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Three WKU football players were selected on the final day of the NFL draft. That ties a program record for the most players selected in the modern era. Five other players were invited to pro teams rookie camps.

Tight end Tyler Higbee was the first Hilltopper to get the call, chosen by the Los Angeles Rams with the 110th overall pick in the fourth round. Higbee's was the highest offensive draft pick ever for WKU and the first offensive player taken since 2003.

Record-setting WKU quarterback Brandon Doughty was taken by the Miami Dolphins as the 223rd pick in the draft's seventh round. The south Florida native led the nation in passing yards and passing touchdowns for the past two years.

Doughty is the first WKU quarterback ever selected in the NFL draft.

Cornerback Prince Charles Iworah rounded out the "Big-Three" selections after he was taken by the San Francisco 49ers also in the seventh round. The 5' 10", 192 lb defensive back is considered small by NFL standards but makes up for his lack of size with speed and strength.  He ran the 40 yard  dash in 4.32 seconds and bench pressed 225 lbs for 25 reps.

Flickr/Creative Commons/Ashley

Some food pantries in Kentucky are preparing to serve more residents following changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, that are now in effect.

Nine-thousand people in eight Kentucky counties could lose their food stamps if they haven’t qualified for new federal work or job training requirements.

Charity Parrish is a spokeswoman for Community Action of Southern Kentucky. She says her agency can be a buffer for residents transitioning to meet the new rules.

“First of all we would take their information, income information, and see if they qualified for help with food at our agency,” says Parrish. “We have food pantries in several of our community services offices. They can come in and get a box of food and it’s whatever we have available at that time.”

The new rules that went into effect May 1 affect able-bodied adults ages 18 to 49 who don’t have dependents. They have to be in paid or volunteer work, or job training for at least 20 hours a week. 

Hillary Clinton to Campaign in Appalachia

Apr 29, 2016
Hillary Clinton campaign

Hillary Clinton will campaign in Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio next week.

The front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination is scheduled to visit Ashland, Kentucky, and Williamson, West Virginia, on Monday. She will visit West Virginia and Ohio on Tuesday, but details of those stops are not yet available.

In a news release, the campaign said Clinton will meet with voters and discuss her plans to raise incomes for people in overlooked or underserved communities. The Appalachian region has been economically devastated by the decline in the coal industry.

Republicans have criticized Clinton for her comments earlier this year that her policies would put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business. Clinton later said she was mistaken and said she is committed to coalfield workers and communities.

Darron Cummings/AP

Ahead of the potentially pivotal Indiana primary Tuesday, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence announced he will be voting for Republican candidate Ted Cruz.

"This is a time for choosing," Pence said on WIBC radio in Indianapolis. He called Cruz, a senator from Texas, a "principled conservative" who "stood up for taxpayers" in fighting spending in Washington, said he was "very impressed" with his "knowledge and devotion" to the Constitution and his "strong, unwavering stand" against abortion rights.

But Pence seemed to go out of his way to praise Republican front-runner Donald Trump. He also stressed that his endorsement was not intended to sway the votes of Indiana Republicans.

"I respect the right of every Hoosier in making their determination," Pence said, adding, "I encourage everyone to make up their own mind."

In fact, Pence mentioned Trump before mentioning his endorsement of Cruz.

Ryland Barton, WKU Public Radio

Ahead of Kentucky’s May 17 Democratic presidential primary, Chelsea Clinton stopped in Lexington on Friday to stump for her mother, Hillary Clinton.

Speaking to about 200 people crowded into Clinton’s storefront field office, the younger Clinton called this year’s presidential election the most important of her lifetime.

“If I think about healthcare or education or our economy or women’s rights, I worry that all of that is currently under threat,” she said.

During her 2008 presidential run, Hillary Clinton took 65 percent of the vote over Barack Obama in the Kentucky primary election, though Obama was already the presumed nominee.

Hillary has a big lead over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the delegate count: 2,165 to 1,357, with 1,243 still available. The candidates need to get 2,383 delegates to secure the nomination. Kentucky is expected to send 60 delegates to the Democratic National Convention.

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

Among Gov. Matt Bevin’s line-item vetoes in the state budget earlier this week was $400,000 that would have gone to the Arc of Kentucky, an advocacy organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The money was set aside to help fund the nonprofit’s leadership program, which trains people with disabilities and supporters in civic engagement.

Patty Dempsey, Arc of Kentucky’s executive director, said the $200,000 per year was in the budget to return the program to its original funding level.

“Without the funding, we are faced with that possibility of losing it,” Dempsey said.

Bevin vetoed all or part of 14 bills this legislative session, including several line-item vetoes to the $21 billion two-year state budget.

Arc of Kentucky’s Advocates in Action program trains up to 24 participants each year and pays for travel expenses to two events in Frankfort.

Confederate Statue At U of L To Be Removed

Apr 29, 2016
Jacob Ryan, WFPL

Mayor Greg Fischer and University of Louisville President James Ramsey announced Friday the Confederate statue on U of L’s Belknap campus will be removed.

Ramsey, via Twitter, said the monument would be removed immediately. “It is time for U of L to step forward in partnership with the city of Louisville to remove the monument…in respect of all people.”

Ramsey said a campus diversity committee recommended the university remove the statue.

The removal of the Confederate monument will also be the first tangible action for reworking the Third Street corridor near the entrance to the recently opened Speed Art Museum, Ramsey said.

It's been almost a year since the badly decomposed remains of a woman were found in Hart County. The body was beyond recognition, but now Kentucky State Police are teaming up with the National Missing & Unidentified Persons System to put a face, and hopefully a name, to the woman.

Last June 25, a truck driver jogging near Waterloo Road in Hart County noticed what appeared to be a dead body. Troopers called to the scene confirmed they were human remains but an identification was impossible.

All they had to go on was it was a female between 24 and 47 years old, wearing a necklace with the letter "S" emblem on it, a gray stud earring with a pink stone, a medium sized "Southern Comfort" t-shirt, red underwear and white Wilson sneakers with green laces. She was entered into NamUs just four days later as UP 13979.

The Hart County Coroner and Kentucky State Police reached out to Project EDAN (Everyone Deserves A Name) and Certified Forensic Artist Jeanne Cybulski of the Mesa, AZ police department took up the case.

The president of Western Kentucky University says building services attendants will get “pretty similar” benefits when their work is transferred to a private contractor. 

In a budget-cutting move announced this week, around 200 BSAs will work for Sodexo after July 31.  Dr. Gary Ransdell took questions from them and other employees at a forum Thursday afternoon. 

Under the change, employees will get fewer sick days. That’s a concern for Paul Barbour, whose wife works as a BSA.  Barbour says she’s taken a lot of time off because of ailments related to a car accident. Barbour fears the Sodexo will put productivity over people.

"Her main concern is that she's going to lose her job because Sodexo, being a private contract company, will not be as lenient with her as Western was because they're more into getting things done than being nice to employees," Barbour told WKU Public Radio.

Sodexo is also expected to offer less paid vacation time around Christmas time.  Employees will get three days off in December compared to the 10 days they were given by WKU.  

Screenshot from website

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is bringing 91 field workers from around the state, to Frankfort, to help deal with the backlog of applications in Benefind, the new umbrella portal for Kentucky’s welfare programs.

Since the February rollout of Benefind, people trying to get benefits have had to deal with long wait times at local Department for Community Based Services offices and over the phone. The system also erroneously sent out notices to some people that their benefits had been canceled.

Brandon Carlson, the project manager for the initiative, said the group had already processed over 9,000 cases this week.

“By focusing our efforts here on those cases, we were able to free up our workers at all the local DCBS offices to address the lobby traffic and the high volume of calls and the new applications,” he said.

The cabinet estimates it now has a backlog of 16,000 cases, down from 30,000 at the beginning of the week.

Creative Commons

A Pulaski County school crossing guard has died after being hit by a truck. 

According to Kentucky State Police, 69 year old Doyle Patterson of Somerset died Wednesday night at University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville.

Patterson was struck Wednesday afternoon at Southwestern High School. 

The pickup driver was 62 year old Windell Phelps, also of Somerset.

No drug or alcohol use was suspected, and police don’t expect any charges to be filed. Police say Phelps is also a school employee.

Danielle Atkins /Courtesy of Spring House Press

Nashville Hot Chicken is showing up everywhere lately, from fast-food marquees to trendy restaurant menus. But to find the real thing, you might start in a nondescript strip mall on the northeast side of Nashville, Tenn.

Here at Prince's Hot Chicken Shack, people line up long before the doors open to get their fix.

"Need my hot chicken," says construction worker Jose Rodriquez as he approaches the kitchen window to place his order. "I'm going to get two hot of the breast quarters."

Old-fashioned wooden booths line the walls of the small dining room. When a clerk calls out your order number, you pick up your paper plate of chicken, served on a red cafeteria tray. Drinks come from a vending machine on the back wall.

"Prince's is the ground zero for hot chicken," says Timothy Davis, author of The Hot Chicken Cookbook – the Fiery History and Red Hot Recipes of Nashville's Beloved Bird.

Julie Jacobson/AP

Lately, it's been a political guessing game of which Donald Trump is going to show up.

In the past 24 hours alone, the whiplash between what rival-turned-uneven-surrogate Ben Carson called the "two different Donald Trumps" was on bold display.

From a serious foreign policy address in the morning, he returned just hours later to his regular slapstick mockery of his rivals. But as Trump moves even closer to securing his party's White House nomination, the unpredictable dichotomy is one that's sure to worry GOP leaders, anxious over which Trump will show up when it matters most in November.

On Wednesday evening, it was pure, unfiltered Trump who took the stage in Indiana. Hoosier legend, former Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight (whose own temper is controversial in itself), introduced him, endorsing the real estate mogul as "the most prepared man in history to step in as president of the United States."

"There has never been a more honest politician than Donald Trump," said Knight, who was fired from IU in 2000 after "uncivil, defiant and unacceptable" behavior that included allegedly choking a player.

Mark Humphrey/AP

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has signed legislation that allows mental health counselors and therapists to refuse to treat patients based on religious objections or personal beliefs.

Critics of the law say it could result in discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. As Nashville Public Radio reported earlier this month:

"A group representing gay and lesbian Tennesseans [asked Haslam] to veto the legislation. ...

"The Tennessee Equality Project, an LGBT advocacy group, says the measure will make it harder for gays and lesbians to find counseling — particularly in rural parts of the state where religiously conservative therapists are common."

Haslam, however, said in a statement that he decided to sign the bill because it addressed two of his concerns. He said:

Creative Commons

The daughter of former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has plans to visit Kentucky this week.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports Chelsea Clinton will visit Lexington to help open the Hillary for Kentucky Lexington office in her mother's Democratic presidential campaign.

The event is to start at 10:15 a.m. Friday at 1301 Winchester Road.

She is attending a private fundraiser later Friday at the Frankfort home of former Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen and her husband, Lynn Luallen.

Kentucky's primary election is May 17.

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