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Archive for January 2012

Datebook: January 31 – National Gorilla Suit Day

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In 1963, cartoonist Don Martin (of MAD Magazine fame) published “National Gorilla Suit Day” in the collection Don Martin Bounces Back, in which Fester Bestertester mocks the (then fictitious) concept of a National Gorilla Suit Day, and suffers a series of incredible assaults from gorillas and abominable snowmen. Subsequently, Don Martin fans have celebrated National Gorilla Suit Day on January 31. Whether or not you have a gorilla suit… go bananas today.

It’s Tuesday, January 31

The Glema Mahr Center for the Arts hosts a dinner theater production of “Almost, Maine” on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 6:30PM. The romantic comedy takes place in the mythical town of Almost, Maine, where residents find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected ways. Purchase tickets from the box office at 821-2787.

The Paducah Symphony Children’s Chorus is taking orders for their annual barbecue fundraiser. Entrees available for purchase include Boston butt, pork loin, whole slab of ribs, and whole chicken. Orders must be made by February 7; call the PSO Office at 444-0065.

Children ages six to twelve can learn about “The Mystery of Magnets” at this week’s WKCTC Friday Night Science event. Make magnets float in midair, go on a magnetic scavenger hunt, and learn how a magnet’s poles work. The cost is twenty dollars. The two-hour class begins at 5PM. To register, call 534-3335.

See for more community events, and thanks for listening.

Written by Matt Markgraf

January 31, 2012 at 11:09 am

the morning cram [what ignorant, lowdown, slanderizin son of a…edition]

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Things are getting nasty in Florida…and in the Republican Primary as well.

NPR reports the mud slinging between Republican Presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich has reached new levels in the Florida primary.

OVC Scores…

Kentucky~ Bridge inspectors bring in an Echoschope, sounds fancy. MSU draws Saint Mary’s in the BracketBuster. KCTCS wants more black students. A soldier’s facing lesser charges now that murder’s off the table. Turkey huntin’ in LBL, get your gun, and boat. Ron Paul wants to give Kentucky a shot. Beshear thinks expanded gaming can happen.

Datebook: January 30 – FDR Turns 130

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Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born on January 30, 1882 (and died April 12, 1945). He was a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war. FDR’s persistent optimism and activism contributed to a renewal of the national spirit, reflecting his victory over paralytic illness to become the longest serving president in U.S. history. He worked closely with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin in leading the Allies against Germany and Japan in World War II, but died just as victory was in sight. Roosevelt instituted the New Deal — a variety of programs designed to produce government jobs, economic growth, and bank and transportation reform. The economy improved rapidly from 1933 to 1937, but then relapsed into a deep recession. The bipartisan Conservative Coalition that formed in 1937 prevented and abolished much of the legislation. Major surviving programs include the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Social Security. During World War II, FDR gave strong diplomatic and financial support to China and Britain, while remaining officially neutral. He provided Lend-Lease aid to countries fighting against Nazi Germany. He called the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor “a date which will live in infamy.” He ordered the Army to inter 100,000 Japanese American civilians. FDR’s New Deal Coalition united labor unions, big city machines, white ethnics, African Americans and rural white Southerners. Roosevelt’s diplomatic impact led to the United Nations and Bretton Woods. Roosevelt is consistently rated by scholars as one of the top three U.S. Presidents.

It’s Monday, January 30

The McCracken County Cooperative Extension Service hosts a free Slow Cooker Cooking Class tomorrow from 11 to noon. Class members will review slow cooking basics, enjoy taste testing, and leave with new ideas and recipes. Call 554-9520 for more information.

The American Red Cross holds a blood drive at the Murray State University Curris Center tomorrow and Wednesday from 9AM to 3PM. Whole blood and double red cell donations will be accepted. Donors must be healthy, at least seventeen years old, and at least 110 pounds. Schedule an appointment and find out more at

High school juniors may now submit applications for Murray State University’s Commonwealth Honors Academy. The three-week summer enrichment experience lets students earn six hours of college credit at no cost. The program runs June 9th to June 30th. The application deadline is March 1st. Applications are online at

Find more community events at

the morning cram [this is bat country edition]

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A recreational drug may be just what the doctor ordered.

NPR reports the club drug, Ketamine may be able to make depression dissapear almost immediately. Are we sure it’s not the trance beat and strobe lights?

Kentucky~ There’s a flood warning starting tomorrow in Paducah. Think twice about taking a leisurely stroll on the remaions of the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge. Commercial driver’s licensing requirements are changing.

Tennessee~ The state is attempting to halt the growing numbers of prescription drug overdoses.

Weekend Energy Preview 1-28

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Here’s what’s in the mix this week. It’s so destructive; it’s like steering a boat full of expensive rocket cargo into an old foggy bridge, rendering tons of metal and concrete into a ridiculous pile of spaghetti!


Major Lazer – Original Don feat. The Partysquad (Flosstradamus Remix) –  Here we are again. Another song by Major Lazer in the highlights section. You probably think I’ll just highlight anything they do? Well, you’re probably right. I wasn’t a huge fan of the original mix of Original Don. It was less dancehall than their flawless album Guns Don’t Kill People… Lazers Do, and instead had a very standard hardstyle drumbeat. But that’s what Diplo and Switch sought to do in the first place. Take an underground musical style, one perhaps even reviled, and spin it into an infectious web that eats your face (in a good way). For closed-minded individuals like myself, check out the Flosstradamus remix, because it blows out the track into an incredible moombahton rhythm, complete with sounds all too familiar to those who follow Diplo’s work. While you’re at it, check out the swinging music video for this song.

Gato Preto – Tschukudu (Flore Remix) – See this week’s “Discovery” below.

Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip – Cauliflower feat Kid A (Does It Offend You, Yeah? Remix) – I was almost done with the mix, but missing like four minutes. I thought, you know what this needs? Some Dan le Sac & Scroobius Pip. They will absolutely enhance any mix for any get-together, whether it’s a soiree, business meeting, or block party. The lyrical throwdown between Dan and Kid A is what obviously makes this song, but what makes the remix is the dissonant guitar riffs from Does It Offend You, Yeah? reminiscent of their song “We Are Rockstars.” The remix is as complex and sophisticated as anything Dan le Sac & Scroobius Pip have put out. Do yourself a favor and pick up their albums Angles and The Logic of Chance, if you haven’t already. Here’s the official video for the original mix.

St. Lucia – We Got It Wrong – It’s the song I didn’t want to like, but couldn’t resist. I guess that’s a highlight, eh? Anyway, this song closes out the first hour tonight. It’s totally mellow, with a low rumbling thunderstorm of drums and otherworldly singing. It’s not really dance-y, but just resonates in your head. Like their name, it feels warm and tropical, though a bit agitated. If I were on the beach listening to this, I’d probably be wondering if it’s time to pack it up and go inside (but in a good way). St. Lucia may be just out of range for Weekend Energy, but their music is splendorous. Doing a quick iTunes search, here I see four tracks (three and a remix). All of them are nothing short of excellent. So I suppose that gives them a perfect track record. How many artists have that? Just a link to the song, but enjoy it.


Gato Preto

WOWOWOW. This Portuguese/Mozambique duo blew me away this week with their single “Tschukudu.” It’s got a sick Brazilian tribal beat by DJ Lee and intense Portuguese rapping by Gato. Everything about this song is cooler than the other things in the mix this week. 2012 started out a bit ho-hum until earlier this week when I stumbled upon a bundle of remixes of this song. Though I love the raw intensity of the original mix, I was floored by the Flore remix (unintentional alliteration). It tones down some of the halting beats and makes it more of a deep house rumbler. It’s perfect for the mid-hour, like throwing a curveball into your ears. Gato Preto looks stylish, they sound unique, they are certain to stand out from the crowd as they certainly stand out in the mix tonight. Can’t wait to hear more!

Check out an interview and some live performing:

Almost Made It


On his Wikipedia page, Rusko is defined as an English dubstep producer, though his dubstep is different than the harder Skrillex sound that’s really taken off. Rusko has a much gentler approach, with more of a dnb influence. Just check out his stellar single Everyday, or his remix of Sunday Girl’s Stop Hey, or his remix of Dutch Flowers by Skream. It just sounds more sophisticated. So I almost had Sigma’s remix of Somebody To Love in the mix, but took it out in favor of the dnb song Reach by Tantrum Desire. Rusko always gets in the mix, though. I’ll probably put this in next week.

Second Hour Rewind

The second hour rewind is the previous week’s first hour. In this mix, hear Scarlett & The Pixels, Thecocknbullkid, Gooseflesh, Gemini Club, Afrojack, and Neelix. Thecocknbullkid is one of those artists that makes a big splash and then recedes away into the ocean. Unless you have a British iTunes account or something, you’ll have a tricky time finding her songs – including some of her best “One Eye Closed” and “Yellow.” I loved her 2009 album Querelle, in particular the single “I’m Not Sorry.” It had a brash, hard beat that just melted into the vocals, leading up to a super catchy chorus, but that’s all I got. I’d complain to Cocknbullkid, but she’s not sorry.


“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 or else.

Datebook: January 27 – Yue Fei Wrongly Executed 870 Years Ago

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Yue Fei was a Chinese military general during the era of the Southern Song Dynasty. He is best known for leading the defense of Southern Song against invaders from the Jurchen-ruled Jin Dynasty in northern China, before being put to death by the Southern Song government. He was granted the posthumous name of “Wumu” by Emperor Xiaozong in 1169, and later granted the posthumous title of “Prince of E” by Emperor Ningzong in 1211. Widely seen as a patriot and national hero in China, since after his death, Yue Fei has evolved into a standard epitome of loyalty in Chinese culture. Despite his sweeping victory over the Northern Song, pushing his troops northward, his efforts were opposed by a party seeking appeasement within the capital led by minister Qin Hui. Yue Fei was ordered to return from the battlefield, and obeyed the Emperor’s command. On January 27, 1142, he and his son were executed on false pretenses, causing an uproar by the people. Decades later, Yue Hei was exonerated and is celebrated today for his patriotism and contributions to poetry, martial arts, and military methods.

It’s Friday, January 27

The Marvelous Wonderettes return to Playhouse in the Park for two encore performances tonight at 7 and Sunday afternoon at 2:30. The musical comedy takes place at the 1958 Springfield High School prom and features popular tunes from the 50s and 60s. $11 tickets can be purchased by calling 759-1752.

The Humane Society of Calloway County hosts Fashion 4 Paws tomorrow from noon to six in the Curris Center Ballroom on the campus of Murray State. The formalwear consignment sale event also features live music by Bordertown, custom-designed jewelry, and a silent auction.

The Clara M. Eagle Art Gallery hosts an opening reception tonight from six to eight honoring two new exhibits. The Curris Center Gallery displays Kevin Beasley’s minimalist installation exploring phenomenology and perception, and the main gallery presents a juried exhibit titled, “White Hot Gold: Examining the Role of Performance in New Media.” There’s more about the exhibits at

Visit us online at, and thanks for listening.

LBL’s Eggner’s Ferry Bridge Collapse Updates

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Last Update: 3:45 p.m. Saturday, February 4, 2012 – Removed Outdated Info

Housing Option for MSU Commuter Students Affected by Bridge Damage

from Murray State University press release

Current Murray State University students with a longer and more expensive commute to classes on campus due to the damage to Eggner’s Ferry Bridge now have another option. MSU’s department of housing and residence life has announced that housing spaces on campus are available to rent for the remainder of the semester at a prorated cost. Anyone interested in more information on this opportunity should contact the housing office at (270) 809-2310 or toll free at 1 (877) 551-7774.

Ky Transportation Cabinet Spokesman on Restoring Eggner’s Ferry Bridge

(Shelly Baskin 2012-02-03)

On Thursday, January 26th, the cargo ship Delta Mariner struck an eastern span of the US 68/KY 80 Eggner’s Ferry bridge that crosses Kentucky Lake and the Tennessee River. U.S. Coast Guard officials say the ship was in a shallower recreational channel outside the regular, deeper, shipping lane when it hit the bridge. Luckily, no lives were lost and no injuries were reported. The wider impact has been significant, however, affecting over-the-road transport, personal travel, and even the businesses that rely on the traffic that comes by on Highway 68/80. Officials say they’re working to restore the crossing, but first they have to look at the bridge’s structure before determining the way forward. Shelly Baskin speaks with Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokesman Keith Todd for some perspective on the process.

Click here to listen to the interview.

Foss Maritime Bridge Update

from press release

The U.S. Coast Guard has approved the plan submitted by Foss Maritime to conduct salvage operations at the Eggner Ferry Bridge. Foss will spend the rest of today on safety briefings for the crew and salvage team, and on safety inspections of equipment. Foss expects to begin operations on Saturday.  The first step once salvage begins is to cut the sections of the bridge at the waterline to free the ship from the subsurface debris. Then the salvage team will work up the side of the ship removing other pieces of the bridge. One piece at a time will be removed. The operation will be done slowly and carefully to assure the safety of the workers and to avoid having any pieces damage the ship. When the ship is free of the underwater debris, it will be moved out of the channel to a protected area where the debris above the waterline will be removed. When all the debris is removed, the ship will be moved to a facility for any needed repairs. At the same time, remaining debris under water will also be removed. No decision has been made on where the debris will be taken.No decision will be made on the location for the ship repair until the debris is removed and the ship is inspected again. Foss Maritime is working in cooperation with the U.S. Coast Guard and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to safely and efficiently conduct salvage operations. There is no estimate of the amount of time each step will take. Our primary focus is to assure the safety of the public and the responders throughout the operation.T&T Bisso is the Foss contractor overseeing the salvage operation.

LBL Info

LBL reminds the public all other LBL facilities normally open at this time are operating as normal, except Turkey Bay Off-Highway Vehicle Area and Trails due to saturated soil conditions. Please visit for outdoor recreation, program information, spring Calendar of Events, and any Alerts & Notices. Land Between The Lakes is managed by the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, to provide outdoor recreation and environmental education for the public to enjoy. Additional information is available on LBL’s official website at, or by calling 1-800-LBL-7077 or 270-924-2000.

Bridge Detour Routes

With the collapse of the US68/KY80 Eggner’s Ferry Bridge spanning Kentucky Lake, the only way around is either north at the I-24 crossing, or south in Tennessee at the Hwy 79 crossing. Western Kentucky residents heading east who live closer to the Tennessee border would be served best heading down to Hwy 79 either on Hwy 121 south or US 641, then taking 79 east towards Clarksville intersecting with I-24. Those who are north of Mayfield or Benton would need to head north on the Purchase Parkway intersecting with I-24 there.

The Kentucky State Police request that motorist who normally travel westbound on US 68 through the Land between the Lakes to please avoid LBL and KY 453 or The Trace as well as US 68.

About the Bridge

The two-lane bridge – formally the Eggners Ferry Bridge – opened to traffic in 1932. Its elevation was raised in 1943 when the Tennessee River was impounded to create Kentucky Lake. A KYTC traffic count conducted in 2009 showed 2,650 vehicles per day crossed the bridge. The Transportation Cabinet is in the process of replacing the bridge, along with the nearby bridge over Lake Barkley on the eastern side of Land Between the Lakes. Pre-construction work, including geo-technical drilling, began months ago. Gov. Steve Beshear’s recommended highway plan, which he sent to the General Assembly on Jan. 17, contains $165 million in construction funding for a new Kentucky Lake bridge from 2013 through 2015.

About the Delta Mariner

According to the Foss Maritime Company website, the Delta Mariner is a 312-foot long and 8,000 horsepower supply ship that transports space-bound hardware, including common booster cores, for the Boeing Delta IV rocket program. It’s designed to navigate shallow inland waterways and the open ocean. The ship hauls rocket components 550 miles from the Boeing factory in Decatur, Alabama, down the Tennessee-Tombigbee waterway to Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, through the Panama Canal, arriving at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. According to a press release by the Foss Maritime Company, the ship has not been involved in any serious incidents similar to this one in the past. The Delta Mariner carries a crew of 16 individuals.

Statement from United Launch Alliance:
“The 312-foot vessel was carrying a United Launch Alliance Atlas booster and Centaur upper stage for the Air Force’s AEHF-2 mission scheduled to launch in April and an interstage adapter for NASA’s RBSP mission scheduled to launch in August. There is no schedule impact to either launch date expected at this point.The Mariner cargo area of the ship and the flight hardware did not experience any damage. The hardware is well instrumented and all data from these instruments is being reviewed to confirm that there were no issues.The Delta Mariner was commissioned in 2002 to transport flight hardware from the United Launch Alliance factory in Decatur, Ala., to launch sites at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.”

See photos of the Delta Mariner on Flickr.

Gov. Beshear Directs Immediate Development of Options:

Governor Steve Beshear today announced the immediate review of options for restoring the US 68/KY 80 bridge over Kentucky Lake after a large vessel struck the span last night and destroyed a main truss. Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Mike Hancock will visit the bridge today and talk with local officials about the investigation, alternate routing, and impact on nearby communities. “We are grateful that this wreck caused no injuries or loss of life. Since that bridge carries 2,800 cars every day, we were very fortunate that no one was on the span at that time,” said Gov. Beshear. “We’ll turn our attention to a full inspection of the bridge and determine what steps we can take next to speed up the replacement of that important artery.” Lt. Gov. Abramson and Secretary Hancock will be visiting the command center near site of bridge accident and collapse today, to discuss investigation and future options for bridge.

Leaders Respond:

Sen. Bob Leeper, of Paducah: “I appreciate the quick response by the Governor and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to help this situation in western Kentucky. I look forward to working with them to explore all the available possibilities for a solution for the transportation needs of this area.”

Sen. Ken Winters, of Murray: “I encourage our citizens to remain calm and patient as our state transportation officials investigate the structure and determine next steps. I thank the Governor and Transportation Secretary for their immediate attention to this matter, and I hope that they will fully explore many alternatives, even temporary bridges, to best serve the people of western Kentucky.”

Rep. Will Coursey, of Symsonia: “I think Governor Beshear’s plan for an immediate review of our available options is an excellent first step in getting this bridge back open. I have been working with House leaders to see what more we can do while we are in legislative session, and want the people to know that the General Assembly stands ready to act.”

Sec. Hancock: “At this moment, we’re assessing the situation to see whether repair is feasible. We also will be exploring whether construction of the new bridge can be accelerated.”

Lt. Gov. Abramson: “We had already committed in our new six-year highway plan to replace this bridge, because we know what an important route it is for our citizens in western Kentucky. We will shift our focus to determining how to restore that route as quickly and safely as we can.”

Governor Steve Beshear:  “We are grateful that this wreck caused no injuries or loss of life. Since that bridge carries 2,800 cars every day, we were very fortunate that no one was on the span at that time. We’ll turn our attention to a full inspection of the bridge and determine what steps we can take next to speed up the replacement of that important artery.”

U.S. Senator Rand Paul: “I am relieved that it appears no one was hurt in the accident. I have used the bridge many times and know how big of an inconvenience it will be for people to take the long way around the lakes. I will visit the bridge today to meet with local officials and find out what happened and what must happen to get the road reopened, and I will do what I can to help with this situation.” Senator Paul visited the site Friday to speak with media.

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell: “I am thankful that reports indicate no one was injured in last night’s cargo ship accident at Eggner Ferry Bridge.  My office remains in contact with state officials and I have sent a staff member to the scene to update me. I will continue to closely monitor the situation.”

U.S. Congressman Ed Whitfield: “I join my fellow Kentuckians in giving thanks that there were no injuries or loss of life from this terrible accident. I will continue to monitor the situation and work to ensure all Federal agencies with jurisdiction remain on top of this incident so that this vital roadway is restored as soon as possible.” Congressman Whitfield visited the site Friday to speak with media.

Tracy’s Racer Roundup 1-26-12

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Here’s what’s being written about the undefeated Murray State University Racer basketball team: posted a nice interview with Steve Prohm:

“Our league doesn’t get the credit it deserves. Morehead State finished second in our league last year. We won the regular season. Our second-place team moved on to the second round of the NCAA tournament. And then two years ago, we went to the second round. Two out of the last three years, we had an NBA draft pick in our league.”

— Racer head coach Steve Prohm wonders if an undefeated Racer squad could be rewarded with a coveted 1 seed in the Big Dance.

The Murray State Racers are turning themselves into one of the most exciting and confounding storylines of the college basketball season. At 20-0, Murray State has a great shot at becoming the first college hoops team to go undefeated in the regular season since UNLV did it in 1990-1991, before losing to Duke in the Final Four.

In case you missed it, the New York Times wrote a great in-depth article about the Racer’s magical season and its effect on the community.

There are close to 18,000 people in Murray, according to the 2010 census, and it seems that almost all of them have an opinion on the Racers. (“There are a lot of coaches in this town,” Prohm said.) They pack the 8,700 seats in CFSB Center on game nights, giving the Racers a distinct home-court advantage.

Written by Tracy Ross

January 26, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Datebook: January 26 – Bessie Coleman Turns 120

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Elizabeth “Bessie” Coleman was born on January 26, 1892 (and died April 30, 1926). She was the first female pilot of African American descent and the first person of African American descent to hold an international pilot license. Inspired by tales of WWI fighter pilots, she dreamed of taking to the skies. Being African American and a woman, she was refused admittance in American flight schools, so she learned French and went to Paris, since women were already pilots there. On June 15, 1921, Coleman became the first African American woman in the world to earn an aviation pilot’s license. She realized a career in exhibition flying and became a media sensation as “Queen Bess” when she returned to the U.S. She was called “the world’s greatest woman flier” and performed daredevil maneuvers to massive crowds over New York and Chicago. At a show in Jacksonville, Florida, while attempting to pull out of a dive, the aircraft got stuck plummeting to the ground. She was thrown from her seat 500 feet above and died on impact. It was later found that a wrench had gotten stuck in the gearbox.

It’s Thursday, January 26

Dr. Matthew Gianforte, pianist and assistant professor at Murray State, presents a recital titled “Musical Tributes” tonight at 7:30 in the Performing Arts Hall of the Doyle Fine Arts Building. The free concert features works by Robert Schumann, Frederic Chopin, and Franz Liszt.

A screening of the documentary American Teacher takes place tomorrow at 11AM in the Alexander Hall auditorium on the campus of Murray State. The documentary chronicles the stories of four teachers as they reach different milestones in their careers, offering a deeper look at the teaching profession in America today. The screening is free and open to the community.

The Paducah Symphony Orchestra’s second annual “Made in America” concert takes place on Saturday at 4PM at Harrison Street Baptist Church in Paducah. Hear African American spirituals, art music, and hymns. Admission is $10 for adults and free for students. Purchase tickets from the PSO office at 444-0065.

Find more community events online at

Written by Matt Markgraf

January 26, 2012 at 12:03 pm

the morning cram [you don’t know the power of the dark side edition]

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Apparently, Starbucks makes a lot of coffee…and a lot of money.

NPR reports the coffee chain known for it’s iconic dark roast has got it’s ‘mojo workin’ under the leadership of CEO Howard Schultz.

Kentucky~ Alleged embezzlers have a day in court. Soldiers return to a hero’s welcome. Hey, I think that buggy covered in highly reflective tape might have Amish people in it. “Caylee’s Law” requires you to tell somebody if you lose your kid. Romney and Gingrich want Kentucky.

Tennessee~ Hate crime victim’s dad is disturbed by ‘don’t say gay’.