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Many residents of the Four Rivers region devote their time to restoring and preserving our history. WKMS Reporters set out to meet some of those residents to produce the stories you'll find below. We get background on Kentucky's role in the forgotten war of 1812, then we meet a man who's devote much of his time to restoring honor by way of headstones to veterans of that war.Reporters Angela Hatton and Heidi Couch report on ways people in our region revert to the "old ways" to make sweet sorghum molasses and healthy teas and salves.Casey Northcutt and Shelly Baskin report on the little talked about history history of Burlesque and Moonshine.We also learn about ancient Native American Mounds in our region and how Murray State is preserving recorded conversations from nearly 45 years ago.

Five Paducah Neighborhoods Proposed for Revitalization

Paducah City Commission Meeting, via YouTube

Paducah City Commissioners are discussing plans for the city’s next revitalization efforts. City Planning Director Steve Ervin presented work from the Planning Department and the Urban Renewal & Community Development Agency at a meeting Tuesday night. 

Five neighborhoods for consideration include the Terrell Addition, Frenchtown, Glendale, Guthrie, and Kolb. 
Commissioner Sarah Stewart Holland knocked on doors in these neighborhoods during her campaign. She said that effort and speaking with residents has made her feel personally involved in the decision-making process. I see more than buildings when I think about these neighborhoods. And I think that housing stock and infrastructure is incredibly important. But I spoke with people who live in these neighborhoods and so it’s very difficult to think about ‘picking a lucky winner and telling people to continue in their current neighborhoods without help from the city.”
Holland favors a broad-based, comprehensive approach to revitalization, which involved the 'neighborhood empowerment model' championed by Mayor Brandi Harless. 
“It’s not about going in and raising the housing stock and therefore prices and pricing people out of their neighborhoods. It’s about going in and giving the people in the neighborhoods the tools they need to assess their housing stock, to assess their needs. To put together a plan to people who live their currently and how they can stay and invest and improve their own neighborhoods," Holland said.
Commissioner Richard Abraham echoed the same sentiment about engaging people currently living in the neighborhoods. He said if the property value of a neighborhood increases, if there is new investment or new neighbors - these could all be good things. He stressed he doesn't want to come in with a 'sledgehammer' and make people feel like they are no longer welcome in their neighborhood. 
Abraham said part of making sure people feel included in the process involve community meetings. While some neighborhoods have formal associations, others may involve local churches or flyers detailing a meeting set by the commission. He encouraged people to attend not only potential neighborhood meetings but also city commission meetings as an act of civic engagement.
Valerie Pollard with URCDA says the board members looked at each neighborhood’s positives and deficiencies and the ability to attract private investment.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners are reviewing the information presented to them at this meeting and the recommendation by URCDA. 
Here are the neighborhoods as outlined in a release:

  • Terrell Addition – Boundaries include Park Avenue, North 21st Street, Monroe Street and just west of Fountain Avenue.
  • Frenchtown – Boundaries include Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, North 9th Street, Jefferson Street, and North 13th Street.
  • Glendale – Boundaries include Mildred Street, the western boundary of Oak Grove Cemetery, Park Avenue, and H.C. Mathis Drive.
  • Guthrie – Boundaries include Kentucky Avenue, South 21st Street, Mayfield Road, and South 16th Street.
  • Kolb – Boundaries include Island Creek, South 4th Street, Husbands Street, South 7th Street, and Bridge Street.","_id":"00000179-ebc4-d7ee-a97b-ebe5623f0000","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">">","_id":"00000179-ebc4-d7ee-a97b-ebe5623f0000","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">

Matt Markgraf joined the WKMS team as a student in January 2007. He's served in a variety of roles over the years: as News Director March 2016-September 2019 and previously as the New Media & Promotions Coordinator beginning in 2011. Prior to that, he was a graduate and undergraduate assistant. He is currently the host of the international music show Imported on Sunday nights at 10 p.m.
Ebony Clark is a student at Murray State University majoring in computer science. She was born in Brownsville, Tennessee. Ebony has served as a reporter for 4-H congress in Nashville, TN where she spoke with several state leaders and congressmen. Ebony enjoys writing poetry and spoken word and competed in Tennessee's Poetry Out Loud competition hosted by the arts council in Nashville,TN.
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