•  I’ve been reading with interest editorial and other opinion columns about Greensburg state Sen. David Givens’ bill which would allow high school students to substitute taking a foreign language with learning computer code, or language.

    Givens is simply saying that knowing how to speak computer will get you a job a lot faster than learning to speak a foreign language.

  •  It certainly wasn’t the first time I had prayed for my friend, Don Hughes, but I was convinced it was my last. 

    Our friendship was forged by prayer as he fought colon cancer. Several years ago, Gene, one of Don’s five sons, told me his dad was sick. “Would you please pray for him?” he asked. 

    And so I went to visit Don Hughes.

     “I thank you for coming,” he said as I left his house. “You’re always welcome here.”

    And I was.

  •  For months there has been an on going debate about the treatment of killer whales at SeaWorld stemming from the release of the documentary “Blackfish,” which aired on CNN last October.

    The documentary, composed of videos and interviews, claims that the whales are mistreated, putting employees are at risk.

     The film centers around the 2010 death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau by the orca Tilikum. 

  •  Every year since 2009, I have tried to encourage Casey County residents to do something very important that doesn’t cost a lot of money ― pay fire dues.

    For the average family, that translates into $25 a year, which is less than the cost of a meal for four people in a restaurant.

    Think about what a bargain that is, fire protection by trained, professional firefighters using modern equipment coupled with the latest firefighting knowledge and techniques.

  •  I could be a vegetarian in the summer. I could eat my weight in fresh green beans and tomatoes. Winter is a different matter. I want high-protein and calorie-laden foods. I think I was descended from the Ursus americanus (black bear) line instead of the Homo sapiens (human being) line. Let’s face it, with all the clothes I’ve been wearing all winter I look more like a bear than a human being.

    There comes a day in late summer or early fall when the weather gets chilly and all I can think of is a big pot of pinto beans. 

  •  Finally, we got a decent amount of snow to actually enjoy!

    Depending on your location, the area saw between 1-6 inches of snow; a sufficient amount to engage in a snowball fight, build a snowman, and go sledding (or at least attempt).

    Kids had the entire week off and were eager to get outside and enjoy the powder. Dressed in multiple layers, mittens, hats, scarves, and snow boots, children braved the elements. 

  •  I got to thinking the other day how we southerners use a lot of quaint sayings in our everyday language. It’s kind of how we lean our words together to make a point.

    Having been raised in South Georgia, I heard many of these colloquial statements and I have continued to use them, even when we lived overseas in France and in west Africa.

    What I have discovered living across the pond is that while each language has its own down-home sayings, ours don’t really translate into other languages.

  •  Once in awhile as a reporter you come across certain topics that you can’t stand to write about and for me, that includes health insurance and taxes – both of which are unfortunate evils that people need to be informed about. However, that doesn’t mean I have to enjoy it. I would much rather stand outside and count the number of snowflakes that have fallen in Casey County than deal with the before-mentioned items.

  •  For more than a week, I have been in Greensburg covering the complicity to commit murder trial of David Salyers, who’s accused of driving Bobby Rigdon to Dunnville on the night of Sept. 26, 2012 to shoot Gleason Pyles allegedly over the way Pyles wanted to quit the Iron Horsemen motorcycle club and also over a debt on a motorcycle.

    The days are long and tedious, filled with hours and hours of testimony seeking to prove or disprove Salyers’ part in Pyles’ murder.

  •  So much attention and focus has been placed on the weather for almost two weeks now that I’m sure most people are sick of hearing about it. Most of us have been bundled up with multiple layers of clothing or in our homes trying to keep the house warm, but find ourselves hiding under several blankets. Let’s be honest, some of us have had to fight with the dog or cat for dibs on the heat register. My point is, it’s cold out and there is no way to get warm. 

  •  British author and philosopher C.S. Lewis once observed, “Everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea until he has something to forgive.”

    I thought of Lewis’ statement after the University of Louisville hired Bobby Petrino as their head football coach for the second time. Not being a Cardinal fan, forgiving the coach for his past mistakes was easy for me.

  •  It seems that just about every week there surfaces a scandal of some fashion and we almost become hardened and cynical in learning of it.

    With celebrities, we are certain they find trouble because of the lifestyle of the rich and famous. “They deserve what they get,” we say.

    With friends and family members, a scandal can generate a lot of gossip and among Christians a heartfelt “we need to pray for so-and-so, he really needs it.” And then we gossip under the guise of prayer.

  •  Strange:  “Now the race is on and here comes pride up the backstretch.” 

    Is there anybody left in Casey County who is not running for public office in this year’s primary? At the risk of alienating everybody I know, how many people running for office are competent and qualified to do the job for which they are running? How many are even knowledgeable of the job requirements? 

    I am not going to answer those questions but I hope that you, the voters, will answer them to your satisfaction before you vote. 

  •  Several states  are opting to raise minimum wage in the new year, with some increasing more substantially than others.

    According to CNN Money, 13 states and four cities are raising their minimum wage. Currently, the federal level is a measly $7.25, which is hardly enough to survive on and it’s ridiculous to think that people would argue that the current rate is acceptable. It’s just not possible to survive on $7.25, especially when employers aren’t allowing employees’ sufficient hours.

  •  Mention the smells of Christmas and most people have little trouble ticking off their favorites:  the perfume of evergreen , the citrusy  smell of fruit in the Christmas stockings, cinnamon spice tea brewing, the aroma of gingerbread cookies and pumpkin bread baking.

    So popular are these smells that they’ve been packaged in Christmas aerosol sprays, candles, and refresher oils.

    Not so with the New Year. 

  •  There exists a sport that people down south may be unfamiliar with or they’ve heard of it, but have yet to give it the respect it deserves. The sport I am speaking of is hockey, more specifically the National Hockey League.

  •  The A&E network really shot a goose when it decided to suspend “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson from the show for expressing his views on homosexuality in an article with GQ magazine.

    However, I doubt the network ever imagined the response that would come from the show’s fans or the evangelical church community in support of Robertson.

  •   “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas just like the ones I used to know.” I love that song and I love the thought of a white Christmas because of it.

    How many white Christmases have I known since 1942? I can’t tell you right off-hand so I might just look it up. I truly doubt that there have been more than a dozen in that length of time unless you count light dustings that melt in about an hour.

  •  With the holidays upon us that means many businesses and institutions will be closing their doors for a couple of days this month. Buildings will be closed, lights off, and locked up tight. However, this is not the case for everyone. 

    Numerous emergency personnel will be on call working the holiday shift, including law enforcement, ambulance services, dispatch or communications personnel, and firefighters.