• It’s been nearly 30 years, but I remember the dread I felt when our Army Reserve unit was told that a good portion of us were going to be required to go to drill sergeant school. Our unit’s mission was training, most specifically, armor training, which meant teaching soldiers how to become tankers. But now, they wanted many of us to wear those campaign hats and lead cadence.

  • It’s bad enough that Washington, D.C.-area groups use Kentucky’s inflated high school graduation rates to make wild claims about how the commonwealth is a leader among states in handing out diplomas and closing graduation gaps between poor and better-off students.
    Feel-good reports like the Johns Hopkins School of Education and Civic Enterprises’ study, “For all Kids: How Kentucky is Closing the High School Graduation Gap for Low-Income Students,” simply drive the volume of happy talk backing the status quo in Kentucky up another level.

  • In light of the recent nationwide tragedies concerning the safety of law enforcement, Kentucky legislators are making it a priority to protect those who protect their communities. Representative James Tipton, R-Taylorsville, is a co-sponsor of House Bill 12, which would make it a hate crime to target emergency responders. The success of this bill would make Kentucky the second state to legislatively protect public safety workers relating to hate crime law. Louisiana passed similar legislation earlier this year.

  • Interactive is not a word one often associates with a newspaper. In an age of advanced technology where messages are sent with the click of a mouse or a few taps on your cellphone, the printed word seems a bit archaic and old-fashioned.

  • I remember the craze and rabid interest that surrounded a television show that debuted many years ago that I thought at the time was just a poor attempt to recapture the magic of Gilligan’s Island.

    The show was Survivor, and more than just chronicling the lives of contestants who were put on a remote island to seemingly fend for themselves and survive the elements and each other, it ushered in a new form of entertainment called reality television.

  • Like many Kentuckians, I am concerned about the growing threat of Zika virus in this country. As we head deeper into the summer, infected mosquitos are expected to transmit and spread the virus throughout the southern United States, including potentially Kentucky.

    Anyone can contract this mosquito-borne illness, but it is especially troubling for expectant mothers and their babies.

  • There is a great battle taking place in our communities. Too many have seen their sons and daughters fall victim to heroin and drug addiction. This has resulted in much anguish and pain for many families with the loss of life from overdoses and the daily turmoil of an addicted loved one.

  • The year 2016 has been full of political drama, locally, in Frankfort, and of course, nationally with the most surreal presidential election in our nation’s history that’s hitting a peak during convention time.

    It’s been a year of local battles over budgets and funding that took the county to the brink of a shutdown. In Frankfort, the feud between the current governor and the former governor’s family seems to play out with a new lawsuit every week.

  • Although summer break is coming to an end, summer weather—and hazards—will continue. However, there are a few things you can do to help keep your family safe, happy, and healthy for the rest of the season, especially while enjoying the great outdoors.

  • Whether Spencer County native J.D. Shelburne makes it to the top of the country charts is yet to be determined, but his concert on Main Street Saturday night certainly was a hit.

    That’s a credit not only to he and his band, but to the tireless efforts of those who helped plan and coordinate the show that resulted in a couple of thousand people gathering for a festive occasion.

  • The basic safety of the citizens of Spencer County has now been substantially decreased.  As the heroin epidemic sweeps our county and law enforcement officers across the nation are the new target for a sea of individuals with sick minds, what did our County Judge, John Riley do?  He pushed through a budget that drastically decreased  the funding for our sheriff’s department, which in turn, caused a decrease in available patrols.  

  • The first annual Hoop Off tournament was a success. We would like to thank Spencer Co. Fiscal Court for the opportunity of putting the tournament on. We would also like to thank the Spencer Co. Board of Education, Jim Oliver and custodians Anna Harely and Sharron Kanazel, Mike Marksbury and Scott Noel, athletic directors at SCHS and SCMS, and also Bart Stark.

    Also, thanks to Jennifer Downs, Jennifer Banta and Cheryl Downs, for taking up gate admission and the Spencer County Cobras for working concessions, and the Taylorsville City Police.

  • As a self-confessed news junkie, these are busy times. So much is happening in our nation and in our world, it’s enough to make your head spin. This is all the more reason to make sure the old noggin is screwed on straight. Among the things getting our attention this week:

    • The continued carnage in what appears to be an escalating conflict between law and anarchy. I hesitate to see this in terms of black and white, because while many in the media want to portray this as simply racial strife, I believe the issues are significantly more than skin deep.

  • In Kentucky, some bleed blue, others bleed red, and today, the Kentucky Retirement System (KRS) bleeds green. An article from the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting on June 7 outlined how KRS had used contributions from current and future state employees to pay legal fees for the former KRS Board Chair in a lawsuit against Governor Matt Bevin.

  • When Spencer County Parks Director Brian Spencer and his assistant, Adrian Downs, came before the fiscal court last week, they weren’t seeking a handout.

    Instead, they were seeking permission to move forward with an initiative to raise funds to bring some needed improvements to the local parks.

    Apparently, some of the playground equipment at both Ray Jewell Memorial Park, and Waterford Park is broken, and replacement parts are hard to come by because the playsets are obsolete.

  • It’s been a tragic week for law enforcement, a troubling week for race relations, and another embarrassing week for the news media.

    Two separate incidents in which two armed black men where shot by police officers quickly became the lead news stories by a media that seemed anxious to distract attention from Hillary Clinton’s email scandal.

  • While folklore about Davy Crockett is filled with stories of courage and daring, it’s Horatio Bunce, a respectable farmer in the Tennessee district represented by Crockett in Congress – at least in the version found in Edward S. Ellis’ biography about the larger-than-life “King of the Wild Frontier” – who’s the hero of this story.

  • Gridlock is not always a bad thing. In Washington, D.C., gridlock means the wheels of government turn slowly, and in an age when big government regulation often means more restrictions on Americans, the less accomplished, the better.

    But gridlock on the local level is almost never a good thing, and for that reason, we implore the members of the Spencer County Fiscal Court to look for ways to work together.