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Guest Columns

  • Soft skills are essential for career and college readiness
  • Postsecondary graduation rates up

    About a month ago, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reaffirmed what has long been assumed: A college degree really is worth the investment.
    Using data dating back to 1973, the Fed determined that those with a bachelor’s degree earn about $64,500 a year, which is nearly $24,000 more than someone who finishes their education at the end of high school.  Over a career, that difference adds up to $1.2 million, or nearly 10 times the cost to earn that four-year diploma.

  • Wantology 101

    Just when you think there’s nothing new under the sun, something new comes along.
    There’s a new field of psychology called “wantology.” It’s an actual field of expertise where “wantologists” help people discern or define their wants and desires and then help them work out a plan to achieve them.
    That’s what I want — a wantologist!

  • State programs aimed at Kentucky’s reforestation

    There is a saying that the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, and the second best time is now.
    Earlier this spring, state leaders joined with local Scouting organizations and utility companies to begin bringing that saying to life, and to do it in a way no other state has ever attempted. Their long-term goal, known as “Kentucky’s 20/20 Vision for Reforestation,” is to plant 20 million seedlings over the next 20 years.

  • Life lessons in the mud

    Although I personally don’t get the fascination with running races through mud, these days lots of people do.
    A few years ago, my two daughters did a mud race together. My oldest daughter, Alison, said the obstacles freaked her out and she doesn’t like climbing cargo nets and was leery of leaping over fire.
    “Otherwise, the mud was fun,” she said. “Once you commit to being muddy and know you’re going to feel gross and will be cleaning mud out of your ears for weeks after, it’s just plain fun.”

  • What to do if you inherit someone’s 401(k)

    By Jason Alderman
    Talk about good news wrapped in bad: In the midst of grieving the loss of a loved one, you learn that you were named beneficiary of their 401(k) plan. Chances are you’ve got too much on your mind to make any sudden decisions about what to do with the money.
    However, don’t procrastinate too long. The IRS has ironclad rules, deadlines and penalties concerning inherited retirement accounts, which vary depending on what type of account it is. This column discusses inherited 401(k) and similar employer-provided plans.

  • Having healthy adrenal function

    Do you ever feel like you are on your last nerve and dragging through your daily activities with low energy? You may have stages of adrenal exhaustion. Weakened adrenals effect hormones since the adrenals are involved in balancing the hormones. Men and women need a regulated amount of estrogen and a balance of estrogen and progesterone. Most of the estrogen is produced by the ovaries before menopause and later by the adrenals, so healthy adrenal function is especially needed to keep the hormones regulated in older women.

  • Stuff that looks like Jesus

    Somewhere in central Florida, Jesus is in a tree.
    Shortly before Easter, a woman called the newsroom and left me a message about a tree in her yard and how she can see Jesus in it.
    I had taken the week after Easter off, and by the time I returned to work I had lost the woman’s number and forgot about Jesus in her tree.
    But I remembered this week when I came across a Christianity Today report, “Why Everything Looks Like Jesus” – the face of Jesus in a piece of toast or in a cloud, a slab of marble, a slice of pizza.

  • Origins of Memorial Day reviewed as nation remembers

    Memorial Day may be the unofficial kick-off to summer, but as we ready for the upcoming holiday weekend, it is vital that we never forget it is much more than that. It is also a time when we as a nation pause to mourn and to reflect upon those men and women who paid the ultimate price defending our freedom.
    The holiday is nearing its 150th anniversary, and given that it came about in the wake of the Civil War, it seems appropriate that there is still some debate between the North and South about its exact origin.

  • Easter is for laughing

    When I was a new Christian, I discovered a portrait of Jesus called the “Laughing Christ” at a Christian book store.
    At the time I was attending a serious church, a church where the thought of Jesus laughing was most likely frowned on. Maybe Jesus smiled at babies and puppies, but telling jokes with his friends? God forbid.
    Consequently, because the serious people at that serious church were so serious about their Christian faith, they presented Jesus as serious too. Serious equals somber and sober, which equals humorless and kinda mean.