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Madison Southern High School unveiled a new $2.4 million auditorium. The facility added over 11,600 square feet of space to the school including the 400-seat auditorium, dressing rooms, public restrooms, backstage prepping area, storage area and lobby. The facility was touted as a multifunctional facility with the capability to host everything from small intimate lectures to larger stage productions. The new auditorium boasts an audio/visual package that included a 40-channel mixer, amplifiers, ceiling mounted projector, CD/DVD player, hidden ceiling speakers and sub-woofers. The addition was constructed in a vacant lot between the Roberts and Moore classroom buildings, meaning that students no longer had to go outside to transition between buildings. The renovation also included a 3,000 square feet increase of the Moore Building, which houses the school’s gymnasium, shop and agriculture classrooms. To celebrate the opening of the new facility, the Madison Southern Players, under the direction of Kathie Bettler, presented the production, “Oklahoma!”

Kentucky State Police, the NTSB and the FAA were investigating the crash of a small aircraft one mile from the Madison County Airport. Around 11:40 am on Friday, November 12th, KSP received a call of a plane crash on Walnut Meadow Road. Prior to the crash, Texas dentist, Scott Huddleston reported engine problems with the single engine Cessna prop plane he was piloting. Huddleston, originally en-route to Lexington’s Blue Grass Field, was diverted by air traffic controllers to the Madison County Airport. The aircraft clipped power lines before crashing into a small grove of trees, catching fire. Several KSP units along with Berea Fire Department and Berea Fire Department Volunteers responded to find the aircraft fully engulfed. One the fire was extinguished, the pilot, who was the only person on board, was pronounced dead by Madison County Coroner, Jimmy Cornelison.

Madison Southern Cheerleaders took part in “Cheer for the Holidays,” held November 13th at Transylvania University. The squad took first place in their cheer division. In addition, MSHS Cheer brought home the Grand Champion trophy for achieving the highest overall points.

Local fabric artist, Joyce Cooper was using her quilting skills as a means of helping wounded American Soldiers returning from Iraq to heal from both inner and outer wounds of battle. Cooper became involved in the quilting project through one of her favorite places, Corner Quilt Shop in Lexington. In the span of two “marathon” weekends, Cooper and other quilters created 150 throw sized quilts in patriotic colors to be donated to the patients of St. Andrews Air Force Base Hospital in Maryland. “It just appealed to me,” said Cooper on what has become an ongoing endeavor. “This is something that might make a difference to someone.” Cooper will be creating her own form of healing as long as there are battle-ravaged bodies, spirits and minds “This is a tragic situation,” she said. “If I can do something to make someone feel better, for even a minute, it’ll help.”

On Saturday, November 14, Churchill Weavers held it’s annual fall sale, drawing folks from near and far. Shoppers gathered on the cold stone porch with blankets, tarps, tents, and thermoses to protect them from the late night November breezes s the anticipated the great deals that awaited them. The camaraderie was great at the sale. You got to see know some of the people in line as well as the employees. They came to know you. When asked what brings her back to the sale each year, Teresa McReynolds of Lexington replied, “Its the quality.” Churchill Weavers president Lila Bellando said that the thick throngs of people do not let up over the course of the weekend. Crowds had been known to reach 1,00 strong. The sale carries over until Sunday or until all of the merchandise is gone. The sale not only brought people to Churchill Weavers, but it also brought people to shop all over Berea said Bellando.

When Virginia Piland considered making a quilt, one of the things she looked for was, “a story worth remembrance.” Piland, with her applique style of quilting, has documented numerous monumental stories such as “God’s creation of the world” to the more personal story of Berea’s past 150 years. Octogenarian Piland had only been quilting for about 25 years. The time and attention she dedicated to each piece resulted to her work being admired in esteemed locations nationally and internationally. At the time of the original publication of this story, Piland had just returned from the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas, one of the largest and most prestigious quilting festivals in the world, where her work was labeled as “Best In Tapestry.” This tapestry hangs in the Hutchins Library of Berea College. “It was not difficult but it was time consuming,” said Piland. “I tried to make my work as accurate as I could make it.” In her quest for historical accuracy, Piland took classes in ancient history, visited museums and talked to archaeologist. Piland even learned to write in cuneiform, the writing style of the ancient Babylon. Piland’s work ahs been featured I the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. The piece, entitled, “Oh Jerusalem,” was the centerpiece of a special Ecumenical Consul in 1992. The National Cathedral had hoped to keep the piece in Washington, DC but Piland loves Berea and prefers to keep her work local. This work was donated to Union Church in Berea. Piland has created quilts for Mt. Zion Christian Church as well as for Berea’s sister city Takane. Her Berea history piece was hung in a prominent place in Berea Hospital. A 1943 graduate of Berea College with a degree in psychology, her relationship with quilting began as a way for Piland to work through the grief of losing her mother.

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