“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” Matthew 16:26

Life is a balancing act of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and all other social interactions. The balancing works comes into play when we align our social activity, our estimated value in a group, and our belonging to a “tribe” in relation to our devotion and submission to a deep personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

All people will fall somewhere on a spectrum of extroverted or introverted; meaning extroverts are energized by people, and introverts are energized by being alone. Wherever we fall on the spectrum, God instructs us all to aim for peace and unity and maintain love, all while seeking the highest truth and fulfilling our individual purpose. Finding where we gain energy is important because we can see our makeup for community. Our need for interactions should always be in this perspective — all relationships flow from a heart set on God in order to love others better. No amount of friends or family members can fill the yearning we have for Christ. More importantly, no friend or family member can forge a relationship with Jesus on our behalf. Prayers of faithful supporters can lead to a softer heart in us, but it is imperative that we all understand our responsibility to respond to the merciful gift of the cross.

This quote by Charles Spurgeon is food for thought, “You will never go to heaven in a crowd.” Having a group or a “tribe” that we belong to is important. It makes us feel connected, cared for, heard, cherished, wanted, seen, and validated. Loneliness can be painful, tragic even. But, having a stable, constant group surrounding us cannot substitute for having an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. When we draw our last breath and are ushered into eternity, we won’t have our group to rely on. When we meet our maker, all that will be considered is our personal interaction with Jesus. Did we accept Jesus, did we love Him, did we follow Him, did we lean on Him or did refuse Him, did we detest Him, mock Him, and abuse Him? How tragic to spend a life apart from Jesus, but how much worse to spend eternity separated from Him. To know true belonging, true peace, and true love we must know Jesus.

Once we enter into a personal relationship with Christ and read the Bible regularly, we realize that when we know Jesus, we will never be alone again. In fact, Jesus understands our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls far better than any other person could, because it is through Him that we have our being. Jesus’ is the only being with whom our souls truly yearn to be connected with.

The lies that the Devil spews work to blind us to that simplicity. Roadblocks, yearnings, passions, hurts, and failures all work to drive us farther from Christ. The Devil knows we were created for community, for belonging, and for a divine relationship above all others. The Devil is not ignorant. No, he is the craftiest. The lies that drive us rely on group thinking over personal responsibility are well developed and intricately woven into our everyday lives.

Marketing, politics and social situations manipulate the minefield of needing to belong: the bandwagon, ad apopulum, and concesus gentium are logical fallacies that fall under the category of group think. Essentially they all relate to a frame of reasoning that believes: everybody else is doing it so it must be okay; it’s popular so it must be good, and people of high status support something so we should too. It’s in these instances where a relationship with Jesus and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit will guide us towards truth and life.

A relationship with Jesus is literally a lifeline. Charles Spurgeon said, “Let human thoughts perish forever; the thoughts of God, and not the thoughts of man, will save souls.” It was Jesus Christ alone who purposely, thoughtfully, and compassionately bleed and died to atone for our sins. It was Jesus Christ alone who was buried in the tomb for three days, who took the keys of so that we won’t suffer the punishment of our sins. It was Jesus Christ alone who ascended into heaven, who now sits at God’s right hand and intercedes on OUR behalf. It’s Jesus Christ alone that has the power to save us. It’s Jesus Christ whom we owe our allegiance. It’s Jesus who will be our faithful friend.

A family is extraordinary. A spouse is a treasure. A child is a gift. A friend is special. However, Jesus Christ is irreplaceable, essential, divine, merciful and glorious. To forgo a relationship with Jesus is to refuse the greatest gift of all eternity.

When rush of the day wears off, when the noise quiets and the lights fade, we owe it to ourselves and more importantly to our savior to assess where our allegiances lie. Are we riding the coattails of our “tribe” hoping their good works will carry us along, or are we, in humble honesty, looking within and answering, “yes, I know Jesus” or “No, I know Him not”? The most important decision of our entire lives will start with a quiet prompting inside of us, an innate longing to be filled (by Christ) which when answered will permeate our entire beings, and if ignored we will eventually grow calloused to the call.

Lord, help us to realize our worth in you. Help us to recognize the necessity of salvation. Give us the strength to foster our relationship with Jesus, even if it costs us some of our earthly “tribe”. Fill us with the reality that our devotion belongs to you alone. Renew our gratitude for our Savior, Lord. Help us spread this message, that a relationship with Jesus trumps all the rest.

We must put Jesus absolutely first in our lives. He must be allowed to penetrate our hearts, in order for us to be filled with more of Him and less of us. Romans 10:9-10 is a place to ponder the state of our hearts. There is no substitute for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ- this is the most simple and eternal truth. For, if we gain all the acceptance and attention of the world, yet we deny Christ we ave gained nothing at all.

”Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.” Colossians 1:12-20

Judith Cooley teaches Language Arts and Drama. Follow her Facebook page @pondervotional for more encouragement.

It’s 2019 and it seems now, more than ever, that we are consumed with validation. It’s imperative to us that we be told that we have done an excellent job on a project. No matter how big, small, or vital the task, we look for praise at every turn. We aren’t fulfilled until we have gotten those magical words of affirmation.

Of course, praise is always nice to hear, but the words, “great job” are being uttered far too often. They are spoken so much, in fact, that they have ceased to hold meaning. The workplace, our homes, sporting events, and schools are starting to suffer because of it.

The workplace provides us with the ability to feed and take care of our families. Inside of that much expected paycheck lies the invisible words, “thank you” and “good job.” We are all guilty of wanting to be acknowledged for the work that we do at home. Whether we mow the yard, clean the house, do the laundry, or make dinner, we expect a “thank you.”

While it is nice to feel appreciated, we also “signed up” for the life that we have made for ourselves. We prayed for the children that we have. As fathers and mothers, some things are simply, “our job.” When our children fail to do extremely well on something, maybe we shouldn’t tell them, “awesome job,” maybe we should teach them what they can work on to see themselves as better than before, to be as fast as they want, to make the grade that they can live with and feel good about, or to make friends that they can trust. Most important, maybe we should be teaching them that true affirmation can’t possibly come from someone else. The only approval that matters is our own.

If the feeling of accomplishment that comes from within isn’t enough to motivate us, then no amount of praise from others will ever matter. It will never measure up to the importance of our own self-realization and living intentional lives. Sometimes more truly is more, but in the case of praise from others, less is more.

Most of us have heard, after the loss of a grandparent or respected elder, “He or she lived a life of doing for others and accomplishing great things, and they never expected praise or a thank you in return.” That speaks volumes on how the times have changed. Of course, we should continue to say thank you and give praise where credit is due, but we shouldn’t let those words lose their meaning.

If you are performing a good deed, doing a job, or excelling only to win recognition and a thank you from others, then you have already lost. A blue ribbon is a tastier dish when enjoyed alone, not among a crowd.

Getting the news your child, teenager or even their classmate or friend has meningitis can be an alarming experience. However, knowing more about the disease can help parents recognize the signs and symptoms as well as help differentiate between types of the disease.

Meningitis is an infection of the “meninges,” the fine membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord. This infection is most commonly caused by either a bacterium or a virus. Although many people harbor various bacteria and viruses in their throat and nasal passages without ill effects, it is unknown why this infection sometimes becomes invasive and enters the bloodstream, making its way to the meninges.

Viral meningitis, in most cases, is much less serious than bacterial meningitis. It is more common in the summer months and is spread by hand-to-mouth contact. The majority of symptoms disappear within three to four days with no residual complications.

If you or a family member has been in contact with someone who is diagnosed with viral meningitis, do not panic but instead monitor for signs of the disease.

Bacterial meningitis is a much more serious infection and the need for early diagnosis and treatment is essential for the best outcomes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year more than 2,000 people get bacterial meningitis, and about 500 of them die.

Symptoms for both forms of meningitis are a high fever, headache and stiff neck but may also include nausea, vomiting, discomfort looking into bright lights, confusion, hallucinations and seizures.While the germs that cause bacterial meningitis may be spread from person to person, they are not spread by casual contact or simply breathing the air where a person with meningitis has been.

The bacteria are spread through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions through kissing and drinking from the same glass. Oftentimes, there is a real panic with bacterial meningitis. However, only those who have been in very close contact with the infected person are at risk.

If bacterial meningitis is suspected, the patient should seek care immediately. The diagnosis is generally confirmed through a lumbar puncture to test for bacteria. The patient is then treated with antibiotics.

If not treated early, the disease can result in death, and in many cases cause brain injuries, hearing loss, or learning disabilities.

Vaccines to prevent against infections from Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and Neisseria meningitidis are available. The first two are given in infancy as part of the regular vaccine series. The last, against Neisseria, is recommended by the CDC for all preteens and teens.

Neisseria infections can be particularly quick and deadly, and commonly occur in outbreaks, particularly when young people live together, such as at sleep-away camps or in college dormitories.

Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her. Luke 1:38

“But as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.” 2 Corinthians 6:4-10

“Do not pity me. I am the Lord’s chosen servant!” These words have kindled a new fire in my heart this week as I have considered the barest and most beautiful truth they spoken in. These words were spoken with fiery resolution and absolute conviction as a friend explained her battle with cancer, and how God has been speaking directly into her spirit.

“Do not pity me. I am the Lord’s chosen servant!” These words struck me for two reasons. First, the speaker is in clear submission to the Lord. She is determined to own her journey as daunting as it is, accepting her trials and expecting her victories to come in God’s timing. She trusts in her Master. Second, is her willingness to give the Lord God Almighty glory through her battle. She could choose to wilt and complain under the pressure, but she is standing firm on God’s word, sharing parable after parable and verse after verse supporting her reason for hope. She knows the good God whom she serves, and she is grateful for the life she has to speak of His glory.

The word “servant” has resonated with me more deeply this week in light on my recent conversation. What do we normally think of when we think the word “servant”? Is it hard work, dedication to others, humility, long-suffering? These tend to be the characteristics that we initially conjure. These are necessary characteristics of Christ-followers, but what about the security that comes with servanthood? Perhaps we don’t quickly think about the positive connotation of servanthood, the part that promises security and provision for our very beings.

You see, the thing about being a servant is you are in good hands, if you serve the right master. As a servant, you have a master to whom you submit. The master is over you, responsibly making decisions and providing for your needs. As an extension of the master, he will never lead you astray, because you reflect him. A good master will care for you because you work on his behalf to advance his purpose and his family.

As a servant, you have a purpose which has been defined for you which will benefit others. Servants work for others and with others. A good master will not send his servants out to fail. He wants his endeavors to prosper, therefore he will train and equip his servants to work productively.

As a servant, if you serve a good master, you will have a reward after a job well done. Earthly masters will care for the physical and emotional needs of their servants. Our heavenly Master will tend to the psychical and emotional but more importantly to the spiritual needs. He will grant the ultimate reward after we breathe our last breath.

Two exemplary servants from the Bible are Jesus and Mary, Mother of Jesus. Jesus’ life, from the moment of His birth marked His purpose as a servant. “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (John 1:21) Jesus never came to bring Himself acclaim. Jesus came to seek and to save lost. He came to heal the sick. He came to uplift the broken. He came to pardon all from the punishment of sin.

Mary was a young, unassuming girl betrothed and waiting for her adult life to begin. We can assume that Mary was a meek, reverent, and faithful person because she found favor with God. The Bible doesn’t say that she was exceedingly holy or exponentially more pious than others. It was simply God’s plan for Mary to be His submissive servant, to carry and rear the Savior of the world. “And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servantof the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.” (Luke 1:38) Despite her confusion and her earthly difficulty processing her mission, she accepted it without doubt, without bitterness, and without reservations.

Like Jesus and Mary, we all have a specific purpose. If we have accepted Jesus as our Savior, we have accepted the identity of servant. We serve a good Master. Our Master has plans to prosper us. He has laid out the road map of life for us in the Bible. He assures us that we will have trials and tribulations, but He will never leave us. We must accept the journey He has planned for each of us. God will use our unique journey to uplift, inspire, challenge, and change the world around us. It is not for our glory that God made us. Everything and everyone is to point to Him. As servants of the Good Master, we realize that all things will work for His ultimate glory and the benefit of others. What is that benefit for others? Stronger faith. Our lives are meant to be a beacon of hope for those around us. God will not let our faithfulness go unnoticed. He sees all and knows all. He sees us in the valleys and on the mountains. He walks through life with us. He won’t ignore our faithfulness. In fact, the greatest part of our lives will be eternity, because we will get to spend it with Him. We live life as faithful, humble servants in the hope and promise of spending eternity in constant unity with Him- that is our reward.

We have to remember that our lives are meant to be lived as servants of the Most high God. When we remember who God is and when we remember our purpose, we can do much more good for those whom we have come to serve. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever.

“Do not pity me. I am the Lord’s chosen servant!” Whatever your mission is live it with conviction and fiery resolution.

“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24: 14-15

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” Philippians 2:5-8

Judith Cooley teaches Language Arts and Drama. Follow her Facebook page @pondervotional for more encouragement.

Are you a fan of “The Big Bang Theory?” Aside from being uproariously funny, it also drops knowledge bombs on the viewer from time to time. For instance, the concept of counterfactual thinking.

In psychological terms, it involves the human tendency to think of possible alternatives to life events that have already happened. Or, as “Big Bang’s” Sheldon and Amy describe it,

“We postulate an alternate world that differs from ours in one key aspect, and then pose questions to each other.”

“Question: In a world where rhinoceroses are domesticated pets, who wins the Second World War? Answer: Uganda. Defense: Kenya rises to power on the export of rhinoceroses. A central African power block is formed, colonizing North Africa and Europe. When war breaks out, no one can afford the luxury of a rhino. Kenya withers, Uganda triumphs.”

I went online to see if there were others as interested in the game as I. Not only were they more engaged, but also a lot smarter. Check this one out:

“Question: If Hitler died of syphilis as a starving young artist in Vienna, what actress doesn’t get her Oscar? Answer: Shelly Winters. Defense: Hitler would not have risen to power in Germany, meaning the Holocaust would not have occurred. Anne Frank would not have written her heartbreaking diary, and Shelly Winters would not have won her 1960 Oscar in ‘The Diary of Anne Frank.’”

Every time I think I might be even partially clever, something comes along like counterfactuals and grinds me back down to size. Try this one:

“Question: If glass weren’t transparent, what city would have the Statue of Liberty? Answer: Seattle. Defense: Without the optical properties of eyeglasses to prolong the productive careers of European scholars, the work of the Renaissance would not have overtaken the technological developments of east Asia. As this area became the leader in global exploration, geographical isolation would have prompted Japan to establish an overseas empire. Geography and prevailing westerly winds would have naturally led them to establish a major port in the area we now think of as the northwestern United States, and it would be here that would be the main port of entry for eventual waves of immigrants.”

Whew! I think I shouldn’t have slept so much in school. My typical answer then trying to solve a counterfactual is, “Duh.” I sincerely hope you are doing better. Here is one last poser to tide you over from “The Big Bang Theory:”

“Question: In a world where mankind is ruled by a giant intelligent beaver, what food is no longer consumed?

Answer: Cheese Danish. Defense: In a world ruled by a giant beaver, mankind builds many dams to please the beaver overlord. The low-lying city of Copenhagen is flooded. Thousands die. Devastated, the Danes never invent their namesake pastry.”

A former Orangeburg firefighter is scheduled to be sentenced in Campbell County next month after he entered a guilty plea to abuse of public trust over $10,000.

According to a story published by the Cincinnati Enquirer, former Campbell County Fire District No. 1 Chief Kerry Moore pleaded guilty on Sept. 16 to abuse of public trust $10,000, a felony, said Campbell Commonwealth’s Attorney Michelle Snodgrass.

The 60-year-old Melbourne resident is scheduled to be sentenced at noon Nov. 4 in Campbell Circuit Court.

Moore was chief of the Campbell County Fire District No. 1 from April 1, 2013, until July 2018, said new chief Wayne Werrmann. Werrmann was hired after Moore’s departure from outside of the fire district that has three fire stations covering eastern areas of the county including Silver Grove, Melbourne and California.

Moore was also employed by Florence Fire Department from Jan. 11, 1999 to when he retired on July 31, 2011, according to city records.

The $10,000 from Campbell County Fire District No. 1 was deposited in Orangeburg Volunteer Fire Department account to replenish a depleted account there, Snodgrass said.

Orangeburg Chief Johnny Kielman said Moore was chief of the Maysville area department the entire time he worked for the department from 1989 until 2017.

Kielman declined to comment on money from Campbell County Fire District being deposited into an account for the Orangeburg Volunteer Fire.

“As soon as the staff found out was going on we brought him up to my law office,” Daley said. “He said ‘Well, I guess I’ll resign’.”

The fire district received notice from the Kentucky Fire Commission about Moore and the district’s money as the result of an investigation, Daley said.

Moore was indicted Oct. 25, 2018. He was arrested Nov. 29 at a Florence address on a failure to appear warrant.

I was binge watching the television classic “Mission: Impossible” Wednesday. Guest star William Shatner was a drug mastermind who had just shot a member of an opposing faction. Shatner took off as someone ran up to the dying man and asked him what happened. The guy spent his last breath gasping out clues to Shat’s master plan.

That got me thinking. Would you, with your last lungful of life, discuss the hum-drum descriptions of your run of the mill job as a criminal henchman?

I mean, bad guys can’t live on bot mots and snacks alone, can they? What if Sven, the enforcer for the Whoville Cartel, had a talent for music? Instead of discussing Mozart’s influence on modern Ska, Sven babbles about how Mr. Big is planning to take over the Eastern Seaboard. Then dies. A literal waste of breath.

Then there are those who not only make their final statement capital “F” Final, but do it in a way that people can see what they had to say for the foreseeable future. I refer, of course, to tombstone epitaphs. I think we’re close enough to Halloween to enjoy a little gallows’ humor shared for eternity by the dearly departed. In that vein (Vampire joke), here are a few of my favorite final thoughts from across the centuries.

There are people who, ‘til their last breath, crack wise about their fate. The tombstone engraved with “I Told You I Was Sick,” is a classic example.

Television Pioneer and TV Host Merv Griffin’s tombstone reads “I Will Not Be Right Back After These Messages.” Other favorites include, “Reincarnating: I’ll Be Right Back (So Don’t Touch My Stuff),” “Died from Not Forwarding That Text Message To 10 People,” “Raised Four Beautiful Daughters with only one bathroom and still there was love,” and “Here Lies John Yeast. Pardon Me for Not Rising.”

Hats off to the husband and wife whose grave markers read, “Stupid” and “I’m with Stupid.” Others along that line include “He Loved Bacon. Oh, and his wife and kids, too,” “Here lies Steve and Anya, in eternal bliss. Mastercard and Visa are still looking for the payments they missed,” and “Ma Loves Pa – Pa Loves Women. Ma caught Pa, with 2 in swimming. Here lies Pa.”

A gentleman buried beneath a simple gravestone had one simple request for the afterlife: “I was hoping for a Pyramid.” Some are short and sweet, like “I knew this would happen,” “At last a hole in one,” “Oh, well. Whatever,” and “Born Leo. Died Cancer.”

It’s comforting to see some people try to add a little humor into what most certainly is not a humorous situation, even at the last stop on the tour of Life. Warner Brothers voice acting legend Mel Blanc quoted Porky Pig’s famous line, “That’s All, Folks.”

Here are a few, just for the road: “Eugene Found Dead 1929. Buried 1964.” “The shell is here but the nut is gone.”

From 1881: “Here Lies Charlotte. She lived each day as if it were her last. Especially this one.” “I am a busy man. I Don’t have time for this.” And, as a fitting end to a column about humorous epitaphs, I present: “If you’re reading this, you desperately need a hobby.”

The goal of Fire Prevention Month (and week) is to raise awareness about fire safety and help ensure families are prepared in the event of an emergency.

For this year’s fire prevention week, the National Fire Prevention Association is using the slogan “Not every hero wears a cape. Plan and Practice your escape,” Maysville Fire Chief Kevin Doyle said.

In a fire, mere seconds can mean the difference between a safe escape and a tragedy, according to information from NFPA. “Fire safety education isn’t just for school children. Teenagers, adults, and the elderly are also at risk in fires, making it important for every member of the community to take some time every October during Fire Prevention Week to make sure they understand how to stay safe in case of a fire,” NFPA’s website said.

“As always, we will be visiting area schools this week and next week to discuss fire safety in the home, focusing on planning an escape in the event of a fire in your home,” Doyle said.

“Inevitably, there will always be a risk of fire in homes,” Doyle said. “That’s why I believe the most important aspect of public education is preparation for a fire in your home.”

Perhaps the most important way to prepare is by installing smoke detectors in the home and keeping them in working order, Doyle said.

“Smoke detectors save lives, this has been proven for decades and is probably considered common knowledge these days. Yet, we continue to go into homes with no detectors at all, non-working detectors, or detectors that are insufficient due to the location(s) in which they are placed,” Doyle said. “They are the first line of defense when a fire occurs when we are sleeping. Plain and simple.”

Advances in the materials we use inside our homes have changed the nature of house fires, Doyle also pointed out.

“What may not be as commonly known is that today’s fires burn much different than those from 20 or 30 years ago. Today, we fill our homes with a large amount of synthetic materials, plastics, and other combustibles that burn at a much more rapid pace than materials from years ago,” he said. “This literally changes our time for escape from minutes to seconds.”

“Not only do today’s home fires grow faster, the carbon monoxide, cyanide, cancerous carcinogens, and other bi-products are produced and exponential rates compared to years ago, meaning it takes much less for our respiratory systems to succumb to the exposure,” Doyle said.

Making the community aware of the anger of fire and how to prepare in the case of a fire is vital, Doyle said.

“Make a plan. Make it today. Make sure you have working detectors in your homes today. Make sure you have a plan of escape today. Make sure everyone in your household knows what to do in the event of a house fire. Plan and Practice your escape,” Doyle said. “As always, for more info reach out to your local fire department.”

— Make a home escape plan. Draw a map of your home showing all doors and windows. Discuss the plan with everyone in your home.

— Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible, Make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily.

—Have an outside meeting place (a tree, light pole or mailbox) a safe distance from the home where everyone should meet.

— Practice you home fire drill at night and during the day with everyone in your home, twice a year.

The Beautify Augusta committee approached Shirley Mohrfield about nine months ago with the idea to convert the lot on Main Street between Bravo’s and Amy’s Blue Daisy into a community green space to honor her husband, Larry Mohrfield.

Beautify Augusta asked local resident and landscaper Joel Linville for his thoughts on how best to use this space, which resulted in a proposed design which included a landscaped green space with a pavilion, benches, trees and flowers.

Larry was raised on a farm in West Chester, Ohio, and after marrying Shirley in 1960, purchased a farm in Pleasant Point, Ohio. He developed a holstein herd soon known nationally. Larry and Shirley were entrepreneurs developing many pet industry items such as pet food and bedding. Larry received the Cincinnati Entrepreneur Award in the 1997.

Back in the 1970s and 1980s, Larry and Shirley used to bring their three daughters, Ginni, Vonda and Kristi to Bracken County to visit his mother’s birthplace at her farm off Kentucky 8. Larry and his wife Shirley saw the potential in Augusta and around 2000 started buying and renovating some of the historical buildings and turning them into new businesses like the General Store, and the Augusta Irish Pub. They also bought and renovated the Parkview Country Inn and Restaurant. This brought new life to Augusta and helped attract tourism and employment opportunities.

The Beautify Augusta Committee and the people of Augusta would like to honor Larry by dedicating this memorial park to him and his family, and by doing this, building on his legacy of improving Augusta.

From a much-loved Pulitzer Prize winning play to a musical from two of today’s hottest composers, the Maysville Players have announced the 58th season of productions.

“It takes a year and the reading of numerous scripts to pick a season which we hope audiences well enjoy,” said Mike Thomas, producing director of the local theater company. “There is a ton of factors that play into what ends up on the season and what does not.”

“Driving Miss Daisy” (a play about friendship) by Alfred Uhry. Oct. 24-27 and Oct. 31-Nov. 3. Set in the deep south of 1948, the wealthy Miss Daisy, a rich, sharped-tongued Jewish widow must rely on the services of a thoughtful, unemployed black man named Hoke. In a series of scenes spanning 25-years the pair, despite their differences grow closer to each other as the world spins and changes around them. Winner of the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for drama, the cast features Players favorites Paulette Roberts, David Green, and Eric Lohman.

“Seasoned Greetings” (a holiday cabaret) conceived by Mike Thomas. Dec. 13-15. The Maysville Players, the Limestone Chorale, Makenzie (“The Voice”) Thomas and a sleigh full of actors and singers (young and old) deliver a present full of songs and stories to light up the holidays. Audiences of all ages will delight in this stocking stuffed with the spirit of the season. This three-performance event is sponsored in part by the John W. McNeill III Memorial Music Series and will benefit regional food banks.

“Love Letters” (a Valentine) by A. R. Gurney. Feb. 13-16 and 20-23. From childhood through adulthood, across miles and milestones, through happiness and tears, two friends who grew up together but have now gone their separate ways, continue to share confidences through a series of love letters spanning the years. A rotating cast of actors will present this heartfelt tribute to love, laughter, loss, and founds in this unique and imaginative theater piece.

“The Dixie Swim Club” (A comedy class reunion) by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten. April 23-26 and April 30-May 3. Five southern women, whose friendships began many years ago on their college swim team, set aside a long weekend every August at an Out Banks beach house, free from husbands, jobs, and kids. Spanning 33-years as their lives unfold, they rely on one another to get through the challenges—men, sex, marriage, parenting, divorce, aging—that life flings at them, making for a hilarious and touching comedy about relationships that last forever.

“James and the Giant Peach (A musical adventure based on the book by Roald Dahl.) Aug. 5-9. Set sail for a musical adventure as a young boy named James and his insect shipmates (grasshopper, ladybug, spider, earthworm and centipede) take an amazing journey across the ocean on a giant each! With words and music by Ben J. Pasek and Justin Paul—the writers of “La, La, Land,” “Dear Evan Hanson,” and “The Greatest Showman,”—this class children’s novel becomes a contemporary sage for all time and all audiences.

For more information about the season and other events at the historic Washington Opera House, visit www.maysvilleplayers.net.

In what will be a good gauge for the region meet in two weeks, Mason County’s girls cross country team showed they’re still the team to beat in the region. Paige Decker did too. The […]

LEXINGTON – Lynn Bowden and his three touchdowns led the charge for Kentucky in a close battle against Arkansas on Saturday night. The 24-20 win in their homecoming game was the first victory for UK […]

With district tournaments out of the way, soccer moves forward to the regional tournaments as teams are just a couple wins away from the state tournament. The 10th and 16th regions held their tournament draws […]

The trio of Mason County’s Evan Schumacher and Logan Shepherd and Fleming County’s Logan Hughes all just missed the cut at the boys’ KHSAA state golf tournament over the weekend. Hughes finished with an 83 […]

All Times EDT LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES (Best-of-7; x-if necessary) American League N.Y. Yankees 1, Houston 0 Saturday, Oct. 12: N.Y. Yankees 7, Houston 0 Sunday, Oct. 13: N.Y. Yankees at Houston, late Tuesday, Oct. 15: […]

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 12 KENTUCKY VOLLEYBALL Bracken County def. Calvary Christian, 2-0 (25-10, 25-18) OHIO BOYS SOCCER OHSAA Southeast District Division III Sectional Playoffs Northwest 4, West Union 2 Eastern 10, Piketon 1 Peebles 1, Fairfield […]

The Top 25 teams in The Associated Press college football poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Oct. 12, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a […]

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All Times EDT Friday, Oct. 11 No. 13 Oregon 45, Colorado 3 Miami 17, No. 20 Virginia 9 Saturday, Oct. 12 No. 1 Alabama 47, No. 24 Texas A&M 28 No. 2 Clemson 45, Florida […]

The fall has fallen upon us. With that have come decreasing temperatures, crunchy leaves, and my personal favorite — the smells and tastes of the season. I love summertime but like most of my readers […]

Sept. 23, Judge Kim Leet Razor presiding: Cassandra L. Brooks, 23, failure to maintain insurance, license to be in possession, one headlight, failed to appear, notify DOT. Edward J. Corns, 53, failure to maintain insurance, […]

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