Shepherdsville author Leigh Anne Florence has worked and dreamed like a big dog, much like she and her dachshund Woody instruct her readers to do, to make her career switch from elementary school teacher to author and motivational speaker a success that has exceeded expectations. In fact, Woody was recently inducted into the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association’s Animal Hall of Fame, and an earlier work, Mr. Dogwood Goes to Washington, was a World Association of Newspapers Grand Prize winner. Florence and her husband, Ron, along with a menagerie of pets, are now traveling the state promoting the latest Woody adventure, Dog Gone Wild (HotDiggetyDog Press, $12.95), and speaking to kids about “Woody’s Five Ways to Be Successful.”
When asked why she chose to use Woody and his puppy siblings, Chloe, Frannie, and Wally, to communicate these important strategies to children, Florence responds, “As a former teacher, I have seen firsthand how difficult it can be to reach children. Children are exposed to so many problems and issues at a younger age. Woody and Chloe can make a point in a powerful way that hopefully doesn’t come across as a lecture, but makes our audience members think. We share our struggles with our audience and try to make the point that life is like a roller coaster with good times and bad times. Our job is to make wise decisions, take ownership in our education and actions, keep a winning attitude, and have respect for others, ourselves, and our country. We have people who come back to our shows and events, send us e-mails and cards. They want to tell us about their latest report card, their accomplishments, their new pets. That’s the best part!”
Dog Gone Wild chronicles Woody’s and Chloe’s first camping trip as Woody learns important lessons about what it takes to survive not only in the wilderness, but in everyday life. Florence says living on seven acres with a lake provides them with a daily environment much like camping. In addition to being outdoors, Florence also enjoys reading and playing piano for her church’s praise and worship band.
So what’s up next for the pups? Florence says, “Woody and Chloe certainly have plenty of ‘tails’ to tell!” The next story, CSI: Canine Secret Investigator, will appear in newspapers across the state beginning the week of September 12 and will run as a 10-week serial story with a chapter published each week. This is the seventh book Florence has premiered via the Kentucky Press Association’s Newspapers in Education series. During the course of the serial story, readers can go to www.thewoodybooks.com or www.kypress.com to participate in online activities, contests, and hear Woody and Chloe reading each chapter.
Consider using ceiling and other fans during the cooling season. They provide additional cooling and better circulation so you can raise the thermostat and cut down on air-conditioning costs. ENERGY STAR-certified ceiling fans do even better, especially those that include compact fluorescent light bulbs.
Race a police officer and not get arrested? Join in a Beat the Heat event like the one this spring at Bluegrass Raceway in Bath County. Beat the Heat is a national organization of police officers and firefighters who conduct educational programs using police drag cars to gain the interest of the public.
Maree Moscati, Bluegrass Raceway owner, says local residents mixed with lawmen from five states, allowing “ordinary citizens to mingle with those who carry a badge in a nonthreatening, familiar environment.” Using the opportunity to educate the public, police officers intermingled discussions on the perils of illegal street racing, DUI, underage drinking, and illegal drug use with talk about engines, gear ratios, fuel, tires, and track conditions.
Before the day was out, 23 brave residents raced to Beat the Heat. The final score–civilians, 15; officers, 8; arrests, 0.
The Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperatives will be in the spotlight at the Kentucky State Fair on September 14 at 2:30 p.m. when competition begins to select “Miss Kentucky Rural Electric Co-op of 1960.”
Judges will have the task of announcing the winner from a group of some 20 beautiful girls representing the various co-ops throughout the state.
The queen will receive a 12-cubic-foot upright freezer, a 4-piece silver tea service, a bouquet of roses and an emblematic sash. In February of 1961, she will compete in the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Annual Meeting contest at Dallas, Texas.
The second place winner will receive a lady’s diamond wrist watch and an emblematic sash, and the third place winner will receive a set of matched luggage and a sash. All contestants in the state competition will receive a set of pearls.
Prizes are the compliments of General Electric Company, Sales and Distribution Department, Louisville.
Competition in the state contest will be first in formal dress, and finals will be in bathing suits.
Inspired by 30 years as a teacher and school bus driver, Jerry Harwood of Burlington has written two joke books for kids, Jokes from the School Bus and A Joke Book for Kids. Harwood, an Owen Electric Cooperative member, says the books are filled with “corny jokes that kids love.” The first book doubles as a coloring book.
“When you’re around kids, funny things happen,” Harwood says. “After I retired from teaching, I decided I should record these things.”
Harwood is available to do complimentary presentations for schools and other organizations. Buy his books and contact him through his Web site at www.ajokebookforkids.com.
As Kentuckians celebrate our Capitol building’s first 100 years, new artwork has been installed thanks to a nearly $300,000 donation by Marion and Terry Forcht of Corbin. With the single largest private donation in the Capitol’s history, four handpainted murals were completed by Evergreene Architectural Arts Inc., a New York City firm. The murals were designed and painted by 10 artists over a period of six months.
The murals, measuring 30 feet at the widest point and 25 feet tall, reflect Kentucky’s diversity of professions, landmarks, architecture, and culture as well as the unique landscapes of the Commonwealth’s distinctive regions. Other Kentucky images include tobacco leaves, sunflowers, cattle, and limestone and white plank fences.
The (electricity transmission) grid in the United States today cannot accommodate the multitude of technologies that we have…If you ever wanted to
create the U.S. as a big, innovative energy market, you’re going to need to have a national grid that’s regulated by the federal government…without that, there’s always going to be a bottleneck to how much innovation will take place.
–Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric
Several nonprofit organizations have united to help feed the hungry in Hardin County, while honoring Vietnam veterans and breaking a Guinness World Record for the largest canned food structure.
The goal is to collect 198,333 cans of food, which will initially be used to construct a wall as part of the Heartland Festival, August 26-28, and then will be distributed throughout the year to those in need. The wall will be modeled after the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., to honor Hardin County veterans.
Among organizations involved in the project are The Helping Hand of the Heartland, North Hardin Hope, Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland, Heartland Chambers’ Alliance, and Hardin County Habitat for Humanity.
More than 60 local grocery stores, banks, businesses, and churches are accepting donations–check out www.buildawall.org for locations. Monetary donations are accepted through the Web site.