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Conversations from the Four Rivers Region

Archive for December 2010

Weekend Energy Preview 1/1

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Here’s what’s in the mix for this Saturday night’s Weekend Energy. The first show of the year is so heavy, it’s like weightlifting a battleship on the planet Mercury!

Highlights

Dirty Disco Youth – Love (Alex Gopher Remix) – I’ve been following the music by this Austrian “wunderkind” (pictured on the right) since he began remixing in 2007. Now signed to Dim Mak, this guy is only getting better. In this week’s mix, his new “mainstream happy” single remixed with a bit more edge by Alex Gopher. Check out the video.

The Beatrabauken – Wallbreakin’ – See  this week’s ‘Discovery’ below.

Fukkk Offf – Worldwide – Just because I can’t say their name on the radio doesn’t mean this rudely-named French team should be ignored. Nearly every song these guys put out is simply amazing, including their new single, “Worldwide.”

Fiero – Disco Night – I couldn’t out find much on Daniel Olarte, aka Fiero, but Disco Night is awesome nu-disco, indie marinated to perfection. I actually like the12inch and Subdue remixes better, but I put the original in this week’s mix instead.

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

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morning cram [decade sounds edition]

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“Remember Y2K? That’s beginning to seem like a long time ago, now. Morning Edition takes some time to remember how much has happened since the turn of the century.”

NPR gives us the decade in sound bites.

KENTUCKY ~ It’s New Year’s resolution time. Soldiers come home to Fort Campbell, one honored for a medal. Hopkinsville spends over $2 mil on greenspace, and immigration is the hot button issue in the 2011 session.

TENNESSEE ~ Woman runs into attempted robber at hospital. TVA blows its own horn.

ILLINOIS ~ New rules: campaign contributions limited for the first time, and some mobile home owners will have to pay more taxes.

Datebook: December 31 – New Year’s Eve

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It’s New Year’s Eve, December 31, and we close an exciting year, thanks to you.

On February 11 the new tower at Madisonville Community College began to ascend from its foundation. 90.9 FM Madisonville signed on the air in March.

On May 11, WKMS began its 40th anniversary Year, having started as a 13,000 watt service transmitting from a KET Tower near Farmington, upgrading to 100,000 watts and transmitting from a tower in LBL in 1980.

In June 89.5 FM Fulton, Martin, Union City signed on from a tower in Water Valley.

In August, we enjoyed a festive 40th Anniversary Appreciation Party with listeners raising nearly $5000 in silent auction bidding, and music with the Solid RockIt Boosters at the Carson Center in Paducah.

On September 10th, Ruby Lodge at Spring Lake in Madisonville hosted a WKMD Debut Party with lovely listeners, refreshments and music from WKMS HD2-all classical.

Thanks again for your gifts in 2010. We hope to see you Saturday, January 15, for The Grascals Concert! Happy New Year!

Written by Matt Markgraf

December 31, 2010 at 10:18 am

Posted in Datebook

morning cram [lone wolf edition]

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“Experts say to expect more undercover cases in 2011, because the agency has clearly decided that the best way to battle the growing threat of homegrown terrorism in this country is to confront the suspects directly.”

NPR tracks down lone-wolf terrorists.

KENTUCKY ~ Hopkinsville’s newly elected officials are official. Better teachers, better evaluations needed, says lawmaker. One judge tells the Louisville Orchestra to pay its musicians, while another says instant racing is OK, group to appeal. Gambling proposals defunct in the 2011 session. HVAC inspections become law.

TENNESSEE ~ An FBI inquiry leads to more revenue oversight in state government, while in Clarksville drunks get free rides.

ILLINOIS ~ Metropolis officials try to regulate their first strip club.

Datebook: December 30 – The last roll of Kodachrome film is developed. Today. Ever.

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It’s Thursday, December 30 . . .

Kentucky Dam Village State Park offers an overnight New Year’s Eve package. Cost is 150 dollars per couple, and includes dinner, dancing, lodging, and breakfast the next day. Cottages are available at the park. Call 800-325-0146.

You can also celebrate the new year at the Hopkins County Fairground and Convention Center. Glen Street & The Street Boys play at 7 PM, with a cash bar available. Tickets are 30 dollars per couple at the door.

The Missoula Children’s Theatre Residency seeks 50 to 60 students Kindergarten through 12th Grade for its performance of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Auditions are Monday, January 3, at Belmont Elementary School in Hopkinsville. The group auditions begin promptly at 4 PM. Rehearsals continue through the week with a performance January 8 at the Alhambra Theatre. Call 270-887-4295.

Submit your events online at WKMS-dot-org.

Editorial: Working Together to Improve College Readiness

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by Bob King, President, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

Every several years, the Council on Postsecondary Education publishes what we call the High School Feedback Report, which summarizes the college readiness of our high school graduates. Studies show that improved college readiness leads to improved student success, job opportunities, and overall quality of life.

Each report is available on our website.

As I have been travelling around the state in recent weeks, sharing the specific data on the high schools in the counties I have visited, I have come to understand how valuable these reports can be. Historically, parents are often directed to focus on graduation rates and average GPAs as evidence of how their local high school is performing. Our reports allow parents and educators to look more deeply into actual performance measured by an external, unbiased resource–the ACT exam results–now required of all Kentucky students.

In a recent presentation, I shared with the audience that by focusing on the usual measures their local high school looked quite effective. It reported a 92 percent graduation rate and an average GPA for its graduating seniors of 2.8 (slightly above the district average). When tested, however, 67 percent of their graduates were not ready to take freshman math, 57 percent were not ready to take freshman English, and 41.5 percent were not ready to for college-level reading. For many of these students, long accustomed to receiving A’s and B’s in high school, the fact they would need to take remedial courses in college was devastating.

Why the conflicting results?

What I hear often is that kids are told that rigorous, college preparatory courses are: “too hard”, “require too much homework”, “impose tough grading standards limiting the size of KEES awards”, “that they interfere with sports or the band”, and other rationale which discourage our high school students from adequately preparing themselves for college.

It has also been the case that our K-12 and college standards and curriculum are not aligned. The good news is that the recently enacted Senate Bill 1 from 2009 will correct the alignment problem, and will set as the goal of a high school education the readiness of each graduate for college or career.

And higher education has been complicit in this decline, admitting underprepared students, and sending the unintended message that you don’t have to work hard to get into college. While it has been the case that it is not difficult to get in, the same cannot be said for getting through and earning a degree. College faculty have high expectations for their students, and employers depend upon the quality of degrees awarded to those who persist to graduation.

So what to do?

First, parents and K-12 educators need to focus on the right data. What do our children actually know? Are they ready to take college level courses when they graduate or meet an employer’s expectations if they go directly into the workforce? Ask the right questions and demand answers.

Second, we have to stop being reluctant to set high expectations of our young people. In the most recent international testing, the results of which were published Dec. 6, 2010, American 15-year-olds ranked significantly behind their peers in Europe and Asia in math, reading, and science. These results will have a profound impact on the economic strength, prosperity, and security of the United States if we allow this situation to persist. If average kids in China, India, Korea, Canada, and Finland, for example, can perform at very high levels, then so can ours. But we need to set high expectations, and encourage our children to take rigorous courses. Whenever and wherever we have done that, our kids soar.

Third, our campuses need to re-evaluate admissions standards and align them with college readiness standards. By doing so they will be sending a message to high school and middle school kids that dedication and hard work will be required of them to both enroll and succeed in college.

Fourth, we need to serve teachers more effectively. We also need to do a better job preparing those who go into teaching: stronger content preparation, stronger pedagogical and diagnostic skills, and a deeper understanding of what will be expected once they get into the classroom. We also need to get re-engaged in supporting teachers during their career with relevant, effective professional development programs, and incisive research.

Finally, we need to unshackle ourselves from structures that have been carefully cultivated over decades to protect the adults in our education system, which too often elevate their needs over the needs of our kids. At the end of the day, our teachers and building principals are the most important players in the equation. They need top quality training, competitive and appropriate compensation, working conditions that encourage innovation and professional dedication, and ongoing support to keep their skills at the leading edge of successful practice. They also need to be accountable for results—results measured by the performance of their students. Highly effective teachers understand the myriad of factors that impact student learning and have applied their skills and training to navigate through them, creating brilliant results, obstacles notwithstanding. It will be a system filled with these great teachers that will assure a bright and vibrant future for our children and grandchildren in the 21st century.

The views expressed in commentaries are the opinion of the commentator and don’t necessarily reflect the views of WKMS.

Written by Angela Hatton

December 29, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Datebook: December 29 – Charles Goodyear turns 210

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It’s Wednesday, December 29 . . .

Tickets are available for Kenlake’s “Motown New Year’s Eve” Celebration. The dance starts at 9 PM at the lodge, and carries on through 1 AM. Refreshments are provided. Overnight packages are 150 dollars and include the dance, dinner for two, lodging, and breakfast. Call 800-325-0143.

Celebrate Friday night with the Kentucky Opry’s Big New Year Eve Show. Event includes special guests, hors d’oeuvres, and party favors. Tickets are $31 dollars and under, with group rates upon request.

Start your New Year’s resolution with Cooper Clayton Smoking Cessation Classes. The 13-week program begins January 4 at Murray-Calloway County Hospital. Healthcare professionals lead classes in behavior modification techniques, group discussion, and ways to minimize relapse. Pre-registration is required. Call 762-1348.

See more ways to celebrate the holiday at WKMS-dot-org’s regional events calendar.

Written by Matt Markgraf

December 29, 2010 at 10:41 am