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

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.

Becca Schimmel

A bill aimed at providing an economic development boost to 39 Kentucky counties that purchase power from the Tennessee Valley Authority—or have TVA property—is on to Gov. Matt Bevin’s desk.

As a federal entity, TVA doesn’t pay property taxes on any of its assets in 39 counties in southern, western, and parts of eastern Kentucky.  Instead, the utility pays an in-lieu-of tax to the state, which is five percent of its gross sales.

Kevin Willis

The leader of a Bowling Green-based refugee resettlement agency says his group is on pace to relocate less than half the number of refugees it was supposed to receive this fiscal year.

Albert Mbanfu, executive director of the International Center of Kentucky, said Thursday his agency was supposed to relocate 279 refugees during the current federal fiscal year that ends September 30.

But they’re on pace to only receive about 125 refugees during that time period.

English, Lucas, Priest, and Owsley

A new program in Bowling Green is aimed at increasing the diversity of the city’s legal and law enforcement communities.

The Legal Diversity Pipeline Project involves the Bowling Green Police Department, Warren County Courts, a Bowling Green law firm and two local high schools.

About 60 freshmen from Bowling Green High and Warren Central will meet Friday with Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John Minton, Jr. and U.S. District Judge Robert Stivers, visit the 911 dispatch center at the city’s police department, and tour the Warren County Jail.

Thinkstock

Kentucky’s Justice Secretary says he’s not giving up on criminal justice reforms becoming a reality during this year’s legislative session.

But John Tilley’s comments come as a reform bill is stalled in a House committee.

House Bill 396 is the result of suggestions made by a committee appointed by Governor Bevin to find ways to lower Kentucky’s incarceration rate, and increase opportunities for addicts to receive substance abuse treatment.

Wikimedia Commons

Two southern Kentucky teenagers are hosting what they’re billing as a bipartisan rally for gun law reform.

Palmer Lessenberry and Autumn Harlow are friends and Glasgow High School juniors who say that while they differ politically, they agree that Congress needs to act to address the number of school shootings in the U.S.

Lessenberry says Saturday’s event in Bowling Green will feature speakers from a variety of backgrounds who will talk about what they think should—and shouldn’t—be done to prevent future mass casualty shootings.

Creative Commons

A new report shows Kentucky falling down a ranking of states with the best women’s and children’s health.

The America’s Health Rankings Health of Women and Children Report lists Kentucky at 42, down eight spots since 2016, when the report was last issued.

Dr. Deneen Vojta is a pediatrician and Executive Vice President of Enterprise Research and Development with United Health Group, which issued the report.

WFPL

U.S. Senator Rand Paul says he will oppose President Trump’s nominees for Secretary of State and CIA Director.

It didn’t take long for Paul, a Bowling Green Republican, to become the first GOP Senator to publicly oppose Mike Pompeo and Gina Haspel.

Pompeo is the current CIA Director who President Trump nominated Tuesday to replace Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. Haspel is currently the second-in-command at the CIA, and has been nominated to replace Pompeo.

Ryland Barton

The Federal Trade Commission says Kentuckians lost more than $6 million last year to scammers and identity thieves.

A new report from the FTC shows Kentuckians made more than 22,000 fraud reports, and 3,000 reports of identity theft in 2017.

The state Attorney General’s Office says the report is proof that Kentuckians need to take steps to avoid being the victims of identity theft and scams.

Creative Commons

Kentucky's Republican governor cannot force a law firm to give back $4 million it got for negotiating a settlement on behalf of the state with the maker of OxyContin, a judge ruled Monday.

Kentucky sued Purdue Pharma, makers of the addictive opioid-based prescription painkiller, in 2007. The case languished in the courts for nearly 10 years before former Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway settled the case for $24 million at the end of 2015, just a few days before he left office.

Lisa Autry

Senator Rand Paul’s office in Bowling Green is putting out the word that it can help Kentucky residents who have lost important federal documents during the recent severe weather.

Bobette Franklin, the Senator’s Director of Constituent Services, says residents often have to replace documents lost or damaged due to flooding and tornados.

“Military service records, a DD-214 that’s received when a service member leaves the service, other military records they may have, military service medals, and other things like social security cards. We know we’re in the middle of tax season,” says Franklin. “So if people have gotten information for their taxes, and those things have been lost, or misplaced, or damaged during this time, those are records that we can also assist in getting.”

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