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Regional
2:00 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Shutdown Would Close Mammoth Cave National Park

Trails at Mammoth Cave National Park would be closed in the event of a federal government shutdown
Credit Emil Moffatt

In the event of a government shutdown, national parks across the country would shut down.  This includes Mammoth Cave National Park.  Vickie Carson at Mammoth Cave says everyone at the park, with the exception of security staff, would be furloughed.

“We would close all park facilities like the visitor center and the offices and picnic area,” said Carson.  “We would initiate closure of park trails and roads, but some roads that are considered ‘through roads’ would remain open.”  

If lawmakers can’t work out a deal to avert a shutdown, Carson says Mammoth Cave will wait for official word from the National Park Service before beginning the process of shutting down the park. Campers and those staying at hotel at Mammoth Cave would be given 48 hours to leave.

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Education
1:28 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Study Abroad at Centre College Boosted by Anonymous Gift

Centre College in Danville, Kentucky has received a $1 million anonymous gift to help fund travel to foreign countries. 

Seventy-five percent of the gift is intended for study abroad grants to qualified students who have completed two years of foreign language study at Centre and want to travel to a country where that language is spoken. 

The remaining 25% will go to Centre faculty to travel to nations where the language they teach is spoken. 

Milton Reigelman, who oversees study abroad at Centre as director of the Center for Global Citizenship, said in a news release that the gift will make an already strong program in study abroad even stronger.

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Regional
11:52 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Appeals Court to Hear Case of Iraqi Sentenced to Life in Kentucky Terrorism Case

Mohanad Shareef Hammadi (left) is pictured alongside Waad Ramadan Alwan who was sentenced to 40 years in the terrorism case.

A federal appeals court is scheduled in November to hear the case of an Iraqi man sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to terrorism charges.

The attorney for Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 25, will get to argue why he thinks his client's prison sentence should be reduced. Prosecutors oppose any reduction.

A co-defendant, Waad Ramadan Alwan, 32, received a 40-year sentence in January.

Hammadi and Alwan pleaded guilty in 2011 and 2012 to conspiring to ship thousands in cash, machine guns, rifles, grenades and shoulder-fired missiles to al-Qaida in Iraq in 2010 and 2011. Prosecutors said the two were working with a confidential informant.

Both were arrested in May 2011 in Bowling Green in a federal sting operation.

Hammadi is being held in a maximum-security prison in Colorado.

Regional
11:17 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Hardin County Man Shot by KSP

A Hardin County man is in the hospital after being shot by a Kentucky State Police trooper around midnight Sunday. 

Trooper Jeff Gregory of the Elizabethtown post says troopers were called to Hodgenville Road for a  welfare check on Gerald Scheppa.

"Mr. Scheppa had apparently been making suicidal references to family members, so they were worried about him," explained Gregory.  "He had a large knife on him and ran into a wooded area when he saw the police pull in."

According to KSP, when officers approached Scheppa, he threw a knife at the officers, and that’s when Trooper Charlie Miller fired his gun.  Trooper Miller was not injured in the incident. 

Education
9:42 pm
Sun September 29, 2013

WKU Hosts Meeting of U.S. Confucius Institutes

Madame Xu Lin
Credit Emil Moffatt

The four-day joint meeting of the U.S. Confucius Institutes concludes on Monday in Bowling Green. Representatives from over 90 universities have attended the meetings, hosted by WKU.  More than 260 delegates are attending the conference.

Madame Xu Lin is director general of the Chinese Education Ministry of Hanban.  She says it’s important for Americans to learn about Chinese culture and vice-versa. 

“Parents, students and teachers realize the two countries need to be hand-in-hand and we need to know each other, especially [in terms of] culture and for the younger generations [for their] careers,” said Xu who was in Bowling Green for the meetings.  
 
W-K-U established its Confucius Institute in 2010 and sends students and staff every year to visit China. Xu says experiencing another culture first hand is invaluable.

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Politics
9:24 am
Sun September 29, 2013

Kentucky Legislative Leaders Prepare to Begin Search for New LRC Director

Credit Kentucky LRC

Three of Kentucky’s legislative leaders are calling on all legislative leaders to meet this week and discuss who will head the Legislative Research Commission going forward.   The LRC’s director Bobby Sherman resigned recently in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against a former lawmaker. 

A letter sent Friday to all House and Senate leaders says there are two items that require immediate action.  One is the “leadership vacuum” within the administrative staff of the LRC.  The letter notes there are currently four people with the title of Deputy Director, none of whom have authority to take over for Bobby Sherman. 

The letter also says the search needs to begin for a permanent successor, noting the LRC Director position is critical and will not be easy to fill.  The last time the organization conducted a search was in 1998.

The letter, which calls for a meeting on Wednesday, is signed by Senate President Robert Stivers, Senate Minority Floor Leader R.J. Palmer, and House Minority Floor Leader Jeff Hoover.

Education
5:00 am
Sun September 29, 2013

Kentucky's University Presidents Putting Finishing Touches on Funding Model

The presidents of Kentucky’s universities are meeting this week to discuss a higher education funding model that they will propose to the governor and state legislators.

When lawmakers convene the next General Assembly in January, they’ll be tasked with approving the state’s next two-year budget. WKU President Gary Ransdell says the proposal being offered up by the school presidents puts a great deal of emphasis on how many graduates the universities produce.

“The performance funding model will be based primarily on degree production," Ransdell told WKU Public Radio. "In other words, how many more degrees are you awarding over the last three years? It will be a three-year rolling measure of degree productivity. And that’s the primary driver of the performance funding model."

"In the final analysis, that’s what matters to the state: how many more graduates are you putting in the workplace to drive the economy?”

President Ransdell says the proposal by the school presidents also contains requests for capital project funding, with each university contributing a list of priorities it wants the state to support.

The school presidents meet Wednesday in Frankfort.

Sports
5:53 pm
Sat September 28, 2013

Andrews Leads WKU to Big Second Half, Win Over Navy in Bowling Green

Credit WKU Athletics Media Relations

Bobby Petrino likes to throw the ball all over the field. Antonio Andrews runs the ball so well the coach has changed his ways with Western Kentucky for now.

Andrews ran for 182 yards and two touchdowns as the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers downed Navy 19-7 Saturday, beating the Midshipmen at their own ground game.

The senior running back outgained the nation's best rushing offense all by himself as Western Kentucky (3-2) held Navy to 107 yards, well below the 398 yards the Midshipmen averaged through the first two games. The Hilltoppers outgained Navy 417-183 in total offense and held the ball 37 minutes.

Petrino called it a great win. And yes, he says the Hilltoppers are a little different on offense.

"We're running the ball, and we had to just stick to it today and work hard at moving the sticks, work hard at working the clock when we had the lead," Petrino said. "I'd love to take a couple shots there, but that's not what we needed to do to win the game."

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Regional
12:00 pm
Sat September 28, 2013

Kentucky Legislative Heads Want Meeting to Replace Sherman

House Speaker Greg Stumbo
Credit Kentucky LRC

Legislative leaders want to meet to choose an interim replacement for Bobby Sherman, the former director of the Legislative Research Commission who resigned last week.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo said Friday that legislative leaders need to also lay the groundwork for a search for a permanent replacement.
  
Sherman quit abruptly last Friday, saying in a resignation letter that he had been considering doing so for a long while. He created a dustup on Sunday when he returned to his Capitol office to clean out his desk and in doing so shredded some documents.
 
Now, state police have decided to investigate the shredding to see if any laws were broken. The meeting has been called for 1:30 p.m. EDT next Wednesday in Capitol Annex Room 125.

Sports
3:54 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Hilltoppers Welcome Navy Saturday Afternoon

Credit WKU Athletics

The WKU Hilltoppers football team is looking for its second straight win on Saturday afternoon when it plays host to Navy.

WKU head coach Bobby Petrino says the Hilltopper defense will have its hands full facing Navy's triple-option offense.

"When we looked at our schedule and saw Army and Navy on it, we started practicing for it way back in spring ball," said Petrino.

The Midshipmen comes in with a 2-0 record, WKU is 2-2 after a win over Morgan State last Saturday.

Game time is at 1 p.m. Saturday at Houchens-L.T. Smith Stadium. Click here for an expanded preview

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