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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Environment
2:32 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Kentucky Lawmaker Wants "Brighter Line" on How Companies Can Use Eminent Domain

This sign was seen at an informational meeting in Frankfort about the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline.
Credit Erica Peterson, Kentucky Public Radio

The chairman of the Kentucky House Judiciary Committee says he is pre-filing legislation that seeks to make clear that Kentuckians are free from the unregulated use of eminent domain.

Hopkinsville Democrat John Tilley says the issue should be clarified in light of the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline. The proposed natural gas liquids pipeline would stretch from Pennsylvania to Louisiana, and cut through an estimated 13 Kentucky counties, including Breckinridge, Hardin, Larue, Meade, and Nelson.

Some landowners in counties along the proposed pipeline route have expressed concerns that the company would seek to use eminent domain laws to seize their land.

Rep. Tilley said in a news release issued by his office that the bill he has pre-filed will “strive to maintain the proper balance between those rights and economic development when it comes to safely transporting fossil fuels.”

"I believe the state needs to paint a brighter line on how pipelines like this are built and where they can be located."

The bill would put the Public Service Commission in the role of gatekeeper if those constructing pipelines can’t reach agreement with private landowners.

Regional
10:04 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Bowling Green Man Arrested for Rock Creek Murder

Bowling Green murder suspect Dominique L. Wortham

Update 5:45 p.m.

The Daily News reports a second person will be charged in connection with the murder of Larry Thomas.  Paducah police reportedly arrested 19-year-old Adriana Mason Friday afternoon.  Mason is currently in the McCracken County jail.

Original post:

Bowling Green police say 21-year-old Dominique Wortham has confessed to the September 2 murder of WKU student Larry Thomas at Thomas' apartment on Rock Creek Drive.

The Bowling Green Daily News reported that Wortham was arrested Thursday night and charged with murder.

He reportedly told police he shot the 20-year-old Thomas during the course of a robbery. Thomas was airlifted to Vanderbilt Hospital following the shooting where he later died.

Politics
1:34 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Harry Reid Plans Fundraiser for Kentucky Senate Candidate Grimes

Credit Lisa Autry

Washington’s top Democrat is reportedly coming to the aid of Kentucky U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes. 

C-N-2 Politics reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will hold a fundraising luncheon for Grimes in Las Vegas on October 11th.  The event is being organized by Seachlight Leadership Fund, the political action committee that Reid founded in 1997. 

When asked to confirm the fundraiser and whether Grimes will attend,  her Press Secretary Charly Norton told WKU Public Radio the campaign would not comment on their fundraising schedule. 

The Kentucky Republican Party criticized the fundraiser and highlighted Reid’s past statement that “coal makes us sick.” 

Grimes is the presumed Democratic nominee who will challenge Republican U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell in a race to be decided next November.  McConnell must first win a primary contest against Tea Party candidate Matt Bevin.

Health
3:08 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Beshear Says Most Uninsured Kentuckians Will Qualify for Subsidies for Exchange-Based Plans

Governor Beshear says most of Kentucky’s uninsured residents would qualify for discounts on health insurance purchased on the state’s new health exchange. Speaking Tuesday in Frankfort, said at least 80 percent of the commonwealth’s uninsured would get some kind of financial assistance to help them get insurance coverage.

The new health exchange was put into motion following the passage of the federal Affordable Care Act. It serves as an online marketplace where consumers can choose state-approved insurance plans and compare coverage and costs.

Enrollment in the Kentucky exchange begins October 1.

Government officials have said an estimated 332,000 uninsured Kentuckians would be eligible to receive coverage through the new exchange. The Courier-Journal reports Beshear said Tuesday that a family of four earning $70,000 a year could buy a health plan for a little over $400 a month.

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Special Programs
2:43 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

WKU Public Radio Airing NPR's Live Coverage of President Obama's Address to Nation

President Obama addresses the nation Tuesday evening.

President Obama is set to address the nation Tuesday evening about the ongoing conflict in Syria, and his efforts to get Congress to authorize a U.S. military strike following the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons.

WKU Public Radio will air NPR's live coverage of the President's speech, starting at 8 p.m central/ 9 eastern time.

You can also access our coverage through our online webstreaming, by clicking on the "Listen Live" button at the top of the page.

In other Syria-related news Tuesday:

NPR: Breakthrough? Syria Hints it Might Give Up Chemical Weapons

WKU Public Radio: Mitch McConnell to Vote "No" on U.S. Strike Against Syria

NY Times: U.S. and Allies to Work Through U.N. Path on Syria Chemical Weapons

Politics
9:35 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Sen. McConnell Will Vote Against Military Strike on Syria

Speaking on the floor of the U.S. Senate Tuesday morning, Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell announced he will not support the President's call for a U.S. military strike on Syria.

The Louisville Republican said President Obama has not put forth a "credible strategy" regarding Syria. McConnell added that he doesn't think a "limited strike would resolve the civil war in Syria or remove Assad from power."

The Senate Minority Leader said while the chemical weapons attacks in Syria were horrible they did not pose a direct security threat to the U.S. or its allies.

Up until Tuesday, the leading Senate Republican had not committed to a position on the President's call for force against the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. His fellow Kentucky Republican, Rand Paul of Bowling Green, has been an outspoken opponent of U.S. intervention.

McConnell expressed concern during his Senate floor speech about the possible unintended consequence  of chemical weapons falling into the hands of Islamic extremists should the U.S. conduct the type of limited surgical military strike being proposed.

Politics
8:40 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Guthrie a "No" Vote on U.S. Military Strike Against Syria

Kentucky's 2nd District Congressman, Brett Guthrie, has announced he will oppose the President's call for a U.S. military strike in Syria.

Here's what the Bowling Green Republican said in a news release about how he came to his decision:

"I appreciate Administration officials briefing the House on this very important situation. However, none of the information shared with me today has convinced me that military action is necessary or appropriate to further our national security interests in Syria and the surrounding region.

“There is no doubt that the Middle East is ripe with conflict and that the chemical weapons attack against the Syrian people on August 21 was horrific. But I do not believe that a bombing campaign against the Assad regime would be appropriate, and may even further enflame regional tensions. As the last remaining superpower, the United States should act as a role model for these troubled nations and look for further diplomatic solutions.

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Education
2:49 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Report: Indiana's New School Grading System Implemented Poorly

A report from a pair of bi-partisan former budget and policy officials says the Indiana Department of Education botched the implementation of the new “A to F” grading system for schools.

According to the report, former Indiana schools superintendent Tony Bennett didn’t properly prepare for the different ways schools in the Hoosier State are organized, and was left to make last-minute changes to grading formulas right before the rankings were released to the public.

The Courier-Journal reports that Indiana teachers and administrators had complained ahead of last year’s release of the rankings, which they said wouldn’t accurately reflect the quality of work taking place in schools.

In addition, an Associated Press reporter obtained e-mails showing Bennett ordered his staff to find ways to inflate grades for a charter school he had been touting and whose founder had contributed to his campaign.

Regional
2:30 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Eastbound Cumberland Parkway Lanes Blocked by Overturned Crane

Update at 9:35 p.m.:

The disabled crane has been removed, and all eastbound lanes of the Cumberland Parkway are open.

Update at 6:00 p.m.:

A second crane has arrived to help move the disabled crane off the roadway.  Once it's gone, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says crews will be on site to start road repairs. The eastbound lanes remain closed. No estimated time for their re-opening.

Update at 2:30 p.m.:

A crane is now on-site to begin the upright process of a crane that overturned on the Cumberland Parkway in the Edmonton area.  Estimated time for this leg of the cleanup process is 3-4 hours, then preparation will take place for a large low-boy from Louisville to remove the overturned unit.  Estimated total recovery and removal could take until 6:30-7:30 p.m. 

Afterward, repairs will take place on the road surface which will take additional time after the vehicle is removed.

All eastbound lanes remain blocked at mile point 34, east of Edmonton.   Traffic is still being diverted off in Edmonton, passing through to Columbia in Adair County via KY 80 to rejoin the parkway. 

Westbound lanes are not directly, though intermittent and short closures may be required for emergency services and removal.

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Special Programs
12:03 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

WKU PBS Airing Charlie Rose Interview with Bashar al-Assad Monday Evening

Credit pbs.org

WKU PBS is airing Charlie Rose’s interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad about the chemical weapons attacks inside Syria, and the possibility of U.S. military intervention.

You can see that interview tonight, starting at 10 pm central time, on WKU PBS.

You can also read WKU Public Radio's recent coverage from our region regarding the conflict in Syria, including:

Lisa Autry's interview with WKU's Huda Melky, a Syrian native who has family still living there.

An interview by Kevin Willis with Kentucky U.S. Senator Rand Paul, who talked about his opposition to American military involvement in Syria.

Senator Mitch McConnell's recent comments to the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club about not having made a decision on whether or not he'll support a U.S. military strike.

WKU Political Science Prof. Scott Lasley's comments to WKU Public Radio about how the Syria issue has different implications for Kentucky's two U.S. Senators.

A look at where each member of Kentucky's Congressional delegation stands, as of this past weekend, about a possible U.S. strike in Syria.

On Monday, Tennessee Republican Senator Lamar Alexander announced he would vote against the U.S striking Syria.

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