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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Regional
4:15 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

State Awards $2 Million For Regional Port Facility in Meade County

A Kentucky community along the Ohio River is receiving $2 million to create a regional port facility.  The state’s Agricultural Development board has awarded the money to the Meade County Riverport Authority. 

Joe Wright, chairman of the authority says the port facility in Brandenburg will give farmers in the area a chance to process, store and load their product onto barges.

“We all know that a large portion of the grain produced in the United States goes overseas," said Wright. "To get overseas, it has to get on the water and the quicker you can get it on the water, the cheaper it is to sell and the better and easier it is to sell overseas."

Wright says the facility will serve seven counties in Kentucky and 2-3 counties across the river in Indiana.  When the port is completed, it’s estimated that 5-6 million bushels of grain will be shipped from the facility. Officials hope to double those numbers in coming years.

Regional
5:44 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Rain, Cooler Temperatures Highlight 2013 Kentucky Weather Review

Downtown Bowling Green

Kentucky has seen a stark contrast in weather patterns over the past two years.  State climatologist Stuart Foster says 2013 will go down as a year with mild temperatures and above-average rainfall.

“Last year, we had a very significant drought particularly in the western part of the state and some very high temperatures,” said Foster.  “But this summer, we never came close to 100 degrees the entire summer and instead of drought, we dealt with an excess of precipitation.”

On average, the state was one degree below normal, temperature-wise for the year, while rainfall totals were seven inches above normal.  Foster says the models don’t show much change in the outlook for 2014. 

“There are really kind of equal chances based on climatology looking ahead as to whether it’s going to be warm or cold, wet or dry. We just don’t have a strong signal right now,” said Foster.

Although March through May is typically regarded as “severe weather season” in Kentucky, the state saw incidents of tornados in both January and November of this year.

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Education
5:14 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Group Stresses Advantages of Advanced Placement Classes For Kentucky High Schoolers

A study finds the number of Kentucky high school students earning college credit through Advanced Placement classes has grown by 100 percent over the last five years. That’s double the national average, according to Joanne Lang with Advance Kentucky, a group that works with schools to encourage students to take advanced placement classes. She says AP classes give students a big head start.

“Just this week we released a study that shows the longitudinal impact – that is – how are kids doing in college,” said Lang. “Does AP participation in high school make a difference in how successful kids are in college? And we find it’s a resounding ‘Yes’.”

Lang says they’ve seen a boost in the number of low-income and minority students earning AP credit.

“It’s student populations that are traditionally underrepresented in advance placement – not only in Kentucky but nationwide,” said Lang. “That’s our target audience. Can we build many more of those students into the population of AP and rigorous success?”

Lang says Advance Kentucky strives to work with 10-20 new schools per year.  For the past five years it’s been funded by the National Math and Science Initiative, the Kentucky Department of Education and several other agencies, both public and private.

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Regional
9:18 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Owensboro Ponders Year-Round Marina at Ohio River

The Ohio River in Owensboro
Credit Emil Moffatt

The city of Owensboro has embraced the Ohio River in recent years, hoping it will lead to a revitalization of the downtown area and now the city is awaiting the results of a study on whether a marina would help attract even more residents and visitors to the river.

“We’ve asked these consultants to come back and tell us about the possibility of building not a seasonal marina, but a year-round marina at English Park," said city manager Bill Parrish.  "It would be just down the road from our downtown redevelopment."

The city recently built a convention center by the Ohio River and two hotels are under construction.

Parrish says that the study is expected to be complete by April 1.  Part of that study involves a public comment session at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the police department community room.

“This is a study to see if a marina makes sense and what the cost might be.  We would be absolutely open to it being operated by the city, by a private entity or a public-private partnership of some type,” said Parrish.

Arts & Culture
7:48 am
Sat November 30, 2013

Five-time Grammy Winner Larnelle Harris To Perform in Bowling Green

Larnelle Harris graduated from WKU in 1969
Credit Larnelle Harris

Larnelle Harris chats with WKU Public Radio about his career and upcoming performance with Orchestra Kentucky

It will be a homecoming of sorts Monday night at SKyPAC in Bowling Green as WKU alumnus Larnelle Harris performs at a Christmas concert with Orchestra Kentucky. 

“It’s going to be fun to get back and do this Christmas concert. It will kind of jump start our Christmas this year so we’re looking forward to it,” said Harris.  “And SKyPAC, this is a new auditorium and I think it’s going to be quite a living room and I think it’s a testament to how Bowling Green keeps moving ahead”

Throughout his four-decade career, Harris has performed at Carnegie Hall, The White House and even the Kremlin after the fall of the Soviet Union.

“All of those places have been great and to do the first concert at the Palace of Congresses at the Kremlin was indeed an exciting thing.  But I’ve gotta tell you, I enjoy being right here in Louisville and having the opportunity to go to my own church and sharing there has been a joy.”

Harris is a member of three Halls of Fame, and has won five Grammy awards.  Tonight’s Christmas concert is the first of two scheduled for Orchestra Kentucky this month. The group will also present A Rockin’ Christmas on December 14.

Regional
8:45 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Kentuckians Share Memories of Kennedy Visit, 1963 Assassination

Gerald Givens displays the two photos he took during John F. Kennedy's 1960 campaign appearance in Bowling Green.
Credit Emil Moffatt

Kentuckians share their memories of John F. Kennedy

Eighteen-year-old Gerald Givens was a member of the Butler County High School Band in 1960 when then-Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy made a campaign stop in downtown Bowling Green.

“We were in front of his car, so when I got through with the parade I grabbed my camera and ran back up the street so I could get a good picture of him, which I did,” said Givens.  “After that, we just disbanded, got on the buses and went back to Morgantown at that time.”

Givens captured a picture of the future president, riding in a red car with a Kennedy/Johnson sign strapped to the side.

“I was 18 years old and politics and all that didn’t register a whole lot.  But I knew it was a big event because the streets were packed up one side and down the other,” said Givens.

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Regional
2:07 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Academy in Allen County Prepares Dogs For Police Work

Gene England instructs officers at the Advance Canine Academy in Scottsville
Emil Moffatt

Behind the scenes at the Advanced Canine Academy in Scottsville

A few miles down a winding gravel road in Scottsville sits a brown building with the words Advance Canine Academy in block letters above the door. Behind that building are four vehicles sporting dusty  windows and flat tires. They serve as part of the training ground for these future K-9 officers.

Gene England tosses a marijuana-scented tennis ball is tossed into the car and one of the dogs-in-training races in after it, searching high-and-low to find which crevice or under which seat the ball went.

When the dog emerges, England implores a handful of students to remember what they saw.

“Jumping, spinning, barking, licking, biting – every bit of that stuff – you’ll find more drugs off those indications than you’ll ever find off this one [scratching],” said England. “As of Day 1 when you write in your journal, you’ve gotta write how your dog behaved out here today, you log it.” 

Law enforcement and government officials say drug trafficking is becoming more common in these parts, even though Kentucky is a long way from the Texas border with Mexico.

“We just recently had one of our dogs down in Ohio County hit eight pounds of crystal meth and a pound and a half of heroin.  We’ve never encountered heroin in all my years in Kentucky until recently,” said England.  

For over four decades, England has been training dogs. Law enforcement dogs in particular.  His rural property in Allen County has plenty of space for the dogs and their handlers to learn the ropes. 

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Regional
8:53 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

WKU Recognized as 'Bike Friendly University"

A sign posted at one of the bike stations on the WKU campus
Credit WKU

Of all the college campuses across the United States, only 75 can officially be called “Bike Friendly Universities” and WKU is now among them.

The League of American Bicyclists praised Western Kentucky for the leading the way to a healthier, more sustainable future.  For the university’s Parking and Transportation director Dr. Jennifer Tougas, that’s the whole point.   

“Bicycling is a very economical way to get around on short trips around town and it saves students who are strapped on cash a lot of money," said Tougas.  "It also has a lot of health benefits as well.” 

She says the addition of bike lanes along Chestnut Street and over 600 bike rack spots has been worth the investment.

"From the university’s point of view, if we can reduce parking demand that reduces the need to build more parking decks which are extremely costly or to build additional parking lots which have additional environmental effects."

More information on biking at WKU and in Bowling Green.

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Regional
8:14 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Indiana, Kentucky Residents Mark Solemn Anniversary of Deadly Nov. 2005 Tornado

Damage from the November 6, 2005 tornado along Highway 654
Credit National Weather Service

Eight years ago this week, an F3 tornado tore through parts of Northwest Kentucky and Southern Indiana.  It claimed two-dozen lives and left hundreds injured. Rick Shanklin with the National Weather Service Paducah office said several factors led to the devastation.

“The main factor was the fact that it moved through at night. We had a major tornado that moved through a metropolitan area and unfortunately when you factor in that it impacted a mobile home park, that’s about the worst scenario that could occur,” said Shanklin.

The November 6, 2005 tornado traveled 41 miles and featured winds that reached an estimated 200 miles per hour. It touched down originally in Smith Mills in Henderson County.

Shanklin and several colleagues attended a gathering at a Red Cross facility in Evansville Wednesday.

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Regional
2:55 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Lincoln Heritage Trail Adds 5 Historic Sites

The Lincoln birthplace in Hodgenville remains the most popular attraction along the Lincoln Heritage Trail
Credit National Park Service

Five historic sites across Kentucky have been added to the sprawling Lincoln Heritage Trail. Director Warren Greer says the new sites include the Lincoln National Scenic Byway, the Joseph Holt Home in Breckenridge County and a Lincoln memorial in Louisville. 

The Heritage Trail was re-instated in 2008 and Greer says Hodgenville continues to draw more visitors than others.

“By far the birthplace is the most-visited site. They have well over 100,000 visitors a year. That’s the real draw to Kentucky,” said Greer. “The other sites get quite a bit of visitation too. In Lexington you have the Mary Todd Lincoln House and Ashland you have the Henry Clay Estate.”

Greer says 300,000 visitors check out Lincoln historic sites every year in Kentucky.  There are now a total of 19 sites on the Lincoln Heritage Trail.

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