Woodford County: Black history on postage stamps

In observance of Black History Month, the Woodford County Historical Society's Feb. 26 program featured William Douglas Smith of Ethnic Expression. Smith, who worked for the U.S. Postal Service in Frankfort for several years, shared his vast knowledge of U.S. postage stamps dedicated to African-Americans.

Smith offered a number of interesting facts about stamps. He noted that the first African-American stamp was issued in 1940, and that baseball great Jackie Robinson was featured on more stamps than any other African-American. Smith pointed out Robinson's connection to former Gov. A.B. "Happy" Chandler, a longtime resident of Versailles who was baseball commissioner when Robinson became the first black player in the major leagues.

Smith also noted that people must be dead at least 10 years before their images may appear on a stamp, with the exception of a U.S. president, whose picture may appear right away. More than 40,000 suggestions for stamps are submitted each year, Smith said.

He also displayed part of his vast collection of African and African-American memorabilia. Smith and his wife, the late Monica Smith, started their collection as a hobby in 1993. After showing their collection at a "show and tell" activity at Huntertown Elementary School, where their son was a student, they began sharing their collection at schools, churches, festivals, post offices and other sites.

For information about the historical society, call (859) 873-6786 or visit

Wrestler takes four state titles

Woodford County High School wrestler Harrison Courtney recently became the fifth wrestler in state history and the second WCHS wrestler to win four state titles. Harrison is also the first to win six regional titles. Harrison's high school wrestling career ended with 249 wins and 15 losses, ranking him ninth all-time nationally.

In the team standings, WCHS ranked sixth in the tournament. Other notable finishers were Travis Krauziewicz, third; Trey Gentry, fourth; Mack Logsdon, fifth; and Robert Bracco, seventh.

Teacher's article to be published

An article by Woodford County Middle School health teacher Jessica Hamilton Hall on alcohol use among Appalachian teens soon will be published in The American Journal of Health Behavior.

Art with Peeps

Damselfly Gallery in Midway will hold a Peeps art contest. Participants may use only Peeps in their work; artists may draw on the marshmallow figures or put them in a diorama, for instance, but may not disfigure them. Entrants will be divided into three age categories: 5- to 10-year-olds, 11- to 18-year-olds and adults. The winner in each category will receive a $25 gift certificate to Damselfly. The entry selected Best in Show will be awarded a $50 Damselfly gift certificate. All entries are due by Friday at Damselfly, 133 North Winter Street, Midway. Call (859) 494-8759.

Musical honors

Several Woodford County High School marching band members competed in the Kentucky Music Educators Association's recent solo and ensemble festival. Receiving distinguished ratings were Daniel James, solo snare drum; Kelly Corrigan, solo flute; Tayler Bambach, solo flute; Rachel Betts, solo French horn; and students from the school's Percussion Ensemble.

Tops in gymnastics

Central Kentucky Gymnastics Level 4 gymnasts finished their regular season March 13, taking third place in the team competition at the Derby Classic in Louisville. Each team member qualified through the course of the season for the state meet in April in Hopkinsville. Individual event awards for first, second or third place were earned by Mia Greene, Kelsey Woods, Mallori Cooper and Madison Briscoe. All-Around awards were earned by Woods, third place, and Cooper, first place. See a photo of the team on correspondent Penny Woods' blog at

WCHS academic team advances

The Woodford County High School academic team won first place in the 41st District Governors Cup competition. Advancing to regional competition are Bennett Coffey, Brad Elliot and J.R. Leach, math; Paige Bolcas, science; Bolcas, Lila Leatherman and Elizabeth Jacobs, language arts; Leach and Adam Horn, social studies; Elliot, Thomas Wilhoit and Hanna Leatherman, arts and humanities.

Bull's-eye, team

The Woodford County Middle School archery team won the Region 7 archery tournament with a score of 3,010 points. This was the first time a WCMS team scored more than 3,000 points. The sixth-grade team placed second in the elementary division. Both teams earned automatic placement in the Kentucky State Archery tournament.

Homecoming queen in state contest

Ashley Marie King, daughter of Kathy Lewis of Versailles, is a finalist for Kentucky's 29th annual Homecoming Queen Selection, to be held April 18 and 19 at Executive Inn West in Louisville. Ashley is this year's Woodford County High School homecoming queen. The state winner will receive a cash scholarship and an all-expense-paid trip to the national finals.

History program wins award

Midway's Living History Day, offered by the Midway Living History committee of Midway Renaissance, has been honored with an Award of Merit in the "education program for the public" category of the Kentucky History Awards. The award was presented March 7 at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History in Frankfort.

Midway needs July 4 volunteers

The City of Midway is forming a planning committee for its annual Independence Day celebration, Sparks in the Park. Committee volunteers will plan, organize and implement the event. To volunteer, call (859) 846-4413 or (859) 797-6568.