The Front Blog

Conversations from the Four Rivers Region

Archive for November 2010

morning cram [debt edition]

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President Obama’s fiscal commission begins a final round of meetings today, which could produce a plan to cut the nation’s growing debt.

~NPR takes a page from Charles Dickens, pointing out ghosts of debts past and the present partisan spirits locking it into place.

KENTUCKY~ A Paducah man is convicted for the bathroom stabbing of a VFW patron. Kentucky’s College King visits Madisonville today. A Louisville company will produce a horse fertility drug. A local sheriff offers another scam warning.

TENNESSEE~ There’s a groundbreaking today for Outlaw Field’s new fire station. A Montgomery County company gets a employee improvement grant. Outgoing Gov. Phil Bredesen asks the fed for drought disaster money.

ILLINOIS~ Gov. Quinn grants clemency to almost half of those asking for it. Could civil unions be legalized this legislative session?

Written by Chris Taylor

November 30, 2010 at 9:27 am

Posted in The Morning Cram

Datebook: November 30 – Lucy wed Desi 70 yrs ago

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It’s Tuesday, November 30

Amy Martin directs The Paris Henry County Arts Council’s 43rd Annual Community Christmas Concert- Sunday at 3 pm at First United Methodist Church. Hear the Henry County High School Madrigals, Veazey Vocals, and “Celebration Handbells”.  A reception follows. Admission is free.  The Church is at 101 East Blythe Street.

The Jackson Purchase Dance Company presents a Holiday Dance Fest Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Murray State’s Lovett Auditorium.  The concert reunites two dancers from the Company’s original group – both are choreographers who now live and dance in Nashville.  Admission is $8 for adults; $6 students under 16.

Tomorrow Grace Episcopal Church commemorates World AIDS Day.  There’s a 5:30 p.m. candlelight walk beginning at the church at 9th and Broadway in Paducah and ending there at 5:50 for a candlelight vigil.  At 6:15 a service of remembrance includes presentations by HIV activists and physicians, the NIA dancers and local choirs.  There’s a reception at 7:30.

See a schedule of our special holiday programs at  Hear Hanukkah Lights Thursday at Noon.

Good Read – All Facts Considered

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All Facts Considered
by Kee Malesky

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

Product Description:
For the bestselling miscellany market, an NPR librarian’s compendium of fascinating facts on history, science, and the art. How much water do the Great Lakes contain? Who were the first and last men killed in the Civil War? How long is a New York minute? What are the lost plays of Shakespeare? What building did Elvis leave last? Get the answers to these and countless other vexing questions in a All Facts Considered. Guaranteed to enlighten even the most seasoned trivia buff, this treasure trove of “who knew?” factoids spans a wide range of intriguing subjects. The perfect gift for every inquiring mind that wants to know, All Facts Considered will put you at the center of the conversation as you show off your essential store of inessential yet irresistible knowledge.

Matt Markgraf says:

“I’m naturally curious about facts and anecdotes that may have little tangible value in the functioning world. NPR does little to discourage this obsession, too… And now in book form! Since reading this book, I’ve started (and ended) many conversations with ‘Did you know…?’ Here are a few neat things I’ve learned: Julia Child made a shark repellent for the CIA; Tiramisu was invented less than 30 years ago; the term ‘deadline’ was once literal; the first African to come to the New World was a pilot for Christopher Columbus; the US Army had a Camel Corps – yes, camels; if a male dog mates with a female coyote they’ll produce a ‘dogote’. The bite-sized blurbs in this book are varied and substantive enough to leave you fulfilled. Malesky has very extensive citation in the back, which I appreciated. It’s a fun book and it’ll make you smarter, a rare formula that makes for an excellent read.”

Check out our Good Reads page for more recommended books.

Written by Matt Markgraf

November 29, 2010 at 10:58 am

Datebook: November 29 – Cyber Monday

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It’s Monday, November 29.

The MSU Clay Club has its Winter Ceramics Sale Wednesday and Thursday, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the Curris Center Rocking Chair Lounge. Shop for Handmade pottery and sculpture.

The Paris Henry County Heritage Center exhibit “Trees on the Square” opens tomorrow and runs through December 19.  Hours are Tuesday through Friday, noon to 6, Saturdays 10 to 6 and Sundays 1 to 4.  Enter via the Market Street Parking Lot behind the Center at 614 North Poplar.

The Carson Center in Paducah collects boxes of cereal for the Paducah Cooperative Ministry today through December 17th.  The donation bin is inside near the Box Office, open Monday through Friday 10 to 5.  Also, ticket holders for shows may bring donations to performances.

The American Red Cross has a two day blood drive at Murray State’s Curris Center, tomorrow and Wednesday from 9 to 3.  The Curris Center is on Chestnut Street. Schedule an appointment at

Thank you for listening.  Use to listen online as well.

morning cram [bye les edition]

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Leslie Nielsen was someone who said unfunny things in an unfunny way, and for some reason, people laughed.

~NPR remembers the comic actor, who died Sunday.

KENTUCKY~ MSU’s grad rate soars over all (except UK). A Calloway County teen is dead after a hunting rifle misfired. No one injured in a 5-car I-24 wreck. McCracken County’s Clerk wants more voting booths and the Judge Executive is coming under fire for using a public vehicle for personal business. Police arrest 3 on methlab, drug and stolen property charges. Cut your own free x-mas tree in LBL this month. A report looks at what would happen if the state diversified its energy portfolio. It’s Cyber Monday, so be careful of your online identity when making those click-buys. UofL announces a winner of its prestigious musical comp award.

ILLINOIS~ Deer hunters killed +68k deer in one weekend.

SPORTS~ (Men’s Basketball) MSU > Stanford, but MSU lost to UNLV & OSU. Oakland > APSU > Charleston Southern. UTM < Lipscomb. (Women’s Basketball) MSU < UK & LA-L. APSU < SIU-E & SIU-C.

Written by Chris Taylor

November 29, 2010 at 9:18 am

Posted in The Morning Cram

December: November 26 – Black Friday

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It’s Friday, November 26.

The Homeplace in Land Between the Lakes prepares for Christmas tomorrow from 1 to 4 p.m.  Learn how to make 1850’s Christmas decorations and home cooked goodies while enjoying old-time Christmas tunes with the Dixie Volunteers. Then caroling welcomes the horse and buggy bringing Santa. The Homeplace is south on the Trace from 68/80.

Tour Adsmore by candlelight tomorrow from 6 to 8:30 p.m.  Victorian-costumed guides walk you through the 1857 Greek Revival Home decorated for the holidays, complete with the best china and silver and original Santa favors on the diningroom table.  Adsmore House, Gardens and Gun Shop are at 304 North Jefferson in Princeton.

The Great Hall of Ordway Castle at Murray State rings full of the madrigals of Henry the 8th at 6 p.m. next Friday, December 3, and Saturday December 4.  Tickets are $25, reserved seating only at 809-4288.  Jesters prank.  The Lords and Ladies sashay and sing with royal trumpets, harpsichord and guitar.

We appreciate your company today and every day.  Explore our region at

Written by Matt Markgraf

November 26, 2010 at 10:10 am

morning cram [special deliveries edition]

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“Faced with an $8.5 billion loss, the U.S. Postal Service has been cutting back: slashing hours, combining routes and closing offices. In East Cleveland, Ohio, the city’s only post office has been downsized from nearly 100 employees to just one.”

~ NPR has special memories from a struggling industry.

KENTUCKY ~ Roads are treacherous after Thanksgiving Day weather. Black Friday means beefed-up security in many communities. The flu is here, but the vaccine supply is plentiful.  A Turkey Day car crash at Kenlake State Park kills one, injures another. A soldier’s death may have been suicide. A legislator wants to make state government transparent. Wild horses need homes, and endangered cranes huddle up in Union County.

SPORTS ~ MSU > Stanford

Soldiers Celebrate Thanksgiving in Afghanistan

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The following story is courtesy of the Bagram Media Center of Regional Command East in Afghanistan.

GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Task Force Iron Rakkasan celebrated Thanksgiving 2010 in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. Even thousands of miles from home, the Soldiers had many reasons to be thankful.

“We’ve completed nine months of our deployment and we have had a lot of success,” said U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Joshua Isbell from Sylacauga, Ala., a squad leader in 2nd Platoon, Company A, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division. “The battalion has made a lot of progress at pushing the insurgents out of Ghazni while preparing the Afghan National Security Forces to take up the task on their own.”

The chains of command throughout Task Force Iron Rakkasan scheduled minimal operations and patrols for their Soldiers. Although some patrols were still needed to ensure everyone’s safety, all Soldiers were granted some down time to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal and to call home to their families.

The Soldiers across the battalion enjoyed a well-cooked Thanksgiving meal which was prepared by each forward operating base’s team of cooks. The military provided the majority of the turkeys, hams and cranberry sauce, but private donations made the meal memorable. A private radio station, 92.3 FM out of Las Vegas, Nev., donated more than 750 pounds of spices, seasonings and side dishes.

The special meal required special service. Members of the Iron Rakkasan staff as well as leadership from each element located at FOB Andar helped with carving the turkey and serving the Soldiers. Even the Polish Brigade Commanding General Brig. Gen. Andrezej Reudowicz came to help Task Force Iron celebrate Thanksgiving and took a turn carving the turkey.

U.S. Army Lt. Col. David Fivecoat from Delaware, Ohio, and U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy Johnson from Lansing, Mich., TF Iron Rakkasan commander and command sergeant major, respectively, circulated to the each company’s FOBs to visit the Soldiers and wish them a Happy Thanksgiving.

To honor traditional Thanksgiving celebrations, Iron Rakkasans held their annual “Turkey Bowl” football game, pitting the unit’s officers against its noncommissioned officers.

“The opportunity to come together as an organization and play football was a great bonding experience,” said U.S. Army Maj. Kenric Bourne from St. Louis, Mo., 3-187th executive officer. “My view of Thanksgiving is not complete without turkey and football, and I believe this experience gave all who played a small taste of home while here in Afghanistan.”

At the end of the game, the NCOs squeaked out a win over the officers in a very close and toughly contested game. The NCOs were excited to maintain the Turkey Bowl championship title for at least one more year. The officers, however, have already begun planning and training for next year’s rematch.

Written by Angela Hatton

November 26, 2010 at 7:54 am

Datebook: November 25 – Thanksgiving Day

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It’s Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, November 25.

The Paducah Writers Group convenes tomorrow and each Friday night at 8 p.m. at Etcetera Coffeehouse, 320 North 6th Street, Lowertown, Paducah.  Hear poets and storytellers and take part.

The Guild Art Gallery in Bradford Square Mall hosts a Christmas Bazaar tomorrow and Saturday from 10 to 8 both days.  Hopkinsville Art Guild members feature gifts under $100 in value including small original paintings, ornaments, jewelry, pottery and Christmas Cards.  The Mall is at 4000 Fort Campbell Boulevard in Hopkinsville.

Paducah’s Downtown Santa House opens Saturday and continues through December 18.  It’s at the Ice Rink on the corner of Jefferson and 2nd Streets.

Murray State’s CFSB Center presents Sesame Street Live, 1-2-3 Imagine with Elmo and Friends tomorrow through Sunday.  Shows are at 7 p.m. Friday, 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.  Tickets are available online at, by phone at 800-745-3000, or at the CFSB Box Office.

Enjoy blessings today.  And use to keep in touch. We’re grateful for your listening and for your support.

morning cram [gobble gobble edition]

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Robert Krulwich asks, “Who brought the turkey?” 

~NPR has the truth about the first Thanksgiving.

KENTUCKY~ The latest Paducah Police undercover theft sting nets no arrests. Law enforcement last month discovered more meth labs than ever before (and the state is already breaking its annual records). Unemployment figures lower across the region. Fort Campbell has a new (but familiar) incoming commander. Beshear appoints several area residents to advise on LBL matters.

TENNESSEE~ Paris’ hospital is going to build itself a new power plant for over $8mil. Adopt a wild horse next weekend.

OTHER~ Celebrate National Day of Listening (tomorrow) by hearing this piece.

Written by Chris Taylor

November 25, 2010 at 8:00 am

Posted in The Morning Cram