Emil Moffatt

Station Manager

Emil Moffatt returns to WKU Public Radio as station manager. Moffatt was previously at the station from 2013-2014 as local host of All Things Considered. His new duties also include overseeing operations for WKU’s student station, WWHR 91.7.

Moffatt’s news experience includes a year at Nashville Public Radio and three years at WBAP radio in Dallas. Prior to that, Emil was a minor league baseball play-by-play announcer in Fort Worth, Texas and a producer for Dallas Stars radio broadcasts.  

Moffatt holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Arlington. He is an avid runner and enjoys movies and live music. 

Crews continue working to patch a large sinkhole at the Austin Peay University football field in Clarksville, Tennessee.  University spokesman Bill Persinger says the hole is near the north end zone of the field.

“At first it was just a relatively small hole in the track," said Persinger.  "As they progressed with their construction and began to dig to remediate the sinkhole, they ended up realizing it was much larger than anticipated."

The hole measures 40-feet wide and 40-feet deep.  Persinger says sinkholes are common in that part of Tennessee because of the topography.

“In fact, some of the main features of our campus at the center points of campus are remediated sinkholes that are now student gathering areas we call ‘the bowls’,” said Persinger.

He says renovation work on Governors Stadium expected to be complete in time for Austin Peay’s football season opener.

Emil Moffatt

Just days away from the Kentucky primary, Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes has her eyes fixed on November and a potential general election matchup with incumbent Senator Mitch McConnell.

In front of an estimated crowd of more than 200 supporters Friday evening at Circus Square Park in Bowling Green, Grimes spoke after being introduced by State Rep. Jody Richards. It was the final stop of the day on Grimes' bus tour of Kentucky. 

“The energy, the excitement is contagious,” Grimes said to the crowd.  “I know you are ready, not only for May 20th but to give me enough shoe leather to run all the way until November.”

Grimes’ criticism of McConnell was unrelenting, calling the incumbent the “senator of yesterday.”

“Yesterday’s view of minimum wage, yesterday’s view against women getting equal pay for equal work. Yesterday’s view against actually bringing funding here for our universities, yesterday’s view against actually realizing it’s the job of a U.S. Senator to actually bring jobs to this state,” said Grimes.

Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site

A searchable database containing the names of 5,800 Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the battle of Perryville is now available online, thanks in part to a computer science class at Centre College in Danville. 

Kurt Holman, manager of the Perryville Battefield State Historic Site, has worked for three decades collecting the names. He reached out to the college looking for assistance in building an online version of the database.

Emil Moffatt

At a coffee shop just down the road from the Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport it’s 10:45 in the morning, and Sonya Dick has just a couple hours before she hops in a rental car and drives to Indianapolis for business.   She works as a clinical specialist for a regenerative tissue company.

“I work with customers, researchers, people all over the United States and other countries, as well.  I cover Latin America and the Asian Pacific for our company,” said Dick.

That means she’s on the road a lot, normally driving to Nashville to catch a flight there. But what if she could connect to a larger airport without having to drive down I-65?

“It would be a huge change for me,” said Dick.  “I would save approximately – it’s an hour-and-a-half to the airport each way – at least three hours a week that I could be home or I could be more productive for work or just enjoying my time at home.”

It’s been over three decades since there was commercial air service in Bowling Green. Airport manager Rob Barnett says they’ve done comprehensive studies on where people from the Bowling Green area are flying. He says 94 percent of the 720,000 airline tickets purchased in Warren County and nine surrounding counties go through Nashville.

Emil Moffatt

Less than a month ago, Evansville was on the receiving end of good news from Indiana University. A site in downtown Evansville was chosen from among four proposed locations for a $69.5 million dollar medical education and research center.

On Tuesday, the president of IU, Dr. Michael McRobbie was in town to check out the site. But first, he spoke for a half-hour at the Evansville Rotary Club. Rotary officials said it was the largest crowd they’ve ever had.

After lunch, McRobbie and Evansville mayor Lloyd Winnecke boarded a trolley for a driving tour of the new site – encompassing 170-thousand square feet bordered by Southeast 4th and 6th streets, Cherry and Locust streets.

When they got off the trolley, it was pointed out that both Winnecke and McRobbie were wearing strikingly similar blue, pinstriped suits.

The two men weren’t only in sync with their wardrobes, but also with their feelings about the impact the new medical center will have on downtown Evansville.

Emil Moffatt

Kentucky added over 1,700 jobs in the tourism sector last year, bringing the total number of commonwealth residents employed in the tourism industry to 175,000.  Bob Stewart, Kentucky’s Secretary of Tourism, Arts and Heritage says the number of jobs dependent on visitors is actually a lot more. 

“We think about the front-line folks, but there are lots of other jobs,” said Stewart. “People who are involved in marketing; people who are involved in management of business and attractions and so-forth and so-on. It really does ripple through the economy.”

Overall, Kentucky saw a 2.6 percent boost in tourism spending, bringing the overall economic impact to $12.6 billion in 2013. 

Stewart says the Bourbon Trail and so-called “adventure tourism”, or activities that make use of the state’s natural resources – are among the reasons for the boost in tourists.  He also says the number of industry conventions and business meetings are also on the rise. 

Emil Moffatt

The journey across Kentucky continues Thursday morning for 150 military veterans taking part in the Ride 2 Recovery Bluegrass Challenge.  

Dan Wermuth was an avid cyclist growing up.  But a broken back suffered during the Vietnam War kept him away from the bike for years.  That was until a Ride 2 Recovery event came through the Florida town in which he was living.  Since then, he’s taken part in 10 rides, but many of his fellow cyclists are much younger veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I have a lot of connection with them because…especially coming from the era that I did – they didn’t appreciate us so much when we came home. That’s an understatement.  We will not let that happen for our young guys,” said Wermuth. 

Creative Commons

Last month, Indiana became the first state in the nation to formally repeal the controversial Common Core education standards that were adopted in 2010. Monday, the Indiana Education Roundtable will vote on a new set of standards for the state’s public schools.

Teresa Meredith, president of the Indiana State Teacher’s Association says the trouble with Common Core started before the standards were officially adopted. She says some districts had the resources to properly train and prepare teachers to deal with Common Core. But others, she says, chose not to devote their limited resources to training.

Meredith says the new standards won’t be all that different from Common Core.

“There are some things that, no matter what you call the standards, you must teach in order for students to really be ready for whatever is coming at them down the road,” said Meredith. “For example, some very basic math and language arts skills: you can’t eliminate those just because there’s a ‘Common Core’ label on them or just because they’re from an old set of standards. They’re very important.”

Emil Moffatt

Saturday will be a holiday of sorts for music aficionados and fans of vinyl records, in particular.  It’s the eighth annual Record Store Day, a nationwide event celebrating local brick-and-mortar record stores. 

Matt Pfefferkorn, who owns Mellow Matt’s Music & More in Bowling Green, says the vinyl industry continues to make a strong comeback.

“It’s never really gone away. It’s had its low points, but it’s been on a steady increase since 2007 or 2008. But I think people are finally coming off that MP3 ‘buzz’ that they had and finding out that actually vinyl does truly sound better and it’s a warmer sound.  The people that enjoy music – that’s what they want,” said Pfefferkorn.

According to numbers compiled by Nielsen Soundscan, vinyl record sales last year rose 32 percent, while CD sales continued to fall.   Pfefferkorn says people who frequent record stores enjoy a sense of community they bring.

Abbey Oldham/WKU Public Radio

A year ago Tuesday, Cort Basham had just finished his third Boston Marathon and was looking for a place to eat with his mother, who was also on the trip, when he heard an explosion.

“My mind immediately went to the worst, but even someone standing next to us said ‘that sounds like dynamite on a job site’.  But it was within seconds that the second one happened,” Basham told WKU Public Radio’s Kevin Willis just days after last year’s race. 

“Just seconds later, people start pouring around the corner from Boylston – again we were one block from Boylston. Then you knew, even though we didn’t have line-of-sight, that something terrible was happening and we just tried to move away as quickly as we could,” said Basham.

Three spectators died as a result of the bombings; hundreds were injured.

Basham and his mother were uninjured.  As he prepares to return to Boston, we caught up with Basham, a WKU instructor,  to ask him about his training for this year’s race and inquire about what he expects the atmosphere to be like for the marathon.

Anthony Clark Evans

The rise to prominence in the opera world continues for an Owensboro native.

Last week, Anthony Clark Evans was named a winner of the Sarah Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Music foundation. Evans is one of only five young opera singers nationwide to win the $5,000 award this year. The audition for the grant was by invitation only.

“What it really means to me, is that I’m able to maybe make a few extra trips here and there and audition for more people because I’ll have a little bit of extra cash just sitting in the bank,” said Evans.  “I’ll be able to maybe take a flight out to New York again to sing for somebody that’s important out there.”

The  28-year-old baritone now resides in Elizabethtown but is currently studying at the Ryan Center of Lyric Opera in Chicago. He says he comes from a long line of singers.

“It really comes from my father. He was a trained singer and his father was a trained singer. I think it goes back four or five generations,” said Evans.

He studied voice at Murray State, but left school twice to save up more money to continue his education. The second time away, he got married and the couple settled in Elizabethtown where he took a job at a car dealership. 

Emil Moffatt

A crowd of over 3,000 fans turned out for the Bowling Green Hot Rods season opener, a 5-2 win over the South Bend Silver Hawks Thursday night. The game marked the beginning of a new era for Bowling Green’s minor league baseball team and the area around its downtown ballpark.

It’s the team’s sixth year at Bowling Green Ballpark, which now has a new neighbor:  a multi-restaurant, parking garage and apartment building next door known as Hitcents Park Plaza.  One of the restaurants named "6-4-3", after the scoring notation for a double play, features a distinct baseball feel.

It was also the first game since the new ownership group, led by Stuart and Jerry Katzoff, took over in December.

Emil Moffatt

The Library of Congress has unveiled the list of this year’s 25 additions to the National Recording Registry.

Among the recordings – the Everly Brothers 1960 hit “Cathy’s Clown”, which was recorded at the RCA “Studio B” in Nashville.

Earlier this year, Muhlenberg County held a celebration of life for Phil Everly, who died January 3rd.  Everly and his brother Don held a series of charity concerts in their family’s hometown in Western Kentucky in the 1980s and 1990s.    

Emil Moffatt

Over the last decade, thousands of dogs rescued in Barren County have found new homes, not only in South Central Kentucky, but also in other parts of the country. It’s thanks to a partnership between a Glasgow animal shelter and PetSmart Charities.

A few minutes before five o’clock on a mild March morning in Glasgow, a large green van pulls into the parking lot of a one-story brick building.  About a half-hour before, the lights of the animal shelter came on, an employee of the Barren River Animal Welfare Association took several shelter dogs out for a walk in preparation for the long road trip ahead.  The destination for 24 dogs is a shelter in Dubuque, Iowa.

Volunteers begin streaming into the shelter’s lobby more than an hour before sunrise. It’s all-hands-on-deck for the next few furious minutes as they prepare the dogs for the journey on PetSmart Charities’ “Rescue Waggin’”

“Once they get here, we’re supposed to be able to load one dog every five minutes or three minutes," said Margie Patton, who runs the shelter in Glasgow.  "Sometimes we can do that, sometimes we can’t.  We have volunteers who will have dogs ready, so that when one goes out the door, the next one is ready to be checked by their vet tech."

U.S. Humane Society

An undercover video released in February by the Humane Society showed – what it described – as inhumane conditions at a hog farm in Owensboro.  Under an amendment proposed by the Senate agriculture committee on Tuesday, taking secret videos like that would be against the law.  

The amendment was added to the House bill that dealt with the ways animals could be euthanized.The amendment declares that any photographs or video taken without a farmer's permission would be considered a crime.  

Paul Shapiro with the Humane Society of the United States called it an attempt to silence the investigations they conduct. 

“Animal cruelty exposés often rely on video and photographic evidence,” said Shapiro.  “The meat industry’s response to our exposés is to try to criminalize the mere act of whistle blowing at their operations, which shows you just how much they have to hide.”

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