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
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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Government
8:14 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Quinn Rejects Bill Raising ILL Electric Rates

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has rejected a plan to increase electric rates by roughly $70 million, a proposal ComEd says would have helped get so-called Smart Grid technology back on track. Quinn vetoed the plan yesterday saying the bill would undermine oversight and force automatic rate hikes. ComEd touted the bill as a way to clarify 2011 legislation allowing utilities to raise rates to fund a high-tech system. But executing it has been tricky.

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Environment
8:12 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Scenic And Struggling Southern Illinois Braces For Oil Rush

Credit Jeff Jones / http://salinecountychamber.org

Southern Illinois residents are bracing for change as the Legislature considers a regulatory bill that could set off a rush to drill for oil and gas. The area includes two counties that have never had conventional oil or gas drilling, and its residents are deeply divided over what it could mean for their way of life. Johnson and Pope counties have some of the Illinois' most remote and scenic areas. 

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Education
8:09 am
Mon May 6, 2013

KY School Districts Seek 'Innovation' Status

Kentucky education experts will soon be examining applications from public schools districts across the Commonwealth that want to become "Districts of Innovation." The state Education Department says the designation allows districts to seek exemption from some rules and regulations to try to improve student learning.

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Environment
8:07 am
Mon May 6, 2013

TWRA Seeking Comments On Hunting Regulations

Credit wikipedia.com

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency wants to hear from people with concerns about the state's hunting regulations. The TWRA is asking the public for comments on proposed regulations for the 2013-2014 hunting seasons. Officials say it's an opportunity for citizens to share their concerns with the agency. Proposed regulations can be found on the TWRA website at tnwildlife.org. Those interested can also send comments by mail. The TWRA will be taking comments until May 27th.

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Morning Cram
8:02 am
Fri May 3, 2013

The Morning Cram [kfc edition]

From NPR: Edward Lee's culinary education spans the multi-ethnic immigrant neighborhood of Brooklyn where he grew up to his Korean grandmother's kitchen. His cookbook showcases recipes like lamb braised with soy sauce served over grits and Korean fried chicken.

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Government
7:52 am
Fri May 3, 2013

TVA Had Net Gain Of $54 million In Second Quarter

Credit tva.com

The Tennessee Valley Authority is reporting a net income of $54 million in its second fiscal quarter. TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson said the government utility ended the quarter on plan because of more favorable weather and employee efforts to reduce costs.  The results from the January-March period compare favorably with the same quarter in 2012, in which revenues showed a net loss of $94 million.

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Politics
7:29 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Madigan Expects ILL Senate To Approve Pension Plan

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan says he expects his legislative proposal to reform the state's pension systems will trump all others and reach the governor's desk. Madigan's remarks yesterday followed House lawmakers sending the speaker's comprehensive pension-reform plan to the Senate on a 62-51 vote. Senate President John Cullerton is proposing an alternative plan to solve Illinois' $97 billion pension crisis. He has being negotiating a solution with union leaders.

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