WKU has a new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Head coach Jeff Brohm has selected Cincinnati’s Tyson Helton to fill the role that Brohm himself held last season. Helton spent one year as special teams coordinator and tight ends coach at Cincinnati. The Bearcats had a 9-4 season and appeared in the Belk Bowl against North Carolina.
Helton has 13 years of coaching experience, including six at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Brohm and Helton were on the same staff at UAB in 2012.
Helton, 36, played football and earned his bachelor’s degree from Houston. He and his wife April have two daughters, ages 10 and 8 and twin 5-year-old boys.
A high-ranking Kentucky lawmaker believes there’s enough public support to pass a constitutional amendment to expand gambling in the state.
But House Speaker Pro Tem Larry Clark also admits that getting the necessary votes in the legislature remains an uphill fight.
The Louisville Democrat testified before the House Licensing and Occupations committee Wednesday about a pair of measures on the issue, including his bill that would ask voters whether casinos should be allowed.
“The Senate also has a constitutional amendment on this subject, and the Governor is engaged as well," Clark said. "I think we’re in a good position this year to make progress.”
A Senate bill sponsored by Louisville Republican Dan Seum would allow up to seven casinos in the state and set aside 10 percent of revenues to benefit Kentucky’s horse industry.
Six of Kentucky’s eight members of Congress are millionaires, and an analysis of financial disclosure reports filed last year also shows a Kentucky U.S. Senator and Congressman rank in the top 50 of most wealthy lawmakers.
Kentucky is far from alone when it comes to states with wealthy members of Congress. In fact, more than half of the U.S. Congressmen and Senators made the latest list of millionaires, the first time that has ever happened.
The analysis by the nonprofit Center of Responsive Politics shows that Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rep. John Yarmuth are the wealthiest lawmakers in Kentucky. Records show McConnell has a net worth of $22.8 million; Yarmuth has $21.2 million.
Nationwide, McConnell ranks as the 37th wealthiest member of Congress, with Yarmuth 41st.
Congressmen Brett Guthrie, Ed Whitfield, Hal Rogers, and Thomas Massie also made the list of millionaires. That leaves Senator Rand Paul and Congressman Andy Barr as the only members of Kentucky’s delegation not on the list.
A national conservative group is opening five field offices in Kentucky in an effort to help Tea Party candidate Matt Bevin defeat incumbent U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell in the May primary election.
The Madison Project will staff Get Out the Vote offices in Louisville, Florence, Owensboro, Glasgow, and Bowling Green. In an interview with the Lexington Herald-Leader, the group’s political director Drew Ryun said those cities have traditionally been strongholds for Senator McConnell.
Acknowledging that McConnell will have a powerful financial advantage over the Tea Party’s Matt Bevin, the PAC says it will rely more on a ground game. The Madison Project played in a role in Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s upset win in 2012.
A McConnell spokesperson the PAC had a failing strategy if its plan was to attack the five-term incumbent.
A Japanese company has announced plans to acquire the producer of Jim Beam bourbon.
Suntory Holdings of Osaka, Japan, has agreed to purchase Beam Incorporated for $16 billion.
The Courier-Journal reports that under a deal approved by leadership at both companies, the current Beam management team would continue to lead the business from Beam headquarters outside Chicago, with Jim Beam maintaining its distillery in Clermont, Kentucky.
Beam Incorporated owns many of the most famous names in the world of bourbon, including Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Knob Creek, Basil Hayden, Bookers, and Old Grand-Dad.
The company’s portfolio also includes brands of vodka, rum, tequila, as well as Irish and Scotch whiskies.
The acquisition of Beam Incorporated by Suntory Holdings is expected to finalized in the second quarter of this year.
A Bowling Green-built auto continues its streak of awards.
The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, made at the General Motors plant in Warren County, has been named North American Car of the Year at the North American International Auto Show.
The Stingray has already won best car of the year honors from Automobile and Autoweek magazines.
The press preview days for the North American International Auto Show kick off with the awards. The announcements came Monday morning at Cobo Center in Detroit.
The truck of the year winner is the Chevrolet Silverado.
The Chevy sweep came after General Motors made the most appearances on this year’s list finalists. Others included the Cadillac CTS and Mazda3. Truck/utility finalists included the Acura MDX and Jeep Cherokee.
Forty-eight automotive journalists vote on winners from the list of finalists.
Kentucky investigators are looking into whether a recent murder in Pennsylvania could be connected with the May, 2013, murder of a Bardstown police officer.
The Courier-Journal reports a Kentucky State Police detective working the murder case of officer Jason Ellis has been in contact with Pennsylvania State Police regarding the shooting death of a man along I-81 in southern Pennsylvania.
Twenty-eight-year-old Timothy Davidson called 9-1-1 early Saturday and said someone in a pickup truck was shooting at him. Police say Davidson was forced into a median and disabled his vehicle before being shot to death.
Bardstown police officer Jason Ellis was gunned down May 25 after he got out of his police cruiser to move debris off a Bluegrass Parkway exit in Nelson County. Investigators have described that shooting as an ambush.
A Kentucky State Police spokesman says the two cases are being compared for any similarities. Over $200,000 in reward money has been offered for information into the Ellis murder.
WKU Athletic Director Todd Stewart has issued a statement regarding football coach Bobby Petrino's decision to leave the school for the University of Louisville head coaching position.
Petrino was officially introduced Thursday morning as the new Cardinals head coach, his second stint at U of L. Petrino led the Cardinals from 2003-2006 and gained a reputation as one of the nation's most creative offensive innovators.
Here is the statement released Thursday by WKU Athletic Director Todd Stewart: