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Columns

  • Book club starts with a bang

    Unless one of us has a last-minute brainstorm, we've decided on a name. In case you're wondering, the name is for the new community reading group the News-Journal is sponsoring.

    The CKNJ Bookmarks.

    And we had our first meeting Sunday afternoon. Of about 22 people who signed up to participate, 13 attended. And we had a blast.

    We had all either read or were in the process of reading a book by John Grogan titled "Marley and Me," a heartwarming story of a family in the making and the wondrously neurotic dog that taught them what really matters in life.

  • Little old ladies need piece of mind

    But even Granny Clampett needed help sometimes.

    Mom has lived in a nearby town in the same house on a corner lot since 1959. Three children, nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren later, she finds her peace in the flower beds that surround her residence.

    That peace was disrupted several weeks ago as temperatures warmed.

    Sitting around her kitchen table one Sunday after church, she explained (complained really) that her side yard has been invaded. She didn't say specifically, but I think she wanted me to do something about it.

  • Reading group meets Sunday

    It's official: We have a reading group!

    In February, I wrote a story and a column, asking readers what they thought about the possibility of beginning a community book group.

    Well, the response was much more than I expected. And I'll admit I'm thrilled.

    Our first get-together is planned for Sunday afternoon, April 27 at 2 p.m. at the Taylor County Extension Office. We will have refreshments and a conversation about the book "Marley & Me."

    We will also agree on the group's next book selection.

  • A new wrinkle on aging

    It's Monday, April 14, 2008. On this date 60 years ago, Momma lay down her washboard long enough to give birth to a future keyboarder.

    Apparently, a lot of other mommas across America were doing the same thing. They say some 330 of us Baby Boomers turn 60 every hour.

    You may not realize how close some of us came to not being here at all.

    A.C. Kinsey came out with a book, "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" in 1948. Some days I've wished it had been published in 1947, and Momma had gotten hold of a copy.

  • It's good work if you can get it

    It's not the glamour it may be rumored to be, but covering a golf major is what we do every day - work. Just a little different kind of work.

    Can you ever get that far away from that four-letter word?

    A semi-weekly newspaper from Kentucky won't turn many heads in the media center at the Masters, but when J.B. qualified in February, I had nothing to lose by asking.

  • Unfortunately, it wasn't an April Fool's joke

    Third-graders plotting to attack their teacher? Oh, come on, I thought. This must be someone's sick idea of an April Fool's Day joke.

    Apparently it wasn't. According to the Associated Press, a group of nine third-graders in south Georgia actually did hatch such a plan.

    The children, ages 8 and 9, were supposedly mad at the teacher because she had scolded one of them for standing on a chair.

  • The art of campaign strategy

    We have a computer-generated sign on our conference room door that reads "Innovation Station." But an idea I read about from another newspaper may be THE most innovative idea that I've come across.

    In the April issue of Publishers' Auxiliary, a newspaper trade publication, Jim Pumarlo talks about a Minnesota (Tubby Smith territory) newspaper publisher who generated national headlines when he started charging 5 cents a word for letters to the editor that endorse a candidate.

  • Wanna bet gambling comes up again?

    Casino gambling, that divisive phrase that has been floating around since Steve Beshear announced his candidacy for governor, is dead.

    The obituary appeared in statewide papers on Friday.

    Not even a landslide Democratic governor could leverage the necessary support out of a Democrat-controlled House to get it to a floor vote.

    I'm disappointed.

  • Separation crashes the party

    They've been up to their elbows in Jell-O together. They've played musical chairs together. They've shared pizza together. And they've signed each other's T-shirts. The only difference was the color pen they used: red or purple.

    For the past 21 years, Project Graduation has been the one time our local high school students get together for a combined celebration. On this one special night, all the rivalries of the past four years seemed to take a back seat to fun.

  • Hair today, gone tomorrow

    Katie Irwin was just another name on a list - a rather long list - of people willing to have their heads shaved to help kids fight cancer.

    I didn't know Irwin before March 15th and still don't, really. But I feel close to her - a member of the hairless brother/sisterhood, if you will.

    Irwin is the Campbellsville University junior who baby-sits Max and Heather Wise's children - Grayson, Jackson and Carter. The latter is the 10-month-old in the midst of a battery of cancer treatments for something called Stage IV neuroblastoma.