John Walker

News Reporter

John Walker is native of Jessamine County, Kentucky and a recent graduate of Murray State University's Journalism program. His roots are in far eastern Kentucky, but he was raised in Kentucky's famous Bluegrass region. Now he resides in far western Kentucky just as a way to experience all that is the Commonwealth. His initial plan was to pursue a newspaper career, but he quickly found a calling to radio. His interests include anthropology, folklore, politics and the environment. He loves to listen to Old Time and Mountain music as well as Traditional Celtic and Jazz. If you need to find him he is probably taking a nap in Murray State's quad or taking a stroll through the arboretum.

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Morning Cram
7:51 am
Tue May 7, 2013

The Morning Cram [slurps mcgurps edition]

From NPR: The Pallas's long-tongued bat has a neat trick at the tip of its tongue — tiny hairlike structures that fill with blood and stand straight out. This turns the tongue into a nectar-slurping mop at just the right time.

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Government
7:35 am
Tue May 7, 2013

ILL Opens Grant Process For Health Guides

Credit wikipedia

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has announced that federal grants worth $28 million will be distributed to qualifying community groups that want to help educate consumers about the new online marketplace for health insurance. The state will accept applications through May 30. The national health overhaul law requires insurance marketplaces to be operating in every state by October 1.

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Education
7:32 am
Tue May 7, 2013

TN To Use $4 Million In Grants For Leadership Programs

Credit newgre.org

The Tennessee Department of Education plans to use nearly $4 million in federal education funds to pay for eight leadership development programs. The grants are part of the $500 million the state won three years ago in the national Race to the Top education grant competition. Officials say eight recipients received grants, which were awarded to organizations in partnership with one or more school systems.

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Government
7:29 am
Tue May 7, 2013

ILL Unions Ask Lawmakers To Back Senate Pension Plan

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Illinois union leaders are encouraging lawmakers to support a pension reform proposal that they recently agreed on with the state's Senate president. A coalition of unions announced yesterday it reached an agreement with Senate President John Cullerton on a possible solution to the state's $97 billion pension crisis. Michael Carrigan is the president of the Illinois AFL-CIO. He says the group is trying to ensure fairness for public employees and retirees.

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Environment
7:28 am
Tue May 7, 2013

TN Health Department Warns Of Mosquito-Borne Illness

Credit wikipedia.org

The Tennessee Department of Health is urging people to protect themselves from viruses transmitted by mosquitoes. Last year Tennessee experienced 33 human cases of West Nile virus, including one in December. Four out of five people with West Nile won't show symptoms, but others will develop severe illness that can result in permanent neurological damage or even death.

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Arts
7:26 am
Tue May 7, 2013

TN Arts Commission Reinstates Arts Build Communities

The Tennessee Arts Commission has reinstated its popular Arts Build Communities grant program. Through the program, the commission seeks to build communities by nurturing artists, arts organizations and arts supporters. Awards range from $500 to $2,000 and may be used for a variety of arts projects. Any projects that use ABC funds must be open to the general public.

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Business
7:22 am
Tue May 7, 2013

KY Medicaid Managed Care Group Announces Layoffs

One of Kentucky's Medicaid managed care groups will begin laying off workers next month to prepare for shutting down.  Kentucky Spirit Health Plan, a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Centene Corporation, announced last fall that it would exercise a contractual right to end its contract with the state effective July 5th. The organization notified state and local government officials and its 145 employees of the impending layoffs yesterday.

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Morning Cram
8:33 am
Mon May 6, 2013

The Morning Cram [country roads edition]

From NPR: The Senate minority leader is up for re-election next year, and polling in his state shows his popularity is suffering. Some voters complain that Mitch McConnell is out of touch with the people of the Bluegrass State, and others say it's time for some new blood. Still, he will be hard to beat.

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Education
8:23 am
Mon May 6, 2013

KY Schools Return To Pencil and Paper Tests Today

After conflicting reports from test vendor ACT about the ability of its technology system to handle online testing, the Kentucky Department of Education is moving to paper and pencil tests for the remainder of the school year. Early last week about 25 districts reported slow connections and sometimes dropped connections from the ACT Vantage testing system that’s used to administer the online end-of-course exams to high school students. 

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Government
8:21 am
Mon May 6, 2013

DEA Collects 7,100 lbs. Of Drugs At KY Take-Back

The federal Drug Enforcement Administration collected more than 7,100 pounds of unwanted, unused and expired prescription medications in Kentucky during a National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. During last week's event, agents picked up 50 percent more pills than the previous year. The Commonwealth's numbers have been on the rise since the DEA started the National Drug Initiative in 2010.

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