WKU Public Radio News

News Team

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

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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.

Gage Skidmore

A senior advisor to President Donald Trump is under fire for citing a so-called “Bowling Green massacre” as a way to defend the administration’s recent travel ban.

In an interview that aired on MSNBC Thursday night, Kellyanne Conway said the administration was justified in banning travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries because of the 2011 incident in southern Kentucky.

But there was never a “massacre” in Bowling Green.

Two Iraqi citizens, Mohanad Shareff Hammadi and Waad Ramadan Alwan, were arrested in Warren County that year and later sentenced to federal prison after they were caught in an FBI sting operation.

city-data.com

There’s been another big step in the plan to bring a huge natural gas manufacturing plant to Somerset.

The Commonwealth Journal reports preliminary documents have been signed to provide natural gas to the proposed $70 million facility and to build the plant on 23 acres near the former Crane Company building.

The proposed project would convert natural gas into other products.

Becca Schimmel

The man picked to be Western Kentucky University’s next president says every employee’s mission must be to help students attain a degree.

Timothy Caboni is holding forums with WKU staff, faculty, and students Thursday. A forum for community members is being held Thursday from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Augenstein Alumni Center.

The school’s presidential search committee announced last week that Caboni was their “preferred candidate” to be WKU’s tenth president.

Voters in three area counties said no to alcohol sales in special elections Tuesday, while one Ohio County town bucked the trend by voting yes.

Allen County will remain dry after voters there rejected sales of alcohol by a vote of 2,908 to 2,296.

Clinton County will also remain dry after a 2.300 to 1,288 vote.

Todd County residents also voted no.

But in Ohio County voters decided to go wet, saying yes to alcohol sales in the town of Hartford by a vote of 280 to 155 in a small turnout.

There was also a wet/dry vote in Warren County Tuesday. Voters in Smiths Grove said yes 145 to 24 to allowing the Bluegrass Winery to sell wine at their business.

WKU

The Western Kentucky University Board of Regents has selected its “preferred candidate” to be the school’s next president.

Timothy Caboni is currently the vice-chancellor for public affairs at the University of Kansas, and holds a master’s degree in corporate and organizational communications from WKU.

The New Orleans native is scheduled to be on WKU’s campus next Thursday to participate in forums with the school’s staff, faculty, students, and community members.

Kevin Willis

A sixth-generation distiller has passed away after five decades with one of the most famous bourbon producers.

Parker Beam served as Master Distiller Emeritus for Heaven Hill distilleries, and was with the company for more than 50 years.

Heaven Hill announced Monday that Beam died following a years-long battle with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

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