Ann-Blair Thornton, a 21-year-old from Bowling Green, was nearly speechless Saturday night after being crowned Miss Kentucky 2011. "I don't know if this is real," she said. "Looking back on all the years I've put into this, I never dreamed it would be real." Shortly after the glittering crown was placed atop her head at the University of Kentucky Singletary Center for the Arts, Thornton said the first thing she planned to do as Miss Kentucky was "give my parents a hug. This is all their doing," she said.
Adrian Vergot grew up playing with Hot Wheels and watching the television show “Speed Racer.” He was constantly disappointed that few cars actually resembled his childhood icons, so last year he purchased the ultimate hot wheels. Vergot, of Pittsburgh, brought his 1968 titanic Corvette to the 30th annual National Corvette Homecoming, which wrapped up Saturday at Bowling Green's Sloan Convention Center. Vergot was one of hundreds of Corvette enthusiasts who flocked to the three-day event, showing off their cars that ranged from the newest Corvettes to cars that were manufactured decades ago.
Scott Smith, 87, is a retired newspaperman. He's also had a lifelong fascination with the Old West. Now, the Danville resident has combined his two long held interests and published his first novel - The Bronco Man. Naturally, it's a western.
Tickets in one hand, wands in the other - both at the ready. Roughly 1,500 fans attended the midnight screening of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2,” the last in the movie series, at the Great Escape Theaters’ Bowling Green 12 today. The theater showed “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1” at 9 p.m., followed by the sold-out midnight showing of “Part 2” on every screen in the theater.
A crime drama based in Appalachia continues to earn praise from critics. This week, “Justified” netted four Emmy nominations. Rich Copley, who’s an arts and culture reporter for the Lexington Herald offers an explanation. He also says the final installment in the “Harry Potter” series can pose competition to events take place in Kentucky. Among those events is a dramedy based in Danville at the end of World War Two.
A television drama set mainly in Harlan and Lexington, Kentucky is in the running for a number of Emmy awards. The nominations were revealed early Thursday morning. Timothy Olyphant, who stars as U.S. Marshal Raylan Givins in the critically acclaimed FX series Justified, has received a best lead actor nomination. Margo Martindale, who last season portrayed the criminal matriarch Mags Bennett, got a best supporting actress nod, and Walton Goggins, who plays Givins' frenemy Boyd Crowder, is up for a supporting actor award.
Some members of the Louisville Orchestra’s musicians union are staging a protest at the orchestra’s headquarters this afternoon as their contract impasse continues. The musicians had already said they would reject management’s latest contract offer. They had until today to consider a proposal that outlines specific expectations for rehearsal and performance attendance.
What started as a joke between friends turned into Natalie Blake’s big break when she was chosen to be one of 18 contestants on the upcoming season of the Fox reality show “Hell’s Kitchen.” Blake, a 23-year-old chef from Harrodsburg, went to culinary school at Sullivan University in Lexington and currently works as a sous chef at Beamont Inn in Harrodsburg.
For one spring night next year, the world of Bluegrass music will fix their focus on Jackson and Breathitt County, when the renowned six-piece band The Grascals will grace the Douthitt Park stage for a concert on Saturday, June 9, 2012.
Members of the Louisville Orchestra’s musicians union say they will reject the latest contract offer from the Orchestra. The Orchestra proposal, which outlines specific expectations for rehearsal and performance attendance, was delivered last week. It names tomorrow as the deadline for members to respond. If they don’t, the orchestra says it “will be treated as a voluntary refusal to work and the Louisville Orchestra will take whatever steps are legally appropriate to fill your position.”
Organizers of the Spotlight Lexington Festival have officially canceled this year's event citing a lack of corporate support. Spotlight Chair Kip Cornett says while the festival proved a very popular aspect of the World Equestrian Games last fall, continuing it this year proved cost-prohibitive.
The inaugural season at Eastern Kentucky University’s Center for the Arts is packed with popular performers and entertainment. The lineup of about dozen acts was released Friday. Among the performers are public radio’s Garrison Keiller, country icon Willie Nelson and soul music queen Aretha Franklin. Center executive director Debra Hoskins is pleased with the way things have fallen into place, especially since she was hired only five months ago.
For many years, tales of the existence of a 1959 Pontiac El Catalina were the stuff of legend. Rumor had it that Pontiac had built two of these prototype sedan pickups, and one was in the hands of a collector. The vehicle hadn’t been seen in public in years, but that changed this week when it was on display at the Pontiac-Oakland Club International Convention at Bowling Green's Sloan Convention Center.
For the first time in its 146-year history, Lexington Theological Seminary will be led by a woman. Charisse Gillett was named the seminary's 17th president Thursday morning at a special meeting of the school's board of trustees. She will take office Sept. 1. Gillett will be the first woman and the first African-American to hold the top post at the seminary.
The Winchester-Clark County Tourism Commission was introduced to the Civil War Fort at Boonesboro — which is in its sixth summer open to the public — in 1998. Now, the commission can no longer afford to maintain the site on its own and is asking the county and city for help.
There’s no need to trade your kingdom for good drama this summer weekend. Summerfest begins in Lexington with Shakespeare’s “Richard III,” Studio Players recaptures past glory with a revival of “Forever Plaid,” and actor-comedian Adele Givens, who’s a Lexington native, performs at the Lyric Theater. Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader has this preview.
The stately marble staircase at the Franklin County Court House is now lined with ragged pieces of cardboard. Dark, wooden gallery seating from the circuit courtroom on the second floor has been removed, and dust blankets the judge’s bench as the empty building awaits renovation. Yet the picturesque courtroom is still alive and well in the pages of attorney Stephen Van Zant’s first novel, “Far From Good.” Van Zant, an Elizabethtown lawyer, has practiced in courtrooms across the state, and Franklin County’s stood out.
Sept. 11 survivor Tony Rose held back tears on a hot Wednesday morning as he described the symbolism of a twisted piece of metal delivered to the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery-Central in Radcliff. “Today, this piece comes to us as a result of evil, There’s no other way around it,” he said. The piece in question was a pair of beams formed into the shape of a “distressed cross” — wreckage found and retrieved from the World Trade Center in New York City after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It will be erected as part of a larger 9/11 memorial later this year.
After spending 40 years at Louisville’s Speed Art Museum, a stolen 14th century work is going home. The Speed Art Museum bought the piece from a New York Gallery in 1973 for 38 thousand dollars, not realizing the Italian art was stolen from a home in Italy two years earlier.
During his time as a contestant on the popular TV reality show “Survivor,” Rodger Bingham proved to the world that a country boy can survive. Being raised on a farm in Grant County, the native Kentuckian credits his love of the outdoors, along with skills at hunting and fishing, plus good common sense as the reasons he held out so well in the Australian Outback during the CBS-TV show's second season 10 years ago. Bingham cited making good choices in why he lasted that long, and that was his message to a group of about 15 youngsters and adults during a visit at Kentucky River Community Care's Sewell Center in Jackson Thursday.
Dozens of treasures are hidden in the archives of the Kentucky Historical Society, including Soviet anti-aircraft guns, gilded shoulder decorations from a Mexican general and phony Paul Sawyier paintings. With limited space for exhibits and displays, tens of thousands of artifacts and documents are kept in storage in the second floor of the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History. The State Journal recently got a behind-the-scenes tour of the archives.
The Fund for the Arts’ annual campaign has ended and the organization’s energy will now turn inward, toward revising its mission and policies. The shakeup at the fund started earlier this year, when CEO Allan Cowen retired amid a flurry of criticism over his brusque interactions with artists and arts groups. Much of the dissent came from visual artists, who say the fund doesn’t give them the money or attention they deserve compared to performing arts.
There was a time when the little community of Kelly wanted the world to forget the UFO story that rocketed there on a hot August night in 1955. Apparently, time heals a lot of wounds. That’s why, on Aug. 20, the town will embrace aliens in costumes and other forms of UFO entertainment for Kelly’s first Little Green Men festival. The organizers hope to make it an annual festival. The festival will celebrate the story of an alien spaceship landing at a Kelly farmhouse on Aug. 21, 1955. On that night, the family of Glennie Lankford reported to police in Hopkinsville that a dozen or so little men had surrounded their house after landing in a spaceship.
Kentucky's racetracks starting Friday can apply for permission to allow bets on historical races. But despite a needed boost in business, some tracks are leery of adding "Instant Racing" immediately. The regulations that allow Instant Racing become effective July 1 and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission will accept applications from the racetracks. Many tracks hope it can boost declining revenues and make them competitive with tracks in surrounding states, but a legal challenge by the Family Foundation has made them take pause.
The Herald-Leader's "Kentucky Bucket List" of 50 experiences every Kentuckian should do, see or have while living in our commonwealth, received tremendous response from readers after it was published June 17. Inspired by Parade magazine's recent cover story on "America's Bucket List," The Herald-Leader's list — which was far from exhaustive — spurred readers to suggest ideas that we didn't include. So today, The Herald-Leader shares 20 readers' suggestions of experiences to have in Kentucky before you die.
The polar bear cub Qannik arrived in a UPS Boeing 747 last night in Kentucky as reported by dueling twitter accounts. There are two accounts currently claiming to be none other than Qannik herself. One is @QannikthecubLZ (Official Louisville Zoo account), the other is the rogue @QannikBearaccount.
Most people have at least a notion of the things they want to see, do and experience before they die, aka their "bucket list": Climb a mountain, fall in love, see the Grand Canyon. But how should that list be tailored to Kentuckians? What are the things every Kentuckian should do, see or experience while living in our beautiful, often misunderstood state? What are the cultural touchstones that make Kentucky what it is and that would be a shame not to experience? What things go deep into the Kentucky experience? And how many of them can you accomplish this summer, which officially starts Tuesday?