The Front Blog

Conversations from the Four Rivers Region

Archive for January 2011

Datebook: January 31 – Ham the chimp travels into space 50 years ago

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It’s Monday, January 31.

Today’s the last day for voting for a quarter million dollar grant for a Murray State health project. It would provide a mobile health clinic to travel this region offering screenings, tests and some dental procedures.  Vote by texting 105545 (it’s free) to Pepsi 73774 or go online at

The Paducah Symphony Chorus and Children’s Chorus present A Winter Chorus Concert Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Broadway United Methodist Church, 701 Broadway.  The concert features Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna and choral works by American Composers.  Tickets are $20.  The University of the South ‘s Jason Farris is guest organist.

Tomorrow at 7 p.m. Murray State University History professor Bill Schell lectures in Clara M. Eagle Gallery in conjunction with the exhibit El Grabado Mexicano:  The History of Mexico Through its Engravings.  These 20th century engravings about Mexican Independence are on display through Sunday.  The Gallery’s on the 6th Floor of Doyle Fine Arts

Learn more at  Thank you for your contributions which support what you hear and see at that website.

morning cram [church 4 sale edition]

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The Lord giveth and the bank taketh away — at least, that’s what several churches learned recently.

NPR reports lenders foreclosed on about 100 churches last year (an enormous increase over just a few years ago).

Looks like an advancing winter weather storm may spare us.

KENTUCKY~ A Paducah man is accused of a stabbing murder and cops there round up $40k worth of fake pot and smoking pipes from 3 area businesses. Completion of Owensboro’s extended airport runway is on the horizon. A tractor accident kills a Trenton mother but spares her young kids. GOP contenders for governor are all about ‘change’. Kentucky nabs almost $3mil in new federal heating assistance after already giving out some $17mil. The General Assembly revs its engines today ahead of Beshear’s State of the Commonwealth address (tomorrow night). Ex-Prez George (Dubya) Bush will sign books @ Fort Campbell on Wednesday.

TENNESSEE~ Clarksville may change its mind about fronting the money for a new airport terminal. Governor Haslam claims he was oblivious his ordered freeze on a new state regulation helps out his family’s gas station chain. TennCare may $ave by limiting hospital/doctor visits to 8 times a year.


The Front Page [01.28.11]

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Market forces in conservative talk radio 
Justified or not, conservative talk shows have been blamed for a lack of civility in American society. The hosts of these radio programs are often provocative, critical of President Obama, his Democratic colleagues and liberal causes, and they’re highly profitable. Kentucky Public Radio’s Bryan Bartlett reports on the market forces that power conservative talk radio.

The Q&A – Rep. Melvin Henley on upcoming General Assembly 
Kentucky’s State Senate passed a flurry of bills before the recess this month, but despite the activity, one House member isn’t convinced senators really got anything done. A Q&A with 5th District State Representative Melvin Henley.

Kentucky Civil War Dispatch 4: Kentucky’s Pro-South Region 
We continue our look at what was happening in Kentucky 150 years ago as the nation descended into disunion. Here’s Part 4 of our on-going series, Kentucky’s Civil War Dispatches. A visit to the Commonwealth’s lone pro-south region, the Jackson Purchase.

Increased Meth Labs Put Strain on the Kentucky State Police 
Kentucky law enforcement busted 1,060 meth labs in Kentucky last year. That’s over 300 more than in 2009. More meth labs means more police investigations, and more stress on the state’s law enforcement officers. As Angela Hatton reports, manpower restrictions and inconsistent funding means police in western Kentucky continue to play catch-up.

McCracken Official Opens Up about County/City Lawsuit 
McCracken County’s Fiscal Court voted Monday to sue the city of Paducah over annexation of a hundred-plus acres of Paducah Power and Tennessee Valley Authority property along Schneidman Road. In a phone conversation, County Commissioner Jerry Beyer says the city’s land grab is illegal because it wasn’t adjacent to the city’s boundaries. Instead, he says, it’s corridor annexation’ because it included a narrow strip of Paducah & Louisville Railway right of way.

Jon Hayden Speaks on Bath Salts 
A new drug has taken to the market in McCracken County. Already, 10 people have been hospitalized after exposure to what people are calling legal, synthetic cocaine. The products are being labeled as bath salts and when consumed give the user a stimulate like high. David Schmoll learns more with McCracken County Sheriff Jon Hayden.

Stroke Drug Could Save More Lives If Patients Arrived at ER Sooner
A stroke can devastate a person’s life. Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. In 2005, it was the fifth leading cause of death in Kentucky. The 51 percent in Kentucky who survive have the chance of lifelong paralysis. When a stroke hits, the key is response. As Angela Hatton reports, recognizing symptoms may save more than a person’s life.

Purchase Players Present “Dearly Departed” 
The Purchase Players of Mayfield open their show “Dearly Departed” tonight at 7PM, a comedy that begins with a Southern family’s father figure suddenly keeling over at the breakfast table. Rose Krzton-Presson spoke with Pam Wright, director of “Dearly Departed” as well as mast members Brian O’neill and Cheyenne Wagner about this dark comedy.

Written by Chris Taylor

January 28, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Posted in The Front Page

Weekend Energy Preview – 1/28

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Here’s what’s in the mix for this Saturday night’s Weekend Energy. This week’s show is so wild, it’s like riding through the African Savannah on a jet-powered hoover-craft into a water hole full of rabid elephants.


2000fastwomen – Letters from Vienna (NAPT Remix)  – See this week’s “Discovery” below.

The Toxic Avenger – Escape (The Bloody Beetroots Remix) – This is one of those collaborations that blew me away before even listening to the song. Two consistently great artists on one rocking electro instrumental. The featured artist here is The Bloody Beetroots, who recently dropped an extensive remix album, on which this was one of the tracks. Another song from that album I had on this week’s shortlist is a remix of Second Lives by Vitalic. Watch a good quality live performance.

Bag Raiders – Sunlight – Australian house duo Bag Raiders have been on the Weekend Energy playlists since Fun Punch came out in 2007. I’m thrilled they finally put out a full-scale album, self-titled. Sunlight is the second single and it’s feel-good vibe is enough to make it feel like summer in your ears. I also recommend their song Shooting Stars. Go bananas with their music video.

Jeannie – Orange – There’s always room in the mix for some great j-pop, especially when it’s got a breaks vibe and a fresh sound. The Japanese music culture maintains a level of trendiness above and beyond Europe and the US. Jeannie’s album, “NY to London” is a great example of this. In addition to Orange, I recommend their chill-out title track and the indie track Blue Jack Corvin.

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Matt Markgraf

January 28, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Datebook: January 28 – Challenger disintegrates after lift-off 25 years ago

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It’s Friday, January 28.

Magician Todd Duff has created a journey through many eras of magic as a fundraiser for  Paducah’s Market House Theatre’s Youth and Outreach Educational Programming.  Tickets are $20 for Duff’s 7:30 show at the Theatre tomorrow night.  Get tickets at

Economist and pop culture icon Ben Stein gives the 2011 Presidential Lecture at Murray State next Tuesday.  Stein’s presentation starts at 7:30 p.m. in Lovett Auditorium and admission is free.  Stein’s careers include lawyer, academic, speech writer for Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, national columnist, commentator for CBS Sunday morning, ad pitch man, novelist, actor and game show host.

Southern Illinois singer-songwriter Mark Donham plays the Listening Room Café in Nashville Sunday.  It’s at the south end of Cummings Station at 10th and Demonbreun, behind the Frist Art Center.  Donham is in the songwriter round at 6 which is followed by another at 7 and an open mic at 8.

Enjoy your weekend and keep in touch with  Thanks for listening and for contributing.

Written by Matt Markgraf

January 28, 2011 at 10:14 am

morning cram [unquelled edition]

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The Egyptian capital Cairo is a scene of violent chaos today. Earlier, +10k anti-government protesters stoned and confronted police, who fired back with rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons.

NPR reports Egyptians outside the country are posting updates on Twitter by phoning those inside (after the state shut down the internet).

KENTUCKY~ An arrest was made in yesterday’s 3 hour Paducah-area police chase. Fulton Police release details in a recent toddler bucket death. The environmental cleanup contractor @ Paducah’s Gaseous Diffusion Plant predicts it will cut jobs this summer. Meet the state’s last living juvenile drug court (thanks to local$). Should state government make your cold meds a prescription? Murray’s Rep. Henley: “I haven’t heard anything (about the budget).” US Senator Rand Paul snatches up 4 committee seats.

TENNESSEE~ OVC Basketball (Men’s) APSU > EKU; (Women’s) APSU < EKU.

ILLINOIS~ 16 southern counties are labeled agricultural disaster areas from fall’s drought.

Datebook: January 27 – International Holocaust Remembrance Day

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It’s Thursday, January 27.

Tonight MSU Professor Dale Leys’ Advanced Drawing Class exhibition at the West Kentucky Community and Technical College Fine Arts Center in Paducah closes with a reception from 5 to 7 .  Ten students show works ranging from traditional techniques to contemporary applications.

Tonight the Murray State University Symphony Orchestra performs a special concert in Lovett Auditorium at 7:30.  Students Robert Arneson and Cody Martin, both pianists, fulfill their concerto requirement performing works by Prokofiev and Gershwin respectively.  The Orchestra performs in Orchestra Hall in Chicago in March.

The Murray Art Guild offers clay production and hand building studios for adults and Messy Fridays for youth focusing on developing skills and exploration.  All materials are provided.  See more at or call 270-753-4059.

Listen to our all classical HD2 channel at  Thanks for listening and contributing !

morning cram [movie magic edition]

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Once upon a time, long before the digital age, scenery and special effects were crafted entirely by human hands.

<— NPR takes us behind classic scenes from movies like this one.

KENTUCKY~ Benton Police arrest the guy who crashed his SUV into a Subway restaurant. Some area schools have been out +20 snow daysMSU > SIU-E. Governor Beshear cares about high school dropouts. Senator McConnell wants to end public contributions to presidential campaigns. Rand Paul’s newly proposed bill would eradicate several arms of the federal government.

TENNESSEE~ Planned widening of the Paris-Puryear stretch of US-641 has been pushed back by at least a year and a half. Clarksville-Montgomery County students will attend longer classes to make up snow days. Governor Haslam outspent (5x over) his opponents. The state’s top judge is pushing for attorney’s to up their pro bono game. The Volunteer State keeps breaking its own meth-related records.

Weather Related Closings – January 27

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Thursday, January 27

Kentucky Schools:
Caldwell County, Christian County, Crittenden County (Opens @ 10:00am), Dawson Springs (Opens @ 9:00am), Hopkins County, Trigg County, Webster County.

Tennessee Schools:
Clarksville Academy, Clarksville Christian School, Henry County (Opens @ 8:30am), Houston County, Montgomery Christian Academy, Montgomery County, Stewart County.

Illinois Schools:
No information at this time.

Other Closings:
No information at this time.

Kentucky Daycare Centers:
No information at this time.

Road Conditions:

Other Important links:
Latest Regional Weather Info
National Weather Service – Paducah

Our Regional Weather Page

Written by Matt Markgraf

January 26, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Datebook: UK occupies Hong Kong 170 years ago

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It’s Wednesday, January 26.

Sunday soprano Sonya Gabrielle Baker and pianist Angela Wu present a Faculty recital in Performing Arts Hall of Price Doyle Fine Arts Building at Murray State University.  The program which begins at 2 p.m. includes works by Handel, Duparc, Berg, Beach, and traditional spirituals.

The Rivertown Reading Series continues Saturday at the Yeiser Art Center.  Indiana autho Micah Ling reads poems from her second book, Sweetgrass, starting at 7:30 p.m.  The Yeiser is at 200 Broadway in Paducah.

The Humane Society of Calloway County has its 2nd Annual Fashion 4 Paws, a formal wear consignment event. Saturday in Murray State’s Curris Center Stables from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Like-new prom and cocktail dresses, cruise wear and evening wear for ladies of all ages are available.  Bring clean and gently used formal wear to the Humane Society Office in the Weaks Center today, 10 to 3.  Call ahead at 270-759-1884. is your resource for communicating your events to our region and for learning more about public broadcasting funding issues.