News

Pages

Environment
4:41 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Kentucky is Home to the Types of Chemical Weapons Allegedly Used in Syria

This is a side view of one of the igloos where chemical weapons are stored at the Bluegrass Army Depot in Richmond, KY.
Craig Williams

Richmond, Kentucky is the last site in the U.S. to continue storing the type of chemical weapons allegedly used in Syria.  The nerve agents Sarin and VX, banned worldwide, are housed at the Bluegrass Army Depot. 

Considered two of the world's most deadly chemical warfare agents, the stockpile is on schedule to be destroyed by 2023. 

One of the people overseeing the destruction is Craig Williams, the Chemical Weapons Project Director at the Kentucky Environmental Foundation.  He spoke to WKU Public Radio about the weapons stored at the Bluegrass Army Depot.

Environment
2:32 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Kentucky Lawmaker Wants "Brighter Line" on How Companies Can Use Eminent Domain

This sign was seen at an informational meeting in Frankfort about the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline.
Credit Erica Peterson, Kentucky Public Radio

The chairman of the Kentucky House Judiciary Committee says he is pre-filing legislation that seeks to make clear that Kentuckians are free from the unregulated use of eminent domain.

Hopkinsville Democrat John Tilley says the issue should be clarified in light of the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline. The proposed natural gas liquids pipeline would stretch from Pennsylvania to Louisiana, and cut through an estimated 13 Kentucky counties, including Breckinridge, Hardin, Larue, Meade, and Nelson.

Some landowners in counties along the proposed pipeline route have expressed concerns that the company would seek to use eminent domain laws to seize their land.

Rep. Tilley said in a news release issued by his office that the bill he has pre-filed will “strive to maintain the proper balance between those rights and economic development when it comes to safely transporting fossil fuels.”

"I believe the state needs to paint a brighter line on how pipelines like this are built and where they can be located."

The bill would put the Public Service Commission in the role of gatekeeper if those constructing pipelines can’t reach agreement with private landowners.

Health
1:56 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Health Summit Meeting in Bowling Green

Leaders in business, health care and government are assembling in Bowling Green for a summit designed to improve health information technology in Kentucky.

The annual e-Health summit begins Tuesday at the Sloan Convention Center.

Noted speakers include Judy Murphy, deputy of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Audrey Tayse Haynes.

The event draws hundreds from around the state who come to present ideas and listen to state and national leaders speak about new initiatives in health information technology. It is sponsored by the Governor's Office of Electronic Health Information.

Arts & Culture
9:03 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Owensboro is the Scene for a Summer Camp All About Bill Monroe's Mandolin Music

Richard Brown leads a class for intermediate players at the 8th annual Bill Monroe Style Mandolin Camp in Owensboro.
Credit Kevin Willis

Kevin's audio feature about the 8th annual Bill Monroe Style Mandolin Camp in Owensboro

On an unseasonably cool Friday afternoon in Owensboro recently, the sounds of an unusual summer camp were being heard in the city's downtown.

About 50 campers from across the country--and some from other countries--were in Daviess County to learn the finer points of one of the great instruments of bluegrass music during the eighth annual Bill Monroe Style Mandolin Camp.

Held at the International Bluegrass Music Museum, the camp is a three-day affair focusing exclusively on the instrument Bill Monroe played as he gained the reputation of being the "Father of Bluegrass Music."

"This is the only camp that I know of that specializes specifically on mandolin style. And it's no other instruments--it's all mandolin players, all Bill Monroe, all the time," says Mike Compton, the camp's director.

Compton is a Mississippi native who now lives in Nashville. He says it's an honor to be a part of a camp that pays tribute to an American musical genius.

Even those who don't consider themselves bluegrass fans are likely familiar with the name Bill Monroe. The Rosine, Kentucky, native gained acclaim for his technical wizardry on the mandolin, inspiring legions of fans throughout the U.S. and beyond.

Read more
Health
6:24 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Report Finds Increasing Effort to Protect Children

A new report that found increasing efforts to protect Kentucky children from abuse is drawing cautious praise from child advocates.  According to the report released by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, child welfare workers confirmed almost 15% more cases of neglect and abuse last year than in 2011.

Kentucky Youth Advocates Director Terry Brooks says the report shows child welfare officials are serious about trying to make improvements in the system.                                                                                                               

Preliminary figures show nine children died and 27 nearly died in the fiscal year that ended June 30th, which is a decrease from the previous year. Federal statistics show that in recent years, Kentucky has ranked among the worst in the nation for deaths associated with child abuse.

Regional
9:01 am
Sun September 15, 2013

Kentucky's Unemployment Fund on a 'Path to Solvency'

Kentucky has borrowed nearly $950 million from the federal government since 2009 to cover a shortfall in the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund. 

The commonwealth wasn’t alone when benefits skyrocketed and the commonwealth’s unemployment insurance fund became insolvent in 2009.  At least 30 states borrowed money from Washington to beef up their funds during the recession. 

Kentucky’s balance on a nearly $1 billion loan is expected to be around $675 million dollars by year’s end.  Thomas Zawacki, secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet briefed an interim legislative committee in Frankfort last week.  He told lawmakers Kentucky’s unemployment benefits fund is now on a "path to solvency" and the state is on target to pay off the federal loan by 2017, five years earlier than originally anticipated. 

Read more
Education
6:00 am
Sun September 15, 2013

New Scholarship for WKU Alumni and Area Teachers Offers Discounted Grad School Tuition

Gary Ransdell Hall, where the WKU College of Education and Behavorial Sciences is located

A new scholarship program sponsored by the WKU College of Education and Behavioral Sciences is aimed at cutting the cost of graduate school for area educators.

The Topper Educator Graduate Scholarship is aimed at WKU alumni and those who are educators in school districts within the Green River Regional Educational Cooperative.

"The ones that we are specifically focusing on would be individuals who are classroom teachers and those who are aspiring to become school principals," said  Sam Evans, Dean of the WKU College of Education and Behavioral Sciences.

He says the scholarship is non-competitive and can allow graduate students to save over $8,000 on the cost of a graduate education degree.

"It is a non-competitive scholarship. If you are a graduate of WKU, you are eligible for this scholarship, although you do have to certified as a classroom teacher, or eligible for the certification," Evans said.

Scholarship recipients would receive a discounted rate of $395 per credit hour regardless of changes in overall tuition.

Read more
Sports
10:58 pm
Sat September 14, 2013

WKU Drops Sun Belt Opener Against South Alabama

Tyrell Pearson's interception return with just more than two minutes left set up a 1-yard plunge by Trey Fetner that lifted South Alabama to a 31-24 win over visiting Western Kentucky in the Sun Belt Conference opener for both teams Saturday night.

The Hilltoppers (1-2, 0-1) took a 21-10 lead in the first half but could only manage a field goal in the second half - that coming on a 44-yard boot to start the fourth quarter by Garrett Schwettman after the Jaguars tied the game at 21-21.

Aleem Sunanon kicked a 37-yard field goal two minutes later to tie the score at 24-24.

Ross Matheny completed 11 of 15 passes for 193 yards to lead South Alabama (2-1, 1-0).

Brandon Doughty was 27 of 47 for 282 yards and three touchdowns to lead Western Kentucky, but he was also intercepted three times.

Regional
5:26 pm
Sat September 14, 2013

Feds Fight Former Barren County Sheriff's Bid for Freedom

Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to force former Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton to report immediately to prison while he appeals his conviction on two counts of witness tampering.

Eaton has been directed to report to a federal penitentiary in Louisiana on Sept. 30 to serve an 18-month sentence. He was convicted this year in federal court of directing two deputies to write false incident reports for the FBI. Federal investigators were probing accusations of civil rights violations during a 2010 arrest.

The Daily News reported that U.S. Justice Department Attorney Sanjay Patel said in a motion that Eaton wants to delay prison time to pursue a "meritless appeal."

Eaton's attorney, Guthrie True of Frankfort, requested Eaton be allowed to stay free until his conviction is finalized.

Education
11:17 am
Sat September 14, 2013

What's Next for Kentucky's New Science Standards?

The Kentucky Department of Education will begin preparing to implement new science standards in the next school year.

The standards revise science education in general, but have drawn controversy for expanding on evolution and climate change. A General Assembly committee rejected the standards this week but Governor Steve Beshear said he will use his powers to enact them anyway.

Dr. Tom Tretter  at the University of Louisville worked on the standards. He’s also helping teachers implement the new lessons. He says even though they haven’t cleared all the legislative hurdles, the state feels it’s best to begin training teachers.

“Given that we feel like its best case and most prudent to go ahead and move forward under the initial assumption at least that we’re going to be working with these Next Generation Science Standards or something that might look just like them," said Dr. Tretter.

Read more

Pages