The Front Blog

Conversations from the Four Rivers Region


Datebook: November 1 – Stephen Crane Turns 140

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Happy All Saints’ Day! It’s also the 140th birthday of American novelist, short story writer, poet, and journalist Stephen Crane. Prolific throughout his short life, he wrote notable works in the Realist tradition as well as early examples of American Naturalism and Impressionism. He is recognized by modern critics as one of the most innovative writers of his generation. Crane’s first novel was the 1893 Bowery tale Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, which critics generally consider the first work of American literary Naturalism. He won international acclaim for his 1895 Civil War novel The Red Badge of Courage, which he wrote without any battle experience. Despite his success, Crane was plagued by financial difficulties and ill health, and died of tuberculosis in a sanatorium at the age of 28.

It’s Tuesday, November 1

Tonight Hopkinsville Community College shows the 2011 Robert Redford directed film, The Conspirator, at 6 p.m. in the Auditorium Lecture Hall. It compliments the national traveling exhibition “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War” being displayed in the HCC Library through Friday. Redford’s film centers on the trial of Mary Surratt.

UK Ag Extension is giving pedometers to walkers who get moving each Tuesday in November. Everyone’s invited to these Walk and Talk programs at Noble Park in Paducah. Meet at Shelter 19 at 10 a.m. Tuesdays to walk the Greenway Trail with friends. Walk at your own pace.

Thursday the Badgett Playhouse in Grand Rivers hosts a show with silent auction at 7 p.m. with proceeds benefitting a village school in Guatemala. There’s also a benefit brisket and pork barbecue from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the Grand Rivers Senior Center. Goldenrod Milk supplies free cookies and milk at the show.

The WKMS Fundraiser has not met goal. Please add in your support now at Thank you.

Datebook: October 26 – Happy Diwali!

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Diwali, popularly known as the “festival of lights,” is a festival celebrated between mid-October and mid-November for different reasons. For Hindus, Diwali is one of the most important festivals of the year and is celebrated in families by performing traditional activities together in their homes. For Jains, Diwali marks the attainment of moksha or nirvana by Mahavira in 527 BC. It’s an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore, and Fiji. During Diwali, all the celebrants wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks with family members and friends.

Happy Diwali! Here’s  a fun video from The Office.

It’s Wednesday, October 26

Chanticleer performs at the Union City Civic Auditorium Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Twelve male voices from countertenor to bass perform original interpretations of vocal literature across the ages. Tickets are $20 at the door or by membership, which includes concerts in Dyersburg.

Tomorrow Hopkinsville Community College English professor Taylor Carlisle leads a book discussion in the Christian County Public Library Board Room at 6:30 p.m. It’s about Jaimy Gordon’s 2010 National Book Award Winning, Lord of Misrule, set in the world of horseracing.

Sunday brings the Race to the Canal to LBL. There are mountain bike races for all ages and ability levels with 31 classes and prizes for the top 3 in each, weather permitting. Register at Wood-n-Wave in Grand Rivers Friday and Saturday, at the start and finish point on Kentucky Lake Scenic Drive Sunday from 7:30 to 8:30, or online at

Help WKMS reach its fundraiser goal of $130,000 in community support by 8 p.m. Saturday. Click pledge now at Thanks.

Written by Matt Markgraf

October 26, 2011 at 10:22 am

Datebook: October 21 – Mary Blair turns 100

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Mary Blair was born on October 21, 1911 (and died July 26, 1978). She was an American animation artist best known for her work with The Walt Disney Company, drawing concept art for such films as Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Song of the South, and Cinderella. Blair also created character designs Disneyland’s It’s a Small World ride, the fiesta scene in El Rio del Tiempo in the Mexico pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase, and an enormous mosaic inside Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

It is Friday, October 21

There’s an Oktoberfest celebration in the parking lot across from Maiden Alley Cinema, behind Kirchoff’s and Max’s Brick Oven Café in Paducah tomorrow from 11 to 5. Tickets are $30. Enjoy German fare and music by the Paducah Jazz Ensemble Polka Group and the Solid Rockit Boosters. Maiden Alley shows the classic Strange Brew following the event.

Hopkinsville Community College hosts a Conference on Diversity and Inclusion tomorrow from 1 to 6:30 p.m. Refreshments, entertainment and conference materials are free. Comedian Vince Morris opens the event. The band Appalatin entertains with a fusion of Latin and Appalachian sound. Learn about navigating communication styles and more.

Jackson Oaks Retirement Community at 2500 Marshall Avenue in Paducah hosts a pancake breakfast fundraiser benefitting the Outward Bound Program for Veterans tomorrow from 9 to 11 a.m. Donations are $5 per person. The program supports wartime soldiers returning home.

Enjoy a special hour-long version of Rick’s Kitchen Sink tomorrow at 2. Support your diverse music choices through the pledge page at Thanks!

Datebook: September 30 – Mozart’s The Magic Flute debuts 220 years ago

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On September 30, 1791, the first performance of The Magic Flute, the last opera by Mozart made its debut, taking place at Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden in Vienna, Austria. The Magic Flute is an opera in two acts composed to a German libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder. The work is in the form of a Singspiel, a popular form that included both singing and spoken dialog. For the debut performance, Mozart conducted the orchestra, Schikaneder himself played Papageno, while the role of the Queen of the Night was sung by Mozart’s sister-in-law Josepha Hofer. There were no reviews of the first performance, though the show was a great success, performing hundreds of times in the 1790s to massive crowds. Its popularity had lifted Mozart’s spirits, as he had fallen ill at the time and died a few months after, in December.

It’s Friday, September 30

Tomorrow Laughing Corpse Production Company of Nashville performs “Silence of the Hams,” a murder mystery about a serial pig killer troubling the town’s annual pig festival, at Lake Barkley State Resort Park. Tickets are $45 each for a buffet dinner and the entertainment from 7 to 9 p.m. Call 800-325-1708.

The Civil War Singers perform a concert of folk songs of the nineteen sixties, not the Civil War sixties, at the Fort Donelson Memorial United Methodist Church in Dover tomorrow night at 7:00. Admission is free.

Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Bill Cunningham is keynote speaker for a program about running for political office and about the electoral process next week. Christian County Chamber and its partners call it a “Campaign School” from 8:30 to 2 on Saturday, October 8 at the Hopkinsville Community College Technical Center. $20 registration includes breakfast, lunch, snacks and materials for the day. For more, e-mail

Do you have your Prairie Home Companion tickets for the November 5th show in Murray? See Thanks!

Datebook: August 9 – John Dryden’s 380th birthday

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John Dryden (9 August 1631 – 1 May 1700) was an influential English poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright who dominated the literary life of Restoration England. He established the heroic couplet as a standard form of English poetry by writing successful satires, religious pieces, fables, epigrams, compliments, prologues, and plays with it. He was made Poet Laureate in 1667. Dryden is also believed to be the first person to posit that English sentences should not end in prepositions because it was against the rules of Latin grammar.


It’s Tuesday, August 9.

Paducah’s Yeiser Art Center opens a special show “Remembering Sara Roush” with a gala reception Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. See Sarah’s paintings, prints, ceramic sculptures and mixed media collages – marking the pinnacle of her life as an artist and the end of her struggle with breast cancer. The show runs through September 10. The Yeiser’s on Markethouse Square open Tuesday through Saturday 10 to 4, admission free.

West Kentucky Community and Technical College hosts an open house for its Automotive Technology Program tomorrow from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at its Skilled Craft Training Center in Hickory.

Submission of digital images for entries in The Hopkinsville Art Guild’s 41st Juried Art Exhibition at Hopkinsville Community College in September are due Friday. See a prospectus at Entries may be in six categories.

WKMS offers a special $125 per ticket experience for A Prairie Home Companion at the CFSB Center November 5, including a commemorative poster, preferred parking, and post-show reception. See or call 800-599-4737.

morning cram [restraint edition]

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The effort to repeal what many have called the “job-killing health care law act” is underway. Though, many lawmakers are now using more restrained language to describe their distaste of the bill.

NPR reports this comes in the wake of heightened sensitivity after the shooting of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

KENTUCKY~ The weekend death of a Reidland teen is blamed on inhalant abuse. A McCracken County Commissioner thanks Western Baptist Hospital for saving him. A MSU alum will takeover the helm of Murray-Calloway County Hospital. The state will hand out grants to startup high school biofuel programs. Education Commissioner Holliday doesn’t want the senate to stall on education reform.

TENNESSEE~ Workers will blow up Clarksville’s Red River Bridge tonight. Governor Haslam hides some of his investments from himself.

ILLINOIS~ The remains of a swimmer who went missing last year near Cairo have been found. Honeywell and union reps will meet up (yet again) next month.

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 [mosque edition]

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“Experts worry the controversy surrounding an Islamic center near ground zero in Lower Manhattan is playing right into the hands of radical extremists.”

~NPR hears the debate is recently the No. 1 topic of discussion on radical Islamic websites.

KENTUCKY~ It’s Cracker Barrel vs. Zaxby’s in Calloway Circuit Court next week. Murray’s (alleged) home invaders pleaded not guilty to all charges yesterday. Mayfield’s zoning board will vote on whether or not Somali Muslims can establish a mosque there. Police claim a Christian County man murdered his mother. A Fort Campbell Muslim soldier is refusing to be deployed to Afghanistan. Police are searching for a Fulton County escapee. Hopkinsville Community College’s summer enrollment had a big bump over last year. A family advocacy group decries horse track instant racing (in court). Kentucky eyes trade with Cuba. Rand Paul prefers the war on drugs should be funded by locals rather than the federal government prompting Jack Conway’s criticism.

TENNESSEE~ Clarksville’s new airport manager makes rebuilding the community’s trust in the office his top priority.

SPORTS~ APSU > Lipscomb (1-0).

morning cram [crowdsourcing edition]

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“A type of information gathering  called crowdsourcing could have a big impact on Republicans’ fall agenda.”

~NPR logs on two websites seeking input.

KENTUCKY~ Paducah approves its Executive Inn demolition contract, buys $100k in software upgrades and proposes to buy more Greenway Trail property. A committee is still working on a plan to merge the Paducah/McCracken County governments. One of Fort Campbell’s last major units prep to leave for Afghanistan. 2 Hopkinsville Community College professors are now Kellogg-certified specialists. The Commonwealth is (again) among Race to the Top finalists and ranks 40th in the nation for overall child well-being.

TENNESSEE~ A Clarksville Police detective is suspended over Facebook photos. Publix breaks ground at the former Gateway Medical Center in Clarksville.

ILLINOIS~ Honeywell/union worker talks derail. Officials think their Race to the Top chances are better this time around.

morning edition [crawling edition]

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“The question isn’t why did the caterpillar cross the road but how? Researchers have discovered that at least one species of caterpillar precedes each step with a thrust of its gut.”

~NPR gets out the microscope.

KENTUCKY~ A real-life MySpace date in Draffenville (with an underage girl) lands a Louisiana man on rape charges. Madisonville Police quickly diffuse a hostage situation. Murray-Calloway’s Chamber of Commerce hands out some awards. State Budget Director is ‘cautiously optimistic‘ about the Commonwealth’s fiscal future and the Education Commissioner wants to reorganize his department. Jack and Rand stab each other (with words).

TENNESSEE~ A jury finds a Clarksville mom guilty of  killing her baby. Army Corps of Engineers: Please, public, comment on our critical report. APSU joins Hopkinsville Community College to offer a green occupation degree. Early voters are coming out in droves.