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Conversations from the Four Rivers Region

Posts Tagged ‘unemployment

the morning cram [he’s doing his Walter Huston dance edition]

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Apparently, the fortune I left in Vegas last year isn’t paying the bills anymore, so they’re looking to gold.

NPR reports as the struggling economy has hurt the gambling industry in Nevada, state officials are looking to increase taxes on the state’s prospering gold mining industry.

OVC Scores…

Kentucky~ We can go see the bridge this weekend (photo op; place head here). There was a bomb threat at Calloway Middle. Big trucks and small bridges don’t mix. We have the interwebs back. Former Ag Commish Farmer applied for unemployment. A soldier uses HIV to avoid discharge. There are more jobs at an Owensboro pipeline.

the morning cram [insurmountable student debt edition]

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Student loan debt will follow some college students for the rest of their lives.

NPR reports the student loan debt for the average US college student is around $24,000. But for some, the burden is much larger than that. (I’d hate to be one of those students…oh wait)

Kentucky~ No more help for the tent-city people. Rand Paul distrusts job numbers.

Illinois~ Schools need more money.

Tennessee~ The state got more money for roads. Unemployment jumps a bit.

the morning cram [dengue fever edition]

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Mosquitoes are mostly just annoying, though some carry disease.

NPR reports the city of Iquitos, Peru has become a giant, open-air lab for the study of dengue fever spread by mosquitoes.

Kentucky~ 200 temp jobs will be available in western Kentucky for flood clean-up. The trial for an accused baby smotherer has been postponed. A Paducah man is arrested for making meth. A state program is helping college drop-outs get back into school. Police may not arrest you for your minor crime anymore (but you will get a fine).

Tennessee~ Gov Haslam signed a bill to extend unemployment benefits.

Illinois~ It’s Superman celebration time in Metropolis.

the morning cram [drug cartel edition]

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Fears arise that Mexican drug cartels are aligning with street gangs.

NPR reports major street gangs in El Salvador could provide more foot soldiers for drug cartel expansion.

Kentucky~ Some flood victims will be eligible for unemployment benefits. A pump and runner was caught in Paducah. Former Rep. Eddie Ballard dies at age 81. Two terrorists were arrested in Bowling Green. Officials are developing an attack plan for Asian carp. Counties are being drawn at random for post-election audits.

Tennesse~ Some CDE Lightband employees might get raises. A Fort Campbell soldier was killed in Afghanistan.

Illinois~ Gay couples can form Civil Unions today. New electric and gas rebates have been made available.

morning cram [drink it down edition]

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“Researchers at Brigham Young University have found that teenagers who grow up with parents who are either too strict or too indulgent tend to binge drink more than their peers.”

NPR swallows the research results.

KENTUCKY ~ Christmas trees are sleeping with the fishes. Murder suspect in deeper trouble after jail assault. Fort Campbell MP accused of killing his girlfriend. Predicting the future: education and renewable energy a state struggle. Former governor eyes Senate Majority Leader position.

TENNESSEE ~ Plant closure leads to spike in Montgomery County unemployment.

morning cram [tough drill edition]

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“The easy oil is gone… we’re going to have to dig deeper into the earth, farther offshore, farther north into the Arctic. We’re relying on these extreme energy situations.”

~NPR talks to author Michael Klare about the world oil picture.

KENTUCKY~ Murray’s hospital is searching for a new CEO. The Commonwealth’s share of a Johnson & Johnson drug marketing lawsuit is $75mil. Beshear’s Republican competition in next year’s governor race will embrace Tea Party values. UofL Coach Rick Pitino testifies against his former fling and (alleged) extorter. Unemployment checks are on the way.

TENNESSEE~ Convicted rapist Bruce ‘Big Belly’ Tuck sues the Shelby County Sheriff.

ILLINOIS~ Locked out Honeywell workers are approved for unemployment benefits. Promoting Southern Illinois tourism is now a thing of the past.

morning cram [capped edition]

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“The oil has stopped. For now. After 85 days and up to 184 million gallons, BP finally gained control over one of America’s biggest environmental catastrophes.”

~NPR tells of hope and disbelief along the Gulf.

KENTUCKY~ McCracken school officials will open bidding to construct its mega-high school in September. Truck vs. moped incident lands a Paducah man in jail. Expect delays crossing the US-60 Cumberland River Bridge at Smithland beginning tonight (wide vehicles will detour). Murray State’s portion of Chestnut Street is closed until early next week. A 6th Fort Campbell hero dies this month in bloody Afghanistan. Fort Knox is transforming from a tank school into a command center. Kentucky’s employing again (jobless rates dip to a 16-month low). State worker unions hate Beshear’s furloughs.

TENNESSEE~ Unemployment dropped .3% in June.

UFW Invites Anti-immigration Advocates to Put Their Money Where Their Mouths Are

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by Todd Hatton

In August of 2008, WKMS aired a story by Carrie Pond about the H-2A program, where U.S. farmers are allowed to bring in foreign workers for jobs not filled by American workers.  Considering that the Obama Administration is looking once again at immigration reform, and once again immigration opponents are rallying to the cry of “they’re taking our jobs,” the story’s worth another listen.  In the piece, Murray tobacco farmer Mark Pascal points out that the Mexican workers coming here aren’t taking anyone’s job.  He says, “They’re doing the jobs no American wants to do.  They’re good people, wanting to do an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay.”

Two years later, “they’re taking our jobs” is still a common sentiment.  But when one considers the nation’s 9.3% unemployment rate, Kentucky’s 10.2% rate, and Tennessee’s 10.3% rate, that sentiment seems, well, a little disingenuous if not downright hypocritical.

Now, the farm workers are calling us out on it.

In a Yahoo! news story from the Associated Press, the United Farm Workers of America say they’re challenging the unemployed and anti-immigrant activists to take their jobs.  They’ve even set up a website,, to facilitate the process.  They’ve also attracted some celebrity help.

Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert will spotlight the campaign on “The Colbert Report” July 8.

The Yahoo! story says the campaign is tongue in cheek, but the underlying issue is serious.  It cites a U.S. Labor Department report that says three out of four farm workers were born abroad, with more than half of them in this country illegally.  The workers, legal or not, face long days and little pay.  They’re excluded from federal overtime laws and may not even get minimum wage.  On top of that, the website says sixteen states don’t require farm laborers to be covered by worker’s compensation laws.  And yes, Kentucky and Tennessee are two of those states.

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Written by Todd Hatton

July 7, 2010 at 10:47 am

morning cram [psycho brain edition]

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“See it in their eyes… an intensity in their stare, as if they’re trying to pick up signals on how to respond. But the eyes are not an element of psychopathy, just a clue.”

~NPR has more.

KENTUCKY~ A cucumber truck spill on WKY Parkway in Caldwell County is slowing traffic (this morning). McCracken County may grant developer incentives. A West Paducah mom (allegedly) writes a fake letter to get her son out of jail. A Fort Campbell soldier from Arizona died in Afghanistan in a non-combat incident and another lost an appeal for possessing a rocket at his home. Madisonville expands its recycling effort. The Commonwealth ranks 3rd fattest in the nation.

TENNESSEE~ Clarksville’s next budget may include iPads for City Council members. Unemployment in Henry County drops almost 1% in April to May.

ILLINOIS~ Union/Honeywell negotiations remain a stalemate. There’s a call to strip some elected Metropolis officials’ health insurance coverage.