The Front Blog

Conversations from the Four Rivers Region

Archive for February 2011

morning cram [rahm edition]

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Ever since Rahm Emanuel won the legal right to be on the Chicago mayoral ballot, it was pretty much a given that he would win the plurality of votes when Election Day rolled around.

NPR reports Emanuel’s 55% share in yesterday’s vote means there will be no runoff election.

KENTUCKY~ A burning propane truck caused delays yesterday on McCracken County’s Cairo Road. Paducah aims for another land grab (in Lone Oak this time) and signs a new contract with their local firefighters union. A Murray murder trial gets postponed (again) and there’s a new Parks Director in town. UK’s presidential search is underway and who the candidates are will be kept a secret. The state gets its hands on lethal injection drugs. House members will soon vote on anti-bullying legislation and the Senate Budget Committee is looking at what to do about Medicaid. Gubernatorial hopeful Bobbie Holsclaw asks why the optometrist bill is clearing the legislature at such a rapid pace. Democrats intend to pay for a painting of Governor Beshear.

TENNESSEE~ Searchers pull the body of a missing Paris man from Kentucky Lake.

Datebook: February 22 – Be Humble Day

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It’s Tuesday, February 22.

Western Baptist Hospital offers free heart screenings 9 to noon Friday in the atrium of Doctors Office Building 2 at the hospital in Paducah.  Cardiologist Patrick Withrow will be available to answer questions.  Blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and EKG rhythm strip screenings are also provided.

The Calloway County Humane Society hosts a Canine Behavioral Psychology Workshop in Murray, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Two day slots are still available for which the cost is $60. Behesha Doan of Extreme K-9 in Carbondale, IL, presents the workshop. Doan is nationally well-known and well-respected canine behaviorist and trainer. Register and learn more at

Markethouse Theatre in Paducah opens The Hundred Dresses Thursday.  The kid-friendly shows are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  It’s all about peer pressure and fitting in at school.  Tickets are $10 for adults, $6 for youth at

Use to learn more about these and other community events.  You can also show your support for public radio through the secure pledge page there.  Thanks.

morning cram [gadhafi edition]

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Bodies of slain Libyan protesters lay scattered on Tripoli’s streets today as forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi seek to crush anti-government demonstrations by shooting anything that moves.

NPR reports Gadhafi has even called in air strikes against dissidents.

KENTUCKY~ A pair of McCracken County Schools bus garage employees (allegedly) embezzled +$10k in tools and auto parts. Christian County High must either close, transform, hire new management or reassign teachers to other schools. A Madisonville man faces a whopping 288 sex-related charges (including incest). Hopkinsville’s extended stretch of the Breathitt-Pennyrile Parkway will open next week. Governor Beshear’s education task force makes several recommendations.

TENNESSEE~ A missing woman’s body is found off US-641. Clarksville’s Power Board will spend $375k to remodel the CDE Lightband HQ and some council members are trying to rework the city’s charter (again). The Union City Goodyear plant’s impending closure creates a new regional economic development alliance. Two of Governor Haslam’s new cabinet members could stand to benefit from their positions, but no one can ever know by how much.

Datebook: February 21 – Presidents Day

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It’s Monday, February 21.

The Henry County High School Thespians present Fred Carmichael’s farce Exit the Body at the Krider Performing Arts Center in Paris this weekend.  Shows are at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for age 18 and under.  The Center’s at 650 Volunteer Drive.  There’s a missing body and hidden jewels in a home being rented by a mystery writer.

Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale is on the program for a concert featuring Sue-Jean Park, violin, Angela Wu, piano, Bob Valentine, narrator, and Scott Locke, clarinet in Murray State’s Performing Arts Hall tomorrow night at 7:30.  Also, hear Grieg’s Violin Sonata in C minor and selections from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.

The 2011 School Counts Gala is set for 7 p.m. Saturday March 19 at Madisonville Golf and Country Club.  $30 tickets benefit the School Counts program and youth of Hopkins County.  Tickets are available at the Glema Mahr Center for the Arts, the Madisonville-Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce and other locations.

See more at  Thanks for Listening.

morning cram [union busting edition]

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Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker wants to close his state’s budget gap by having state workers pay more for pensions and benefits and also permanently limit public employees’ bargaining rights.

NPR reports after a week of protests and Senate Democrats literally walking away from the capitol, no one’s backing down.

KENTUCKY~ Major crimes in Paducah have dropped 16%. +35 MPH winds knocked over a Super 8 Motel sign in Calvert City. Expect delays tomorrow passing over Eggner’s Ferry Bridge. The state’s Tourism Council renames itself and spring cleaning is being planned at a dozen Civil War sites. Two state Republican candidates have no Primary opposition and 14 hopefuls spoke @ a Murray GOP dinner Saturday. The General Assembly is racing to finish their ‘short session.’

OVC BASKETBALL~ (Men’s) MSU > Evansville, UTM > SEMO, APSU < Fairfield; (Women’s) MSU < EIU, UTM < Bradley, APSU > TTU.

Darrell Scott introduces Kenny Malone to Murray

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Last night one of the greatest songwriters in American music graced the stage at Lovett auditorium and what a night of music it was. Darrell Scott has written songs that have become top sellers in the country music market over the years but no one delivers them better than he does himself.

Kenny MaloneWith the lights low and the crowd gathered intimately around, Scott described the setting as “… it’s like being in the living room, only bigger.”

With all of the tricks used in popular music these days to make artists sound appealing to the masses, the crowd was treated to what the art of the song truly is about… emotion, touch, feel and sound. Scott at times took the sound to a whisper while still holding every ear eager to every note. At times his fingers barely moved, his notes on his guitar almost silently delivering the smooth roll from the strings while still exuding amazing prowess from the tones ringing the room. Then, that rich, deep, soulful voice would take you into the song, into the picture, into the setting so deeply that you felt transformed into the relationship he was painting with the tune at hand.

With the ring of a well-crafted song still floating through the room Scott introduced us to his friend. A man that has established the most demanded percussive rhythm to acoustic music known these days. In acoustic music it is hard for a percussionist to become part of the picture without a feeling left of separation. To embed yourself as an equal to the acoustic instrument while still laying the rhythm down is quite a challenge. To steal the show without changing the song… well, please meet Kenny Malone.

This is what the likes of Bela Fleck, Alison Krauss, New grass Revival, Jerry Douglas, Doc Watson, John Prine and so many more have come to love about Kenny Malone. Kenny not only holds the basic rhythm line steady and strong but he also layers above that rhythm a melody that adds to the song without overpowering it. When the standard round of changing leads works their way from guitar to mandolin to fiddle or beyond the percussion is often too powerful to just meld in. Kenny Malone just closes his eyes, smoothly wanders his head in time with the music and delivers an equal lead that can steal the show without the volume that drummers are accustomed to sharing.

Darrell Scott introduced Kenny Malone to the city of Murray last night and those that were present likely will never forget his name.

Here is a little video from YouTube where Kenny is flanked by Mark Schatz. Schatz is well known for his steady rhythm on the bass and earthy percussion so he provides rhythm via the “hambone” while Kenny takes off on a… well, a trash can. Enjoy!

Written by John McMillen

February 20, 2011 at 10:59 am

The Front Page [02.19.11]

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E-cigarettes deliver nicotine hits and controversy
We live in an ever-growing “e-world,’ from e-mail to e-bay and countless other “e” products and services. Kentucky Public Radio’s Ron Smith reports that one relatively new “e” item, the e-cigarette, is delivering nicotine hits and plenty of controversy.
February conversation with Murray State President
Dr. Dunn and Chad Lampe discuss the suspension of a Murray State professor over alleged racist slurs as well as the budget priorities for the university.
Civil War Dispatch 6 – America’s 16th President
We continue our ongoing look back at the U.S. Civil War in the Commonwealth. On today’s Kentucky Civil War Dispatch, America’s incoming 16th president heads to Washington, and begins his efforts to hold the country together even before he’s sworn in.
Darrell Scott on upcoming Lovett Live concert
Singer/songwriter Darrell Scott has been a working musician for over three decades. Music from the Front Porch host John McMillen spoke with Scott about his Kentucky roots, his latest album, and what to expect when he performs Saturday, February 19 at 8 as part of MSU’s Lovett Live Onstage Series.
Raffaele Ponti on PSO’s “Brilliant!”
George Eldridge sits down with Paducah Symphony Orchestra conductor Raffaele Ponti to learn more about Saturday’s performance of scores from Academy Award-winning films.
Antique Mall Closure Causes Unrest in Small Town
Hazel, Kentucky, is a border town in Calloway County, just before the Tennessee state line. It’s a town of fewer than five hundred people, and it would be a blip on the road for most travelers if it wasn’t for Hazel’s most important asset: antiques. The city’s official website calls antique stores “the lifeblood of this community.” As Angela Hatton reports a dispute over business licenses may hurt the future of those stores.
In 1960s Baltimore, the 50s are out, and change is in the air. This weekend, Murray’s Playhouse in the Park opens “Hairspray.” Based on the 1988 film by John Waters, this musical comedy takes on society’s injustices and the many forms of prejudice. Director Lisa Cope and Murray State freshman and cast member Aaron Jones joined Jacque Day for this discussion.
Conversation with Irish novelist, MSU Watkins Chair Martin Roper
Irish novelist Martin Roper is Murray State’s newest endowed Watkins Chair in Creative Writing. His acclaimed first novel titledGone was published in 2002 by Henry Holt, and portions of the book also appeared in The New Yorker. And he’s presently at work on a new novel. Martin Roper reads Thursday, February 17 as part of the Murray State University Reading Series. He joined Jacque Day for a discussion about his life and work.

Written by Chris Taylor

February 19, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Weekend Energy Preview 2-19

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Here’s what’s in the mix for this Saturday night’s Weekend Energy. This week’s show is so loud, it’s like playing a flugelhorn on the Matterhorn.


Gramophonedzie – Out of My Head – This is one of those artists that introduced himself with perfect timing, riding the vintage retro house wave developing over the past year or two. Riding is an understatement – Gramophonedzie is like a galleon decked out with cannons. I was floored by his earlier single Why Don’t You, and am thrilled to introduce his new one, Out of my Head, on Weekend Energy.  Official video for Why Don’t You.

Jaguar Love – Polaroids and Red Wine (Dave Scorp Remix) – See this week’s “Discovery” below.

Saya – Addicted to Bass (French Version) – This French Canadian singer is one of those artists who will either be incredibly famous within a year or destined to be underground forever. Either way, I’m addicted to her first single Addicted to Bass. It mixes the super-charged vibe of electro house from the early 90s, which is on the verge of making a come-back. Honestly, she’s a few years too soon, but that could be a good thing. The French version has more vigor in it, so hear that one on the show tonight.  Be among the first to check out her slick music video.

Amanda Palmer & The Young Punx w/Peaches – Map of Tasmania (Club Mix) – Amanda Palmer has made herself legendary performing with Dresden Dolls, and this cheeky, pro-feminist-ish, popper of a single will do nothing short of elevating her status. I’m just as excited to be playing a new single by The Young Punx, who are regulars when it comes to developing incredibly catchy indie dance tunes. I’ll let you figure out what this song is about – the music video will give you a hint… Unless you’re a prude, check out the hilarious and risqué music video.

(After the jump read this week’s Discovery and what Almost Made It)

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Written by Matt Markgraf

February 19, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Dreams of I-69

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From left to right, I-69 Coordinator Sam Sarvis and Henderson-Henderson Co. Chamber of Commerce President Brad Schneider

Henderson-Henderson County Chamber of Commerce President Brad Schneider was one of several officials from the chamber who attended a conference on bridges in Louisville. The conference’s focus was on the bridge project between Louisville and southern Indiana. Schneider says seeing the way officials in Louisville are planning their bridge will help Henderson officials when they start the I-69 bridge between Henderson and Evansville.

Schneider is part of C-Link, an organization of 12 northwest Kentucky counties, who have banded together to lobby for I-69. He says in 2009, the General Assembly passed the Infrastructure Authority bill, which allows local state entities to fund large infrastructure projects through bonding and toll roads.  Louisville has already formed a coalition to do this, and Schneider says Henderson hopes to follow suit within the next decade.

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Written by Angela Hatton

February 18, 2011 at 3:42 pm

Datebook: February 18 – 1st air mail delivered 100 years ago

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It’s Friday, February 18.

Murray State’s William “Bill” Cherry Agricultural Exposition Center hosts its biannual Bull Blowout tonight and tomorrow night at 8.  See bull riding and barrel racing.  At 7:30 children 10 and under are involved in the calf scramble and there’s mutton busting for ages 6 and under.  Tickets are $12 at the door.

It’s Save the Massac movie night tomorrow at 7 at the Metropolis Community Center at 900 West 10th Street.  See Jim Carrey in “The Majestic”.  Admission is $3.  Concessions available. Proceeds benefit efforts to restore the landmark 1938 Art Deco era Massac Theater which is on made Landmark Illinois’ annual “Ten Most Endangered Historic Places” list.

The McCracken County Public Library offers a special program for 10 to 17 year olds Monday at 1 p.m.  The Moon:  It’s Not Made of Cheese, includes a hands-on experiment demonstrating the moon’s layers.  Attendees receive free moon pies during the 45 minute free program.  The Library’s at 555 Washington Street in Paducah.

Learn more at  Thanks for supporting your public radio home while you’re there!  Thanks.


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