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.

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Holley Performance Products says the research and development facility at their Bowling Green headquarters will bring a $1.3 million investment and create 20 new jobs. It's being described as a work cell for designing new exhaust systems.

The work cell will develop and prove new designs, processes and manufacturing techniques. It will focus on improving processes and methods in order to decrease production time, accommodate sales volume and maintain high quality of products.

The facility will allow Holley to expand its exhaust product lines under their Hooker Header and Flowtech brands including premium quality exhaust systems for late model muscle cars and trucks and classic vehicles.

Holley has been in Bowling Green since 1951. It employs more than 250 people at its Russellville Road facility.

Lexington Herald-Leader photo

In February, Pastor Jamie Coots was bitten by a rattlesnake during his serpent handling church service in eastern Kentucky and was dead within hours. This week his 21-year-old son nearly suffered the same fate.

Jamie Coots was bitten on his right hand by a six-foot long rattler Monday morning as he was using a hooked pole to take venomous snakes from a cage he keeps at his mother's house. He was trying to get two into a carrying case and was reaching for a third when the other rattler lunged out of the cage at him and bit him on the index finger of his right hand.

The call went out for fellow church members to come and pray for his recovery and about two dozen people went to the house. Coots, in line with his religious beliefs,  refused medical assistance.

Earlier this year, Coots told WKU Public Radio being bitten by poisonous snakes is part of his job. "I like to handle snakes," he said, "I've been bit five times, strictly cottonmouths. But one of those bites, God was moving on me, the thing reached and grabbed me right in the back of the shoulder and never did hurt me. I just kept right on dancing with fire in one hand and a snake in the other."

MacDonald & Owen Lumber Company recently acquired the dry kiln facility, Kerr Forest Products, in Bowling Green. Now, the company has been approved for incentives, with plans to invest $2.6 million and create 18 full-time positions.

The hardwood lumber company already has locations on Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.  The company serves a world-wide customer base, offering a product line of more than twenty different species of kiln dried lumber as well as custom drying, planing and sanding.

Owner and CEO David Twite says the move to Bowling Green will allow MacDonald & Owen to extend their global reach through the close proximity to materials and freight options. The company is expecting to produce an additional five million board feet of hardwood lumber annually focusing on high quality Appalachian hardwoods.

This is the second economic development announcement for Bowling Green this year. It brings total capital investment to nearly $153,000 and the creation of 90 new jobs.

Constellium N.V., a European aluminum company, and Japanese aluminum company UACJ Corporation say they'll establish an aluminum production facility at the Bowling Green Transpark. A $150 million capital investment is expected and 80 new jobs. It's the largest capital investment for the South Central Kentucky region in more than a decade.

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear said the investment further solidifies the state as a key player in the auto industry. The two companies will supply aluminum "Body-in-White" sheet to the North American auto industry. The Joint Venture will have an initial target capacity of 100,000 metric tons, about 220 million pounds, supplied by cold rolled coils supplied by both partners' rolling mills.

Construction of the plant is expected to begin this summer.

There have been ten economic development announcements in the past 18 months in Bowling Green, totaling more than $285 million in capital investment and over 450 new jobs. This is the largest total capital investment in the state of Kentucky so far this year.

Champion Petfoods USA Inc. plans to open its first U. S. kitchen in Logan County, creating 147 new jobs and an $85 million investment. The company specializes in in "Biologically Appropriate" pet foods using fresh local ingredients. It's headquartered in Alberta, Canada.

Champion's ORIJEN and ACANA dog and cat food brands feature unique, fresh regional ingredients. They're sold in more than 70 countries. The company does not outsource food production and makes all of its products in its own kitchens. The $85 million investment will go toward building a kitchen in Auburn with construction set to begin this summer.

Company executives say Logan County's agricultural heritage and proximity to ranches and farms makes its location a good fit. In a release, Governor Beshear said, "not only will Champion Petfoods bring vital agricultural jobs to the region, but it will also create a new customer base for nearby farmers and ranchers."

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives of up to $8.7 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. KEDFA also approved Champion for tax benefits of up to $1.3 million through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act.

The state will auction dozens of high quality collector's items left over from the a 2008 agriculture conference during Richie Farmer's tenure as Kentucky agriculture commissioner.

A news release from current agriculture commissioner James Comer says the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will sell 13 Remington rifles and 16 Case knives in an auction May 5th at their Frankfort headquarters with the proceeds going to help fund an urban garden project.

Six universities in Kentucky may now begin growing legal hemp this year. Agriculture Commissioner James Comer told Kentucky Public Radio his office has received the go-ahead from the Attorney General's office to begin pilot projects with the plant.

Those projects were made possible by last year's state legislation providing a regulatory framework and a provision inserted in a recent federal farm bill. Comer says his office will begin immediately to finalize regulations concerning the growth and production of hemp.

The manufacturer of suspension systems and components for heavy-duty vehicles will create 75 jobs as a result of their $20 million investment. The company held a ceremonial groundbreaking for their plant Wednesday in Elizabethtown.

The site will manufacture products to supply the company's existing operations in nearby states at their new location in the T. J. Patterson Industrial Park. Construction of the 100,000 sq ft building is expected to be completed later this year. The company has two existing operations in Somerset and Lebanon employing 450 Kentuckians.

Ground was broken Wednesday for the Warren County-based Kentucky Transpark's fifth speculative building in the past seven years.

All four previous buildings have been sold to manufacturers after being on the market for less than a year. The first spec building was bought in 2007  by American Howa Kentucky before ground was broken.

Most recently, Austrian-based plastic packaging company Alpla, Inc. purchased the fourth Speculative Building , bringing $22.3 million in capital investment and 72 new full-time jobs to the region. The Transpark employs more than 1,100 total.

The Bowling Green Independent School District Monday night introduced new elements in their ongoing negotiations with the Warren County School District over the number of non-city residents who can attend city schools.

The school systems don't have an agreement about how many county-resident students the city will accept, and are trying to reach a contract under orders from Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday.

The Bowling Green Daily News reports the city's plan includes a reduction from 750 non-resident students to 650 over ten years. Non-resident students would be admitted on a first come, first served basis. Siblings of students would be admitted, 60% of the remaining spots would be filled by kindergarteners based on application date, and the final 40% on grades 1 - 12 based on date of application.

The non-resident agreement is key to a school district receiving Support Education Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK) funding for out-of-district students.

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