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Conversations from the Four Rivers Region

Archive for June 2010

morning cram [psycho brain edition]

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“See it in their eyes… an intensity in their stare, as if they’re trying to pick up signals on how to respond. But the eyes are not an element of psychopathy, just a clue.”

~NPR has more.

KENTUCKY~ A cucumber truck spill on WKY Parkway in Caldwell County is slowing traffic (this morning). McCracken County may grant developer incentives. A West Paducah mom (allegedly) writes a fake letter to get her son out of jail. A Fort Campbell soldier from Arizona died in Afghanistan in a non-combat incident and another lost an appeal for possessing a rocket at his home. Madisonville expands its recycling effort. The Commonwealth ranks 3rd fattest in the nation.

TENNESSEE~ Clarksville’s next budget may include iPads for City Council members. Unemployment in Henry County drops almost 1% in April to May.

ILLINOIS~ Union/Honeywell negotiations remain a stalemate. There’s a call to strip some elected Metropolis officials’ health insurance coverage.

morning cram [fishin’ edition]

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“The fishing industry is based mostly in cash, so many cannot provide documented proof of work.”

NPR has more.

KENTUCKY~ Paducah school officials: still no clear idea where to build a new middle school.  2 more Fort Campbell soldiers died in Afghanistan (23 since deployment). A WWII vet is awarded a Bronze Star for a heroic feat 65 years ago. Beshear warns federal lawmakers’ quarreling may endanger the state’s unemployed. VP Biden talks to Louisville General Electric workers.

TENNESSEE~ Clarksville Marina contractor needs 144 more days to finish excavation work. A hearing to review federal agencies’ flood response is slated for next month. The state finally begins a federal energy rebate program. Bredesen signs the jailer/immigration check into law.

ILLINOIS~ Nuclear producer Honeywell locks union workers out of the plant.  Metropolis passes a 15-year  sewer separation plan after a state EPA mandate.

To Boycott, Or Not To Boycott

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by Todd Hatton

Grand Isle, Louisiana is a town right on the Gulf of Mexico, about 745 miles from Leitchfield, Kentucky.  Under other circumstances, those hundreds of miles between one small Louisiana community and a slightly larger Kentucky town can be insular; what’s news on the Gulf Coast may not raise an eyebrow in Grayson County.

But when the news story is the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history involving one of the most ubiquitous brands of gasoline in the nation, it shouldn’t surprise anyone when the impact shows up 745 miles away.

An Associated Press report on has station owners from Georgia to Illinois saying sales have declined by as much as 10 to 40 percent.  This isn’t particularly shocking, in fact, it makes sense.  Americans are using boycotts, both organized and informal, to register their disgust with BP.  Hitting ‘em in the pocketbook, so to speak.

At a Leitchfield BP station just off of the Western Kentucky Parkway Saturday night, June 26th.

I was a little incredulous that a gas station tucked away at the bottom of a line of hills in a quiet community would have any trouble, especially since the station was independently-owned (it said so on a small, faded sign in one of the windows near the cash register).

But the demure young lady who sold me a bottle of water and didn’t want to give me her name told me otherwise.  Protesters had been taking up positions across the street holding signs and chanting slogans.  One person photographed the store while pumping gas.  Local media had even stopped by, peppering the staff with questions about threats of retribution, violent and otherwise.

I asked her if anyone had indeed threatened violence.

“Yeah,” she replied.  “We had the cops parking out there for a while.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Todd Hatton

June 28, 2010 at 12:41 pm

morning cram [dead byrd edition]

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The United States’ longest-serving Senator is dead at 92.

“Robert Byrd (D-W.Va) was a man who fought the Civil Rights Act — to his later regret — but who took pride in his fight against authorizing the use of force in Iraq.”

NPR remembers.

KENTUCKY~ Fredonia’s all-girl prison farm is a hit! Paducah school officials want to buy 31 homes behind the middle school on Lone Oak Road. Owensboro Community and Technical College’s new president begins July 1. MSU takes 4th @ bass fishing tourney on Kentucky Lake.

TENNESSEE~ Henry County Medical Center’s debt worsens. Union City gets a WWII-era plane for its upcoming Discovery Center.  Republican candidates for governor would prefer cutting inheritance, investment and business taxes over taxes on groceries.

ILLINOIS~ Metropolis has until mid-July to have a plan in place to stop pumping sewage into the Ohio River.

morning cram [guerra a las drogas edition]

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“More than 23,000 people have died in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon took office 3 1/2 years ago. During the first couple years of Calderon’s drug war, Monterrey appeared immune to the cartel violence… But not anymore.”

~ NPR has more.

KENTUCKY~ Razing Paducah’s Executive Inn will cost 88% less than expected. Recovery teams continue to search for missing swimmer. A Princeton sex offender allegedly tried to lure a minor online. A Fort Campbell soldier gets caught selling weapons. 5 fish species may soon be listed as endangered. Special revenue investigators level 50 indictments against tax evaders. KY Early Childhood Director: teach your baby to read. Enrollment at community colleges is up. Unemployment’s going down.

TENNESSEE~ Clarksville’s Mayor is pushing for city worker raises, despite budget shortfalls. Governor Bredesen wants Mike McWherter to replace him.

ILLINOIS~ Metropolis’ Honeywell nuke plant is scaling down operations amid strikes.

Morning Cram [GOOOOOOAAAAAAAL edition]

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Wasn’t the United States supposed to be bad at “football?”
Apparently not . . .

KY: Rep. Henley gives back his pay to the state, only one of two.  Alliance Coal gets ticketed at Hopkins County mine. Crittenden County search and rescue use sonar to find missing swimmer. Homeless man charged with stealing a car, dumping another one in the Ohio. Sex-offender arrested in police sting, faces new charges. Officials want to make our eight-year-olds great. FEMA announces deadline for applications, get on it!

TN: Workplaces can now set up “no se puede hablar español” policies. Bredesen supports McWherter for next governor. Fort Campbell soldier gets blasted by jury for trying to sell bombs.

morning cram [sp-oil edition]

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“We’re seeing already an increase in suspiciousness, arguing, domestic violence… increased drinking, anxiety, anger and avoidance.”
~ from NPR, on the health effects of the Gulf oil spill

KENTUCKY~ 70 applicants (so far) want to be Paducah’s next City Manager and commissioners approve some incentive deals with 2 major employers there. Last month’s LowerTown Arts/Music Festival netted the local economy +$131k. MSU takes in $1 million for science/technology equipment. A Hopkinsville fraud trial gets put on the back burner so the feds can prosecute. Another Fort Campbell hero was killed in Afghanistan. Rand Paul is wearing flippy floppies (taking money from bank bailout senators after promising not to). The state’s Democratic Party has a new Chairman and he donates to both parties.

TENNESSEE~ ACLU: Jailed immigrant bill will create a ‘police state’. The state Supreme Court will hold a summit to find ways to make more legal services free to the public.

Good Read: The Martian Chronicles

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The Martian Chronicles
by Ray Bradbury

Buy this book on Amazon.
(Your purchase supports WKMS!)

Product Description:
Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles is a classic work of twentieth-century literature whose extraordinary power and imagination remain undimmed by time’s passage. In connected, chronological stories, a true grandmaster once again enthralls, delights and challenges us with his vision and his heart-starkly and stunningly exposing in brilliant spacelight our strength, our weakness, our folly, and our poignant humanity on a strange and breathtaking world where humanity does not belong.

Matt Markgraf says:
I found this book of loosely-connected short stories an irresistible sci-fi delight. It’s a super fast read due to its violent, messy, chaotic prose about man’s discovery of intelligent Martian life and the subsequent destruction of culture. On a deeper level, Bradbury seems to write allegorically on mankind’s destruction of Earth, and perhaps even mankind’s destruction of self and the inevitable demise caused by aging and generation. Whatever symbolism The Martian Chronicles evokes in your imagination, it’ll be fascinating and memorable.”

Check out our Good Reads page for more recommended books.

Written by Matt Markgraf

June 23, 2010 at 9:00 am

morning cram [discussions edition]

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Officials say General Stanley McChrystal is ordered to the White House in person tomorrow to discuss controversial comments with President Obama.

NPR has the story.

It’s still hot.

KENTUCKY~ Traffic is down to one lane on Murray’s Main Street today. Fulton Airport is expanding its runway. Those Todd County escapees have been captured in Indiana. 2 Fort Campbell soldiers died in Afghanistan last week and flags are flying at half-staff today. High schools can track their students’ higher education progress. Someone vandalized the State Capitol.

TENNESSEE~ A Henry County couple faces aggravated child neglect charges. Clarksville PD is searching for two armed robbery shooters. Governor Bredesen may veto part of the budget.

ILLINOIS~ Governor Pat Quinn signs a bill into law that caps storefront loans.

morning cram [whaling edition]

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88 countries may formally sanction commercial whale hunts for the first time in 24 years, leveling focus on Japan. NPR has the low-down.

It’s hot out. Heat advisories last until 8:00pm Wednesday with temps ranging 100-105°. Hug your A/C and drink plenty of liquids.

KENTUCKY~ 8 women claim a Paducah social worker abused them, leaving police wondering if it was even illegal. Paducah school officials have 3 plots to consider building a new middle school. Someone may have killed Hopkinsville’s Police dog. 2 Todd County inmates escaped Saturday. Proponents want to bring the state up to speed with wind power, but face opposition from coal industry skepticism.

TENNESSEE~ A Fort Campbell soldier dives into the Cumberland River to save a suicidal woman. 7th graders need 2 more immunization shots before fall. A study finds less ex-felons are going back to the pen. TennCare Director is a 2011 Medical Leadership Institute fellow.