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.


12:59 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Judge Sides with Kentucky Transportation Cabinet on Jurisdiction for Bridge Collapse Lawsuit

A cargo ship took out a 322-foot section of the Eggners Ferry Bridge in western Kentucky on January 26, 2012.

A federal judge has sided with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet in a lawsuit against the owner of a ship that damaged a western Kentucky bridge.  The ruling says the case against employees of Foss Maritime Company must be heard in a state circuit court.  

The Transportation Cabinet sued seven current or former employees for their part in the 2012 crash of the Delta Mariner, into the Eggners Ferry Bridge on Kentucky Lake.  An entire span of the bridge was demolished and had to be replaced.  The state is seeking to recover more than $7 million in damages. 

The Transportation Cabinet filed suit against Foss Maritime, the owner of the cargo vessel, in Marshall Circuit Court and requested a jury trial.  Seattle-based Foss Maritime got the case removed to federal court.  But in a ruling this week, U.S. District Judge Thomas Russell Judge ruled that "state courts remain competent to  hear maritime causes of action as long as the defendant is a person and not a vessel."  The decision leaves open the possibility of a jury trial.

Foss Maritime maintains it is not responsible for causing the collapse because some of the bridge's navigation lights were not working.  The Cabinet’s lawsuit claims the crew ignored a series of warnings from the U.S. Coast Guard about the malfunction.

4:15 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Baptist Church in Kentucky Prepares to Hold First Gay Marriage Ceremony

David Bannister and Steven Carr have been together for more than six years.  They plan to get married next May at Highland Baptist Church in Louisville. 

The Courier-Journal reports the 1,200-member congregation places women in leadership and is already more liberal than most churches in the Baptist denomination.  Highland Baptist left the conservative Southern Baptist Convention about 20 years ago.  In 2012, the church ordained its first openly gay minister. 

The couple planning to wed there next spring hopes they can be legally married in light of recent rulings striking down Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage.

2:47 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Christian County Sheriff's Office: Woman Threw Bag of Kittens Out Car Window

Jennifer Lynn Fowler
Credit Christian County Sheriff's Office

A Fairview woman faces a Class D Felony charge after authorities say she threw a bag of kittens out of the window of a car Monday afternoon. The Christian County Sheriff’s office says 48-year-old Jennifer Lynn Fowler was arrested Tuesday. 

An arrest warrant for Fowler says a witness saw her throw a bag out of a vehicle on Russellville Road Monday.  The witness reportedly stopped, picked up the bag and discovered the kittens. He or she then called police.   It is not known whether the cats survived.

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12:00 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Tatman Chosen To Lead Kentucky Auto Industry Association

Dave Tatman (right) with WKU Professor Terry Wilson in 2011
Credit Clinton Lewis/WKU

The former manager of the General Motors Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green has been tapped to lead the new Kentucky Auto Industry Association. The appointment of Dave Tatman as executive director was announced Tuesday. 

Tatman has been involved in the auto industry for nearly 35 years and led the Corvette Assembly Plant from 2010 until his retirement earlier this year. 

The state’s Economic Development Secretary Larry Hayes chairs the Auto Industry Association, which was formed earlier this year by Governor Steve Beshear.  The group is tasked with promoting the auto industry in Kentucky, a state which produced more than a million vehicles in 2013.

11:31 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Hilltoppers Officially Make Move to Conference USA

Tuesday marks the first day for WKU as a member of Conference USA.  The conference includes universities in 10 states and includes Charlotte, FIU, Florida Atlantic, Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Old Dominion, Rice, Southern Miss, UAB, UTEP and UTSA.

The move follows more than 30 years for the Hilltoppers as a member of the Sun Belt Conference. 

Conference commissioner Britton Banowsky will be in attendance at a Conference USA kickoff party, tonight at 6-4-3 restaurant at Hitcents Park Plaza in downtown Bowling Green.

4:54 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Inabnitt Pleads Not Guilty On Charges of Shooting Prominent Somerset Attorney

Clinton Inabnitt
Credit Pulaski County Detention Center

The Somerset man accused of shooting a prominent attorney to death last Friday has pleaded innocent to a murder charge. The Herald-Leader reports 40-year-old Clinton Inabnitt entered the plea at an arraignment on Monday. 

Fifty-seven year old Mark Stanziano was shot multiple times as he was walking outside his office. 

Funeral services are set for Tuesday for Stanziano. He’ll be buried Wednesday following a memorial mass at St. Mildred Catholic Church in Somerset.

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2:42 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Kentucky Judge Affirms Sanctions Against National College

A for-profit college with six locations in Kentucky will have to pay penalties for not cooperating with an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office. 

Attorney General Jack Conway issued a subpoena to National College in 2010 as part of his probe of some for-profit colleges operating in the Commonwealth.  National refused to respond to the subpoena and instead filed suit to block the investigation.  Franklin Circuit Court ruled the attorney general was acting both lawfully and in the public interest.  National College appealed to the Court of Appeals and Kentucky Supreme Court, but the appeals were denied. 

Franklin Circuit Court affirmed its previous ruling requiring National College to pay $147,000 for failing to comply with the subpoena.  The court also affirmed at $10,000 fine levied on the school’s attorneys for their role in delaying the investigation.

National College has campuses in Danville, Florence, Lexington, Louisville, Pikeville, and Richmond.

11:28 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Kentucky's Rand Paul Proposes Federal Voting Rights Bill

U.S. Senator Rand Paul, R-KY
Credit Abbey Oldham/WKU Public Radio

Calling it the biggest voting rights issue of our day, U.S. Senator Rand Paul plans to introduce federal  legislation this week to restore the voting rights of some convicted felons. 

Speaking Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Paul said as many as a million Americans are being prevented from casting a ballot because of prior felony convictions.

"It prevents you from employment, so if we're the party of family values and a party that believes in redemption and second chances, we should be for letting people have back the right to vote," Paul suggested.  "I think the face of the Republican party needs to be not about suppressing the vote, but enhancing the vote."

Senator Paul’s bill would allow felons convicted of non-violent crimes to regain voting privileges after their sentences are completed. 

The Bowling Republican pushed similar legislation in the Kentucky General Assembly this year without success.

11:26 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Keeneland Officially Awarded 2015 Breeder's Cup

Credit Keeneland

Horse racing’s year-end championship will be returning to Kentucky in the fall of 2015.  The Breeder’s Cup has been held at Churchill Downs eight times, but for the first time, Keeneland will be hosting the event.  The awarding of the Breeder’s Cup was confirmed Tuesday by track officials.  A tentative date of October 30-31 has also been penciled on the calendar.  

Keeneland says it will add seven-thousand premium seats for the event. Santa Anita Park hosts the event this year and will again in 2016.

3:42 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Rep. McCarthy Coming to Bowling Green to Raise Money for Kentucky GOP

California Rep. Kevin McCarthy
Credit Rep. Kevin McCarthy

Newly elected U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy will make a fundraising appearance in Bowling Green next month.  The purpose of the visit is to raise money for GOP state house candidates. Scott Lasley, chairman of the Warren County GOP says Congressman Brett Guthrie likely played a big role in helping to bring a high-profile name like McCarthy to Bowling Green.

“There are at least 230 Republican members who would love to have him come to their districts and help raise money for, in this case, the state party. It reflects the level of respect that Congressman Guthrie has from his colleagues and also reflects what types of relationships he’s been able to form while in Washington,” said Lasley.

Lasley says there’s “no guarantee” the GOP can win the five seats needed to take control of the Kentucky House, but he says the party has its best shot in years. He says if they can accomplish their goal, it could move more critical than winning the governor’s office.

“If Republicans are successful and are able to control the House and the Senate, you’re going to see tax reform, you’re going to see some discussion of things like right-to-work and a whole range of issues. It would be significant,” said Lasley.

There hasn’t been a Republican majority in the state house since 1920.  

In a statement sent to the Associated Press, current House Speaker, Democrat Greg Stumbo writes “House Republicans want to bring more Washington-styled politics to Kentucky, which is the last thing we need”