One bike, five family members, 7,000 miles, countless stares. Those numbers describe the Harrison family’s cross-continent journey from Renfro Valley, Kentucky, to Fairbanks, Alaska, on a “quint” bicycle. The Harrisons hail from Pongo in Rockcastle County. The family includes Bill, Amarins, and children Jasmine, Robin, and Cheyenne Bill says, “We love to travel, we love simple green living, we love challenges, and we love being together as a family. We have put all this love together in a bicycle trip to Alaska.” Local residents along their route are helping with meals, lodging, and camping. Plans are to arrive at their destination next summer. Follow their trip at www.pedouins.org.
As automakers increasingly make gas-electric hybrid vehicles more energy efficient, Ford Motor Co. has announced an intelligent vehicle-to-grid communications system for its fleet of plug-in hybrids. As reported by Electric Co-op Today, when the battery systems are plugged in, they can communicate directly with the electrical grid via utility smart meters. The innovation allows plug-in hybrid owners to program when to recharge their vehicles. For example, they could opt to juice up when electricity prices are lower.
Replacing just four 75-watt incandescent light bulbs with four 23-watt compact fluorescent equivalents will save almost $200 over the life of the bulbs.
A monument paying tribute to Kentucky’s fallen K-9 officers has been installed in Bell County, where Deputy Sheriff Sean Pursifull and K-9 officer King lost their lives in 2008. As a result, the Bell County Fiscal Court commissioned Louisville artist Jaime Corum to sculpt a memorial to honor all Kentucky K-9 officers killed in the line of duty. Other dogs honored for their sacrifice are Marko, Walton City Police; Orofino, Kentucky State Police; Clint, Bardstown Police Department; and Shiloh, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife.
A Union County native, Miss Kentucky Mallory Ervin took part in the annual Union County Outdoor Safety Day for all of the county’s 5th-graders. At an outdoor lab, folks from Big Rivers Electric co-op and Kenergy electric co-op taught kids about electrical safety. Students also heard messages about healthy lifestyles from Miss Kentucky and about the dangers of methamphetamine addiction from the Morganfield Police Department. Students learned how to stay safe around water, fire, guns, animals, grain bins, and oil tanks.
Kentucky will showcase itself to the world during the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games scheduled for September and October 2010 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. Tickets are on sale at www.alltechfeigames.com. You can follow the preparations and events leading up to the games through the Web site by signing up for an electronic newsletter. The games, which consist of the world championships for eight equestrian sporting events, are held every four years. The Lexington venue will be the first outside Europe in the games’ 20-year history. The 16-day series of competitions is expected to draw 800 equestrians and 1,000 horses from 50 countries, plus hundreds of thousands of attendees and millions of television viewers. The games are projected to have a statewide economic impact of $150 million.
Kentucky State Parks are celebrating their 85th anniversary by offering lodge rooms for $55 per night on weekdays through February 2010. The discount is available with a coupon from www.parks.ky.gov. Information about Kentucky’s 52 state parks is also available at the Web site.
Residents of one western Kentucky community haven’t forgotten their history and are more than willing to repeat it.
Sacramento in McLean County is the site where, in December 1861, the Confederates defeated a Union Garrison. Community leaders have parlayed this historic event into a tourism moneymaker with a Battle of Sacramento re-enactment featuring the largest annual cavalry event in Kentucky.
Following the lead of communities in Virginia and Tennessee where Civil War sites attract millions of visitors and billions of dollars annually, Sacramento, population 500, began the re-enactment in 1994. By 2008, the event had grown to 10,000 spectators over three days and 800 re-enactors, surpassing the entire population of McLean County.
Now, two driving tours attract year-round Civil War enthusiasts who can visit 15 locations throughout the county, including the Camp Calhoun Union Cemetery, the burial site of 200 soldiers.
The 2010 event is scheduled for May 14-16. More information is available at www.battleofsac.com.
Former Atlanta resident Marjorie Dufault recently retired to Salt Lick, choosing Kentucky, she says, “because we wanted a distinct change of seasons and the serenity of a country setting. With the beauty and quiet of the Kentucky hills surrounding me, I am provided with everything I need to concentrate on the many stories that have developed in my head over the years.”
She’s off to a good start. Dufault’s first novel, Child of the Mountain (iUniverse, $16.95), recently won third place in the 2009 Independent Publisher Regional Book Awards, South-East region, for Best Regional Fiction.
Child of the Mountain focuses on adoption, demonstrating that the bond between a parent and child does not have to be biological. This mystery within a mystery centers around nurse Clare Hatfield who has recently moved to Kerry, Georgia, partially to further her career, but mostly to escape the memories of the losses she has endured. Just as her life seems to have stabilized, boyfriend and park ranger Roy Driscoll discovers a toddler abandoned by the roadside following a violent storm. Local authorities can’t seem to locate any family, marking the second such occurrence in this mountain community. While the bond between Clare and the mystery child grows, she searches for answers that might bring her heartbreak once again.
Though Dufault is not an adoptive parent herself, four of her siblings and several of her friends have adopted children both domestically and internationally. She says, “I think I can safely say from personal knowledge that love for a child does not stem from genes.”
Before retiring, Dufault and her husband operated restaurants in Oklahoma and Florida. She has also traveled the country working as an internal auditor for an apartment company. When she’s not writing, Dufault enjoys being active in her church, traveling, losing herself in a good book, and cooking up her family’s favorite fried chicken.
Penny Woods for Joseph-Beth Booksellers, (800) 248-6849, www.josephbeth.com.
If you’re looking for a new and fun holiday experience for the family or office, become an artist for a day and create your own blown-glass ornament. Flame Run, Louisville’s largest contemporary glass art studio and gallery, is offering personal ornament sessions with an artist by appointment only beginning November 27. The cost is $40 per person per ornament. Kids age 5 and older are welcome. Guests choose their own colors and then actually blow their own work of art. Find out more at www.flamerun.com or (502) 584-5353.
A new Kentucky Historical Society online exhibition showcases Kentucky’s military treasures through artifacts and the stories of Kentuckians who fought in battles spanning nearly 200 years, as well as those who supported the troops on the homefront.
The online exhibition at www.history.ky.gov/military covers military engagements from the War of 1812 to conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Up-close views of artifacts, including uniforms, weapons, medals, photographs, personal letters, and other items are part of the online exhibition. Visitors can zoom close enough to actually read documents, which include broadsides, postcards, and pamphlets. They can also hear stories from soldiers, including recollections of a soldier who fought in the trenches during World War I, an airplane mechanic who witnessed the attack on Pearl Harbor, and a soldier forced to endure the Tiger Death March in Korea.
Today, to do multi-million dollar deals, you don’t have to be located on the 76th floor of a glass office tower in a metropolitan area. Cyber commuting allows us to do the same deal from offices on Main Street, USA.
Kim Huston, president, Nelson County Economic Development Agency, in her book, Small Town Sexy—the allure of living in small town America