Regional
5:27 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Fort Knox Role in Housing Young Immigrants Dismisssed

No Central American youth are on their way to Fort Knox.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul Paul told the annual meeting of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Monday that the southern U.S. border has been so porous that some of the children would be shipped to Fort Knox. A Paul spokesman said in a follow-up statement the Senator's office was "aware that Fort Knox has been discussed as a possible location for unaccompanied migrant children."

However, the offices of two other members of Kentucky's federal delegation, Republican Congressman Brett Guthrie and Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth, say they've been told by the U.S. Health & Human Services Department that Fort Knox was briefly considered as a potential Unaccompanied Alien Children shelter, but it isn't being considered anymore.

Regional
5:46 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Alltech Expanding To Pikeville Hoping to Play Role In Revitalizing E. Kentucky

Alltech is investing about $24 million in a new Eastern Kentucky facility to help shore up economic development in the area.

Touted by Gov. Steve Beshear and Kentucky Congressman Hal Rogers, the development will expand Alltech’s distillery operations on a 380-acre reclaimed surface mine, and will grow to include aquaculture fish farms and an  egg laying operation.

Deirdre Lyons is director of corporate image for Alltech. She says Eastern Kentucky brings back memories  of her native homeland.

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Economy
4:11 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Report: Mammoth Cave National Park Visitors Contribute $40 Million Economic Impact

Mammoth Cave National Park is one of the top attractions in south-central Kentucky.
Credit Emil Moffatt

A new report shows tourism related to Mammoth Cave National Park is responsible for $40 million in economic benefit to the region.

The analysis conducted by a group of economists with the U.S. Geological Survey measured the impact of tourism dollars spent by park visitors in 2013. According to the report, 494,541 visitors came to Mammoth Cave National Park last year, with tourism dollars supporting 567 jobs in the region.

Mammoth Cave acting superintendent Lizzie Watts told WKU Public Radio the nearly half-a-million visitors who came to the south-central Kentucky attraction did more than just spend money. She says they also walked away with an enhanced respect for the region that they take back with them to their communities across the U.S. and globe.

“The environment of Mammoth Cave is one of the most unique in the whole world. So just the experience of walking in the cave for many people, it’s the one time--and maybe the only time—they get that experience. And they can take that all over the world and say ‘yes, I was in the largest cave system in the whole world.’”

Watts says Mammoth Cave is seeing an increase in the number of visitors interested in boating along the Green River, as well as those using the eight-mile Big Hollow Trail, which was opened in December to mountain bikers, hikers, and runners.

“The park itself is really a mecca for recreation above the ground, in many ways, both biking and hiking, and boating and canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding.”

Overall, the new report says the 273.6 million visitors to National Park Service attractions in 2013 spent  $14.6 billion in areas within 60 miles of a park.

Regional
4:08 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Kentucky Sees Drop in Food Stamp Recipients

For the first time since the Great Recession, most states are seeing a drop in the number of people relying on food assistance from the government. 

According to an analysis by a non-profit Washington D.C. think tank, 47 out of 50 states over the last year have seen their food stamp caseloads shrink.  The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities put Kentucky in the mix. 

Nearly 56,000 fewer Kentuckians were on food stamps at the end of June compared to a year ago, according to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

"There's a strong connection between how many people are eligible for food stamps or receiving food stamps to unemployment and the economy, so those things are pretty closely related," says Jason Bailey, executive director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy. 

Bailey says Kentucky is adding jobs, but at a modest pace.  He predicts it will be at least three years before the number of available jobs returns to pre-recession levels. 

Kentucky’s unemployment rate has been on a gradual decline for the past five months.  June’s jobless rate stood at 7.4%.

Regional
2:46 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Sen. Paul: Some Child Immigrants May Go To Fort Knox

Sen. Rand Paul
Credit Abbey Oldham/WKU Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul says Fort Knox is being considered as a possible place to temporarily house some of the immigrant children pouring across the country's southern border.

Paul spokesman Dan Bayens says the senator's office was notified that the Army post in central Kentucky has been under review as a place to take in an undetermined number of unaccompanied Central America minors.

Paul commented on the situation during a speech Monday to a Kentucky Chamber business summit in Louisville.

The Kentucky Republican spoke out against transporting the children to Fort Knox. He says they should be treated humanely until being returned to their home countries.

Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Tom Crosson says Fort Knox was on a short list of potential military sites to house the children.

Crosson says it was determined that Fort Knox won't be available until at least September due to ROTC training at the post.

The Border Patrol says more than 57,000 unaccompanied children have been apprehended since October. Three-fourths of them are from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Regional
5:00 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Cave City Voters to Decide Alcohol Expansion

In south central Kentucky, some Cave City voters will head to the polls tomorrow for an up or down vote on alcohol sales.  Voters will decide whether to approve package liquor sales. 

A strong supporter is Sharon Tabor, executive director of the Cave City Convention and Visitors Bureau.  She says when tourists are in town, Cave City loses business to Bowling Green.

"People will go south to Bowling Green," she adds.  "They will eat at restaurants and stay at hotels in Bowling Green, drive back to Cave City to enjoy Mammoth Cave or Dinosaur World, and then they go back to Bowling Green."

Tabor thinks Cave City is also losing out when it comes to economic development.  By voting to go “wet,” package stores could locate in the area. 

Cave City has been "moist" since 2006, meaning some restaurants can sell liquor by the drink if they meet certain state law requirements.

Corvette Homecoming
9:55 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Corvette Aficionados Brave Elements To Enjoy 33rd Annual 'Homecoming'

Jeff Snapp of Corbin, KY dries off his Corvette outside the Sloan Convention Center in Bowling Green on Saturday, July 19. Snapp's wife, Patty, says whenever they take their Corvette out, it always seems to rain.
Abbey Oldham/WKU Public Radio

It's said that every car has a story at the Corvette Homecoming

For 33 years, hundreds of the members of the very tight-knit community of Corvette owners make their way to Bowling Green for the Corvette Homecoming.  It’s happened every summer since 1981 and heat can usually be the biggest weather concern. But this year, the problem was rain.

There was a steady drizzle all day Saturday in Bowling Green – not conducive to walking around and looking at Corvettes in a parking lot. The cars were still there, just not in the numbers as have been seen in past years.  Most of the action was taking place inside, under the roof of the Sloan Convention Center where some of the most prized Corvettes were on display.

Fans of the car from all over the country were in attendance. For some, they make it a yearly pilgrimage.

“Just the camaraderieship. Mingling with people, having fun, talking Corvette stuff.  Good stuff,” said Cedric Wingo of Clarksville, Tennessee.

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NPR's Giles Snyder can be heard on NPR stations nationwide, bringing listeners the latest in national and international developments. His newscasts have been a regular part of NPR News' weekend overnight coverage since June 2004.

Prior to coming to NPR, Snyder worked for sixteen years at West Virginia Public Radio. He held a variety of on-air as well as managerial positions at the station, including operations director, program director, and the morning and local news anchor and reporter. He also spent time as the station's afternoon anchor/reporter.

Snyder has been awarded a variety of state Associated Press Awards for his newscasting role in public radio. He was also a proud member of an award-winning news team in West Virginia.

Politics
2:28 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

U.S. House Majority Leader-Elect in Bowling Green to Raise Money for GOP Efforts to Win State House

Rep. Brett Guthrie of Bowling Green (left), and the U.S. House Majority Leader-elect, Kevin McCarthy of California, spoke to reporters Saturday in Warren County ahead of a fundraiser.
Credit Abbey Oldham/WKU Public Radio

Republican efforts to win control of the Kentucky House got a boost from a national figure Saturday.

The incoming U.S. House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, was in Bowling Green to raise money for the Republican Party of Kentucky House Trust. McCarthy visited the commonwealth at the request of the state’s 2nd District Congressman, Brett Guthrie of Warren County.

Speaking to reporters before the fundraiser, Rep. McCarthy said what happens in state legislatures can often trickle up to the nation's capital.

“I feel states are able to show and be a generator of ideas greater than Washington--that you can do the pilot programs,” the California Republican said. “The whole concept of welfare reform came from states. States don’t get to print more money. States have to balance a budget. States have to move forward. They carry out agencies they didn’t create.”

Democrats have controlled the Kentucky House for over 90 years, and the party’s state leaders say they will continue to hold the chamber despite the amount of GOP money being raised ahead of the November election. Republicans would have to win a net gain of five seats this fall to take control of the House.

Multiple super PACs have been created by Republicans this year to boost their party’s efforts to win the chamber, including a group founded by GOP gubernatorial candidate Hal Heiner, and a PAC run by a Kentuckian who served as a top aide to Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign.

Broadening the Republican Party’s Appeal?

During his visit to The Club at Olde Stone in Bowling Green, McCarthy said he agreed with Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s recent statements about Republicans needing to expand the party’s appeal to groups that haven’t recently voted for the GOP in large numbers, such as African-Americans, Hispanics, and young people.

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Regional
5:25 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Portion of Hardin County Highway Named For Fallen Soldier

Spc. Nathaniel Garvin

A new stretch of highway connecting Kentucky Routes 220 and 313 in Hardin County has been named in honor of Specialist Nathaniel D. Garvin. 

Garvin, a Radcliff native, died in Kandahar, Afghanistan two days shy of his 21st birthday in July 2010.  He repaired electronics and avionics systems for the Army and had been assigned to Fort Campbell. 

When he died, he left behind a wife and two children.

A dedication was held Friday to mark the occasion after the Kentucky General Assembly passed a joint resolution honoring Garvin earlier this year.

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