5:25 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Alleged Witch, Boyfriend Charged In Sex Case

A southern Indiana woman and her boyfriend have been charged with committing sexual offenses against children in western Kentucky after prosecutors say they threatened the children with "hexes and curses."

Twenty eight year old Jessica M. Smith on Evansville and her boyfriend, Michael W. Kurtz of Corydon, KY, each face charges of sexual abuse and unlawful transactions with a minor.

3:54 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Western Kentucky Sheriff Travels to Israel for Lessons in Security

Daviess County Sheriff Keith Cain
Credit Daviess County Sheriff's Department

As sheriff of Daviess County, Keith Cain’s job has taken him a lot of places, but none like where he is now.  Cain is in Israel with a delegation of sheriffs from across the country who were invited to meet with Israeli government, military, and law enforcement officials. 

When WKU Public Radio spoke with the sheriff by phone Wednesday, he was 800 meters outside the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by the militant Hamas organization.  He spoke from Sderot, a community that less than a month ago, was the site of 63 rocket attacks in a 36-hour period.

“More than anything that I’ve learned the last three days is the incredible resiliency of the Israeli people.”

That resiliency, he says, was seen in the face of a single mother he spoke with about the daily rocket attacks.

“She said all the children suffer from emotional distress.  We viewed the playgrounds of kindergarten kids who can no longer play outside.  They have to play in fortified bunkers built around their playgrounds,” explained Cain.  “In the community we were in today, they have ten to 15 seconds once they are notified of a rocket attack to get to a sheltered area.  These youngsters learn this as early as age two.  That’s something difficult, I think, for Americans to comprehend.”

The goal of the trip, Cain said, is to learn from experts in terrorist events such as suicide bombings.

Read more
3:26 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Economic Policy Expert: Proposed State Budget Doesn't Do Enough to Correct Revenue Shortfalls

Senate President Robert Stivers speaks with reporters in the Kentucky Senate.
Credit Kentucky LRC

The director of one of Kentucky’s leading non-profit economic policy think tanks says the recently-passed state budget fails to address the state’s revenue problem.

Jason Bailey, the director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, says the budget, which includes five percent cuts to over a dozen state agencies, reflects the 14th round of harmful cuts since 2008, and doesn't do enough to generate new revenue.

“There are areas that have been time after time after time, so I think for higher education, for human services, for areas like environmental and public and worker protection, I think those systems will be frayed even further by the cuts that we’ve seen.”

Bailey adds that the revenue bill passed by the legislature that gives tax breaks to the bourbon industry and beer and wine wholesalers aren’t worth the cuts to important state agencies.

1:58 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Council on Postsecondary Education Prepares for Next Budget Request

Bob King
Credit Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

Kentucky’s Council on Postsecondary Education is already tailoring its next state budget request to include performance funding for state universities.

The General Assembly did not include the CPE’s request for performance funding in its two-year spending plan that awaits the governor’s signature. CPE President Bob King says the performance funding request was among several suggestions to bring more money to the state’s universities.

“One of those purposes was to create a pot of money that would be distributed to the campuses tied to the proportion of degrees that they produced,” he said. “And there was a premium for students who earned degrees in the STEM field—science, technology, engineering and mathematics—or in health fields because we know that our workforce needs people with those skills quite substantially.”

King says in addition to going over this legislative session’s budget to determine the tuition cap for state universities, the CPE is working on its funding request for the next session.

Read more
1:49 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Former South Central Kentucky Pharmacy Worker Pleads Guilty in Federal Drug Case

A former Allen County pharmacy employee has admitted to the theft and distribution of prescription painkillers. 

Lynn Harper Denton entered a guilty plea Tuesday in federal court in Bowling Green to two charges in a seven-count indictment. 

Prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky say the 46-year-old Denton stole hydrocodone pills from her employer, Stovall’s Prescription Shop in Scottsville over a five-month period in 2012.  The retail value of the stolen hydrocodone was nearly $30,000. 

Denton admitted selling the pills to co-conspirator Katherine Virginia Rookstool, who is charged with selling the pills Jeffrey Clay Stinson, who sold them on the street.  Stinson pleaded guilty to federal charges and is awaiting sentencing.  Rookstool is scheduled to go on trial next month. 

Denton faces up to 30 years in prison at sentencing, though prosecutors will recommend a term at the lower end of the sentencing range. 

As part of the plea agreement, Denton will forfeit more than $5,700 and two vehicles.  She will also make restitution to her former employer. 

1:05 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

New Todd County Plant to Bring 75 Jobs

A western Kentucky location will become home to a new Custom Cooler Inc. factory that will create 75 jobs with a $5.8 million investment.

Gov. Steve Beshear's office says the company is establishing its second manufacturing facility in Todd County.

Kentucky was chosen over three other states. The company has received preliminary state approval for as much as $1.5 million in tax incentives.

Custom Cooler manufactures custom walk-in coolers, freezers and freezer doors. It was established in California in 2006.

Arts & Culture
10:52 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Everly Brothers 1960 Hit Included in National Recording Registry

Promotional material from the Everly Brothers' 'Homecoming Concerts' in Muhlenberg County
Credit Emil Moffatt

The Library of Congress has unveiled the list of this year’s 25 additions to the National Recording Registry.

Among the recordings – the Everly Brothers 1960 hit “Cathy’s Clown”, which was recorded at the RCA “Studio B” in Nashville.

Earlier this year, Muhlenberg County held a celebration of life for Phil Everly, who died January 3rd.  Everly and his brother Don held a series of charity concerts in their family’s hometown in Western Kentucky in the 1980s and 1990s.    

Read more
8:50 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Photo Slideshow of Corvettes Extracted from Sinkhole

The meticulous and tedious process of retrieving eight cars swallowed by a sinkhole beneath the National Corvette Museum is nearly complete.  Only two cars remain in the 50-foot sinkhole that opened up on February 12. 

On Tuesday, crews recovered a 1993 ZR-1 Spyder, the most heavily damaged car so far.  Photojournalist Abbey Oldham took these photos of the Spyder after it was removed from the sinkhole and put on display at the museum.

In this photo slideshow, she also shares a close up look at some of the other Corvettes retrieved and on display.

8:35 am
Wed April 2, 2014

370,000 Kentuckians Sign Up for Health Insurance Through State-Based Exchange

More than 370,000 Kentuckians have signed up for health insurance through the state's health insurance marketplace.

The deadline to sign up for insurance was Monday. Kentucky officials said more than 21,000 people signed up in the final three days. More than half of those enrollments came on Monday.

Of the 370,829 who signed up for health insurance, 293,802 enrolled for the state's Medicaid program and 77,027 purchased discounted private insurance plans.

Those numbers are likely to grow. People who had problems signing up for coverage have until midnight April 11 to enroll. Final enrollment numbers will be available after April 15.

Station Events
8:18 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Check Out WKU Public Radio's New TV Spot

Your local news team, from left to right: Joe Corcoran, Kevin Willis, Lisa Autry, and Emil Moffatt
Credit WKU PBS

You hear our voices on the radio.

Now you can see the faces of the people who bring you local news on WKU Public Radio!

We have a great new promotional spot for TV currently airing in Bowling Green that gives viewers a bit of a behind-the-scenes look at the WKU Public Radio newsroom. Narrated by our local All Things Considered host, Emil Moffatt, the piece describes how we love to tell the stories that impact individuals and communities all across our listening area.

We also want to thank our friends and colleagues at WKU PBS and WKU Marketing for all their hard work in conceiving, planning, videotaping, and editing this piece together. Without them, this project never would have happened!