Emil Moffatt

ATC Host/Reporter

Emil Moffat joined the WKU Public Radio news team in August, 2013, after working as a news anchor and feature reporter at WBAP radio in Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX.

Emil is our local voice during All Things Considered on WKU Public Radio, anchoring our local newscasts and breaks, and producing feature stories that will air during ATC and Morning Edition. He also contributes to our online and social media efforts.

In addition to his work on the air and online, Emil is the go-to expert for baseball knowledge at WKU Public Radio. Before taking the job at WBAP, Emil was the play-by-play broadcaster for the minor-league Ft. Worth Cats baseball team.

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Health
7:38 pm
Sun September 7, 2014

Foundation Looking To Award More Grants To Cover Family Medical Expenses in Kentucky

Tonya Ratliff’s 15-year-old son Tyler has been living with diabetes for 10 years.  Two years ago, doctors told the Owensboro family they’d have to start replacing the insert in Tyler’s diabetes pump more frequently.

“It already was a lot, and that would double it," she said. "So I was like ‘I don’t think I can do that,'."

With three sons, it would be an extra financial burden the Ratliff family. Their doctor told them about a foundation that helps pay for medical expenses not covered by a healthcare plan.  

Since 2007, the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation has given 7,500 grants across the country. In the last three years, 90 of them have been in Kentucky, providing nearly $300,000 for families with children 16 and under. The organization is trying to increase the number of Kentucky families who receive assistance.

“It was a life-changing experience for us, because we literally lived paycheck to paycheck and this was a great burden off of us,” said Ratliff.

The program can cover up to $5,000 dollars in expenses, and each child can receive a maximum of $10,000 over a lifetime.

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Business
9:21 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Tom Hanks Typewriter App Created By Hitcents Team In Bowling Green

Stuart Westphal was the lead designer on the Hanx Writer app, a program that simulates a vintage typewriter for the iPad
Credit Hitcents

A new iPad app that attempts to recreate the experience of banging away at a manual typewriter is the brainchild of actor Tom Hanks and the creative minds at Hitcents in Bowling Green. 

Stuart Westphal was the point man for Hitcents on the project called “Hanx Writer”. Westphal says more than 20 members of the Hitcents team worked together to create the app. Designs for the project were inspired by actual manual typewriters.  

“It was actually a lot of fun,” said Westphal. “Tom sent three of his vintage typewriters to our Bowling Green office, which is our headquarters here at Hitcents. We unboxed them and it was kind of like a little holiday here at the office.”

Down to the smallest detail, the app is meant to replicate the look and sound of using a typewriter.

“Every opportunity that we get to go that extra mile, even if it’s something that not everybody would pay attention to, that’s important to us, and that goes all the way down to our code,” said Westphal.

Hear Tom Hanks’ interview with NPR’s Audie Cornish about the “Hanx Writer.” 

Regional
2:47 pm
Sat August 30, 2014

Cost, Aesthetics Lead To Decision To Fill In Corvette Museum Sinkhole

Two Corvettes sit in the sinkhole in the Skydome portion of the museum before they were removed this spring.
Abbey Oldham/WKU Public Radio

More than six months after a 45-foot sinkhole swallowed eight classic cars at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, the museum’s board of directors has decided the fate of the hole and the Corvettes that were rescued from its depths.

Earlier this summer, board members had strongly considered leaving part of the sinkhole intact and making it part of the museum experience.  But the estimated costs associated climbed to over a million dollars.

On Saturday morning, as thousands of Corvette fans buzzed around the museum, the board decided the sinkhole would be completely filled in a project set to begin this November.

“We really wanted to preserve a portion of the hole so that guests for years to come could see a little bit of what it was like, but after receiving more detailed pricing, the cost outweighs the benefit,” the museum’s executive director, Wendell Strode said in a written statement.

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Regional
7:29 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Motorsports Park Grand Opening Part of Corvette Museum's 20th Anniversary

A Corvette owner drives around the new track at the National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park Thursday, August 28, 2014. The track opened Thursday morning and accompanied a weekend full of festivities for Corvette owners and enthusiasts.
Abbey Oldham/WKU Public Radio

The cars are already buzzing around the new Motorsports Park track across the highway from the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green.  Museum officials held a grand opening ceremony Thursday morning. 

Bill Thomas from Corpus Christi, Texas is among the thousands of Corvette owners who made the trip. He says he’s anxious to take his 2014 yellow convertible Z-51 on the track.

“I haven’t been on this track yet, but we had a police escort from Little Rock, and we got up to 112 miles an hour coming up here,” said Thomas.

Corvette Museum Executive Director Wendell Strode says plans originally called for only one portion of the track to be open by now, but says the project has come in ahead of schedule.  

“Because of the great support of yourselves, corporate sponsors, acre club members and many other folks that have stepped up,” Strode told the crowd gathered for the grand opening ceremony.  “Not only do we have a two-mile West course, we have a one-mile East course, a three-mile combined course and a 22-acre paddock.”

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Regional
3:57 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

At Bowling Green Treatment Plant, BGMU Keeps Close Eye on Warren County's Water

Although state-of-the-art computer equipment is now used to monitor Bowling Green's water supply, BGMU keeps a link to the past inside its water treatment plant.
Credit Emil Moffatt

For 72 hours earlier this month, residents in Toledo, Ohio were told not to use the city’s water because of  toxic algae bloom.  It’s a story that gave many a renewed appreciation for being able to turn on a faucet and drink what comes out.

In Warren County, Bowling Green Municipal Utilities is in charge of the treating the water and delivering it to the community.

Doug Kimbler, superintendent of treatment plants,  took us  on a tour last week so we could get a better idea of what actually goes into the process.  We started by overlooking the source: the Barren River on the east side of downtown. Then, we briefly stepped inside.

“We have two pumps actually running in here right now, it’s fairly hot day for Bowling Green. We’ll probably produce somewhere between 21 and 22 million gallons of water between Bowling Green and Warren County for the day,” said Kimbler above the din of the pumps.

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Regional
2:42 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Hoover: Kentucky Internet Woes Could Be Helped By Stalled Legislation

House Speaker Greg Stumbo (left), and Republican Floor Leader Jeff Hoover (right)
Credit Kentucky LRC

A recent survey shows Kentucky ranks near the bottom when it comes to average Internet speed. One Kentucky lawmaker says a bill that passed with bi-partisan support the Senate, but languished in the House, could help boost access to broadband.  

Republican Floor Leader Jeff Hoover says Senate Bill 99 would have reduced companies’ obligation to provide traditional landline service to some areas of Kentucky, freeing them up to invest in broadband.

“Speaker[Greg] Stumbo made a commitment last summer that that bill would be voted on. He indicated he did not support it, but he would allow it to be voted upon this past legislation session,” said Hoover.

The bill was approved by the Kentucky Senate on a 34-4 vote, but was not put up for a full vote in the House.  The Jamestown Rep. says the bill was changed this year to reduce the number of residents whose traditional landline service might be affected. He says it would have been less than 5,000 households.

“But the important thing was, it would have allowed AT&T and some others to move forward on their hundreds of millions of dollars of investment in infrastructure to better serve those exact areas,” said Hoover.

Critics object to the part of the bill that lets phone companies cut back on the areas in which they’re required to provide landline telephone service.

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Regional
7:41 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Late Perryville Man's Extensive Civil War Collection To Be Auctioned Off

A reenactment at the Perryville Battlefield site
Credit Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site

At an auction house in North Carolina Tuesday morning, hundreds of Civil War artifacts hit the auction block.  The collection represents the life’s work of a Perryville, Kentucky man who died in April.

Jimmy Johnson says his company, based in Angier, N.C., has been dealing with Civil War relics for 30 years.  

“Lots of times you get little bits and pieces of different collections, but in this case, we’ve just got such a wide variety of different items,” said Johnson 

The collection belonged to James “Cotton” Reynolds of Perryville. He was 84 when he died this spring.

His two daughters were at the auction house Monday where hundreds of collectors previewed the trove of Civil War artifacts.

 “Obviously they’re excited, it is an emotional thing anytime you’re selling your parents items, it’s an emotional event,” said Johnson.  “But they saw their Daddy nurture these items and collect them over the years.” 

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Arts & Culture
9:25 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

As Kentucky Hemp Pilot Projects Continue, Documentary Promotes Plant as Building Material

A hemp plant in Hopkinsville
Credit Bringing It Home the Movie

A documentary called "Bringing it Home," which trumpets the benefits of industrialized hemp, was shown before an audience in downtown Hopkinsville Saturday.

The film, by two North Carolina filmmakers spotlights the effort to use hemp as a building material for homes and warehouses.

 “[It’s] a material that is mold and mildew resistant, fire-retardant, pest-resistant and in addition to that, it’s absorbing carbon out of the atmosphere as well as toxins. What they’ve found is that it’s not only breathable but a very good thermal regulating construction material," said film co-director Linda Booker.

Booker has shown the documentary in several states, says the film was well-received in Christian County.

 “It was really great to see such a diverse audience of all ages,” said Booker.   “I know that there were farmers there and people just interested in looking at new job opportunities and new economic opportunities for your state.  And of course we talk about this on a national level as well."

Several industrial hemp pilot projects associated with state universities continue this summer across Kentucky. The mission of those projects is to figure out which types of hemp seeds grow best in the current climate.  The documentary’s co-director is Blaire Johnson.

Regional
11:04 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Officials, Neighbors Celebrate Opening of Bowling Green Roundabout

A worker with Scotty's Contracting holds a sign at the roundabout in Bowling Green on Friday, August 8, 2014.
Abbey Oldham/WKU Public Radio

For months, crews with heavy construction equipment have been busily converting a busy Bowling Green intersection from one controlled by traffic lights to a roundabout.

“It’s been a little chaos, but we’ve managed,” said Betty Kirby who lives in the neighborhood.

“But this whole week, we haven’t gotten any U.S. Mail and I really didn’t think that was necessary to stop the mail. We got here, so I don’t know why they didn’t bring the mail. I guess it’ll get here next week,” she said.

Kirby says the roundabout should help relieve congestion in the intersection as long as drivers “watch what they’re doing – which they don’t a lot of times.”

The roundabout at the intersection of University Boulevard, the 31-W Bypass and Loving Way was officially unveiled Friday morning with a ribbon- cutting ceremony.  Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon was among the state, county and city officials who attended.

“I think this is an extraordinary advantage to moving traffic safely and continuously through this tremendously active roadway.  This intersection is very important to getting people to and from work and home safely,” said Buchanon.

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Fancy Farm 2014
12:25 am
Sun August 3, 2014

The Sounds (and Sights) of Fancy Farm 2014

A volunteer adds firewood. BBQ pork and mutton are big parts of Fancy Farm along with hot dogs and burgers
Emil Moffatt

The first weekend in August in western Kentucky means only one thing: Fancy Farm. The small town suddenly transforms into the epicenter of the Kentucky political universe.

And to keep a tradition going for 134 years, it takes some pretty committed volunteers.

“Each family in the church has a responsibility and this family has taken care of the hamburgers and hot dogs for decades,” said Will Hayden, who was working the grill Saturday morning.

Hayden and Brad Page of Fancy Farm spoke to us as they were cooling down after a long morning and afternoon tending to a hot grill. Page says they normally start grilling between 7:00 and 7:30 in the morning. Fancy Farm has been a part of their lives as long as they can remember.

“Oh, I’m 45, so 42 [Fancy Farms] that I know of,” said Hayden.

Page also says he started volunteering as a child.

“It’s been handed down generation to generation.  I’ve got my kids, and his kids,”  said Page pointing to Hayden. “Hopefully they’ll get in there and get at it.”

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