The Lady Hilltoppers basketball team staved off a late rally from Arkansas-Little Rock for a 66-62 win Friday afternoon in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament in New Orleans. The win propels the WKU women into the conference championship game Saturday night at 8 p.m. CDT against Arkansas State.
Meanwhile, the WKU men's basketball team will also be in action Saturday in New Orleans as it plays in the men's semi-final at 4:30 p.m. central.
The third federal lawsuit this month has been filed against Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban.
The latest suit was filed Friday by 13 people who argue the Indiana law violates their Constitutional rights. Several media outlets are reporting that the latest challenge involves a widow whose same-sex marriage is not recognized by the Hoosier State, as well as gay couples who married in other states or who would like to wed in Indiana.
Friday’s lawsuit is the second this week against Indiana’s gay marriage ban, and is part of a national trend of legal action against state laws banning same-sex marriages.
The national ACLU and the group’s Indiana chapter are representing the plaintiffs, and argue current state law unconstitutionally denies same-sex couples the benefits given to heterosexual couples when they marry.
Some Indiana lawmakers are in favor of putting before voters a state constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriages.
Several counties in our listening area continue to post unemployment rates below the statewide level. The January jobs numbers have been released by the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.
Simpson County’s unemployment rate was 6.7 percent, as compared to the 8.3 percent mark for the state. County Judge Executive Jim Henderson says Simpson County has come a long way since 2008-2009, when the auto industry felt the effects of the recession.
“That pendulum swings both ways because, actually, automotive sales are now back at record levels and improving. That’s where some of that growth is occurring here is in the automotive industry," said Henderson. "But, diversification is really important for a community, so we’re not dependent on one sector of the economy to do well.”
A check of other counties in the area shows Warren County’s unemployment rate was at seven percent in January. Daviess county was at 6.9 percent. Edmonson and Muhlenberg counties were both above the statewide average at 11.7 and 10 percent, respecitvely.
Bowling Green attorney Dick Downey was chosen from among three nominees to fill the remaining term of the late Margaret Huddleston as Warren Circuit Family Court judge.
Downey will serve as judge for the remainder of the year.
The other two nominees, Bowling Green attorneys David Lanphear and Rebecca Simpson, are among a group of six candidates who are running to be elected to the seat in November's general election. Downey is not running in that election.
Downey has practiced law in Bowling Green and Franklin and was the chairman of the board of directors of Kentucky Legal Aid for 15 years. The names of the three nominees were forwarded to Governor Beshear just last Friday by a nominating commission headed by Kentucky Chief Justice John Minton, a Bowling Green native.
A revised bill that would allow Rand Paul to run for Senate re-election and the White House at the same time is gaining ground.
A Kentucky Senate committee passed the measure after it was changed to specify that the bill applies only to those running for either President or Vice-President of the U.S. Every Republican and one Democrat on the committee voted to forward the bill on to the full Senate.
Current Kentucky law disallows a candidate from appearing twice on a general election ballot.
Bill sponsor Damon Thayer told the Lexington Herald-Leader that the changes to the bill were modeled after a statute in Wisconsin that allowed GOP Congressman Paul Ryan to run for Vice President and the U.S. House in 2012.
Senator Reggie Thomas, one of the Democrats who voted against the measure, said it “defies common sense.”
A proposal to limit the number of days lawmakers spend in session in Frankfort has passed the Senate State and Local Government Committee. The bill sponsored by Senate President Robert Stivers would reduce the length of the session from 60 days to 45 days in even-numbered years, like this one.
Odd-numbered year sessions would go from 30 days to just five days, with an option to add 10 more days. Stivers says the bill would save the commonwealth seven million dollars. If the legislation clears the full Senate and house, voters must approve it in a November referendum.
A trio of honors came down Tuesday for WKU men’s basketball players. Redshirt-freshman Chris Harrison-Docks has been named the Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year, becoming the fourth Hilltopper to win that honor in the SBC.
Meantime, junior guard T.J. Price was named second-team all-conference after leading the team in scoring with 15.4 points per game. Junior forward George Fant was named to the third team, All Sun-Belt Conference. Fant led the team in scoring ten times during the regular season.
The Hilltoppers play in the semifinals of the Sun Belt Conference tournament Saturday afternoon in New Orleans.
Also Tuesday, junior Chastity Gooch of the WKU women’s basketball team was named the conference Defensive Player of the Year. Kendall Noble was named the women’s Freshman of the Year. The WKU women open up the Sun Belt Conference tournament Wednesday night against Louisiana-Lafayette.