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. 

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.”

Time

A recent assignment for WKU alumnus Jonathan Woods took him to the very top of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.  Woods is a Senior Editor for Photo and Interactive for Time Magazine.  He graduated from Western Kentucky’s award-winning photojournalism department in 2007.

Woods says his interest in photographing the new One World Trade Center building began when he was working for NBC News’ website during the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11th attacks in 2011. Then, he ventured on an eight-month process of negotiating with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to allow access to the 405-foot spire on top of the 1,776 foot tall building known as the Freedom Tower.  

He and a staff member from the GigaPan company climbed the ladder to take a series of photos that eventually make up a sweeping panoramic look at the Manhattan skyline.

“We were putting a camera in a place that we couldn’t go scout.  It was on top of a 405-foot tall spire, which had a 405-foot tall ladder that we were not allowed to climb until the day we went up there,” said Woods.  “So we had to work off of blueprints to create something to put a camera in a place that didn’t exist.”

WKU Athletics

The WKU Lady Toppers first appearance in the NCAA basketball tournament since 2007-08 is made even more remarkable when you considered that it has happened without one of the team’s scoring leaders. 

Junior guard Alexis Govan  has been sidelined since December 21st with a stress fracture of the leg and likely won’t play until next season.  Despite her injury, Govan remains upbeat. She’s been cheering on teammates from the bench and says she's looking forward to the team’s trip to Waco.

“It’s going to be fun. Texas is a great place for Western to play and we’ve had some success there, so everybody knows that we have to be up and be positive. It’s a big game and a big opportunity,” said Govan.

The trip to Texas will be a trip home for Govan, a San Antonio native.  WKU head coach Michelle Clark-Heard says the team misses her presence, and her 16 points per game, but the good news is Govan’s injury won’t likely require surgery.

Neverland Publishing

A novel called "The Killing Jar", by author Gloria Nixon-John, is based on a true story from rural eastern Kentucky in which an incredibly gifted, but mentally disturbed 15-year-old named T0dd Ice is convicted of murdering his neighbor’s 7-year-old daughter and assaulting the neighbor in 1978.

The main character – named Ted Lynch in the book – spends several years as the nation’s youngest person on death row until his murder conviction was thrown out on appeal. During a re-trial he is convicted of manslaughter and winds up serving 15 years in prison before being released to a mental institution and then a halfway house.

Before his initial trial, Todd (Ted) was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic.  He would die in 2010 at age 47 after a dramatic weight gain, partially blamed on the medications he was prescribed.

The book is a novel,  but the author says she started the project as a non-fiction presentation of events. She says 95 percent of book is based on factual documentation.

She will speak at Barnes and Noble in Bowling Green tonight at 7 p.m. as part of the Kentucky Live! Series, presented by WKU Libraries.

Emil Moffatt

The WKU women’s basketball team has made a habit of coming back in games this season.

A big rally last week against Arkansas State in the Sun Belt Conference championship propelled them to an NCAA tournament appearance on Saturday.  The Lady Toppers will travel to Waco, Texas to face No. 2 seed Baylor.  WKU head coach Michelle Clark-Heard says her team can’t afford to fall behind against the Lady Bears.

“They can put up numbers fast,” said Clark-Heard.  “If you can’t withstand that first four minutes, it’s going to be crucial for us.  It becomes very crucial that we continue to have the confidence that we had. It’s going to be a different atmosphere, but the floor is going to be the same length and the rim is going to be the same height.”

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