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Features

  • Sandra Cilyok of Elizabethtown looked at a yellow gourd in her hand and saw a penguin.

    “He just looked like a penguin when I looked at him,” she said.

    Cilyok once held a fuzzy newborn penguin at an aquarium and is a fan of the animated movie “Happy Feet,” which is about the animals.

  • A lifetime of work in politics and government began for Radcliff resident Les Dawson when he was growing up in West Point.

    Dawson, 83, recalls being as young as 7 when his grandmother — who he described as a “strong Democrat” — would take him along with her on local government visits.

    “She knew everybody in the courthouse,” he said of his weekly trips there.

  • After many years of public and community service, Carolyn Ritchie is ready for a break.

    Those who work with her say it’s deserved.

    Ritchie retires from her position as county treasurer July 31, her 64th birthday. She started working for Hardin County government in 1996 and became treasurer in 2000.

    As treasurer, she oversees grants, payroll, investments, bills and revenue for the county.

  • Beginnings are the sweetest. An innocence permeates the beginnings of friendships, professions and professions of love, an innocence that takes the heart to a different place. I have stayed in that place often enough and long enough to know its magic.

    We live better; we love better; we think better; we are better in the beginning.

    Some beginnings are firsts and other times, we begin again. But all beginnings require courage, because they are filled with risk.

  • He's known as Big Nate but actually he's a little guy. As comic strip fans will come to realize, his name has more to do with his attitude and his impact on a tight circle of friends.

    On the funny pages, Big Nate is perpetually an 11-year-old sixth-grader trying to avoid detention, who hopes to become a cartoonist. In real life, this creation of artist Lincoln Peirce has been published for 20 years before recently becoming an overnight success.

  • Take a classic Christmas story, add allusions to “The Wizard of Oz,” stir in what amounts to a ghostly Greek chorus and you’ll have an idea of what to expect from Hardin County Playhouse’s latest production, “A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas.”

    “I wanted to provide a spectacle,” HCP artistic director Bo Cecil said.

    “A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas” is a version of the perennially favorite story with bleaker elements and more ghosts.

  • Still in their 20s, Sofia and Martina Abubakr have traveled the world and now find themselves in Elizabethtown where they plan to put down roots while running a local deli.

    “I’m insanely jealous of people who say, ‘I’ve known her since kindergarten,’” Sofia, 24, said.

    Growing up, she and her family moved about every two years. Travels throughout the years include the Philippines, Germany and Korea.

  • Salim Najar was the guest speaker at the Nov. 8 meeting of the Elizabethtown Rotary Club. He gave a presentation on a Rotary-sponsored trip to Africa for several doctors and nurses. The team performed open heart surgery on a number of children and also provided local doctors and nurses the opportunity to learn how to perform the surgery.

  • Helicopters, tanks and barracks dot the property of a 1970s-era Army fort. Not far away, Victorian-style homes with porches that sport hanging flower baskets line the streets of a small town where a park and gas station lend an air of simplicity to life there.

    These scenes are dwarfed by members of the Radcliff Model Railroad Association as they move around the layouts constructed for their trains.

  • If you go: "Another HCP Halloween," a fundraising production presented by Hardin County Playhouse, is at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at Plum Alley Theater in the Historic State Theater complex in Elizabethtown. Tickets are $20. For more information, call (270) 352-0577.

    What would it have been like if Judge Judy had presided over the Salem Witch Trials? Or what if serial killer Aileen Wuornos and suspected axe murderer Lizzie Borden were among the all-female hosts of a talk show?

  • Approach Steve Mueller’s Elizabethtown home, and you might hear motion-activated sinister voices addressing you as skeleton figures, hanging bats and a knife-wielding clown greet you.

    Add to the mix giant spiders, a skulking vampire, creepy creatures, a wicked witch, scattered bones, a ghoulish graveyard and a variety of eerie items, and Mueller’s property goes beyond typical decorations.

    “Each year I put more and more,” Mueller said.

  • Mitzi Yvonne Lynch had a link to music and the performing arts from the time she was born.

    “I was named after Mitzi Gaynor,” Lynch said, explaining her father was a fan of the noted dancer of stage and screen.

    Her middle name is a nod to actress Yvonne DeCarlo.

    Lynch’s father played trombone and saxophone.

    “They both could sing,” she said of her parents.

    So it might not come as a surprise that Lynch became the music minister of Immanuel Baptist Church in Elizabethtown.

  • Among the inspirations for the subject matter for Elizabethtown artist Sherry Pearl are her childhood and a children’s story.

    But Pearl did not arrive at her style of whimsical art through any particular course of study.

    In fact, she got there despite her studies in art.

    “I got so hung up on the rules, so one day I said, ‘Forget the rules,’” Pearl said.

    Using bright acrylic paints, the artist creates scenes focused primarily on people.

  • Elizabethtown residents Rudy and Pat McKinney often find themselves smack dab in the 1700s.

    The couple makes 18th century-style furniture and crafts and participates in historic re-enactments.

    “It’s the time period where our country was beginning,” Pat said, explaining what drew her to the 1700s.