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Christmas Traditions at the Museum


Writer  /  Frieda Dowler Photographer  /  Forrest Mellott The holiday season is here with plenty of fun-filled activities, and choosing where you can experience favorite traditions is important for making the most of your holidays. The Johnson County Museum might be a place where you can experience some of those traditions as you step inside a magical winter wonderland at this unexpected and uncrowded close to home destination. The beautifully decorated museum will host the Dec-A-Tree event November 24 through December 30, Santa December 5 and 12, and a Holiday Open House with a Christmas choral concert December 19. For ...

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Kate in the Middle: Giving Thanks


Writer  /  Kate Rhoten It’s November and the holidays are fast approaching. It’s probably is one of the busiest seasons for families. My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. It has been my favorite since I was a teenager. I’m not exactly sure when and why, but it may be due to learning early on in my teen years that sometimes you may not have what others have, but more often than not, there is something to be thankful for in our lives. As a teen, my parents divorced. As my mother, sister and I continued on together, we had little in ...

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Mr. Miller Goes to Washington


Writer  /  Tonja Talley Photos  /  Provided On October 9, Center Grove resident Rick Miller, along with other chaperones, headed on another trip to Washington, D.C., with 180 eighth-grade students. A history teacher at Center Grove Middle School North (CGMSN), Miller is passionate about history, constantly creating life-changing learning experiences for students. In other words, he tries bringing history back to life in ways our children understand. As a young teacher, Miller reveled in the enthusiasm his students presented for history after attending the annual eighth-grade trip to Washington, D.C. Curious to witness what these students learn on the trip, ...

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CGHS Front Row: Symphonic Support


The story goes that two tourists saw famed violist Mischa Elman and asked, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” Supposedly, they wanted directions, saw he was carrying a violin case and approached him with the question. Without looking up, Elman responded, “Practice.” While there is truth in the response of Elman and it applies to most endeavors worthy of accolades, there is always more to any success. A strong foundation and support are always critical to success. Such is the case for the Center Grove Middle and High School orchestras. The Center Grove Orchestra Council (CGOC), led by Mitch ...

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A New Center Grove Education Foundation Scholarship


The Amy Dillman Black Memorial Scholarship Writer  /  Johnette Cruz Photographer  /  Ron Stiemert The Center Grove community is coming together and rallying around each other to not only remember a delightful person but to “pay it forward” to others in education. Amy Dillman Black has been described as an absolutely beautiful woman. She was a kind, soft-spoken, patient and loving person who had a strong relationship with Jesus Christ. Tragically, Black died last summer from complications related to an undiagnosed blood clot. Her family is survived by her husband, Dennis, and two sons, Ty and Drew. This was not ...

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Husband and Wife Find U-Fit a Great Fit


Writer  /  Kevin Conrad Photographer  /  Chris Williams “I’m totally addicted. It’s a part of my life.” This is how Molly Perry, a wife and mother of two young daughters, describes her workouts with the trainers at U-Fit. Perry has tried other weight loss and workout programs but wasn’t able to attain the long-term results she was desiring. That changed after she met U-Fit owner and trainer Michael Budensiek and his team in December 2014. Perry has lost almost 50 pounds and over 32 inches, achieving amazing results in just 11 months of working with the U-Fit trainers. “I get ...

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An Amazing Day!

We heard about a special event and asked area resident, storyteller and communications strategist Jeff Owen to share his account with our readers. – Dann Veldkamp Cathy Clapp Owen’s dad, Henry Clapp, and her brother, David Clapp, joined me and friend Doug Herendeen to play in the annual Pay It Forward Johnson County (PIFJC) golf outing last month at The Legends Golf Club. Normally, that’s not big news. We’ve played in golf outings for years. Sometimes we play good golf. Sometimes not so much. Mostly, we support good causes and enjoy the camaraderie. But today was different. Playing golf was ...

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Girls Look Beyond Body Image

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Writer & Photographer  /  Alicia Wettrick Have you ever gone out of the house without your makeup on and been asked things like, “Are you not feeling well today?” or “You look tired today”? I have! Then I feel embarrassed that somehow I’m “offending” others with my makeup-free face. Wait. That is ridiculous. Why do I feel embarrassed? The female body image (pretty and thin) is ubiquitous throughout our culture. Women feel pressured by media and peers to keep up with the latest style, make-up, hair and thinness. Unfortunately, we listen to them, and it starts young. Girl Body Image ...

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Coaxing Tropical Treasures and Paper Whites for the Holidays


Writer  /  Nancy Craig My great nieces and nephews and I are going to force bulbs to grow flowers to give as Christmas gifts. The easiest flowers to force are amaryllis and Narcissus paper whites. The amaryllis is a huge tropical trumpet shaped flower that comes in several colors. The paper whites are elegant, smaller shaped white flowers that cluster on top of long stems. Since it will take the bulbs six to 10 weeks to grow, we need to start them soon, at least a week or two before Thanksgiving. Several of my children garden books show how to ...

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