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Opinion

  • 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.

  • We are hearing the cries of concern from parents, students and taxpayers about the bill the Shelby County School Board is willing to swallow to repair the sinking turf at Collins High School’s Titan Stadium.

    At their last meeting on June 23, board members voted to spend a sum approaching $400,000 on a potentialremedy for the undulations and pitfalls that have emerged beneath this year-old artificial surface – and the emphasis on the word “potential” is not ours.

  • Shelby County Sheriff Mike Armstrong’s investigation into the shooting by Deputy Brian Miller of the dog Daisy produced the sort of findings that we had expected.

    We did not expect the sheriff to determine that Mr. Miller acted incorrectly, and we did expect there to be any disciplinary action in the case.

    There never seemed to be significant concern that the case was handled improperly, public opinion notwithstanding.

  • As these characters meekly appear on a computer screen, three men and a woman are flying above us in the space shuttle Atlantis, the last planned human voyage into space for perhaps this generation.

    A program that has since President Kennedy’s manifest address in 1961 explored beyond the horizons, developed medical, technological and economic solutions that benefited mankind, that brought reality to the myths of our youth, could be left to dust.

  • Henry H. Denhardt, a former adjutant general and a lieutenant governor of Kentucky, was charged in 1936 for the murder of his girlfriend, Verna Garr Taylor of Henry County.

    A trial took place in Henry County on April 20, 1937. More than 1,000 people gathered for the trial, with entertainment and refreshments being offered on the courthouse lawn.

    It ended in a hung jury, and a retrial was scheduled on Sept. 21, 1937.

  • It was around 11:30 on Monday night when I was roused from my most peaceful slumber by incoming fire that must have sounded like the cacophony that careens through the ears of foxhole dwellers. The booms were loud and persistent, the echoes long-lasting. Diving under the covers did no good.
    In fact, the blasts were so thunderous I wanted to record them and play them for my Marine son to ask him if this is what it was like during his recent tour in Afghanistan.
    I’ve never been to war, but it sounded like the music.

  • Sheriff Mike Armstrong’s reticence about the details of the shooting of a family’s pet dog by one of his deputies continues to trouble us, but we are willing to be patient with Mr. Armstrong’s office for a few more days.

    That’s because we think it’s a good idea that Mr. Armstrong launched an internal investigation about why Deputy Brian Miller used deadly force as his first option when confronted by a Labrador in the backyard of a house he was checking for break-in.

  • The choice of Bobby Hudson to head Shelby County’s United Way campaign is a terrific one for those who want to raise money to help community service organizations in Shelby County.

    Mr. Hudson, the popular and capable CEO of the Shelby County Industrial & Development Foundation, certainly knows his way around our boardrooms, corporate offices and public leadership ladder.

    With decades spent in banking, business development and luring new companies and jobs to the county, Mr. Hudson is known by almost everyone who makes decisions on any level.

  • There are places that are emblazoned into our hearts and souls as if seared there before birth, a match for us and our time that we would learn only through life’s tumultuous passage.

    Home certainly is primary, the place where we planted our roots and grew among our nourishing family and friends, but there are others, unique plots on a map to which we are drawn and driven by strands of our DNA and the forces that propel us.

  • The tragic intersection last week of a family pet protecting her home and a Shelby County Sheriff’s deputy investigating a blaring alarm has left us more sad and concerned about the silence after the alarm than the grisly details of what happened while it was sounding on July 18.

    Certainly there’s our sadness for the family of Bart and Renee Lewis of Shelbyville, who lost their beloved pet dog Daisy as a horrible byproduct of an event that can be all too frequent in any neighborhood.

  • Beth Newton has vivid memories of her school days...memories that are nightmares starting with the eighth grade. “I didn’t do any work. I didn’t care....My family didn’t care, so why should I care?”

    Moving to Louisville intensified the situation. “I didn’t know any of the subjects and felt stupid,” she said. “So I would check in first block and then leave. They never noticed I wasn’t there the rest of the day.”

  • Three events have aligned in the galaxy these past few months to accomplish something that I thought never would happen in my lifetime:

    Todds Point is now on the sphere of relevance.

    If that sounds sort of mean and flip, I don’t mean it to be.

    Todds Point has been an enigma to me for as long as I can recall: a name on a map, a reference point for a road, a hamlet of friends and acquaintances.

    But, to borrow from Gertrude Stein, there was never any “there, there.” And she was talking about Oakland, Calif.

  • The hiring last week of Chip Minnis as the new police chief of Simpsonville was a victory on many fronts.

    Certainly it was a great victory for Minnis, who has toiled for decades in the police departments of Shelbyville and Simpsonville.

    Certainly it was a triumph for the city of Simpsonville, which basically not only was able to keep its police department intact during a leadership change but also able to hire a native son, a person who knows the community so well, to police its streets.

  • Another month has brought another really good idea to help the people of Shelby County get in better physical shape.

    We speak, of course, of the plan under way to add adult exercise stations to the trails in Red Orchard Park. What a valuable and wonderful new tool this would be to fight the obesity that is consuming our population.

    By adding some muscle-strengthening options to a wonderful walk through nature, Shelby County Parks & Recreation is placing emphasis where it belongs – providing an attractive option to stay fit.

  • Why spend $160,000 on summer school? Is it worth that much money? Yes.

    However, if you don’t believe me, ask Kara or Dakota.

    These elementary children attended the 4-week session last summer and have reaped the benefit this school year as a second-grader and fourth-grader, respectively.

    What benefit? The ability to read.

  • On a sunny Friday afternoon, the damnations of work behind you and the blessings of a weekend settling large on your horizon, you find yourself winding down a road that is as familiar as the scars in your own skin, one whose hills, dales and dusty side trails you can see perfectly with your eyes shut and nothing but motion to plot its passage.
    Each fencepost is a milestone of your journey, a dot on your mind’s map so large and bold that you can name generations of people – their nicknames, their offspring, their ancestors – who lived behind them.

  • It’s really a positive in a community when decision-makers listen to public input and respond appropriately.
    That’s why it was refreshing to hear last week about the aggressive changes that the Shelby County A&M board had adopted for the upcoming Shelby County Fair.
    Last year the fair had come under significant criticism because of its high prices for admission and ride bracelets and for its restrictive gate practices.
    Those complaints were well-founded and – much  more importantly – well-received.

  • The swift and positive reaction by Shelby County Jailer Bobby Waits and the county’s magistrates to an opportunity for new business will provide an important infusion of cash into a county budget that is becoming difficult to balance.
    Waits was quick to respond earlier this spring to a brief openinig to secure a $600,000 contract with Anderson County to house its inmates.