Rhonda Miller


Rhonda Miller joined WKU Public Radio in 2015.  She has worked as Gulf Coast reporter for Mississippi Public Broadcasting, where she won Associated Press, Edward R. Murrow and Green Eyeshade awards for stories on dead sea turtles, health and legal issues arising from the 2010 BP oil spill and homeless veterans.

She has worked at Rhode Island Public Radio,  as an intern at WVTF Public Radio in Roanoke, Virginia, and at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Rhonda’s freelance work called Writing Into Sound includes stories for Voice of America, WSHU Public Radio in Fairfield, Conn., NPR and AARP Prime Time Radio.

She has a master’s degree in media studies from Rhode Island College and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University.

Rhonda enjoys quiet water kayaking, riding her bicycle and folk music. She was a volunteer DJ for Root-N-Branch at WUMD community radio in Dartmouth, Mass. 

Rhonda J. Miller

Students in south Warren County and Owensboro were among young people nationwide who walked out of classrooms Wednesday to honor the 17 students and educators shot to death in Parkland, Florida and to push for safer schools. 

Set among peaceful fields with bales of hay and grazing cows, South Warren High School is the picture of a safe place for students. But school shooters at campuses across the country have put students on edge.

The fatal shooting of 17 people at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida last month and the killing of two students and injuries to more than a dozen others at Marshall County High School in Kentucky in January have left students rattled.

Owensboro Public Schools

Some students at Owensboro’s two public high schools are expected to take part in the March 14 walkout to honor the 17 people shot to death at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. 

The walkout by students across the county will take place at 10 a.m. local time. The goal is to encourage Congress to pass stronger gun control laws.

Owensboro Centre for Business and Research

An Owensboro school that focuses on training future entrepreneurs is expanding its footprint in a facility that houses a business incubator.

The public school known as Innovation Academy launched in 2015 with its freshman class and has been occupying half the space at the Owensboro Centre for Business and Research. The school has grown and beginning in June will take over the entire 40,000-square-foot  facility as it prepares for the Fall academic year with all four grades of high school.

The business  incubator launched in 2009 to provide office and laboratory space for up-and-coming businesses with a focus on the life sciences. 

Daviess County Emergency Management

Much of Smothers Park along the Owensboro riverfront remains under water from recent rains and floodwaters. The Ohio River crested near 48 feet on Tuesday, about eight feet above flood stage.

John Clouse is deputy director of Daviess County Emergency Management. He says an inch or more of mid-week rains are expected to keep the river above its banks a while longer. 

"We should see a gradual but steady decline in the height of the river. Somewhere around Friday or Saturday we should see some significant droppage," said Clouse. "A couple feet here, a couple feet there, which when you’re talking about something the size and the width of the Ohio River, that’s a considerable amount of water.”

Adam May/ WHOP

The severe weather that battered Kentucky over the past weekend has left some communities grieving over relatives and neighbors who lost their lives.

The Saturday flooding  took the life of an elderly Union County farmer and a Simpson County man. A  Logan County woman died on Saturday when a tornado struck her home.

The warnings about the deadly nature of flooded roadways keep coming from police and transportation officials, but it’s still difficult to make a spur-of-the-moment decision when your vehicle suddenly comes up on a flooded roadway.

Rhonda J. Miller

Western Kentucky University revealed its recommended plan today on how it might confront a $15 million budget shortfall, plus increased pension contributions and reduced state funding.  

WKU President Timothy Caboni told the Board of Regents that the necessary financial cuts require the most painful decision a university leader must make – cutting five percent of the faculty and staff of about 2,000 employees.              

“We’ll significantly reduce the size of our workforce at WKU," said Caboni. "We’ve captured approximately 40 vacant positions through our hiring slowdown we implemented last fall. An additional 90-to-100 positions will be eliminated this spring.”


The Evansville energy company that serves 145,000 customers in southwestern Indiana has released a transition plan that phases out most coal-fired power and replaces it with natural gas and solar.

Vectren says its plan will reduce carbon emissions by 60 percent by retiring three coal-fired plants and retrofitting one remaining coal unit so it's in compliance with Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

Rhonda J. Miller

It’s Monday evening, the time every week when a few residents of Ohio County, Kentucky gather at The Hub in the small town of Hartford for coding boot camp.  Coding is a precise set of instructions that tells a computer what to do.

“I have to enter something in every field, but I should be able to put something in there, so if I skip over a field it still counts as a token somehow,” said Cindy Sandefur as she goes over her progress in the computer programming language Java in a two-way video conference with instructor Patrick Toner of The Software Guild.

"So what you’ll do is you’ll ask them to enter all of the fields." said Toner. "And you know how you’re calling the setters  on the fields, whenever you get the stuff. They don’t enter any information, just don’t call the setter." 

Owensboro Public Schools

The superintendent of Owensboro Public Schools has been named Administrator of the Year by the Kentucky Music Educators Association.

Superintendent Nick Brake said his advocacy for music and other arts in public schools continues a vision that began in the district years ago.

“It's a culmination of our board’s commitment over decades of previous superintendents who have held the same ideals and belief that the arts are part of the core curriculum in creating well-rounded students.”

Edmonson News

Kentucky’s blossoming film industry may hit a dry spell. The state has halted consideration of new projects for a program that gives tax incentives to filmmakers working in Kentucky.

Some communities are welcoming film crews with excitement and local services, while others say the incentive is a giveaway the state cannot afford.

A spokesman for the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet says the state stopped accepting applications on Feb. 1 for new projects seeking film industry tax credits.

Simpson County Schools Facebook

Educators from across Kentucky will be at the state Capitol this week encouraging legislators to restore funding that’s been eliminated in the governor’s proposed budget. Gov. Matt Bevin has proposed eliminating funding for 70 state programs. More than 40 of those programs are related to education.

Wednesday is Education Advocacy Day at the Capitol, an annual event sponsored by the Kentucky School Boards Association.

Jim Flynn is superintendent of Simpson County Schools and chair of the Green River Regional Educational Cooperative that represents 43 districts.

Owensboro Public Schools/Facebook

As state lawmakers wrestle over Kentucky’s upcoming two-year budget, the Owensboro school superintendent said he will join other education leaders at the Capitol next week in an effort to convince legislators that investments in education are critical for economic growth.

When Owensboro Public Schools Superintendent Nick Brake talks about the importance of the state investing in education, he speaks from his experience of working with business executives who are considering investing in Kentucky. Brake spent seven years as CEO of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation and said states that make a commitment to quality education have a more robust economy in the long-term.

Flickr/Creative Commons/ NCSSM

A proposal by Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin impacting the health coverage of retired teachers is causing alarm among many educators. Bevin has proposed eliminating $145 million in state funding for the health insurance of retired teachers.

After months of watching Kentucky lawmakers grapple with possible changes that could affect teacher pensions, the proposed cut in the upcoming two-year budget was another blow to retired educators.

Tim Abrams is executive director of the Kentucky Retired Teachers Association. He said teachers who have dedicated 27 years or more to students feel like they have not been shown much respect in pension and budgeting considerations.

The ARC of Kentucky

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed budget recommends eliminating state funding for 70 programs. One of those is a volunteer program that serves individuals with disabilities.

The ARC of Kentucky has volunteer chapters across the state that provide educational and community support for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities, including autism and Down Syndrome.

Funding for ARC was already eliminated in July 2017, halfway through the last two-year state budget cycle. The group could no longer afford its paid executive director, so Sherri Brothers began in August 2017 as interim executive director – as a full-time volunteer.


Kentucky is out of the running in the fierce competition for Amazon’s second U.S. headquarters.

Louisville hoped to gain the attention of the Seattle-based company, and the 50,000 jobs that would come with the project. But Louisville is not one of 20 cities on Amazon’s short list released this week.