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Politics
1:32 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Latest Poll Shows McConnell Up 8 Points in Kentucky Senate Race

Sen. Mitch McConnell and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes
Credit Offices of Sen. McConnell and Sec. Grimes

A poll conducted by the group Rasmussen Reports shows Senator Mitch McConnell leading Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes by 8 percentage points.

The telephone survey of 1,000 likely Kentucky voters showed 52 percent supporting McConnell, while 44 percent said they would vote for Secretary of State Grimes.

Two percent said they preferred another candidate in the race, and three percent said they were undecided.

See the entire Rasmussen Reports poll findings here.

The latest poll shows McConnell  receiving overwhelming support from Kentucky Republicans, with 83 percent saying they will vote for the incumbent. At the same time, McConnell is backed by 24 percent of those who identified as Democrats.

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Regional
12:55 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Bill Clinton To Return To Kentucky Again In Support of Grimes

Former President Bill Clinton

For the third time this campaign season, former President Bill Clinton is coming to Kentucky to campaign for Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes.  Clinton will appear at “Get out the Vote” rallies in Owensboro and Paducah next week.  

Earlier this week, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton joined Grimes at a fundraiser in Louisville.  Grimes is hoping to unseat five-time Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell November 4th.

Sen. McConnell is scheduled to embark on a bus tour through Kentucky's coal country next week.

Regional
12:34 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Restorations Planned For Lincoln Boyhood Site

A groundbreaking ceremony is set for Saturday, Oct. 25th on renovation efforts at the Knob Creek boyhood home of Abraham Lincoln.
Credit National Park Service

A week from Saturday, the National Park Service will break ground on a restoration project at Knob Creek, the piece of parkland where Abraham Lincoln spent some of his boyhood days.

During a tour of the Lincoln Birthplace Memorial last month, park superintendent Bill Justice spoke about the serene nature of the Knob Creek site, which is about 10 miles from the Birthplace Memorial.

“It’s a great place to be,” said Justice.  “It’s a great place to step back in to time.  As you do that and as you walk away from the road and from some of the more developed areas and so forth, you’re walking back into early 19th century Kentucky.”

Justice calls the Knob Creek site a special place and says it’s worth the drive to see it.

“At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be a lot there. There’s a field and there’s woods up in the knobs.  But there’s an incredible plant and animal diversity there. Some of the most diverse plant and animal communities of any that you find amongst the parks here in Kentucky.”

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Regional
6:40 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Corvette Museum Sinkhole Repair Starts Next Month

Two Corvettes sit in the sinkhole in the Skydome portion of the museum before they were removed this spring.
Credit Abbey Oldham

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green says work will start in about three weeks to fill a massive sinkhole that opened up in February and allowed eight prized sports cars to topple inside.

The project's schedule calls for completion by July.

The museum says six of the eight cars that fell into the hole last February are on display in the museum's Skydome. The museum will move as many as possible into other public viewing areas after Nov. 9 until the Skydome reopens next summer.

Video of the hole became an Internet hit, with cars toppling like toys. Museum officials considered keeping part of the hole open and putting a crumpled sports car back inside but said that idea lost favor because of safety concerns and maintenance costs.

Arts & Culture
6:24 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Downing Museum Reopens, Extends Commitment to WKU

A water color damaged by the June 27, 2013 fire hangs in the Downing Museum in a special exhibit area on the fire.
Credit Downing Museum

A Bowling Green museum dedicated to the late renowned artist and Hart County native Joe Downing has reopened following a 2013 fire. 

Nearly all of the 1,200-piece collection was damaged, but most was salvageable.  A few of the pieces have returned to the museum, but many others face a long, arduous restoration process.

"If you took the canvass paintings to L.T. Smith Stadium, they would cover the entire grass area, so we have a lot of work to do," said Baker Foundation President Bob Hilliard.  "I've learned a lot about Joe Downing.  He was a workaholic and I think he painted everything he touched and Jerry Baker bought it from him."

Friends, family, and art enthusiasts celebrated the reopening Thursday.  Among them was Joe Downing's sister-in-law Harriett who was married to Dero Downing, the late WKU President.

"I've been so overwhelmed they were able to preserve as much," Harriet told WKU Public Radio.  "I know he and Dero both are up there in heaven looking down and saying thank you to all the people who put so much effort into making sure this was restored and saved."

The Downing Museum is located at the Baker Arboretum.  The estate is owned by Jerry Baker who has endowed the art collection, home, and grounds to WKU. 

In an announcement Thursday, officials said the estate has acquired 100 additional acres of land.  The Baker Foundation also plans to establish a collection of Downing’s work at the Kentucky Museum at WKU.

Health
5:45 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

American Red Cross Consolidations Could Impact Kentucky Offices

Credit American Red Cross

The American Red Cross is looking to restructure its presence nationwide by merging some of its smaller chapters, which could mean the closure of some offices in Kentucky.  

A recent memo from Red Cross leadership indicates that the non-profit humanitarian organization providing emergency assistance, disaster relief and health education will be undergoing a transformation to create a stronger and more cost-efficient Red Cross by 2017. The plan includes consolidating smaller chapters into larger ones to cover a greater geographic area.

But Regional Communications Director Amber Youngblood says decisions on specific closures within Kentucky haven't been finalized.

"For any and all chapters, many discussions have been had with local community partners, and board members and division leadership to best see what we can allocate and what can do best moving forward," Youngblood said. "Right now the plans are underway but there has been no final organizational decision that has been reached at this time for the chapters across the state in Kentucky."

Kentucky has 13 Red Cross chapters, including locations in Bardstown, Bowling Green, Fort Campbell, Glasgow, and Madisonville.

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Regional
4:26 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Anderson, Williams, McCray Inducted into Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame

Two of the 23 individuals inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame Thursday have ties to WKU. The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights announced those who are part of the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2014 in Bowling Green.

Dr. Alan Anderson is a professor of social ethics and racial justice at WKU who once worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Junior in efforts to desegregate Albany, Georgia, in the 1960s. When he was arrested for his participation in those projects, Anderson fasted for six days in jail to protest discrimination in the town.

Also inducted Thursday was Abraham Williams, the executive director of the Bowling Green Housing Authority who has worked with WKU to take children in public housing to China over the past three years.

When he moved to Bowling Green 19 years ago, Williams says he was told that public housing children weren’t capable of learning.

Another inductee into the state’s Civil Rights Hall of Fame is Linda McCray, the former long-time executive director of the Bowling Green Human Rights Commission.

You can see the complete list of Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame inductees here.

Politics
4:09 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Kentucky Senate Republicans to Make Anti-Heroin Bill Major Priority in '15

The number of heroin deaths in Kentucky spiked in 2013.

Kentucky state Senate Republicans leaders say heroin legislation will rank among their top legislative priorities in 2015.

CN2 Pure Politics reports that GOP Senator Chris McDaniel will be the lead sponsor of the bill, which he says will target drug traffickers while also offering more treatment options to addicts.

Anti-heroin legislation introduced by a Republican lawmaker passed the Senate during this year’s General Assembly, but wasn’t passed by the Democratic-led House. Several lawmakers were concerned about the legality of a provision in the bill that would have charged dealers with murder if someone they sold to overdosed.

Read more stories related to heroin in the commonwealth here.

Heroin has been taking an increasing toll on the Bluegrass State, with the northern Kentucky region especially hard hit. A recent report from the state’s Office of Drug Control Policy shows that while the number of total overdoses remained steady in 2013, deaths caused by heroin increased by more than 12 percent.

Education
10:47 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Former WKU Provost Burch Elected New Faculty Regent

Former WKU Provost Barbara Burch is the school's new Faculty Regent.
Credit WKU

WKU President Gary Ransdell, in an email to faculty and staff Thursday morning, announced that Barbara Burch has been elected as the school's new Faculty Regent.

The former WKU Provost will be sworn in as a regent at the board's Oct. 31 meeting. The Faculty Regent position was previously held by History Professor Patti Minter, who chose not to seek another term.

Dr. Burch is currently a professor with WKU's Educational Leadership doctoral program.

In his email, Dr. Ransdell also said "that the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) has requested a formal all-encompassing ruling with regard to faculty, staff, and student regent elections at all public institutions as those elections relate to employee relationships of immediate family members.  This is not our request, but CPE has made the request with our encouragement.  We want to be sure that clarity in these elections is the norm in the future.  I would expect this ruling to be rendered in a few weeks."

Arts & Culture
10:10 am
Thu October 16, 2014

At WKU, 30 Years of the Space Shuttle Program is Seen Through a Camera

Credit Photo courtesy of Philip Scott Andrews

When NASA called an end to the space shuttle in 2011 after 30 years, it really was "The End of an Era." That's the title of a photo and video display in the Mass Media & Technology building on WKU's campus through November 8th.

It tells the story of the shuttle through dozens of photos taken from the collection of Scott Andrews, who shot all but three of the missions, and his son Philip who worked with his father for the program's last five years.

Joe Corcoran spoke with Philip about the display and about his dad's career shooting history.

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