Nearly 250 Ft. Knox soldiers will be welcomed home Wednesday following a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan.
The members of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division have been operating in the southern province of Zabul, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The Ft. Knox soldiers assisted Afghan security forces, government, and police forces as they transitioned to independent security and governance.
Soldiers in the unit will continue to return to Ft. Knox in small groups through May of next year.
Wednesday’s welcome home ceremony is being held at 4:30 am eastern, at the Natcher Physical Fitness Center.
An auction that sold off items from a failed fuel and pesticide testing lab run by the Agriculture Department has netted the state $1.65 million dollars. Agriculture Commissioner James Comer presented a check in that amount to Treasurer Todd Hollenbach on Friday. The money will go into the state’s general fund.
“Taxpayer dollars are a sacred trust, and my administration is dedicated to spending them wisely and giving back where appropriate,” said Comer.
The president of WKU is on the list of speakers at a forum on rising student debt being held by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
WKU President Gary Ransdell is in Missouri Monday for the event titled “Generation Debt: The Promise, Perils, and Future of Student Loans”.
According to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the average student debt per follower grew from $16,000 in 2005, to $25,000 in 2012. The College Board found that an estimated 66 percent of seniors graduating in 2011 had student loan debt.
Economic and education analysts are increasingly worried that the growing debts faced by college graduates will impair the upward mobility of young Americans.
Monday’s forum on student debt is being webcast live from St. Louis, beginning at 12:30 pm central. You can see that webcast here.
The next WKU men’s basketball recruiting class features players from three different parts of the country.
WKU head basketball coach Ray Harper announced today that the school has received national letters of intent from Justin Johnson of Hazard, Kentucky; Derrick Clayton from Castro Valley, California; and Avery Patterson of Decatur, Georgia.
Johnson is a 6'7" forward who averaged over 16 points and 10 rebounds a game as a junior at Perry County Central High School last season.
Clayton is a 6'5" guard who scored 17 points a game as a junior in California.
Patterson is from the same high school in Georgia that produced current Hilltopper Niger Snipes. Coach Harper says he believes the 6'1" guard can compete for playing time as a freshman next season.
WKU senior Antonio Andrews has been named a semifinalist for the 2013 Doak Walker Award, given annually to the nation’s best college running back.
Andrews leads the nation in all-purpose yardage with nearly 2,200 yards and ranks second nationally in total rushing yards.
Andrews is one of ten semifinalists being considered for the award. Members of the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will next cast their votes for three finalists, who will be named November 25.
The winner of the award will be announced December 12.
Another high-ranking Kentucky Republican lawmaker is predicting that there won’t be a government shutdown in January.
In an interview in his Washington office, Somerset Republican Congressman Hal Rogers told the Courier-Journal “if we don’t do something, there will be a shutdown, but we’re going to do everything possible to avoid it.”
Kentucky’s Fifth District Representative joins Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in calling on Congress to make sure there is not a repeat of the shutdown that closed the federal government for 16 days in October. The shutdown ended when a stopgap spending plan was passed that funds the government until January 15.
Congressman Rogers and his Democratic counterpart are asking a special budget conference group to send them overall government spending numbers by Thanksgiving, in order to expedite the process of creating a new spending plan.
Commuters in the Daviess County region will be able to cross the Ohio River “Blue” bridge over the Thanksgiving holiday.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has announced that the bridge will reopen November 27, the day before Thanksgiving.
The Blue Bridge has been closed to traffic since May while it received a fresh coat of paint. Some work will continue on the Indiana side of the bridge after it reopens, but the contractor is confident the painting will be completed in the next two weeks.
The 4,600-foot bridge connects Owensboro to southern Indiana and is used by an average of 8,500 vehicles a day.
WKU is being recognized for its efforts in reaching out to military veterans.
The school was ranked seventh among all four-year schools in the 2014 "Best for Vets" report published by the Military Times. WKU was praised for having the state's only Veterans Upward Bound program, as well as a tuition discount for active duty military.
WKU Military Student Services Director Tonya Archey, a 10 year Navy veteran, says schools have to work to convince some veterans that they can succeed academically after being out of the classroom for many years.
"Speaking for myself, and many of my students, we can tell you that we've been out for a long time and we lack some of the confidence--do I have what it takes to make it through college? Many wonder since they've been out of high school so long, are they going to be really rusty on a lot of the basic stuff."
The "Best for Vets" rankings factored in a school's service member enrollment, percentage of tuition covered by the G.I. Bill, and the presence of programs designed to help active duty and former military personnel.
The WKU men’s basketball team opens up its season in unusual fashion Monday evening.
Actually, make that Tuesday morning.
The Hilltoppers are on the road at Wichita State for a game that begins at midnight Tuesday morning. The unorthodox scheduling is a result of WKU’s participation in ESPN’s Tip-Off Marathon, an event the network has billed as “24 hours of hoops.”
The WKU-Wichita State game is being televised on ESPN2.
The WKU women’s basketball team is also kicking off its regular season, and looking to win on the road against Vanderbilt for the first time in nearly 15 years. The Lady Hilltoppers play the Commodores tonight at 7 p.m. at Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville.
The WKU women’s team won its season-opener Saturday against Austin Peay.