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Hear an Encore of Preserving Our Voices 2015: Life Saving Stories, Tuesday

It can be a stranger passing by... a statement by a loved one... or a natural disaster... Those are just some instances in which your life could be forever changed... WKMS is proud to present Preserving Our Voices 2015: Life Saving Stories.

Broadcast Dates:

  • Friday, November 27 Noon – 1 pm
  • Sunday, November 29 9 – 10 am
  • Tuesday, December 29 Noon – 1 pm

Listen to the full archived program here:


We'll hear stories inspired by the public radio program StoryCorps, our commemoration of "The Great Thanksgiving Listen." We set out on a journey across the region and gathered your stories from Murray, Mayfield, Madisonville, Paducah and Paris.


L.V. McGinty of Paducah

Paducah resident L.V. McGinty has a life-long love of sports. His father was a coach in his Slidell, Louisiana hometown, and he later attended Tulane on a sports scholarship. McGinty began to officiate sports events in college, and adding high school games in Kentucky in 1967 and Ohio Valley Conference college games in 1983. But in 1997, at Murray State’s football season opener, this love of the game... and McGinty’s life... ended. Almost. L.V. McGinty sits down with the McCracken County Public Library’s Nathan Lynn to talk about that fateful day, and the doctors who gave him a new beginning.

Celia Brewer of Mayfield

Celia Brewer of Mayfield had just survived a bought with cancer. It was 1998, she was teaching special education and found a new calling in life. It was to be a parent. She speaks with her friend Judy Tuggle about her adopted daughter, Melinda, who lives with fragile x syndrome. And how it saved her life. Celia Brewer speaking with her friend Judy Tuggle in Murray.

Kaycee Cooper Byrd of Murray

Kaycee Cooper Byrd is a new mom. The excitement of motherhood, she’ll tell you, is great. But she almost missed it all. Byrd speaks with her friend Debbie Danielson about the birth of her child Ella Jean and how it has changed her life and her plans for the future. Kaycee Cooper Byrd speaking with Debbie Danielson in Murray.

Charley Allen of Murray

Charley Allen believes in the kindness of strangers. She’s literally had her life saved by people she’s never met. Not once… but twice. Charley describes how she experienced a car wreck and domestic violence and how she actually came out the other side as an optimist! She speaks with Jenni Todd.

Ella and Claude Van Huss of Paris

Ella and Claude Van Huss have been married for 57 years, and with many of them there was a constant backdrop of Ella’s weight. She won’t blush when she tells you that she weighed nearly 400 pounds. She couldn’t pick herself up when she fell. She had trouble breathing and a doctor’s visit left her with the fear of having only six more months to live. Claude had enough and told her to get fit or get fit for a coffin.

Bonnie Young Turley of Madisonville

Sometimes something as simple as a deep breath and the release of tension can change someone’s life. We’ll find in this next conversation that it’s a little bit more complicated… Bonnie Young Turley of Madisonville struggled with her self-esteem growing up, feeling she wasn't as skinny or as pretty as other girls. This affected how she interacted with her peers and led her down a dark path. Now a mother and entrepreneur… things have changed. She sat down with Rachel Blalock to tell her story.

Joyce Morrison of Murray

Joyce Morrison moved to Topeka, Kansas after her husband had been discharged from the Army in 1965, where he'd finish his college degree. She got a job as a nurse at Stormont-Vail hospital and was asked to lead a clinical group of nursing students preparing to graduate. She accepted the role, not knowing that an F5 tornado would carve a path through the city in June, 1966, one of a series of devastating tornadoes that would leave 18 people dead and 543 injured. She speaks with Dorothy Rogers.

Neil Brown of Providence

It began as a sore throat in September 2010. Neil Brown of Providence, Kentucky took a lozenge and carried on working as an entomologist by day and firefighter and EMT on nights and weekends. But the sore throat turns out to be a formidable challenge for Neil, leading to a traumatic life experience. Matt Markgraf speaks with Neil about his life after the sore throat with additional morale support by Brown’s friend Eric Myers. Brown is a published author. His book Stand Tough is available on Amazon.

Record Your Story or the Story of a Loved One

The national assignment is to engage people of all ages in the act of listening. The pilot project is specially designed for students ages 13 and over and as part of a social studies, history, civics, government, journalism or political science class, or as an extracurricular activity.

All that is needed to participate is a smartphone and the StoryCorps mobile app. See more at

For more stories like these from around the world, follow these hashtags online:

  • #TheGreatListen
  • #NationalDayofListening

Special Thanks

Thanks to support from the Madisonville Messenger and Jessica Dockery, The Glema Mahr Center and its staff,  The Weaks Community Center, Brookdale Murray, The McCracken County Public Library and Nathan Lynn. Thanks also to the staff of the Paris/Henry County Public Library and the WKMS Community Advisory Board.

These stories will be available online soon.

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