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. 

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.

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.

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.

Emil Moffatt

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.”  

Tax Foundation

Kentucky continues to rank in the middle-of-the-pack when it comes to having a business-friendly tax climate.  The 2014 study, released Wednesday by the non-partisan Tax Foundation in Washington takes into account the corporate tax rate, individual income tax, sales tax, unemployment insurance tax and property tax rate. 

Kentucky’s ranking dropped from 24th in the nation last year to 27th this year.  The study finds Kentucky’s tax code didn’t change that much, but the ranking reflects changes in states with similar numbers. 

Meantime, Indiana ranked 10th in the nation for best business tax climate – earning high marks for low property taxes.  Tennessee ranked 15th thanks in part of a low individual income tax.

Click here to read the full report.

AT&T

Update 9:40 p.m.
AT&T reports that it has restored service after an interruption Tuesday afternoon. 

In a statement released by the company, AT&T said "a cable cut earlier today impacted service for some AT&T customers. Technicians rerouted wireless traffic and service is currently running normally. We know customers count on their wireless services, and we apologize for this inconvenience." 

Original post: 

Emil Moffatt

At first glance, they look like RVs. But a closer look at the two giant trucks reveals the words “Mobile Health Unit” emblazoned on the side.

“The units that we have are basically a clinic-on-wheels. Each mobile unit we have two ‘clinic’ rooms that are just basically like a doctor’s office that you’d go to in a stationary clinic,” said Matthew Hunt, director of WKU’s Institute for Rural Health.  “Regardless of location, we can see the patient and that’s a nice thing. We reduce barriers of transportation and take the services directly to the patient.”

The program recently received a $50,000 gift from the Good Samaritan Foundation to be used for supplies and an $8,000 grant from the Kentucky Department of Public Health to continue a program that brings free dental care to hundreds of school children in Allen County.

“It’s very expensive to offer these services to the community.  These funding sources will help us purchase much-needed medical supplies such as gloves, flu vaccines and new portable equipment,” said Hunt.

Emil Moffatt

 A German company plans to invest $120 million dollars to bring a production plant to Bowling Green.
 
The Bilstein Group says the plant will  bring 90 new, full-time jobs to the area.  Governor Steve Beshear was on hand for the announcement Wednesday at Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce headquarters. Beshear, who just returned from a trip to Europe said he met with Bilstein executives on a previous trip. 

The company makes cold-rolled strip steel products for the auto industry.  It will be the Bilstein Group’s second facility in North America.  

“At the end of a long and thorough decision making process," said Bilstein CEO Marc Oehler. "I can say we are absolutely certain that Bowling Green is the perfect spot for our new [facility] being both sufficiently close to our customers and suppliers as well as within reach from Europe and any place in North America.”

Emil Moffatt

In the event of a government shutdown, national parks across the country would shut down.  This includes Mammoth Cave National Park.  Vickie Carson at Mammoth Cave says everyone at the park, with the exception of security staff, would be furloughed.

“We would close all park facilities like the visitor center and the offices and picnic area,” said Carson.  “We would initiate closure of park trails and roads, but some roads that are considered ‘through roads’ would remain open.”  

If lawmakers can’t work out a deal to avert a shutdown, Carson says Mammoth Cave will wait for official word from the National Park Service before beginning the process of shutting down the park. Campers and those staying at hotel at Mammoth Cave would be given 48 hours to leave.

Emil Moffatt

The four-day joint meeting of the U.S. Confucius Institutes concludes on Monday in Bowling Green. Representatives from over 90 universities have attended the meetings, hosted by WKU.  More than 260 delegates are attending the conference.

Madame Xu Lin is director general of the Chinese Education Ministry of Hanban.  She says it’s important for Americans to learn about Chinese culture and vice-versa. 

“Parents, students and teachers realize the two countries need to be hand-in-hand and we need to know each other, especially [in terms of] culture and for the younger generations [for their] careers,” said Xu who was in Bowling Green for the meetings.  
 
W-K-U established its Confucius Institute in 2010 and sends students and staff every year to visit China. Xu says experiencing another culture first hand is invaluable.

United States Army/Fort Knox

September has been a whirlwind month for Western Kentucky freshman RaShaan Allen.

He’s a redshirt freshman on the WKU football team and just just re-joined the team after spending time in the nation’s capital.

“It was actually my second time there, but I’ve never seen Washington like that. I got to do so many things. I got to meet the president.  I got a tour of the Pentagon and lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I got to do community service activities at the VA hospital. It was just an amazing experience and I couldn’t let it pass me by.”

Allen, the son of Army Sgt. 1st Class Crystal Singer,  was honored in Washington after he was named the Boys and Girls Club of America Military Youth of the Year and he received a 20-thousand dollar scholarship.  But the 18-year-old's journey hasn't always been easy. 

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