The Front Blog

Conversations from the Four Rivers Region

Archive for August 2010

Pastor Responds to the Rumor Mill Around a Mosque in Mayfield

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Last Tuesday, the Mayfield zoning board denied a request for a conditional use permit to open a mosque in the city’s downtown because of limited parking. It’s expected the petitioners will file another application for a different site, but a location has not yet been determined.

Later that same week, Mayfield Mayor Arthur Byrn, City Planner Brad Rodgers, and the local Pilgrim’s Pride plant manager met with some Graves County pastors to help dispel rumors connected to Somali Muslims who live and work in the county.

Joe Farrone, pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Mayfield, has been processing the conversation. He said, “I think they [city officials] called us together because they see pastors as communicators to the community. Congregations are a large part of the community.” Farrone said that some congregants, though none from his church, have raised questions about the Somalis, many of whom work at Pilgrim’s Pride. “One of the rumors was that Pilgrim’s Pride was bringing the Somalis in,” he said. “Rumor was some Hispanic workers were let go because they were illegal.” Allegedly, the Somalis were recruited as replacements for these workers.

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Written by Angela Hatton

August 31, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Datebook – August 31

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It’s Tuesday, August 31.

On Thursday from 5 to 6 p.m. there are auditions for The Paducah Symphony Children’s Chorus for grades 3 through 7, and the Youth Chorus for grades 8 through 10 at First Presbyterian Church of Paducah. Schedule auditions in advance at 270-444-0065. Rehearsals are Thursday evenings from 6 to 7:30.

Metropolis Labor Day Celebration begins with a parade at 10 a.m. Monday along Fifth Street from the Massac County Courthouse to Fort Massac State Park. Enjoy music from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday at the Park’s shaded picnic area. Bring lawn chairs. Barbecue concession available. Guitar pickin’, folk, Christian Rock and Gospel music is on the bill including a performance by Bawn in the Mash at 1 p.m.

A Small Business Academy Seminar including free lunch starts tomorrow at noon at the Murray Calloway County Chamber of Commerce Center, 805 North 12th Street. Tony Page CPA speaks on accounting and payroll issues. Make a reservation at 270-753-5171.

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morning cram [chicken egg edition]

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“Eggs have been getting a bad rap lately as the number of people being made sick by eggs contaminated with salmonella continues to rise. But from an egg’s point of view all of this is a bit unfair. Eggs get contaminated because the hen that’s laying them is infected.”

~NPR hears eggs themselves are usually remarkably resistant to contamination.

KENTUCKY~ Police search for a west McCracken burglar/ATM user. 5 more Fort Campbell heroes die in Afghanistan. WK&T gets a share of a $123mil federal stimulus grant for extending its broadband service. State officials keep tight-lipped on details of who they’re going to layoff.  Rand Paul backs off his claims he can eliminate the US federal deficit in < 1 year.

TENNESSEE~ Officials ID a Dover fisherman found drowned in Kentucky Lake. Lawyers plan to grill TVA’s CEO over the 2008 coal ash spill.

ILLINOIS~ Massac County worries it may not be able to pay its bills (state’s fault). Metropolis’ hospital will benefit from outpatient Medicaid reimbursements.

Datebook – August 30, 2010

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It’s Monday, August 30.

Madisonville’s Downtown Turnaround Partnership seeks community votes to win a $25,000 grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Go to and follow the link to vote. The grant supports volunteer beautification and restoration efforts and more.

The Humane Society of Marshall County starts accepting donated items for their October benefit yard sale this Thursday. Bring items during normal business hours Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Do not bring TVs, computers or other electronic equipment. The facility is at 6301 US Highway 68 east of Benton.

There’s a Gourdmobile workshop at the Murray Art Guild Wednesday and Thursday from 4 to 5:30 p.m. A $15 fee includes gourds, wheels, and axles. The gourdmobiles will compete at a derby September 18 during Mayfield’s Gourd Patch Festival. Murray Art Guild is at 500 North 4th Street. Call 270-753-4059.

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morning cram [suicide edition]

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“It’s a perfect storm. You subject people to terrible trauma, and then you take away all their mental health resources. What do you expect?”

~NPR speaks to New Orleans EMS workers about post-Katrina suicide rates (which doubled following the hurricane and still remain high).

KENTUCKY~ A Benton man drowns in Kentucky Lake. A report finds the Shawnee Fossil Plant’s coal ash pond has been leaking into the Ohio River since the ’80s. An MSU staffer will participate in a roundtable discussion celebrating the 50th birthday of the  Commonwealth’s Human Rights Commission. Instant Racing hits the courts this week and a ruling on the state furlough lawsuit is expected soon. Jack and Rand make another BBQ date at a planned McCracken County picnic.

TENNESSEE~ A Clarksville pedestrian was killed on Fort Campbell Blvd. Wednesday is the deadline to file for flood-related tax relief and if you’re confused, call this hotline. The former Montgomery County EMS Director claims the County Mayor bullied him into retirement. Police in Weakley County warn someone’s posing as an officer and pulling people over.

NCAA WOMEN’S SOCCER~ MSU loses to South Florida (4-2); wins against Alabama A&M (1-0). APSU beats Western Illinois (1-0) and Chattanooga (2-0). UTM beats Lipscomb (1-0); loses to Missouri State (2-0).

Notes From the Porch

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What a beautiful Saturday for some traditional and roots music both new and old!

I was able to get advanced copies of two great new albums this week. The Steeldrivers forthcoming Reckless release and Justin Townes Earle‘s forthcoming work Harlem River Blues. We’re sprinkling in folk, bluegrass, americana and more to frame up these two album features including a feature set of Norman Blake & Tony Rice that’s rolling as I type.

The Steeldrivers - RecklessThe Steel Drivers – Reckless – Rounder Records

This is the second album from the Steeldrivers, which acts as a swan song of sorts for the big, gritty voice and songwriting prowess of Chris Stapleton. Shortly after this album was released Stapleton parted ways with The Steeldrivers to seek a bit less hectic lifestyle. The new album features 12 Stapleton co-written tunes; 11 with Mike Henderson and one with Ronnie Bowman. The big Steeldriver sound is still alive in this release with a bit more variation of tempo.

The album hits the streets September 14.

You can also catch the Steeldrivers on the soundtrack to the movie Get Low which is a second collaboration of Rounder Records and Sony Picture Classics… yep, the same pairing behind O’ Brother Where Art Though. Read more at the Bluegrass Blog.

Want a preview of how The Steeldrivers sound with their new front man? Here is a video of the band doing “Reckless Side of Things”.

Justin Townes Earle – Harlem River Blues – Bloodshot Records

Justin Townes Earle

Justin Townes Earle

When you pick up The Steeldrivers new album be sure and grab the new one from Justin Townes Earle as well. Harlem River Blues hits the streets on the very same day, September 14. This will be the third release from JTE on Bloodshot Records.

“Compared to the much-lauded Midnight at the Movies, Harlem River Blues is more mature and increasingly nuanced, while still embracing the raw voice and clean sound of previous standout tracks like “Mama’s Eyes.” Featuring guest appearances from Jason Isbell, Bryn Davies and Calexico’s Paul Niehaus, it’s rockin’ and reelin’ at times, sweet and slow at others – and it’s great. Like good fried chicken, a well-cut suit and a hand made guitar, there’s heaven to be found in the beautifully crafted simpler things.

~ From

The album is at times familiar with that quirky-in-time-thumping rhythmic approach that we have all come to know from Earle but still exploratory as JTE seeks to find new ways and new melodies to weave his stories.

Here is Earle doing Halfway to Jackson.

Have a good weekend and I will see ya in two weeks!

~ John McMillen

The Front Page [08.27.10]

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Mosque Denied in Mayfield,
ACLU Watches Situation

Mayfield, KY ~ This week, the Mayfield zoning board denied a conditional use permit that would have allowed a mosque in the city’s downtown. This is the first conditional use permit submitted by a religious organization the board has denied. At a public meeting, local residents and business owners cited a lack of parking and traffic controls as their main opposition to the proposal. No member of the Somali Muslims that submitted the application was present. As Angela Hatton reports, the Kentucky branch of the American Civil Liberties Union is keeping an eye on the situation.

MSU’s Dr. Abdul Yarali Reacts to Mayfield’s Mosque Denial

Murray, KY ~ Lack of adequate parking was cited as the reason for Tuesday’s decision to disallow the construction of a mosque in Mayfield. The decision was met by cheers by those in attendance. The news was not applauded by the Muslim community in neighboring Murray; instead deepening concerns that western Kentucky cannot provide an appropriate venue for the growing Muslim community to worship. These concerns are shared by Dr. Abdul Yarali, faculty sponsor of the Muslim Student Organization at Murray State University.

Crashing for Caleb:
One family’s journey to care for their son

Benton, KY ~ Seventeen lawnmowers lined the dirt track at Benton’s H.H. Lovett Park last Saturday. An estimated 300 people showed up in the blazing heat and humidity to support Caleb Baker. He was born a healthy 9-pound-baby. His mother, Beth, says he was a normal, rambunctious little boy. Then, when he was a toddler, his parents began noticing that he was more stubborn than most kids his age. At three, Caleb was diagnosed with a kind of autism called Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified. Beth explains how the family dealt with the news.

Rachel’s Challenge

Calloway County, KY ~ At twelve years old, Calloway County Middle School student Seth Misselli is too young to remember the Columbine massacre. But he’s not too young to feel firsthand the effects of school bullying. After a daytime presentation of Rachel’s Challenge, he returned to the school that evening, with an entourage.

Kentucky preps for World Equestrian Games

Lexington, KY ~ Many changes are underway at the Kentucky Horse Park as the World Equestrian Games draw closer. Brenna Angel reports on the build out taking place in the horse park’s parking lot to welcome and market to WEG spectators.

Film critic Larry Thomas reviews A Winter’s Bone

Paducah, KY ~ This week’s feature at Paducah’s Maiden Alley Cinema is the suspenseful drama Winter’s Bone. Film critic Larry Thomas reviews this taut film; one loaded with dark secrets, and connections to our region.

Kentucky’s doomed race to the top effort

Frankfort, KY ~ Reaction was swift to word that Kentucky has again failed to snare federal Race to the Top dollars. Our Tony McVeigh has been tracking Kentucky’s vigorous, but ultimately doomed, effort for eight months.

Written by Chris Taylor

August 27, 2010 at 11:58 am

Posted in The Front Page