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very month I invite readers to contact me with questions, comments and, of course, story ideas. I am happy to say you all oblige me often, and two stories in this month’s issue originated from our readers. Maddie Bentley, a 12-year-old student at Briarwood Christian School, loves theater, show choir, cheerleading … and weightlifting. I first heard about Maddie’s story when her mom, Amanda Bentley, emailed me in February and described her daughter as “weightlifter by day/Broadway by night.” Amanda also wrote that she had never reached out to a publication with a story idea before. There’s a first time for everything, and I am really glad Amanda contacted me. Maddie had recently qualified for the USA Olympic Weightlifting Youth Nationals competition in June. That in itself is worth a story, in my opinion, but the rest of Amanda’s email was what really caught my attention. Maddie was passionate about weightlifting and obviously very talented, but she also

faced a lot of criticism, “mostly because people think it’s dangerous or they just don’t understand why a little girl would want to do this,” Amanda wrote. Over the last year, Maddie has proven her detractors wrong, and shown a lot of pluck and grace during the process. There is a lot more to her story, so I hope you will check it out on page 24. Another story that began as a reader submission is the Vincent cabin. Phoebe Donald Robinson contacted me about the cabin, which belonged to her friend, Rachel Clinkscale. The cabin was built in 1846 – the same year Iowa was admitted as the 29th U.S. state. Rachel’s husband, Bill, moved the cabin from Harpersville to Vincent and restored it. I always love stories with an historical element to them, and this idea had an interesting twist with the cabin’s relocation. I hope you will enjoy reading this issue of Shelby Living. As always, feel free to contact me with any story ideas, questions or comments. l

SHELBY Living EDITORIAL Ginny Cooper Molly Davidson Drew Granthum Cassandra Mickens Neal Wagner CONTRIBUTORS Laura Brookhart Lauren Heartsill Dowdle Linda Long Lisa Phillips PRODUCTION Jamie Dawkins Amanda Porter Jonathan Wise Jon Goering MARKETING Jessie Bell Kristy Brown Ashley Duckett Daniel Holmes Nicole Loggins Rhett McCreight Meagan Mims Kim McCulla Kari Yoder ADMINISTRATION Tim Prince Jan Griffey Katie McDowell Mary Jo Eskridge Hailey Dolbare Christine Roberts Laurel Cousins

Katie McDowell, Editor ON THE COVER Meadow View Elementary School student Justin McKnight poses with Warrior, Alabaster City Schools’ therapy dog. Cover design: Amanda Porter Photography: Jon Goering

Shelby Living is published monthly by Shelby County Newspapers Inc., P.O. Box 947, Columbiana, AL 35051. Shelby Living is a registered trademark. All contents herein are the sole property of Shelby County Newspapers Inc. [the Publisher]. No part of this periodical may be reproduced without written permission from the Publisher. Please address all correspondence (including but not limited to letters, story ideas and requests to reprint materials) to: Editor, Shelby Living, P.O. Box 947, Columbiana, AL 35051. Shelby Living is mailed to select households throughout Shelby County, and a limited number of free copies are available at local businesses. Please visit for a list of those locations. Subscriptions are available at a rate of $20.41 for one year by visiting, or calling (205) 669-3131, ext. 26. Advertising inquiries may be made by emailing advertise@, or by calling (205) 669-3131, ext. 20.

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Shelby Living May 2014  
Shelby Living May 2014