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Bill Monroe Birthday, Veteran Benefit Walk, And More


Choices at the Krossroads

Energy efficiency tip

Racing for cancer research

Knitting aid for tornado victims

Walking for veterans

Time capsule: 50 years ago

A rail nut

The luckiest entertainer

Quote by: Electric Power Research Institute

Scholarship concert

Bluegrass birthday


Choices at the Krossroads

Salt Lick author Marjorie Dufault retired a few years ago to Kentucky to find a creative environment in which to write.

Her first work, Child of the Mountain, won the 2009 bronze award from the Independent Publisher Regional Book Awards, South-East region, for Best Regional Fiction.

Her latest novel, New Life at the Krossroads (iUniverse, $27.95), has now been named the 2011 silver medal winner in this same category.

The story focuses on Karen Christian Beckham, whose world has been upended suddenly by her husband�s indiscretions. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, Karen focuses on her grandmother�s long-ago advice, �Decisions are like crossroads. Every time you come to one, you have to make a choice. Will you settle on the well-worn path where everyone else�s tracks make it easy; or will you take the more difficult path and help create a new road that will allow you to shine rather than live in the shadow of others?�

What she doesn�t expect is to find everything her life has been missing when a cross-country road trip and her granny�s spirit lead her to take on the renovation and reopening of the dilapidated Krossroads Diner in Farmers, Kentucky.

Though the Krossroads Diner really does exist, the story remains fictional. Dufault says, �The first time I saw the Krossroads Diner, I knew a story was there; so choosing Karen�s career was natural. Of course the idea of tying the name of the diner to a person who had come to a crossroad in her life was an easy choice as well.�

She hopes that Karen�s story of second chances will provide a sense of understanding that all things happen for a reason.

�As long as you are willing to accept the bad with the good, there is always hope,� Dufault says.

As for finding her creative writing environment in her new home state, Dufault says, �It is definitely the people who inspire me�The sense of �family� is such an important aspect of life for Kentuckians and is reflected in every person that we�ve met since moving here.�

�Penny Woods

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Energy efficiency tip

One of the easiest ways to make your home more energy efficient is to add insulation in the attic. To see if you need insulation, look across an uncovered attic floor. If the insulation is level with or below the floor joists, you probably need to add more.

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Racing for cancer research

Among the several Relay For Life cancer research fundraisers around Kentucky each year is the 2nd Annual Sarah Kay�s 5K Run/Walk, October 1 in Columbia. The event honors a local woman who died of brain cancer last year, and raises funds for SWAT�Sarah�s Whipping Astrocytoma Team. This year�s event promises a scenic rural course, raffles, coupons, and a blue Team SWAT silicone bracelet. Registration starts at 8:15 for the 9:15 a.m. event at 1070 Bull Run Lane. Entry fee is $12 and there is no pre-registration. For more e-mail JamieLSchafer@hotmail.com or phone (502) 645-9240.

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Knitting aid for tornado victims

When 8-year-old Cee Cee Creech of Campbellsville learned about the tornado devastation in Joplin, Missouri, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama, she wanted to help. With the support of mother BeLinda, father Chad, and brother Kai, Cee Cee began knitting colorful elephants for the children who�d lost everything. A friend suggested they put up a Facebook page, and they put pictures of the animals on Facebook asking for sponsors. In the first week, they attracted 380 people who liked what they were doing and supported it. Then overnight the number leaped to more than 1,000, and Cee Cee began knitting nonstop. A sponsor would, for instance, pledge $2 per elephant for the 12 elephants Cee Cee knitted, and their final donation would be $24 (or $10 per elephant for a donation of $120, etc.). The money they raised�more than $3,000�went to the Red Cross of the Ozarks, and the entire family drove to Joplin to deliver the elephants in person. �We thought the elephants might give people hope,� BeLinda explains. �We�re planning to do an auction on eBay for Tuscaloosa very soon.� For information, go to Facebook and type in �Elephants Remember Joplin.�

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Walking for veterans

Iraq War veteran and Kentucky resident Troy Yocum is in the home stretch of concluding a crisscross hike of more than 7,000 miles across the U.S. Yocum began in his hometown of Louisville some 19 months ago trekking to the West Coast. His return loop took him on a southern route through Texas to New York state. Yocum was inspired by a friend and fellow veteran to raise awareness of and funds for troubled military families. His return walk from New York state will lead him home this month.

�It�s been quite a roller coaster ride. Support has been more than I ever imagined. The police and firemen have been very nice�without them I couldn�t have made it through some situations. There have been places where we�ve had 25,000 people walking with us. My wife, Mareike, and my dog, Emmie, have been by my side all the way too�often in a support vehicle. We�ve slept in cabins, tents, B&Bs, sheds�you name it. We�ve made donations to over 50 military families so far.�

To donate or for more info: www.drumhike.com.

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Time capsule: 50 years ago

The All-New Old Fashioned State Fair
The All-New Old Fashioned State Fair offers something of interest to all Kentuckians. For the housewife there will be style shows, television programs, kitchen displays plus other attractions dealing with all phases of homemaking exhibited in the East Wing of the coliseum.

For men there will be all kinds of livestock judging, horse shows, thrill shows, auto racing, baseball games, and tractor pulling contests.

The youngsters will enjoy the live television shows, 4-H demonstrations, military displays, rodeo, and many novel and interesting exhibits.

Cooperative members will be interested in the Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative Beauty Pageant in which their respective queens will compete for the state crown.

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A rail nut

Not far from downtown Stamping Ground, Don Saager is busy tinkering with all things mechanical. A self-proclaimed train nut, Don has taken the hobby of model trains to a whole new level. You see, outside the house and just around the bend lies 4,500 feet of train track built by Don and his train enthusiast friends from around the country.

�Each May we try to have a get-together and take everyone who will show up for a ride,� says the tall, lanky Scott County resident.

A 30-year transplant from Wisconsin, Don says he has always been interested in mechanical design, and his hobby turned to building a coal-fired steam engine back in 1997.

Today, Don takes his show on the road. His miniature, full-blown working engines and tracks are always a big hit at model train shows around the area.

�Don has a unique talent to achieve any goal he sets his mind to,� says Dale Smith, past president of the Collis P. Huntington National Railroad Society.

�A friendly, warm, caring individual with a grin a mile wide�you have to like a guy like that,� Smith says.

When asked why he drives all over the country to give rides to kids of all ages, Saager says, �Just to see them kids smile!�

For more about the annual train show, contact Greenbo Lake State Resort Park at (800) 325-0083.

�Tom Clay

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The luckiest entertainer

Jim Owen, country singer/songwriter, considers himself �the luckiest man in the world. I love performing and love to make people laugh.�

Growing up in Robards in Henderson County, population 300 then, his earliest memories of entertaining came as a child when he sang and starred in his own plays for his Grandmother Royster.

�I had a vivid imagination and we only had radio, which stretched your imagination,� he says.

Many life-changing encounters led to his future successes. For instance, in elementary school he saw a local PTA production and realized hometown folks could be talented yet ordinary people. A few months later his parents took him to the Grand Ole Opry where he watched Hank Williams and Roy Acuff perform. (Years later, he wrote and starred in a one-act play honoring Williams� life.) He bought his first guitar for a dollar and sang for his 5th grade class. He attended Murray State. He married his longtime girlfriend from Sebree, Yvette Robards.

After that Owen traveled the world singing, acting in movies, and writing numerous hit songs recorded by such greats as Mel Tillis, Charlie Pride, Loretta Lynn, and Crystal Gayle. In 1985 and 1987, he was named Las Vegas Entertainer of the Year and in 2009, his autobiography, Country Music�s Jim Owen, was awarded the Readers Favorite Award.

Asked how one person could be so blessed he�ll tell you, �It was a bunch of components�hard work, drive, talent, and luck�being in the right place at the right time too, I guess. I wasn�t ever going to accept less from myself and was never taught to lose. I don�t intend to lose running for Congress in 2012 either.�

Say what? Yes, representing Missouri�s 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives is his new goal. His fund-raising efforts are under way and he�s in the process of filing for the office.

Today he lives in Branson, Missouri, where he�s raising his great-granddaughter and continuing to be a favorite of visitors with the Jim Owen Morning Show at the Branson Mall Music Theater.

To learn more about the joys and sorrows of a country singer�s life or to order a book, go to www.jimowenmusic.net.

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Quote by: Electric Power Research Institute

Electric vehicles�if widely adopted�could reduce petroleum fuel consumption by 70 to 90 percent.

�Plugging In: A Consumer�s Guide to the Electric Vehicle, by the Electric Power Research Institute

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Scholarship concert

The Bobby Driver Memorial Scholarship Fund Inc., initiated in 2006 by wife Betty, awards scholarships to one senior each from Barren County and Glasgow High Schools who pursues a degree in education.

This year the Foundation is holding a �Singing for Scholarships� fund-raiser at the Plaza Theater in Glasgow, Friday, September 9, at 7 p.m. Host Glen Rice and Friends will honor the 30-year teacher and coach with a concert featuring a variety of music. Local star Shaylin McGuire will open with a pre-concert segment at 6:45 p.m.; doors open at 6.

For tickets: www.plaza.org or phone (270) 361-2101. Advance tickets $10, at the door $12.

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Bluegrass birthday

This year�s celebration of the 100th birthday of Bill Monroe crescendos this month with events around Rosine and Owensboro. September 10 costumed guides will re-create history at the family farm in Rosine for Homeplace Life Day. September 11 enjoy a tour of the Rosine Methodist Church and a gospel service and music at Rosine City Park. In Owensboro, September 12, see an original musical, The Life & Lively Music of Bill Monroe, and September 12-14 catch star-studded concerts, all at RiverPark Center. Back to Rosine on the legend�s actual birthday, September 13, for the Birthday Party on the Lawn. Get more details at www.billmonroe100birthday.com.

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