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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Politics
1:27 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Special Election in Daviess, Henderson, Union Counties Causing Confusion

An upcoming special election for state representative in the Daviess County region is causing confusion partly due to recent legislative redistricting.

Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce President Amy Jackson told the Messenger-Inquirer  that many people aren't sure whether they can vote in the Dec. 10 election. The chamber is heading up a drive encouraging people to cast ballots.

The Daviess County Clerk's office recently drew new borders in 17 of the 20 local districts and sent out cards to affected voters, but Jackson says there's still confusion about who can vote.

Voters will chose between Republican Suzanne Miles of Owensboro and Democrat Kim Humphrey of Morganfield. They are running to fill the 7th district House seat, formerly held by Democrat John Arnold of Sturgis, who stepped down after being accused of sexual harassment.

The seat covers Union and parts of Daviess and Henderson counties.

Regional
10:01 am
Tue November 26, 2013

All Lanes of I-65 Now Open Following Semi Crash in Hart County

Update at 1:14 pm:

All lanes of I-65 have been reopened following the Tuesday morning crash in Hart County involving a semi.

Updated 12:45pm:

Transportation and law enforcement officials have collectively decided to expedite cleanup from this morning’s semi crash at Mile Point 74.5 on Interstate 65 in Hart County by concentrating cleanup efforts on the northbound driving lanes and coming back after the Thanksgiving Weekend to cleanup the semi trailer and cargo.

With wet pavement and spilled diesel, the main focus at this time is removing the tractor portion of the semi and making sure the roadway is cleaned properly.  Threatening winter weather conditions also contributed to the decision.

After the emergency phase of the cleanup is complete, the southbound (left) shoulder will be closed and a caution tape perimeter will be placed around the semi trailer.  These measures will remain in place until cleanup resumes on Monday, December 2nd.   Message boards will be activated near the crash site to alert motorists of the cleanup area.

Currently, traffic is backed up approximately 6 miles southbound and 8 miles northbound.   One lane of northbound traffic is utilizing the right shoulder, as cleanup permits, to get around crash debris.   The left southbound lane remains closed.

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Regional
4:39 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Adoption Groups Hoping Kentuckians Will Consider Taking in Some of Thousands in Foster Care

An estimated 7,000 Kentucky children are in home placement programs such as foster care and residential facilities.

A Warren County group dedicated to providing safe environments for all children hopes more families will consider adoption.

November is adoption awareness month, and the Family Enrichment Center is hoping to shine the spotlight on kids of all ages who are looking for what's known as "forever homes." The group's Board of Directors Chair, Jennifer Brinkley, says a new adoption resource center in Bowling Green is aimed at helping interested parties navigate the often complicated adoption process.

"There are over 120 children in our region who are currently waiting to be adopted," Brinkley told WKU Public Radio. "So it's an important resource when people don't know how to go about the process."

"The Family Enrichment Center, through that adoption resources center, can really help those families."

Brinkley says she often advises families interested in adoption to consider children other than newborns. She says there are many older children-including teenagers-who are eligible for adoption.

An estimated 7,000 Kentucky children are currently in foster care, residential homes, or detention facilities.

Regional
11:36 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Ft. Knox to Welcome Back 250 Soldiers from Afghanistan

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.

Regional
5:45 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Auction Puts $1.65 Million Back Into General Fund

(left to right) U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, Treasurer Todd Hollenbach, and state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer
Credit Kentucky Department of Agriculture

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.

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Education
2:20 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

WKU's Ransdell to Speak to Forum on Student Debt in St. Louis

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.

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Sports
12:10 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

WKU Men's Basketball Team Signs Three Recruits, Including Forward from Hazard

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.

Sports
10:14 am
Thu November 14, 2013

WKU's Andrews Semifinalist for Award Honoring Nation's Best Running Back

WKU senior running back Antonio Andrews
Credit WKU Athletics

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.

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Politics
3:55 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Hal Rogers: No Government Shutdown in January

Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky)

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.

Regional
12:31 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Opening Date Set for Owensboro's Blue Bridge

Owensboro's "Blue" Bridge, seen before the recent paint job began

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.

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