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The Front Page [01.14.10]

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We continue our look at what was happening in Kentucky 150 years ago as the nation descended into disunion.

New rules for family law cases in Kentucky 

Kentucky now has a uniform set of rules governing all family law cases in the Commonwealth. Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh was at the Frankfort news conference where the rules were unveiled.

A January Conversation with Murray State’s President 

Kentucky’s Revenue Receipts continue to climb, but State Budget Director Mary Lassiter suspects that growth to be tempered in the coming months. The initial positive news of growth has many state institutions wondering about renewed funding. Today in their monthly conversation, Chad Lampe speaks with Murray State President Dr. Randy Dunn about MSU funding in this budget climate along with campus safety, and this year’s presidential lecturer Ben Stein.

Tennessee’s First Woman Speaker of the House 

Tennessee Representatives elected their first woman Speaker of the House this week. Beth Harwell was elected to 22 years ago. Then, she was one of only 40 Republicans. Now, she’s among the majority, and the first Republican speaker since Reconstruction. Harwell speaks with Tennessee Public Radio’s Candice Ludlow about her new role and how she’ll lead.

Kentucky’s Family Courts Changes 

Kentucky now has a uniform set of rules governing all family law cases in the Commonwealth. Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh was at the Frankfort news conference where the rules were unveiled.

Market House: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged!

Paducah’s Market House Theater is currently running The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged! Director Ross Daniels commutes from Marion, Illinois to lend his long-earned talents to the production. Despite his busy schedule, he scraped up a few minutes to talk with Jacque Day. Beware. He seems to be possessed with the ghost of the Bard himself, at least a little bit.


National Letter Writing Week 2011 

Is the thoughtful art of the handwritten letter becoming the stuff of legend? To commemorate National Letter Writing Week, Jacque Day explores this question with three people of diverse but writing-invested paths, and brings us this story.


Maiden Alley film critic Larry Thomas reviews “True Grit” 

1969’s True Grit brought star John Wayne the only Oscar he ever received in his fifty year career, and it’s a part of the American film canon. The 2010 version, helmed by the Coen Brothers and starring Jeff Bridges as Marshal Rooster Cogburn, hasn’t gotten to that point just yet, but it has made it onto the American Film Institute’s list of the top films of 2010. Our movie reviewer Larry Thomas mounts up to review True Grit.


Woodward Steps into Mayfield as Chamber Director 

With the New Year came a new Director for the Mayfield-Graves County Chamber of Commerce.


Written by Chris Taylor

January 14, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Posted in The Front Page

The Front Page [01.07.11]

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Today on WKMS News‘ weekly radio magazine:

Dentists Say Meth Mouth Is Ugly and Expensive 

Paducah, KY ~ Drug experts say long-term addiction to meth leads to weight loss, hair loss, and skin irritation. While successful recovery and time can relieve those symptoms, another side effect doesn’t go away as easily. “Meth mouth” refers to the tooth decay common in meth users. As Angela Hatton reports the condition is nearly unavoidable for addicts, and dental work to repair it is costly.

What’s Trending in Area Law Enforcement Leadership

Cadiz, KY ~ Several area counties have a new sheriff heading up their respective outfits. Among them are Graves, Hickman and Trigg Counties. Reporter Chris Taylor finds out what’s trending in area law enforcement leadership and what the newly elected anticipate and hope to accomplish during their terms.

Commentary: The Lantern Bearers

Murray, KY ~ Maybe you know someone with a tough exterior and a hidden heart of gold, someone with an internal kindness only revealed to those closest to them. Author Robert Louis Stevenson called this kind of person a “lantern bearer.” Commentator Duane Bolin examines this trait in Stevenson’s essay and in his own life.

Justice Cunningham on Legal Aid and Kentucky’s Top Court

Murray, KY ~ Kentucky Supreme Court Associate Justice Bill Cunningham represents the far west of the Commonwealth on the state bench. He’s also an author who’s written extensively about this region’s history. And on today’s Q&A, Judge Cunningham joins us to talk about legal assistance for the poor and how the state’s top court works.

Leadership Changes in Frankfort

Frankfort, KY ~ One of the longest serving members of the Kentucky House has withstood a strong challenge to his leadership position. Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh has the results of that and other leadership races settled on the first day of the 2011 session.

Kentucky’s Civil War Dispatch

Murray, KY ~ Today, we’re beginning an almanac that will look back at what was happening in Kentucky 150 years ago, as the Commonwealth played its part in the American Civil War. These pieces come from the pen of author and history professor Berry Craig, and they’re produced here at WKMS. So, here’s today’s inaugural installment of Kentucky’s Civil War Dispatches.

WKMS Interviews The Grascals ahead of the Front Porch Concert (Next Weekend)

Murray, KY ~ The Grascals headline our Front Porch Lovett Live concert next weekend at Murray State. Mark Welch spoke recently with one of the band members.

Legendary Shack Shakers in Paducah New Year’s Eve

Paducah, KY ~ The Legendary Shack Shakers bring their unique brand of Southern Gothic to the Paducah-McCracken County Convention Center New Year’s Eve. The front-man is Paducah’s J.D. Wilkes, a 38-year-old Kentucky Colonel, visual artist and filmmaker whose stage presence is, well, you just have to experience it for yourself. Jacque Day spent some time with Wilkes and his wife Jessica at their home, where Wilkes discusses the Shack Shakers and the band he formed with Jessica, called the Dirt Daubers.

Written by Chris Taylor

January 7, 2011 at 11:31 am

Posted in The Front Page

The Front Page [12.17.10]

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Silent Night, a Murray Connection
Murray, KY ~ Few Yule tide traditions are complete without the mellow lull of timeless Christmas carols. Franz Gruber’s, “Silent Night,” is one of the most popular tunes, first performed in 1818. Some accounts dispute the time and location of the performance, but Murray High School volleyball coach Clare Boggess has some special insight. She has documented her lineage to Gruber. Rebecca Feldhaus has a conversation with Franz Gruber’s descendant about the special connection she now has with the carol.
Army wants to keep families together
Nashville, TN ~ The wives of U.S. Army personnel are free to move back to their hometowns while their soldier is deployed. Many do, but staying near an installation has become more attractive. As Blake Farmer reports from Nashville, families are choosing to stay close to posts like Fort Campbell, where more than 17,000 soldiers are gone to Afghanistan.
KSP playing card initiative stacks the decks against criminals, dealing out cold case clues
Frankfort, KY ~ Closing unsolved criminal cases across the Commonwealth is the focus of a new initiative unveiled by Kentucky State Police. And as Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh reports, decks of playing cards play a vital role in the effort.

A Converation with Murray State’s President – December Edition
Murray, KY ~ Chad Lampe and Dr. Dunn meet for their monthly conversation on the Q&A this week. Fresh off a quarterly Board of Regents Meeting, Dr. Dunn explains the impact of the naming of MSU’s School of Agriculture and why board Chairman Dr. Deno Curris asked for the University Counsel to research the authority of University Boards and Kentucky’s Council on Post Secondary Education.

Graves County High School bassist goes national
Mayfield, KY ~ Graves County High School senior bassist Clay Burgess has been named to the 2011 National Honor Orchestra. He’ll travel to Indianapolis in March to perform with some of the nation’s top high school musicians. Jacque Day spent a morning with the Graves County High School Chamber Orchestra, and brings us this story highlighting Clay, and the program that produced him.

Paducah’s Citizen’s Police Academy Bridges Trust with the Community
Paducah, KY ~ Paducah Sun Reporter Danielle Ray graduated from the Paducah’s Citizen’s Police Academy last week, wrapping up a 9-part series of articles on the class. The 11-week course takes participants on an informative, hands-on tour of all-things police, teaching about everything from drug sniffing dogs to handling automatic weapons. Chris Taylor talks to her about her experience and what she got out of the course..

Written by Chris Taylor

December 17, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Posted in The Front Page

The Front Page [12.10.10]

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Psychology behind Wikileaks cyber-attacks
Murray, KY ~ This week, supporters of WikiLeaks co-founder and editor Julian Assange launched a series of cyber attacks. The “hacker backers” crashed the Master Card and Visa websites, and forced a shutdown of the Swedish government’s website. TJacque Day sat down with Murray State psychology professor Dr. Ian Norris for a glimpse into the Internet’s role in magnifying our most basic psychological instincts.
Bredesen’s Tennessee land conservation efforts
Nashville, TN ~ State healthcare, education, and budget cuts, those are just some of the main headline-grabbers during Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen’s time in office. Conserving state land, not so much. But as Daniel Potter reports from Nashville, it’s likely one of the lasting hallmarks of Bredesen’s legacy.
Senior Citizen Theatre Troupe Recreates Radio on Stage
Murray, KY ~ The Old Duffers and Powder Puffers is Murray’s newest theatre troupe. The group is made up of local senior citizens, and they aim to put on live shows featuring old radio play scripts. Angela Hatton visited one of their rehearsals for the upcoming production of The Shadow, and brings us this audio postcard.
Talking Santa with Local Teachers
Murray, KY ~ Most adults who believed in Santa Claus when they were kids can remember once upon a time when the realization hit them: That overstuffed and too-jolly-to-be-living-that-far-north annual gift giver was really an elaborate hoax perpetuated by grown-ups. Now, there’s no mounting evidence to suggest the deceiving holiday illusion has any detrimental effect on kids, but all the same some adults still reflect on the subject with disdain, others are indifferent and many still live the magic.
Dog Sledding in Western Kentucky
Grand Rivers, KY ~ This weekend’s frigid forecast commands a cringe from most. But Jeff Blewett of Hickory, Kentucky anxiously waits for this weather all year. He races dry land dog sled teams. Rebecca Feldhaus has more on Blewett and this rapidly growing team sport.
The Q&A – Paducah’s New City Manager Jeff Pederson
Paducah, KY ~ Paducah’s new City Manager Jeff Pederson has wrapped up his first week in the position. The position entails working with the mayor and city commission to formulate and implement policy; it also involves the day-to-day supervision of Paducah’s approximately 340 employees. Mr. Pederson takes some time out of getting his feet wet to speak with us about how the change is going.
‘Kentucky Youth Assembly’ convenes in Frankfort
Frankfort, KY ~ The 2011 session of the Kentucky General Assembly convenes next month. But as Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh reports, the hallways of the State Capitol are already filled with young Kentuckians who could be the lawmakers of the future.
Teaching Responsible Technology; Avoiding Cheating 2.0
Mayfield, KY ~ Technology is now an important part of education, though some education stakeholders worry too much access to technology like the internet and text messaging will tempt students to abuse the right. They worry some students will even use technology to cheat on exams. The majority of schools in western Kentucky ban personal devices during school hours entirely. As Angela Hatton reports, one school system is taking a different approach.

Written by Chris Taylor

December 10, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Posted in The Front Page

The Front Page [12.03.10]

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Ky Chamber of Commerce President on upcoming General Assembly
Frankfort, KY~ The upcoming regular session of the Kentucky General Assembly begins January 4th, and veteran as well as freshman legislators have been busy getting ready. They’re not the only ones, however. Chamber President Dave Adkisson was in western Kentucky recently to provide area business people with a preview of the organization’s agenda; he sat down with Todd Hatton in our studios to discuss that agenda and the Chamber’s hopes for the short January session.

Questions raised about biblical theme park tax breaks
Louisville, KY ~ State tax breaks are being offered as an incentive to lure a religious theme park to northern Kentucky. And as Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh reports, questions are being raised about such use of public dollars.

New Mayors Bring New Perspectives to City Government
Madisonville, KY ~ A new year will mean new leadership in some cities in our region. Voters in Mayfield, Murray, and Madisonville, as well as Clarksville, Tennessee elected new mayors in November. This season, many state and national candidates rode a wave of anti-incumbent sentiment to victory, while others pledged to get the career politicians out of government. As Angela Hatton reports, that view isn’t common on the local level.

McCracken County Attorney Speaks on Possible McCracken County/Paducah Annexation Case
Paducah, KY ~ The city of Paducah recently annexed land owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority, Paducah Power and McCracken County. The only problem is that the annexation may have been illegally crafted. David Schmoll sits down with McCracken County Attorney Michael Murphy to discuss the possible court case.

How State Universities Harness Debt for Growth
Richmond, KY ~ Kentucky’s universities are built on debt. Students borrow money so they can attend classes. And those classes are a conducted in buildings with a mortgage. Each year, the legislature authorizes tens of millions of dollars in new debt so state-owned colleges can build classroom buildings, dormitories and athletic facilities.

Mustangs in Martin: Wild Horse and Burro Adoption
Martin, TN ~ An icon of the classic American West is on the way to Martin Tennessee. The University of Tennessee hosts the Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program this weekend at the Martin campus. It presents local equine enthusiasts with the chance to adopt a mustang or burro for much less than the average price. Rebecca Feldhaus has the story.

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Written by Chris Taylor

December 3, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Posted in The Front Page

morning cram [egypt weeps edition]

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As Egyptians go to the polls to elect a new parliament, Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson examines Arab life there.

~NPR reports many Egyptians are tired of living in squalor and under what they call an iron-fisted police state.

KENTUCKY~ Weather aficionados predict plenty of thunderstorms, tornadoes and ice this winter. (Yet another) Marshall County toddler was found alone outdoors. A quick weekend police chase lands a couple fugitives behind bars. You don’t have to file a police report in order to get a sexual assault test. A Paducah fundraising event raises nearly $18k for orphans and foster kids. Oak Grove drops its interim police chief and a Fort Campbell soldier is suing the department over a dog bite. The election results will be officially certified today.

TENNESSEE~ Clarksville Police: man held baby mama at knifepoint.

ILLINOIS~ Former Gov. Ryan’s defense lawyers will try to get his conviction thrown out. Honeywell and United Steelworkers will try to talk it out again today.

SPORTS~ (football) MSU > TSU, APSU < EKU. (men’s basketball) MSU > Reinhardt, APSU < SIU, UTM < NWSU. (women’s basketball) MSU < STL, Valparaiso > APSU > UVU.

Written by Chris Taylor

November 22, 2010 at 9:09 am

Posted in The Front Page

The Front Page [11.19.10]

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British Film Crew Explores Murray Inventor
Murray, KY ~ For its latest Wallace and Gromit production, parent company Aardman travelled around the world to find inventors and inventions that are ahead of their time. One film crew landed in Murray, Kentucky. As Angela Hatton reports, they came to test a wireless telephone invented by a local melon farmer over a hundred years ago.

Kentucky Education on the Mend
Murray, KY ~ The most recent Kentucky College and Career Readiness High School Feedback Report shows Western Kentucky schools falling behind in preparing students for college. David Schmoll discusses what has gone wrong and how are our educators trying to fix it.

November conversation with Murray State’s president
Murray, KY ~ WKMS News Director Chad Lampe recently sat down with MSU President Dr. Randy Dunn for their monthly meeting to discuss all things Murray State and Higher Ed. In the November edition, they discuss how the university’s lobbying efforts could be effected by the Congressional Republicans’ stand against earmarks. They also talk about the possibility of Murray State faculty and staff raises and the potential of a new funding model for Kentucky Universities. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Chris Taylor

November 19, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Posted in The Front Page

The Front Page [11.12.10]

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The problem with election night returns

Murray, KY ~ While many folks are glad the election is over and done with, in most of Kentucky anyway, many of us can relate to searching for results online – hitting that web browser refresh button over and over again. During Kentucky Education Television’s coverage on election night, former Courier Journal political writer Al Cross and former Kentucky Democratic Party Chair Jennifer Moore criticized the Commonwealth’s election returns website, saying it was under-performing. Since the media tends to be the public’s main conduit for race results, Chris Taylor delves into the process of how vote totals are reported on election night…
An Islamic Space in Mayfield 

Mayfield, KY ~ It was Deja vu today in Mayfield when the Zoning board met in their regular session. The board was set to consider a conditional use permit for an Islamic prayer space near the city’s downtown. It was the same application they voted to deny over two months ago. As Angela Hatton reports, the American Civil Liberties Union appealed that decision and called for a redo.

Pseudoephedrine Sparks Stalemate: the Debate Around Regulating a Meth Ingredient 

Murray, KY ~ The tinny sound of automatic doors accompanies a trip to pick up medicine at a local pharmacy chain. Cold and flu season is here accompanied by commercials from big-name pharmacies encouraging the public to stock up on medicine even before falling ill. One decongestant drug on many lists is Sudafed. Next year, however, the din of automatic doors could be replaced with the subtle flutter of magazine pages in a doctor’s waiting room.

Author of Time and the River, remembering WWII
Murray, KY ~ This past Thursday, Americans celebrated Veterans Day. This remembrance of the country’s 25 million servicemen and women who survived their wars began in World War One’s aftermath and took its final form in 1954, when US President Dwight Eisenhower, himself a veteran of the First and Second World Wars, signed the first Veterans Day proclamation. Michael Freeland is an adjunct professor at Austin Peay State University. He’s also a veteran and is the author of Blood River to Berlin, a memoir of his time in the 82nd Airborne in World War Two’s European Theatre. His new book, Time and the River, has just come out and he joined us in the studio to talk about the new book and the war-time experiences that shaped it. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Chris Taylor

November 12, 2010 at 12:13 pm

Posted in The Front Page

The Front Page [11.05.10]

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Dave Jackson Speaks on Becoming New Madisonville Mayor
Madisonville, KY ~ In another Upset in Madisonville Incumbent Democratic Mayor Will Cox lost by 72 votes to Republican David Jackson. Hopkins County Voters mostly followed a national trend to send Republicans to office.
Incumbent State Senator Jerry Rhoads lost his home county but carried Ohio and Muhlenburg to Win Re-election. David Schmoll speaks with Mayor Elect David Jackson about his win and plans for the office.
A conversation with Mayfield’s first female mayor, Teresa Cantrell
Mayfield, KY ~ Two weeks ago, we brought you a story on the tensions among Mayfield voters over that city’s mayoral contest. Those tensions were in stark contrast to the actual conduct of the candidates themselves. The results are in now and the voters have elected long-time mayor’s aide Teresa Cantrell to the city’s top post. She defeated incumbent Mayor Arthur Byrn by almost a thousand votes. Cantrell will be Mayfield’s first female mayor and she joins on the line now from her office in Mayfield.
Voting in America: A Conversation with Professor Martin Battle
Murray, KY ~ Voter turnout in this year’s midterm elections was high compared to recent years. In Kentucky, just under half the registered voters made it out to the polls. Though high for American standards, less than half is not high compared to many democracies in the rest of the world. Reporter Rebecca Feldhaus sat down with British-born Murray State Political Science Professor Dr. Martin Battle to discuss a larger perspective on American voting.
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Written by Chris Taylor

November 5, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Posted in The Front Page

The Front Page [10.29.10]

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The Paducah Witch Burning Legend
Paducah, KY~ In honor of Halloween, we’ll finish today’s program with a mysterious and rather unusual story from western Kentucky’s past. It’s the tale of our area’s one, and so far only, witch-burning.
The Q&A – Paducah Sun’s Bill Bartleman retires after 40 years
Paducah, KY ~ Bill Bartleman has been reporting on Kentucky politics for The Paducah Sun for almost forty years, and now he’s announced his retirement. On the Q&A this week, Kentucky Public Radio Capitol Bureau Chief Tony McVeigh sits down with Bartleman to look back over his career and get his perspective on where the journalism profession is today.
Chambers Dish Out Dollars in this Election Cycle
Murray, KY ~ The US Chamber of Commerce has been in the news a lot recently, defending themselves against allegations of using foreign money in this campaign cycle, including funding political candidates. But where exactly does the US Chamber receive their Political Action money? David Schmoll clears up the role of local chambers of commerce in the waning days of the election cycle.
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Written by Chris Taylor

October 29, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Posted in The Front Page


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