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Hand Transplant Recipient

On Monday, November 24, Erik Hondusky became the fifth person in the United States to undergo a hand transplant. The 43-year-old resident of Messina, New York received a new right hand in a nine-hour operation at Louisville’s Jewish Hospital, where all U.S. hand transplants have been performed. Rick Howlett spoke to Hondusky last week, just before he was to be discharged from the hospital and begin a rigorous physical therapy schedule in Louisville.

JCPS Magnet Shuffle

Magnet programs at sixteen Jefferson County high schools are about to get shuffled around. Jefferson County Public Schools administrators say although most of the schools HAVE magnet programs, their areas of study are too mish-mashed. Stephanie Sanders reports.

United National and Climate Change

Delegates from around the globe are meeting in Poznan, Poland now for the 14th annual United Nations climate change talks.  There’s also a strong youth delegation.  And Transylvania University student Marcie Smith is among them, she spoke with Kristin Espeland.

Infrastructure Projects

Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson recently addressed Congress on behalf of mayors across the country. Abramson was making the case for an infrastructure stimulus package that would make billions of dollars available for cities to improve their roads, bridges, mass transit and public buildings. Gabe Bullard talked with Associated General Contractors Chief Economist Ken Simonson about how the stimulus package could be used to help cities that are facing budget problems.


With no federal legislation on the books, individual states and independent organizations have taken it upon themselves to develop standards for handling e-waste. For instance, non-governmental organizations like the Basel Action Network, or BAN, are working to stop the export of potentially toxic e-waste. BAN will introduce the country’s first independent accreditation program for e-recyclers.

The idea is that a recycler’s process can be audited by a third party so consumers can be sure their old TVs and computers are safely dismantled and not dumped on a third world country. With new state laws and these independent efforts, the momentum for stronger standards is underway. Kristin Espeland reports.

Global Food Crisis

The Presbyterian Church USA is urging all its churches to participate in a monthly 40-hour fast in awareness of the global food crisis. One of the particpants is the Covenant Community Church of Louisville. Rick Howlett spoke to member and fast participant Carol Frame Matthews about the initiative. She begins by defining the crisis.

Guantanamo Protest

An IUS student will put himself in a stress position on campus Tuesday to protest the Guantanamo Bay prison. He talked to Gabe Bullard.

Dewey the Library Cat

The story of an abandoned kitten in a library overnight drop-box has made its way to the bestseller list… and will eventually become a movie starring Meryl Streep. That kitten became Dewey the library cat – and the story of his life is documented in the book “Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World”. It was written by his owner and librarian, Vicki Myron, with the help of Bret Witter.

Witter spoke with Stephanie Sanders about how the project started.