seem lost in the transcendent Technicolor of today.

    The tenets taught to us by Andy, Barney and the gang too often seem maudlin and misplaced in the constant churn of our lives, when we seldom slow down to inhale the sweet fragrance of love and life and spin like another damp load cycling down in a washing machine.

  • The ongoing – and seemingly never-ending – debate about the fiscal irresponsibility of the United States government is a tiresome, fearsome and even loathsome process that all of us as taxpayers and voters have to endure and sort through to help us make valued decisions about the capabilities of our elected leadership.

  • Shelby County lost one of its truest and most dedicated servants last week, when longtime magistrate Cordy Armstrong passed away.

    All you have to do is read the glowing tributes to Mr. Armstrong’s character and commitment – which aren’t always linked when talking about public officials – to understand what those who knew him best and worked alongside him thought of his contributions to our society.

  • Last week, while most of you were basting like a Thanksgiving turkey waiting for the oven that was about to surround you at midweek, I decided to do something really snide and snarky and sneak north for a few days, to Minnesota.

    And you know what happened: I had to wipe that smile right off my face, as my mother often told me to do.

    My first tip came when I ran into Simpsonville Mayor Steve Eden in a convenience store. He asked if I was handling the heat, and I told him I was headed to Viking country.

  • The Triple S Planning Commission acted with great uncertainty in its borderline OK last week for Midwest Metals to build a recycling center on Kentucky Street near Red Orchard Park.

    The concept was approved, 4-3, on Commission Chair Gil Tucker’s tiebreaking vote.

    For the record, Commissioners Scott Merchant, Jake Smith and Larry Stewart supported a zone change from light industrial to heavy industrial, and Commissioners Quintin Biagi Jr., Dudley Bottom and Ed Rudolph opposed. And we thank all of them for their care and diligence with this matter.

  • Routine heroism must be in the job descriptions for public servants in Simpsonville.

    First there was an off-duty police officer who saved a horse from a burning barn, then there was the firefighter who interrupted his dinner with his family to sustain and save the life of a neighbor having a heart attack.

    Now we have yet another police officer – Ron DeSoto – who has rescued a stolen purse from an elderly shopper at Walmart and arrested the thief.

  • I hear Jim Wiley has been around baseball since he helped Abner Doubleday lay out the field for a game among Gen. Sherman’s troops.

    That may not be true, but for certain he was playing fastpitch softball with the Shelby County Jets more than a couple of decades ago. I know, because my Granddaddy used to take me to see the Jets play.

  • Despite comments published in recent weeks in The Sentinel-News, Shelby County Public Schools wants the public to know it does not enter into construction contracts without close scrutiny of reputations and references. It does not accept work that is not up to expectations. It does not absorb the financial burden if a problem comes up. It does not put students and staff in an unsafe environment. 

  • We are sad to see so many good names and reputations be dragged through the legal sludge that we fear will happen in the lawsuit by Billie Wade against his former employers, Citizens Union Bank, the holding company that owns it and several specific individuals.

    Mr. Wade departed the bank about 15 months ago after an announcement of federal and state inquiries into the bank’s lending practices, and officials said at the time he was retiring. Mr. Wade did not comment other than in a released statement.

  • We would be remiss if we let any more time pass and didn’t say a proper congratulations to Bobby Cravens, the firefighter from Simpsonville who in a set of incredible coincidences was available and able to save the life of his parents’ neighbors on the July 4th weekend.

    In case you missed the story, Andre Evans was having a heart attack, and his wife, Teresa, was rushing him from their home on Hunter’s Lane to get medical help when she noticed a Simpsonville Fire Department vehicle parked at a house along the way.