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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

Deere Farmer

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Click through for pics from Griffith Farms in Graves County. Farm co-owner Jerry Griffith was featured on the Front Page.

Written by Angela Hatton

January 21, 2011 at 2:15 pm

The Front Page [01.21.10]

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A weekly on-air/online magazine from WKMS News.

The Q&A – the Jackson Purchase during the Civil War 

The Jackson Purchase Historical Society holds its first meeting of 2011 Saturday at Wrather Museum on Murray State’s campus. And in honor of the U.S. Civil War Sesquicentennial, the speaker will be MSU history professor, Civil War historian, and Fulbright scholar Dr. William Mulligan. He sits down with us first to talk about the war’s relevance and the role the Jackson Purchase played in the conflict.

Department of Energy Reaches Out on PGDP Site’s Future 

During a pair of US Department of Energy public information events this week in Paducah, Energy and environmental cleanup contractor officials talked to many area residents about the future of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant site. DOE Site Leader Reinhard Knerr walks Reporter Chris Taylor through the mass of details.

Agriculture Business Changes as Area Farmers Grow Older 

Kentucky has 124-thousand farmers, the sixth largest number in the nation. But the number of farm operators has been declining steadily; the U. S. Census Bureau reports in the past decade 4,000 Kentucky farms went out of business. Fewer people are farming the Commonwealth’s land, and those still on the farm are growing gray, literally. The average age of the western Kentucky farmer is 57 . . . and getting older.

Beshear’s Plan to Balance the Medicaid Budget Garners Mixed Reviews 

Gov. Steve Beshear’s plan for balancing Kentucky’s Medicaid budget is getting mixed reviews in Frankfort. Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh looks at the proposal, its backers, and biggest critic.

Conversation with Jacklyn Marceau, author of Stripped 

Jacklyn Marceau teaches at Stephens College for women in central Missouri. She’s also a stripper, a mother, a feminist, and a product of Murray State University’s Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing. Louisville’s Typecast Publishing has picked up her memoir Stripped, about her life as an exotic dancer. Marceau sat down with Jacque Day in our studios to discuss her book and the many concurrent paths of her life.

Movie Review: “The King’s Speech” 

Some people, and you may be one of them, have difficulties speaking in public. But just imagine the anxiety you’d have if you had to speak to an entire nation…and had a stammer. An Englishman called Bertie found himself in just that predicament when he became King George VI in 1936. The new film The King’s Speech is the story of how he overcame that hurdle with the help of unorthodox Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue. Larry Thomas brings us this review.

The Front Page [01.14.10]

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We continue our look at what was happening in Kentucky 150 years ago as the nation descended into disunion.

New rules for family law cases in Kentucky 

Kentucky now has a uniform set of rules governing all family law cases in the Commonwealth. Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh was at the Frankfort news conference where the rules were unveiled.

A January Conversation with Murray State’s President 

Kentucky’s Revenue Receipts continue to climb, but State Budget Director Mary Lassiter suspects that growth to be tempered in the coming months. The initial positive news of growth has many state institutions wondering about renewed funding. Today in their monthly conversation, Chad Lampe speaks with Murray State President Dr. Randy Dunn about MSU funding in this budget climate along with campus safety, and this year’s presidential lecturer Ben Stein.

Tennessee’s First Woman Speaker of the House 

Tennessee Representatives elected their first woman Speaker of the House this week. Beth Harwell was elected to 22 years ago. Then, she was one of only 40 Republicans. Now, she’s among the majority, and the first Republican speaker since Reconstruction. Harwell speaks with Tennessee Public Radio’s Candice Ludlow about her new role and how she’ll lead.

Kentucky’s Family Courts Changes 

Kentucky now has a uniform set of rules governing all family law cases in the Commonwealth. Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh was at the Frankfort news conference where the rules were unveiled.

Market House: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged!

Paducah’s Market House Theater is currently running The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged! Director Ross Daniels commutes from Marion, Illinois to lend his long-earned talents to the production. Despite his busy schedule, he scraped up a few minutes to talk with Jacque Day. Beware. He seems to be possessed with the ghost of the Bard himself, at least a little bit.


National Letter Writing Week 2011 

Is the thoughtful art of the handwritten letter becoming the stuff of legend? To commemorate National Letter Writing Week, Jacque Day explores this question with three people of diverse but writing-invested paths, and brings us this story.


Maiden Alley film critic Larry Thomas reviews “True Grit” 

1969’s True Grit brought star John Wayne the only Oscar he ever received in his fifty year career, and it’s a part of the American film canon. The 2010 version, helmed by the Coen Brothers and starring Jeff Bridges as Marshal Rooster Cogburn, hasn’t gotten to that point just yet, but it has made it onto the American Film Institute’s list of the top films of 2010. Our movie reviewer Larry Thomas mounts up to review True Grit.


Woodward Steps into Mayfield as Chamber Director 

With the New Year came a new Director for the Mayfield-Graves County Chamber of Commerce.


Written by Chris Taylor

January 14, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Posted in The Front Page

The Front Page [01.07.11]

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Today on WKMS News‘ weekly radio magazine:

Dentists Say Meth Mouth Is Ugly and Expensive 

Paducah, KY ~ Drug experts say long-term addiction to meth leads to weight loss, hair loss, and skin irritation. While successful recovery and time can relieve those symptoms, another side effect doesn’t go away as easily. “Meth mouth” refers to the tooth decay common in meth users. As Angela Hatton reports the condition is nearly unavoidable for addicts, and dental work to repair it is costly.

What’s Trending in Area Law Enforcement Leadership

Cadiz, KY ~ Several area counties have a new sheriff heading up their respective outfits. Among them are Graves, Hickman and Trigg Counties. Reporter Chris Taylor finds out what’s trending in area law enforcement leadership and what the newly elected anticipate and hope to accomplish during their terms.

Commentary: The Lantern Bearers

Murray, KY ~ Maybe you know someone with a tough exterior and a hidden heart of gold, someone with an internal kindness only revealed to those closest to them. Author Robert Louis Stevenson called this kind of person a “lantern bearer.” Commentator Duane Bolin examines this trait in Stevenson’s essay and in his own life.

Justice Cunningham on Legal Aid and Kentucky’s Top Court

Murray, KY ~ Kentucky Supreme Court Associate Justice Bill Cunningham represents the far west of the Commonwealth on the state bench. He’s also an author who’s written extensively about this region’s history. And on today’s Q&A, Judge Cunningham joins us to talk about legal assistance for the poor and how the state’s top court works.

Leadership Changes in Frankfort

Frankfort, KY ~ One of the longest serving members of the Kentucky House has withstood a strong challenge to his leadership position. Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh has the results of that and other leadership races settled on the first day of the 2011 session.

Kentucky’s Civil War Dispatch

Murray, KY ~ Today, we’re beginning an almanac that will look back at what was happening in Kentucky 150 years ago, as the Commonwealth played its part in the American Civil War. These pieces come from the pen of author and history professor Berry Craig, and they’re produced here at WKMS. So, here’s today’s inaugural installment of Kentucky’s Civil War Dispatches.

WKMS Interviews The Grascals ahead of the Front Porch Concert (Next Weekend)

Murray, KY ~ The Grascals headline our Front Porch Lovett Live concert next weekend at Murray State. Mark Welch spoke recently with one of the band members.

Legendary Shack Shakers in Paducah New Year’s Eve

Paducah, KY ~ The Legendary Shack Shakers bring their unique brand of Southern Gothic to the Paducah-McCracken County Convention Center New Year’s Eve. The front-man is Paducah’s J.D. Wilkes, a 38-year-old Kentucky Colonel, visual artist and filmmaker whose stage presence is, well, you just have to experience it for yourself. Jacque Day spent some time with Wilkes and his wife Jessica at their home, where Wilkes discusses the Shack Shakers and the band he formed with Jessica, called the Dirt Daubers.

Written by Chris Taylor

January 7, 2011 at 11:31 am

Posted in The Front Page

The Front Page [12.17.10]

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Silent Night, a Murray Connection
Murray, KY ~ Few Yule tide traditions are complete without the mellow lull of timeless Christmas carols. Franz Gruber’s, “Silent Night,” is one of the most popular tunes, first performed in 1818. Some accounts dispute the time and location of the performance, but Murray High School volleyball coach Clare Boggess has some special insight. She has documented her lineage to Gruber. Rebecca Feldhaus has a conversation with Franz Gruber’s descendant about the special connection she now has with the carol.
Army wants to keep families together
Nashville, TN ~ The wives of U.S. Army personnel are free to move back to their hometowns while their soldier is deployed. Many do, but staying near an installation has become more attractive. As Blake Farmer reports from Nashville, families are choosing to stay close to posts like Fort Campbell, where more than 17,000 soldiers are gone to Afghanistan.
KSP playing card initiative stacks the decks against criminals, dealing out cold case clues
Frankfort, KY ~ Closing unsolved criminal cases across the Commonwealth is the focus of a new initiative unveiled by Kentucky State Police. And as Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh reports, decks of playing cards play a vital role in the effort.

A Converation with Murray State’s President – December Edition
Murray, KY ~ Chad Lampe and Dr. Dunn meet for their monthly conversation on the Q&A this week. Fresh off a quarterly Board of Regents Meeting, Dr. Dunn explains the impact of the naming of MSU’s School of Agriculture and why board Chairman Dr. Deno Curris asked for the University Counsel to research the authority of University Boards and Kentucky’s Council on Post Secondary Education.

Graves County High School bassist goes national
Mayfield, KY ~ Graves County High School senior bassist Clay Burgess has been named to the 2011 National Honor Orchestra. He’ll travel to Indianapolis in March to perform with some of the nation’s top high school musicians. Jacque Day spent a morning with the Graves County High School Chamber Orchestra, and brings us this story highlighting Clay, and the program that produced him.

Paducah’s Citizen’s Police Academy Bridges Trust with the Community
Paducah, KY ~ Paducah Sun Reporter Danielle Ray graduated from the Paducah’s Citizen’s Police Academy last week, wrapping up a 9-part series of articles on the class. The 11-week course takes participants on an informative, hands-on tour of all-things police, teaching about everything from drug sniffing dogs to handling automatic weapons. Chris Taylor talks to her about her experience and what she got out of the course..

Written by Chris Taylor

December 17, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Posted in The Front Page

The Front Page [12.10.10]

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Psychology behind Wikileaks cyber-attacks
Murray, KY ~ This week, supporters of WikiLeaks co-founder and editor Julian Assange launched a series of cyber attacks. The “hacker backers” crashed the Master Card and Visa websites, and forced a shutdown of the Swedish government’s website. TJacque Day sat down with Murray State psychology professor Dr. Ian Norris for a glimpse into the Internet’s role in magnifying our most basic psychological instincts.
Bredesen’s Tennessee land conservation efforts
Nashville, TN ~ State healthcare, education, and budget cuts, those are just some of the main headline-grabbers during Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen’s time in office. Conserving state land, not so much. But as Daniel Potter reports from Nashville, it’s likely one of the lasting hallmarks of Bredesen’s legacy.
Senior Citizen Theatre Troupe Recreates Radio on Stage
Murray, KY ~ The Old Duffers and Powder Puffers is Murray’s newest theatre troupe. The group is made up of local senior citizens, and they aim to put on live shows featuring old radio play scripts. Angela Hatton visited one of their rehearsals for the upcoming production of The Shadow, and brings us this audio postcard.
Talking Santa with Local Teachers
Murray, KY ~ Most adults who believed in Santa Claus when they were kids can remember once upon a time when the realization hit them: That overstuffed and too-jolly-to-be-living-that-far-north annual gift giver was really an elaborate hoax perpetuated by grown-ups. Now, there’s no mounting evidence to suggest the deceiving holiday illusion has any detrimental effect on kids, but all the same some adults still reflect on the subject with disdain, others are indifferent and many still live the magic.
Dog Sledding in Western Kentucky
Grand Rivers, KY ~ This weekend’s frigid forecast commands a cringe from most. But Jeff Blewett of Hickory, Kentucky anxiously waits for this weather all year. He races dry land dog sled teams. Rebecca Feldhaus has more on Blewett and this rapidly growing team sport.
The Q&A – Paducah’s New City Manager Jeff Pederson
Paducah, KY ~ Paducah’s new City Manager Jeff Pederson has wrapped up his first week in the position. The position entails working with the mayor and city commission to formulate and implement policy; it also involves the day-to-day supervision of Paducah’s approximately 340 employees. Mr. Pederson takes some time out of getting his feet wet to speak with us about how the change is going.
‘Kentucky Youth Assembly’ convenes in Frankfort
Frankfort, KY ~ The 2011 session of the Kentucky General Assembly convenes next month. But as Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh reports, the hallways of the State Capitol are already filled with young Kentuckians who could be the lawmakers of the future.
Teaching Responsible Technology; Avoiding Cheating 2.0
Mayfield, KY ~ Technology is now an important part of education, though some education stakeholders worry too much access to technology like the internet and text messaging will tempt students to abuse the right. They worry some students will even use technology to cheat on exams. The majority of schools in western Kentucky ban personal devices during school hours entirely. As Angela Hatton reports, one school system is taking a different approach.

Written by Chris Taylor

December 10, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Posted in The Front Page