Politics
7:42 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Democrat Challenging for 2nd District U.S. House Seat Upset Over Income Inequality

The Democrat running for Kentucky’s Second District U.S. House seat says Congress should pass a federal minimum wage bill.

Ron Leach was in Glasgow Thursday, and told WKU Public Radio one of the biggest themes of this year’s election will be the growing income inequality seen throughout the nation in recent years. The retired U.S. Army Major says he’d like to see the minimum wage increased $10.10 an hour.

“There’s no excuse for anyone working full-time, 40 hours a week, living in poverty. So, beyond the minimum wage, we need to be looking at a living wage,” the Meade County Democrat said. “We have way too many folks out there working full-time or working multiple jobs, yet still qualify for federal assistance.”

Veach is running for the seat currently held by three-term Republican Brett Guthrie of Bowling Green. 

Veach attacked what he called “immoral levels of compensation at the top” while employees earn “poverty wages.”

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Regional
5:40 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Lawmaker Calls For Ethics Committee Reform If Special Session is Called

State Rep. Joni Jenkins
Credit Kentucky LRC

A Kentucky Representative says if a special legislative session is called for later this year, ethics reform should be on the agenda.

During the session, Rep. Joni Jenkins filed an amendment to an unrelated bill that would reconfigure the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission, which has come under fire after it found former lawmaker John Arnold not guilty of sexual harassment charges. But the Senate didn’t take up that bill.

Jenkins, a Louisville Democrat, is disappointed, but she plans to take up the issue as a bill next year, or, if Gov. Steve Beshear calls for a special session, she’ll advocate to have it included on the agenda. 

“You know, you hate to spend all that money.  I would hope that perhaps if he called a special session on some other issues that they’re talking about, perhaps he would think about including this,” said Jenkins.

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Regional
4:09 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Ex-Athletic Director Pleads Guilty To Stealing From Northern Kentucky

Scott Eaton
Credit Northern Kentucky University

A former Northern Kentucky University athletic director has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $300,000 from the school.

Attorney General Jack Conway says Scott Eaton pleaded guilty to a theft charge Thursday in Campbell Circuit Court.

Conway called Eaton's behavior "unconscionable" and says the 50-year-old agreed to serve the maximum term of 10 years in prison and repay $311,215 to the school.

Eaton's attorney did not immediately return calls and emails seeking comment.

Eaton was fired by the college's president last year over improper relationships with female employees and a student.

The school in Highland Heights hired an outside firm to review the athletic department's accounts, which eventually led to the charge.

Prosecutors say Eaton used his university-issued credit card to buy gift cards used to purchase items for his personal use.

Business
3:05 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Local Music Stores Set To Celebrate 'Record Store Day' Saturday

A sampling of the vinyl records that will be available exclusively in stores taking part in Record Store Day Saturday
Credit Emil Moffatt

Saturday will be a holiday of sorts for music aficionados and fans of vinyl records, in particular.  It’s the eighth annual Record Store Day, a nationwide event celebrating local brick-and-mortar record stores. 

Matt Pfefferkorn, who owns Mellow Matt’s Music & More in Bowling Green, says the vinyl industry continues to make a strong comeback.

“It’s never really gone away. It’s had its low points, but it’s been on a steady increase since 2007 or 2008. But I think people are finally coming off that MP3 ‘buzz’ that they had and finding out that actually vinyl does truly sound better and it’s a warmer sound.  The people that enjoy music – that’s what they want,” said Pfefferkorn.

According to numbers compiled by Nielsen Soundscan, vinyl record sales last year rose 32 percent, while CD sales continued to fall.   Pfefferkorn says people who frequent record stores enjoy a sense of community they bring.

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Regional
2:37 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Toyota Grant Teaches Rules of the Road to Kentucky High School Students

Kentucky State Police Trooper Jonathan Biven gives a safe driving presentation to students at Warren East High School.
Credit Toyota's Drew Mitchell

The Kentucky State Police agency is partnering with Toyota to educate high school students about the number one killer of teens: traffic crashes. 

“Alive at 25” is a defensive driving course that will be implemented statewide over the next two years with the help of a $150,000 dollar grant from Toyota operations in Kentucky. 

The program was taken to students at Warren East High School in Bowling Green on Thursday.  In the audience was 18-year-old Bradley Pearson who admits to texting while driving.

“I didn’t see it as that big of a deal, but after today, I know I need to stop," said Pearson.  "I text with other people in the car, and if I wreck it affects them just as much as it does me.”

Sixteen-year-old Patrick Burton considers himself a safe driver, partly because of the impact a distracted driving crash had on his family.

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Regional
12:44 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Stivers Faces Lawsuit Over Lack of Confirmation Hearing During Legislative Session

Senate President Robert Stivers
Credit Kentucky LRC

Campbellsville urologist Dr. James Angel is suing Senate President Robert Stivers, accusing him of blocking his re-appointment to the nine-member Fish and Wildlife Commission. A 2010 rule limits commission members to two terms, but Angel is grandfathered in.

Gov. Steve Beshear appointed Angel to a fourth term, but his appointment was never brought up for a confirmation hearing before the legislative session came to an end this week.

Angel says Stivers was behind the decision. In comments made to the Courier-Journal, Stivers called the legal action a “lawsuit of desperation”.   

Sports
10:28 am
Thu April 17, 2014

WKU To Host Opening Round of Women’s Preseason Basketball Tourney

Credit WKU Athletics

Fresh off an NCAA postseason appearance, the WKU women’s basketball team is looking forward to another tournament.  The school announced Thursday that Diddle Arena will serve as a host site for the opening round of the women’s preseason NIT tournament in November. 

“Not only being in the tournament, but having the chance to be one of the few schools to host is a sign of the national respect that our program has garnered in the women’s basketball world,” said WKU head coach Michelle Clark-Heard. “I am so excited for our team and our fan base to have the chance to have this event in E.A. Diddle Arena.”

The Lady Toppers have a 6-3 record all time in the preseason NIT tournament, which began in its current form in 1994.

The WNIT preseason tournament begins November 14th.

Regional
6:46 am
Thu April 17, 2014

T.J. Samson Hospital Cutting Jobs

T.J. Samson Community Hospital in Glasgow, Ky.
Credit T.J. Samson

T.J. Samson Community Hospital in Glasgow announced Wednesday that it will cut between 39 and 49 employees from all departments beginning immediately. The hospital released the news at a news conference in Glasgow.

The Bowling Green Daily News reports interim CEO Henry Royse said the difficult decisions were based on a costly roll out of an inadequate financial software program and the impact of the Affordable Care Act. Besides the staff layoffs, senior management and salaried physicians will have their pay cut by 10% and employees making more than $10 an hour will see reductions of 2% to 6% beginning in September.

Despite the decisions that the hospital was faced with, the administration claims to be still encouraged by the hospital's future. The cuts won't impact the quality or access to care "that drives nearly 1,200 employees of T.J. Samson every day," according to a news release.

This latest news comes after the non-profit hospital offered employees early retirement last year. At least two dozen people, including then CEO Bill Kindred, accepted that offer.

Sports
4:42 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

WKU's Brohm: College Football Scholarship System Working Fine

New WKU head football coach Jeff Brohm on the sidelines in 2013.
Credit WKU Athletics

New WKU head football coach Jeff Brohm says he doesn’t think college football players should be paid. A recent court decision gave players at Northwestern University the right to explore the formation of a union. But Brohm says scholarships and a college education are quite valuable.

“Obviously, there are different opinions on that. But I think the scholarship is the best way to handle things.  You can debate back-and-forth on ‘do they need more?’ but I feel good about the situation as it is. I think they’re always continuing to try to improve ways to take care of athletes, but I feel like they’re taken care of pretty well, myself,” said Brohm.

Brohm spoke Wednesday at the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club. Spring practices for the ‘Toppers football team culminate this Saturday with the Red vs. White scrimmage, which is open to the public and begins at 1 p.m.  The regular season begins in late August and will be WKU's first in Conference USA

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Regional
4:09 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Electronic Tracking Having No Impact on Meth Production in Warren County

The inside of a meth lab discovered by police in Barren County, Kentucky.
Credit Barren County Drug Task Force

The head of the Bowling Green-Warren County Drug Task Force says a methamphetamine bust this week is a perfect example of why Kentucky needs stronger laws concerning meth’s key ingredient. 

Four Bowling Green residents were arrested this week for “smurfing” pseudoephedrine, which is a meth precursor found in most over-the-counter cold and allergy drugs. 

"They were defeating the electronic tracking by using false identifications and hitting both states, which is exactly what we tried to tell the legislature two years ago, that electronic tracking really doesn't work, explained Tommy Loving, director of the Bowling Green-Warren County Drug Task Force.

Loving says to really curtail the crime, lawmakers should make pseudoephedrine available by prescription only. 

Kentucky's electronic tracking law has led to a 20% drop in meth labs statewide, but according to Loving, the law has had no effect in Warren County. 

Efforts to require a prescription for pseudoephedrine have failed in recent legislative sessions due to a strong lobby from the pharmaceutical industry. 

Under current Kentucky law, consumers are prevented from purchasing more than seven grams of pseudoephedrine per month without a prescription.  

The limit is higher in Tennessee, which Loving says, sends Kentuckians across the state line.

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