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.

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Creative Commons

Kentucky State Police officers are teaming up with the federal government to collect unused and outdated prescription medications.

Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, and drop-off locations will be set up at locations across the commonwealth.

State Police spokesman Josh Brashears says it’s opportunity to get rid of medications that could be accidentally ingested by children, stolen, or misused.

“Any kind of solid dosage units—pills or liquid cough syrup, anything like that, we can accept and safely dispose of that.”

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul thinks China is the key to keeping the erratic North Korean regime in check.

The Bowling Green Republican said Beijing can put even more political and economic pressure on North Korea, after that country recently suffered an embarrassing failed missile launch.

“I do agree with the Trump administration that talking to China, and trying to get China involved, is an important part” of getting North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un “to behave,” Paul said.

Speaking to reporters at his Bowling Green office Monday, Paul said China has tremendous leverage with Pyongyang given North Korea’s economic woes.

David Brinkley

Kentucky’s Second District Congressman thinks lawmakers will need to have a greater say in any future U.S. military action in Syria.

Bowling Green Republican Brett Guthrie said it remains to be seen if the Syrian regime will change its behavior after last week’s U.S. missile attack on an airfield. His comments come as questions are raised over the role Congress should play in approving the kinds of strikes carried out

“And I actually do think the president had the authority to do what he did the other day, but I think if we’re going to engage and move forward, it needs to have Congressional authorization,” Rep. Guthrie said. “I said that when President Obama was president, and I’ll say it now.”

WKU

An attorney representing Western Kentucky University’s student newspaper thinks an open records lawsuit could take several months to resolve.

The comments from Mike Abate come after a hearing related to the lawsuit scheduled for Monday was canceled.

WKU is suing the College Heights Herald and the University of Kentucky student newspaper to prevent the release of documents related to potential sexual harassment allegations made against university employees.

The hearing was canceled after WKU agreed to a motion allowing the state Attorney General’s office to intervene on the side of the newspapers. Abate says it’s a key development.

Kentucky State Parks

Hundreds of volunteers are expected at an event Saturday designed to clean up the area around a southeastern Kentucky park.

The group PRIDE serves 42 counties in the region, and is kicking off its Spring Cleanup Campaign Saturday morning at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park.

PRIDE president Tammi Wilson says the effort will target trash pickup along the roadway leading into and out of the park in McCreary and Whitley counties.

“We’ve had as many as 507 volunteers at this event at one time. We pick up about, just under, a thousand bags of trash on that 27 miles of roadway. So you can just imagine the impact that that makes—almost a thousand bags of trash no longer on the roadway," Wilson said.

Creative Commons

A new statewide polls finds 42 percent of Kentucky adults say they aren’t getting the recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables.

The Kentucky Health Issues Poll also found that the availability of healthy food options remains a barrier for many low-income Kentuckians.

Nearly one-quarter of low-income earning adults said they didn’t have easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables and whole-grain foods. Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky President Ben Chandler said better eating would lead to better results for the commonwealth.

City of Bowling Green

The mayor of Bowling Green says he doesn’t think recent comments about a so-called “massacre” in the city will harm its reputation.

A senior advisor to President Trump, Kellyanne Conway, cited what she called the “Bowling Green massacre” in defense of the administration’s controversial travel ban. Those comments were aired Thursday night in an interview on MSNBC.

Two Iraqi citizens were arrested in Bowling Green in 2011 on terrorism charges, but there were no attacks or deaths related to the incident.

Western Kentucky University has identified 22 students and two faculty members who are from the countries impacted by President Trump’s executive order banning entry into the U.S.

The school issued a statement Monday saying it doesn’t know of any affected students or faculty members who are currently overseas or being prevented from re-entering the U.S.

Trump’s order barred travelers from seven majority-Muslim nations from entering the U.S. for 90 days.

WKU says its advising students and employees from those seven countries to avoid leaving the U.S. while parts of the ban are still in place.

GM

The Bowling Green General Motors plant is temporarily shutting down later this year to make changes to its vehicle production process.

The facility will temporarily lay off employees while the changes are being made.

A spokeswoman for the plant said a decision on the exact dates and length of the shutdown hasn’t been made, but that it would likely cover parts of the summer and fall.

The plant employees about 840 hourly workers, along with 165 salaried individuals. The spokeswoman said some employees will be asked to work through the temporary shutdown, with the plant making those decisions based on the facility’s needs.

David Brinkley

Western Kentucky University has its next president.

The school’s board of regents voted unanimously Friday to offer the job to Timothy Caboni.

The 47-year-old currently serves as vice chancellor for public affairs at the University of Kansas.

He was formally introduced as WKU’s next president at a Friday afternoon news conference.

In an interview with WKU Public Radio, Caboni said his top challenge as the school's next leader is figuring out how to retain more first-year students.

"Those first-year students that we recruit must graduate in four years. Right now we're losing about a quarter of those students, and that's not acceptable. I've told that to faculty, staff, students, and anybody else who will listen. We're going to do better, and we're going to do better starting next year. It's going to take the entire community creating a culture of completion."

WFPL News

Two Amish men are suing the city of Auburn, Kentucky, in Logan County, saying a city ordinance is placing a substantial burden on their freedom of religion.

The ordinance, passed in 2014, requires all horses within the city of Auburn to be outfitted with equine diapers to catch their waste.

The plaintiffs are members of the Old Order Swartzentruber Amish religion, widely considered the most conservative Amish order, and affixing diapers to their horses is not permitted by the Swartzentruber church.

WKU

Three people who have dedicated their lives to educating others have been selected to be inducted into the Kentucky Teacher Hall of Fame.

A statement from Western Kentucky University, which houses the hall, says the current or former teachers selected are Opal T. Sibert, Ron Skillern and Joe Westerfield. All three will be inducted during a ceremony on March 8 in Frankfort.

The statement says Sibert was an influential educator for 30 years in Laurel County before retiring in 1986 and was known for her persistence.

Westerfield taught history and government in Daviess County schools for 33 years before retiring in 2002 and was known for his enthusiasm.

Skillern, who is still teaching social studies after a 30-year career in Bowling Green and Warren County schools, has been described by former students as a great motivator.

WKU

The Western Kentucky University presidential search committee is meeting in closed session Thursday and Friday in Nashville.

The group is considering candidates to replace WKU President Gary Ransdell, who is retiring next summer after 20 years at the school.

The school has issued an agenda for the meeting saying that the search committee will meet in closed session at the Nashville Airport Marriott to discuss applicants for the presidential position.

Kentucky law allows the search committee to conduct the hiring process behind closed doors,without members of the public or media present.

Some WKU employees have asked the search committee to conduct open meetings, and allow members of the community to meet with finalists before a decision is made.

J. Tyler Franklin

The head of the Warren County Republican Party says his party’s huge gains in the state House are more evidence of how the GOP has expanded its influence in Kentucky.

Scott Lasley, who is also a political science professor at Western Kentucky University, says the 17 seats Republicans picked up Tuesday are the result of the party’s increased focus on selecting quality candidates.

He says the party is now competitive in parts of the state where it used to not even put up a challenger against Democratic incumbents

If you go back and look at the data and the evolution of open seat races and uncontested races, it’s always that you had a bunch of Democrats that are running uncontested. Now it’s a bunch of Republicans that are uncontested,” Lasley said.


Lefteris Pitarakis/AP

An announcement this week from the Oxford University Press landed like a bombshell in the laps of Shakespeare fans and scholars.

The prestigious publisher revealed that its new edition of the complete works of William Shakespeare will credit the 16th century British poet and playwright Christopher Marlowe as co-author of the three Henry VI plays.

There have long been debates and controversy over whether the many plays, sonnets and other works attributed to Shakespeare were, in fact, written by him. The decision by Oxford University Press will likely further stoke the discussion.

WKU Public Radio spoke with Western Kentucky University English Professor and Shakespeare scholar Gillian Knoll about her reaction to the decision to credit Marlowe as co-author of the Henry VI plays.

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