• With the holiday madness now over, many media outlets and groups are unpacking their yearly guilt trips. They tell us to examine the real value of the presents and trinkets we gave and received this year, and compare them to the gold stand-bys of friendship, family and love. Was all that junk really worth the debt you’re in now?

    Before you know it, you begin searching for all those gift receipts.

  • When I was in high school, there was this guy that supported Mount Vernon athletes with all his heart. His name was Jimmy. He was a custodian.

    As I walked to basketball practice every day, he would tell me he would rebound for me if I wanted to stay late and put in some extra work on my shot. Sometimes, he would wait outside for practice to get out. Before I knew it, he was throwing a ball at me and ran under the basket for a rebound. He made me laugh when I missed, and cheered when it went in. What self-conscious kid doesn’t appreciate that?

  • The Mount Vernon Wrestling team delivered a rapid-fire victory over North High School Wednesday night during the Wildcats last home meet of 2016. Just 43 minutes after the meet began, the team was already rolling up the mats, having pulled away with a 72-6 victory.

  • It’s finally over. No more commercials about who did or didn’t do this and that. No more personal and professional attacks will interrupt our favorite television shows or tickers of Wikileaks latest release scrolling across the bottom of the screen during a ball game.

    We the people went to the poll. We selected our candidates. For the most part, the 2016 election is over. There were tears of joy, tears of frustration, tears of fear and that’s just me. I’m sure each of had our own emotions. But one thing is for sure: It is what it is.

  • By Adam Grabert

    I remember sitting in my living room as a fifth grader eight years ago, watching then president-elect Barack Obama win his first election. I watched on CNN as our nation was about to make history. The truth is as a fifth grader I didn’t really understand the elaborate process these candidates had to go through just to make it to the general election. There are many layers to American politics, but there is something about politics that engrosses everyone of all ages.

  • I have a quote on my bulletin board that sums up the life of any writer. “Everything that I have written has the closest possible connection with that I have through inwardly.” So, basically, y’all are along for the ride.

    According to data from the federal government, the average life expectancy for a woman in my demographic is 81.1 years. I’d say a person could rack up some accomplishments and experiences and live a good life in that time span.

  • Anyone who stops by the Mount Vernon Democrat office this week will be able to tell Halloween is my favorite holiday. I unpacked the decorations at home the last day of September, and shortly after began scouring Target for bags of fake spider webs and plastic jack-o-lanterns. From horror movies to haunted houses, I love almost everything about Halloween and this time of year.




    Two weeks ago about this time, I was chilling on a beach. I was trying not to think about work. I needed a little time to unplug. I didn’t take my work laptop. I tried not to call in to the office because I needed a break.

  •  For someone who loves sports few things are as exciting as the Olympics. There’s something about the triumph of the human spirit, the breaking down of barriers and stereotypes, overcoming of obstacles and the white-knuckle grip on the edge of your seat in close games, races or matches.

  • When we reflect back on our lives, we think of major events or rites of passage (like getting our driver’s license, graduation, college, marriage, etc.) before we think of the little things like sending a thank you note or checking on a loved one when they are on our minds.

    Major events are life affirming. We think about those things as the events and moments that define us. But is that really how we should view it?

  • Just a few weeks ago, we said good-bye to editor Corey Woolsey. Last Friday, we said another heartfelt farewell, but this time it was Kelsey (Wheatcroft) Schapker that bid us good-bye.

    If it weren’t for the reasons behind their departures, I’d take it personal. For the last six months, we’ve known this day was coming. Maybe it was denial. Maybe we were hoping Kelsey would change her mind and stay. But she didn’t.

  • Think back to history class in the eighth grade. Remember Mrs. Benthall requiring you to memorize the opening of the Declaration of Independence? Remember studying the Founding Fathers in U.S. History for Mr. Grannan? Even Mr. King talked about the power of the opening paragraph of the Declaration in his famed World History class. And last but not least, remember Mr. Martin’s government class as a senior?

    We have recall of specific facts and points of interest, but how often do we really think about what we were taught?

  • I remember walking into the high school as a school-age child to watch Jeff Embrey play basketball. I grew excited as we walked towards the circle drive, seeing the Wildcat that used to seemingly guard the entrance. I couldn’t wait for my time to walk past the Wildcat like the high schoolers and play ball there.

    The Wildcat represented school spirit. There was no question what we were. Visitors knew who they were facing when they unloaded from their buses.

  • By Rachel Christian

             A reader came into the office last week and told us about how her son woke up to police cars, press vans and blocked off streets Sunday morning.

             She came to place a special tribute obituary for her husband, and, as often happens at the Democrat, a casual conversation began between a vistor and the staff.

  • Our community, much like many others, has a problem. Really, it’s more of an overall societal problem. Simply put, we lack the willingness to hold each other accountable.

    I’m told there was a time accountability took place when people went to the polls on Election Day. I’m not sure I remember a time like that, but I respect those who’ve said it, so we’ll move on. Today, money and power can buy you out of accountability.

  • Confession –the gnome on the Travelocity commercial motivated this column.

    I like background noise when I work. This often means the television is on, but basically playing to an empty room. I’d listen to music, but I have a tendency put on a concert when my favorite songs come on, which means I lose focus on the task at hand.

  • By Grace Bingamer

    Summer isn’t over by the calendar, but if you have school aged children it is definitely coming to an end. The ads are full of specials on all the necessary supplies, and parents are digging deep to pay the book rental fees and purchase everything from new clothes to backpacks to lunch bags and pencils. How can they need and want so much when school just ended three short months ago?

  • In the winter of 1991, I attended a seminar for judges in San Diego, California. When I got on the plane at 6:30 a.m. in Evansville, Ind., it was 17 degrees and grey. It was 75 and sunny in southern California at noon. There may be a rare cynic out there who harbors the ungenerous thought those two statistics were my prime motivation; how unkind. It was knowledge I sought even if I had to endure such a variation in the weather.

  • By Phil Junker

    Another sign of the anticipated upcoming change from summer to fall is the arrival of the squirrel opener scheduled for this Saturday.

    Squirrel season usually kicks off a week earlier in Indiana than Kentucky, however this year both start Aug. 15. And, despite a cold 2014-15 winter, there appear to be a plenty of squirrels for hunters