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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Politics
9:27 am
Sun February 17, 2013

NYTimes: Ashley Judd an "Increasingly Likely Candidate" for U.S. Senate

Will Ashley Judd run for a Kentucky U.S. Senate seat?

Will she or won't she?

For Kentucky political junkies, that's the big question surrounding a potential Ashley Judd challenge to Kentucky's senior U.S. Senator, Mitch McConnell. Judd says she's considering what would be her first ever run at elected office, and that alone has been enough for a Republican PAC to target her with an attack ad.

The New York Times has this look at how some Democrats in Kentucky are viewing a potential Judd Senate candidacy, with some believing the actress has the star-power to challenge McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader, but others saying she could be a liability to the party should she enter the race.

The lone Democratic member of Kentucky's Congressional delegation, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, is taking Judd very seriously.

“I would actually be surprised if she didn’t run right now,” Rep. Yarmuth told the New York Times. “She’s done everything a serious candidate would do.”

Agriculture
2:43 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Industrial Hemp Bill Easily Passes Kentucky Senate

The Kentucky Senate just passed a much-talked about industrial hemp bill 31-6. The measure would create an infrastructure in the state for growing and marketing hemp and hemp-made products should federal laws regarding the crop change.

The bill faces an uncertain future in the Kentucky House.

Arts & Culture
10:41 am
Thu February 14, 2013

"Unscripted" Regional Film Experience Wrapping Up in Owensboro

Owensboro native and filmmaker P.J. Starks
Credit Rogue Cinema

An independent filmmaker from Owensboro is wrapping up an effort to help spotlight other filmmaking talent in the region.

"Unscripted: An Indie Film Xperience" is the brainchild of P.J. Starks, and is a collaboration between his film company and the Daviess County Public Library. The series of short films written, directed, and produced by filmmakers in the Owensboro-Daviess County region concludes Friday night.

Starks says the series gives attendees the chance to see the local films, and then watch them again with the director offering live, interactive commentary.

"It gives the public and the community an opportunity to see the types of talent and artistry we have in the area, and the types of films being made, because it really does run the gamut," says Starks.

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Sports
1:08 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Kentucky's Top Freshman Done for Year with Knee Injury

UK freshman Nerlens Noel

The player some had ranked as the #1 pick in the next NBA draft is out for the rest of the year with a knee injury.

ESPN reports University of Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee in last night's loss at Florida.

The 6'10'' center was averaging 10 points, 10 rebounds, and over four blocks a game before the injury.

Business
8:48 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Former Maker's Mark Chief Says Less Potent Version Won't Affect Taste

The Chairman Emeritus of Maker's Mark blames himself for the company's recent decision to lower the proof of its famous bourbon. Bill Samuels Jr., the son of the founder of Maker's Mark, tells the Courier-Journal he failed to foresee the worldwide surge in demand for Kentucky's famous spirit.

Maker's Mark has announced it will dilute its bourbon from 45 percent alcohol by volume, to 42 percent, so that more whiskey can be bottled to meet demand.

"I was the forecaster in chief around here...I must have been asleep at the wheel," Samuels told the newspaper.

WKU Public Radio interviewed Samuels Jr. and his son, Rob Samuels, who took over as Chairman of Maker's Mark in 2011. Rob Samuels told us at the time he was looking to expand international sales of Maker's Mark, with India as a prime target.

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