Regional
5:17 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Bowling Green UAW Leader Fired by GM

Long-time United Auto Workers Union President Eldon Renaud is out at the Bowling Green General Motors Plant. 

Spokeswoman Andrea Hales confirmed that Renaud is no longer employed at the plant.  Renaud had no comment when contacted Thursday morning by WKU Public Radio.  He served as the local UAW president since 1982 and had been a GM employee for more than 40 years. 

Renaud had been critical of Plant Manager Dave Tatman, who resigned abruptly in February.   In April, the union voted to authorize a strike if the plant didn’t resolve some safety and quality issues.  A strike never occurred.

Renaud also served as Bowling Mayor from 1996 to 2000. 

Summer Camp
4:00 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Photo Gallery: Aviation Camp in Bowling Green

Hannah Ward (left), 13 of Smiths Grove, and Megan Jones, 11 of Bowling Green, observe Kurt Jefferson, aeronautics instructor from Lexingon, during Aviation Camp at the Bowling Green Regional Airport on Tuesday, July 8, 2014.
Abbey Oldham

Dozens of kids from around the region are participating in Aviation Camp at the Bowling Green Regional Airport.

The instructors from the Aviation Museum of Kentucky travel to airports around the state during the summer exposing young Kentuckians to aviation. The campers are learning the basics of aeronautics, navigation, using flight simulators, and even flying airplanes with assistance from instructors.

Photojournalist Abbey Oldham photographed Aviation Camp on Tuesday, July 8, 2014. There are two Bowling Green camps, July 8-9 and 10-11.

Immigration Debate
4:46 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

In Bowling Green, Coalition of Eclectic Groups Speaks Out for Immigration Reform

Albert Mbanfu, Executive Director, Bowling Green International Center; Dalton Workman, Chairman, WKU College Republican; and H.H. Barlow, Owner, Barlu Farms, Presidential Appointee to US Board for International Food & Agriculture Development speak in favor of national immigration reform during the press conference at the International Center in Bowling Green, Ky.
Credit Abbey Oldham

A coalition of business, political, and refugee-rights groups in south-central Kentucky is calling on Congress to pass immigration reform.  

As part of a so-called national “Day of Action”, representatives from various backgrounds spoke Wednesday in Bowling Green about the need for Congressional  leaders and the Obama Administration to get reform passed this year.

Barren County dairy farmer H.H. Barlow, a presidential appointee to the U.S. Board for International Food and Agriculture Development, said many Americans don’t understand the impact immigrant labor has on sectors such as the agriculture industry.

“I hate the word ‘criminals’, or ‘illegal aliens’—I don’t like that term. They’re workers. They’re performing an essential service to our country,” Barlow said.

The Barren County farmer said he speaks to his elected representatives about the need for immigration reform each time he sees them. Barlow believes that reform will not only benefit immigrants, but also the U.S. economy.

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Regional
3:05 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Indiana Agencies Told to Ignore Gay Marriages

Indiana Governor Mike Pence's office is telling state agencies to act as if no gay marriages had been performed during three days following a federal court order.

The memo from the governor's chief counsel tells executive branch agencies to execute their functions as though the June 25 court order had not been issued.

A federal judge in Indianapolis struck down the state's gay marriage ban as unconstitutional that day, leading to hundreds of same-sex marriages around the state. But an appeals court stayed that ruling three days later after an appeal from the state attorney general's office.

The governor's office told agencies to recognize the out-of-state marriage of Amy Sandler and Nikole Quasney of Munster, in line with the appellate court order. Quasney is dying of ovarian cancer.

Health
2:57 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Report: Kentucky Ranks 10th Lowest for Uninsured

A new report finds  that Kentucky’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act has dramatically reduced the number of uninsured people in the state.

The report, released Wednesday by the personal finance website WalletHub, finds that Kentucky now ranks 10th in the nation for the lowest number of uninsured individuals, at just under nine percent of the population. That number was over 17 percent before the ACA became law, reflecting an 8 percent drop in the rate in one year’s time.

It also found that about 30 percent of Kentuckians under 65 are enrolled in Medicaid.

Nearly 83,000 Kentuckians have enrolled in new private health insurance plans, and 265,000 have enrolled in  Medicaid as of April 2014.

Politics
2:42 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Koch-Tied Group's Arrival Points to Increased Interest In Kentucky State-Level Races

Credit Kevin Willis

The well-funded non-profit Americans for Prosperity's hiring of a Kentucky state director signals to many political observers outside donors' intense interest in this fall's state House races and beyond.

In a news  release on Tuesday, Americans for Prosperity announced that Julia Crigler, a former political director for the Kentucky House Republican Caucus, would lead its efforts in Kentucky.

Democrats maintain a narrow majority over Republicans in the state House, 54-46.

AFP was founded in 2004 and originally helmed by—and maintaining ties with, David Koch—a billionaire libertarian industrialist known for his political and financial support for conservative causes alongside his brother, Charles.

The organization is known for supporting traditionally pro-corporate and conservative issues, and has been a fervent critic of the Affordable Care, climate change and, more recently, net neutrality.

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Arts & Culture
1:59 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Harris, City of Danville To Receive Governor's Awards In The Arts

Larnelle Harris
Credit Larnelle Harris

WKU alumnus Larnelle Harris is among the winners of the 2014 Governor’s Awards in the Arts.  The honorees were announced Wednesday by the Kentucky Arts Council.  Harris has won five Grammy awards and is a member of the Gospel Hall of Fame. 

The City of Danville will be honored with the Government award for its contributions to the arts. Danville hosts the annual Great American Brass Band Festival each June.   

The awards will be presented in a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort in October.

Regional
1:18 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Judge Concerned About 1-Drug Execution Method

A Kentucky judge has expressed concerns about the state's plan to use a single drug to carry out lethal injections after the same method resulted in problems in neighboring Ohio.

The issues raised Wednesday by Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd could further delay Kentucky's ability to carry out death sentences and prolong the decade-long legal fight over how the state puts condemned inmates to death.

Shepherd told attorneys during a brief hearing in Frankfort that he may set a hearing about the state's proposal but didn't immediately set a date.

Ohio inmate Dennis McGuire repeatedly gasped and snorted and took 26 minutes to die during an execution in January.

Kentucky is seeking to implement both one- and two-drug lethal injection methods. Shepherd halted all executions in the state in 2010.

Politics
11:38 am
Wed July 9, 2014

McConnell, Grimes Agree... To Different Debates

Credit Offices of Sen. McConnell and Sec. Grimes

Sen. Mitch McConnell and Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes have agreed to debate each other - just not at the same time.

Tuesday, McConnell accepted an invitation to a candidate forum sponsored by the Kentucky Farm Bureau on Aug. 20. Grimes, meanwhile, has accepted an invitation to an Oct. 13 debate that would air on Kentucky Educational Television.

But the candidates have yet to agree to a debate they would both attend. One debate, to be hosted by WDRB, was canceled after McConnell accepted but Grimes did not.
 
McConnell has asked Grimes to agree to three debates with no audience and none after Labor Day. Grimes said she wants an audience and debates in September or October when more people will be paying attention to the election.

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Business
11:15 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Dart Container Corp Expanding Operations in Hart County

A Hart County manufacturer is announcing plans to expand its facility and add jobs. Dart Container announced today that it will invest $23 dollars to build a new 650,000 square foot warehouse in Horse Cave.

Up to 30 new jobs are expected to be created through the expansion.

Dart Container currently employs approximately 1,400 people at its Hart County operation, where it manufactures cups, bowls, plates, and other food and beverage supplies.

The Michigan-based Dart Container Corporation has been preliminarily approved for $900,000 in state tax incentives and benefits in connection with the project.

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