Charles Pearl

‘Children are my life’: Ramonde Jacques serving Frankfort, Haitian youth

Raymonde Jacques, better known as Ms. Mondy in Frankfort, grew up in the small village of Samadek in the mountains of Haiti without the privilege of nearby schools and medical care. She says she “got just enough education to survive.” But Kentucky friends, who know of her lifelong commitment to helping less fortunate children get an education in her native country, feel she’s earned honorary doctorates in education and human services. She also loves working as a preschool teacher’s aide, which she has done for decades at Frankfort Independent’s Second Street School. “They call me a jack-of-all trades. I...

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Forging her own path: The Gambia native Sigga Jagne breaking tradition, building future

Sigga Jagne was the 24th child born to a well-respected educator in The Gambia in West Africa. Her father, Alhaji Mamour Jagne, who died at age 84 in 1993, had five wives during his lifetime including three at the same time. Sigga’s mother, his last wife, is younger than some of Sigga’s siblings. “Dad was a gentle soul,” Sigga said. “He was one of the first black principals of a recognized high school. He had a huge orchard with all kinds of fruit trees in a forest and would spend much time there in solitude, prayer, reading and writing....

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Fan favorite: Former Notre Dame coach Gerry Faust holds special place in writer’s heart

On Labor Day evening, when the legendary Notre Dame Fighting Irish played their first football game ever in Kentucky, Frankfort Independent Schools Superintendent Houston Barber was at University of Louisville’s Cardinal Stadium with 10 tickets. A valedictorian of Frankfort High School’s Class of 1994 and a state champion track and cross-country runner and now Hall of Fame recipient, Barber had the opportunity to go to Notre Dame on scholarship. Instead, he chose another Catholic college, Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where his sister, Carrie, was enrolled. Notre Dame and Marquette are huge rivals in basketball and other sports. But...

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‘Trace of Kentucky Bourbon’

Frankfort’s “Trace of Kentucky Bourbon Boat” has been catching plenty of national and international tourists in its first full year of operation. A Kentucky River Tours advertising card says it’s the nation’s “only boat-based bourbon tour.” But the strongest refreshments available on the 50-minute “Kentucky River Bourbon History Tour” are a Rebecca Ruth bourbon ball and an Ale 8. A sip of bourbon isn’t offered on the Bourbon Boat because in Kentucky it’s illegal to drink in a public place, outside of a licensed business, and Kentucky’s waterways are deemed public places. “Buffalo Trace Distillery is a great partner...

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Embracing impermanence: Tibetan monks teach loving kindness, compassion, generosity

Impermanence is always one of the teachings when the Tibetan Buddhist monks from Tashi Kyil Monastery in India come to Frankfort. They visited Kentucky’s capital around Memorial Day in 2013, during Christmas Candlelight Tour in 2015 and Valentine’s week in 2019. Each time, they’ve taken four days to create a beautiful, intricate World Peace mandala (sand painting), and then they destroy it and pour the sand into the Kentucky River to show us that everything is impermanent. Enjoy the moment. On all three visits here, the Tibetan monks will tell you they’ve witnessed teachings of loving kindness, compassion, generosity,...

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