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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Kevin Willis

Kentucky’s bourbon distilleries continue to gain popularity as a tourist destination.

A statement from the Kentucky Distillers’ Association says nearly 1.2 million people visited the 23 members of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and Bourbon Trail Craft tour last year.

The number of visitors has grown by 314 percent over the past ten years.


The Kentucky State Police are now saying that a total of 20 people were injured during the shooting. They say 16 suffered gunshot wounds (Previous reports said 19 total, 14 gunshot wounds).  This number includes two victims who died.

KSP issued a release with the updated total soon after 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday and later offered a clarification regarding the numbers.


The president of Western Kentucky University says the school will work in the coming weeks and months to improve its outcome in the next two-year state budget.

In a statement to media Wednesday, Timothy Caboni said the budget outlined Tuesday night by Governor Bevin would amount to a $4.6 million funding reduction for WKU.

The spending plan also eliminates $750,000 that is used to fund the Kentucky Mesonet at WKU.

Flickr/Creative Commons/D'Arcy Norman

WKU campuses in Bowling Green and Owensboro are open and on their normal schedule Wednesday.

WKU campuses in Elizabethtown, Fort Knox, and Glasgow are closed.

Somerset Community College is also closed.

Classes are canceled at Campbellsville University’s main campus and its centers in Somerset, Harrodsburg, Casey County and Hodgenville. Staff will report at 10am.

Day classes are canceled at Lindsey Wilson College’s main campus, and non-essential staff are on a three-hour delay.

National Park Service

Kentucky is among the 14 states that are a part of the new U.S. Civil Rights Trail.

The effort highlights 130 sites linked to the modern civil rights movement, and was officially unveiled Monday, on Martin Luther King Junior Day.

The initiative is aimed at encouraging civil rights education and tourism.

Kentucky has three sites on the trail, including one at the location of a 20-hour pro-integration sit-in at Berea College.

Kentucky LRC

A state Senator from Owensboro who serves as co-chairman of Kentucky’s Public Pension Oversight Board won’t seek another term in office later this year.

Joe Bowen is a Republican who has represented Kentucky’s 8th Senate District since 2011, and who also served for two years in the state House. Bowen said he wanted to announce his retirement now so that candidates interested in the seat can make plans.

WKU Public Radio

This audio file contains two different newscasts produced by the staff at WKU Public Radio in 2017.

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

Road conditions

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is reporting roads in the south central Kentucky region are wet, but conditions are expected to worsen throughout the day. Road crews in Todd and Butler Counties are out salting the roads.

Kentucky State Police Trooper Corey King said the William H. Natcher Parkway near Daviess County is already seeing worsening conditions. He reports there are some cars sliding off the road. 

WKU Public Radio

This audio file contains some of our breaking news coverage on Feb. 3, 2017. That was the day the world learned about the so-called "Bowling Green massacre".

Kellyanne Conway, a senior advisor for President Donald Trump, claimed a massacre occurred in southern Kentucky related to a pair of Iraqi terrorists. In fact, the two men were arrested without incident, and there was never any massacre in Bowling Green.

The claim became a huge story that our local newsroom began covering that Friday morning. This audio clip features a live report delivered by reporters Kevin Willis, Lisa Autry, and Becca Schimmel.

Thank you for considering this entry in the radio category of Best Breaking News.

WKU Media Relations

The Western Kentucky University football is going to its fourth consecutive bowl game.

The Hilltoppers have accepted a bid to the AutoNation Cure Bowl in Orlando, where they’ll take on Georgia State Saturday, December 16.

The AutoNation Cure Bowl describes itself as a celebration of women who are living with breast cancer, and has donated more than $2.3 million dollars to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation in its first two years.

WKU heads into its bowl game with a record of 6-6.

WKU Athletics

The Western Kentucky University volleyball team won’t have to travel far for their first-round NCAA tournament.

The Lady Hilltoppers will face Notre Dame Friday at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington.

It’s the fourth-straight year WKU has made the NCAA Volleyball Tournament. The Lady Toppers are 30-3 on the season, and got an automatic bid to the tournament after winning the Conference USA postseason championship.

WKU Athletic Communications/Media Relations

The Western Kentucky University Track and Field team is mourning the loss of assistant coach Willie Johnson, who passed away early Sunday morning.

He was 34 years old.

The team held a candle light vigil in memory of Johnson Monday night at the WKU Track and Field Complex.

Kentucky State Police

Four people from Pulaski County are dead following a plane crash Sunday afternoon near Glasgow.

Kentucky State Police say those killed in the crash were:

*Kyle P. Stewart, 41, of Somerset

*Quinton D. Whitaker, 40,  of Somerset

*Scott T. Foster, 41, and his son, Noah Foster, 15, both from Science Hill

The four died when the small plane they were in crashed in the Fountain Run community of Barren County.

An Owensboro businessman facing rape and other charges will stand trial early next year.  The special judge presiding over the case has set a January 16 trial date for Billy Joe Miles. 

Miles was indicted last year on charges of rape, sodomy, and bribing a witness.  He is accused of sexually assaulting a home health worker hired to care for him. 

The Messenger-Inquirer reports that one of Miles’ defense attorneys told the judge in court Monday that the charges against his 77-year-old client have taken a toll on his health. 

J. Tyler Franklin

A Bowling Green man was arrested for fourth-degree assault following an incident Friday afternoon at the home of U.S. Senator Rand Paul.

Fifty-nine-year-old Ren Boucher was being held in the Warren County Regional Jail in lieu of a five-thousand-dollar bond. The incident was first reported by the Bowling Green Daily News.

A news release issued by the Kentucky State Police post in Bowling Green didn’t provide details of the incident, but said Paul suffered minor injuries.