State of the News

Today on State of the News

Segment A: We’ll talk about this week’s metro news, including U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta‘s upcoming visit to Louisville, and the end of Kentucky’s Virtual High School program.

Segment B: Kenny Colston joins 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’ll hear 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 brings us up to date on religious news, including research that seeks to answer that question.

Segment C: In WFPL’s Immigrant Entrepreneurs series, we met some local immigrants who have started businesses here in Louisville. Today we’ll hear a piece from Michigan Radio about the role immigrants are playing in the economic recovery throughout the Midwest. Then will speak with Dustin Dwyer, who produced the piece, about what he learned.

Finally, we’ll hear 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 joins us to talk about why it might be happening and how residents are coping with the birds (and their byproducts).

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Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Eddie Maamry

Morocco native Abdel Jalil “Eddie” Maamry was working on a cruise ship when he met JoAnne, the woman who would become his wife. She was from Pennsylvania and lived in Louisville, and after two years of a long-distance relationship, he joined her here in what he calls “a big small city.”

In May of 2007 he opened Road to Morocco, a restaurant and bar on the first floor of the Henry Clay building, downtown. He served Mediterranean food and sold imported goods like carpets, glassware, jewelry and home decorations from Morocco.

Eddie says location, along with the economic downturn that affected most businesses, is responsible for the failure of Road to Morocco, and wonders if his business would have seen more success had it been in the Highlands or a neighborhood that might be more interested in ethnic foods.

WFPL’s Phillip M. Bailey sat down with Eddie at Sullivan University, where he is now a full-time professor, teaching Hotel-Restaurant Management & Beverage Management.

Find out more about our Immigrant Entrepreneur series

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Local News

GLI Launches Network For Foreign-Born Professionals

GLIPLouisville’s chamber of commerce, Greater Louisville Inc., has launched a new program aimed at bringing foreign-born professionals together.

The Greater Louisville International Professionals initiative will provide opportunities online and in person for immigrants to meet. Ideally, officials say the professionals in the program would create a business environment that will attract a talented and diverse workforce to the area.

“We know it’s successful as it’s sustained,” says GLI President Joe Reagan. “If people find value and connection in those relationships, then they will sustain it, they will grow it, they will decide what to do as members of this organization. It’s more than an organization—this network or community will decide where to go.”

Reagan says G.L.I.P. is a long-term plan and he’s not concerned about how the program will fare with unemployment above ten percent and rising.

“We’re in an economic cycle and we’re changing cycles right now and this is the way to conquer the issue of jobs,” he says. “Jobs are created around ideas and ideas come with individuals.”

Although the initiative is aimed at foreign-born professionals, anyone can join. Membership is free.