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View stories from Cynthiana and Harrison County, Kentucky

Cynthiana and Harrison County, Kentucky

October 29 - November 2, 2019

Residents call it the “Maiden City” because it was named for Cynthia and Anna, daughters of the man who donated land to start the town in 1793. All these years later, the Harrison County seat remains focused on family and community spirit.

A home away from home
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A home away from home

by Alejandro Meter
Biancke's invites its guests to put the phone down and talk to the person sitting at the next table. It’s a place where families and friends gather to reminisce and to dream of a better tomorrow.
Keeper of the Kentucky ghosts
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Keeper of the Kentucky ghosts

by Mackenzie Behm
Since Roger Slade’s father died when he was young, he fears losing his loved ones. Now, Roger is comforted by the afterlife and gives ghost tours in his haunted opera house.
A mayor of many hats
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A mayor of many hats

by Bonnie Arbittier
James Smith is in his second term as mayor of Cynthiana. He not only serves the townspeople but also fills the roles of theater owner, pastor, husband and ghost-tour guide.
Small town magic
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Small town magic

by Mia Hagerty
Reed and Ashton Masterson are illusionists who grew up practicing magic in Cynthiana and now perform hundreds of shows across the country. Magic has literally changed their lives.
Hunting for the brotherhood
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Hunting for the brotherhood

by Anthony Vazquez
Robin Gassett and his Licking River Outfitters provides wounded soldiers and disabled veterans with opportunities to hunt — and to bond with others like them.
God, family and taxidermy
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God, family and taxidermy

by Tori Schneider
After 48 years of marriage, Gary and Debbie Lizer have found a new togetherness in their time with their grandchildren, their faith and their work to preserve God's creation. 
Cynthiana's friend
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Cynthiana's friend

by Gabi Broekema
Austin Jones is known throughout Cynthiana for his happy energy. The 30-year-old man has Down syndrome. When he was young, the community banded together to watch out for him. Now, they're good friends.
A life of learning
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A life of learning

by Arden Barnes
Bruce Florence has learned that staying engaged is important as you grow older. She fills her time by finding a need in her community and working to fix it.
Family and football
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Family and football

by Esther Heath
With a long-term goal to help his mother, Harrison County High School athlete La'Darius Connor has the work ethic of a grown man.
The ballad of Kenny
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The ballad of Kenny

by Bridget Bennett
By day, Kenny Whitaker is a truck dispatcher. By night, he is Cynthiana's country balladeer. With songs of life and love, Whitaker explores how values, like music, change with age.
Cultivating a future
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Cultivating a future

by Matt Shiffler
Farming dates back in the Clifford family for six generations. With rising farm costs and reduced tobacco allotments, Ben finds new ways to support the family while still keeping the farm.
The recipe for life
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The recipe for life

by Sofie Mortensen
Bonnie Teater, 72, stays young by doing things for others. Her community is her passion. But Bonnie wonders what will happen when age forces her to slow down.
Transcending trauma
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Transcending trauma

by Meredith C. Browne
Elizabeth Gross is still haunted by the memories of her past. But in working to reconcile her pain, she found purpose.
Pioneers of hemp
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Pioneers of hemp

by Emma Steele
Jason Marshall and his family usher in the future at their Cynthiana CBD store, Rocky Ridge Hemp Company.
The keys to finding community
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The keys to finding community

by Erin Irwin
After a lifetime of being a daughter and caretaker, Beth Laytart is enjoying her newfound solitude. She doesn’t care for large crowds or social situations — unless she’s playing the piano.
Family legacy
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Family legacy

by Fahad Alotaibi
At his grandfather's request, Daniel Potter moved to Cynthiana to help run B.A. Maintenance Services, Inc., the family business George Velat had founded in 1987.
Somebody serious
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Somebody serious

by Andrew Thayer
Mike Jones always knew he was different. He grew up wanting to be like his brother and friends, writing lyrics on the front steps. Today, he is on the stage. 
A painter's purpose
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A painter's purpose

by Grace Armes
Herby Moore, 89, lives in a colorful world. Painting every day, he takes pleasure in sharing his historic Cynthiana scenes with old and young.
A Charizard dream come true
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A Charizard dream come true

by Sam Mallon
Alan Roque, a high school student with special needs, finds happiness is his love for a very special Pokémon character.
The shaper of many
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The shaper of many

by Donald Scott
Jerry Jenkins didn't have to go far to make an impact. The former principal and coach has been shaping lives since 1962. Now, in retirement, he is shaping something else.  
A legacy in a box
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A legacy in a box

by Reed Mattison
A 'farm for sale' ad caught David Kramer's eye 30 years ago and turned him from corporate to craftsman.
A force for good
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A force for good

by Katie Dance
Roboo Walker was told in 6th grade he wouldn't go to college. He proved them wrong. Now he’s back in that school, encouraging kids in ways he was not.
A family affair
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A family affair

by Chris Juhn
United by a passion for farming and family, the Switzers have adapted their work to stay on the land for five generations.
Just carrying it on
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Just carrying it on

by Yutao Chen
Taylena Cason Burgan runs VanHook Hardware with her husband, Kent. The family business has been around for more than a century, yet faces an uncertain future. 
Making her way home
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Making her way home

by Nick Rohlman
Once determined to never return to her hometown, Cynthiana native Annastasia Hicks is now embedded in her community and doesn't plan to leave it or the Ashford Acres Inn.
Sharing a life
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Sharing a life

by Silas Walker
What goes into almost 70 years of marriage? Jane and Tommy Kearns met in the first grade – and have been married for 68 years.
Classic caring
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Classic caring

by Ivy Ceballo
For Crystal Prather, Cynthiana's elders are family, and she cares for them in a way she says they deserve.
The road to recovery
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The road to recovery

by Pauline Tran
A mother and co-owner of an auto repair shop, Jackie Arnold struggles with her son's brain tumor diagnosis and related complications but is comforted by her strong community. 
Work and warmth
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Work and warmth

by Allie Ippolito
With her trademark smile and nice-to-meet-you attitude, hardworking Judy Northcutt makes friends wherever she goes.
For the love of horses
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For the love of horses

by Jacqueline Baylon
Debbie Shehadi was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and raised in New Jersey. But through determination, perseverance and guts, she achieved her dream of owning a Kentucky horse farm.
View from the Hilltop
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View from the Hilltop

by Steel Brooks
Lifelong cook Odus Fryman has owned the Hilltop Grill for six years, bridging family, community and, of course, food.
Cracking the code
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Cracking the code

by Lauren Glaze
Christine Garnett is bringing coding to elementary and high schools in Cynthiana. She is laying the foundation for young people to effectively navigate the virtual world. 
When the project is love
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When the project is love

by Alex Edelman
Karey Riddell, owner of The Burley Market, is raising her son, Wesley Smith, with laughter and love.
The 'Cheers' of Cynthiana
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The 'Cheers' of Cynthiana

by Gabrielle Saveri
Tanya and Bubba Blake are living their dream of owning a sports bar, the Drunken Monkey. But the experience is turning out to be harder than they ever imagined.
At home at Joe's Place
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At home at Joe's Place

by Huining Fan
For Joe Chambers' family and many of his customers, Joe's Place Bar and Grill feels like home.
Back from the brink
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Back from the brink

by Nicole Craine
After buying the last breeding herd of Gotland ponies in North America, Leslie Bebensee revived the rare breed. Today, she inspires others to embrace preservation and sustainability.
Gone country
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Gone country

by Nacogdoches Miller
O.C. Jones, a sergeant with the Cynthiana Police Department, is a self-described “city boy gone country.” O.C. lives in a log cabin with his wife and works to be self-reliant.
High stakes farming
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High stakes farming

by Austin Smock
Brandon Barnett comes from a long line of tobacco farmers. With the crop's decline, he is searching for the next big crop to keep the farming tradition in his family. 
Law and land
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Law and land

by Carlin Stiehl
Family Court Judge Heather Fryman finds a balance between her work and her home life on the farm where she lives with her husband, two daughters and almost 200 animals.
Curtain call to action
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Curtain call to action

by Tyler Beatty
In high school, theater was her refuge. Now Katelyn Chanslor works to bring Cynthiana a children's theater program, with the hope of directing her students toward a brighter future.
Farm life lessons
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Farm life lessons

by Sarah Yenesel
With help from a close-knit family, Heather and Bradley Price are passing along the values of family and hard work to their children.
Nourishing her roots
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Nourishing her roots

by Jovelle Tamayo
For Kim Wilson, Cynthiana has been and always will be home. Her love for this changing community has kept her focused on her business and family.
Winning battles, fighting the war
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Winning battles, fighting the war

by Ellen Schmidt
Cynthiana farm owner Mike Church is fighting battles on and off Civil War re-enactment battlefields.
Nurses' bond
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Nurses' bond

by MaCabe Brown
As a hospice nurse, Sharon Adams travels Harrison County caring for people like Lina Dailey, 101, with whom she shares a passion for helping others.
A chosen family
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A chosen family

by Anthony Eyring
Belly laughter, heavy lifting and beloved customers are all part of a day's work for the four core employees at Kenny's Value Center in Berry.
Farming is his life
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Farming is his life

by Gaelen Morse
Lowell Clifford has been farming for most of life. Widowed and growing older, his passion for farming endures. But his struggle to maintain the farm grows.
A good day to save a life
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A good day to save a life

by Kelley Jordan Schuyler
At 60, Cynthiana nursing teacher Luanne Wilson saves lives and pushes the limits, including her own.
Together in paradise
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Together in paradise

by Lily Thompson
Avi and Karen Bear grew up in two different worlds, but they built a life together and now live in their own piece of heaven in Harrison County.
Small department. Big heart.
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Small department. Big heart.

by Julianna Leach
Whether it’s working in the Cynthiana Fire Department, volunteering in the community or training his bird dogs, it’s always a family thing for Fire Chief Jay Sanders.
A certain kind of woman
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A certain kind of woman

by Katrina Kirsch
At a Cynthiana manufacturing plant, women reveal the characteristic that helps them succeed in the male-dominated sector.
The traveling library
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The traveling library

by Dustin Massengill
Ada Adair drives the bookmobile around Harrison County, delivering books for the Cynthiana-Harrison County Public Library. She hopes the traveling billboard invites residents to other library events.
Clip off the old block
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Clip off the old block

by Autumn Alexander
Jerry Adams and his daughter, April Emery, have been cutting hair together at their Custom Cuts shop — and learning from each other — for 13 years.
'A spoke in the wheel'
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'A spoke in the wheel'

by Jessica Tezak
Brad Allison wholeheartedly devotes his time to supporting young people in Harrison County through the schools and his church.
Life, family and dance
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Life, family and dance

by Tina Russell
High school senior Anna Midden juggles dance, family, school and work while pushing toward her dream of becoming a Rockette at New York's Radio City Music Hall.
Rooted in friendship
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Rooted in friendship

by Lindsay Talley
Lifelong farmer Chappie Mastin approaches his retirement with a strong sense of community support from his peers.
Made from scratch
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Made from scratch

by Silka Houghton
At Harrison County High School, Jennifer Grause is building career paths for her students; it all starts in the kitchen.
Finding Furever Homes
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Finding Furever Homes

by Joeleen Hubbard
Shonda Judy, a local photographer, increases animal adoption rates and educates the community about animal welfare by photographing animals in the local shelter and managing a local nonprofit.
Family tradition
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Family tradition

by Paul Frangipane
Three generations of women have dedicated their lives to caring for patients at Harrison Memorial Hospital
Life and death decisions
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Life and death decisions

by Lauren Santucci
Veterinarian Emily Bridge treats pets and farm animals in her community.
Full service and so much more
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Full service and so much more

by David Coulson
When Dennis Motell opened the Harrison County Auto Shop 24 years ago, he found more than customers. And they found more than a mechanic.
All in the family
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All in the family

by Carolyne Corelis
Boyd machinist and entrepreneur Sonny Spicer works hard for — and with — his family
A good start in life
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A good start in life

by Yawen Wu
Social worker Megan Nickerson counsels expectant parents on healthy homes for children. As a single mom in college, she had help from the same program.
Middle school sweethearts
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Middle school sweethearts

by August Gravatte
Laura and Josh Ashbrook, together since seventh grade, share teaching careers and a busy family life with two young children.
Old school tobacco
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Old school tobacco

by Michelle Sukstorf
Harrison County factory produces Kentucky's Best brand cigarettes and pouch tobacco with old European machinery and local workers.
Last breath of sawdust
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Last breath of sawdust

by Matt Couch
Bobby Poindexter and Bill Selin know the slow end of their family's once-bustling company is coming. But for now, they're open for business.