White House

Never mind that it's not even Thanksgiving yet, Kate Bateman has Christmas music playing inside her Radcliff, Kentucky home.  When you visit, you'll find she's obsessed with Christmas.

"Bad enough that I put up five trees.  I have Santas in a showcase that stay out all year long.  I have a six-foot tall Santa in the foyer and he's out all year long," explained Bateman.  "It's kind of an overkill I guess, but I love Christmas."

The retired Hardin County Schools art teacher will soon combine her passion and talent to help America’s First Home sparkle for the holidays.  Bateman is part of an all-volunteer group of people from all over the country selected to help decorate the White House for Christmas.  She first learned about the opportunity while watching a special on HGTV. 

"I thought to myself 'Man, I'd love to do that!' but it wasn't a good time for me," she said.  "I was still teaching and I said 'I'm going put that on my list for when I retire."'

Fast forward a few years to the end of last month when Bateman learned the application she submitted over the summer had been accepted.  She leaves for Washington on Thanksgiving Day.  The opportunity puts a crimp in her traditional Thanksgiving plans, but she doesn’t mind.

"My youngest daughter had already said she wanted to host Thanksgiving at her house this year and I was all for that," stated Bateman.  "I'm making the pies the day before.  Their dad will take the pies over, and I'm on a plane.  And I'm so okay with that!"

Bateman will join a group of about 100 volunteers ranging from florists to lawyers who will put their mark on the 132-room White House.  She doesn’t have her assignment yet, but the suspense, she says, is part of the fun.

Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson will resign on Nov. 13 for a post in the White House, and former state Auditor Crit Luallen will be appointed in his place, Gov. Steve Beshear announced Thursday.

Abramson will be President Obama's liaison to state and local government, the Associated Press reports.

The AP adds:

With the possibility of a federal shutdown only hours away, government agencies have produced detailed contingency plans of how the shutdown would affect their operations as well as services in our listening area. 

If Congress cannot pass  a spending bill by midnight, most federal agencies will tell non-essential government employees to stay home on Tuesday. However, a few entities are considered essential programs and will continue to operate under mandatory spending. 

White House speaker Gautam Raghaven on LGBT week

Sep 10, 2012

The Murray State University Alliance hosted "Conversation and Dessert" with Gautam Raghaven, Associate Director of Public Engagement and LGBT Liasion for the White House on September 10th. Listen to the full conversation with Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Bonnie Higginson here.

For more information, visit murraystate.edu.lgbt.