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

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.

Bowling Green PD

A man killed in a shoot-out inside a Tennessee home has been confirmed as the same man who robbed a Bowling Green bank this week.

Bowling Green police say Eddy Connor was hiding inside the home after escaping from a police chase Tuesday. He was discovered when the homeowner returned home Wednesday morning. Both Connor and the unidentified homeowner were killed in an exchange of gunfire.

Connor reportedly had an extensive criminal record in his native Florida and was featured on a 2012 episode of the TV show “America’s Most Wanted”. He reportedly escaped from jail more than half a dozen times.

Bowling Green PD

A woman is in custody and a man-hunt continues in Tennessee for a man accused of robbing the Citizens First Bank on Campbell Lane in Bowling Green Tuesday morning.

The woman, 53 year old Colleen Watkins, was captured Tuesday afternoon following a vehicle pursuit. The unidentified man ran from the van she was driving and is still at large.

Video from the bank shows the man waiting in line and then demanding money from a teller when he got to the counter. No gun was shown.

The man then ran behind the bank and got into the van driven by Watkins.

Franklin police spotted the van several hours later and chased it into Portland, Tennessee, finally stopping it with the use of spike strips that flattened its tires.

The male passenger took off into the woods off Tennessee Route 25.

Watkins is in the Sumner County jail on a first degree robbery charge. More charges are possible.

Henderson Police Department

A Henderson man will appear in court Wednesday after being charged with vandalizing the city’s Memorial Day display.

Police say 27-year-old Anthony Burrus drove his car through a display of more than 5,000 crosses in the city’s Central Park early Saturday morning.

As many as 160 of the crosses were damaged or destroyed.

Henderson police officer Jennifer Richmond said the city’s Memorial Day observance went off as scheduled Monday, thanks to some fast repair work.

“To my knowledge, they were able to get the crosses back in the ground, and repair some others that had been destroyed,” Richmond said.

The crosses were repaired by members of the Henderson fire department, the American Legion and local residents.

Burrus told police he has no memory of what happened.

He’s been charged with criminal mischief in the first degree and leaving the scene of an accident.


The Medical Center at Bowling Green became the 16th affiliate to join the statewide network under the University of Kentucky's Markey Cancer Center.

President and CEO of Commonwealth Health Corporation and The Medical Center Connie Smith said patients in south-central Kentucky will now "have access to the latest clinical trials, educational opportunities for physicians and staff and additional outreach and education resources for the community."

The UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network was created to provide high quality cancer care closer to home for patients across the region, according to a written release from the Medical Center. The Medical Center is the regional referral center for cancer care in the region with almost 1,000 cancer cases diagnosed at the hospital annually, according to the release.

Executive vice president for Commonwealth Health Corporation Sarah Moore told WKU Public Radio the Medical Center can now provide patients access to additional specialty and subspecialty physicians and advanced technology while allowing them to stay close to home for their treatment. The Medical Center has been an accredited cancer program for 12 years.

Other health providers in the Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network include Hardin Memorial Hospital in Elizabethtown, Methodist Hospital in Henderson and TJ Samson Community Hospital in Glasgow.

Creative Commons

The federal Department of Justice is closing its investigation into the hiring practices of the Bowling Green Police Department.

Last summer the DOJ said it was looking into the low number of African-American police officers on the force.

Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson says federal investigators have told the city they found nothing out of the ordinary.

“They went through the process and what we understand, there was a statistical anomaly regarding the number of minorities that have been employed over the last couple of reviews and they wanted to examine our practices to determine that we weren’t setting up any artificial barriers to the hiring of minority applicants”

Bowling Green conducted its own investigation into the police department’s hiring practices.

WKU Athletics

Former Western Kentucky University men's basketball coach Ray Harper has been hired in the same position at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama. He'll be formally introduced at a news conference in Jacksonville Thursday morning.

Harper resigned from WKU last month following the suspension of three players for undisclosed reasons. It was announced this week those players are no longer enrolled at WKU. School President Gary Ransdell has said those suspensions were the "primary reason" behind Harper's resignation March 17th.

WKU hired former Mississippi State head coach and Texas A & M assistant Rick Stansbury as head coach March 28th.

Harper coached for five seasons at WKU after becoming interim coach in the 2011-12 school year. He compiled an 89-64 record. He led the Hilltoppers to the NCAA Tournament in each of his first two seasons but failed to reach any post-season tournaments in his last three years.

Harper's taking over a program at Jacksonville State that went 8-23 last season, including a 4-12 record in the Ohio Valley Conference.

After being suspended from the Western Kentucky University men's basketball team last month for undisclosed reasons, three former players have now officially left the school.

In a statement released late Tuesday afternoon, WKU Athletics Director Todd Stewart said "Fredrick Edmond, Marlon Hunter and Chris McNeal are no longer enrolled at Western Kentucky University. They have been released from their scholarship and are able to pursue other opportunities."

The three were dismissed from the team for undisclosed reasons after a ruling by the University Disciplinary Committee. The Committee and the athletics department cited federal privacy laws in declining to release any details of the case.

Former coach Ray Harper resigned immediately following the players' suspensions. He's reportedly being considered for the head coaching position at Jacksonville State University in Alabama. New coach Rick Stansbury made it clear during his introductory news conference last week that the three would not be on the team next season.

Fredrick Edmond has signed with an agent and will forego his senior year of college eligibility to play professionally overseas. Both McNeal and Hunter are freshmen.