David became Director of Educational Telecommunications at WKU on July 1, 2014.

Regional
9:47 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Man's Body Found Beside Highway in Somerset

Police say they think a Somerset man found dead alongside a roadway was hit by a car.

The body of 45-year-old Ricky Meredith was found Tuesday morning alongside a highway in Pulaski County. 

Sheriff's Detective Brett Whitaker told The Commonwealth Journal that it appears Meredith was headed west when he was struck by an eastbound vehicle. He said the accident probably occurred Sunday night or early Monday.

Police are searching for any witnesses who might have seen Meredith walking along the road.

The body was sent to Frankfort for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

Regional
8:55 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Kentucky Pastor Arrested in Tennessee on Sex Charges

Police say a Kentucky pastor who is a registered sex offender has been arrested in Tennessee on rape charges involving a juvenile.

The Tennessean reports 46-year-old Roy Neal Yoakem is charged with aggravated statutory rape, sexual battery by an authority figure and statutory rape by an authority figure. He is being held at the Sumner County jail.

The newspaper reports Yoakem is accused of having sex with a 14-year-old boy at the New Gospel Outreach Church in Scottsville, Kentucky, where Yoakem is a pastor, and at a residence in Gallatin, Tennessee. He is also facing charges in Kentucky.

His attorney in Kentucky wasn't in the office Wednesday and didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

Gallatin police said Yoakem was convicted in 2005 in of sexual abuse in Kentucky.

Regional
8:45 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Auditor Sets Public Hearings on Kentucky's Rural Hospitals

Kentucky State Auditor Adam Edelen will visit Westlake Regional Hospital in Columbia, Kentucky on Aug. 12.
Credit Westlake Regional Hospital

Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen has set 10 hearings across the state to discuss the fiscal health of rural hospitals.

Edelen's office says 45 percent of Kentucky residents receive health care at small, community hospitals and that the facilities help drive local economies.

The hearings start next week in Prestonsburg and continue through Aug. 12 in Campbellsville. They kick off a study by Edelen's office to look at challenges facing small hospitals. The auditor's office is seeking financial records of dozens of rural hospitals and plans to issue a report this fall.

Edelen's office says hospital administrators and staff, local elected officials, other health care providers and the public are invited.

A list of hearing locations can be found at www.auditor.ky.gov.

Politics
4:33 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Conway Announces First-Quarter Fundraising Totals, Decries Super PAC Influence

Jack Conway

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jack Conway is concerned about the influence that a conservative 501(c)(4) group could have on Kentucky’s fall elections and beyond.

Americans for Prosperity was founded in 2004, and was led by David Koch of the billionaire, right-wing Koch brothers fame. The group and its network of undisclosed donors spent $40 million in 2010 to wrest control of the U.S. House from Democrats.

And with the recent announcement that the group has hired a director for its Kentucky chapter, Attorney General Conway says he’s concerned that the network of “dark” campaign money will warp Kentucky politics.

“I don’t think we ought to let in Kentucky state politics happen what’s happened at the federal level," said Conway. " Because people raise money for Senate campaign or House campaigns, and all of a sudden the corporate interests come in in the end and outspend what the individuals raised, and they treat the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives like it’s members are just nothing more than pawns in a larger corporate game.”

Read more
Regional
2:04 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Fountain Temporarily Shut Down at Bowling Green's Circus Square Park

Circus Square Park near downtown Bowling Green
Credit Emil Moffatt

One way many Bowling Green families cool off in the summer is with a stop by Circus Square Park near downtown.  But the water fountain at the center of the square that often serves as a playground for small children won’t be working for the next few weeks. 

On Monday, crews discovered a hydrochloric acid leak that damaged some of the underground wiring for the pumps that operate the fountain.  City spokesperson Kim Lancaster says a contractor is currently evaluating how much damage was done.

“It looks like we have a good chance of getting the fountain at least partially operational in the next couple of weeks,” said Lancaster.  “It may not have all of the pumps running and it may not have the patterns that we like to run.”

Lancaster says an estimated timetable for a full repair is still unknown.  She says the hydrochloric acid is used to maintain a pH balance of the chlorine, much like a swimming pool.

Politics
10:06 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Rand Paul Co-Sponsors Measure to Help Scrub Certain Criminal Records

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul

Kentucky’s junior U.S. Senator is partnering with a Democratic colleague to help low-level offenders wipe their criminal records clean. Republican Rand Paul of Bowling Green and Cory Booker of New Jersey plan to introduce legislation that would encourage states to increase the age of criminal responsibility to 18.

The bi-partisan effort is being called the REDEEM Act, and would automatically expunge the records of juveniles who commit nonviolent crimes before they turn 15 and would automatically seal the records of those who commit them after.

The bill would also create a broad-based federal path for sealing criminal record for adults, with non-violent offenders able to petition courts to make their case.  

Paul is considering a run for the White House in 2016, and a new Quinnipiac University poll shows the Kentucky Senator narrowly leading his potential GOP rivals with 11 percent ofthe vote. That’s just ahead of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who had the support of 10 percent of respondents.

Sports
9:27 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Gloves Used by Muhammad Ali in Famous Bout to Be Auctioned Off

The boxing gloves worn by Muhammad Ali in one of his most famous fights are being sold at auction. The Louisville native—then known as Cassius Clay—wore the gloves in 1971 during the first of his three fights against Joe Frazier.

The gloves will be up for bidding July 31 at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland. When the gloves were auctioned in 2012, they  sold for nearly $386,000.

Ali used the gloves in what was called the “Fight of the Century.” Ali and Frazier were both undefeated heading into the event at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Frazier knocked Ali down and won a 15-round decision.

Economy
3:52 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Beshear Announces $1.3 Million For Eastern Kentucky Revitalization

Gov. Steve Beshear
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

Gov. Steve Beshear on Monday announced $1.3 million in grants for an initiative  to create jobs in the depressed coal regions of Eastern Kentucky.

The state plans to use $1 million to fund 52 full-time AmeriCorp positions  to shore up "youth engagement, education success and health and human services over the next year," according to a news release from the governor's office. About $312,000 "will support implementation and technical assistance by a consortium of nine Area Development Districts located in the region."

Beyond that, it's unclear how the money will be administered by the 12-member executive committee of the SOAR, or Shaping Our Appalachian Region, initiative.

Beshear, a Democrat, and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, a Republican who represents Eastern Kentucky, unveiled SOAR in December in an attempt to gather ideas for revitalizing the economically devastated coal communities in Eastern Kentucky.

Read more
Regional
2:38 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Former Law School Classmates Seek to Honor Slain Somerset Attorney

Classmates of a murdered Somerset attorney are honoring his memory by seeking to create an endowment in his name. Mark Stanziano, 57, was shot and killed June 27 outside his law office in downtown Somerset. A suspect charged with the murder has pleaded not guilty.

Shortly after news of the killing broke, a group of Stanziano’s former University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law classmates decided to begin a fundraising campaign towards an endowment that would benefit the school’s moot court team.

U of L development officer J.P. Davis says the team offers law students the chance to practice what they’ve learned in a mock courtroom setting.

“The competition actually provides students with the opportunity to practice traditional appellate advocacy, mock trials, and alternative dispute resolution skills. It basically gives them an experiential opportunity to hone in on those skills,” Davis told WKU Public Radio.  

Davis says the school is setting a $25,000 goal for the endowment.

Pages