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Regional
2:47 pm
Sat August 30, 2014

Cost, Aesthetics Lead To Decision To Fill In Corvette Museum Sinkhole

Two Corvettes sit in the sinkhole in the Skydome portion of the museum before they were removed this spring.
Abbey Oldham/WKU Public Radio

More than six months after a 45-foot sinkhole swallowed eight classic cars at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, the museum’s board of directors has decided the fate of the hole and the Corvettes that were rescued from its depths.

Earlier this summer, board members had strongly considered leaving part of the sinkhole intact and making it part of the museum experience.  But the estimated costs associated climbed to over a million dollars.

On Saturday morning, as thousands of Corvette fans buzzed around the museum, the board decided the sinkhole would be completely filled in a project set to begin this November.

“We really wanted to preserve a portion of the hole so that guests for years to come could see a little bit of what it was like, but after receiving more detailed pricing, the cost outweighs the benefit,” the museum’s executive director, Wendell Strode said in a written statement.

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Sports
7:08 am
Sat August 30, 2014

Toppers Trounce Bowling Green 59-31in Season Opener

Credit WKU

One game and WKU's quarterback is already in the Conference USA record books. 

Brandon Doughty threw a school record six touchdown passes Friday night leading the Hilltoppers football team to a 59-31 win over Bowling Green State in the season opener. The six touchdowns tied a Conference USA record and his 569 total passing yards was 23 short of the conference record. 

“I’ll be honest I didn’t really notice it until the fourth quarter," Doughty said of his performance. "They were trying to tell me and I just didn’t even want to know. I wanted to stay locked in and didn’t want to get too high on it. I just tried to play my game and was in a really good rhythm early."

The victory was the first for WKU's Jeff Brohm as a collegiate head coach. WKU has now won three straight home openers. 

Politics
5:50 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

McConnell Accepts Campaign Manager's Resignation

Sen. Mitch McConnell

Although he denies any wrongdoing, Mitch McConnell’s campaign manager Jesse Benton will resign from the campaign, effective Saturday. 

Several media outlets have reported on questions surrounding Benton's involvement in an alleged political payoff  from two years ago involving former Iowa Republican State Sen. Kent Sorenson. Sorensen pleaded guilty this week to concealing payments from Congressman Ron Paul’s campaign. Investigators contend Sorenson was paid to switch his 2012 presidential endorsement.  

Benton, at that time, was Paul’s political director. Benton calls reports that he knew of the alleged payoff “inaccurate and unsubstantiated.”

But in an e-mail Friday afternoon Benton writes. “I cannot, and will not, allow any possibility that my circumstances will affect the voters’ ability to hear [Mitch McConnell’s]  message and assess his record."

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Regional
5:16 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Talks Between 7 Counties, Lawmakers Come Up Short

Rep. Brent Yonts
Credit Kentucky LRC

An attempt at mediation between state lawmakers and a Louisville mental health nonprofit over its bankruptcy has yielded little progress. Earlier this month, member of Seven Counties Services and a handful of state lawmakers met to discuss what, if any, deal could be reached over the nonprofit’s bankruptcy filing.

Under state law, Seven Counties is required to pay a larger share into its employees’ pensions than other types of pensions. The rising costs of those contributions, it claims, forced it into bankruptcy, and a federal judge ruled that it would not have to pay for its unfunded pension liabilities, estimated at about $90 million.

Greenville State Rep. Brent Yonts is part of an ad-hoc group of lawmakers trying to reach a deal Seven Counties.

“They at that moment in time did not come to the table with anything to offer,” said Yonts.  “And I explained my viewpoint that in order to resolve this issue in the context of the bankruptcy, there had to be something that was negotiable other than saying ‘we can’t do anything.’”

Lawmakers are eager to reach a deal, however, because if the appeal rules in Seven Counties’ favor just like the lower court’s decision, it could set a precedent for similar quasi-governmental agencies, potentially leaving the state holding a $2.4 billion debt in unpaid liabilities should those agencies also jump the sinking ship.

3:49 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

New York Times Magazine Profiles McConnell-Grimes Race (With Great Pics of Both Candidates)

Lead in text: 
It was the first Saturday in August, and Mitch McConnell was sermonizing from a fake redbrick porch beneath a corrugated metal overhang in Fancy Farm, Ky. (population 458), not far from the Mississippi River. Despite the 90-degree heat, McConnell, the 72-year-old Senate minority leader, wore a starchy yellow dress shirt and crisp khakis, a BlackBerry securely fastened to his belt; his silver hair was neatly combed along a distinct side part. McConnell is often lampooned as a creature of Washington, but he is quite proficient with the schlock and pomp of the stump.
"There's only one thing Barack Obama needs to keep his grip on power," Mitch McConnell said, his voice cracking amid the applause. "He needs the U.S. Senate!" It was the first Saturday in August, and McConnell was sermonizing from a fake redbrick porch beneath a corrugated metal overhang in Fancy Farm, Ky.
Education
2:38 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Don't Call It "DUC": New WKU Student Center Opens to Community

Students relaxed in the Downing Student Union during the first day of classes on Aug. 25
Credit Clinton Lewis/WKU

WKU is celebrating the grand opening of its newly renovated student center.

The Downing Student Union has undergone a $58 million facelift that includes new dining facilities, lighting, plumbing and HVAC systems. The building formerly known as the Downing University Center, or “DUC”, first opened in 1970.

Renovations began in 2012 after a group of WKU employees and students toured other university student centers to gather ideas about what they would like to see in DSU.

The center of the building is open from the first floor to the third floor, with solar tubes that allow natural light in.  In addition, murals of campus scenes by artist David Jones are painted throughout the building.

Regional
1:41 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Eight Apply To Become Next Tennessee Attorney General

Current Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper
Credit State of Tennessee

Eight candidates have applied with the Tennessee Supreme Court for the next eight-year term as state attorney general.

Tennessee is the only state where the high court appoints the attorney general.

The justices plan to hold public hearings with candidates they deem qualified for the job.

Incumbent Attorney General Bob Cooper, whose term expires at the end of the month, is among those who have applied for the job.

The field of candidates also includes Gov. Bill Haslam's top legal adviser, Herbert Slatery; Republican state Sen. Doug Overbey of Maryville; and courts administrator Bill Young of Brentwood.
 
Also submitting applications by Friday's deadline were attorneys Eugene Bulso Jr. of Brentwood, Mark Fulks of Johnson City, William Helou of Nashville and Andrew Tillman of Huntsville.

Business
1:23 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Budge Industries Expanding Operations in Henderson County

An automotive parts manufacturer is expanding its operations in Henderson County.

Budge Industries creates protective covers for vehicles, and announced Friday that it will expand its 75,000 square-foot facilities and create up to 37 new jobs. The $650,000 investment by the company will allow it to add new production lines at its Henderson County operation, as well as new ultrasonic welding equipment.

The expansion was approved for $200,000 worth of tax incentives through the Kentucky Business Investment program.

Health
8:40 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Many Low Income Kentuckians Eligible for Free Colon Cancer Screenings

Many Kentuckians who lack health insurance can receive free colon cancer screenings through their local health department. The program is jointly funded through the state and private donations, and targets Kentucky residents who meet certain age and income guidelines.

Madeline Abramson, wife of Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson, is speaking out on behalf of colon cancer awareness in Kentucky. Mrs. Abramson is honorary chair of the Kentucky Cancer Program’s “Dress in Blue Day”, a program aimed at educating the public about colon cancer.

She says the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the nation can often be detected and treated through screenings.

“It’s unusual to have a screening test where the cancer or pre-cancerous node can be taken care of at that time," Abramson told WKU Public Radio.

Abramson says some people are embarrassed to talk about the disease in the same way many refused to openly discuss breast cancer decades ago.

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Sports
5:57 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Tops Take a Long Trip for a Home Game

Credit WKU Sports

Tonight's season opening home football game for the WKU Hilltoppers might actually feel more like an away game for them.

Home or away, teams usually sequester themselves in a hotel the night before a game to get themselves focused and go over last minute details without distractions. But with thousands of Corvette enthusiasts in town for the 20th anniversary of the Corvette Museum this weekend, there were no available hotel rooms in Bowling Green.

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