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In Conversation

Louisville Public Media

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There’s a lot going on in Louisville, and WFPL's In Conversation with Rick Howlett gives people a platform to talk -- both to each other, and with the larger community -- about the biggest issues facing our city, state and region. Live at 11 a.m. every Friday on 89.3 WFPL. Miss the show? Listen here as a weekly podcast.
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Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear was reelected to a second term last month. He sat down with Kentucky Public Radio’s Joe Sonka this week in the state reception room of the Capitol Building in Frankfort to discuss his electoral success, his relationship with Republican lawmakers ahead of the 2024 session and whether he will now comment more on national is…
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Some of you may have wondered what happened to the “In Conversation” talk show. And some of you, who read and hear our news on LPM or WFPL already know. In August, our host, colleague and friend Rick Howlett passed away from cancer. Senior producer Laura Ellis who worked with Rick for years, including on the “In Conversation” team, wrote a lovely t…
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Artificial intelligence, or AI, is all over the headlines these days. But it's not as new as you might think it is. Ever start to look something up and your phone autofills the rest of the word for you? Have you played one of those Facebook games that makes you look like your pet, or a Renaissance painting? Do you ask Siri or Alexa to add something…
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Affirmative action is a loaded term with a weighty history. Now that the Supreme Court has eliminated race-conscious admissions decisions for higher education, what’s next? On this week’s “In Conversation,” we unpacked the impact of the Supreme Court’s ruling, what equity goals for higher education look like now, and whether eliminating affirmative…
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When The New York Times recommended their top 52 destination spots for this year, Louisville landed smack between cities in Greece and Brazil and even outranked some places in Italy and Spain. Tourism is big business in Louisville, and this week on “In Conversation,” we’ll meet some of the folks working to make sure business keeps booming. We took …
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Juneteenth can be a complicated holiday. It’s an official holiday of celebration — rejoicing in enslaved people being freed as part of the Emancipation Proclamation. It’s also a reminder that many enslaved people were not informed about slavery’s end until years later. On “In Conversation” this week we talk about the origins of the holiday and what…
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School's out, pools are open, and you might be wondering which novel or biography to grab on your way to the park. We've got you covered! This week on "In Conversation," guests from the Louisville Free Public Library and Carmichael’s Bookstore helped you make the perfect summer reading list. We got philosophical about what makes a book great for su…
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It’s our fourth spring living with COVID-19, and pretty much everywhere you go, it looks like it’s over. Fewer people are masking, and you're less likely to be asked for proof of vaccination. But are we actually past the pandemic? With a downward trend in numbers, the World Health Organization has declared that COVID-19 is no longer a global health…
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On this episode, we look at who’s hot and who’s not in this year's Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby. Ed DeRosa, Vice President of Content at Horse Racing Nation, and Kellie Reilly, who writes for Churchill Downs, Inc. will help us make sense of our racing programs and figure out where the smart money is this weekend. And we’ll talk with Louisville …
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In Kentucky, suicide is the second leading cause of death for teenagers and young adults. This week on “In Conversation,” we aimed to understand why, and what we can all do to help bring the numbers down. Experts helped us untangle this complex health crisis about how to support the young people in your life. If you or someone you know is strugglin…
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This week on "In Conversation," we talk through the events surrounding a mass shooting in Louisville on Monday morning. Reporters who have been covering the shooting and its aftermath give us context about gun laws and gun violence in our city. And mental health professionals share practical advice on recovering from the trauma and secondary trauma…
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It’s just a few weeks before Derby Day in Louisville, and you know what that means: almost time to start tending to your spring garden. This week on “In Conversation,” host Rick Howlett talked to gardening experts about what to plant in your soil. From first-timers trying to begin a begonia, to experts who want to make it rain with vegetables, plan…
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Senate Bill 150, passed this month by Kentucky state legislators, has been dubbed the worst anti-trans bill in the country. Although Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear vetoed the bill, the majority-Republican legislature voted to override the veto. And Kentucky’s not the only state grappling with laws like this. Over 120 bills have been introduced acro…
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If it’s March in these parts, it means you’re going to hear about two things: getting back on your allergy medications and filling out brackets for the NCAA basketball tournaments. This week on “In Conversation,” we talked about who can win, who will wither in the first round, and the art of bracketology.If you’re still doing your research, here ar…
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Sleep: The final frontier. Or that’s what it feels like when you have trouble drifting off.And while sleep may do a body good, half of all adults have dealt with insomnia at one time or another, and one in 10 experience chronic insomnia. On this week’s “In Conversation,” in honor of Sleep Awareness Week starting on March 12, we discussed how to get…
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The Great Resignation. Quiet quitting. Remote vs. in-person. Workplace trends we haven’t even heard of yet.COVID-19 and its aftermath changed how people view their jobs, and even their careers. On this week’s “In Conversation,” we talked about the workplace trends and conditions that impact everything from how someone leaves a job to whether your l…
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Love songs have a way of distilling all the exciting, confusing, thrilling feelings of falling for someone into a perfect three and a half minutes of clarity. They say things more artfully than you can express them yourself, and make such a strong impression that hearing the opening notes, even years later, can take you right back to when you fell …
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Reading, writing, and arithmetic are the basics of a good education. So is basic civics, like the three pillars of government: legislative, executive, and judicial. But are students still taught civics? And how do teachers approach it in the wake of the Jan. 6th insurrection, continued 2020 election denial, and the protracted vote to make Kevin McC…
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Between natural disasters, and unexpected emergencies like gas leaks or lengthy blackouts, life can change in an instant. How do you best prepare for disruptions out of your control, yet not live in a state of fear or paranoia? On this week’s “In Conversation,” we spoke to experts about how to prepare for the worst, at home and elsewhere. How much …
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The Kentucky General Assembly is covering a lot this session, including a possible tax rate cut, medical marijuana, and flood recovery funds to Eastern Kentucky.On this week’s “In Conversation,” we speak to journalists about what this year’s legislative session in Frankfort looks like, and how it could affect you.…
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This is the time of the year when we all worry about catching a cold, as the weather stays colder and the gatherings increase. But this winter, we’re worrying not just about avoiding common cold sniffles, but also what public health experts have dubbed a tridemic or tripledemic: a surge of the flu, COVID-19, and respiratory syncytial virus (“RSV”) …
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Emails. Calls. Texts. Social media. All are easy entry points for scammers to try to get your money this time of the year. Or maybe you’re doing some holiday shopping online, you pay, and your items never show up. The FBI says that’s one of the biggest scams to look out for this time of year. This week on “In Conversation,” experts told us how scam…
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Recently in Kentucky, we’ve seen how hate speech can lead to real consequences. In Louisville, some called for a boycott against restaurants co-owned by Fernando Martinez, after he shared homophobic Facebook posts making fun of the attack on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi. And at the University of Kentucky, a student was e…
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Whether you’re talking turkey or planning for a plant-based feast, putting a holiday meal on the table costs more than it used to. How do you save cash and spend wisely during the holiday season as creeping inflation and higher prices strain budgets? Host Rick Howlett spoke to financial experts to for an overview of how the economic forecast looks,…
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Between yard signs, television commercials, texts, calls, and emails, y’all know what time it is: election season. And with a number of school elections, local elections, and state seats up for grabs, this week’s “In Conversation” has you covered. Host Rick Howlett talked to the Louisville Public Media journalists who have been covering the electio…
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Of the more than 76,000 agricultural operations in Kentucky, fewer than one percent are owned by Black farmers. But it wasn’t always like this. Nationwide, Black farmers have seen a 98% reduction in ownership in the last century — and efforts to help them maintain their farms have been watered down, leading to a class action suit against the federa…
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Sadiqa Reynolds. You may know her as president of the Urban League’s Louisville chapter for the past seven years. Maybe you heard her calming civic leadership during the protests over the killing of Breonna Taylor by police and David McAtee by a National Guard bullet. Or maybe you’ve seen stories about the Norton Healthcare Sports & Learning Center…
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Trees are more than just pretty. They provide a range of environmental, economic, and psychological benefits. They reduce stormwater runoff and improve our physical and mental health. This week on “In Conversation,” we talked about Tree Week in Louisville, which starts Saturday. We talked with people from TreesLouisville, a local organization dedic…
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From figuring out your financial readiness and understanding market rates to learning more than you want to know about roofs and property lines, buying and owning a house is an ongoing education. This week on “In Conversation,” we discuss the basics of buying a house, like checking out interest rates, and figuring out how much house your paycheck a…
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To paraphrase the song, a house can be more than a home. Our homes are our shelter, but they also contribute to our identities. This week on “In Conversation,” we discussed home as a part of our personal identity in ways that can comfort us and challenge us. We also talked about how some of us look at Louisville a little differently since the killi…
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Home is home whether you own your real estate or rent it. But renters do have different considerations. This week on “In Conversation,” we discussed the good, the bad, and the ugly of renting a house or an apartment in this city. Joining us in this conversation were Adeshina Emmanuel and Jacob Ryan from the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporti…
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This week on “In Conversation,” we talked about Louisville’s refugee community, who come from more than 15 countries around the world. We talked to Louisville refugees about how they came to call Louisville home, and meet advocates whose organizations try to make the transition easier. It’s part of our month-long focus on what it means to call a pl…
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It would probably be an overreach to say that everyone likes the state fair. But not a big one. People like the food, the rides, the exhibitions, and the animals. We can’t forget the animals. This week on “In Conversation” we did our broadcast from the Kentucky State Fair. We talked to people who told us more about the cool things to see, eat, and …
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If you have a job and also have young children, you know the rock and the hard place of needing good and affordable child care so you can go to work to pay your bills. On this week’s “In Conversation” we explored solutions to juggling parenting and holding down a job. That included a look at Kentucky House Bill 499, which creates a pilot program th…
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It’s that political time of the year in Kentucky – Fancy Farm. Where politicians go to stump and signal their policy positions, and others go to partake of mutton, pulled pork, and other picnic goodies. This week on “In Conversation” we discussed what’s new with this year’s Fancy Farm, and learned more about the history of the 142 year-old event. W…
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Even a lot of adults get a little giddy at the sight of all the back-to-school supplies hitting the front of stores. New pens and notebooks, lunch bags and backpacks seem full of possibility. But today’s students go into this school year after a summer of stressors. Mass shootings, inflation, mutating variants of COVID-19, and the hot impact of cli…
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Reproductive rights have been front and center lately, including rhetoric about the United States' relatively high rate of death during pregnancy and birth. And it's true, the U.S. does have a higher pregnancy-related mortality rate than many comparable countries. As with most health problems, people of color are affected disproportionately, and CD…
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Animal shelters in Louisville have been at capacity, prompting some to try to recruit foster more homes, and even waive their adoption fees. What's behind this surge in the homeless pet population? Are these the pandemic puppies and kitties whose families don't have time for them anymore? Has there been a decrease in spaying and neutering, leading …
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The world is in year three of a pandemic that has taken over one million lives in this country alone. Countless families and friends are grieving the loss of loved ones to COVID-19. This week on “In Conversation,” we talked to grief counselors and other experts about the unique aspects of grieving amid the pandemic and beyond. We also heard from jo…
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It has been about six months since a swath of tornado devastation in western and southern Kentucky killed 81 people. It also caused hundreds of millions of dollars of destruction, leaving many to rebuild their homes, businesses, and communities. This week on “In Conversation,” we talked to journalists who have been covering the tornado destruction …
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It’s Pride Month, a celebration of LGBTQ history and contributions, celebrated in June to honor the anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in 1969. This week on “In Conversation,” we talked to organizers and activists about LGBTQ representation and equality, and what local organizations are doing to help. We also looked at some legal challenges that…
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Warm weather is here, and people are getting out of the house for fun and frolic. And for some of us, the perfect summer day isn’t perfect without a good book. This week on “In Conversation,” guests from the Louisville Public Library gave the skinny on which books to tuck into your beach bag or read in your favorite chair. We also talked about the …
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Muhammad Ali, Louisville’s favorite son, is remembered for his activism as much as his first-class boxing. But Ali was not alone in using the pulpit of his sporting success to stand up for social causes. This week on “In Conversation,” we explored how fighting for equity — in the past and now — is as important to many athletes as competing for awar…
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Primary Election Day is May 17th, with early in-person voting taking place May 12-14. Louisville decides who its mayoral candidates will be in the fall, and Kentucky has key congressional races up for grabs. On “In Conversation,” state and local journalists joined host Rick Howlett in a live voter guide, to sort out the people and positions you’ll …
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It’s Derby Week in Louisville, Kentucky, y’all! Is there anything more to say? Actually, there is, as host Rick Howlett sat down with two handicappers to get the scoop on what bets are good, which horses are long shots, and where the racing industry stands these days. The Kentucky state song will be performed at this year’s Derby, despite controver…
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This Friday on “In Conversation,” we talked about the pandemic's effect on how kids are learning, developing, and socializing. What does the future hold for young people as we navigate current and possibly new variants? We talked to child development experts and educators, and ask some young people how COVID-19 changed their lives. This episode was…
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