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.

Ways to Connect

This entry contains two recordings of live newscasts that aired on WKYU, one on August 15, and the other on May 17.

Thank you for considering this entry in the radio category of Best Long Newscast.

This entry includes some of the best work reported and produced by Rhonda Miller in 2016.

Thank you for considering this entry in the radio category of Best Radio Reporter.

Gage Skidmore

A senior advisor to President Donald Trump is under fire for citing a so-called “Bowling Green massacre” as a way to defend the administration’s recent travel ban.

In an interview that aired on MSNBC Thursday night, Kellyanne Conway said the administration was justified in banning travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries because of the 2011 incident in southern Kentucky.

But there was never a “massacre” in Bowling Green.

Two Iraqi citizens, Mohanad Shareff Hammadi and Waad Ramadan Alwan, were arrested in Warren County that year and later sentenced to federal prison after they were caught in an FBI sting operation.


There’s been another big step in the plan to bring a huge natural gas manufacturing plant to Somerset.

The Commonwealth Journal reports preliminary documents have been signed to provide natural gas to the proposed $70 million facility and to build the plant on 23 acres near the former Crane Company building.

The proposed project would convert natural gas into other products.

Becca Schimmel

The man picked to be Western Kentucky University’s next president says every employee’s mission must be to help students attain a degree.

Timothy Caboni is holding forums with WKU staff, faculty, and students Thursday. A forum for community members is being held Thursday from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Augenstein Alumni Center.

The school’s presidential search committee announced last week that Caboni was their “preferred candidate” to be WKU’s tenth president.

Voters in three area counties said no to alcohol sales in special elections Tuesday, while one Ohio County town bucked the trend by voting yes.

Allen County will remain dry after voters there rejected sales of alcohol by a vote of 2,908 to 2,296.

Clinton County will also remain dry after a 2.300 to 1,288 vote.

Todd County residents also voted no.

But in Ohio County voters decided to go wet, saying yes to alcohol sales in the town of Hartford by a vote of 280 to 155 in a small turnout.

There was also a wet/dry vote in Warren County Tuesday. Voters in Smiths Grove said yes 145 to 24 to allowing the Bluegrass Winery to sell wine at their business.


The Western Kentucky University Board of Regents has selected its “preferred candidate” to be the school’s next president.

Timothy Caboni is currently the vice-chancellor for public affairs at the University of Kansas, and holds a master’s degree in corporate and organizational communications from WKU.

The New Orleans native is scheduled to be on WKU’s campus next Thursday to participate in forums with the school’s staff, faculty, students, and community members.

Kevin Willis

A sixth-generation distiller has passed away after five decades with one of the most famous bourbon producers.

Parker Beam served as Master Distiller Emeritus for Heaven Hill distilleries, and was with the company for more than 50 years.

Heaven Hill announced Monday that Beam died following a years-long battle with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Kentucky’s Medicaid expansion has led to a dramatic increase in substance abuse treatment services. The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky has examined substance abuse services covered by Medicaid between 2014 and mid-2016.


The group’s report found that Medicaid beneficiaries received 740-percent more treatment services for substance abuse issues over that 30-month period. Before the Affordable Care Act in 2012, about 585-thousand Kentuckians lacked health insurance, and therefore had no coverage for drug and alcohol treatment services.

Ft. Knox Army Post

The city of Radcliff is offering free land for a possible Veterans Affairs medical center.

The 50 acre site has all utilities in place and has direct access to Interstate 65. The offer of free land comes from Radcliff Mayor Mike Weaver, a retired Army colonel.

The Elizabethtown News-Enterprise reports land has already been acquired in Louisville near Brownsboro Road and the Watterson Expressway for a new VA hospital.

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

The sponsor of a so-called “religious freedom” bill says it may have to wait until 2018. Laurel County Republican Senator Albert Robinson said the bill would have passed this year had it not been for House Democrats.

The religious freedom bill would prohibit the government from forcing businesses to serve individuals if doing so would violate the business owner’s religious beliefs. Supporters say the bill’s passage is important to protecting an individual’s right to live according to their religious beliefs. Opponents of the bill say it would allow discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.


General Motors will temporarily close the Bowling Green assembly plant next month as the automaker tries to reduce a growing inventory of cars on dealer lots.

The Corvette plant will be idled for one week. GM will also halt production at four other plants ranging from one to three weeks.

Flickr/Creative Commons

A Kentucky lawmaker wants to establish a minimum age at which juveniles could be held legally responsible for committing crimes.

The bill would set the minimum age of 11 years old for a criminal offense. Louisville Representative and bill sponsor Darryl Owens said that young children have not fully developed their impulse control or decision making skills, making them unable to fully understand the consequences of their actions.

A refugee from Iraq and former Bowling Green resident convicted of terror-related offenses will stay in jail.

The Bowling Green Daily News reports 29-year-old Mohanad Shareef Hammadi asked to have his life sentence vacated, claiming his court-appointed lawyer, James Earhart, did not represent him effectively. A federal judge ruled Hammadi's request should be dismissed.

Hammadi has been in jail since 2011 on charges that he attempted to provide money and weapons to terrorists in Iraq while he was living in Bowling Green.

Abbey Oldham

The head football coach at Western Kentucky University has accepted an offer to become the next head coach at Purdue. 

Jeff Brohm informed WKU Athletics Director Todd Stewart and team members of his decision Monday morning.

Brohm is coming off back-to-back Conference USA championships and is 30-10 in the three seasons since taking over for Bobby Petrino. 

Associate Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator Nick Holt, who has served on the WKU coaching staff since 2013, will serve as interim head coach moving forward and into the 2016 Boca Raton Bowl. 

WKU has scheduled a 4:00 p.m. news conference at Diddle Arena.

Purdue dismissed coach Darrell Hazell in October following a 3-9 record this year.