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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Classical Music
9:32 am
Wed October 14, 2009

Web exclusive: Complete, Unedited Interview with Giancarlo Guerrero

Nashville, TN – As a special web exclusive, WKU Public Radio is offering the complete, half-hour conversation between Nashville Symphony conductor and music director Giancarlo Guerrero and Kevin Willis.

Classical Music
11:21 am
Tue October 13, 2009

Leader of Nashville Symphony Talks About Challenges Facing Classical Music

Giancarlo Guerrero

Nashville, TN – Giancarlo Guerrero is a man at the helm of one of the top up-and-coming orchestras in the country. As conductor and music director of the Nashville Symphony, Guerrero is in a unique position to address the many challenges facing orchestras and the American classical music industry. In this interview with WKU Public Radio's Kevin Willis, Guerrero talks about attracting audiences for new music, the threats posed by cutting musical education in schools, and his own favorite pieces of music.

Health
9:29 am
Mon October 5, 2009

HIV Researcher in Owensboro More Positive than Ever a Vaccine is Possible

Louisville, Ky – Kentucky's most innovative HIV researcher says he's excited about the news concerning a recent clinical trial involving 16,000 adults in Thailand. Dr. Kenneth Palmer is a Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Louisville. He says many in the field of HIV prevention had given up hope that a vaccine was possible. The Thailand study showed those who took a combination of vaccines had a 31% decreased risk of contracting the virus that causes AIDS.

Health of Tennessee Women
12:40 pm
Fri October 2, 2009

Tennessee Women's Health Report Card has Several Ugly Grades

Nashville, TN – One researcher who contributed to the 2009 Tennessee Women's Health Report Card says the results show the state is paying for unhealthy lifestyles. The first-of-its-kind effort in Tennessee gives the state failing or near-failing grades in categories such as obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. We spoke with Dr. Katherine Hartmann, Director of Women's Health Research at Vanderbilt University, and Tennessee Health Commissioner Susan Collins.

Agriculture
11:35 am
Mon September 14, 2009

Barren County Cheesemaker Lauded Regionally and Nationally

Austin, Ky – Kenny's Farmhouse Cheese is the stuff of legend for many cheese lovers in the region. Kenny Mattingly started making cheese 11 years ago in rural Barren County, and after some tough times, his business caught the wave of interest in locally-produced food. Kevin Willis visited the Mattingly farm to learn more about the story behind the cheese.

Gatton Academy
3:59 pm
Wed September 9, 2009

Many Gatton Academy Students Staying at WKU, While Others Pursue Higher Ed Elsewhere

Bowling Green, Ky – The Carol Martin Gatton Academy for Math and Science in Kentucky is now in its third year on the campus of WKU. Some of the best high school juniors and seniors take classes alongside WKU undergraduates, and engage in research projects with school faculty. After they graduate from Gatton, students can attend college anywhere. Kevin Willis has this report on the decision facing Gatton graduates: should they stay on at WKU, or pursue higher education elsewhere?

Changing Newspaper Industry
9:22 am
Wed September 2, 2009

Some Kentucky Newspapers Debating Whether to Charge for Online Content

Owensboro, Ky – As newspapers throughout the country struggle with the issue of making their online operations profitable, a publisher in Owensboro says papers have to stop giving away their product for free. Bob Morris is group publisher for the company that produces several papers in Kentucky, including the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer. Morris says not charging for online content gives the impression the product has no value. We also hear from Jeff Jobe, a publisher based in Glasgow.

Health
9:35 am
Thu August 20, 2009

"Adopt-A-Backer" Program Providing Food to Needy Kentucky Kids

Bowling Green, Ky – An Elizabethtown-based group that serves 42 Kentucky counties is trying to get food to hungry children. Feeding America, Kentucky's Heartland is trying to rally support for its "Adopt-A-Backpacker" program, which provides basic food items for children to take home on the weekends. Each Friday, school personnel put a bag of food in the child's backpack. The organization's Development Director, Tami Delaney, says this is done to avoid stigmatizing the child. Kevin Willis reports.

Business
10:23 am
Wed July 29, 2009

With Dining Dollars Down, Glasgow Restaurant Tries to Beat the Odds

Dawn Purvis, owner of Sorrento restaurant in Glasgow

Glasgow, Ky – Many restaurants in the region--and nation--have been trying to survive during a time of decreased consumer spending. One such place is Sorrento Italian restaurant in Glasgow. It opened in May of 2008, right when the full impact of the recession was being felt in consumers' pocketbooks. Sorrento owner Dawn Purvis says to make it in the restaurant business, you have to be willing to do a little bit of everything--even wash dishes. Kevin Willis has our report.

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Health
3:39 pm
Mon June 15, 2009

HIV Research in Owensboro Utilizes Tobacco Plants

Owensboro, Ky – Groundbreaking HIV research ongoing in Owensboro could one day impact the lives of people in the developing world. Dr. Kenneth Palmer is leading a study that has successfully grown an HIV-blocking protein in the Kentucky tobacco plant. Kevin Willis visited Dr. Palmer's offices in Owensboro to learn about the research and how it could one day save lives by preventing the spread of the virus that causes AIDS.

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