Barbara Stewart died at her home Thursday. The long-time owner of downtown Bowling Green fixture Barbara Stewart Interiors was 94.

Stewart founded her business in her home in 1952 as a picture framing business before moving it to East main Street on Bowling Green's Fountain Square. She hand made the picture frams herself.

Barbara Stewart Interiors  was named one of "Home Accents Today" 50 retail stars in 2015.

She is survived by a son, two daughters and five grandchildren.

A celebration of her life will be Sunday, October 30 at 3:00 pm at J.C. Kirby and Son Lovers Lane Chapel. Visitation will be Sunday from 1:00 pm until the time of the service at the funeral home.

Online condolences may be sent to

Expressions of Sympathy may be sent to Women's Fund of South Central Kentucky, P.O. Box 737, Bowling Green, KY 42102-0737.

Paul and Gray campaigns

With their only face-to-face debate and Election Day both coming up, Kentucky’s U.S. Senate candidates were at the same event Thursday night for the first time in two months. 

The candidates will debate for the first time Monday evening.

Incumbent Republican Sen. Rand Paul and Democratic candidate Jim Gray both attended the annual Red, White & Blue political forum in Owensboro.

Gray, the mayor of Lexington, criticized Paul for not supporting a bill that would shore up the ailing pensions of United Mine Workers of America members. And he compared himself to Kentucky’s late U.S. Senator from Owensboro saying, “Wendell Ford would have been with these mine workers that are losing their pensions and their benefits. Now I’ll tell you, I’m going to be a senator like Wendell Ford.”

Paul indicated he wouldn’t vote for the bill last month, saying that he was in favor of the concept but thought that a solution should help all miner pensions, not just those of the UMWA union.

Paul said the solution to the problem is to “stop hurting the coal miner.” “Why are the pension funds short? Why is this miner suffering because his pension is short? It’s because Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama killed the coal industry. They can’t contribute to the pension because of the war on coal.”

Paul and Gray will meet in their first and only in-person debate on Monday night. The event will be televised live on KET.

A Babbage Cofounder Pulse poll from mid-October showed Paul leading Gray 33 percent to 26.5 percent with 40 percent of would-be voters undecided.

A southern Indiana community is experiencing a large jump in the number of fatal heroin overdoses. 

Vanderburgh County is reporting 22 deaths this year—that’s triple the number from 2015.  The victims’ ages have ranged from the early 20s to late 50s. 

Chief Deputy Coroner Steve Lockyear says more people in the Evansville region are now dying from heroin overdoses than from prescription drugs.

"I think everybody is shocked that heroin has made such a large presence in this area," Lockyear told WKU Public Radio.  "I think they've thought it to be a drug from the alleys of New York City or Chicago and not something that would strike middle America, but it has definitely come here and come here in a big way."

Many of the people who have died this year from heroin overdoses also had Fentanyl in their system.  Fentanyl is another powerful opioid often added to heroin to increase its potency.

Clinton Continues To Best Trump In Kentucky Fundraising

Oct 27, 2016

With just weeks left until the presidential election, Kentucky voters are still overwhelmingly donating to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Clinton’s campaign received more than 11 times the number of individual contributions in September than Republican Donald Trump garnered, according to new data from the Federal Election Commission.

Kentucky residents gave Clinton more than $224,787 last month, nearly double the $123,707 pulled in by Trump. The two reported nearly identical fundraising hauls — roughly $172,000 — in August, the previous month.

Ryland Barton

The chief justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court will ask lawmakers during the upcoming legislative session to redraw judicial boundaries in the state to ease heavy caseloads in some local courts.

Chief Justice John Minton said that current judicial boundaries haven’t been redrawn since 1976 and judicial circuits, districts and family courts across the state have disproportionate caseloads because of population differences.

“There’s no question that the commonwealth has gone through a significant number of changes during that time in terms of caseload and population,” Minton said. “And, frankly, we’re learning that the court system has not always kept up with those changes.”

During a meeting Wednesday of the Interim Joint Committee on State Government, Minton didn’t present a proposal for new boundaries, but said a committee of judges, clerks, prosecutors and legislators had voted on a plan that the state Supreme Court and eventually the legislature would review.

Lefteris Pitarakis/AP

An announcement this week from the Oxford University Press landed like a bombshell in the laps of Shakespeare fans and scholars.

The prestigious publisher revealed that its new edition of the complete works of William Shakespeare will credit the 16th century British poet and playwright Christopher Marlowe as co-author of the three Henry VI plays.

There have long been debates and controversy over whether the many plays, sonnets and other works attributed to Shakespeare were, in fact, written by him. The decision by Oxford University Press will likely further stoke the discussion.

WKU Public Radio spoke with Western Kentucky University English Professor and Shakespeare scholar Gillian Knoll about her reaction to the decision to credit Marlowe as co-author of the Henry VI plays.

Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Kentuckians trying to get health insurance through the state-based marketplace will use instead of Kynect starting Nov. 1.

Personal information of those who previously used Kynect to get insurance will not be transferred to the federal platform, so consumers will have to reapply on the federal website.

Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration says the move will save the state about $10 million per year in operating costs.

“Health insurance is a vital piece of maintaining health and well-being,” said Health and Family Services Cabinet Secretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson in a statement. “We want to make sure Kentuckians interested in purchasing a qualified health plan know where to shop. Anyone with questions or who encounters difficulty with enrollment is encouraged to contact a call center for assistance.”

Flickr/Creative Commons/Erin Pettigrew

Workers with Kentucky’s largest employer are being told to dress a little more appropriately. 

A new dress code for executive branch workers that went into effect this month bans flip flops, midriff shirts, large commercial logos, and offensive language. 

David Smith, executive director of the Kentucky Association of State Employees, says he supports the dress code if applied for the right reasons.

"Other the other had though, it could be they don't like the fact you bought that shirt because that brand is sold at Wal-Mart. You could potentially, as an employee, be disciplined up to and including termination, depending upon their interpretation of the policy and the severity of the violation of the policy," Smith told WKU Public Radio.  "That gives us grave concern."

The new policy that took effect this month applies to about 31,000 executive branch workers, but they may not all be affected the same.  The Personnel and Labor Cabinets have implemented more stringent dress code policies.

U of L

United States Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan was in Louisville Monday to accept the Brandies Medal, awarded by the University of Louisville.

It’s named in honor of Louisville native, Justice Louis Brandeis, who began serving on the high court a century ago.

Kagan says she’s long admired Brandeis, especially the prescience of his judicial opinions.

“He really had a sense of like, what was coming down the pike,” she said. “Sometimes decades away. The best example of this is his dissent in ‘Olmstead,’ where he basically, there he is in like 1920 or something, and he’s foreseeing the surveillance state that we’re now thinking about.”

Kagan was also interviewed by two U of L law school professors, but did not discuss any specific cases from her tenure on the court.

Lisa Autry

October is Farm to School Month in Kentucky and the state agriculture department is hoping to expand the number of schools using locally produced foods. 

Seventy-seven school districts already have programs in place to buy local foods.  Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles says local chefs play an important role too.

"These chefs help train food preparers to go buy food from farmers' markets or farmers," Quarles told WKU Public Radio.  "They learn how to properly store it and manage it , and also, it makes their recipes a little more enjoyable."

A grant program allows the agriculture department to contract with nine chefs and each one is assigned to a region of the state.  The goal is to bring fresh, healthy foods to school cafeterias while opening up new markets for farmers.


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