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Conversations from the Four Rivers Region

Posts Tagged ‘Department of Defense

morning cram [psst! edition]

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Hearing gossip about people can literally change the way you see them.

NPR reports a study finds negative gossip actually alters the way our visual system responds to a particular face.

KENTUCKY~ Consultants want to revamp Paducah from 2nd to 6th tying Downtown, Lower Town and the Riverfront all together. McCracken County Schools may drop +38 jobs. Another Fort Campbell hero dies abroad. Beshear appoints a task force to face off with flood-water borne skeeters. Court: it’s all or nothing for Cadiz alcohol sales. The Cave-In-Rock Ferry is rockin’ out again. Experts spar over whether Marathon Oil price gouged. Officials plan to talk about the Asian Carp invasion. The state is taking part in a National Level (disaster prep) Exercise. State Tourism officials sign off on incentivizing the Noah’s Ark theme park.

TENNESSEE~ Unemployment is up! and lawmakers are split over budgeting extended benefits.

morning cram [gitmo edition]

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Thousands of pages of previously secret military documents about detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison now put a name, history and face on hundreds of men in captivity there.

NPR reports the documents shed details on over 150 men on whom no information has ever been released.

Flash flooding & other weather mischief.

KENTUCKY~ Rainfall (up to 9 more inches) is expected by mid-week causing historic flood levels and could prompt evacuations. An (unofficial) tornado blasted Bardwell for +$3 million in damage. Another Fort Campbell hero dies in Afghanistan. The Japanese nuclear disaster prompts Paducah Gaseous Diffusion officials to review earthquake safety measures. Kentucky’s former Lt Gov calls his guilty plea ‘inaccurate’.

morning cram [8.9 edition]

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A 30-foot tsunami triggered by one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded smashed into Japan’s eastern coast Thursday.

NPR reports the body count continues to climb.

KENTUCKY~ Police and a towboat crew spot then recover a US-60 bridge jumper. Calloway High’s girls basketball team advances in the state championships. State fire investigators still don’t know what caused the Talon Falls (Halloween attraction) blaze. Another Fort Campbell soldier dies in Afghanistan, while hundreds return to base.  Early rainfall makes a local farmer smile. Williams accuses Beshear of calling senators ‘fat’. US Representative Ed Whitfield files a bill to protect Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant workers’ pensions. The state loses another longtime statesman to the private sector.

Why the Military Family should be TIME Person of the Year

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by Kristen Tsetsi

Speaking at Camp Pendleton in June 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama said, “I’ve issued a national challenge—a challenge to every sector of American society to mobilize and take action to support and engage our military families.”

One of the easiest ways to respond to this challenge is to join the twitter or facebook “Like It for TIME” pages in support of making the American military family a candidate for TIME Magazine’s 2011 Person of the Year.

Social networking websites aren’t just silly distractions; they actually make an impact. In April of 2009, actor Ashton Kutcher and CNN received wide media attention when Kutcher challenged CNN to be the first to get one million followers. (The actor beat the news.) Later, in 2010, a facebook campaign succeeded in landing “Golden Girls” actress Betty White a hosting gig on “Saturday Night Live.”

If actors can use social networking sites to increase their personal fame, surely supporters of military families can be just as successful utilizing them for a far more meaningful pursuit: increasing awareness of a segment of our society that has long been underrepresented.

“Military families are the backbone of our service,” writes Iraq Veteran Jonathan Powers in The Truman National Security Project’s Memo to Congress: Conducting Successful Military Outreach: Rules of Engagement. “Their opinions strongly affect reenlistment as well as military morale. Yet according to a recent online Blue Star Families survey, 94% of military family members feel, ‘the general public does not truly understand or appreciate the sacrifices made by service members and their families.’”

Military families will be the first to say they don’t want to be honored or praised, but Person of the Year isn’t an honor; it’s a “recognition of somebody’s effect on the world,” TIME Magazine editor Richard Stengel says in a YouTube video explaining the selection process. “Person of the Year is given to the person, group, or thing that has most influenced the culture or the news during the past year.”

Some might argue Person of the Year should go to someone who has had a more immediate and obvious impact on the culture or the news, like 2010 candidate Julian Assange, but evidence of the military family’s impact on popular culture can be found in Oprah’s multiple shows honoring the military family, in the upcoming fifth season of Lifetime network’s “Army Wives,” and in the E! Entertainment channel special, “E! Investigates:  Military Wives.” I would also argue that any time the wars in the Middle East are in the news, so is the American military family. Any time the media takes less ten seconds to announce the deaths of soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan before launching into a longer feature story on a Hollywood star’s drug habit, they’re talking about the military family.

Rudy Giuliani was chosen for Person of the Year following the September 11 attacks because he “embodied what was really most important, what we learned about ourselves, which was that we could recover,” explains a TIME editor in the YouTube video.

The military family embodies what is most important after a decade of war and multiple deployments: a show of strength and undying support even in the face of acute anxiety and long family separations.

When the American Soldier was chosen for 2003 Person of the Year, it wasn’t for being famous in the news. It was, according to TIME, “[f]or uncommon skills and service, for the choices each one of them has made and the ones still ahead, for the challenge of defending not only our freedoms but those barely stirring half a world away.”

According to a February 2009 study conducted by Boston University’s Sloan Work and Family Research Network, “43.2% of active duty forces have one or more children.” Without a military family care plan—siblings, grandparents, spouses, or others to care for those children—the soldiers would not be permitted to deploy. Nearly half of our deployed forces would be rendered useless.

It’s time. It’s time to recognize the value of the military family, to get to know them in a new way, and to acknowledge the impact they’ve had on the country. Follow the twitter page or like the facebook page. Take the challenge issued by retired Air Force Colonel Dale Kissinger, creator of the military information and discount website

I … challenge the military associations, military organizations and DoD to get behind this effort. If MOAA, AUSA, Navy League, AFA, ROA, NCOA, American Legion, USAA, AMVETS and VFW (just a few examples) got behind this effort it would accelerate the attention. If an entertainer can have a million followers, why can’t we?

morning cram [workout edition]

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Researchers say daily exercise plays a role in resisting the cold virus, citing a study where the more participants exercised, the less they reported getting sick.

~NPR reports those who exercised five days a week for at least 20 minutes experienced about 40% fewer days of illness compared with those who exercised less than one day a week.

KENTUCKY~ Find out how school officials plan to spend a $25k grant to curb dropouts @ Reidland High. Another Fort Campbell soldier dies for his country. Local undercovers bring down an alleged crack dealer. Police are awaiting dental records to identify two people who died in a fiery Calloway County wreck. A Fancy Farm man is in custody on kidnapping/sodomy charges. Rand Paul: GOP must consider cutting military spending. The city of Henderson is considering erecting a 9/11 memorial. Hopkinsville Community College is teaming up with APSU to train employees for Clarksville’s upcoming Hemlock Semiconductor plant. MSU is among several federal grant recipients in the Commonwealth targeting professional development.  Flags are down to half-staff again today.

SPORTS~ (Football) MSU > TTU & UTM > APSU. (Women’s Soccer) APSU loses the championship to Morehead State.

morning cram [prop-19 edition]

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The debate over California’s Prop-19, the initiative to legalize marijuana there, has cops and mothers supporting it but many stoners and growers oppose it.

~NPR reports Californians will vote November 2 on whether to allow local and state government to tax and regulate marijuana.

KENTUCKY~ Longtime Paducah Sun reporter Bill Bartleman is retiring (after 39 years of writing for the paper). A B-17 Flying Fortress will land in Paducah next week. KY-189 reopens this morning. Marshall County could startup a pet spay/neuter campaign. A Fort Campbell soldier dies in Afghanistan. Incumbent Senator Bob Leeper (i -2nd District) doesn’t like attack ads by democratic opponent Red Smith. Jack & Rand to debate on the KET airwaves tonight (and the NRA approves of both candidates).

TENNESSEE~ A former Montgomery County Executive is in critical condition after a weekend car wreck. Nashville jurors convict a western Kentucky fraudster duo (who told victims they were bringing a Disney theme park to the state).

OVC SPORTS~ (football) MSU > EIU, UTM > LU, APSU < JSU. (soccer) MSU< SEMO, MSU = EIU; UTM < EIU, UTM = SEMO; APSU > TTU.

morning cram [airliner edition]

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After a dismal 2009, this year is looking a little better for the airline industry. A new financial forecast shows airline profits are expected to reach nearly $9 billion.

~NPR reports airlines are still cautiously optimistic.

KENTUCKY~ McCracken County will open bids to build their new school 2 weeks later than planned. A petition to start up a gun range in Marshall County gets backing from the local Sheriff. Murray’s Chamber of Commerce promotes Try It Local (an online discount campaign). OSHA fines the KTC for its Reidland office’s asbestos problem. Another Fort Campbell patriot dies in Afghanistan. Christian County has a plan in the works. Kentucky’s on-hold execution sees new motions in the state’s Supreme Court and Jack Conway’s office says private attorneys aren’t bound by the Commonwealth’s Open Records Act.

TENNESSEE~ Clarksville has a ‘retail gap’ and the city’s Master Plan has a fix. The state (again) warns TCAP test scores are expected to be low.

morning cram [young guns edition]

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As Republicans are expected to pick up seats in the House of Representatives, the GOP hopes that voters will give them the majority. They call themselves the Young Guns.

~NPR reports the group of ambitious conservatives know they can’t bring more of the same.

KENTUCKY~ Murray State creates a nursing doctoral program (coming 2012). A man accused of a Murray rape claims his innocence in court. Police: man left toddler in his yard as he ran from detectivesTrain vs. SUV in Christian County claims 3 lives. Paducah’s mayor is slated to be the next president of the Kentucky League of Cities. High schoolers are voting in fake elections this week. Area foresters seek to burn +11k acres. Another Fort Campbell hero dies in Afghanistan. Beshear tackles nursing home abuse.

TENNESSEE~ A former Fort Campbell gun smuggler sentenced to +9 years.

SPORTS~ (football) MSU < CAU, APSU > TTU, UTM > EIU. (soccer) MSU < LTU & WMU, APSU > Valparaiso, UTM > SIUe.

morning cram [sp-oil edition]

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“We’re seeing already an increase in suspiciousness, arguing, domestic violence… increased drinking, anxiety, anger and avoidance.”
~ from NPR, on the health effects of the Gulf oil spill

KENTUCKY~ 70 applicants (so far) want to be Paducah’s next City Manager and commissioners approve some incentive deals with 2 major employers there. Last month’s LowerTown Arts/Music Festival netted the local economy +$131k. MSU takes in $1 million for science/technology equipment. A Hopkinsville fraud trial gets put on the back burner so the feds can prosecute. Another Fort Campbell hero was killed in Afghanistan. Rand Paul is wearing flippy floppies (taking money from bank bailout senators after promising not to). The state’s Democratic Party has a new Chairman and he donates to both parties.

TENNESSEE~ ACLU: Jailed immigrant bill will create a ‘police state’. The state Supreme Court will hold a summit to find ways to make more legal services free to the public.