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Regional
4:39 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Mammoth Cave National Park Hosts Citizenship Ceremony--Inside Cave

Thirty-nine immigrants from 22 countries participated in a naturalization ceremony on Friday at Mammoth Cave National Park.
Lisa Autry

The United States put on an adoption ceremony today at Mammoth Cave National Park. 

In a courtroom made by nature, the U.S. adopted 39 new citizens.  In the depths of a cave, a federal judge presided over the ceremony featuring natives of 22 countries around the world.  Park Ranger David Alexander sang "The Star Spangled Banner," and Park Superintendent Sarah Craighead gave the country's newest citizens and official welcome.

"We are so pleased and honored to have you spend your first few minutes as citizens in a national park," remarked Craighead.  "There's not a more perfect place to have that occur."

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Regional
3:44 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Union County Rep. John Arnold Resigns Amid Allegations

Credit Jonathan Meador, Kentucky Public Radio

An embattled lawmaker who had been accused of sexual harassment by legislative staffers has resigned.

Democratic state Rep. John Arnold of Sturgis submitted a letter of resignation to Gov. Steve Beshear on Friday.

The resignation came just days ahead of the first meeting of a special legislative committee that's investigating the charges against Arnold. The panel was scheduled to meet on Tuesday, and could have ultimately recommended Arnold's censure or expulsion from the Legislature.

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Arts & Culture
2:30 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Keith Emerson To Make Conducting Debut with Orchestra Kentucky

Credit Orchestra Kentucky

Keith Emerson comes to Bowling Green

An iconic musician is coming to Bowling Green for a night of firsts with Orchestra Kentucky.

In the 1970s, Keith Emerson was part of the band Emerson Lake and Palmer, a group that often combined classical music and progressive rock , catching the ear of a young Jeff Reed.

“I was a teenager and because I loved classical music and rock music, I thought it was great to hear the combination of the two styles. I think they did a lot for classical music,” said Reed.  “They took it out of the concert hall and put it through vinyl and onto young people’s turntables.  They made it a little cooler and a little bit more accessible and I’m all for that.”

Flash forward to 2013 and Reed is now musical director of Orchestra Kentucky. On Monday at SKyPAC in Bowling Green, Reed's orchestra will take the stage with Emerson.

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Sports
11:39 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Hilltoppers Look To Rebound Against South Alabama

Credit WKU Athletics

The Western Kentucky University football team travels to Mobile, Alabama this Saturday, hoping to get back into the win column as they begin Sun Belt Conference play.  They’ll be facing South Alabama for the first time.

After an impressive 35-26 win over Kentucky to start the season two weeks ago,  WKU stumbled in a 52-20 loss to Tennessee.  The game featured seven Hilltopper turnovers.

South Alabama is also 1-1 on the season.  The Jaguars were edged by Southern Utah in their season opener, 22-21, but then topped Tulane 41-39.

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Regional
10:04 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Bowling Green Man Arrested for Rock Creek Murder

Bowling Green murder suspect Dominique L. Wortham

Update 5:45 p.m.

The Daily News reports a second person will be charged in connection with the murder of Larry Thomas.  Paducah police reportedly arrested 19-year-old Adriana Mason Friday afternoon.  Mason is currently in the McCracken County jail.

Original post:

Bowling Green police say 21-year-old Dominique Wortham has confessed to the September 2 murder of WKU student Larry Thomas at Thomas' apartment on Rock Creek Drive.

The Bowling Green Daily News reported that Wortham was arrested Thursday night and charged with murder.

He reportedly told police he shot the 20-year-old Thomas during the course of a robbery. Thomas was airlifted to Vanderbilt Hospital following the shooting where he later died.

Regional
8:14 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Young Girl and Man Rescued from Cistern in Louisville

Emergency crews have rescued a child and an adult from an abandoned cistern at a Louisville park.

Capt. Salvador Melendez of the Louisville Fire Department said rescue crews were called to Russell Lee Park early Thursday evening after two people fell into a brick-lined cistern that is 14 feet deep and about 2 1/2 feet wide. There was no water in it.

He said the child, a 2-year-old girl, was rescued first, about an hour after she fell in. The adult man, described as a coach at the park where youth league football games are played, was rescued by firefighters about 15 minutes later.

Melendez said the man, 46, was attempting to rescue the girl when he fell in, too.

Both were taken to hospitals. They had suffered no apparent physical injuries.

Politics
7:58 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Richie Farmer Scheduled in Court Friday for Plea Deal

Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer
Credit Kentucky News Network

Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner and college basketball star Richie Farmer is scheduled to appear in court to finalize a plea deal that could send him to prison for about two years.

Farmer, who served two terms as state agriculture commissioner, is expected to enter guilty pleas in federal and state court on government corruption charges on Friday.

Farmer, whose jersey hangs as a monument in the rafters of Rupp Area, was accused of using Department of Agriculture employees to work on his Frankfort home, including building a basketball court in his backyard.

Officials said Farmer also hired friends, including his girlfriend, as special assistants who did little or no work for the agency. And, they accused Farmer of using government employees to do personal errands, including babysitting his children.

Education
3:26 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Report: Kentucky Providing Less Per-Student Funding than Before Recession Began

The report, by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, shows Kentucky’s funding per-student is around 10 percent lower than what it was in 2008.

Kentucky is among the states providing less per-student funding for public education than they did before the recession.

The Washington-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released a report Thursday highlighting education spending over the last few years. The report shows Kentucky’s funding per-student is around 10 percent lower than what it was in 2008.

Jason Bailey is the organization’s Kentucky representative, and was also on the governor’s Blue Ribbon Tax Commission. He says it’s up to state lawmakers to find new revenue and they can start by acting on some of the tax reforms recommended by the panel.

“The reality is that the budget that lawmakers will make during the legislative session will be as bad or worse than the current budget unless we come up with more revenue.”

The center reports only 20 states have boosted education funding through new tax laws since the recession.

Agriculture
2:52 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Kentucky Hemp Panel Tells Washington It's Moving Forward with Hemp Production

The year 2013 has seen a huge push by states like Kentucky to get hemp production legalized.

Kentucky’s Industrial Hemp Commission is serving notice to the federal government that it plans to move forward with creating regulations for hemp production in the commonwealth.

A news release from the state agriculture department says staff members have been instructed to begin the process of writing rules for the development of the long-banned crop. The state’s industrial hemp commission is calling for Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and U.S. Senator Rand Paul to write a letter to the U.S. Justice Department to “make Kentucky’s intentions known.”

Recent changes to state law have opened the door to future hemp production in Kentucky, although growing the crop is still technically illegal under federal rules.

But Commissioner Comer is pointing to recent statements by a Justice Department official who said the federal government has no intentions of prosecuting hemp farmers.

"Surely...no entity will seek to throw up a government obstacle to moving forward with another opportunity for Kentucky farmers and for manufacturing jobs."

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Politics
1:34 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Harry Reid Plans Fundraiser for Kentucky Senate Candidate Grimes

Credit Lisa Autry

Washington’s top Democrat is reportedly coming to the aid of Kentucky U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes. 

C-N-2 Politics reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will hold a fundraising luncheon for Grimes in Las Vegas on October 11th.  The event is being organized by Seachlight Leadership Fund, the political action committee that Reid founded in 1997. 

When asked to confirm the fundraiser and whether Grimes will attend,  her Press Secretary Charly Norton told WKU Public Radio the campaign would not comment on their fundraising schedule. 

The Kentucky Republican Party criticized the fundraiser and highlighted Reid’s past statement that “coal makes us sick.” 

Grimes is the presumed Democratic nominee who will challenge Republican U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell in a race to be decided next November.  McConnell must first win a primary contest against Tea Party candidate Matt Bevin.

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