King of Hearts

Ethan Cale performs a card trick to promote the custom playing card company he hopes to start. Ethan, 20, learned card and magic tricks after a heart condition left him unable to participate in sports and hungry for a new passion. (Cale Card Co. via instagram.com/calecardco)

 By Chris DiMeo

A two of spades flutters loftily through the air, then dives into Ethan Cale’s hand like a slam dunk into a basketball hoop.

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A ‘best’ friendship ends and a prison sentence begins

By Emma Collins

Peter Gall stood in the Warren County Justice Center courtroom on Nov. 19 — a little more than a year after shooting to death his best friend Alex Davis.

Dressed in a khaki suit with combed-back hair, Gall barely resembled the red-faced, drunken 21-year-old in the mugshot taken only hours after he fired a shotgun into Davis, killing him in the early morning hours of Sept. 3, 2017.

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Making a good grade in mental health is an increasingly tough assignment

A good home life. A college scholarship. A suicide attempt.

Promising college students like Olivia Eiler (above) hit rock bottom with mental illness. A record number of college students now experience anxiety, depression, and consider suicide while chasing degrees and dealing with the stress that comes with it, a new report shows.

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A Sketch of a Hero

By Christine DiMeo

Pinned to the door of the sculpture studio in Western Kentucky University’s Fine Arts Center, a wide horizontal flier depicting a cloud of muscled, mostly female superheroes gazing triumphantly into the sky flaps its corners at the warm spring breeze every time the nearby exterior door opens.

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A Day in the Life of a School Shooting

By Katie Zdunek

The sky in Fairdealing, Kentucky, is overcast when Sheriff Kevin Byars begins his morning routine at 6 a.m., no breakfast. Afterwards, he makes the 10-minute commute from his county home to Benton. One of his office workers is on maternity leave. He opens the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department with another employee. There’s an ordinariness to the cold Tuesday morning. It’s Jan. 23, 2018.

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Never the same

Inside the community that experienced America’s first major school shooting of 2018


By Helen Gibson

Darkness covered Mike Miller Park in Benton, Kentucky, on the evening of Thursday, Jan. 25, but the lights from their candles illuminated the spaces between them. Children, teenagers and adults held these candles in their hands as they sang songs and prayed, hugged one another and cried.

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