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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Regional
12:48 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

"Person of Interest" Sought in Possible Connection to Bourbon Heist

Pappy Van Winkle is one of the most sought-after bourbons in the world.

Police are searching for a man who tried to sell a large quantity of a famous bourbon to a Hardin County liquor store. The man—who was caught on surveillance tape—is wanted in questioning over a recent heist of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon.

Police in Franklin County started investigating last week when 65 cases of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon and nine cases of rye turned up missing at the Buffalo Trace Distillery, where the whiskey is bottled and aged. Pappy Van Winkle is routinely one of the most expensive whiskeys in the world, having gaining a cult-like status largely because there’s so little of it to go around each year.

The Courier-Journal reports that Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton said the man who tried to sell the Pappy Van Winkle to the Hardin County liquor store appeared to be between the ages of 50 and 60, and was wearing what looked like a Bardstown High School pullover. Melton described the man as a “person of interest” and said authorities believe he drove a late model Ford F-150 that appeared to be green with a tan trim.

You can find a link to the surveillance video here.

Station Events
12:01 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

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During our 2013 fall fundraiser, you can call in your pledge at 1-800-599-9598.

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However you choose to give, we thank you so much for your support!

Politics
11:51 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Louisville Urologist to Challenge Rep. Yarmuth in 2014

Kentucky’s only Democratic member of Congress will have a challenger next year.

Michael Macfarlane is a Louisville urologist and a Republican who is vehemently opposed to the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare.” Saying the new health law will negatively impact Kentucky jobs and small businesses, Macfarlane announced he will challenge incumbent Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth during the 2014 election cycle.

According to the Courier-Journal, the 60-year-old Macfarlane has lived in Louisville since 1992 and has practiced at Jewish Hospital, Norton Healthcare, and Baptist East Hospital.

The 65-year-old Yarmuth has represented Kentucky’s Third House District since 2007, and currently stands as the only Democratic member of Kentucky’s congressional delegation.

Education
11:49 am
Mon October 21, 2013

School Boards in Kentucky Increasing Local Property Taxes in Light of Funding Cuts

Nearly half of Kentucky’s 173 school districts have increased local property tax rates as much as possible.

The moves come in light of education cuts at both the state and federal levels. Kentucky School Boards Association spokesman Brad Hughes told the Courier-Journal that “districts have no choice” but to turn to local taxpayers in order to find increased funding.

Eighty-one districts in the state have adopted tax rates that will increase revenue by 4 percent. Under Kentucky law, that’s the largest property taxes can be increased without being subject to voter recall.

School officials who have increased local property tax rates say they’re still coming out on the short end despite making the move. The Estill County School Board will see an additional $65,000 from a tax increase approved this year. But officials there are quick to point out that the district's primary state appropriation is down nearly $700,000 compared to 2009.

Politics
4:35 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

McConnell and Paul in Stronger Positions Following Debt Ceiling/Shutdown Fight?

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)

With a deal to end the debt ceiling debate and ongoing government shutdown apparently in place, a well-respected political column lists both of Kentucky’s Republican Senators as “winners” following the extended drama.

The Washington Post’s political column, “The Fix”, says both Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul come out of the battle stronger than when it began. Post reporter Chris Cillizza says Paul benefited from appearing moderate compared to another Tea Party-backed Republican Senator, Ted Cruz. Both Cruz and Paul are believed to be strongly considering 2016 presidential runs, and both would try to capture much of the same electorate.

Cillizza says that by not leading the charge against the GOP establishment, Paul could come across as a kind of hybrid Tea Party candidate with at least some establishment backing.

Senator McConnell is once again being seen as one of the preeminent dealmakers in Washington, playing a central role at the end to come up with a deal after staying in the background during much of the debate.

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Politics
1:35 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Ethics Commission Finds Probable Cause that Arnold Sexually Harrassed Female Staffers

The Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission has found probable cause that former Union County Representative John Arnold violated ethics rules three times when he allegedly harassed three female staff members.

Commission members met behind closed doors for nearly two hours Tuesday before returning to an open session and voting unanimously on sexual harassment complaints made against Arnold by legislative staffers Yolanda Costner, Cassaundra Cooper, and Gloria Morgan. The Courier-Journal reports the commission has scheduled a full hearing on the complaints for December 12.

Arnold, a Democrat from Sturgis, served in the state House from 1995 until last month, when he resigned after the sexual harassment allegations against him were made public. Arnold has denied the charges, but said he couldn’t move forward politically due to the damage done to his reputation.

The Legislative Ethics Commission said there was probable cause to believe Arnold had “inappropriate and unwanted physical contact” with the women.

Arnold’s attorney, Steve Downey of Bowling Green, didn’t comment after the commission returned its findings.

Sports
2:52 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Nashville Selected as SEC Tournament Home

The Southeastern Conference will make a "historic announcement" Tuesday in Nashville.  Music City is expected to be named the primary home of SEC basketball tournaments. 

The Tennessean newspaper reports Nashville will host 12 consecutive postseason basketball tournaments, nine men’s and three women’s, starting in 2015.  The venue will be Bridgestone Arena. 

The SEC played this year’s men’s championship in Nashville and was already scheduled to return in 2015, 2016, and 2019. 

Back in May, SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said the league would explore a primary site for the basketball tournaments, noting success with other permanent sites, in Atlanta for football and Alabama for baseball.

Politics
12:55 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Key County for Republicans Doesn't Make Senate Primary Endorsement

After an hour of debate, the Republican Party of a conservative Kentucky county stopped short of endorsing the Louisville businessman who is challenging incumbent Republican Senator Mitch McConnell.

Boone County is an important county for Bluegrass State Republicans. It sits across the Ohio River from Cincinnati has the fourth-highest number of registered Republicans in the state. That’s why Thursday night’s meeting of the Boone County GOP brought out both Republican Senate challenger Matt Bevin, and Mitch McConnell’s campaign manager, Jesse Benton.

The Courier-Journal reports that following an hour of discussion, the county party decided not to make an endorsement in the race. Benton told members that it would be a “poor mistake” for any county party to make a Senate endorsement.

That led Bevin to tell members that they should vote their "conscience".

Boone County GOP chairman Rick Brueggemann said while there is “significant dissatisfaction” with Senator McConnell’s voting record, he didn’t think many members were comfortable making a primary endorsement.

Economy
4:42 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Will Kentucky Reopen National Parks Using State Funds?

Mammoth Cave National Park has been closed since the government shutdown.
Credit Emil Moffatt

  Update 6:35 p.m.

Governor Beshear’s Communications Director Kerri Richardson says Beshear needs more information regarding future federal reimbursement and the level at which the facilities could be reopened before deciding on reopening federal parks like Mammoth Cave and Land Between the Lakes.

Original Post

There’s no word yet from Governor Steve Beshear regarding whether he will use state funds to reopen national parks that have been closed due to the government shutdown.

The Obama administration says it will allow states to use their own money to reopen some national parks.

The Governors of Arizona, Colorado, South Dakota, and Utah have asked for authority to reopen national parks within their borders because of the economic impacts caused by the park closures. The closing of parks in Kentucky, such as Mammoth Cave National Park, has sent workers home and is a drag on local economies that benefit from tourists who visit the park and other nearby attractions.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a letter Thursday to the four governors that the government will consider offers to pay for park operations, but will not surrender control of national parks to the states.

Politics
12:11 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Kentucky Governor Not Afraid of Going Solo for Health Care

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear

Kentucky’s Democratic governor says implementing the Affordable Care Act is “the morally right thing to do.” 

Kentucky is the only southern state both expanding Medicaid and operating a state-based health exchange. 

Appearing Thursday on the national radio show "The Takeaway," Governor Steve Beshear said Kentucky can’t afford not to do it.

“We have some of the worst health statistics in the country," explained Beshear.  "If there’s some way I can attack that and change the course of history in Kentucky on health care, I’m going to do it, and the Affordable Care Act gives me a historic opportunity and a tool to do just that.”

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