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Murray Life Magazine :: 2010 Summer Issue

Murray Life

Running the Refuge
By Curtis Niedermier

If someone offered you the job of managing the conservation of 9,000 acres of public ground, serving more than 1,300 visitors a year and educating more than 2,000 people a year, all with a full-time staff of four, you might consider applying elsewhere. Of course, you wouldn’t make it as part of the staff of the Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge.

Headquartered in Benton, Ky., the Clarks River NWR is the only one of the more than 540 National Wildlife Refuges in the country that is in Kentucky. It’s a component of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is the federal counterpart of the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Service, and whose responsibilities include conserving the nation’s natural resources and educating the public about conservation and wildlife issues.

All those responsibilities at the Clarks River office rest on the shoulders of Refuge Manager Michael Johnson and his small but hard-working full-time staff, part-time and seasonal workers, and volunteers. And he admits that while it sounds like a massive task, you have to look at it in perspective.

...Read More in the Summer 2010 issue of Murray Life Magazine
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Murray Life

Freedom Fest: Famous Near and Far
By Logan Abbitt

Come July, Murray will undergo a startling metamorphosis. For three days, this small college town will become one of the most exciting places in the entire state. Of course, locals know all about Freedom Fest, but they may not realize just how big this event has truly become, even to those outside of the region.

Last year the Kentucky Tourism Council named Murray’s Freedom Fest as one of the summer’s Top 10 Festivals & Events. This is no small feat. Other events on the list, such as the “AFB Art Fair @ Woodland Park” in Lexington and The International Mystery Writers Festival in Owensboro, are long standing events that are famous around the world. Freedom Fest was chosen because of its popularity, impact on the local tourism economy and cultural and historical significance.

The festival has been growing steadily for 23 years. I remember many years ago when Freedom Fest was little more than a parade and a fireworks show on a single day and even Murrayans were only half hearted about attending. Oh, how things change! The modern event is so big that it lasts for three days and draws thousands of people from all over the region. The Freedom Fest Board works hard to see that Freedom Fest gets bigger and better each summer, and they succeed. "Over the past 23 years, we have managed to keep Freedom Fest activities free, or at very low cost to the community,” said Erin Carrico, Executive Director of the Murray Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The past three years have been a huge strain on Freedom Fest financially, however each summer we are amazed to pull off a festival better than the one before.”

...Read More in the Summer 2010 issue of Murray Life Magazine
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Murray Life

Building Picassos
By Bec Feldhaus

In a bright building off the corner of 4th and Chestnut streets Debi Henry Danielson sits in her office as a warm morning breeze flows through. She is readying herself and the Murray Art Guild for the upcoming summer camps.

Children from the ages of 4 to 13 will occupy the stained metal chairs in anticipation of lessons from community teachers. Murray State professors and students, and elementary teachers will help compose the camps’ faculty. Local art teacher Heather Duffy leads the first ten students in water color painting. Danielson said Duffy’s class is popular and fills up quickly. Classes meet from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and, in Danielson’s opinion, they allow children to express themselves without the harsh structure of traditional school.

“It is an opportunity for them to explore, independently…but within a guided environment,” Danielson said, “so if the class ends up going off some other direction, we can do that.”

...Read More in the Summer 2010 issue of Murray Life Magazine
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Murray LifeFarmer's Markets: Fresh, Fun & Affordable
By Caitlin Spencer

The farmer’s markets are a well-known tradition in Murray and Calloway County. However, some people, like me, have no idea what they are doing when it comes to shopping for fruits or vegetables, or know how to shop at a farmer’s market. In fact, my mother gets many phone calls while I am shopping so I can know whether or not I am buying something I will actually want to eat when I get home. To save my mom the trouble of helping me shop every time I go, I have gathered some tips on how to shop at a farmer’s market.

Tip 1: Know your Seasons
When preparing to shop, it is best to know what types of fruit or vegetables will be there. For the summer months, fruits in season will be grapes, mangos and melons. Vegetables to look for are chili peppers, beets, cucumbers, zucchini, squash and tomatoes.

Tip 2: Think in Terms of Whole Foods
Food grows and comes to the market without being fully processed. Beets will still have roots and dirt attached, and grapes will most likely have seeds. Knowing how to handle these foods and prepare them will add to the flavorful palate of your home cooked meals, and is well worth the added preparation.

...Read More in the Summer 2010 issue of Murray Life Magazine
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Murray LifeThe First Superstar, The Forgotten Superstar
By Logan Abbitt

As the NBA Playoffs march on, fans often find themselves in discussion about the game’s greatest players. Basketball’s history is filled with flamboyant figures and fantastic superstars. Certain names appear on every list. My generation grew up on the great Magic Johnson / Larry Bird rivalry, and we saw the game reach new heights with Michael Jordan. Previous generations usually name Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell and Oscar Robertson as the game’s true superstars. The names of LeBron James, Dr. J and Charles Barkley are household names even to non-fans. The average person probably doesn’t know who “Pistol” Pete Maravich or World B. Free are, but basketball fans do. It takes a real hardcore basketball fan to bring up the name of Jumpin’ Joe Fulks, though. He was basketball’s first superstar and today nobody remembers his name. They should.

Joe Fulks was a herald of the modern game. Philadelphia sports writers called him the “Babe Ruth of basketball” for his incredible and innovative offense. His shooting style completely changed the game forever, for Jumpin’ Joe Fulks is the pioneer of the one-handed jump shot. Today this is considered a fundamental skill, but when Joe played it was revolutionary. Until he started developing his ground-breaking style of play the standard offense was a two handed set shot. Just shooting with one hand was an amazing feat, and Joe could shoot with either hand. In fact Joe was credited with an entire array of offensive moves that nobody had ever seen. Observers said the lanky hillbilly (anyone from Kentucky was a “hillbilly” in those days) could score 30 points in a night and never use the same shot twice.

...Read More in the Summer 2010 issue of Murray Life Magazine
Murray Life Magzine



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