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Conversations from the Four Rivers Region

Archive for June 2011

Datebook: June 30 – Harding appoints Taft Chief Justice 90 years ago

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On June 30, 1921, U.S. President Warren G. Harding appointed former President William Howard Taft as the 10th Chief Justice of the United States. Taft served in this capacity until shortly before his death in 1930. He is the only former president to administer the oath of office to another President and the only Chief Justice to serve with associate justices whom he had appointed to the court.

It’s Thursday, June 30

Highlands Latin Cottage School hosts an open house at Broadway United Methodist Church, 701 Broadway, Paducah from 6 to 8 tonight. This fall Highlands Latin, Paducah will offer one-day a week classes in Latin and Classical Studies for homeschoolers of all ages as well a one-day k-2 primary program in phonics, reading, penmanship and math.

Fort Donelson National Battlefield in Dover offers a junior ranger program Saturday. It’s free, starts at 2 p.m. and involves scouts and families learning about park animals, Civil War history, and hiking park trails with park volunteers and staff. Call Park Ranger Susan Hawkins at 931-232-5706 for more.

The Humane Society of Calloway County’s Bark in the Park is Saturday from 11 to 2 in Murray Central Park’s Courthouse Pavilion off Arcadia Drive. There’s a silent auction, newly designed tees, grooming, microchipping, lunch, and events like bobbing for hotdogs, pet photo contest and more. Bring adult dogs on leashes. Very young puppies shouldn’t be subjected to the heat.

See details at Thanks.

the morning cram [no new taxes…ever edition]

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Stephen Colbert discovers Grover Norquist would sacrifice his grandmother to fire ants before approving a tax increase.

NPR reports the GOP has long resolved to refuse tax increases, while Democrats continue to crow over what are thought to be “chinks” in the no-new-tax armor.

Kentucky~ The McCracken County Jail is looking to improve security. Amtrak in Fulton might pick you up at home soon. There will be lanes closed on I-24 starting next week. Brent Burke has been released. There are more fireworks stands this year. Elderly are targeted for a “grandparent scam”.

Illinois~ Gov Quinn needs to create a new budget.

Datebook: June 29 – Bernard Herrmann turns 100

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American film composer Bernard Herrmann was born June 29, 1911 (and died December 24, 1975). He may be most noted for his Academy Award-winning work The Devil and Daniel Webster, 1941. he’s also known for his collaborations with director Alfred Hitchcock, composing the scores for Psycho, North by Northwest, The Man Who Knew Too Much and Vertigo. Additionally, he composed Citizen Kane, Taxi Driver, The Twilight Zone and Have Gun-Will Travel. Happy birthday Bernard!

It’s Wednesday, June 29

July 1 the Red Cross collects blood at the Mayfield Graves County Habitat for Humanity ReStore. It’s at 901 Paducah Road, 45 North. The mobile donation vehicle is there from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday. ReStore accepts donations of commercial, industrial, agricultural and residential items.

Friday there’s an Art Party Extravaganza at the Murray Art Guild from 6 to 9 p.m. It’s open to all at no charge at the Guild, 500 North Fourth. Enjoy live music, making bowls for the Empty Bowls project, refreshments and an exhibition reception. See for details.

Saturday morning the forty piece 202nd Army Band performs in Murray’s Freedom Fest Parade which starts at 9:30 at 10th and Main and winds up at Briggs and Stratton. The Band also performs after the parade on the court square street fair stage from 11:30 to 12:30. The Band is recruiting musicians who want to serve Kentucky and the nation. E-mail for an audition.

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the morning cram [shaken baby edition]

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Is shaken baby syndrome blamed for babies’ deaths too often?

NPR reports Norman Guthkelch, the doctor who is credited with first observing the condition, questions the free nature with which the syndrome is blamed for killing babies.

Kentucky~ There will be no alcohol in Reidland. Calloway County Middle School has a new principal. A city engineer says Paducah’s floodwall held up well.  A gubernatorial hopeful is angered by dis.  The Asian longhorned beetle threatens the state’s forests.

Tennessee~ Clarksville’s Power Board may be revamped. Those who need energy assistance help will have to wait until October.

Datebook: June 28 – Henry VIII born 520 years ago

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Henry VIII was born on June 28, 1491 (and died January 28, 1547). He was the King of England for nearly 40 years, until his death, Lord and King of Ireland, claimant to the Kingdom of France. He may be best known for his six marriages, and also for his role in the separation of the Church of England from the Catholic Church. He also oversaw the union of England and Wales. Though an attractive and charismatic man in his early years, he suffered from obesity near the end of his rule. This fact, often paralleled with his personal vanity, as such, has led to his frequent depiction as a lustful, egotistical, harsh and insecure king. Whichever the case, he is arguably on of the most famous (or infamous) kings in history and we wish him a happy birthday.

It’s Tuesday, June 28

There’s a new exhibit at the Pennyroyal Area Museum in Hopkinsville featuring University of Kentucky die-cast model cars and collectibles.  The collection includes eighty model cars and trucks, as well as one model airplane.  The museum is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 4:30 and on Saturday from 10 to 3.

Land Between the Lakes asks for public input in developing a long-range facility plan for the Golden Pond Visitor Center Complex.  Although there are no immediate plans to make changes to the facility, the LBL staff hopes to create a thirty-year vision for the complex.  Information on how to submit your comments and suggestions is at

The NWS PEACE program, a non-profit foreign student exchange program, seeks families to host high school students from Ecuador, Turkey, Brazil, Vietnam, and other countries for the 2011 school year.  Students need to be matched with host families by August 1st.  For more information, visit

Visit us online at to find more regional events.

Datebook: June 27 – Siebenschläfertag

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In Germany, June 27 is Siebenschläfertag (Seven Sleepers Day). The weather on that day is supposed to determine the average weather of the next seven weeks. This is one of the most well-known bits of traditional farmers’ weather lore remaining in today’s Germany, but quite inaccurate in practice. Besides, if this were true, then the next seven weeks might be cloudy, dreary and wet. Let’s hope they’re wrong!

It’s Monday, June 27

The public is invited to a reception featuring University of Kentucky Head Football Coach Joker Phillips tonight from 5-7 on the 8th floor of the Trover Tower in Madisonville.  There will be opportunities to win items signed by Coach Phillips as well as other UK football memorabilia. Admission is free for members of the UK Alumni Association and 5 dollars for nonmembers.

The Calloway County chapter of the American Red Cross will have their Annual Board of Directors Meeting tomorrow night at 5 at the Weaks Community Center Dining Room in Murray.  The community is invited to attend.  Red Cross volunteers and donors will be recognized.

The Nature Station at Land Between the Lakes leads a 2.2-mile interpretive hike around Hematite Lake tomorrow at 11, weather permitting.  Halfway through, there will be a break for a quick meal, so bring lunch and a drink. The hike is free to all LBL visitors.  For more information, visit

Check out our interactive events calendar at

Good Read – Across the Universe

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Across the Universe
by Beth Revis

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

Product Description:

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules. Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone – one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship – tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next. Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

Matt Markgraf says:

One of the most anticipated young adult novels of the year. Publisher’s Weekly raved about the first chapter, when it was released several months before the book. I caught a glimpse then and was floored by the vivid detail, the rich and colorful details and the easing into the ‘rules’ of the science fiction world. The story begins with young Amy being freezed in a cryochamber as her family attempts to flee Earth. The second perspective follows Elder, the young leader-to-be of the spaceship Godspeed. Things, of course, go awry and their paths cross. Both characters are believable and refreshing and the spaceship is a fascinating microcosm of an idealistic sustainable earth. Any fan of sci-fi with a little romance will love Across the Universe.

Check out our Good Reads page for more recommended books.

Written by Matt Markgraf

June 27, 2011 at 11:45 am

the morning cram [rebuilding Japan edition]

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As Japan slowly recovers from the devastating March earthquake, Japanese citizens ponder the future of the country.

NPR reports in the midst of devastation and tragedy, opportunity for shaping the future of Japan arises.

Kentucky~ A man is ordered to put his gun away in a Paducah City Council meeting. 267 soldiers have returned to Fort Campbell. A man died when he was hit by a truck this weekend. Legalized Sandhill Crane hunting is fast approaching. Flood assistance is available for farmers (female and Mexican farmers too). One official thinks Kentucky will be the new China.

Tennessee~ Clarksville’s Mayor may be limited to 2-year terms in the future. A man is charged with child rape.

Weekend Energy Preview 6-25

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Here’s what’s in the mix for this Saturday night’s Weekend Energy. This week’s show is so ridiculously under-dressed, it’s like a Victorian-era nudist.


Nightbox – Pyramid – Many discoveries for me this week, including this Canadian-based band. They’ve recently dropped the uncharacteristically squishy and amorphic single, Pyramid – from their new EP. Pyramid is as light-weight as it is sharp, defined in its characteristic layering of jangly synths, reverb, rumbling drumbeat and choppy vocals. It’s warm and crisp, yet gooey indie-dance lyrics about being young and standing by pyramids, counting crystals and stuff – like a delicious quesadilla of sound. Check out the awesome video in HD!

Capital Cities – Safe and Sound – See this week’s “Discovery” below.

Tensnake – You Know I Know It – The last time I played Tensnake was about a year and a half ago when he released the disco-noir jam Coma Cat. There’ve been several good hits since then, none quite as fetching as You Know I Know It. The low-key disco vibe begins as an atmospheric piece: smokey with tinsel vines hanging down around conversing strangers. The song picks up a strut just before the two-minute mark shortly followed by chattery, drifting vocals. It’s a solid groove, totally ambient and alluring, an unparalleled five minutes and eighteen seconds.

Savoir Adore – Bodies This is another group new to me this week. Their single Bodies, begins with a brash, jungley clapping sound that immediately sounds like a wild time. This male/female duo switches off on vocals, with the occasional harmonizing, making this song frenetic and melodic. I’ve had this song on repeat all week and I’m consistently charmed by its liveliness! this is a varied 3.5 minutes, perfect music for a short attention span, which seems to be all of us, a little bit. Check out their delightful independently budgeted music video.

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


Capital Cities

Got some end of June gloom? Check out “Safe & Sound” by Capital Cities for your weekly does of uplifting music. Capital Cities totally blindsided me this week, amidst all of this great new music, these guys were a pure musical gemstone.  “Even if the sky is falling down… Even in a hurricane of frowns… Even if we’re six-feet underground,  I know that we’ll be safe and sound…” I mean, does it get any happier than that? …Oh wait, that’s only like the first half of the song! On their Facebook page, this Los Angeles duo says their music is “Synth-tastically bright, danceable and catchy, yet maintaining a depth that reflects the bands roods in San Francisco, Paris and Armenia, it’s loaded with appeal.” Appealing it is! Their other single on iTunes, titled “One Minute More,” is equally rich and vibrant. Check out “Safe & Sound” first, and if it’s not for you then chew on some metal… you robot.

Here’s a sickeningly uplifting music video for the song, with lots of great retro dancing!

Almost Made It

Chrome Canyon

Chrome Canyon was new to me this week, but their song, “Suspended in Gaffa (feat. Phoebe Oglesbee)” sadly didn’t make the final cut. The reason being that this song’s vocals are so thoroughly twisted up, it would have undone everything else on the playlist. Kate Bush originated this song in 1982, with a calliope/carnival-esque bounce and her rich, signature vocals. Her music video also happens to be quite a fascinating performance piece in insanity. Yes, please do watch it. But the subject here is not Kate Bush’s genius, but the brilliance of Chrome Canyon for modernizing the sound, adding a booming drum, rich stereo sound, and a really-really great effort by Phoebe Oglesbee for staying true to the original vocals, but with more punch. I implore you to play this song on endless repeat and dance like Kate Bush in her video as I have been the entire time typing this.

Second Hour Rewind

The second hour rewind is the previous week’s first hour. Featured artists include Designer Drugs, Kiddy Smile, The Young Punx, Data MC, Reset! Strange Talk, Teenage Bad Girl and more!

“Crank up your stereo, bust out the strobe light and kick up the bass.”

Weekend Energy has been blowing out car stereo systems, upsetting the neighbors and enhancing the night life of western Kentucky every weekend since July 2007 on WKMS. Host Matt “McG” Markgraf pours through hundreds of songs each week to create “the loudest show on public radio” featuring the best techno, dance and electronica from around the world.

Weekend Energy airs Saturdays on 91.3 WKMS from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. Stream it live on Saturday nights.

Hear the show streaming online.

Written by Matt Markgraf

June 25, 2011 at 12:06 am

Datebook: June 24 – Take Your Dog to Work Day

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Take Your Dog to Work Day was first started in 1996 in the United Kingdom and June 25, 1999 in the United States. Created by Pet Sitters International, this day celebrates the great companions dogs make and encourages adoptions from local shelters, rescue groups and humane societies. Why can’t every day be take your dog to work day?

It’s Friday, June 24

The Civil War Singers will give a free concert at the Fort Donelson National Battlefield amphitheater tomorrow night at 6.  The singers will perform traditional songs from the Civil War.

Mayfield author Berry Craig will be signing copies of his third book, Hidden History of Kentucky Soldiers, at the Graves County Public Library tomorrow from 11 to 2. All profits from book sales go for scholarships at the West Kentucky Community and Technical College.

There’s a fish fry tomorrow night at 6 at American Legion Post 236, located off KY 95 between Calvert City and North Marshall Middle School.  The menu includes catfish, slaw, hushpuppies, potatoes, and desserts.  Meals are 7 dollars.

The Paducah Aero Modelers club hosts a two-day Air Show tomorrow and Sunday, beginning at 9 each morning.  Control line, free flight, and radio control models will be displayed and flown.  The free show will be held at the McCracken County Model Air Park.

For more regional events, visit us online at  Thanks!