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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Interstate 65 south-bound will be reduced to one lane Wednesday as crews repair pavement between mile posts 86 in Glendale and 81 in Sonora. The right lane and shoulders will be closed.

Work is scheduled to begin at 7:00 a.m. and should be completed by the end of the day.

South-bound delays will be possible. Motorists may wish to seek an alternate route such as US 31W.

Commercial thru traffic may wish to use the Western Kentucky Parkway (Exit 91) to the Natcher Parkway and rejoin I-65 in Bowling Green.

With Kentucky’s gubernatorial primary four months away, candidates are beginning to line up endorsements.

Kentucky’s AFL-CIO chapter officially endorsed Democratic candidate and Attorney General Jack Conway Tuesday. Republican candidate and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer has been endorsed by former Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning.

Another GOP candidate, former Louisville Council Member Hal Heiner, this week aired the first television ad of the 2015 election cycle.

The spot touts Heiner’s experience in private business and says he would fight against federal mandatessuch as Obamacare and the Common Core educational standards.

Former Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott is also running for the GOP gubernatorial nomination. Secretary of State and former Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes says she’s considering several options, including running for governor, attorney general , and a second term as Secretary of State.

A California man has been convicted of conducting a scheme that defrauded 200 people through phony oil-well investments in southern Kentucky. The alleged fraud amounted to more than $3 million.

The Herald-Leader reports a federal grand jury found John G. Westine Junior guilty on 26 charges of mail fraud and one charge each of securities fraud and conspiracy to launder money.

Each charge carries a maximum 20-year term. According to the indictment in the case, the scheme involved selling interests in Bowling Green-area oil wells from 2012 to last year. The defendants allegedly used fake geological surveys and other documents to trick would-be investors into believing the area contained huge oil reserves.

Three other men have been charged in connection to the scheme.

A new Iowa poll shows Kentucky Senator Rand Paul in the middle of the pack of possible Republican contenders for the White House in 2016. 

The Courier-Journal cites a poll by Gravis Marketing that shows former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in front with 21 percent support.  Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush comes in second in the poll with 14 percent approval.  Next are Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee with ten and nine percent support, respectively. 

Senator Rand Paul was favored by eight percent Iowa Republicans who were surveyed.  Behind Paul were Ted Cruz, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, and Marco Rubio. 

The poll was conducted January 5-7 and questioned 404 registered GOP voters.  The margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points. 

Senator Paul has made several trips to Iowa while exploring a run for president.  He continues visiting other early-voting states.  This week, the Bowling Green Republican visited New Hampshire.

Two Elizabethtown cancer doctors are being sued for allegedly extending chemotherapy treatments in order to make more money.

Six former patients and the estates representing two other patients are suing Doctors Yusef Deshmukh and Rafiq Rahman, accusing the two of diluting the drugs used to treat their cancers, so that the treatment period would be made longer. The Courier-Journal reports the alleged actions by the doctors between 2006 and 2014 allowed them to improperly bill Medicaid and other programs for reimbursements.

Deshmukh and Rahman are already under investigation by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure related to the allegations.

The suit asks for unspecified damages and says the patients were made to unnecessarily retain catheters and ports inside their bodies.

The defendants have not yet filed a legal response to the suit. Meanwhile, the doctors accused in the suit are allowed to continue their practice, and their clinic remains open.

Although the numbers are expected to change slightly over the next few months, the board agreed to cut 50 jobs and slice teachers' pay by 9.8%.

According to WBKO-TV, an estimated 500 people jammed into Muhlenberg County High School's auditorium Monday night, mostly teachers and their families opposed to the cuts. Both in their comments and on printed signs, members of the public said the cuts would lead to increased class sizes within the district and impact learning.

Eighteen year old freshman Collin Craig filed a report with Bowling Green city police claiming he was assaulted and forced to drink alcohol during several different hazing incidents.

Bowling Green police spokesman Ronnie Ward confirmed to the Daily News that they are investigating the allegations with WKU's cooperation. WKU is conducting an investigation of its own. The university has a hazing policy in place which expressly prohibits it in all forms.

Craig, who is no longer a student at WKU, was a biology major with plans to attend medical school.

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WKU is removing the “interim” label from the title of its Kentucky Museum Director.

Brent Bjorkman hasbeen named the museum’s director after serving as the interim leader since August. The Folk Studies Professor also serves as Director of the Kentucky Folklife Program.

In announcing the decision, WKU Provost Gordon Emslie said in a statement that Bjorkman displayed the ability to lead the Kentucky Museum towards its goal of achieving accreditation with the American Alliance of Museums.

The Kentucky Museum houses permanent and traveling art exhibits as well as historical documents from across the region.

Democrats and Republicans have selected candidates who will campaign to fill a vacant Kentucky state Senate seat.

Democrat Walter Blevins resigned from the position last Sunday after  being sworn-in as Rowan County’s Judge-Executive.

Voters in the 27th District will choose between Democrat Kelly Caudill and Republican Steve West when they cast ballots March 3.

Caudill is an attorney from Maysville who says his top priorities as state Senator would be boosting economic development in the district, as well as increasing spending for public education and supporting laws that fight drug abuse.

West is a Bourbon County real estate attorney and cattle farmer. If West wins, the GOP will extend its already sizable advantage in the state Senate, which currently stands at 26-11.

The 27th District Senate seat covers Bourbon, Fleming, Harrison, Lewis, Mason, Nicholas, Robertson, and Rowan counties.

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Environmental groups are going to court to argue that Kentucky and West Virginia are doing a poor job of enforcing federal clean water rules.

Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, the Sierra Club, and others say the states haven’t done enough to control pollution from surface coal mines, causing damage to nearby streams and rivers.

The groups behind the federal lawsuits say they asked the Environmental Protection Agency years ago to rescind Kentucky and West Virginia’s authority over surface coal mine discharges. But the plaintiffs say the EPA never responded to that request.

The Herald-Leader reports the lawsuits are designed to compel the federal agency to act. The suits claim Kentucky doesn’t have enough employees to adequately monitor surface mine pollution, failed to set appropriate limits on pollutants, and issued mining permits under rules that included less scrutiny of applicants.

A spokesman for the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet says his group believes they have been implementing all programs in accordance with state and federal regulations.

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