Studio 619 for June 21, 2009

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Biotechnology and Tobacco

Over the years, tobacco has been a major economic engine for Kentucky. But the number of tobacco farmers has plummeted since the federal government ended its 70 year old price support program in 2004. Those who still grow tobacco say the crop has an uncertain future as the nation’s smoking rate continues to decline.

Stephanie Sanders reports on a project in western Kentucky that –if successful – could not only improve the industry’s future, it could also lead to major medical breakthroughs, and save lives.

Liveable Cities

The Environmental Protection Agency, the Housing and Urban Development Agency, and the Department of Transportation have announced a partnership to promote better access to and more affordable transportation for American communities, as well as access to more affordable housing. The guiding principle is to encourage the development and redevelopment of liveable cities – citities that make living and getting around easier while protecting the environment from too much traffic and sprawl. WFPL’s Kristin Espeland spoke with Louisville’s assistant director for economic development, Susan Hamilton, about the possible implications for our region.

Faith-Based Agencies

During the Bush administration, faith-based initiatives became a lightning rod between those for and against taxpayer money going to faith groups, especially those who hired according to one’s beliefs. We look how his policies evolved and how President Obama is considering them.

Jean Thompson

Jean Thompson has written several compilations of short stories, her latest is “Do Not Deny Me,” the title of one of the 12 stories in the collection. Thompson has been hailed as one of “our most lucid and insightful writers” by the San Francisco Chronicle… and her works of fiction have won numerous honors and awards.

David Sedaris

Author and humorist David Sedaris will speak and sign books Sunday at Carmichael’s bookstore. Gabe Bullard caught up with Sedaris as the writer was preparing for a television appearance in Los Angeles.