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.

Becca Schimmel

A vigil calling for solidarity with Charlottesville, Virginia, and an end to white supremacy was held in downtown Bowling Green Sunday night. The event was in response to the deadly attack on counter-protesters at a white supremacist rally Saturday in Charlottesville that killed one person and injured at least 19 others.

About 200 people attended the vigil, holding candles in support of victims and signs in protest of white supremacy. Will Heller brought his son to the event to show him how people can come together and unite against hate.

 

 

Becca Schimmel

Congressman Brett Guthrie said he’s not sure if his Republican colleagues in the Senate will be able to repeal and replace Obamacare this year. He made these comments at a town hall style gathering Wednesday in Bowling Green.

Guthrie said he supports repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act at the same time. The Bowling Green Republican said the House did its job by sending a bill to the Senate that would have accomplished that task. But the Senate wasn’t able to get 50 votes to pass several versions of reform. Guthrie said he isn’t sure if repeal and replace will happen this year.

Students at a Hardin County elementary school will have access to a unique behavioral health program this fall. The program is a partnership between Meadow View Elementary and Communicare, a mental health clinic in the region.

The program will accept up to ten students who have severe mental or behavioral health problems. Raquel Strickland, manager for Communicare, said participating students will take their classes separately from other students for an average of nine weeks.

Becca Schimmel | Ohio Valley ReSource

The Islamic Center in Bowling Green is sponsoring a first-of-its-kind Unity Festival Friday.

The Islamic Center hopes the event will bring local officials and the Muslim and refugee population closer together.

Backpacks and school supplies will be handed out to the 210 children expected to attend. The event is not open to the public, because the Islamic center is only providing supplies to the children expected to attend.

Flickr/Creative Commons

Owensboro Health is beginning a new partnership with the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center. It will focus on sharing research and resources for clinical trials.

Under the agreement announced Wednesday, cancer patients being treated at Owensboro Health's Mitchell Center won’t have to travel to participate in clinical trials. Eligible patients will now have access to new treatments in Owensboro.

Becca Schimmel

The Tennessee Valley Authority’s combined cycle gas plant in Muhlenberg County has produced more than one million megawatts of energy in its first three months of operation. It’s part of the federal utility’s effort to diversity its energy portfolio.

The natural gas facility in Drakesboro produces about 1,025 megawatts of electricity, or enough power for half a million homes. The cost of the project is estimated at about $850 million. Bob Deacy is a TVA senior vice president and has been building plants for more than 30 years. He said there’s a lot of fuel switching going on across the country, and having a diverse energy portfolio will save consumers money.

Flickr/Creative Commons

The first of two public hearings seeking input on Governor Bevin’s Medicaid waiver was held Friday in Somerset.

Governor Bevin wants to overhaul the Medicaid program, in hopes of moving more people to private insurance coverage. Bevin said Kentucky can’t afford to pay for everyone that gained coverage when Medicaid was expanded.

 

The new plan calls for Medicaid recipients to pay premiums of up to $15 a month. Beneficiaries would be required to work or volunteer for 20 hours a week in order to keep their benefits. Those requirements don’t apply to everyone.

Bob Jagendorf/Flickr

Steel makers and manufacturers around the Ohio Valley are waiting for a report from the Trump administration that could trigger higher tariffs on imported steel and bring mixed results for a region that still has strong ties to the industry.

In the presidential campaign Trump told voters he would place sanctions on steel imports from China and other countries, and the report being prepared by the Commerce Department could provide a rationale for new tariffs.


Becca Schimmel

From the outside Summit Aviation, in the small town of Somerset, Kentucky, looks like any other nondescript, white warehouse. But inside workers craft parts for drones, weapons casings, wing stabilizers and other high-flying products.

Summit is one of many small manufacturers making up the growing aerospace industry in the Ohio Valley. Highly specialized companies are landing in Kentucky and Ohio for the proximity to important raw materials and the promise of some political sway.


Thomas Galvez/Creative Commons

An organization representing public school employees in Kentucky is worried about the impact charter schools will have on the commonwealth.

 

A law that went into effect this year allows applications for charter schools in Kentucky for the first time. Charter schools will receive taxpayer funding, but will also be exempt from most state regulations governing public schools. Stephanie Winkler, president of the Kentucky Education Association, is worried charter schools will focus on profits, not children.

Flickr/Creative Commons/ BuzzFarmers

Bowling Green’s homeless population has increased slightly this year over 2016. However, local support groups believe the increase may be due to homeless individuals coming to the city from other areas.

The Kentucky Housing Corporation’s recently released count shows Warren County has a homeless population of about 150 people. That’s 22 more than were counted last year. Brent Childers, Director of Neighborhood and Community Services in Bowling Green, said some of the homeless people are coming from surrounding states and counties.

Becca Schimmel

An event celebrating refugees in Bowling Green will feature some new faces and voices this year. Up to 10 high school students will take the stage Saturday at World Refugee Day.

 

The students are from Geo International, a four year high school serving about 180 students from 25 different countries. Most of the students are refugees, or children of refugees. Several of the students will go on stage and share their personal stories.

 

Zaid Ali graduated from Geo this year, and is native of Iraq. He said he decided to participate for the first time because he has a message he wants to share.

Fuse/Getty Images

A new report finds doctors in Kentucky diagnosed more cases of opioid addiction for people with private insurance than any other state in 2016.

 

The report is by Amino, a health-care transparency company that aims to estimate the costs of care. The Courier-Journal reports 23 of every 1,000 Kentuckians were diagnosed with an opioid use disorder in 2016. Nationally, 1.4 million privately insured patients were diagnosed with opioid use disorder--that’s six times more than in 2012.

Lisa Autry

A refugee resettlement agency in Bowling Green is reporting an uptick in donations.

The International Center of Kentucky has received more than $20,000 in donations since February.

 

Executive Director Albert Mbanfu said that’s an unprecedented level of giving. He said when President Trump issued a travel ban in January, resettlement agencies saw a drop in revenue.

 

“So we had to go out to the community to seek support. Here at the international center we went out and met with groups, churches, etc. They were so sympathetic,” Mbanfu said.

Ohio Valley ReSource

With a speech planned for Cincinnati’s Ohio River waterfront, President Donald Trump has chosen a fitting venue to talk about infrastructure improvements. The Ohio Valley is home to aging highways, bridges, and dams, poor drinking water systems, and weak internet service for many rural residents.

A report from the American Society of Civil Engineers found that Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia need billions of dollars for improvements to drinking and wastewater systems and have more than 700 dams considered “high hazards.”   


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