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Guest Columns

  • Childhood mortality statistics improve in Commonwealth

    From a historical perspective, one of our country’s greatest success stories over the last century has been the steep decline in childhood mortality.
    Between 1907 and 2007, the number of children who did not make it to their fifth birthday dropped from about 1,400 out of every 100,000 to less than 30, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For those ages five to 14, the mortality rate went from 307 to 15.

  • God’s mercy: The original GPS

    It all started when I was a kid bothering my dad and he told me to get lost.
    Ever the obedient child, I did, and I’ve been getting lost ever since.
    Oh, I jest.
    Seriously, I have no sense of direction, which for many years was a major source of contention between me and the newspaper’s photographer. In giving him directions to a photo assignment I would often get something wrong and he’d end up in a swamp or empty field.

  • 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.

  • Legislators tackle lingering issues

    Traditionally, the last day of a legislative session is set aside just to consider any vetoes the governor may make.  Recently, however, the General Assembly has also used the time to wrap up a few lingering issues, and this year is no different.