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The Black Stallion teaches reading

Everything about Northern Kentucky

Quote: Richard Newell

Slade Author: World won’t end in 2012

Time Capsule: 50 years ago in Kentucky Living

Tip: Energy efficiency

Mystery comes with the wind

Learn about colleges

Technical schools go green

Web tools for teachers

Cancer lessons from a “bald chick”

The greening of the Kentucky Horse Park

New State Ferry at Turkey Neck Bend


The Black Stallion teaches reading

For nearly 70 years, Walter Farley’s The Black Stallion has been a children’s favorite. Now the classic will be paired with live horses to help children discover the joys of reading.

In a natural partnership, the Black Stallion Literacy Foundation and the Kentucky Horse Park’s International Museum of the Horse are bringing the widely acclaimed Black Stallion Literacy Project to first- and fourth-graders in seven central Kentucky counties this spring.

First-graders will receive two Farley books, Little Black and Little Black Goes to the Circus, delivered to their schools by a black pony. At the conclusion of the program, pupils will visit the Kentucky Horse Park for hands-on experiences with horses.

Fourth-graders will receive the classic The Black Stallion and a copy of Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 movie by the same name. They will visit the Kentucky Horse Park for a special presentation of the Arabian Nights Dinner Attraction featuring the Black Stallion.

“This wonderful literacy project supports the educational mission of our museum,” says Bill Cooke, International Museum of the Horse director.

“We hope our involvement will inspire the children of central Kentucky to read, to discover horses, and to appreciate and embrace their heritage as citizens of the Horse Capital of the World.”

The project is launched in conjunction with the museum’s next world-class exhibition, “A Gift from the Desert: The Art, History and Culture of the Arabian Horse,” to premiere May 29, 2010.

For more information about the Black Stallion Literacy Project, visit www.bslf-online.org; for information about the May exhibition, click on www.KyHorsePark.com.

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Everything about Northern Kentucky

Two college professors have produced The Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky, an authoritative reference on the people, places, history, and rich heritage of Kentucky’s northern region, which consists of 11 counties along the Ohio River. Paul A. Tenkotte, chair of the department of history, international studies, and political science at Thomas More College, and James C. Claypool, professor emeritus of history at Northern Kentucky University, put together more than 2,000 entries, 170 images, and 13 maps to document the region’s unique history and culture as well as the role of northern Kentucky in the larger history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the nation. The encyclopedia is available for $49.95 from University Press, the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, and Amazon.com.

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Quote: Richard Newell

Existing policies that stress energy efficiency and alternative fuels, together with higher energy prices, (will) curb energy consumption growth and shift the energy mix toward renewable fuels. However, assuming no new policies, fossil fuels would still provide about 78 percent of all the energy used in 2035.

Richard Newell, administrator of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration, summarizing EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2010.

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Slade Author: World won’t end in 2012

The popular movie 2012 has brought much attention to the Mayans of Central America, their calendar, and theories about what 2012 holds in store. Alan Cornette of Slade gives his take on the subject in Seven Mountains and the Red Star: Crossing the Dark Void in 2012. Online book reviewer Andy Lloyd describes Seven Mountains as “part autobiographical, part popular science, and part prophecy” plus “eccentric and thought-provoking.”

“I’ve been into this history and subject for over 30 years,” Cornette says. “(My research) just grew out of curiosity but became almost an obsession. I suppose I followed up on the curiosity because I wanted to know the answers to some of our greatest questions today.”

He wants to assure readers that, despite many theories revolving around 2012 and the Mayan calendar, he doesn’t believe the world will end in that year. Cornette also illustrated the book, available for $19.95 at his Web site, www.mayancalendarand2012.com.

Cornette also wrote The Sandstone Chronicles: Rock Art of the Red River Gorge, which examines the gorge’s rock carvings and provides a glimpse of an important segment of Kentucky history. In addition to being an author, Cornette is also an accomplished landscape artist, craftsman, and naturalist, known to many across the Commonwealth as Al Cornett.

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Time Capsule: 50 years ago in Kentucky Living

Housepower Phototest
15 years ago the average home seldom had more than 8 electrical appliances. Today the average family enjoys as many as: (a) 10, (b) 14, (c) 5, (d) 25.

Answer to Housepower Phototest
The modern housewife today uses as many as (d) 25 electrical appliances.

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Tip: Energy efficiency

Keep your fireplace damper closed unless you build a fire. An open damper allows as much warm air to escape as a fully open window. If you never use your fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue.

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Mystery comes with the wind

Covington author Kathryn Witt fondly remembers the first time she read Margaret Mitchell’s famous Gone with the Wind and calls her first viewing of the movie on the big screen a “truly thrilling” experience. She became a true devotee, a Windie as the fans are called, saying, “every time I read the book, I am amazed all over again at Margaret Mitchell’s gift for language–it is just so beautifully written.”

Witt introduces a new generation to this timeless story in her children’s novel, The Secret of the Belles (Dog Ear Publishing, $12.95), a mystery that bridges the years between two teens born more than 60 years apart who, it turns out, have more in common than their love for Gone with the Wind.

In 2005, Witt visited the Gone with the Wind Museum–Scarlett on the Square in Marietta, Georgia, where her story idea was born.

“To have museums dedicated to this single book and the movie is incredible and to be able to visit these museums and see the costume pieces, scripts, handwritten notes, etc., it’s like touching history. As a reader, that is something that always excites and intrigues me–that I can read about some wonderful place and discover it actually exists, and I can visit it,” Witt says.

The Secret of the Belles follows Belle Blakely as she helps prepare the museum for opening. While sorting through display pieces, she discovers letters written in the late 1930s and early 1940s by Lanie Sullivan to Ona Munson, who portrayed Belle Watling. Sharing Lanie’s love for the character, Belle researches deeper into the story behind the letters to uncover a long-unsolved mystery.

Like both Belle and Lanie, Witt claims her favorite GWTW character to be Belle Watling, but if given a chance to be any of the GWTW women, she says, “I would choose Carreen O’Hara. Of all the characters in the book and movie, she really seemed to have held onto her innocence and optimism.”

Witt, a lifelong Kentuckian, is married with four children and two cats. She has also written two books about dolls, 26 children’s books for Malaysia’s English as a Second Language program, regularly contributes to several publications including Kentucky Living, and is a contributing author to The Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky. She also enjoys cooking, yoga, walking, and traveling.

Witt says, “Whenever people learn that my home state is Kentucky, they immediately (and enthusiastically) tell me what a beautiful and scenic state Kentucky is, what a wonderful driving state, how friendly the people are, how downright delicious the down-home style cooking is, how amazing its musical legacy, why it is one of their favorites places to visit. And like the well-brought-up Kentuckian I am, I humbly agree with everything they say.”

Penny Woods for Joseph-Beth booksellers, pennymouse1@yahoo.com,(800) 248-6849, www.josephbeth.com.

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Learn about colleges

If you or your teen is navigating the college admission process, you won’t want to miss the Louisville National College Fair on February 27 from 2-5 p.m. at the Kentucky International Convention Center. At the event, which is free and open to the public, students and parents can learn about admission requirements, financial aid, course offerings, and the campus environment for nearly 100 colleges and universities. You can meet with admission representatives from Kentucky and out-of-state institutions, both public and private. The event is sponsored by the National Association for College Admission Counseling and hosted by its Kentucky chapter. For more information, including a list of institutions scheduled to participate, visit www.nacacnet.org/fairs or call (800) 822-6285.

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Technical schools go green

Area technology centers in Fort Mitchell, Russell, and Maysville have installed wind turbine generators as alternative energy sources for the schools, which provide technical education to high school students. Electrical technology instructor Dave Collins says the wind turbine in Maysville will generate enough electricity to power the school’s lights, thus saving money. The turbine’s installation was a class project with the students pouring the concrete slab where the wind turbine was placed, constructing a control building and running conduits that carry underground wiring.

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Web tools for teachers

Kentucky educators from the preschool to college level have a new, dynamic tool to assist them in the classroom. Launched by the Council on Postsecondary Education and Kentucky Department of Education, the Kentucky Learning Depot provides educational resources through an online collection of digital content, including videos, animations, textbooks, and lesson plans. Teachers can develop resources and share them through the Depot as well as search for content developed by other teachers. Web-based resources–such as a virtual chemistry lab and world telescope–are also available to incorporate into the classroom. In addition to helping teachers, the material resonates with students because of their familiarity with using Web-based tools. Explore the resources at www.kylearningdepot.org.

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Cancer lessons from a “bald chick”

An educator from Independence is sharing her personal story in Lessons from a Bald Chick, a book about her fight against breast cancer. In a humorous and informative way, the book provides advice for cancer patients and insight for family and friends supporting them.

“When I was diagnosed with cancer two years ago, my best friend looked for a book because she wanted to know how to help me and she didn’t want to say or do the wrong thing,” says Mary Beth Hall. “She couldn’t find a book like that, so after a year of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, I wrote that book.

“People who have read the book have told me that they’ve laughed until they’ve cried and cried until they’ve laughed and both at the same time.”

In addition, Hall established Bald Chick Ministries to give away all book proceeds to people waging their own battles against cancer.

“My intention in giving money away is when these individuals are better, they will do something for someone else and together we can change our part of the world,” she says. “I have learned that God can take the most horrible situation and make it something beautiful.”

Hall’s book is available at www.abaldchick.com and bookstores.

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The greening of the Kentucky Horse Park

The rolling hills of the Kentucky Horse Park have always been green, but now the facilities can make the same claim. State officials recently announced $5.7 million in Kentucky Horse Park energy-saving projects that will pay for themselves in yearly cost savings of $582,000 plus help improve the environment.

Funded by federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act economic stimulus funds and low-interest loans, the projects include:

  • A new biomass gasification process to treat horse manure and turn it into gas that can be used to generate electricity. The park estimates yearly savings of $84,000 in electricity and $134,000 in muck disposal. In addition, the Energy from Waste facility will produce fewer greenhouse gases than the continued transport of muck to a landfill.
  • Forty-four solar skylight tracking systems at the park’s covered arena. The systems track the sun’s position, eliminating the need for electrical lighting during the day.
  • Upgrades on the park’s antiquated sewer system to lower sewer bills.
  • Solar-powered trash compactor to reduce the volume of waste by 25 percent and generate electrical power through a solar panel.
  • Two solar water heating systems at campground bathhouses to produce warm water without using electricity.
  • Upgrades to the campground swimming pool that will reduce chemical and electrical costs.

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New State Ferry at Turkey Neck Bend

Monroe County residents have a new ferry thanks to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Grandview Welding and Equipment Sales, a Monroe County company that built the craft. Owned by Brian Froedge, Grandview Welding spent three months building the $300,000 ferry in its biggest project ever.

A portion of Monroe County can be reached from Tompkinsville only by using the ferry, which connects two segments of Kentucky 214 and leads to the scenic Turkey Neck Bend area. Even the school bus travels back and forth on the ferry, which can hold up to eight vehicles. The ferry operates 24 hours a day, year-round, and is free of charge.

According to the Transportation Cabinet, Kentucky boasts 10 ferries–three crossing the Ohio River, four the Green River, and one each on the Mississippi, Cumberland, and Kentucky rivers. Six of the ferries, like Turkey Neck Bend, are state funded, two are federally funded, and two are privately operated.

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