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.


3:55 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Kentucky Says No State Tax Credits for Ark Encounter Park

An artist's rendering of a Noah's Ark-themed amusement park in northern Kentucky.
Credit Answers in Genesis

A planned amusement park in northern Kentucky featuring Noah’s Ark is not eligible for $18 million in state tourism tax benefits.

The Herald-Leader reports Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet Secretary sent the group Answers in Genesis a letter saying the commonwealth could not issue such tax benefits for projects with discriminatory hiring practices.

Answers in Genesis is the Christian group behind the Creation Museum, which seeks to explain the origins of the earth through the teachings of the bible. The group’s next project has been dubbed the Ark Park, and will feature a giant ship based on the story of Noah and the great flood.

But questions over whether the state should allow the park tourism tax benefits arose when Answers In Genesis refused to commit to not discriminating based on religion in the hiring process for park employees.

In his letter to a lawyer for Answers in Genesis, Tourism Cabinet Secretary Bob Stewart wrote “it is readily apparent that the project has evolved from a tourist attraction to an extension of AIG’s ministry that will no longer permit the commonwealth to grant the project tourism development incentives.”

Officials with Answers In Genesis were not immediately available for comment following news of the state's decision.

2:47 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Mesker Park Zoo Expansion Gets Financial Boost From Evansville CVB

Mesker Park Zoo
Credit Mesker Park Zoo

The Evansville Convention and Visitors Bureau is pledging a $300,000 dollar grant to help build a carousel and aviary at the Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden.

The Courier & Press reports the board of commissioners at the CVB voted to award the matching grant. The money comes from the city’s "innkeeper" or hotel-motel tax. The zoo will have to raise $300,000 on its own to receive the grant. 

The project has an overall price tag of $3 million dollars and is expected to open sometime in 2016.

Around 175,000 people visit the Mesker Park Zoo each year.

12:45 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Tennessee Awarded $17.5 Million To Expand Pre-School Services

Tennessee is one of 13 states around the nation that’s receiving a federal grant to expand preschool services. 

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced Wednesday that Tennessee will get $17 ½ million and will help serve as a model for expanding access to pre-school to low and moderate income families.  

Five other states are also receiving grants for pre-school development. The grants total $226 million.

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11:10 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Star Quarterback To Return For WKU Next Season

Brandon Doughty will return to the Hill in 2015 for another season with WKU after the NCAA granted him a sixth year of eligibility on Wednesday.
Credit WKU Athletics

 Update: 12:31 p.m.

Brandon Doughty has been named the Most Valuable Player by Conference USA. The league's 13 coaches voted Doughty as the top performer.

Original Post

The NCAA has granted WKU quarterback Brandon Doughty a sixth year of eligibility, it was announced Wednesday. 

Doughty’s 2011 and 2012 seasons were marred by injury, but since returning to health Doughty has etched his name in the school record books, breaking WKU single-season passing records in both 2013 and 2014.  He also holds the school’s career touchdown record. He also holds the Conference USA single-game passing record

“My time at WKU has been very special and I am looking forward to the opportunity to come back for my sixth year to build on what we’ve started this season,” Doughty said. “Having to deal with injuries for two seasons was really tough and I never would have made it through without my faith in God and the support from my coaches, teammates and the athletic department staff.”

Doughty and his Hilltopper teammates begin full preparations Thursday for their Bahamas Bowl appearance December 24th.  The team takes on Central Michigan at 11 a.m. central that day.

3:45 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Ark Park Creators Counter Criticism Through Billboards

An artist's rendering of the Ark Encounter theme park, planned for northern Kentucky.
Credit Answers in Genesis

The group trying to build a Noah’s Ark theme part in northern Kentucky has launched a billboard campaign to counter criticism over tax incentives and religious discrimination.   has this report.

The Courier-Journal reports that Answers in Genesis is putting up 16 billboards in Louisville, Lexington, Frankfort, and in northern Kentucky that will direct people to the group’s website for more information about the project.  Answers in Genesis says it hopes to dispel myths about the use of tax dollars and future hiring. 

Over the summer, the state gave preliminary approval of tax incentives totaling $18 million.  Final approval is on hold until Answers in Genesis can assure state officials it will not discriminate in hiring on the basis of religion. 

3:05 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Lawmakers to Again Attempt to Get Kentucky Smoking Ban Passed

Two Louisville lawmakers will again attempt to get a statewide smoking ban passed.

Representative Susan Westrom and Senator-elect Julie Racque-Adams have tried--and failed—to get such a ban through the past four legislative sessions.

Westrom, a House Democrat, blamed members of her own party’s leadership after a smoking ban failed to receive a floor vote in the chamber during the 2014 General Assembly.

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Arts & Culture
2:46 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

John Prine Coming to 2015 ROMP in Owensboro

John Prine's parents were originally from Muhlenberg County, Ky., but moved to Illinois before Prine was born.

Legendary songwriter John Prine will appear in Owensboro next year as one of the headliners of anannual bluegrass music event.

The 68-year-old will perform next June at the River of Music Party.  Prine wrote the famous song “Paradise” about the coal-mining industry in Muhlenberg County, and he won a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album in 2004 for an album that featured a recording of Stephen Foster’s song, “My Old Kentucky Home.”

The rest of the 2015 ROMP lineup will announced as acts are booked, with the full slate expected by mid-February.

3:29 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Kentucky High School Football Championships Underway at WKU

Houchens-L.T. Smith Stadium Friday during the Kentucky high school football championships.
Credit Kevin Willis

Six Kentucky high school football champions are being crowned Friday and Saturday in Bowling Green.

Belfry of Pike County beat Louisville Central 14-7 in the class 3A title game. Belfry running back Austin Hatfield carried the ball 30 yards for 235 yards and a touchdown in the first of six championship games to beplayed at Houchens-L.T. Smith stadium.

Here is the rest of the lineup:

2A game between Louisville DeSales and Newport Central Catholic is underway.

5A game at 6:00 p.m.: Pulaski County vs. Graves County 


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2:47 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Mail on Sundays? Yes, in Bowling Green and Evansville

The U.S. Postal Service will open certain post office locations on two Sundays in December in both Bowling Green and Evansville.

The U.S. Postal Service says it will open post office locations in Bowling Green and Evansville on two Sundays this holiday season to reduce wait times and allow customers to get a jump on holiday shipping. 

The Bowling Green General Mail Facility on Scottsville Road along with the Lawndale Station on S. Green River Road in Evansville will open on December 14th and 21st.  The facilities will be open from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. those days.

The Postal Service says 607 million pieces of mail will be processed on Dec. 15th, making it the busiest day of the season. 

2:40 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

I-65 South in Hardin County Reduced to One Lane

 Updated at 2:40 p.m.: 

Traffic is backed up from Mile Point 82 to about the 91 interchange at Elizabethtown.  The paving crew is still working and the right lane is expected to remain closed for another 2-3 hours.  Heavy rain is moving into Central Kentucky over the next few hours.  Motorist should use extreme caution in the work area.  Motorists and especially trucks are urged to consider exit 91 Western Kentucky Parkway to Natcher Parkway to rejoin I65 in Bowling Green to proceed south on I65.

Original post:

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet issued the following traffic advisory Friday morning for those traveling on I-65 in the Hardin County region:

Interstate 65 southbound near Mile Point 82 in Hardin County is reduced to one lane.

The right lane is blocked until base failure repairs can be completed. Keep left.

There are three repair locations between exit 86 at Glendale and exit 81 at Sonora.

Signage is posted well ahead of the work area. Use exit 86 to US 31W south as an alternate route to rejoin I65 at exit 81.

Weather conditions are less than ideal for pavement work. Surfaces are more slippery and visibilities are reduced because of rain, fog and traffic spray.

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