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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Regional
11:23 am
Mon February 13, 2012

Many Kentucky Counties Rely on Federal Dollars for Nearly Half of Individual Incomes

A county-by-county analysis shows Kentuckians depend on federal government initiatives at a rate higher than the national average. The analysis by the New York Times looked at each county in the country, and the percentage of income its residents received from 50 federal benefits programs, such as Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, unemployment insurance, and food stamps.

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No Child Left Behind
3:06 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Kentucky Superintendent Believes New State Reform Effort Much More Fair than NCLB

The Superintendent of Hardin County Schools says the No Child Left Behind waiver given to Kentucky will allow the state to better judge how students are progressing academically. Nannette Johnston told WKU Public Radio that the federal law was an overly simplistic “pass or fail” model. She believes the state’s new system will give schools credit for the success they have in helping individual students.

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Politics
3:57 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

Kentucky House Speaker: Forget About Congressional Redistricting this Session

Efforts to redraw Kentucky's U.S. House districts are dead in the General Assembly. State House Speaker Greg Stumbo made that declaration after the state Senate could not agree to the latest compromise on district maps.

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Business
1:41 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

Southern Indiana to Get 400 New Toyota Manufacturing Jobs

Americans have grown used to hearing about U-S jobs being shipped overseas. Now, one of the biggest names in global auto manufacturing is moving jobs from Japan to Indiana.

Toyota Motor Corporation is shifting producing of its Highlander sport-utility vehicle from Japan to its plant in Princeton, Indiana. Toyota plans to invest 400-million dollars to expand the Gibson County factory, and add 400 new jobs.

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Redistricting Ruling
3:08 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Judge Throws Out New Kentucky Legislative Boundaries

A Franklin Circuit Court judge has thrown out new legislative district maps, saying they violate the basic principles of the Kentucky Constitution.

Judge Phillip Shepherd's ruling is based on the so-called five percent rule. It says new districts must be within five percent of their ideal size. Shepherd added that the maps of both the House and Senate districts divided too many counties.

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Agriculture
10:30 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Kentucky Ag Commissioner: New Pact Will Hurt State's Tobacco Farmers

Kentucky lawmakers are protesting a current trade agreement that they say would hurt tobacco.

The U.S. is currently negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, which includes countries like New Zealand, Peru and Vietnam. But the lawmakers say the proposal excludes tobacco protections.

At a news conference in Frankfort today, Democratic and Republican lawmakers urged President Barack Obama to add provisions for tobacco to the agreement.

Republican Agriculture Commissioner James Comer says including the crop will help Kentucky farmers.

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US Housing Market
10:03 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Kentucky Not Currently Part of Settlement over Foreclosures

More than 40 U.S. states have agreed to a nationwide settlement over foreclosure abuses. The deal would force the five largest mortgage lenders to reduce loans for about 1 million households.

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Science
9:45 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Deadly Disease Affecting Bats Found in Northwestern Kentucky

A bat with white-nose bat syndrome

A disease that has killed millions of bats in eastern North America has been found in three central Kentucky caves.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Resources says three common bat species tested positive for the fungus responsible for white-nose syndrome. The species are the Northern long-eared, tri-colored and little brown bats.

The caves are privately owned and not open to the public. The department says they are northeast of Hardinsburg in Breckinridge County.

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Redistricting in Kentucky
2:40 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

No Decision Yet on Legality of Redistricting, but Ruling to Come Soon

A Kentucky judge says he may rule by midweek on the constitutionality of legislative redistricting in a case that has the state's election filing deadline in flux.

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Money and Politics
8:30 am
Mon February 6, 2012

Rand Paul's PAC Not Raking in Big Dollars--at Least Not Yet

After more than a year in office, U.S. Senator Rand Paul is having trouble turning his political action committee into a fundraising powerhouse.

The PAC, named RANDPAC, has less than $100,000 in the bank.

Among its donors are former high-ranking GOP officials Cathy Bailey and Hunter Bates. The committee has also drawn donations from PACs that belong to UPS, Brown-Forman and other Kentucky companies.

And Kentucky’s senior senator Mitch McConnell gave $5,000 from his Bluegrass Committee PAC.

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