Creative Commons

A long-time television producer who made Bowling Green his second home has passed away.

Chuck Barris died Tuesday at his home outside New York City. The creator of “The Gong Show”, “The Dating Game”, and “The Newlywed Game” was 87.

Barris visited southern Kentucky often after marrying Bowling Green native Mary Clagett in 2000. He was also a supporter of the Bowling Green-based Orchestra Kentucky.

Music director Jeffrey Reed said Barris was always generous with his time and talent.

Thomas Galvez/Creative Commons

Gov. Matt Bevin has signed the charter schools bill into law, allowing the alternative institutions to open up this fall after an application process.

Kentucky is the 44th state in the country to allow charter schools, which will receive public funding and be exempt from most state regulations in an effort to provide innovative education.

Bevin tweeted to mark the occasion:

The legislation was a major priority for Republicans in Kentucky, who had control of both legislative chambers and the governor’s office for the first time in state history this year.

AP Interview: McConnell Warns Republicans On Health Bill

Mar 22, 2017
Abbey Oldham

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned fellow Republicans Tuesday of political consequences if they oppose health care legislation coming up for a vote in the House this week.

“I would hate to be a Republican whose vote prevented us from keeping the commitment we’ve made to the American people for almost 10 years now” to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s health care law, the Kentucky Republican told Associated Press reporters and editors in an interview.

“I think the American people would be deeply disappointed that we were prevented from keeping our commitment by Republicans who in the end, in effect, voted for the status quo.”

Flickr/Creative Commons/KMJ Photography Australia

The Belle of Louisville steamboat is getting a new companion vessel. The Belle’s management team and the Louisville Waterfront Development Corporation are purchasing the Georgia Queen based in Savannah. 

“It was built back in 1985, right across the river in Utica, Indiana at Marine Builders," said Belle CEO John Boyle.  "The boat is approximately 90 feet long, 30 feet wide and has a capacity for about 565 people.”

The Georgia Queen is smaller than the 102-year-old Belle of Louisville, but larger than the Spirit of Jefferson, which it’s replacing. The aging Spirit of Jefferson will be put up for sale when the Georgia Queen purchase is complete. 

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Gov. Matt Bevin has signed the so-called “blue lives matter” bill into law. The legislation gives hate crimes protections to emergency responders and police officers.

The controversial policy drew protests throughout its journey through the legislature this year.

Chanelle Helm, an organizer with Louisville’s Black Lives Matter chapter, said she was disgusted that Bevin signed the bill into law.

“You know what, they hate us,” Helm said. “They hate us so much that they need hate crime protection. So underneath this law now, they get hate crime protection as if anybody’s out here targeting them.”

Fostering an Unconditional Love

Mar 21, 2017
Melanie Watts

WKU Public Radio partnered with WKU PBS and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption to produce a radio series and television documentary on foster care and adoption.

More than 400,000 U.S children are in foster care, removed from their families when their parents are in crisis and can’t take care of them.  There’s a group of people who unselfishly answer the call by becoming foster parents. 

One of them is Melanie Watts of Bowling Green.  She didn’t give birth to any of her three children, but loves them just the same.  She adopted them through foster care, a journey that began while working as a captain at the Bowling Green Police Department.

“Maybe I hit the age, maybe it was just that point of my life where I thought something was missing, and I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I thought to myself, I just need a child.  'One would be great,' I kept thinking. So I went through the foster care program," explained Watts.  "I was working one afternoon and got a call to check child welfare.  We get there, and there’s a child laying in a stroller wearing a white onesie, or at least it had been white at one time. It was now brown, her diaper was brown and almost dragging, and the mom, you know, is upset that social services is there."

Erica Peterson

Monday night at his rally in Louisville, President Donald Trump repeated a campaign promise, telling the crowd he would revive Kentucky’s beleaguered coal industry.

“As we speak, we are preparing new executive actions to save our coal industry and to save our wonderful coal miners from continuing to be put out of work,” he said. “The miners are coming back.”

But Trump didn’t offer any details about what those executive actions could be. He has already used the Congressional Review Act to roll back the Stream Protection Rule — which tightened environmental restrictions on surface mining, and had been in effect for less than a month — and has hinted in the past that the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan carbon dioxide regulations will be on the chopping block as well.

Ryland Barton

President Donald Trump urged a crowd in Louisville to support the plan to repeal and replace Obamacare currently making it through the U.S. House of Representatives.

Before a crowd of around 18,000 people packed into Freedom Hall, Trump said the bill was “our long-awaited chance to finally get rid of Obamacare.”

“Obamacare has been a complete and total catastrophe and it’s getting worse and worse by the day,” Trump said. “And yet you watch the fake media, the fake news, and they try and build it up. It’s a disaster, fellas.”

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky U.S. Senator Rand Paul is not happy with the current Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. The plan comes from House Speaker Paul Ryan and has the support of President Donald Trump.

Although Paul was in Louisville Monday, he is skipping President Trump’s rally in Louisville Monday night, saying he was headed back to Washington to drum up votes against the repeal plan, which is headed for a vote Thursday.

“My hope is that it fails Thursday and that’s when the true negotiation begins,” Paul said at the Louisville Chamber of Commerce Monday morning.

The GOP repeal and replace bill would do away with the ACA’s requirement that individuals have health insurance and large employers provide it.

Daviess County Public Schools

The Daviess County Board of Education has named its new superintendent for public schools. He is Matt Robbins, the school district's current assistant superintendent for finance and operations. He began working in the school district in 1997.

Robbins has a master's degree in education administration from the University of Louisville and a bachelor's degree from the University of Kentucky. 

He will replace current superintendent Owens Saylor, who will retire at the end of June.

The Board of Education made the announcement at a special meeting March 20.

Robbins was one of three finalists for the position. The  board  also considered Casey Allen, superintendent of Ballard County Public Schools, and Jason Hamby, superintendent of Trigg  County Public Schools.

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Photo Gallery: Caroline Spence and Eva Ross Play LRS LIVE!

Americana artist Caroline Spence and singer-songwriter Eva Ross played Lost River Sessions LIVE! on Thursday night at the Capitol Arts Center in downtown Bowling Green. Lost River Sessions LIVE! is made possible by Mike Simpson, the Bowling Green Convention & Visitors Bureau and WKU Public Broadcasting.

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