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Environment
3:17 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Lawmakers to Hear from Both Sides of Debate Over Bluegrass Pipeline

The Kentucky state capitol building in Frankfort
Credit Kentucky LRC

Kentucky lawmakers will hear from both advocates and opponents of a proposed natural gas liquids pipeline Thursday.

If it’s built, the Bluegrass Pipeline would cross more than a dozen central Kentucky counties, carrying natural gas liquids from the Northeast to the Gulf of Mexico. Land agents have been in the state for several months, talking to landowners and asking for permission to survey property.

Some have agreed, but the project has attracted significant grassroots opposition from Kentuckians worried about the safety and environmental issues the pipeline could bring.

Pipeline company Williams says the pipeline would spur economic development and reduce the cost of consumer goods.

The Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Environment meets at 1 p.m. Thursday in the Capitol Annex.

Politics
2:52 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

McConnell to Make Syria Decision in "Coming Days", Feels Certain about No Boots on the Ground

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell spoke to the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club Wednesday.
Credit Kevin Willis

Sen. Mitch McConnell's response to a question about his position on a possible military strike on Syria.

Kentucky’s senior U.S. Senator says while he hasn’t made up his mind on a possible U.S. strike in Syria, he’s certain American military forces won’t be placed inside that country.

Republican Mitch McConnell spoke to the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club Wednesday, and said even those in Washington who are advocating for U.S. involvement in Syria are stopping short of calling for boots on the ground.

“I’m not just instinctively opposed to military action,” the Louisville Republican said. “I supported the Afghan war, and I supported the Iraq war. Certainly we need to be careful about doing it. I don’t think anybody supports putting any American military personnel there at all.”

McConnell said he would announce his position on Syria “in the coming days.”

The Senate Minority Leader said there’s no way to be certain which political or religious group would take over Syria if the current regime was toppled.

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Sports
12:53 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

WKU Drops Parking Fees For Popular Tailgating Areas

2013 WKU Tailgating Map
Credit WKU Athletics

It will cost less to tailgate this year at WKU football games.

The university’s athletic department has announced that several parking lots that in previous years carried a $20 parking fee, will now be free on a first-come first-serve basis. 

Those areas include McLean Hall, "The Valley", Bates Runner Hall and the Service Supply Building lawn.

WKU offers 30 tailgating areas within a half-mile of Houchens Industries- L.T. Smith Stadium. Tailgate areas open at 8 a.m. on Saturday game days The Hilltoppers’ home-opener is September 21st against the Morgan State Bears. 

Politics
11:23 am
Wed September 4, 2013

For Kentucky's Senators, the Issue of Syria has Different Implications

A WKU political analyst says the ongoing debate over possible U.S. military action in Syria comes at an opportune time for Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

Political Science Professor and Warren County Republican Party Chairman Scott Lasley says Paul has long talked about the U.S. needing to adopt a less aggressive foreign policy. Sen. Paul--who is considering a presidential run--has been a vocal opponent of U.S. military involvement in Syria, saying it’s not in America’s interest to get involved in another nation’s civil war.

Professor Lasley says Paul’s position is something that could attract voters who wouldn’t normally side with the Bowling Green Republican.

“Particularly with younger voters, where Republicans have struggled the last couple of election cycles. A lot of time there’s not a huge difference between younger voters and older voters, but one of the areas that you do see a difference is the aggressiveness of foreign policy.”

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Politics
8:48 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Grimes Repeats Call for Higher Minimum Wage

Alison Lundergan Grimes speaks with supporters during a stop in Warren County.
Credit Lisa Autry

Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is again pushing the idea of raising the minimum wage in order to grow the middle class.

Grimes, a candidate for U.S. Senate in Kentucky, distributed a news release on Tuesday touting what she believes would be the positive effects of increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.

Citing a Kentucky Center for Economic Policy report, Grimes said raising the minimum wage would affect nearly 30 percent of working Kentuckians.

The Democratic front-runner, Grimes wants to replace Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell after next year's election. McConnell also faces a GOP challenger in the May primary.

Education
8:03 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Gov. Haslam to Talk about Plans to Increase 2-Year Degrees in Tennessee

Gov. Bill Haslam is continuing to push an initiative to increase the number of Tennesseans with at least a two-year college degree or certificate.

The governor is scheduled to talk more about the "Drive to 55" plan at an event in Nashville on Wednesday.

He announced the initiative in his State of the State address earlier this year and has been working on it over the past months. He is expected to more clearly define the state's challenges on Wednesday, as well as give an update on its progress.

Currently, 32 percent of Tennesseans have a two-year degree or higher, and Haslam's goal is to raise that number to 55 percent by 2025.

Politics
5:28 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Judge Upholds Kentucky Medicaid Expansion

A Tea Party activist says he will appeal a circuit court's decision that allows Kentucky to expand Medicaid and create a health care exchange under the Affordable Care Act. 

On Tuesday, Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd ruled that Governor Steve Beshear had the power to expand Medicaid to an additional 300,000 Kentuckians.  The judge also upheld the governor's creation of a health insurance exchange, an online marketplace where consumers can shop for coverage. 

In both lawsuits, Tea Party activist David Adams argued Beshear needed legislative approval.  Adams remains confident he can win on appeal.

"I'm just glad to get the show on the road," remarks Adams.  "We were headed to the Kentucky Supreme Court from the outset."

Expanded Medicaid will be available starting January 1, and the uninsured can start signing up on October 1.

Sports
4:54 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Report: WKU Athletic Trainer Fired After Clashing with Petrino

Bobby Petrino is the first-year head coach of WKU football.
Credit WKU Athletics

An online article highlights clashes between WKU football coach Bobby Petrino and a medical trainer who was fired in the spring.

The Chronicle of Higher Education story about friction between coaches and athletic trainers singled out the relationship between Petrino and former WKU associate athletic trainer Danny Cobble. The Chronicle’s story says Petrino questioned Cobble’s medical abilities, grew impatient with return-to-play times for players, and pushed back against decisions made by physicians.

Cobble says he was fired in the spring after being at WKU since 2009. When asked by the Courier-Journal about the article, A WKU athletics spokesman said neither coach Petrino or WKU Athletic Director Todd Stewart would comment.

The Chronicle story spotlighted an incident in which Cobble says a doctor ordered surgery for an unidentified WKU football player. Cobble says Petrino wanted to treat the player with a cortisone shot instead. The player eventually had surgery.

The Chronicle surveyed hundreds of athletic trainers and staff for their story. Of the 101 who responded, 53 said they felt pressure from football coaches to get players back on the field faster than the trainers felt was medically prudent.

You can read the full article from The Chronicle of Higher Education here.

Education
3:55 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

WKU Professor Takes Turn in Baseball Broadcast Booth

Dr. Stuart Foster

WKU Professor Stu Foster talks about his summer in the broadcast booth

The next time you listen to a baseball game on the radio, notice how many times the weather is referenced.

"The weather is certainly one part of trying to convey to the listener the scene of what's happening and the setting for the game and what might turn out to be an important component that affects the way the game turns out,” said Stu Foster, WKU professor, Kentucky state climatologist and part-time color commentator for the Bowling Green Hot Rods.

"Whether it's a clear, deep blue sky that might be a problem for outfielders, whether there's a strong breeze blowing in or out,” said Foster.  “We had a game recently where there was a heavy dew that came on the field as the game went on that could've come on to affect the game."

Foster said a few conversations last winter led to the opportunity to sit in on a dozen games as color commentator for the Midwest League affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. He says his weather expertise wasn’t the only part of his “day job” that helped ease his transition into the broadcast booth.

He says in both broadcasting and being a professor, the goal is the same: communicate a message with a large audience. 

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Politics
3:34 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Christie Picks Date with Wife Over Senator Rand Paul

U.S. Senator Rand Paul, R-KY, will campaign in New Jersey Friday.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has other plans the day his sometime adversary, Sen. Rand Paul, is to come to the state to endorse the Republican running for U.S. Senate.

Christie is taking wife Mary Pat to Florida for the weekend to celebrate her 50th birthday.

Paul is scheduled to endorse fellow Republican Steve Lonegan at a rally Friday in northern New Jersey. Lonegan is running against Democrat Cory Booker in a special election.

Christie and Paul, both potential 2016 presidential candidates, clashed last month over national security and federal budgets. Christie is considered a moderate, Paul a libertarian.

When Paul suggested the two make up over a beer, Christie said he was too busy running for re-election.

On Tuesday, the governor said the choice between Paul and his wife is "no choice."

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