Front Page Sunday 5/6/12

May 7, 2012

Balanced budgets are tough to come by these days at the national, state and local level. Murray’s City Council is dealing with a half million dollar deficit, but what about it’s doppelganger in Mississippi? How twins can be so different on Front Page Sunday from WKMS News.

(1.) ROUGH BUDGET TIMES FOR MURRAY -- The shaky economy has led to cutbacks in government at all levels, from the federal budget all the way down to the city of Murray. The city’s finance committee is currently considering cuts for various community groups, including Murray Main Street and Playhouse in the Park. Shelly Baskin reports on what form the cuts could take and what they would mean for the affected groups. 

(2.) OXFORD MAYOR 2-WAY -- As we’ve just heard, the city of Murray faces an all-too-common problem these days: a steady demand for services while facing the necessity of budget cuts.  For other communities in the country, the outlook isn’t quite so grim.  And what they’ve done, or not done, could be instructive.  So, we looked for a city similar to Murray and came up with Oxford, Mississippi, home of the University of Mississippi.  Both cover 10 square miles; they were incorporated within seven years of each other; and both are located in counties south of another county named Marshall.  Oxford’s population is just a thousand higher; and both Oxford and Murray sit at about the same height above sea level.  But there are differences.  While Murray wrangles with a budget gap, Oxford is booming.  Tourism there is on the rise and their unemployment rate is one and third points below the national average, and falling.  By contrast, Murray’s unemployment rate is half a point below the U.S. average.  What is Oxford doing right?  And what could Murray learn from its Mississippi doppelganger?  To find out, I spoke with Oxford Mayor George Patterson.

(3.) PHILANTHROPY 360 -- Not long ago there was an eye-opening report about the transfer of wealth that aging baby boomers would create, and non-profits took note.  Next week there’s an educational program in Murray about the latest trends in philanthropy and how to harness them to enrich the quality of life in our area for generations.  Kate Lochte has more. 

 (4.) RICK SHANKLIN 2-WAY -- La Nina is over, according to the National Weather Service.  The weather pattern based on central Pacific Ocean temperatures has been to blame for some of the unseasonable weather we’ve had over the course of a few years.  We’ve gone from the wettest April’s on record in 2011 to a very dry April this year.  To discuss some of our weather pattern oddities Chad Lampe/I spoke with Warning Coordination Meteorologist Rick Shanklin. 

(5.) GUY PENROD:May 12 Marshall County High School’s Kenneth Shadowen Performing Arts Center is the site of a fundraiser for the Marshall County Art Commission’s latest project.  Kate Lochte has the details.

(6.) KEN WINTERS Retiring (Long Version): 1st District State Senator Ken Winters finished his last regular session of his legislative career last month. Winters is a lifelong educator and has served as a Dean of the College of Industry and Technology  at Murray State and President of Campbellsville University.   He’s spent 8 years in the Kentucky Senate making significant headway in the commonwealth’s education policy.  He joins me today to talk this past session and his legacy in the Kentucky Legislature.