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The award-winning news team at WKU Public Radio consists of Dan Modlin, Kevin Willis, Lisa Autry, and Joe Corcoran.

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Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons

A former presidential candidate and publishing executive is speaking on the campus of Western Kentucky University Thursday afternoon.  

Steve Forbes is Chairman and Editor-In-Chief of Forbes Media. He ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 1996 and 2000.

Forbes is giving a lecture called, “How Capitalism Will Save Us”.

Sponsors of the talk include the WKU BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism, and the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation.

The event begins at 3:30pm Thursday, in the Grise Hall Auditorium. It’s free and open to the public.

Kentucky State Police

A Morgantown man is facing two murder charges in the case of an elderly couple found dead in their Butler County home in August.

Kentucky State Police report that 34-year-old Kevin Dye was indicted by a Butler County Grand Jury Wednesday. He's charged in the murders of 71-year-old Kenneth Neafus and his 70-year-old wife Dorothy Neafus. 

Kenneth Neafus had been a pastor at Little Muddy Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Morgantown.

Dye is also charged with possession of handgun by a convicted felon, receiving a stolen firearm and being a persistent felony offender. He's being held in the Butler County Jail.

Republicans in Kentucky's 1st Congressional District have nominated James Comer for a special election to replace U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield.

The GOP held a nominating meeting in Franklin Tuesday night.

Whitfield announced his resignation last week, about one year after announcing he would not seek re-election this year.

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin on Tuesady called a special election for Nov. 8 to elect someone to fulfill the remainder of Whitfield's term, which expires in January.

Comer is the former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner who's already on the Nov. 8 ballot as he seeks a full, two-year term in Congress.

He told WKU Public Radio he's confident whoever wins the full two-year term will join a House still in Republican control, even though as many as eight or ten seats may shift to the Democratic side.

He faces Democrat Sam Gaskins, who is likely to be the Democrats' nominee for the special election.

A former chairman of the University of Kentucky's Board of Trustees is charged with raping a woman in July. 

Seventy-six-year-old Billy Joe Miles was indicted by a Daviess County grand jury on Tuesday for charges of rape, sodomy and bribing a witness. The 29-year-old victim told investigators that Miles raped her at his home sometime around July 2.

The Daviess County Sheriff's Department confirmed the defendant is a former UK board member.

Miles was arrested, but was later released on a $150,000 cash bond.

He served three terms on the board between 1995 and 2013 and was chairman from 1999 to 2002. 

Captain Bill Thompson with the Daviess County Sheriff’s Department said the alleged victim is a 29 year old woman who was an employee of a home health-care business that had been hired to care for Miles in his home.

The Owensboro Messenger – Inquirer reports that after  the woman told investigators she had been sexually assaulted, evidence was collected both from her and from Miles’ home.

Barren County Detention Center

Police are looking for an inmate who walked away from a work detail Monday morning in Barren County. 

Amber Franks escaped near the Glasgow town square around 7:15 a.m.  Police say she may have been picked up by Jeffrey Franks, also known as Jeffrey Mitchell, and may be in the Olive Hill area of Carter County.  

Franks was last seen wearing an orange inmate shirt, gray pants, and pink tennis shoes.  She's described as  being 5'4", 140 pounds with strawberry blonde hair and hazel eyes.

Mitchell is described as a white man with shoulder-length hair and a sleeve tattoo on one of his arms.

Franks was being held for second-degree robbery. 

BRADD

The Barren River Area Development District will no longer provide workforce services for the southern Kentucky region.

The South Central Workforce Development Board voted Wednesday to terminate its contract with BRADD.

The Development Board’s Chairman, Ron Sowell, said his group was primarily concerned about the amount of workforce development money that has been returned to the state because it wasn’t used by BRADD.

The Bowling Green Daily News reports that number is estimated to be around $500,000.

Kentucky LRC

A second Democratic state lawmaker now says Kentucky’s Republican governor asked him to switch parties.

Representative Russ Meyer says when he refused, he was threatened with political retaliation by Governor Bevin’s chief of staff.

Meyer, a Democratic House member from Nicholasville, says Bevin and his chief of staff, Blake Brickman, asked him to become a Republican shortly after Bevin was sworn into office. The alleged request came at a time when the GOP was hoping to win control of the Kentucky House.

Meyer told the CNHI news service that he informed Bevin he wouldn’t switch parties, and that the Governor responded politely. But Meyer says Brickman threatened to pull state-funding from projects in Meyer’s district, and called the Democrat an “Obama-loving baby killer.”

Glasgow Independent Schools

Glasgow High School principal Keith Hale has been named superintendent of Glasgow Independent Schools. The Glasgow board of education made the announcement during a special called meeting Monday night.

Hale was one of three finalists for the job.

Board chair Amelia Kiser told the Glasgow Daily Times that Hale's "strength in the field of instruction,  his commitment to the district, his commitment to the kids of the district were all very attractive to us."

Hale told the newspaper he was honored by the appointment and getting it "absolutely means the world to me."

Thinkstock

A new poll released Wednesday has good news for Indiana Democrats.

The poll shows Democrat Evan Bayh leading Republican Congressman Todd Young by seven points in the state’s U.S. Senate race.

The Evansville Courier and Press reports Bayh is leading Young 48 percent to 41 percent.

Bayh’s candidacy is especially important to the Democrats nationally in their effort to take control of the Senate.

The Monmouth University poll shows a tight race for governor.

Republican Lieutenant Gov. Eric Holcomb holds a one percentage point lead over Democrat John Gregg.

The poll has a margin of error of nearly five percentage points.

NPR

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, are attending a fundraiser at a private home in Evansville next week.

Monday’s event is being hosted by businessman Steve Chancellor, the CEO of American Patriot Group, which makes field-ready meals for military personnel.

The Evansville Courier & Press reports Kentucky Congressman Brett Guthrie of Bowling Green is also scheduled to attend the fundraiser.

The minimum donation for a couple is $10,000. Photo opportunities and access to VIPs will cost more—between $25,000-$250,000.

Trump and Pence are trying to keep Indiana’s 11 electoral college votes in the Republican win category. Republican Mitt Romney beat President Obama by 10 percentage points in 2012.

WKU

The rainfall that’s been pounding Kentucky this summer has broken records and impacted farmers.

Kentucky state climatologist and WKU Geography and Geology professor Stuart Foster is reporting that rainfall records in several counties were shattered in July. The climate observer station in Murray recorded more than 18 inches of rain.

That broke the previous record by more than 7 inches.

Mesonet sites with the most rainfall in July also included Christian County with more than 18 inches, and Logan County with nearly 17 inches. Butler, Hopkins, and Marshall counties all recorded 16 inches of rainfall last month.

The heavy rains washed out portions of tobacco in some fields.

But the above average rainfall was an advantage for some crops, including corn and soybeans.

Kentucky Mesonet has 66 weather stations collecting data in 65 counties.

Tennessee Valley Authority

The number of coal jobs in Kentucky continue to decline.  A report from the state Energy and Environment Cabinet says the number of jobs statewide dropped by 6.9 percent.

In Western Kentucky, coal jobs dropped 7.9 percent from April to June. The amount of coal produced in that region declined 12.3 percent. Production in the state’s eastern coalfield is the lowest it’s been since 1915.

Kentucky now has less miners than in 1898, before the extension of railroads allowed for explosive growth in production and jobs in Eastern Kentucky.

Analysts say there are a number of reasons for the decline, including competition for power-plant customers from cheap natural gas; tougher federal rules to protect air and water quality and the growth of renewable energy sources.

www.lrc.ky.gov

Lobbying companies gave six-figure contributions to underwrite the costs for Kentucky to host the Southern Legislative Conference annual convention.

The Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission says three groups that lobby the legislature gave at least $100,000 to sponsor the convention. Those groups were the Keeneland race track, the Kentucky Distillers Association and LG&E and KU Energy. About 1,500 state legislators and staff attended the conference from 15 southern states.

Although such contributions are legal and not unusual not everyone agrees with the practice. Chairman of Common Cause of Kentucky, Richard Beliles, says the donations buy access to legislators.

State police have arrested a woman for the murder of a Smiths Grove woman last month.

After a stand-off with police at a Rockfield home, Mary Thompson was arrested for the shooting death of 51 year old Dealynn O’Connor in Smiths Grove June 17th  .

A news release from State Police says they learned Wednesday that Thompson was in the home in Rockfield. She was arrested after 7:00 Thursday night.

Logan County sheriff Wallace Whittaker was briefly hospitalized Sunday following a car accident.

Russellville police handled the wreck at 431 South and the entrance to The Greens housing complex.

They say a car driven by Dustin Craig of Russellville hit the side of Whittaker’s car as the sheriff was turning into a driveway. Whittaker complained of shoulder and head pain and was taken to Logan Memorial hospital for observation.

Both vehicles sustained damage and sheriff Whittaker’s Buick Enclave had to be towed from the scene.

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