Charles Pearl

Welcome to Kentucky: O’Donnell, Shipp helping immigrants get established in the bluegrass state

Margaret O’Donnell’s name is on the Frankfort Interfaith Council’s 2021 Ruby Layson Award for promoting the interfaith qualities of justice, compassion and human kindness. But the October evening she was recognized as the award recipient, O’Donnell quickly mentioned, in a kind way, that the plaque also should have included Becky Shipp’s name. Attorney O’Donnell, founder and executive director of the Frankfort Immigration Assistance Network (FIAN), thanked the council for recognizing immigrants. “Migration is the human condition, folks moving to find better opportunities and to be safe,” O’Donnell said. “Borders are unnatural barriers to that human condition. Immigrants are good,...

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From bed sheets to canvases, Ron DeVore grows into ‘stand out’ artist

The first piece of art 80-year-old Ron DeVore remembers drawing was a double-wing airplane. He drew it with a pencil on his mother’s new bed sheet when he was four years old. “She didn’t fuss at me, so I guess she liked it,” he recalls. “She just washed the sheet, and the drawing faded away. Back then, double-wing airplanes would fly over our house and I enjoyed looking at them. One day I just decided to draw one from memory.” Today, Ron and wife Shannon DeVore’s home at Perry Park Golf Resort in Owen County is filled with Ron’s...

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‘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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