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Opinion

  • In the April 2 edition of The Sentinel-News, my attention was drawn to a brief three-line snippet that was buried among other news items in "Looking Backward," the weekly feature that spans nearly a century of Shelby County doings.

     "75 years ago, 1935 ... David Whittaker [sic], an eighth-grade student at Clark School, won the County Spelling Bee."

  • The World Cup of soccer begins this week, and all eyes will be fixed on the competition in South Africa.

    At least that’s what they tell me.

    I hear it on ESPN, read about it on the cover of Sports Illustrated and see it promoted in multicultural eating establishments around the area.

    This is said to be the biggest and greatest sports event in the world.

  • We thought the community had great reason to celebrate when the Shelby County Rockets earned their way into the state basketball tournament.

    But now, thanks to two rousing victories in the 8th Regional Tournament, the last year of the unified Shelby County High School will finish with two teams vying for a state championship.

  • The Crusade for Children has been part of the calendar in Kentucky and an intransient icon in our memories for most of all our lives.

    It was during the polio era in the early 1950s that the folks at WHAS in Louisville gave birth to a telethon fundraiser that seized those who viewed with its ability to generate dollars, its concept of community cause and its determination to dazzle us as well as move us.

  • The Shelbyville City Council took an unusual step at its recent meeting in passing a resolution in support of denying a liquor license for those who want to open what it called a “beer bar” at 616 Main Street.

    For the council as an elected body to offer its opinions on what essentially is a private business matter might seem to some to be employing its collective power inappropriately.

  • The photo is grainy in that 1960s, take-your-film-to-the-drugstore kind of Kodachrome way.

    But it is indelible in its image of a family enjoying time in a large body of water, the sort that drifts into the horizon, never to be seen again. Two little boys and their Mom and another family wade in the obviously warm and nearly knee-deep salt water, wonder on their faces and in their body language.

  • There is a wonderful new monument in our community that not all of you see.

    It’s the new memorial to the Slaughter Massacre that has been under construction on U.S. 60 just west of Simpsonville.

    Under the direction of a caring Shelby County native, Jerry Miller, a hardworking group has taken significant effort to memorialize the spot where a group of African-American soldiers were ambushed and killed in 1865.

  • Near the beginning of the comedic movie remake of Homer’s Odyssey, O Brother Where Art Thou? (which I unfortunately cannot recommend because it contains quite a bit of unnecessary profanity), the three main characters are divided over which of them should be the leader.

    The first defiantly steps forward, points to his chest, and says, “I’m with yours truly!”

  • Now that the Shelbyville Horse Show has been rated one of the 10 best summer events in Kentucky, I have a name to be placed on the guest list for this year’s event:

    Gary P. West.

    I doubt Hoppy or R.H. Bennett knows West, but they would do well to curry his favor.

  • Shelby County’s failure in three areas of a state audit should be a concern to each of us.

    The problems cited are not grave – neither losses of great amounts of the public’s money nor malfeasance were noted – but the fact that problems existed should not be dismissed out of hand.

    That’s primarily because these findings place a highlighter on areas of sloppiness in both record keeping and reporting by our county.

  • We applaud when our elected leaders are looking forward and trying to make sure that our governmental agencies are focusing on positive solutions and creative ideas.

    And even if an idea isn’t totally original, we like to know the good ones are being kept in focus and reasonably high on our leaders’ task lists.

  • We have been on the backs of the contractors on the Shelbyville Bypass, and we still believe Kay and Kay Construction has been lax in working on the project.

    But we have to offer the company some applause this week.

  • We have been on the backs of the contractors on the Shelbyville Bypass, and we still believe Kay and Kay Construction has been lax in working on the project.

    But we have to offer the company some applause this week.

  • The revelation this week that the Shelbyville Police Department’s shooting range is within firing distance of an elementary school sends off an alarm that all of us should hear.

    Yes, we realize that the location of the range off Kentucky Street was positioned two decades ago on old farmland, long before Clear Creek Elementary was even being discussed.

    Yes, we realize this is city-owned land.

    Yes, we realize officers need a place to practice their weaponry to be prepared to protect all of us.

  • Finally we have movement on a plan to rename the Shelby County High School Gym for iconic basketball star Mike Casey.

    Shelby County Public Schools formed a facilities naming committee that met last week and agreed to send forward to the school board its recommendation to honor Mr. Casey.

  • At the end of April I had the opportunity to go to southern California for a conference. It was a tough break, I know, but someone had to do it.

    If you’ve never been there, it really is beautiful – sandy beaches, palm trees, colorful flowers, a bright blue sky and breathtaking views with mountains and the ocean in the same frame all make for a picture-perfect setting.

  • I ran into an old English teacher – and my first journalism teacher – at the grocery store recently. She was buying milk, and I was the nosy reporter asking her about prices.

    She answered my question and then said, “You don’t remember me, do you?”

    I admitted she looked familiar, and then Mary Ann Clemmons, English teacher my junior year at Shelby County High School, introduced herself to me.

    “I remember you wouldn’t read much of anything but sports,” she said.

  • A year ago this week, Shelby County buried one of its finest heroes and favorite sons, former basketball star Mike Casey.

    In the 52 weeks since, our leaders have done little to honor a man who established not only a legacy of great athleticism but also one of inspiration to many and friendship to all.

  • We like what we hear about the county’s plans – joining the city’s earlier discussions – to improve the sidewalk corridor along 7th Street and Burks Branch Road toward Clear Creek Park.

    We have advocated the concept that this pathway should become much smoother for walkers, runners and stroller-pushers.

  •  Like many of my ilk, I am a manic radio listener when I’m in my car.