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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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.

Applications are now being accepted from those who want to participate in the next growing season for the state’s industrial hemp research pilot program.

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles says he’s hoping the state can continue the progress it made this year, when participants grew more than 3,200 acres of hemp.

That’s the most ever grown under the state’s industrial hemp research program that began in 2014.

LRC Public Information

A lawmaker from south central Kentucky has been elected by his Republican colleagues to Senate leadership. 

State Senator Mike Wilson of Bowling Green will serve as Majority Whip when the legislature convenes in January. 

Spectrum News’ Pure Politics reports that Wilson replaces Senator Jimmy Higdon of Lebanon who was chosen by the GOP caucus to serve as Senate President Pro Tem.

WKU Athletics

Mourners will gather at Western Kentucky University Monday to pay respects to Hilltopper basketball great Jim McDaniels.

The Scottsville native passed away last Wednesday at the age of 69.

The public is invited to Monday’s visitation at E.A. Diddle Arena on WKU’s campus from 1-8 p.m.

Free parking is being provided in the parking structure next to the arena.

McDaniels’ funeral is Tuesday at 1 p.m. at Hillvue Heights Church in Bowling Green.

Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until the time of the service.

WKU Athletics

Western Kentucky University is mourning the loss of own of its most famous athletes.

Basketball legend Jim McDaniels passed away Wednesday night in Bowling Green at the age of 69.

McDaniels was a 7-foot center from Scottsville who led the Hilltoppers to the 1971 Final Four, and finished his career tied with the most points ever scored by a men’s player at WKU.

He’s one of eight former WKU players to have their jersey retired and hung in the rafters at E.A. Diddle Arena.

Barren River Animal Welfare Association Facebook

Friday morning rain has led to flooding in parts of the region, causing some school systems to call off classes, and low-lying areas to be inundated with water. 

A flash flood warning was in effect for Bowling Green and surrounding counties in southern Kentucky and northern Tennessee until Friday afternoon. Water crossed over roadways and heavy winds knocked down trees across some streets.

Warren County Road Division removed 15 trees blocking roadways as of early Friday afternoon.

Bowling Green Warren County Regional Airport has recorded more than five and a half inches of rain. The Kentucky Mesonet, based at Western Kentucky University, recorded rainfall amounts of more than seven inches in Todd and Logan counties. 

YouTube

A white nationalist leader says his group will organize against efforts in Lexington to move two Confederate-era statues.

The New York Times reports Matthew Heimbach made the comments Monday following the weekend violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Heimbach is the founder of the Nationalist Front, which has been described as an umbrella organization for white nationalist hate groups.

***Updated at 2:28 p.m.

According to Warren County Coroner Kevin Kirby, four of the deceased were members of a Beech Grove, Indiana family returning home from vacation in Florida.  The fifth deceased person was a family friend.  They are identified as Robert Hogan, 74, Carl Boster, 17, Jonell Boster, 48, Lonnie D. Boster, 30, and Lonnie Dr. Boster, 59.

A sixth passenger in the same vehicle was a young male child who was flown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. 

The sixth person killed in the crash was traveling in the other passenger vehicle.

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.

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