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. 

Most of Kentucky received between 2-3 inches snow Sunday night into Monday morning. Mike Callahan with the National Weather Service office in Louisville says that snow was preceded by quite a bit of freezing rain and sleet

“Then, the cold air aloft came in and changed the freezing rain over to sleet, and it sleeted for quite a while,” said Callahan. “In the Bowling Green area, we had reports of as much as two inches of sleet. And finally, after midnight in changed into snow.”

Callahan says the storm "could have been much worse" had there been more freezing rain Sunday night.  He says temperatures should climb above freezing Tuesday and we should see a warming trend for the rest of the week. 

But will this mark the final winter storm of the season?

“Unfortunately, it is too early to tell,” said Callahan.  “However, our long-range patterns are starting to show perhaps a break in this cold pattern, maybe starting in mid-March.”

 While researching his book, “Interstate 69: The Unfinished History of the Last Great American Highway”, Matt Dellinger traced the very early history of I-69 to a southern Indiana landowner, who in the early ‘90s, wanted to build a toll road from Evansville to Indianapolis.  

“This man, David Graham, in Washington, Indiana, had been talking to this economist who said ‘look, your problem is, that it is too small a project. If you continued this proposed highway  all the way to Mexico, then the numbers would change and the economics of it would look a lot more attractive if it was an international trade route,’” said Dellinger.

Twenty years and billions of dollars later, I-69 remains incomplete, although there has been progress, If I-69 ever is complete, it will extend from Canada to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Dellinger says funding issues and sometimes, the proposed route of the interstate have impeded progress as each mayor, congressman or senator along the way has tried to steer it in a way that would most benefit his or her constituents.

“These arguments about the route have been going on since the idea was very, very young. It is about politics and it is about economic development,” said Dellinger.  “The bridges are obviously key points in the route.  They’re kind of the pillars that the rest of the route is defined by.”

The latest dust up over I-69 doesn’t take place far Washington, Indiana.  

Ross Ewing

A Lexington couple is celebrating a federal judge’s final ruling that orders Kentucky to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. 

Ross Ewing has been with his partner for eight years.  The couple had planned to marry this summer in New York.

“By happy coincidence, we were and still are, planning on being in New York on the first weekend in June which is our anniversary. My partner sings in Lexington Singers and they are performing in Carnegie Hall that weekend. We were just going to get married while we were up there,” explained Ewing.

Now, Ewing says the couple is thinking about waiting a little longer for the opportunity to get married in their home state. With the ruling partially lifting Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage, Ewing believes it’s only a matter of time before Kentucky fully legalizes gay marriage. 

“I just cannot help but see the comparison to inter-racial marriage. That didn’t happen overnight and it didn’t happen in all 50 states simultaneously, but it happened, and I just can’t help but see the parallel.”

Emil Moffatt

Darel Carrier’s new home just outside of Bowling Green features an expansive workout room in the basement. Upstairs there’s a display of many of the mementos from his distinguished college and pro basketball careers. He enjoys giving visitors a detailed tour of the home, right down to the insulation

The handsome, two-story house is a far cry from his humble beginnings in Warren County.

His family's house growing up lacked electricity or a bathroom until he was a teen, but Carrier found a way to sharpen his basketball skills.

“I saved up enough money to buy my first ball and goal. It was a little lace up ball and a goal for $3.99. I put it on the side of a corn crib and I shot with my little ball through that goal for two or three days,” said Carrier.  “My ball went over the fence and a big ol’ hog took a bite of it. That was the last of my ball.”

Pokey LaFarge

Among the things that make Pokey LaFarge stand out: his unique moniker, his throwback sound, the formal attire he often sports on stage and one of the songs from his latest album, which celebrates….a time zone.

I don’t mind the West Coast, and I don’t mind the East Coast, Oh, baby, but I ain’t gonna live on no coast. I’m just a plain ol’ Midwestern boy, gettin’ by on central time.

LaFarge says the song, called "Central Time", took him only five minutes to write

“Some songwriters would say that’s proof that it’s a good song,” said LaFarge. “Some of the best songs come out that way If it came out in five minutes, I wasn't even consciously thinking about it. It just came out.”

The 30-year-old St. Louis native along with his five-piece band will keep it within the Central time zone tonight as he performs in Bowling Green. The Pokey LaFarge sound can be described in a variety of different ways. He says it changes every time he’s asked.

“If I had to describe it today, I would say that it’s acoustic-rooted, horn-accentuated, lyric- and melody-driven Midwestern swing. How’s that?”

National Corvette Museum

Construction remains on schedule at the new Motorsports Park adjacent to the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green.  Mitch Wright, general manager of the Motorsports Park says any concerns related to the sinkhole that opened up inside the museum last week we’re actually addressed months ago.

“We did have some sinkholes on the property, which we have remediated. We had quite a bit of geotech work done prior to the construction starting,"  said Wright.  “We’re pretty confident we found what we needed to find and we’re going to have a fantastic facility for people to enjoy.”

He says crews are making progress with underground work right now, and pavement will be put down in the spring.  The Motorsports Park is scheduled for completion in August.

Abbey Oldham/WKU Public Radio

Michael McClellan was born just outside of Bowling Green, but his career path has taken him to the far corners of the earth as a senior foreign service officer for the State Department and U.S. Information Agency.

Earlier this month, McClellan retired from the State department after 30 years and is settling into a new position, a little closer to home as the only “Diplomat in Residence” at a public university in Kentucky.

His current job at Western Kentucky University involves explaining foreign cultures to American college students , but for three decades it was just the opposite.

“My job was to communicate American culture, American foreign policy and American policy positions on every possible topic there is and to help people abroad understand why we hold such positions, why we develop those positions, how are system works and what constitutes American culture,” said McClellan when he stopped by the WKU Public Radio studios this week.   “This is particularly challenging in today’s world because America is without a doubt the most diverse country in the world.”

Lincoln Birthplace

Wednesday marks the 205th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln. Several activities are planned at the Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park in Hodgenville.  As a part of the commemoration, Lincoln historian Carl Howell will donate an artifact to the park – the grave marker for Abraham Lincoln’s only brother – Thomas Jr. – who died in infancy.

“I think it needs to be displayed in Larue County at the National Park where people can see it on a daily basis because of its extreme importance and significance to the Lincoln heritage,” said Howell.

Howell, a Hodgenville attorney, says he purchased the limestone grave marker in the 1970s from the owner of the small Redmon family cemetery as he was preparing to sell the property. 

Kentucky State Police say they’re hoping to prevent residents from losing money in a telephone scam that’s shown up in other parts of the country.  Sgt. Michael Webb says criminals overseas are auto-dialing thousands of cell phones inside the U.S. and hanging up after just one-ring.  

He says the majority of those calls are coming from the Dominican Republic (809 area code), Jamaica (876), the British Virgin Islands (284), Grenada (473), Aruba (297) and Antigua (473).  

“We would certainly encourage folks that if they don’t have someone that they know in one of those area code and are not expecting a call from there, to not answer it and to screen phone calls from any unknown area code right now,” said Webb.

Sergeant Webb says if you see a “missed call” from an unknown area code, it’s not a good idea to return that call, or your account could be charged $20 for the call and $9 dollars each minute.  He also encourages people to check their phone bills for any unauthorized charges.

“They need to contact their cellular provider immediately if they find out that there are any unauthorized charges, said Webb. “ Especially for the overseas numbers that would be indicative of this phone scam.”

Today marks the end of an era for those with a 270 area code as seven-digit dialing becomes a thing of the past.  Starting Saturday, for local calls, you’ll have to use all 10 digits, including that 270 area code.  So, will this create confusion?  

Some people we talked to in downtown Bowling Green said, it won’t be a problem. Smart phones, for instance, generally ask users to program-in 10 digits for each number. Others said they’ve been dialing all 10 digits for a while.

While others said 10-digit dialing will take some getting used to, especially on land lines.

So why the change?

The Public Service Commission says phone companies can issue 364 area codes to new numbers starting March 3, presenting the need for 10-digit dialing. 

Emil Moffatt

Five months after Lee Daniels’ “The Butler” made its debut in theaters, residents of Elizabethtown will have the opportunity to see the film on the big screen this weekend. The State Theater in downtown Elizabethtown will show the movie Friday through Sunday. 

In August, Ike Boutwell, the owner of the town’s first-run movie theater and a Vietnam veteran, refused to show the film because it featured Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan.  

Fonda’s actions during the Vietnam War have not been forgotten by many veterans.

But Emily West, the director of the State Theater says Elizabethtown residents deserve a chance to see the movie on the big screen.

“I appreciate his decision and I appreciate what he [Boutwell] did for this country,” said West. “I am in no way a Jane Fonda supporter, I do think what she did was wrong, but it was a very long time ago and this is a wonderful film that was not able to be shown originally and I’m just giving folks the opportunity.”

Owensboro Convention Center

The new Owensboro Convention Center opens for business Wednesday as the Ag Expo begins. The city also has grand opening festivities slated for this weekend. 

Work began on the 170,000 square foot, $40-million dollar facility in March 2012. Owensboro Mayor Ron Payne says the finished product is impressive.

“You go in and the lobby is 60 feet high and you have a lot of lot of unique artwork in there and two huge ballrooms up on the third floor.  Off those ballrooms to the north and you have a balcony overlooking the Ohio River,” said Payne.

Payne says despite the facility’s size, it will be able to play host to events large and small.

“The exhibit hall can actually be separated into three separate exhibit halls if you want to do it," said Payne.  "Or you can take the panels and open up the entire thing. So, lots of versatility which gives you a lot of options.”

WKU @ Sundance Blog

The Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah is known not only for showcasing independent films, and bringing together movie-types like actors, directors and filmmakers – but also for its generous amounts of snowfall and chilly temperatures.

For 23 WKU students including Jayme Powell, the Sundance experience was one that can’t be replicated in south-central Kentucky.

That is, with the possible exception of the weather.

“When we got back last night, it was colder in Kentucky,” said Powell on Saturday afternoon.  “But it was cold in Park City. We were bundled up a lot.”

Powell , an aspiring film producer says she saw 22 films at Sundance.  Many of her days started as early as 8:30 or 9 o’clock in the morning and often ended hours later with a midnight showing.  She also spent much of her time attending panel discussions with filmmakers and producers.

Kentucky received straight Fs on the 2014 “State of Tobacco Control” report published Wednesday by the American Lung Association.  The study looked at four areas including creating a smoke free environment, cigarette taxes, insurance coverage for cessation programs and tobacco prevention.

Ellen Kershaw with the American Lung Association – Kentucky says tobacco education programs that have had success across the country have been underfunded by state lawmakers in Frankfort.  

“Media campaigns, in-school programs, county health education and outreach. Across the board, there’s so much more that Kentucky can do,” said Kershaw.

The study found that 28 percent of Kentuckians smoke and nearly a quarter of the state’s high school students are tobacco users.  Kershaw says the American Lung Association also supports a higher cigarette tax in Kentucky.

“That’s another effective tool, that unfortunately, hasn’t been implemented yet here in Kentucky,” said Kershaw. “We would definitely advocate for at least a dollar increase in the cigarette tax as a way to encourage kids not to pick up the habit and also for people to quit smoking.”

Emil Moffatt

For 15 years beginning in 1988, Phil and Don Everly returned to the town of Central City, Ky. to perform an annual benefit “Homecoming” concert which, at its pinnacle, drew a crowd four-times the town’s population.  On Saturday, hundreds of people from that same town turned out to pay tribute to Phil Everly, a day before what would have been his 75th birthday.

The recognizable hits poured from the stage of the Merle Travis Music Center. As one performer put it – being asked to pick out an Everly Brothers song to cover was like being led into Fort Knox and being asked to select a favorite piece of gold to take with you.

He picked "Bye Bye Love" and "Wake Up Little Susie".

Two of the Everly Brothers second cousins, Tim Giageos and David Everly performed four songs including  "All I Have to Do is Dream" and "When Will I Be Loved."

One of the Everly Brother’s first cousins, Diana Sue Taylor described one of the first memories of her famous relatives – when she was eight years old was escorted backstage at the Civic Center in Hammond, Indiana.

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