This Week In Conversation: Appalachia As A Bellwether For The Country Wednesday, Aug 12 2020 


The challenges that the Appalachian region faces aren’t just Appalachian problems; theyre American problems. Those problems include addiction, poor health outcomes and the need for communities to make a transition from fossil fuel extraction, and they will largely determine whether we, as a nation, can meet challenges of inequality, climate change and economic recovery. Far from being a backwater, Appalachia is a bellwether for the country.

The hardcovers have arrived!

— Jeff Young (@JeffYoung8) August 7, 2020


This Week In Conversation: What’s Next For Downtown Louisville? Wednesday, Aug 5 2020 


If youve ever looked at historical photos of downtown Louisville, you might have been struck by how busy and bustling it looked. Loads of people were out and about going to work, wearing fancy outfits to the theater, and shopping at department stores. But mid-century urban renewal efforts changed downtown, putting parking lots and high rises where multi-use buildings and pedestrian-friendly sidewalks used to be.

These photos show the view looking south from the Glassworks building at 9th St and Market, before and after urban renewal. Theyre from the Broken Sidewalk blog, which has a great (but depressing) collection of before and after pictures.

Since then, efforts to revitalize downtown have come and gone (remember the Galleria?), but in the last few years, our city center seemed to gain some momentum. The Yum Center brought people downtown for games and concerts, Whiskey Row reopened with restaurants and shops, and some distilleries opened their doors to teach tourists where the good stuff comes from.


This Week In Conversation: Fancy Farm Without Politicians? Thursday, Jul 30 2020 

The Fancy Farm Picnic is known through the state as the place where political candidates come to stump, kiss babies and encourage the eating of pounds of meat. But with the COVID-19 pandemic, and numbers in the state spiking uncomfortably high, politicians won’t speak at the picnic this year.

How are politicians campaigning differently this summer? And what will Fancy Farm be like without the rhetoric and heckling? This week, we talk about the history and legacy of the Fancy Farm picnic, and how it went from a simple fundraiser for St. Jerome Catholic Church to an important milestone on the Kentucky campaign trail.

Our guests are:

We also have updates on the LMPD’s response to Louisville protests, and coronavirus testing availability in Kentucky, from KYCIR’s Jake Ryan, and WFPL’s Ryan Van Velzer.

Listen to the show:

This Week In Conversation: School Reopening Plans In Kentucky Wednesday, Jul 22 2020 


Getting children and teens ready to go back to school takes on a different meaning this year, as COVID-19 infection rates are spiking around the country and here in Kentucky and Indiana.

On this week’s “In Conversation,” we explore the decisions educators, administrators and parents have to make to keep students and teachers safe. We also talk about how parents are weighing the pros and cons of sending their children back to school versus delaying their return.


This Week In Conversation: The Debate Over Confederate Statues And Other Monuments In Public Spaces Thursday, Jul 16 2020 

Demonstrators across the country who have been demanding an end to racial injustice and excessive police violence have also been calling for the removal of Confederate monuments and other public displays that for many evoke slavery, white supremacy and oppression.

Some protesters have taken matters into their own hands, tearing down statues themselves.

This week on In Conversation, we’ll jump into the debate over controversial monuments and public art, and we want you to join the discussion.

Do you think certain statues and figures should be removed from public spaces?  If so, which ones?  What should be done with them when they’re taken down?  What should go up in their place?

Our guests include:

  • Writer Conner Towne O’Neill, whose forthcoming book Down Along With That Devil’s Bones explores the continuing battle over monuments dedicated to notorious Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest.
  • Dr. Anne Bailey, history professor at State University of New York at Binghamton and director of the Harriett Tubman Center for the Study of Freedom and Equality.
  • Braylyn Resko Stewart, Louisville-based artist who co-created a large mural featuring Breonna Taylor and others who died at the hands of police.
  • WFPL Arts Reporter Stephanie Wolf.


Listen to In Conversation live on 89.3 WFPL Friday at 11 a.m. or follow along with our live tweets at @WFPLnews. Call with your questions or comments at 502-814-TALK or tweet us with the hashtag #WFPLconversation. We’re also on Facebook.

This Week In Conversation: The Rise Of Substance Use During COVID-19 Thursday, Jul 9 2020 

The coronavirus pandemic seems to be changing our relationship with drinking and drugs. Liquor sales are booming. Drinking socially wasn’t an option for a while, so people who never drank alone found themselves mixing up cocktails for one. And why wait for happy hour when most hours of the day are the same?

Meanwhile, folks with serious substance use problems saw their weekly meetings move to Zoom. Opioid-related drug overdoses nearly doubled in Kentucky.

Substance use issues are on the rise, and they require different solutions as shutdowns and social distancing affect the ability to get needed help.

Join us on “In Conversation” this Friday as we talk to experts about the impact of the coronavirus on how we use alcohol and other substances. We’ll talk about people with long time addictions, those dealing with COVID-19 prohibitions in the beginning of their recovery, and how to keep a handle on your own drinking when the cocktail hour seems to have no beginning or end.

We’ll find out how professionals and advocates are finding news ways to offer support, and hear from members of the community about how they are handling alcohol and drug use while isolated, and dealing with the stress of a growing pandemic.

We want to hear from you, too. Have you found yourself reaching for a glass more often these past few months, or less? Listen to In Conversation Friday morning at 11, and call us at 502-814-8255 to share your experiences.

This Week In Conversation: Looking Ahead To Kentucky’s General Election Tuesday, Jun 30 2020 

The stage is set for the November General Election in Kentucky.  The state’s primary was delayed until June 23 because of the coronavirus, and it took a week for all the votes to be tabulated because most of them were absentee mail-in ballots.

In Kentucky’s closely watched Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, retired Marine pilot Amy McGrath held off a late charge by state Rep. Charles Booker to win the nomination.  She’ll try to unseat Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell this fall.

Coming up this week on In Conversation, we’ll analyze Kentucky’s primary election results and look ahead to the November General Election with Capitol Reporter Ryland Barton.

Plus, Education Reporter Jess Clark joins us to talk about Kentucky’s plan to reopen public schools following the coronavirus shutdown.

We’ll also replay our conversation with former Camden, New Jersey Mayor Dana Redd and Rutgers University professor and Camden resident Nyema Watson.    The city overhauled its police department during Redd’s administration.

Listen to In Conversation on 89.3 WFPL Friday at 11 a.m. Because this week’s program is pre-recorded, we won’t be taking any listener calls.  We’ll be back with a live program on July 10.


In Conversation: Summer Vacations And Pride Month During A Pandemic Friday, Jun 26 2020 

Many states that have reopened their economies from coronavirus shutdowns are seeing a dramatic surge in COVID-19 infections. Some have reinstated certain restrictions, and Texas has paused its reopening plan.

Gov. Andy Beshear and state health officials say Kentucky remains in a plateau, but the commonwealth continues to record scores of new coronavirus cases daily, with many recent ones tied to out-of-state travel.  Health officials say numerous people have returned to Kentucky with COVID-19 after traveling to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Starting Monday, bars across Kentucky can reopen under certain conditions, people can congregate in groups of up to 50, and other activities will be permitted.  The state has also released its plan for the reopening of schools this fall, and Churchill Downs says the Kentucky Derby will be held — with spectators — on September 5.

Today on In Conversation, we talk about the coronavirus pandemic in Kentucky and how a surge in cases would affect the state’s reopening plan. Two guests join us for this segment: Mike Berry, Secretary of Kentucky Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet, and Dr. Krutika Kuppalli, Vice Chair off the Infectious Disease Society of America’s Global Health Committee.

Plus, this is Pride Month, but amid the coronavirus pandemic and the racial justice demonstrations around the world, the celebration is different this year.  We talk about it with Allen Hatchell, outgoing president of Kentuckiana Pride, and DJ Victoria Syimone Taylor.

And we kick off the show with a news update from WFPL’s Ryan Van Velzer and Kentucky Public Radio’s Ryland Barton.

Listen to the show:

This Week In Conversation: The Pandemic And Kentucky’s Primary Election Friday, Jun 19 2020 

Kentucky’s primary election is Tuesday, June 23rd, and the coronavirus pandemic is changing the way most Kentuckians cast their ballots.

The primary was postponed from May to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and for the first time, Kentuckians are being allowed to vote by mail, or vote in person early without providing an excuse.

Most Kentucky counties will have only one voting location, but a federal lawsuit has been filed seeking to add balloting sites in the state’s most populous counties.

This week on In Conversation, we’ll talk about the upcoming election and the balloting process with Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams. Kentucky Public Radio Capitol Reporter Ryland Barton will be here to preview the primary races.

Plus, we’ll have the latest on the demonstrations for racial justice that are entering their fourth week in many cities. Friday is Juneteenth, and we’ll hear some citizens’ thoughts on the day commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S.

Listen to In Conversation live on 89.3 WFPL Friday at 11:00am or follow along with our live tweets at @WFPLnews. Call with your questions or comments at 502-814-TALK or tweet us with the hashtag #WFPLconversation. We’re also on Facebook.

This Week In Conversation: Will Protests Lead To Change In Louisville? Thursday, Jun 4 2020 

The fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor by police in Louisville and the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police have sparked protests around the world.

Those and other incidents have renewed calls for change in the culture of police departments and an end to systemic racism in other institutions.

The government and police response to the protests is also drawing criticism.

In Louisville, the family of David McAtee wants more answers after the popular barbecue stand owner was shot to death this week by law enforcement as they tried to clear a crowd from a parking lot to enforce a curfew.   Police say surveillance video appears to show McAtee firing a gun, but his family says the footage just raises more questions.

This week on In Conversation, we’ll talk about the events of the past week, the status of the investigations into the deaths of Breonna Taylor and David McAtee, and what steps are being taken to address the underlying issue of racism in the community.

Our guests will include Louisville Metro Councilwoman Paula McCraney, who’s co-chairing the effort to create a Civilian Review Board to examine police actions and procedures, and WFPL City Reporter Amina Elahi.

Listen to In Conversation live on 89.3 WFPL Friday at 11 a.m. or follow us on Twitter @WFPLnews. Call with your questions or comments at 502-814-TALK or tweet us with the hashtag #WFPLconversation. We’re also on Facebook.




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