State of the News 2/17/12

We started the show with metro news, including U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta‘s upcoming visit to Louisville, and the end of Kentucky’s Virtual High School program.

In our second segment, Kenny Colston joined us to talk about managed care companies’ claim that they’ve fixed problems with Medicaid payments, where the dropout bill and pseudoephedrine bill stand, and the future of constables in the Commonwealth.

Then we heard Graham Shelby‘s conversation with filmmaker John Paul Rice, whose latest film, Mother’s Red Dress, will be screened at the Derby City Film Festival this weekend.

Do voters like their candidates talking religion on the campaign trail? The Courier-Journal’s Peter Smith brought us up to date on religious news, including research that seeks to answer that question.

In WFPL’s Immigrant Entrepreneurs series, we met some local immigrants who have started businesses here in Louisville. Our final segment today started with a piece from Michigan Radio about the role immigrants are playing in the economic recovery throughout the Midwest. Then we spoke with Dustin Dwyer, who produced the piece, about what he learned.

Finally, we heard about the tens of thousands of birds circling over Oldham County. It’s called a murmuration—when flocks of starlings come together and fly in dense formations—and it’s been happening nightly in LaGrange since late fall. Emily Hagedorn covered the story for the Courier-Journal, and she joined us to talk about why it might be happening and how residents are coping with the birds.

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