Joe Corcoran

Morning Edition host; Reporter/Producer

Joe Corcoran has been WKU Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” host and news anchor since 2003. Joe’s received numerous awards for his on-air work including the Associated Press’s “Best Radio News Anchor in Kentucky” twice. Several of his stories have aired on NPR’s “All Things Considered”.

A graduate of Syracuse University, Joe spent most of his career in television journalism both on-air and in management at stations in North Carolina, Iowa and Illinois.

In Bowling Green, Joe is active in his church as well as with the Bowling Green Area of Commerce. He is on the Board of Directors for the Kentucky Associated Press.

He and his wife Patricia are the proud parents of three children and the “extremely” proud grandparents of two granddaughters, Claire and Vivian.

Ways to Connect

All eyes are on Pimlico race track in Baltimore this weekend for the running of The Preakness, the second leg in horse racing's Triple Crown.

There's only one horse that can win racing's ultimate prize. Always Dreaming came from behind to win the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago.

Few people watched that race more closely than Erin Birkenhauer. The Alvaton woman is a key employee of West Point Thoroughbreds, owned by her father Terry Finley. The company is a minority owner of Always Dreaming.

She was in the owner's box at Churchill Downs when the horse won the Derby. "I think it took me a couple of seconds to really start to cry because I was just in a state of shock," Birkenhauer said. "But that's alright. If you win the Derby what else are you supposed to do besides cry."

The Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated its accomplishments of 2016 at its annual dinner Monday night.  President and CEO Ron Bunch said the Chamber brought in a half billion dollars in capital investment and more than 700 new jobs.

There were 15 different expansions or new businesses in Warren County last year including the announcement of a huge expansion at the Corvette assembly plant. That was named the number one business project in the state.

In June, General Motors announced a $270-million investment in the plant to upgrade technology and improve the plant’s manufacturing processes. The expansion will create up to 270 new jobs.

Becca Schimmel

Supporters of refugees and immigrants in Bowling Green hope a weekend unity walk and prayer vigil helps bring the community even closer together.

More than 500 people marched in downtown Bowling Green Saturday afternoon.

Many participants said they were especially excited since a U. S. District judge in Seattle ruled President Trump’s ban on travelers from seven mostly Muslim countries illegal just hours earlier.


National reports say Western Kentucky University is reaching out to a familiar name for its vacant football head coaching position. CBS Sports says WKU has spoken with Idaho coach Paul Petrino.

Kevin Willis

The director of the Bowling Green International Center says some in the community continue to express concern about President-elect Donald Trump’s policies towards immigrants.

Trump said during the presidential campaign that he’d round up and deport those who are in the country illegally. He’s since backed off that position and said he will focus on deporting those who have been charged with crimes.

International Center director Albert Mbanfu says that’s little comfort to many of the refugees he encounters. He says he’s telling local refugees that they can’t be rounded up and deported.

“There are so many of our refugee kids wondering if they are going to be sent back to the refugee camps. So we try as much as possible to alleviate their fears and to let them understand that they are legal, and there’s no way they will send them back to the refugee camps.”

KSP photo

A Louisville man wanted in Jefferson County on murder, robbery and other charges was arrested with another man in Hardin County Tuesday after a high speed, multi-county chase up I-65.

State police say 24 year old Lamontrez Jackson was a passenger in a possibly stolen Chevy Tahoe that was seen on the Natcher Parkway. Bowling Green police lost contact with the vehicle once it got onto I-65 northbound.

State police and Warren County sheriff deputies located it and tried to stop it at the 39 mile marker. That's when they say the driver of the Tahoe, 19 year old David Williamson, Jr. also of Louisville, took off at a high rate of speed and headed up the interstate weaving in and out of traffic.

Police were able to lay down some tire deflation devices at the 91 mile marker, causing the Tahoe to slow down, and they stopped it two miles later by running it off the road.

Kentucky State Police

A seemingly routine traffic stop of a tractor trailer by Kentucky State Police on I-65 Monday afternoon turned into a 70 mile, high speed chase.

Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Senior Officer Jeremy Duvall tried to stop the truck just after 1:00 in Warren County for a random safety inspection. Police don’t know why, but instead of pulling over, the truck’s driver, 42 year old Hussein Abdiadir Ali of Arizona, took off.

Police had to deploy spike strips to finally stop the truck about two miles north of Sonora.

Ali’s in the Warren County Detention Center on charges of fleeing police, wanton endangerment, speeding in a work zone, carrying a concealed deadly weapon and resisting arrest.

Four other area police agencies assisted in the arrest.

Creative Commons/Joshua Allen

Daviess County doctors are treating as many as 500 patients who are suffering from a once-rare allergy.

Alpha-gal syndrome is spread through tick bites, and leads to allergic reactions after the eating of red meat.

Physicians at Owensboro’s Allergy and Asthma Specialists are seeing an explosion in the number of people diagnosed with the allergy.

Physician assistant Caitlyn Renaud says Alpha-gal is different from a regular allergy because of its delayed reaction time.

“People had dinner at, like, 7 o’clock at night and they ate a steak or cheeseburger. And they would wake up in the middle of the night with swelling, hives, and itching,” she said.  

Other symptoms of Alpha-gal syndrome include abdominal cramping and vomiting.

The allergy especially prevalent in the south-east because of the number of ticks found in the region.

Naomi McCulloch

J.D. Vance's memoir of growing up poor in Appalachia, both in Kentucky and Ohio, Hillbilly Elegy, has been on the New York Times best-seller list since it came out early this summer.

It's the story of his life, but also the story of white, working-class "hillbillies"--people he describes as having a very deep affiliation with Appalachia and the communities that make up the region.

Vance says the "elegy" in the book's title doesn't imply the death of the culture but it shows a "sad reflection" of parts of the area. "It's important to note it's not what's going on in every part of hillbilly country," he says. "There are some good things along with the bad. But there are some very significant problems."

Vance admittedly had a lot of things work out for him. He joined the Marines right out of high school, graduated from Ohio State University right after that and then onto Yale Law School. "This isn't a 'boot-strap' story about how one kid through grit and determination and brain power made it," he says. "It's more a story of how one kid got really lucky. People feel pretty kicked and down in this part of the world, the world has been tough in this area."

Emil Moffatt

Kentucky transportation secretary Greg Thomas has issued an emergency order to help ease the gas shortage in the state

Stations have been reporting reduced deliveries of gas or no deliveries at all since that massive fuel spill in Alabama earlier this month.

The new emergency order would temporarily waive the hours of service for commercial drivers delivering gas to the state. It would relieve drivers from restrictions on hours behind the wheel while they’re making deliveries. Drivers are required to have a copy of the order in their cabs if they’re working overtime.

The September 9th leak at a Colonial Pipeline operation in Helena, Alabama spilled more than 6,000 barrels of gasoline. That pipeline runs from Houston to New York and provides gasoline to about 50-million people on the east coast daily. It's expected to reopen Wednesday but it's expected to take several days for gas to reach stations.

Hillvue Heights

A violent attack at a Bowling Green church is prompting religious leaders in the area to think about ways to prevent similar incidents.

A 21-year-old man was arrested August 14 after stabbing his father during a Sunday morning service at a Warren County church.

Pastor Dave Deerman of Center Pointe Church is this year’s head of the Bowling Green/Warren County Ministerial Fellowship. He says the recent attack at Hillvue Heights Church was bound to happen somewhere.

“For a number of years I have talked to leadership in our church that there’s possibilities, just because of the culture we live in. And churches are, for the most part, very opening to people that we may not know. So you never know, really, who you’re going to encounter.”

Joe Corcoran

The city of Owensboro is known for a lot: bluegrass music, barbecue, and its downtown riverfront.

It’s also known for holding the last public execution in America.

Eighty years ago, tens of thousands of people from all over the country crowded Owensboro’s downtown and newspapers all over the country carried the front page story of the hanging of a black man convicted of raping a white woman.

The echoes of that event are still being felt in Owensboro eight decades later, especially for one woman who witnessed the event as a young girl.

It was still dark early that morning of August 14th, 1936.

Rachel Abbott, who was five at the time, was still asleep when her older sister tiptoed across the room to her bed and woke her up. “I didn’t know what was going on,” Abbott recently told WKU Public Radio. “My sister was eight so she probably knew more about it than I did.”

What was going, just two blocks away, was the hanging of Rainey Bethea.


As many as 200 Western Kentucky University employees will soon pay at least five times for health benefits.

Members of the building services, grounds, landscaping and recycling departments are being outsourced August 1 to Sodexo Management Services.

Those making minimum pay will get a dollar-an-hour raise, while a smaller group making more than that will get an hourly boost of between 54 and 95 cents.

WKU Human Resources director Tony Glisson said the move is in response to a $6 million budget cut from the state announced earlier this year.

“When that type of reduction occurs, the university has to look deep and wide for opportunities to reduce costs, become more efficient, to look for creative arrangements, new partnerships that may not have been in place previously,” he said.

Flickr/Creative Commons/Eric Molina

The leader of Bowling Green-based health group says a needle exchange for intravenous drug users is the best way to fight the state’s addiction problems.

Dennis Chaney, director of the Barren River District Health Department, is applauding the Bowling Green city commission’s decision Tuesday to approve a needle exchange program.

The exchange must now be approved by Warren County Fiscal Court. It has already been authorized by the Warren County Board of Health.

Chaney said he understands those who feel a needle exchange will enable drug users.

But he thinks it’s the best way to break down barriers and start the healing process.

“The opportunity is for those folks who would participate in the program, the responsibility is for us to try to develop a relationship with those folks just like what you may have and you may enjoy with your primary care physician,” Chaney said.

flicker/creative commons/Pascal Gaudette

It's almost impossible not to play with a kitten, but a scratch from one could lead to trouble.

According to Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Iass El Lakkis of The Medical Center in Bowling Green, Cat Scratch Fever is usually mild but, in rare cases, can lead to hospitalization for eye problems, disorientation or liver infection. "Mostly patients will have skin swelling, small bumps or redness, usually three to ten days after they're exposed," he said.

More often than not, though, Cat Scratch Fever is treated with simple antibiotics and lingers for about three to four weeks.