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Regional
5:45 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Auction Puts $1.65 Million Back Into General Fund

(left to right) U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, Treasurer Todd Hollenbach, and state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer
Credit Kentucky Department of Agriculture

An auction that sold off items from a failed fuel and pesticide testing lab run by the Agriculture Department has netted the state $1.65 million dollars.  Agriculture Commissioner James Comer presented a check in that amount to Treasurer Todd Hollenbach on Friday.  The money will go into the state’s general fund.

“Taxpayer dollars are a sacred trust, and my administration is dedicated to spending them wisely and giving back where appropriate,” said Comer.

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Education
2:22 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Founding President of KCTCS Announces Retirement

Dr. Michael McCall
Credit KCTCS

After 16 years at the helm, Dr. Michael McCall says he will retire in January 2015 as president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.  

“I have been privileged to work with a dedicated Board, outstanding cabinet, committed college presidents along with extraordinary faculty and staff,” McCall said. “Together we have built a comprehensive two-year college system that is the envy of the nation. I am extremely proud of the work we have accomplished to enhance the educational attainment in the state.

The Kentucky Postsecondary Education Improvement Act of 1997 created KCTCS by joining the 14 community colleges of the University of Kentucky with the 15 technical schools in the Kentucky Workforce Development Cabinet. 

McCall’s first challenge was to consolidate the 29 separate schools into 16 comprehensive community and technical colleges. 

“Dr. McCall’s achievements as president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System are only outweighed by his commitment to improving the quality and access to education for all Kentuckians—despite their age, economic status or geographic location,” said Governor Beshear.

Under his leadership, KCTCS has become the place where higher education begins for many Kentuckians.  A press release from the system says nearly half of the state’s postsecondary education students are enrolled in a KCTCS school.

Dr. McCall will stay on as president of KCTCS until a successor is found.

Education
2:20 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

WKU's Ransdell to Speak to Forum on Student Debt in St. Louis

The president of WKU is on the list of speakers at a forum on rising student debt being held by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

WKU President Gary Ransdell is in Missouri Monday for the event titled “Generation Debt: The Promise, Perils, and Future of Student Loans”.

According to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the average student debt per follower grew from $16,000 in 2005, to $25,000 in 2012. The College Board found that an estimated 66 percent of seniors graduating in 2011 had student loan debt.

Economic and education analysts are increasingly worried that the growing debts faced by college graduates will impair the upward mobility of young Americans.

Monday’s forum on student debt is being webcast live from St. Louis, beginning at 12:30 pm central. You can see that webcast here.

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Regional
10:59 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Kentucky Sees Rise in Number of Homeless Military Veterans

A new report says the number of homeless veterans in Kentucky has increased in recent years.

Numbers released by the Kentucky Housing Corporation show the number of homeless veterans jumped 37 percent in the last four years. The report indicates that the higher numbers are in part a result of troop withdrawals in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The proportion of veterans in the overall homeless population in Kentucky increased this year as well, to over 10 percent.

Regional
8:53 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

WKU Recognized as 'Bike Friendly University"

A sign posted at one of the bike stations on the WKU campus
Credit WKU

Of all the college campuses across the United States, only 75 can officially be called “Bike Friendly Universities” and WKU is now among them.

The League of American Bicyclists praised Western Kentucky for the leading the way to a healthier, more sustainable future.  For the university’s Parking and Transportation director Dr. Jennifer Tougas, that’s the whole point.   

“Bicycling is a very economical way to get around on short trips around town and it saves students who are strapped on cash a lot of money," said Tougas.  "It also has a lot of health benefits as well.” 

She says the addition of bike lanes along Chestnut Street and over 600 bike rack spots has been worth the investment.

"From the university’s point of view, if we can reduce parking demand that reduces the need to build more parking decks which are extremely costly or to build additional parking lots which have additional environmental effects."

More information on biking at WKU and in Bowling Green.

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