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Columns

  • GUEST COLUMN: New system means changes to state’s school accountability measures

    Starting this month, you’ll begin hearing much more about our new school accountability system and what it means for each district, school and student.

    With the implementation of any new system, especially one as big as this, there are always growing pains and questions. I would like to take a few moments to discuss Kentucky’s new accountability system, what it will mean for schools and students this academic year, and help prepare you for this transition.

  • GUEST COLUMN/Stuart Sanders: Speed to burn: Kentucky’s pioneering aviator Willa Brown Chappell

    Mary Ellis, one of the last surviving female pilots from World War II, died on July 25 at age 101.

    A member of Great Britain’s Royal Air Force, Ellis delivered fighter planes and bombers from factories to air bases.  She is estimated to have flown more than 1,000 Spitfires, Hurricanes, Lancaster bombers and other aircraft during the war.

    These were, however, no simple deliveries. Ellis faced constant danger, including German fighters and friendly fire. She also once suffered a crash landing when her Spitfire’s landing gear jammed.

  • WHAT WE THINK: Make this season wonderful for all

    In today’s issue we’ve tried to find ways to help you spruce up your holidays. From the table to the decorations to our community, we want to help you make this season your best.

    But for it to be the best, it will take more than a new dish for Thanksgiving, more than stylish new decorations for your mantle or your tree and certainly more than the hottest new toy under your Christmas tree.

    What will it take to make this year the best? How about we spread that cheer like never before?

  • MARTIN: A swift return to reality

    I have an annual guy’s camping weekend each August, and this year it just so happened to be this past weekend.

    It’s a lot of fun. We build a campfire and cook over open flames, we stay up late telling stories and then we hit the water on Saturday in a couple of rented pontoon boats and mostly act like we’re still in our 20s.

  • Chugging into the night

    With apologies to Clement Moore:

    Twas midnight on Christmas, and all through the land.

    The party was roaring, there was plenty of bourbon on hand.

    The children were restless, Christmas dancing in their heads.

    There was so much noise, they barely could stay in their beds.

    And I in my best Eddie Bauer and Mom in her new rabbit wrap

    Were just sitting in our corner, asking our server for a nightcap.

    When outside by the parking lot, we heard a big ol’ noise.

  • A losing battle versus nature

    It turns out I hate oak trees.

    Sure they grow big and full, provide tons of shade and are a very hearty hardwood that makes for great furniture, floors and even firewood.

    But they are also the bane of my existence come late fall and into winter.

    I have two giant oak trees in my front yard and for three, or maybe two-and-a-half, seasons they are wonderful.

  • A big, heavy, start to the holidays

    Saturday was a big day – and not just because of the instant classic that the universities of Kentucky and Louisville turned in on the football field – it was the day the Martin clan decided to go out and get the season’s Christmas tree.

    I love Christmas – the tree, decorating, the lights, everything and especially with young children.

  • Remembering the meaning in Christmas

     I find myself in a bit of Christmas quandary this week.

    See, the plan in our house this year was to try to instill the Christmas spirit in our 7-year-old son.

    And I don’t mean a big tree – we’ve covered that – more lights and few extra trips to see Santa.

    No, we have that part covered.

    Our kids love Christmas, and they could not be more excited for it to get here. If I’ve heard “I wish today was Christmas morning!” once, I’ve heard it 50 times.

  • MARTIN: Finding time for a healthier taco night

    Iused to think that New Year’s resolutions were silly, a weak-minded way to make myself change.

    If I wanted to change during the year, I’d just do it.

    And in my younger years, I would. It was easy, I’d just implement whatever change I needed to make.

    More exercise – no problem. I’ll start running today and hit the gym tomorrow.

    Read more – check. I’ll just set aside an hour each day to devote to my newest book.

  • MY WORD: A good guy is out of the lineup

    On a typical afternoon in 2013, I was sitting in my office as editor of The Sentinel-News when I was paged to the lobby, where I had “a visitor.” I arose and headed up front, expecting to be handed a photo of a large vegetable or prodigal grandchild or hear a scold from a would-be felon’s offspring.

    What I found was a face from my youth and a surge of warmth in my heart.