Kevin Willis

News Director

Kevin is the News Director at WKU Public Radio.  He has been with the station since 1999, and was previously the Assistant News Director, and also served as local host of Morning Edition.  

He is a broadcast journalism graduate of WKU, and has won numerous awards for his reporting and feature production. 

Kevin grew up in Radcliff, Kentucky and currently lives in Glasgow.

Ways to Connect

Ron Baker via Creative Commons

A two-day outdoor music festival in Somerset is celebrating its 25th year with an American musical legend.

Singer-songwriter John Prine is the headlining act Saturday night at the Master Musicians Festival, which gets underway Friday afternoon at Festival Field on the campus of Somerset Community College.

Prine is known for his 1971 song “Paradise”, about the environmental impacts of coal mining on Muhlenberg County.

Vanderbilt University

A judge from northern Kentucky is reportedly not one of the three finalists President Trump is considering as a Supreme Court nominee.

When Justice Anthony Kennedy announced last week that he was retiring from the Supreme Court, speculation immediately focused on who President Trump would nominate to fill the vacant seat.

One of those under consideration has been Amul Thapar, who lives in Covington and is a judge on the Cincinnati-based U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. CNN and other media outlets have reported that Thapar and at least six other candidates have met with Trump since Kennedy’s announcement.

Creative Commons

The Office of the Kentucky Attorney General is warning residents to avoid falling victim to a scam involving their Social Security numbers.

The AG’s office says they’ve received reports of a phone scam featuring con artists who claim to be with the Social Security Administration. The caller ironically tells the would-be victim that his or her Social Security Number has been stolen and that a new one needs to be issued.

WFPL

A website launched earlier this year is helping Kentucky get a better understanding of the kinds of addiction treatment facilities and programs needed by its residents.

FindHelpNowKY.org is a search engine that can be used by those with substance abuse disorders, their family members, and medical professionals.

It’s been used by an estimated 6,000 Kentuckians since it launched January 1, and tracks 181 providers and 446 facilities across the state that serve those with addiction issues.

medicare.com

The office of the Kentucky Attorney General is warning senior citizens to be on the lookout for scams related to new Medicare I.D. cards.

The federal government is preparing to mail the new I.D cards to more than 900,000 Kentucky Medicare recipients.

Reports from other parts of the country say scammers pretending to be from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid are calling enrollees and claiming they need personal and financial information in order to provide the new cards.

Western Kentucky University

The estate of a longtime Western Kentucky University supporter is pledging a $10 million endowment for student scholarships.

Annual investment earnings from the endowment will be added to the Jerry E. Baker Student Scholarship Fund, which was initially created by a direct bequest by Baker, who passed away last June.

Baker was a businessman, philanthropist, and founder of the Baker Arboretum and Downing Museum in Warren County.

The new scholarship fund will provide support to WKU students who major or minor in music, dance, theatre, art, or horticulture.

WKU

The Western Kentucky University Finance and Budget Committee has agreed to send the full Board of Regents a proposed spending plan that increases student tuition and fees, as well as employee salaries.

The proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 would increase undergraduate tuition by four-percent, and add $50 to the online course fee assessed to full-time students.

Kentucky Dept. of Veterans Affairs

A Hardin County facility that provides long-term care for military veterans is getting a special dedication Thursday.

A section of the Carl M. Brashear Radcliff Veterans Center will feature two brick walls, one of which will have the etching “Once a veteran, always a veteran.”

The other will say, “Together we serve.”

Barren River Area Safe Space

A Bowling Green-based domestic violence shelter wants to empower women who are trying to land jobs in office settings.

Barren River Area Safe Space—or BRASS--is holding its spring Dress for Change event through May 23. The shelter is giving women donated clothing and accessories they can wear for job interviews and while at work.

BRASS Executive Director Tori Henninger said women who are physically abused by their partners are also often victims of financial abuse.

U.S. Army Human Resources Command Public Affairs Office

A motorcycle ride this week in Hardin County is putting the spotlight on sexual assault awareness and prevention.

The U.S. Army Human Resources Command at Fort Knox is holding its annual Raise the Bars Motorcycle Ride Thursday.

Participants will start at Fort Knox and ride to Silverleaf Sexual Trauma Recovery Services in Elizabethtown.

WFPL

A new poll shows one in four Kentuckians knows someone who has abused prescription pain drugs.

The Kentucky Health Issues Poll also showed a decrease in the number of adults in the commonwealth who were prescribed pain pills. In 2011, about half of adults had a pain pill prescription. The poll released this week shows that’s declined to one in three adults.

Eastern Kentucky PRIDE

It turns out spring cleaning isn’t just for homes—it’s for entire regions of the commonwealth.

The non-profit group Eastern Kentucky PRIDE is holding its 20th annual Spring Cleanup during the month of April.

An estimated 25,000-30,000 volunteers across 42 counties in eastern and southern Kentucky will clean up trash near homes, businesses, parks, and roadways.

WKU Public Affairs

A rally for higher education is being held on Western Kentucky University’s campus Thursday afternoon.

It’s an event being coordinated with other universities in the state, which are planning to hold similar rallies.

The rally at WKU is being organized by several groups, including the Department of Sociology and Criminology, Queer Student Union, Transgender Non-Binary Student Group, and Center for Citizenship and Social Justice.

Becca Schimmel

The U.S. Senate Majority Leader is maintaining his position related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky visited Bowling Green and Western Kentucky University Monday, and sat down for an interview with WKU Public Radio.

McConnell hasn’t said much publicly about Mueller’s investigation. But the little he’s said has been consistent—that Mueller should be left free to do his job.


Wikimedia Commons

A Kentucky university is recognizing the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Campbellsville University will mark the anniversary Wednesday, April 4, with what it’s billing as a community prayer service. The school is inviting local churches that have regular Wednesday evening services to take part in the event at Ransdell Chapel.

John Chowning, excecutive assistant to the president for government, community and constituent relations at Campbellsville University, says this week’s anniversary provided an important opportunity for the community.

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