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 Riverport

The Owensboro Riverport is moving forward with a rail expansion in the new year that will add space for automobile frame manufacturer Metalsa as it steps up production.

The $1.5 million rail loop project at the riverport is getting the majority of funding from a federal grant to improve air quality. That’s because Mexico-based Metalsa Structural Products is investing nearly $37 million in an expansion that will add 113 jobs at its Owensboro plant. That means a lot more auto frames will be produced and have to be shipped by either by truck or rail.

American Cinema International

The Los Angeles-based company American Cinema International is increasing its production in Kentucky. The first project filmed mostly in Hart County was a Hallmark movie called “An Uncommon Grace,” which aired in February 2017.

The second project launches a three-part mini-series called “Runaway Romance.” It was filmed in Glasgow, Horse Cave, Cave City and Munfordville and will air on Jan.7 on UP-TV, a small network for family-oriented movies. 

George Shamieh is CEO of American Cinema International. He said the assistance he’s been getting from the Southern Kentucky Film Commission and its founder, Hart County Judge Executive Terry Martin, keeps him coming back. Shamieh said one example of that assistance is a day when they were filming in a cave.

Nonviolent Owensboro Facebook

As Americans look toward the New Year, there’s a universal hope for peace in a world so often troubled by conflict and war. Members of a group called Nonviolent Owensboro are working to create a little more of that peace, beginning in their own community.

Nonviolent Owensboro was founded a year ago by Mary Danhauer, a family nurse practitioner at the Green River District Health Department. She launched the group after hearing about a similar organization in Carbondale, Illinois. It's part of a national effort called ‘Nonviolent Cities’ that has the goal of creating more compassionate communities, a mission that matches Danhauer's long-time interest in social justice.  

Rhonda J Miller

South central Kentucky is expected to have 22,000 open jobs in the next five years. That’s going to intensify the current shortage of workers in the state - an issue that’s facing the entire country.

One Warren County company saw refugees arriving at the International Center in Bowling Green as the way to get ahead of the competition for quality employees. 


NOAA

Residents of Bowling Green and Warren County will soon be able to get emergency alerts on their computer, land line phone or cell phone – or all of the above.

Warren County Emergency Management is launching a system called Alert Sense that can warn about situations like tornadoes, floods, hazardous materials or a missing person.

“We’re just really excited to roll this out because it adds that extra layer of security and protection for everybody in Warren County," said Melissa Moore, a spokesperson for emergency management. "Not everyone has a weather radio and a lot of people rely on our community outdoor warning sirens that you can’t always hear inside.”

Crews began filming a movie called “Prayer Box” in Edmonson County this week. It’s one of several productions lured to the region since the creation of the Southern Kentucky Film Commission in October 2016 by the Hart County Fiscal Court.

Rhonda Clemmons is executive director of the Edmonson County Tourism Commission and a board member of the Southern Kentucky Film Commission. She said there’s a lot of activity being generated by film.

Community Action of Southern Kentucky

The countdown is on as Americans approach the Dec. 15 deadline to enroll in a health care plan under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Even with all the political debate over health care, enrollments appear to be going smoothly so far in south central Kentucky.

There is some good news about health care enrollments in the 10 counties served by Community Action of Southern Kentucky. Melissa Grimes is the organization’s manager for the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange. She said many people who were worried about the cost of health insurance are breathing a sigh of relief. 

Rural Transit Enterprises Coordinated

A holiday trolley could turn into a permanent bus route in Somerset if there’s enough demand for the service. 

The pilot project is trolley service through downtown Somerset and to the major shopping centers along highways 27 and 80 during the Christmas season. But city leaders and the trolley company, Rural Transit Enterprises Coordinated, or RTEC, are seeing a possible long-term future for the service.

RTEC does provide service by request when people call and have to go to a doctor’s appointment or even shopping, but there’s no scheduled public transportation system.

Medical professionals say there’s a lot of confusion across America about the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.  Kentucky health care leaders are contacting residents individually and at public events to give them information and encourage them to enroll by the Dec. 15 deadline.         

Residents of the Bluegrass State can go online to the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange to find someone in their area to help with the application and enrollment for health insurance plans. Each county has "assisters" who can provide information and help with enrollment. These "assisters" were previously called "kynectors," when the state's kynect health care marketplace was in operation, or "navigators."

Americans have until Dec. 15 to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act and residents in Kentucky’s Green River area are coming out to enroll  in high numbers. One local expert says uncertainty over the future of health care is a big reason why.

Many Americans, and many Kentucky residents, are unsure of what their options are for health insurance because of the national controversy over Obamacare, and some incorrect reports that it has collapsed.

Green River Area Development District

The small community of Rosine in Ohio County now has high-speed Internet thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The new service has led to the creation of a community Internet center and is even connecting to the father of bluegrass music.

Rosine is the home of Bill Monroe, the father of bluegrass music, and a museum in his honor is under construction. Now the new museum will be able to have high-speed Internet. It’s one of the bonuses for Rosine that comes along with an $800,000 grant from the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service. The grant was awarded to the Evansville-based company Q-Wireless. 

Southern Heights Christian Church

After the massacre at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs in Texas that killed 26 people and injured 20 more, churches across Kentucky and around the nation are struggling with the issue of increasing security, while still being welcoming.

Ministers in Somerset, Kentucky were already on high alert because a church caretaker had recently been murdered by a homeless man asking for food.

The murder of 70-year Carolyn New, widow of the former church pastor, inside Denham Street Baptist Church in Somerset in August put the town on edge.  Then the shooting at the Texas church made security a priority.

Owensboro Public Schools

The controversy over Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed pension reform has spilled over into academics. The uncertainty about the financial impact of pension changes has derailed plans for a unique new middle school program in Owensboro.

The increased costs that local school districts are expected to shoulder from pension reforms have put a halt, at least temporarily, to the launch of the Owensboro Innovation Middle program tentatively scheduled to launch in Fall 2018.

The Carl Brashear Foundation

The new Radcliff Veterans Center will be named for a U.S. Navy deep sea diver who overcame social and physical challenges during his 30-year military career.

A dedication ceremony will be held Thursday to name the facility the ‘Carl M. Brashear Radcliff Veterans Center.’

Brashear was the son of sharecroppers and grew up on a farm in Sonora in Hardin County. He joined the Navy 1948 and became the first African-American master deep sea diver.

Brashear overcame racial discrimination and the physical challenge of losing half of his left leg in a shipboard accident. He became the Navy’s first amputee diver.

Brashear retired in 1979 with the top enlisted rank of master chief petty officer. He died in 2006 at the age of 75.

Veterans Upward Bound at WKU

It’s a week before the official Veterans Day holiday, but Bowling Green will honor those who have served in the military with a parade on Saturday, Nov. 4. The parade is scheduled so it doesn’t interfere with other activities by local veterans groups on Nov. 11.

One group coming out in force for the parade is Veteran’s Upward Bound. The organization is based at Western Kentucky University and helps veterans get into college and succeed in their studies.

Davy Stone is director of Veterans Upward Bound at WKU. He said the parade might inspire some veterans to go back to school.

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