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Today's Features

  • Since J.R.R. Tolkien originally published the book “The Hobbit” in 1937, it has captivated readers and sent them on an adventure with 13 dwarfs, a wizard and a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins.

    The adventure unfolds live onstage this weekend at the Hardin County Schools Performing Arts Center at John Hardin High School.

    For the show’s cast and crew, bringing Middle Earth to the stage has been its own creative adventure.

  • This month’s “One of Hardin County’s Finest Cooks” is a lady I have known for a long time: Shirley Pearson. This month is special because her adult granddaughter nominated her and three of her grandchildren have made comments about their favorite dishes.

    Granddaughter Erin Roberts said, “Mamaw has inspired Travis, Jenna and I to learn to cook and make some of her recipes that we love.”

  • When you have a package of fresh basil, you make a lot of basily things.

    At least I do.

    Last week, I used basil in a pasta salad.

    For dinner one night, I put it on some homemade pizza bread. Simply put some pepperoni, bacon bits, tomato sauce, basil and cheese on some freshly sliced bread and place it under the broiler for a few minutes. It was a last-minute dinner choice using a variety of things on hand, but the basil made it delicious.

  • For retired 1st Sgt. Larry Walko, tax season is a time to help others.

    After joining the military in 1971, Walko served more than 20 years in the military and now volunteers at the Fort Knox Tax Center for the joy of helping others.

    “I like helping people out,” he said.

  • FOR MORE INFORMATION: To learn more about the lampwork glass beads made by Vine Grove resident Denise Lemke, visit caravancreations.net.

    Near an open flame in the kitchen of her Vine Grove residence, Denise Lemke held a stick-like implement known as a mandrel in one hand and a glass rod in the other.

    She drew the rod to the fire provided by an oxygen propane torch until the glass melted and carefully wrapped the material onto the mandrel, which she twirled.

    “This is a hobby you have to be very patient with,” Lemke said.

  • Susan Figg has taken care of Elizabethtown’s children for 45 years.

    Over those decades, Figg has worked in preschool, daycare, church nurseries and private child care.

    But that wasn’t her original goal.

    After high school she went to business college in Louisville and did modeling work on the side. Her intention was to work in business administration.

    Her husband, Daryl, joined the U.S. Air Force and the couple was stationed in England for four years.

  • What do three bankers and a guy named Banks do in their spare time? Form a band, of course.

    Chris Buchanan, Charles DeRoche, Matt Neel and Pat Banks make up the local band Poor Man’s Grave.

    While their photos resemble those of many folk bands, they started out that way, but morphed into something louder and more electric, according to Buchanan, lead vocalist and acoustic guitar player.

  • A few years ago, when the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Elizabethtown did not have a thrift store, Judy Banks suggested one be established.

    It was in the fall of 2011 when Banks, who has volunteered for the organization for more than six years, said she told organization members she hoped her proposal would be turned down.

    “Of course, they wanted to do this,” Banks said.

    Fundraising began with appeals for donations of $1,000. Banks wanted to model the Elizabethtown thrift store after an upscale one she had seen.

  • Through his job at Belk department store and visits to schools, Mason Smoot wants to help people gain more confidence by helping them dress well.

    “A lot of times kids want to dress in today’s trends and styles that are not always conducive to job interviews,” Smoot said.

    He volunteers to go to schools to teach young men how to dress well for future jobs. He teaches them how to tie ties, match shirts with pants and, because they often don’t have a lot of money, shows them how to make multiple outfits out of two or three items of clothing.

  • Dina Hackert may only have recently stepped into a coaching role in Meade County, but she’s had a long history with the sport of basketball and a heart for ministry.

    Hackert is a Meade County High School graduate whose basketball team went to the state tournament during her career. While at Hope College, her team won a NCAA Division III national championship in 1990.

    She’s coached at a variety of levels in Michigan, from varsity girls to middle school. Hackert and her husband, Jeff, also are ordained ministers.