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
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.

Regional
12:00 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

'Cathedral of High School Basketball' Planned For Elizabethtown

A former church site in Elizabethtown is set to be part of the Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame
Emil Moffatt

Hear about plans for a Kentucky Basketball Hall of Fame building in Elizabethtown

As a member of the Bremen High School basketball team in the late 1970s, Ray Harper was twice the district’s player of the year.

“Every night it was a battle and there were some great rivalries.  We had seven high schools in the county – there’s only one high school now,” said Harper.  “It helped prepare me in the sense that you had to be ready to play every night and couldn’t take a night off and you could never underestimate your opponent."

The high schools in Muehlenberg County were consolidated into one, Bremen High School is no more, but the memories remain.

"It’s good to get back and reminisce and see those guys. We had some really good teams and some great memories that will last a lifetime,” said Harper.

Harper is in his third season as the head men’s basketball coach at Western Kentucky as a native of the commonwealth, he understands the importance of high school basketball.

“The thing I’ve always said is if you get a kid from a high school in Kentucky they’ve been coached.  The learning curve isn’t as great as it is for some kids."

High school basketball in Kentucky is a big deal. There’s a Hall of Fame honoring the state’s best through the years, but right now, it’s just a collection of names.  There’s no building,  no permanent museum...no brick-and-mortar.

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Regional
2:01 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

WKU Remembers 2013 Graduate Anna Zhidkova

Anna Zhidkova
Credit WKU Dept. of Civil Engineering

The Civil Engineering Department at WKU is set to unveil a plaque tonight in honor of Anna Zhidkova, an engineering student from Russia, who died October 14, just five months after graduating from the university.

Zhidkova, who was also a pole-vaulter on the WKU track team had enrolled in graduate school at the University of Kentucky and left for Lexington the day after graduating from Western.  In August she was diagnosed with cancer.

Her parents will attend tonight’s ceremony in the Civil Engineering Student Resource Room.

One of Anna’s professors, Warren Campbell, was inspired by her positivity.  He and his wife visited Zhidkova in her hospital room in Lexington.

“Anna had a tumor on her spine that paralyzed her from the waist down and she was lying on her back in the bed and showing her father how to fly a little radio-controlled helicopter and she was just as cheerful as she was when she was here [at WKU],” said Campbell.  “I don’t know where that kind of courage comes from.”

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Regional
1:26 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Kentucky Gas Prices Falling, But Still Slightly Higher Than National Average

The average price for a gallon of gas in Kentucky stands at $3.40 a gallon of regular, according to AAA East Central.  That’s about four cents higher than the national average.  But drivers across the commonwealth are seeing a fairly dramatic swing in prices – $3.05 in some places to $3.55 in others.   AAA’s Roger Boyd with says that difference is caused by several factors.

“Basically what we see is what the market will bear [with] pricing and also with specific issues dealing with what refinery delivers to which area of the state,” said Boyd.

He says barring any unforeseen world events, gas prices should hold steady or drop slightly as we continue through the fall.

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Regional
5:16 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Danville's Constitution Square Gets Makeover

Constitution Square
Credit Visit Danville/Boyle County

Eighteen months ago, Kentucky announced that Constitution Square in Danville would no longer be a part of the state parks system.  That’s when the Danville-Boyle County Economic Development Partnership took over.  Using a half-million dollar grant from the department of Housing and Urban Development, the inside of several historic buildings were renovated.

 Jennifer Kirchner with the Danville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau says Constitution Square is an important site to preserve.

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Regional
5:00 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Metcalfe Judge-Executive: County Courthouse Should Be Replaced

Crews have spent the weekend cleaning up the Metcalfe County Courthouse as they try to rid the building of black mold. 

The courthouse is over 150 years old and Judge-Executive Greg Wilson says the black mold isn’t the only problem. He says he’s been trying to convince the county to purchase a nearby building that went on sale four months ago.

“We already know we’ve got asbestos and lead paint. So I’ve been trying to negotiate and get something worked out to buy this building where we can move the courthouse.  But I haven’t had any luck with that.”  

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