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Columns

  • May is Foster Care Awareness Month

    Guest column by JERIANNE STRANGE

    May is National Foster Care Month, a time to shine the light on the foster care experience. Let’s start with some facts and figures:

  • Two views: The case against hunting sandhill cranes

    If they are allowed to go through with it, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will allow for the first time in more than 100 years the hunting of sandhill cranes in Kentucky.
    Under what KDFWR calls a sandhill crane management plan, hunters will be allowed to buy permits and shoot the birds as they migrate through the commonwealth in the winter months.

  • Two views: The case for hunting sandhill cranes

    The eastern population of sandhill cranes migrates through and winters in portions of Kentucky. Sandhill cranes are the most abundant crane species on the planet, with more than 700,000 spending part of their year in North America. The eastern population is the world’s second largest, numbering between 60,000 and 100,000 birds.
    The population continues to grow and has become increasingly visible in Kentucky in recent years. Peak counts in Kentucky now approach 20,000 cranes in the Barren River Lake area.

  • Weather watchers watch over us

    I used to wonder why my wife, Lori, and her family are such avid weather watchers. Whenever we are in a storm warning in Kentucky, my mother-in-law in Oklahoma usually knows about it before I do.

    Not long ago she called me on my cell phone: “Are you OK?”

    I had no clue why she asked. I quickly glanced around my office for vandals, felt my pulse and answered, “I guess so. Why?”

  • Essential news arrived as nine-word post online

    Four Alabama refugees and their dog took shelter in our house early Thursday morning. My daughter’s family escaped without injury or significant property damage but not without some degree of impact.

    After our daily April storms, the constant storm watches and warnings almost became background noise. Another threat was predicted for Wednesday but when my wife described news of Alabama’s devastation the information didn’t immediately register.

  • What can be made of near-death experiences?

    Stories about dying, going to heaven (or hell) and selling books about it has become a veritable cottage industry these days.

    Two pastors, Don Piper and Steve Sjogren, both wrote about visions of heaven in their death or near-death experiences. Piper’s 90 Minutes in Heaven, (2004) was followed by Sjogren’s, The Day I Died (2006).

  • Interesting details occur beyond the spotlight

    When everyone’s facing forward watching the action at center stage, some aspects of the performance go unnoticed.

    When the governor arrives in town with businessmen from India and 250 new jobs to announce, it’s a lot like that. With all attention on the speaker’s platform, some things slip by. Here are a couple observations about two guests at the Uflex plant announcement April 13 in Elizabethtown.

    Arriving early provided a few minutes to talk privately with Larry Hayes, the state economic development director.

  • Sadness accompanies glory of Easter celebration

    My family followed traditional American Easter traditions when I was a child. In addition to preparing for the Sunday morning worship of the resurrected Christ, we anticipated the Easter event by dyeing eggs for the family egg hunt, sending Easter cards and exchanging chocolate bunnies.
    Dad was a dentist and candy generally was discouraged in our house, so chomping down on one of those miniature chocolate Easter bunnies was a rare and unusual treat.

  • New vocabulary word introduced nightmare images

    Remember relationships in grade school? Every classmate was your friend. Several were your best friends and a few were your very best friends.

    One morning in second grade, our teacher began class with a stark announcement. My best best friend was not in school that day. The night before his father had taken his own life.

    The teacher’s explanation was straightforward and detailed. Actually, too detailed. I also remember gruesome images from the nightmares that followed her frank explanation.

    No 8-year-old should know the word suicide.

  • First impression redirected by a single smile

    I was at one of my favorite restaurants, Jason’s Deli, when I noticed the man sitting at another table, eating with his wife and three young children. He was a big, raw-boned, burly guy, who towered over me when I walked by him, both of us on our way to sit down.

    He plopped onto his chair, perhaps exhausted from work. I slid into the booth with my wife.

    That’s when I took a good look at him. Stern-faced and serious, he cast what seemed like an intimidating aura over his family as they ate together.