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Driven To Dream, Shooting Star, Horse History, More…


Driven to dream

Energy efficiency tip

Quote: Jon Wellinghoff

Shooting star

Utility family scholarships

50 Years Ago: Annual meeting emphasis

History in portraits

Farm facts on tour

Youth tour inspiration

Hall of Fame teachers

Horse history


Driven to dream

Louisville author Dan Williams has always been a man with a dream. Some dreams have become reality faster than others, some have had more successful results than others, but this doesn’t stop Williams. Twelve years ago, he simply wrote a title in a journal not knowing what it would become. After stewing on it across many miles and years in his truck-driving career, Williams sat down one day in his Sunday school classroom and finally wrote the story to accompany the title.

The Duck that Lost His Waddle (Xulon Press, $24.99 softcover, 34.99 hardcover) is the story of Egl, a duck who wants to soar like the eagles. His grandfather encourages his attempts without fail despite the other barnyard ducks who try to keep Egl grounded. When Egl realizes his dream, a lesson is taught about never giving up, about setting goals, and about working to achieve them.

Williams understands Egl’s plight. It wasn’t until junior high school that Williams, at almost 6 feet of his eventual 6 feet 5 inches, felt like he fit in. He credits a basketball coach who was willing to give him a chance playing the center position, telling him to “go out in the middle and just be big.” He went on to play college ball, but misguided priorities left his grades lacking, putting an end to his college education for the time being. After single-parenting his three children through successful academic and athletic careers, Williams returned to college with his son in 1999.

“I mostly wanted to be able to have lunch with him every now and then,” he says. Taking one class at a time over a period of 10 years, Williams graduated with honors from the University of Louisville in 2009 with a BA in philosophy.

After 32 years of driving his truck almost 4 million miles, enough to circle the world 160 times, Williams’ new goal is to make writing his full-time career.

“I believe if you shoot for the moon, you just might hit a star,” Williams says. He hopes that children who read his books will be encouraged, as well, to “dream on, dream and do” as he has done. And to those who might be interested in writing, he advises, “If you have an idea about writing, write it down and don’t lose it! It might turn into something.”

Penny Woods for Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Pennymouse1@yahoo.com, (800) 248-6849, www.josephbeth.com.

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Energy efficiency tip

Ninety percent of the energy it takes to wash clothes is used to heat water. If you wash in cold water, you could save as much as $40 a year.

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Quote: Jon Wellinghoff

“A co-op is the best format for a distribution utility. You are innovators, and I like innovators. Your leadership in the areas of smart grid and energy efficiency is very important.”

Jon Wellinghoff, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, at a meeting of electric cooperative CEOs

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Shooting star

Danny Curtis of Mt. Olivet won the most coveted national Grand American Handicap trapshooting competition last August in Sparta, Illinois.

“It’s like the Super Bowl of trap shoots,” he said. “I even won a gold ring like they do for Super Bowl,” he adds. “It was the biggest thrill and surprise for me when I heard. Some guys shoot in this for a living and have sponsors. I didn’t join the ATA until 2003, but my fascination with guns goes back to childhood.”

According to www.shootATA.com, “Trap-shooting is a specific form of clay target shooting. It is a game of movement, action, and split-second timing. There are three disciplines: Singles, Doubles, and Handicap, with Handicap being considered the most prestigious.”

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Utility family scholarships

A state electric safety group is starting a scholarship for families of utility workers who were injured or died while on the job.

Deadline for the Kentucky Roundtable for Utility Safety Memorial Scholarship is April 15. Requirements, application form, and more information are available by contacting your local electric cooperative, or by contacting Robyn Bybee, (270) 886-2555, rbybee@precc.com.

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50 Years Ago: Annual meeting emphasizes strength of rural electric cooperatives

Editor’s note: To update the stats in the second paragraph from 1961 to 2011, today there are 915 electric systems with 18,682,396 members in 47 states representing about 42 million citizens.

The strength of rural electrification was displayed in Dallas, Texas, when more than 7,000 persons attended the 19th Annual Meeting of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

The visitors to Dallas represented 962 rural electric systems with their 4,209,111 members in 46 states and representing nearly 17 million citizens.

Approximately 150 cooperative leaders from Kentucky attended the meeting to support the goals of the state’s rural electric systems.

Walter Harrison, president of NRECA, delivered a speech in which he stated that the cooperative enterprise system is one of the most effective ways to curb monopolistic enterprises in the nation.

“Many of our rural people have grown tired of being relegated to minor roles, of being classed as second class citizens unworthy to sit at the counsel tables or receive an impartial hearing before the bar of public opinion,” he added.

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History in portraits

LESSONS IN LIKENESS—Portrait Painters in Kentucky and the Ohio River Valley, 1802-1920, by Estill Curtis Pennington (University Press of Kentucky, $50) depicts an era before events or individuals could be captured with photographs.

Pennington’s colorful 12 x 9 book features images of paintings, lithographs, and etchings throughout, many from The Filson Historical Society, and consists of two parts. The first examines the careers of artists from the area and provides historical information surrounding the cultural and artistic environment of their period. The second, a biographical study, describes those artists who crisscrossed the region searching for subjects and a livelihood.

Pennington, a long-time scholar of Kentucky portraiture, offers a valuable resource of history.

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Farm facts on tour

Myths clutter communications between food producers and consumers, say the organizers of CommonGround, a program of information about agriculture. Decisions about nutrition and health often originate from moms, making farm women logical ambassadors for agriculture. To talk about issues ranging from food safety to property values around farms, four Kentucky spokeswomen will begin hosting speaking events this spring at coffee shops and grocery stores around the state.

Corinne Kephart, Pleasureville, a fourth-generation Kentucky farmer, says, “Less than a third of American adults have visited a working farm over the last five years.” Kephart, Shelby County Extension horticulture technician, lives on a family farm in Henry County and was elected the first female president, 2010, of the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association.

Carrie Divine, 7th generation raised on the family farm in Union County, now resides on a farm in rural Morganfield. Divine, Workforce Development liaison for Henderson Community College, coordinates workplace training programs for Union County’s Business and Industry. She serves as Young Farmer chair for Union County Farm Bureau and has placed more than 1,000 agriculturally accurate books in Union County school libraries and daycare centers.

Ashley Reding is a managing partner of Homestead Family Farms in Howardstown. The original farrow-to-finish swine operation has evolved into a row-crop operation, growing corn, soybeans, and winter wheat. Reding currently manages human resources, public relations, and landowner relations for the farm.

Denise Jones, dairy consultant with Kentucky Dairy Development Council, lives on a family farm that runs a 300-cow dairy. Jones works directly with dairy farmers in 16 counties of south-central Kentucky. The farm also produces corn silage and wheat haylage for the dairy cattle.

CommonGround, sponsored by the United Soybean board and the National Corn Growers Association, wants to set the facts straight about American food and farming. Join them to dispel myths and learn facts about modern agriculture production. For information, visit www.findourcommonground.com.

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Youth Tour inspiration

High school juniors who participate in the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperative’s Washington Youth Tour program often meet with leaders when they go to the nation’s capital. As it turns out, last year’s Kentucky Youth Tour class had a national leader among its members.

Chance Anthony, a senior at Breckinridge County High School, participated in Kentucky’s 2010 Washington Youth Tour program through Meade County Rural Electric Cooperative, based in Brandenburg. Anthony was recently named the winner of the High School Football “Rudy” Award when he was selected as the Most Inspirational High School Football Player in America.

What makes Anthony inspirational is that he was born missing the lower half of his right arm. Growing up, Anthony didn’t let only having one hand deter him from athletics. He’s a four-year starter for the football team, and plays basketball when he’s not on the gridiron.

He was selected from more than 250 football players from across the country, and the selection committee was led by Super Bowl quarterback Drew Bledsoe. The award is named after Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, whose struggles to play football at Notre Dame was the basis of the film Rudy.

As the winner, Anthony will receive a $10,000 college scholarship from the awards program, which is presented by Trusted Sports Inc., based in Bend, Oregon. The road to the Rudy began last September with nominations, and altogether, more than 2 million online votes were cast as part of a process that included paring the contestants down to a Top 50 and Top 12.

“Nothing matches the purity of the heart and desire of a high school athlete determined to overcome all obstacles,” Bledsoe says of the annual award.

But Anthony doesn’t see himself as someone with a disability. “One hand or not, you can still catch a football and still catch a basketball,” he says. “Sometimes my friends forget I’ve only got one hand. I do as much as anyone else at school. It’s how you deal with adversity that counts. If somebody gives you the opportunity, you better take it and run. Don’t look back and question why.”

Anthony received his award during a ceremony in Hardinsburg in February.

Karen Combs

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Hall of Fame teachers

Three educators will be inducted in the Kentucky Teacher Hall of Fame this month at the state Capitol in Frankfort. Created in 2000 through a gift by former Gov. Louie B. Nunn, the Hall of Fame “recognizes the vital role that primary and secondary teachers play in the education of young people and the positive impact education has on the state’s economy.”

A statewide selection committee chose:

Artie Johnson Hankins, a native of the Big Hill community, who taught in Butler County schools for 44 years. (Hankins died in March 2010.)

Patricia J. Morris, a native of Louisville, who taught history for 30 years. Since 1986, she taught American history and Advanced Placement classes at Ballard High School.

Deidra Hylton Patton, a native of Hazard, has been a teacher for 28 years. Since 1999, she has been
the gifted/talented co-ordinator at Boyd County schools and K-5 gifted education teacher at Cannonsburg Elementary.

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2012 class of inductees into the Teacher Hall of Fame. Deadline for nominations is July 15. More info is available online at http://edtech.wku.edu/kythf, or contact Cathie Bryant, College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, Western Kentucky University, 1906 College Heights Blvd., #11030, Bowling Green, KY 42101-1030, cathie.bryant@wku.edu, or phone (270) 745-4664.

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Horse history

“Kentucky, racehorses, and Southern colonels just seem to go together naturally. Whether picturing Bluegrass horse farms or their close relative, the Kentucky Derby, many of us cannot summon one of those images without calling up all three.”

So begins Maryjean Wall’s introduction in How Kentucky Became Southern, A Tale of Outlaws, Horse Thieves, Gamblers, and Breeders (University Press of Kentucky, $29.95).

Native Kentuckians and transplants alike can learn about the historical roots, trials, and turmoil of what has garnered Kentucky’s current status—“Horse Capital of the World.”

Wall’s fascinating epic, complete with vintage photos, reveals a wealth of information. Wall, a native of Canada, grew up with a passion for horses; at age 12 she became interested in Thoroughbred racing and saw her first Kentucky Derby on a black and white television. She moved to Lexington in the 1960s, graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in history, and her infatuation with the horse-racing industry grew. Despite obstacles of discrimination against women in that sphere at the time, she was determined to be connected with the sport. Her challenges and obstacles turned into successes when she secured a job with the Lexington Herald-Leader as a turf writer.

Wall spent 35 years as a turf writer, published articles in renowned horse magazines, and has been the recipient of numerous awards for her writing, including three Eclipse Awards—the Thoroughbred industry’s most prestigious recognition. She received three awards for journalistic excellence in harness racing, and was nominated twice for a Pulitzer Prize. In 2009, she was inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame.

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