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
8:33 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Bluegrass Pipeline Won't Cross Through Sisters of Loretto Land

A spokesman for a company planning to build a pipeline through Kentucky says the proposed route for the project would avoid land owned by a group of Marion County nuns known as the Sisters of Loretto.

The Sisters had refused to allow the project's surveyors to enter their 780-acre property.

The proposed Bluegrass Pipeline would connect natural gas producers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia with export centers on the Gulf Coast.

One proposed path of the pipeline would extend through northern Kentucky southward into Nelson, Larue, Hardin, Meade and Breckenridge counties.

A spokesman for Williams Company said Wednesday that the proposed route would "stay well to the north of Marion County." Pipeline opponents, including the Sisters of Loretto, have demonstrated against the project, saying it poses environmental risks.

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Sports
4:54 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Report: WKU Athletic Trainer Fired After Clashing with Petrino

Bobby Petrino is the first-year head coach of WKU football.
Credit WKU Athletics

An online article highlights clashes between WKU football coach Bobby Petrino and a medical trainer who was fired in the spring.

The Chronicle of Higher Education story about friction between coaches and athletic trainers singled out the relationship between Petrino and former WKU associate athletic trainer Danny Cobble. The Chronicle’s story says Petrino questioned Cobble’s medical abilities, grew impatient with return-to-play times for players, and pushed back against decisions made by physicians.

Cobble says he was fired in the spring after being at WKU since 2009. When asked by the Courier-Journal about the article, A WKU athletics spokesman said neither coach Petrino or WKU Athletic Director Todd Stewart would comment.

The Chronicle story spotlighted an incident in which Cobble says a doctor ordered surgery for an unidentified WKU football player. Cobble says Petrino wanted to treat the player with a cortisone shot instead. The player eventually had surgery.

The Chronicle surveyed hundreds of athletic trainers and staff for their story. Of the 101 who responded, 53 said they felt pressure from football coaches to get players back on the field faster than the trainers felt was medically prudent.

You can read the full article from The Chronicle of Higher Education here.

Regional
11:00 am
Mon September 2, 2013

Lane Restrictions This Week Impacting Traffic on Audubon Parkway in Henderson

Here's a traffic advisory for those traveling to/from the Henderson region:

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans to restrict traffic to one lane along the Audubon Parkway in Henderson County starting Tuesday, September 3.

The Henderson County Highway Maintenance Crew will be continuing shoulder and median work along the Audubon between the 0 and 8 mile marker.  This work is expected to continue through Friday, September 6th., weather permitting.

Sports
3:44 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

WKU Looks to Make it Two in a Row Against UK Saturday

WKU opens its 2013 football season Saturday vs. Kentucky at LP Field in Nashville.

WKU kicks off its 2013 football season Saturday night against Kentucky.

While the contest is technically a home game for WKU, it's being played at LP Field in Nashville. The game marks the debut for both WKU coach Bobby Petrino and UK head coach Mark Stoops.

Petrino says season-openers are always a major challenge for the coaching staff.

"We have to do a good job on the sidelines making sure we're coaching our guys in between series, and really understanding what Kentucky is trying to do to us, and making sure our players stay into it mentally," said Petrino.

Petrino has 75 career wins as a head coach, and his teams have made seven bowl appearances. The UK game marks Petrino's return to coaching following his 2012 firing as head coach of Arkansas. Petrino was let go by the SEC school after he lied to Arkansas officials about a motorcycle accident involving his mistress.

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Regional
8:01 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Tractor-Trailer Accident on I-65 North Closes Lanes in Bullitt County

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has issued this traffic advisory Friday morning:

The left and the center lanes are closed on northbound I-65 at mile point 108 in Bullitt County due to an overturned tractor-trailer.  Kentucky Transportation Cabinet crew members and law enforcement are on the scene trying to clear the crash.  Lane closures may last for 2-3 hours.  Motorists should expect heavy delays.

Business
2:03 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Manufacturer Returning to Hopkinsville, with Hundreds of Jobs On the Way

A company that aims to manufacture steel tubes for the energy industry is expanding its operations and employment in Hopkinsville.

PTC Seemless Tube Corporation announced Thursday that it plans to create nearly 300 jobs and invest over $100 million  in a new manufacturing facility. It’s a return to the Hopkinsville area for the company, which previously closed its Christian County facility in order to move closer to its customer base.

PTC Seemless now says it wants to return to the region by retrofitting and expanding its former facility. The new manufacturing operation will involve 256,000 square feet of building area.

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority has given preliminary approval for $12 million in tax incentives for the project.

Regional
9:28 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Bowling Green Attorney Said To Be Considered for Federal Judgeship

The Louisville Courier-Journal is citing other local judges and political insiders in reporting that Bowling Green attorney Greg Stivers is being considered to fill a vacant federal judgeship in Kentucky.

U.S. Attorney David J. Hale is reportedly also being considered.

The paper says two Warren Circuit Court judges and others have indicated they've been interviewed by the Justice Department as part of the vetting process of Stivers who is outside counsel for Western Kentucky University and a partner in the 14-lawyer Bowling Green firm of Kerrick, Stivers and Coyle. The firm is an underwriter for WKU Public Radio. Federal district judges are paid $174,000 a year and are appointed for life.

Stivers' name is expected to be put forth by Kentucky senator Rand Paul, a neighbor and close friend of Stivers. According to the Warren County Clerk's office, the 53 year old Stivers was a registered Democrat until November 2009 when he switched parties as Paul was mounting his Senate campaign. Paul's Bowling Green Senate office is in a building that also houses Stivers' law firm. Federal records show Stivers contributed $800 to Paul's campaign.

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Regional
9:52 am
Mon August 26, 2013

I-65 Northbound Lanes Closed in Hart County Following Accident

Update at 2:01 p.m. :
Cleanup continues on Northbound I-65 in Hart County.  The Kentucky Transportation cabinet estimates the work will take another four hours. Detour information below...

Update at 10:33 a.m.:

The closure of the northbound I-65 lanes in Hart County is now expected to last until 6:30 p.m central/ 7:30 eastern time:

Northbound Interstate 65 is now closed at Mile Point 56 in Hart County.  A semi crash occurred earlier, initially reducing the interstate to one lane.   The vehicle’s cargo includes used batteries.  Due to safety concerns, northbound traffic is now being detoured off of I65 at Cave City (Exit 53), onto KY 70 east, to US 31W north, to KY 218 west and rejoin the interstate at Horse Cave (Exit 58).

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Agriculture
9:50 am
Mon August 26, 2013

New Study in Kentucky Paints Mixed Picture for Hemp's Potential Economic Impact

Hemp supporters have made a strong push to get the crop legalized in Kentucky and at the federal level.

A study conducted by the University of Kentucky contains mixed results concerning the economic viability of growing hemp. Hemp supporters have been pushing to get the crop legalized at both the state and federal levels, saying it could create thousands of jobs and help boost the bottom lines of farmers.

The UK study says hemp could be a profitable option for some farmers in central Kentucky, but not everywhere.

The Chairman of UK’s agriculture economics department told the Courier-Journal that he didn’t want to portray the study as a “negative outcome”, saying the crop “should be viewed as one more opportunity amid many opportunities for farmers." Leigh Maynard said there would be a big “learning curve” for producers and processes to climb, given that growing hemp in the U.S. has been illegal for decades.

Maynard said it's likely hemp could become a niche crop for some farmers. Hemp seeds can be used to make fuel, foods, and personal care products.

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer has made hemp legalization his chief legislative priority, and says he’s optimistic about the crop’s future despite the study. According to Comer, it’s difficult to estimate the economic impact of an industry that doesn’t exist.

Regional
5:46 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Police Investigating Deadly Armed Robbery in Bowling Green

Bowling Green police continue their search for a suspect following a deadly armed robbery in the city early Monday morning.

The shooting happened just after midnight at the Domino's on Stonehenge Avenue. WBKO-TV is quoting police as saying a black man came in the back door shortly after the store closed at midnight. Witnesses say there was a struggle and a lot of yelling. When police arrived, they say a white man was found shot to death by the side of the building.

His name has not yet been released.

Employees were inside the building during the robbery but there were no other injuries reported.

Police say they're not sure if the suspect took any money. Surveillance video shows the man to be about 6'1" tall but his face was covered.

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