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First Street Brewery offers new flavor downtown

Campbellsville is urbanizing with the addition of another downtown business.

First Street Brewery is the first of its kind in the area, boasting craft beers on tap from across the globe.

Owners Jeff and Tracy Perry are fulfilling a vision to create a sophisticated space for people to experience life firsthand.

“We wanted somewhere that people could gather and have a great experience,” Tracy said. “And we also wanted to offer a variety of things so that people wouldn’t have to drive out of town to get it.”

With 12 craft beers on tap, the Perrys made sure to supply flavors for every palate.

“I like most beers, but I really like the darks,” Jeff said. “I’m not as big of a fan of the sours.”

“I don’t really like beer, I definitely prefer the sours,” Tracy said.

Breaking away from the status quo, Jeff was adamant that their business only supply craft beers, strictly prohibiting popular domestics like Bud Light and Michelob.

“It’s about creating an experience,” Tracy said. “And part of that is sticking to our vision.”

Diving into the business headfirst, the Perrys worked their way backward, purchasing their building and equipment ahead of creating a business plan.

“We did it totally backwards, there’s no sugarcoating it,” Jeff said. “Most people that want to open a brewery homebrew for a few years, get together with friends and set out a structure of the business. We bought the building in October and the equipment in May.”

After stumbling across the building and realizing the potential, the Perrys listened to their intuition and went all in.

“The big thing for us was that we were worried about someone coming in if they were an investor or they were a partner and telling us what we had to do,” Jeff added.

“People wanted to push us to be something else,” Tracy said. “But we are building something solid and we have our mind and our hearts set on having a nice atmosphere where people can gather in a space together. We don’t want TVs everywhere; we don’t want a sports bar. We wanted something different and something solid so that our children will eventually take over and continue the business.”

With a mission to create an inclusive space, the Perrys display various international flags upstairs.

“We have children in the military. One is living in London and one in Belgium, so we have those flags displayed,” Tracy said. “Jeff has a sister that lives in Australia as well, so we have that flag too. People that want to have their flags added are more than welcome to, we want to create connections and really make this a place of diversity and commonality.”

Newly established empty nesters, the Perrys’ dream came with some fortunate timing.

“Had we have waited much longer we wouldn’t have done this,” Tracy said. “We bought a building in the right place without even knowing we did. We didn’t know what all went in to opening up a place, but it has all worked out and we’ve been lucky.”

First Street Brewery also offers a selection of Heritage Wines locally produced by The Vineyard pastor Adam Russell.

Customers that don’t partake in alcohol are welcome with other beverage options like Red Bull, Coca-Cola, Sprite and water.

Unique menu items include beer flights, jumbo pretzels and beer cheese, truffle popcorn, pickled eggs and grazing boards.

First Street Brewery is at 222 First St, and is open from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, from 5-11 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 3-11 p.m. Saturday and 3-8 p.m. Sunday.


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TCSD celebrates School Board Appreciation month

With a majority of the meeting dedicated to recognitions, the big decision item for the Taylor County School Board monthly meeting Monday was the approval of the school calendar for 2023-2024.

Presenting the recommendation from the calendar committee, TCSD is set to return to school in mid-August next year.

“This is the middle of the road option,” Superintendent Charles Higdon said. “We won’t go back too early or start later like we did this year.”

In new business, Higdon and Maddie Gumm, marketing director, announced a new addition within the current high school: a Hall of Greats.

“Lots of schools have athletic Halls of Fame, but I think in our district that we are so well-rounded that we need to recognize the greats in all of our areas,” Higdon said. “How could we not recognize the agriculture pioneers that we have here, and the arts and music greats? How can we not highlight our alumni and academic accomplishments?”

According to Gumm, the TC Hall of Greats will recognize four areas: athletics, agriculture, arts and music and alumni and academics.

Each area will be served by committee members such as Lisa Gupton, Stephen Bishop, Ryan Williams, Lindsey Wayne, Chris Goodin and other alumni.

Nominations for each category will open soon with further information to be announced.

“We are going to have the walls marked up with people in the history of TC,” Higdon added, smiling proudly. “When you come through our district, it’s going to tell a story about the people that came before all of us and I’m pretty hyped about it.”

Following the re-election of board members David Hall and DeAnna Hunt, both members were sworn into office and re-elected to their previous positions: Hall being nominated and affirmed as board chair and Hunt as vice chair.

“Every year I say that I want to take a moment, a few minutes to write something down for that first meeting about what we are doing, but every year I fail to write it down,” Hall smiled. “It’s not that it’s not important because it is, but it’s an opportunity for us to look towards a new year and each of us has an election as some point in time to reaffirm our office. Tonight is school board appreciation night, but I know for the five of us, our greatest appreciation is to have a staff and a district that we can be proud of like this one; that we have administrative staff that gets along and that we as a group have no agendas beyond trying to do what’s best for kids. There’s not a one of us that doesn’t look at cooperation and trying to get along and what we can do in the community, so we thank you for the opportunity to represent you and be here.”

In honor of School Board Appreciation Month, each of the school principals presented board members with gift baskets while Gumm and Public Relations Specialist John Moore presented a video highlighting the works of the board over the last several years.

“These are not paid positions,” Higdon said. “You’re pretty much volunteering your time to work for the community as representatives of the entire community to figure out the best way to serve kids and how to educate. We serve the people, and you all are certainly servants with servant hearts for all you take and continue to do year after year.”

Elementary and middle school Cardinal Academy and Beta Club students presented personal handmade gifts to board members and spoke on the impact the program has left on them.

With each student contributing a sentence or two, the group delivered a message, “On behalf of Taylor County Schools, we would like to thank you for all that you do. We appreciate your hard work and dedication to us. We just want to say thank you for all that you’ve given us and counting every single student in Taylor County Schools.”

Phoenix Hurtgen, 11, said that Cardinal Academy is “amazing and super involved and definitely a really great break from the typical school day.”

Following recognitions, newly elected district Kentucky Education Association president Casey Young updated the board on the resurrection of the local KEA chapter.

Returning to an old tradition of KEA spotlights, Young featured the club’s first TCEA certificate recipient Sarah Lockard.

Lockard is a 25-year veteran teacher, currently teaching music at TCPC and TCIS. In addition to her regular classroom duties, Lockard also serves as director of the TC Songbirds, a choir for second and third graders as well as Cardinal Chorus for fourth and fifth graders.

With a laundry list of accolades, Lockard continuously proves herself to be a vital asset to the district, going above and beyond to foster a love of music in all students.

“One of the amazing things she has done is incorporate music instruments into her classes,” Young said.

Lockard was presented a certificate, an Amazon gift card and a voucher for a free shirt from TCHS student-based enterprise Fancy That by one of her Songbirds, Cayleigh Young.

Regularly scheduled agenda items were all unanimously approved, allocating money toward payments for the TCHS Phase V Project and okaying contracts for vision impaired and speech therapy services for FY 2023.


News
The Little Chuckwagon damaged in fire

Campbellsville Fire-Rescue was dispatched to a report of a food truck fire last Wednesday.

The Little Chuckwagon, which was located at 1000 New Columbia Road, was moderately damaged by a deep fryer malfunction.

Upon arrival, light smoke was coming from the trailer, with the majority of the fire extinguished with a garden hose prior to CFD arrival.

Firefighters provided overhaul and ventilation. No injuries were reported.


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CKNJ CITIZEN
Higgs' art spotlights struggle
‘If it doesn’t speak to you, then it’s not for you’

Motherhood is the only place where you can experience heaven and hell at the same time.

We don’t often talk about the struggle that accompanies pregnancy and motherhood, but artist Catrina Higgs is ready to break the silence.

A native of Grayson County but a citizen of everywhere, Higgs recently homesteaded in Taylor County after finding her perfect hideaway in the woods nearly six years ago.

“I’ve lived all over the United States,” Higgs said. “California, Texas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Seattle, Canada. My home has always been where I’ve lived. My home is my home, and I don’t have any claim anywhere else.”

Settling down in the Mount Gilboa area, Higgs and her partner began transforming their historical cabin into a place of their own.

“We moved in as is and there were shotgun shells and beer cans everywhere,” Higgs said with a laugh. “But we bought it as it was and it had like 2,000 books in it and was essentially hand carved by some old evangelist.”

Finding comfort in the isolation and empowerment from their self-sufficiency, the pair started a new journey as Higgs became pregnant.

“I wasn’t exposed to kids very much,” Higgs said. “When you’re in the bar life — and my life has been very colorful — there aren’t any children, so having kids was a whole other world.”

If the sudden lifestyle change wasn’t enough, Higgs’ pregnancy fell in line with the onset of the pandemic, leaving her questioning every decision she made regarding her health.

“The lack of resources in society without the pandemic was bad enough,” Higgs said. “And there were so many things I needed help with, that I still need help with right now, and I didn’t have any of them.”

Essentially a stranger within the community and without any outside assistance, Higgs became overwhelmed.

“Psychologically, motherhood has been a whirlwind and has been brand new and very hard,” Higgs admitted. “And in a town where you don’t know anybody, and you have no family support, and all of these different aspects, it is so overwhelming. We have been having babies for millions of years so it’s very odd to me that there aren’t these foundations in place.”

Following the birth of her first child, Higgs felt lost, lonely and unsure of the best path for her child.

“After being isolated with a small baby, your anxiety levels go up a trillion because you’re essentially fighting an invisible monster,” Higgs added. “One side is saying one thing and the other side is saying another and you’re just trying to cope in the middle of nowhere, alone, listening to all of this garbage back and forth when you just want to make sure your baby is OK.”

In attempt to cope with the animosity in the world and within herself, Higgs turned to art as a form of expression.

“What I do is a two-step process, and I say this loosely because what I do now is not what I’ve always done, and it’s probably not what I’ll continue to do, but it’s based around my very new experience with motherhood and addressing my own mental health needs because I only have me to check in with.”

Beginning with what she calls “back work,” Higgs paints various colorful figures, what she often sees as confetti. Hard black lines juxtapose the flow of hues, cutting through to create structure within the otherwise formless figures.

“Sometimes when you don’t have the know how to verbalize art, it becomes the sort of therapy and creative outlet for that,” Higgs said. “And so the confetti, the colors to me are very much emotion oriented. How I’m feeling, and that’s what bright can also be like, what life feels like, not necessarily always an emotion, but a feeling.”

For Higgs, having a hard day and being tired might be more primary colors, where you go back to the basics and get through life from there.

“The hard lines for me are a way for me to structure a fact with emotions, like micro expressions,” Higgs said. “I don’t even think about any of that when I’m doing it and that’s sort of the outlet for me to discover how I’m feeling; by not thinking about it.”

Higgs often uses crowns in her pieces, inspired by contemporary artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.

“The crown is your brain to me, the special place, where everything is happening,” Higgs added. “Everything else is genderless, cultureless and almost formless.”

Rather than creating recognizable scenes, Higgs wants to create recognizable style, creating something never before seen.

“You can mimic my art, but it’s not mine,” Higgs said. “I have ownership over my art and it takes inspiration, which I draw from everything but mostly myself and my children.”

Higgs strives to create striking images that invoke feeling.

“My work makes you want to feel something, something that you might have felt before, that you relate to, that makes you stop and look at it because you’ve never seen it before,” Higgs said. “And if it doesn’t speak to you, then it’s not for you.”


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