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Story Exchange

Are Urban Industries Endangering Neighborhoods?

Louisville’s Rubbertown neighborhood is home to the largest carbide (a chemical compound) furnace in the world. Several miles east, the Butchertown neighborhood hosts one of the nation’s largest urban slaughterhouses. There were accidents at both of these facilities in the same week in late March, and the city is developing a new notification system for residents. Such a system is necessary, city officials say, because these facilities are in urban areas.

What dangers do these facilities present to the surrounding neighborhoods, and to the city as a whole? Should the plants be relocated? Can they be relocated? What is the future of urban industry, and what will happen to the workers if the plants move?

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Stories from the Heart of the Land, part I

Saturday, October 23, 2010 9pm

Producer: Atlantic Public Media
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You may have noticed that every time you print from your computer, you are faced with a choice: Portrait or Landscape. That can represent a way of looking at the world. One or the other: The head and shoulders of the human form vs. the broad spread of the world we occupy. Or maybe not.

Maybe we actually find ourselves, each of us, as portraits within landscapes.

In this episode, Elizabeth Arnold discovers that, though she may be ready for the “Great”, and for the “Rainforest”, she is not so ready for the “Bear.” Armed only with a tent, a pack of hot dogs, and a twelve-year old, Jonathan Goldstein confronts his fear of the woods. The Kitchen Sisters contribute a portrait of activist Mark DuBois and his dramatic effort to save a wild river in the west. What is it like to be exiled from a landscape that you can see from your window? When his legs fail him, Chris Brookes finds out. We’ll also hear the story of one man’s prairie, and his work to let it flourish, even after he dies. Kelly McEvers visits Bob’s Prairie in Illinois. And, finally, through every season, 97-year-old rancher Attilio Genasci tends to his cattle and his alpine valley in California. A portrait of a man in his landscape by Jesikah Maria Ross.

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The Hyzdu Diaries

Saturday, October 16, 2010 9pm

Producer: Mark Moran, KJZZ
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The history of professional baseball is checkered with can’t miss prospects who never made it to the big leagues. But most guys quit trying after five, six, 10, 15 years. Not Adam Hyzdu.

The first round draft pick tried for 16 seasons to get his big break. He still holds his Cincinnati area high school’s home run record, passing Ken Griffey, Jr. He took a tape recorder with him to spring training for several years in a row. You’ll never guess where he’s playing now.

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War Vets

Saturday, September 18, 2010 9pm

Producer: Conrad Bishop
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The voices of fourteen men and women who served in the military during times of war. What got you into the service? What did you do there? How were you different when you came home?

The program includes veterans from the Spanish Civil War through Vietnam – a perspective that allows them to look back on how their extremely diverse experiences affected the whole span of their lives. It includes infantrymen, nurses, mechanics, a pilot, a medic, and people just sitting behind a desk. It’s interspersed with musical settings of quotes (both pro- and anti-war) from literature and history.

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Dina’s Diary: Journey of a Cancer Survivor

Saturday, September 11, 2010 9pm

Producer: Capital Public Radio
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Two weeks before Thanksgiving Day 2005, Dina Howard was diagnosed with breast cancer. Over the ensuing months, the 39-year-old mother of two faced agonizing decisions about surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

At the time of her diagnosis, Dina, a former actress and arts administrator, was starting work as a freelance arts reporter for public radio station KXJZ in Sacramento. Despite having no radio experience, she had reporter-like instincts and lots of enthusiasm. While still dealing with the shock of the diagnosis, Dina had an idea: maybe she should keep the equipment she borrowed from the station and document her own battle with cancer. It would give her a task to focus on, she reasoned. And maybe the finished product would be helpful to others someday.

And so, for one year between Thanksgivings, Dina kept an audio diary. But she didn’t just record end-of-the-day reflections about her ordeal. She recorded her raw reactions during the most crucial moments of treatment: while she was in the pre-op waiting room before mastectomy surgery, in the infusion lounge during chemotherapy, and during radiation treatments with a giant machine hovering overhead.

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Sisters in Pain

Saturday, September 4, 2010 9pm

Producer: Down to Earth Productions
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When a battered woman resorts to violence against her abuser, is she guilty of a crime? Or do her actions qualify as justifiable self-defense?

In the Peabody Award-winning documentary Sisters in Pain, three formerly battered women share their riveting, intimate and honest stories of abuse, arrest, imprisonment, and, finally, freedom.

These women are among the “sisters in pain,” 13 battered women in Kentucky who, in the 1980s and early 1990s, stood up to their brutally abusive husbands and boyfriends, and were subsequently found guilty of violent crimes.

When Kentucky’s Governor Brereton Jones learned of the “sisters in pain” and their stories, he became convinced the women had acted in self-defense. In a controversial move, Jones granted all of the women clemency on his last day in office. This was only the third mass clemency for battered women in U.S. history.

image: Quilt square made by the Sisters in Pain while in prison.

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State of the Re:Union: Motor City Rebound

Saturday, August 14, 2010 9pm

Producer: Al Letson, PRX/NPR
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If you listen to the news, you’ve heard a lot about Detroit lately, none of it very good. This week, State of the Re:Union and host Al Letson travels to Detroit to move beyond the headlines and explore the Motor City.

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Africa's Holy Healers

Saturday, July 31, 2010 9pm

Producer: America Abroad Media
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Sub-Saharan Africa is a religious place. It’s also riddled with disease. AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis prey upon Africa’s faithful, often in the prime of their lives. And anemic public health systems can’t carry the cross. And so, into the valleys of death step medical missionaries. They are welcomed by a continent where prayer and pills often go hand in hand. And, they provide some of the best healthcare in Africa. But sometimes doctrine overrules doctor’s orders, and that can leave patients in limbo.

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Southern Slices: Summer Stories

Saturday, July 24, 2010 9pm

Producer: John Biewen/Center for Documentary Studies
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Radio-making isn’t just for professionals. Every summer, several dozen people from across the country converge on the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University to learn the skills of audio documentary work — recording, shaping and crafting a piece, and mixing it on the computer. They get guidance and inspiration from seasoned producers. (They also tend to eat good barbecue and see a Durham Bulls baseball game.) This show pulls together seven of the best works made by those students — many of them first-time producers. “Southern Slices” is hosted by CDS audio program director John Biewen.

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State of the Re:Union: Milwaukee

Saturday, July 17, 2010 9pm

Producer: Al Letson, PRX/NPR
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Milwaukee, Wisconsin, once referred to as “America’s Machine Shop”, has suffered a similar fate to other rust-belt cities. But despite the decline of some of its industries, passionate, hard-working citizens are changing this manufacturing mecca into a city of ideas. Host Al Letson explores the depth and viability of some of Milwaukee’s most surprising community projects, and a people of unwavering resolve.