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GRC students recognized for support of Main Street

By Winchester Sun

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Published 12:37 pm Friday, June 19, 2020

Two recent George Rogers Clark High School graduates, Caroline Cuccinelli and Hannah Curreri, were recognized Thursday by the Main Street Winchester Board of Directors for their support of the program and promotion of downtown Winchester during their senior year.
Sherry Richardson, promotions chair of Main Street Winchester, said the program wanted to connect with high school students to get youth involved, and Cuccinelli and Curreri responded by writing for their school newspaper, Smoke Signals, about things going on downtown and making a series of videos interviewing local businessowners.
The watch the video series, visit grcsmokesignals.net or like the newspaper’s Facebook page, GRC Newspaper.
To show their appreciation for their efforts, downtown businesses and the Ale-8-One Bottling Company teamed up and got the girls some gifts, which board members presented Thursday afternoon on North Main Street.
Among those who were there to present the gifts were board members Robert Blanton, Kitty Strode, Rachael Boyd and Richardson.
The journalism students’ teacher, Shanda Crosby and family members of the students also attended.
“I think it was such a great experience for us to learn about Main Street ourselves and for us to enlighten others about it,” Curreri said. “Main Street is such a focal of Winchester, and I think that everybody needs to know how important it is to support your downtown …”
The students were also part of a small committee established to focus on downtown Winchester’s image development.
“We’re really thankful that they have honored us in this way,” Caroline said. “We love being a part of the committee, and it’s just really been a great experience for us.”
Curreri said downtown Winchester in an “awesome place,” and she’s been excited to learn about this growth.
“They’ve really done a good job of restoring it recently, and … it’s so lively, and everyone’s so closely knit together, and it’s a great place to come and support one another and a great place to spend your day,” she said.

BLM Paddle Out event highlights race issues

A two-hour drive to attend an early Saturday morning event might be extreme to some, but for Evan Young of West Virginia, “It seemed like a short drive for such a great cause.”

On a sunny morning at Fort Boonesborough State Park, about 70 people paddled out into the water to observe 8 minutes and 47 seconds of silence — the exact amount of time George Floyd laid on the ground under the knee of a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, weeks ago.

The event, hosted by the Explore Kentucky Initiative, The Waterman Series and members of the paddle board community, began with guest speakers who discussed not only the issues of racism and identity bias in law enforcement, but also other issues regarding people of color and outdoor activities.

Gerry Seavo James, the founder of the Explore Kentucky Initiative, discussed the complicated history between people of color and outdoor parks. According to James, Black people were only allowed to enter one Kentucky State Park up until the ’60s. Today, these recreational areas are still “places of pain” for some.

Candidate for State Representative of the 81st District Martina Jackson attended the event and was one of the guest speakers. Jackson said issues of race and inclusion often go further than police brutality and can be found in even the smallest aspects of daily life.

“Diversity and inclusion means other aspects like the outdoors. Part of that conversation is saying ‘why don’t we see more people of color in outdoor recreational activities?’” Jackson said.

According to James, natural areas in Kentucky historically had “sundown towns” around them — towns that required any Black person(s) to exit the town before sundown. This and other historical aspects may have led to unconscious biases about people of color and their participation in outdoor activities, James said.

“The big thing is that we want people to be focusing on inclusivity and unconscious biases, (such as) unconscious biases that Black people don’t want to go kayaking and hiking,” James said.

Other issues may evolve from socioeconomic status. Jackson said neighborhoods that are lower income or historically Black are less likely to receive funding for things like parks and hiking trails. This continues to discourage children of color to become involved in outdoor activities.

James said the event had a good turnout and that people from all around the state came, as well as some who travelled from out of state like Young.

Young said when he was asked to attend the event, it was almost an instant yes. He explained he is close with James and promotes attending events that raise awareness for such important topics.

“It was great how Gerry got it started. (It was) nice to take a moment and listen to their stories and then getting out on the water for that 8 minutes was just moving. We were all united and silent for a reason. It was one of those divine moments,” Young said.

Young, who owns Appalachian Boarding Company, brought a van full of paddle boards for participants who wanted to pop in the water and participate. He said the paddle board community is very inclusive of “any age, race, religion, creed or color,” and events like this continue to highlight that sense of unity.

James said he hopes events such as this one help to open up people’s minds about how we view racism and racial injustice.

“We kind of have this cookie cutter view on racism and discrimination. We think, ‘Oh OK, slavery ended,’ and ‘Oh OK, Martin Luther King and desegregation,’ but people don’t think about the systematic structures (still in place today),” he said.

Jackson also expressed her hope for the larger community to open their eyes to the smaller issues people of color still face.

“We want everyone to be represented and really enjoy life and not have these barriers in place, from police brutality to outdoor activity. We start by showing up and building,” Jackson stated.

Kentucky’s Ale-8 Soda Is Bourbon’s Best Friend

words: MANDY NAGLICH

illustration: GERRY SELIAN

Kentucky is home to a local drink that makes residents beam with pride. Made from the same family recipe for generations, it’s a staple anywhere from casual hikes through national forests to formal events and weddings, and common complement to — and often cause for — celebration.

But this is no small-batch bourbon (although it does make an excellent match for Kentucky’s finest). This is Ale-8-One, a ginger-citrus soft drink that’s been distributed here since 1926, and has made its mark on nearly every pillar of Kentucky drinking culture since.

If bourbon is America’s spirit, then Ale-8-One, better known to locals as simply “Ale-8,” is Kentucky’s mixer.

While spectators in the stands of the Kentucky Derby sip Mint Juleps, tailgaters in the parking lot gather around “Kentucky Classics,” a cocktail of Ale-8 and bourbon. Both of Kentucky’s premier universities, Louisville University and the University of Kentucky, serve the craft soda at campus events. And for outdoors enthusiasts in east-central Kentucky, a visit to the iconic canyon system, Red River Gorge, simply isn’t complete without one.

“Oh, yeah, there is Ale-8 right there at the welcome center,” says Stacy Bovee, a freelance stylist who hikes “the gorge” often. On her first visit, fellow hikers clued her into the tradition: toasting the finish of a hike with a bottle of Ale-8. She now orders one at the gorge’s most popular restaurant, Miguel’s Pizza, after every visit — and she doesn’t even really drink soda, she says.

Ale-8’s vessel is perhaps equally revered: Some swear it tastes better in its emblematic heavy glass bottle, even going as far as to conspire that this is, intentionally, a different recipe. (Ale-8-One Bottling Co. marketing director Chris Doyle assures that’s not true: “For the hardcore fans, the experience of having a cold Ale-8 in the thick glass longneck bottle is really meaningful,” he says.)

In any case, the green glass is an integral part of the experience. On Bovee’s hikes at the gorge, “You’re out in nature drinking out of a glass bottle — it’s not a can or plastic,” she says. “It’s really nostalgic.”

That heavy glass is there for more than optics or sentiment. The recognizable “longnecks” are returnable and refillable: In fact, every Ale-8-One longneck bottle gets reused 6.8 times on average (after going through a three-step cleaning process), according to the company.

This, too, is an almost century-old tradition. Ale-8-One was served out of reusable bottles when it was first released in the 1920s, “and we just never stopped,” says Doyle. Continuing to collect, inspect, clean, and refill bottles requires special equipment and extra time, which is why, by the 1970s, other beverage companies had largely discontinued the practice. Ale-8 is only able to keep up the practice, Doyle says, because of its dedicated fan base — one that stretches from its factory in Winchester, Ky., to Ohio. Retail partners pitch in, too: Chains like Kroger grocery stores make drop-off easy for both customers and the bottling company.

After years of decline, the refillable bottles are gaining popularity — saving resources for the company as well as for the greater region, Doyle says. As part of the 1% for the Planet initiative, 1 percent of longneck sales are designated for protecting natural land areas in Kentucky. Included in these areas are, in full-circle satisfaction, the forests and canyons of Red River Gorge.

The adoration and success of Ale-8’s sugar-and-corn-sweetened soft drinks could be written off as nostalgia, or a regional quirk. Its popularity is at least partly owed to the pride its fans feel in supporting a nearly century-old, family-owned drink. Perhaps its light carbonation, hint of citrus, and ginger kick really is the ultimate complement to bourbon, and that’s why so many couples insist on serving it at their weddings. Perhaps its sweet enjoyment is the reason teenagers take photos with it before prom.

And it might be Ale-8’s sustainable bottles and support of local parks that thousands of hikers reach for it as their beverage of choice every year. Or maybe there’s a hint of magic when local pride mixes with a secret family recipe, and if you sip one under the right Kentucky sunset, you’ll be under Ale-8’s spell, too.

Ed. note: At press time, Miguel’s Pizza is open for outdoor seating and pickup.

Pioneer Festival canceled for first time

By Fred Petke

Published 12:30 pm Saturday, May 30, 2020

For the first time in 41 years, there will not be a Daniel Boone Pioneer Festival this year.

The cancellation was announced Friday afternoon for the annual Labor Day weekend event.

“The Pioneer Festival has been such an institution for people and a homecoming,” Winchester-Clark County Tourism Director Nancy Turner said. “It’s hard times.”

The Pioneer Festival is the third summer event to be called off, following the Beer Cheese Festival and the Clark County Fair, because of the coronavirus and the continuing uncertainty around the pandemic.

The event fills College Park for two days with crafts booths and vendors in the park and an art show in the gymnasium. Sunday night brings the concert at Lykins Park. Turner said the artists had been identified for this year, but no contracts had been signed.

“It’s a hard decision because so many of our non-profits make their money for the year” at the festival, she said.

It’s hard for the craftspeople and vendors as well, she said. One musician said he had already lost 40 dates prior to the Pioneer Festival, she said.

“The trickle down effect is sobering,” she said. “Tourism was the first and hardest hit industry. When (local governments) lose tax revenue, they have to make hard choices. As the city and county have cut their budgets, a lot of our work for the festival has been also been cut.”

Small businesses are struggling as well.

“So many of our sponsors are small businesses,” she said. “How do you ask them for money right now?”

Maintaining proper spacing is another major concern.

“How do you socially distance the crowd?” she said. “There’s so much animosity between those who take it seriously and those who don’t. How do you do it safely?”

ALE-8 ORANGE BACK JUST IN TIME FOR SUMMER

By Steve Rogers -May 29, 2020

WINCHESTER, Ky. (WTVQ) – A relatively new regional tradition is making its return, just in time for summer.

Ale-8-One announced Friday its seasonal flavor, Orange Cream Ale-8, will be back in early June.

With notes of orange and sweet vanilla cream, Orange Cream Ale-8 made its debut last May and was only the second new flavor for the company in the last 94-years.

At just 120 calories, it has no artificial flavors or sweeteners but does contain the secret family recipe which was developed in 1926 and is present in all Ale-8 varieties, according to the company

“Ale-8 fans in our core market have been requesting Orange Cream since it ran out last summer. We are excited to bring it back this year with expanded availability,” said Ale-8 COO Ellen McGeeney. “The timing feels right for a flavor that reminds us of nostalgic feelings of Dreamsicles and simpler days. We are pleased that beginning in June it will be available in the Cincinnati area while supplies last.”

The company will just produce a small batch of Orange Cream with a limited number of bottles and when they are gone, they are gone until next summer.

However, Orange Cream Ale-8 will be more widely available this summer throughout the Commonwealth.

Distribution partners have added the metropolitan areas of Louisville and Cincinnati to Ale-8’s strong presence in central, eastern, and southeastern Kentucky. In the western part of the state, it can be found in the regions of Bowling Green and Owensboro.

Retailers that will carry Orange Cream Ale-8 include Kroger, Walmart, Meijer, Sam’s Club, and Costco. It can also be purchased on the company’s website.

Ale-8-One Bottling Company was founded in 1902 by G.L. Wainscott in Winchester, Ky., and remains the oldest, privately-held bottler in the United States still owned and operated by the founding family.

Ale-8-One soft drink has been bottled in green glass in Winchester since 1926.

The only soft drink invented in Kentucky still in existence, Ale-8’s proprietary blend is flavored with real ginger and citrus and contains less carbonation and fewer calories than conventional sodas.

McCANN: Local history available online By Winchester Sun

By Winchester Sun

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Published 11:41 am Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Like so many things during this pandemic, it is hard to visit museums, attend religious events and go to sports or arts events.

On the other hand, there are a lot of arts and cultural event opportunities online both locally and as far away as Paris, France.

When this period of social distancing has passed, perhaps you can visit some of those places.

In the meantime, start by visiting the Bluegrass Heritage Museum and the Winchester Black History and Heritage Committee websites online.

Bluegrass Heritage Museum

The museum is much more interesting to visit in person. For such a small space, its exhibit space is cram-packed.

But online,(https://bgheritage.com/) there is a lot to read about and much to discover about Winchester and Clark County.

Links that you may particularly enjoy are those for black history, exhibits, genealogy, online documents and stories.

Under the black history link are articles written by Lyndon Comstock and Harry Enoch along with photos. Articles in this section concern the Rev. Henry Baker, Billy Bush, Elaine Ferris, Lyletown, Oliver School athletics, Poynterville and more.

The exhibits link allows visitors to view each room of the museum. It’s not the same as visiting in person, but it is a reasonable facsimile of a visit. The exhibit rooms photographed here are: Adams photos (pictures taken by Charles Lewis Adams during his services in the Pacific Theatre during World War II), agriculture, the Bean room, the Civil War exhibit, Clark County, the Guerrant room, the military room, the telephone room, the quilt room, The Winchester Sun photos and a virtual tour of the museum.

The online documents link is one of the most useable links on the website with access to articles by local historians Jerry Cecil and Harry Enoch, including “Bush Family Graveyard Tour” by Harry Enoch, “Early School Houses in Clark County” by Jerry Cecil and “A Tour of Places No Longer There: The Parking Lots of Winchester” by Harry Enoch.

The parking lot tour, if printed out, could provide a way to share local heritage sites with family on days when being inside seems too hard to endure for another moment. Twenty-three pages with discussion and photos of 18 local sites of buildings in Winchester and Clark County may help you get out and about for a day.

Without a doubt, one of the best links is “stories” which has four short videos: “Guys and Girls: Saturday at the Leeds,” “People Gathered at the Depot: President Truman Visits Winchester” and “Generations of Mission and Medicine.” Each video runs four minutes or less, narrated by either Clarence Bloomfield or Wallace Guerrant.

Finally, the link that is a work in progress is the one titled “genealogy,” which contains sources and information about Clark County families compiled by the late Kathryn Owens.

This is a portion of the website that might best be described as “under construction” since, as of today, it contains only information about families whose last names begin with the letters A or B — Adams to Bybee.

Winchester Black History and Heritage Committee

Not to be overlooked is the new website of The Winchester Black History and Heritage Committee (http://www.winchesterblackhistoryandheritagecommittee.org).

At this point, much of what is on this site can also be found on the site of Bluegrass Heritage Museum.

Yet, there are signs that the Black History and Heritage website is taking on a tone and substance all its own.

The Heritage Trail link provides a map of African-American heritage sites in or near downtown Winchester. You can download and print the map, and then drive (or walk) the Heritage Trail to read about the sites and people who are its subjects.

Another interesting link on this page is one titled, “Oral History.” This link is a series of interviews with Sherman Greene conducted by Jane Burnam and Harry Enoch. The interview, which runs more than three hours, is not yet posted in full, but the 15 minutes or so that are posted are certainly interesting.

It will be interesting to see this website evolve and take on its own flair in the days and weeks ahead, particularly as more of Greene’s interview is posted.

Bill McCann is a playwright, poet, flash fiction writer and teacher who writes about arts events and personalities. He can be reached at [email protected]

Hall’s Beer Cheese launches newest addition to the family, Hall’s Benedictine Spread

NEWS PROVIDED BYHGPink PR

May 27, 2020, 17:24

LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY, UNITED STATES, May 27, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ — Hall’s Beer Cheese LLC is the dips and spreads company behind nationally recognized Hall’s Beer Cheese, the original beer cheese that has been made continuously since the 1930s, and has just released a new addition to their production line of specialty dairy products. The Hall’s Benedictine Spread will be available beginning Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at Liquor Barn retailers across Kentucky. The product will also be available to all national consumers on beercheese.com. As part of the launch promotion of the Benedictine Spread, Hall’s is offering a “Father’s Day” subscription box on the beercheese.com website that will include a sampling of their suite of spreads. The promotional box will include, three (3) 8oz. containers of the Hall’s Beer Cheese Hot, two (2) 8oz. of the Original Hall’s Beer Cheese, and a single of the new Benedictine Spread. The discounted box will also ship out a mystery gift with each subscription box. This promotional box allows for loyal consumers to benefit from the discounted pricing on their bestsellers and sample the newest member of the family. The Benedictine Spread has been carefully crafted to be true to the flavor and texture and ingredients of the spread that was handmade at Hall’s Restaurant, with the focus on a high-quality product that consumers associate with the Hall’s Beer Cheese brand. The Benedictine Spread features a crisp cucumber flavor that is paired perfectly with a range of accompaniments from crackers, flatbreads, and bagels.

“We wanted to bring back an old southern favorite which meets the elevated palates of today’s consumers who appreciate fresh and diverse flavors and textures . Our success with the Hot and Original Beer Cheese is a tough act to follow so we wanted to make sure we got this one right. The feedback has been tremendous on the Benedictine and we are excited that consumers can now try it for themselves.” says Kit Crase, Hall’s Beer Cheese owner.

About Hall’s Beer Cheese: It started as a spicy appetizer enjoyed by Central Kentuckians dining by the Kentucky River, at a location that has had a restaurant or trading post since the 1700’s, and has been Halls Restaurant for nearly a century. Hall’s Beer Cheese has developed into an internationally recognized brand. Taste of the South, Southern Living, the Wall Street Journal, Food Network and others have featured the original beer cheese spread. The unique flavor of Hall’s Beer Cheese begins with aged Wisconsin sharp cheddar cheese and finishes with a bit of spice that provides the “snap” to Hall’s Snappy Beer Cheese.

Hall’s is a locally owned business based in Mount Vernon, Kentucky.

For more info on Hall’s Beer Cheese and please visit; beercheese.com

Harkness Edwards Vineyards donates to Coronavirus Relief Fund

By Whitney Leggett

Published 12:30 pm Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Nini Edwards, second from right, and Cathy Edwards, far right, present a check for $7,786 to the Coronavirus Relief Fund, which is facilitated by the Blue Grass Community Foundation and United Way of the Bluegrass. Accepting the check is Halee Cunningham, gift planning officer and deputy counsel for BGCF, second from left. Also pictured is Cindy Banks, executive director of the Winchester-Clark County Chamber of Commerce. The presentation was made at the BGCF offices on High Street in Lexington Friday. Nini Edwards said the money was raised from the local vineyard and winery’s sales of “adult Capri Suns,” which are pouches of sangria-style beverages. During April, $2 from each purchase of the drinks was put toward the Coronavirus Relief Fund efforts. (Photo by Whitney Leggett)

ALE-8-ONE HONORS LOCAL GRADUATES WITH SPECIAL EDITION BOTTLE

By Tom Kenny -May 5, 2020

WINCHESTER, Ky. (WTVQ) – Winchester-based Ale-8-One honored local high school graduates with a limited edition specialty soft drink label.

The label pays tribute to the 2020 Class of George Rogers Clark High School in Winchester.

Because of the coronavirus, the Class of 2020 across the country has missed out on things like prom, spring sports and traditional graduations.

Ale-8-One wanted to do its part to recognize and pay tribute to a class that has shown class during a difficult time when the coronavirus was robbing them of so many lifetime memories.

Clark home to two 2020 Certified Farm Markets

By Winchester Sun

Published 10:32 am Friday, May 1, 2020

Beech Springs Farm Market and Fink Meats of Clark County are two of the 103 markets across the Commonwealth accepted into the 2020 Kentucky Farm Bureau Certified Farm Market Program.

In joining the KFB Certified Farm Market Program, these markets have committed to offering quality products and service to their customers.

Acceptance by Farm Bureau tells customers that this market meets the highest standards of quality, freshness and marketing appeal.

Located off Highway 627 South in Winchester, Beech Springs Farm Market is a seasonal market featuring fresh fruits, vegetables, beer cheese and honey along with other local and Kentucky Proud products. Their fried pies are also a favorite for guests. Seasonal fall and spring plants and decor are also featured in a picturesque setting. Visit their Facebook and Instagram pages for more information.

Fink Meats provides customers frozen lamb retail cuts. Their meat comes from lambs raised on their farm and processed in a USDA facility. Additionally, Fink Meats provides their customers recipes and cooking tips upon request.

In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, Certified Farm Market members around the state are implementing recommended best practices for keeping employees and customers safe during the pandemic.

Our markets are working hard to provide Kentucky consumers with a safe and local food source

“As we reach an exciting 25-year milestone within the Kentucky Farm Bureau Certified Farm Market program, I would like to thank all those who have been participating for so many years, and I welcome our new members,” KFB President Mark Haney said. “It is such an important time in the life of our local markets as more and more people discover the benefits of good, wholesome, locally grown and produced goods. We look forward to another 25 years of continued success.”

Markets certified through this program are identified by the KFB Certified Farm Market logo and listed in an online directory.

The program also provides collective advertising, promotional items, educational tour opportunities and other marketing benefits with the intent to increase the net farm income of member markets.

Markets certified through this program are identified by the KFB Certified Farm Market logo and listed in an online directory.

The program also provides collective advertising, promotional items, educational tour opportunities and other marketing benefits with the intent to increase the net farm income of member markets.


With local arts center closed, residents take to performing at home

By Fred Petke

Published 11:08 am Tuesday, April 28, 2020

What do you do when you have a group of performers and your performance space is closed?

You take to people’s porches.

As Leeds Center for the Arts has been closed for the coronavirus pandemic, the theater has been hosting “porch performances” every other week on its social media platforms.

“As creatives, it’s very difficult to pivot and reinvent how we perform art out there,” Leeds Director Tracey Miller said. “It’s an important part of who we are.”

The porch performances, she said, are an opportunity for anyone to post a video of themselves or someone else in an artistic pursuit.

“Every two weeks, there’s a window of time where we ask people to submit a video of them performing on Facebook,” Miller said. “We’ve had everything from poems to songs to dances. It’s been really great.”

It truly is open to anyone, she said.

“It’s not just Leeds people,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of community people participating as well. Last weekend, (Winchester City Commissioner) Ramsey Flynn played banjo.”

The next window opens Friday, she said.

“It is really fun,” she said. “There are kids of all ages.”

The Leeds performers are tackling another project in the coming days.

“We are getting ready to start writing letters to people in the community who may not have a lot of support in the community,” she said.

She said they will be writing about 470 letters of support and hope, which will be included in food boxes distributed by Clark County Community Services.

“It’s not the same, but it’s OK,” she said. “As with everyone else, we don’t have any income. We just want to continue being who we are: a community venue that makes a difference.”

Kentucky man makes his own green light using an Ale-8 bottle

WLKY

Updated: 1:02 PM EDT Apr 27, 2020

The notion of Team Kentucky is alive and well in the state, something Gov. Andy Beshear has hammered in since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in the state.

Since the first deaths of Kentuckians, Beshear has asked the community to turn on a green light in their honor as a show of compassion.

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Well if you didn’t already have a green light, you may have had to resort to using what you already have.

That’s what Joseph Caliem Hardin did. In fact, he got creative and made maybe the most Kentucky version of the green light we’ve seen.

Hardin said he used the iconic (at least to Kentucky) Ale-8-One green bottle to change the color of his light.

Here’s how he did it: He cut the bottle using string and then hot glued an LED lightbulb into the bottle. Hardin said since the LED bulb produces little to no heat, it should be safe to leave on for long periods.

Both Hardin and WLKY urge using caution when making your own light bulb covering.