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The award-winning news team at WKU Public Radio consists of Dan Modlin, Kevin Willis, Lisa Autry, and Joe Corcoran.

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A lawmaker from south central Kentucky has been elected by his Republican colleagues to Senate leadership. 

State Senator Mike Wilson of Bowling Green will serve as Majority Whip when the legislature convenes in January. 

Spectrum News’ Pure Politics reports that Wilson replaces Senator Jimmy Higdon of Lebanon who was chosen by the GOP caucus to serve as Senate President Pro Tem.

WKU Athletics

Mourners will gather at Western Kentucky University Monday to pay respects to Hilltopper basketball great Jim McDaniels.

The Scottsville native passed away last Wednesday at the age of 69.

The public is invited to Monday’s visitation at E.A. Diddle Arena on WKU’s campus from 1-8 p.m.

Free parking is being provided in the parking structure next to the arena.

McDaniels’ funeral is Tuesday at 1 p.m. at Hillvue Heights Church in Bowling Green.

Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until the time of the service.

WKU Athletics

Western Kentucky University is mourning the loss of own of its most famous athletes.

Basketball legend Jim McDaniels passed away Wednesday night in Bowling Green at the age of 69.

McDaniels was a 7-foot center from Scottsville who led the Hilltoppers to the 1971 Final Four, and finished his career tied with the most points ever scored by a men’s player at WKU.

He’s one of eight former WKU players to have their jersey retired and hung in the rafters at E.A. Diddle Arena.

Barren River Animal Welfare Association Facebook

Friday morning rain has led to flooding in parts of the region, causing some school systems to call off classes, and low-lying areas to be inundated with water. 

A flash flood warning was in effect for Bowling Green and surrounding counties in southern Kentucky and northern Tennessee until Friday afternoon. Water crossed over roadways and heavy winds knocked down trees across some streets.

Warren County Road Division removed 15 trees blocking roadways as of early Friday afternoon.

Bowling Green Warren County Regional Airport has recorded more than five and a half inches of rain. The Kentucky Mesonet, based at Western Kentucky University, recorded rainfall amounts of more than seven inches in Todd and Logan counties. 

YouTube

A white nationalist leader says his group will organize against efforts in Lexington to move two Confederate-era statues.

The New York Times reports Matthew Heimbach made the comments Monday following the weekend violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Heimbach is the founder of the Nationalist Front, which has been described as an umbrella organization for white nationalist hate groups.

***Updated at 2:28 p.m.

According to Warren County Coroner Kevin Kirby, four of the deceased were members of a Beech Grove, Indiana family returning home from vacation in Florida.  The fifth deceased person was a family friend.  They are identified as Robert Hogan, 74, Carl Boster, 17, Jonell Boster, 48, Lonnie D. Boster, 30, and Lonnie Dr. Boster, 59.

A sixth passenger in the same vehicle was a young male child who was flown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. 

The sixth person killed in the crash was traveling in the other passenger vehicle.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The federal budget passed by both chambers of Congress this week would block a future fee on some southern Kentucky towns that use Lake Cumberland as a water source.

The US Army Corps of Engineers was set to complete a study on allocating water storage capacity.

The Herald-leader reports that the study would have resulted in the charging of a one-time fee to area cities and counties that use Lake Cumberland as a water source. That includes Somerset, Burnside, Monticello, Jamestown, Albany, and McCreary County.

Somerset officials have warned their fee would be around $1 million. Local officials were also worried that they would have to pay fees to help maintain Wolf Creek Dam.

City of Bardstown

A familiar face is taking the place of Bardstown's embattled former mayor.  
 
The city council voted unanimously Tuesday night to appoint Councilman Dick Heaton as mayor.  
 
Heaton replaces ousted mayor John Royalty, who was found guilty of official misconduct last week after allegedly sifting through a council member's personal emails.  
 
This is the second time Heaton has served as Bardstown mayor.  He first held the mayor's post from 2006-2010.  

He'll serve the remainder of Royalty's term, which runs through the end of 2018. 

kytourism.org

The Kentucky Veterans Cemetery in Radcliff has reached a milestone.

The Hardin County facility held its 5,000th interment Friday.

Louisville native Gisela Nagel was laid to rest at the 49-acre cemetery. She’s the wife of Specialist First Class Willard Nagel, a 20-year Army veteran who is also buriedthere.

Norman Arflack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, says it's a bittersweet occasion.

“Clearly, this is the least pleasant of our obligations to do—is provide a burial service for any service. But clearly we want to provide them the opportunity to be buried with the dignity they so richly deserve.”

WKU

Attorney General Andy Beshear filed a motion Thursday to intervene in Western Kentucky University’s lawsuit against two college newspapers.

WKU has denied open records requests by its own student paper, the College Heights Herald, as well as the University of Kentucky’s student publication. The newspapers are seeking documents related to investigations of alleged sexual harassment by WKU employees.

The school also refused to allow Beshear’s office to confidentially review the documents.

Beshear released an opinion in January saying WKU violated the Open Records Act by denying the documents to the newspapers.

Rhonda Miller

Heavy winds and rain moved through parts of our listening area Wednesday morning, causing power outages for thousands of residents.

Warren RECC said over 8,500 customers were without power in parts of Warren, Simpson, and Logan counties. Crews were sent to the affected areas.

Bowling Green Municipal Utilities said it had reports that several hundred residents were without power.

Parts of Warren County also saw roads impacted by heavy rains and flooding. First responders went house-to-house along part of Cemetary Road in Warren County to check on residents after several trees were knocked down. Reports of heavy damage to homes in that area came in early Wednesday, with half of a roof blown off one home on Cemetary Road.

The Courier-Journal reports as many as 13,000 customers in Jefferson and Oldham counties were without power Wednesday morning.

Kentucky LRC

A Bowling Green nursing home for military veterans is one step closer to getting state funding.

The Kentucky House Thursday unanimously passed a bill providing 10-and-a-half million dollars in state support for the proposed facility.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has already approved the project, and committed
federal funding for its construction.

The bill passed the House on a vote of 99-0.

It now goes to the Senate. If passed there, it’s expected to be signed into law by Governor Bevin.

This entry for Best Radio Reporter represents some of the best work produced by WKU Public Radio's Lisa Autry in 2016.

This ten minute audio file contains portions of several feature pieces Lisa reported last year, including stories focusing on politics, health care policy, and arts & culture.

Thank you for considering this entry in the radio category of Best Radio Reporter.

This entry contains two recordings of live newscasts that aired on WKYU, one on August 15, and the other on May 17.

Thank you for considering this entry in the radio category of Best Long Newscast.

This entry includes some of the best work reported and produced by Rhonda Miller in 2016.

Thank you for considering this entry in the radio category of Best Radio Reporter.

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