Becca Schimmel

Multimedia Journalist

Becca Schimmel is a multimedia journalist with the Ohio Valley ReSource a collaborative of public radio stations in Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio.  She's based out of the WKU Public Radio newsroom in Bowling Green. 

Becca was born in Charleston, SC but grew up in Lexington, Kentucky. You can often find her behind a book or near a cup of coffee. In her time away from the newsroom she enjoys running and lifting weights. She’s a sucker for unintentional puns, a good cup of coffee, a nice craft beer and a story.

Becca earned her Bachelor of Science in journalism from Murray State University with a minor in psychology. She interned with The Paducah Sun in Paducah as a general assignment reporter. From there she went on to become Morning Edition producer and general assignment reporter for WKMS in Murray.

WalletHub

A new study ranks Kentucky the third least environmentally-friendly state in the nation.

Vermont was ranked the most environmentally friendly, with West Virginia coming in last.

 

The WalletHub study compared states across three key factors--environmental quality, eco-friendly behaviors, and climate-change contributions. Kentucky ranked 48th overall, and last in the category of environmental quality.

Wikimedia Commons, Ichabod

Allen County schools will now have a school resource officer for each of its four schools after the Board of Education decided to hire two additional officers.

 

Previously Allen County schools had two resource officers, who were splitting their time between the schools. Assistant Superintendent of Operations Brian Carter said the district decided to add the new officers because of the recent school shootings at Marshall County High School in western Kentucky and Parkland, Florida.

Becca Schimmel

Students and university employees gathered on Western Kentucky University’s campus Thursday at a rally for higher education funding. The event was intended to bring attention to budget cuts, pension increases and faculty and staff reductions.

Governor Matt Bevin recently signed a new pension bill into law that will preserve most benefits for current and retired teachers but moves new hires into a hybrid plan that puts less risk on the state. Jeremy McFarland is a senior at WKU and was registering people to vote at the rally.

Flickr-Creative Commons-Floyd Wilde

A bill signed into law by Governor Matt Bevin is aimed at helping Kentucky veterans start businesses by waiving filing fees.

 

The law applies to veterans and active duty military service members. Veteran owned businesses started after August 1-2018 are exempt from paying filing fees for articles of incorporation, articles of organization, and other documents.

flickr creative commons Virginia Department of Transportation

Inmates at the Daviess County Detention Center will be able to participate in a work program again, thanks to the renewal of a contract with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and increased staffing at the jail.

The Daviess County Detention Center had a contract with the state’s transportation cabinet last year but couldn’t implement the program due to staffing shortages. The Messenger-Inquirer reports inmates will work for eight hours a day and a maximum of 160 hours a month.

Flickr/Creative Commons/John Bratseth

A new private preschool catering to special-needs children is opening in Owensboro.

The 30-week program will accept children with and without special-needs.

 

The Messenger-Inquirer reports Play Smart Preschool is the third private special-education preschool in the state, with the other two in Frankfort and Louisville. The maximum class size will be 18 students.

Angel's Envy

The Kentucky whiskey distiller Angel’s Envy is planting more than 12,000 trees in the Daniel Boone National Forest. The move is part of the company’s sustainability program.

In September of last year Angel’s Envy fans shared photos on social media with #AE4THETREES. The company counted more than 12,000 photos and posts with the hashtag, so they’re planting a tree for almost every post. Kyle Henderson is the production manager at the Louisville-based Angel’s Envy. He said it means a lot to him to be part of the sustainability effort.

flickr creative commons Gage Skidmore

The Democratic National Committee is paying close attention to recent teachers’ rallies in Kentucky and other states. Kentucky educators have been rallying at the state capitol in an effort to fight for their pension benefits and increased state support for public education.  

DNC chair Tom Perez said the teacher rallies in Kentucky, West Virginia and Oklahoma are inspiring. He said he’s glad to see teachers standing up and taking action. He told WKU Public Radio the renewed activism and energy is an opportunity for the Democratic party.

WKU Athletic Communications

Greg Collins was officially introduced as the 11th Western Kentucky University women’s head basketball coach Wednesday. He’s been a collegiate assistant coach for 16 years, including the last six seasons at WKU.

He said he worked closely with previous WKU head coach, Michelle Clark-Heard, and doesn’t expect to change much about the program. Collins said he stayed at WKU because he never wanted to bounce around from place to place.

Mary Meehan | Ohio Valley ReSource

A tax reform bill that passed Monday by Kentucky lawmakers is now awaiting a decision from Governor Matt Bevin. Some economists are saying the tax plan is more of a tax shift from wealthy individuals to middle and low income Kentuckians.

 

The plan would reduce the income tax rate for individuals as well as corporations. It would also broaden the services that could be taxed, such as landscaping, pet grooming and janitorial work.

Thinkstock

A study by a Campbellsville University professor finds Kentucky has a lack of standardized programs aimed at helping former inmates re-enter society.

 

The Kentucky Department of Corrections released more than 1,200 inmates in 2017. According to the report, two-thirds of those inmates will be rearrested within three years.

Dale Wilson is a professor at Campbellsville and author of the study. He said while there’s high participation in substance abuse programs, there’s a lack of programs that prepare inmates for getting a job once they’ve served their time.

Thinkstock

Kentucky is ranked the second most federally dependent state in the nation.

A recent study by WalletHub looked at two key factors: state government dependency and resident dependency. Kentucky’s government is ranked fourth in dependency on federal money, but is only ranked 23rd in the share of federal jobs. Analyst Jill Gonzalez said there are some drawbacks to being so dependent on federal money.

Owensboro Health

Owensboro Health Regional Hospital is now one of just ten Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner-Ready--or “SANE”--facilities in the state.

The SANE certification was created by the state legislature and signed into law in 2016. The 100-hour training program is available to registered nurses in the state.

Creative Commons

A bill to arm some Tennessee teachers is moving along in the state’s legislature.

The legislation would allow a select number of teachers to carry guns at schools across the Volunteer State.

The Tennessean reports it would expand a 2016 law that already allows two rural counties to have armed teachers on school grounds. Supporters say the bill is necessary because less than half of the state’s schools have a school resource officer due to a lack of funding.

Becca Schimmel

Bottles of bourbon make their way through the assembly line at Maker’s Mark, one of ten distilleries on the Kentucky bourbon trail. They’re cleaned, filled, capped and then dipped in the company’s signature red wax, a tradition that started with the wife of the distillery’s founder, Bill Samuels.

"She took red sealing wax, she put it in her family's deep fryer right there in the kitchen, dipped the first bottle of Maker’s Mark right there in her kitchen,” a tour guide explained. “She brought it out to Bill Samuels Sr. as he was sitting there in the kitchen and he hated it. Well, you see who won."


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