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1:38 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

WKU Football Opener Pushed Back By One Day

The WKU Hilltoppers' 2014 football season opener has been rescheduled.  The athletic department announced Tuesday that the opener against Bowling Green State will now take place Friday, Aug. 29 instead of Thursday, Aug. 28.

The game will be played at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.

The school says the change was at the request of Conference USA and the league's television partners.

It will be the Hilltoppers' first year in Conference USA.  The team is continuing spring football practice this week.

Regional
9:41 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Smashed Spyder is Sixth Corvette to Leave Sinkhole

The ZR-1 Spyder suffered extensive damage from a nearly 50-foot fall beneath the ground of the Skydome where the car had been on display.
Credit National Corvette Museum

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green hosted another rescue mission Tuesday.

A 1993 ZR-1 Spyder was lifted from a 50-foot sinkhole that opened up beneath the museum in February. 

The Spyder was one of eight cars swallowed by the sinkhole, and becomes the sixth to get removed.

Marketing and Communications Director Katie Frassinelli says the black Spyder is the most damaged of all the cars recovered so far, but doesn't know if it's beyond restoration.

"That car is on loan from General Motors, so it will be their call what they do with it.  It is a prototype vehicle, so it's not like they just have these parts laying around to fix it," explained Frassinelli.  "A lot of people feel that we should display them as is, because if you restore 85% of a car, is it really the car it once was."

The 2009 1.5 millionth car is partially visible through the mounds of dirt, and will be pulled out Wednesday or Thursday. 

"We don't have high hopes of it being in really good shape.  It's got not only a boulder but also a slab of concrete on top of it," added Frassinelli.

The last of the cars to be removed, a 2001 Mallett Hammer Z-06, has not been seen. 

A video of the Spyder's retrieval can be viewed here.

Kentucky Budget
7:56 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Kentucky House Approves Budget, Sends Spending Plan to Gov. Beshear

Both the Kentucky House and Senate have approved a two-year budget for the state.
Credit Kentucky LRC

After winning speedy approval in the Senate, the Kentucky House has given final passage of the state’s $20 billion two-year budget.

Lawmakers passed a series of budget bills funding the legislative, judicial and executive branches of state government with minimal debate, and earlier than they have in previous years.

The budget bills will head to Gov. Steve Beshear’s desk for approval. They largely preserve his efforts to fund K-12 education at the cost of other state programs.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo hailed the compromise with the Senate as an example of how democracy can work.

“The gridlock and the stalemate that’s engulfed both parties in Washington didn’t make it’s way to Kentucky. It worked," Stumbo said, to applause from fellow lawmakers. "And you can go home tonight and you can look your constituents in the eye while you’re on this veto break and you can say it worked. We did what you paid us to do.”

Lawmakers will now break for two weeks until returning April 14 for a veto session.

Politics
5:40 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Kentucky Legislature: Yes to Cannabis Oil and Higher Gas Tax

Doctors at two Kentucky research hospitals can prescribe medicine derived from marijuana oil to treat child seizures under a bill that cleared the General Assembly on Monday.

The bill would allow Kentuckians to use cannabidiol in two cases: a prescription from a doctor at the University of Kentucky or the University of Louisville research hospitals, or a trial from the U. S. Food and Drug Administration.

The Senate gave the bill final approval Monday and it will become law unless Democratic Governor Steve Beshear vetoes it. The bill comes as states across the country are allowing the limited use of marijuana and its products for medical purposes.

In other news from Frankfort, Kentucky drivers will not pay more in states taxes at the gas pump this summer.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo said he's told legislative leaders to prepare the state's two year road spending plan without the extra $107 million that would come from a 1.5 cents-per-gallon increase in the state gas tax.

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Regional
9:07 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Owensboro Health Inks Deal To Operate Muhlenberg Co. Hospital

Muhlenberg Community Hospital
Credit Muhlenberg Community Hospital

A new multi-year agreement means Owensboro Health will be taking over operations at Muhlenberg Community Hospital.  The three-year contract officially takes effect May 1st, but hospital officials say the transition process has already begun.  Owensboro Health President and CEO Philip Patterson says his company was looking for a “new and emerging” partner. 

“We, as Owensboro Health are not looking to own all the hospitals and health networks of western Kentucky,” said Patterson "We’re looking for those established networks that will allow us to partner and bring the best and highest-quality of care to western Kentucky." 

Patterson says residents in Muhlenberg County won’t notice any drastic, immediate changes. 

“Our hope is that they will not see any significant change when it comes to the staffing or the look of Muhlenberg Community Hospital, unless it’s to the betterment of the hospital itself,” said Patterson.

Ed Heath, who has been with Owensboro Health since 2008, has been named the CEO of Muhlenberg Community Hospital. He’ll oversee the hospital’s 450 employees. 

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Politics
4:16 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Bill Restoring Voting Rights to Some Felons Unlikely to Become Law in Kentucky

Rep. Jesse Crenshaw (D-Lexington)
Credit Kentucky LRC

A bill that would restore voting rights for thousands of Kentucky felons isn’t likely to pass this year.

Lawmakers say they could not reach an agreement over different versions of the proposed legislation.

GOP Senate Floor Leader Damon Thayer previously amended the bill to include a five year waiting period and not cover felons with multiple offenses. He says passage is unlikely this year.

But bill sponsor Jesse Crenshaw says Thayer is refusing to help with a compromise.

“It’s hard for me to deal with Sen. Thayer’s logic because of the fact that he is the man that has to act on calling the bill, calling even the senate committee substitute to not recede and he’s the only one that can do that," Crenshaw, a Lexington Democrat, said.

Supporters of the proposed legislation have criticized Thayer’s changes, which would not affect about half of the felons the original bill was meant to help. The original measure would've affected an estimated 180,000 Kentuckians.

Regional
2:23 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Crews Prepare to Remove Sixth Corvette from Museum Sinkhole

The National Corvette Museum posted this picture Monday which shows crews are uncovering the Spyder and exposing more of the 1.5 millionth Corvette.
Credit National Corvette Museum

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green is getting closer to pulling out the three remaining cars from a massive sinkhole. 

Marketing and Communications Director Katie Frassinelli says a 1993 ZR-1 Spyder will be retrieved next, possibly in the next couple of days. 

Workers spent last week vacuuming dirt out of the sinkhole that opened up beneath the museum February 12.  Eight Corvettes on display in the Skydome fell into the 50-foot-deep hole. 

Besides the Spyder, the 2009 1.5 millionth car and a 2001 Mallett Hammer Z-06 are still inside the sinkhole. 

As they are retrieved, the cars are being placed on display at the museum before they are sent to Michigan for restoration.

Regional
2:02 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Kentucky Legislature Sends E-Cigarette Bill to Governor's Desk

Anyone younger than 18 would be barred from buying electronic cigarettes in Kentucky under a bill the state Legislature has approved.

The Senate gave the bill final approval on Monday. It will become law unless Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear vetoes it.

Teenagers under 18 are already banned from buying tobacco products in Kentucky. This bill updates that ban to include electronic cigarettes.

Electronic cigarettes resemble traditional cigarettes, except they are battery powered and the person inhales a vapor instead of smoke.

The ban would prohibit anyone under 18 from buying, possessing or using electronic cigarettes.

Regional
12:24 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Power Restored to WKU Fine Arts Center

Ivan Wilson Fine Arts Center
Credit WKU

Crews have restored power to the Ivan Wilson Fine Arts Center at WKU and the building will re-open at 1 p.m. Monday.  The university says classes will resume Tuesday morning at 8 a.m.

The building lost power Wednesday night, leading to the cancelation of classes Thursday, Friday and Monday.

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Regional
8:52 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Kentucky School Superintendent Charged with DUI

Larue County Public Schools Superintendent Sam Sanders
Credit Larue County Board of Education

A central Kentucky school superintendent has been charged with DUI after being arrested while driving a board of education vehicle.

Hodgenville Police Chief Steve Johnson told WAVE-TV in Louisville officers arrested LaRue County school chief Sam Sanders early Saturday morning for a DUI in a car registered to LaRue Board of Education.

Johnson says Sanders was taken to LaRue County Detention Center and released shortly after he was brought there.

Sanders is charged with DUI first offense and speeding in excess of 15 over the speed limit.

Jail records did not list an attorney for Sanders.

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