Rhonda Miller

Reporter

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. 

Owensboro Regional Farmers Market

The Owensboro Regional Farmers Market opens for the season April 14.  The 34-year-old marketplace will soon feature a new look as it puts down permanent roots in the community.

The vendors’ tents at the Owensboro Farmers Market will soon be replaced by a permanent structure with a fabric roof. Construction is expected to be done by the end of this month on a rustic-style entrance building with cedar siding and a metal roof that will house rest rooms and a small service kitchen.

Bill Monroe Museum

A new museum honoring ‘The Father of Bluegrass’ opens April 20 in Bill Monroe’s hometown of Rosine. The museum that’s been a long-time dream of the Ohio County community is finally a reality.

This community opening of the Bill Monroe Museum will launch the tourism season for Ohio County that’s naturally focused on the legendary musician who’s given credit for creating a genre of music because, as he said, he “didn’t want to copy anybody.”

Rhonda J. Miller

The Hub in the small town of Hartford in rural Ohio County is a co-working space, business incubator and training site. After getting a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to train eight county residents, at no cost to them, in a $12,000 coding boot camp, The Hub has a second offering - a chance to be trained as a virtual assistant, also at no cost to the residents. The deadline to apply is April 7.

A virtual assistant is someone who manages an office remotely, doing tasks like bookkeeping, scheduling appointments, research or posting products online for e-commerce.

Flickr/Ira Gelb

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear wants to see final approval of a federal bill that allows owners of websites like ‘Back Page’ to be prosecuted for crimes like human trafficking. The U.S. House and Senate have both passed the legislation H.R. 1865. It now has to be signed by President Donald Trump to become law.

Beshear said that law would give states more power to investigate and prosecute traffickers who take advantage of those who are most vulnerable.     

“A couple of online sites, specifically Back Page, have served as an online haven for sexual slavery allowing people to post ads for human trafficking victims that result in oftentimes young girls or young boys being raped multiple times a day,” said Beshear. 


Kentucky residents who use Facebook are among 50 million people asking if their personal information is part of what may be a massive breach of privacy. Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear said  he’s trying to find out.

The British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica got information on 50 million Facebook users apparently targeted to influence voters in the 2016 election.

International Bluegrass Music Center

The opening date for the new International Bluegrass Music Center in Owensboro has been announced and plans are under way for a three-day grand opening celebration. 

It’s been a challenging construction process. The first general contractor, Evansville-based Peyronnin Constrution, began work in June 2016, then filed for bankruptcy in January 2017, causing an interruption of progress on the project.

Rhonda J. Miller

The Bowling Green community is holding a 'March for Our Lives' on Saturday in support of the national event organized to push for stricter gun laws after 17 students and teachers were fatally shot in Parkland, Florida in February. 

The Bowling Green 'March for Our Lives' is mainly to encourage legislators to pass laws to create safer schools and cut down on gun violence. Many students in Kentucky are on edge after two students were shot to death by a classmate at Marshall County High School in January, followed by the massacre at the Florida high school last month.

The Bowling Green march is being coordinated by the Center for Citizenship and Social Justice at Western Kentucky University. Leah Ashwill is director of the center and says speakers at the community event will take a broad view of gun violence.

Ryland Barton, Kentucky Public Radio

Teachers from across Kentucky are holding a rally in Frankfort on Wednesday, March 21 to protest proposed changes to the state pension system and support funding for education. 

It’s being called a ‘Day of Action’ and several school districts, mostly in eastern Kentucky, have canceled classes so teachers can participate. Some districts, like Owensboro, are holding regularly scheduled classes but sending delegations of teachers. The Owensboro Education Association is planning to send 21 teachers.

Green River Area Development District

A few hundred senior citizens in the Green River region are on a waiting list for home-delivered meals because of tightened state and federal budgets. 

The Green River Area Development District, or GRADD, serves about 1,000 meals a day at senior centers and for in-home deliveries. 

GRADD Associate Director for Aging and Social Services Jennifer Williams said a substantial number of elderly residents who have requested home-delivered meals can’t be served.

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.”


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