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Opinion

  • Word spread by e-mail, phone and Facebook. It was a bolt of lightning, and each of us simply wanted to touch it and pass it along. Thursday night before the sun was close to the horizon, we learned that Michael Jackson was dead. If you’re younger than 25 or older than 65, you may not care so much.

  • Much has been written recently about the spendthrift ways in which the Kentucky Association of Counties has taken care of taxpayers’ money.

    The Herald-Leader in Lexington has examined – exhaustively – the spending practices of many organizations funded by taxpayers, and KACo, as it is known, has been squarely under its lenses.

    That group, a coalition of county officials from across Kentucky, has spent thousands on such frivolous concepts as tickets for board members to the Kentucky Derby and the Ryder Cup.

  • This weekend as we celebrate the 4th of July, millions of Americans will have cookouts, go swimming, play corn-hole, and watch fireworks.  A few of them will actually pause for a moment to reflect upon what the day is all about.

    Of course, the 4th of July is our national Independence Day, memorializing the day our Founding Fathers declared their independence from Great Britain.

  • During the last couple of weeks, the world, or my world rather, has been fixated with Iran.  The Iranian people, like they do every four years, went to the polls to elect a president.  Only this time it was predetermined.  The Iranian people didn’t have a say.  The government chose for them. 

  • Law enforcement officials in six counties worked together recently to arrest a man they believe is responsible for dozens of burglaries.

    We shall see if their arrest carries through to conviction, but we are buoyed by the teamwork we saw from the Shelbyville Police Department, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Simpsonville Police and agencies from around the region.

  •  I remember when I was a boy bemoaning our 16-hour rides to visit my grandmother in south Mississippi that my Dad would tell me that someday, in my lifetime, I would be able to get in a car, tell it where I wanted it to go and just let it take me there. The roads and something we didn’t even know – technology – would do the rest.

  • We would like to offer an entirely new plan for how to expand state revenue and subsidize the ailing horse-racing industry.

    Instead of installing slot machines at race tracks, how about we simply set odds on the actions of our state legislators?

    They seem to be more fickle than a filly, and you don’t necessarily need to know the pedigree or quarter-mile time to pick a winner.

    A $2 wager on any piece of legislation likely would return a handsome payout, and with each delay, amendment and revision, your betting options continually expand.

  • I read recently about a census taker who went up to a farmhouse in a rural area and knocked at the door. When a woman came to the door, he asked her how many children she had and their ages. 

    The woman replied, "Let’s see now.  There's the twins, Sally and Billy, they're thirty-two.  There’s the twins, Seth and Beth, they're twenty-six.  And there’s the twins, Penny and Jenny, they're twenty-four. "

  • The City of Shelbyville’s plan to do an extensive study about its East end is an appropriate step toward fulfilling the city’s potential as a destination for both residents and visitors.

    This most historic area, somewhat preserved in the blocks from 2nd and 3rd Streets between Main and Washington, has an unexploited opportunity to become the eastern gateway into a thriving and eclectic downtown.

    And the timing for this new study could not be more appropriate.

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    He has taken another historic building that for years housed The Armstrong Agency and turned it into what he hopes will be an upscale Tuscan/Mediterranean eatery, called The Bell House.

    And we like that idea quite a lot.

    Shelbyville needs a continued insurgence of energy, and Mr. Andriot – as with his brother, Bill, and his father, William – long have provided power to new looks and new initiatives that have improved our county seat. Mr. Andriot has led many parades, and this new one could strike a wonderful chord for our future.

  • That could have been you or me, you know.

    That tragically dead teenager lying on a piece of farm land along one of Shelby County’s tight and treacherous roads could just as easily have been one of us.

    Maybe you knew and today mourn Samantha Mathus-Cooper. Maybe you knew someone else who was driving or riding our roads one night and simply never made it home.

    Or maybe it’s a bit of both.

    These tragedies never leave us, and yet they never really do justice to the person who gave a life, either.

  • Every time I see someone for the first time since moving back to Shelby County, he or she will ask that invariable and earnest question: Don’t you miss Florida?

    Doesn’t matter if they are family, friends, foes or faux pas, this comes up. And my response is almost always the same: Yes, there are some things I do miss.

  • Gov. Steve Beshear has said state lawmakers will undertake problems with the horse racing industry when they convene next week in Frankfort.

    If you read between the lines or have been following this discussion, that simply means he thinks it’s time Kentucky examines the idea of expanding gambling to support a key industry.

    We don’t argue horse racing has problems and needs some focused support.

  • Do you know what a Titan is? And does it have some connection to Shelby County?

    Well, yes, now it does because Titans was selected as the new nickname for Martha Layne Collins High School.

    The Collins High School Titans?  Sounds forgettable.

    Actually, we think the students who selected it probably were remembering the Titans, as in the feel-good movie starring Denzel Washington.

    We doubt they had spent much time studying the origin of the word: Greek mythology.

  • “Everything that was nailed down has come loose.”  I believe that line from the 1936 movie "The Green Pastures" accurately describes what is going on in our culture today.

  • There is more than a little understatement to say that these are sad and troubling days for the manufacturers of Shelby County.

    Great symbols of change and growth in our dear old homestead are closing their doors, sending home their workers and leaving behind facilities that could become the weed-infested, rust-crumbled eyesoresthat we are used to seeing in states farther north.

  • In Owensboro this weekend, a group of girls from Shelby County High School will make a bid to be the best among the state’s softball teams.

    They begin on Friday morning against top-ranked Christian County on a journey of hope and desire against 15 teams from around Kentucky.

    Several of these young women are seniors playing for the final time. Some will go on to play in college. Others will give up the sport.

  • In Owensboro this weekend, a group of girls from Shelby County High School will make a bid to be the best among the state’s softball teams.

    They begin on Friday morning against top-ranked Christian County on a journey of hope and desire against 15 teams from around Kentucky.

    Several of these young women are seniors playing for the final time. Some will go on to play in college. Others will give up the sport.

  • Shelby County High School, Cornerstone Academy and Corpus Christi High School are about to graduate their latest senior classes, which are always days of great celebrations for teachers, parents and, particularly, the students.

    But this year we challenge the entire community to celebrate graduation day.

    In the midst of economic issues, with factories closing and futures uncertain, we must remember that the most important and incomparable commodity of Shelby County is the young people we deliver to the real world each year.

  • My old second baseman married one of my old pitchers on Saturday.

    And, no, this wasn’t one of those controversial, newfangled marriages of the new millennium. One of them was a woman.

    She played second base to my shortstop on our sixth-grade softball team, which was coed for reasons of necessity. We wouldn’t have had enough players for gender-specific teams.